Derek Roome, November 2008

The Spread Eagle was probably an Inn in the 16th century and was originally of Tudor construction, though it was probably differently named in those days. The walls were of lath and plaster which, as they supported heavy beams and upstairs floors, probably accounts for the slopes of the bedroom floors.

When the pub was renovated and the flimsy construction of the walls revealed, it became necessary to support the beams with brick buttresses before replacing the lath and plaster with brick. The Spread Eagle got its name from the crest of the Findern family from the nearby village into which one of Sir John Port’s daughters married. Until recently there was a pub with the same name where Willington Road met the A38; there is another at Rolleston.

An alehouse was known to have been there in 1745 at the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s march from Scotland to Derby. It was then owned by William Clarke, a shoe maker.

In 1745 an interesting event took place when the owner of the pub who had got into debt through gambling, sold the Spread Eagle for 100 to a man named James Faulks of Foremark, with the proviso that he might reclaim it on the full payment plus interest. The money must have been paid, for in 1808 the pub now definitely known as “The Spread Eagle” was assigned legally to a man named James Bailey who had married Clark’s granddaughter Rebecca Bailey.

Many meetings were held at the Spread Eagle over the years. One meeting held in 1796 attended by the local landowners, including Lord Belper, was to discuss the carving up of the remaining areas left after the land enclosures.

On Thursday, 7th July 1814, Etwall celebrated victory over Napoleon. Mrs. Butler, the proprietor of the Spread Eagle, held a ball in the evening "and dancing kept up till a late hour”. However, "the liquor not being all drank, dancing again commenced on Friday and continued until dark ".

From 1841 the Etwall branch of the Independent Order of Oddfellows held its fortnightly meetings there for over a century.

In 1864 a meeting was held there by the church wardens and overseers in regard to the abuse of office and the harsh treatment of the inmates of the Alms houses by the Rev. Gresley. A meeting was also held there, by farmers and tradesmen to discuss the abuse of the Repton School Authorities. The meeting was attended by a Government Inspector.

In 1887 a meeting was held to organise the celebration of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

In 1894 meetings were chaired by Major Rowland Cotton in the Spread Eagle and the Hawk and Buckle public house to organise celebrations for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.


The date of the photograph on the left is not known but the thatched roof was replaced with the tiled one in 1912.

In the 1920s the Spread Eagle had a full size billiards room table, but the local lads of the village were not encouraged by the landlady – Mrs (Clara) Marsh.

She liked to keep its use for the “better class” of customers who visited the pub!

 …………. Above source Mr L Thornhill

Landlords (Ref Licensees 1777)



William Crosley/John Clarke (At this time called “The Crosley William Inn”)


RichardCrossley/John Handford/John Clark


AnnAshmole/John Clark/Richard Crosley


John Clark/Thomas Cope/Elizabeth Crosley

1781 - 82

John Clark/Richard Crosley

1783 - 85

AnnAshmole/John Clark/Richard Crosley


JohnAshmole/John Clarke/Richard Crosley


AnnAsholme( Probably means Ashmole (?)/Richard Crosley/William Lovatt

1788 - 90

JohnAshmole/Richard Crosley/WilliamLovatt

1791 - 92

Samuel Ault/John Crosley/William Lovatt

1793 - 96

JohnCrosley/John Embray


JohnCrosley/Ann Embrey

1798 - 03

Edward Butler/John Crosley


Rebecca Clarke/John Crosley

1805 - 08

JohnCrosley/Ann Emery ( PerhapsEmbrey?)

1809 -15

JohnCrosley/Ann Embrey

1816 –27

PeggyCrosley/Ann Embrey



1835 –57

Samuel Harper


James Marsden

1861 - 81

William Archer


Charles Hardy




Samuel Spencer



1927 - 46

Thomas Joseph Marsh (Owner Mary Marshall, Newport Villas, Uttoxeter RdDerby)


Clara Marsh / Dorothy Ivy Marsh/Sydney Robinson (Owned by Alton  Co. at this time)



 The old


 Circa 1912


The Coronation - 1953