D4 – Ashford Marble Works

Black marble isn’t really a marble but a grey limestone from the top of the Peak District Carboniferous limestone dome where it has been coloured by bitumen- type material from the (formerly) overlying shale. It was mined and quarried near Ashford –in- the- Water, two miles from Bakewell and made into fireplaces, memorials, etc and inlaid ornaments. On polishing it is black. It was inlaid with a variety of materials (displayed in Bakewell Old House Museum), mostly to give floral patterns, in a number of workshops in Bakewell, Ashford and Matlock. Being black, it was particularly popular in late Victorian times but the craft died out soon after Queen Victoria’s death and the reaction in taste.

Black marble was used for a fireplace in Hardwick Hall dating from c. 1590 and floor tiles in Chatsworth House a century later. In 1748, Henry Watson, grandson of Samuel Watson who did much of the carving at Chatsworth, set up a water-powered marble mill at Ashford (and patented it). It was followed by other mills, including one in Bakewell. That was worked by John Lomas who won medals at the 1851 Great Exhibition.

Bakewell Old House Museum also displays a rarity, a geological section made with the actual rocks in a black marble setting. These sections were uniquely made by White Watson, Henry’s nephew, who lived in Bakewell and was one of the group of early geologists who elucidated stratigraphy. He also made a number of black marble memorials seen in local churches.

Here are a few articles about the Marble Works:

John Lomas and the Black Marble Works in Bakewell - By Stephen Briggs and Andy Brigg - (pdf)

The Black Marble Mines of Ashford-in-the-Water - Trevor D Ford (1964) - (pdf - 5Mb)

The Ashford Marble Works and Cavendish Patronage 1748-1905 - Trevor Brighton (1995) - (pdf - 2.5Mb)


[1]

D2 – White Watson – Bath Gardens – Stetka and Strange

Jan Stetka on Bath Gardens - pdf copy

In the 18th century, the area which is the bowling green today consisted of crofts.  They were arranged E-W and had a combined area more than twice that of the bowling green today,  However none of these crofts belonged to Watson. They belonged to the houses/shops on Bridge St to the East. The terrier shows No.176 belonged to Daniel Pheasey and No.173 to Benjamin Wildgoose. It may be that White Watson learnt botany from these crofts. The warm stream leaving Bath House would flow SSE to the Water Street area.  It could have promoted the growth of many crops in the crofts. However it is more likely that White Watson’s ‘Botanical Garden’ was the small garden attached to No.155: A house, yard and garden (at) the Baths.

1969 Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map of Bakewell town -This shows Bath House as a Club.  The Bowling Green is shown explicitly.  But White Watson’s Botanical Gardens were probably at Bath House rather than in the area of Bath Gardens.

1898 Ordnance Survey 6 inch map of Bakewell - This is typical of the late 19th century maps of Bakewell.  They show that the eastern half of the 18th century crofts have been built upon and the western half of the crofts have been cleared to form a communal recreation space.  It was probably used by Bakewell’s main school, shaded black.  The space is called Bath Gardens on the 1888 map, which shows trees along the paths of the garden.  None of the 19th century maps explicitly label a bowling green.

The 20th century is represented by the OS map and aerial photograph.  It shows a division where the bowling green is today to the north.  There are fewer flower beds than at present.  Perhaps the area grew vegetables during the war?  The close-up shows a shelter to the south of the present bowling pavilion. This is similar to that at Bath House.

Bath Gardens Survey - Patrick Strange

Archaeologists’ Attempt to find evidence of White Watson’s Botanical Garden below Bakewell’s Bath Gardens

White Watson was an eminent geologist, stone sculptor, botanist and antiquary who lived in Bakewell’s Bath House during the Georgian period.  There he had a museum, sold geological samples, worked stone and offered bathing in warm spring water to visitors to Bakewell.  He had a botanical garden around the house according to his diary, presumably on the site of today’s Bath gardens.  Whist a 20th century painting of such a garden exists, it is not known whether the Artist’s composition is fanciful or based on a contemporary record unknown to us today.

Patrick Strange, professional archaeologist and a member of our Society, lives opposite Bath House.  He had the idea of a geophysical survey to check whether a magnetometer can detect any evidence of the structure of part of White Watson’s Botanical garden beneath the bowling green in Bath Gardens.  Patrick obtained a grant from Derbyshire Archaeological Society (DAS) to pay Bakewell’s Archaeological Research Services (ARS) to conduct the survey.  ARS will produce a map of any underlying structure detected and interpret the results.  Patrick will prepare a report for DAS and us.  The date and time of the survey was announced at our last meeting and four of us were there.  The survey started on time on a fine day.

The magnetometer operator is holding a white ‘H’ shaped sensor rather like an old fashioned television aerial.  This is able to sense the strength of the earth’s magnetic field, which will be modified by the presence of any hard structures below, as the operator walks up and down along non-magnetic measuring tapes.   It is connected to digital recording gear which records the field strength and location at metre intervals across the area of the bowling green.  No readings were taken within two metres of the wooden boundary as this had large iron nails and metal plates.  Also the gardener who was working with a large metal spade agreed to tend a different flower bed for the few hours of the survey.  Even visitors agreed to sit further away in case they had metal such as camera cases.    

...........................................................................................................................................

Prior to the geophysical survey I had to measure out the area of the GREEN itself. Although not quite a rectangle,

the area of grass is 44yds by 26yds (at north) a perimeter of roughly 140 yds. It is obvious that WW was including the whole of the area which includes also the gardens towards Rutland Square in his perimeter of 268 yds. This looks to be about right. Remember the southern boundary of the Gardens has been reduced.

Attached is a copy of the 1799 map which together with the schedule clearly states that the curtilage of Bath House includes the Parcel of land to the east of the building No.  126.

Patrick Strange

D2 – White Watson – Bath House – Challenger 2005

It is understood that the Bath House in Bakewell is changing hands and this is an opportune time to remind ourselves of one of the most important buildings in the history of the town. Its importance lies in several ways. Jan Stetka has shown that the town’s early importance owed much to its agricultural strength resulting from water meadows irrigated by warm spring water. They allowed enough oxen to be kept to plough the large arable area. (From Fort to Field, 2001) The warm bath was an asset to the town, though it never developed as a spa to rival Buxton’s. Bakewell’s most famous person, White Watson, lived much of his life in the Bath House. It was a focus for social and cultural life, and his diaries, kept from 1780 to 1833, throw much light on Bakewell’s life.

In Bulletin No. 2 of the Society of July 1971 (forerunner of the Journal) Dick Allcock wrote the following notes about the Bath House, partly culled from White Watson’s writings (with my comments in brackets).

The five warm springs in Bakewell were:

  1. In Swain’s Yard (now Midco), now covered.
  2. Bath Spring- probably known to the Romans.
  3. Under RDC Offices (council offices in Bath Street) –covered 1890s
  4. At Peat Hill- Peat Well or Holywell.
  5. Bullwell in plantation near Sewage Pumping Station (near Meaden Bridge).

‘In 1637 Haddon paid £15.13.4 for making a well to the bath in Bakewell. The Bath Spring remained uncovered until 1697. White Watson, who lived at the Bath House from the 1770s to 1830, recorded that a large Bath House was erected over the tepid chalybeate spring in 1697.

‘The bath was much used until 1767 (when Buxton’s modern baths came into vogue), then became sadly neglected. Then the bath was covered with a board floor supported on sandstone pillars. Dwelling apartments were constructed on this floor.

‘In 1807 Mrs Pidcock had rooms in White Watson’s house for her Young Ladies’ Day School, giving instruction in reading, grammar, writing and needlework, charging 10/6 a quarter.

‘In 1817 the bath was restored and two shower baths and a pump installed as part of the effort to establish a Bakewell spa. Competing with Buxton, it was a limited success only. During the restoration, a cold spring was discovered under the bath steps and had to be diverted. White Watson also records ‘From the warm spring (with Cupid watching o’er) a streamlet takes the overflow through the Botanical Garden’ (now Bath Gardens). In dry weather grass circles, etc. on the bowing green locate some of his botanical garden beds. Cupid dominated the tufa backing to the outside wall and probably disappeared shortly after the First World War. (Watson re-roofed the grotto in Bath Gardens, against the back wall of Devonshire Chambers, in1826.)

‘In 1848 the Bakewell and High Peak Institute was established in part of the building- the rest was occupied by the caretaker- to be followed by the Conservative Club.

‘In 1900, 1903, 1905, 1907, the Urban District Council considered the provision of public baths; firstly, open bath by the river; secondly, covered bath by Peat Well; and thirdly, covered bath by the Bath House. In 1909 it was decided to bore for the spring below the perforated stone flooring of the old bath. This and other borings proved unsuccessful and future bath schemes came to nought when the townsfolk studied the annual cost of upkeep.

‘In 1921 the property was purchased by the Urban District Council and since 1946 has been occupied by the British Legion.

‘Use of the bath by the public, even from the surrounding villages, continued until the late 1930s. The cutting of a deep sewage trench along Bath Street about 1937 affected both the quality and the flow of the old spring water as is the situation today. However during the war period the Scouts were able to use the bath for swimming instruction.

