Colwick during the Musters period

The arrival of Sir John Musters at Colwick, saw the whole of Colwick being ran as one village community, with the Master of the hall being known and respected as the “Squire”.

Sir John Musters (1623—89) was a knight of London, and a wealthy merchant, who claimed descent from the de Monasterys, of Yorkshire. He was married three times; his first wife was Anne Maynard, by whom he had a son John, and a daughter Mary. This son did not succeed him to the estate as he predeceased him by a few years, at an early age of 37, after having married Millicent, only daughter and heiress of Adrian Mundy, who bore him eight children, one of whom later succeeded to the estate. Millicent lived to a ripe old age of 86.

Sir John’s second wife was Sarah Biddulp, by whom he had a son Charles, who succeeded to the estate when his eldest son died. His third wife was Jane Bassett, by whom be had a son, Francis.

He applied some of his wealth to restoring the Church in 1684, the western tower and chancel rebuilt and battlements added to the top of the nave. This brought the church to its present outward appearance, (although the roof has fallen in, the walls still show the same shape) except for the addition of .a vestry and organ chamber, which have been added on the north side in later years.

During the stormy days which followed the Restoration of the Monarchy and Episcopacy, Sir John Musters kept open house for ejected ministers who resigned their benefices under the Act of Uniformity John Whitlock and William Reynolds, who were never seen apart, were presented to the endowments of St. Mary’s, Nottingham, by the Marquis of Dorchester, at the request of the Parishioners in 1657, one as vicar, and the other as lecturer, were ejected in 1662.

To quote Whitlock’s own words; “In October 1662, brother Reynolds and I, with our families, removed from Nottingham to Colwick Hall, about a mile from Nottingham, a house of Sir John Musters, where we lived till the Five-mile Act took place, which was the 25th March, 1666. Some disturbance we met with while we lived there, though we received great respect and kindness from Sir John Musters, who would take no rent from us”.

About 1662, a claim was registered of John Musters esq., and John Parry, Clerk of the Parish Church of Colwick: — J.M. claims the manor of Colwick and 6 messuages, 5 cottages, 200 acres arable, 124 acres meadow and pasture in Over and Nether Colwick and in the manor of Snenton in the Forest of Sherwood with right to all timbers growing thereon free from the view of any officers of the Forest, and to have a woodward. All the premises lying in Thorneywoodes in the South Bailliwick of the Forest, quit of wastes, purpretures and assarts with liberty to take wastes, purpretures and assarts therein, to inclose the premises and to have a park in Colwick called Colwick Park with free warren. Also claiming common of pastures on the waste ground called Snenton Plain for all parts of the premises lying within Snenton. J.P. claims Rectory of Parish Church of Colwick, being the presentation of J.M.

6th July 1654. Draft indenture, release (of lease and release) settlement.

1) John Musters of Lincoln Inn (Mx), esq.
2) William Domys and George Smyth — of London, merchants.
3) Sir John Maynard of Tooting Graveney (Sr)
John Maynard of same, his son.
Edward Henywood of Elmsted (K), esq.
Thomas Bathurst of Francks, Horton Kirby (K), esq.

For agreement made on marriage of J. Musters with his late wife Anne (d of Sir J.M.) and for natural love of their son, J. Musters, jr., (1) to (3) manors of Over Colwick, Colwick Novers alias Nether Colwick, with Colwick Hall, and lands there and in Adbolton, Carlton, and Gedling (field names), to use of J. Musters, sr., then J. Musters, Jr., then Sir J. Maynard and his son in trust for J. Musters, Jr., and heirs in tail; specified lands accepted, to use of J. Musters, sr., for life, then to J. Musters jr., then to heirs in tail; also reciting assignment of 1648 by Sir James Storehouse of Amerden Hall (E), bart., and others (2) of lease of premises (made in 1634/5 by Henry, Earl of Worcester to Sir John Byron of Newstead, in trust for J. Musters, sr.), new assignment by (2) to E.H. and T.B. of same to use of J. Musters etc.

