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The Last Squire of Shipley
By Barbara Egan – Heanor News 9 May 1980

ALFRED Edward Miller Mundy was born 28 November, 1849, and died 15 April, 1920, just over 60 years ago. His death marked the end of an era. He was the last Squire of Shipley and Mapperley to occupy Shipley Hall, home of the Miller Mundy family for over 200 years.

His mother, Jane, was the second daughter of Rear-Admiral Sir John Hindmarsh and his father was Alfred Miller Mundy, Lord of Shipley and former Colonial Secretary for South Australia. Alfred had succeeded his elder brother, Edward, who was Member of Parliament for Derbyshire from 1841 to 1849.

Alfred Edward was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, and in 1873 married Ellen Mary, youngest daughter of Charles Rowland Palmer-Morewood of Alfreton Hall. Ellen bore him one daughter before she left to live with the 20th Earl of Shrewsbury in 1881. He divorced her and she married her Earl in 1882.

Meanwhile Alfred Miller Mundy had died (in 1877) and Alfred Edward succeeded to the title.

The Squire remarried in 1883, his bride this time was Catharine Louisa, third daughter of Sir John Hartopp, 4th Bart. Catharine bore him his son and heir, Godfrey Miller Mundy, in 1885 and also three daughters.

Alfred Edward was Deputy Lieutenant (at a time when his Grace the Duke of Devonshire was Lord Lieutenant), he was High Sheriff of Derby in 1891 and a Justice of the Peace.


He continued to maintain Shipley Hall, an elegant mansion built in 1700, which had an eastern elevation (designed by Adams) added in 1777.

The entrance hall had a fine marble staircase and there were rare prints on the walls, but pride of place went to a beautiful portrait of Mrs. Miller Mundy with Godfrey (aged six) and one of his sisters. This was painted by Edward Hughes in 1891.

Thanks To Mollie Skinner For The Photograph

There was a large dining room with portraits of the Mundy family of J. Hoppner, R.A. A library, a billiards room, a number of drawing rooms and a finely proportioned ballroom with a beautifully decorated ceiling and a powerful electric orchestrion.


More family portraits hung on the walls of the drawing, rooms and in one of them was a shield-shaped stand supporting a fine collection of medallion portraits.

Leading from one of the drawing rooms to the greenhouses was a glass corridor, housing the Squire's collection of exotic flowers and rare ferns — acknowledged to be one of the finest in the Midlands.

The Estate of 3,000 acres in which the Hall was contained was one of the finest and richest in the county.

The pleasure gardens were magnificent, under the guidance of Head Gardeners recruited from such places as Sandringham and Blenheim Palace, and the grounds abounded with game. Three hundred acres were planted with forest trees, and lakes accounted for another 100 acres. From the top of Shipley Hill it was possible to see parts of Charnwood Forest.


Over 2,000 colliers were employed in the Shipley pits and in 1899 they were excavating 420,000 tons of coal per annum. The Squire's Agent, Charles Sebastian Smith, had sole charge of the business affairs and under his guidance Shipley Estate flourished.

The Squire took a keen interest in horticulture, sport — especially cricket and yachting, having his own yacht and being a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron — and local affairs. He was a generous benefactor —Ilkeston Hospital and Cotmanhay Church being among those to benefit.

On the occasion of his Silver Wedding in 1908 he presented a £250 organ to Marlpool Church. His tenants presented him and his wife Catharine with an illuminated address, in which reference was made to the happy relations which had so long existed between "The Lords of the Manor of Shipley and the tenants."

He was President of Ilkeston Church Institute for over 40 years.

Alfred Edward Miller Mundy died at his London home at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 15 April, 1920. He had been out as usual the previous Saturday, on Sunday he was taken ill, and he died —aged 70 — from double pneumonia.


A funeral service took place the following Tuesday at St. Saviour's, Walton Street, Upper Chelsea, and a simple bunch of lilies lay on the purple pall. His son and heir Major Godfrey Miller Mundy (of the Life Guards) was abroad in California. The day before his father died a letter had been received from him saying he was on the point of moving and would contact the family as soon as possible, so he was unable to be told of his father's death.

The Squire had expressed a desire to be buried very quietly in his own grounds at Shipley, in a spot overlooking Mapperley. So on Tuesday evening his coffin was brought to Shipley Hall in readiness for the burial on Wednesday afternoon.

The traditional resting place for the Miller Mundy family was the east end of Cotmanhay Churchyard where his mother and father were buried, but the Squire's wishes were honoured.


In 1922 the Miller Mundy family sold the Hall to the Shipley Colliery Company, in which they were shareholders. Eventually coal was mined underneath the Hall and mining subsidence caused so much damage the building became unsafe and had to be demolished.

The Squire's graveyard became neglected after the Estate was sold to the National Coal Board and his widow had his remains reinterred in Brookwood Cemetery, North London.

All the burial ground contains now is a cross, but each year on the anniversary of his death, a bunch- of daffodils is placed there. After 60 years he is still remembered with affection.

Sympathy letter sent from E Miller Mundy Shipley Hall 1903. Note the black border on Page 1

Pedigree of the Mundy Family

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