Glossop Heritage Trust

The Howard Family, Barons of Glossop, and Glossop Hall

The Abbot of Basingwerk leased the Glossopdale land to the Talbot family. The later Talbot Earls of Shrewsbury held the manor and in 1606, through Alathea Talbot, it went to her husband Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel. Through several generations and branches of the Howard family Glossop became part of the land of the 12th and 13th Dukes of Norfolk who did much to improve the area and the name 'Howardtown' became used for a rapidly growing township. By 1869 there was a Baron Howard of Glossop resident in Glossop Hall on the land west of Old Glossop.

The text below is based on The Book of Glossop (Published 1991, ISBN 0 86023 484 3) by Jack Hanmer and (the late) Dennis Winterbottom and is reproduced by kind permission of Jack Hanmer. The text has been updated to reflect subsequent events.

Bernard Edward Howard, 12th Duke of Norfolk
Bernard Edward Howard, 12th Duke of Norfolk
The Howards are right at the top of the aristocratic tree; the head of the family, the Duke of Norfolk, is the Earl Marshal, Premier Peer of the United Kingdom. Such has been the case since 1483, when the first Howard Duke of Norfolk was created, except when the head of the family has been in disgrace, or when Roman Catholicism has precluded him from exercising his hereditary office.

The present Duke of Norfolk is the 18th; he is also 13th Baron Beaumont and 5th Baron Howard of Glossop, among other titles of a lesser kind.

In 1606 the Manor of Glossop came to the Howards as part of Alathea Talbot's dowry when she married Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel. Arundel had only recently been restored to the Earldom (1608) by James I.

Until then his ancestry had told against him. His father, Philip Howard (now Saint Philip Howard to Roman Catholics) had died in the Tower in 1595 (under Elizabeth I) as a supposed traitor. His grandfather, Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, had been beheaded on Tower Hill in 1572 (also under Elizabeth) for plotting to set Mary, Queen of Scots, on the throne. His great grandfather, Henry Howard, Poet Earl of Surrey, had been beheaded in 1547 (under Henry VIII) for comparatively minor offences and his father, too, would have gone to the block soon after if Henry VIII had not died the night before. Add to this the two unfortunate Queens of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn (whose mother was a Howard) and Katherine Howard, and the 1st Duke of Norfolk killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. With such a catalogue of family misfortune, the Howards paid the price for their pride, wilfulness and scheming.

So Arundel kept his head down, and under James I began the family's rehabilitation. The wildness reasserted itself in Arundel's children: Henry Frederick Howard eloped with the King's cousin, who was promised to someone else, and Arundel and Alathea spent some time in the Tower. And long after Arundel's death, his second son William, Viscount Stafford, was beheaded in 1680 for complicity in the Popish Plot, but this episode ended the catalogue of family tragedy.

Henry Granville Howard, 14th Duke of Norfolk
Henry Granville Howard, 14th Duke of Norfolk
Bernard Edward Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk
Bernard Edward Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk
By now the Howards were a tamed and domesticated Court family loyal to the Sovereign, and this worked against them during the Civil Wars and the Commonwealth. Their estates, including Glossop, were confiscated and revenues from them diverted to Parliamentary funds. When Arundel died, in Padua in 1646, his will was challenged by his estranged son, Henry Frederick, from whom everything which could possibly be kept was kept.

So the former Talbot possessions (the Manors of Worksop, Glossop and part of Hallam) and the Manor of Greystoke in Cumberland which had passed to Arundel through his mother, Ann Dacre, were shared among the older sons of Henry Frederick. In 1660, with the Restoration the Dukedom of Norfolk was restored to the Howards, and the insane Thomas Howard, eldest son of Henry Frederick, became 5th Duke. When he died, unmarried, in 1677 the Dukedom passed to his brother Henry Howard, who redistributed the Howard lands: the Glossop estate (nominally) to the younger brother Bernard, who became known as 'Bernard Howard of Glossop', though he probably never set foot in the place. The Glossop estate remained in Bernard's family through his son (another) Bernard, and grandson Henry though, for a brief period 1729-37, it was 'taken over' by the unfashionable line of Standish-Howard through the unscrupulous manoeuvring of George Howard and his sister Philippa, children of the 6th Duke's second marriage, to Jane Bickerton. The Standish-Howards died out in (about) 1737, and thereafter the ownership of Glossop was clear-cut, in the hands of Henry Howard of Glossop (1713-87), and after him in those of his son Bernard Edward (1765-1842).

