Torworth under the Moncktons.

Having once formed the nucleus of this important property, the Moncktons continued from time to time to expand it, as opportunities presented themselves. Thus, in 1735, John Monckton, Viscount Galway, the original purchaser, bought of William Watmough eighteen acres of land in Torworth, subject to the annual payment of 10s. to the poor. In 1741, the same noble lord purchased from James Wrigglesworth of Torworth and Mary his wife, a cottage, &c. and four acres of land in the same township, bordering upon the estate of Mr. John Cromwell, hereafter to be treated of: and in 1749 he again enlarged his Torworth estate by the purchase from William Wright of Normanton, near Hough-on-the-Hill, in the county of Lincoln, a messuage, and about forty-seven acres of land.

But the most important addition made by the Moncktons to their Torworth property was in 1753, when, on the 26th July, William second Viscount Galway purchased for the sum of three thousand pounds from William Cromwell and his wife, who are described as then residing at Derby, and who became entitled under the will of John Cromwell the grandfather of William, three several farms, viz. the Whitehouse Farm, consisting of one hundred and seventy-three acres, in the occupation of Elizabeth Ramsden, a second in the occupation of John Nettleship, comprising one hundred and sixteen acres, and a third occupied by William Johnson, consisting of thirty-nine acres, together with three cottages. These were formerly in five farms, and were occupied by John Champion, Joseph Marland, John Pagdin, Edward Nettleship, and Richard Robinson, being designated by the names of the Shaw Farm, Hill's Farm, Baxter's Farm, Stanfield Farm, and Whitehouse Farm, the last of which had long previously been occupied by and formerly been the property of Lyonel Revell.

John Cromwell, of whom I have spoken, is described in his marriage settlement, dated June 8, 1658, as "of Clayworth, clerk." He married, for his first wife, Mary, the daughter of Ralph Clarke, of Cutthorp in the co. of Derby, Esquire. She died without issue, and he married a second wife, Barbara Westby, by whom he had two sons, Oliver Ben-oni-jamin and Thomas. In 1691, Oliver, "now of Sheriff Hales, in the co. of Salop." married Mary, the daughter of John Woodhouse, of the same place. The issue of this marriage were John, William, Benjamin, and Sarah. The eldest son John, of Gainsborough, merchant, by his will, dated in 1733, devises 1,200l. to his wife Elizabeth in full satisfaction of her marriage settlement, and to his brother William, in fee, all his real property, and constitutes him executor and residuary legatee. He died shortly afterwards without children. Benjamin died unmarried, and neither Sarah, who married a Mr. Dakeyne, nor William himself, at the time when the sale was in contemplation, had any family; and, in point of fact, if any such had been in existence, they could not have barred the conveyance.

By the will of Oliver Ben-oni-jamin Cromwell, then of Burton-upon-the-Woulds, in the co. of Leicester (made May 8, 1708), father of the vendor William, Whitehouse farm was amongst other lands devised to trustees and their heirs to be sold, and the proceeds arising therefrom to be applied in liquidation of the testator's debts and funeral expenses. The residue was to be invested for the equal benefit of his two younger sons and daughter, as they should attain the age of twenty-one years, an additional 50l. being bequeathed to the latter.

On the ground, however, that as the Whitehouse farm was intermixed with the rest of the property of the Cromwells in Torworth, and had been "lately well repaired," its sale would be attended with more disadvantage and inconvenience than that of another farm named Torworth Grange, "joining on Barnby Moor, and much out of repair and order," the trustees sold the latter farm to Joseph Banks, of Scofton, in the county of Nottingham, gentleman, for 270l. in 1710, having been let for the six previous years by 0. Cromwell for only 12l. per annum, or at the rate of 2s. per acre. The Whitehouse farm was conveyed to Mr. Banks as a collateral security until the eldest son and heir of Oliver should, by proper assurances, convey Torworth Grange when he came of age. This being done, Mr. Banks made a re-conveyance of Whitehouse farm to the trustees; and in order to fortify the title to this portion of the estates which William Cromwell sold to Lord Galway, the heir-at-law of the surviving trustee, as well as Mr. Dakeyne (his wife being dead), joined in the title.