‘After the cessation of Scout use the old dungeon-like bath had a variety of uses, ranging from storeroom to mushroom farm. Today the sluice gate is kept open to drain away rising water whose volume now depends on the water bed (water table).’

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Several papers have been written about White Watson (1760 to 1835). I particularly draw on Ted Meeke’s substantial unpublished four volumes of 1997 which incorporates previous knowledge and have a great deal of source material including Watson’s writings. See also his article in the Journal for 1994 and mine of 1981. [The appendix (added later) is notes made by meeke which have relevance to the Bath House and grounds.]

On page 85 of Ted Meeke’s ‘ White Watson: Bakewell’s Only Famous Man’ is the following

                                    ‘BATH HOUSE

‘There was a hot spring at Bakewell and there probably there still is but it has vanished into the new sewerage system. Certainly Swain’s plaster store  is reputed never to freeze and the late RWP Cockerton stated that a workman had told him that, when working on the school in Bath Street, he was standing in warm water.

‘Local legend has it that the warm spring was used by the Romans as a bath but there is no evidence of this. For 1500 years after the Romans left bathing was a great rarity amongst the English and it was not until the end of the 17th century that the medicinal value of bathing become accepted. The Duke of Rutland erected the Bath House, probably for his own use, in 1697. Watson became the tenant just before the beginning of the 19th century and ran the concern. His uncle and aunt had been the previous tenants. Whether the bath was in use is not recorded.

‘THE BATHS

In 1812 mechanics and servants could bathe only after 6 pm. No public baths only private ones. Fee 1/- for a fixed time. Watson’s cash book records no receipts for bathing until 1817 after a refurbishment by the Duke. Mrs Watson had a complete assortment of linen and dresses for the bathers. Silk bathing caps were supplied, having been obtained from Derby at 2/6 each. There were private baths and two shower baths. Hot and cold. Operated by a pump. After Watson’s death the Duke made further improvements in 1837.

                                    ‘BATH CURES

1798  He records of himself “23rd July bathed three times”.

1817  “George Hanby of Bolsover recommended by Mr Firth, surgeon. Hepatic and nephritic disease restored to his wife and nine children. June 29th. Began to bathe every morning until 12th July and drank the water. When he went home on foot cured attested to by Mr Firth to Mr White Watson who also saw him in good health in 1823.”

  1.   “Miss Shaw, Sheffield, for weakness and fever. Bathed a month and drank the water. Recovered.”
  2.   “Richard Swinnerton of Linby recommended by Mr Gilberthorpe, surgeon, Arnold. Bathed and drank the water for a nervous complaint. Went away July 24th well.”

1920 “Mr Skidmore of Sheffield came in a very relaxed state. Drank water for a month then went home well.”

“Many have found the benefit in weakness and it generally allowed to create appitite.” ‘

                        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------            

In 1742 White’s father Samuel (son of the famous carver at Chatsworth) and uncle Henry Watson rented the Bath House from the Duke of Rutland. Henry moved to Ashford in 1751, having developed water-powered marble machinery there. (Trevor Brighton’s article ‘The Ashford Marble Works and Cavendish Patronage, 1748-1905’.  Bulletin of the Peak District Mines Historical Society. Vol 12 No. 6. Winter 1995.) Samuel may have stayed at the Bath House for a while, though later lived in Edensor, Whitely Woods (where White was born) and Baslow (from where White attended Sheffield Grammar School as a boarder in 1773 and later worked at Chatsworth). His first marriage in 1749 ended soon with his wife’s death. He was married a second time, to Deborah Barker, widow of George Barker the Duke of Devonshire’s steward. Her maiden name was White, accounting for the unusual Christian name of their second son. His mother died in 1765 and his father in 1775.

By 1774 Henry Watson had sold the Ashford Marble Works and he then came to live at the Bath House and had a mason’s workshop on the hill. White moved in with him in that year, having earlier helped him at Ashford during school holidays where his interest in geology presumably developed. 

White was influenced by John Whitehurst of Derby (11713-1788) who made a study of the strata of Derbyshire and in 1785 published ‘An Inquiry into the Original State and Formation of the Earth’. Whitehurst established the fundamental law of stratigraphy, the branch of  geology which deals with the nature and order in which rocks are laid down (Stanley- see below). White’s national importance was in building on that insight, culminating in his publication of ‘A Delineation of the Strata of Derbyshire’ in 1811 and the production of many geological cross sections using the actual rocks. One of these sections is displayed in the Old House Museum and several are in Derby Museum. A Derby Museum Publication accompanying an exhibition ‘200 years of Derbyshire Geology’ at Derby Museum in 19   , by M F Stanley, discusses the importance of Watson as a geologist along with Whitehurst, William Martin, John Farey and William Smith the ‘Father of English Geology’. He describes as ‘the heroic age of geology’ as starting in 1773 when Watson probably began collecting fossils.

Trevor Brighton (op. cit.) describes White Watson as a polymath. ‘Like his uncle and grandfather before him he was a monumental mason and carver, but was also an antiquarian, museologist, silhouette artist, writer, gardener and plantsman. His botanical and horticultural pursuits earned him election as a fellow of the Linnaean Society. At the Duke of Rutland’s Bath House, where he lived in Bakewell, he not only revitalised the town’s bathing facilities, but laid out the Bath grounds in an attempt to establish a botanical garden.

‘Within his house he had created, by his death in 1835, a museum of geology, natural history and archaeology that predated that of William Bateman of Lomberdale Hall and was celebrated beyond the Peak. Minerals and fossils, first collected by his uncle Henry, were the principal exhibits of this collection which Glover described in 1833.’

Watson corresponded with notable people, such as Sir Joseph Banks, Dr Samuel Pegg, John Sneyd,  and Sir Joseph Paxton and no doubt many of them visited the Bath House. One commented that his conversational powers made him a welcome guest. Watson taught Cavendish children and was invited to the Duke of Devonshire’s birthday dinner in 1808.

Watson was probably the author who cloaked his identity under the nom de plume ‘a gentleman of Bakewell’ for this saucy poem about covering the bath when the Bath House was built over it. It is a handwritten addition to Watson’s copy of ‘The Strata of Derbyshire’ in Derby Library. He wrote other poems, including on geological subjects.

There erst from illness or perchance from whims,

Our Peakrill ladies lav’d their tender limbs,

No screen to keep them from the prying eye,

Nor any covering save the ample sky;

For here by modesty alone arrayed,

Of shame unconscious they their frames displayed;

But when refinement deemed it was unchased,

In public thus to come and wash the waist,

A mansion rose, where midst ear piercing gabble,

Their snowy frames they unobserved might dabble.

APPENDIX [added later])

Notes made by Meeke from Watson's diaries which refer to the Bath House and garden.

Meeke pageYear Description
3621687 Large bath house erected over spring
3091742 Henry Watson came and spent a good deal on repairs to bath. In 1767 Charles Wild lined the walls.
3091742 p. 319  1742 father and uncle came to live at Bakewell Bath House, purchasing Mrs Thorp's stock; 1773 Henry W returned to B and lived in Mr Buxton's house up the hill; 1774 rented Bath House
3431743 Henry W. made vase in his house, the Bath House
3681751 Mr Henry Watson commenced business in Bakewell. He established the marble works in Ashford where he lived. In 1773 he returned to Bakewell. Where he carried on his marble works
1011780 Hannah Stone came to live with us as a servant
1101785 Had little house slated by R Sellors
1301790 Pipes for water closet
1321791 Well in cellar analysis
2141797 Chimney sweep 3 chimneys
2151797 Pitch for launder under roof
2201798 Rent Bakewell to D of R 2/10/0
3691798 Joseph Hunter 'saw Mr White Watson's excellent collection of the Derbyshire minerals, fossils. Etc. most of the modern monuments in the churchyards around Bakewell are products of his taste and ingenuity.' 
1331799 Filtering cistern runs 5 quarts and pint in 44 hours
2311801 Lock for outer kitchen door to street, latch for parlour door
1381802 Mr Robinson’s filtering cistern 8 galls/ 24 hours
1401803 Bought 300 bricks. Well in garden a foot below surface all summer
3671807 Mrs R Pidcock entered upon the rooms in my house to commence teaching a day school
2461809 Subscription to baths Wm. Milnes
2541814 Leading and glazing windows
3431814 Report on wells and springs of Bakewell with temperatures and minerals
3051815 Sough from bh to river cleaned when blocked and cellars flooded. On p.312 mention of plan of sough from bath well in Watson's cellar to Wye through Mr Carrington's croft. Wooden trunk through which water flows out of house into sough.
3621817 Duke of R. reopened. Characteristics of the water. 'Two showers of different powers have been added and a newsroom established in the premises.'
2591817 Newsroom fee. Mr Birch  £1/5/3 a quarter. many bath subs. £1
3071817 Sketch of grotto and basin in Bath garden
3281817 Cold spring diverted [in 1891 article on antiquity of Bath]
3431817 Advert for re-opening bath after repairs
1701818 details of the bath and a sketch of the dome- 20 ft wide x 17ft high, 33 ft long containing 15,000 gallons. Later another calculation: 30 ft 3” long, 16 ft wide, 362 superficial feet at 4 foot 1 inch deep holds 13,280 gallons.
2601818 Bought 2 bathing caps from Derby
1701819 Planted shrubs on new border against drying ground
1711819 Ladies dressing room and kitchen chimneys swept
1711819 June Put trout in rock basin (died December)
1721819 Enlarged rock basin
1721819 Planted  .. in new border next the street
1731819 Tufa 6 large cart loads
1741820 Planted border before 'necessary'
2641820 Several payments for grass mowing and in subsequent years
2651821 Painting shower bath
2661821 Bought tufa
3281822 Warm bath completed
2681823 6th share of soughing and gravelling road to back yard
2691824 Nicholas Broomhead for repairing bath pipes. Tube for top of bath room chimney
1821825 The committee of gentlemen deposited the Courier in the news room to my care ...
1861826 Water for hot bath 16 quarts cold 8 boiling
2751826 Slate for grotto
1871828 8 times walking up and down the straight walk in Bath Gardens is a mile and round the grounds six times and a half is a mile being 268 yards
2771828 Plaster, painter and other tradesmen
2811830 From Duke of R. for roofing grotto in gardens*
1921831 Diagram of bath sough
3281831 Shower bath holds 36 gallons. Cold spring found and diverted
3701890 Sale of WW specimens