But successive genetic failures in the parallel lines of Howard funnelled the Dukedom of Norfolk into the Glossop line in 1815. When the 7th Duke died childless in 1701, the Dukedom had passed to his nephew, Thomas of Worksop. The failure of the Worksop line in 1777 passed the Dukedom to the Greystoke line, which itself had failed by 1815. And the Glossop line almost failed: Bernard Edward's marriage to Elizabeth Belasyse was a stormy affair which ended in divorce, but not before it had produced the single son, Henry Charles Howard.

By this time Glossopdale was becoming firmly established as a textile manufacturing region; a process begun through the putting-out system, and confirmed by the building of numerous cotton spinning mills after 1782. Glossop was becoming desirable, capable of producing a yield for its Lord which would put it on a par with his other estates. This had been recognised by the 9th Duke of Norfolk as early as 1737 (Edward of Worksop) when the Standish-Howard line failed, and the Howard agent in Sheffield, Vincent Eyre, was told to reorganise the Glossop estate.

The replacement of agriculture by textile manufacturing provided the 9th and 10th Dukes of Norfolk (and Henry Howard of Glossop as well) with a greatly enhanced income.

Francis Edward Howard, 2nd Baron Howard of GlossopFrancis Edward Howard, 2nd Baron Howard of Glossop
Francis Edward Howard, 2nd Baron Howard of Glossop
The wedding of Bernard Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 3rd Baron Howard of Glossop to Mona Josephine Tempest-Stapleton

The wedding of Bernard Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 3rd Baron Howard of Glossop to Mona Josephine Tempest-Stapleton.
The short Standish-Howard period provided Glossop with its first Glossop Hall. Ralph Standish-Howard (died 1735) intended to live in Glossop, and about 1729 began to build a house called Royle Hall. By 1734 it was built, but his death and that of his infant son put paid to a resident squire for more than a century. Royle Hall became a shooting lodge, a small corner used by the Bailiff, who was subservient to the Howard agent in Sheffield. But, by the 1780s at latest, the Manor of Glossop had become important enough to have its own Howard agent, Charles Calvert, and he and Bailiff Thomas Shaw were both housed at Royle Hall. When Matthew Ellison became the Agent in 1797, his residence was given as 'Glossop Hall', although the old name was a long time dying.

From 1815 or shortly after, the main line divides into two: the Dukes of Norfolk and the Howards of Glossop. The 12th and 13th Dukes were both Lords of the Manor until 1850, when the 13th Duke's second son, Edward George, became Lord Howard of Glossop, confirmed by a Barony in 1869. In 1850 Royle Hall was demolished (apart from its private chapel) to build the second Glossop Hall which stood until 1958, and from 1851 to 1924 the 1st and 2nd Barons Howard of Glossop lived in it. Glossop had at last acquired a resident nobility, which reflected its importance.

The 12th Duke died in 1842, aged 77. He was revered by Glossopians as the 'Old Duke' (th'Owd Duke). He had been the first of the true Howards to associate himself personally with Glossop for those who had gone before had merely racked Glossop for what they could get out of it. Much of the credit must go to his Glossop Land Agents, Matthew Ellison (d 1834) and his son Michael (d 1861), who constantly prompted the Duke about Glossop's needs. They realised the advantages of industrial growth, were active in leasing land in the Duke's name for mills and quarries. Both the 12th Duke and the Ellisons had shares in the local turnpike trusts which determined the centre of a new industrial town and in 1837-8 the 12th Duke built the Town Hall close to the intersection of the two turnpike roads, setting his seal on Howard Town as it was called. Glossop Hall
Glossop Hall
Glossop Hall Chapel interior
Glossop Hall Chapel interior
The 13th Duke, Henry Charles Howard, was even more interested. Michael Ellison wrote to him in 1843, soon after his accession:
'The Glossop Estate differs from any other portion of Your Grace's property in that from a state of comparative obscurity and inconsiderable rental, it has during the last forty years attained an exalted and influential position.'

