Scans of all or most of these original documents have been passed to the record office of Derbyshire. Note, the document above was given to the Charlotte Bronte museum by Eric Stubbs.
The Linningtons and Stubbs and Eyre:
Charles Stubbs, our Great Grandfather , his father, John Dixon Stubbs ,married Anne Elizabeth Linnington(c.1826/9 – 1916).
One generation earlier: a Mr.Samuel Linnington of Barnstaple(b.20/1/1798) had married a female Eyre,( Anne Elizabeth also known as Elizabeth) born 1803/1805.( She was of Artillery Place, Finsbury Square, London). They married in 1823 and were the parents of Anne Elizabeth Linnington.
The union of these two produced four daughters , Sophie b.1831 and Anne Elizabeth Linnington b.1824/6 and Robert Joseph born c. 1826?. Also Mary b. 1827 and Fanny b. 1829. Hence, our family was intertwined with the Eyres in the early 1800s.
Witnesses : Mary Anne Willoughby and G. Eyre. ( Was G. Eyre Anen Elizabeth’s father?)
Eyre Family Tree:
This is what we currently believe is the thomas eyre family tree. ( Subject to change)
George Eyre christened 22/2/1704 ,Hathersage, was the son of William Eyre( linen weaver) of Yorkshire Bridge. George tenanted a farm in Bamford- 27 acres and also kept an inn at Yorkshire Bridge, Bamford. The story goes that his younger brother Thomas was only left 20 pounds in the will when his father, William Eyre died, and was forced to go to Henry Brownhill ( a relative) who put him in charge of North Lees. This Thomas Eyre was supposedly the father of William Eyre of North Lees, the father of our Thomas Eyre . Time will tell as to whether this is correct, or whether George Eyre born 1704 was the father of William Eyre of North Lees.
William Eyre Will: 1715: William Eyre married Jane Brownell.
The will of William Eyre of Yorkshire Bridge that was proved in 1718. Interestingly, he is referred to as a linen weaver and there is no indication that he had anything to do with innkeeping. ( Yorkshire Bridge Inn dated from 1800s )His executors are his wife Jane and her brother Nicholas Brownell. George the elder son is his heir and Thomas the younger son gets £20. There are three daughters, Ann, Mary and Jane. None of the children have reached the age of twenty one so there is a Tuition and Education Bond that involves the wife and brother in law.
The above article of George Eyre 1704-1787( He was a farmer , an inn keeper and scholar). When he died he was living with a Mr. Hall at Castleton, Derbyshire whose claim to fame was writing melody and music for christmas carols. ” Songs of the Nativity” – the Birth of a Saviour. The first verse text was written by Mr Hall.
Listen to the carol with Yo Yo Ma and Alison Krauss- The Birth of a Saviour
Information indicates that William Eyre of Yorkshire Bridge had a son Thomas Eyre who married Ann Frith (married 1752) and had a son : William, who married Mary and had a son our Thomas Eyre born 1793 – 1862.
He , Thomas Eyre junior married a Linnington . That Linnington was Sophie Linnington, the sister of our Great Grandfather’s Charles’s Stubbs’s wife, Anne Linnington.
Sophie Linnington was Thomas Eyre’s first cousin’s daughter. Sophie (born C. 1831)and Thomas married 8th June 1854 at the Christ Church, Ealing, and had no children. ( This is the same church that Emily Nee Stubbs( Charles’s sister), married in to George Evans of Ealing in 1866)
In 1851 Thomas Eyre was living with Robert Joseph Linnington ( his cousin of 25)at 20 Seal Street Liverpool. This Robert Joseph Linnington was Sophie’s brother. Thomas had a drug wholesale business at 24 Seel Street Liverpool and Robert Joseph was working for Thomas Eyre.”T. Eyre and Company”. ( This explains how Thomas got introduced to Sophie Linnington since her father Samuel Linnington was also a drug broker, also of Liverpool at the time ). It is that Thomas Eyre may have visited Ealing where Sophie was living before her marriage and also met up with her there as well as meeting her through her brother and her father Samuel.
