Biography of William Bateman 1787-1835

Paternal Family Tree: Batemans of Middleton

William Bateman 1787-1835 is in Antiquaries.

On 13 Apr 1786 [his father] Thomas Bateman (age 25) and [his mother] Rebekah Clegg (age 20) were married at Parish Church of Manchester [Map].

In 1787 William Bateman was born to Thomas Bateman (age 26) and Rebekah Clegg (age 21).

Section I Tumuli 1788. On the 15th of March, 1788, a farmer, who occupied the land on Middleton Moor, known as the Garratt Piece, having occasion to burn some lime upon that ground, dug for the purpose into a tumulus [Map] [Garratts Piece Barrow [Map]], or lowe, there situate.

He began his work on the outer edge of the barrow, clearing it away as he proceeded, to the level of the natural surface. On reaching the centre, he found, lying immediately under the usual depression of the summit of the barrow, and placed upon the level of the ground, a skeleton, whose extremities were towards the east and west; near the point of the shoulder was a very extraordinary ornament of copper neatly enamelled with various colours, red being the most predominant; it is circular, and has a hook in the form of a serpent's head, probably for suspension. In addition to this, part of another ornament of similar workmanship; part of the iron umbo of a shield and a shallow basin of thin brass, much broken and crushed, were found abont the same place. (For a similar basin see Archæologia, vol. xviii, page 80.) The design visible upon the circular and enamelled ornament is precisely similar to an illuminated capital Q in the Saxon manuscript entitled, 'Textus Sancti Cuthberti,' a production of the seventh century, formerly preserved in the cathedral of Durham, but now in the Cottonian library, (Nero, D. 4.) There is a good engraving of it in Astle's 'Origin of Writing,' plate 14, a. This interesting barrow was reopened by Mr. William Bateman (age 1), on the 19th of June, 1826, but was found to have been entirely rifled on the occasion above described.

On 16 Jun 1797 [his mother] Rebekah Clegg (age 31) died. She was buried at the Protestant Dissenters' burial ground in Manchester.

On or before 08 Nov 1821, the date he was baptised, [his son] Thomas Bateman was born to William Bateman (age 34) in Rowsley [Map].

Derbyshire Archaeological Journal Volume 30 1908 Page 155. [Fol. 43.] June 1st and 2nd 18241.

The large barrow [Gib Hill Barrow [Map]] situate 4 or 500 yds. from Arborlow, in a field called Gib hill [Map], belonging to Mr. Thos. Bateman of Middleton by Youlgreave, was opened by Mr W. Bateman (age 37), and myself, by driving a level through the S.E. side to the centre. The first covering which was about 2 yard in depth consisted of loose stones and earth, (but not so stoney as the Arborlow) under which a thin layer of tuft stone. Beneath this was a stratum similar to the first of about 1½ yards in thickness with a second thin bed of tuft stone. To this succeeded a stiff reddish brown clay, completely saturated with what we supposed to be animal matter, and having evident marks of fire. This clay was laid on the natural soil, about 1½ yds. in thickness, and 3 or 4 yards in diameter, and was throughout its whole circumference full of burnt bones and charcoal, disposed apparently in layers. A stratum of tuft stone which we supposed had been changed into a yellow ochry substance by the action of the fire, was placed under this; beneath which we penetrated to the solid rock 5 or 6 yds. in perpendicular height from the summit of the mount. We carefully examined the clayey stratum but could find no traces of an urn having ever been deposited; we found in the clay a small arrow head of flint, and a stone of somewhat peculiar shape, much broken, which might have been made use of as a hatchet2, some pieces of burnt bones (whether human or not cannot be ascertained) and a (very) few bones of rats were found3.

The mount has, no doubt, been raised over the funeral pile of some family, in which the bodies were entirely consumed, perhaps before the introduction of urn burial. The tumulus has evidently been connected with the adjoining temple by a small rampire of earth which runs Southward from the vallum of the Arborlow, round this barrow to the Westward; but may not be coeval with the original foundation of the temple. The remains found are in the possession of Mr. W. Bateman of Middleton.

One of the men employed in this excavation stated positively that he and a John Broomhead, had, under the direction of Mr. B. Thornhill, of Stanton, dug down into the centre of this barrow many years before, when they found the bones of a human hand, and several Coins, some of which were silver, and that on their arrival at some large stones, they desisted. The coins were taken away by Mr. Thornhill. The stones appear to have been considerably above the stratum of burnt bones, &c. mentioned. On Mr. Bateman's application to Mr. Thornhill on the subject, he denied having any recollection of opening the barrow at all.

