Memorial Inscriptions: Belper, St. John The Baptist Chapel

Updated: Tuesday, March 7, 2017   |   Belper Historical & Genealogical Website

These are the churchyard gravestone inscriptions from St. John The Baptist Chapel, the first Parish Church of Belper.

St John The Baptist Church was built as a simple small chapel in the 13th century mediaeval hamlet of Belper, originally coming under the extensive parish of Duffield. One historic document makes reference to "the chapel (St. John’s Chapel) adjoining Belper Manor House, which was expressly founded for the use of the foresters".

The church of St John's is an ancient one. It is a simple stone building set in a tranquil corner of Belper, and dates from around 1250. It was built by William de Ferrers, Earl of Derby, the lord of various manors including Belper. He also owned castles at Tutbury and Duffield.

In the 13th Century Belper was a village in Duffield Frith, one of the many Royal Foresters' hunting grounds providing deer, wild hogs and other hunting sport. The Chapel spared the Foresters and their families a long walk to their Parish Church in Duffield.

When it was first built the Chapel was a plain rectangle with no vestry, porch or bel-cote. As it was not a parish church, baptisms, weddings and burials could not take place there. Throughout the next two or three centuries the Chapel was used by the people of Belper as the centre of their religious life, the services varying between Catholic, Anglican and Puritan as monarch, parliament and local magnates decreed.

In 1634 the porch was built, the stone lintel still bearing the date and churchwarden's initials. The bell-cote was added in 1699.

The late 18th century saw a great increase in the population of Belper, with the addition of mill-workers to the farmers and nailers of earlier years. The Chapel became almost a parish church, with baptisms in 1783. The baptismal font can still be seen inside. Burials began in 1793. A wooden gallery was built in 1806 at the west end of the nave; a vestry was added about the same time. Further changes and extensions to the Chapel were precluded by the building of St Peter's Church as the main Anglican church in 1824.

The old Chapel was restored in 1870's. The gallery was removed and the window openings rebuilt to their original shape. Care has been taken to restore the pristine building as far as possible. The original piscina and sedilia remain in the chancel, and an unusual altar. The mediaeval priests' door also still exists. A new roof was added with beams dated 1700 and 1704, with the chapel warden's name inscribed.

Today the building is not used for religious ceremonies, and burials are no longer permitted. Council meetings and various historical and community meetings take place in the Chapel

Additional Data: Donations & Gifts to the Parson & Poor of Belper

Mr John TAYLOR 1746 left land at Milley Laund, Belper.

John LOCKOE of Holbrook 1689 left land in Kilburne called The Hagg, the trust invested in W. HUNTER of Kilburne, Wm COCKS of Horsley Woodhouse, tanner & Geo. MOORE of Stemsby House, yeoman, and their heirs.

Hen. SMITH of White Moor in the liberty of Belper gent. Gave several parcels of land lying in the liberty of Belper called Calwood Farm.

Mr SMITH of Derby by will dated 1713 gave to two persons two Alms houses & several parcels of land in the liberty of Belper called the Hopping, the trust invested in the heirs of Matthew SMITH Esq.

Jn. SLATER of Belper in 1742 left to the poor people of Belper the sum of 40 pound.