The Linnington Family:
Samuel Linnington (1798-11/12/1850)who was noted to have been of Liverpool at the time of their marriage,had a business in 1830 called “Linnington and Son” of High Street Barnstaple, Devon. He was a grocer , chymist and druggist. Samuel’s father was Robert Linnington(1770-1833) also a druggist of Barnstaple. (1799). His wife was Dulcibella Drew and they married around 1797 and had 5 children. His wife, relict of R. Linnington of Barnstaple died at 83 at Parkland, Bradninch , Devon in 1858 according to the Gentleman’s Magazine.
Robert and Dulcibella’s children: A son, Samuel Linnington, b. 1798 Barnstaple . We know that his eldest daughter, ( Elizabeth?)was born in 1801 and died in 1853. When she died, she was the widow of T.H. King esq. surgeon.
( Death notice of Samuel Linnington, 1850).
1853:Death notice of Elizabeth Linnington, Robert Linnington’s daughter, and Samuel Linnington’s sister , ie .Sophie’s aunt.
Sophie’s aunt and father died three years apart , just before her wedding in 1854.
Robert Joseph Linnington, Samuel Linnington’s son and Sophie’s brother:
3rd Sept The Will: 100 pounds: Robert Joseph Linnington fomerly of Liverpool but late of Melbourne… Victoria, Druggist deceased who died 17th March 1860 at the Hospital in Melbourne… by the oath of Ann Elizabeth Linnington of 59 Landsdowne Rd. North Kensington Park, Middlesex, widow , mother and executor.
( 59 Landsdowne Road , North Kensington)
Thomas Eyre Wedding:
The couple were married by H. Cottingham, the Vicar of Hathersage. Sophie was living in Ealing(with her sister?) and Thomas was living at Moorseats. Witnesses included : Anne E. Stubbs( Sophie’s sister), William Eyre ( Thomas’s father ) . Another witness may be a Thomas Willoughby.
( The other grandson of George Eyre , George Eyre junior, b. 1792 of Bamford , appears to have had no children, hence this Hathersage branch of the Eyre family was destined to die out.)
Christ Church Ealing, where Thomas and Sophie became married : The church was consecrated by the Bishop of London in 1852. It was designed by the best known architect of the time, Sir Gilbert Scott. The total cost was met by Miss Rosa Lewis , daughter of a Liverpool merchant who had settled in Ealing. During the second world war a bomb blew out most of the glass and damaged the roof.
Sophie and Anne Elizabeth Linnington were two of four daughters( and one son) of Samuel Linnington of Barnstaple. ( Samuel was christened 20/1/1798 at Barnstaple, Devon – born of Robert and Dulicebella Linnington). Samuel died in 1850.
In the census of 1851 Sophie was a governess in Barnstaple, Devon.
Mary Jane Linnington a relative of sophie – this has to be confirmed. In 1859 Mary Jane was of 88 High Holborne. In 1864 Mary Jane was of 107 Landsdowne Rd.However in 1862 and 1865 Mary Jane and Dulicebella Linnington were “in the care of JM Drew of 38 High Holborne. In the 1870’s Mary Jane alone was in care of J.M. Drew of 38 High Holborne.
(Dulcibella Linnington b. 1803 Barnstaple was the daughter of Robert and Dulcibella Linnington, hence Sophie’s aunt.)
J.M. Drew and W.Drew and Co. was a paper and making and printing company of Devon – the Devon connection to the Linningtons). Dulcibella Nee Drew was the wife of Robert Linnington, which explains why Dulcibella was in the employ of a relative of her mother’s.
By 1872 Dulcibella had moved to Bradnich, Devon. ( Robert Linnington , or at least his wife, Dulchibella lived in Bradninch). By 1874 Mary Jane had moved to Midlands, #2 Alexandra Rd., Norbiton ,Surrey.
