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and has the quartered coats of Eyre and Padley; the lady is in a close-fitting pointed cap, and on her mantle, in addition to her husband's arms, are the arms of Plompton, of Yorkshire.
There are other interesting brasses to the Eyre family, and also some memorials of that of Ashton. The church contains some rich stained glass in memory of the Eyres. The Eyres have been located in this neighbourhood from a very early period, and it is said on the authority of an old pedigree that one of them saved the life of William the Conqueror at the battle of Hastings. According to the Hassop pedigree the founder of the family, whose name was Truelove, seeing William unhorsed in the battle of Hastings, and his helmet beaten so close to his face that he could not breathe, pulled off his helmet and horsed him again. The king said, "Thou shalt hereafter from Truelove be called Air or Eyre, because thou hast given me the air I breathe." After the battle the king called for him, and being found with his thigh cut off, William ordered him to be taken care of, and after his recovery gave him lands in the county of Derby in reward for his services. The seat he lived at was called "Hope" because he had hope in the greatest extremity, and the king gave the leg and thigh cut off in armour for his crest, and it is still the crest of all the Eyres in England.
The members ascended the tower. It contains a peal of six bells, the oldest dated 1617. There is also a very interesting Sanctus bell of the fifteenth century, inscribed with a prayer for Robert Eyre and Joan Padley. The view from the church tower is very extensive.
Apart from the traditions attaching to it, Hathersage derives especial interest from the numerous antiquities in its immediate neighbourhood. On the north side of the church is an ancient earthwork called Camp Green,
believed to be of Danish origin, and on the surrounding moorlands there are several rock basins and curious remains attributable to our Celtic forefathers, the most remarkable being the Higgar Rocks and that singular structure called "Cairs Work" or "Carls Wark," a rude fort built upon the brow of the hill, looking like an irregular mound of unshapen stones, with walls, fences, and enclosures that open into one another. In April, 1834, Mr. Mitchell examined a tumulus on the Hathersage Moors, from which were recovered several rudely-shaped and sun-baked urns, which were filled with burnt bones, but no whole human bones were found, and not the slightest appearance of rats' bones was noticed, which may be accounted for by the bodies having been consumed previous to interment, and so presenting nothing tempting to rats. This barrow was placed near a Druidical circle. The same gentleman in 1826 opened several of the small tumuli in the vicinity of the Carls Wark, and found them to contain nothing more than deposits of calcined bones, without the accompaniment of either urns or instruments.
There is a legend, firmly believed by the good folk of Hathersage, that this village was the birthplace of Robin Hood's most celebrated companion, Little John, and that in this graveyard he found his last resting place. Dr. Spencer Hall, in his Peak and Plain, has well summed up the arguments bearing on Little John's history. When he visited Hathersage, about fifty years ago, the small cottage near the church, that went by the name of "Little John's house," was still standing. The cottage was then occupied by one Jenny Sherd, seventy years of age. Her father had died seventy years previously at the age of ninety-two, and he had received assurance, when he entered on his tenancy, of Little John having died in that cottage and being buried in the churchyard.
also recollected that his predecessors had received a similar assurance sixty years previously, and thus from mouth to mouth had the tradition descended. The grave of Little John is to the south-west of the church, and is distinguished by two small upright stones, about ten feet apart. These stones were yet further apart some years ago, but it is said that their position has been more than once tampered with by mischievous youths. We take the following from Dr. Hall:
"Jenny well remembered, she said, when Little John's grave was opened by Captain James Shuttleworth, and a great thigh-bone brought from it into the cottage and measured upon her father's tailoring board, when it was found to be thirty-two inches in length, and, though decayed a little at the ends, it was thick throughout in proportion to that length. Two shovels had been broken in digging the grave, and the bone had been broken near the middle by the third shovel striking it; but she declared that the parts corresponded with each other exactly, and that there was no artifice or deception in fitting them together.
"The name of the sexton who opened the grave was Philip Heaton, and the great bone was taken by Captain James Shuttleworth to the Hall; but his brother, Captain John, was so offended at him for having it exhumed, and he met with so many severe accidents-two of them in the churchyard-while it was in his possession, that at the end of a fortnight he had it replaced. Some years after, however, being with his regiment in garrison at Montrose in Scotland, he sent to her father, promising him a guinea if he would take it up again and send it to him in a box; but her father would not comply with the request. When she was about twenty years old a party of 'great folk' from Yorkshire had it re-exhumed, and
took it with them to Cannon Hall, near Barnsley. Up to that time Little John's cap was kept hanging by a chain in the church (as it is said his bow had done till within the last century), but even this the tasteless and foolish party in question also took with them. Jenny said she remembered this very well, and, with every other old person in the village, had a particularly distinct recollection of the green cap that hung in the church and which 'everybody knew' to be Little John's."
After tea the party walked to North Lees, the old castellated home of the Eyres, and by many supposed to have been the house where the imperious Mr. Rochester dwelt, returning to Hathersage by a pleasant path through the cornfields.
Saturday, September 12th, 1896.
LYDIATE AND HALSALL.
Members of the Society, under the leadership of Mr. W. Harrison, paid a visit to Lydiate and Halsall, situate in that low-lying agricultural district of Lancashire to the north-east of Liverpool, seldom visited by residents in the neighbourhood of Manchester. The party was met at Lydiate Station by Mr. W. E. Gregson, of Great Crosby, a member of the Council of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, and by Father Edward Powell, of Lydiate, another member of that society, both of whom rendered valuable assistance in directing attention to the many objects of interest in the locality.
Lydiate was owned in Norman times by a family of the same name, which, however, failed in the male line before the end of the fourteenth century. The heiress married Robert de Blackburne, and his daughter and heiress carried the estate into the family of the Irelands,
of Hutte. In the next generation was Laurence Ireland, the builder of the existing hall, or the greater part of it, and the ancient chapel. He died in or before 1485, leaving to his son John the work of completing the hall. In the seventeenth century, the male line again failing, the estate was carried by marriage into the family of the Andertons, of Lostock. Sir Francis Anderton, the sixth and last baronet, narrowly escaped the loss of his head after the troubles of 1715, and spent the last thirty years of his life at Lydiate Hall, his relative, Mr. Blundell, of Ince, being his surety that he would not go more than six miles away. On his death the estate went to the Blundells, in which family it has ever since remained.
The ancient chapel (frequently but erroneously termed the abbey) was first visited. It is a picturesque ruin, standing a little to the south of the hall, and consisting of a nave and castellated tower, the architecture being of the florid style which prevailed at the end of the fifteenth century. It was founded by Laurence Ireland and his wife Katherine, and intended for a domestic chapel. It was probably used for that purpose from the time of its erection until about 1567, when all Catholic services were stopped by order of Queen Elizabeth. It was dedicated to St. Katherine of Alexandria, the patron saint of Katherine Ireland. The founders' coat of arms appears over the porch, and their initials are on the hoodmould corbels.
From the ancient chapel the party was led by Father Powell across the road to the new Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady, and there shown the famous alabaster carved panels formerly in the ancient chapel, now inserted in the pulpit of the new church. They are intended to illustrate the legend of St. Katherine. According to this legend St. Katherine, of Alexandria,