'Old Beeston' was a mine of information on Goldstone. The Beestons were connected to the Jervis family of Cheswardine, like the Haywards. When William Vardon came into his inheritance, Beeston wrote about Goldstone in letters to William and his representatives, providing William with facts about the place and its people. This page provides some extracts from these.
Thomas Beeston's letters to William Vardon:
7 Feby 1845
Manor of Goldstone
Goldstone Feby 7th 1845
I yesterday saw Mr Turnbull on the subject of meeting you at Birmingham, which he says he will do & suggests that it would not be well to defer having the chimney pieces later than the end of this month, as often they are put up then will want a little plastering around then & consequently some time to dry gradually afterwards as if dried too quick the plaster would crack. You will be good enough to give either him or me timely notice _____? your time & place at Birmingham he will meet you accordingly he purposes leaving Whitmore at 9-6 to arrive at Birmingham 11-36 as he states he has some business of his own that he can do same time. He thinks there may be an old Lock or two that may be repaired which he will bring with him & the necessary particulars for others.
The Cuboard out of the wainscoating is the only fitting at present in the Kitchen, but I have directed Mr Turnbull attention to the matter & he informs me he has a Dresser made &c & that they shall soon be put up with the necessary shelves in the Pantry.
He states why he has not hung the sashes is the damp state of the plaster walls, but that he purposes next week to hang them.
All other matters alluded to in your last letter shall be attended to. Mr & Mrs Finn are I believe still disengaged but they leave their present occupation at Hinstock at Ladyday next
I do really think they are likely persons to suit you. The Minister of Hinstock has been speaking very favourably of them to Mr & Mrs Miller. I was at the vicarage Cheswardine on Tuesday evening last & they were naming them to me. Should the weather be fine when you come as far as Birmingham, if you should be inclined to come as far as Goldstone your old apartments shall be at your service & you would have an opportunity of seeing them, or I dare say they would gladly accompany Mr Turnbull to Birm, should you not like to come so much further at this season of the year.
I have visited Old John Lockley the person who knows more of the Goldstone Estate the late Mr Thos & the late Mr Ewd Hayward than any other man living. He says it is now more than 70 years since he first began to work for Mr Thos Hayward & he was Mr Ewd Hayward’s Carpenter to the time of his Death. He recollects Mr Thos Hayward always asserting that he was Lord of the Manor of Goldstone & remembered him felling two or three Timber Trees that grew on the Common & converting them to his own use without let or hindrance & at the time asserting that he did so by virtue of his right as Lord of the Manor, likewise he remembers Hinstock common before its enclosure lying open to Goldstone Common that the Hinstock freeholders used to get turf thereon (that is on Hinstock Common) & sometimes encroached on Goldstone but were driven off by Mr Thos Hayward, but does not remember any Court ever being held by either of the Mr Haywards.
Wm Lockley is not at home these last few days __? __? him & will write Mr Wright on the subject & return the agreement signed. The wife of one of my Labourers John Butters is a Daughter of Ann Dunns & I had her to clean the attics & I have no doubt she could cook a Mutton Chop & she used to be a good deal emplolyed at the Hall both during Mr Hall’s & Mr Hayward’s time.
William Vardon Esqr
At the bottom of the letter Thomas wrote:
The Township of Goldstone has for time immemorial paid suit & service to the Court Leet at Wellington Salop I believe held by the Duke of Cleveland – the Court at Wellington always appoints the Constable of Goldstone who is summoned thrice in the year to appear at the Court held at Wellington. I have myself attended when I held the office of Constable & paid suit money for the inhabitants of Goldstone for non attendance.
I think the extract you have sent to me form the Woodseaves inclosure award does relate to the road I have previously been naming to you. There was I find at the time of the enclosure a cottage & buildings in the occupation of Thos Turner near to yours in the occupation of Thos Taylor but was on the now Adams Estate, when you come into the County to Goldstone. You had better bring the copy Plan of the Woodseaves Award with as an reference to it we shall be able to ascertain the right road, which I think it important to you to maintain & if found necessary we can have access to the original award kept in the Vestry of Drayton Church.
Since I last wrote you I have seen Mr Wm Lockley he recollects Mr Ewd Hayward holding a Court Leet at Goldstone that he himself Mr D. Lea Senr & Mr Wm Jones of Lightwood attended believes Mr Hayward acted as Steward & Manager of the Court himself, but perfectly recalls Mr Hayward writing & making entry thereon either on a piece of paper or Book which he supposes you would be able to find amongst his papers.
I have seen Mr Turnbull & he will meet you at Birmingham on Tuesday next. The frost still continues with us & keeps from progressing with your work & prevents us preceeding with our farming operations.
Likewise yesterday I saw Mrs Flinn who stated her husband was at Drayton she would send to him & this morning I have received a note from Flinn & he will accompany Mr Turnbull & his wife on Tuesday next to Birmingham. Perhaps Mr Turnbull may apply to you for the money for building my milk salting house & cellar. They are not finished the windows & doors are not painted nor the ceiling plaster & white work completed. I merely name this he has not mentioned money to me, the weather has prevented the finish, & I might as well inform you that I think 100£ quite sufficient for the job as there was no more Bricks used than I told you would be sufficient but rather less.
William Vardon Esqr Thos Beeston
Goldstone Feby 8th 1845
I herewith return you the agreement executed as by you directed & have made enquiry respecting the late Mr Hayward concerning any rights as Lord of the Manor of Goldstone. John Lockley about 80 years of age of strong mind & memory says it is now above 70 years since he first began to work for Mr Thos Hayward that he recollects him well that he worked at a sale Brickiln kept by Mr Thos Hayward at Goldstone. He afterwards learned the business of Wheelwright & Carpenter & worked for the late Mr Ewd Hayward almost from the time he came into possession of Goldstone, until the time of his Death as his general carpenter, Lockley remembers Mr Thos Hayward professing to be Lord of the Manor of Goldstone & that Mr Thos Hayward fell some timber trees growing on Goldstone Common & at that time asserting his right to do so as Lord of the Manor & converted the said trees to his own use without let or hindrance from anyone, & that at that time Hinstock Common adjoining Goldstone Common was unenclosed, that they lay open to each other, but that there was a known boundary, & that often the Hinstock freeholders trespassed – but that such trespass was always adjusted & set right by Mr Thos Hayward & as he said by his authority as Lord of the Manor.
[he] remembers Mr Ewd Hayward frequently asserting that he was Lord of the Manor, but never remembers any Court being held by either Mr Thos or Mr Ewd Hayward & that during the last 70 years there has not been any Court held within the Township of Goldstone by any person whatever.
I believe the Township of Goldstone has been called in the Court Leet I believe of the Duke of Cleveland held at Wellington Salop & has always paid suit & service there.
The Wellington Court has an extensive jurisdiction & peculiar powers & priviledges & covers debts not above 20£.
The Constable from the Township of Goldstone is appointed at Wellington Court & is summoned thrice a year to appear before the Court & answer for the inhabitants of Goldstone & pay their service money for non attendance. I have held the office of Constable by the Wellington appointment & answered for the inhabitants as before stated, the Wellington Court does not extend to the Townships of Cheswardine, Chipnall & Great Sowdley in the Parish of Cheswardine, but only to Goldstone, Ellerton & Sambrook Townships.
Mr William Lockley thinks for some reason inknown to him Mrs Adams will not lend him a copy of the map of Lightwood or rather Woodseaves Common Inclosure but that either him or me could get it from Shrewsbury, which I think will now be the better way & if such is wished either you or Mr Vardon will please inform me.