CHARLES STEADE

I remember many years ago when I was a very young girl going with my grandfather (Percy Parker) to visit the owner of Broom House on Broomhill Road.  This would have been 1960/61. All I remember was  a big house, with a grand entrance and a very well dressed gentleman!

As I have been researching newspaper items for the One Place study Broom House crops up fairly often at the time a gentleman called Charles Steade lived there (c1830-1860).  I thought it might be interesting to find out more about him.

Although he lived at Whittington he was born in Sheffield into a wealthy land owning family.  The Steade family were substantial landowners in Yorkshire, the family home was Onesacre  Hall in the Chapelry of Bradfield.

C1920 Sheffield City Archives and Local Studies Library      

Charles mother was Meliscent  Pegge who was born at Beauchief Hall Sheffield.  The Pegge family owned Beauchief Abbey and after this fell into disrepair they built Beauchief Hall as a residence sometime after 1667, using stone from the Abbey.

Sheffield City Archives and Local Studies Library.

Charles was born  on 23 September 1786. His parents were Thomas Steade (1729-1793) and Meliscent Pegge (1750-1835).  They were married in 1768 at Beauchief Abbey Church.

As they both grew up in substantial country homes it is no surprise that in 1779 Thomas had Hillsborough House (now known as Hillsborough Hall) built as a family home.

When the house was first built it was well outside of the Sheffield boundary and was in countryside. Thomas added more land and the estate eventually had an area of 103 acres. (part of the grounds were where Hillsborough Stadium now stands).

Upon the death of Thomas Steade in 1793 Hillsborough House was  left to Broughton Steade, Charles older brother, and was eventually sold in 1801. In 1890 the last owner of the House died and it was sold off in lots.  Sheffield Corporation bought Lot 1(the House and 50 acres of land) and in 1906 they opened Hillsborough House as Hillsborough library with the surrounding land as Hillsborough park.

Broughton Steade had already inherited Beauchief Hall and the excerpt below taken from “ A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland Vol 1” shows how  Broughton Steade  came to inherit the seat Of Beauchief Abbey in 1796, and eventually change his name to Broughton Benjamin Steade – Pegge – Burnell.

Several of Charles family members were in the military and Charles himself pursued a career in the army.  The first mention of him is in the London Gazette of 1808.

Then again in the London Gazette of 1810 when he is promoted to Lieutenant.

The final entry comes from the Inverness Journal and Northern Advertiser 4th August 1815 when it would appear that Charles had been assigned to the Royal waggon Train.  I wrongly assumed that this was some ceremonial division whereas the Royal Waggon Train was the original  name of the Supply and Transport branch of the British Armed Forces, this was later known as the Royal Logistics Corps.

On 6 September 1830, when Charles was 40 years of age he married Elizabeth Mary Smith. Elizabeth was born at Dunston Hall Chesterfield. Elizabeth’s mother was a descendant of the Milnes family early owners of Dunston Hall.

Picture Derbyshire Times June 2021

The Smith and  Steade families would be intertwined further when in 1831 Elizabeth’s brother Rev William Smith married Charles’ niece (daughter of Broughton Steade) Mary Millicent Steade at Beauchief Abbey Church.

Without further research I have no confirmation when Charles Steade took over Broom House. The tithe map of the 1820’s show it was still owned by the beneficiaries of  the will of John Green.

In 1835 Meliscent Steade, Charles’ mothers death is recorded at Broom House Whittington in the Sheffield Independent of 6th June.  I assume therefore that Charles was living at Broom House by this time. Whether he bought the house directly from the family of John Green I have not been able to establish as yet.

The 1836 electoral roll for Bradfield Township Yorkshire gives more confirmation that  Charles was living at Broom House.  He must have inherited some property  in Bradfield, he would be in the small minority of people entitled to vote in the mid 1800’s.

The 1851 census shows that Charles and Elizabeth lived  at Broom House with three servants, his occupation is still given as Lieut. Half pay. For some reason there is not much information about the servants identities!

I have not found a picture of Broom House as it was before it became a Care Home but the map from 1888 shows the situation of Broom House on Broomhill Road.

Charles became a regular benefactor to many different organisations.  In 1837 he was one of the subscribers to the Endowment of Trinity Church Chesterfield and in 1851 he is listed as one of the subscribers to Archdeacon Hill’s Testimonial Fund which helped educate boys and girls in the Chesterfield area. When Chesterfield Volunteer Rifle Corps were looking for voluntary subscriptions in 1859 towards the cost of a practice range, ammunition, stores for arms Charles joined the list of subscribers.

The  church at Old Whittington needed rebuilding and in the Derbyshire Courier 10 October  1846 Charles is listed as someone who could accept subscriptions towards the rebuilding, which would indicate that Charles was involved with St Bartholomews Church in some way. According to the 1862 Directory and Topography of Sheffield, Charles Steade collected nearly £300 towards the rebuilding and gave £250 of his own money.

According to the local newspapers Charles and his wife were regular attenders of  Chesterfield Races and one particular meeting was reported  in the Derbyshire Mercury 11 October 1837. It  mentions that  the stand at the racecourse was ‘filled with the beauty and fashion of the neighbourhood’.

Whether it was attending the races or dinners for prospective electoral candidates, it would appear that Charles certainly mixed with the higher echelons of Derbyshire society.

Charles’s business interests were diverse, In 1836 he was listed as  a proprietor of the National Provincial Bank of England, and in 1845 he is shown as having a financial interest in the Manchester and Lincoln Union Railway and Chesterfield and Gainsborough Canal Company.

Elizabeth Steade died in 1855, Charles died five years later on 3rd December 1860.

Charles death was announced in  the Sheffield Independent on 8th December 1860  (he was buried in Old Whittington churchyard on 8th December 1860)

The Steade grave in Old Whittington Churchyard photo courtesy of Philip Morris
Part of the inscription on the top slab of the grave clearly showing Charles Steade’s name courtesy of Philip Morris

It was later announced in the Naval and Military Gazette and Weekly Chronicle on 8th June 1861.

Charles and Elizabeth had no children and the estate, which shown  by the following advertisements was quite large, was auctioned off in the years following Charles death.

On the 9th February 1861 the contents of the house were advertised in the Sheffield Independent.

It certainly sounds as though the Steades had a very comfortable home and it would appear that sadly none of the family wanted or needed the contents.  My favourite item is the 18 stones of well-fed bacon!!

This advertisement appeared in the  Derbyshire Courier on 17 November 1866, Mr Sampson named as the contact was the land agent for Beauchief Abbey at this time and it would look like the estate was being sorted within the family.

Surprisingly 5th January 1867 the Sheffield Independent are announcing that the estate will be going up for sale in the early part of the year.

I was surprised to see the  Sheepbridge Inn formed part of the estate.

Presumably the whole estate didn’t sell as quickly as was expected as the following advert appeared in the Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald on 9th July 1870.

Charles Steade was probably a well known gentleman in the Whittington and Dunston area, certainly a kindly benefactor of various good causes.

The connection with St Bartholomews did appear to be quite strong as after Charles death when the foundation stone for the new church was laid on 1 January 1862 the Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal (January 10 1862) reported that it was Miss Smith of Beauchief Hall that performed the duty.  It was interesting to note that a leaden case was placed under the foundation stone containing various items of the time. Think we would now call it a ‘time capsule’!

Charles Steade is descended from the Pegge family who originated near Ashbourne, another well-known Whittington resident Samuel Pegge is also purported to descend from the Pegge family near Ashbourne.  Perhaps there is a link?  Will have to save that for another time……..

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