Anne Elizabeth Linnington and John Dixon Stubbs produced children : Charles( Great Grandfather), marrying Francis Sarah Saunders and Emily marrying G.A.C. Evans. Charles Stubbs and his son, Eric, were the logical choices to carry on the Eyre name. Charles Stubbs declined the offer from Thomas Eyre re changing his name to Eyre. Pride most likely being one reason, the other , the fortunes of this branch of Eyres was almost non existent by the time the banks got involved, and after Sophie sold some properties. In Charles’ words : “but his property came to nothing”. In honour of the Eyre Name, our father was named : John Henry Eyre Stubbs.
What we know about Thomas Eyre and his family , and his life with Sophie Linnington.
Thomas Lionel? Eyre was born at North Lees, Hathersage, Derbyshire, christened 29th April, in 1793. He died in 1862.
Thomas Eyre had a pedigree from the Eyres of Hope, Below is one of the pedigree documents , dated 1839.
The pedigree of Thomas Eyre of Mockport, Cheshire. An eminent merchant from the Eyre’s of Hope, Derbyshire. Richard le Eyre of Hope in Derbyshire Esq. The 36th of Henry the 3rd. (1216-1272)He had Barton of the Heath in Warickshire, the 4th part of the Knight’s fee and an estate in Norfolk. His ancestors came in with William the Conquerer , Dugshakes, Warickshire.(1066)
Robert le Eyre of Hope … the 31 of King Edward 1st.(1272-1307)
William Le Eyre of Hope Esq. – an officer at the famous Battle of Agincourt, in France. The of October 3rd of Henry the 5th and a Justice of Peace.Under Henry the 6th he died before the 12 of K. Henry the 6th.(1422-1461)
( The link above is about the legend of the Eyres and William the Conquerer).
Hathersage Church Cemetery :
Some information re the Eyre family, from the Headstone at Hathersage Church:
Thomas(1793-1862) was the son of William Eyre (1750-1831) and Mary d.1846 , North Lees. William Eyre was the son of George Eyre b. 1704 ( we think )or Thomas Eyre 1715, who was the son of William Eyre of Bamford , Yorkshire Bridge.
William Eyre farmer , of North Lees in 1819 was granted a lease of 21 years at the request of John Staley Vessey.
Thomas had a brother George d. Hathersage 1794 – 1873( lived North Lees ), a sister Harriet born Hathersage 1808 – d. 1878 ( lived North Lees), a sister Mary 1804 – 1863 ( lived North Lees) , a sister Ann born Hathersage 1801, and John , born 1798 Hathersage – d. 1844. Many or most are buried together at Hathersage Church. We have no record of any children from his siblings.
The Thorpe Family closely tied to the Eyres:
On the headstone, was also Henry Thorp, (son of Seth and Sarah Thorp of Padley), who died at Gozo near Malta 1856 ( 21years- Crimean war). Also Sarah Thorpe,( Sarah had 70 acres as a widow in Hathersage in 1881) and Seth Thorpe,( a farmer in Padley as noted in 1857), also Joseph Thomas Thorpe d. 1903.We know the Thorpes had farmland and there still is a farm. at Hathersage.( In the reign of Henry the VI(1421 to 1471) the family of Thorp owned property in Hathersage, with the remainder to Robert Eyre and his heirs. ).
It is noted that in 1891 Charles Thorpe was the farmer at Kimbercourt Farm ( which was once owned byThomas Eyre)
Hathersage Church: Much of the parish church of St. Michael and All Angels dates from 1381. It was extensively rebuilt by Sir Robert Eyre following his return from the battle of Agincourt, where he and his father, Sir Nicholas Eyre distinguished themselves on the famous field in 1415. The church’s history goes back to the 12th century as it was given to the priory of Launde, Leicestershire by Richard Basset, its founder. In the chancel are several monuments t the family of Eyre, ancestors of the Earls of Newburgh.On an alter tomb, represented in brass, are effigies of Robert Eyre , his wife and fourteen children.
