Topographical and Historical Account of Derbyshire
(Magna Britannia Vol. 5)

Derby - by Daniel and Samuel Lysons, 1817

Transcription by Barbarann Ayars © 2002
[Lyson's Magna Britannia Vol 5: Derbyshire, page 101: DERBY]
There are separate descriptions of the parishes of All Saints, St Alkmund, St Michael, St Peter and St Werburgh. Lyson's description of Derby also includes Darley (Abbey), Little Chester, Little Eaton, Quarndon, Alvaston, Litchurch, Boulton, Normanton and Osmaston within these parishes.

DERBY, the county-town, lies on the great road from London to Manchester, being 126 miles from the former, and 60 from the latter place. We are informed by Etherwoerd, a noble Saxon of the blood royal, in his Chronicle, that the Saxon name of this town was Northworthige, and the the Danes gave it the name of Deoraby. The Saxon Chronicle speaks of it by the latter name only. In the time of Edward the Confessor, Derby was a royal borough; the number of its burgesses being then 243, exclusively, as it appears, of 41 burgesses who occupied lands adjoining to the town. At the time of the Norman survey, the number of burgesses was reduced to 140; forty of whom are described as of inferior degree. At this time, there were 103 dwellings waste and empty which had formerly paid taxes. Two part of all taxes, tolls, and customs then belonged to the King, and the remaining third part to the Earl. King Henry I, when Duke of Normandy, granted the town of Derby to Ralph, Earl of Chester. The burgesses held the town in fee-farm before the year 1204, when King John granted them the same privileges, which the burgesses of Nottingham enjoyed; and confirmed their mercatorial gild, on condition of which they were to pay the old rent, together with an increase of 10 pounds per annum. The borough was then governed by a Provost, whom the charter gives them power to elect and remove at pleasure. King Henry III granted as a privilege to the burgesses, in 1261, that no Jew should reside in Derby. It appears that among the privileges which the burgesses of Derby claimed and were allowed in 1330, were four weekly markets, to be held on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and from Thursday-eve to Friday-eve;a fair on Thursday and Friday on Whitsuneve, and another for seventeen days commencing eight days before the festival of St. James. King Richard III granted the burgesses power to choose a bailiff, to have a gaol, and etc. Queen Mary in 1553, granted several houses, lands, and tithes which had belonged to the Abbey of Darley; to the College of All-Saints, the Gild of the Holy Trinity, the chantry of St Mary in the college above-mentioned, the free chapel of St. James with all its lands, the church of St. Michael, and the advowson of the church of Lowne, otherwise Heath, all then valued at 77 pounds 28, 7d per annum; the bailiffs paying a rent to the crown of 41pounds per annum. Queen Elizabeth first granted the burgesses the privilege of having two bailiffs. King James I, in 1611, granted them a charter, by which their corporation was made to consist of two bailiffs, and 24 burgesses, with a recorder, chamberlain, and other officers. Among the privileges granted by King Jame's charter was that {noone?} should carry on trade in the town, except at the markets and the fairs. King Charles I, in 1629, granted the burgesses a new charter under which the body corporate consists of a mayor, nine aldermen, 14 bretheren, and 14 capital burgesses. The chief officers are a high-steward, recorder, and town clerk. Henry Mellor was appointed the first Mayor. The four senior aldermen are perpetual magistrates; the Mayor is vested with the same powers during his mayoralty and the year following. The present Guildhall at Derby was built about the year 1731; the old hall was pulled down the preceding year.

Derby has sent members to parliament ever since the year 1294. The right of election is in the freemen and the sworn burgesses, the number of which, in 1712, was about 700; we have not been able to ascertain the present number, but are informed that it has greatly increased. The Mayor is the returning officer. The first Earl of Macclesfield, before he was raised to the peerage, twice sat in parliament for this town. One of its representatives has been of the Cavendish family for more than a century.

The county assizes have been held from time immemorial at Derby. The buildings of the County hall, which was erected in 1659, were much improved a few years ago. The county gaol was erected in 1756; the Duke of Devonshire gave 400 pounds towards the building. The Epiphany, Easter, and Michaelmas quarter sessions are held at Derby; the midsummer sessions being held at Chesterfield.

Other public buildings in Derby are, a theatre, built in 1773, and an assembly room, completed in 1774.

And agricultural society was established at Derby about the year 1791; there is also a philosophical society, instituted by the late Dr. Darwin, and Robert French, Esq.

There is a great market at Derby, for corn and all sorts of provisions, on Friday, and a smaller market, for butter, eggs, etc., on Wednesday. The fairs which were either granted or confirmed by King Jame's charter were Friday in Easter week, May 4, Thursday before Midummer, and September 26; each fair being for two days. King Charles's charter grants or confirms seven fairs: Friday after the Epiphany; Friday in Easter week; Friday after St Philip and St. James; Friday in Whitsun week; Friday before the Nativity of St. John the Baptist;St. James's day, and Friday before Sept. 29. Most of these were for two days.

In the year 1732 the corporation had a grant of two new fairs; one for three days, beginning September 16th; the other for two days, beginning on the festival of St. Paul. In the year 1734, the corporation appointed an annual meeting for the sale of the latter-making cheese, to last three days, beginning on the 12th of March, altered in 1738 to the 21st.

There are now nine fairs; the Monday after January 6th; Jan 25th; March 21, for three days; Friday in Easter week; Friday after May 1; Friday in Whitsun week; July 25;September 27 for three days and Friday before Oct. 11th. Most of these fairs are for cattle etc; those of March and October are great cheese fairs.

In the year 1377, there were 1046 lay persons in Derby, upwards of 14 years of age, exclusive of paupers. In 1712 the number of inhabitants was supposed to be about 4000.In 1789 the number of houses in the town and borough of Derby was found to be 1637; that of inhabitants 8563; in 1801 the houses 2644, and inhabitants 13,043, according to the returns made to parliament at the two periods last mentioned. In consequence, probably, of this town being a great thoroughfare from London to the North; it was, at several times a prey to the ravages of the plague, in 1586; in 1592; and 1593; in 1625; in 1637 when it broke out at the Whitsuntide fair; in 1645 when the assizes were held on that account in the Friars' close; and in 1665. At the last mentioned period the markets were forsaken, and the town was said to have been in danger of famine.

