Tuesday, 8 September 2015


Street view
Shelton is a pretty rural hamlet with just over 100 residents but it has a slightly different feel to other attractive villages we have visited. This one doesn't feel like a commuter village. On the way in we passed golden fields of newly cut wheat, in the centre there was a green expanse of parkland and further down the main road were more fields for livestock. It was certainly verdant!  The countryside doesn't surround it ... it forms part of it.  

Street view
 Memorials inside the Norman Church of St Mary record the lives of some Shelton residents like  .... 

William Warburton who was a Royalist Cavalier buried here in 1669.  His Coat of Arms are carved in stone on a pillar inside the church. The ancestral seat of the Warburton family is in Arley, Chester but in 1579 Ann Warburton (daughter of Sir John and Dame Mary Warburton) married Robert Markham of Cottham.  Shelton Manor was part of the marriage settlement.  Ann died in 1601.

William Warburton was a staunch Royalist defending Chester during the Civil War - he was mentioned in dispatches for his bravery - but records show he settled in Shelton Manor after the Restoration.  He was a lawyer in Newark and in later life became the Coroner for Nottinghamshire. William's grandson attended the Magnus School in Newark and grew up to be the Bishop of Gloucester.
William Warburton's Coat of Arms
On a cold and wet March morning in 2004 Ashfield Metal Detecting Club began to work the fields around Shelton.  One of the group was eighty year old Norman Daynes.  After three cold and disappointing hours Norman decided to call it a day and set off back to the car.  Luckily he didn't switch his metal detector off.  A slight ping drew his attention to a scrubby area and it was there, just three inches  under the weeds, that Norman discovered a double ended silver seal. Once washed it was clear the seal had a Coat of Arms and the moto "IE VOILE DROIT AVOIR" (I will have justice) indicating it had been the property of the Warburton family.  This would have been a very important item in the 1600s ... used to seal letters and authenticate wills with the stamped wax.  The mystery remains as to how it got into a field but it has now ended up in the Civil War Centre in Newark.

St Mary's Church, Shelton
There are two decorative stones inside the church.  I thought they were pieces of a carved Saxon cross but I was wrong.  They are very old coffin lids discovered, dug up and salvaged when work was being carried out on the building.

Headstone of Francis Vere Wright.

Other residents remembered inside the church are members of the Wright family of Shelton Hall: 

Colonel Francis Vere Wright JP (and Knight Officer of the Crown of Italy) served with the 4th North Staffordshire Regiment and with the 52nd Regiment of the Royal Italian Army.  In 1860 he lost two fingers from his left hand during active service. He was 25 years old at the time.  In 1889 he wrote, "The Broadsword: As Taught by the Celebrated Italian Masters, Signors Masiello and Ciullini, of Florence" a book that can still be purchased today because scholars consider it to be "culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it." This beautiful carved sword on his headstone is obviously fitting.

His relative Walter Banks Wright died from heat apoplexy in Benares, India in July 1894.  He served with the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers but in his Cheltenham school days he was the Public School Boxing Champion in 1885

Glass signed by Lydia Wright
Then William Vere Banks Wright died of fever at Bulawayo in 1897 which was unfortunate because he had survived two campaigns at Matabele.  He was a scout for the 7th Hussars under Colonel Baden-Powell.

The altar window was made by Lydia Wright.  It is very colourful and I applaud her effort but it is not the best stained glass we have seen.  I can't criticise though: I've never made one!

Altar window by Lydia Wright
 Facing it is a window of a better standard. It is dedicated to Lydia from her brother Vere ... was he trying to tell her something!

Window dedicated to Lydia Wright
I may be wrong again but the foliage detail in this window looks very much like the work of the William Morris Company.  It is dedicated to Lydia's mother, Sophy Banks Wright 1877.

Detail of window dedicated to Sophy Wright
Window dedicated to Sophy Wright
Window dedicated to James and Mary Anders

Modern window by J Hardman

 The most tragic memorial in the church is dedicated to Dr Samuel Maltby and his wife Anne.  Samuel was born in Shelton in 1820 to the Rev John Ince Maltby.  He qualified as a surgeon in 1842 and 11 years later was giving medical aid to the troops stationed at Fategarh when the Indian Mutiny began.  The fort, under the command of Colonel G A Smith, prepared to withstand attack.  They had provisions of food and ammunition and a number of boats ready for an emergency evacuation.  Just down the river at Cawnpore was a larger English garrison under the command of Sir Hugh Wheeler.  As the situation became more desperate a group of 100 civilians (mostly women and children) left Fategarh in the early morning of 4th June heading for Cawnpore.  There are different accounts of what happened to this party but it is believed they were massacred near Bithoor a week later.  

