Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Derby
DERBY, County of, lies as nearly as possible in the centre of England, being about equally distant from the eastern and western seas. In the time of the Britons it was part of the district which constituted the kingdom of the Coritani. While under the Roman sway it formed a part of Britannia Prima ; and under the Heptarchy it belonged to the kingdom of Mercia. It is bounded on the E. by Nottinghamshire and a part of Leicestershire, on the W. by Staffordshire and Cheshire (from which it is separ ated by the rivers Trent, Dove, Etherow, and Goyt), on the N. by Yorkshire and a part of Cheshire, and on the S. by Leicestershire. Its greatest length from S.E. to N.W. is 56 miles, its greatest width from N.E. toS.W. is 33 miles. It contains an area of 656,243 statute acres, equal to about 1025f square miles. Its population in 1851 amounted to 296,084 persons, in 1861 to 339,327, and in 1871 to 379,394, of whom 190,657 were males, and 188,737 females. From the beginning of the century down to 1871, 13 per cent, was the mean rate of increase in each intermediate period of ten years; while from 1861 to 1871 the total increase was 40,067, or at the rate of nearly 12 per cent. For practical purposes the population may be taken at 400,000, giving an average of 0*60 persons per acre, or 1*64 acres per person. The rental of the county, as given in the Owners of Land Return, 1873, was 1,658,995. Derbyshire is divided into the hundreds of High Peak, Scarsdale, Appletree, Repton and Gresley, Morleston and Litchurch, and the wapentake of Wirksworth. It consists of 331 parishes, townships, -and parts of parishes. It has a court of quarter sessions, and is included as an archdeaconry in the diocese of Lichfield. For electoral purposes the county has been formed into the 3 divisions of east, north, and south, each returning 2 members to Parliament, and thus, with the 2 members from the borough of Derby, is represented by a total of 8 members.
[ Map of Derby ]
The geographical or physical aspect of Derbyshire is very diversified. The southern part presents little that is picturesque, or in any way striking, being for the most part a level surface, with occasional slight undulations. In its northern portions, however, particularly in the bold and mountainous regions of the High Peak, there are im posing combinations of those features which go to consti tute impressive and romantic scenery. In the more hilly districts, some of the valleys and dales are very beautiful, notably the valleys of Castleton and Glossop, Dovedale, Millersdale, and the dale of Matlock. Derbyshire is on the whole a well-wooded county, and in the spacious parks surrounding the numerous mansions of noblemen and others which it contains, may be seen many fine oaks of noble appearance, those at Kedleston, the seat of Lord Scars- dale, three miles from Derby, being considered among the largest and oldest in the kingdom.
The climate, as might be expected from the diversified configuration of the land, varies very considerably in different parts. From the elevation which it attains in its northern division the county is colder and is more frequently visited with rain than other midland counties. In summer cold and thick fogs are often seen hanging over the rivers, and clinging to the lower parts of the hills, and hoar-frosts are by no means unknown even in June and July. Owing to the great elevation some kinds of grain will not grow at all in many of the northern parts, while that which is sown in the more sheltered spots is exceptionally late in coming to maturity. The winters there are generally severe, and the rainfall heavy. At Belper, in 1876, there were 3 6 01 inches of rain during the year, while the average for the five years was 32 - 09 inches per annum. The elevation of the land proceeds gradually from south to north, the greatest altitudes being attained in the north division of the county, which is of a distinctly mountainous character. The mountains (or the plateau) of North Derbyshire may be said to form the central watershed of England, containing the source of many large rivers as the Don, the Trent, and the Mersey. The highest altitudes are Kinder Scout (1981 feet), the Peak (1880), and, on the borders of Cheshire and Staffordshire, Axe Edge (1751). From Axe Edge the streams of the county radiate. Those of the north-west belong to the Mersey, and those of the north-east to the Don, but all the others to the Trent, which, like the Don, falls into the Humber. The principal river is the Trent, which, rising in the Staffordshire moor lands, does not intersect this county, but forms its south west boundary for some distance, separating Derbyshire from Staffordshire on the south. After the Trent the most important river is the Derwent, one of its tributaries, which, taking its rise in the lofty ridges of High Peak, flows southward through a succession of striking and beautiful scenery, receiving a number of minor streams in its course. The other principal rivers are the following. The Dane rises at the junction of the three counties, Yorkshire, Cheshire, and Derbyshire. The Goyt has its source a very little further north, at the base of the same hill, and, taking a N.N.E. direction, divides Derbyshire and Cheshire, and falls into the Mersey. The Dove rises on the southern slope, and flows on as the boundary stream between Derbyshire and Staffordshire for about 45 miles. It receives several feeders, and falls into the Trent at Repton. The Erewash is the boundary between Notts and Derbyshire. The Rother rises about Baslow, and flows north-east into Yorkshire. A little more to the west are the Sheaf, Wallin, Poulter, and Ryton, which flow into the Don at Sheffield.