Samuel Mitchell (age 21) Junior.

Note 1. Vestiges, pp. 31-2, and briefly in Ten Years' Diggings, pp. 17-20, in both of which the above exploration is attributed to Mr. W. Bateman only. These pages in Ten Years' Diggings record the opening of this great-barrow by Mr T. Bateman, January 10th-17th, 1848, when a huge cist containing burnt human bones and a vase were found near the summit.

Note 2. "A battered celt of basaltic stone"- Ten Years' Diggings, p. 20. In addition to the "finds" enumerated above, a small iron fibula was found in the upper part of the mound.

Note 3. Mr. Mitchell's account of the opening of this barrow is valuable, as his description of the construction is more detailed antl explicit than that of Vestiges, p. 31. The exploration of 1848 proved that the upper portion of the mound had been raised over four small ones of clay, placed square-wise. The present writer has recently suggested that these may simply represent the mode of constructing a square mound like that near the south-west side of the great circle at Dove Holes [Map], and that the upper material of stones and earth represents a subsequent enlarging of the barrow when the cist was introduced (Reliquary, 1908). Derbyshire has supplied other examples of barrows which have been raised or otherwise enlarged upon the occasion of later burials.

In 1835 William Bateman (age 48) died.

Section I Tumuli 1843. September 27th, 1843, a barrow, called Ringham Lowe [Map], on Middleton Moor, was reopened. It was first examined by the late Mr. William Bateman in 1821, who found only the fragments of two urns and a piece of charcoal; one of the urns was of fine black ware, the other very coarse and of a grayish colour. The second investigation did not prove much more interesting than the first; the particulars are as follows: in the centre were the remains of a fire which had burnt upon the surface of the ground, before the construction of the mound; there remained pieces of charred wood, either oak or ash, near three inches in diameter. About the same place some more fragments of the above-mentioned urns were found; also numerous chippings of flint; but no bones, either human or animal, were seen. Near the surface of the tumulus a carefully-chipped instrument of flint was picked up, on refilling the excavation.

Section I Tumuli 1844. On the 30th of July, 1844, was re-examined a barrow [Map] upon the Oldham Farm, Middleton, which was unsuccessfully opened by Mr. William Bateman, on the 18th of May, 1825, nor was this second investigation much more interesting, as the barrow proved in most respects the same as the one on Ringham Lowe [Map], which is within half a mile of the one in question. There were the remains of a large fire visible in the centre of this mound, upon the level of the undisturbed soil, where were also some pieces of sandstone and some quartz pebbles, neither of which are to be found in the neighbourhood. The only articles of human origin were several pieces of kneaded clay, partially hardened by the fire, and a broken piece of coarse pottery of very hard texture.

Thomas Bateman 1845. The 23d of May, 1845, is an important day in the annals of barrow-digging in Derbyshire, as on that day was made the discovery, so long a desideratum, of the original interment in the large tumulus [Map], which forms one side of the southern entrance to the temple of Arbor Lowe [Map], and which had been unsuccessfully attempted on previous occasions by three parties of antiquaries: first, about 1770, by the occupier of the land whereon the temple is situated; secondly, in 1783, by the celebrated archaeologist. Major Rooke (see p. 31, 1st Jun 1824), who laboured with no effect for three days; and thirdly, on the 1st and 2d of June, 1824, by Mr. Samuel Mitchell (age 42) and Mr. William Bateman, who succeeded no better (see p. 31). But, to return to the narrative. Operations were commenced on the day before mentioned, by cutting across the barrow from the south side towards the centre. A shoulder-blade and an antler of the large red deer were found in this excavation, which also produced an average quantity of rats' bones. On reaching the highest part of the tumulus, which owing to the soil and stones removed in the former excavations, is not in the centre, but more to the south, and is elevated about four yards above the natural soil, a large, flat stone was discovered, about five feet in length by three feet in width, lying in a horizontal position, about eighteen inches higher than the natural floor. This stone being cleared and carefully removed, exposed to view a small six-sided cist, constructed by ten limestones, placed on one end, and having a floor of three similar stones, neatly jointed. It was quite free from soil, the cover having most effectually protected the contents, which were a quantity of calcined human bones, strewed about the floor of the cist, all which were carefully picked up, and amongst them were found a rude kidney-shaped instrument of flint, a pin made from the leg-bone of a small deer, and a piece of spherical iron pyrites.