An account of assessment made in 1689 read as follows

The ould Lady Musters

£9 1s. 6d

The young Lady Musters

£22 16s. 6d

The Rector John Stokes

£1 17s. 10d.

Mrs Charles Musters
Mrs Charles Musters (Mary Wentworth).

Charles Musters (1654-1719). He succeeded to the estate after the death of his brother, and his brother’s son having already predeceased him. His wife was Mary Wentworth, but owing to them having no issue the estate passed to his nephew, Mundy Musters. When he died in 1719, he was buried in a vault at the east end of the old church.

Extracts from Nottinghamshire county records for the 17th century.

The following were presented for being “absent from Church for one month” during the reigns of Charles II and James II. Many were no doubt Papists: Wm Dickenson and wife; George Rolston and wife; Ellen Rolleston; Elizabeth Ward; Ellen Dawson; Francis Ward and wife; George Stow and wife; Wm Hankinson all of Colwick.

In 1690, John Brierley of Colwick Court, was sent to Gaol for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the King.

Mundy Musters
Mundy Musters of Colwick, 1676-1750.

Mundy Musters (1676-1750). Married Elizabeth Sherwin and had seven children all told. Millicent, John and Mundy all died as infants, Mundy only living for one day. Their fourth child, again called Mundy, Succeeded to the estate, the others were Charles, Thomas and Francis. Mundy Musters was Sheriff of Nottinghamshire in 1706.

In 1712 Mr. Musters, who was at this time under-ranger of Sherwood Forest, during which time the Nottingham Corporation were involved in a case with the Earl of Chesterfield for clearing trees from the “Coppice” area. In 1722 he was one of the Commissioners for Land Tax in Nottinghamshire, he is also mentioned as a Justice of the Peace.

Mundy Musters (1712-70). He married Mary Grey and had a son, John who succeeded to the estate and a daughter, Mary. In 1753, three years after taking over the estate, he was Sheriff of Nottinghamshire. Mentioned as Justice of the Peace in 1768.

The following complimentary extract to Mundy Musters, was printed in the Nottingham Journal on January 22nd, 1763: — “Some landlords made substantial presents to their tenants at Christmas time, Mundy Musters giving two strikes of wheat, a stone of beef, fuel and two quarts of ale for their Christmas cheer, together with half-a-guinea on New Year’s Day, and it is unlikely that the farm servants would be altogether forgotten in those convivial times”.

John Musters.
John Musters of Colwick, 1753-1827.

John Musters (1753-1827). He was noted as a politician, particularly in the 1770-80 period. In 1774, he offered his services as Tory candidate for Parliament, at the death of the local member, Lord Middleton, but withdrew when opposition was too strong. Again in 1778, be gave help in the local Parliament election campaign.

In 1775, he had the old Colwick Hall pulled down and the present one built in 1776, presumably for his wedding in the same year. His bride was Sophia Catherine Heywood, daughter and co-heir of James Modyford Heywood, from Devonshire. She was a talented painter, and painted the east window of the church (this was removed by the Musters when the church was abandoned) and windows on the hall stairway (these were destroyed by rioters in 1831) in 1817, two years before she died. Besides being a talented painter herself, she was noted for her beauty, and was painted by great artists such as Hoppner, Reynolds and Romney. She was also well up in the court circle and was bedchamber woman to Queen Charlotte.

Colwick Hall, The Seat of John Musters Esq., 1791.
Colwick Hall, The Seat of John Musters Esq., 1791.

They had one son, John and two daughters, Sophia Ann and Frances Catherine. When their son married Mary Ann Chaworth in 1805, they added Chaworth to their name and made Annesley their chief seat. The year after their marriage 1777, John Musters was High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire arid also in the same year he is quoted to have given £100, towards the grandstand built at the Nottingham Racecourse, which was on the Forest Recreation Ground, as we now know it.

Early in the 1800’s, along with the Rev. William Thompson, he built a school at West Bridgford, for the education of the poor children of the parish and those of West Bridgford, the family being at this time the patron of both preferments and sharing one rector. The school was for ten pupils, shared between the two parishes, and this was the only form of free education for over sixty years. How the pupils made their way to West Bridgford, is not stated in any records.