Surname
Firstname
Comments
Date
Year
Age
??
David
Surgeon
11 ??
1817
??
ANNABELL
Catherine
wife of John
16 July
1836
31
BERESFORD
William
+ two of his children as infants
22 Dec
1844
61
BERESFORD
John
18 Nov
1852
45
BLOOD
John
3 Feb
1813
88
BOOTH
John
late Serg. Derbyshire Militia
26 Mar
1833
29
BUXTON
Mary
dau Samuel & Dorothy
9 June
17??
15m
CHAPPELL
Alice
dau of Benjamin & Lydia
4 Dec
1821
9
CHAPPELL
Elizabeth
dau Benjamin & Lydia
5 Dec
1821
5
DANIELS
Ann
21 May
1797
11
DANIELS
George
13 Oct
1804
20
FRIEND
Rev. F.A.
curate & vicar of this parish for 38 years
10 Oct
1908
GASCOYNE
Martha
Wife of Joseph
14 Oct
1818
33
GRATIAN
James
8 Aug
1794
24
HAWKSLEY
George
2 Nov
1795
38
HICKLING
James junior
30 Mar
1797
17
HICKLING
Sarah
wife of James senior
28 Aug
1797
37
HILL
Robert
son of Thomas & Hannah
First body to be interred
after the Consecration
13 Apr
1794
9m
HOLMES
William
4 Apr
1856
83
HOLMES
Ann
Dau of William
8 Dec
1834
73
HUNT
Selina
dau Isaac & Mary
7 July
1838
8yrs 8m
HUNT
Samuel
24 Nov
1801
74
HUNT
Elizabeth
Wife of Samuel
24 Sep
1793
59
JACKSON
Samuel
26 Apr
1817
Abt 40
JACKSON
Mary
Dau of Samuel
20 Nov
1810
1
JACKSON
Hannah
Dau of Samuel
1 Dec
1810
8
KEETLEY
Mary
dau of ? & Mary?
15 Oct
1804
3
LEIGH
Robert Tunstall
Grandson of Matthew & Sarah; infant son of Rev. Robert & Mary Elizabeth his wife
27 Mar
1840
Inf.
LIGGET
Penelope
dau Samuel & Mary of Belper
1794
LIGGET
William
late Serg. Derbyshire Militia
Oct
18..6
28
LOMAS
Thomas
Surgeon
9 Feb
1831
58
LOMAS
Elizabeth
dau of Thomas; born 14 Apr 1807
13 Dec
1893
LOMAS
Susanna
wife of Thomas
23 June
1821
48
LOMAS
four infant sons
& two infant daus
of Thomas & Susanna
??
??
??
MABBOTT
John
son John & Martha
20 Dec
1806
4m
MARSHALL
Harriot
Daus of Richard & Martha
3 Jan
1828
13
MARSHALL
Ellen
Daus of Richard & Martha
13 May
1829
23
MARSHALL
Eliza
Daus of Richard & Martha
28 Apr
1835
22
MARSHALL
Richard
15 Nov
1819
37
MARSHALL
Ann Martha
Dau of Richard
??
??
Infant
MARSHALL
Mary
Dau of Richard
??
??
infant
MARSHALL
George
10 Sep
1804
24
MARSHALL
George
17 Mar
1840
30
MARSHALL
Martha
mother of George
3 Dec
1854
75
MASON
Sarah
wife of John
21 Nov
1796
64
MILLWARD
William
28 May
1826
43
MILLWARD
Sarah
Wife of William
24 Dec
1820
36
MILLWARD
Henry
Son of William & Sarah
17 Mar
1821
3
MONK
John
Q.C. Born at Belper 13 Dec 1802
died in London
29 Jan.
1874
MOORE
Grace
dau Francis & Grace of Belper
14 Oct
1794
5
MOORE
Francis
Son of Francis & Grace of Belper
3 Nov
1794
2
MURTON
Samuel
son Joseph & Ellen of ?? Lane
19 Sep
1798
26
PYM
Dorothy
wife of Joseph
24 Dec
1800
52
PYM
Joseph
22 Dec
1819
65
RICE
Richard
son of John & Martha
17 May
1794
3
RICE
John
Father of Richard
11 Nov
1828
75
ROBINSON
Joseph junior
Chapel warden
1769
SELWYN
George Augustus
1st Bishop of New Zealand
19th Bishop of Lichfield; born 5 Apr 1809
11 Apr
1878
SIMPSON
Mary
wife of Edward
24 Dec
1797
30
SIMPSON
John
4 Jan
1812
41
SIMPSON
Joseph
Son of Joseph & Marianne
27 Oct
?
27
SIMPSON
Joseph
Jan?
1837
age 6 ?
SIMPSON
Edward
son of Samuel& Elizabeth of Belper
30 June
1800
4
SLATER
Ann
dau of Anthony & Hannah
9 June
1794
1yr 4m
SMITH
Isaac
Son of George & Anne
25 Oct
1825
18
SMITH
Anne
wife of George
12 Dec
1817
49
SMITH
Mary
of Milford
7 July
1818
55
SMITH
John
husband of Mary
10 Apr
1830
70
SMITH
Thomas
10 Apr
1819
66
SMITH
Elizabeth
Wife of Thomas
28 Oct
1840
73
SMITH
John Alfred
fell in action in the Great War
11 Dec
1917
SOUTHALL
William
31 May
1804
32
SOUTHALL
Sarah
Dau of William
7 Nov
1805
4
STATHAM
Sarah
wife of Richard of Heage
11 Aug
1812
36
STRAW
Benjamin
son of Richard & Mary
2 Mar
1801
25
STREET
Henry
Church warden
1749
STREET
Am.
chapel warden
1776
STRONG
Ann
Wife of Will
14 Sep
1809
30
TOMLINSON
James
27 Apr
1828
73
TUNSTALL
Sarah
wife of Revd. Matthew curate of this place
10 Dec
1827
49
TUNSTALL
Matthew William
died in infancy
??
??
TUNSTALL
Robert John
died in infancy
??
??
TUNSTALL
Rev. Matthew
for 37 yrs incumbent of this place
5 Oct
1884
79
VICKERS
Catherine
dau Joseph & Thomason
16 Apr
1794
4
VICKERS
Will
25 Mar
1798
2
WALKER
Elizabeth
wife of Joseph
23 Sep
1817
76
WALKER
Joseph
21 June
1827
76
WALKER
Ester
dau Israel & Frances
12 Aug
1837
19
WALKER
Frances
wife Israel
29 Nov
1838
57
WALKER
Israel
30 June
1853
72
WATSON
Mary
wife of Gervase
22 May
1825
46
WATSON
Melicent
wife of William of Belper
24 Oct
1795
40
WEBSTER
John
late Clerk of this Chapel
20 Dec
1800
77
WILDSMITH
Mary
dau of Samuel & Elizabeth
29 Feb
1804
10m
WILDSMITH
George
Son of Samuel & Eliz
9 Apr
1804
5

 

These Memorial Inscriptions appear by kind permission of the Derbyshire Family History Society. Their website is located HERE. Books, fiches and other materials on Belper, as well as other Derbyshire districts, may be obtained from the Society.

SEE ALSO: Register of Belper Baptisms from 1783 to about 1800. (External Links)

D2609 - Parish of Belper St Peter

A - Parish archives

PI - Parish incumbent’s records

1 - Registers

Ref No

D2609/A/PI/1/1

Title

Baptism register, Oct 1783-Dec 1800. Entries for 7-28 Dec 1800 are copied from a register in the custody of the Vicar of Turnditch, 1856

Description

Microfilm M472 vol. 9

Date

1783-1800


 A second set of records also, containing more baptism and burial records relating to St John’s church and Belper.

The reference number is  D2609/A/PI/1/2 Register of baptisms and burials.

Baptisms Jan 1801-Dec 1812, burials Apr 1794-Dec 1812. The front inside cover has an extract from the will of Henry Smith (1680) in which he leaves land in  Belper to his two sons on condition that they give £4 pa to the poor of the parish and £4 to the curate at Belper Chapel. There are memoranda from the Census totals 1801-1871 at the back of the register.

 

 

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