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Chapter I: Introduction
Chapter II: Occupation and Mobility in Elizabethan Norton: the General Picture
Chapter III: Riches and Poverty: Occupation, Status & Standard of Living in Elizabethan Norton
Chapter IV: The Parish Registers and Social Patterns
Chapter V: An Unfinished Journey


Chapter I: Introduction

  1. Sharpe, J.A. Early Modern England: A Social History 1550-1760 (London, 1987) p. 36
  2. Simpson, L.L. (ed) The Parish Registers of St. James' Church, Norton, 1559-1812 (Derby, 1908, 2 vols.)
  3. Throughout this study, all dates have been recorded in their "modernised" form - that is, with the new year starting on 1st January, not 1st April. So, for instance, an entry given in the registers in accordance with the old calendar as February 1580, is entered in the databases as February 1581. Without doing this it would obviously be far more problematic to use the computer for sorting records in date order.
  4. Wrigley, E.A. (ed) Identifying People in the Past (London, 1973)
  5. Photocopies of all the wills and inventories from Norton parish which were proved at Lichfield are available at the Archives Department of Sheffield City Libraries, together with alphabetical and date indexes compiled under the auspices of South Yorkshire County Council before its demise.

Chapter II: Occupation and Mobility in Elizabethan Norton: the General Picture

  1. Laslett, Peter Family Life & Illicit Love in Earlier Generations (Cambridge, 1977), p. 34

Chapter III: Riches and Poverty: Occupation, Status & Standard of Living in Elizabethan Norton

  1. Walton, Mary & Meredith, Rosamond Beauchief Abbey Past and Present (Sheffield City Libraries, 2nd ed, 1975)
  2. Bostwick, D. Sheffield in Tudor and Stuart Times (Sheffield City Museums, 1895), p.28
  3. Members of this family were almost invariably entered in the registers under the surname of Urton als Steven - in the databases, and in the text, they have been entered/described simply as "Urton". An error should be noted in the indexes to the Norton wills and inventories at Sheffield Archives Dept. - members of this family have been entered twice, once under Urton and once under Steven, thus producing an inaccurate total count of wills and inventories.
  4. This branch of the Blythe family is discussed in some detail in Hey, David The Rural Metalworkers of the Sheffield Region (Leicester, 1972) p. 24-5.
  5. See footnote 1 of Chapter IV.
  6. Dating of scythe production at Moscar Wheel from Crossley, D. (ed) Water Power on the Sheffield Rivers (Sheffield, 1989), p. 101. This source gives the earliest register entry for Cliffield Wheel as 1603 in the burials registers, but it is in fact recorded in 1583 in the baptisms registers. I also think that the site suggested by David Crossley and his team for Cliffield Wheel is incorrect - see relevant footnotes to Chapter IV.
  7. Will of John Parker of Lees Hall, proved at Lichfield 1615/16. Document N80 in Sheffield City Archives copies.
  8. ? scythefinishing - ref missing
  9. Hey, D. The Rural Metalworkers of the Sheffield Region gives a valuable account of a "dual occupation" amongst local metalworkers.
  10. A list of wills relating to Beauchief, Dore, Norton and Totley proved at Canterbury, taken from the Index Society Publications, appended to the index to local Derbyshire wills and inventories in Sheffield Archives Dept.
  11. Hey, D. Rural Metalworkers, p. 23.
  12. Reynolds, John Windmills & Watermills (London 1970), p. 164. Crossley, D. & Ashurst, D. Excavations at Rockley Smithies, a Water-powered Bloomery of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Post-Medieval Archaeology, 2 .
  13. Thompson, E.P. The Making of the English Working Class (Harmondsworth, 1963) p. 286; Lloyd, G.H. The Cutlery Trades: An Essay in the Economics of Small-Scale Production (1913, repr. 1968); Garlick, P.C. The Sheffield Cutlery & Allied Trades and their Markets (M.A., Sheffield Univ., 1951); Wheat Collection 1182-1184, Sheffield City Archives.
  14. Jackson Collection 479, Indenture of Grant and Lease, 1608/9, Sheffield City Archives; Hall, T.W. A descriptive catalogue of miscellaneous charters .. with abstracts of wills (Sheffield 1916), p. 86.
  15. Jackson Coll 479, 647.
  16. Armstrong, Lyn Woodcolliers and Charcoal Burning (Horsham, 1978).
  17. Jackson Coll 479, 647.
  18. Leonard Norris was the only man with this surname to appear in the registers, which makes it more unlikely that there were two with the same name; and in 1589 Beatrice, daughter of Leonard Norris, woodman of Himsworth was brought to be baptised: when John Parker drew up his will, she would have been 18.

