CHESTERFIELD, a parish, market town, and municipal borough in the hundred of Scarsdale, in the county of Derby, 21 miles N. of Derby, and 156½ from London by railway. It is a station on the N. branch of the Midland line. The parish is intersected by the rivers Rother and Hipper, and includes the chapelry of Brimington, with the townships of Hasland, Tapton, Temple-Normanton, and Walton, and the hamlets of Calow, Newbold, Dunston, and Pilsley.

The town, which is a place of considerable importance, was, at the time of the Norman survey, only a bailiwick to Newbold, which is now a small hamlet N. of the parish. It must, however, shortly after have considerably increased, for King John, when he presented it to William de Briwere, or Bruere, gave it an annual fair and two weekly markets. It subsequently became the property of the Wakes and Plantagenets, and is now in the possession of the Duke of Devonshire.

In the middle of the 13th century, a battle was fought here between Robert de Ferrers, Earl of Derby, and Prince Henry, nephew of Henry III., in which the former was defeated and taken prisoner. It was also the scene of an engagement during the civil wars of Charles I., in which the Earl of Newcastle routed the parliamentary forces in 1643.

The trade of the town greatly increased after 1776, when Brindley succeeded in constructing the Chesterfield canal, which joins the Trent near Stockwith: This canal, which cost £160,000, is about 45 miles in length, passes through two tunnels, and has 65 locks, with a fall of 335 feet. The principal industries are in lace and broad net making, merino, silk, and cotton manufactures, and mining operations.

By the Municipal Act the limits of the old borough were considerably extended, so as to take in parts of Brampton, Newbold, and Walton. The present town comprises an area of about 13,160 acres, with a revenue of £540. It is governed by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillors. The streets are paved and lighted with gas.

The houses, though irregularly built, are constructed of brick with stone roofs, and are plentifully supplied with water, by pipes which convey it from Holme, 2 miles W. of the town. A council-house was erected in 1849, and the townhall faces the market-place. There are also assembly-rooms, theatre, house of correction, three banks, a savings-bank, cotton, silk, and carpet mills, besides ironworks, potteries, brick-kilns, &c.

The parish church, dedicated to All Saints, is situated in the town. It is a handsome cruciform structure, in the early English style of architecture of the middle of the 13th century; with a twisted spire, 230 feet in height, covered with lead, and has the peculiar effect of appearing to lean on one side from every point of view. In the interior are a carved screen, two altar tombs, and a brass, bearing inscriptions to the Foljambes, who resided at Walton.

The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, value £357, in the patronage of the bishop. There is another church at the N.W. end of the town, dedicated to the Holy Trinity; it was completed in 1838. The living is a perpetual curacy, value £120, in the patronage of trustees. Besides these churches there are two others in the parish, one at Hasland and the other at Newbold, the livings of which are perpetual curacies in the gift of the vicar.

The Roman Catholics and the different denominations of Dissenters have chapels in this parish. The charities are rich and numerous, amounting to £1,400 per annum, including Foljambe's, of £660, for apprenticing and clothing poor children. There are several almshouses, and a Union workhouse erected in 1840.

A free grammar school was founded by the Foljambes in the rein of Queen Elizabeth, and has an income from endowment of £100 per annum. It was rebuilt in 1710 on the site of St. Helen's Chapel, and is now managed by trustees. Clarke's and Bright's schools have an income of £70, and are now called the Victoria Schools, in commemoration of her Majesty's visit to Chesterfield, in 1843, when staying at Chatsworth House. There are also National, British, industrial, and infant schools.

In the neighbourhood of the town are ironstone and coal mines and foundries, in which upwards of 300 men are employed. Chesterfield is the head of a County Court district, Poor-law Union, and registry, and the seat of a deanery. It gives the title of Earl to the Stanhopes of Bretby, and supports one newspaper, the Derbyshire Courier.

There are traces of a Roman way leading to Little Chester, near Derby, which in conjunction with the fact of its being called Ceaster by the Saxons, has led to the supposition that it was once a Roman station. There are still traces of a leper's hospital, founded in the 12th century, besides two chantries and three free chapels. The poet Ince, the mathematician Lucas, and the Nonconformist ministers Oldfield and Wood, were natives of this town.

The principal residences are Highfield Hall and Tapton House. In the vicinity of the town is a racecourse, of nearly two miles in length, where the annual races take place in September. Saturday is the market day, and fairs are held for the sale of cattle and cheese, on the 27th January, 28th February, first Saturday in April, 4th May, 5th July, 25th September, and 25th November."

"PILSLEY, a hamlet in the parish of Chesterfield, hundred of Scarsdale, county Derby, 6 miles S.E. of Chesterfield."

"TAPTON, a township in the parish of Chesterfield, hundred of Scarsdale, county Derby, 1 mile N.E. of Chesterfield."

"WALTON, a township in the parish of Chesterfield, hundred of Scarsdale, county Derby, 2 miles S. of Chesterfield, near the river Hipper.”

from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868


Archives & Libraries

The town had a Free Library in 1877, located in the Town Hall.

Chesterfield's library is located just outside The Pavements on New Beetwell Street and is normally open six days a week. They have a Local Studies and Family History section to assist you.

Andrew HILL has a photograph of the New Beetwell Street buildings where the library is located on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2010.

The Chesterfield and District Family History Society surname index is available at the Library.

Birdholme hamlet is served by the Mobile Library on route N, which makes a stop at Church Street South every fourth Thursday in the afternoon. The Mobile also makes several stops in the Grangewood neighborhood as well.

Chesterfield Museum sometimes holds talks on family history records and events. They also have an exhibit on Extraordinary Women of Derbyshire.


Business & Commerce Records

Jon CANTRILL reports that the Liverpool Mercury of Monday, 4th February, 1867 reports Bankruptcy: LAFBERY, John, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, dealer in spirits.



  • An eight-acre burial ground with two mortuary chapels opened in the Spital area in 1857 to serve Chesterfield, Brimington and Tapton. Now known as Spital Cemetery, many of the monument inscriptions are listed on their website.
  • The Cemetery was managed by a joint Chesterfield and Tapton Burial Committee of the Chesterfield Borough Council.
  • David BEVIS has a photograph of the Cemetery Chapel on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2014.
  • David BEVIS has a photograph of Spital Cemetery Chapel on the Geo-graph site, taken in October, 2014.
  • David BEVIS has a photograph of Spital Cemetery graves on the Geo-graph site, taken in October, 2014.
  • Michael SPENCER has provided a partial extract of burials found in the parish register. Your additions and corrections are welcomed.


