More Brentnall records:

Transcript of handwritten note of second page. (The first page is missing)

Star Chamber Records:

"Richard Brentnall (now dead) and others, including Richard Davenport, Gent., were present at Stockport market with others on 10th Sept 1518 when Ottiwell Booth was murdered.  Brentnall had accompanied Robert Pownall, the man who killed Booth with a dagger.  After they had helped Pownell to escape into Lancashire Brentnall and others went to Bramhall where they were sheltered by Sir Wm Davenport."

From the Davenport Collection:

" ?th Aug 1625 Lease for 3 lives.  1st part - Sir Wm Davenport of Bramhall. 2nd part - Richard Brentnall of Bramhall, husbandman.  All that newe erected howse or cottage and one little cowhouse in Bramhall aforesaid which he the said Richard Brentnall with the lycense of the said Sir Wm Davenport hath lately builte and sett uppe; as also those two severall croftes and parcelles of ground (heare adjoiyninge to the said house) which the same Richard Brentnall hath enclosed.
For the lives of Richard Brentnall and his sons Richard and Edmunde
Rent: 2 shillings a year, 2 good hens and a capon, 2 days shearing at harvest time, 1 day fillinge of Mucke."   Herriott. The Best Beast.

"8th Nov 1657 Lease for 3 lives (1) Peter Davenport of Bramhall esq. (2) Elizabeth Brentnall, spinster, daughter of Richard Brentnall of Bramhall, husbandman, late deceased.  Same property. For the lives of John Brentnall alias Kinsey, Katherine Brentnall alias Reddich, son and daughter of Elizabeth, and John Brentnall, son of John Brentnall of Bramhall, husbandman. Rent etc as before. "

The following pages are a transcript of typewritten sheets written by John B Brentnall in 1987, who constructed the tree.

T H E   C H E S H I R E   B R E N T N A L L S

    The "Tree" was originally started in the 1920s to establish our connection with the Derbyshire families of Bower, Badiley and Cresswell since there was a considerable income to be had from the Ground and Chief rents in the New Mills area.    Most of the work was done by Edward (1857-1927) and his nephew Harold (1879-1955) but they were probably helped by relatives since they must all have hoped to benefit.   They succeeded in proving the marriage of Ann Bower Cresswell to Thomas Brentnall in 1785.   The amount of income to each member of the family was fairly small and so most of them sold their share to Edward and Harold (I was told by my father that his father Sam was only too glad to sell his interest to raise some much needed cash).   Since ground rents cannot be increased to keep pace with inflation the income became less and less until finally the administration costs were as high, if not higher, than the income and so the investment was finally given to the collector by Pauline Pelham and Rosamund Brentnall.

    For amusement, I have continued the Tree both backwards and forwards and, apart from several names which I cannot fit in, the Tree is about as complete as possible although I am still hoping to extend it.    Luckily, most of the family remained in Cheshire being "sons of the earth" - farmers, blacksmiths, millers, etc.  But where did Robert c 1530 come from?  Was he from Derbyshire, Staffordshire or Nottinghamshire where the Brentnalls are quite thick on the ground or did he originally come from Brent Knoll (Steep Hill) in Somerset?   One Brentnall I would like to trace is Thomas Brentnell.  He is buried at Chelford (as are several other Brentnalls).

    "Here lieth the body of Thomas Brentnell
    Who died June 22nd, 1814 aged 33.
    "By sudden death I'm snatched away
    Death scarcely left me time to say
    The Lord have mercy on my soul
    So absolute is his control
    Reflect when thou my grave doth see
    The next that's made may be for thee."

    I have been greatly helped in making the Tree by my friend Mrs Margorie Pollard.  She sent me a little rhyme at Christmas:-
    We find them here, we find them there
    Those Brentnalls turn up everywhere
    But who, oh who is Thomas B.
    Who died when he was 33?
    In Chelford churchyard he lies cold
    His parentage he never told
    A secret kept by him in heaven
    For us to find in '87."

