Starbucky Territory: Sawley, Derbyshire (anciently known as Sallow)

The earliest Starbucks found in our English research were in Sawley, Derbyshire, at the heart of Starbucky Territory.[1]

Click for larger map

Historically, Sawley presents a complicated picture. Speak its name and you could be referring to any or all of its identities, as a Parish, Prebend, Rectory, Soke, Peculiar or Manor.

Today it is a modest town in a rural setting, overshadowed by the neighbouring City of Nottingham. But in Medieval and early modern times, it was far more important, financially rich and strategically important, with an ancient Viking history under the Danelaw. Like the other locations in Starbucky Territory, it was especially watery.[2]

Three rivers + streams, marsh, flood plains, mills, river crossings and a Roman road

The most significant aspect of Sawley is that three rivers run through it – the Trent, the Derwent and the Erewash – plus many more streams, channels and marshy spots, all of which were subject to seasonal flooding.

Edward Starbuck lived at a time when no hard-surface roads existed, other than ancient Roman ones. Land travel was by packways and paths, frequently unuseable in winter and bad weather. Until the mid-18th century, rivers often afforded the easiest mode of travel for people and goods, which made Sawley an important location – it commanded three rivers with significant crossings (bridges, ferries and fords), plus water mills on the Erewash, and the Derwent at Wilne, and the Roman road from Derby running to the Trent-crossing at Sawley.

It can be no surprise that Edward Starbuck’s most valued skills as a leading settler of Dover and Nantucket were watery, particularly his expertise in river fishing and water mill construction and operation.

Sawley’s complications

In the 16th and early 17th centuries, Sawley was:

  • a large parish, rectory and prebend, in the Diocese of Lichfield & Coventry,  in the Deanery of Derby and Hundred of Morleston & Litchurch. As well as its mother church of All Saints in Sawley village, the parish had four chapels-of-ease and encompassed eight other villages or settlements: Long Eaton, Draycott, Breaston, Little or Church Wilne, Risley, Hopwell, Wilsthorpe & Woodhall Park. Of these, Sawley All Saints and Wilne St Chad were the only churches to keep their own baptism, marriage and burial registers in the time of Edward Starbuck. For more information, see: Churches of Sawley.[3]
  • a Soke – an area with its own local rights of jurisdiction. This mainly covered  lands in Long Eaton, lightly managed under Sawley Manor.
  • a Peculiar – a parish that was free of direct control by the Diocese, with its own Court responsible for probate of Wills and Administrations, issue of Marriage Licences and other ecclesiastical business.
  • an Episcopal Manor, held from the Crown as tenants-in-chief by the Bishops of Lichfield & Coventry Diocese. This manor included Long Eaton, Draycott,  Wilsthorpe and (in some records) Lockington with Hemington in north Leicestershire. Each of the other main settlements in Sawley parish (Little Wilne, Risley, Breaston and Hopwell) were Manors in their own right, or part of manors that neighboured Sawley. All of these Manors had their own Lords and officials.

For much of their known history, the income-earning Prebend and Manor of Sawley were leased out long-term by Lichfield’s Bishops and Prebendaries to local nobility and gentry, particularly the Stanhope family whose seat was in next-door Elvaston parish.

While it may seem overcomplicated to list these many Sawley jurisdictions in such detail, they are vital to the Starbuck quest for two major reasons:

  • Every form of jurisdiction, and every lord, lessee or official of each jurisdiction, kept their own records, all of which should be located and checked for any mention of the elusive Edward Starbuck or his family
  • All these jurisdictons, their lords, lessees and officials, laid down rules and regulations for Sawley’s residents, dictating the nature and quality of their lives. If we wish to understand Edward Starbuck and his reasons for migrating, we need some grasp of the realities of his local landscape, influencers and politics.

Viking inheritance

No less than 22 residents of the Sawley Soke [in Long Eaton] were named as ‘sokemen’ in the Domesday Book of 1086, more than in any other settlements of  Starbucky Territory. [4].