  • The parish was in the Chesterfield sub-district of the Chesterfield Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841H.O. 107 / 194
1851H.O. 107 / 2147
1861R.G. 9 / 2527 thru 2532
1891R.G. 12 / 2760 & 2761
1901R.G. 13 / 3247

Church History

  • There was a church in the 11th century.
  • The current church dates from circa 1250 AD.
  • The spire was added to the tower between 1350 and 1370. It is called the "Crooked Spire" because of its odd appearance, and it does lean a few feet to the west.
  • Norman GRIFFIN has a photograph of the Crooked Spire at Geo-graph, taken in February, 2012.
  • The church was thoroughly renovated in 1842-43.
  • The church seats 1,253.
  • Bill HENERSON has a photograph of St. Mary and All Saints at Geo-graph, taken in 2004. It shows the famous "crooked Spire".
  • Holy Trinity Church was built in 1837-38 to meet the expanding population of Chesterfield.
  • Holy Trinity Church was refurbished in 1889 and again in 1994.
  • The church seats 400.
  • You can tour the Holy Trinity Church website for more information.
  • Starting construction in September, 1869, Christ Church opened one year later to serve the people in the Stonegravels district of Chesterfield.
  • Christ Church became a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1913.
  • The church seats 160.
  • The Mission church of Saint James in Vicar Lane was erected in 1896. It was used primarily as a parish hall.

Church Records

  • The first surviving Chesterfield Parish Register dates from November 1558 until March 1635, and a printed copy is available as two volumes of Derbyshire Record Society Publications.

    These two volumes are based on a typescript prepared in 1936-8 by Miss Mary WALTON, then archivist at Sheffield Central Library. The period she covered was up to 1600. The transcription project was continued in the 1960s, by Students at Sheffield University, and the combined transcripts, which continue until about 1800, are now lodged in the Derbyshire Record Office (information recorded in the first volume above).
  • Here is a list of Chesterfield Parish Registers available on Microfilm from LDS Family History Libraries. Film Numbers are reproduced on GENUKI by kind permission of the Genealogical Society of Utah.
    Parish registers, 1558-1971.Microfilm Number
    Baptisms, 1838-1886
    Marriages, 1854-1876
    item 6-9.
    Marriages, 1876-1895
    Burials, 1839-1900
    item 1-3
    Baptisms, marriages & burials, 1558-1672
    Marriages, 1653-1658
    Baptisms, marriages & burials, 1697-1812
    item 3-8.
    Baptisms, marriages & burials, 1812; 1733-1788
    Baptisms, 1833-1855; 1878-1908
    Marriages, 1754-18471752144
    Marriages, 1847-18741752145
    Marriages, 1874-19011752146
    Banns, 1830-1848
    Burials, 1813-1915, 1921
    Burials for St. Peter's Church, Calow, a
    chapelry in Chesterfield, 1872-1898
    item 1-5
    Baptisms, marriages and burials, 1612-1760
    Baptisms, 1813-1833; 1856-1878
    item 2-7.
    Burials, 1853-1921 (Includes burials for
    St. Peter's in Calow, 1872-1898.)
    Marriages, 1901-1917 (To 16 Apr. 1917.)
    item 2-5.
    Marriages, 1917-1921 (from 21 Apr. 1917.)2081284
    item 1
    Marriages, 1921-1928 (18 June 1921-9 Apr. 1928)
    (2 registers).
    item 14-15.
    Marriages, 1928-1971 (7 Apr. 1928-11 Dec. 1971)
    (4 registers).
    Baptisms, 1934-1945.
    Bishop's transcripts, 1665-1883.Microfilm Number
    Baptisms, marriages, and burials, 1665-18040422195
    Baptisms, marriages and burials, 1804 cont.-18100422196
    Baptisms, marriages and burials, 1813-18240497397
    Baptisms, marriages and burials, 1824 cont.-18350497398
    Baptisms, marriages and burials, 1835 cont.-1837
    Baptisms and burials, 1838-1855
    Baptisms and burials, 1855 cont.-18830498051
  • "Parish Chest" Papers for Chesterfield include a thick-ish ledger for Chesterfield Union Poor Law - Churchwardens & Overseers of the Poor, Audit of Accounts 23rd Jan 1845. The book contains details of land & property, acreage, rateable value, etc, and a list of Owners/Occupiers. My grateful thanks to Janet KIRK for this information, and for the list below.
  • Examples (in surname, forename order as per the original):

Drabble James

Hancock CorneliusAnthony William
" "Anthony George
Drabble James (2 lots of land & a weighing machine) 
" "Brocklehurst William
Devonshire Duke ofBowring John
Drabble JamesBradshaw Luke
Hancock CorneliusCooper Joseph
Outram Collis SamDrabble Joseph
Drabble JamesDrabble James (Hollis property & land)


  • The church was in the rural deanery of Chesterfield.
  • The Catholic church of the Annunciation was erected in 1854-74 in Spencer Street.
  • The Unitarians had a chapel in Saltergate built in 1694 to hold 250.
  • David HALLAM-JONES has a photograph of the Unitarian Chapel at Geo-graph, taken in November, 2014.
  • The Congregationalists built their chapel in 1822 in Soresby Street to hold 650.
  • David DIXON has a photograph of the Independent Chapel at Geo-graph, taken in August, 2014.
  • The Primitive Methodist chapel was built in 1881 in Holywell Street.
  • The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel in Saltergate built in 1795 and enlarged in 1822.
  • N. CHADWICK has a photograph of the Central Methodist Church on Saltergate at Geo-graph, taken in August, 2015.
  • The Quaker Meeting House in Saltergate was built in 1673 and enlarged in 1770.
  • The Baptist chapel was built in 1861 in Brewery Street held 310 people.  It replaced an earlier chapel abandoned by 1855.



Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
  • The parish was in the Chesterfield sub-district of the Chesterfield Registration District.

Correctional Institutions

There were cells built into the Police Station that was part of the Municipal Hall built in South Street. The Hall was built and opened in 1849 and included a Police Court and Fire Station. The cells were intended for debtors sentenced by the local court, but they were also used to hold prisoners before transport to other jurisdictions. The best place to find records of individuals who spent time in the local lock-up is in the newspapers.

In 1855, James RADFORD was the governor of the House of Correction.

The county also had a Police Station and lock-up house on Marsden Street built in 1860.

Jane TAYLOR in Redcar provides this notice from the Derby Mercury of 15 August 1804: "MISC: At the general quarter sessions of the peace for this county held at Chesterfield on Tuesday se'nnight, the following prisoners took their trials and were sentenced as follows, viz
- Francis WHITE, for feloniously stealing a corn sieve and several blankets, coverlets, and articles of bedding the property of the assignees of Daniel DAKEYNE and Sons from their mills at Darley,
- John WHITE, for feloniously stealing a barrel & divers quantities of blankets, coverlets, brass, and other articles the property of the assignees of the said Daniel DAKEYNE and Sons from their mills and premises in the parish of Darley, and
- James BOWLER, for feloniously stealing one sheet, the property of William GREEN of the parish of Wingerworth, each to be transported 7 years,
- Robert BRIDDON, charged with having stolen divers quantities of hay, was acquitted, and
- Edmund FEARN, charged with having stolen a quantity of malt, was admitted evidence."

