Land Values Maps and Domesday Books

A guide to records of the district Valuation Offices after 1910.

The Finance Act of 1910 legislated for a new duty on land and required a detailed survey of the whole country to determine the value of the land and the duty payable.   The Valuation Office was set up by the Inland Revenue in 1910 (1911 for Scotland) to carry out the work of the survey, with district offices around the country.

Originally there were four valuation offices covering Derbyshire: Chesterfield, Derby, High Peak (which also covered parts of Cheshire which are now in Greater Manchester) and Matlock.

By 1979, the districts were:

  • Chesterfield – covering by Chesterfield Borough, North East District and Bolsover District local authority areas
  • Derby – covering Derby City, Erewash Borough and South Derbyshire District
  • West Derbyshire – covering High Peak Borough, West Derbyshire District and Amber Valley District
Duties on land values, 1910

Four series of documents were created for or by the Board of Inland Revenue Valuation Offices as a result of the provisions of the 1910 Act concerning duties on land values:

  • The valuation precis (or “Domesday Book“): prepared by the Inspector of Taxes.  They contain entries for each property, known as a hereditament, giving basic information for the valuation of the property: the valuation assessment number, map reference, owner, occupier, situation, description, and extent.  In cases where there are unexplained gaps in the hereditament numbers, this has been caused by the numbers having been pre-selected, regardless of the actual quantity required.
  • The “form 37 land“: contain information extracted from the Domesday book, arranged in a different format
  • The field book: prepared by the district offices, and contain all the information found in the precis with additional detailed descriptions of the premises
  • The terrier map: at a scale of 25 inches to the mile, based on Ordnance Survey maps (usually the second edition) and are marked up with each hereditament number.

In addition to the above, the valuation offices created working sheet maps.  These were produced at an intermediate stage of the survey, and the information from them was then transferred to the terrier maps.

D595-LV-27-16

The Domesday books and working sheet maps were transferred to Derbyshire Record Office in 1979, along with some of the “forms 37 land” for those cases where the Domesday book does not survive or is held elsewhere.  The terrier maps and the field books have all been retained by The National Archives (TNA) for permanent preservation and are held at Kew (reference IR 58).

Together the maps and books provide a unique snapshot,  of property ownership around the time of World War One.  All maps and associated books can be found under reference D595 – we tend to refer to the records as Land Values maps and schedules as that was the name of the tax.

After all this work, the 1910 land value tax was abolished following the 1920 Finance Act.

Using the records

The best way to use the records depends on what you are trying to find.  They are particularly popular with house historians who are trying to find out who owned and occupied the property just prior to the outbreak of the First World War.  In this case, you should use the map first and identify the hereditament number which can then be found in the relevant Domesday Book.

As the working sheet maps were drawn onto existing Ordnance Survey maps, the Ordnance Survey county series map reference should be used to order the correct map.  The grid reference number can be checked on site in the search room, or by using The National Archives Valuation Office Map Finder – The National Archives Catalogue Reference (see X below) can only be used to order the terrier map at TNA.  To order the working sheet at the record office, use the Ordnance Survey reference, with the prefix D595/LV/ – e.g. D595/LV/50.6.

Map Finder

The best way to find the relevant Domesday Book is to search the catalogue using reference D595/* and entering the parish name in the AnyText field:

D595 catalogue

To identify the property owned or occupied by a particular person or people, you should start with the Domesday Books and identify the hereditament numbers to then find on the map.  The main difficulty with this is that the numbers are not applied numerically on the maps, and it is not always obvious (particularly for the larger towns) which map numbers will appear on.

Other records of the District Valuation Offices
  • Derby (ref: D2138) – provisional valuation forms and amendment forms and associated documents c1911-1916
  • Chesterfield (ref: D3010) – Valuation lists, 1956 and 1963 with direction sheets 1956-1963
  • West Derbyshire (ref: D3643) – selected valuation lists 1948-1975, with some earlier Ordnance Survey maps marked up to show valuation information
Further Reading

Coroners Inquests and other Records

A guide to the surviving records of the Derbyshire Coroners.

It has been the duty of county coroners since 1194 to investigate the circumstances of unnatural, sudden, or suspicious deaths, and deaths in prison, with additional functions acquired over time.

