More on Rolleston 1415

I ended my last blog full of questions. Just for my own satisfaction I needed to find out more about surnames, dress, houses, gardens food and drink.


The surnames mentioned in the 1415 documents seem to fall into four categories; those arising from a place, some from the father’s name, occupations and personal characteristics.

Those derived from a place dropped the ‘del’, ‘of’ or ‘atte’ or ‘in the’ to become, using more modern spelling, Rolleston, Eton, Green, Townsend, Lane and Willesby. Some had already dropped them to become Walton, Shirley, Cortell, Aston and Pophow. Probably from a father’s name there was Laurence, Watson, Davy and Robin. Whereas Parker, Bond, Smith Woodman Cooper and Bacon probably came from occupations. Meek and Fox are probably linked to personality, though Green, Robyn and Bond might also be linked to personality or appearance. One or two of the surnames remain a mystery to me. For instance. Oyne which still exists as a place name in Scotland or has connections with shipbuilding in Kent. Isole has me stumped. It is worth noting that by this time using the same name probably meant that they were somehow related to each other.


In England people were born into a particular class and almost always remained in it for their whole lives. The clothing they wore indicated their standing in society. The villagers in the 1415 document would all be classed as peasants.

Peasants were typically limited in picking clothing because they did not have much money.

Peasants would only have about one to two outfits to wear for many years. Even worse, the nobility would limit what the peasants could wear; however, this did not bother the peasants because they could not afford to purchase much anyway.

Peasants wore woollen tunics with slits for the head, arms, and legs. Men would often let the tunics fall just past their knees while women would let the tunics fall down to their legs which can be thought of as dresses.

As for undergarments, it wasn’t until the 14th century that peasants began to wear “shifts.” Shifts were not as baggy as tunics and would often be longer than the tunics themselves. As a result, shifts hugged the body more closely and provided more comfort against the abrasive feel of wool. As for underwear, it is thought that men wore loin cloths while it is uncertain if women wore any kind of underwear.

Women usually wore a type of linen veil that would often cover their hair and would be kept in place by a ribbon or a bow while men would wear various types of hats. These included straw hats to more elaborate such as leather coverings. Others might have worn felt caps that would fasten around their necks.

In terms of footwear, many went without shoes in warmer seasons; however, the common footwear was leather shoes which were held together by straps. These shoes may have also had wooden soles for support. Besides leather, felt could have been also used. They would also wear hose the fore runner of stockings.

The clothing is demonstrated by these two links,

Peasant houses

In Rolleston in 1415 only two types of dwelling are mentioned, cottage and messuage and the latter is a term which includes the land. A variety of sources agree that messuages would usually contain a larger dwelling sometimes called a Long House. The following is an extract from an online source which is referenced below.

Although this medieval cottage dates from the thirteenth century it gives a great insight into what our village houses would have looked like.

“It has been reconstructed by the Weald and Downland Museum, Sussex, England. It was inhabited by the Lord of the Manor, his family and servants. It has two rooms, one containing the hearth that would have been the main living area. The other room contains a stone oven.

The house would have been very dark and smoky inside as there is no chimney and only a small window. The animals would have been housed in a separate building, probably a wooden barn, and another building would have been used to store crops which were grown on the land around the house.”

Peasants’ houses from earlier in this period have not survived because they were made out of sticks, straw and mud. They were one-roomed houses which the family shared with the animals. They made their houses themselves because they could not afford to pay someone to build them. The simplest houses were made out of sticks and straw.

Later Medieval Period

Peasants were able to afford better housing and many now lived in wattle and daub houses.

Wattle and Daub houses were taller and wider than the simple stick and straw houses. They also offered better protection from the weather. They were made by first constructing a framework of timber, then filling in the spaces with wattle (woven twigs). Finally, the twigs were daubed with mud which, when dried, made a hard wall.

You might find this Wikipedia page interesting, too.


Once again finding information has proved difficult. The best I have been able to put together is that in most cottage gardens you could find leeks, onions and turnips and borage a type of ‘greens.’

Herbs were grown as much for medicinal purposes as anything. So, parsley, mint, thyme, rosemary, comfrey were all common. Sage and hyssop were supposed to cure leprosy as well as act as flavouring. Sweet marjoram and oregano helped to cure colds and purify the blood. Other sweet smelling ‘strewing Herbs’ were also grown to scatter on the straw floor covering to keep down smells. Roses, lavender, hollyhock and angelica were decorative as well as useful.

Unless you served in a large household, it was difficult to obtain fresh meat or fish (although two tenants rented fisheries). For the winter months most people ate foods that had been salted or pickled soon after slaughter or harvest: bacon and preserved fruits, for instance. The poor often kept pigs, which, unlike cows and sheep, were able to live contentedly in a forest, fending for themselves. Peasants tended to keep cows, so their diets consisted largely of dairy produce such as buttermilk, cheese, or curds and whey.

Rich and poor alike ate a dish called pottage, a thick soup containing meat, vegetables, or bran. The more luxurious pottage was called ‘mortrew’, and a pottage containing cereal was a ‘frumenty’. Bread was the staple for all classes, although the quality and price varied depending on the type of grain used. Some people even used bread as plates: ‘trenches’ were thick slices of bread, slightly hollowed out, and served bearing food at meal times.

There is a lot more research being done about this period and it seems to show that, although life was far from easy for those working the land , it might not have been s unpleasant as originally thought. It certainly gives plenty to think about.

If you are interested, a good place to start would be to follow this link. Enjoy!



A Rental of Rolleston, 4 February 1415

This is a document in the Duchy of Lancaster Papers: PRO, DL/42/4 in the Public Record Office at Kew. It was kindly supplied to me by Ken Rolleston and was translated from the Latin by Margaret Baker in 1999. It was part of the material Ken was studying in his research of the Rolleston family which led to his publications held in the County Record Office at Stafford.

My main interest in history is in the lives of ordinary people. There is a lot written about rich people and very little about the others. When Ken sent me a copy of this document which lists everyone here in Rolleston who paid rent for land in 1415 I felt privileged and delighted. However, it is full of old terms and archaic language containing some terms which have changed meaning. It has taken me some time to make sense of it and put the information into a more understandable form. My attempt to do this is what follows.

I think the year 1415 is significant because King Henry IV was fighting the Scots and the French and needed money. The King owned all the land in England – yes, all the land. He granted certain influential and powerful people the right to hold land and rent it to others. These landholders in return owed loyalty to him to fight for him or send people or money to help in any war.  Rolleston and Tutbury were a bit different to many parts of the country in that they had become part of the Duchy of Lancaster Estate in 1399 so, not granted to another owner but owned by the king.

In Rolleston there were four different types of land holders; six were free tenants, one was a tenant in fee tail, twenty-two were tenants at will and twenty-eight were tenants in bondage.

Originally free tenants performed some pre-determined military duties for the lord of the manor on behalf of the king, knight’s service, but by 1415 this was commuted to a payment called scutage – really a tax on the land. After the death of the Free tenant the land could be passed on to others in ways not governed by or recorded by the manor. They paid rent but did no work on the lord’s own land (his demesne).

A tenant in fee tail also paid rent and did no work on the lord’s land but could only pass on the land to direct descendants.

A tenant at will paid rent but was also not required to do work on the lord’s own land, but the tenancy had very little security because it could be terminated by the lord at any time provided notice was given.

A tenant in bondage paid rent and carried out work on the lord’s own estate according to the customs of the manor built up over generations.

However, some held more than one type of tenancy, so the document really only lists 40 separate tenants. It is worth looking at the conditions attached to the largest group the tenants in bondage. Henry Wodeman’s holding and payments are described in detail. He “holds one messuage and one virgate of land … and pays yearly at the terms of Martin and of the Nativity of John the Baptist, nine shillings and five and a half pence and, at the feast of our Lord’s birth, two hens and, at the feast of Easter, twenty eggs”.

In addition he must provide the following services; “he and his neighbours will mow the meadow which is called Obholme and Haylymedowe, will spread and make hay from it and cart it as far as Tutbury Castle, receiving each of them from the Lord King twenty-two pence, and the work of them is worth two pence after deductions. And he will cart, when it is necessary, wood and timber, receiving for each cartload when he have carted from the castle enclosure, one penny for wood and two pence for timber, and from the park at Rolleston, a halfpenny for wood and one penny for timber, and when he shall have carted outside the Ward of Tutbury he will receive for a cartload of wood three pence. He will also cart hay and litter and will receive for each mile or league, one penny and he will only perform those works when the lord or someone else at the lord’s charge shall be there, and for those who receive wages he will cart nothing and those works which do not occur annually are not given a valuation…”

(He) “will serve as reeve when he shall be elected.

He will not make his son a clerk nor marry his daughter without the lord’s licence and, if his daughter be de-flowered, he will give the lord five shillings and a purse as leirwite.

And when he shall die he will give the lord his best beast in the name of heriot and all male horses and colts and all male pigs and all beehives, all brass vessels and untallaged woollen cloth if he shall have any, and a cart or wagon hooped with iron…”

“And the lands which he shall be holding will remain in the lord’s hand until his son or daughter or his closest heir shall satisfy the lord for entry to the said tenements.

And if his wife shall wish to receive those tenements she will receive them from the lord and hold them in preference to all others while she shall wish to live without a husband.”

The tenants in bondage also had to pay three fixed annual payments

  1. To the lord as tallage called Stuth at Martinmas. This was really just a tax imposed by the lord on his tenants valued at £4 2s. 6d.
  2. Fees for two views called Courtepenyes at Martinmas and the nativity of John the Baptist. These were fees to pay for the two courts held in the manor to keep law and order and administer the affairs connected to the land valued at 4s. 4d.
  3. For Frythsilver yearly. This was an annual payment to the lord for liberty to take firewood, wood for repairs to gates, etc. and material for thatching from the unenclosed land valued at 2s.

They also had fixed charges to pay the lord 4s. 6d. for works he carried out in Rolleston and the two who held fishery rights paid   16s. 4d. and 3s. 4d. respectively.

William of Rolleston and the Tenants of Anseley also have to provide a knight’s service as part of their free tenancy. By this time that had been exchanged for a fee called socage but its value was not given in this document presumably because the king could alter this whenever he wished.

William of Rolleston was both a Free Tenant and Tenant at Will and so were John Sparham and the Heirs of John Parker. The other three Free Tenants were the Lords of the vill of Anseley, the Tenants of Anseley and the Abbott of Burton. The only Tenant in Fee Tail was Robert of Eton. None of these four held other tenancies in Rolleston, so did not have to carry out work on the lord’s estate. This information is summarized in the following table.