The same as his son John, who followed him as squire, he was a great sportsman. He hunted in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire for at least 15 years and his pack of hounds were known to be the best in the county. A year after moving to Annesley, be sold his pack for a 1,000 guineas to Mr. T. Assheton Smith. Some years before his death, Mr Musters was taking a ride on an unruly horse, through the park on the hill above the quarry, when be lost all control of his mount. It set off in the direction of the quarry, which was not at that time fenced off as at present. An old servant perceived his master’s danger and rode directly across the course of the horse so as to throw the unruly mount on his haunches, by which means he was secured and Mr. Musters’ life was saved.

John Musters (1777-1849). The last resident squire of Colwick, a great sportsman and the husband of Byron’s “Mary”. He married Mary Ann Chaworth in August 1805 and by some people it was stated that his parents did not approve of the marriage, but others stated otherwise. In all they had eight children, John George Chaworth Musters, Mary Ann, Rev. W. M. Musters, Sophia Caroline, Henry C., Charles Musters Chaworth, Alicia Augusta Sophia and Musters Chaworth. The eldest son, John George Chaworth Musters, the rightful heir to the estate, made his home at the old Chaworth home, Wiverton Hall, and predeceased his father on 2nd August, 1842. His son John Chaworth Musters succeeded to the estate. John George Chaworth Musters and his wife Emily Hammond, the other children were, George Chaworth and Mary Ann Chaworth.

John Musters changed his name to John Chaworth, by royal licence in 1806 and continued under this name until 1823, when he reverted back to Musters. He was known in the hunting field as “King of gentlemen hunters” and was Master of the South Notts Pack for sixteen years, then of the Burton Pack, and then had two more periods with the South Notts, with the mastership of the South Wold for three years sandwiched in between. During the first forty years of the nineteenth century he was one of the best-known sportsmen in England. He was a perfect horseman and no man was ever better qualified by nature for all the duties of a master of the hounds. No man has been so universally allowed to attach hounds to himself and obtain command over them in so short a time. The well known story is of his pack breaking away at the sight of him, as he was crossing the country on his way to a dinner party, is a striking instance of this extraordinary faculty on his part.

An article which appeared in the local paper during the reign of George lV, stated how Squire Musters caught a fighting poacher, after a melee made friends with him. He kept strict watch on boys fishing on his estate. If the father of the boy he caught fishing read the “Journal”, he could carry on, but if he didn’t he was sent packing. At another time, to prevent poaching in the Trent by Radical Stockingers of Nottingham, he placed a stocking-frame at a conspicuous part of the river bank, feeling certain that the obnoxious reminder would sicken them and keep them away.

Mary Ann Musters
Mrs John Musters (Mary Ann Chaworth), 1785-1832.

Mary Anne Chaworth Musters, was a distant cousin of the poet Byron, who fell desperately in love with her when he was sixteen and she eighteen. Lord Grey de Ruthin invited him to Newstead in 1803, and set a room apart for his special use, and from there he constantly visited Annesley Hall, the seat of the Chaworths. She was fifth in descent from Viscount Chaworth. Her grandfather was brother to the William Chaworth who was killed by his cousin, the fifth Lord Byron, after a quarrel at a club dinner of Nottinghamshire gentlemen, held on January 26, 1766. Byron had a superstitious fancy that the spirits of the dead-and-gone Chaworth would trouble him if he slept at Annesley Hall. But another superstition of a vision at Newstead caused him to alter his mind.

In 1804, be heard that the maid of his devotion was to marry the king of gentlemen huntsmen, John Musters, of Colwick Hall. Byron told a friend, he found in Mary Anne Chaworth all his youthful fancy could paint of the beautiful.

He addressed the following poem to her just before her marriage and it was found written in her handwriting, in an album belonging to a daughter of the then duke of Rutland.