There are two coroners for Derbyshire:

  • Derby and South Derbyshire, based in Derby
  • High Peak, Chesterfield and North Derbyshire (Hundred of Scarsdale), based in Chesterfield
Surviving records

Very few coroners’ records survive for Derbyshire until the mid-20th century.  Before then researchers are advised to look in local newspapers to discover more about deaths in Derbyshire.  The following coroners’ archives survive at Derbyshire Record Office:

Q/SS/1/1-38 Coroners’ Inquests, 1877-1890

From 1752 to 1860, coroners were required to file their inquests at the County Quarter Sessions. Until 1926 all inquests were held before a jury.  Only 38 examples of coroners’ inquests survive amongst the Quarter Sessions records.  It is believed that all other early inquest reports were pulped during the Second World War, meaning that the principal primary source in this area is the coroners’ expenses returns (see below).

These inquests give: date of inquest; name of deceased; the verdict; date of death; cause of death; name of coroner; names of jurors; and constable’s receipt.

Q/AF/8/1-41 Coroners’ expense claims, 1754-1869

Under the Act 25 Geo II c29 (1752) fees and travelling expenses were payable to coroners.  The claims submitted by the coroners usually giving place of inquest, name of victim, mileage and sometimes verdict.

DCC/RG/3 Coroners records, 20th century

  • Derby and South Derbyshire Coroner: Inquest files 1979-1994; post mortem reports 1979-1994; depositions file 1976-1979 (currently held under reference D3346).
  • High Peak Coroner: Registers of reported deaths 1954-1983; inquest notebooks 1964-1979; correspondence etc., other miscellaneous papers and files 1940s-1970s (currently held under reference D3682).
  • Chesterfield Coroner: Inquests and post mortum reports, 1976-1992; Records of deaths and Inquests, 1995-2000

D6144/UL Expenses Ledgers, 1832-1916

Amongst a large collection of business papers and client records from Robothams Solicitors are three ledgers of William and William Harvey Whiston who acted as Coroners for County.  The detail in the ledgers varies over time, but are similar to those in the Expense Claims that survive in the Quarter Sessions collection.

Access arrangements

Due to the highly sensitive information held in the coroners files, the records are not generally available for public consultation.  Please contact the relevant coroner directly if there is a specific inquest file that you require access to.

Further Reading
  • Jean A Cole and Colin D Rogers (1995) Coroners’ Inquest Records (Historical Association Short Guides to Records No. 46)
  • The National Archives guide to Coroners Inquests

 

Lead Mining Records

The Miners Tearms are like to Heathen Greek – Edward Manlove, 1653

A guide to the brief history of lead mining in Derbyshire and notes on the sources available for research (written March 1993, updated June 2020).

Administration and Customs

There are few primary series for the study of Derbyshire lead mining before the 16th century.  By this time the unique set of laws and customs which govern Derbyshire lead mining were already well established.  Most of the ore fields within the county were within the estate of the Duchy of Lancaster and thus belonged to the Crown.  A royal inquisition held at Ashbourne in 1288 recognised the “immemorial” right of miners to dig for lead anywhere on the Crown’s estates except under churchyards, gardens, orchards and highways, but it also codified the mining laws in order to regulate this activity.  The mining laws of 1288 remained substantially unaltered and were accepted as the basis for the Derbyshire Mining Customs and Mineral Courts Acts in 1852 (see D163/1 and Local Studies 622.344).

The Crown’s ore fields were divided into the Kingsfield of the High Peak in the north and the Kingsfield of the Low Peak (also known as the Wapentake of Wirksworth) in the south.  Each field had its own Great Barmoot Court, which met twice a year and had exclusive jurisdiction over matters connected with mining.  The Great Barmoot Court was presided over by a steward, who could also summon a more frequent small Barmoot to hear lesser cases.  Both the High Peak and Low Peak ore fields were subdivided into smaller administrative units known as liberties, each of which corresponded to a mining township, and an officer called a Barmaster was appointed for each liberty. There were some lead mining areas outside the Crown’s estates on private lands.  These are known as the Private Liberities and had their own Barmoot Courts, Barmasters and mining customs, modelled on those of the Kingsfields.

Barmoot Court Books/Rolls: are the official minutes of the mining courts.  At the beginning of each session should appear the title of the court, the name of the Lord of the Court (if a Private Liberty), the date of the session, and the name of the steward presiding.  The business of the court will then follow and may include the appointment of the Barmaster and his deputies, the swearing-in of jurors, the delivery of accounts (of “lot” and “cope” collected) by the Barmaster and his deputies, and the details of cases of plaints brought before the court.  There may be subsidiary papers such as jury lists, the articles of the court, court orders, case notes, and notes on mining laws and customs.

