Few residences in the parish can claim holding so many links with the past as does the one where Mr. H. J. Hobson resides in High Pavement. Its chief association, no doubt, has been as a centre where probably many Suttonians received their start in life so far as their educational needs were concerned, for it was here where the Rev. Thomas Roome, the Congregational pastor, and the Rev. T. B. Adin conducted their academies at respective periods. The residence has also found shelter at different ages for some of Sutton's public officials, amongst whom may be mentioned. Dr. Henry Isaac Lomax, for many years the vaccinating officer for the Sutton district under the Mansfield Board of Guardians, and Mr. John Parsons, who was the relieving officer upwards of 60 years ago. At the Manse (next door) lived the Rev. Charles Wilson (Congregational pastor), who married a Miss Oates (both of whom are buried in Sutton churchyard), and shortly after their deaths, which occurred within a year of each other—Mrs. Wilson's in 1867, and the rev. gentleman's in 1868— Mr. J. E Burrows offered for sale by "public competition" their household furniture and effects, the sale taking place on July 14, 1868. Prior to Mr. Hobson going to his present home, the building was the rendezvous of the Sutton Conservative Club, which organisation also used a villa at one time in Forest Street. Now they have got a handsome and commodious structure of their own in that street!


In 1906, a Society was formed in the town under the above title, and it promises to become an influential and promising one. Already it has given two performances, both of which created a. great impression amongst the music-loving public. They were— "My Sweetheart" (performed in 1906). and "The English Girl'' (performed in 1907). The music of the latter—an original musical comedy—was composed by Mrs. Herdman Porter, of Forest Street. The major portion of the proceeds on both occasions were given to the Mansfield Accident Hospital. Mr. E. Gray is the Hon. Acting Manager of the Society; Mr. A. Briggs, the Treasurer; and Dr. Herdman Porter and Mr. H. S. Shacklock, the Hon. Secretaries.


The National Telephone Company introduced their system in Sutton about 1890, the "call office" being at Mr. G. W. Briggs. chemist, Portland Square. Then, whilst still retaining this office, an Exchange was opened at 31, Victoria Street, on May 8th, 1908, where Miss Blyton officiates as operator. The number of Subscribers in the parish up to September 5th. 1907, was 85. The office hours are from 8 am. to 8 p m., and the terms 1d. for local calls, 2d. to Mansfield, and to other towns the trunk fee is added, the charge being according to distance.

Telegraphy, we believe, was introduced in Sutton about 1870.


This Association was established in 1896, the headquarters being the Robin Hood Inn. The President is Mr. Jesse Briggs; Vice-Presidents Messrs. G. W. Briggs. J. Briggs junr., and G. Lucas (Pleasley); Secretary and Treasurer, Mr. C W. Sanderson. Tudor Street. There is also a Flying Club at the Railway Inn, the Secretary being Mr. T. W. Goodall, Prospect Place; as well as an Ornithological Society at the same inn, Mr. Smith (Mansfield) being the Secretary.


Upwards of 60 years ago (about 1840), adherents of the United Methodist Free Church cause worshipped and conducted a Sunday School in the stone-built, lowly cottage at the entrance to "Pattie" Norris' Yard (now Edward Square), opposite S. Modwen's Hall in High Pavement. The principal workers amongst the small band of Christians then worshipping there were the late Mr. Henry Farrands, Mr. S. Heathcote, Mr. Edward Plumbridge (now of Mansfield), and Messrs. J. and R. Oxley (now of Clay Cross). The two rooms on the ground floor sufficed for their worship at the outset, but gradually the little band increased in numbers that at length it became expedient to provide a more commodious building. They, therefore, with substantial help by the late Mr. James Fox, a local preacher, of Pleasley, built the place (which is now known as "The old 'Ebenezer' Chapel,") now occupied by the Parish Church Young Men's Institute in Hardwick Street. Not many years, however, had passed away when Sutton was overtaken with a bad trade which compelled the most ardent supporters of that struggling, little Church to "seek new pastures" in order to maintain themselves. Thus deprived of its best workers under such regrettable circumstances, the remaining portion (now so few in numbers) felt that the work, so hopefully begun by them, would now have to be brought to an abrupt termination in consequence of not being able to realise the necessary funds to support the place. True, the Mansfield Circuit proffered aid to their more unfortunate neighbours on condition that the small, red-brick building was transferred into their charge, but in that respect they could not see their way to acquiesce, so, therefore, after about 13 years' worshipping in their new building they had to reluctantly cast it aside as a derelict. The worshippers that remained then joined some of the other places of worship in the town. The building stood unoccupied for a number of years, but some time after it had changed hands, it was taken over by the Church of England for the purpose of establishing S. Modwen's Mission. A few years passed away, and the building was again relinquished, and then it was transformed into a Mechanics' Institute. That likewise being abandoned in 1906. the old chapel is at present in the occupation of the Parish Church Young Men's Institute, as before stated. The United Methodist Free Church cause was revived a few years ago, and they have now a neat and comfortable edifice in Priestsic Road.