It appears that in former times this town was famous for dying cloth, and that one of the privileges granted by King John's charter to the burgesses was that no one should dye cloth within ten leagues of Derby, except at Nottingham. It is said also to have been a great mart for wool. Queen Mary's charter to the burgesses of Derby mentions three fulling mills in Derby; and it may be observed that this was one of the towns to which Sir Thomas White, founder of St. John's College in Oxford, bequeathed the sum of 100 pounds, to be lent from time to time, in sums of 25 pounds with a preference to clothiers. The chief trade of Derby, of a century ago, consisted in malting and brewing ale, which was in great request, and sent in considerable quantities to London; in corn dealing also, and baking of bread for the supply of the northern parts of the county. Camden speaks of the quality of Derby ale as being very celebrated, a century earlier; and Fuller, alluding to it, says " that never was the wine of Falernum better known to the Romans, than the canary of Derby to the English thereabout". The malting business is not carried on to so great an extent as formerly. There are two public breweries for ale.

[Lyson's Magna Britannia Vol 5: Derbyshire, page 105: DERBY (cont'd)]

About the begining of the 18th C, the first silk mill that had been established in England, was constructed at Derby by Mr. Cotchett; it is spoken of as a singular curiosity in Mr. Wolley's manuscript account of Derbyshire, written in 1712. The machinery of this mill having been inadequate to its intended purposes, the projector soon failed, and the works were abandoned. A few years afterwards, Mr. John Lombe, an excellent mechanic and designer, went to Italy and having by bribery procured the assistance of two artists from the silk mills there, made drawings and models of the machinery, and having with difficulty made his escape, returned to England with the two Italians, about the year 1717. The next year he procured a patent, but before he could enjoy the fruit of his labours, fell a sacrifice, as was suspected, to the revenge of the Italian manufacturers, and died by poison.[1]

Mssrs. Strutt have also a silk mill and a cotton mill, in which have been introduced several excellent mechanical improvements, for facilitating and expediting the several processes.

The manufacture of stockings was introduced into Derby about the same time as the silk mill. About the year 1756 Mssrs. Strutt and Woolatt introduced their ingenious invention of making ribbed stockings, for which they had obtained a patent. Mr. Pilkington supposed, that in 1789, there were about 170 stocking frames in the town, and the hosiers of Derby employed nearly six times as many in the neighbourhood. The stocking manufacture has been considerably increased since that time.

The slitting mills at the Holmes, which prepare iron for various purposes, were erected in the year 1734, and three years afterwards other works for smelting, rolling, and preparing copper.

The porcelain manufacture was established at Derby, about the year 1750, by Mr. Duesbury. The Derby porcelain has long been held in esteem, and has of late years been much improved in its composition and ornaments. The clay and granite used in this manufacture are brought from Cornwall. The manufactory now belongs to Mr. Bloore, who lately employed about 200 workmen.

Mssrs. Brown and Mawe have a large manufactory for making vases and various other ornamental articles of the fluor spar called Blue John.

Besides the manufactures already mentioned, there are at Derby a bleaching mill on Nun's-green, worked by steam; a calicoe factory, two worsted mills, a mill for making tin plates; a red lead mill; white lead works and a shot-mill, erected in 1809 by Messrs. Cox and Co.

The principle trade of Derby, at an early period, was that of wool. Camden, writing in the reign of James I, tells us that the wealth of the town arose then entirely from buying up corn and retailing it to the people in the uplands, and that almost all the inhabitants were forestallers of that sort. Blome speaks of its trade, in 1673, as being chiefly in barley, which was made into malt and sold northward; he observes that the trade of the town would be much advanced if the river Derwent was made navigable, which might be easily done. This was accomplished in the year 1719.After the making of the Derby canal, the act for which passed 33 Geo. III, the Derwent Navigation was discontinued (in 1794). The town of Derby is supplied by this canal with coals, building stone, gypsum, and various other articles. Coals are also again exported, as well as manufactured goods, cheese, and so forth. There is a large wharf at Derby, and several of the manufactories already mentioned are on the sides of the canal.

The earliest event relating to the town of Derby, recorded in history, is its capture by the Danes about the year 918, and its recapture by Alfred's daughter, Ethelfleda Countess of Mercia, who boldly attacked the castle and took it by storm, after a severe struggle. After this it fell again into the hands of the Danes, from whom King Edmund recovered it with four other towns in 942. It is probable that the castle at Derby was suffered to go to ruin after the Norman conquest. Its site is denoted by the names of the Castle-hill and the Castle-field in the parish of St. Peter near the London Road. A house was built on or near the site about the year 1711, by its owner Mr. John Borrow, which is now the property of his descendant Thomas Borrow, Esq, in the occupation of Lady Grey de Ruthin.

After the conquest, we find no event of much note relating to this town for several centuries. King Edward II appears to have been at Derby with his army just before the battle of Borough-bridge, and it was there that Sir Robert de Holand surrendered himself to his mercy and was sent prisoner to Dover Castle. On the 13th of January, the unfortunate captive, Mary Queen of Scots was lodged one night in Derby, on her road from Winfield Manor-house to Tutbury-castle. "This day", says Sir Ralph Sadler, in whose custody she then was, "we remove this Queen to Derbie, and tomorrowe to Tutbury, the wayes beinge so foule and depe, and she so lame, though in good health of bodie, that we cannot go thoroughe in a day". Again, "I have given strait order to the bailliffs and others of Derby, to provyde that there be none assemblie of gasing people in the stretes, for all quietness as much as may be done. I have written letters to Sir John Zouch, Sir John Byron, Sir Thomas Cokayne, Mr. John Manners, and Mr. Curzon, to be ready to attend this Quene to Derbie, with but a small trayne." So jealous was Elizabeth of any opportunity being afforded to her royal prisoner of gaining popularity, and so active were her spies in reporting the most minute occurrences, which might be supposed to have that tendency; that we find, notwithstanding all his precautions, Sir Ralph gave great offence, by granting his prisoner the accommodation of sleeping at Derby; and thus he defends himself in a letter to the Lord Treasurer Burleigh: "Now, as touching the Queen's Majesties' mysliking that I logid this Queen in Darby towne, coming hitherwarde, I asure her Majestie and your Lordship that it was full sore against my will, if it might have ben holpen. And to avoyd that towne, if it might have ben, I sent dyvers tymes of my servants of good judgement, and one Mr. Somer, ryding to Tutbury, to see if ther wer any way passable with coche and caryage, and convenyent places to lodge her and the company in some village or some gentleman's house, for the journey was to far in one day; and after they had hardly well sought, they reported that there was no other passable way for coche but by the common way, and scant that at that time of the year, by reason of hills, rocks, and woods; and I myself making a tryal two or three myles, fynding it true, caused landes to be made through closes to avoyd many evyl passages; and as for gentlemen's houses in that way or any other, in dyvers miles, there was but Mr. Knyveton's house at Marraston, a small house for such a purpose, and very little meanes in that village, and standing in the worst way, which maketh me to beseech her majestie, to think that if ther had been any other meanes, I wold not have come by Darby, for I did fore consider of that and therefore I wrote long before what we must needs take. And tochinge the information of a great personage, delyvered to him by some officious officer, that this Queen offered to salute and to kysse a multitude of the townes women, and of other speeches that (is sayde) she used to them, I do likewyse assure ant there to Mr.---------------will be sworne, if need be, I going next before her, and he next behynd her, yea before all the gentlemen, of purpose, savyng one that carryed up her gowne, that her interteynnment to those women was this. In the little hall was the good wife, being an ancient widow, named Mrs. Beaumont, with four other women, her neighbours. So soon as she knew who was her hostess, after she had made a beck to the rest of the women, standing next to the dore, she went to her and kissed her, and none other, sayinge that she was come thither to trouble her, and that she was also a widow, and therefore trusted that they should agree well enough together, having no husbands to trouble them, and so went into the parlour upon the same loe floure, and no stranger with her but the good wife and her sister. And there Mr. Somer stayde until the Queen putt off her upper garment and toke other things about her. And further, so sone as she was within her lodging, the gentleman porter stood still at the doore to suffer none to go into the house, but her owne people from their lodgings next adjoyning. And then I appointed the bailiffs; to cause a good watche of honest householders to be at all the corners of the towne, and in the market place, and eight to walk all night yn that strete where she lodgid, as myself lyeing over against that lodging, can well testify by the noise they made all night. "