Canals.—There are numerous canals intersecting this county in various directions. The Trent and Mersey or Grand Trunk canal, communicating between Liverpool and
London, and also with Bristol and Hull, was begun in 1776 by the celebrated Brindley. a native of the county, and completed under Smeaton and Rennie. It passes through Derbyshire from Burton, following the course of the Trent The Chesterfield canal was begun in 1771 by Brindley, and completed by his brother-in-law, Mr Henshall, in 1776. It enters the county at Killamarsh, and terminates at Chesterfield. There are also the Langley Bridge or Erewash canal, the Peak Forest canal, the Ashton-under-line, the Cromford, the Ashby-de-la- Zouch, the Derby, and the Nutbrook canals. Nowhere have railways received a more complete develop ment than in this county, and nowhere are their beneficial effects more apparent. For this the system of the Midland Company must claim the chief credit. The roads in Derbyshire are numerous, and generally in good condition. The great road from London to Manchester crosses the Trent near Shardlow, and passes through Derby and Ashbourne into Staffordshire.
Geology, Minerals, &c.—With the exception of drift gravel, and some alluvial deposits, the rocks of this county belong to the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic periods. The mountain limestone underlies all the other rocks, and in the Peak district rises to a great elevation. It is in this formation that the well-known caves of Derbyshire occur. The calcareous rocks are confined to the western side of the county, Tissington being the southern, Castleton the northern, Axe Edge the western, and Matlock the eastern extremities. There is also an outcrop at Crich. The intrusive beds of toadstone (some of which attain a tluckness of 200 feet) and volcanic mud mark great submarine eruptions when this ancient lava was spread over the sea-bottom. It is estimated that upwards of half a million tons are worked yearly. The marbles are numerous and valuable for ornamental purposes. Derby shire also contains several metallic ores viz., galena, barytes, zinc, calamine, fluor spar, and elaterite. Galena (sulphide of lead) is obtained rather extensively, some mines near Castleton having been worked by the Romans. In 1874 the quantity raised was 4301 tons, from which were extracted 800 ounces of silver. In connection with galena zinc is found, of which 4050 tons were raised in 1876; of calamine (carbonate of zinc) 30 tons. Barytes is used as an inferior white paint, and also for ornamental purposes. The total output for 1876 was 2700 tons. Blue John is a somewhat rare fluor spar, impregnated with oxide of man ganese, It is one of the most ornamental minerals of the county, and is much used in the manufacture of tazzas, brooches, <fcc. In one or two places a thin seam of coal is found in the mountain limestone. Copper was once worked in this formation at Eoton, on the border of the county, but it has never been abundant. Traces of gold have also been found in toadstone Chert is got near Bakewell, and is used for the manufacture of porcelain. The most remarkable and rare mineral is elaterite, or elastic bitumen, found at Windy Knoll, near Castleton. It is found only at two other places at Montrelaix in France, and in Con necticut, United States. The fauna of this formation may be briefly tabulated as follows, from Etheridge s list Ccelenterata, 54 species ; Echinodermata, 27 ; Crustacea, 15 ; Brachiopoda, 96 ; Lamellibranchiata-Monomyriata, 29; Gasteropoda, 55; Cephalopida, 31; Pisces, 12. The surface soils of the mountain limestone are very unproduc tive, and, as a rule, can only be used for grazing. The Aoredale rocks make a narrow margin round the above formation, forming also the range of hills between Hope and Edale valleys, and extends to the north of the Peak, attaining a thickness of 500 feet. As is usual with this rock, frequent landslips take place, notably at Alport Tower, Dove Holes, and at the southern flank of Mam-Tor, the latter having carried with it part of the old Roman camp, &c. The Millstone Grit is part of a large formation stretch ing into adjacent counties. It is a long, narrow outcrop, running from north to south on the whole western side of the Coal Measures from Stanedge Pole to Little Eaton. There is also an