Name Free
in Fee Tail
at Will
in Bondage
of Rolleston
£2 11s. *   7d.  
8s. 2d   9.5d.  
Heirs of
John Parker
10s.   1s.  
Lords of the
vill of Anseley
of Anseley
£1 **      
of Burton
Total (6) £4 15s. 9d.      
of Eton
  £1 4s. 10d. 8d.  
Total (1)   £1 4s. 10d.    
William Walton and
Richard Isole
William Shirley     £1 13s. 4d.  
John atte
junior, villein,
John Sparham
John atte
junior, villein,
with Robert
      9s. 5.5d.
John Bond,
    3d. 9s. 5.5d.
heirs of Robert
William Couper     8d.  
Richard Smyth
(for forge)
    2s. 5s. 6d.
    1s. 2d. 9s. 5.5d.
Henry Davy,
    2d. 9s. 5.5d.
Robert Aston     1s. 9s. 5.5d.
William Grene,
    3s. 9s. 5.5d.
William Fox,
    1s. 6d. 9s. 5.5d.
John atte
senior, villain
    2s. 2.5d. 9s. 5.5d.
Richard atte
    6d. 9s. 5.5d.
Henry Watson,
    2s. 9s. 5.5d.
Robert atte
    6d. 9s. 5.5d.
Thomas Oyne     1s. 6d. 9s. 5.5d.
John Yong     3d. 9s. 5.5d.
of Bromley
    6d. 9s. 5.5d.
Total (23)     £3 16s. 2d.  
William atte
      9s. 5.5d.
in the Lone,
      9s. 5.5d.
John Meke,
      9s. 5.5d.
Adam Laurence       9s. 5.5d.
William Robyn,
      9s. 5.5d.
      9s. 5.5d.
Thomas son of
John Bond,
      9s. 5.5d.
of Wyllesby
      9s. 5.5d.
John Bacon       9s. 5.5d.
Richard Bacon       9s. 5.5d.
in the Lone
      9s. 5.5d.
Agnes atte
      9s. 5.5d.
del Grene,
      9s. 5.5d.
del Grene,
      £1 4s.
Total (28)       £18 15s. 5d.
£4 15s. 9d. £1 4s. 10d. £3 16s. 2d. £18 15s. 5d.
57 tenancies
in Fee Tail
at Will
in Bondage

The land holdings can be summarized in another table

Tenancy Messuage Cottages Land Meadow Water
Free 14   116.5 acres, 4 bovates, 1 garden plot 14   £4 15s. 9d. 2 Knight’s Service 12 arrows or 2d.
Fee Tail 2 1 2 bovates 3.5 acres 1 small plot 4 acres, 1 plot, 1 plot pasture 7.5 acres, 1 rood £1 4s. 10d.
At Will 3   67 acres, 1 virgate, 3 roods, 9 plots     £3 16s. 2d.
In Bondage 28 1 26.5 virgates, 3.5 acres,     £18 15s. 5d. 53 hens or 6s. 7.5d. 530 eggs or 20d.
Total 47 2 27.5 virgates, 6 bovates, 176.5 acres, 9 plots, 1 small plot, 1 garden plot 18 acres, 1 plot, 1 plot pasture 7.5 acres, 1 rood £28 12s. 2d. 12 arrows or 2d. 53 hens or 6s. 7.5d. 530 eggs or 20d.
 TOTAL 47 2 1103 acres 18.33 acres 7.75 acres £29 0s. 7.5d.

Messuage – a house with land around it and the necessary outbuildings, garden and possibly orchard.

Cottage – a house and garden possibly with a certain amount of land.

Virgate – about 30 acres, Bovate – about 15 – 20 acres, Plot – about one sixth of an acre. These were not precise measurements because an attempt was made to take account of fertility and ease of cultivation.

An acre was later defined as 4840 square yards, but originally was based on the amount of land which could be ploughed by a man and ox-plough in one day. A rood was a quarter of an acre.

Clearly, Rolleston had 49 dwellings and about 1100 acres of cultivated land, more than 18 acres of pasture and almost 8 acres of water meadow near the river Dove.

The rent paid to the Duchy of Lancaster was over £29, which, according to the Bank of England calculator would be £33,500 today.

I found it surprising that it is difficult to find any traces of the dwellings or lives of the people of Rolleston so needed much more reading and research. The results of which are what follows.

If there were 49 dwellings and only 40 people mentioned, some names are missing unless the houses are unoccupied, which seems unlikely. These are more likely to be people unable to rent land, who are either artisans who may or may not be able to make a living without land, or, people who hire themselves out to the tenants, or, some who do some of each.

Also, one man has a forge, and there is a clerk (which we would call a cleric) but, no Glebe land is included in this record and no tithes are mentioned, so the land totals may be underestimated as well as the costs incurred by the tenants.

Lots of questions are unanswered, not least of which is what did the surnames develop into and come from? Who built and maintained the houses and what did they look like, not to mention why is there no evidence of them today? What did people grow, eat and wear? The list goes on.

I still have a lot to discover.

Rolleston on Dove in 1952

My booklet “A Street Directory of Rolleston in 1952” raised over £200 for charity – thanks to those who generously donated. It was then suggested that another booklet could be made listing the children of Rolleston born between 1937 and 1952. The Baptism Register for St. Mary’s Church has been examined and various on-line resources have been consulted. The time, effort and enthusiasm of many villagers, past and present did the rest. I am grateful for their help and encouragement. There are too many to list here, but almost all of them are on at least one of the pictures. Some parents’ occupations, dates of birth and present whereabouts are included. It is seven years since this was originally gathered together so it will need updating in places. Please help me to do this.

For extra interest some pictures have been included.

If there are mistakes please accept my apologies for them and do tell me so that I can correct them and if you can supply missing names and other information please do so.

I hope you find the information interesting (the booklet produced from it raised a further £300 for charity).


These two pictures started it all. Although they come from a few years before, several people on each one were still in the village when the Queen came to the throne in 1952.

Miss Redfern’s class – probably in 1948

Back Row: John, Edward FAINT, Richard HAZLEHURST, Michael BRADBURY, Clifford GOODHALL, Barry MANN, Ivor, Frederick COX, David, Alfred WILKINS, Bryan MEYER, John, Lloyd HODSON WALKER, Peter, Howard TRIPP, Michael, Charles HAZLEHURST

Third Row: Diana, Mary THORLEY, Carmen SOUTHERN, Doris ELLIS, Jennifer CUFF, Kathleen, Margaret WELDON, Pamela VICKERS, Jill WOODHALL, Rachel BROWN, Dorothy, Helen ROBINSON, Walter HODSON WALKER, David, Ernest ALLSOP

Second Row: Jill FRIZELL, Jennifer LAYDEN, Maria JOHNS, Hazel, Elizabeth HARRIS, Cecilia, Mary BISHOP, Beatrice, Irene EBBERLEY, Diana DAVENPORT, Hazel WHITFIELD, Anne PRIESTNAIL, Janet, Elizabeth HARLOW, Patricia BROADHURST

Front Row:  Michael CHEETHAM, Anthony, Thomas PEGG, Arthur ELLIS, Michael WOOD, Edward, Anthony BUTTON, Tony BULLOCK, John BUXTON, George, Frederick EBBERLEY, Philip GENDERS

Mrs. COTTON’s class probably in 1948

Back Row: David, Ernest ALLSOP, Stanley, James EBBERLEY, Frank, Norman MILTON, Rodney, Charles KIRKLAND, Desmond OLDERSHAW, Jonathan ADAMS, Eric, Thomas COX, John MASSEY, Jonathan UNDERHILL, John, Albert TAYLOR

Third Row: Peter SHERRATT, Peter WASHINGTON, Patricia FRIZELL, Margaret, Eileen JOHNSON, Pearl BAILEY, Christine LINTON, Susan FEARN, Marlene, Maranda, Annette COX, David JENNINGS, Peter, John WRIGHT

Second Row: Elizabeth, Mary MANNING, Ann KNIGHT, Janet, May FAINT, Elvira SOUTHERN, Maureen, Dorothy CHILDS, Pamela, Irene NEWBURY, Gillian, Elizabeth CHEETHAM,    Glenda, Joy ALLEN, Jean, M. WASHINGTON, Margaret Jennifer ALLSOP

Front Row: Barry JOHNS, John, Allen HARLOW, Dennis GOODALL, Maurice JOHNSON, Keith, Frank PHILLIPS, Edwin, Reginald SOLOMON, John HAZLEHURST, Derek DAVENPORT    


Using the Electoral Roll and my earlier booklet the following list of children and parents has been produced.


Brook Hollow. John, T. Shaw, who worked for an estate agent in Burton, his wife Dorothy, M. and children Gillian (1938) and Martin (1947) who both still live in the village.

The Pastures. Frank, H. Wedd, who was a farmer, and his wife Ivy who was a schoolteacher and their children Richard (1939) and Stephen (1947) who both now live in Australia. Ivy was also a bell-ringer.

Park View. John, E., Bailey, his wife Beatrice, M., and son Andrew, John (1945). John worked in the butchery trade.  


2. Harry Bennett and his wife Muriel, Grace. Harry was a lorry driver. In 1952 they had daughters Carol (1946) now in Scropton and Christine, June (1950).

3. Eric, R., F. Welch, a clerk, his wife Margaret, R. son Anthony, E. (1949) and daughter, Erica, Mary (1951).

4. Edward, A. Button and his wife Harriett. Edward was a foreman. They had a son, Edward, Anthony “Tony” (1942) and a daughter Jennifer, A. (1947) who both live in Burton. Their two older daughters, Iris and Mona, have died.

5. Stanley, R. Saunders his wife Gwendoline and children Richard (1945) now in Repton, Michael, George (1950) and Glenis, Joan (1951). Stanley worked in the rubber industry.

7. Edwin, T. “Dan” Grimley and his wife Kathleen. Edwin was a moulder. They had a daughter Colleen, Diane (1948).

8. Albert, D. Bull, his wife Rosa, M. and children Sylvia, M. (1945), now in Hatton and Alan, D. (1948), now in Tutbury.

9. Robert, N. Coltman, his wife Marjorie, J. and daughter Hilary, Jane (1953). Robert was a clerk. They had older children Margaret, Catherine and David.

10. Frank Clarke and his wife Dorothy, B. and daughter Susan (1948).

11. James, L. Cawser, a plumber, and his wife Gladys, E. with sons Lawrence, W., J. (1946), C., David (1948), Michael (1949) and P., Robert (1950).

12. Ralph, E. “Bon” Docksey and his wife Susan, A. Ralph was a farmer and worked in breweries. Their children were Jean, Mary (1936) now on Tutbury Road, Phil (1937) in the village and Jill (1938) in Kitling Greaves Lane.

15. Kenneth Sherratt, his wife Joan with son Peter, K (1940).

25. George, H. Harris and his wife Jessie with their children Jean, M. (1934), Michael, E. (1937) and Hazel, E. (1943). George worked in the rubber industry.

27. Arthur, S. and Gladys, M. Watson and son Ian, Stephen (1943). Gladys still lives in the village. Ian lives in Burton.

31. Mariano, P. Castillon a core moulder in a foundry in Burton, his wife Sheila and their children Alan (1947) who now lives in France, John (1948) who now lives in Portsmouth, Luis, M. (1949), now in Tutbury and Maria, D. (1952), who now lives in Leicestershire. Sheila was a post woman at one time and still lives in the village.

39. Frederick, W. Gould and his wife Iris, C. who in 1952 had children Margaret (1947), Richard (1948), Janet E. (1949), Alan, John (1950) and Patricia, M. (1952). Pat was living in the village at the time of writing. Margaret and Janet live in Stretton. Alan and Richard have died.


1. The Nook, Leonard, Harry Harrison, a transport driver, his wife Winifred, Alice and their daughter Brenda, Ann (1943).

 6. Vine Cottage Eric and Evelyn Broadhurst and children Patricia, A. (1941) (R.I.P.) and son Terence, John (1948). Eric was a railway guard, possibly a driver later? Also living here were John, A. Bennett with his wife Hannah and their son Michael, John (1945).

8. Vine Cottage, Kenneth and Dorothy, M. Topliss. Kenneth was an engineering fitter. They had two sons, Andrew (1950) and Stephen (1951).

9. Field View, Albert, E. and Edith, M. Woodward with son Barry (1945) who lives in the village and daughter Katherine, Margaret (1948). Albert was a locomotive fireman.

18. Ashlea, was occupied by Raymond Shilton, a lorry driver, and his wife, Elsie, M. with their daughters Rosemary, Ann (1947) who lives in Willington and Susan Elizabeth (1951) who lives in the village.

54.  At The Laurels were John and Noreen, M. Massey with their children John (1941) and Susan (1946).

56. At Gladwyn, with his parents and brother was Donald H. Bentley (a Sales Rep.), his wife Susan, E. and their son Stephen, Graham (1953). They moved to County Durham.

58. A locomotive driver Raymond Cooper, his wife Lillian and children Dorothy (1944), now in Newhall, Michael (1949) in the village and Russell (1951) in Burton.

59. Beacon Cottage. Ronald Gould, a maltster, his wife Minnie, I., M. and their daughter Pauline, Ann (1952).

60. James and Mary, J. Wright with their children, Philip, John (1950), James, William (1942) (R.I.P.), Dennis, Albert, Victor (1944) (R.I.P). James was a lorry-driver’s mate.