Torworth Grange

Is now therefore the property of Mr. Banks, the purchase effected by Viscount Galway in 1753 being such as I have described it above. The Grange did not remain long in Mr. Banks' hands. In 1718 he, then residing at Revesby, in Lincolnshire, sold the property, consisting of 110 acres, to Major-General Richard Sutton, of Scofton, with whose name that of his brother Sir Robert Sutton, K.B., Ambassador at the Ottoman Porte, was joined. The General, in 1734, mortgaged his estates at Boothby, Caysthorpe, Barrowby, and Denton, in the county of Lincoln, as well as his Notts estates at Barnby Moor, which he had purchased from his brother Sir Robert; Torworth Grange; Rayton (which he had bought of Edward Lord Harley, afterwards Earl of Oxford, and the lady Margaret, his wife); and Kilton, which he had bought of Mr. Banks. And, finally, in 1740, Robert Sutton, of Scofton, Esquire, eldest son of the General, sold Torworth Grange to John Lord Galway, and John Duke of Rutland, for 735l., being more than double the sum which his father had given for it in 1718.

In 1791 Robert Arundell, Lord Galway, purchased of the Rev. George Booth of East Retford a messuage, together with about thirty-four acres of land, in this township. The greater portion of this purchase was in the open fields of Torworth, and consisted of "lands on a furlong" as they then were, and still (where they exist) are, designated.

No further enlargement of the Monckton property in Torworth of any material importance has since taken place. It remains to this day in the possession of the direct descendant of John Monckton, the original purchaser, constituting the greater portion of the entire township: and by the intelligence and enterprise of the tenants, the general comfort of the labouring population, and the sound and healthy condition of the village, attests the beneficial results which flow from the fostering and directing influence of a landlord who is always at hand and ready to encourage in difficulty and to relieve in distress.

And now after these necessary, but I fear somewhat dry, details, let me endeavour to refresh and re-invigorate the attention of my readers by a few personal and historical facts connected with the men whom we have had before us, the Cromwells, Bankses, and Suttons, and then by a more detailed account of the noble house of Monckton.

Families of Cromwell, Banks, and Sutton.

The Cromwells possessed considerable property at Barnby Moor, Sutton-cum-Lound, Torworth, Ranskill, Scrooby, and Bawtry. Their names occur in the Sutton registers more than three centuries ago. I give extracts. 1538, Johan. Cromwell, of Sutton, daughter to Henry Cromwell, was baptized the 21st December. 1541, William, son of the same, was baptized 28th July. In the same year Alyce Cromwell, of Sutton, daughter of Thomas Cromwell, was baptized 20th February. In the same registers occurs the burial of Thomas Cromwell in 1612. The Blyth registers record two marriages of Cromwell with Stanfield of Torworth, and the interment of Nicholas Cromwell, of Blyth, in 1628. He had married Elizabeth Hastings in 1624, by whom he had a daughter Constance, born in 1628, who married John Boone in 1651. There is also the burial here of Thomas Cromwell, December 28, 1629.

John Cromwell, of Clayworth, clerk, of whom mention has been made, was one of the Nonconformist clergy who were ejected by the Act of Uniformity in 1662. He then lost Clayworth. He was born at Barnby Moor, and his baptism is entered as follows in the register of my church. "John, sone of Rob. Cromwell de Barmbie, bapt. Sept. 20, 1631." He was of Magdalen College, Cambridge; and settled early in life as a minister at Royston, which place he left with regret, having been solicited by his relations to return into Nottinghamshire, and take the living of Clayworth, then vacant by the death of Dean Topham. He received a presentation to it from the Protector, not on any ground of relationship, but simply of his name, and, resigning his fellowship, removed to his benefice in 1657. The Protector wished him to take some office about his household, but this Mr. Cromwell declined. He belonged to the Congregational or Independent body, and was a popular preacher. At the restoration his right to Clayworth was disputed, but he appears to have retained possession till the Act of Uniformity displaced him. In consequence of a suspicion of his being concerned in plots against the Government in the early years of Charles II. he was imprisoned with others at Newark for some years. Here he became ill; the Duke of Newcastle interceded for him with the council, and he was liberated. He then lived for a time in Notts, but at length accepted an invitation to become pastor of a Nonconformist congregation at Norwich. He resided in that city about ten years, subject to many inconveniences; fell ill, as the consequence of a harassed life; left Norwich in infirm health for his own native air, but never recovered. He died in 1684, and was buried at Sutton April 23.