Records of the Barmaster: barmasters’ notebooks or diaries provide a day-to-day record of their activities, and cover the full range of official duties.  These included

  • recognising a new claim in return for a dish of ore (freeing the founder meer)
  • making (nicking) the windlass (stowe) of an idle mine and re-allocating its possession after it has been nicked three times
  • investigating the sudden death of any miner within the Liberty,
  • making summons for breaches of the mining laws
  • measuring lead ore, and
  • collecting the mineral duties.

Lot was the payment of a set fraction of the ore raised by the miners. Cope was a monetary payment per load of ore measured, which was normally paid by the lead merchants or smelters.  There are usually separate account books recording the amounts of ore measured and the lot or cope paid.

Derbyshire Record Office has three particularly good and complimentary collections for the study of lead mining administration and customs:

  • D258 Gell family of Hopton, near Wirksworth.  The Gell’s were prominent lead smelters in the 16th and 17th centuries and held the farm of cope from the Crown.  Their archive contains a lot of material on the operation of the Barmoot Court and the Barmasters in the Wapentake of Wirksworth.
  • D504 Brooke-Taylor of Bakewell, solicitors, contains a large amount of similar material for the Kingsfield and Private Liberties in the High Peak.
  • D1289 Rieuwarts Collection is an artificial collection of lead mining records covering the private liberties of the Duke of Rutland.
Development in Lead Mining Technology

Initially lead production was fairly limited: the smelting process was primitive and the depth of the mines was restricted by problems of ventilation and flooding.

Smelting: was originally carried out using boles, wood fired furnaces on westerly facing hilltops.  Smelting could only take place when there was a south westerly wind to fire the furnace, usually about twice a year, and would fail if the wind failed.  the second half of the 16th century saw the introduction of the smelting mill.  Lead was produced in a specially designed ore hearth, fired by bellows that were powered by a water wheel, thereby enabling production to take place continuously throughout the year.  In the 18th century the ore hearth itself was superseded by the Reverbertory Furnace or ‘Cupola’, which used coal instead of wood to generate the heat for smelting.  These changes in smelting practice can be followed using records including those relating to Sir John Gell’s smelting mill in the 1640s (see D258) and the county’s largest 18th century lead cupola in Lea owned by the Nightingale family (see D1575).

Soughs: were drainage tunnels designed to lower the water table, or free the mines of underground streams, by diverting the water into the near river valleys.  the earliest recorded sough is the Longhead sough, driven by the Dutch engineer Sir Cornelius Vermuyden between 1629 and 1636 to unwater the Dovegang mines at Cromford.  The Gell collection (ref: D258) contains material concerning early soughs including contemporary copies of documents concerning the draining of Dovegang.  The largest sough driven in Derbyshire was the Hillcarr Sough.  It was begun in 1766 and drained the mines at Alport-by-Youlgreave by carrying water a distance of four miles to the River Derwent at Darley Dale.  A good number of records for this project are held at the record office, including the minute book of the proprietors 1775-1821 (ref: D200), as well as a contemporary copy of the sough articles, title deeds, plans, accounts and other material (ref: D504 and D1575).

Other records

Individual Derbyshire lead miners have left few records, and will only appear as names in the Barmasters diary or the Barmoot Court Book.  From the beginning the lead trade was controlled by the wealthy smelters and merchants.  As mining became deeper and more expensive the merchants grouped together to form mining companies.  Many of the surviving records are therefore in family or company archive collections.  These include account or reckoning books for particular mines detailing expenditure on wages and equipment, against income from the amount of ore produced.

See our online for a list of the archive collections of lead mining companies, lead dealers Barmoot Courts and Barmasters and a list of items in Local Studies relating to lead mining.

The Barmaster’s Library

The Barmaster’s Library is a collection of publications and other items about the history of Derbyshire (particularly Buxton and the Peak District) including a number of items specifically relating to lead mining.  Originally brought together by William and George Eagle Esquires, Barmasters of Wirksworth, it was presented to the Whitworth Institute at Darley Dale probably in the early 1930s – the original catalogue was produced in March 1931 but it is unclear if the catalogue was produced at the time of the presentation or some time later.  It was transferred to the custody of the Local Studies Library (then based at Matlock Library) in 1968.

There are some early 20th century publications in the collection, but most of the items  date from the 18th to 19th century – the earliest items are from the 16th and 17th century

Further Reading
  • Edward Manlove Liberties and Customs of the Lead Mines (ref: Local Studies 622.344 for 1708 edition and D2193/1/1 for a photocopy of the c1653 poem)
  • Blog Post – Acquisition of lead mining plan of Winster, 1769 (ref: D8163/1)
  • J. H. Rieuwerts (1998) Glossary of Derbyshire lead mining terms
  • J. H. Rieuwerts (2007-2012) Lead Mining in Derbyshire: history, development & drainage (4 volumes)
  • J. H. Rieuwerts (1972) Derbyshire’s old lead mines and miners
    J. H. Rieuwerts (1988) A History of the Laws & Customs of the Derbyshire Lead Mines

A large number of records relating to lead mining in Derbyshire are held at Chatsworth Archives, including several items that originally formed a series with some items held under D504.

