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Etwall (St. Helen)

ETWALL (St. Helen), a parish, in the union of Burton-upon-Trent, hundred of Appletree, S. division of the county of Derby; containing, with the townships of Bearwardcoat and Burnaston, 689 inhabitants, of whom 510 are in the township of Etwall, 6 miles (W. S. W.) from Derby. The manor belonged to Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire, in the reign of Stephen. It was given by Henry VIII., in 1540, to Sir John Port, Knt., one of the justices of the king's bench; and came by marriage to the Gerards, who sold the estate, in 1641, to Sir Edward Moseley, Bart. Of the last-named it was purchased, in 1646, by Sir Samuel Sleigh, whose heiress brought it to the Cotton family. The parish comprises 3289 acres of land; more than two-thirds are pasture, and principally occupied in dairy-farms: the surface is undulated, the soil loamy, and the scenery of pleasing character. The road from Uttoxeter to Derby passes through the village, which is large and well built. The Hall, the ancient seat of the Ports, and subsequently of the Cottons, of whom was Major-General Cotton, lately deceased, is a venerable mansion of brick, faced with stone, and contains many splendid apartments; in the picture-gallery are some exquisite carvings in wood, and several of the rooms contain paintings representing members of the Cotton family. It is now the property of the Rev. Charles Evelyn Cotton, who is lord of the manors of Etwall and Burnaston.

The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8; net income, £342; patron, William Eaton Mousley, Esq.; impropriator, William Thomas Cox, Esq. The church is an ancient structure with a tower, in the Norman and early English styles, with later additions, and has a nave, chancel, and north aisle, and a spacious gallery at the west end: there are monuments to Sir John Port and his wives; the tomb of Henry Port, dated 1512, with figures of his wife and seventeen children, in brass; and tablets to the Cottons and others. The Wesleyans have a place of worship. In 1566 Sir John Port devised lands for the foundation and endowment of an almshouse or hospital at this place, and a grammar school at Repton, which see; the hospital stands on the north side of the church, and admits sixteen almsmen, of whom four have 16s. per week each, two 15s. 6d., six 12s., and the remaining four 10s. The vicar of Etwall, as has been the case with former vicars, is master of the hospital, and reads prayers every morning to the almsmen and parishioners; his salary, increased in consequence of the improved value of the estates, is £200 per annum.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.