Dr Maltby, his wife and two young daughters, Eliza and Emma, had remained at Fategarh but as the Indian sepoys in the fort joined the mutiny the remaining Europeans realised they had to escape.  They took to three boats at 2am on the 4th July.  They were quickly in trouble.  They were being fired upon and they had to transfer passengers when one of the boats became unmanagable.  They had to mend the rudder on one of the remaining boats then the other one got stuck in mud.  As the men were trying to free it the Indian sepoys caught up with them.  Dr Maltby's party were at their mercy.  Several took to the water and either drowned or were hacked to death; others were killed by gunfire.  Maltby was seriously wounded. The boats continued down river still under heavy fire.  They got as far as Bithoor where they were captured by Nana Sahib. Seventeen surviving men, including the badly injured Samuel Maltby and a 14 year old boy, were taken out, lined up and shot. One account states: "A volley announced their passing to the prisoners within the home above, those that still breathed being finished off by the swords of their executioners."

Church window
Mrs Maltby and her two daughters were taken to Bibighar, a brothel in Cawnpore where a party of 200 Europeans (mostly women and children) were  being held. A woman called Hussaini Khanum was in charge.  They were set to work grinding corn to make chapatis. Conditions were very poor and some hostages had already died from cholera and dysentery.

By now the British forces were assembled and advancing to retake Cawnpore.  Nana Sahib attempted to use the hostages as bargaining chips but the British continued to advance and Hussaini Khanum gave the order to kill the hostages.  The terrified women tried to barricade themselves in.  At first the rebel soldiers refused to harm women and children but they were forced to comply under threat of severe punishments.  They fired the first shots through holes in the boarded up windows but stopped firing when they heard the distressing screams.  Hussaini Khanum called them cowards and sent for butchers to finish the job.  Most of the victims were hacked to death but  three women and three children aged between 4 and 7 managed survive hidden under the bodies.  The next day cleaners arrived to dispose of the bodies by throwing them into a nearby dry well.  The survivors were thrown in alive.

Such brutality .... but some believe the rebels were acting this way in response to the brutalies inflicted on Indian villagers by the advancing British army.

Shelton Hall
Relatives of the famous Lord Byron also have a connection to Shelton.  Reverend  Henry Byron was the vicar of Shelton.  Henry was cousin to Mad Jack Byron ... Lord Byron's father.

Old school building
 Map for Shelton:  Click here.


  1. Col. Samuel Matlby (1787-1877) was the son of Brough Maltby and Mary Ince.
    Dr. Samuel Maltby (1820-1857) was the son of Rev. John Ince Maltby and Elizabeth Weston. -- In 1841, Samuel, aged 20, was a Dresser, or House Surgeon, in St Thomas Hospital; Southwark, Surrey (London).
    Col. Samuel Matlby of the East India Company, was uncle to Dr. Samuel Maltby, and both baptized in Shelton, Nottinghamshire. -- They are both often confused in many reference texts.
    Col. Samuel Maltby had retired and returned to Nottinghamshire before the Mutiny occurred, and died in Southwell, Notts., 16 March 1877.

    1. Thank you for this .... always a problem when families use the same christian name!

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    3. I believe the intertwining of these two Samuel's began from a Family history book published in 1916, as it's the earliest record that listed the Colonel's birth details with the Doctors death details. -- The book lists Dr Samuel Maltby's inscription at Shelton that may be of interest.
      MALTBY-FAMILY HISTORY-MALTBIE (1916) page 134.
      V. 68. Col. SAMUEL (5) Maltby, b. Oct. 28, 1787, at Shelton. He was a colonel in East India Company. The item which follows is copied from a tablet in Shelton church. The tablet is erected to "Samuel Maltby, Surgeon H. E. I. C. S. and Anne, his wife, only child of Lt. Gen. G. W. A. Lloyd, C. B., both massacred in Indian Mutiny 1857. The tablet was erected by his sorrowing parent."
      ...even in these old triple checked records nobody noticed the inscription at Selston did not match-up to the person the book claimed. ---

      Another error about Dr S. Maltby was daughters Eliza and Emma, these two names came from the "List of Futtyghur fugitives, dated July 11 1857:" where Mrs. Maltby's name is followed by ; Mrs. Lowis (wife of R. Lowis,
      Joint Magistrate, Futtehgurh). ; Emma ditto. ; Eliza ditto. -- Later retellings and translations of this list by The London Times became quite confused, and misquoted them both as children of Mrs. Maltby. ---

      Mrs. Maltby was said to-be heavily pregnant at the time of the Siege, later Court evidence it's stated ; "...one Doctor, with wife and child a few days old ; the brutes floated off the child on the Ganges, on a plank from the boat between Bithoor and Cawnpore. " --- The Court Transcripts gave no name to the child, gave no corroboration, and the child is not listed on either Memorial, or India Registries.