1.    Thomas Bower wills his property (subject to payments to his wife and daughter Ann) to his three sons John, George and Yeaveley but Yeaveley died under 21 and his share passed to his brothers.  George died intestate so that John became his heir-at-law.

2.    John had two children John and Sarah.  John died at age 13 so that Sarah inherited the bulk of the estate.

3.     Sarah of Rushop in the parish of Chapel-en-le-Frith.  She died a spinster and gave detailed instructions for the erection of a "Handsome white marble monument" and for the care of her harpsichord at Peak Forest Chapel.  Neither of these instructions seems to have been carried out - all she has is a small wall plaque in the new chapel.   She left money for the care of the poor of the district and then her estate was to be divided equally amongst her cousins:  Ann wife of John Cresswell, yeoman of Chapel-en-le-Frith; Mary wife of John Bennett, surgeon of Chapel-en-le-Frith; and John Badiley Radcliffe son of her late cousin Elizabeth Radcliffe.

4.    John Badiley Radcliffe of Spinner Bottom in the parish of Glossop.  He wills his estate, together with money left to him by his grandfather Badiley, first to his father and then after grants to the poor of the district (similar to those of Sarah Bower) to his cousins Badiley, Elizabeth, Ann and Sarah children of Ann Cresswell and Maria and Sarah children of Mary Bennett.

5.    Ann of Torr Top in the parish of Glossop.  Wife of John Cresswell (m 16/8/1762). Later wife of Joseph Howe (m 1789).  Before 1883 a wife's property automatically became the property of her husband.  Only in special circumstances therefore could she make a will.  In this case apparently since her property was that obtained under the will of Sarah Bower she was able to make a will.   She leaves her husband the sum of $100 and, right at the end of the will, as an afterthought, she leaves him one bed with sufficient furniture to furnish one room.   She leaves her daughter Ann wife of Thomas Brentnor of Stockport, cotton manufacturer the sum of &50 and to her daughter Sarah Cresswell the sum of &250.  The remainder goes to her son John Cresswell for life and then to the use of his first son and then to the use of the heirs of such first son and for default of such issue to the use of every other son and their heirs and in default of such issue to all and every daughter.

6.    Thomas of Stockport. He was 23 when he married Ann Bower Cresswell who was 17.  They were married by licence at Stockport St Mary on 4th August 1785.  Witness Wm Lavender.  Thomas stated that he was a cotton manufacturer but where is the evidence?  Was he a partner in a mill or was the mill not under his own name?  Family legend has it that the mill was burnt down twice and that he could not carry on.   

    John Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny in 1764 but it was no use for industry.  Richard Arkwright's water frame was the first machine to be used in a mill.  This was in 1769.  But it was Crompton's mule in 1779 which combined the two earlier inventions which really started the industrial production of cotton.   Samuel Greg's Quarry Bank Mill at Styal started in 1784 was probably the first mill to be fully equipped with machinery.   

    Thomas may have bought in cotton goods from the cottage industries and in the burial register at Chapel-en-le-Frith when his baby daughter Elizabeth Badiley died in 1793, he is stated as being a Cotton Factor.  Thomas certainly owned land in Brentnall Street, Stockport since he sold some of it on which was built the Wesleyan Sunday School.  This building is now the Masonic Hall.  He is said by the family to have been a friend of John Wesley although he was only a young man when Wesley died in 1791.  He was also reputed to have been mayor of Stockport but apart from the year 1786 the mayoral records 1780-1790 are missing and he does not appear on the lists of other years (Heginbotham's History of Stockport).

7.    Ann Bower wife of Thomas.  In 1826 she tried to prove that her brother John Cresswell's marriage to Mary Quinlan in Ireland in 1801 was invalid and that since he died intestate she was heir to his "considerable freehold property in the County of Derby".  He was a Protestant and Mary was a Roman Catholic.  The marriage was solemnized by a protestant clergymen (not the clergyman of the parish) in the private dwelling house of Mary's father in Tipperary.  The marriage was entered in the Register of Marriages kept by the proper officer of the Parish of Tipperary has having been solemnized at the parish church.  John had several children by Mary but the eldest son Thaddeus claimed all his father's property as his heir-at-law.   