Family History from Newspaper Reports of  Court Proceedings: the Offensiveness of Matthew Goodden

Regular readers of our blog will be familiar with Roger, one of our cataloguing volunteers, here is his latest fascinating contribution.

This post arises from my continuing curiosity about a man named Matthew Goodden.  I first learned of him in 2017 while working on documents from the Thornsett Turnpike Trust (ref: D535).  An invoice had survived for payment to be made to Matthew Goodden of Abergavenny for items supplied to a toll house in New Mills.  Why, I wondered, would a man in Abergavenny be supplying items to a toll house in New Mills?  As explained in a post in 2017 I found that Matthew Goodden made a living from securing leases to collect tolls at locations across the country.  This work involved a substantial amount of travel: Matthew Goodden frequently travelled by train; he used tickets which he forged or altered,  a practice which landed him in prison on more than one occasion.  In the 2017 post I made only passing reference to Matthew Goodden’s family circumstances. Recently I’ve discovered more about his family and began to draft this post.  At a late stage I uncovered stark evidence of Matthew Goodden’s abusive behaviour which made me question whether to abandon this post.  But history cannot be limited to pleasant stories.  And I take into account that this is a victim’s story too and she spoke in detail in open court about her experience.

Matthew Goodden’s family story demonstrates the value for family historians of local newspaper reports of court proceedings; particularly in relation to individuals who find themselves in court frequently for one reason or another.  Matthew Goodden found himself facing criminal charges on several occasions: he was also a man who chose to initiate court proceedings in order to settle grievances; and people with a grievance against him took him to court.  Furthermore, after his death the financial arrangements he made for his family generated a dispute that ended in court.  Census records available every ten years from 1841 to 1911 are also an important resource for family historians.  But Matthew Goodden’s family story illustrates that even with the modern facility for digital searching there are challenges about using census records as a source of information about women.  The practice of women taking the surname of their husband or of the man they live with can make it difficult to follow the sequence of a woman’s life.

Matthew Goodden: toll collector, husband and widower

Matthew Goodden’s progress into adulthood is easily followed.  He was born in Yeovil, Somerset, in the early 1820s, the son of toll collector.  By 1841 he was living separately from his family, working at a toll gate in Castle Cary, Somerset.  Matthew Goodden was married at Southleigh, Devon, in 1846. In 1851 he, his wife and two sons were at a toll house near Cam, Gloucestershire.  The accumulation of money was a major objective: Matthew Goodden leased the right to collect tolls at locations across the country.  It becomes clear from a long sequence of court cases, from 1846 onwards, that a traveller who appeared to avoid paying Matthew Goodden or his employee the proper toll was at risk of being taken to court.  Conversely, on a number of occasions Matthew Goodden found himself in court, having demanded too high a toll or come to blows during an argument about payment.

Perhaps his money-making determination led him to overreach himself: for a short period in 1855 he was insolvent and spent time in prison in Taunton.  In order to save money he, in collaboration with his brothers, became accomplished in altering and forging railway tickets: for which he appeared at Gloucester Assizes in 1859 in what would be the first of several such court appearances.  I have found neither Matthew Goodden nor his wife and sons in the 1861 census.  But we can locate him through a newspaper court report: in September 1861 he  took a grievance to the Cheltenham County Court and from the report in the Cheltenham Examiner we can learn that he was at the toll house in Dowdeswell, Gloucestershire.  His wife died there in 1862.

Ann Williams: exploited employee?