"This your lordship may boldly affiarme, if it plese you, upon any occasion, which I will confirme, when God shall send me to answer it, if it shall happen to come in question. So as he might have ben better advised that gave the nobleman such information as was reported to your Lordship."

The house where the Queen of Scots was lodged has been taken down; it stood in Babington-lane, had belonged to the Babington family, and had been purchased of them by Mrs. Beaumont's husband, Henry Beaumont, Esq., a few years before. Mr. Beaumont died in 1584. This mansion was afterwards the residence of Sir Simon Degge, author of the Parson's Counsellor, and editor of Erdswick's Staffordshire.

In the year 1635 King Charles I visited Derby, accompanied by the Elector Palatine. In the monrh of August 1642, he marched through Derby with his army, soon after he had erected his standard at Nottingham. In the same year, Sir John Gell came with his forces to Derby, and garrisoned the town for the Parliament. Sir Thomas Fairfax was at Derby in the Spring of 1643. Sir John Gell continued to be the governor in August, 1645, and it appears that not long afterwards the town was garrisoned, and the soldiers disbanded. "In 1659 there was an insurrection at Derby against the usurped powers". quoted from Pilkington, MS Annals of Derby.

On the 21st of November, 1688, the Earl of Devonshire, who was one of the most zealous promoters of the Revolution, came to Derby with a retinue of 500 men, and read the declaration of the Prince of Orange.

On the 4th of December, 1745, Charles Edward Stuart, commonly called the young Pretender, having in the prosecution of his rash enterprise, penetrated into the heart of the kingdom, entered Derby: his army, consisting of about 7000 men commanded by the Dukes of Athol and Perth, Lord Balmerino and other officers, had preceded him, and previously to his arrival, had obliged the common crier to proclaim him Regent. He was lodged at a house, then belonging to the Earl of Exeter, in Full-street, now occupied by Mr. Edwards. The inhabitants were in great dismay at the arrival of the rebel army, who plundered the town to a considerable amount, and committed various outrages. They were soon relieved, however, from their troublesome visitors; for on the second evening of their stay, a council of the rebel chiefs was held, in which, after very warm debates, it was resolved to abandon their enterprize; in consequence of this determination, early on the morning of the 6th, they made a precipitate retreat by way of Ashborne, and returned to Scotland.

[Lyson's Magna Britannia Vol 5: Derbyshire, page 110: DERBY (cont'd)]

On the 3rd of September, 1768, Christian VII, King of Denmark, accompanied by his Grand Chamberlain, Count Bernsdorff, passed through Derby and slept at the George Inn.

One of the entries among the annals from whence some of the preceding historical facts are taken, shows that Scripture-plays, similar to those described in our account of Chester, were performed at Derby also, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth: "1572: In this year, Holofernes was played by the townsmen".

We have no intimation of any person of great celebrity born at Derby. It has been said, indeed, to have been the birth-place of Flamsteed, the celebrated astronomer. We have been able to ascertain that he was born in 1646 (this data obtained from the information of his great-nephew, the Rev. Richard Flamsteed, minister of Chellaston. We had in vain endeavoured to ascertain it from the parish registers, which are imperfect about the time of his birth), at Denby, in this county whither his father and mother, who resided at Derby, had retired on account of the plague. They returned to Derby when he was very young, and he was placed at the free grammar-school.

The only literary characters whom we find recorded by biographical writers as natives of Derby are: Dr. Thomas Linacre, (of the family of Linacre in Brampton), physician to King Henry VII and Henry VIII., founder of the College of Physicians, and author of some works on Latin Grammar, and a Translation of Galen; Benjamin Robinson, a Presbyterian divine of some note, born in 1666, who wrote on the subject of liturgies and in defence of the Trinity; and Thomas Bott, a clergyman of the Church of England, born 1688, who wrote against Wollaston and Warburton, Remarks on Butler's Analogy etc. Mr. Hutton, in his History of Derby, mentions also Robert Bage author of some well-received novels. To these we may add, the veteran antiquary just mentioned, William Hutton, F.A.S.S. who, at the age of 78, traversed the extent of the Roman wall, taking a journey of 600 miles on foot for that purpose. He published a History of the Wall, with its appearance in 1801; a History of Birmingham, of Derby, his native place, and other works and left behind him, in manuscript, some interesting and amusing memoirs of his own life, published since his decease by his daughter. (Mr. Hutton died in the month of September, 1815, having nearly completed the 92nd year of his age).

Joseph Wright, an eminent artist, whose paintings, especially those which represent the effect of moon-light, and fire, and candle-light, are much esteemed, was born at Derby in the year 1734 and died at his native place in the month of August, 1797.