You can see who was in the Gaol in April, 1861 from the census.


Description & Travel

"CHESTERFIELD is an ancient corporate and market-town, and parish, in the hundred of Scarsdale, 150 miles from London, 48 S.E. from Manchester, 24 N. from Derby, the like distance E. from Buxton, 12 E. from Bakewell, the like distance S. from Sheffield, and 8 N. by E. from Matlock. It is a large but irregularly built town, pleasantly situate between two rivulets, the Hyper and Rother, in the beautiful and fertile vale of Scarsdale, and is the second considerable town in the county of Derby. The Saxon appellation of Ceaster proves it to have been a place of great antiquity and considerable importance, and it is imagined to have originated from a Roman station."

[Description from Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory for Derbyshire, 1835]

Chesterfield is a municipal borough, a market town and a parish 24 miles north of Derby city, 40 miles from Lincoln, 12 miles south of Sheffield and lies about 150 miles north of the city of London. The town lies at the confluence of the River Rother and River Hipper (or "Hyper"). It has historically been the second largest town in the county.

Hady is a hamlet in the parish, 1.5 miles east of Chesterfield. The village and parish of Brampton lies just southwest of Chesterfield. Boythorpe and Birdholme lie due south of the city. And the village of Walton lies just across the River Hipper to the south. Tapton lies due east of the city.

Lewis CLARKE has a photograph of the Chesterfield Canal on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2018. The Canal forms the northwest border of the ancient city.

Passenger rail service started here in 1840, but the modern railway station was built in 1893. Roy HUGHES has a photograph of Chesterfield Station Platform on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2017. Passenger Rail service is still functioning, however the local Tramway closed in 1927.

Stagecoach in Chesterfield are the predominant operator of buses in Chesterfield; other operators include Henry Hulleys, Trent Barton and TM Travel.

Chesterfield Town centre is home to one of the largest open air markets in Britain.

You can see pictures of Chesterfield which are provided by:




Encyclopaedias & Dictionaries

From: "A Topographical Dictionary of England", by Samuel LEWIS, 7th Edition, 1848, Vol 1, pp.583-4:

"CHESTERFIELD (All Saints), a parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Scarsdale, northern division of the county of Derby; comprising the incorporated market-town of Chesterfield, which has a separate jurisdiction, and the townships of : Calow, Hasland, Newbold with Dunstan, Tapton, Temple-Normanton, and Walton; the whole containing 10,451 inhabitants [in 1848], of whom 6,212 are in the town, 24 miles north-by-east from Derby, and 151 north-north-west from London, on the road to Leeds.

This place, from its Saxon name "Ceaster", appears to have been a Roman station; its roman name is said to have been "Lutudarum"; and there is reason to suppose that in Roman times it was an emporium of the mining districts of Derbyshire. At the period of the Norman survey it was called "Cestrefeld", and was only a bailiwick to Newbold, the latter being now only a small hamlet in the parish; but within a century from the Conquest, it seems to have risen into such importance as to have obtained from King John, who conferred it upon William de BRIWERE, a charter of incorporation, with the privilege of two markets and a fair.

In the reign of Henry III, a decisive battle was fought here between Henry, nephew of that monarch, and the barons : it terminated in the defeat of the latter, several of whom were slain; and Robert de FERRERS, Earl of Derby, who had espoused their cause, being taken prisoner, was sent in chains to Windsor, and afterwards, by act of Parliament, degraded from his honours and deprived of his estates. During the parliamentary war, another conflict took place, between the royalists, under the command of the Earl of NEWCASTLE, and the Parliamentarians, in which the former obtained a signal victory.

The TOWN is situated on an eminence, and the borough is bounded on the south and south-west by the Hipper, and on the east by the Rother, which are here inconsiderable streams: the houses are of brick, roofed with stone; the streets are indifferently paved, but well lighted with gas, by an act of parliament obtained in 1825, and the inhabitants are plentifully supplied with water. There are a subscription library, a mechanics' institute, and a theatre; and races take place in autumn. An agricultural society was established in 1819, the members of which hold their meetings alternately at Chesterfield and Bakewell, generally in October.

Some of the inhabitants are engaged in tambour-work, and the manufacture of bobbin-net lace and hosiery; there is a silk-mill in the town, and in the neighbouring village of Little Brampton a cotton-wick mill, called the bump-mill, and a small-ware manufactory In the vicinity are productive mines of ironstone and coal, and some foundries; also several potteries, chiefly for coarse brown and yellow stone ware, which afford employment to upwards of 200 men.

The Chesterfield canal, communicating with the Trent and the Humber, was completed it 1777, at an expense of 160,000 pounds : the Midland railway passes by the town, a little to the east of which is a station. The market is on Saturday : fairs, principally for cattle, are held on Jan 27th, Feb 28th, the first Saturday in April, May 4th, July 4th, Sept 25th, and Nov 25th, the last being toll-free; those in May and September, at the latter of which a large quantity of cheese is sold, are attended by clothiers from Yorkshire.

The GOVERNMENT, by charter of incorporation, granted by King John, ratified by succeeding monarchs, enlarged by Queen Elizabeth, and confirmed by Charles II, was vested in a mayor, six aldermen, six brothers, and twelve capital burgesses, assisted by a town-clerk, chamberlain, two meat inspectors, and a sergeant-at-mace. The corporation now consists of a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors, under the act of 5th and 6th of William IV, cap 76: the limits of the borough are co-extensive with the township of Chesterfield. The mayor for the time being, and for the previous year, are Justices of the Peace, ex officio; and there are two others. The petty-sessions for the division are held here; and a court of record, for the recovery of debts not exceeding 20 pounds, is held under the lord of the manor, by letters-patent granted by King John to William de BRIWERE, and confirmed by Charles I, in the seventh year of his reign, to William, Earl of NEWCASTLE, and Sir Charles CAVENDISH, then lords of the manor : the jurisdiction extends over the hundred of Scarsdale, eight miles round Chesterfield. The powers of the county debt court of Chesterfield, established in 1847, extend over the greater part of the registration-district of Chesterfield. The town-hall, standing in the market-place, was built in 1790; on the ground-floor is a prison for debtors. There is also a house of correction, under the superintendence of the county magistrates.

The LIVING is a vicarage, valued in the King's Books at 15 pounds and 2 1/2 pence; net income, 204 pounds; patron, the bishop of Lichfield. The CHURCH is a spacious cruciform structure, principally in the decorated, but partly in the early, and partly in the later, style of English architecture, with a tower rising from the intersection, and surmounted by a grooved or channelled spire of wood covered with lead. The clerestory windows of the nave, and the east window of the chancel, are fine compositions in the later style; and in the south transept are a beautiful screen and rood-loft : there are two very antique monuments in the nave, and three in the chancel, to members of the family of FOLJAMBE. The interior of the edifice was renovated in 1842, at a cost of 4,000 pounds; and it now gives accommodation to 1,800 persons.