62. Ronald, F. Dainty, a fitter, his wife Rose, and children Russell, Leonard (1946) and Sandra (1949) (R.I.P.).

64. George, E. Washington, a lorry driver, his wife Hilda, M. and children Peter, E. (1938) Jean, M. (1940) (R.I.P.), Sheila, A. (1942). They had an older son David.

68. George, W., H. Wibberley was a master plumber. He was living here with his wife Connie, E. and daughters Yvonne, Georgina (1947) and Susan, Dawn (1951).

70. Harold, E. Neville and his wife Alice. Harold was a builder who built part of Beacon Road and later Neville Close. Their children were Margaret (1938) now in Swadlincote and David, E. (1945) in Lincolnshire.

72. Sylvadene, Margaret, I. Soloman, Reginald, F. Soloman a Transport Officer and their son Edwin, R. “Eddie” (1939). They had older children.

The Bungalow was occupied by Howard, S. and Barbara, A. Bate with their children Marie (1939) son Sean, Howard (1952). Howard was a bricklayer in his son’s baptism entry. They may have had an older daughter.

77. The Castle, Albert and Doris, M. Cheetham with children John (1939), now in Melton Mowbray, Gillian, E. (1940), Michael (1942) and Susan, M. (1944) all in the village. Albert worked in the rubber industry. They had a shop on the premises.

78. Lynwood, Charles, L. Manning and his wife Harriett with their daughters Elizabeth, Mary (1941) who now lives in Stretton, Patricia, Margaret (1943) and Jean, Valerie (1947). Charles was a shoe repairer.

82. Paradise, Frank, L. Gee who worked for the railway, his wife Louisa, M. and their son, Lawrence, Frederick (1937) (R.I.P.).

86. Norfre, Frederick, R. and Noreen Taylor and their son Alan, Richard (1937). Frederick worked for British Tyre and Rubber.

88. Hill Rise, George and Lily Hodson-Walker with their son John, Lloyd (1942) who now lives in Needwood. George was a foreman ale loader at Ind Coop/Allsopp’s brewery and Lily was the school caretaker. They had an older daughter Ann, who now lives in Egginton.

96. Henley, William, K. Maddocks, a plater, his wife Doris, E. and daughter Sandra, Elizabeth (1950).

108. Fairway, Ernest, E. Davies, his wife Eileen, F. and son Graham, Michael (1952). Ernest was a lorry driver.

122. Bryn Gwna, Albert, P. and Kathleen, M. Presnail with children Penelope, J. (1947), Gillian, M. (1948) and Andrew, J. R. (1952).

126. Hillbrae Alfred, E. and Alice, A. Everett and son Richard (1939) (R.I.P.).


Harry, V. and Esme, E. Warren with their son Neil, Kenneth (1953).

Arthur, E. Cox worked at the plaster mill in Tutbury, his wife Gladys, M. and their children Nigel (1937) now living in Tutbury, Marleine, M. A. (1939) in Leicester and Judith, A. (1950) in Burton.


9. Clifford, A. and Dorothy, J. Wright with older sons and Peter (1938) (R.I.P.). Cliff was a painter and decorator.

11. Francis, W. and Joyce Hodson Walker with children at that time Walter (1941) who still lives in the village and Robert (1951). Francis was a brewery foreman.

13. George, A. and Hannah Taylor with their daughter Doreen, Olive (1935) and sons John, Albert (1940) living in Stretton, and David, A. (1944). George was a brewery labourer.

14. Arthur, E. and Edna Bentley with their daughter, Joan (1938). Arthur was a stoker.

20. John Wilkins, a fitter/engineer, his wife Winifred, M. with sons Peter, R. (1937), and David, A. (1941).


11. William, S. Sharp and his wife Marjorie. Their daughter Lynne (1952) was born there and has come back to live in the village.

Westfield Guy, E. and Marjorie, L. Castellan. Guy was an electrical engineer with G.E.C. They had three sons – Hugh (1939), William (1941) and Martin, James (1951).

14. Burnside Cottages, Victor Meyer an excavator driver and his wife Hilda, M. with children Diana (1935) (R.I.P.) Roger (1938) (R.I.P.) (who was in the choir) and Brian (1941) now living in Dorset. Hilda had a morning paper round.

39. General Stores, John and Ida, V. Whitfield with daughter Hazel (1941) and three older children. John worked for Worthington’s and his wife ran the shop.


Wesley Cottage, Benjamin Williams, his wife Marjorie and their son Alan (1945) (R.I.P.).

Rose Cottage, William and Phyllis, A. Walkerwith daughter Linda (1950).

Black and White Cottage, William, J. Milton, his wife Eva and sons Frank (1938), known as “Sonny” who went to Australia  and Christopher, William (1948), who is living in the village. William was a labourer in 1938 and a maltster in 1948.


The Spinney, George, H. and Eleanor, B. Buxton, with two sons, John, A. (1943) and David, G. (1935). George was a director of the brewers Truman, Hanbury and Buxton. They kept goats which roamed!

Woodlands, Philip, D. and Pamela, J., B. Manners with daughter Diana (1949).

11. High Bank, Harold, C. H. and Doris, K. Tripp with son Peter, H. (1942) who lives in Middlesex. Harold was a manager at Darley’s Printers. He was also PCC Secretary – see 1950 photo in church. They had an older daughter Ann.

14. Mosley Farm, Leslie, C. and Eileen, M. Pegg with their daughter Merle, Rachael (1951). Leslie was a brewery worker.

21. Kya Lami, John, E. Lee and his wife Agnes, E. and their children Rosemary (1944), now living in Linton and Hilary (1947) who lives in the village. John was a cooper.  

26. The Gables, a company director, Louis, L. Mason and his wife Gwendoline, A. and their son Nigel, G., L. (1948).

34. Michael, F., C. Pickett, a solicitor, his wife Moyra, R., a doctor, and son Francis, James (1952).

42. Walter and Mary Matthews with their children Jean (1948) and Howard, George (1949). Walter was a postman. Also living with them were Philip H. Genders (1943), now on the Isle of Skye, and his older sister Marjorie.

58. Home Farm Cottages, Leonard, D., and Helen, W. Scrimshaw with sons Robert (1942) now in Burton and Roger (1944) who lives in the village.

60. Home Farm Cottages, Ernest and Violet Wood with their sons Michael (1943) (R.I.P.) and Brian (1945) who went to Australia.

Bryn Euryn, Thomas and Gwendoline Henson with their older sons and daughter Judith, A. (1941).


Cross Farm, a farmer Charles, P. Jennings and his wife Ciceley and their children David (1939) and Bryan, H. (1945). David lives in the village.

3. Douglas, T. Docksey, a builder and his wife Elizabeth with their daughter Eunice (1937).


12. Oak Cottage, Maurice, A. and Edith, J. Child with their daughters Jean, Olwyn (1937) and Maureen (1939). Maurice was a painter and decorator.

16. Windly Jeffrey and Mabel Hulme with older children and Barry, S. Hulme (1939). Jeffrey was a supervisor.

18. Willowfields, Albert, J. and Gladys Allen with their older children and Glenda, Joy (1940) living in the village today. Albert was a clerk/civil servant at Fauld at the time of the explosion and he sang in the choir – see photo in church.  

20. Sunnydale, a textile engineer Frederick, J. Carter, his wife Mary and daughters Carol (1948) and Janet, Mary (1951).


1. Charles and Irene Kirkland and sons Rodney (1940), still living in the village, Dudley (1943) (R.I.P.), and Neville “Nipper” (1945) living in Manchester. Charles was in the rubber industry.

3. Henry, W. Sutton and his wife Ivy, L. with their children Jennifer (1941) and Anthony, P. (1944).

5. Charles, H. Underhill and his wife Winifred with children Jonathan (1939) now believed to be living in Quarndon, and Eleanor, Mary (1944). Charles was a Corporation Official.


Camelot, Philip, J. and Peggy, C. Cuff with their children Elizabeth, C. (1940) (R.I.P.) and Jennifer (1941). Philip was a bank accountant.

Elvetham, Paul and Maisie Guest with their son Tony (1939) (R.I.P.) and daughter Edwena, Eleanor (1946) living in Tutbury. Did they also have a son Philip (1943)? Paul was works manager at Tutbury Glass.

The Cedars, Alfred, J. and Mildred Goodall whose younger children were Arthur, L. (1937), David, B. (1939), Clifford, H. (1941) (now in Horninglow) and Zillah, M. (1944). Mildred was a Sunday School Teacher.


2. Cornerways, William, M. and Pauline, C. Frizell and their daughters Patricia, A. (1939) (R.I.P.) and Jill, M. (1943).

5. Burnside, Leonard, H., G., Faint, a labourer, his wife Jessie, M. and their children Janet (1939), now living in Winshill, John (1942) (R.I.P.) and Elizabeth, A. (1947), who lives in the village.

 9. Kinoulton, a clerk John, H. Marcer, his wife Mary and son Graham, John (1952).

14. The White House, a solicitor William Bagnall and his wife Myra, B. with their children William, E.,H. (1947) and Felicity, Jane (1951).

27. Emily, F. Cox moved here after her husband was killed in WWII – see Lychgate – with sons John (1937), Eric (1938) (R.I.P.), Ivor (1941) living in Altrincham and Graham now living in Hatton.

29. Bernard, C. Bradbury and his wife Ethel, M. and their younger children Margaret (1938) living in the village and the late Michael (1941). Bernard was a labourer.

33. Arthur and Eveline Ellis and children Arthur (1940) (R.I.P.) and Doris (1941) (R.I.P.) and Raymond (1948).

35. Stanley, J. and Beatrice Ebberley with their children Geoffrey (1935), now living in Stretton, Stanley, James (1939), living in the village, Beatrice, Irene (1942) now in Hilton and George, Frederick (1942) now in Hatton. Stanley worked in the rubber industry and had been a coal miner.

37. Connemara, John, T. and Violet Willshee and their children; the eldest went to Australia, Maureen is living in the village and Carol, Elaine (1946) (R.I.P.). John was a brewery charger.

39. Trenoweth, Tom and Elsa, M. Bonnett and their younger children Marie (1940), and Tony (1943). Marie now lives in the north of Scotland. Tom was a brewery worker.

45. Police Station, P. C. Arthur Billington and his wife Lucy. Their daughter, Jean (1938), led the guides later.

47. Lyndene, Leonard, C. and Hannah, M. Bishop had a girl Cecelia, M. (1943) (who married Peter Wright (R.I.P.)) and lives in the village, and a son John (1946). Leonard was an analytical chemist.

49. Bradfern, George and Gladys, M. Davenport and their children Derek (1940) now in Kent, Diana (1943) who lives in the village and Pamela, Joy (1947) now in Truro. George was a Cooper at Bass.

51. Tyrrll Glen, George, N. Rhodes and his wife Margaret and their daughter, Vicky.

55. Alfred and Dorothy Knapman and their daughter Anne.

57. Sunnyhill, Walter Piggs (who came from BRS to manage the Bass transport fleet) his wife Vivien, Lily a son Walter, Gary (1940) and daughter Gillian, F. (1944).

59. Sunnydale, Frederick, R. and Winifred, E. Baker with and their daughters Winifred Annie Baker (1948) and Marlene, who was older. Frederick was a cooper. Pam and Pat Vickers may also have lived here.

65. Lucerne, Thomas, A. and Lucy Howard with daughter Margaret (1945).

67. Lynwood, Harold, W. Bill Pitt and his wife Winifred. Bill was a Bass in the choir and worked in Bass’s offices. They had a daughter Jane (1945).

85. Belvedere, Ben and Marion Silk and children Gregory, P. (1945), Michael, J. (1944) and Glenys, T. (1948) (R.I.P.)

87. Windrush, Cyril, F. and Ethel, M. James and son Peter.

89. Ureka, Ernest, W., L. and Marjorie, A. Bailey and daughter Elizabeth, Ann (1943). Ernest was a plumber and later a cable jointer for E.M.E.B.