Adieu to sweet Mary for ever!
From her I must quickly depart.
Though the fates us from each other sever,
Still her image will dwell in my heart.
The flame that within my heart burns
Is unlike what in lovers’ hearts glows;
The love that for Mary I feel
I(s) far purer than Cupid bestows.
I wish not your peace to disturb.
I wish not your joys to molest.
Mistake not my passion for love,
‘Tis your friendship (alone) I request.
Not ten thousand lovers could feel
The friendship my bosom contains
It will ever within my heart dwell
While the warm blood flows through my veins.
May the Rulers of heaven look down,
And my Mary from evil defend.
May she ne’er know adversity’s frown,
May her happiness ne’er have an end!
Once more, my sweet Mary, adieu!
Farewell! I with anguish repeat,
For ever I’ll think upon you
While this heart in my bosom shall beat.

Although Mary Chaworth had married Musters, she still had some affection for her first love, Lord Byron, and Musters was aware of this and was not very pleased. Once while bathing in the river Trent with Byron, he saw that he was wearing a ring belonging to Mary Chaworth, and he seized it from him. In July 1824, Mary drove into Nottingham from Colwick, and observed that the town was in general mourning, and stopping her carriage by coincidence in Pelham Street, opposite the Byron’s town house to enquire what was to do. On hearing of Byron’s death, she turned deathly pale and burst into tears. Immediately after this, the funeral procession went past her carriage as she sat in it with the blinds down.

During the Chartist riots of 1831, considerable damage was done to the hail and gardens, and the premature death of Mrs. Musters brought on. One of the most detailed accounts of this occasion is as follows:

“After the rejection of the Reform Bill, an unruly mob assembled in the Nottingham Market Place, on Monday, the 10th October. The 15th Hussars were called out from the Park Barracks to disperse the crowd, which had been joined a mob of ruffians who had invaded the town to pick up plunder at the fair and races. Having heard that the troops were coming, the mob rushed off to Sneinton, passing through Notintone Place, they tore down the iron railings with which they armed themselves and were soon at Colwick Hall.

In front of the mob, at about five o’clock in the afternoon, a young man called Freeman arrived in almost breathless haste at the Hall, to inform the inmates that an infuriated mob armed with dangerous weapons, and bent upon devastation, was rapidly approaching. Mr. Musters senior was absent, but Mrs. Musters, Mr. W. Musters, (her son) and Miss Musters (her daughter) with a Mademoiselle de Fay, (a Swiss lady) were at the Hall, with the usual number of male and female servants. The greatest consternation prevailed, and in the first instance Mr. Musters resolved to arm the men servants and defend the place, but the near approach of the rioters and their great numbers prevented his carrying this resolution into effect.

James Loseby, one of the grooms, had been immediately sent off on horseback to Nottingham for assistance, and though he rode in a direction to avoid the mob, yet as many of them came across the fields, they descried and stopped him, about halfway between the gates and the house. He was compelled to turn back with them and when within two hundred yards of the house they forced him to dismount and one of them got upon the horse. The mob still pressed on, uttering those wild appalling shouts, which in the gloom of an evening already dismal, must have been terrific, and particularly to females who considered themselves as about to be exposed to the brutal ferocity of a band of desperate men whose bad passions were inflamed by intoxication.

Mr. W. Musters seeing them approach (some across fields, and the great body by the road from the gates), advanced towards them and met the leaders about a hundred and fifty yards from the house. He enquired what they came for and requested them to go quietly away. The front rank halted, but some persons in the rear struck Mr. W. Musters on the arm and threw stones, so that he was compelled to retreat to the house. The mob meeting no further resistance, advanced to the North Front, where they tore up the iron fencing of the lawn, and several volleys of stones demolished the glass of the windows.

They next proceeded to force the window shutters of the lower rooms, and thus obtained easy access, which they were not slow in taking advantage of. The men servants assembled together near the stables, but most of the female servants got on top of the house. Loseby, however made himself very laudably active, by going to the different apartments and endeavouring to repress the fury of the assailants. Mrs. Musters and the other two ladies had been sitting in the drawing room, but finding that the rioters were determined on mischief, hastily retreated to the Ballroom, and Miss Musters in her hurry and fright, instead of turning the key in the lock, let fall a French bolt, which most probably saved them from insult, for the bolt being a very strong one resisted every effort to force the door, though repeatedly attempted.