Portions of the hamlets of Walton and Newbold, and the contiguous parts of the parish of Brampton, have been consolidated as a district to the new church of St Thomas, Brampton. In 1838, a church was built and dedicated to the Holy Trinity; it is in the early English style, with a tower, and cost 3,700 pounds. To this church a district has been assigned, having a population of 3,000 : the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of certain trustees: net income, 90 pounds, with a glebe-house. There are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, Wesleyans, and Unitarians.

The free GRAMMAR SCHOOL, for the endowment of which Godfrey FOLJAMBE, in 1594, appropriated 13 pounds, 6 shillings and 8 pence annually, was founded in the reign of Elizabeth, and placed under the management of the corporation; the endowment, augmented by benefactions, produces annually 109 pounds, 10 shillings and 9 pence: the master is chosen by the trustees of charities, subject to approval by the Archbishop of York. The school-house was rebuilt by subscription in 1710, and was again rebuilt only a few years since. The school, in common with the schools of Ashbourne and Wirksworth, has the preference, after the founder's relatives, to two fellowships and two scholarships, founded by the Rev James BERESFORD, in St John's College, Cambridge.
- A school intended originally as preparatory to the grammar school, was founded in 1690, and endowed by Cornelius CLARKE; the endowment was subsequently augmented by John BRIGHT, senior, and John BRIGHT, junior, Esqrs, and the income is now 74 pounds.
- A national school was built in 1814, and a Lancasterian school in 1819.
- The Victoria school, just erected, is intended for the children of the district annexed to the parish church; of these children 50 boys and 50 girls are now clothed and educated at the expense of the vicar, the Rev Thomas HILL.

- Judith HEATHCOTE, and other members of the family, in the year 1619, appropriated estates, producing an income of about 114 pounds per annum, to the apprenticing of children.
- Thomas LARGE, in 1664, gave lands and tenements, now worth about 45 pounds per annum, for the foundation and endowment of three almshouses, to which two more were added in 1751, by Mrs. Sarah ROSE, who left 200 pounds for their endowment.
- Almshouses for six aged persons were founded in 1668, by George TAYLOR, who endowed them with property at present yielding 22 pounds per annum.
- The dispensary, erected in 1800, is liberally supported by subscription.
- Godfrey FOLJAMBE, in 1594, bequeathed the rectory of Attenborough, and an estate at Ashover, producing together about 640 pounds a year, which sum, after paying 40 pounds per annum to the minister, 13 pounds 6 shillings and 8 pence to the master of the grammar school, 20 pounds to Jesus College, and 13 pounds 6 shillings and 8 pence to Magdalen College, Cambridge, is appropriated to the relief of the poor.
- Godfrey WOLSTENHOLME, in 1682, gave a house, let for 38 pounds 5 shillings per annum, which sum is distributed in coats and gowns.
- Sir Godfrey WEBSTER, in 1720, bequeathed 1,100 pounds South Sea stock.
- Mrs Hannah HOOPER, in 1755, gave 2,000 three per cent consols, and Mrs Elizabeth BAGSHAW, in 1802, 2,000 pounds three per cent consols; the dividends on which are distributed to the poor.

The Union of Chesterfield comprises 34 parishes or places, and contains a population of 39,379. An hospital for lepers, founded prior to the 10th of Richard I, and dedicated to St Leonard, existed here till the reign of Henry VIII; and there was a guild or fraternity, dedicated to St. Mary and the Holy Cross, founded in the reign of Richard II, the revenue of which, at the Dissolution [of the monasteries], was 19 pounds. The chantry of St Michael, founded by Roger de Chesterfield in 1357, and the chantry of the Holy Cross, founded in the reign of Edward III, were also among the ancient religious establishments of this place. There were besides, prior to the Reformation, three free chapels, dedicated respectively to St. James, St. Thomas, and St. Helen; on the site of the last, the grammar school was built.

Chesterfield gives the title of Earl to the family of STANHOPE; a title conferred Aug 4th, 1628, on Sir Philip, Baron STANHOPE, a firm supporter of the royal cause during the Civil War."


  • There's a traditional verse which states:-
    "When Chesterfield was gorse and broom
    Leash Fen was a market town
    Now Chesterfield is a market town
    Leash Fen is but gorse and broom"
    Leash Fen, or Leys Fen is on the high moorland west of Chesterfield, and said to be the site of a sunken market town, possibly of Iron Age vintage. Several sites on the surrounding moorland have already been excavated - for instance, Gardom's Edge, near Baslow - demonstrating habitation of these uplands during pre-history.




James OATES and Ann COUSINS married on 08 Sep 1765 in Chesterfield and had 6 children. Elizabeth OATES was baptised on 07 Sep 1766.

George STEPHENSON, a pioneer of the Railway System and Engineer-in-chief of the Midland Railway, was buried in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in August, 1848. He had lived at Tapton House since 1837.

Lady Olave St Clair BADEN-POWELL (nee SOAMMES) was born here on 22 February 1889. Lady Baden-Powell became Chief Guide for Britain in 1918.

Francis FRITH Jr., famous photographer, was born here in 1822. He printed many of his photographs in books which he authored. His postcard company became one of the largest photographic studios in the world. He died in Cannes, France, in 1898.


Historical Geography

Christine JOHNSTONE has a photograph of the River Rother on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2012.



  • Chesterfield was a first century Roman station. The Romans appear to have abandoned it after they pacified the midlands.
  • At the time of the Norman Conquest, this was a small place, of little consequence. But it stood on a crossroad at a high point, making it a natural strategic position.
  • The town got its first market charter in 1204 from King John. Elizabeth I granted a charter of incorporation in 1594. Charles II "confirmed" the charter.
  • The town got its first mayor elected in 1594.
  • Transcription of section of Lysons' Topographical and Historical Account of Derbyshire, 1817, for Chesterfield by Barbarann AYARS.
  • Celia RENSHAW advises that in the mid 1800s a number of Scottish drapers settled in Chesterfield, at least for a while.
  • In 1889 the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway came to Chesterfield with a line from Beighton to Annesley in Nottinghamshire.
  • In the late 1800s, this was a considerable rail-hub for both coal and passengers.
  • The Municipal Hall on South Street was built in 1849 and held the police court, police office, gaol cells and the Corporation fire station.
  • In 1912, there were three hotels in Chesterfield: The Hotel Portland, The Angel Hotel in the market place and the Station Hotel in Corporation Street.
  • David BEVIS has a photograph of the Portland Hotel at Geo-graph, taken in May, 2013.
  • Ian S. has a photograph of Chandlers Bar public house at Geo-graph, taken in October, 2016.
  • Ben BROOKBANK shares a little history from 1951: Chesterfield LMS, 1951: four locomotives coupled at Geo-graph, taken in October 1951 when color film was expensive.
  • Much of Chesterfield has been redeveloped, improved or relocated in the past 100 years. Streets your ancestors lived on may no longer exist.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK385712 (Lat/Lon: 53.236443, -1.424635), Chesterfield which are provided by:


Medical Records

  • An Isolation Hospital was built here in 1904 by the Chesterfield Corporation at Hasland. It contained 38 beds.
  • A Small Pox Hospital existed in Spital in 1912.
  • The Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Hospital was built in 1859 in Holywell Street, enlarged in 1872, 1892 and again in 1902.
  • David HALLAM-JONES has a photograph of the old Royal Hospital building from 1859 on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2014.
  • Hospitals were not required to archive patient information, but the Archives may hold some administrative and financial data.