An unassuming, small band of Christians in the town is what is known by the name of "The Brethren." They are so few in numbers (not more than one dozen), and not having an imposing structure for their use, they would appear to rank as a very insignificant body in the various religious communities in the district. Sunday by Sunday, morning and evening, and each Thursday night, they can be found in their quiet worship in the Girls' room at the Hardwick Street Council's Schools, where they have attended for the past 30 years. In 1874, Mr. G. Coombe, of the Market Place, one of the members, engaged the old "Ebenezer" Chapel in Hardwick Street for one year with a view of extending the cause of the Brethren in the parish, and invited Mr. George Rymer, who was then called "The Prophet of Mansfield," to hold a series of services, but the effort did not prove successful—hence finding them in their present humble position. Some of the members, in addition to Mr. Coombe, are Messrs. Tom Barrowcliffe, R. Wilson (Skegby), S. Green, W. Bean, and H. Pepper (Mansfield).



"The earliest authenticated fact we find recorded relative to Sutton-in-Ashfield is, that about 790 years ago, it formed one division of King Edward the Confessor's Manor of Mansfield: and in Doomsday Book, a work compiled at the instance of William the Conqueror, it is noticed with Skegby as being a Berue, or Hamlet, to Mansfield, in which Manor it states there were two Churches and two Priests. One of these Churches in all probability was that of Sutton, as we find in Thoroton's account of Sutton (see page 70) that Gerard, Son of Walter de Sutton, gave it to the Priory of Thurgarton; and in the taxation of Pope Nicholas, in 1291, we find it still belonging to that Religious House, which it continued to do till its dissolution in the time of Henry VIII.

As the privileges of the Manor were conditionally granted to the above family (de Sutton), we can only contemplate it through several ages as a feudal demesne, the inhabitants of which were chiefly vassals, under the control of a local Lord, whose lands they tilled, whose flocks they tended, whose sports they shared, and in whose quarrels they engaged with all the energy and devotion peculiar to clansmen; and that in the latter they were occasionally involved during the protracted Civil Wars, which wasted and depopulated the country, there can be little doubt. Teversal Castle on one side, and Kirkby Castle on the other, would be objects that could hardly rest unregarded in times of commotion; and it is unreasonable to suppose that the De Suttons (who it is proved by history were a wealthy and influential family, holding their possessions here of the Crown for which the rival houses of York and Lancaster contended), would be allowed to remain neuter in any contest which might arise, especially when it is considered that their own Lands were the scene of battle,—a fact inferred from the remains of human bodies, shattered weapons, &c.recently found there.

Preceding historians, influenced by few or no local attachments and having little to refer to for information save old legal instruments, or the court-rolls of the Manor, have furnished us with nothing more than copies of the particular tenures by which property was held at different periods, or the dates at which it passed from one possessor to another. It is therefore chiefly to casual records, tradition, and analogy, we must look for every other species of historical information—being careful at the same time to prune it of whatever may seem incongruous or irrelevant.

Judging from the present position and appearance of the town, it must have contained till within the last century but few streets—Church Street, Upper Street, and Forest Street being the principal; besides which a number of Farm-houses and Cottages were unequally distributed amongst the surrounding lanes and fields. Some good substantial homesteads, however, appear to have been erected soon after the Restoration of the Monarchy under Charles II. Near the top of King Street is one dated 1662; Mr. Outram's, Low Street, 1665; and several others which appear to have been built about that period. Indeed, it is not improbable, that the cessation of those struggles between the Executive and Legislative powers, which had so long demoralized and depopulated the Nation, gave a powerful impulse to industry and every social improvement; and as many who had engaged in civil warfare, or fled to avoid its consequences, returned about this time to their homes—framework-knitting becoming an important branch of manufacture, afforded them the means of employment; and it is but reasonable to date the gradual, yet regular, increase of our population and trade from this period.

