DUKINFIELD

Grid Ref: SJ 940 976
Date: 13 May 2009

Robert Dukinfield spacer blue plaque
Colonel Dukinfield   Plaque to Robert Dukinfield
Dukinfield Town Hall   Dukinfield Town Hall
Town Hall   The entrance to the town hall
Dukinfield Town Hall   plaque to John Golland
The east side of the Town Hall   Plaque to John Golland on the side of the Town Hall

 

Dukinfield in now part of Tameside but was historically in the county of Cheshire and is covered in Pevsner's Buildings of England in the volume on Cheshire. Dukinfield is separated from Ashton under Lyne, which is in Lancashire, by the river Tame. The name of the town has been spelled in various ways and as seen in the plaque above, Colonel Dukinfield is spelled Dukenfield and in the pedigree other variants are seen. The Town Hall was built in 1899 and the architect was John Eaton, Sons and Cantrell of Ashton.

 

COLONEL ROBERT DUKINFIELD

Civil War Commander

 

Colonel Robert Dukinfield came from Dukinfield in North East Cheshire. During the Civil War he was one of the leading Parliamentarians in the Civil War. He defended Stockport Bridge against Prince Rupert and conducted the siege of Wythenshawe. He became High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1625. In 1650, during the Commonwealth period he was made the Governor of Chester. The following year, he was a member of the court martial that sentenced the Earl of Derby, a Royalist Commander, to death. Lord Derby had estates in the Isle of Man and Robert Dukinfield was sent out as the head of an expeditionary force to the island against the Countess of Derby. She surrendered the island after receiving a letter from the Earl noting "that the Colonel, being so much of a gentleman born, will doubtless, for his own honour, deal fairly with you."

Towards the end of the Commonwealth, there was a rebellion against Richard Cromwell, led by Sir George Booth of Dunham Massey. Booth had also been a leading supporter of the Parliamentary cause but became disillusioned with the new dictatorship. Robert Dukinfield was the main commander involved in suppressing this rebellion. He lived to see the Restoration and the "Glorious Revolution" of William and Mary. His son, also Robert, was made a baronet shortly after the Restoration. Colonel Robert Dukinfield died at Dukinfield Hall in 1689, aged 70.

Next to Dukinfield Hall lies what is believed to be the oldest Nonconformist Chapel in England. It was a domestic chapel; Sir Robert Dukinfield and other members of the family were buried in it. Colonel Dukinfield was buried at the old chapel, Denton. Several members of the family were buried at Cross Street Chapel in Manchester. The Dukinfield estates formerly comprised all Dukinfield and large parts of Newton, Denton, Haughton, Reddish, Brinnington, Portwood and other parts of Stockport, land in Tabley and also estates in Lancashire. The township of Dukinfield became a part of the parish of Stockport although detached from it, probably through the influence of the family. A Robert de Dukinfield is recorded as the resident owner of the township in 1315.

Sir William Dukinfield Daniel, the great grandson of Colonel Dukinfield, died in 1758 and left his estate to his daugther Henrietta. She was pronounced insane and died in 1771. The estate then passed to her step-father John Astley of Wem, a painter and a friend of Sir Joshua Reynolds. John Astley died in 1787 and was buried in the Old Chapel Yard. His son, named Francis Dukinfield-Astley was involved in the industrial revolution with interests in coal mining and iron works. In 1802 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Society for the Improvement of Agriculture for planting 40,000 trees.

A family tree of the Dukinfields is included in Earwaker's 'East Cheshire', from which the following version is taken. Earwaker's tree starts with Robert de Dokenfield in the 13th century but I begin in the late 14th century and proceed as far as Colonel Dukinfield. Note that a variety of spellings of the name are used in different documents.

 

Sources:

Cheshire Notes and Queries, Vol. 1, page 141.
Old Chapel and the Unitarian Story, by David C. Doel, a Unitarian Publication, London, ISBN, 085319 0496.
East Cheshire Past and Present by J.P. Earwaker, London, 1877
The Buildings of England: Cheshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner and Edward Hubbard, first edition 1971, Yale University Press edition in 2003.

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