BATH HOUSE IN GLOVER 1833 HISTORY &  GAZETTEER OF THE COUNTY OF DERBY

P 66     A large bath has been erected over one of the chalybeate springs...  It is elegant and commodious, and has been the resort of numerous visitors.       

The ancient bath …. is now in possession of the ingenious and intelligent Mr White Watson F L S, a gentleman highly distinguished for his geological researches and whose collection* of fossils has become the resort of many visitors from Matlock and Buxton.

* This rich and scientific collection merits particular attention. It is distributed into three classes.

1          The productions of Derbyshire only containing 1350 specimens of rock, ore, crystallisations, petrifactions. etc

2          Specimens of most of the known species of fossils, properly arranged and described after Werner.

3          Specimens of those minerals only which are employed in the arts and manufactures.

…  curious relics of antiquities (with examples)

P.67     A large bathing house was erected over the spring in1697. It has been rebuilt by the command of the Duke of Rutland. Two shower- baths of different powers have been added, and a news room has been established on the same premises.

D1 – Samuel Watson – 1662 – 1715

OXFORD DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY

Watson, Samuel (bap. 1662, d. 1715), sculptor, was born at Heanor in Derbyshire, the son of Ralph Watson (d. 1713), husbandman of Heanor, and his wife, Bridget Townsend (d. 1718); he was baptized there on 2 December 1662. Little is known of his early life until he was apprenticed to Charles Oakey, a carver of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. He probably worked under Oakey about 1683 as a woodcarver on the first duke of Beaufort's house at Badminton and is known to have worked under another London carver, Thomas Young, for the earl of Exeter at Burghley House, and briefly for George Vernan at Sudbury Hall. Grinling Gibbons, who also worked at Badminton, Burghley, and Sudbury, had a great influence on Watson's subsequent work.

The earl of Exeter passed on Young and Watson to his brother-in-law the fourth earl (first duke in 1694) of Devonshire, and they arrived at Chatsworth in 1690–91. In 1692 Watson became the principal carver there when, following a dispute over their wages, the earl dismissed his architect, John Talman, and most of the London and foreign craftsmen. He retained Watson until 1711, and the carver became an assistant to Sir Christopher Wren in his independent valuation of the work done by Talman's team. His outstanding carvings at Chatsworth, especially in the chapel, are in limewood, stone, alabaster, and marble and his skill was praised by his contemporary George Vertue who described him as ‘a most engenious artist’ (Walpole Society, 20, 1931–2). Watson also executed commissions for other clients, including vases for the gardens at Melbourne Hall and an unidentified monument for the duke of Newcastle.

Watson's work at Chatsworth has traditionally been attributed to Grinling Gibbons; this theory, first advanced by the earl of Egmont in 1744 and by Horace Walpole in 1760, is still current among contemporary commentators. The myth has prevailed despite the fact that many payments to Watson are recorded in the accounts at Chatsworth and his various preparatory drawings survive there. Among the latter are drawings by Watson of work by Gibbons, which have confused scholars; Gibbons himself was certainly never at Chatsworth.

Most prominent among Watson's works at Chatsworth are the famous limewood cravat and the portrait medallion in a glass case, first claimed as Gibbons's work by Horace Walpole. The medallion is of special interest, as it may well bear the only surviving likeness of the carver. Watson was married to Katherine Greensmith (c.1679–1739) of Pilsley, a Chatsworth estate village, and they retired to Heanor, where he died of a stroke; he was buried at Heanor on 31 March 1715. He left two sons, Henry (1714–1786), and the posthumous Samuel the younger (1715–1778). Both were trained as carvers, as too was Samuel the younger's son White Watson (1760–1835), who designed his grandfather's monument in Heanor church. Drawings by Watson are held in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, but the main collections of his designs are at Chatsworth, and the Derbyshire Record Office at Matlock.

Trevor Brighton

Sources  

S. Glover, The history and gazetteer of the county of Derby, ed. T. Noble, 2 (1833) · Chatsworth building accounts, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, Chatsworth MSS · Samuel Watson's accounts and drawings, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, Chatsworth MSS · Samuel Watson's drawings, Derbys. RO · parish registers, Heanor, Derbys. RO · Samuel Watson's will and inventory, Lichfield diocesan RO · D. Green, Grinling Gibbons (1964) · G. Beard, The work of Grinling Gibbons (1989) · Vertue, Note books, vol. 2 · G. Jackson-Stops, ‘Duke of creation’, Country Life, 188/14 (7 April 1994), 52–7 · R. Gunnis, Dictionary of British sculptors, 1660–1851 (1953); new edn (1968) · F. Thompson, Chatsworth (1949) · D. Esterly, Grinling Gibbons and the art of carving (1998) · T. Brighton, ‘Samuel Watson not Grinling Gibbons at Chatsworth’, Burlington Magazine, 140 (1998), 811–18 · T. Brighton, ‘A monument to Samuel Watson’, Journal of Bakewell and District Historical Society (Jan 1999)

Archives  

Bodl. Oxf., account and sketch book (with Henry Watson) · Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, Chatsworth MSS, accounts and drawings |  Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, Chatsworth MSS, Chatsworth building accounts

Likenesses  

medallion (S. Watson?), Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

Wealth at death  

£159, excl. his house and some lead on the docks at Bawtry: inventory, Lichfield Diocesan RO

© Oxford University Press 2004–8
All rights reserved: see legal notice
 
Trevor Brighton, ‘Watson, Samuel (bap. 1662, d. 1715)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/28864, accessed 3 Dec 2018 ] Samuel Watson (bap. 1662, d. 1715): doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/28864

D1 – White Watson – Bakewell and District Historical Society Journal Articles

BAKEWELL & DISTRICT HISTORICAL SOCIETY JOURNALS

ARTICLES ABOUT WATSON

BY TREVOR BRIGHTON

2001    The Watsons, Derbyshire's ingenious family of craftsmen

1997    Marble works at Ashford and Bakewell

1999    A monument to Samuel Watson 1662-1715   

1981    Silhouettes of artist White Watson

1983    Further silhouettes of White Watson

1884    White Watson's  memorabilia 

1083    White Watson's visit to Haddon Hall

1995    Tissington fireplace

BY TED MEEKE

1998    White Watson, archaeologist

1994    More about White Watson

1995   The Bradburys and White Watson

BY GEORGE CHALLENGER

1981    White Watson 1760 - 1835

2005    The Bath House

BY JOHN PIERREPONT

1986    White Watson

BY PETER ROBINSON

1990    White Watson's Cash book

D1 – White Watson – George Challenger – 1981 article

WHITE WATSON   (1760-1835) (Download pdf)

G P.   Challenger

In his introduction to the reprint of Watson's "The Strata of Derbyshire" Ford (1973) discusses the importance of Watson as a geologist and gives sketches of his character and family history.    He also lists Watson's publications and manuscripts,   chiefly on geological subjects.    This   article is mainly about non-geological aspects of his life and his observations on the neighbourhood of Bakewell.

He left Sheffield School to help his uncle Henry at the Ashford Marble works.    When that was sold after Henry's death in   1786,   he carried on a variety of activities at the Bath House,   Bakewell,   (now Haig House) where he lived until his death.    Besides his geological studies and lectures,   he collected and sold fossils and minerals; designed and executed monuments, fireplaces etc; laid out Bath Gardens (since altered);  studied plants; wrote poems; "dissected" the Bible; drew profiles of visitors and kept a museum and reading room.    His wife was proprietress of the warm bath after it was restored in 1817.