Having gained possession, they ranged through the apartments tearing down everything that came in their way, and indeed it may be truly said that the hands of the destroyers delighted in their work. Not satisfied with the implements of mischief they had brought with them, they called in the aid of fire, for the diabolical purpose of reducing the house to ashes. They lit the fires in the grates of Mr. Musters sleeping room, and also that of Mrs. Musters, on which they piled furniture and then scattered it about, the floors were ignited and nearly burnt through. In Mr. Musters’ room they found a canister of gunpowder, which they placed in a corner and exploded, but happily it did not do any material injury beyond blackening the walls, and the servants being all prepared, as soon as the mob departed the fires were extinguished. The following may be considered as a tolerably accurate account of the injuries which were perpetrated.

Entrance Hall, nearly every window smashed, a singularly fine slab of marble broken; the iron chest, containing the family writings, forced, some burnt, some carried away, and the rest scattered about in all directions. Dining room, scarcely a whole pane left; chairs and tables broken to atoms; a beautiful sideboard, with a back ground of looking-glass broken; curtains torn into shreds, a recumbent Nymph, by Titan, thrust through in two places; and a grand gallery picture by Rubens, dreadfully mutilated; the latter work was considered to be worth one thousand guineas; fire kindled here.

Mr. Musters’ Bedroom, windows, bed and general furniture destroyed; the late Mrs. Musters’ portrait, by Romney, torn to atoms; a fire made in two places on the floor; one of the escritoire forced, and the contents stolen; attempts were made to fire a large canister of gunpowder, but having been accidentally wetted, it would not go off. Drawing room, plate glass windows broken; the superb glasses shivered into a thousand pieces; an immense collection of Oriental china, and many objects of verta involved in one common devastation; grand pianoforte demolished, and a library of music; chairs, tables and curtains destroyed, a valuable silver inkstand stolen, and part of a silver cup, which had formerly belonged to the Chaworth family. Grand staircase, the elaborately carved balustrades of Spanish mahogany forced in, and of the two splendid stained glass windows, executed by the late Mrs. Musters, not a fragment remains entire; three or four pictures burst through.

Mrs. Musters Dressing room, a scene of dreadful devastation; general furniture including glasses of unusually large dimensions, carefully broken to pieces; wardrobes and presses forced, and dresses stolen; the collection of diamonds, pearls and bijouterie carried off; Mr. Musters’ portrait burnt; a large fire made on the floor, that was completely burnt through, and on which were placed five or six Italian pictures, two of them by Canaletto, all of which were ruined. Mr. John Musters’ sleeping room, wardrobe broken open and contents carried away. Library, plate glass windows broke.

Secondary stair-case, two paintings destroyed. Miss Musters’ Bedroom every square demolished. Mademoiselle de Fays’ room, a case of jewellery, including a miniature of her mother’s stolen. Butler’s Pantry, the windows broken and also a considerable quantity of glass; the valuable plate fortunately escaped the general spoilation, by being concealed in the cellar. The lovely whole length picture of the late Mrs. Musters, as Hebe, with the eagle, by Reynolds and also one of the late Mr. Musters, in a landscape by the same accomplished artist, in the Ballroom, were most fortunately saved. The whole damage was estimated at £3,000, yet no cost can restore many of the articles which the spirit of barbarism destroyed.

From the ballroom, Mrs. Musters, with her daughter, and Mademoiselle de Fay, escaped into the shrubbery, where they were found some time afterwards, by Mr. W. Musters, concealed under a laurel bush. During this time the rain was falling very heavily, the weather was gloomy in the extreme, and the terrified ladies with the shouts of the infuriated desperados ringing in their ears, could see the dense smoke rising from the windows and were momentarily expecting to behold the whole building one mass of flame, and their place of concealment lighted up by the burning pile, so as to point out their poor place of refuge to the mob.