91. Denmead, A civil servant Edwin Linton and Marjorie, K. Linton with daughters Christine (1941) and Angela (1946).

95. Claremont, George, W. and Louie, G. Thorley with their daughter, Diana, M. (1942). George was a manager. Louie was a bell ringer.

97. Fennely, Harold, O. and Marjorie Knight and their two daughters, Anne (1939) who lives in the village and Carol (1943) who lives in Stretton.

99. Olecote, Frank and Ivy, T. Phillips with their sons Michael, “Freddy”, (1938) (R.I.P.) who became a fitter at Bass’s and Keith, “Nip” (1941) now in Bridlington. Frank was a bricklayer.

101. Allandale, Sarah, A. Allen and Frederick and Gladys, L. Lee with their sons Peter, L. (1943) and Richard (1949).

109. Bodach, Harry, I. and Lilian Fawkes with twin girls, Mary, Jill and Anne, Shirley (1937). Harry was a schoolmaster at Victoria Road Secondary Modern School in Burton. Was Lilian also a teacher?


Bal-na-Gask, Edward, G. and Eleanor Porter and their daughter Valerie, Jean (1948). Edward was a printer.

Penrhyn, Arthur and Edna, H., B. Deaville with their daughters Jean, Margaret (1938) and Ann. Arthur was a haulage contractor.


Richard and Alice Johnson with daughter Brenda. Richard worked on the farm.

Wellhome, Frederick and Mabel, I. Lee with their sons Colin (1948) now in Stapenhill and Raymond, Albert (1952) in Somerset.

Miriam Woodhall (nee Harlow), widow, with older children  and Jill (1942) who now lives at Hilton.

William Hazlehurst, a farm labourer, his wife and children Richard (1941), Michael, C. (1942) now in Branston and Christopher (1950) now in Portsmouth).

Thomas and Elsie, M. Harlow with children John, A. (1940) now in Borrowash, and Janet, E. (1943) living in the village.


1,The Square, Frank and Winifred, E. Briddon with son David, Erwin (1945) and daughter, Alison. Frank was a carpenter.


Field Grove Farm, Frank, L. and Lilian, J. Brown and daughter Rachel.

Oaklea, Leslie, T. and Kathleen Pegg, Leslie was a Transport Manager. They had sons Anthony, Thomas “Tom” (1942), Christopher (1944) who went to Australia, and a daughter Joan, Marion (1945).


Arthur, J., B. and Mary, E. Birch and daughter Eleanor, Mary (1948). Arthur was a company director.

Kelvingrove, Arthur, W. and Lottie, M. Wilkins with older children and Rosemary (1941) and Gerald, Ernest (1947). Arthur was a clerk.


34. John, H. and Catherine, M. Tatlow with son James, Henry (1946), now living in the village. John was a brewery labourer.

36. James and Irene, F. Michie with son Ian (1944) who lives in the village. They had an older son and a younger daughter. James worked in the rubber industry.

38. Charles, M. always called “Harry” Measham was a fitter at T.S. Coleman engineers and his wife Winifred, J. He was a good man to get to repair your bike. They had a son Rodney, C. (1942).

Brook House Farm, James, S. Robinson, farmer, his wife, Maria, Z. and children Dorothy, Helen (1942), now in Abbotts Bromley and James, D.E. “Eddy” (1945) (R.I.P.)

62. Avondale. Frances, M. Smith whose husband was a chief petty officer in R.N. who had a daughter Ann, Christine (1951).

66. George, H. Fearn and his wife Grace with daughter Susan (1940). They had an older son, Barry.

70. Dilston House, Charles and Ethel Woolley and their son John (1939) who lives in the village. Charles was a motor driver. They had older children.

74. Lyndhurst, a locomotive fireman, Francis, Leonard Broomfield and his wife Muriel, J. with their son Richard, John (1951).

82. St. Elmo, Kenneth, T. Southern, a schoolmaster, Maria, D., who was Spanish, with daughters Carmen (1942) and Dolores, Elvira (1946).

175. Netherfield, farmer Harold Johnson and Margaret his wife with their daughter Margaret (1938).

177. Netherfield Farm, farmer Reginald, J. Hoult and his wife Winifred with their son Brian, Edward (1950).


The Bungalow. An electrical engineer in Derby, Dennis, F. Reynolds, his wife Barbara with their daughters Bridget, S. (1946) and Angela, Susan (1951).

 7. A farmer and butcher Edward, E. Tebbett, his wife Winifred and son Ian, Edward (1952).

10. Hillsborough, a café proprietor, William, H., S. Lander with his wife Nellie and son Keith, Anthony (1951).


Brooklyn, Sydney and Ivy, R. Adams with son Peter, Jonathan (1945). This family moved to Tasmania.

Bleak House, Reuben, F. and Audrey, T. Press with son Roger (1948). Reuben was a farmer.

Miss Boonham’s class

A picture of Miss Boonham’s class was sent to me recently.  

Back Row: Nigel COX, Michael HARRIS, Michael Kenneth PHILLIPS, John WOOLLEY, Laurence GEE, David “Barney” BROWN, Roy CLIFF, Phil DOCKSEY

Middle Row: Geoffrey JOHNSON, Derek BOWRING, John CHEETHAM, Richard EVERETT, Jean CHILD, Joan BENTLEY, John COX, Anthony PIGGOTT, Peter WILKINS, David WASHINGTON

Front Row: Margaret BRADBURY, Jean BILLINGTON, Margaret NEVILLE, Gillian SHAW, Joan TEAR, Eunice DOCKSEY, Jill DOCKSEY, Lesley FOX, Pauline WHEELDON, Marie BATE

Seated on the ground: Alan TAYLOR, Roger MEYER, Barry FEARN, Tom WEDD, Richard WEDD

Now it is your turn to see who you can identify. Here is a Fancy Dress Party outside the “Commem” but the year is not known for certain.


Back Row: ?, Mr. Broadhurst, Iris Allen, Anne Walker or Doreen Taylor, ?, ?, Mrs. Soloman, Brian Mann, ?,  ?, ?,

Middle Row: Mrs. Wood, ?, Mrs. Button, Mrs. Broadhurst, Mr. Topliss, Diana Meyer, Betty Mann or Mrs. Mann, Peter Wilkins, John Cheetham (Old Mother Riley), ?, Eddie Solomon,

Front Row: Carmen Southern, Zillah Goodhall, ?, Gillian Cheetham, Elvira Southern, ?, Pat Broadhurst (Queen of Hearts), ?, Brian Meyer, Mick Cheetham, Tony Button, Clifford Goodhall, Dennis Goodhall, ?, Dave Wilkins, Barry Mann.

Can you fill in the blanks?

Maybe you recognise these people.

RSPCA Pet Show on the small croft opposite Brook House Farm (now with bungalows built on it)

Who is the lady on the extreme left? Does she have two dogs? Godfrey Cooper is next to her holding his mother’s hand bag as she looks after the dog standing next to him, but who is the lady behind him? Mrs. Cooper’s dog looks very interested in Gill Shaw kneeling next to it. Who are the two standing behind Gill holding their dogs? Standing the middle of the picture is someone with the surname Tilke next to Margaret Neville, but who is the boy next to her before Derek Bowring, Laurence Gee and Tony Button? Sitting down next to Gill Shaw are two unknown children then Jennifer Newbury, someone unknown, Gill Cheetham then two more unknown.

Other children who were born before the Coronation taken when they were a few years older (1957/8).

Back Row: Jennifer PLATT, Angela FORD, Elizabeth FAINT, Margaret GOULD, Helen HAIR, Pauline GOULD, Jean GOODHEAD, Jean DENT, Christine BLAND, Hilary LEE, Christine CARVELL

Second Row: Martin SHAW, Kenneth DOCKSEY, Jeremy BOWEN, Robert SHERRATT, Christopher WATKINS, Alan MAYFIELD, Michael CRUMP, Stephen WEDD, Laurence CAWSER, Tony HICKMAN

Front Row: Margaret RICE, Rosemary SHILTON, Vicky BRUNNING, Christine MAY, Pamela WEST, Barbara PRESS, Christine BROWN, Pamela DAVENPORT, Pamela BARNETT, Jean MANNING, Valerie HAYNES, Maureen HARLOW

Ground: Andrew FAWKES, Stephen POWELL, Alan CASTILLON

Were you on this Haddon Hall trip?


A school trip to Haddon Hall around the same time.

Who can you find on this picture?                                               

The teachers; Mrs. Moon, Miss Webb, Mrs. Cotton, Miss Redfern, Mrs. Phillips and Mr. Read.

The pupils; Ken Docksey, Pauline Gould, Janet Riley, Christine Bland, Jean Dent,

Christine Carvell, Maureen Eyre, Rosemary Shilton, ?, ?, Margaret Gould, Douglas Little or Alan Phillips, Robert Sherratt

Jean Manning, Christine May, Pamela Barnett, Yvonne Wibberley, Hilary Lee, Graham Cox, Keith Cheadle,

Andrew Fawkes, Michael Deakin, Barry Edwards, Lawrence Cawser, Stephen Wedd, Michael Cramp, Alan Taylor

David Harris, Chris Watkins, Jean Goodhead, Marion Price, Jeremy Bowen, Christine Brown, Helen Hair, or Jenny Platt?

1959 School Photo

Back Row: Mr REED, Lionel STALEY, Martyn SMITH, Alan BULL, Mary BAKER or Maureen HARLOW, Helen HAIR, Jean DENT, Pamela WEST, Vicky BRUNNING, John CASTILLON, Dave CAWSER, Andrew FAULKS, Mr B G LAKIN

Middle Row: Douglas LITTLE, William COOK/SMITH, Jeremy BOWEN, David JONES, Ian TAYLOR, Graham COX, David HARRIS, Derek CADD, Chris MILTON, Stephen WEDD, Keith CHEADLE, Ken ATKINS, Terry BROADHURST

Front Row: Ruth KNIGHT, Linda DEVILLE, Pamela BARNETT, Margaret COLEMAN, Judith LAKIN, Kay WOODWARD, Pamela HAWKSWORTH, ?, Jean MANNING, Susan BROWN, ?

Coronation Fancy Dress Party (in the Rectory Garden)

Can you find Rosetta Coxon, Martin Shaw, Rosemary Shilton, Alan Mayfield, Christine Brown, Yvonne Wibberley, Alan Matthews, Christine Matthews or David Hall? Who are the others?

And finally, posing before a 1958 Rolleston School Visit.

Back Row: Richard GOULD, Roger BROWN, Michael SANDERS, Caroline HAZLEWOOD, Colleen HILL, Hilary WARD, Linda WALKER, Sandra DAINTY, David HICKMAN, Alan CARVELL, Clive SHELDRAKE, Mrs MANNING

Middle Row: Michael COOPER, Tony WELCH, Colin LEE, Leslie CRISPIN, Alan PHILIPS, Robert RILEY, Howard MATTHEWS, Alan HOWARD, Mervyn WATKINS, Philip BENTLEY, Michael MARSHALL, Paul SLATER, Barry CARLTON

Front Row: Christine HICKMAN, Colleen GRIMLEY, Margaret COLEMAN, Pat NEWEY, Margaret COATES, Rosalind SHEPHERD, Julie/Jackie ALCOCK, Denise STEWART, Christine BENNETT, Janet GOULD, Marianne BROWN, Janet BATEMAN.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

The Fifth Baronet

Sir Oswald Mosley, 5th Baronet Rolleston

In the churchyard of St. Mary’s Church, Rolleston on Dove there are many old gravestones. An intriguing one lies next to the West fence railings.


It bears the simple inscription,


BORN DEC. 29TH.1873,

DIED SEPT. 21ST. 1928


Gravestone b

It is intriguing to find this in the churchyard because inside the church are many plaques and a memorial of earlier Mosleys back to 1638 because they were Lords of the manor of Rolleston until 1928 – the death of the Sir Oswald on this gravestone. Why is it here? Not much has been written about this man. Is there a story that could be told?