At this point a young woman named Ann Williams enters the story.  Born in 1846, her roots were in the three neighbouring Gloucestershire villages of  Whittington, Foxcote and Dowdeswell.  She worked as a servant in the Goodden household in Dowdeswell.  Soon after his wife’s death Matthew Goodden moved to the toll house at Shavers End, Dudley, then in Worcestershire. He persuaded Ann Williams to join him there.  The evidence suggests that she should be regarded as an exploited employee rather than an unmarried wife.  At one point she was briefly remanded in police custody when Matthew Goodden claimed that she had stolen money from him.  She became pregnant:  her mother met Matthew Goodden and then arranged for her to be accommodated with Edwin and Sarah Penrose in Cheltenham; Matthew Goodden undertook to pay all expenses and visited her there after the birth of their daughter, Clara.  But payment was not forthcoming and Edwin Penrose went to court to recover the expense incurred in the care and maintenance of Ann Williams during her pregnancy and confinement. The case was heard in Cheltenham County Court in February 1866 and reported in Cheltenham and Birmingham newspapers.  As well as giving evidence about the arrangements for her confinement Ann Williams alleged that Matthew Goodden had “seduced” her in the toll house at Dowdeswell: this had happened immediately after his wife’s death.  (Ann Williams’ account indicates that what she endured would have been more appropriately defined as rape rather than seduction.  From a twenty-first century viewpoint it is starkly ironic that her evidence was being given in a civil action for recovery of a debt rather than in a criminal court for prosecution of a crime).

At some point Ann Williams returned to Dudley with her daughter and resumed* a relationship with Matthew Goodden (*MG went to Dudley soon after his wife’s death in 1862 and AW went with him. She was apart from him in Cheltenham for confinement and birth in 1865 and by the time of the Cheltenham court case in 1866 she was already back with him in Dudley, so resumed is the correct way to describe their relationship).  But in March 1871 Matthew Goodden was sent to prison for fraudulent use of railway tickets.  The census taken a few weeks later shows him in Nottingham prison.  At a toll house in Tipton were Ann Williams, listed with the surname Goodden, her daughter and her mother.  At a toll house a few miles away at Upper Gornal lived a toll collector named John Hill and his wife Harriet.  What happened next was related thirty years later in a court room in Monmouthshire, (for more see below), and reported in several newspapers.  While Matthew Goodden was in prison Ann Williams and her daughter went to live with John and Harriet Hill.  After some time John Hill “ran away” with Ann Williams: they settled in Manchester where a son was born in 1875 and a daughter in 1882.  In 1895, presumably after the death of John Hill, Ann Williams was married in Manchester to Charles Nolan, a widowed shoe maker.  When the census was taken in 1901 they were living in the Deansgate area of Manchester.  Thus in the six censuses between 1851 and 1901 Ann Williams is recorded under her birth surname and also under the surnames Goodden, Hill and finally Nolan

Sisters Harriet Hill and Mary Brettel

At some point after Matthew Goodden’s release from Nottingham prison Harriet Hill became his “wife” and stepmother to Clara Goodden (born Williams).  He employed Harriet’s sister, Mary Brettel as a toll collector.  A newspaper report in 1875 records a court case in which Matthew Goodden asserted a financial claim. In the Worcestershire County Court he sought to recover the sum of some £5 collected in tolls which he accused Mary Brettel of withholding. She disputed the claim and the court found in her favour.  The court was told that she had given birth to a child by Matthew Goodden and that the money she retained was to cover the costs of her confinement.  Three years later, when Mary Brettel was married in Wolverhampton, not only was Matthew Goodden present at the ceremony: he signed the register as a witness to the marriage.  This episode did not prevent Mary’s sister, Harriet Hill, living as Matthew Goodden’s “wife” for the last thirty years of his life.

Harriet, Clara and Matthew Goodden: settled in Abergavenny

After a failed bid in 1874 Matthew Goodden obtained in 1879 the lease of tolls in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, and the census taken in 1881 shows him settled there with Harriett and Clara.  Toward the end of the nineteenth century the practice of providing for road construction and maintenance through tolls was discontinued. But some bridges remained subject to tolls and Matthew Goodden was able to continue as a toll collector at the Llangrwyney bridge over the River Usk between Crickhowell and Abergavenny.  In 1888 Matthew Goodden witnessed the marriage of his daughter Clara to James Gwatkin; someone made sure that the local newspaper knew to report that his wedding present to the couple was a cheque for £1,000.  In 1890 Matthew Goodden was convicted at Hereford Assizes of forging railway tickets: when the census was taken in 1891 he was in Hereford prison and Harriet was at the Bridge toll house with a young niece.  This toll house remained Matthew and Harriet Goodden’s home: they are recorded there in the census of 1901.

A disputed bank account

During his life Matthew Goodden sought to make financial provision for  his family. He was regarded as a man who “saved money in every possible way” and was reported to have accumulated between £7,000 and £8,000.   He did not make a will but sought to avoid death duties by depositing money in the names of his two surviving sons, Edwin and Robert, his daughter Clara, and his “wife” Harriet.  After his death in 1903 the money in one bank account, about £750, was a matter of dispute between Harriett Goodden and Clara Gwatkin, a dispute given added force by Clara Gwatkin’s objection to Harriet Goodden’s intention to marry Matthew Goodden’s brother Robert Goodden.  This marriage did take place about ten weeks after Matthew Goodden‘s death. The dispute about the deposited money was contested at a hearing at Monmouthshire Assizes in 1904. The evidence given in court, reported in several newspapers, included much detail about the sequence of events of Matthew Goodden’s life, detail which has informed this post.