Gladdened indeed must their hearts have been, as the mob receded from the Hall, and their appalling shouts rolling their awful burden on the breeze, gradually died away till stillness and calm was once more restored. From the shrubbery the three ladies, by their own request were conducted to the stables, and Mrs. Musters slept there for that night, in a bed belonging to one of the grooms. On the following morning they quitted Colwick for Wiverton Hall, where ‘Less by time than sorrows worn away”, Mrs. Musters closed her earthly career, on the 5th of February following, (1832) in the 47th year of her age.

Immediately on his return to Colwick Hall, John Musters proceeded to start various claims for compensation for damages and loss of property, but his efforts were of no avail, apart from the following who were arrested and charged in connection with the crime: Charles Berkins, Valentine Marshall, and Thomas Whittaker were charged for feloniously setting fire to Colwick Hall. Thomas Smith and Henry King were also charged, but later released. Samuel Spencer, Joseph Shaw, William Freeman and Thomas Harrison were charged and acquitted of the crime. Berkins was sentenced to death, but this was commuted to transportation at the last minute. Marshall and Whittaker also suffered a similar fate of transportation.

The immediate result of the raid was that the Musters ceased to use the Hall as a permanent residence for the family, perhaps owing to losing so much through damage. At the same time the hall gained a ghost in memory of the event as the local legend states that the ghost of Mademoiselle de Fay, dressed in an evening gown, haunts the shrubbery at night, looking for her pearl necklace, which she lost while hiding there.

The William Musters mentioned in the above account, and later Rev. Musters was a big cricket player. His first record of playing is on the 19th Aug. 1828, when four Gentlemen of the Sherwood Forest Club played a single wicket match on the Forest, Musters and Smelt beat T. Wright and S. Charlton by one wicket in a two-innings match. In 1829, he represented Oxford v Cambridge, and was the highest scorer in the match, with innings of 29 and 24. He played for Southwell in 1835, but did not play regularly in local matches until 1839. He made his debut for Nottinghamshire v Kent at Trent Bridge on August 26th, 27th and 28th, 1841, and played his last important match for the County v Sussex at Trent Bridge on September 18th, 19th and 20th, 1848. His highest score for the County was 51 v England at Trent Bridge in 1847. His last recorded match for Nottinghamshire County Gentlemen v Commercial Club on 12th July, 1850. He died in Scotland on 16th October 1870. He is buried in the old churchyard.

In a book published in 1835, titled “Walks Round Nottingham” by A Wanderer, appeared the following poem about Colwick as he saw it at this period:

There’s a stillness in the hour,
There’s a sweetness in the air,
And the spirit’s breathing pow’ r,
Invites the mind to pray’r,
Oh that such a spot as this,
Should ever foster aught but bliss.

There’s a whisp’ring ‘mong the trees,
There’s a ripple on the stream,
And the gentley swelling breeze,
Like life’s gay morning dream,
Plays among the mantling bow’rs,
Evergreens and fragrant flow’rs.

There’s the deer upon the Hill
There’s the rabbit in the vale,
And above the flowing rill,
The white swan spreads his sail,
Starting from the mossy side,
Full of majesty and pride.

There’s the rook on jetty wings,
There’s the cliff which holds his nest,
here the plaintive robin sings,
And trims his scarlet breast,
Pain and sorrow banish’d hence,
Nought be found but innocence.

There’s the steeple’s hoary head,
There’s the waving ivy rife,
And the dwellings of the dead,
Surround the gates of life,
Where Truth meets Mercy face to face,
And Righteousness and Peace embrace.

He also states that the Park was walled round and well stocked with deer and game, and that the village of Colwick did not contain above a dozen houses.