In 1851-2 the church was thoroughly restored. The west end window was given by Mr. George Eyre and his three sisters, and Mr. Thomas Eyre gave two handsome carved old oak chairs with buffets, which stand on each side of the chancel.
Here is what we know about Thomas Eyre’s profession and business dealings:
Thomas was in partnership with Edward Horley in a wholesale drug business called Horley and Eyre – from about 1824-1844 when it was dissolved. In 1824 they had a business at 6 Temple Place, Matthew St. Liverpool. By 1844 the partnership was dissolved (13/7/1844), it seems they had gone into bankruptcy – called “bankruptcy superceded” in 1840. I guess they hung on until 1844.
Thomas must have gone out on his own then, and was called T.Eyre and Company with offices at 24 Seel Street, Liverpool and 11 Canon Street in London. ( In 1851 Thomas was living at 20 Seel Street , Liverpool with his cousin , Robert Joseph Linnington (25) noted as at Drug Grocer. )Whilst Thomas was noted as being a Wholesale Druggist employing 36 men.
24/10/1849:Robert Joseph Linnington, Thomas’s cousin( Sophie’s brother), was involved in the trade of Linngton , Pinkess and Jordon : paint, colour and varnish manufacturers and drug grinders. Partnership dissolved, October 1949.
1835 ( school )built and enlarged in 1845:It is noted that the National School of Hathersage , erected with land donated by Thomas Eyre.( We are unsure whether it is our Thomas Eyre as there were many in the district).
Thomas Eyre and the connection around 1845 with Charlotte Bronte and “Jane Eyre”.
The connection here between Thomas Eyre and Charlotte Bronte ( to be discussed in more detail later), came when Charlotte Bronte came to visit Hathersage , in the 1840’s . She visited with Ellen Nussey for three weeks in August 1845 . Ellen had recently married the Vicar of Hathersage, Mr. Nussey. It was at Hathersage that Charlotte Bronte derived the name of her heroine Jane Eyre – from the Eyre family that lived there – namely Thomas Eyre and his family. When Mr. Nussey found Hathersage without a school, he was mainly instrumental in establishing the National School in 1845. These circumstances within a short time of Charlotte’s visit, were alluded to in the observations ( in “Jane Eyre” )she puts in the mouth of Rivers in reference to the school over which Jane Eyre is appointed as mistress. With Thomas Eyre having donated the land, and Mr. Nussey being instrumental in building the school, needless to say, Thomas Eyre was in the circle of the Nusseys and Charlotte Bronte.( When he came down from Liverpool).
c1851: Hathersage had 181 houses and 832 inhabitants, Thomas Eyre was noted as principal owner living at Moorseats. In 1851 Thomas Eyre was one of the principal owners at Hathersage.
Moorseats: c 1851/5 “A neat pleasant mansion one mile north-east from the village is the seat and property of Thomas Eyre.”Thomas Eyre and Sophie lived there after their marriage. Whilst Thomas’s siblings lived at North Lees and his brother George,lived at and farmed the land around North Lees.
“Moorseats “As mentioned in “Jane Eyre”by Charlotte Bronte:
“JANE EYRE”: Having fled Thornfield, Jane finds sanctuary in the home of the Rivers family; “They loved their sequestered home. I too, in the grey, small antique structure, with its low roof, its latticed casements, its mouldering walls, its avenue of aged firs.. found a charm, both potent and permanent. They clung to the purple moors behind and around their dwelling- to the hollow vale into which the pebbly bridle-path leading from their gate descended”
Moorseats is another of the places Charlotte Bronte visited when staying with Ellen Nussey in Hathersage, 1845 – Hathersage, which became morton in the book.
( “Marsh’s end /Moor house” ,mentioned in Jane Eyre ,was supposed to be Our Thomas Eyre’s “Moorseats” ).