Military History

  • In 1266, during the reign of Henry III, this was the site of the Battle of Chesterfield, in which a band of rebel barons were defeated by a royalist army. Robert de FERRERS was defeated at the Battle of Chesterfield along with his attainders.
  • Some French Prisoners of War were held here during the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815).
  • Jane TAYLOR in Redcar shares this snippet from the Derby Mercury for 13 June, 1811: "A French prisoner of War, of the name of Joseph GERODIAS, Captain of Imperial Guard, has absconded from Chesterfield, in violation of his parole of honour. The Commissioners for conducting His Majesty's Transport service have offered a reward of five guineas for his re-capture."
  • In 1829 Lieutenant-Colonel Rowland Heathcote HACKER of the Newfoundland Fencibles resided here.
  • In 1842 Colonel Joshua JEBB of the Royal Engineers resided here at Walton Hall. He was the son of Samuel Joshua JEBB and Ann Harriot. When the threat of a French invasion was on every Briton's mind in 1802, Joshua raised a volunteer corps to resist the actual attack. Joshua married Dorothy GLADWIN in Wingerworth in 1792. The GLADWIN name is well known in Chesterfield. The couple would have 11 children. Dorothy JEBB was buried here in Chesterfield in July 1825. Joshua would be buried here in 1845.
  • In 1895, the 2nd Volunteer Battalion (A company) of the Sherwood Foresters had their headquarters here. Commanding, Honr. Major A. CARRINGTON V. D., Surgeon-Major William Sandham SYMES.
  • In 1912, A Squadron of the Derbyshire Yeomanry had their headquarters here. Major Lord Henry CAVENDISH-BENTINCK was commander; Captain W. F. WAILES-FAIRBAIRN, second in command; Squadron Srgt-Major W. G. WARD, drill-instructor.
  • The 6th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters had their headquarters at 10 Corporation Street in 1912. Commanding, Lieut-Col John Morton CLAYTON; Major G. D. GOODMAN; adjutant, Capt. F. S. McL Lomer; Quarter-Master, Hon. Lieut. William North BROOMHEAD.
  • During World War I the Red Cross established a VAD Hospital here at Trinity Institute. This was later transferred to Ashgate House.
  • Andrew HILL has a photograph of the War Memorial in the churchyard at Geo-graph, taken in April, 2012.
  • David DIXON also has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2014.
  • In World War II, the 1st Parachute Brigade under Brigadier Richard GALE was billoted at Hardwick Camp near Chesterfield.
  • The Traces of War website tells that there are 34 Commonwealth War Graves from World War I and 8 from World War II in Spital Cemetery.

Military Records

  • Christ Church contains a carved oak plaque "roll of Honour" to the men of the Stonegravels district who died in World War One.

Names, Geographical

The town derives its name from the Saxon Ceaster, which means fortified town. Presumably the Saxons had a wooden-walled fort here.

In the 1086 Domesday Book, the name is given as "Cestrefield".


Names, Personal

Sir Philip HUNLOKE won a bronze medal in the 1908 Olympics in the 8-meter sailing class. He was the son of Captain Philip PERCIVAL of the Royal Horse Guards, but changed his name in 1905. In 1912, he held the rank of Captain and resided here at Wingerworth Hall. He served in the Boer War and First World War, reaching the rank of Major. He also served as a Groom in Waiting to King George V from 1911 to 1936, to Edward VIII in 1936, and an extra groom-in-waiting to George VI from 1937 to 1947.

Captain Uvedale Barrington TRISTRAM can be found in Walton Hall in 1912. He was born in Turkey in 1859.



There were two newspapers published in Chesterfield in the early 1900s. They were:

  1. The "Derbyshire Courier," started in 1828 and covered a large part of Derbyshire, published by John ROBERTS on High Street, Saturdays. still in operation in 1855.
  2. The "Derbyshire Times," which also had a large circulation and was published by Wilfred EDMUNDS Ltd. every Friday for Saturday circulation. This paper appears to have stopped production some time prior to 1855.
  3. The "Derbyshire Chronicle," was published for a few years by John ATKINSON of Low Pavement every Friday for Saturday circulation. This became the "Reporter and Chronicle" by 1855.

The Derbyshire Times is still being published, although it does not cover all of Derbyshire. Check out their "nostalgia" section.

Jane TAYLOR of Redcar gives us this extract from the Derby Mercury of 26 August, 1802: "MARRIED: On Monday se'nnight, Mr. SAXTON, of Chesterfield, to Miss WALKER, daughter of Mr. Ard WALKER of Leeds, merchant."

Jane TAYLOR has this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 23 December, 1802: "MARRIED: At Chesterfield, in this county, on Wednesday the 15th instant, by the Rev. Joseph BOWER, Richard RICHARDSON, Esq. of Capenhurst Hall, Cheshire, to Miss BOWER, of the former place."

Jane TAYLOR of Redcar offers this snippet from the Derby Mercury of 17 February 1803: "MARRIED: On Saturday last at Chesterfield, in this county, Mr. Thomas ODDY, of Bubnell Hall, near Baslow, to Miss FERNELL, daughter of the late John Burgoine FERNELL, Esq. of Spring House, near Chesterfield."

Jane TAYLOR provides this notice from the Derby Mercury of 5 January, 1804: "MARRIED: On Monday last, Mr. John FORD, Bookseller, to Miss Zilpha BRETLAND, both of Chesterfield."

Jane TAYLOR has this extract from the Derby Mercury of 5 April, 1804: "MARRIED: At Chesterfield, on Saturday last, Mr. James CLARKE, sadler, to Miss WILCOCKSON, of Brampton, near that place."

Jane TAYLOR offers this extract from the Derby Mercury of 31 May 1804: "MARRIED: On Tuesday se'nnight, at Chesterfield, Mr. Robert COX, of Calow, to Miss Maria WARDLE, of Stone Gravels, near the former place."

Jane TAYLOR provides this extract from the Derby Mercury of 28 June 1804: "MARRIED: And Yesterday, Mr. Thos. BOWER, brazier, of Chesterfield, to Mrs. Mary PICKARD, of Brampton."

Jane TAYLOR in Redcar provides this notice from the Derby Mercury of 27 June 1804: "MARRIED: At Chesterfield on Sunday last, Mr. Richard GLEAVES, of Liverpool, to Miss Anne WARDLE, of Stone Gravels, near the former place."

