From Hamnett's notes:
William Barber (see The Barber family of Hilltop and Padfield) took out a lease and commenced to build a cotton mill in Padfield, which he did not finish. On the 6th December, 1803, he leased it to Abraham Clarke, machine maker and carpenter, Hadfield. He was the son of Abraham Clarke, husbandman, of Hadfield, and Nanny, daughter of Thomas Hadfield, slater, of Hadfield. Mr Clarke's daughter, Sarah, born December, 1796 married John Shepley, farmer, Laneside; his daughter, Mary, married Robert Wagstaffe, butcher, Glossop. Mr Clarke finished the mill and made the reservoir. Mr Clarke died 4th December, 1815, aged 54. In 1816 Mr Clarke's executors, Samuel Bray, yeoman, Glossop, and Joseph Lyne, cotton Spinner, Simmondley, leased the mill for 21 years to William Barber, at a rental of £204 per annum. In 1823 the mill was burned down, but re-erected by Mr Clarke's son-in-laws.
The conditions for the rebuilding of the mill are interesting, because they gave the local prices then current for mason's work. The agreement was as follows:-
"An agreement made and entered into this 6th day of May, 1823, between John Shepley, of Laneside, in the Parish of Glossop, in the County of Derby, farmer, and Robert Wagstaffe, of Bridge End, in the Parish and County aforesaid, butcher, of the one part, and Robert Hadfield, of Padfield, in the Parish and County aforesaid, mason of the other part. First the said Robert Hadfield for the considerations hereinafter mentioned and expressed doth covenant, promise and agree to and with the said John Shepley and Robert Wagstaffe that the said Robert Hadfield shall and will be and with the directions of the said John Shepley and Robert Wagstaffe or the one of them pull down the old walls which are now standing in a cotton mill or factory lately destroyed by fire belonging to the said John Shepley and Robert Wagstaffe, situate near Padfield, aforesaid, and clean all the lime from off the old stone for the price or sum of £15, and shall and will well and sufficiently rebuild or cause to be rebuilt, (in a good workmanlike manner according to the best of his art and skill) the said cotton mill or factory for and at the following prices, viz. getting, dressing and walling the new stone eighteen shillings per rood (eight superficial square yards to the rood) and for walling the old stone nine shillings per rood, getting window tops and bottoms one shilling and sixpence per stone, getting stair steps dressing and setting up four shillings per step, doors and windows hewing five pence per foot, chimney draughts one shilling and sixpence for every yard length, flagging new flags ninepence per yard, dressing and walling chimney twelve shillings, beam filling, scaffold holes making up, tools sharpening and sand riddling included at the above prices, getting stones for a new door ten shillings, and hewing thereof five pence per foot. And it is agreed between the said parties that in case the wheel race wall should exceed two feet in breadth to be paid in proportion of nine shillings per rood for any additional measure and for hewing out the rock to enlarge the wheel race and clearing the rubbish away the said John Shepley. and Robert Wagstaffe agree to allow and pay unto Robert Hadfield the sum of six pounds ten shillings. And the said Robert Hadfield doth further agree to and with the said John Shepley and Robert Wagstaffe that he will complete and finish the rebuilding of the said factory on or before the 31st day of August next ensuing the day of these presents, or in neglect thereof shall forfeit the sum of £20. And the said John Shepley and Robert Wagstaffe do also agree to and with the said Robert Hadfield that they or one of them shall provide for and find him sufficient scaffold poles and planks for scaffolding as may be competent and necessary for the erection of the said factory, so that the said Robert Hadfield is not impeded or hindered in carrying on the work for want of any material for the use of the building. And if this should happen to be the case it is agreed between the said parties that the said forfeit shall be void and further time given to finish the building of the said factory. And the said John Shepley and Robert Wagstaffe or one of them do further agree to and with the said Robert Hadfield to pay him such sum or sums of money according as the work is done so that an overplus may be in their hands to pay him when the work is finished. And they also agree to pay and give the said Robert Hadfield the sum of £1 for the lime cleaned from off the old stone And when the said cotton mill or factory is finished the said Robert Hadfield doth agree (at his own expense) to clear and take away from the inside of the said factory all old lime and scaplings of stone and shall take the same to his own use in case the said John Shepley and Robert Wagstaffe or one of them do not choose to clear and take away the same themselves. And the said John Shepley and Robert Wagstaffe or the one of them do further promise and agree to and with the said Robert Hadfield to pay him such a reasonable price or prices for any stone which he may get (either by the load or measure) which may be used as bond stones in walling the old stone of the said factory or any kind of work which is not hereinbefore mentioned and described. In witness whereof the said parties have unto these presents set their hands the day and year first before written:- JOHN SHEPLEY, ROBERT WAGSTAFFE, ROBERT HADFIELD.
Witnesses present; Wm Barber, John Dearnaley.
N.B. Before the signing of these presents it is agreed between the said parties that the said Robert Hadfield shall be paid and allowed one and ten pence per day for a man to assist loading the stone at the quarry."
William Barber worked the mill, but in 1840 it was empty, and remained so for many years. About 1847 the firm William Platt and Co commenced business as cotton spinners, but whether they took Clarke's mill I do not know.
The mill built by the Barbers, called the Lower Mill was built on a lease dated 25th March, 1804, for 99 years, area of the land 2,150 square yards, and a ground rent of £8 8s per annum.
In 1834 William Barber had 2,347 spindles and 672 doublers working.
In 1841 the mill was enlarged. He worked it until 1848 when Samuel Lees became the tenant. In 1851 Mr Lees enlarged the mill.
Mr Lees gave up the business in 1854 and John Kelsall appears in the rate books for 1855 as the tenant, but in the same year it became The Padfield Mills Co.
In 1859 Charles J Fisher was tenant and he failed in 1862.
In 1886-89 the Padfield Mill Co.
It was pulled down by Thomas and William Shepley Rhodes when they were going to build the present Hadfield Mills.
The weaving shed of Hadfield Mill was assessed in 1877 at £186 5s. and the mill was gradually built and opened to its present size. This mill was stopped for a month for alterations to the old engine, which were completed on 22nd March, 1887.
On the 28th March 1887, there was an accident to it and a singular circumstance happened. On the same day there was an accident to an engine at Bridge Mills, and an accident to a steam pipe at Waterside Mills, so that three engines were stopped by accidents on the same day.
On the 24th October, 1896 one of the engines at Hadfield Mill ran away; the big wheel being smashed to pieces, and portions went through the roof of two cottages and over the roofs of others. It was not until the 14th December, that the engine resumed working.
William Barber had sons called Robert, John, Thomas and Edward, who worked Shepley Mill, Glossop. One of his daughters married Dr Jones, of Hadfield. Jones Street is named after him. William Barber died 25th July, 1845, aged 68; Robert died 11th June, 1873, aged 70.