These notebooks are a series of medical practice records, covering the 1740s to 1780s. Each entry deals with an individual patient, recording symptoms and treatment. It's clear that there is more than one style of handwriting in the books, but we believe the later entries to be the work of Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) who moved … Continue reading Treasure 48: Erasmus Darwin’s prescription notebooks
On Monday 17 November, 1794, William Porden left London in the Newark stage coach on his way to Lincolnshire. His fellow travellers didn't particularly impress him: My companions were a Quaker from Sheffield and a young man of York, neither of them entertaining in any shape whatever and not possessed of so much civility as … Continue reading Travels with William Porden: London to Newark… an escaped prisoner!
As his diary records (archive ref. D3311/4/4), on 25 May 1793, architect William Porden set off in the stagecoach to Guildford in order to visit Hampton Lodge in Farnham, Surrey. He doesn't mention why he was going, but possibly the owner of Hampton Lodge was a client. This is a journey that nowadays takes just over an … Continue reading Travels with William Porden: London to Guildford, 1793
Around this time yesterday, I was at an interdisciplinary seminar at Brunel University, showing an assortment of lead-mining documents to an assortment of academics. All those assembled had an interest in metals and mining during medieval and early modern times, whether from the perspective of a historian, geographer, palaeoecologist, sociologist or, in my case, archivist. … Continue reading Fothers, Franklin and Folksongs
Just before Christmas I flicked through a couple of diaries written in the period 1793-1820. I love reading diaries and letters. Through them, I feel like I know the people who wrote them; they become familiar friends and their world, even if 200 years old, seems as real as our own. I thought I would … Continue reading Introducing William Porden…
To all our visitors, either in person or online: If you love history as much as we do and would like to help us preserve Derbyshire's past for the future, then do have a look at our Adopt a Piece of History scheme.
This treasure (Q/RP/2/207) is a plan of a proposed railway to Mapperley Colliery, submitted to the Quarter Sessions Court in 1889 by the Great Northern Railway. It shows the line between the Heanor branch and the Midland Railway branch to Mapperley Colliery. This is one of over three hundred railway plans and books of reference … Continue reading Treasure 47: Plan of proposed railway to Mapperley Colliery
This treasure comes from the Belper-based cotton spinning company W G and J Strutt Ltd and is a register of children dating from May 1853 to April 1860 (D6948/14/5). Education was not made compulsory until 1880, so the use of children's labour in the Strutt mills in Belper was very normal. The register records the reference … Continue reading Treasure 46: Register of child factory workers