Charles Stubbs writes that “John Eyre” in the book on page 100 was in fact based on Thomas Eyre of Moorseats. (Moorseats was not sold to Thomas till 1855, however, he was noted as living there in the census of 1851, AFTER Charlotte Bronte had visited) She did however , we believe visit North Lees where she would have met The Eyre family.
History of Moorseats:
1823: Mortgage of the Moorseats property by Henry Ibbotson ( yeoman of Nether Hirst), son of William to John Bright.
1839: Further mortgage to the Low Moor iron co.
1855: Conveyance by J.W.Pye Smith as mortgage of the Moorseats property, to Thomas Eyre, then of Moorseats. 1855: Moorseats was sold to Thomas for 2,500 pounds.
1861: Will of Thomas Eyre, his trustees were : ( his brother George Eyre of North Lees Hall and *Rev. Henry Cottingham of Heath), Moorseats to the use of his wife for life and then to Charles Stubbs of Ealing, with other remainders.
1861: Thomas Eyre ( 68) living at Moorseats with Sophia (30) , no kids, three servants, ( including a cook of 25 yrs. Mary Thorpe)… Thomas was 38 years her senior !( Mary Thorpe may have been Sarah and Seth Thorpe’s daughter ).
1862: Chancery decree in suit between Mrs Sophia Eyre , widow and Charles Stubbs, ( proceedings must have been carried out by Charles’ mother Anne Elizabeth Stubbs nee Linnington).
1863: Sophia Eyre… now of North Kensington Park, widow of Thomas Eyre, formerly of Liverpool but late of Moorseats, to John Spencer Ashton Shuttleworth. For completing the sale of all that allotment in the hamlet of Hathersage- Outseats called Golden Car. (The allotment was ordered to be sold by the Court of Chancery and proceeds to be placed to the credit of the cause )
1864: Sophia Eyre sells Moorseats and Kimbercales estates to George Anthony Hardy of Sheffield, a contractor.
Thomas owned a number of properties including : Kimbercote, Bainford, Testators Stanage Property and Clough Farm, Bamford . It is noted that in 1851 North Lees and Brookfield Hall ( built 1656)was the property of Miss H. Wright. Yet in 1851 the Eyre family was living in North Lees. I have yet to find out who Miss Wright was.
Other estates included Bamford and Kimberkote”Kimber Court” which is a listed building in Hathersage. http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-81158-kimber-court-hathersage
( The Rev Smith who later married Sophie Eyre was a rector at Bamford ).
Thomas eyre’s properties can be seen on a derbyshire walk above. He also owned property called Stanage the area of which you can see in the above map.
( The link above will give a good sense of the area as it is today ).
The Wills of Thomas Eyre :
Sophie Linnington went on to marry Rev. Charles Smith in 1866. Charles Smith was noted as being from Toft Monly, Norfolk.He was the Rector of Bamford, Derbyshire. Sophia Eyre was noted to be from Barnstaple , Devon. In 1863 she was living at North Kensington Park, London. However, in 1881: Rev Charles Smith was the rector at Hathersage Church. Sophie , living with him was 50.
1866: The wedding took place at St. John , Notting Hill, Kensington, Chelsea. They were married by Rev. Stewart Dixon Stubbs and one of witnesses was Emily Stubbs( Charles’s sister). At the time of Marriage, Sophie was living at 107 Lansdowne rd. Kensington .
More information on Charles Smith and Sophie Eyre Smith:
The Rev. Charles Smith was the rector of Bamford and at some point I believe was the rector at Hathersage. He received an M.A. at Exeter College, Oxford.
It is noted that Sophie’s last address was Moorseats, Great Malvern, Worcestershire , England.
Charles Smith died Nov 26th 1888 , in Bamford, Derbyshire.
“Rev. Charles Smith (56) rector of Bamford ,fell unconscious in the Post Office and died in a few hours”.
Below census 1901 for sophie smith. ( Charles Stubbs’s sister, Emily Evans she was living at Moorseats after Sophie died ).