Catalogue description Pares of Leicester and Hopwell Hall

This record is held by Derbyshire Record Office

Details of GB 0026 D5336
Reference: GB 0026 D5336
Title: Pares of Leicester and Hopwell Hall

The collection falls into three general sections. The first section comprises title deeds, leases, mortgage deeds, rentals, surveys, valuations and associated papers connected with the ownership of land by the Pares family and by their predecessors in title. Many series include documents dating back many years before the Pares family came into possession, and which were passed to them along with the purchased estates.


The earliest document is a deed dated 1306, perhaps associated with Shropshire (D5336/1/43/1), but this is an isolated survival and the bulk of the items date from the late 16th century to the 1820s. The series would appear to end at about the time of the death of Thomas Pares II in 1824, and the whereabouts of later title deeds are at present unknown. A number of rentals and estate accounts from 1815 to 1855 (D5336/1/44/1-9) form part of this series but are not fully comprehensive.


The largest collections of title deeds are for the Pares estates at Hopwell, Ockbrook, Borrowash, Dale Abbey, Spondon and Weston upon Trent in Derbyshire, and at Brascote, Cosby, Cotes-de-Val, Glenfield Frith, Kilby, Leicester and Narborough in Leicestershire. The sale of the Hopwell Hall estate to Thomas Pares I in 1786 is particularly well documented. There are, however, many gaps. Many of the 16th and 17th century deeds do not seem to have any obvious connection with the Pares family but were presumably acquired along with the land later in the 18th or early 19th centuries.


Besides the principal Derbyshire and Leicestershire series, the collection also includes 18th century leases of London property (D5336/1/39/1-5), a map of an estate at Lenton in Nottinghamshire dated 1736 (D5336/1/41/1), and title deeds and administrative papers from an estate at Prescott in Oxfordshire and Appletree in Northamptonshire (D5336/1/42/1-20). A sub-series relating to Ashby Magna in Leicestershire consists of copies of manorial court papers from 1685 to 1729, including suit rolls, jury lists and lists of fines (D5336/1/15/1-33).


The second group of Pares papers is a more miscellaneous assortment of business, political, financial and personal documents. This includes a small number of family wills and a larger number of papers relating to trusteeships and executorships undertaken by members of the Pares family. Some business records from Pares Leicestershire Banking Company have survived including one business account book dating from 1829 to 1832 (D5336/2/6/8). Other papers include accounts of Thomas Pares III as Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1845-46 (D5336/2/7/1-12) and a small number of items illustrating the charitable interests of certain members of the family.


A much larger series is formed from a scrapbook and many loose handbills and newspaper cuttings illustrating the election campaigns of Thomas Pares III, MP for Leicester 1818-1826 (D5336/2/9/1-32).


Further groups of papers illustrate the local areas in which the Pares family were prominent, especially with regard to the parish. Some papers relating to church affairs were collected by the Reverend William Pares, Rector of Narborough and Vicar of Selston, and include references to his parishes. Others were acquired by the owners of Hopwell Hall in the course of their dealings with the church. The parish of Ockbrook is particularly well documented, with poor law and other parish papers dating back to 1652 included in this collection. Many of the Ockbrook papers are associated with the Piggen family, owners of part of the parish, and it would appear that many 17th century papers relating to the family and to the area were acquired by the Pares family along with their Ockbrook estates.


Other papers include numerous small bills and receipts, some for repairs to property, others for purchases made by members of the Pares family, and others still being part of the estate accounts. Some of the receipts may relate to purchases of paintings and other artwork advertised in the numerous sale catalogues from London auction houses attended by Thomas Pares II until his death in 1824 (D5336/2/25/1-102). Finally, a section of personal papers and items collected by the Pares family includes such items as Thomas Pares II's' travel diary from 1773-1774 (D5336/2/24/1) and an inventory and valuation of paintings at Hopwell Hall from the 1820s (D5336/2/24/11)


The third group of items in the Pares archive is an extensive collection of correspondence dating predominantly from the late 18th century to the mid 19th century. The letters were collected on the whole by three separate people: Thomas Pares I, Thomas Pares II and Thomas Pares III. The series ends in around 1860, although there are one or two stray letters from after this date.


The correspondence of Thomas Pares I includes a vast amount of letters between himself and his son Thomas Pares II, and letters relating to the purchase of Hopwell Hall. Thomas Pares II's correspondence reflects his work as a lawyer, involved with many family trusts, and also includes many personal letters from family and friends. The correspondence of Thomas Pares III, MP, includes letters relating to political affairs from the 1810s to the 1830s, and also many family and personal letters. Finally, the series includes correspondence between the male family members and relatives involved in the Pares Leicestershire Banking Company in the mid 19th century.


