Starbucky Territory: Churches of Sawley, Derbyshire

Typically of many Derbyshire parishes, Sawley was very large with four chapels-of-ease. The mother church of All Saints was in Sawley village, with the chapelries located for the ease of more distant flocks to attend worship. The four chapels were Breaston St Michael, Long Eaton St Lawrence, Risley All Saints and Wilne St Chad.[1]

Everyone throughout the parish would have had the choice of worshipping at Sawley All Saints or a chapel-of-ease. For their baptisms, marriages and burials, however, the choice was between Sawley All Saints and Wilne St Chad. The catchment area for All Saints encompassed Long Eaton, Wilsthorpe and Sawley village, while St Chad’s area included Little (or Church) Wilne, Draycott, Breaston and Risley (although this had its own chapel built by the Willoughby family).

Click for larger map

Sawley All Saints[2]

Unfortunately, no parish registers (PRs) nor Bishops Transcripts (BTs) for Sawley All Saints exist before the 1650s, allegedly a result of British Civil Wars’ depredations (1642-52). BTs for Sawley only start in 1672.

Therefore, any baptisms, marriages and burials for Starbucks here in the period 1550-1640 are lost to us entirely. Edward Starbuck could have been born, lived, worked, married and baptised his first two or three children in Sawley parish before migration. If he did, it was most likely in Long Eaton and recorded in Sawley All Saints’ lost parish registers.

From 1654, when the first extant register begins, to 1657/8, there were just five Starbuck entries, one baptism and four burials, and none at all thereafter – not until one Starbuck family returned to the area in the 1830s, running an inn in Draycott. Other records show that the last of the Sawley/Long Eaton Starbucks – Thomas  baptised at Sawley in 1655, son of Thomas and Elizabeth, left the parish to marry Mary Sleight of Nottingham in 1686/7, and settle there with her, alongside his sister Jane, married to basket-maker Thomas Williamat.[3]

Wilne St Chad

The village of Wilne is in two parts: Great Wilne village is on the southern side of the river Derwent, geographically in the parish of Aston on Trent, but its church of St Chad is on the northern side of the river in Sawley parish, with a small community beside it named Little (or Church) Wilne.

Wilne St Chad was the only chapel-of-ease in Sawley parish that was licensed to perform its own baptisms, marriages and burials, and to have its own registers which start in 1540. It operated very much as a parish in its own right so scribes and lawyers often mistakenly referred to it as one.

Starbucks appear in St Chad’s PRs from the very start, suggesting they were already well settled in this area before 1540. Some were marked as resident in Draycott and Breaston. However, no Edwards appear at all and the surname disappears from St Chad after 1592, apart from one marriage and two burials in the 1620s.

This prompts the conclusion that, if Starbucks were still in Sawley parish after 1592 until 1654, most of them were not in the catchment of Wilne St Chad, but in the Sawley-Long Eaton area, only occasionally visible thanks to the non-existence of All Saints’ parish records.

Author: Celia Renshaw

Morganhold blog:

© February 2024

[1] Map based on that created by Keith Redman in his book The Book of Long Eaton (Barracuda Books Ltd, 1979), page 20.

[2] Sawley All Saints church illustration from Sawley & District Historical Society website:

[3] Elizabeth’s origins are unknown but she was probably a Golding by birth.

Author: ancestorquests

I'm Keri-Lynn, an "amateur professional" genealogist. I have a degree in Family History and have been researching my family lines for many years.

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