The New Duke reacted quickly with further development, which included the Market Hall of 1844 (which brought the Market away from Old Glossop), the railway branch line to Dinting in 1845, the railway station in 1847 (with the sculptured Howard lion), and the waterworks at Swineshaw in 1852, which provided the new town with a piped supply of drinking water. So important did the 13th Duke consider Glossop that in 1850 he began to build the new Glossop Hall for his second son, Edward George, as resident Lord, and Lord Edward moved into it in 1851, shortly after his marriage to Augusta Talbot. The Glossop Estate had become second only to Arundel. The 13th Duke was an eccentric; he neglected Arundel Castle shamefully, but Michael Ellison and Duchess Charlotte handled him well so far as Glossop was concerned. Charlotte, an Anglican, persuaded the Catholic Duke to build the first Grammar School in Glossop, adjoining the Parish Church, called the Duke of Norfolk's School. And because he treated Catholics and Anglicans alike in his bounty, it was said that he took his religion lightly. But it was simply a total lack of bigotry which made such things possible.

Until the making of the Borough in 1866 the Anglican Church was dominant in local government, in a system administered by the Select Vestry and the Manor Court. In these two institutions there had usually been religious unanimity - the Howards of the 17th and 18th centuries had been largely Anglican. So had their agents. But in 1797 came Catholic Agent Matthew Ellison, and the growing certainty that Catholic Bernard Edward Howard would succeed his Protestant cousin as Duke changed the religious emphasis. About 1800 a private Catholic chapel was built at (the first) Glossop Hall. In 1803 the Roman Catholic Parish of All Saints was based upon this private chapel, in the care of Father Barbé from France. Bernard Edward's elevation to the Dukedom in 1815, the local prominence of the Ellison family, Catholic millowners Francis Sumner and the Daltons, all gave Catholics status in Glossop though numbers never climbed above 6 or 7 per cent. This amounted to close on a thousand Catholics in the 1830s, and the small chapel could not cope. In 1835-6 the 12th Duke built the Roman Catholic Church of All Saints', and two of Matthew Ellison's daughters established the Convent and the Catholic School for Girls in 1847. Glossop Hall entrance lodge, ca 1911
Glossop Hall entrance lodge, ca 1911
Glossop Hall fireplace
Glossop Hall fireplace
The religious unanimity of Manor and Parish had thus been broken, and although local government carried on, still under Anglican domination through the Select Vestry, it is not surprising that Catholics, in particular Francis Sumner and the Lord of the Manor (12th Duke, 13th Duke or Lord Edward Howard) should incline towards a system which had no base in the Anglican Church. Ideally this would be a municipal borough. Catholic aspirations were only one factor among several.

Far more vigorous than the growth of Catholicism was the growth of Protestant Nonconformity. The Kershaws of Whitfield had founded the Independent Chapel at Little Moor in 1811. As early as 1804 the Thornleys of Hadfield had built the first Wesleyan Chapel, whose adjoining graveyard still exists in Chapel Lane in Hadfield. In Old Glossop Wesleyan services had been held in a garret near the Old Cross for twenty five years when in 1812-13, the Old Glossop Wesleyan Chapel was built. The millowning Barbers, Leeses, Rhodeses and Platts were prominent in the founding of the Padfield Wesleyan Chapel in 1829, and when Glossop became centred on Howard Town the Central Methodist Chapel was established in 1844 by these same millowning families. The first half of the 19th century was as much a struggle for religious allegiance as it was for industrial supremacy, and the millowners as well as the Lords of the Manor were in the front line. The arrival of John Wood and the Sidebottoms gave a fillip to the Anglican community.