Jane TAYLOR in Redcar has this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 3 October, 1804: "MARRIED: On the 25th inst. at Chesterfield, Mr. Alfred CARSON, to Miss Sarah WALVIN, both of Alport, in this county."

Jane TAYLOR in Redcar has this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 13 September, 1804: "MARRIED: A few days since, at Chesterfield, Mr. Samuel STORER, aged 83, to Miss Sarah HILL, aged 36. The marriage nuptials was attended by his children, grand children, and great grand children."

Jane TAYLOR provides this snippet from the Derby Mercury of 25 April 1805: "MARRIED: On Monday last, Mr. David BATTESON, maltster, to Miss Sarah HOOLE, milliner, both of Chesterfield."

Jon CANTRILL provides this snippet from the Yorkshire and Derbyshire Advertiser of 23 January 1830: "MARRIED: On Wednesday, by the Rev. E. GOODWIN, A.M., Mr. Joseph LANGTON, of Chesterfield, spirit merchant to Miss LAUNT, of this place."

Same edition: "On Sunday, at Chesterfield, Mr. Edmund Taylor DYSON, to Miss CADMAN, of Bolsover."

Same edition: "On the 18th instant, at Chesterfield, Mr. James GOTHARD, to Miss Dorothy HEWITT, both of Grassmore, near the former place."

Same edition: "On the 14th instant, at St. Margaret’s, Westminster, by the Rev J.F.B. BOHUN, Rector of Depden, Suffolk, Richard BOHUN, Esq., solicitor, of Beckles, to Jane, third daughter of the late John ELAM, Esq., of Chesterfield."

Jon CANTRILL provides this clipping from the Derbyshire Times of May 28th 1921:

"Marriages: The wedding took place recently at Christ Church, Stonegravels, the Vicar the Rev James DUCKLER, Officiating, of Mr. William J. BERRESFORD, only son of Mr. T. BERRESFORD, 48, Sidney Street, Brampton, and Miss Harriet Gladys DERBYSHIRE, of Sheffield. Wearing a dress of silk crepe-de-chine, with georgette and silver trimmings, and a wreath and veil, the bride was given away by her father.
Attending her were bridesmaids - Miss May DERBYSHIRE (her sister), Miss Elsie HYATT, and the bridegroom’s two cousins, Kathleen CHARTERIS and Ethel HARLOWE. The elder bridesmaids were attired in blue silk crepe-de-chine with Oriental trimmings, and they carried bouquets, as also did the bride.
The little girls wore dresses of white georgette and carried sprays of flowers. Mr. C. RHODES, son of Ald. W. RHODES was best man.
After the ceremony a reception was held at Mount Zion Church, where upwards of 70 guests assembled.

Jon CANTRILL provides this snippet from the Derbyshire Times of 14 August 1926: "DIED: HOLMES - On Saturday August 7th at Jesmond House(?), Albion Road, Chesterfield, Robert HOLMES age 86."



  • We have a fine example of an obituary from the Derby & Chesterfield Reporter for John HALLAM.
  • Jane TAYLOR in Redcar gives us this extract from the Derby Mercury of 26 August 1802: "DIED: The same day at Chesterfield, of an inflammation in his brain, Mr. Joseph JOHNSON, clock and watch maker, one of the people called Quakers. He was an industrious honest man; and has left a widow and several children to lament his loss."
  • Jane TAYLOR provides this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 13 January 1803: "DIED: On the 29th ult. at Chesterfield, in this county, in the 40th year of his age, Mr. Robert AULD, liquor merchant; sincerely lamented by his relatives and friends, and by the poor in particular, to whom he was a liberal benefactor."
  • Jane TAYLOR in Redcar offers this clipping from the Derby Mercury of 17 March 1803: "DIED: On the 7th inst, at Chesterfield, in this county, Mrs. LUCAS, the wife of Thomas LUCAS, Esq. of that place."
  • Jane TAYLOR gives this extract from the Derby Mercury of 5 April 1804: "DIED: Yesterday, at Chesterfield, Mrs. SHEPLEY, wife of George SHEPLEY, glazier. What adds to the melancholy event, she has left a large family of small children, and their surviving parent has been confined to his bed for some time."
  • From the 2 August 1804 edition, Jane TAYLOR adds this extract "DIED: A few days since, at Hull, of the gout in the stomach, sincerely lamented by all his friends, Robert JENNINGS, Esq. of Spital, near Chesterfield, in this county, in the 30th year of his age."
  • Jane TAYLOR offers this article from the Derby Mercury of 13 September 1804: "DIED: On the 4th inst. after an illness of a few hours, Sophia, the youngest child of George FLETCHER, M.D. of Chesterfield, in this county."
  • Jane TAYLOR offers this extract from the Derby Mercury of 13 December, 1804: "DIED: At Chesterfield, in this county, on the 5th inst. aged 73 years, Mr. William MANLEY, formerly an Attorney at Law of great practice in that place. The mutability of human affairs was strongly exemplified in the fate of the deceased. His practice for several years as a solicitor was extensive, lucerative and honourable; esteemed, visited, and employed by many of the first families in the neighbourhood, but he departed this life in the parish workhouse! He was very handsomely interred by the subscription of some liberal minded gentlemen, who had formerly known him in the days of his prosperity."
  • From the same edition, Jane TAYLOR offers this extract "DIED: Also at Chesterfield, a few days since, Mr. Samuel METTAM, many years a respectable mason of that place."
  • Jon CANTRILL provides this extract from the Derby Mercury of 7th January 1829: "DEATHES: On Thursday week, Mrs. MILNES, of St. Mary's-gate, Chesterfield, aged 85 years – On Monday Se'nnight , in Chesterfield, Mrs. Mary BARBER, aged 77 – At Hasland on Sunday se'nnight, Elizabeth, the wife of Mr. John COUPE, of that place, aged 43 – On Wednesday last, after a painful illness, Miss LAKIN, late of St. Mary's-gate, Chesterfield."

We report from the Derbyshire Courier, 1845:

"We have this week the painful duty of announcing the decease of a gentleman, whose life has been for the last half century been so intimately and beneficially connected with this place and neighborhood as to require a special notice of its close. The individual alluded to is Joshua JEBB, Esq., who departed this life in the faith and hope of the Gospel on Wednesday, the 20th inst. in his 76th year. Of those moral and religious principles which formed the basis of Mr. JEBB's character, and rendered it exemplary in every relation which he sustained, it is not so much our province to speak, as of the claims of his public conduct gave him the grateful respect of all who witnessed it, or have felt its influence. Those of our readers who remember the apprehension of a French invasion, which prevailed so generally in the year 1802, will also remember the zeal, ability and perseverance with which Mr. JEBB raised and commanded the volunteer corps; an office for which he was peculiarly qualified by his previous acquaintance with, and taste for military service, as well as by his patriotic sense of public duty at that alarming crisis."