Among persons of eminence who have made Derby their residence may be mentioned Thomas Parker, the first Earl of Macclesfield. This nobleman, who was Lord High Chancellor from 1718 to 1725, practised many years as an attorney in this town, which as before-mentioned he represented in parliament; and after he was called to the bar continued to reside here occasionally till he became Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench. John Whitehurst, author of An Enquiry into the Original State and Formation of the Earth, followed his occupation of a clock and watch-maker in Derby for 40 years. Anthony Blackwell, author of "The Sacred Classics" was master of the Grammar-school here. Dr. William Butler, author of a Treatise on Puerperal Fevers, and the late Dr. Erasmus Darwin,the well known author of "The Botanic Garden", and other works, both practised as physicians at Derby for many years. Hutton, in his History of Derby, mentions also among eminent residents, Benjamin Parker, a stockingmaker, author of Philosophical Meditations, a Treatise on the Longitude, etc.

Derby gave the title of Earl to the ancient family of De Ferrars; afterwards to the Plantagenets, of the royal blood. It has been enjoyed by the Stanley family ever since the year 1485.

There were in ancient times four religious houses in Derby: the abbey of St. Helen's, afterward removed to Derley, or Darley; a priory of Benedictine nuns; a small priory of Cluniac monks dedicated to St. James; and a convent of Dominican friers.

The abbey of St. Helen's was founded in the reign of King Stephen, by Robert Earl Ferrars. In the succeeding reign, Hugh, Dean of Derby gave, with the consent of his son Henry, all his lands at Little-Derley, near Derby, to the canons of St. Helen's, for the purpose of building thereon a church and a monasstery; he gave them moreover the church of St. Peter, in Derby, with its appurtenances. In consequence of this grant, the monks of St. Helen's removed to Derley, and an oratory was left at St. Helen's where, before the year 1261 Nicholas, the official of Derby, founded an hospital consisting of certain poor brethren and sisters governed by a master or warden. We learn nothing farther of this hospital, which does not appear to have continued till the reformation. William Berners died seised of a messuage in Derby called St. Helen's in 1544; Sir Godfrey Foljambe in 1585. The site of St. Helen's was in the parish of St. Alkmund, and is now the property of Mr. Brown, who carries on there his marble manufactory, already mentioned. After their removal, the canons of Derly were enriched with many valuable benefactions of manors, churches, and so forth. The abbot was by Walter Durdant, Bishop of Coventry, made Dean of all the churches in Derbyshire belonging to his convent, particularly of those in the town of Derby, with power to hold a chapter of the secular clergy. At the time of its dissolution, the revenues of this abbey were estimated at 258 pounds 158.3d clear yearly income. Thomas Rage, the last Abbot, had a pension of 50 pounds per annum.

The priory of Benedictine nuns, at Derby was founded by the Abbot of Derley, in the reign of Henry II; and it was placed under the Abbot's superintendence by Walter Durdant Bishop of Coventry. This priory was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and was called Priorus de Pratis de Derby, or the Priory of King's-Mead. among the proceedings of the Court of Chancery in the Record office at the Tower, is a bill filed against Isabella de Stanley, Prioress of St. Mary in Derby, in the reign of Henry VI, by the Abbot of Burton; in which the Abbot complains that the Prioress had for 21 years past refused to pay some rent due to him; and that when his bailiff went to distrain she said with great malice:" Wenes these churles to overlede me, or sue the law agayne me, they shall not be so hardy but they shall avye upon their bodies, and be nailed with arrows, for I am a gentlewoman, comen of the greatest of Lancashire and Cheshire, and that they shall know right well," The revenues of this small priory were valued at the time of the dissolution of 18 pounds 6s .8d. clear yearly income. The site, which was on the west side of Nuns'-Green, in the parish of All Saints was granted, in 1541, to Francis Earl of Shrewsbury, who the next year sold it to Thomas Sutton. Alan Cotton died seised of it in 1571. The site is now the property of Francis Mundy, Esq., of Markeaton.

The small priory of St. James was originally a cell of Cluniac monks, belonging to Bermondsey Abbey, to which monastery the church of St. James in Derby was given, before the year 1140 by Waltheof, son of Swein. The Cluniac monks, being all connected with the Abbey of Clugny in France, this priory was returned as alien, in the reign of Edward I; it was then called Prioratus St. Jacobi de Derby, de Aldenna. It continued nevertheless till the dissolution, when its revenues were estimated at 11 pounds 15s 11d. per annum. Before the Reformation the chamberlains of Derby rendered annually to the monks of this house, two pounds of wax, for the right of passage over St. James's Bridge. This priory was situated at the end of St. Jame's-lane. We do not know what became of it after the Reformation, unless it were the same which was granted to the corporation, by the name of the free chapel of St. James, with all the lands etc. thereto belonging.

The convent of Dominican or Black friers, was founded in or before the year 1292. In 1316 they had a grant of ten acres of land, for enlarging the site of their convent. The revenues of this house were estimated, at the time of its suppression, at 181 pounds 6s2d, clear yearly income. The site, which is in the parish of St. Werburgh, and which gave name to Frier-street, was granted in 1543, to John Hinde, and in the course of a few years, passed in succession to the families of Sharpe, Statham, and Bainbrigge. William Bainbrigge, Esq., was possessed of it in 1562. Speed's map represents the site of the Friery, as detached from the other buildings at the skirts of the town, surrounded by an enclosure. Pilkington says that aabout sixty years before the time of his writing, which brings it nearly to the year 1730, the site of this priory was purchased by the Crompton family. The Reverend Mr. Cantrell, minister of St Alkmund, writing in the month of August, 1760, says, "The Friery is lately taken down, and a new house and outward houses are now erected by Mr. Crompton, who purchased the situation." The Friery belonged afterwards to the family of Dalton, and is now the property and residence of Mrs. Henley, widow of the late Mr. Michael Henley.

The Survey of Domesday enumerates six parish churches in Derby; two of which belonged to the King; one of them having seven, the other six clerks; the remaining four belonged to Godfrey Alselin, Ralph Fitzhubert, Norman de Lincoln, and Edric, who had inherited from his father Cole. There was formerly a church of St. Mary in Derby, which was granted by William the Conqueror to Burton-Abbey, together with Heanor, which appears to have been a chapel of ease. In Pope Nicholas's Valor the church of St. Mary is not mentioned, and Heanor is described as a parish bridge, in St. Alkmund's parish, now forming part of the dwelling house of Mr. Thomas Eaton.

There are now five parish churches in Derby, All-Saints, St. Alkmund's, St. Michael's, St. Peter's and St. Werburgh's.

