The Nineteenth Century: Mr Bott and the Audens

The church chest contained a mass of documents, very mouse chewed, relating to the proof of legal settlement of men to be in the parish and of payments for bastard children. If people could not work and were penniless, the parish was responsible. There was often dispute as to which parish was liable for their upkeep. Apparently the owners of Barton Blount rehoused people in Church Broughton to avoid their responsibilities. In 1834 the Poor Law was changed and there were Boards of Guardians who oversaw the large workhouses, which became the Andressey Hospital, Burton-on-Trent and Manor Hospital, Derby. Poor people were sent to the workhouse, which became a place of dread. For a meagre diet, they broke stones and other work. Children were sometimes sent to north America to be adopted. One Broughton man cut his throat with his tobacco knife.

The impression that Church Broughton flowered in the middle of the last century may be only due to the increase in information available. The chapel was built in 1828 and Mr Simnett was running the brickworks up the Alkmonton road in the 1820s. In 1846 the village had four shoemakers, a blacksmith, a wheelwright, three butchers, two or three little shops and a bakery. The Duke of Devonshire built the lock-up in 1855 and the village had a Superintendent and later Sergeants to control the drunks coming out of the Holly Bush and the Royal Oak. At one time the White House was a pub with a cock pit. the Church was repaired in 1845, with new pews and the stone stalls and basin for holy water added. The Vicarage was built in 1857.

The farms employed many people and others worked at the Fauld alabaster pit and Hilton gravel pits. A third of the labourers’ wives did light farm work and seasonally worked on the Dove osier beds belonging to Mr Sampson of Mount Pleasant. The children peeled the willow and the women split them, two bundles a day for 6d a bundle. Farm workers were taken on at the Tutbury Statutes. A kitchen maid was paid ?5 a year and might be promoted to laundrymaid after two years for ?10. Bad employers sacked workers just before the next statute, to avoid paying wages.

Richard Bott came, as tenant, to the Etchells in 1864, when he was 30. His father had been a tammy (muslin) maker in Burton who did well in business with the Gresleys and Webbs. He lived at Coton Hall and owned the watermills at Rolleston and Tutbury. Richard became the country gentleman, adding an extension to the Etchells for a ballroom, and employing a butler, footman, housekeeper, housemaid and Miss Bannnister’s mother was nursemaid to the children. The Miss Mosleys came over for the hunting. He was church warden and on the Board of Guardians, but only attended half the meetings. He took over the brickyard in 1876, but I don’t know if he worked in the cotton trade. His bailiff and wagonner lived on either side of the schoolmaster in the cottages next to the church.

There was always a well qualified schoolmaster, attracted by the ?30 from land set aside at the enclosure. However, as the result of poor attendance (only 20 pupils had free schooling) the general standard was low. Of the people married in the 25 years before education became compulsory in 1870, less than half could write their name. In 1867, Mr Sampson wrote to the Commission on Agriculture, saying “I see no necessity to restrict the age at which boys should be permitted to work on the land, as they are not required to work until they are able, and they have a good school which they attend until they are able”. They began work at 12 years and some earlier.

A descendant of the Doveridge yeoman, also named William Hopkins, born in 1804, was at school with Lord St Vincent and so he planted poplars at Horninglow, one for every ship that was sunk or captured off Cape St Vincent in 1797. He had four beautiful daughters, who all died aged 69! The Auden family had three impoverished clergy sons who, with a cousin, married the Hopkins daughters and were given the livings in Church Broughton, Horninglow, where William Hopkins built the church, and Church Stretton. William Auden came to Broughton in 1864. When he died in 1904, his son would not follow him here, so his nephew at Horninglow, Alfred came as vicar until 1933. Alfred’s nephew, the poet Wystan sometimes visited. So the Audens were vicars here for nearly seventy years.

Two years after the arrival of William Auden, the church floor was lowered (as was done in Tutbury too) and the walls whitewashed. In 1874, the cottages were pulled down so that the churchyard could be extended to the road. It took William and Charles Owen 157 hours to build the wall and set up the gate posts. They were paid 5/- and 2/6 for a 10 hour day.

The population increased from 414 in 1801 to 661 in 1850. Hatton was half the size, but grew after the coming of the railway. By 1871 Church Broughton had declined to 602 with 143 houses, 14 of which were uninhabited. Although in 60% of marriages, both partners came from Broughton, there was a continual movement and six families moved into the village every year. Inventories for the Etchells in the 1870s show a mixed farm with cattle, sheep and pigs, cart horses and hunters. Mr Bott grew cabbage, mangolds, potatoes and turnips and had ricks of oats, peas, beans, barley and hay. Inside were oilcake and apples. In the yard were chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys. In the cheese loft were 259 cheeses.

Cheese was still the main product of the farms until after the first cheese factories in this country were set up in Derby and Longford in 1870. Then milk began to be taken from the farms to the factories. The Sutton on the Hill cheese factory began in 1876. The greatest problem for cheese factories was that, as soon as farmers realised it was safe to transport milk in the 17 gallon churns they used for butter-making, they were enticed into taking it to the railway for sale in the cities. Unfortunately for them, the milk often turned sour, what with the bumpy road and rail journey and then being left on the platform in the sun, and was then returned without payment, so out had to come all the farm cheese gear again.

Both the Auden vicars encouraged village activities. There was the Mothers’ Union and the Boys’ Brigade and William Auden’s daughters helped in the school. Alfred Auden, in cooperation with the Chapel members, especially the Bulls and the Princes at Sapperton (Mrs Bull was a Prince), supported the Band of Hope and organised the closure of the Royal Oak in 1917. His family ran theatrical entertainments with the children, and there were musical and comic evenings in aid of the Church Bells. The choir entered competitions. Tennis was played at various farms. Entertainment in the village is not a new thing. There was a concert in aid of the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary in 1803. A worm-eaten bassoon was in the church chest, the last instrument for church music discarded when the organ was installed. Fiddle players came for the dances.