Sources:

The major newspaper reports cited are:

(available via The British Newspaper Archive)

  • ‘Heartless Case of Seduction’ Cheltenham Examiner, 28 February 1866 (with similar text in: ‘Extraordinary Revelations in a County Court’ Birmingham Daily Gazette, 26 February 1866)
  • ‘Astounding Claim: Goodden v Brettell’ County Advertiser & Herald for Staffordshire and Worcestershire, 21 August 1875

(available the Welsh Newspapers website of the National Library of Wales)

  • ‘Old Man and His Money Abergavenny Family Dispute Remarkable Case Recalled Strange Story at Monmouth Assizes’ Cardiff Times and South Wales Weekly News, 27 February 1904

See also

A family historian has included a photograph of Matthew Goodden in their family tree on Geni.com, taken from Elizabeth Jack’s CD Victorian Prisoners of Gloucester Gaol: A Rogue’s Gallery (Gloucestershire Family History Society).

 

 

Records of Crime and Punishment

An introductory guide to historical records of criminals, policing, law and order in Derbyshire.

Most records relating to crime and punishment contain personal information – if the records relate to people who were born less than 100 years ago, access restrictions apply.  Please contact us to discuss arrangements for accessing these records.

Police

Outside of London, Justices of the Peace were first permitted to establish county forces under the 1839 County Police Act, but it was not mandatory until the County and Borough Police Act of 1856.  It was under this later Act that the Derbyshire Constabulary was established on 17 March 1857.  However, the first constabularies to be established in the county were in 1836 by the boroughs Chesterfield and Derby (under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835), Glossop borough followed in 1867.  Following mergers in 1947 a single force covered the whole county, plus Derby from 1967 and the main archive collection for the county and borough constabularies are held under reference D3376; although some records are held in other collections.

When the county force was first established, it was overseen by the County Quarter Sessions (see below).  In 1889 Derbyshire County Council took over the administrative functions of County Quarter Sessions and a Joint Standing Committee (see D919/C/1/6) was established consisting of equal numbers of justices and county councillors to oversee the county police force, with Borough Watch Committees maintaining responsibility over their respective forces.  The Joint Standing Committee had exclusive control of all buildings used for police and quarter sessions purposes – for minutes of the buildings committee see D919/C/1/7/1-2.  The 1964 Police Act abolished the Standing Joint committee replacing it with a Police committee of the County Council with magistrates forming one third of its membership, see D919/C/1/58/1-3 for the committee minutes.

A small number of other collections and a larger number of records in a variety of other collections of individual police officers, local bodies working with the police and related activities are also described in the online catalogue, along with details of items in the Local Studies Library.  Further items can also be found by searching for the word ‘police’ or other relevant words in the Title field.

This article, written by the great-great-grandson of a Victorian police constable, shows just how much can discovered about individual officers.  

Petty constables

Prior to the establishment of the professional police forces, maintaining law and order was primarily the responsibility of a local constable appointed by Justices of the Peace from a list of eligible candidates produced by the parish Overseers of the Poor.  Although sometimes referred to as the parish constable, the area they covered was not necessarily contiguous with the parish boundaries.  The constable would “present” to the county Quarter Sessions accusations usually of minor wrongdoing against people in his jurisdiction.  Some records, particularly 18th and 19th century constables accounts may be found amongst the parish archives, and presentments are also held in the county Quarter Sessions archive.

Quarter Sessions

The County Quarter Sessions was the main administrative and judicial body for the County of Derbyshire from the early medieval period until the late 19th century, and records survive chiefly from the 17th century.  The Quarter Sessions dealt with minor or preliminary judicial cases and with the administration of local government including oversight of the poor and settlement laws. 