The parish of All-Saints is wholly within the borough. The present fabric of All-Saints church was built after the designs of Gibbs, in the years 1723, 24, and 25. The money required for such purpose was raised principally by subscription, through the exertions of Dr. Hutchinson, the curate, who himself subscribed the sum of 40 pounds. The fine old gothic tower, which still remains, has already been spoken of. The chancel which is of the same height and width as the body of the church, is separated from it by a lofty open screen of iron work; and it has, like the nave, two aisles; in its north aisle, the corporation meetings for the purpose of choosing the mayor are held, as well as parish meetings for various purposes; the south aisle is the burial place of the noble famly of Cavendish, for whom there are several monuments. Against the south wall, is that of Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, with her effigies in a recumbent attitude.[2]

[Lyson's Magna Britannia Vol 5: Derbyshire, page 115: DERBY (cont'd)]

The Epitaph after recording her birth and four marriages, with her issue by her second husband, William Cavendish, as stated in all the peerages, adds: "haec inclitimmima Elisabetha Salopiae comitissa, Ædium de Chatsworth, Hardwick and Oldcotes, magnificentia clarisimarum fabricatrix, vitam hanc transitoriam XIII die mensis Februarii, anno ab incarn. Domini 1607-8, ac circa annum aetatis suae 87, finivit". If Collins be correct in his statement, that she was fourteen when married to Robert Barley who died in 1533, her age must be here somewhat under-rated, and she must have been in her ninetieth year, even if her first marriage had not been of twelve months continuance. The monument of William, second Earl of Devonshire, who died in 1628, and Christian his Countess, daughter of Edward Lord Bruce, stands nearly in the middle of the aisle, towards the east end. It has an open canopy twelve feet in height, under which are upright figures of the Earl and Countess in white marble. This Countess was much celebrated by the wits of her day, to whom she was a great patroness; she was buried with great funeral solemnity on the 18th of February 1674-5; and at the same time were deposited the brave Colonel Charles Cavendish, a most distiniguished officer in the royal army, who was slain at Gainsborough in the month of July 1643, and had been interred at Newark. On the south wall is a monument by Rysbrak, for Caroline, Countess of Besborough (daughter of William Duke of Devonshire), who died 1760; and that of William Earl of Besborough, her husband, who died in 1763, with a medallion, by Nollekins. All the Earls and Dukes of Devonshire, of the Cavendish family, lie buried in the vault at Derby, except the first Earl (who was interred at Edensor), with their ladies, besides many of the younger branches of this noble family, among whom it would be unpardonable to omit the mention of the great ornament of his family Henry Cavendish, grandson of the third Duke of Devonshire, one of the most eminent chemists and natural philosophers of the age, of whom it has been said, "that since the death of Sir Isaac Newton, England has sustained no scientific loss so great as that of Cavendish". He was interred in the family vault, in the month of March, 1810.

In this vault lie also the remains of the brave Earl of Northampton, who was killed at the battle of Hopton-heath, near Stafford, the 19th of March, 1643. The young Earl requested that he might have the dead body of his father, but it was refused. Sir John Gell's account of the transaction is as follows: "Within three days there came a trumpeter to Colonel Gell, from my young Lord of Northampton, for his father's dead body, whereupon he answered, if he would send him the drakes which they had gotten from their dragoons, and pay the chirurgeons for embalming him, he should have it; but he returned him and answer, that he would do neither th' one or th' other; and soe Colonel Gell caused him to be carried in his company to Derby, and buried him in the Earl of Devonshire's sepulchre, in All-hallows Church". (This would be Colonel Thomas Gell, brother of Sir John Gell and from Sir John Gell's Narritive, MS). It appears by the register that he was not buried till the 4th of June, 1643; nearly three months after the battle.

In the north aisle of the chancel is a cenotaph in the memory of Richard Croshawe, a native of Derby, master of the Goldsmith' company, who died in 1631,"in the great plague(1625), neglecting his own safety, he abode in the city, to provide for the relief of the sick poor; and left by will for lectures and charitable uses, the sum of 4000 pounds, to which his executors added 900 pounds." In this aisle also, is the monument of Thomas Chamber, merchant, who died in 1726, by Roubilliac, with busts of the deceased and his wife Margaret, dau of John Bagnold of Derby, M.P.

In the north aisle of the nave, is the monument of Sir William Wheler, Bart., with busts of himself and his lady (the daughter and heir of Michael Cole) "flying from London to avoid the plague;" he died of that dreadful disease at Derby, in 1666. There are monuments also for the Bateman family (Hugh Bateman of Grays-Inn, the eldest son of Richard Bateman, Esq., of Hartington 1682; Hugh Bateman, Esq., 1777, married first Elizabeth, daughter and eventually coheiress of John Osborne, Esq., and secondly Elizabeth daughter of Samuel Hacker, Esq.; Richard his eldest son married Catherine dau of William Fitzherbert, Esq., and had two sons Hugh and Richard; and lastly, Richard Sacheverel Bateman, only son of Sir Hugh Bateman, 1794. And there are monuments for William Allestrey, Esq., recorder of Derby 1665; and Sarah, the daughter of Sir Thomas Gresley, Bart., and wife of Paul Balidon, Esq., 1736. In the nave are memorials for the families of Turner and Wyvil; and in the chancel for those of Parker, Coke, and Bainbridgge. In the south aisle is the monument of Dr. Michael Hutchinson, curate of All Saints, who died 1730, with an inscription commemorating his exertions in procuring subscriptions for rebuilding the church, which are stated to have amounted to the sum of 3,249 pounds and upwards. On a pillar between the nave and the north aisle are memorials of John Chambers, Gent., 1751, and William Chambers, D.D. 1771; on a pillar between the nave and the south aisle is a tablet for the Reverend Charles Hope, who died in 1798. The tomb of John Lawe, the canon of All Saints, who died 1400, was discovered when the church was rebuilt, and is now placed in the north aisle.

Bassano's volume of Church Notes, taken in 1710, before the old church was pulled down, describes the monuments of Edward Berkeley, Esq., son and heir of Sir Henry Berkeley, of Yarlington in the county of Somerset, 1655; Barbara, daughter of Anthony Faunt, married first to Sir Henry Beaumont, afterwards to Sir Henry Harpur, Bart., 1649; Sir John Shore, MD, 1680; Patience daughter of the "loyal Captain John Meynell", and widow of John Grace, of Kilbourn, Derbyshire, Gent. 1701; Mary, sister of Francis Arundel, Esq., of Stoke Park in Northamptonshire, 1676; several of the Osborne family (Edward 1679 and his son Edward 1683, and Mary the wife of John Osborn, Esq., 1695); Elizabeth, wife of Mr. Abraham Crompton, 1690; John Bagnold, Gent. M.P. 1698; John Walton Archdeacon of Derby 1603 and his wife Jane 1605.(Both great benefactors to the poor). And a monument without inscription for one of the Suttons of the Nunnery as appeared by the Arms.

