MELBOURNE, Derbyshire - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868


The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]
"MELBOURNE, a parish and small market town in the hundred of Repton, county Derby, 8 miles S.E. of Derby, its post town, and 6 N.E. of Ashby-de-la-Zouch. It is situated near the rivers Derwent and Trent, and comprises the township of King's-Newtown. The village is a polling-place for the county elections. It belonged to the crown at Domesday Survey, and came to the Beauchamps and Lancasters, who had a castle, in which John, Duke of Bourbon, who had been made prisoner at the battle of Agincourt, was imprisoned in 1415. The castle was dismantled in 1460 by order of Queen Margaret, but was subsequently restored, and traces of it are still visible.

The savings-bank and mechanics' institution are held in a building erected in 1854. The manufacture of lace gloves is carried on, and building-stone is extensively quarried, and also a fine kind of stone used for sharpening scythes. The surface is hilly, and partly in common. The soil is generally a rich loam, alternated with clay. The tithes were commuted for land under an Enclosure Act in 1787.

The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Lichfield, value £179, in the patronage of the bishop of the diocese. The church, which is dedicated to St. Michael, is an ancient structure, with a tower containing four bells. The interior of the church is remarkable for the circular arches and zigzag ornaments peculiar to the Norman style of architecture. It contains an old pillared font, and ancient marble monuments of the Hardinge family. The parochial charities produce about £38 per annum, of which £20 goes to Lady Hastings' school, also an additional annuity of £10 by Viscountess Palmerston.

There are places of worship for the Independents, Wesleyans, Methodists, General Baptists, and Swedenborgians. Melbourne Hall, formerly the episcopal palace of the bishops of Carlisle, was the residence of the late Lord Melbourne, and King's-Newtown Hall was the seat of the Hardinges, ancestors of Lord Hardinge. The Marquis of Hastings is lord of the manor. The family of Lamb take from this place the title of viscount. Saturday is market day."

"KING'S NEWTON, a hamlet in the parish of Melbourne, county Derby, 6 miles S.E. of Derby. It is situated near the river Trent."

"NEWTON KINGS, a hamlet in the parish of Melbourne, county Derby. See King's Newton."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin HINSON ©2003]