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Joan Statham

circa 1450 - 1492

Father John Statham
Mother Elizabeth Milner
Husband Robert Gilbert
Children Robert

Joan was probably born somewhere roughly around 1450 (1) in Horsley, the daughter of John and Elizabeth (2)(3)(5)(6). She had four brothers - John, Henry, Roger and William (4). No other sisters are known of.

Her father died in 1459 (4).

She married Robert Gilbert of Youlgreave (2)(3)(5)(6), and they had seventeen children - seven sons and ten daughters (5), although its likely that the majority of these died young. Indeed the only one that is known to have certainly survived is her son Robert, although two others may possibly have been William and Richard (8).

Joan died in 1492 (3), and her husband Robert built a screen in Youlgreave church, to create a small chapel in her memory (5). He also commissioned an impressive memorial (7).

Brief details of her children:


  1. Joan's date of birth is estimated based on the following:
  2. Pedigree of the Gilbert family of Yolgreave in the visitations of 1569 and 1611 (as published in "The Genealogist (New Series)" Volumes 7 & 8).
  3. "The Descent of the Family of Statham", By Rev S P H Statham, page 48, amongst details of John Statham's children states:
    Joan, the daughter of John of Horsley, married Robert Gilbert of Youlgreave and was buried in the church there, dying on December 2, 1492.
    He then goes on to describe their tomb (much as Cox does
  4. See her father's page
  5. "Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire", by J Charles Cox, 1875, Volume 2, pages 329-330, within the chapter on Youlgreave church, contains the following:
    Against the east end of the north aisle is a remarkable monument, which previous to the restoration was in the chancel; at an earlier date it was against the south wall of the south aisle, as descibed by Bassano; but it was originally designed (as we believe) to form a memorial reredos at the back of the chantry altar of the Lady Chapel in the latter aisle. This mural has twenty-one small figures carved in relief in alabaster. In the centre is the Blessed Virgin crowned, with the Child in her arms. To her right kneels a man with his seven sons behind him, to her left kneels the wife with their ten daughters behind her. Round the margin is the following inscription in rather illegible black letter :-
    "Hic jacet sub lapede corp' Roberti Gylbert de Yolgreff generosi, et Johe cosortis sue, que Joha obiit, iie die Novembris Ao dni MCCCCLXXXXII, qui quid' Robert clausura hujus capelle fieri fecit in Ao [superadict], et idem Robert' obit."
    The word in brackets is now missing, a piece of the marble having been cut out, but we have supplied it from the copy of the inscription taken by Bassano. The date of the death of Robert was never recorded. The meaning of the latter part of the inscription is, that Robert Gilbert erected in 1492, a screen, or parclose, round the east end of the south aisle, so as to form a chapel. Below the figures are three shields, (1) Statham (gu, a pale fusilly, arg, with a crescent for difference); (2) Statham impaling Rossington (arg a fesse between three crescents, gu); and (3) Rossington.
    The first of the Gilberts, of Youlgreave, mentioned in the Visitation pedigrees, is Robert Kniveton alias Gilbert, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Maple, of Mapleton. His son, Nicholas Gilbert, married Margaret, daughter and co-heiress of Sir John Rossington ... . Their eldest son and heir was Robert Gilbert, who, by his wife Alice, daughter of Nicholas Cooper, had issue Robert, commemorated by this monument. This Robert Gilbert married Joan, daughter of John Statham, of Horsley. The Gilberts, of Youlgreave, whose own arms were - gu, a bend vaire, arg and sab, seem to have for the most part adopted the arms of Rossington, as the more honourable family, after their alliance with that heiress. It should also be noted that a careless blunder of the original sculptor has reversed the arms on the monument, and has made Statham impale Rossington (i.e. Gilbert), instead of vice versa. Of the various children here depicted, we are only able to give the name of the eldest son and heir - Robert Gilbert, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Columbell, of Darley.*
    * For pedigree of Gilbert, alias Kniveton, see Egerton MSS 966 f28; Harl MSS 1537 f76. The Gilbert who married the heiress of Rossington is named Nicholas in the Harl MSS 1537, 6592, 2134, 886, and elsewhere, but he is named Richard in Egerton and Add MSS. We suppose that the Knivetons of Youlgreave, originally sprang from the Knivetons, of Kniveton, and changed their name to Gilbert through alliance with an heiress of that family. But younger branches of the Knivetons of Youlgreave, retained their patronymic. The Youlgreave registers contain various entries of Kniveton, both in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
  6. Pedigree of the Kniveton alias Gilbert family, of Youlgreave, from the papers of Benjamin Bagshaw, antiquarian. Sheffield Archives reference Bag C/3361B
  7. Memorial to Robert & Joan Gilbert in Youlgreave church.
  8. A William Gilbert appears in court in Bowden in 1515, charged with affray (Yeatman's Feudal History of Derbyshire Vol 3, Section 6, page 395), and a Richard Gilbert appeared in a jury at Castleton in 1520 (Yeatman's Feudal History of Derbyshire Vol 3, Section 6, page 403). There are no other known Gilbert families extant at the time, and these are the only two mentions I have come across which I can't fit into the known family.