The church of All-Saints was formerly collegiate, having seven, and at one time eight prebendaries. It is probable that Hugh, Dean of Derby who gave Derley to the canons of St. Helen's was Dean of this church;before the year 1268 it appears to have been annexed to the deanery of Lincoln. Although the name of All-Saints is not mentioned in the Survey of Domesday, it is evident that it must have been the church there spoken of as having seven clerks. The church described as having six clerks was probably that of St. Helen's which then had its canons. The canons of the free chapel of All-Saints are spoken of in the record of 1268, before quoted. King Edward I calls it our free chapel; yet in the Chantry Roll of 1547 it is stated that it was made of royal foundation in 1432, which is explained as having a special service then established for praying for the souls of the King and his progenitors. There was also in this church the chantry of Our Lady, and the gild of the Holy Trinity, the service of which was at five in the morning. The revenues of the college were estimated, in 1547, at 38 pounds 14s. clear yearly income; those of Our Lady's chantry at 2 pounds 13s 4d. It appears by Queen Mary's charter to the Burgesses that certain woods etc., in Heath, belonged to this college of which it seems that Sir Thomas Smith was the last master.The college house which had been the habitation of the canons passed into lay hands after the Reformation; it was some time in the possession of the Allestrey family, who sold it to the Goodwins. It is now, by descent of the latter, the property of its present inhabitant, Daniel Parker Coke, Esq.

Queen Mary, in the first year of her reign, granted one of the prebends of All-Saints, called "The Stone House Prebend" and the two small prebends, with several lands, tithes, etc., which had belonged to the college, and certain premises belonging to St Mary's chantry and Trinity gild, to the corporation; directing at the same time, that the Bailiff and Burgesses shoud pay 13 pounds 6s 8d to two priests, celebrating divine service, and having the cure of souls of the parish church of All-Saints; and that two vicarages should be instituted in the said church, and edowed with an annuity of 7 pounds 6s8d each, in rents, tithes, etc., and a mansion house for each. There is now only one vicarage, in the gift of the corporation who pay the vicar a stipend of 80 pounds per annum. Archdeacon Walton, who died in 1603, gave 6 pounds per annum towards augmenting the vica'rs stipend.

Among other benefactions to this town, Richard Croshawe beforementioned founded a Friday's lecture at All-Saints Church, to be supplied by two lecturers, to each of whom he gave 10 pounds per annum. The lecturers are the head master and undermaster of the grammar school.

Elizabeth Countess of Shrewesbury, in the year 1599, a few years before her death, built an alms house for eight poor men, and four poor women, and endowed it with a rent charge of 100 pounds per annum, issuing out of the manor of Little-Longsdon; the alms people to receive 1 pound each quarterly and 20s per annum for a gown; the warden to have 20s per annum over and above for keping clean the monument of the foundress. This almshouse was rebuilt by the late Duke of Devonshire, about the year 1777; before his death, he gave an additional endowment of 50 pounds per annum. The additional payment took place at Lady-day 1811. The minister of All-Saints is visitor of the hospital.

A school for boys, on Joseph Lancaster's plan was established in this parish in the year 1812. There are at present about 145 boys in this school.

The parish of St. Alkmund extends some way into the country, comprising the townships of Darley and Little-Chester, and the parochial chapelries of Little-Eaton, and Quarndon. The parish church of St. Alkmund is supposed to have existed in the time of the Saxons. It is dedicated to St. Alkmund, son of Alured, King of Northumberland, whose body, after having been first interred at Littleshull, in Shropshire, is said to have been removed to this church.Many miracles were reported to have been wrought at his tomb to which there was a great resort of devotees. In this church is the monument of John Bullock, Esq., of Derley-Abbey, with his effigies, in a gown, with ruff, etc; Rebecca, coheiress of Westbrook, married first to William Wilson, Esq., afterwards to William Wolley, Esq., ob 1716; John Hope, MD., 1710; Samuel Burton, Esq., 1751, and some memorials of the family of Gisborne. (Thomas Gisborne, Esq., 1760, John Gisborne, Esq. 1779, the father of the Rev. Thomas Gisborne of Yoxall.)

Bassano's volume of Church Notes describes some memorials of the families of Goodwin and Parker. The tower of St. Alkmund's church was rebuilt in 1603.

The church of St. Alkmund belonged to the college of All-Saints; after the reformation, it was given to the Bailiffs and Burgesses of Derby. Queen Mary's grant to the corporation provides for the payment of 6 pounds 13s per annum to a priest at the church of St. Alkmund, and directs that a vicarage should be instituted in that church, and endowed with an annuity of 7 pounds 6s, arising out of tithes, rents etc., granted by her to the corporation. In or about the year 1712 Mr. Samuel Goodwin endowed it with an estate at Plumley, in the parish of Eckington, then 40 pounds per annum, now 210 pounds, and a house in the parish of St. Werburgh, which now lets for 32 pounds per annum. The Mayor and Aldermen are patrons.

Henry Cantrell, who was presented to this benefice as the first vicar, in 1712, published a Treatise to prove that King Charles I was baptized according to the rites of the church of England, with an account of the solemnity from the Heralds' Office at Edinburgh. Mr. Cantrell, in 1760, communicated to Dr. Pegge several particulars relating to his parish. His letters are among the Doctor's Collections at the Heralds' College.

In the parish register is an entry of the burial of Thomas Ball, aged 110, November 17, 1592.

[Lyson's Magna Britannia Vol 5: Derbyshire, page 121: DERBY (cont'd)]

In this parish, upon the bridge to which it gave name, stood an ancient chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, of which there are still some remains, forming part of a dwelling house, now in the occupation of Mr. Thomas Eaton. In the reign of Charles II, it was licensed as a place of worship for the Presbyterian dissenters. The Roman Catholics have a chapel in this parish; and there are meeting houses for the Quakers, General Baptists, and Wesleyan Methodists. The Quakers' meeting was one of the earliest establishments of that sect. Indeed we find, from the Journal of George Fox, their founder, who was imprisoned at Derby for nearly a year, that the Quakers first obtained the appellation by which they are now generally known, at Derby: "Justice Bennet, of Darby" says he "was the first that called us Quakers, because I bid him Tremble at the word of the Lord and this was in the year 1650." The present meeting house was built in 1808.