Chapter IV: The Parish Registers and Social Patterns

  1. Eversley, D., Laslett, P. & Wrigley, E. An Introduction to English Historical Demography (London 1966).
  2. Ibid, p. 5.
  3. This involves taking the average for 1560-64, 1561-65, 1562-66 etc., as the basis for plotting a graph.
  4. It may be worth connecting this to the relationship between labourers and husbandmen as occupational groups - see Everitt, Alan, Farm Labourers, in Thirsk, J., ed Agricultural History of England & Wales Vol. IV (Cambridge 1967); and Chapter II above.
  5. Eversley et al, Ibid, p. 54.
  6. See below, p. 71.
  7. Stone, L. The Family, Sex and Marriage in England 1500-1800 p. 54.
  8. McLaren, D. Marital Fertility & Lactation 1570-1720 in Prior, M., ed Women in English Society 1500-1800(Cambridge, 1985).
  9. See in particular Emmison, F.G. Elizabethan Life: Morals and the Church Courts (Chelmsford, 1973)
  10. See above, p. 10
  11. See above, p. 46.
  12. Laslett, P. Family Love & Illicit Love in Earlier Generations (Cambridge 1977), p. 130ff.
  13. Emmison, F.G. Op Cit, p. 2-3.
  14. Harrison, J.F.C. The Common People (London 1984) p. 151.
  15. Hey, David Family History & Local History in England (Harlow, 1987), p. 73.
  16. Stone, Lawrence op cit, p. 48.
  17. See above, p. 54.
  18. See Oxley, G.W. Poor Relief in England and Wales, 1601-1834 (1974); Webb, B. & S. English Local Government: English Poor Law History, Part I: the Old Poor Law (London 1927).
  19. Stone, Lawrence op cit, p. 55.
  20. See Parker, R. The Common Stream, p.136 for an example of the difficulties over burial in a household ravaged by plague.

Chapter V: An Unfinished Journey

  1. For Blythe Wheel on the Meersbrook see Crossley, D. (ed), Water Power on the Sheffield Rivers (Sheffield, 1989); references in the Norton parish registers are actually scattered between 1723 and 1775, not just 1739 and 1740 as stated there.
  2. Yorks Arhaeological Society, List of Wills in the York Registry, Vol 26, 1603-11. Hall, T.W., Descriptive Catalogue of Sheffield Manorial Records, Vol. 2, p. 80.
  3. For a discussion of inheritance customs see Goody, J., Thirsk, J. & Thompson, E.P. Family & Inheritance: Rural Society in Western Europe (Cambridge, 1976)
  4. "House" was the usual name for the main living room of a home.
  5. Hunter, Joseph Hallamshire (1875 ed) p. 404.
  6. Ernest Chapman of Gleadless Road, now (1990) in his 90s and a stalwart of the Heeley Local History Group, was a cutlery grinder for all of his life, as were his father and grandfather before him: his grandparents lived in a cottage on Heeley Green, and to his knowledge his family has always lived in Heeley.
  7. Jackson Collection 647, 482, 716; MD 137, Hobson Collection 50, 51, Will of John Parker of Norton Lees, 1615; Sheffield City Archives.
  8. This is the location which makes most sense of the Jackson Collection documents (indentures of sale between John Parker and John Bullocke dated 1608/9; and between Francis Parker & Humphrey Cardinall, dated 1617.)
  9. Hall, T.W. op cit, p. 139.
  10. Milward, R. A Glossary of Household, Farming and Trade Terms from Probate Inventories. (Chesterfield, 1982 edn.), p. 37.
  11. In 1688 Gregory King estimated that the average annual income of labourers, cottagers and paupers was less than 3-3s-0d per head: Hill, C. Reformation to Industrial Revolution (Harmondsworth, 1969), p. 248.
  12. Hall, T.W. A Catalogue of the Ancient Charters belonging to the Twelve Capital Burgesses, p. 101.
  13. See above, p. 18-19.
  14. A careful reading of an indenture in the Hobson Collection dated 1608, together with the Jackson Collection documents cited above, indicates that the "certeyne groundes called Cliff Fieldes" stretched almost as far as Heeley Mill. It is difficult to locate oneself in these documents unless it is remembered that the whole length of the Sheffield-Derby road right from Heeley to Norton was then known as Derbyshire Lane. The road now known as Derbyshire Lane stretches from Woodseats to Four-Lane Ends, along a route which was not taken by the earlier Derbyshire Lane. Fairbanks' map of Sheffield Parish (although it is largely blank on the Norton side of the parish boundary) shows both the old and the new route of Derbyshire Lane: the old Derbyshire Lane turned up by Meersbrook House from Heeley. (Hobson Collection HC50, Sheffield City Archives.)
  15. MD 3053, Sheffield City Archives: Indenture dated 24th August 1636 between Robert Garlicke the Elder of Heeley, scythegrinder ... [and others].
  16. At Dorothy Vessey's burial her address was given as Garlick Wheel; between 1680 and 1704. a wheel known as "Vessey Wheel" appears in the registers.


  1. Hey, David Rural Metalworkers ...; Walton, Mary A History of the Parish of Sharrow, p. 35.
  2. Laslett, P. The World We Have Lost (London, 1965), Ch. 2.

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