Thoroton adds here that, from the last foregoing, it appears probable, at least, that in those days they were not more precise in the date of their deeds, in reference either to time or place of sealing, than they are now (i.e., in Thoroton’s time). Four years later, in 1347, the 21st of Edward III., another Deed of gift was executed at Gryseley on the 20th of October, to which the names of the same former witnesses were appended, except that the Bishop of Durham then was not Thomas but Richard, who had succeeded him, and also John instead of Thomas of Lincoln, and the only other difference is that the signature of William Grey of Sandiacre is wanting. By this second Deed of gift it is written that :— Nicholas de Canteloupe, his son and heir, William, having by his instant application obtained licence of the King for twenty pound per annum of Land and Rents in the Towns of Gresly, Seleston, Watnowe, Kynmarly and Newthorpe, to be given to the said Prior and Convent and their successors, did for the same reasons, and as before is expressed, give five messuages, one mill, and forty acres of land, with the appurtenances in Gresley and Watnowe, and all his demesne of the said Town of Selleston, and a great company of villains, with the messuages and bovats of land, which they held in Watnowe, with all their cattles, suits and sequels, and sixteen shillings and sixpence yearly rent out of the land which Thomas Gratton held of him in Selleston, and as much out of the Lands and Tenements which Ioane, who has been the wife of William le Cressy, held in the same Town, and divers small rents in Greseley, and the Reversions of twenty-one acres which Thomas le Purchaceour held of him for life in Watnow, and a messuage and six acres of land on the north side of the Castle in Greseley, which William de Beaurepayr held for life, and another of five acres and one rood of land, which William de Worthington and Agnes his wife held for life, on the north side of the Castle also, &c., &c.

But besides the foregoing, the Priory of Beauvale had other gifts granted to it, as in King Richard II.’s time, who granted licence to Elizabeth, who had been the wife of Sir Brian Stapleton, the younger, Knight, and to William de Rither Chr. and Sibyll his wife, to give to the Prior and Convent of Beauvale, each of them forty shillings a-year, out of their respective moieties of the Manors of Kirkby Orblawers and Kereby, for two monks, more especially to celebrate in the Church of Beauvale for the souls of William de Aldburgh, his son and heir (brother of the said Elizabeth and Sibyll) and Margery his wife, and of Edward Balliol Chr., which they did accordingly, and William Rither and Sibyll his wife (Mich. 18th Richard II.) levied a fine; which rents after some time of intermission of payment, William de Rither, Knight, his son, and Robert de Rither, Knight, his son and heir, restored to Thomas Metheley, the Prior, and his successors, for forgiving them all the arrears, except forty shillings of silver, which they were to satisfy to the Noble and Revd. Guy Fairfax, which he had paid to the said Prior and Convent, for which the said William and Sibyll, and William and Robert, their wives and children in their lives, and after their deaths, were to have full participation in all the Masses, Prayers, Psalms, Watchings, Disciplines, Fastings, Alms, and other spiritual exercises of the said house of Beauvale.

Again, William de Aldburgh, Chr. for the soul of his lord, Edward de Balliol, King of Scotland, and Elizabeth his wife, and that himself might be as one of the founders, and the King of Scotland as a principal benefactor, in the participation of the spiritual benefits of that house, with some others also of his next kindred, did by his Deed, bearing date at Willey Haye the 10th February, 1362, in the 37th year of Edward III., give and confirmed the same Haye of Willey to the said Prior and Convent of Beauvale, which he had of Sir Thomas Metham, Knight, heir to his great grandfather Adam, son of Adam Harnelton, to whom King Edward the First granted it in the 9th year of his reign, reserving ten pounds per annum rent, to be paid yearly into the Exchequer, which said Fee Farm rent of £10 King Edward III., 11th January in the 32nd year of his reign, granted to his beloved servant John Attewode for term of his life, and the reversion of it, 26th May in the 37th year of his reign, to his beloved cousin Edward de Balliol, King of Scotland, and William de Aldburgh, Chr., with license likewise for them to give to the Priory, which they did the same year, having obtained of John Attewode the possession also, so that the said Edward Balliol, King of Scotland, might from thenceforward likewise enjoy all the benefits of the house, as one of the founders.

The next benefaction which came to the Priory was by John de Gaunt, who granted license to Sir William de Finchenden, Knight, Richard de Ravensor, Archdeacon of Lincoln, Mr. Nicholas de Chaddesden, Richard de Chesterfield, and Richard de Tissington, Clark, to give the Manor of Etwelle in Derbyshire to this Priory, to pray for him while he lived, and for his soul, and the soul of his wife Blanch when dead, which John de Ryboef also released to the Prior and Convent of Beauvale.

The Priory must also have had some benefits from Lord John Grey of Codnor, either directly, or that he may have been the overlord of some benefactors, because Madox in his Formul. Angl. gives an account of the Priors of Beauvale having done homage to that nobleman.