In Bridge-gate, within this parish, is the Black Alms-house; so called from the circumstance of black gowns being worn by the pensioners. It was founded in 1638 by Robert Wilmot, Esq. of Chaddesden, for six poor men and four poor women, and endowed with 40 pounds per annum, issuing out of the tithes of Denby. The pensioners receive 1s 6d a week, each. This alms house was rebuilt in 1814, at the expense of Sir Robert Wilmot, Bart.

A school for boys and girls on Dr. Bell's system was established in this parish in the year 1812. There are now (November, 1816) about 285 boys, and about 185 girls in this school.

Little-Chester, supposed to have been a Roman station, lies about a half mile from Derby. The manor is described in the Survey of Domesday as parcel of the ancient demesne of the crown. In the reign of Edward I it belonged, as it now does, to the Dean of Lincoln. The family of Degge for some time held a moiety of this manor under the Dean. The present lessee of this manor of Little-Chester, cum membris, is the Duke of Devonshire.

The parish of St. Michael contains nothing remarkable. The church of St. Michael, which had belonged to the Abbey of Derley, was given by Queen Mary to the Bailiff and burgesses, with the church yard etc., but the vicarage is still in the gift of the crown.

The parish of St. Peter is extensive; comprising a large part of the borough of Derby, the township of Litchurch, and the chapelries of Bolton, Normanton, and Osmaston.

There are no remarkable monuments in the church of St. Peter. Bassano's volume of Church Notes mentions memorials of Percival Wiloughby, M.D. 1685; aet. 89 Richard Carter, Gent., 1693; and George Jackson, MD, 1699. The church of St. Peter was given to the monks of St. Helen's at the time of their removing to Derley, by Hugh, Dean of Derby. The impropriation has long been in the Dixie family. Sir Willoughby Dixie, Bart., is the present impropriator and patron of the vicarage with the chapel of Normanton.

There was a chantry-chapel in St. Peter's church, founded by Walter Cruche, Priest, Robert Leversage, and others, the revenues of which, being then valued at 4 pounds per annum, were granted by Queen Mary to the corporation. There was another chantry, dedicated to St. Nicholas, founded by Adam Shardelow, which was valued at 40s per annum in 1547.

In this parish is the Free-school, one of the most ancient endowments of the kind in the kingdom. It is certain that it existed as early as the twelfth century, and it seems to have been founded in the reign of Henry II, soon after the removal of the canons of St. Helen's to Derley. Walter Durdant, Bishop of Lichfield, in his charter, speaks of the school at Derby as the gift of himself and William de Barba Aprilis. Soon after this, whilst Richard Peche, who succeeded Walter Durdant in 1162, was Bishop of Lichfield, Walkelin de Derby and Goda his wife gave the mansion in which they dwelt, and which Walkelin had purchased of William Alsin, to the canons of Derley, on condition that the hall should be for ever used as a school room, and the chambers for the dwelling of the master and clerks. This ancient grammar school was given to the corporation by Queen Mary; who were to pay to the master and under master 13 pounds 6s 8d. by four quarterly payments. This school is free to the sons of burgesses only. The masters are appointed by the corporation; the head master has now a salary of 40 pounds per annum, the under-master of 20 pounds per annum; and they are joint lecturers, on Croshaw's foundation, at All-Saints, for which they receive 10 pounds each.

Mrs. Jane Walton, relict of Archdeacon Walton, who died in 1603, gave the sum of 100 pounds to the master and fellows of St. John's college, Cambridge, for the maintenance of such scholars as should come from Derby school, and be admitted of that house, and the sum of 40 pounds, for the better relief of the master and usher.

Anthony Blackwall, author of the Sacred Classics, was master of this school: here Flamsteed the astronomer received the early part of his education.

Mr. Robert Liversage, before the Reformation, gave certain lands and houses to this parish for charitable uses. This estate was valued at 50 pounds per annum in 1710, in 1786 at 185 pounds 1s 8d per annum; the present rental.

In this parish, about a quarter of a mile from the town, adjoining to the London road, is the Derbyshire General Infirmary, which was built by subscription, and opened in the month of October 1810. The structure, which is of stone, was built after the designs of William Strut, Esq., at the expense of 30,000 pounds. It is of a quadrangular form and three stories high. This infirmary is constructed on an improved plan, contributing much to the comfort of the patients, as well as to their speedy recovery. Among the most striking advantages which it possesses, are two spacious day rooms for convalescents, in which they eat their meals and pass the greater part of the day; a fever house under the same roof, but completely separated from other parts of the building; a subdivision into small wards, by means of which the medical attendants are enabled to separate the diseased from each other, and to give to those whose cases may require it, the benefit of quiet and darkness; and an excellent method of communicating warmth when necessary, and of ventilating all parts of the building. The infirmary is capable of accommodating 80 patients, besides those in the fever house. The average number is about thirty. The medical board consists of three physicians and four surgeons, besides a house apothecary.

In this parish also, not far from the Infirmary, is the Ordnance-Depot, which was completed in the year 1805, from a design of the late Surveryor-general of the Works, James Wyatt, Esq. The armoury on the ground floor, 75 feet by 25, is capable of containing 15,000 stand of arms. A room above of the same dimensions, is for the reception of army accoutrements. On the north and south sides of the armoury are two magazines, capable of containing 1200 barrels of gunpowder, and constructed so as to prevent accidents. There are barracks for a detachment of artillery, and buildings for the residence of the civil officers. This establishment is under the superintendance of a store-keeper, appointed by the Board of Ordnance.

Litchurch, (which with Morleston, gives name to the hundred) lies about a mile from Derby, on the Ashby road. Henry Earl of Lancaster, had a moiety of the manor in 1330. During the fifteenth century, this manor was in the Babingtons, who held under the Earl of Warwick in 1466. Francis and George Babington conveyed this manor, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, to Sir Francis Beaumont, one of the justices of the Common-Pleas. From them it passed probably to George Earl of Shrewsbury, who was seised of it in 1590. It passed not long afterwards, by sale, to the Cavendish family. The Earl of Newcastle continued to possess it in 1641. This manor is now in the crown.

The parish of St. Werburgh does not extend beyond the town of Derby. In the year 1602 the spire of St. Werburgh's church was blown down by a storm, which destroyed also the chancel and part of the church. On the north wall of the chancel is the monument to Gervase Sleigh, Esq., of Ash, who married Elizabeth, daughter of John Cholmley, and died in 1626; and memorials for John Gisborne, Gent., 1704, and John Gisborne, Esq., 1762. Bassano's volume of Church Notes describes also memorials for John Gisborne, Gent, 1689; and for the families of Milward, Cheshire, and Brookhouse.

