BELGIUM-ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > BELGIUM-ROOTS > 1999-08 > 0935614817
Subject: THE DRAINING OF HATFIELD CHASE
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 17:00:17 -0400 (EDT)
Thought you might enjoy this story.
MISSING LINKS: RootsWeb's Genealogy Journal
Vol. 4, No. 35, 25 August 1999 Circulation: 352,504+
(c) 1996-99 Julia M. Case and Myra Vanderpool Gormley
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THE DRAINING OF HATFIELD CHASE
by Rita Effnert <>
Hatfield Chase, situated a few miles northeast of Doncaster, was a Royal Hunting ground until approximately 350 years ago. In extent it included the parishes of Hatfield and Thorne and the eastern parts of Fishlake. Rich in fish, game, and deer, roughly half the area was low-lying, sparsely wooded moorland, the other half meres, streams, and marshes watered by the Rivers
Torne, Idle, and Don. At that time the Don divided into two channels near Staniforth, one course meandering northward to join the River Aire at Snaith, the other taking a more circuitous route to the Trent at Aldingfleet. Water provided the chief, sometimes only, mode of transport. Communication between atfield and Thorne was usually by boat, wedding and funeral parties frequently having to row to church at Hatfield. One of
the meres between Thorne and Tudworth supported 20 fisheries, each of which paid a tribute of 1,000 fishes to the lords of Conisbrough. Though the area included some common land it was generally unlawful for the local inhabitants to take fish, game, or especially venison from the Chase. However, they had a reputation for showing little respect for the law, which was upheld only spasmodically and with great difficulty. Poaching
On 24 May 1626 King Charles I granted a charter to Cornelius VERMUYDEN giving him the authority to drain the Chase and adjoining marshlands in the Isle of Axholme. Cornelius was the son of Giles Vermuyden and Sarah (nee WERKENDET) and was born in 1590 on the Isle of Tholen in Zealand, Holland. By 1625 he had gained a reputation as a skillful drainage engineer and was
living in London. After visiting the Chase at the invitation of the King, Vermuyden agreed to drain the area in return for one-third of the reclaimed land. Another third was to go to the Crown, the other to local tenants. Vermuyden brought over a number of Dutch and Flemish (probably) Walloon settlers and actively engaged them in the reclamation work. Some of them, along with wealthier compatriots of Vermuyden, bought shares
from him to raise capital for the venture. The shareholders became known as the "Participants." According to some sources, a number of French Protestants -- Huguenots -- also joined the colony, which eventually comprised some 200 families, and
settled at Sandtoft to the east of Hatfield just over the Lincolnshire border.
Amongst other foreigners who settled near Hatfield about this time was a person called DIMALINE or DU MOULIN, who had two sons. One settled at or near Crowle and the other at Hatfield Woodhouse who was called Peter Dimaline and he was my 5th-great-grandfather, paternal. The line goes down from him via two Peters, Richard, and James, whose daughter Caroline was my great-grandmother. I got a bit of a shock when I received her marriage certificate, Caroline DIMBERLINE, thought it must be
wrong, and that it sounded like a heroine out of a Barbara Cartland novel. Once I found that she was born in Doncaster, I joined the South Yorks Family History Society and came in touch with a man who had been researching this family for the previous 10 years, and he handed everything to me on a plate. I would just like to add that I have a son called Richard and a granddaughter called Caroline -- both just sheer coincidence. The man in Doncaster by the way is my 5th or so cousin and we meet each time I am in Chesterfield.
There is the likelihood somewhere in the Yorkshire connections that there is a connection with George Washington -- but that's another story.
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