Title deeds and estate papers




D5336/1/1 Borrowash (1675-1807)


D5336/1/2 Dale Abbey (1754-1816)


D5336/1/3 Derby (1708)


D5336/1/4 Draycott (1763-1811)


D5336/1/5 Findern (1623)


D5336/1/6 Holbrook (1649)


D5336/1/7 Hopwell Hall estate (1661-1824)


D5336/1/8 Horsley, Kilburn and Turnditch (1641-1679)


D5336/1/9 Loscoe (1641)


D5336/1/10 Ockbrook (1583-1820)


D5336/1/11 Risley (1708-1805)


D5336/1/12 Sandiacre (1784-1820)


D5336/1/13 Spondon (1442-1766)


D5336/1/14 Weston upon Trent (1651-1806)




D5336/1/15 Ashby Magna (1685-1771)


D5336/1/16 Ashby Parva (1778)


D5336/1/17 Brascote (1614-1741)


D5336/1/18 Cosby (1707-1763)


D5336/1/19 Cotes-de-Val and Kimcott (1638-1820)


D5336/1/20 Desford (1674)


D5336/1/21 Enderby (1781-1798)


D5336/1/22 Foston (1790)


D5336/1/23 Gilmorton (1777-1797)


D5336/1/24 Glenfield Frith (1608-1825)


D5336/1/25 Kilby (1575-1728)


D5336/1/26 Kirkby Muxloe (1729)


D5336/1/27 Laughton (1808)


D5336/1/28 Leicester (1642-1825)


D5336/1/29 Melton Mowbray (1711-1761)


D5336/1/30 Narborough (1587-1811)


D5336/1/31 Newbold Verdon (1827-1845)


D5336/1/32 Peckleton (1562-1775)


D5336/1/33 Ratby (1603)


D5336/1/34 Sileby (1813)


D5336/1/35 Skeffington (1792)


D5336/1/36 Thorpe Acre (1810)


D5336/1/37 Ulverscroft (1838-1846)


D5336/1/38 Leicestershire: mixed places (1619-1781)


D5336/1/39 London (1739-1813)




D5336/1/40 Greasley (1705)


D5336/1/41 Lenton (1736-1824)


Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire:


D5336/1/42 Appletree and Prescott estate (1624-1820)


D5336/1/43 Shropshire (1306-1778)


D5336/1/44 Estate accounts and overall estate particulars, valuations and agreements (1786-1879)


Financial, business, personal and miscellaneous papers


Wills, trusts and business papers


D5336/2/1 Pares family wills, executorship papers, settlements and financial deeds (1799-1901)


D5336/2/2 Papers relating to the business affairs of Thomas Pares I, attorney, of Leicester, as a lawyer and trustee (1747-1805)


D5336/2/3 Papers relating to the business affairs of Thomas Pares II of Hopwell Hall, attorney and banker, predominantly as an executor and trustee (1767-1824)




D5336/2/3/3-25 As executor and trustee of the will of his brother-in-law John Dod (1775-1821)


D5336/2/3/26-50 As executor of the Rev. Dr Joseph Jackson and trustee for the creditors of Major Augustus Parkyns (1762-1815)


D5336/2/3/51-77 Miscellaneous business and legal papers (1767-1824)


D5336/2/4 Papers relating to the business affairs of John Pares of Hopwell Hall (1782-1833)


D5336/2/5 Papers relating to the business affairs of Thomas Pares III of Hopwell Hall and Ulverscroft, predominantly as a trustee and banker (1788-1858)


D5336/2/6 Papers relating to the financial affairs and banking business of Messrs Pares, Paget and Heygate (Pares Leicestershire Banking Company) in Leicester (1806-1859)


Public office and elections


D5336/2/7 Official papers relating to Thomas Pares III as Sheriff of Derbyshire (1845-1858)


D5336/2/8 Papers relating to public and charitable affairs, Derbyshire (1830s)


D5336/2/9 Papers relating to elections; particularly relating to Leicestershire and Leicester Borough parliamentary elections in which Thomas Pares junior was a candidate (1768-1871)


D5336/2/10 Papers relating to public and charitable affairs, Leicestershire and Oxfordshire (mid 18th century-1885)


Papers relating to churches, glebe lands, tithes, clerical appointments etc:


D5336/2/11 Ockbrook (1631-1847)


D5336/2/12 Parish of Wilne, including townships of Hopwell and Draycott (1631-1847)


D5336/2/13 Elsewhere in Derbyshire (1649-1816)