This is the substance of the information which Galamy gives us respecting John Cromwell in his "Lives of the Ejected Ministers." In Dr. Calamy's Continuation of his history, we are further told that he was a comely person, of a healthful constitution, very studious and serious at college; that he took his degree of B.A. in 1652, and in the interval between his graduating and being presented to Clayworth occupied himself in preaching at various country places around Cambridge. The Protector wished to make him chaplain to his son Henry Cromwell, with a salary of 200l. a-year, which he declined. He preached in Cromwell's household, and by some was considered the most powerful preacher there. He was ordained at Clayworth after the Congregational fashion by his uncle Fisher, vicar of Sheffield, and other ministers. He died at Barnby Moor, the place of his birth, where he had a competent estate. The rectory of Clayworth was valued in his time at 180l. a-year. Several of his sermons were printed in 1685.

The reader may be further interested in knowing that, in June, 1658, he married at Brampton, near Chesterfield, Mary Clarke, of Cutthorpe, as I have already stated. His second wife was Barbara Westby, daughter of Thomas Westby, of Ravenfield, Esq. by which marriage he became connected with nearly all the more eminent Puritan families in the south of Yorkshire. He made his will 30th June, 1680, wherein he described himself as "John Cromwell, of Norwich, gent." and constituted his wife Barbara and his three children, Oliver Ben-oni-jamin, Eulalia Sarah, and Thomas, his executors, and his uncle John Hatfield, of Hatfield, his brothers George Westby, of Ranfield, and John Hatfield, of Laughton, together with Cuthbert Brown, of Hansworth, as supervisors. He left his estates in Notts and Yorkshire to his son Oliver, who settled, for a time at least, at Barnby Moor. His wife was the daughter of another ejected minister, John Woodhouse, of Sheriff Hales. His son William was christened at Blyth 3rd January, 1698; Benjamin, 10th March, 1702. William, the vendor of the Torworth property of the family to the second Viscount Galway, was of Leicester, and died 24th July, 1766. He appears to have married a daughter of — Clay, a solicitor at Leicester. Benjamin was a surgeon at Nottingham, and died unmarried. Sarah (the daughter of Oliver) married Mr. Dakeyne, a solicitor at Mansfield.

The widow of Oliver married Samuel Cromwell, M.D. of Mansfield, a widower. Dr. Cromwell made his will 17th August, 1728. He speaks of a son Ralph. His wife died in 1734.

A mural tablet in the chancel of Sutton church commemorates the names of Samuel, John, and Robert Cromwell of that place, brothers, who died, the first, 18th March, 1785, aged eighty; the second, 7th February, 1789, aged eighty-six; and the third, 1st March, 1800, aged ninety-three, and were buried there. Robert is remembered by persons in Sutton still living, and is described as being in an independent position, and of venerable and gentleman-like appearance.

We have had under review two men, Bishop Saunderson and John Cromwell, both of them most intimately connected with our parish, the first having spent his youthful days under his father's roof at Blyth Abbey, the second having been born and having ended his days at Barnby Moor. They were men of opposite bias, and took perfectly opposite directions through life, the first adhering most devotedly to the Church and monarchy of England, in adverse as in prosperous days, the second seceding from the one, and probably disliking the other. Saunderson was ejected from his living by the fiat of dominant revolution, Cromwell from his benefice by the law of restored monarchy; and that benefice, singularly enough, one which had been previously held by Dean Topham, whose daughter had married Saunderson's grand-nephew. I admire ex imo corde the principles and character of the first. I have no sympathy with the opinions of the second. Both the one and the other, however, let us bear in mind, gave the strongest evidences of the sincerity of their convictions, and therefore if, as is most true, we owe a debt of deep gratitude to the one, let us forbear from pronouncing a harsh judgment upon the memory of the other.

