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Muckleston Family History Group

researching all references to the surnames Muckleston, Mucklestone, Muckelston and Mackleston please get in touch via the contact us page with any additional information or to correct any errors.

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Antiquities and Memoirs of Myddle

Circa 1700 a resident of Myddle in Shropshire by the name of Richard Gough decided to write about his fellow parish residents based largely where they sat in church. Included in this narrative (which is quite amusing in places) are a number of Mucklestons. It gives a very interesting picture of the life and times of our family during this period. Here follows the relevant extracts from his book, which has been rewritten in modern English.


The eleventh pew on the south side of the north aisle

“Belongs to Mr Mucklestons tenement in Alderton, and to Guest’s tenement in Myddle ..”


The fifth pew on the north side of the south aisle


“This belongs to that tenement in Balderton which is the ancient inheritance of the Haywards. And to that messuage in Alderton which Rowland Muckleston lately purchased of Thomas Downton, and to Braine’s tenement in Myddle... I find that the family of the Haywards is a very ancient one in this parish        .... Robert the eldest son of Thomas Hayward the second was put apprentice to a refiner of silver in London. His master was a person of fanatical opinions and one that was of the sort of the millinarians or fifth monarchmen. His apprentice had soon imbibed the rudiments of his master.


Not long after the restoration of our late gracious sovereign King Charles II, the enthusiastical leaders or teachers of this sect persuaded their hearers that now that the critical time of the millennium was coming and their prayers were not only necessary, but their arms for bringing on of this work and encouraged them by telling that one of them should chase a 1,000 etc.


            These deluded people made an insurrection in London and having got themselves well armed broke out into open rebellion, and marched along the streets making some sort of proclamation. But they were soon surrounded by the city militia and they were all taken and the city prisons were filled with them (amongst this rout was this Mister and his apprentice). But such was the clemency of that merciful king that they were all pardoned except their ringleader who I think was hanged.


            This master refiner had by this means consumed his estate, and when he was set at liberty he went to Wales, and was their entertained as a factor to the Dutch merchants in their employment about lead ore. After his death his apprentice Robert Hayward was employed in the same post. And sometimes in his vacation came to visit his friends and made courtship to Mrs Margery Muckleston eldest daughter of Mr Edward Muckleston of Meriton and after married her. She was short sighted and of no commendable beauty but she was a virtuous and religious woman. They lived somewhile in Shrewsbury. They had no child and lived very comfortably. When his uncle the cook was dead and had given him this tenement in Balderton, then they came to live there, and there Robert Hayward laid out his wife’s portion (which was considerable) in purchasing some of that farm in Newton, which his father had formerly sold to Mr Hall, and afterwards he purchased Balderton Hall and all the lands which Mr Hall had in Balderton. He has taken Robert the youngest son of his brother Thomas to be his heir. He set him apprentice to a white draper in Shrewsbury (the wealthiest trade in town) and now he follows that trade, and also the same employment that his uncle had about the lead ore in Wales. Mrs Hayward is dead and Robert is yet living in Shrewsbury, and still retains his former opinions.”


“Rowland Muckleston, is son of Edward Muckleston, a gentleman of an ancient family. He had a fair house, and an Estate of about £120 per annum where he was born at a place called Pen-y-Lan, near Oswestry. He married the daughter of one Mr. Corbett of Meriton, she was an heiress of a good Estate in lands, in Meriton. She was a provident housekeeper, if not too parsimonious, but he proved not a careful husband, for he sold part of his wife's lands in Meriton, to Sir Humphrey Lea, and they say his wife never consented to it, however (though some suites have been brought concerning it, yet) it was never recovered.