Lord Edward Howard's attachment to Glossop was becoming clear by the 1840s. He was MP for Horsham but in 1852 he came to live at Glossop Hall, and the management of the estate was delegated to him. After his father died in 1856 he and his elder brother, Henry Granville, the 14th Duke, decided to petition for the Barony of Glossop, but the Duke only survived his father by four years, with the anticipated Barony still uncreated. He left eleven children; the eldest son Henry succeeded as 15th Duke of Norfolk at thirteen. The family surname was Fitzalan-Howard from 1842, when the 14th Duke and his brothers and sisters assumed the extra surname. Glossop Hall rear
Glossop Hall rear
Glossop Hall inner garden gates
Glossop Hall inner garden gates
The new 15th Duke was a minor so his uncle Lord Edward became deputy head of the family until 1868. As acting Earl Marshal Lord Edward pressed the Queen and her Privy Council for the proposed Barony. It took a further nine years. In 1868 he retired from the House of Commons and built a fine new Roman Catholic Church in Hadfield, dedicated to St Charles Borromeo, where he and his descendants have since been buried. The vault at St Charles's contains the remains of the First, Second and Third Barons Howard of Glossop with their wives and sundry other members of the Glossop line, to a total of fourteen persons.
Thus from 1869 the newly-ennobled Howards of Glossop assumed a greater importance for local people than their cousins, the Dukes. Lord Edward had been prominent in local affairs before he became a peer, but after 1866, when Glossop became a municipal borough, his importance consisted in owning the land and living in the locality. After the Borough was formed he did not interfere in the town's administration. Glossop Hall from the park
Glossop Hall from the park
Glossop Hall rear & gardens
Glossop Hall rear & gardens
In 1879 Duchess Flora gave birth to a son, their heir to the Dukedom. The child, Philip, was blind and epileptic, and lived until 1902. The Duke married again in 1904, and produced a sound and worthy heir in Bernard Marmaduke who died in 1975, leaving four daughters and therefore no direct succession, so that the Dukedom reverted once more into the Glossop line: to his cousin Miles Francis, 4th Baron Howard of Glossop.
Francis Edward, the 2nd Baron Howard of Glossop, spent little time in Glossop, and when he was here hardly emerged from Glossop Hall. The Howard participation in local affairs, when it was needed, was provided by his agents, the Ellisons and Francis Hawke. When the 2nd Baron died in 1924 the Glossop estate was put up for sale, and came under the auctioneer's hammer in 1925. The reason for the sale was straightforward: Bernard Edward, the 3rd Baron, had married Mona Tempest-Stapleton, Baroness Beaumont, whose ancestral home was Carlton Towers in Yorkshire, a much finer house than Glossop Hall. Glossop Hall and its estate were sacrificed to the upkeep of Carlton Towers, and sold piecemeal, mainly to sitting tenants. The Hall itself became Kingsmoor School in 1927, a private, fee-paying school where most pupils boarded, and which enjoyed a hey-day in the 1930s when a good proportion of its pupils came from overseas. The outer grounds of Glossop Hall were opened to the public as Manor Park in 1927. Glossop Hall entrance lodge
Glossop Hall entrance lodge
Glossop Hall Chapel during demolition 1959
Glossop Hall Chapel during demolition 1959
After the estate was sold the Howards seemed to be more remote still from Glossop and its people. The 3rd Baron lived at Carlton Towers and in London, and visited Glossop on a few private occasions only. He died in 1972, and subsequently his son, Miles Francis, the 4th Baron and 17th Duke of Norfolk, showed himself to be far more interested in Glossop. After he became Duke of Norfolk in 1975 he visited Glossop on several occasions: to unveil the plaque in the renovated Town Hall and Market entrance in 1976, to give the address at the Royal British Legion Annual Drumhead Service in Manor Park (also 1976), to open and visit the Heritage exhibitions in 1984, and to open the Heritage Centre (of which he was president) in 1986. On each occasion he expressed his pleasure that Glossop still connects him and his family with its heritage and history. Several times a year he paid a private visit to St Charles' Church at Hadfield, where his ancestors, the Barons Howard of Glossop are buried.

The 17th Duke died in 2002 and was succeeded by his son Edward William Fitzalan Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk.

One of the items which used to be exhibited in the Heritage Centre was a Pedigree of the Howard Family, Barons of Glossop.
A version in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format can be viewed on screen by clicking here.

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Page last updated: 25 September 2017.
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