outcrop, 200 feet thick, south of the Trent. The high table-land of the Peak is of this formation. It is a valuable building-stone, and as such it is extensively used, as well as for millstones, from which it derives its name. The Coal Measures are the southern continuation of the great Yorkshire coal-field. They occupy the larger portion of the eastern side of the county from a few miles south of Sheffield to near Balborough Hall, where they dis appear under the Permian. The coal-field (which extends into Notts) covers an area of about 700 square miles, 230 of which are in this county. At Shireoaks the top hard coal is worked, at a depth of 510 yards, the overlying Permian rock being only 200 feet thick. The principal coals worked are the deep soft and deep hard, both import ant. Still more so is the clod, or black shale ; but the best of all is the Kilbourne, near Belper, which is equal to the best Newcastle. Upwards of 10,000 people are employed in the Derbyshire coal-fields, which produce annually more than 7,000,000 tons. The ironstones associated with this coal-field are very valuable, yielding upwards of 130,000 tons annually. The Permian is represented in the north east by a narrow strip of Magnesian Limestone, which is said to be one of the best building stones in the kingdom. The surface soils of this formation are probably the most fertile in the county, its barley or malt having become famous. A narrow strip of the Bunter stretches just on the edge of the Yoredale, from Ashbourne to Quarndon, and patches occur to the north of Breadsal, at Sandiacre, and in the neighbourhood of Repton. The Keuper Red Marl and Sandstone occupy the larger part of South Derby shire, the most northerly point being near Ashbourue. The sandstones are extensively used for building purposes. An important bed of gypsum is worked at Chellaston, which is burnt and pulverized for making plaster of Paris, the white variety being made into chimney ornaments, statuettes, &c. The Drift Gravel is confined almost to the south and east of the county. Near Derby it is very abundant. Much light has been thrown upon the fauna of the Pleistocene period by the researches of Mr Penniugton at Castleton, and Messrs Mills and Heath at Cresswell. The more rare and important " finds" are the mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, Irish elk, reindeer, cave bear, wolf, British lion, hyaena, glutton, Arctic fox, machairo- dus (?), &c., and a large collection of palaeolithic imple ments. Peat bogs are spread over all the moorland districts of the Yoredale and Millstone Grit.
Agriculture.—In the valley of the Trent a large surface is laid down in permanent grass, being devoted to cattle- feeding and dairy purposes, while heavy crops of wheat, turnips, &c., are grown in other parts of the district. Dairy farms are numerous; and Derbyshire cheese, which holds a high reputation, is annually sent to the metropolis, or to the seaports for exportation. Cheese fairs or markets are held in various parts of the county, as at Derby, Burton-on-Trent, Ashbourne, Uttoxeter, and Loughborough. Barley is much cultivated, especially about Repton and Gresley, and also in the east of the county, the inducement being great from the proximity of Burton, the great seat of the brewing industry. In the upland districts, where the soil is poor and the climate harsh and unfriendly, agricultural industry is much less important and profitable. It is chiefly devoted to the feeding of sheep. The following figures, taken from the Agricultural Returns for 1873 and 1876, shows the distribution of the agricultural acreage of the county, and the numbers of live stock, in those years : Under all kinds of Crops. 1S73 498,674 1876 502,791 - - Grass under Corn Crops. Green Crops. ,-otation. 74,940 20,896 35,967 68,933 21,837 36,259 In 1876 wheat and oats constituted each one-third of the corn crops, and barley a fourth ; turnips formed one-half of the green crops. Horses. Cattle. Sheep. Pigs. 1873 . 18,004 136,939 263,429 40,078 1876 20,618 134,891 242,732 38,361 A marked feature of the upland districts is the total absence of hedges, and the substitution of limestone walls, put together without any mortar or cement. The county possesses a nourishing agricultural society, which holds a show of cattle and other live stock annually.