    "John Cresswell resided in Ireland after his marriage with his family to the day of his death but made frequent visits to England in that period where he always represented himself as a single man and denied that he was married".  Council's opinion was that the marriage was legal.  (Lucky for John's children.)

8.    Arminald.  Where does she fit in?  The Brentnalls and the Lavenders were close friends.  Is this the Arminald who was apprenticed to Samuel and Elizabeth Green, mantle and gown makers of Stockport, for &6 in 1754?

9.    William.  There seems to be no special reason why he should marry at Peak Forrest Chapel.  Perhaps his wife was a friend of the Bowers.   Peak Forrest Chapel - England's Gretna Green - did not come under the auspices of the Church but was built for the use of the workers and miners of the Royal Forest.  The records of the Chapel are held at Chapel-en-le-Frith church but are known as "Foreign".

10.    John.  It must have been difficult for the ordinary man to know what to do during the Civil War.  In 1642 John and 23 other tenants wrote to their landlord Sir William Davenport of Bramall Hall, Bramhall, for guidance: "For howsoever wee would not for the world harbour a disloyal thought against his Maiestie yet we dare not lift our hands against that honourable assembly off Parliament who wee are conffydently assured doe labour both for the happiness of his Maiestie and all his kingdom".       William Davenport was a very half-hearted Royalist - in fact Bramall Hall was occupied several times by each party.

11.    Jasper of Over Peover.  He married Esther Jackson in 1778.  In his will he mentions his son John and leaves him &10 "which I ordain to be the utmost limit of his claim".  (William must have died young there being another William born in 1790).  Esther died in 1787.   He mentions his "well beloved partner whose maiden name is Sarah Jackson" and who conducted herself "as a good and faithful wife".  He leaves his estate to her "during the term of her natural life" and then to her four children William, Jasper, Peter and Ann.   Were Esther and Sarah sisters?  Difficult to tell from the records.  They both seem to have come from Macclesfield.  They may have been cousins.  Sarah is named on his gravestone as his wife.

12.    George - Gentleman, farmer, shopkeeper.   In his will he mentions his 21 houses and shops in Brinksway, Stockport, his beneficiaries being his son William and his niece Elizabeth Livesley.  One of his tenants he names as David Brentnall living in Brinksway - presumably his brother.

13.    David born c 1803 - where was he baptized?  All his brothers and sisters were baptized at Chelford.  The 1851 census of Stockport gives him as age 48, common labourer, born in Heaton Norris and living under 66 Brinksway.  (His landlord brother does not seem to have treated him very well.)

14.    John Cresswell married in 1843 probably at Tiviot Dale Wesleyan Chapel.  When his son George was born in 1848 he was living at Chestergate Stockport and his occupation was Mill Manager.  When Sam was born in 1849 he was living at Turncroft Lane (New Zealand Road, Portwood) Stockport and his occupation was given as Coal Dealer.  When his youngest son Henry Boyre was born in 1863 he lived in Robert Street, Chorlton-upon-Medlock, Manchester, occupation being Mill Manager.   In his will he states that he is a Cotton-Spinner and mentions his patented invention of an automatic coal stoking machine.   In a codicil to his will he is stated as being a Gentleman.  

    Judging from his gravestone in Southern Cemetery, Manchester, he was a wealthy man when he died.  The stone is red marble, about 10 feet high with an angel on the top with arm outstretched upwards obviously pointing the way.  There are 13 Brentnalls there (the names of Sam Boyre and his son Anthony Boyre are on the gravestone although they are not buried there).   Originally it was stipulated that one grave should be kept for any Brentnall unable to pay full burial fees.  This grave is presumably still available.