Jon CANTRILL provides this notice from the Derbyshire Times of 26 March 1927: "Acknowledgements:

CUTTS - Messrs Abraham and Sam CUTTS, Flax Piece Farm, Clay Cross, desire to thank all for kindness shown in their recent sad bereavement, also for floral tributes sent.

An old resident of Clay Cross, Mrs Abraham CUTTS, Flaxpiece Farm, passed away on Sunday after a brief illness. The remains were laid to rest in the local cemetery on Wednesday, the Rev R. TOWERS (curate) officiating. Principal mourners were Messrs. Abraham and Sam CUTTS (sons), Bernard and Edith (grandchildren), George, Aaron, Sam and Solomon CUTTS of Pilsley, Mr. J. B. CUTTS of Whittington Moor (nephews), Mrs W. NEALD Pilsley, and Mrs HAYNES Hepthorne Lane (nieces).

The bearers were Messrs. W. WARDELL, J. WALKER, H. BARNES, and W. SLATER, and other friends present were Messrs. J. FEATHERSTONE, R. SLACK, E. DOWNING, J. E. CUTTS (Stretton), Miss GADSBY Morton, Mr. and Mrs. STALEY (Clay Cross), Mrs. WARDELL Danesmoor, Mr. W. GLOVER Brackenfield, Mr. and Mrs. C. H. BRADLEY Clay Cross, Mrs. G. HOPKINSON Press, Mrs. S. SWAIN Clay Cross. Floral tributes were place on the grave from Abraham and Sam (sons), Mrs CROFTS, Edith and Pat, Edith and Bernard, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. CUTTS, Dr. and Mrs. N. K. SPARROW, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. WHITE and family, all from Cemetery Lodge, Ethel, Margaret, Will and Reg., Mr. and Mrs. STALEY, Mr. and Mrs. A. SLACK and family, Mr. and Mrs. S. SWAIN, Mrs. RHODES and George, Mrs. G. BOWER and family. Tenants - WARDELL, BARNES, SLATER and WALKER, Miss BOWMAN, Little Bessie, Mr. and Mrs. E. DOWNING. Mr. G. CUTTS (Stretton) was the undertaker.

Stephen KIMBERLEY reports that the Derbyshire Times of 22nd July 1999 has an obituary for: BARLOW Samuel 86 Boythorpe Chesterfield.

Stephen KIMBERLEY reports that the Derbyshire Times of 19th August 1999 has an obituary for: BACKHOUSE Harold 92 Ashgate.

Stephen KIMBERLEY reports that the Derbyshire Times of the same date has an obituary for: BARWICK Sheila 73 Chesterfield.

Stephen KIMBERLEY reports that the Derbyshire Times of the same date has an obituary for: HEWITT Hannah 89 Chesterfield.

Stephen KIMBERLEY reports that the Derbyshire Times of 19th August 1999 has an obituary for: PICKARD Kate Winifred 96 Chesterfield.

Stephen KIMBERLEY reports that the Derbyshire Times same edition as above has an obituary for: PROCTOR Charles Peter 73 Chesterfield.

We report from the Worcester and Sherwood Forest Regimental Association:

21st September 2018
It is with sadness that we inform you that 4979024 LCpl William Frank MELLOR of Chesterfield died on 15 September 2018 aged 100. Frank enlisted into the Sherwood Foresters in 1940 and was posted to 8th Foresters in Scotland on its return from Norway. He served the next two years in Northern Ireland, before being sent to the Officer Training Centre in Wrotham near Maidstone. At Wrotham camp he was initially placed in the cookhouse as a GD man but once he was identified as a Pte 1st Class he was posted to the Demonstration Platoon. In Spring 1944 he was in a draft of 26 posted to France and ended up temporarily attached to 2nd Bn The Seaforth Highlanders, and they crossed to France with 6th Bn The Duke of Wellington’s on 12.6. 1944. When that Bn was withdrawn to England, they joined 1st Leicesters in August 1944, Frank was now a Pte 1st Class, Bren, sten gun and 2" mortar operator. He served with that Bn for the remainder of the war, through Belgium and Holland. At Ede on 17 April 1945 Frank sustained a shrapnel injury to his left Hip and left elbow and forearm. After some time convalescing in medical units, he returned to 1st Bn Leicesters in July 1945 and served in Germany. He was demobilised in March 1946, and went to live in Chesterfield. In the French Government's recognition of the part he (among very many others) played in the Liberation of France in 1944, on 6 January 2017 he was presented with the medal of Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur. Prior to joining the Army he was employed at Ireland Colliery, Staveley, Derbyshire and returned to work there after demob.

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Derby county and it became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • This parish was in the ancient Scarsdale Hundred (or Wapentake). And the village of Cestrefield was the capitol of the Hundred.
  • Queen Elizabeth I granted the town a charter of Incorporation in 1594.
  • On 1 November, 1910, Old Brampton Civil Parish was amalgamated into the Chesterfield Municipal Borough and Civil Parish.
  • Andrew HILL has a photograph of the Chesterfield Borough Council offices on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2011.
  • On 1 April 1974, the Borough of Chesterfield was formed by an amalgamation of the municipal borough with the urban district of Staveley and with the parish of Brimington from Chesterfield Rural District.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be held in the Chesterfield petty session hearings. In 1820 these were held every Monday at the Town Hall. By 1895 they were moved to every Saturday at 11am.
  • There is an index of over 20 Chesterfield Bastardy Papers held at the DRO on the Yesterdays Journey website. Select "Bastardy Papers" on the left side, then "Chesterfield" from the list of parishes displayed.
  • A parish workhouse was erected in Chesterfield in 1735-7 at the south of the Market Place.
  • In 1767, forty-two Derbyshire parishes (some of which would later form part of the Chesterfield Poor Law union) voluntarily formed themselves into the Ashover Union. The Union bought a large former bath-house at Ashover for use as a joint workhouse.
  • The parish had eleven almshouses built at various times. In 1875, these were all taken down and rebuilt in Saltergate.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poorlaw Amendment Act reforms, this parish became the center of the Chesterfield Poorlaw Union on 19th October 1837. The workhouse was built in 1839 on Newbold Road and opened in December. It was designed to hold 300 inmates.
  • The workhouse later became Chesterfield's Scarsdale Hospital.
  • The site was redeveloped in 2001 and all the buildings demolished except for the main block.
  • David BEVIS a photograph of Chesterfield Workhouse on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2008.
  • E. EASTWOOD erected the Eventide Homes in Infirmary Road in 1907 for eight aged women of limited means.
  • St. Luke's Home for Aged Women was founded as a memorial to King Edward VII, who died in 1910.