The records are divided into four categories, with the main records relating to crime and punishment are:

  • Order Books (from 1682) record the decisions (i.e. orders) both administrative and judicial issued by the court, often including the place of residence and occupation of defendants along with a description of the crime and sentence (ref: Q/SO/1).  They also give information about the appointment of county and local officials, including indictments against parishes and their officials relating to failure to carry out their functions such as maintaining bridges and highways
  • Calendars of Prisoners (from 1694) are quarterly lists of  prisoners in the county gaol and houses of correction, and charges against them (ref: Q/SP).  They are handwritten until 1820 and ultimately also include age and some indication of literacy.  The records between 1729 and 1913 can be searched online.  
  • Orders of and bonds for Transportation to America between 1720-1772 (ref: Q/AT).
  • Jury lists recording the names of those eligible for jury service primarily for 1775-1875, with a few entries as early as 1702 and late as 1922 (ref: Q/RJ)
  • The minutes of the Police Committee and other records relating to the management of the Derbyshire Constabulary after 1857 are currently unlisted.  See Cox’s Three Centuries of Derbyshire Annals (1890) and Calendar of Records of the County of Derbyshire (1899) for further information.

The borough (now city) of Derby fell outside the jurisdiction of the county Quarter Sessions with Court of Record established 1446 and Quarter Sessions in 1611.  As with the county, matters of civil administration were transferred to the Borough Council in 1889.  Unfortunately, a fire in the 19th century and a flood in the 20th century destroyed many of Derby’s official records.  Nevertheless, some early records (including Order Books from 1628) do survive and are catalogued under reference D3551.

In 1972, Quarter Sessions and Assize courts (see below) were abolished and replaced by Crown Courts.

Petty Sessions, later known as Magistrates Courts

Since at least the 16th century, Justices of the Peace also presided over local courts of summary jurisdiction in cases of petty crime.  These Petty Sessions often covered very similar areas to the older hundreds and wapentakes.  From at least 1750 (when the earliest records survive) Derbyshire justices began to make returns of certificates of convictions to Quarter Sessions (ref: Q/UL).  There are also three registers of private jurisdiction between 1765 and 1859, but the main records begin in 1828.  They consist principally of registers of summary jurisdiction.  Separate registers may survive for licensing (particularly for public houses and theatres) from 1872, for juvenile offenders from 1933 and for minutes of special sessions, also called justices’ meetings.  A list of the archive collections for the Derbyshire Petty Sessions/Magistrates Courts can be found on our online catalogue

Petty Sessions also dealt with non-criminal business, particularly highways matters, appointments of parish officers, licensing and adoption cases.

TIP: as the majority of court records are limited in the information they provide, particularly with regards to witness statements, newspapers are often the most useful source for details of a particular case.

County Courts

The original County Courts developed out the Shire Courts of Anglo-Saxon England.  After the Norman Conquest, the Shire Reeves (Sheriffs) became their presiding officers and remained so until the establishment of the modern County Courts in 1846.  During the Middle Ages, the County Courts lost their criminal jurisdiction and their judicial competence was restricted to pleas of certain trespasses and actions for less than 40 shillings.  The only surviving Derbyshire records are the court books between 1826 and 1844 (ref: D2) and a book of pleas 1785-1795 (ref: D5836).  

The court books show that the County Court in the 19th century still considered many cases relating to small debts, but that the range of matters dealt with was very narrow, including arrangements for Parliamentary elections. 

County Courts in their modern form were established by Act of Parliament in 1846 as courts for the easier recovery of small debts.  Successive Acts widened their jurisdiction to any common law action, tort, contract, title to lands, probate, equity jurisdiction, bankruptcy and even Admiralty jurisdiction (though the latter of course doesn’t apply in Derbyshire).  Often the jurisdiction was limited considerably by the financial value of what was in dispute but undoubtedly they transacted a great deal of business, primarily relating to civil cases concerning debt and bankruptcy.   Unfortunately, only a small number of records have survived, including minute books (also known as plaint and minute books) and bankruptcy and Workmen’s Compensation Acts registers.  For further information about the collections and records available please see our online catalogue.

Assizes Court

The Assize Court was a national court that travelled to the counties on circuits.  Originally the assizes mainly dealt with property disputes, but eventually they began to try criminal cases.  From 1559 assize judges mainly dealt with the more serious criminal offences such as homicide, infanticide, theft, highway robbery, rape, assault, coining, forgery, witchcraft, trespass, vagrancy and recusancy.

As a national court, the records at held at The National Archives under reference ASSI.  Whilst you can search the catalogue for specific personal or place names, these records have not been fully catalogued and therefore searching by county may be more successful.  For Derbyshire, the following records survive:

  • Crown and Gaol Books, 1818-1945 (ref: ASSI 11)
  • Indictments, 1662, 1667, 1687 (ref: ASSI 80), 1868-1971 (ref: ASSI 12)
  • Depositions, 1862-1971 (ref: ASSI 13)

Other records for Derbyshire can be found under ASSI 15 and ASSI 88.  Some Calendars of Prisoners for Assizes cases 1830-1971 are held at Derbyshire Record Office under Q/SP, an index is available online up to 1875.