Lastly, John, Duke of Lancaster, granted the Priory a tun of Gascoign wine yearly while he lived, which from the strict frugality of the life of the Carthusians may have been bestowed on them to assist them in their possible hospitalities, or for use in their infirmary.

From observing the names occurring in Nicholas de Canteloupe’s foundation Charter of the Priory it appears to us that the writer of the Ilkeston history must be mistaken in his conjecture that the “Cressy” of Selston had his name bestowed on him by the villagers, owing to his having been with de Canteloupe in the Battle of Cressy. It seems, on the contrary, that three of the de Cressy’s were the three first Rectors of Greasley, tempus Henry III. and Edward I., and that they came from a family of position, whose pedigree is given in Tlirosby’s Thoroton, vol. iii. pp.416—419. Again, William de Cressy’s name (a knight) is met with as early as in the sixth year of Edward I., and William, son of Roger de Cressy, in the thirteenth of Edward II. So also William de Cressy, and Johan his wife (Patents), as appears from a fine in he 34th year of Edward I., held at Selston, with William de Gratton and Isabel his wife (Tenants), a moiety each of a considerable property, consisting together of two messuages, two carucates, 37 bovats of land, 20 acres meadow, 6 cottages, 2 watermills, 8 acres of wood, and 40 shillings rent, with the appurtenances. The Cressy’s of Selston, therefore, so far from deriving their name from the Battle of Cressy, held considerable property in that township, as well as in Wandesley, as early as in Edward I.’s reign, or some 40 years before the Battle of Cressy was fought. They were probably descendants from Roger de Cressy, Lord of Hodsac, and, as coming from a younger branch of that family had settled in Selston. But enough of this digression.

We cannot but judge that the founder of Beauvale Priory, while a trusted servant of his royal master, and a brave and distinguished soldier, was a man of generous disposition and of a strong religious bent of mind. It matters not that Protestant England cannot view with approval a Christian man’s expectation of salvation in return for so much material outlay ; we are all the same entitled to acknowledge that men of the de Canteloupe’s stamp were at least acting up to what they believed would advance the spiritual interests of others and of themselves, and advance the spread and progress of religion, such as they had been brought up in. Granted, that aside from their benefactions to religious houses, &c., the dependants of the Barons of de Canteloupe’s time were held as slaves in all but the name of it, and that the territorial lords passed them on with their estates from one to another, together with all they had, or could yet possess, with even what should be born of them like so much chattel, what then?

It was a cruel and bitter condition of life, but we are not entitled to judge that long bygone past by the measure of the light and freedom of our days. The same mode of life and being of the people was the same everywhere throughout the land. They had grown up with it and knew no other, and possibly they may have felt even happy in a way, which we cannot now understand, but can we understand either the great (?) happiness of the working classes and their well-being of, say only 60 to so years ago? There are still people of that generation (though very few in number) living, who tell us what it was, and what must it have been ere then? The Barons, moreover, will have found it in their interest to shew kindness to their people perhaps, but it will naturally have been of the type of kindness which was current in their coarse days, and which, from the very condition in which they themselves were placed, were the only ones which they knew how to bestow. The whole mode of life in the country, from the crude, uniform, and not unfrequently scanty fare of the menial and villain, to probably even of the Baron’s own household, to whom many or most of the comforts of the meanest labourer of our time were a thing undreamt of, were consistent with the kind of camp life which they lived. The feudal system of the Conquest had imposed it on the nation with a strictness and severity which, with the but crude system of agriculture and pastoral pursuits, together with the insanitary condition of the country, left the latter long undeveloped and the nation in abject subjection. But the root of the crying evil lay deeper than all that. The mode and system of education were utterly wrong. The Church had not done her duty. All Europe was suffering from the same evil. The key of knowledge was withheld. Ignorance and bondage, dependent on one another, stalked the world together, and were so held together from lust of dominion. The nobles themselves had been taught no better than they did. Had it been otherwise, their generous spirit might have responded to a higher and purer tuition, as they had done to what they knew. The very priesthood was indifferently instructed. Thought’s wings had no room given them to expand, and all expressions of them were stifled. We cannot blame, but we feel for the sufferers. How many in that unreflecting age rested themselves honestly on what had been impressed and imposed on them, and how many others honestly believed that they served God meritoriously in seeking refuge from the world in monastic institutions. With the Carthusians in special that certainly must have been the case, for so far from their rules and mode of life having been attractive and inviting, they were forbidding; and whosoever sought their houses for a deeper devotion, and as they believed for higher service to God, must have felt persuaded in their mind, that they gave themselves up to greater holiness here with a title to superior blessedness hereafter. The fault was not theirs, but lay at the door of the tuition which they had received. But enough of that. The Priory of Beauvale was founded. The Rectory of Greasley frommi that day became a Vicarage, and with that day too, the people of Greasley belonged nolens volens to new masters. We must for the present stop here. The continuation of Greasley and Beauvale belong to other chapters, and will be taken up when we deal with the Parish Church of Greasley, and with the hamlet of Beauvale.