Researching the local and national newspapers of 1928 soon revealed various accounts of his funeral ranging from the very short and simple to long and detailed indeed. Extracts from them have been used to give some insight into his life and make interesting reading, but, there is much more to be uncovered about this man.

The Derbyshire Advertiser, September 29, 1928

We regret to state that following his serious illness, Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart., died at, his residence, Hilton Lodge near Derby, early on Friday morning. He was the fifth baronet in direct succession from his great-great-grandfather, who was created baronet by George III in 1761. He was also a descendant of Sir Nicholas Mosley, Kt., Lord Mayor of London in 1502 – the same Sir Nicholas who, when the Spaniards were expected to attempt a second time the invasion of England, took very strong measures for the protection of London, raised a corps of five hundred men for service in Ireland, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth, who also gave him a carved oak bedstead, a “four poster” with the arms of the Queen and the Mosleys, and several other pieces of furniture. The late Baronet, who was born in December 1873. succeeded his father. Sir Oswald Mosley, of Rolleston Hall, in 1915… There are now three Lady Mosleys living. Elizabeth Constance, the widow the fourth baronet, who resides at Walden Abbotts, Whitwell, Welwyn, Herts; Katherine Maud, widow of the fifth baronet; and Lady Cynthia, wife of the successor to the title. The late Baronet returned from France only few days before his death. He was a Unionist, and keen sportsman, being particularly fond of racing. He was in the Derbyshire Yeomanry and served in Egypt until invalided in 1916…


The funeral took place at Rolleston on Monday, the service being marked by an appealing simplicity. Sir Oswald was well-known and greatly respected in the village of Rolleston, and the drawn blinds at the cottages were silent, but unmistakable, testimony to the feeling of the inhabitants… An unusually touching figure was “Peter,” the late Sir Oswald’s favourite black Labrador retriever, which was led by a chauffeur. The bearers were six old employees of the estate. They were Messrs. A. Bennett, W. Walker. R. Woolley, F. Bladon, H. Topley and H. Woolley.

A muffled peal was rung on the church bells as the funeral party approached. The party entered by the north aisle, and it was through that entrance that Sir Oswald last attended service at Rolleston, on the evening of Whitsunday. The service was conducted the Rev. William Bagnall. Rector of Rolleston, assisted by the Rev. E. Wardle, Vicar of Anslow. The choir was in attendance under the direction of Mr. A. G. Greening, the organist and choirmaster. The hymns at the service were ‘’Abide with me” and “Jesu, Lover of soul.” Mr. Greening played Tchaikovsky’s “Chanson Triste” on the organ and Dvorak’s “Largo” from “The New World.” and “Funeral Prelude” (Charnock). At the close of the service he played The Dead March from “Saul.” The hymn. “Abide with me” was Sir Oswald Mosley’s favourite.

The late Sir Oswald preferred not to be buried in the family vault. He gave a piece of land eight years ago for an extension the churchyard and was the first to be buried there. He chose the site of his grave himself on the last occasion he visited the church. The grave was lined with evergreens.

The coffin was of plain oak. with brass nameplate inscribed. “Sir Oswald Mosley, 5th Baronet. Born Dec. 29th. 1873; died Sept. 21st., 1938.”

Sir Oswald’s mother was unable attend the funeral but sent a simple and touching token of her sorrow. It was a small bunch of rosemary, to which was attached the message, evidently in her own hand; “Rosemary for remembrance, from my garden. Dearest Waldie; till our next meeting. Mother.”

It is worth noting that he gave the land for the extension of the churchyard eight years before and it is next to what was the Mosleys’ private entrance to the churchyard from Rolleston Hall and also adjacent to the Old Grammar School which was the cause a dispute between his family and the rector of the time which resulted in the church becoming owners of the building rather than the Mosley family. Also notable was the fact that he had attended church quite recently and chosen the grave site himself and that he chose to enter through the North door like the rest of the congregation. This may have been an acknowledgement of his support for the views of the church in another acrimonious dispute between the rector and the Mosley family about access to the Mosley Aisle and the South Door.

The family mourners were joined by many representatives from his extensive and varied interests and pastimes as well as employees and other villagers.

Some of these interests will be explored further. For example, there hangs a picture of him at the bottom of the staircase in The Spread Eagle pub in Rolleston on Dove. He was in hunting dress at one of the frequent meetings of the Meynell Hunt outside Rolleston Hall.

Outside the Hall

(If the caption is correct this is probably when he was temporarily running the estate between 1913 and 1915 ).

He was pictured with Rolleston cricket team who won the Burton Cup in 1920.

With Cricket team

His family affairs were unconventional. His son, the Sixth Baronet’s Memoir, “My Life” contains the following passage;

“In my early childhood I hardly knew my father, as a separation had occurred when I was five years old, and he was regarded as something of an ogre by my mother’s family…My grandfather had a robust dislike of his son…The origin of the feud was rather obscure… My grandfather in crisp summary used to say he could sometimes tolerate a merry blackguard, but he could not endure a gloomy one…this word now has a quite different connotation, my grandfather did not mean it to do with dishonesty. What he had in mind apparently were certain performances in my father’s early manhood when he … established himself in a local inn, The Dog and Partridge … (and)… set out to emulate the record of a remote ancestor who was reputedly known as the Tutbury Tup. These events on his own doorstep were regarded by my grandfather as an affront both to the proprieties and to the local reputation of the family.”

This was written many years after his father’s death which might have led to a softening of tone or glossing over of the facts which will be revealed in the following pages.

He was born in a house called Fryers (Fryars or Friars) on the outskirts of Beaumaris on the island of Anglesey. Several newspapers both local and national carried a brief announcement in the first few days of 1874;

MOSLEY – On the 29th ult., at The Fryers, Beaumaris, Elizabeth Constance, wife of Oswald Mosley, eldest son of Sir Tonman Mosley of Rolleston Hall, Bart., of a son.

Pictures of this house are hard to come by as subsequent occupants have, quite understandably, valued their privacy but an old drawing from an earlier time gives some indication of the style his family were living in when he was born. (They had been at a hotel in Bangor some months earlier, perhaps looking for a house to rent).

His father, also called Oswald, had married Elizabeth, Constance White 22nd January 1873 when he was twenty-one. She was only twenty and the daughter of a Knight. Her mother was widowed and, even though she was in favour of the marriage, they had to seek legal permission to marry. This was granted. He had to wait until his father died in 1890 before he inherited his title. How he occupied his time in the interim is currently a matter of conjecture though the family moved around before settling down. After the birth of his son he became a J.P. and is recorded as such in the 1881 census. He and his wife, Elizabeth, Constance, went on to have three daughters.

By the 1891 census his father was now Sir Oswald Mosley, 4th. Baronet and was in occupation of Rolleston Hall but Oswald the 1891 census Oswald was a Boarder aged 17 in Hampton, Uxbridge, Middlesex. No occupation is listed. He was, however boarding with the Rev. Charles Stephen who took in pupils for the Army. Other sources claim that he was at Eton for a while before studying for the Army and going to Sandhurst. Ten years later and now married he was a visitor to St. James Place in Westminster, living on his own means. His wife, meanwhile was living with her parents and her two sons in Knightsbridge. This bears out what his son claimed about an estrangement in his memoir quoted earlier.  When the father could only visit the boys for a few weeks each and never at school. He also had to provide financial support for the children.He opposed these arrangements but was over-ruled – though he remained rather tardy in his payments right until 1914.

His father, the 4th Baronet, a pillar of the community, was a noted breeder of cattle and horses and well-known nationally for this as well as his interest in Natural History and horticulture. What he thought of this matter is best left to the imagination.

He kept control of all his own affairs until 1913 when ill-health induced him to hand control of Rolleston Hall and its Estate over to his son. Throughout this time Oswald seems to have spent his time buying, selling and racing horses, hunting, playing polo and being “in society”. He joined the Derbyshire Yeomanry in about 1894 which carried out several spectacular ceremonial events in Derbyshire before WW1.

Derbyshire Yeomanry

Although this is not Oswald himself, it gives an idea of the glamorous figure he must have cut. He also took part in several race meetings in England and Ireland with his own horses and for other owners. Horses with names such as “Gangbridge” and “Rambler II” on which he won the Foxhunters’ Hurdle Race at Leopardstown in 1898 at 3 to 1 with a prize of 50 guineas, carrying 10st. 12lb. though he could get down to 8st. if needed. He loved point-to- point racing and playing polo.

In 1913 his father the 4th. Baronet became unwell and was advised to move south to a warmer climate so, despite any misgivings he might have had, he handed control of the Rolleston Estate to him. However, by 1914 the 4th. Baronet’s health had improved markedly so he changed his mind and wanted to resume control himself, but Oswald refused to hand over the accounts book. This resulted in much bad feeling leading to the two men only communicating through solicitors. It led to a court case which the newspapers gleefully reported.

Pall Mall Gazette – Wednesday 08 July 1914





Before Mr Justice Joyce. An action against Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart., brought by his son, Mr. Oswald Mosley, of Rolleston Hall. Burton-on-Trent, was settled after a consultation between the leading counsel engaged in the case. It had been stated in the course of interlocutory proceedings that by a family arrangement the son had been put in possession of the family seat and given the management of the estates under deed, the operation of which was terminable at three months’ notice. The notice to determine the arrangement had been duly given by Sir Oswald Mosley, and now the son sought to restrain his father from acting upon it. After a consultation in court, Mr. Lawrence, K.C., for the plaintiff, said that the happy result of the consultation was that the parties had met, and a compromise had been arrived at. He would not trouble to give any details of the terms, but there was one important matter that Mr. Hughes would mention. Mr. Hughes, K.C. (for Sir Oswald Mosley): On behalf of Sir Oswald I desire say that his reason for putting an end to the agreement was not any circumstance which reflects upon Mr. Mosley. Mr. Lawrence: There will a consent order on terms agreed. The Judge: Yes.

There were even pictures in the popular press.

Mosleys at Court

The resolution of the case surrounded the younger Oswald not wanting his father to see his personal accounts which had been recorded in the Estate Account Book. The judge directed that these pages should be cut out and kept by him and the book returned to his father.

By the time war broke out in 1914 Sir Oswald had re-joined the Derbyshire Yeomanry who were being mobilised to serve overseas.

His medal card shows that he was a Captain who reached the Egypt Theatre of War on the 7th December 1915 and was entitled to wear the appropriate medals. Various publications give some insight into the fighting and conditions the regiment faced before, during and after the Gallipoli campaign. He may have missed the Gallipoli debacle but was lucky to survive such service. Although not mentioned by name, a good account of the Derbyshire Yeomanry in WW1 can be read in “THE DERBYSHIRE YEOMANRY WAR HISTORY, 1914-1919, by Lieut.-Colonel G.A.Strutt, T.D., The Naval & Military Press Ltd. 2005.

His father, the 4th Baronet, died in 1915 and he inherited the title – though his father’s will made interesting reading.

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal – Friday 18 February 1916


The will of Sir Oswald Mosley, Rolleston Hall, Burton, who died on October 10th, aged 67, has left unsettled estate of the gross value of £94,198, and the nett personalty £67,355. The testator gives £100 and three months’ wages to his bailiff at Abingworth; £100 and three months’ wages his secretary; three months’ wages to his estate foreman, Ryder; three months’ wages each of his servants of five years’ service, and one month’s wages those of one year’s service. £3 to each of his indoor servants for mourning : his clothes, boots, and shoes to his valet: £10,000 in trust for each, of his grandsons, Edward Heathcote Mosley and John Noel Mosley; £100 each to his brothers, Tonman Mosley and Ernald Mosley; £10 to Alec John Ram, K.C.; £5,000 to Charles Robert French; and £500 in trust for Alfred Octavius Kirby, for life, with remainder his daughters, his wife and daughters being amply provided for. The residue of the property is to be held in trust during life of his son, Oswald, to apply the income thereof for the benefit of his grandson. Oswald Ernald Mosley, and his wife and family; and on the death of his son is to follow the trusts of a settlement of the family estates. The testator directs his executors not to allow his body to be screwed down in the coffin until some sugeon had certified death, the cause thereof, and had opened the veins in his neck, and open bottle of chloroform is to be placed in his coffin.