   BAKEWELL,   DERBYSHIRE.     ]
WHITE   WATSON,                                                        (
 ( ncj.ixu mdSuculbf m Mr. HtNRY WATSON, lucof BiktwU. )                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              |
 i                                                                                                                                                                                                                 '                                                                                                                                                                                                                   '
 •                                                                                  R K G S  leave to acquaint the Nobility, Gentry and others, that he exo- j
 ' *~^ cutes Moiiumenu, Chimney 1'ieces, Table*, V«les and other Ornaments,  ! | in all the variety of Engiilh and Vorc^n NUiblts, agreeable to die modem  I
 •                                                                                Tallc »uJ upon the moll rcaiuiublc Terms.
 J      W. WATSON, having aticmive!/ collected the   Minerals and FoffiUof 1
 ' Dtriyjhin, is  now in  pullelhon  ol' a valu.bU AfToumcnt ready  for the iu-
! fpcctiun  of i!ie Curious,   and  uiulouk.cs to execute orders   for   the   like !
;   I'jodutlioiis, properly anangcd LinJ ^U-iLiilicd,                                                                                                                             «• 
 A collector and sc!!lt oi'all this son of work, and curiosity; but which is to hcaeen to more pcrtcc.iioii in many shopd in London. It'MrW. hoped tor a Buyer in me, he was mistaken.
 -21- 

Briggs (1858) inserted a printed note in his manuscript "Worthies of Derbyshire" stating that "his conversational powers made him a welcome guest".     Watson was invited to the Duke of Devonshire's birthday dinner in 1808.

Towards the end of his life,   he had financal  problems and sent unsolicited specimens in the hope of being paid.    Two letters in Weston Park Museum refused payment for unsatisfactory or unwanted goods.    In a draft of a letter to D'Ewes Coke in 1833 he pleaded for a cabinet of fossils to be bought as he needed the money to avoid arrest.    One assumes that his  friends rallied round.    A letter dated 9 July 1835 from James Taylor (enclosed in his diaries) sadly announced his death the previous day.    He had requested Mr.   MacQueen to make his will and write to his nephew in London.

The rest of this article draws on material from several sources.    There may be other writings waiting to be found.    For instance there   is a reference in a letter in Weston Park Museum to something copied from Watson's Memorabilia Vol.  I p. 122. 1     Observations on Bakewell

Extracts were published under this title in the Derbyshire Archaeological Journal for  1889 (a copy of which is in Bakewell  library).    High Peak News, in 1926,   carried (according to the compiler,   Mr.   Jim Davies) a complete transcript of Watson's manuscript.    It was then in the possession of White Watson Bradbury of Bakewell though it had left Bakewell at the time of the publication of the D. A. J.   article.     The following includes everything of interest omitted from the D. A. J.   article,    except for a history of Haddon and a long extract from a newspaper of 1828 on the objection of Taddington and other townships to helping to pay for the restoration of Bakewell Church. Boulsover (1908) draws heavily on the same material.

The following is quoted verbatim,   except for sections in brackets.

The quarter sessions were held at this town previous to and in 1774. The gentlemen were always as well accommodated with beds,   etc. ,   as it was possible by the principal inhabitants,   who spared no pains to oblige them.     Though no pains were wanting from the inhabitants to make everything agreeable to the gentlemen who generally   attended these sessions,   yet for a few years previous to  1797  some of the visitors made   great complaints about their accommodations and in this year,   there being a  mob assembling about the Militia Act,   they made such complaint as to remove the sessions to Derby,   endeavouring to disgrace the town,   from whom they had for many years received so many civilities,   calling them riotous,   etc.     But,   be assured, there was not one inhabitant of the town joined the mob,   but to a man were

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against it.     The gentlemen of the town behaved with great propriety, offering every assistance.

1807 October 3.    The new coach called Defiance came from Ashbourne through Bakewell to Sheffield,   to commence in the morning,   the coach from Sheffield to Birmingham.    I saw it and thought it very handsome.

1818 April the  l6th.    The Bruce Coach commenced from London to Manchester and Edinburgh.

1818 May  1st.     The Peveril of the Peak Coach commenced from London to Manchester and Edinburgh.    Mem.   June 26.    In the last seven days 655 passengers have passed through Bakewell by coaches.

Notice dated Bakewell News Room,   Monday 3rd Jan.   1820:

The gentlemen interested in bringing the water from the Edge to the town are desired to meet in this room on  Saturday next at

one o'clock.

N. B.       It was understood that Robert Arkwright,   Esq.,   would have

superintended the business and lent the money.

Notice dated Bakewell May 2nd 1831:

We,   the undersigned,   request the freeholders and leaseholders of houses in Bakewell,   to attend a meeting to be held  at the Town Hall, on  Thursday,   the 5th inst.   at 6 o'clock in the evening,   for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of making an application to D'Ewes Coke,   Esq. ,   to supply such houses with soft water from the Duke of Rutland's Reservoir.

Robert Johnson.    George Holmes,   jun. #

(He includes the notice of a public dinner to be held at the Rutland Arms Inn on Saturday the 28th May 1831 to commemorate the birthday of the King), Mr.   James Taylor acted as secretary,    and dinner was to be on the table at five o'clock,   tickets to be had at the bar of the Rutland Arms Inn. John Barker,   Esq.,   of Burre House,   was in the chair.

*     Water was piped from Manners Wood in 1832.

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(He records that 26 other gentlemen were present,   the Tideswell band attended and Mrs.   Greaves "furnished with a most excellent   dinner". The toast list gives 13 toasts. )

Bakewell,   1829,   population 1900 is a market town,   township, constabulary and parish,   and is esteemed the chief town of the High Peak Hundred.    The population are employed in trade or handicrafts,   54 families employed at Arkwright's cotton factory,   37 are shoemakers,    18 blacksmiths, 21 joiners and cabinet makers,   9 carpenters,   12 marble masons,   and the rest are engaged chiefly in mining,   agriculture,   chertstone getting, professional pursuits and some living independent.

N. B.    the township of Bakewell is divided among 53 resident and non¬resident freeholders.    His Grace the Duke of Rutland's estate here being 1823 acres and a great part of the buildings of the town,   and,   as Lord of the Manor,   holds a court annually in the town.

The -waters of Bakewell were known to the Romans.    The Saxon name, Baddecanwell,   is derived from the baths.    The tepid chalybeate spring the water   which,   after being recently analysed,   was recommended  as a tonic and as a bath for chronic rheumatism.    A large bathing house was erected over this spring in 1697 and was re-opened by direction of His Grace the Duke of Rutland.    Two shower baths of different powers have been added, and a newsroom established on the premises.

1829. Near the ramparts on Castle Hill was found a copper bolt head covered with green rust, and is supposed to be an instrument discharged from some engine.

Mr.   Samuel Watson,   of Baslow (my father),   obtained a patent in 1774 for making a handmill of millstone,   sandstone and Derbyshire burr,   for grinding wheat and other grain into flour; and also  for crushing malt,   oates, beans,   drugs,   etc.

1800.    Commons of Bakewell and Over Haddon.    The Duke of Rutland's precedent,   by enclosing with quicksets in lieu of stonewalls,   will remove the dreary aspect of the country and yield a richer prospect to  the traveller, and be of service by affording timber useful for various purposes and a warmer shelter for cattle.

And here behold a smiling change of scene, Where earth born russet turns to lively green; Rich pastures rise where deserts spread before, And barren wastes recruit the less'ning store.

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1806.    On the third of August,   a trout was taken out of a pond situate on shale grit,   belonging to His Grace the Duke of Devonshire in Chatsworth Par that was one foot ten inches long by one foot seven  inches in girth,   weighing eleven pounds and a half,   of a fine salmon colour and a very good flavour and it weighed only two pounds when put into the pond four years before.

1810.    Two miles from Bakewell upon the top of a hill,   is a piece of ground of a strange nature; it is a field which for the most part has very good grass on it,   but if a horse be put  into it,   it will fat him or kill him in a month's time,   as the opinion prevails hereabouts. *

Mr.   John Noton,   of Birchills,   near Bakewell,   and several other farmers sowed very small Hen Wheat (Hinder Ends) in the autumn of 1804 and October 6th 1805 which produced very excellent crops.    In the autumn of 1804 Mr.   Wm.   Fentem of Bakewell sowed some remarkable small hen wheat which weighed only 12 stone to the load (3 strike),   which now,   12 September 1805,   is a remarkable fine strong good crop and very  rank and laid by in places.

Mr. Gibbons of Rowsley informs me that his father told him that he remembered a farmer, between Rowsley and Bakewell, having men employee to go up the furrows in his wheat fields in the month of July, with strings, to beat the dew off the wheat every morning to prevent mildew.

The Rev.   J.   Browne (successor to the Rev.   Mr.   Chapman)  intends to open his school on Monday,   the 28th of July,   1806,   and teach the  following branches of literature,   viz.,   English,   Latin and Greek languages, grammatically; geography,   ancient and modern; writing; in all its various, useful and ornamental parts; arithmetic,   merchants' accounts,   and the mathematics systematically,   -with the clearest demonstration in every brand thereof.    Terms: entrance,   5/-; English and writing,    7/6 per quarter; Latin and Greek and writing,    10/6; arithmetic,   10/6; mathematics,   15/6. N. B.   - The children of the inhabitants,   when capable of reading in the Bible, are taught English, Latin and Greek free.     Bakewell,   June 27,   1806.