Sokemen – originally Scandinavian (Viking) settlers in the Danelaw area of northern and eastern England and parts of Scotland – held their lands freely and were able to sell and go elsewhere if they pleased, without a Lord’s permission. They were more free even than freeholders and this relative freedom (with potentially higher class status too) appears to have continued for centuries, through from Danelaw times to Edward Starbuck’s day, and beyond.

The Scandinavian incomers held sway in the area we know as the Danelaw from 865 until the Norman Conquest of 1066. By 1086 in the Domesday Book, settlements of England previously part of the Danelaw still commonly had sokelands and sokemen counted and valued, alongside other types of feudal residents and lands.

The geographic area of the Sawley Soke was mainly in Long Eaton, and what we know of Sawley Starbucks strongly suggests they mostly lived in Long Eaton, and in nearby Toton, potentially holding their lands freely as descendants or successors of Viking sokemen. The Soke being free of most manorial duties, fines or rents could explain the almost total absence of Starbucks in the few records that survive for Sawley before 1650 (see table below).

Sawley records

All the Sawley jurisdictions kept their own records so there should be a large number of searchable sources available. But there aren’t.

Sawley Parish/Prebend, Soke, Peculiar and manors were all relatively free of the strict governance and bureaucracy typical in England at this time. That was potentially a plus for Sawley’s residents and perhaps bred the kind of autonomy and self-sufficiency for which Edward Starbuck was noted in Dover and Nantucket. We could even fancy his especially tall and robust physique as an inherited Viking trait, perhaps supported by recent “Viking DNA” studies.

However, absence from close rule and poor retention of records means the troubling downside of Sawley’s free nature is a scarcity of searchable records in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. That therefore means Edward’s birth, baptism and first 35 years of life, and the lives of all his Starbuck ancestors, could have happened in the Sawley area and be permanently invisible to us today beyond an occasional mention in a few manor records. Fortunately though, we do have enough records from other locations to suggest a credible family tree for Edward and his forebears.

Sawley Starbuck references

An exhaustive trawl was carried out over our years of Starbuck research into all sources held at Derbyshire Record Office for the Sawley area from 1550 through to 1686/7 when the “last Starbuck of Sawley” (Thomas bap 1655) was found marrying Mary Sleight in Nottingham St Mary. He resided in Nottingham with Mary thereafter. No definite Starbucks were seen in Sawley records after that until the 19th century.

The following table shows all the Starbucks found in the locations within Sawley parish and manor up to 1686/7. You will see that, apart from the early entries in Wilne St Chad PRs, the majority of them were noted as resident in Long Eaton which is why (with next-door Toton in Attenborough parish) we claim Long Eaton to be the heart of Starbucky Territory.[5]