The next grand impetus to local improvement, was about the middle of last century, owing to the sudden rise into wealth and influence of the Unwin family. The invention of the Spinning-jenny by Arkwright, and the ultimate extension of its use, forms an interesting epoch in the history of British manufactures. It raised the inventor himself, from being a penny-barber to one of England's wealthiest commoners in a few years, and a lively town (Cromford) at once sprang up in one of the obscurest valleys of the Peak; the Strutts, from humble mechanics, it raised to princely affluence, and trebled the population of Belper almost instantaneously; and its influence upon the fortunes of the Unwins, and the state of our own parish of Sutton, was scarcely less marked, and must soon have been still more conspicuous, but for the sudden death of the late benevolent and highly respected Samuel Unwin, Esq. (son to the founder of the Family's fortunes), which occurred on the 14th February, 1799, and caused a sensible; relax in the progress of the town, from which, however, it has of late revived, and must certainly very soon become an important place, should the various improvements now in contemplation be effected.

In the beginning of the 18th- century there were but ninety-five families in Sutton; while in the year 1793, the population (as taken by Sir Richard Sutton, from door to door) was, including Hucknall, 3,492. At the first Parliamentary Census in 1801 (taken in rather a slovenly manner) Sutton was said to have 2,801 inhabitants, and Hucknall 510, making 3,314. In 1811, Sutton had 3,386, and Hucknall 608, making together 3,994. In 1824, Sutton had 3,943, and Hucknall 712, making 4,653. In 1831, Sutton had 4,805, and Hucknall 929, making together 5,734. The population of Sutton in 1837 was computed at 6,000, or thereabouts."


There was a curious custom connected with this parish, which ought not to go unnoticed. From time out of mind a man commenced perambulating the town, from the commencement of Advent until Christmas-day, with a bell, during the early hours of the morning, from four o'clock till six, ringing the bell under the windows, and calling on the people to awake. Until some few years this custom was inaugurated with a service in the church. At Christmas the watchman provides himself with a short poem in honour of the Nativity, and recording the principal events that have happened during the year. At the time Mr. Mc W. Bishop (surveyor) was attending to the culverting of the Idle, one of the late Crier Scott's lines ran—

" We have got a Bishop now to consecrate the mud." Subsequently the bellman  solicited assistance from the inhabitants, and thereby he would realise something like a five-pound note wherewith to start the new year.   What should hinder our present-day bellman from going and doing likewise!


It is stated that the famous Lawrence Sterne, author of the "Sentimental Journey," was Vicar of Sutton. His family were certainly connected with Mansfield, but there is no record whatever of him in the Parish Registers.

THE new burial ground was consecrated by the late Bishop of Lincoln in the year 1859.


The Rev. F. Brodhurst, Vicar of Heath, has very kindly favoured us with the following' contribution:—

From the life of Cardinal Wolsey, by George Cavendish, Gentleman Usher to the Cardinal, and Brother to Sir William Cavendish, who married Elizabeth Hardwick, of Hardwick Hall, and' was the ancestor of the Earls and Dukes of Devonshire, these particulars may be gathered:—

"Cardinal Wolsey was in disgrace, about the divorce of Queen Katharine. He had seen the face of King Henry VIIIth for the last time, and was no longer received at Court. For 14 years he had been Archbishop of York, and had been receiving the revenues, but had not been into his Diocese nor Enthroned. A Suffragan Bishop had been attending to the Diocesan work, so the Cardinal left his House at Esher. rode through Royston down to Peterborough, where, in the Abbey, he carried a Palm on Palm Sunday, A.D. 1530, and said Mass on Easter Day. On Thursday, in Easter Week, he went on to Hilton, some four miles from Peterborough, where he stayed till Monday, when he rode on to Stamford, where he lay all that night; and the next day to Grantham, and was lodged in a gentleman's house, called Master Hall. And the next day he rode to Newark, and lodged in the Castle all that night; he next day rode to Southwell, a place of the Cardinal Archbishops, where he intended to stay all that summer, as he did. In August, he intended to remove to Scrooby. in the same County, where was another house of the Bishoprick of York. We then find him at Cawood, where he stayed some time preparing for his Installation, which was to take place on the Monday after All Hallows Day. But before that day arrived the Earl of Northumberland arrived at Cawood with a Commission from the King to bring the Cardinal back to London. On Sunday afternoon, the day before the intended Installation, the Cardinal was removed to Pontefract Abbey, and the next day to the Blackfriars at Doncaster; and the day following to the Lodge in Sheffield Park, where the Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury received him, where he was taken ill of dysentery, and remained some days.

