"DRONFIELD, once a market-town, in the parish of its name, in the hundred of Scarsdale, is 156 miles from London, 38 S.E. from Manchester, 23 E. by N. from Buxton. 6 N. from Chesterfield, and the like distances from Sheffield. The town is pleasantly situate in a valley, and remarkable for its salubrity, which has occasioned it to become a place of residence for many respectable inhabitants. Edge-tools, scythes, sickles, and other agricultural implements, together with nails, are manufactured here and in the neighbourhood, to a very considerable extent; there are also iron and chymical works, and several corn mills in the vicinity."
[Description from Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory for Derbyshire, 1835]
Dronfield grew rapidly after World War II, more than tripling its population. Many of its citizens commute to jobs in Chesterfield or Sheffield. Today, the A61 trunk road cuts through the town. Dronfield still has passenger rail service.
Bastardy cases would be heard in the Eckington petty session hearings, which were held in the Dronfield town hall.
As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment reforms, this parish became part of the Chesterfield Poor Law Union.
For Information only - the "Parish Chest" for Dronfield (including part of Little Barlow) contains no Settlement Certificates or anything else of great use to us as Family Historians. My grateful thanks to Janet KIRK for this information.
"After Derby and Chesterfield the next reference suggesting the instance of a school comes from Dronfield. Here, between 1496 and 1501, a Dronfield schoolmaster named Christopher Haslam entered into an agreement with Beauchief Abbey to teach the boys and novices singing and grammar. He rented from the Abbey a house in Dronfield, and he appears to have been one of of the priests attached to the Gild of Our Lady. After the dissolution of the chantries and gilds in 1548 Haslam was awarded a pension of £4, but he died shortly afterwards and was buried at Dronfield on 5 October 1551. His will (16 March 1551) mentions his nephew Christopher, who was a chantry priest at Shirland and who died as vicar of Dronfield in 1571. The pre-Reformation Dronfield school may well have been attached to the Gild of Our Lady. In this it would have been in a similar position to the school at Melbourne, founded in 1513-14, which was attached to the chantry of St Katherine and therefore came to an end in 1548."
The successor of this pre-Reformation school - Dronfield grammar school - was founded in 1579 under the terms of the will of Henry Fanshawe.