1512Thomas Sterbuck, Sawley chaplain, defendant in debtors claim.[6]
1540/1, 10 JanWilne St Chad: Agnis Starbuck was baptised (no parents named)
1541, 8 OctWilne St Chad: Thomas Starbuck (may be baptism or burial)
1541, 28 NovWilne St Chad: Agnis Barnes & Robart Starbuck married
1541/2, 1 FebWilne St Chad: Robart Starbuck buried
1542/3, 27 JanWilne St Chad: Richard Starbuck baptised (no parents named)
1543, 20 JunWilne St Chad: John Starbuck buried
1543/4, 1 FebWilne St Chad: Elline Starbuck baptised (no parents named)
1544, 7 JunWilne St Chad: Robart Whithed & Margeret Starbuck married
1544/5, 8 MarWilne St Chad: William Starbuck baptised (no parents named)
1546, 26 JunWilne St Chad: Amye Starbuck (baptised, no parents named)
1547, 6 JunWilne St Chad: Thomas Starbuck buried
1561, 12 OctAttenborough St Mary: William Star[buck] of parish Long Eton & Agnes Bradshaw widow
1566 rentalSawley Episcopal Manor – In Eaton: Willm Starboke paid 4s 6d half-year rent for one cottage & one bovat of land. Lord of the Manor: Edmundson[7]
1577, 23 NovWilne St Chad: Thomas Gryffin & Amye Starbuck married
1578, 30 AugWilne St Chad: Amy Gryffine (nee Starbuck) wife of Tho. Griffin of Dracot buried
1580, 26 NovWilne St Chad: Wm Starbuck & Margret Ball married
1581, 13 OctWilne St Chad: Wm Starbuck & Mary Bate married
1582/3 rentalSawley Episcopal Manor – In Eaton: William Starbucke paid 4s 6d half-year rent for a messuage & lands in his own occupation. Lord of the Manor: Stanhope of Elvaston[8]
1583/4, 6 JanWilne St Chad: Jone Starbucke infant of Wm Starbucke of Drecot baptised
1583/4, 3 FebWilne St Chad: Tho. Starbuck of Draycot buried
1583/4, 11 FebWilne St Chad: John Starbauck sonne of Wm Starbuck of Breaston baptised
1588, 9 JulWilne St Chad: Wm Starbuck of Breston buried[9]
1588, 15 JulBunny St Mary the Virgin: Edmund Blodworth of Bingham & Elizabeth Starbucke of Breeson within the sucken of Sawley married by license from thence xv th July[10]
1588, 6 NovWilne St Chad: Richard Ball & Marie Starbuck married
1589, 11 NovWilne St Chad: Tho. Starbuck sonne to Wm Starbuck baptised
1592, 25 MarWilne St Chad: Richard Starbuck sonne of Wm Starbuck baptised
1592/3, 9 MarWilne St Chad: Johem Starbuck buried
1600/1, 27 JanAttenborough St Mary: John Pimm of Longe Eaton & Allicia Starbucke of Toton married
1612, 4 AprNottingham St Peter – Francis Starbuck alias Johnson of Toton yeoman married Elizabeth Rozell of Nottingham St Peter, dau of Jeffrey Rossell of Draycot decd
1619, 24 JunLondon Apprenticeship: Edward Starbucke son of Thomas yeoman of Long Eaton, Derbys apprenticed to Anthony Bristow, Tylers & Bricklayers’ Company[11]
1621, 27 AprLondon Apprenticeship: George Starbuck son of Thomas Starbuck agric of Longge Eaton, Derbyshire, to Master Rolando Trulove, Clothworkers Company[12]
1621, 3 NovWilne St Chad: John Avery of Breaston & Ales Starbuck married
1622/3, 6 FebWilne St Chad: William Starbucke of Breason buried
1623, 1 MayLondon Apprenticeship: George Tarbock [Starbuck] son of Thomas, husbandman of Long Eaton apprenticed to Thomas Greene, Tylers & Bricklayers Company[13]
1623/4, 6 FebWilne St Chad: Robert Starbucke of Breason buried
1635, 24 JunLondon Apprenticeship: John Newman son of Richard of Appleton, Berkshire carpenter deceased apprenticed to George Starbucke (born in Long Eaton), Tylers & Bricklayers Company[14]
1638Derbyshire Musters: Thomas & William Starbuck listed at Long Eaton[15]
1638, 12 AprWill of Edward Burton yeoman of Long Eaton witnessed by Robert Starbuck (signed with X)[16]
1638, 4 NovLondon Apprenticeship: Edward Phillips son of Thomas woolman of Brackley, Northamptonshire apprenticed to George Starbuck (born in Long Eaton), Tylers & Bricklayers Company[17]
1638/9 MichaelmasSawley Manor Rental – In Eaton: William Starbucke paid 1d half-year rent for his copyhold[18]
1651/2 PCC AdmonAct of Administration of Thomas Starbuck widower of Long Eaton at PCC London (ref vol n/g, p26); admon granted to son Thomas Starbuck[19]
1652 FeoffmentNicholas Willimott of Grays Inn (London) & Christopher Pymme of Fulnetby, Lincolnshire, gent to Thomas Brightman of Stapleford, Nottinghamshire, gent – Long Eaton manor house occupied by Humphrey Twelves, tenants include Thomas Starbucker paying a peppercorn per year[20]
1654/5, 22 MarSawley All Saints: Thomas Starbucke of Long Eaton buried[21]
1655, 20 JulSawley All Saints: Thomas Starbucke baptised, son of Thomas and Elizabeth of Long Eaton[22]
1655/6, 23 FebSawley All Saints: James Starbucke of Long Eaton buried[23]
1657, MichaelmasSawley manor & soke rental: in Long Eaton, William Starbuck listed[24]
1657/8, 3 JanSawley All Saints: William Starbucke of Eaton buried[25]
1660, 5 DecPrebend of Sawley Peculiar: Administration of Thomas Starbucke of Long Eaton granted to his widow Elizabeth now married to Thomas Williams (or Williamson). The record names her minor children Thomas & Jane Starbuck as well as daughters surnamed Williams[26]
1670Hearth Tax for Long Eaton includes Widow Williams (prev Starbuck)[27]
1678PCC Will of Isabel Cooke widow of Long Eaton witnessed by Elizabeth Williams (prev Starbuck)[28]
1680 WillElizabeth Williams (prev Starbuck) widow of Long Eaton wrote her Will (proved at Sawley 2 Dec 1685), naming son Thomas & dau Isabell (nee Starbuck) married to Thomas Williamatt basket-maker of Nottingham; and daus Mary, Susanna & Elizabeth Williams. Wits: Edw Carter; Dorothy Croft; Elizabeth Rossell[29]
1681/2, 12 FebRichard Goldin of Long Eaton wrote his Will naming Elizabeth Williams (previously Starbuck), her dau Jane (Starbuck) Williamat and her son Thomas Starbuck (bequeathing him his father’s ‘great bible’.) Proved at Sawley 24 May 1682.[30]
1686/7, 30 JanNottingham St Mary: Thomas Stare Buck [previously of Long Eaton] married Mary Sleight of Nottingham. Thomas was noted in other records as a gardener.[31]

