Commonwealth. During the Commonwealth the use of the Book of Common Prayer was prohibited. There was an Enquiry as to the church livings in Broxtowe Wapentake, by commissioners who met at the Shire Hall, on August 14th, 1650. The commissioners included John Hutchinson, Gervase Pigot, and Nicholas Charlton, Esquires, and they had a jury sitting. The evidence shewed that Attenborough Impropriate Rectory was of the value of £160 per annum, and the Vicarage £20. The minister was Anthony Wood, "a godly preaching minister, and well affected to the Parliament." Mr. William Cross, of Pembroke College, Oxford, was minister for a short period.

Modern Items. Captain Barker visited the church in 1831, and remarks, "The vestry (in which there is a  very old oak chest) is a filthy and wretched place, more like a stable than anything else." ("Walks." 104). He refers to the extensive view from the churchyard, in which there was  a remarkably fine yew, and which happily still survives. The pulpit then presented every mark of antiquity, and on the back was the following passage, which must have been done many years:—

HERE THE Worde of THE Lord.

The church was in 1840 newly pewed, and a gallery added, which has been removed. A Sunday School was established in 1838, and in 1844 a report states, "about 120 children attend."

A list of the "Ministers of Attenborough-cum-Bramcote" is given in the "Reliquary" of October, 1872, p. 80. They are thirty-five in number, and date from 1566 to 1871. Ten are described as "Vicar," twenty-three as "Curate," and two as "Minister." Other items of interest are given by the Rev. E. Collett, M.A. Among those named is the Rev. W. H. Cantrell, M.A., who afterwards did an excellent work as Vicar of Bulwell (See "Old Nottingham Suburbs," p. 228). The Rev. W. M. Browne, M.A., is the present Vicar, and Messrs. Henry F. and E. K. Smith are the patrons.

The Registers. The Registers of the parish of "Adenburg" commenced in 1560. The marriages from that date to 1812 have been extracted by Mr. G. Fellows, and the Rev. J. Standish, and have been printed by Phillimore & Co. In Vol. 3 of the Registers is a brief history of the church. A peculiar expression is used in 1561, John Randall "fetched his bryde Dianie King out of this church." In 1680 Sandiacre was spelt St. Jarker. "There was one Richard Rothbotham and Jone Turner maried within this church by Maister Vicare, but what day it was done I am not certayne, and they dwellinge in Adenbrowe towne about Mechaelmas Ao. d'ne 1573." In 1559 "were christened two twinlinge Rosamund and Rose." They were baptised and buried. In the next year an infant is stated to be "begotten of fornication christened at home by reason of weaknesse."

Ladie Cross Field. In Ladie Cross Field, to the west of the church, through which the road goes to Toton, there is or was a stone, thought by some persons to be the stump of an old town cross, with a morticed hole for the stem of the cross, possibly a market cross, near which it is suggested were dwellings which have long since disappeared. All this is very doubtful. An inspection of the field will, however, show what a great swamp the lower part of the Erewash was, and how its old windings came through this field, and by the church. A quantity of stone—some of it tooled—is said to have been removed from Plumptre House, Stoney Street, when it was pulled down, and the stone was carted to repair the bank of the old river in this field.

Fishing. Fishing is not in evidence as it formerly was before the Trent was polluted, but the Attenborough Bend has still the reputation of being a capital spot for the roach branch of fishing. In the olden time "John, Constable of Chester, gave to God, and the Church of Holy Trinity at Lenton, and his brethren the monks there serving God, any first draught of sperlenes . . . (smelts, therefore I (Thoroton) here suppose gudgeons), next after the draught of his steward in his Fishing of Chillewelle, and whatever in the said draught God should bestow on the said brethren, as Salmon, or Lamprey, or any other kind of fish, he gave them freely." "He also gave them an acre of his demesne to enclose, to make a dwelling for their servants to look after their Fishing, for which they were to make an anniversary for his father and mother during his life, and afterwards for himself." The site of the earthworks by the water side, on the south of the churchyard, is said to have been a favourite place for the monks.

The Day Family. "The clerkship of this parish," says "Walks Round Nottingham," has been in the possession of a family named Day for more than a century and a half. The clerk, at my visit (May, 1831) was a fine sturdy yeoman, who kept the wretched ale-house (the only one) in the village, and was also gamekeeper to William Charlton, Esq., of Chilwell. His wife, a stout, motherly woman in every sense of the word, had presented her husband with thirteen children, who were all living, and at home. It is in vain to seek for refreshment at this place beyond a glass of ale, and a rasher of bacon, but both these were really excellent." (p. 105). In 1844 it was stated that Henry Day was of the fifth generation of that family who had held the office. One of the bells in the church is inscribed, "Henry Day, Collecter, 1733," and Mr. Phillimore suggests that he was probably parish clerk. The Toton record shows the family here seven hundred years ago. Mr. T. M. Day, the present parish clerk, informs me that he collects tithe rent charge from 203 persons, which indicates the extent to which the principle of freehold ownership has extended.