D5336/2/14-17 Papers predominantly relating to the clerical incumbencies of the Rev. William Pares:


D5336/2/14 Elmsthorpe, Leicestershire (1783-1787)


D5336/2/15 Narborough, Leicestershire (1630-1810)


D5336/2/16 Selston, Nottinghamshire (1799-1817)


D5336/2/17 Miscellaneous (1785-1812)


D5336/2/18 Leicestershire and miscellaneous, including papers relating to the Rev. Thomas Ludlam, Rector of Foston (1753-1847)


Poor Law and other parish administrative papers


D5336/2/19 Breaston, Draycott, Hopwell and Risley (1674-1836)


D5336/2/20 Ockbrook (1652-1811)


D5336/2/21 Leicestershire (mid 18th century-1818)


Miscellaneous papers


D5336/2/22 Financial, family and miscellaneous papers relating to the Piggen, Osbourne and Johnson families of Ockbrook, Derbyshire (1619-1749)


D5336/2/23 Financial papers and accounts predominantly relating to the Pares family (1663-1898)


D5336/2/24 Pares family and personal papers (1773-1845)


D5336/2/25 Sale particulars and catalogues of property and paintings (1788-1896)


D5336/2/26 Miscellaneous papers (1617-1871)




D5336/3/1-6 Correspondence of Thomas Pares I (1762-1799)


D5336/3/7-210 Correspondence of Thomas Pares II and his siblings (1762-1833)


D5336/3/211-215 Family correspondence of Thomas Pares III and his siblings and wife (1805-1860)


D5336/3/216-223 Correspondence of the wife and children of John Tylston Pares (1825-1860)


D5336/3/224-570 General correspondence of Thomas Pares III


D5336/3/571 Correspondence relating to the Heygate and Hodgson families and to Pares Leicestershire Banking Company (1807-1859)


D5336/3/572 Miscellaneous correspondence (1673-mid 19th century)

Date: 14th - 19th centuries

On arrival at Derbyshire Record Office, it was found that the collection was highly disordered and that original bundles of documents had been broken up at some point in the past. Material has been re-grouped for ease of use, but this re-grouping does not reflect the original arrangement of the archive. Bundles of documents are usually artificial groupings; only when the term 'original bundle' is used were the items found together. Researchers are advised to check all series for references to particular places or people.

Related material:

For Ockbrook parish records, see D2000


For late 19th century title deeds relating to former Pares property in Risley, see D760


For other Weston upon Trent title deeds and manorial papers, see D779


For a sale catalogue of Hopwell Hall and farms in Hopwell and Ockbrook, see D216B/ES1/4 (206)


For a sale catalogue of the contents of Hopwell Hall, 1910, see D331/25/8


For leases and agreements concerning Calver Mill, 1806-1866, see D295M/T65-69


Quarry Bank and Caton Mill business records are held at Manchester Central Libary, reference C5


For a more detailed contents list for the correspondence series, see D5336/3

Held by: Derbyshire Record Office, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Pares family of Leicester, Leicestershire and Hopwell Hall, Derbyshire

Physical description: 77 series
Access conditions:


Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were created and collected by various members of the family, but the bulk of the more personal papers and correspondence would seem to be associated with Thomas Pares II (who died in 1824) and Thomas Pares III, MP (who died in 1866). The collection was deposited in Derby Library by a member of the family, and transferred from Derby Local Studies Library (former reference number DL64) in October 2000

Custodial history:

The papers were created and collected by various members of the family, but the bulk of the more personal papers and correspondence would seem to be associated with Thomas Pares II (who died in 1824) and Thomas Pares III, MP (who died in 1866). The collection was deposited in Derby Library by a member of the family, and transferred from Derby Local Studies Library (former reference number DL64) in October 2000

Publication note:

Further reading:


A detailed article on the Pares Bank and the mills at Calver and Caton is 'Calver Mill and its Owners: a Supplement' by M H Mackenzie, in the Derbyshire Archaeological Journal Vol LXXXIV (1964)


'The History and Legend of the Pares Mourning Service' by Gerald Pendred, in the Derby Porcelain Internation Society newsletter, no. 48 (June 2001)

  • Pares, Miles and Alston, lawyers
  • Calver Mill Company
  • Hopwell Hall, Derbyshire
  • Ockbrook Manor, Derbyshire
  • Kirby Frith estate, Leicestershire
  • Dod family of Tooley Park, Leicestershire and Cloverly Park, Shropshire
  • Greg family of Quarry Bank, Lancashire
  • Hodgson family of Caton, Lancashire
  • Heygate family of London and Southend
  • Mackmurdo family of Clapton, Middlesex
  • Ockbrook, Derbyshire
  • Estate management
Administrative / biographical background:

The Pares family


Thomas Pares I (1716-1805) was an attorney in Leicester and a nephew of John Pares who had been Mayor of Leicester in 1714. In 1786 Thomas purchased Hopwell Hall in Derbyshire along with a share of the manor of Ockbrook and various farms and pieces of land in the Hopwell and Ockbrook area. Hopwell Hall had been built by Henry Keyes in the early 18th century on the site of a 16th century predecessor, owned by the Sacheverell family. The Hall was demolished after a fire in 1957. Further details about the history of Hopwell Hall are given below.