Mrs.   R.   Pidcock begs leave to inform the inhabitants of Bakewell and its neighbourhood that she intends to open a school on Monday,   the 6th of July,   1807,   in Bakewell,   for the instruction of young ladies,   as   day pupils, in the usual branches of female education   on the following terms,   viz. : per quarter,   instruction in reading,   English grammar,   writing and needle¬work,   10/6;  children under   five years of age,   7/-;  entrance,   2/6.    Mrs.   R..: having endeavoured to qualify herself for teaching the above branches

Bole Hill?    Lead would be taken up by  horses more when the grass- was poor.

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ventures respectfully to solicit the  support of the gentry and inhabitants of Bakewell in her attempts to establish a respectable   school in the town.   -June 2nd,   1807.

Mem.   -  On Midsummer day,   1807,   Mrs.   R.   Pidcock entered upon the rooms in my house  to commence teaching a day school.   - White Watson.

The Rev.   J.   Coates intends to open a school in   Bakewell on Monday, the 3rd of January,   1814,   and proposes to teach a limited number of young ladies and gentlemen in the following branches of literature,   viz.,   reading, writing, and arithmetic,   English grammar and geography,   Latin and  Greek languages,   etc.    Terms,   one guinea per quarter.     Entrance,   5 shillings. J.   C.   having'been in the habit of educating youth a number of years in two very respectable academies hopes,   as he   only intends to take a small number, he shall be able to give satisfaction to those parents who may entrust their children to his  care.

Mary Hague's School.   - By will,   bearing date 20th November,   1715, Mary Hague gave her house,   garden,   stable and nine square yeards of land for ever,   for teaching so many poor children belonging to the poor of Bakewell 'in reading' as the yearly rent would amount to,   until they could read the Bible,   and then to be removed and others supply their places. Ralph   Bradbury,   the parish clerk,   was appointed schoolmaster by the vicar and parish officers.    He received the emoluments and for them instructed seven poor children,   boys and girls,   of the township of Bakewell,   appointed by the churchwardens.

1809.   - Remarkable spring at Chelmorton.    Chelmorton is remarkable for a spring,   which rises under a hill called the Lowe,   where the limestone and basaltic amygdaloid basset,   and being received there into stone troughs, from thence continues its course through the  village,   and at the bottom sinks into a   swallow in the limestone below,   and goes a long way under the  surface before it appears to the day again,   from which circumstance it had obtained the appellation 'The ill willy water of Chelmorton,   that serves no town but its own. '

1809.   - The river Wye affords excellent trout,   which seldom exceed three pounds in weight,   but have been taken as large as six,   its colour

frequently red and of fine flavour; grayling,   which seldom exceeds two

pounds, laxbrood or  samlets,   which,   though abundant a few years ago,   are now become scarce,   and rarely weigh six ounces.     There is the silver eel and crawfish also,   and to Bakewell great numbers of gentlemen resort in the angling season for diversion,   where they   meet with the best accommoda-tion at the large and excellent inn lately built by His Grace the Duke   of

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Rutland,   called the Rutland Arms.    The river Lathkill also affords excellent trout in equal  size,   and is superior in colour   and flavour to those in the Wye; grayling has not been observed higher up this river than at Alport;  silver eels are frequently  met with,   but no crawfish.

The patient fisher takes his silent stand, Intent his angle trembling in his hand, With looks unmov'd,   he hopes the spotted

breed; And eyes the springing drake and bending

reed.

- Pope.

Forming road surfaces in 1810.   - Though various methods have been pursued in forming the surface of roads,   that lately introduced into the neighbourhood of Bakewell has by much the preference,   for ease of horse and carriage,   for durability and the least expense.    These roads are made of limestone,   which is broken at the quarries to a circular,   iron gage of 2j inches diameter within; and there is a forfeiture for each stone that will not pass the ring; in this state it is applied to the roads,   which are made with an horizontal surface,   at a certain price per ton.

1805.   - In the neighbourhood of Hathersage,   where sandstone stratum forms a chain of mountains,   and where the best peak millstones are procure

and the sheep that are pastured on these mountains,   produce wool the most esteemed in the county,   which is the case with those sheep in Spain,   whose summer station is on the mountain Arandilla,   which is a similar sandstone stratum.    The coincidence therefore of sheep pastured on this stratum, producing wool of a very superior quality in countries  so very remote,   fully confirms its superiority and will no doubt be particularly attended to by the intelligent farmer,   attentive to the goodness of his wool,   who will consequen avoid turning his sheep from this  stratum upon that of limestone. Some curious relics of antiquity in my possession at Bath House: A basaltic celt,   discovered near Haddon Hall in November  1795. An entire urn   of baked earth found in a barrow on Stanton Moor,

full of bones,   July 15th 1799.

A small lamp found in another urn,   about the same time and place with heads of a spear and arrow of flint,   which were among the burnt bones contained in them. A basaltic head of an axe found on Stanton Moor in 1800.

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2     Extracts from White Watson's diaries in Sheffield library Bagshaw MS 317

1782.    Coat of Arms belonging to our family: Gules 3 bars argent charged with 3 crescents ermine in the chief two lances or with their points broken off.

Headstone in Baslow Churchyard:    John White of Baslow who dyed October 21 1636 his age 6l.

Old mens ages in Bakewell alive in this year    12 totalling 1014.

1791.     Bee orchis,   Orchis apifera in flower in July in a field opposite the old bath.

Extracts from Edensor register:   George Greensmith's wife Elizabeth buried 1686.    He died 1697 (my grandmother's mother and father) Edward Greensmith buried at Bakewell.

Thos.   Beswick -  'A general history of Quadropeds' (book titles are occasionally noted elsewhere).

June 25.    The Brickmaker in the Outrake moulded betwixt 5 o'clock morning and 11 noon 2605 bricks for the new White Horse Inn. *

Aug.   12.    All persons who are desirous of   coming forward in defence of their country are desired to meet at the Town Hall this day at 12 o'clock. I was at the meeting when,   with all the rest present - upward of 40,  I signed myself a volunteer.     On the Sunday a general meeting was called when papers were disbursed to every householder to give an account of himself.    When I signed infirm   .   .   .   and delivered to Mr.   Joseph Wilson,   Constable 15 Aug.

28 Aug. William Mansell engages to make bricks at 22/- a thousand to Bakewell.

1806,      Sayings in the Peak.   Neans and Naynts - friends and relations.

14 March. At the request of Mr. J. Milne of Wakefield I obtained leave of Rev. P. Walthall to erect a monument in Ashford Church to the memory of his ancestors.

1807,      30 Dec.    Began laying the first strata tablet of the whole country.

Finished strata part 27 January.

1808,      4 Jan.     Dinner at Chatsworth.    His Grace's birthday aged 59.

20 Feb.    Mr.    Stevens lays me five pounds to a penny that I don't sell

10 strata tablets in five years.

26 May.    Mr.   J.   Barker of Bakewell sowed oats off Cowden,   his new inclosur e.

July 20.    I married my dear Ann,   the daughter of Daniel and Mary Thompson aged 26 March 1808.    Her mother's maiden name was   Burgin, daughter of Thomas Burgin.

Rutland Arms

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Ann's grandmother's sister married a Taylor   by which they became related to Sir Isaac Newton.

Bakewell inhabitants  1412 in 1801.    In 1808 there were upwards   of 50 inhabitants in Bakewell upwards of 70 years old.

The altitude of Bow Cross    its height from the level of the River   at the bridge to Calton Wall 177 yards.       (Many other such measurements appear.

1812.    (He records   a theft of holly from his garden on 29 Dec. Many garden notes appear in later diaries,   including sprays for pests. )

1814.      10 May.    Robert Critchlow began garden next the street.

1815.      22 June.    Rejoicing at Bakewell for   Peace when proclaimed.

Bonfires,   cannons,  fireworks.    Church battlements illuminated.    Bonyparty

in effigy and Lord Wellington.    Bells rang all day.

(He lists classes of spring water and -where  found. )

1816.      C.   Crotiah built Mr.   J.   Walthall's house* in or about 1648.

See his tomb on the S. W.   corner of church.

22 July.    The gravel walks in the Bath Garden were finished.    The last coat 40 loads from Winster neighbourhood at 3/6.

(He calculates the volume   of water in the bath and gives a cross section of its vaulted chamber.    The minerals of the  water are discussed. )

1819-    Mockshaw Mine    has produced by 1 Feb.   2576 loads 6 dish of clean ore which cleared £500 - W.   Leedham.

19 Feb.    Sowed mistletoe berries in tufa of grotto.

Saw machine that went without horses - Traddler   - made by  a man from Hull - was at Bakewell 21 Aug.    Very clever machine.

Gas lights first appearing in Sheffield in Oct.

1820.      3 Jan.    Meeting to form committee for relieving the poor.

1 Sep.    Visited Sir J.   Banks at Buxton.    26, 000 acres to be enclosed at Newhaven.

1821.      Inhabitants of Bakewell May 28.    Male 856,   Female 926.    Total 17J

1822.      Deputy Lieutenants newly appointed Oct.   Robert Arkwright,

Peter Walthall,   Robert Birch,   Rev.   John   Barker,   Rev.   Richard Smith.

1825.     One White,   a shoemaker in Taddington,   calculated the Nautical Almanack.    He made 2 globes.    Used to walk to Derby to  learn arithmetic. 29 May.    Mr.   Chantry called.

Ball Cross

*     Ivy House,   South Church Street. +     near Green Cowden.