The Midland Railway. The Midland Railway from Nottingham to Derby was opened in 1839, but for many years there was no station at Attenborough, a  gate-house sufficing. The station was opened in 1864. Where the railway stands was formerly a moor. Eight fields, comprising sixty to seventy acres, are still called, "The Moor Fields." "The Kings Bridge" in the meadows is evidence of an old road, and in the seventeenth century the parishes of Chilwell and Attenborough were indicted for non-repair of the bridge. At Barton was a Roman Villa, and below the ferry is an ancient ford, thought by some to be a Roman ford, and it is said that traces of an ancient bridge have been found. This requires confirmation. Was the King's bridge connected with a road going by the church northward, and over the Bramcote hills?

General Henry Ireton
General Henry Ireton.

General HENRY IRETON, the Regicide, was born in the farm-house, the kitchen and two upper rooms of which are still standing on the western side of Attenborough churchyard (now the residence of Mr. Allen) and the Register of baptisms shows that he was baptised on Nov. 3rd, 1611. He is said to have afterwards lived in a house which stood to the east of the church. The register also shows the baptism of two other sons of German Ireton, and the burial of the latter. In the fifth year of Philip and Mary, Henry Sacheverell, Esq. of Barton, married Jane, the daughter of German Ireton, so the foot path and ferry could doubtless tell the tales of their loves. General Ireton was the great-grandson of this German. At fifteen Henry Ireton became a gentleman commoner of Trinity College, Oxford, and in three years took the degree of Bachelor of Arts, but he was at that time said to be stubborn and saucy, faults of which he mended, for he became a diligent student, with a good understanding, a thorough Puritan, sternly religious, and very brave and zealous. He read law in the Middle Temple, but was not called to the Bar. When in 1642 the quarrel arose between the King and the Parliament, Ireton was living on his estate in Notts., and gathered a body of Puritans, and joined the army of the Earl of Essex. He was appointed Major in the Notts. Regiment of Horse, and fought at Edgehill, rode by Cromwell's side at Gainsborough, and Marston Moor, and was in command of the Horse on the left wing at Naseby, where his fortune was not good. "No better brain." says Lord Morley in his "Cromwell," "was then at work on either side, no purer character . . . . He was firm, never shrinking from the shadow of his convictions, active, discreet, and with a singular power of drawing others, including first of all Cromwell himself, over to his own judgment.' "He was so diligent in the public service, and so careless of all belonging to himself, that he never regarded what food he ate, what clothes he wore, what horse he mounted, or at what hour he went to rest." In 1645 he was returned to Parliament for Appleby, in Westmoreland. It was to this comrade in arms and counsel, that Cromwell, a year after Naseby (1646) gave in marriage his daughter, Bridget, then a girl of two and twenty." (Morley's Cromwell," page 200, where a portrait of Bridget is given). Cromwell wrote to Mrs. Ireton, "That which is best worthy of love in thy Husband is that of the image of Christ he bears. Look on that, and love it best.' ("Letters" p. 162). December 22nd, 1647 was kept as a solemn fast by the General and his officers, and the prayers continued from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Ireton being described as the best prayer maker and preacher in the whole army."

Negotiation and legislation were found to be much more difficult than warfare, and the more so because all the parties were unreasonable, and each wanted to have its own way. Combinations and conspiracies were numerous, and strong, and apparently the men of the party in power were of opinion that there could be no quietness until the king was removed; they therefore resorted to a course that may be defined in the words of Touche, "It is worse than a crime, it is a blunder;" by the appointment of a "High Court of Justice," so called, Ireton being the third commissioner, and one of those who signed the King's Death Warrant. He was afterwards sent to subdue Ireland, became Lord Deputy, and it is greatly to his credit that when Parliament ordered a settlement of two thousand pounds a year to be made upon him, he refused it. He died at the siege of Limerick, in 1651. Cromwell and the Parliament thereupon very unwisely decided on a grand funeral, and interment in Henry VII's Chapel in Westminster Abbey, with a magnificent monument, and a fervid epitaph, but after the Restoration the body was removed, and gibbeted at Tyburn, the head being set upon a pole. He had one son and three daughters.

For varied opinions of his character reference may be made to the "National Biography," or to "Annals of Notts." His portrait is given in Lord Morley's "Cromwell," page 228. Thomas Bailey has a poem on Ireton, and the men who strove

"In the just cause
Of teaching kings to rule by wholesome laws,"
"And 'mongst that gen'rous band no name more dear IRETON than thine; with breast estranged to fear; With fame unsullied;—uncorrupt in heart, In motive pure; thou well perform 'dst thy part. IKETON farewell! but often as my eyes In my lone walks shall view this spire arise In the blue vale,—which makes the spot rever'd, Where thou, the glory of thy age, first shar'd The vital air, thou shalt my rev'rence claim And I will pause—and bless the Patriot's name."

See Barker's "Walks," p. 102.

John Ireton, brother of the General, was born at Attenborough in 1615, became M.P. for the city of London in the Parliament of 1653, and was Lord Mayor in 1658. He was knighted by Cromwell, but at the Restoration gave up the "dignity." He had an estate at Ratcliff-on-Soar, which he purchased from Colonel Hutchinson. After the Restoration he was imprisoned in the Tower, and in 1662 transported to Scilly, was released later, and imprisoned again in 1685. He died in 1689, aged seventy-four.

Thomas Ireton, another brother, was in 1645 a Captain in Col. Rich's regiment, and was severely wounded at the storming of Bristol.