The table shows how few extant Sawley parish or manor records containing Starbucks exist before 1640 (apart from Wilne St Chad PRs). From 1638’s Derbyshire Musters and 1650, when Sawley PRs are extant, more Starbucks emerge into the light, apparently two families headed by a Thomas and a William, and all were in Long Eaton.

Author: Celia Renshaw

Morganhold blog:

© February 2024

[1] Map by Celia Renshaw based on Keith Reedman’s in The Book of Long Eaton (Barracuda Books, 1979) page 20)

[2] In 1291, Sawley Rectory, containing churches, chapels, glebe lands and tithes, was worth a massive £66 13s 4d, the third most highly valued parish in Derbyshire, after Bakewell and Chesterfield, both much larger places. Source: Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol IV, The Hundred of Morleston & Litchurch, by J Charles Cox (Chesterfield & London, 1879)

[3] The term ‘prebend’ indicates that the entire income of Sawley parish and rectory, including tithes, was payable to a ‘prebendary’ (an ecclesiastical officer) of the Diocese of Lichfield and Coventry. From the mid-13th century, the Sawley Prebendary was always the Treasurer of Lichfield Cathedral. This arrangement is often referred to in sources as the ‘Prebendal Manor’ of Sawley but it was not a manor in its own right. In practice, it was subsidiary to the Lordship of the Episcopal Manor of Sawley, held by the Bishops of Lichfield and Coventry & usually leased out to local gentry.

[4]Domesday Book : A Complete Translation, Alecto Historical Editions. Eds: Dr Alan Williams & Professor G H Martin (Penguin, 1992; in hardback 2003)

[5] All transcribed from the Wilne St Chad register of baptisms, marriages & burials 1540-1624, ref. D2512/A/PI/1 held at Derbyshire Record Office. Also available at Ancestry: Derbyshire Church of England Baptisms, Marriages & Burials 1538-1812.

[6] Common Pleas Plea Rolls at the National Archives (reference supplied by a co-researcher). This is the earliest date seen so far for a Starbuck in Sawley parish or manor.

[7] Derbyshire Record Office ref D158/ME/143 (1566) Stanhope Family Collection – Episcopal Manor Half-year Rental including Long Eaton

[8] Derbyshire Record Office ref D518/MM/2 (c1582-3) Stanhope Family Collection – Episcopal Manor Half-year Rental including Long Eaton.