Thomas Pares I had three sons. His eldest son Thomas Pares II (1746-1824), known as Thomas Pares junior until 1805, was a lawyer at Gray's Inn and Furnivals Inn in London, and also continued his father's legal practice in Leicester. Thomas retired to Hopwell Hall and took a great interest in paintings. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and was also a benefactor in the Hopwell area. In 1803 the chancel in Ockbrook church was rebuilt at his expense. Seven years later the east window and chancel screen were replaced by ones brought by Mr Pares from Wigston's Hospital in Leicester. Thomas Pares II died unmarried and childless in 1824. In his will he devised the majority of his estates, in Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, to his younger brother John Pares and his heirs. However, his estate at Kirby Frith in Leicestershire passed to his nephew Thomas Pares junior.


The second son of Thomas Pares I was John Pares, born in 1749. He was a hosiery manufacturer and banker, living in a house called The Newarke in Leicester. He married Agnes Lightbody, who died in 1812, and had a large family. He died in 1833. John's brother William was a clergyman and held benefices in Elmsthorpe and Narborough in Leicestershire and at Selston in Nottinghamshire. He died childless in 1809.


John Pares' eldest son Thomas Pares III (1790-1866), known as Thomas Pares junior until 1824, was educated at Eton, took a MA from the University of Cambridge, was a lawyer and was elected Member of Parliament for the Borough of Leicester in 1818 after a campaign against the Corporation interest. He held the seat until 1826 and was known as a supporter of the poor. In 1824 he succeeded his uncle Thomas Pares senior as proprietor of the Kirby Frith estate in Leicestershire. He inherited the Hopwell and Ockbrook estate on the death of his father in 1833. Thomas paid for the erection of the National School at Glenfield in 1831 and appears to have spent more time on his Leicestershire estates than at Hopwell Hall. Besides Hopwell Hall and Kirby Frith he had another residence at Ulverscroft in Leicestershire.


In 1821 Thomas Pares junior married Octavia Mackmurdo. They had seven children, the eldest of whom, Thomas Henry Pares (1830-1878) inherited the family estates. Thomas Henry's son Edward Henry Pares JP (1854-1931) sold Hopwell Hall, which had been let to tenants since the 1890s.


John's second son, John Tylston Pares, married Mary Burnaby in 1820 and had three children: Thomas John Tylston Pares, Agnes Tylston Pares and Mary Tylston Pares. John died on 20 November 1831, leaving his brother Thomas Pares III as trustee of his estate and joint guardian of his children. Letters in the correspondence section of this collection document the financial troubles of Mary Tylston Pares, who had moved abroad by the 1840s, and the difficulties she experienced with her son Thomas ('Tommy'), who was asked to leave Harrow School in 1836, married without consent in 1839, and separated from his wife in 1847.


All the members of the Pares family kept in close contact with their siblings, cousins and other relations, and the collection includes many papers connected with other branches of the family. Principal among these other families were the Dod family of Tooley Park, Leicestershire, and Cloverley Park, Shropshire (together with their own relations the Woodyeare, Tibbits and Elwin families), the Greg family of Quarry Bank, Lancashire, the Hodgson family of Caton, Lancashire, the Heygate family of London and Southend, and the Mackmurdo family of Clapton, Middlesex.


Pares family businesses


Thomas Pares I was a lawyer in Leicester. His son Thomas Pares II followed him into the profession, but practised in London during the law terms, returning to Leicester at other times of the year. Samuel Miles was clerk to both father and son, and by the early 19th century the legal firm in Leicester was known as Messrs Pares, Miles and Alston. Members of the Miles family continued to be associated with Pares family business into the 1850s.


Thomas Pares I also had interests in the hosiery trade and employed his son Thomas as his agent for financial transactions in London. His son John Pares was more closely concerned with hosiery manufacture and trade, having leased a site at Calver in 1778 and joined with John Gardom of Bubnell to build a spinning mill. The Calver Mill Company was formed in 1789, and John Pares also owned a similar mill at Caton in Lancashire, managed by his wife's relation Isaac Hodgson.