            This Edward Muckleston had three sons, - John, Richard, and Rowland*; and four daughters, - Margery, Mary Anne, and Martha. This Martha was married to John Harewood, a grocer in Shrewsbury, he was an excellent tradesman, and dyed very rich in lands and goods, she is yet living. Anne was married to Robert Higginson, of Ellesmere, a mercer, they lived plentiful but are both dead. Mary was married to Francis Lloyd of Cockshutt, a gentleman of an ancient family but very low in the world at the time of his marriage; for his father's debts and the mortgages of his lands were so great, that his son did not know whether it was best to enter on his father's estate, or take his wife’s portion and let the creditors take the lands and estate. However, he by his labour and industry, and by his parsimonious living retrieved all and afterwards became very rich in lands; there was no servant in the town that went more mean in habit, that fared hardier in diet, or that worked harder at any slavish labour than he did.


            Margery the eldest daughter, was married to Robert Hayward. John Muckleston was no comely person, nor had a plausible way of speaking, but he was wise in his own conceit, and yet there was as much hope of a fool as of him. He died without issue, and by his last will devised the lands at Pen-y-Lan to his brother Richard, and the lands in Meriton, to his youngest brother Rowland. He loved Rowland, but cared not much for Richard.


            Richard Muckleston was a tanner in Shrewsbury, he was a provident man, a careful tradesman, and purchased a great estate in lands. He had three sons, Richard, Edward, and Joseph. He gave to Richard above £200 per annum in lands, and married him with a daughter of John Taylor of Roddington, Esq. With whom he had 1,200 guineas, and as much silver as made her portion £1400, all paid on the wedding day. Edward is a tanner, and he gave him several lands and houses in Shrewsbury. Joseph is a grocer in Shrewsbury, and to him he gave the lands in Meriton which he purchased of Mr Colfex’s daughters. He also had one daughter to whom he gave a great portion in money. She is married to Mr John Edwards Jnr., of Great Ness.


            This Richard Muckleston was a person of bold and daring spirit; he could not break an injury offered him. He commenced a suit against the town of Shrewsbury for exacting an imposition on him which they call tenorship, and did endeavour to make void their charter, but they gave him his burgesship to be quiet; he was accounted a just man in all his dealings.


            Rowland Muckleston (who purchased this tenement in Alderton) had for his first wife, the daughter of one Andrew Boulder, of Meriton; who gave with his daughter a lease of a tenement in Meriton which he held under Sir Richard Lea, and what money he gave I cannot tell, but it was so much, that afterwards he was able to do little for the rest of his children. She was a quiet low spirited woman, and suffered her husband to concern himself with all things both within doors and without, so that their housekeeping was not commendable. She died and left behind one son named Edward, and two daughters. Afterwards he married (a second wife), the daughter of Mr Cuthbert Hesketh of Kenwicke, commonly called Darter Hesketh; it was a hasty match and a small portion, but she was a very handsome gentlewoman and of a masculine spirit, and would not suffer him to intermeddle with her concerns within doors, and she endeavoured to keep a good house, but this caused them to keep an unquiet house, and many contests happened between them which ended not without blows. I think she never boasted of the victory for she had lost an eye in the battle. After that she had lived some few years with him she died and left no child behind her. His third wife was widow to one Maddox of Astley. (Her son likewise married the eldest daughter of Rowland Muckleston). This wife is still living and I think she will not contest with her husband, for if she loses an eye she loseth all. They are both living but live not together, for he lives with his son at Meriton, and she with her son at Astley. Edward, the son of Rowland, married Anne, the daughter of John Joyce, of Cockshutt (her mother was a daughter of the family of the Pembertons, of Wrockwardine); she is a good discreet woman and a good housekeeper. They have many handsome lovely children, and do live very plentifully.


            The youngest daughter of Rowland Muckleston was married to John Hayward, of a place called Wood-houses, in the township of Tylley near Wem. He was a dissolute person, and died about his middle age; his widow afterwards married with Mr John Collier, the second schoolmaster of the free schools in Wem.


How lucky are we that some of our family members lived in an area where Richard Gough chose to write about. Had he lived today no doubt he would be a journalist for one of the gossip magazines!


The rest of the book is well worth reading, an interest narrative on daily life at that time.