The local directory for this year gives the following:
Principal residents — William Lacy, racehorse breeder.
Farmers — Richard Clarkson, Thomas Housley, George Neale, Thomas Newham, Daniel Parker, Samuel Parr and Samuel Waldrum.
Other residents were; John Musters Esq., Charles George Balguy, Esq., Rev. Levett Edward Thoroton, rector. The rectory, valued in the Kings books at £6 1s 0½d, is a gift of Mr. Musters. The total number of residents at this time was 145, which is 35 more than the average population of the village for the previous 600 years. By 1840 the number was down to 110, and remained so until the 1880’s.

John Chaworth Musters (1838-1887). Succeeded to the estate when he was only eleven years old. He was known as “Squire Musters”, but his main residence was again at Annesley Hall. He married Caroline, eldest daughter of Mr. Henry Sherbrooke, of Oxton. They had five children, John Patricius Chaworth Musters, who succeeded to the estate, Mary Catherine, Catherine E., Lancelot G.E.M., and Henry Charlton. He followed the family love of hunting and was Master of the South Notts and Quorn Hounds. In 1864, he was Sheriff of Nottinghamshire.

In 1844 William Saville murdered his wife and three children in a spinney in Colwick Woods. This spinney was always known as “Saville Spinney” from that day. It was the one which lay at the rear of Sands, Steel Erectors Works on Vale Road, which has now been built on. The local legend states that a boy was playing truant from school and was getting eggs from a nest in the tree, underneath which Saville Committed his crimes, and it was a long time before he dare come down and break the news of the murders. After his conviction for the crime, the execution of William Saville, which took place on the steps of the Shire Hall, had rather disastrous effects. The official record of the event reads as follows: “When the bolt was removed and the body fell, the immense crowd of many thousands of men, woman and children began to move away, and in their hurry, there being no barricades, many were at the top of Garners Hill, and were thrown down, and the rush being uncontrollable, those who fell were trampled on, and at the foot of the steps lay in a great heap, piled one upon another, crashed and lamed or suffocated. Scores of people were taken to the General Hospital in carts and wagons, twelve people were killed and five died afterwards. Mr. A. J. Raven, later a Magistrates Clerk, who from the top of an adjoining building witnessed the calamity, said “It was an awful sight”.
(Murders committed 21st May, and hanging on 8th August).

Thousands of visitors went to Colwick after the murders and took grass, bark and brushwood as souvenirs.

Another reminder of the perils of the river Trent is given by this extract from an article in the Nottingham Review, Saturday, June 2nd, 1844:
“Francis Bignall, Meredith’s Yard, Angel Row, Market Place, Nottingham, fisherman in the employ of J. Musters, Esq., was walking along the bank of The Trent the water was very low, and I saw lying, about two yards from the bank, in Jenkin’s Platte, Colwick, a hip bone as I suppose, and part of a backbone, with three ribs attached. Two days later he took along a doctor to the spot, who said it was human remains. After the body or bones, along with clothing etc., had been removed from the river, it was confirmed that it was the body of John Millington, of Holme Pierrepont, who had disappeared on 10th November, 1842. It was presumed that he had walked into the river and drowned after returning from Nottingham late at night.

Nov. 21st 1856. A most destructive fire occurred at the Colwick Park Farm, in the occupation of Mr. Baker, by which seven stacks were burnt down.  The damage was estimated at £700.  The fire was doubtless the work of an incendiary, and a man named Bunny was committed to the assizes and then acquitted.

Report of the village printed in 1865 reads as follows:— 110 Inhabitants with equal amount of each sex, still only 20 houses in village. Rectory of the Rev. W. J. Mellors includes as well as house and gardens, 16 acres of glebe lands. Living was worth £220 per annum. Clarkson and Horsley families have both been resident in the village for three centuries and since 1645 have both participated in making “Colwick Cheese”. Clarkson family have also been Parish Clerk for three generations, the present Richard Clarkson for the past 40 years. Parr family have been collector of rates and taxes for the last 66 years, (father and son) also assistant, overseer and parish constable.