At the west end of the cist were two urns of coarse clay, each of which was ornamented in a peculiar and widely dissimilar manner. The larger one had fallen to pieces from the effects of time and damp, but has since been restored, and is a very elegant vase; the smaller was taken out quite perfect, and is of much ruder design and workmanship. In addition to these urns, one piece of the ornamented upper edge of another, quite distinct from either of them, was found. The floor of the cist was laid upon the natural soil and the cist was strewed with rats' bones, both within and without.

Ten Years' Digging 1848. The large barrow upon Middleton Moor, called Gib Hill [Map], situated about 350 yards west from the circular temple of Arborlow [Map], and connected with it by a serpentine ridge of earth, had been previously examined by the late Mr. William Bateman, in 1824, without much success. From the analogy borne by Arborlow and its satellite, Gib Hill, to the plan of Abury with its avenue of stones terminating in a lesser circle on the Hak Pen range of hills, no less than by the remarkable similarity of the names, I had ever reckoned this tumulus to be of more than common importance, under the supposition that a successful excavation of it might yield some approximate data respecting the obscure period of the foundation of the neighbouring circle.

Owing to the large size of the mound, our operations extended over several days, the result of each being noticed diary-wise as at once the most simple and intelligible arrangement.

Kenslow Barrow. February 1st we commenced re-opening the barrow [Map] [Kenslow Knoll Barrow 1 [Map]] upon Kenslow Knoll, which was formerly investigated by Mr. William Bateman, in 1821, when it appears that the primary interment was discovered, and besides it, some other relics which indicated that there might still remain additional deposits in that part of the barrow that was not then disturbed. By taking a wide trench through the middle of the barrow from the outer edge, it became apparent that its convexity had chiefly been preserved by a border of large limestones placed with great regularity on the surface of the natural soil. On clearing the area within them, many pieces of calcined flint and animal bones were picked up; also a splinter from a stone celt, a round piece of slaty sandstone which had been burnt, and a crescent-shaped ornament of bone having two perforations: the latter is precisely like one found at the prior opening, and gives the idea of a large canine tooth of a wolf split down the middle, being convex on one surface and level on the other, although in reality it is cut out of solid bone, and has been carefully polished all over.

Hurdlow. On the afternoon we re-opened the barrow on Cronkstone Hill [Map] (the next eminence), which was examined by Mr. William Bateman, in 1825 (Vestiges, p. 33). A short distance east from the centre was a large irregularly shaped grave in the rock, the bottom of which was upwards of five feet below the apex of the mound, within it lay the skeleton of a full sized person who had suffered from a morbid enlargement of the head of the right humerus; as usual, in the early interments, he lay in a contracted posture, with a circular instrument of flint near the head, and surrounded by rats' bones. A few inches above this skeleton was a deposit of calcined human bones, apparently interred at the same time as it. There may probably be other interments in the mound, which is about 20 yards diameter.

Middleton. On the 24th of October, we opened a large trench in the barrow [Larks Low Barrow [Map]] at Larkslow, near Middleton by Youlgrave, which was first examined by Mr. William Bateman, in 1825, when amongst other things were found a cinerary urn, containing burnt bones, and an "incense cup." It appeared by our excavation, that the centre of the barrow had been surrounded by large masses of chert, within which circle the interment had been deposited. We discovered the calcined bones which had been emptied out of the urn at the former opening, and a few pieces of an unburnt skeleton. From a very careful examination of the former, we find them to consist of the remains of a full-grown person, and an infant, with whom had been calcined a few small instruments of flint, a bone pin, and a tooth of some large animal. It is probable that the critical examination of all deposits of burnt bones would lead to much curious information respecting the statistics of suttee, and infanticide, both which abominations we are unwillingly compelled, by accumulated evidence to believe were practised in Pagan Britain.

Ancestors of William Bateman 1787-1835

GrandFather: Richard Bateman

Father: Thomas Bateman

Great x 1 Grandfather: Ralph Leek of Heath House, Cheddleton

GrandMother: Elizabeth Leek

William Bateman

GrandFather: Arthur Clegg of Manchester

Mother: Rebekah Clegg