In any event the new Baronet soon began to make his presence felt by using Rolleston Hall as a venue for fundraising activities for The British Red Cross Society, wounded soldiers and sailors as well as reviving the Meynell Annual Agricultural Show. He exploited his various contacts to bring performers from far and wide to make these events very successful. He also played his part on the social seen attending local balls and other events.

From December 1916,

FORTHCOMING RED CROSS CONCERT AT ROLLESTON HALL. Country concerts are so rare in these days that, there should be a crowded attendance in ballroom Hall next Friday when Sir Oswald Mosley’s effort on behalf of the Red Cross takes place.

THE RED CROSS CONCERT AT ROLLESTON HALL. are informed Sir Oswald that the concert promoted him Hall on Friday evening realised £100. Proceeds, already stated, will handed over to the funds of the Red Cross Society. Sir Oswald has secured the Hippodrome at Derby for a Saturday afternoon in March, when he intends to give a concert on behalf of selected war charities.

September 1917,

CHILDREN’S FETE AT ROLLESTON HALL. Thursday last the whole of the school children Rolleston and the adjoining villages were entertained to tea by kind invitation of Sir Oswald, Mosley. Bart. The proceedings were favoured by delightful weather, and the youngsters had jolly time in the spacious grounds adjoining the hall. Games of all kinds were indulged in, and sports were also held for the elder children. Tea was served in the conservatory, the youngsters numbering over 200. At the tea interval Sir Oswald spoke of the pleasure bad given him to see the child-t ren, and said he was of the opinion that the war ought not to interfere with the simple joys of child life. hoped a’s they grew up they would realise and appreciate the sacrifices which were being made for them by their parents brothers. They were not old enough at present to comprehend the ungrudging sacrifices which were being made, but in years come they would understand what was being done for them At the conclusion hearty cheers were given for Sir Oswald. It should added that the local farmers conveyed the children to the hall in wagons


GRAND FETE IN ROLLESTON HALL GROUNDS, SUCCESSFUL CHARITABLE EFFORT. A highly successful fete, ably organised by Sir Oswald Mosley. Bart., of Rolleston Hall, assisted by Mrs. Guy Winterbottom. was held in the charming grounds of Rolleston Hall, on Whit-Monday, in aid of the families of killed and disabled soldiers and sailors in the war belonging to Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Of the many efforts which have been necessitated by this terrible war none can be more deserving than this appeal on behalf of those unfortunate families whose lives have been saddened the loss or disablement of those most dear to them. Sir Oswald Mosley and Mrs. Guy Winterbottom are to be congratulated upon having arranged such an attractive fete to raise funds for this deserving cause, for not only have they secured the substantial sum of £450. but they provided delightful outing for the 4,000 visitors from all parts of the district, who welcomed the opportunity of spending a half-day amid such glorious surroundings as Rolleston Hall Grounds. Everything seemed to happily combine to make the proceedings enjoyable. The weather was lovely. Throughout the afternoon the bright and cheerful sunshine sent its rays of welcome light dancing through the foliage of the beautiful old trees, and the genial nature of the day brought out some pretty summer dresses, forming a pleasing contrast to the green leaves and grass, and rendering the picture charming and animated one. The whole of the grounds were thrown open to the public, and were looking at their best. The freshness of the foliage, with all its beautiful and varied tints, was most striking, and the glass houses and gardens. which, as usual, were kept up to the highest standard, looked very promising, and were greatly admired. Apart from the worthy object of the effort, which found a ready and enthusiastic response, the fete provided an outing for a vast crowd of visitors who benefited from a health point of view after their arduous labours in the office or workshop. An attractive programme of entertainments had been provided, and the joint hon. secretaries, Messrs. T. H. Barron and F. Bailey, had spared no effort to make the event a success. They were ably assisted by strong and enthusiastic committee, including Messrs. T. B. Shercliff (chairman). F. Burbridge, J. H. Topley, A. Buxton. J. Alton, O. Walker, S. Taylor, jun., S. Bushton, J. Topley, with T. H. Barron and F. A. Bailey as hon. secretaries. The refreshments and tea department was in the capable bands of Mesdames Barron, Bailey, Burbridge, Daphne, Woolley, Allen, Pickard, Fletcher, and Johnson. Early in the afternoon large crowds of visitors were arriving from all directions, and special trains were run for the occasion from Ashby to Burton, bringing many people from all the surrounding villages. Large numbers of Derby and Burton people were also present, and a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon was spent. Sir Oswald Mosley’s guests and supporters included the Dowager Lady Mosley, the Dowager Lady Burton, the Misses Thornewill (Rangemoor), Lady Price, Colonel and Mrs. McKay, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Evershed, Mr. W. H. Stein. Mr. and Mrs. Trafford Wynne and party, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Newton and party, Mrs. Johnson (Foston), Col. and Mrs. Winterbottom and party (Aston), Mrs. Guy Winterbottom, Capt. Fielden. the Misses Morrison. Miss Phyllis Wilks, Mr. and Mrs. Claud Burt and party (Rangemore). Mr. Chas. Harrison (Burton). Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Charrington (Dove Cliff). Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Manners, Mr. Harry Manners. Mr. Ernest Manners, Mr. Hincks, Mr. and Mrs. A. O. Fuller and party (Derby), Mr. D. Carlisle. Mr. L. A. Carlisle, Mrs. Brace. Mr. H. Giles, Mr. H. W. Goodere, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Porter, Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Turner, Mr. and Mrs. Hincks. Mrs. H. M. Hollins, Mrs. D’Arcy Clarke, Mr. and Mrs. Kerapson, Mr. and Mrs. L. Frank, Mrs. Herbert Johnson. Mrs. FitzHerbcrt Wright, Major and Mrs. Wilmot Sitwell, the Rev. D. Owen, Mr. and Mrs. Yeomans, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Evershed, Mr. and Mrs. Hurdle. Major and Mrs. Baguley. Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins, the Misses Morrison, and others. Much interest was taken in a football match between the girl monition workers from Burton and wounded soldiers, and plenty of good sport was provided. The girls played exceptionally well, and at half-time were winning by three goals to two. whilst when the whistle blew for time they had scored five goals against four by the wounded soldiers, and were cheered at having been so successful. Both sides played very smartly, but the girls had an advantage over their opponents, for the men played with their hands tied behind them. Later jn the afternoon much interest was taken in a hockey match, between Winshlll ladies and Derby Ladies (Rolls-Royce). Other games included skittles and bowls, and there were numerous side shows. Variety entertainments were provided by “Les Demoiselles.” A high-class concert party from Derby, who contributed a lengthy and enjoyable programme, and “The Merry Munitioners,” whose efforts were loudly applauded. The party was comprised of munition workers from Burton, and they wore effective costumes, and provided capital entertainment. The chief feature of the day was a pigeon race, arranged by Sir Oswald Mosley, which created plenty of excitement. Tickets were sold on the grounds, and the numbers of the birds flown were drawn for. Sir Oswald flew twenty of his noted racing birds from Sheffield to his Rolleston loft, and these included pigeons which had flown many hundreds of miles, some from the South of France, a distance of 600 miles. All unsold tickets were put for auction prior to the arrival of the birds, the auctioneer being Mr. Harrison, Burton. An auction sale of numerous articles of a varied nature, kindly given by friends, was also held on the grounds, which helped very considerably to swell the funds. The Burton Excelsior Band was in attendance, and played a number of pleasing and up-to-date selections. Sir Oswald bad kindly thrown open the ballroom at the hall for dancing in the evening, which was greatly enjoyed, whilst an enormous amount of interest was taken in the museum, which was also open to visitors, and instructive display attracted large crowds throughput the day. Boating on the lake proved enjoyable, and Sir Oswald Mosley deserves the highest praise for having arranged the on such excellent and attractive lines. Mr. Chas. Harrison, during the auction sale, announced the following winning numbers in connection with the pigeon sweepstakes: First, 137; second. 1.095; third. 313; fourth, 1,551. The sweepstake tickets realised £50.

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal, Friday 6th. August 1920


The twenty-fifth annual show in connection with the Meynell Hunt Agricultural Society was held in the Park at Rolleston Hall (kindly lent Sir Oswald Mosley Bart.), Monday last. The Show has been held abeyance since 1916, but renewed with some very fine exhibits, and was well attended. Six hundred guineas in prizes were offered, in addition to seven challenge cups, two gold medals, and two silver medals …

The Tatler, Wednesday 6 April 1821

At Hurlingham

The last race Oswald rode was a point to point on Rambler II which he won but was disqualified because he was overweight.

Sheffield Daily Telegraph, Monday,19th December 1923

Trophies Presented at Burton.

At a Burton-on-Trent smoking concert, attended by some 1,400 representatives of various athletic clubs in the district, Wyebrow, the pitmen’s light-weight champion of Mansfield, and Billy Jordan, the local light-weight champion, boxed a draw over ten rounds. Both men gave a splendid account!. Mr. Eastburn (Sheffield) presented the gloves, which were auctioned for the benefit of the Infirmary, and Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart., who purchased them for £6 10s.. caused great amusement by donning them in the ring and “boxing” a round with the M.C..

Staffordshire Advertiser 6th January 1923

The annual examination the children of Rolleston School took place on the 17lh December last,(i.e. 1922) before Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart, the Rev. John Peploe Mosley, the Rev. Paget Mosley, and several the Inhabitants of Rolleston, who were all highly gratified with the progress they had made during the last year, particularly in writing and arithmetic. to the highest branches which several the boys have attained. Books were distributed, as usual, amongst the scholars according to their respective merit. And deserved approbation was given to Mr. Eley, the Schoolmaster, for his assiduity and attention in the care and instruction of his numerous pupils.

Derby Daily Telegraph, Tuesday, 8th December 1925

Rolleston Hall, the seat of Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart was the scene of festive hospitality on Friday last in celebration of the twenty-first birthday of his eldest son, Mr. Oswald Mosley. A select party of relatives and intimate friends was invited to dinner, and in the evening a very large company, consisting the principal families in the neighbourhood, assembled to partake of a ball and supper. The evening visitors were invited for ten o’clock, and dancing commenced nearly at that hour, so that as the respective parties arrived they were at once ushered into the ballroom. The apartment appropriated for this purpose was the very handsome dining-room lately added to this noble mansion, and in this the company, amounting to about two hundred, were delightfully accommodated. Supper was announced about half-past one, and it was spread out on a long array of tables in the gallery. It is needless to say that consisted of every delicacy which the season and the hospitality the worthy Baronet could supply. The health the promising heir of the family was drunk with every mark of respect and all the enthusiasm of good wishes, and he returned thanks for the honour thus offered on his coming of age with much propriety, modesty, and good feeling. Th© company began to disperse soon after three o’clock, but many remained till a much later hour.

Derby Daily Telegraph, Tuesday, 24th November 1925

A request having been made to Mr. Cropper, of Liverpool, to visit this town, with the view of stating his sentiments on the condition of the Slave population, and the most efficient means of promoting their amelioration and ultimately their emancipation, with this request he kindly complied. And it is much to be regretted that it was impossible to communicate information of the time and place of Mr. C.’s delivering his sentiments by any means so widely as was desired. Nevertheless, was met on Wednesday morning a£ the King’s Head highly respectable company of about fifty gentlemen. Wm. Evans, Esq., M.P., having been called on the motion of Sir Oswald Mosley to the chair, read a letter from Sir George Crewe expressive of warm feelings in the cause; his wish and purpose to have been present on any other day, but regretting his inability to attend on that morning. then introduced Mr. Cropper, who gave a great deal of information on a subject becoming every year more interesting. At the close, ‘ after having very obligingly and satisfactorily given information on several points suggested by different gentlemen, a motion made by Rev. Mr. Higginson and seconded by Wm. Strutt, Esq., conveying a vote of thanks to Mr. Cropper for his enlightened and luminous details, and pledging themselves to promote the great object of emancipation, and referring it to a committee to adopt such measures as should seem most effectual for that purpose, was passed unanimously. Such a committee was then proposed by Sir M. Blakiston and seconded by Jeffrey Lockett, Esq , and the following persons were appointed to the office: —Sir George Crewe, Esq., Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart., Wm. Evans, Esq., M P., E. S. C. Pole, Captain Heathcote, Dr. Bent, Wm. Strutt, Esq., J. Strutt, Esq., J. Lockett, Esq., Newton, Esq., Rev. P. Johnson, Rev. J. Harrison, Rev. G. Higginson, Mr. Longden, together with the secretary of the Anti- Slavery Society.