[9] Possibly the first husband of Elizabeth Pepper (later Blodworth, Worthington & Clifford) the likely grandmother of migrant Edward Starbuck

[10] Bunny St Mary the Virgin parish register, images available at – Nottinghamshire Church of England Baptisms, Marriages & Burials 1538-1812. Original register held by Nottinghamshire Archives (image of page on file)

[11] Findmypast website – London Apprenticeship Abstracts 1442-1850 [originals at Guildhall Library, London]

[12] Findmypast website – London Apprenticeship Abstracts 1442-1850 [originals at Guildhall Library, London]

[13] Findmypast website – London Apprenticeship Abstracts 1442-1850 [originals at Guildhall Library, London]. This was a transfer of apprentice George to a new Master and Company

[14] Findmypast website – London Apprenticeship Abstracts 1442-1850 [originals at Guildhall Library, London]. George’s family events are recorded in Cripplegate St Giles PRs [online at Ancestry]

[15] The Derbyshire Musters of 1638-9, parts 1 & 2, vols 46-47, both ed. Victor Rosewarne (Derbyshire Record Society, 2021)

[16] Prerogative Court of Canterbury – Will of Edward Burton yeoman of Long Eaton proved at London 20 Nov 1638. Held at the National Archives ref. PROB 11/178/470

[17] Findmypast website – London Apprenticeship Abstracts 1442-1850 [originals at Guildhall Library, London]

[18] Derbyshire Record Office ref D518/MM/6 (1638/9) Stanhope Family Collection – Sawley Manor Rental

[19] Prerogrative Court of Canterbury Administration indexed in PCC Administrations Vol 1, 1649-1654 (British Record Society vol 68, 1944), book viewed onsite by the author at the Borthwick Institute at York; also available at Pdf copy of the original obtained by Keri-Lynn Kendall from the National Archives in 2022.

[20] Leicestershire Record Office ref. DE99/61 (16 Jun 1652) Buckley & Gresley Collection  – Other Title Deeds & Associated Papers – Derbyshire – Long Eaton: Feoffment.

[21] Derbyshire Record Office (ref no) Sawley All Saints parish register (1654-1812) viewed onsite and at Derbyshire England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages & Burials, 1538-1812.

[22] Derbyshire Record Office (Ref no) Sawley All Saints parish register (1654-1812) viewed onsite and at Derbyshire England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages & Burials, 1538-1812.

[23] Derbyshire Record Office (Ref no) Sawley All Saints parish register (1654-1812) viewed onsite and at Derbyshire England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages & Burials, 1538-1812.

[24] Derbyshire Record Office ref. D518/MM/15 (1656/7) Stanhope Family Collection – Sawley Rentals

[25] Derbyshire Record Office (Ref no) Sawley All Saints parish register (1654-1812) viewed onsite and at Derbyshire England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages & Burials, 1538-1812.

[26] Staffordshire Record Office ref. P/C/11 Prebend of Sawley Administration & Inventory (5 Dec 1660) – Thomas Starbuck of Long Eaton. Images available at – Staffordshire Diocese of Lichfield & Coventry Wills & Probate 1521-1860

[27] Derbyshire Hearth Tax Assessments 1662-1670, vol 7, ed. David G Edwards with additional material by C A F Meakings, Derbyshire Record Society, 1982)

[28] National Archives – Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury – Wills & Letters of Administration – Will of Isabel Cooke widow of Long Eaton, Derbyshire, proved 17 Jun 1678, ref. PROB 11/357/99

[29] Staffordshire Record Office ref. P/C/11 Prebend of Sawley Will (2 Dec 1685) – Elizabeth Williams widow of Long Eaton, in the parish of Sawley, Derbys. Images available at – Staffordshire Diocese of Lichfield & Coventry Wills & Probate 1521-1860

[30] Staffordshire Record Office ref. P/C/11 Prebend of Sawley Will (24 May 1682) – Richard Goldin of Long Eaton, Derbys. Images available at – Staffordshire Diocese of Lichfield & Coventry Wills & Probate 1521-1860

[31] Nottinghamshire Record Office – Nottingham St Mary parish register (1559-1643) viewed & downloaded from Nottinghamshire England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages & Burials, 1538-1812.

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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