In respect of the ownership of the land, Derbyshire in 1873 was divided among 19,866 separate proprietors, whose gross estimated rental amounted to .1,764,689. The average size of each property in that year was 31 acres, while that of all England was 34 acres ; find the average value per acre was 2, 16s. 10d., that of all England being 3, Os. 2d. There were 12,874 owners holding less than one acre of land, equal to 65 per cent, of the total number of proprietors, or about 6 per cent, fewer than the average of small owners in all England. Eight proprietors held more than 6000 acres each, viz. duke of Devonshire (Chatsworth), 83,829 acres; duke of Rutland (Haddon Hall), 26,973 ; Sir J. H. Crewe, Bart. (Calke Abbey), 12,923; Lord Scarsdale (Kedleston), 9166; Lord Howard (Glossop Hall), 9108 ; duke of Portland, 7740 ; T. W. Evans (Allestree), 6799; Lord Vernon(Sudbury Hall) 6154.
Manufactures.—These are both numerous and important, embracing silks, cotton hosiery, iron, woollen manufacures, lace, elastic web, and brewing, for which see BURTON. For many of these this county has long been famous, especially silk, which is carried on to a large extent in Derby, as well as in Belper and Duffield, where the first silk mill in England was set up by a mechanic, John Lombe, who introduced it from Italy. Cotton was also at one time an important industry, but has in great measure passed into the county of Lancashire. It was introduced here by the celebrated Sir Richard Arkwright in 1771. Hosiery also was much in vogue, and obtained great celebrity from the invention of Mr Strutt, by which " ribbed " stockings could be made the Derby " rib " having been long the familiar designation of the article produced by Strutt s in vention. There are numerous iron foundries, machine and iron-bridge works, &c., in Derbyshire, those in the county town alone employing a great many hands. Silk-throwing is a principal industry of Derby, which in ordinary times gives employment to 3000 or 4000 persons, chiefly females. Elastic web weaving by power looms is carried on to a great extent, and the manufacture of lace and net curtains, gimp trimmings, braids, and cords. In the county town and neighbourhood are several important chemical and colour-works ; and in various parts of the county, as at Belper, Cromford, Matlock, Tutbury, &c., are extensive cotton-spinning mills, as well as hosiery and tape manufactories.
Ecclesiastical Buildings.—Derbyshire is distinguished for numerous old and interesting churches. The prevailing style of the churches is the Norman, and next to that the Early English, the style which immediately succeeded it. Steetly Chapelry, near Whitwell, on the east side of the county, is Norman ; and of this church Mr C. Cox, in his work on Derbyshire churches, says that it is " the most complete and beautiful specimen of Norman work, on a small scale, that can be met with anywhere in this country or in Normandy." It was probably -built during the reign of Stephen, 1135-54.
The antiquities of Derbyshire are of considerable interest. One of the more noteworthy is a causeway, or Roman paved road, called Bathgate, running seven miles from Buxton to a small village called Brough, which road from its name seems to indicate that the Buxton waters were known to the ancients. Rocking-stones exist near Rowter and at other places ; Druidical remains, in the form of a Druidical temple, on Stanton moor, with a large number of associated objects which seem to justify the assumption that it has been inhabited by Druids, On Hartle moor, at Arbelow, is another Druidical temple, with its barrows and tumuli; there are others on the moor near Eyam, and near Edale. Barrows are found at Arbelow, Brassington, on the moor near Eyam, and at Tissington. At Taddington is one of the most perfect examples now existing. Roman stations are to be found near Buxton, at Little Chester (which is the old Roman town Derventio), and at Mam-Tor, near Castleton, where there is also an encamp ment. At Repton, in 660, "there was a noble monas tery of religious, of both sexes, under an abbess, after the old Saxon fashion, wherein several of the royal line were buried." This was afterwards destroyed by the Danes, when Maud, widow of Ranulph, second earl of Chester, built a priory for Black Canons in 1 172. Here the Mercian kings who resided at Tamworth were buried. At Melbourne is a castle which was a royal demesne at the Conquest, and where John, duke of Bourbon, taken at the battle of Agincourt, was kept nine years in the custody of Nicholas Montgomery the younger.