Closely connected to the mill business was the other major family concern, the Pares Leicestershire Banking Company. The bank was established in Leicester in 1800 by John Pares. A co-partnership was formed involving John, his brother Thomas Pares II, Thomas Paget of Ibstock (husband of John's daughter Ann), James Heygate of Aldermanbury, London, and James's son William. In 1824, following the death of Thomas Pares II and the retirement of Thomas Paget, John Pares's second son John Tylston Pares and James Heygate's other son James Heygate junior joined the co-partnership. James Heygate junior and his brother William (later Sir William Heygate, baronet) were by this time connected by marriage with the Pares family, having each married a sister of Octavia Mackmurdo, wife of Thomas Pares II. In 1825, Isaac Hodgson joined the bank and took over management of the Aldermanbury branch in London from James Heygate senior.


The bank suffered a severe blow in 1830 when it was discovered that the financial affairs of James Heygate junior were in disarray and that he had been embezzling funds. The burden of repayment fell on Sir William Heygate and on Thomas Pares III, who was forced to sell The Newarke. The repercussions of the event in terms of family relationships can be traced in the correspondence of this period in this collection.


By this time, John Pares had retired from the partnership which owned the Calver and Caton mills, and his son Thomas Pares III did not take any part in their management. The mills passed into the ownership of the Heygate family and then the Gregs of Quarry Bank.


Hopwell Hall (note written by Colonel T H Pares, 2 June 2000)


The manor of Hopwell earned an entry in the Domesday Book (1086) under the name of OPEUUELLE as follows: 'Bishop of Chester before and after 1066 and Ralph FitzHubert from him...'


A paper of Henry III in 1242/43 mentions Nigel de Langford having land here as part of the Bishop of Chester's estates.


Then in 1296 it was held by Ralph de Shirley under the Earl of Lancaster. Eventually Hopwell was acquired by the Sacheverells through marriage with a Shirley heiress.


In 1661 Fernando a Jacynth Sacheverell willed Hopwell, with its substantial 16th century house, to a cousin on the mother's side named Henry Keyes. He it was who rebuilt the house in 1720, which stood until partially destroyed by fire in 1957.


Pevsner, writing in 1953, mentions this building in his Derbyshire volume of 'The Buildings of England' as follows:-


'Examples of the comforable medium-sized classical country brick, usually with very restrained exterior decoration and occasionally with more ambitious interiors are Hopwell Hall of 1720...'


M Craven and M Stanley in 'The Derbyshire Country House' Volume II (1984) described Hopwell Hall as


'A tall 3 storey, 5 by 4 bay house with giant pilasters at the angles, a rather pronounced cornice, panelled parapet and low hipped roof. The central bay broke slightly forward and included a baroque aedicule with an open sequental pediment. To the left there was a contemporary 2 storey 3 bay wing, with a longer, lower service wing. In general appearance the house is reminiscent of the style of Francis Smith of Warwick active in Derby in 1723... Inside there was a delightful oak staircase of superior joinery, and the house was set in a landscaped park of 90 acres.'


Henry Keyes sold Hopwell to Bache Thornhill of Stanton in 1731, who only held the property for three years, when he conveyed it to Sir Bibye Lake Bart., Governor of the African Company. His great uncle, Sir Edward Lake Bart., had fought for Charles I at Edgehill, where, his left arm being shot, he put his horse's reins between his teeth and fought on till he fell exhausted with sixteen wounds. Eventually he recovered and Charles I gave him a baronetcy.


Hopwell remained with the son and grandson of Sir Bibye until 1785, when the latter sold it to Thomas Pares (1716-1805).


As J W Harman, writing of medieval Ockbrook, stated:


'After the Abbey at Dale was suppressed in 1538 and Ockbrook's ties with Elvaston were loosened in the early 17th century there was a tendency to look eastwards to its neighbour Hopwell, which curiously had a large house but no real village. This relationship continued until the early days of the present [20th] century, chiefly under the influence of the Pares family who came to Hopwell in 1786.'


The Pares, a Leicestershire family from the time of Elizabeth I and probably earlier, were lawyers, hosiery manufacturers, bankers and landowners. Five generations owned the Hall until 1909 when Edward Henry Pares (1854-1931) sold it to Edward Elsey, who then sold it in the following year.


Since 1910 Hopwell Hall's owners have included the Trustees of the Nottingham and Notts Association for the Permanent Care of the Feeble Minded, and Nottingham County Council. The latter reconstructed the building as a special school after the 1957 fire.

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