Principal residents:— John Hardy Esq. (Colwick House), Joseph Johnson (Market Gardener, Colwick Hall), Francis Leeson (Market Gardener, Village), William Linley (Gamekeeper, Kennel House, Colwick Hall), Colwick Cheese Makers — Richard Clarkson, William Horsley and George Neale. Farmers — William Baker, John Blackner, Richard Clarkson, William Horsley, Joseph Machin, George Neale, Thomas Newham and Joseph Pearson (Whimsey Lodge), William Parr, Thomas Elnor (Grazier and Maltster). This report shows the break in the pattern of farming in the village, with one farmer turning to grazier and the first market gardeners being mentioned.

The coming of the railways does not seem to have had any effect on the village growth at this period, even though they had both been running for approximately fifteen years in 1865. The Nottingham to Lincoln line was opened in l848, and the Nottingham to Grantham in 1850. Position of the Colwick and Netherfield Station on the Grantham line does appear to have some effect on the later expansion, for apart from the block of four houses next to the Church Hall, the next houses were built in the Balmoral Grove area. The block of houses against the Colwick crossing gates would also presumably have some connections with the railways.

In 1868, Mr. J. C. Musters, along with Earl Manvers, through their agents, made protest to the Nottingham Corporation about the pollution of the river Trent with sewage. They threatened proceedings if the nuisance was not abated within reasonable time. This nuisance they said “converts a noble river which ought to be a source of beauty, health, and pleasure to the town and neighbourhood into a foul and open sewer...!”

White’s Directory, 1877, gives the principal residents as follows:—
Rector — Rev. Henry Alexander, Captain Douglas Lane (Colwick Hall), Michael Mason (Colwick House), Farmers — John Blackner, John Clarkson (& Assistant 0verseer), Thomas Elnor (Grazier), Samuel Leeson (Market Gardener), George Neale, Thomas Neale, Joseph Pearson (Whimsey Lodge), George Slaney (& Grazier, Park Farm), Robert Slaney (Manor Farm), John Smith (& Grazier), Augustus Taylor. This report indicates that the Musters must have started to consider to get rid of Colwick hall, as this is to be first mention of them letting it to someone else. The first railway worker mentioned at Colwick, was a Joseph Wooton, Railway Gate Keeper, in 1879, and in 1881, a certain Robert Handley was Station Master.

The year 1881, seems to be the one which saw the start of the village growth, as the number of farms had decreased from 12 to 8, and the total of the population started to rise. In 1882, John Musters, put quite a lot of land up for sale, mostly along what now is Vale Road and Balmoral Road area. This map shows Annesley Terrace and Park Terrace as already having been built. Following the sale, the terrace houses on the Vale, and all the older houses on Balmoral, Glen Helen and Chaworth Road were erected. The old school in Woodland Grove was the next to be built in 1886. The other houses were not erected until, about 1900, when St. John’s Prison, Nottingham, was demolished as bricks and, timber taken from there are reputed to have been used to build them, one of the houses contains a rather wide door, which could quite possibly have come from the Prison. Lockerbie Street, which was built by William Lawrence’s, would also have been put up at this time.

Sometime between 1825, and this period, the musters family must have opened an unmade road, from the junction of Colwick Road and Mile End Road, as it is now known, and the junction of Meadow Road and Victoria Road, Netherfield (Bank Corner). This was opened as a private road, with a toll-gate at the bank corner. Tolls were levied for carts, brakes and horses, but pedestrians were able to pass through the side gate without payment. This low road route was preferred by carriers with heavy loads, who did not like the steep Carlton Hill. The Toll House stood where the Lloyd’s Bank now stands, and the last gate-keeper was a Mrs. Clow, who carried on after her husband’s death. A coal-cart drawn by two horses, cost 1/-, and with one horse 6d. If the carter removed one horse while taking the load through the gate, he could lead the horse through the side gate for a penny, and save 5d. This became a regular practice, much to Mrs. Clow’s annoyance. The gate was removed sometime before the First World War, when a tarmac surface was laid on the road.

John Patrious Chaworth Musters (1860-1921l), who succeeded to the estate in 1888, on the death of his father, only held Colwick for about a year before he sold it to Col. Horatio Davies, of London and Wateringbury House, Kent, and so ended the families 238 years as owners of the village.