Derby, the county town of Derbyshire, is a corporate and borough town, sending two representatives to Parlia ment, and consisting of five parishes. It is situated chiefly on the western bank of the river Derwent, upon ground of varying heights, and is surrounded with gentle eminences, from which flow the Markeaton and other brooks. It occupies a position almost in the centre of England, 127 miles N.W. of London.
[ Seal and arms of Derby ]
Derby possesses several large public buildings, including the town hall, a spacious range of buildings recently erected for the postal and telegraph departments and the inland revenue offices, the county gaol, a new ma sonic hall, All Saints Church, the tower of which (174 feet high) is considered one of the finest in the midland counties, and a Roman Catholic church (cue of the best examples of Pugin). The Derby grammar school, an ancient founda tion which occupies St Helen s House (once the town residence of the Strutt family), has lately had class-rooms added to it, erected by public subscription as a memorial of the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales. There are flourishing schools of art and science, a large and commodious infirmary for town and county, an arboretum of 17 acres, given to the town in 1840 by the late Joseph Strutt, Esq., a market square, a market hall, and water-works erected at a cost of 40,000, and since greatly extended. A recreation ground, free public swimming baths, a free library, and museum buildings have all been presented to the town by Mr M. T. Bass. Since about 1850 Derby has been greatly improved and extended, owing chiefly to the impulse given by the establishment of the head offices and principal workshops of the Midland Railway Company, and will be still further improved by the construction now in process of a branch of the Great Northern Railway, which passes through the town over a long series of arches.
Derby has been long celebrated for its porcelain, which rivalled that of Saxony and France. This manufacture was introduced in the year 1750, and although for a time partially abandoned, it has been so far revived, and is still continued. There are also spar works where the fluor spar, or blue John, is wrought into a variety of useful and ornamental articles. The manufacture of silk, hosiery, lace, and cotton formerly employed a large portion of the population, and there are still numerous silk mills and elastic web works, &c. The iron manufacture is also of great importance ; among the larger establishments may be mentioned the Britannia Works, which furnished thereof of the great Agricultural Hall, London. The sanitary condition of the town is much improved since the formation of a local board, and the rate of mor tality is low. Among benevolent institutions may be mentioned a ragged school, and a nurses " home." The population of the municipal borough, which occupies an area of 1796 acres, numbered 40,609 persons in 1851, 43,091 in 1861, and 49,810 in 1871. The parliamentary borough, which in 1867 was extended so as to include the townships of Litchurch and Little Chester, and covers an area of 2999 acres, had a population in 1871 of 61 381 29,882 males, and 31,499 females.
[ Plan of Derby. ]
Derby is a town of great antiquity, but its origin is un known. During the Heptarchy it was called Northworthig, and its present name Derby, or Deoraby, is due to the Danes. Constituted in the ninth century the chief town of the county by King Segurd, Derby was incorporated by Henry I. Its charter was surrendered to Charles II. in 1680, and a new one was granted in 1683, by which the government of the borough was vested in a mayor, 9 alder men, 14 brethren, and 14 capital burgesses. In 1835 the town council was re-organized under the Municipal Corpora tions Act, and now consists of a mayor, 12 aldermen, and 36 councillors. Derby was the furthest place reached by the Pretender in his march towards London in 1745 ; he lodged in Exeter House, Full Street, and held there a council of war, which resulted in the abandonment of his project.
Bibliography :—History of Derby from the Remote Ages of Antiquity, to the year MDCCXCI, by W. Hutton, 8vo, Lond. 1791 ; (reprinted with additions, 1817). Collection of Fragments Hhistra- tive of the History and Antiquities of Derby, by Robert Simpson, 2 vols. , Derby, 1826. New Historical and Descriptive View of Derby shire, by Rev. D. P. Davies, 8vo, Belper, 1811. View of the Pre sent State oj Derbyshire, &c., by James Pilkington, 2 vols. 8vo, Derby, 1789. Magna Britannia, by Daniel and Sanmel Lysons, vol. v. (Derbyshire), 4to, Lond., 1817. History and Gazetteer of the County of Derby, by Glover and Noble, 2 vols. (unfinished), Derby, 1831. Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, vols. i. and ii., by Charles Cox, London and Chesterfield, 1876. (A. L. S.)