The church of St. Werburgh belonged to Derley abbey. The impropriation is now vested in Lord Scarsdale. The vicarage is in the gift of the crown. Mr. Francis Ashe, in 1652, gave 10 pounds per annum, to the vicar of St. Werburgh, payable by the Goldsmiths' Company. Mrs. Dorothy Cundy, in 1697, gave nine acres of land, in the fields of Derby and Normanton, to the Vicar of St. Werburgh, on condition of his preaching Sermons on the 23rd of November and the13th of March. The Reverend J. Walker, vicar of St. Werburgh, who died in 1710, bequeathed a portion of tithes, valued at 25 pounds per annum, in augmentation of this vicarage, but no benefit is now received from the donation.

In this parish is a meeting house for the particular Baptists. Near the site of the friery, is the Unitarian meeting house. It belonged formerly to the old Presbyterian congregation, which had existed some time at Derby, before they obtained a license from King Charles II, to hold their meetings in St. Mary's chapel. In the reign of James II, they removed to a large room in the market-place. The meeting house in Friers-gate was erected in the reign of King William. Ferdinando Shawe, son of an ejected minister of that name, who published a work called "Emmanuel", held in much esteem among the dissenters of his time, was minister of the Presbyterian congregation forty six years; he published a brief memoir of the life and character of his wife, who was of the family of Gell of Hopton. James Pilkington, author of The History of Derbyshire, in two voulmes octavo, was minister of the Unitarian congregation from 1778 to 1797, when he removed to Ipswich, and continued there till his death, which happened in 1804. In this parish also, near the Brookside, is a meeting house of the Independents, established in 1785 by seceders from the congregation in Friersgate.

Mrs. Rebecca Fowler, in 1711, gave the sum of 116 pounds with which land in Alvaston and Boulton (now let at 10 pounds per annum) was purchased for the purpose of buying books for poor children of this parish, and teaching them to read distinctly the Holy Bible.

There is a Sunday-school, consisting of 150 boys and girls, who are instructed by gratuitous teachers, Dr. Bell's system having been partially adopted.

On Nun's-Green, in this parish, is an hospital founded in 1716 by Edward Large, of Derby, Gent., for five widows of parsons or vicars not restricted to any county or diocese, and endowed with lands which produce an income of 26 pounds per annum to each widow. The Reverend Charles Holden, of Aston-upon-Trent, is patron of this hospital.

Top Return to top of page

Notes:

[1] "Hutton's History of Derby, where it is said that his funeral was the most superb ever seen in Derby; the procession extending from his house in Silk-mill Lane to the door of All-Saints' Church. (It appears by the parish register that Mr. Lombe was buried in Nov 1722). Mr. Hutton's account of the silk-mill is one of the most interesting passages in his history. The author, who was born in Derby of poor parents, was apprenticed, in 1730, at a very early age, and for seven years, to work in these mills. "My parents", says he, " through mere necessity put me to labour before nature had made me able. Low as the engines were, I was too short to reach them. To remedy this defect, a pair of high pattens were fabricated and lashed to my feet, which I dragged after me till time lengthened my stature." p.192, 193. Mr. Hutton, speaking of the silk mill, observes that all "the describers of this elaborate work, following the first author, tell us that it contains 26,000 wheels, 97,000 movements, which work 71,000 yards of silk thread, while the water wheel, which is 18 feet high, makes one evolution, and that three are performed in a minute; that one fire engine conveys warmth to every individual part of the machine". Had the author made the number of his wheels 10,000 less, he would have been nearer the mark or if he had paid an unremitting attendance for seven years, he might have found their number 13,384. Perhaps his movements, an indeterminate word, will also bear a large discount. What number of yards are wound every circuit of the wheel no man can tell, nor is the number open to calculation. Nor is the superb fire engine, which blazes in description, any more than a common stove, which warmed one corner of that large building and left the others to starve; but the defect is now supplied by fireplaces."!
[2] Lodge, in his Illlustrations of British History, gives the following character of this celebrated Lady: "She was a woman of masculine understanding and conduct, proud, furious, selfish, and unfeeling. She was a builder, a buyer, and seller of estates, a money lender, a farmer, and a merchant of lead, coals, and timber. When disengaged from these employments, she intrigued alternately with Elizabeth and Mary, always to the prejudice and terror of her husband. She lived to a great old age, continually flattered but seldom deceived, and died immensely rich, and without a friend. The Earl was withdrawn by death from these complicated plagues, on the 18th of November, 1590" [vol i Introd. p xvii] In disputes between the countess and her husband which had proceeded to an open rupture towards the latter part of his life the Queen took the Lady's part, enjoined the Earl the irksome task of submission, and allowed him a rent of 500 pounds per annum out of his estate, leaving, as it appears, the whole disposal of the remained in the Countess's hands. In a letter to the Earl of Leicester dated April 30, 1585, he says, "Sith that her Majesty hathe sett dowen this hard sentence agaynst me, to my perpetual infamy and dishonor, to be ruled and overanne by my wief, so bad and wicked a woman; yet her Majesty shall see that I obey her commandemente, thoughe no cure or plage in the erthe cold be more grevous to me. These offers of my wiefes inclosed in your letters, I think them verey unfyt to be offered to me. It is to muche to make me my wiefes pencyoner, and sett me dowene the demeanes of Chattesworth, without the house and other landes leased, which is but a pencon in money. I thinke it standeth with reason that I shuld chose the v c l. by year orered by her Majesty whiere I like best, accordinge to the rate Wm. Candishe delyvered to my L. Chanselor". From this time they appeared to have lived separate. The Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry (Overton) in a long letter, in which he laboured to bring about a reconciliation, appears to take the Lady's part, thoug he admits that she was reported to be a shrew. "Some will say, (observes the Bishop) in your L. behalfe tho' the Countesse is a sharpe and bitter shrewe, and therefore lieke enough to shorten your liefe if shee should kepe yow company, in deed my good Lo. I have heard some say so; but if shrewdnesse of sharpenesse may be a just cause of separaton betweene a man and wiefe, I thincke few men in Englande would keep their wives longe; for it is a comon jeste, yet trewe in some sence, that there is but one shrewe in all the worlde, and every man hathe her; and so every man might be ridd of his wiefe, that wold be rydd of a shrewe." Lodge, vol iii p 5.

Top Return to top of page

[From Lysons Topographical and Historical Account of Derbyshire, 1817.
Transcription kindly donated by Barbarann Ayars, 19-24th January 2002]

URL of this page: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/DBY/Derby/Lysons.html

Hosted by Mythic Beasts Ltd.