Joseph Banks, of Scofton, who purchased Torworth Grange of the trustees of Oliver Cromwell in 1710, afterwards resided at Revesby Abbey, in Lincolnshire. He represented first Grimsby, and afterwards Totnes in Parliament, and died 27th September, 1727. From him descended lineally Sir Joseph Banks, who held the distinguished office of President of the Royal Society for a longer period than any other man—Sir Isaac Newton coming nearest to him in duration of office—and who, by the scientific distinction which he attained, and by the munificent encouragement which he afforded during a long life to every branch of science and art, has left a great and an honoured name and character behind him.

With respect to the Suttons, the Brigadier Richard and Sir Robert, I would briefly observe that they were lineally descended from Sir William Sutton, Knight, of Averham, whose eldest son Robert was created Lord Lexington by Charles I, for his devotion to the royal cause; that they were sons of Robert Sutton, of Kelham, Notts; that the elder of the two, Robert, was baptised at Kelham 23rd September, 1671, was a diplomatist of high rank, privy councillor, ambassador in Holland, Constantinople, and Paris, and represented Notts and afterwards Great Grimsby. He married in 1725 Judith, daughter and co-heir of Benjamin Tichbourne, Esq. and widow of Charles third Earl of Sunderland, by whom he had two sons: John, who purchased Norwood, near Southwell, and Richard, who succeeded his brother, who died without issue, and was Under Secretary of State from 1766 to 1772, and created a Baronet 25th September, 1772. The diplomatist, Sir Robert, was buried at Averham 24th August, 1746. The Brigadier Richard Sutton, of Scofton, Notts, some time of Edwinstowe, Major-General in the Army, and Ambassador at Bruges, was baptised at Kelham 16th January, 1673, and married Catharine, daughter of De Fallenor, of Bruges, in Flanders. He was buried at Averham 30th July, 1737, and was succeeded by his eldest son Robert, whose grandson Robert William Evelyn Sutton, of Scofton, Esq. and afterwards of West Retford, sold Scofton to the Foljambes. He married Mary, daughter of Harry Verelst, of St. James's-square, Esq. in 1793, and died March, 1805. His widow married secondly James Lee, Esq. and died in 1860 at West Retford.

The Family of Monckton.

The Moncktons are descended from Simon Monckton, Esq. of Monckton, or, as it is more generally called, Nun-Monckton, in the West Riding of York. From him sprang Robert Monckton, who succeeded to the lordship of Cavil, in the parish of Eastrington, near Howden, by marriage with Eleanor, great-great-granddaughter of Sir John Cavil, of Cavil, Knight, and daughter and co-heir of William Mostyn, Esq., of Hunscot, in the county of Warwick. From Robert Monckton lineally descended Marmaduke Monckton, Esq., of Cavil,* and from this point it will be necessary to draw out the Pedigree of the house at full length. I therefore append it:

* There are some good portraits at Serlby, including one by Sir Peter Lely of Sir Philip Monckton, the grandfather of the first Viscount Galway; one of Robert Monckton the father of the first Viscount; one of Theodosia Fountayne, the wife of Robert Monckton; one of the first Viscount; as also those of Lady Elizabeth Manners, his first wife, and of Lady Frances Manners, her sister. A considerable portion of the present hall at Hodroyd appears to have been erected in the early part of the reign of Elizabeth. The whole is of stone, and takes the form of the letter H. The several windows have stone mullions and transoms, and the lights are narrow, not more than 14 inches wide, and are glazed in lead. Moulded string courses continue round the building above the lower and upper windows: the gables are coped with moulded and weathered coping, and the apices and knees of the gables have carved stone terminations. On the east, front there is a panel over the garden entrance, containing the family arms in bold relief.