/    later Sir Francis Chantry,   Royal Academician.

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The aliens corner in Bakewell churchyard.

1826.      Nov.   8.    Mr.   Bossley died in 79th year.

The intended new road begins at the new bridge where the old smelting mill stood in Shacklo.w and goes on Fin side to Monsal Dale thence to Blackwell Mill and comes out near Barmoor Clough Toll bar.

1827.      The new road from Baslow to Chesterfield joins the old one at

Umberlee Bridge.

1831.    28 Feb.    2 large elms removed from near Parsonage,   Bakewell, to near the Lodge Chatsworth with their roots and tops quite perfect.' ..'  .'

Water engine for raising water.     Lathkill Dale Mine - Chesterfield Gazette.   Jan.   22.

3     Copy of 'The Strata of Derbyshire' with other printed works and hand¬written notes bound in.    (Derby library MS 8371)

As a frontispiece is a drawing of a gravestone commemorating White Watson and his wife Ann (not his actual stone in Bakewell churchyard) so the material must have been bound after his death.    Also bound in is an auction list of Luke Bingham's collection which he sold in 1890 owing to declining health.    Included in  this catalogue is one of White Watson's geological tablets and 3000 geological and other  specimens.    These could have come from White Watson's Museum. *

In the following,   verbatim extracts are in quotation marks. The Bath House.

"The Bath -was uncovered until about  1705    when the present  elegant ashlar    arch and rooms were built over it upon its ancient walls. " "It was much frequented until about the year  1767 when the modern baths at Buxton coming into vogue, this ancient bath .   .   .   became neglected and .   .   .   was converted into a dwelling,   the bath being covered with a boarded floor supported by sandstone pillars. "   "On examining the walls of the Bath at the time of the repairs in 1817, a spring of cold water was discovered under the steps,   which being taken away,   the water of the Bath remained  at 60    as is the spring. " It was restored by the Duke of Rutland with the addition of two shower baths and pump.

A printed notice of 1st May  1817 announced the re-opening of the ancient bath.     "Mrs.   Watson has a complete assortment of linen and dresses and she

Bagshaw (1846) and Adam (l85l) both mention that the collection mostly went to a local gentleman, though Ford (1973) says that the mineral and fossil collection was dispersed. Glover describes the collection briefly.

Glover (1833) and Ward (1827) give the date of erection of the Bath House as   1697.     Watson himself in his Observations on Bakewell gives  1697.

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begs to assure those ladies and gentlemen who may intend to use the Bath thai every attention shall be paid to their convenience and comfort. "

Poems.

The poem by "a Gentleman of Bakewell" about a spring in Bath Gardens,

published in "The Strata of Derbyshire" has a handwritten addition.    Perhaps the lines were part of the original but were omitted for reasons of delicacy. Or did Watson compose them?    They follow the 4th line of page 36.

"There erst from illness or perchance from whims, Our Peakrill ladies lav's their tender limbs, No screen to keep them from the prying eye, Nor any covering save the ample sky; For here by modesty alone arrayed, Of shame unconscious they their frames displayed; But when refinement deemed it was unchaste, In public thus to come and wash the waist, A mansion rose,   where midst ear piercing gabble, Their snowy frames they unobserved might dabble. "

Some of Watson's poems both published and in manuscript are bound in. Some have a geological theme:    "The Entrochal Marble",   "On the Screwstone

Builders Lime.

An advertisement of 1827 for James Critchlow's Superior Lime mentions that "specimens may also be seen with White Watson".    Watson notes below that it was made from black limestone and that it was used by Robert Arkwri for the "aquaduct from the pond now finished at Ashford to the Cotton Mill" and by Mr.   Bateman  "in making the railroad from Cromford to Manchester",

Canal.

Watson noted the levels taken for a proposed canal to link the Cromford and Peak Forest canals.    From these he   deduced the height above sea level of George Bibby's house which the canal would have passed on its way from Bakewell into a tunnel leading to Calver.    "On 28 July 1814 Mr.   Johnson surveyed again for the railroad but on that day it was opposed and done away with. "

Geology.

Much of manuscript is of geological or mining subjects: Watson corres¬ponded with Prof. Buckland of Oxford on the reasons for limestone caves containing the bones of animals from warm climates. He asserted that toad; had been found alive in rocks by Michael Brightmore, joiner, of Bakewell an by Robert Bradbury and others, marble masons of Bakewell in a black marbi quarry - Riding Quarry, Cowden.

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He mentioned that the Duke of Rutland  imprisoned some poor people for collecting rottonstone* on Cowden,   Bakewell Moor,   etc.   Messrs   Twigg and Thornhill had a concession for it.

Henry Watson had employed Benjamin Sellers to collect minerals from mines about the year 1772. "The Rev. William Bullock tried experiments upon them and gave them names. " "He named this Barytes, Onyx. It was got in Mockshaw Mine. "

Another published work (of 1813) bound in is "A section of the Strata of Matlock Bath .   .   .   correcting Mr.   Farey's section .   .   .   confuting his theory". A handwritten note records that "Soon after I had published this section .   .   . Mr.   Farey called one Sunday morning on Mr.   Robert Clayton at Bonsai with one of them in his hand,   who he asked if he knew W.   Watson and that book? Who answered yes I do.    And do you say it  is right?    Yes.    Will you take a walk and shew me?    I cannot,   sir,   but if you will give any boy in the district sixpence he will soon convince you.    Upon which Mr.   F.   rode off. "

Carvings at Chats worth.

There is a list of items carved by Samuel Watson at Chatsworth taken from a settlement of 1691 and a note about several individual carvings. Watson refers to Gibbons having  done carving in the Chapel.

Plants.

Besides geology, Watson studied plants/. There is a table of British ferns and a section of a glebe field showing different root types using different zones of the soil.

4     Notes from letters mainly to Watson,   in Weston Park Museum,    Sheffield. Copies are in the Old House Museum.    They mostly concern collections of minerals.

Thomas Ashwood of Longstone invites Watson to dinner and discusses

conservatory plants.            1792.

Mrs.  Price Clarke requests peices of different marbles as purchased by

Mr.   Clarke on the day "volunteers were ordered to Bakewell to quell the

Jacobin Riots".     1801.

*     Rottenstone is a breakdown product of black marble used for polishing. See Ford,   (1967)

Watson had done one of his silhouettes or  'profiles' of Farey about  1806. Farey's "A General view of the Agriculture and Minerals of Derbyshire" was published in 1811.  Papers of 1808 and 1811 put  foreward geological theories for this area.

4-   He was a Fellow of the Linnaean Society.

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A sketch shows "iron rings termed stone rings first used in making roads at Chelmorten and Flagg 1806".    This method of making roads is discussed ir,| his "Observations on Bakewell" for  1810.    The rings were used for grading tl| size of stones.

Charles Hatchett requests specimens to complete the collection at the

British Museum.  1799.

A petition for the Cromford Canal is mentioned in a letter from Benjamin Outram in March 1789.    Goods were being sent via the canal in Sep.   1792 by Watson.

Dr.   Samuel Pegge of Whittington introduces Mr.   Hunter.       1791.

John Sneyd defers a visit to the chert quarry and invites Watson to look at the  Cheadle and Leek area.

Benjamin Taylor who has migrated from Upper Haddon to New York want

advice on how to make malleable iron.    The New York iron smelters have

managed to produce only cast iron. 1792.

Watson to Professor of Geology,   Oxford,   sending tablets for Radcliff library "to adorn a building already embellished with carving executed in 1738 by my uncle Henry Watson".

Watson offers W.   Manning M.P.   geological tablets of England for   £6.

Tablets of Derbyshire are in the  Radcliff library,   Oxford and Edinburgh

Museum.               1830.

Watson writes to Paxton about a deformed skylark.

E.   Winninglow asks for Iceland lava from Joseph Banks.         1832.

5     Notebooks and annotated publications in the possession of Roger Bradbury of Winster.    Most of the writing is on geological matters but one notebook has a list of over 200 books owned by Watson in 1793 and records who borrowed or bought them.     The Duchess of Devonshire apparently failed to return a volume of Linnaean Transactions.'    The same notebook has a numbei of 'receipts' for cements,   inks,   varnishes,   etc.    They include: how to engra' on an egg,   make stars for rockets,   graft 'missetoe',   preserve birds,   feed caterpillars,   take away warts,   clean horn 'lanthorns',   cure belly ache in horses and cure belland.

The results of 3 years work in dissecting the Bible are also noted,   as the number of verses,   words,   "ands",   "Jehovers",   etc.

He records a forestry planting plan used by  Sir Joseph Banks at Eddlesto Another note concerns diseases of corn,   hops and fruit trees.

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6              A folio of Watson's geological sections in Derby library (MS9262)

includes:

A plan of the River Wye near Bakewell in 1810  showing springs,   islands, weirs, etc.     A note added later records that William  Gauntley started irrigation to the south of Bellwell in 1820 after draining by soughs.

A drawing of 1777  shows fungus  spreading from a post onto rock in a marble quarry at Ashford.