All these activities took place while the Hall and estate were up for sale because, as the Sixth Baronet wrote in his auto biography, “I persuaded him to sell the house and estate”.

There were disagreements between father and son, particularly over the son’s change of political allegience.

Derby Daily Telegraph, Monday, 12th April 1926


Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart., writing from the Carlton Club, Pall Mall, has addressed the following letter to the ” Daily Mail ” :— My attention has been drawn to statements in the British and American Press that my son, Mr. Oswald Ernald Mosley, and my daughter-in-law, Lady Cynthia, desire to relinquish their titles. I would like to state that my family were Whigs and turned Tory. I am, and intend to remain, a Conservative, and it has occurred to me that more valuable help would be rendered to the country by my Socialist son and daughter-in-law if, instead of achieving cheap publicity about the relinquishing of titles, they would take more material action and relinquish some of their wealth and so help to make easier the plight of some of their more unfortunate followers.

He died Sept. 21st., 1928.

The funeral took place at Rolleston on Monday, the service being marked by an appealing simplicity. Sir Oswald was well-known and greatly respected in the village of Rolleston, and the drawn blinds at the cottages were silent, but unmistakable, testimony to the feeling of the inhabitants.

Sir Oswald Mosley, the heir, who had travelled from the Riviera during the weekend, arrived on Monday morning and proceeded to Hilton and thence to Rolleston for the service. His wife, Lady Cynthia Mosley, was unable to present.

The family mourners were Sir Oswald Mosley (eldest son), Lady Mosley (widow), Mr. and Mrs. Edward Mosley (second son and daughter-in-law); Mr. John Mosley (third son); Colonel and Mrs. McKie (brother-in-law and eldest sister); Mrs. Ellison (sister); Mr. Gerald Ellison and Mr. Victor Ellison (nephews).

Members of the household staff accompanied the mourners from Hilton Lodge. They were Miss Hipkiss (housekeeper), Mr. Yeomans (chauffeur), Mr. Dykes (gardener). Mrs. Birch, a former housekeeper, was also present. An unusually touching figure was “Peter,” the late Sir Oswald’s favourite black Labrador retriever, which was led by a chauffeur. The bearers were six old employees of the estate. They were Messrs. A. Bennett, W. Walker. R. Woolley, F. Bladon, H. Topley and H. Woolley.

A muffled peal was rung on the church bells as the funeral party approached. The party entered by the north aisle, and it was through that entrance that Sir Oswald last attended service at Rolleston, on the evening of Whitsunday. The service was conducted the Rev. William Bagnall. Rector of Rolleston, assisted by the Rev. E. Wardle, Vicar of Anslow. The choir was in attendance under the direction of Mr. A. G. Greening, the organist and choirmaster. The hymns at the service were ‘’Abide with me” and “Jesu, Lover of soul.” Mr. Greening played Tchaikovsky’s “Chanson Triste” on the organ and Dvorak’s “Largo” from “The New World.” and “Funeral Prelude” (Charnock). At the close of the service he played The Dead March from “Saul.” The hymn. “Abide with me” was Sir Oswald Mosley’s favourite.

The late Sir Oswald preferred not to be buried in the family vault. He gave a piece of land eight years ago for an extension the churchyard and was the first to be buried there. He chose the site of his grave himself on the last occasion he visited the church. The grave was lined with evergreens.

The coffin was of plain oak. with brass nameplate inscribed. “Sir Oswald Mosley, 5th Baronet. Born Dec. 29th. 1873; died Sept. 21st., 1928.”

Sir Oswald’s mother was unable attend the funeral but sent a simple and touching token of her sorrow. It was a small bunch of rosemary, to which was attached the message, evidently in her own hand; “Rosemary for remembrance, from my garden. Dearest Waldie; till our next meeting. Mother.”


Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart., of Hilton Lodge. near Derby. left unsettled estate valued at £5,764. There are bequests to his mother and sister (who is an executrix). The residue is left on trust for his housekeeper, Mary Elisabeth Hipkiss, ” who has faithfully and looked after me in various illnesses for over 16 years.”

What are we to make of him? How can a life like his be summarised succinctly? Physically vigorous and active – though developing habits of heavy drinking as he became older and heavier. His son’s opinion of him is worth recording, “his faults were mostly of superficial character, but led to some rather disastrous results. Abounding vitality and physical energy were wasted. All went well in his youth, when he had considerable success as an amateur jockey, but when years and weight brought this to an end he did not know what to do with himself. Art and music were certainly represented in his own little house…there was a disturbing tale about some of the extra money being used to buy the fastest car of the period – strong in the engine , but weak in the brake … which ran smack through the closed gates of a respected neighbour. He died of sclerosis of the liver … at the early age of fifty-four … he had many good and endearing qualities.

Lord Horder was doctor to three generations of our family (and stated that) my father’s excesses were enough to have killed several men.”

He was a complex man who was never reconciled to his father or wife and was distant with his sons. Before the Great War he lived for his own interests and pleasures, afterwards he tried, briefly, to live the life of the Lord of the Manor and still pursue his own interests. His father’s will constrained his life and with his son showing no interest in continuing to live that sort of life he broke up and sold the estate at Rolleston, changing the village for ever which coincided with the ending of the Great War, itself changing life throughout the country. Yet out of this upheaval came an influx of small independent farmers, tradesmen and artisans who sustained the life of the village as well as forcing many to leave the village to seek employment and build a new life elsewhere.

Perhaps, with the passage of time it is best to leave it to this obituary from a long-defunct publication;

Obituary pic


Born December 29th1873 – Died 21st September 1928

A country gentleman of the old school.

He was fond of shooting, motoring, racing and box

Dear Cousin Jim.., a window into the past.


It is January 2018. I am confined to the house by a minor foot ailment. To fill in the time I looked through some old notes made some years ago and there it was. A transcript of a letter from a woman in Rolleston written to her cousin July 1st1861. How had I missed this? I love family documents, but I had never read this before. Anyway, it might not be very interesting after all. Still, it was a miserable day, so I set to – with low expectations.

This is what I read,

“Rolleston, July 1st, 1865.

Dear Cousin Jim,

I now have pleasure in answering your long and looked for letter, as I daresay you will be as glad to hear from us as we are to hear from you. Nothing could have given us more pleasure than we had in receiving your letters for we quite thought that you must all be dead but instead you have had an increase and we are so glad to hear that you are all quite well and hope these lines will find you still enjoying good health and I am happy to say that we are all enjoying the best of health at this time.

It gives me pleasure to tell you that we have only had one misfortune since you left England and that I will explain as well as I can. It was in February that my brother Tom had the misfortune to have his arm broken, so as to render it necessary to have his arm taken off just below the elbow, but he goes to work again, and it is going on we hope very well. It hurt his head and almost cut his right ear off. It is his left arm as is cut off. The accident happened at Burton Railway Station. He has worked there from last Spring but one and was doing well till this happened. I might have been worse for it was a train which knocked him down and one of the carriages ran over his arm. It was the Saturday night before Rolleston Wakes. He was on nights – he went to work at 4 o’clock and there came news home at eight that he was run over. He stayed at Burton unable to be moved till Tuesday and then they brought him home in a Fly. It was no wake at our house, he kept his bed for two months and then he got up in the day a little and by degrees he got out of doors again, and now goes to work. He bore it very well indeed. He had a man night and day from the railways to wait on him. It was a great trouble to us all, but it was the will of God it should be so and, so we bore it patiently. Accidents will happen to all families.

Joe is not married, he lives at home with my father. There is plenty for him to do. Father keeps 19 cows and two horses and 9 … no I need not say any more of that, only, he has got 9 store pigs and a sow with 7 and another expecting to pig. I will now say a little of myself. I am in service as Jane still lives with my father, she says she can manage without me. I am doing a little for myself, I have lived two years at Horninglow and a living my second year at Mr. Holbrook’s. I shall have been out 4 years in service next Michaelmas. Mr. Holbrook and Mrs. are glad to hear of you doing well.

Sir Oswald is still alive and looks well saying he is turned his 80th year. Miss Mosley and Miss Emilie are still with Sir Oswald. Lady Mosley is dead. Miss Octavie is married to a clergyman and lives in London. Miss Letitia has married an independent gentleman and lives in Rolleston Villa. The Rector lives at the Rectory. His son has married a Roman Catholic lady. They have no family. Robinsons live at the Eagle yet; Miss Mary has married a farmer and lives where Mr. Talbot lived. (Mr. Talbot is dead, and Mrs. Talbot is married to Mr. Heath). Thomas Robinson is married and does the farm at Home. He had 6 children. Cousin Fanny Shelly is married but has got a bad husband. My Aunt Bates is dead, and Uncle Bates is married again. I have not seen William Gibbons for a long time, but I believe he is married, his mother is dead. Old Mrs. Eley is dead some years ago. It is a pity you are so short of females in America for there are sadly too many in England. I am glad to hear of Myra doing well and I hope she will write to us now we have once more found each other. Tom and Bob are young men I suppose by this. We should be so happy to see you all again and my little cousins which we have not seen. I should like you to come and have a look at Burton, you would not know it to be the same place, it is so enlarged with Breweries and Houses. They employ thousands of men. It is quite a job for the farmers to get men.

We have a thrashing machine in Rolleston that goes along the road by steam and thrashes by steam.

I must conclude this time with my very best love and well wishes to you all and hope to hear from you again soon. I remain,

Your affectionate Cousin,

Ann Shelly

P.S. Your white rose tree stands by the doors yet. It has been covered with roses this year. I often look at the shop and think about you. It is still a shoemaker’s shop.”

There was a little note with it, “Ann Shelly’s letter, aged 20, to her cousin in Blue Springs, Nebraska, U.S.A. Her brother Tom was involved in an accident at Burton Railway the previous February.

What a gem. The contents were interesting enough but now I wanted to know more about these people and their lives.

During the next few days (and weeks) many interesting hours were spent on the internet. I learned a lot about local railways and the Shelly family. I felt that it deserved a wider audience. I hope you agree.

To begin with, it is hard for us to realise just how delayed communication could be. No telephone or internet that we take for granted today. Letters from abroad could take weeks to arrive – even if you had an accommodation address.

I began with a trawl through old newspapers. I soon found this cutting from the Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal of Friday 10th February 1865.

Cutting tom shelly

This is “brother Tom,” born in Rolleston in 1843. It is worth just thinking about his accident for a while. It seems that his arm was amputated at the scene of the accident. No anaesthetic and with other injuries. The wound probably cauterised, maybe even coated with hot tar and then he was take to a nearby inn where he rested for three days. He must have had a strong constitution. It is worth remembering that about half of all amputations were fatal. It was interesting to see that a man from the Railway company came to help him while he was confined to bed for two months. Was this normal for injured employees? It was certainly more philanthropic than I expected.

It is possible to trace Tom’s subsequent career from the census returns. He returned to work on the railways becoming a foreman and getting married in 1870. Then he moved to Horninglow and had a career change becoming Rate and Tax Collector, House Agent and finally a House and Insurance agent. He and his wife produced seven children who all married and themselves had children. He died on the 30th September 1933 aged 90 eight years after his wife passed away.