He left Sheffield on November 24th with a small company of attendants. There was a Bridle Path, across the Moor between Sheffield and Sutton-in-Ashfield. It came to the East of Sutton Church, and down "Carr-Sike Lane." The name "Carr-Sike," or as it is now written "Carsio," has nothing to do with the Sick Cardinal. "Carr" is a wet meadow, of which there are remnants in these days. "Sike" is a brook. There was a Tannery at one time in the Lane, and the Skins were dipped in the Brook.

"Priest-Sike Lane" signifies the Brook in the Lane, at the back of the old Vicarage.

At night the Cardinal was lodged at Kirkby Hardwick, or Hardwick-upon-Line, as it was called, which at that time belonged to the Earl of Shrewsbury. The next day, Friday, November 25th, 1530, he rode to Nottingham, so weak was he that he had great difficulty in sitting upon his mule. On Saturday evening, November 26th, he reached Leicester Abbey, where, at his coming in at the Gates, the Abbot with all his Convent met him with the light of many torches, whom they right honourably received with great reverence. To whom the Cardinal replied, "Father Abbot. I am come hither to leave my bones amongst you." The Cardinal died in the Abbey Tuesday. 29th November, 1580, his dying words being. "Well, well, Master Kingston (Constable of the Tower)," said the Cardinal, "I see the matter against me how it is framed; but if I had served God as diligently as I have done the King, he would not have given me over in my grey hairs.""


The first Public Library established in the parish was in 1857, the principal founder being Mr. H. Columbine. The upper room in what is now Mr. L. Lindley's printing office in Parliament Street was then requisitioned for the purpose. The ground floor was utilised at one time as a smithy by the late Mr. George Biasdale, and the upper room was reached by a flight of steps from the outside. About the period of 1875, the latter was also used as a school, which was attended by many men who are living in the town, to-day. The instructor was the late Mr. Tom Dove, who had only one arm, and who was also at the same time the only postman in the town. The building, which stands on a portion of what was formerly known as "Thorney Croft," was put in its present state by Mr. J. H. Branston in 1881. The early secretaries of the Library were Messrs. W. J. Kirk and M. Lawrence (now a pensioned postman), and at one period the late Rev. T. B. Adin officiated as Librarian. The late Messrs. W. Parker and W. Hollis were also ardent supporters of the institute. On the Highway Board taking up its headquarters at the old Parochial Offices in the Market Place, attached to now what is the Union of London and Smiths' Bank, Ltd., the Library transferred its rendezvous to those offices, where they bad two upper rooms at their command. "Recreation" was also included in the tenets of the Library, for each year under its auspices a flower show and fete and gala were held on the Old Lawn Ground—a festival which was taken in hand and carried on with great success for a number of years by another society on the occasion when the Library found it necessary to close its doors. Would not our inhabitants of 60 years or so ago have been delighted with our present Library building in Forest Street, though this even is not one of the most imposing and attractive structures?


With the introduction of the Great Northern Railway into the town in 1898, disappeared a unique entrance leading into the above familiar Croft, situate adjacent to the Public Free Library. On the site where now is the residence of Mr. M. Heathcote, formerly stood a low lime-washed farmstead, with thatched roof, wherein dwelt Mr. Clifton, in the employ of Mr. James Gelsthorpe, farmer, who was in possession of the farm with land at the rear. A footpath, off Forest Street, through the farmyard, led pedestrians into the Bull Field district, but to reach the Croft a climb had frequently to be made through a small doorway which opened out from a ponderous wooden door, this task not always being accomplished without experiencing some difficulty. The Croft was commonly known as "Gelly's Croft," and the footpath leading into which was deviated on the railway line above-mentioned passing through at the period stated. The entrance leading to the original footpath is now to be found opposite the Midland Railway (Town) Station. "Sunny Side," the name given to Mr.  Heathcote's residence, was built in 1901.


Approximately, there are 34 Adult Friendly Societies in the parish, with an aggregate Membership of upwards of 2,500. Bro. A. H. Bonser, J.P., of Forest Lodge, has been the representative of the various Societies on the Mansfield Board of Guardians since 1887. There is also a lodge of Freemasons in the town named "Ashfield," No. 2,412, as well as several other kindred societies.