7              Watson's monuments

Signed monuments can be seen in several  churches in the area,   e. g. Youlgreave,   Hartington,   Longstone.    They are simple and elegant with rectangular inscriptions in  a border of contrasting marble.     A carving usually surmounts them.     The unsigned monuments in Bakewell Church to Edward Heathcote and to Mary and Barker Bossley are typical.    He presumably also carved the plaque in Ashford  Church to his  uncle Henry. Stoney Middleton has a black inscription inside a severely plain border, presumably to match a similar,   older one on the other   side of the church. Tideswell has a small plaque curved to fit on a pillar.

The Foljambe monument in Bakewell   Church bears his signature,   as he

restored it.             «

There are references to Watson's monuments and other works in several sources.    Some may not actually have been made.    Those that have been seen are marked with an asterisk.

a)             Letters in Weston Park Museum:

Commemoration of George Ill's restoration to health,

St.   George's Chapel,   Windsor. Memorial to William Watson of Shirtcliff Hall and sister,

Sheffield Cathedral.   * Darwin memorial,   Breadsall Church. Chimney piece,   Brayton,   Carlisle. Chimney piece and bowl ordered by Marquis of Lansdown.

b)            The folio in Derby library (ms 9262) contains a sketch by Thomas  Blore

of Sir Roger Manner's monuments in Whitwell Church repaired by Watson.

c)             A book of drawings of monuments by Samuel,   Henry and White Watson

in the Derbyshire Records Office has few monuments which can be recognised,   except Mary Bateman's in Youlgreave Church,* which has a circular inscription set within a square.     There is a design for a trophy to be put in Major Kay's monument in Youlgreave Church. Memorials for Wakefield Church and  Haslington Church are drawn.

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d)   Briggs (1858) refers to Watson restoring the Powtrell monuments at

West Hallam. Q)   The diaries in Sheffield library refer to approval given for a memorial

in Ashford Church to the ancestors of J.   Milnes of Wakefield.

f)             Ford (1973) mentions that he restored the font in Bakewell Church

and worked for the Sitwells at Renishaw.

g)            Charles Bradbury's notebook given to the Bakewell and District

Historical Society says that Watson carved the heraldry over the door of the Rutland Arms.     The Bradbury family inherited much

'

from Watson, h)    The book of geological sections  in Derby library (ms 9262) has a

drawing of a table inlayed in various marbles,   ores etc.    It was first made by Henry Watson to the design of the Earl of Effingham. Three copies were  sold by White Watson to John Lloyd of North Wales,   John Milnes of Wakefield and the Earl of Warwick.    There is also a drawing of a pyramid made of various rocks sold to William Manning.

-35-

D1 – White Watson – Ted Meeke 3 volumes

Ted Meeke's 3 volumes refers to all Watson's writings he had found. Vol. 3 transcribes his diaries as published in the High Peak News in 1926. That has duplication with Observations on Bakewell in the Derbyshire Archaeological Journal (DAJ) of 1889.

Meek Volume 1 (86Mb) please contact us to receive a copy of this

Meek Volume 2 (63Mb) please contact us to receive a copy of this

Meek Volume 3 (98Mb) please contact us to receive a copy of this

Observations on Bakewell -DAJ - 1889 (3Mb)

D1 – White Watson – Leaflet by George Challenger

WHITE  WATSON    by George Challenger (Download pdf)

White Watson (1760-1835) was Bakewell’s most famous inhabitant.

He was nationally important as one of a group of geologists including J Mawe,  J Whitehurst , William Martin, John Farey and William Smith - the ‘Father of English Geology’- who established the fundamental law of stratigraphy, the branch of geology which deals with the nature and order in which rocks were laid down. Indeed, a 1973 exhibition on the subject in Derby Museum by M F Stanley put ‘the heroic age of geology’ as starting in 1773 when Watson probably began collecting fossils. Watson wrote his book ‘A Delineation of the Strata of Derbyshire’ in 1811, which described in detail the various rocks and the fossils in them. He was unique in producing geological cross sections using many of the actual rocks.

One of these sections is displayed in Bakewell’s Old House Museum . It follows the section described in his book from Coombs Moss beyond Buxton to Bolsover beyond Chesterfield and going through Bakewell.

Several other of his sections are in Derby Museum.

Trevor Brighton describes White Watson as a polymath: Like his uncle and grandfather before him he was a monumental mason and carver, but was also an antiquarian, museologist, silhouette artist, writer, gardener and plantsman. His botanical and horticultural pursuits earned him election as a fellow of the Linnaean Society. At the Duke of Rutland’s Bath House, where he lived in Bakewell, he not only revitalised the town’s bathing facilities, but laid out the grounds to establish a botanical garden. Within his house he had created, by his death in 1835, a museum of geology, natural history and archaeology.  He made notes on a great variety of subjects, including Bakewell’s social life.

A self portrait silhouette of White Watson,

His calling card

...and one of many cabinets made for the sale of geological specimens. 

His early activities centred on the local black marble industry producing ornaments in what is usually called Ashford marble, as Ashford- in- the- Water, close to Bakewell, was a centre of production. Buxton Museum has a large collection of the products. Bakewell’s Old House Museum has an inlaid table top, other finished items and a display showing how they were made. Black marble is actually a grey limestone from the upper beds of the local Carboniferous limestone, coloured by bitumen-like material which oozed down from higher beds. When polished it goes black. It was inlaid with other local minerals (some with fossils), marbles, mother of pearl and even coloured glass.

The remains of the Ashford Marble Workscan be seen (but not entered) on the left of the A6 beyond the village going towards Buxton. Henry Watson, White’s uncle, had set up and patented water- powered cutting and polishing machinery in 1748. By 1774 he had sold the Ashford Marble Works and then came to live at the Bath House in Bakewell. White moved in with him in that year, having earlier helped him at Ashford during school holidays (where his interest in geology presumably developed by exploring the mines).  White’s father, Samuel (son of the famous carver at Chatsworth) and uncle Henry rented the Bath House from the Duke of Rutland and had a mason’s workshop in Bakewell. Inlaying was carried out in many workshops in Ashford, Bakewell, Matlock and elsewhere until there was a change in taste after Queen Victoria died. Black ornaments had been in favour since her beloved Prince Albert died.

For most of his life, Watson lived in Bakewell’s Bath House where he kept a museum and reading room and his wife, Ann, managed the warm bath after it was restored in 1817.

Watson wrote: ‘The Bath was uncovered until about 1705 when the present elegant ashlar arch and rooms were built over it upon its ancient walls. It was much frequented until about the year 1767 when the modern baths at Buxton coming into vogue, this ancient bath … became neglected and … was converted into a dwelling,  the bath being covered with a boarded floor supported by sandstone pillars. On examining the walls of the Bath at the time of the repairs in 1817, a spring of cold water was discovered under the steps,   which being taken away, the water of the Bath remained at 60 degrees as is the spring.’

It was restored by the Duke of Rutland with the addition of two shower baths and pump.

A printed notice of 1st May 1817 announced the re-opening of the ancient bath.

 "Mrs. Watson has a complete assortment of linen and dresses and she begs to assure those ladies and gentlemen who may intend to use the Bath that every attention shall be paid to their convenience and comfort"

Many visitors to Bakewell called on him.  He corresponded  with notable people, such as Sir Joseph Banks, Dr Samuel Pegg, John Sneyd, Sir Joseph Paxton and academics in Britain and abroad.  No doubt many of them  visited the Bath House.  Brigg’s 1858 ‘Worthies of Derbyshire’ stated that ‘his conversational powers made him a welcome guest’.  Watson was invited to the Duke of Devonshire’s birthday dinner in 1806.  He taught children of the Duke’s family.

Towards the end of his life Watson had financial problems and sent unsolicited geological specimens in the hope of being paid for them. In a draft of a letter of 1833 he pleaded with D’Ewes Coke to buy a cabinet of fossils as he needed money to avoid arrest for debt. 

A letter dated 9 July 1835 from James Taylor sadly announced his death the previous day. He had requested the solicitor, Mr. MacQueen, to make his will and write to his nephew in London. He and Ann had no children.

A 1970s painting by Udall from an old drawing but the stream is unlikely. 

The bath in the basement of the Bath House.  

Watson’s Writings

Extracts from Watson’s writings were published under the title ‘Observations on Bakewell’ in the Derbyshire Archaeological Journal for 1889 and, in 1926, High Peak News published further material. The following are some examples.

Bakewell inhabitants  1412 in 1801.  

In 1808 there were upwards of 50 inhabitants in Bakewell upwards of 70 years old.

1821.  Inhabitants of Bakewell May 28.    Male 856,   Female 926.    Total 1782

Bakewell,   1829,   population 1900 is a market town,   township, constabulary and parish,   and is esteemed the chief town of the High Peak Hundred.    The population are employed in trade or handicrafts,   54 families employed at Arkwright's cotton factory,   37 are shoemakers,    18 blacksmiths, 21 joiners and cabinet makers,   9 carpenters,   12 marble masons,   and the rest are engaged chiefly in mining,   agriculture,   chertstone getting, professional pursuits and some living independent. The township of Bakewell is divided among 53 resident and non - resident freeholders.    His Grace the Duke of Rutland's estate here being 1823 acres and a great part of the buildings of the town and,   as Lord of the Manor,   holds a court annually in the town.