The writer, Ann Shelly, was born in Rolleston in 1846. She married Enoch Johnson in 1871 and moved out of the village. They had three children who all married and had children.

Cousin Jim was James  the son of Francis Shelly who had moved away from Rolleston soon after finishing his apprenticeship as a shoe maker in the cottage next to Rolleston Club.

The writer, Ann Shelly was born in Rolleston and lived with the rest of her family in Barn Farm, which is in what is known as Chapel lane today.

barn farm

In 1870 she married Enoch Johnson and moved away from the parish. In due course they had three children who also married and produced children of their own, but not in Rolleston.

Her elder brother Joseph Shelly worked the farm and married Elizabeth Taylor in 1878, from an ancient Rolleston farming family and they produced four children. One of them remained in the village and in time worked the farm living in the farmhouse. His grandchildren were the long-established “Shelly sisters” well-known to many villagers, who only died recently.

“Cousin Jim” was James William Shelly who travelled to the USA by sailing ship with his parents and siblings, arriving 21st June 1855. (Ship John Rutledge, insert extract from passenger list). The journey took over six weeks.

Although he was born in Melbourne in Derbyshire his father Francis Shelly a shoemaker was born in Rolleston but moved to Melbourne to get married where he was when the 1841 census was taken. By then James’s sister Myra, mentioned in Ann’s letter, had been born. James himself was born in 1843 and the family returned to Rolleston, probably to live in this house – the right-hand side half of it – before they left for America.

cobblers house

James did have two new brothers born in America which were obviously referred to in his letters.

Francis Shelly left with his family on 7th May 1855 and arrived in New York on 21st June 1855 on the Ship John Rutledge with Captain, William A. Sands. To give some idea of the risks involved this ship was sunk by icebergs just six months later.

All this family went on to settle and establish new areas of Nebraska. The children all married other pioneers and had several children who all played an active part in the development of the new state.

I went on to have many hours discovering obituaries and family trees for everyone else mentioned in the letter but, they will have to be for another day.


Votes for Women after WW1

During 2018 I expect that we will be hearing a lot about the centenary of votes for women starting in Britain. As with most things, the reality is different to the slogan. No doubt this will be explored at length by earnest, learned people during the year. I wondered about the effect in Rolleston.

Before I began I thought about notable women I had come across in Rolleston. There was Lady Rolleston who re-married and went as the wife of the Governor of Barbados where they both died.

1n the 1841 census I found four widows with occupations out of the ordinary; Jane Mason and Hannah Higgott described as farmers and Charlotte Higgott, a wheelwright, and Maria Atkin a blacksmith. These were women who carried on their husbands’ businesses until their own deaths.

In subsequent censuses the usual women’s occupations of domestic and farm service were well represented as well as garden workers, laundresses, ladies’ companions, nurses, shopkeepers and school teachers but there was a boot maker in 1881, a cow keeper and milk seller in 1901, and from then on the Whetton sisters were grocers and bakers and then assisting in the business. By 1911 an upholsteress was here as well as Post Office employees as well as an Old Age pensioner formerly a pork butcher.

It is worth remembering that before WW1 to vote in Parliamentary elections you needed to be a man paying an annual rent of at least £10 or owning land valued at £10.

The local government franchise was different. Single women ratepayers could vote in municipal elections from 1869 following the Municipal Franchise Act, confirmed and extended to some married women by the Local Government Act 1894.

At the start of the war, two out of every five men was not eligible to vote. An influential consideration, in addition to the suffrage movement and the growth of the Labour Party, was the fact that only men who had been resident in the country for 12 months prior to a general election were entitled to vote. This effectively disenfranchised many troops who had been serving overseas in the war. With a general election imminent, politicians were persuaded to extend the vote to all men and some women at long last.

On 15 October 1918 the Electoral Roll was produced because the United Kingdom general election of 1918 was called immediately after the Armistice with Germany which ended the First World War.

It was the first general election to be held after the Representation of the People Act 1918 which meant that it was the first election in which women over the age of 30, and all men over the age of 21, could vote. Previously, all women and many poor men had been excluded from voting.

The Electoral Roll was drawn up with three Divisions. Division I contained all those entitled to vote in both Parliamentary Elections and Local Elections which numbered 314. Division II contained those entitled to vote in Parliamentary Elections but not Local Elections and this numbered a further 70 making a total of 384. Division III were those entitled to vote in Local Elections but not in Parliamentary Elections and this contained another 20 names all included because they owned land in Rolleston. The only two in this Division who lived in Rolleston were Mr. and Mrs. Dunicliffe of “Roseneath”, Station Road. I wonder why they were not in Division 1.

Of the 384 entitled to vote 72 were absent voters. One of these, Henry Palmer, lived at the Gardens, East Lodge which was included in Rolleston at that time (his parents among others were included in Division I in places not now regarded as in Rolleston). On closer examination these 72 were all men who were still in the services – some gravely ill in hospital.

It is worth remembering that, for many of the men included in this electoral roll and for all the women, this was the first time they or any one in their position in society had ever been allowed to vote. Any man in the services who had reached 19 years of age was also allowed to vote.

The election was held on Saturday 14 December 1918. It was the first general election to be held on a single day, although the vote count did not take place until 28 December due to the time taken to transport votes from soldiers serving overseas.

It resulted in a landslide victory for the coalition government of David Lloyd George, who had replaced H. H. Asquith as Prime Minister in December 1916 during the war and who was generally regarded as the man responsible for ending the War. Quite a Christmas present!

Looking at the women Parliamentary voters of Rolleston, the majority were entitled to vote because of their husband’s occupation with others by their own occupation. I can’t understand why Margery Spurrier is included with Divison II because of her husband’s occupation. They owned land in Rolleston but lived in Marston on Dove. Is this a mistake? Her husband was an absent voter in the Services on the 1919 electoral roll! Was he under 19 in 1918?

Mr and Mrs. Dunicliffe of “Roseneath”, Station Road, Rolleston are interesting entries. They are not entitled to vote here in Parliamentary elections but are in Local elections by virtue of his and her Occupation. He was a solicitor, but her occupation is a mystery – perhaps a land and property owner?  None of the others in Division III live in Rolleston. They certainly bought the property, but I wonder if they also kept “Mayfield” in Tutbury where they were living in 1911. When their son Eric was killed in WW1 his parents were said to be of “Roseneath”, Rolleston. I wonder if they ever moved in or just rented the property. Maybe they were here for a very short while before they moved to Burton.

As for the other women entitled to vote in their own right in Parliamentary elections;

Alderson Minnie Emily Beechmount
Archer Catherine Eliza Station road
Austin Lilian Maria Brookside
Bates Clara Station road
Birch Mrs Maria Dove Cliff road
Bowen Emily Cinder lane
Causer/Cawser Hannah Elizabeth 12 New  row
Collier Elizabeth Bladon’s yard
Cox Emma Elizabeth Norbury House
Dale Sarah Brookside
Dicken Ellen Bladon’s yard
Fisher Sarah Station road
Forman Helena Edith Holmby, Station road
Gammage Annie Dove Cliff road
Goodhead Hannah 2 New  row
Grimley Mary Burton road
Hanslow Selina Village street
Hinsley Ann Village street
Howes Caroline Dovedale
Kinson Mrs. Alice Village street
Mason Mabel Dovedale
Mountford Jane 10 New  row
Oliver Jane Cinder lane
Peace Elizabeth The Almshouses
Penny Annie Brookside
Rushton/Ruston Jane Station road
Sears Annie Burnaston House
Simmonds Miss Annie Post Office
Topps Rachel Tutbury road
Twigg Miss Harriett Brookside
Watson Mary Brookside
Whetton Emma The Bakery
Whetton Fanny The Bakery
Whetton Louisa The Bakery
Winterbottom Reva The Cottage


There were 36 of them and only six of them lived in households which contained a man. Three of them, Emma, Fanny and Louisa Whetton lived with their brother William Henry and all were unmarried and voters.

In 1911 Minnie Alderson lived at Beechmount on what was then Cinder Lane, now Beacon Road with her husband and five children. Her husband was a customs officer who died in 1917 the same year that their son died of wounds. He was a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery.

Lilian Maria Austin, Emma Elizabeth Cox and Reva Winterbottom were war widows – others had left the village.

The whole thing seems to have passed with very little comment in the village, or at least very little has been recorded. There is nothing in the records of the “Commem.” or the Parish Council. I wonder if it was mentioned in the Church magazine or any other records. This seems odd because it was a momentous occasion. Admittedly things had happened quickly. After the Armistice on the 11th of November 1918, the Representation of the People Act came into effect. Although 8.5 million women met the criteria, but this only represented 40 per cent of the total population of women in the UK. The same act abolished property and other restrictions for men, and extended the vote to all men over the age of 21. Additionally, men in the armed forces could vote from the age of 19. The electorate increased from eight to 21 million, but there was still huge inequality between women and men.



Instead of a blog from me summarising last year’s History Day this is an article from the Spring edition of the “Rollestonian” by Tom Martin who organised it. It is published with his permission.

Attendees heard two very interesting presentations on the current state of the Civic Trust’s village tree survey and on the Rolleston Station project by Clive Baker.

The larger part of the day was spent on discussion of the recently recovered Rolleston Manor Court Rolls.

As, has become traditional, members were sustained with an excellent buffet lunch prepared by Mrs Beryl Toon  and proceeds from the day provided a donation of £400 to St Mary’s building maintenance funds.


The Rolls which cover the period 1717 – 1933 were discovered in a house attic in Lincolnshire in 2016 and fortunately recovered by Rolleston Parish Council before they disappeared into a skip.

Their appearance in that part of the country can be explained the fact that they were held originally in Rolleston Hall. When the Hall failed to sell at the last estate auction in 1924 it was subsequently purchased, together with the title of Lord of the Manor, by a company with its headquarters in St Ives. The final transactions in disposal of the estate were conducted from there.

The Manor Court Rolls are very simply the official records of two very different parish courts.

First, “The Court Leet and View of Frank Pledge with the Great Court Baron and Customary Court of Sir Oswald Mosley Baronet Lord of said Manor”

Interpreting these words –

A Leet was a court concerned with the administration of the manor and civil or minor criminal misdemeanours. It also maintained the quality of bread and ale.

The term Frankpledge derives from an Anglo-Saxon system whereby groups of ten men pledged themselves to be mutually responsible for good behaviour and it survived, reflecting the peace keeping role of the Court Leet

In today’s terms think of offences such as as cutting down trees, dumping your old mattress in Marston Lane or parking on double yellow lines outside the school.

Second, the Special Court Baron was a basic manorial court held by a manorial lord for his tenants. It was concerned primarily with land and property ownership, tenancy and transfer under the old copyhold system of tenure.  Again, Copyhold was defined legally as land held “by copy of the court roll at the will of the lord at the custom of the manor”. Copyhold was legally terminated in 1921 and replaced by the modern system of leasehold.

Briefly, our holdings are as follows –

First there are three large volumes holding the official records, starting in 1717.

The first volume is interesting in that the years, 1717 to 1733, are in Latin

Regrettably, the fifty year period, 1761 – 1811, is missing and we return to the record in 1811 which then runs complete to 1933. During this time we see the decline and obsolescence of the Court Leet as other civil administrations such as the constabulary come into play.

From 1818 the official records are accompanied by several sets of draft minutes from which they are derived. There is also duplication for short periods where there are dual minute takers

Finally there are two index books covering the Courts Baron. The first one covering 1717 to 1819 is continuous script in one hand with minor additions. The second, covering 1717 to 1911, and appearing to use the first, is an alphabetical indexed ledger in various hands. These do allow us to see the names but not substance of land transfers in our missing 50 year record.

There are several ancillary documents, one of which outlines model court procedure. This allowed the group to re-enact a typical example from the records.

At present, the Rolls are held in the village but we expect them to be transferred for conservation in the County record Office when a new archive facility has been built in the next 2 – 3 years.

The History Group will be including more information on the content of the Rolls in future issues of Rollestonian.