Michael SPENCER tells us that the CHESTERFIELD Board in March, 1851, processed these Admissions:

  • Geo. PEACOCK Brampton born 1809 destitute
  • Wm. BLANKSBY Ashover born 1792 no work, a quiet man.
  • Ann LAUNDS Calow born 1826 bad usage of her husband and bad tongue of her own.
  • Geo. born 1848 and John born 1850 LAUNDS children of above
  • Ann CREE Sutton cum Duckmanton born 1800 a bad woman
  • Samuel GOODLAD Chesterfield cancer born 1830
  • Sarah GOODLAD Brampton born 1827 destitute
  • Benjamin GOODLAD Brampton born 1849 measles
  • Elizabeth FOREMAN Walton born 1843 deserted by mother
  • John FOREMAN Walton born 1845 deserted by mother.

Mike also tells us about these discharges that same Board meeting:

  • 24 Mar: Hannah BEARDSLEY removed to Basford a troublesome woman (in purple pencil is the name Brackenfield)
  • 24 Mar: Sarah STEVENSON Newbold. Dead born 1789.
  • 2 Apr: Thomas BEARDSLEY Run away, imbecile, born 1820. (in purple pencil is the name Brackenfield)

From the Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald, January 1, 1859 (Thank you: Nivard OVINGTON):

Christmas at the Workhouse
At the Chesterfield Workhouse, on Christmas day, the inmates were regaled as usual at the costs of the guardians, at dinner, with the usual Christmas fare of roast beef and plum pudding and at tea with the other customary delicacies of the season. The men and women were indulged with a ration of beer.

Also from the same paper

On Christmas day, Mr Peter TAYLOR farmer of Sutton, gave 40lb of Beef to twenty of the oldest people of Bolsover 2lbs. and a loaf each.

In 1877-78 a Workmans' Home was erected for 89 single men.

The National Archives holds "Appointments of Chairmen of Boards of Guardians for the Poor under the Lunacy Act, 1891 (section 25)".

The Derbyshire Record Office holds "Chesterfield Settlement records 1904 - 1958".




Probate Records

  • Chesterfield Wills and Inventories, 1521-1603 - one of Derbyshire Record Society Publications, unfortunately out of print, but should be available for study via Inter-Library Loan (ILL).
  • Chesterfield Wills and Inventories, 1604-1650 - one of Derbyshire Record Society Publications, published April 2001.
  • The Will of Jacobi OATES proved on 11 May 1732. Partly in Latin. There is also an Inventory which refers to the Late James OATES taken December 1731. It looks like he was a very wealthy farmer. The inventory amounts to £730 18s 06d and runs to 2 lengthy pages.
  1. It also refers to James OATES late of Chesterfield.
  2. It is witnessed by Joshua WHELDON and Richard SLATER.
  • A Chesterfield Will of 1858 of Mary WOODHEAD wife of Thomas W of Chesterfield mentions:
  1. husband Thomas WOODHEAD Gent
  2. William BRODHURST Newark
  3. John BROCKNER
  4. John CLARKE of Mansfield Woodhouse, grandson of the late John ASHMORE
  5. John Brockner LOCKWOOD
  6. John CREE of Oxcroft
  7. William CREE of Pinxton
  8. Mary dau. of John COLLIS of Blackburn
  9. John BROCKNER late Schollmaster, Sarah his wife, and children John,Mary,Edward Henry, Samuel, Johanna
  10. Edward DAVIES and Ann his wife of Ipswich
  11. William COLLIS
  12. Martha MASON dau. of Wm. SHEPHARD of Mansfield and Martha his wife
  13. Isaac HEYWOOD of Mansfield
  14. Wm HOLLINS of Pleasley
  15. John WILLIAMS of Whittington
  16. Thomas MINNETT of Mansfield
  17. John BIRKS of Mansfield
  18. James FRANKS of Mansfield
  19. Joseph MANSFIELD of Mansfield
  20. Henry MARSLAND of Woodbank within Bredbury, Ches.
  21. Henry COPPOCK ? of Stockport
  22. Edward HOLLINS of Stockport
  23. Geo WRIGHT of Chesterfield
  24. Samuel WAKEFIELD of Beeston
  25. Samuel HOLLINS of Nottingham
  26. James CREE former occup of property in Mansfield but now
  27. Charles REVILL occup
  28. Godfrey JACKSON occup
  29. P. REDFERN
  30. Frederic REVILL

Held at the National Archives in Kew: Will of Anthony Lax MAYNARD of Chesterfield, dated 29 August 1825.



"Chesterfield had a grammar school which was flourishing in the mid- thirteenth century and dependent on the parish Church. The first record of the school occurs in a letter dating from the reign of Henry III in which Henry, a clerk of Ashbourne, wrote to the vicar of Chesterfield thanking him for his assistance in securing his appointment as schoolmaster of the Chesterfield school...Only one other reference to a Chesterfield schoolmaster occurs in the medieval period: this is to Sir Henry of Sutton, described as 'master of the schols of Chesterfield', in a deed of 1337 and again in one of 1346-7. The school no doubt continued, probably under the auspices of the Gild of St Mary and the Holy Cross, until the dissolution of the chantries and gilds in 1548. The location of the medieval school is unknown. When the later grammar school was established in 1598, as a result of the testamentary bequest of Godfrey Foljambe of Walton, the chapel of St Helen's was apparently converted into a school house, which remained in use until the early eighteenth century when new premises were built nearby."

The "new premises" were built in 1710 on the site of the old school.

There was an infants school on Holywell Street in 1839.

David BEVIS has a photograph of Abercrombie Primary School on St. Helen's Street at Geo-graph, taken in February, 2011.

Author Leonie MARTIN has written a local history book on St Mary's Catholic High School. The book celebrates the school's 150 years.

N. CHADWICK has a photograph of Chesterfield College rising up through the trees on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2015.

The Victoria Schools were in Vicar Lane and were named after Queen Victoria after her visit to Chesterfield in 1843.

The Chesterfield Poorlaw Union had schools on Ashgate Road in Brampton, built in 1880-1 for 204 children.


Social Life & Customs

  • Chesterfield has held a market since earliest times - the Sheriff of Derbyshire recorded an account of £1 2s 7d from the market of Chesterfield as long ago as 1165. The town's market place was much closer to the Church in the Middle Ages, and the church was used as a store for market goods. This is why in May 1226 during the Battle of Chesterfield, there were sacks of wool in the Nave of the Church for the Earl of Derby to hide amongst!

    The present Market Hall was built in 1857 by the Chesterfield Market Company and bought by Chesterfield Corporation in 1872 for the sum of £11,500. (Ref: A History of Derbyshire, Gladwyn TURBUTT, 1999).



The Chesterfield and Midland Counties Institute of Engineers was established here in 1871. Strong, G.R. has a book, "A history of the Institution of Mining Engineers." publ. 1989.

Also, browse the website of the Chesterfield and District Family History Society and perhaps even order a copy of their "Surname Interests" to see who is researching the same families. They hold regular meetings for the members on the first Wednesday of the month at 7:00 PM Again, check the website to verify the meeting place and time.