The quarter sessions were held at this town previous to and in 1774. The gentlemen were always as well accommodated with beds, etc., as it was possible by the principal inhabitants,  who spared no pains to oblige them.     Though no pains were wanting from the inhabitants to make everything agreeable to the gentlemen who generally attended these sessions,   yet for a few years previous to 1797 some of the visitors made great complaints about their accommodations and in this year,   there being a mob assembling about the Militia Act,   they made such complaint as to remove the sessions to Derby,   endeavouring to disgrace the town,   from whom they had for many years received so many civilities,   calling them riotous,   etc.     But,   be assured, there was not one inhabitant of the town joined the mob,   but to a man were against it.     The gentlemen of the town behaved with great propriety, offering every assistance.

1807 October 3.    The new coach called Defiance came from Ashbourne through Bakewell to Sheffield,   to commence in the morning.   I saw it and thought it very handsome.

1818 April the  l6th.    The Bruce Coach commenced from London to Manchester and Edinburgh.

1818 May  1st.     The Peveril of the Peak Coach commenced from London to Manchester and Edinburgh.   

1818 June 26.    In the last seven days 655 passengers have passed through Bakewell by coaches.

Notice dated Bakewell News Room,   Monday 3rd Jan.   1820: The gentlemen interested in bringing the water from the Edge to the town are desired to meet in this room on  Saturday next at one o'clock. N.B. It was understood that Robert Arkwright,   Esq.,   would have superintended the business and lent the money.

Notice dated Bakewell May 2nd 1831: We,   the undersigned,   request the freeholders and leaseholders of houses in Bakewell,   to attend a meeting to be held at the Town Hall, on Thursday,   the 5th inst.   at 6 o'clock in the evening,   for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of making an application to D'Ewes Coke,   Esq. ,   to supply such houses with soft water from the Duke of Rutland's Reservoir.

Notice of a public dinner to be held at the Rutland Arms Inn on Saturday the 28th May, 1831 to commemorate the birthday of the King.  Mr. James Taylor acted as secretary,    and dinner was to be on the table at five o'clock,   tickets to be had at the bar of the Rutland Arms Inn. John Barker,   Esq.,   of Burre House,   was in the chair.

He records that 26 other gentlemen were present,   the Tideswell band attended and Mrs. Greaves furnished with a most excellent dinner. The toast list gives 13 toasts.

The waters of Bakewell were known to the Romans.    The Saxon name, Baddecanwelle,   is derived from the baths.    The tepid chalybeate spring, the water of which,   after being recently analysed,   was recommended  as a tonic and as a bath for chronic rheumatism.    A large bathing house was erected over this spring in 1697 and was re-opened by direction of His Grace the Duke of Rutland.    Two shower baths of different powers have been added, and a newsroom established on the premises.

1829. Near the ramparts on Castle Hill was found a copper bolt head covered with green rust, and is supposed to be an instrument discharged from some engine.

Mr. Samuel Watson,  of Baslow (my father),  obtained a patent in 1774 for making a handmill of millstone, sandstone and Derbyshire burr, for grinding wheat and other grain into flour; and also  for crushing malt, oates, beans, drugs, etc.

1800 Enclosing the Commons of Bakewell and Over Haddon. The Duke of Rutland’s precedent, by enclosing with quicksets (hawthorn hedges) in lieu of stone walls, will remove the dreary aspect of the country and yield a richer prospect to the traveller.

The Rev.   J.   Browne (successor to the Rev.   Mr.   Chapman)  intends to open his school on Monday,   the 28th of July,   1806,   and teach the following branches of literature,   viz.,   English,   Latin and Greek languages, grammatically; geography,   ancient and modern; writing; in all its various, useful and ornamental parts; arithmetic,   merchants' accounts,   and the mathematics systematically,   -with the clearest demonstration in every brand thereof.  Terms: entrance,   5/-; English and writing,    7/6 per quarter; Latin and Greek and writing,    10/6; arithmetic,   10/6; mathematics,   15/6. N.B.   - The children of the inhabitants, when capable of reading the Bible, are taught English, Latin and Greek free.    

Bakewell,   June 27,   1806. Mrs.   R.   Pidcock begs leave to inform the inhabitants of Bakewell and its neighbourhood that she intends to open a school on Monday,   the 6th of July,   1807,   in Bakewell,   for the instruction of young ladies,   as day pupils, in the usual branches of female education on the following terms,   viz. per quarter,   instruction in reading,   English grammar,   writing and needle¬work,   10/6;  children under   five years of age,   7/-;  entrance,   2/6.    Mrs.   R..: having endeavoured to qualify herself for teaching the above branches.

On Midsummer day,   1807,   Mrs.   R.   Pidcock entered upon the rooms in my house  to commence teaching a day school.   - White Watson.

The Rev. J. Coates intends to open a school in Bakewell on Monday, the 3rd of January, 1814, and proposes to teach a limited number of young ladies and gentlemen in the following branches of literature, viz., reading, writing, and arithmetic,  English grammar and geography, Latin and Greek languages, etc.    Terms, one guinea per quarter.   Entrance, 5 shillings. J. C.  having been in the habit of educating youth a number of years in two very respectable academies,  hopes,  as he only intends to take a small number, he shall be able to give satisfaction to those parents who may entrust their children to his care.

Mary Hague's School.   - By will,   bearing date 20th November, 1715, Mary Hague gave her house,   garden,   stable and nine square yards of land for ever,  for teaching so many poor children belonging to the poor of Bakewell as the yearly rent would amount to,  until they could read the Bible,   and then to be removed and others supply their places. Ralph   Bradbury,   the parish clerk,   was appointed schoolmaster by the vicar and parish officers.    He received the emoluments and for them instructed seven poor children,  boys and girls, of the township of Bakewell,   appointed by the churchwardens.

Forming road surfaces in 1810.   - Though various methods have been pursued in forming the surface of roads,   that lately introduced into the neighbourhood of Bakewell has by much the preference,   for ease of horse and carriage,   for durability and the least expense.    These roads are made of limestone,   which is broken at the quarries to a circular,   iron gage of 2 1/2 inches diameter within; and there is a forfeiture for each stone that will not pass the ring; in this state it is applied to the roads.

1791 Aug. 12.  All persons who are desirous of coming forward in defence of their country are desired to meet at the Town Hall this day at 12 o'clock. I was at the meeting when, with all the rest present- upward of 40,  I signed myself a volunteer.  On the Sunday a general meeting was called when papers were disbursed to every householder to give an account of himself.  When I signed infirm … and delivered to Mr.   Joseph Wilson, Constable.

1815.  22 June.    Rejoicing at Bakewell for Peace when proclaimed. Bonfires,   cannons,  fireworks.    Church battlements illuminated.    Bonyparty in effigy and Lord Wellington.    Bells rang all day.

1819     Gas lights first appearing in Sheffield in Oct.

1820.  3 Jan.    Meeting to form committee for relieving the poor.

Watson's monuments

Henry Watson’s monument in Ashford church carved by his nephew White

Signed monuments can be seen in several  churches in the area,   e. g. Youlgreave,   Hartington and Longstone.    They are in black marble, are simple and elegant with a carving usually surmounting them.  Stoney Middleton has a black inscription inside a severely plain border, presumably to match a similar,   older one on the other side of the church. Tideswell has a small plaque curved to fit on a pillar.

An inscription under the Foljambe monument in Bakewell Church bears his signature,   as he restored it.

White carved a monument to his grandfather at Heanor and a most unusual one to Sir Sitwell Sitwell at Renishaw.

Charles Bradbury, writing in the 1950s, recorded that Watson carved the coat of arms above the door of the Rutland Arms.

Watson’s poems

Watson wrote a number of poems, including on geological subjects. He was probably the author who cloaked his identity under the nom de plume ‘a gentleman of Bakewell’ for this saucy poem about covering the bath when the Bath House was built over it. It is a handwritten addition to Watson’s copy of ‘The Strata of Derbyshire’ in Derby Library.

 There erst from illness or perchance from whims,
 Our Peakrill ladies lav’d their tender limbs,
 No screen to keep them from the prying eye,
 Nor any covering save the ample sky;
 For here by modesty alone arrayed,
 Of shame unconscious they their frames displayed;
 But when refinement deemed it was unchased,
 In public thus to come and wash the waist,
 A mansion rose, where midst ear piercing gabble,
 Their snowy frames they unobserved might dabble.

 

Further reading:

E R Meeke, ‘White Watson: Bakewell’s Only Famous Man’ 1997 with three volumes of source material. Limited edition supplied to local libraries.

JT Brighton, ‘The Ashford Marble Works and Cavendish Patronage, 1748-1905’. (Bulletin of the Peak District Mines Historical Society. Vol 12 No. 6. Winter 1995.)

White Watson, ‘A Delineation of the Strata of Derbyshire’ 1811, reprinted in 1973 by Moorland Reprints with an introduction by Dr Trevor D Ford.

J M Tomlinson, ‘Derbyshire Black Marble’ 1996, Peak District Mines Historical Society, with appendices by Trevor Ford on the Ashford black marble mines and mill and Watson’s geological sections.

Bakewell & District Historical Society Journals for 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2001. There are mentions of his writings in many more.