Medieval Tanner at work

When looking into the Staniforth family of Eckington parish in the early 1600s, it is interesting to see how closely the different lines resided to each other.

The tiny hamlet of Ford, which stands to the south of Ridgeway in Eckington Parish is, to this day, still nothing more than a pub and a couple of houses. However in the early 1600s there were two Robert Staniforths living here. Although this may sound confusing, written records from the time, including Manor Court Rolls, differenciate between the two using their professions.

One of the Roberts was a Sicklesmith, husband of Jane Turner, the other was a Tanner, and this is the Robert we will discuss in this article.

Robert Staniforth, tanner, was baptised August 2nd 1584 to William Staniforth. The Eckington Manor Court Rolls make the following reference to William Staniforth, tanner:

13th January 1578 - Surrender by William Stanyforde, son and heir of the late Richard Stanyforde, by John Stanyforde of Lightwoode, his attorney by virtue of a letter of attorney directed to him and Thomas Stanyforde and dated 28 December 1577, of a cottage and a croft in Rigewaye then in the tenure of William Stanyforde,, tanner, or his assigns to the use of the same William Stanyforde, tanner, or his assigns from the feast of St. Thomas, apostle, last for 21 years paying therefore each year 6s the feast of the Annunciation and at Michaelmas in equal parts. Ingress 3d.

Robert Staniforth married Elizabeth Shawe, and had three sons, and two daughters:

  • George Staniforth, baptised October 15th 1620
  • Elizabeth Staniforth
  • William Staniforth, baptised March 22nd 1611, he married Alice Greaves and was buried October 2nd 1673
  • Robert Staniforth, baptised January 29th 1614, he married Alice and had son William Staniforth baptised June 15th 1645, William had a son Robert that relocated to Hackenthorpe.

Robert Staniforth of The Ford was buried December 11th 1655, his wife Elizabeth is mentioned as his next of kin.