Manor court records

Some local minor crimes and civil offences relating to the management of the land came under the jurisdiction of the lord of the manor.  Use the Manorial Documents Register to discover what records have survived for each manor.

Further Reading
  • The National Archives research guides
  • Philip Riden (1987) Records Sources for Local History
  • Derbyshire Record Office (Archives First Series) Keeping the Peace: law and order in the past in Derbyshire. A Beginner’s Guide

The Bolsover Spitfires: 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain

You may think that crowdfunding is a relatively new thing but actually it isn’t. During both the World Wars, war bonds, or the National Savings Movement as it was known during the Second World War, were often used to raise money by advertising directly to the public. However, Lord Beaverbrook, the Minister of Aircraft Production, came up with a new public funding campaign to help build spitfires to defend the nation. This is part of the reason why the Spitfire still remains at the heart of the nation and our collective memory of World War Two.

Bolsover Colliery answered this call eagerly. The men who worked there and their families in the surrounding community managed to raise enough money to supply the RAF with not one, but two Spitfires! Yet at Chesterfield, the town were unable to raise enough money for one of the aircraft. The miners were able to raise so much money as they promised to give a penny for every 10 shillings they earned to another local fundraiser, Mrs Shepley of Holmesfield, as well as donating to their own Spitfire fund. The Spitfire built with the money raised from Holmesfield was named Shepley to honour the men who had died from that family.

Both of the Spitfires built from the Bolsover mining communities fundraising efforts were first flown in March 1940 and both were fitted with Rolls Royce engines manufactured in Derby. So in many ways, these planes felt very local, even though they were to fly over the Channel and fight over to the continent. The amount raised for each plane was £5,700, or £224,274 in today’s money. No one could accuse these miners of not being generous!

D4774-13-12-000001

Photograph of Spitfire given by the Bolsover Colliery Company, D4774/13/12

The miners at Bolsover were not the only miners who appeared to be good at fundraising. Miners in Durham also managed to raise enough money for two Spitfires. The estimated amount of money raised by the public across Britain and the Commonwealth for Spitfires by August 1940 was £3,050,000. From that figure it is clear to see just how much Bolsover had raised. The final total was round £13 million given by around 1400 funds to build 2,600 Spitfires. Most of these fought during the Battle of Britain.

So what actually happened to the Spitfires Bolsover Colliery paid to build? Only one of the planes survived the war. One of them was shot down by the Luftwaffe near Dungeness in September 1941, sadly killing its pilot. The surviving one had had two accidents during its time in service. One of these involved hitting overhead cables, another where it was tipped on its nose whilst taxiing. Unfortunately, it is not known what happened to this aircraft following it’s removal from service in 1947.

Bibliography:

‘Bolsover Colliery of the Bolsover Colliery Company’, http://www.oldminer.co.uk/bolsover.html

Bridgewater, A. N., North Derbyshire Collieries (2009) https://www.aditnow.co.uk/documents/Doe-Lea-Coal-Mine/North20Derbyshire20Collieries20Small20Update.pdf

Ferguson, N., The Battle of Britain: A Miscellany (Chichester: Summerdale Publishers, 2015)

Letter from the Royal Air Force Staff College to the manager at Bolsover Colliery detailing the Spitfires paid for by the colliery in the Second World War, November 1987, N42/1/5/10

Tebbs, A., Stories from Carr Vale and New Bolsover, Commissioned by Bolsover District Council (2014)

Watson, G., ‘Spitfire Fund: The ‘whip-round’ that won the war?’, BBC News, 12 March 2016, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35697546

Mining the Seams is a Wellcome Trust funded project aiming to catalogue coal mining documents, originally held by the National Coal Board, so they can eventually be viewed by the public. Alongside the Warwickshire County Record Office, the project aims to focus on the welfare and health services provided to miners. 

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Preparing for re-opening

With lockdown restrictions being gradually lifted, Derbyshire Record Office begins operating a limited public service from today. This is the third time I have seen us in relaunch mode. 

  • Relaunch 1: Towards the end of 2011, we closed our New Street site to everyone other than contractors in their yellow vests and hard hats, and upped sticks to a terrapin building in County Hall car park known as The Creche.  There, we supplied a restricted service for the duration of the extension and refurbishment project
  • Relaunch 2: In early 2013, with the building project completed (on time and within budget!) we breathed a sigh of relief, went back to New Street, and flung the doors open again.
  • Relaunch 3: 9 July 2020, and we are preparing to provide as much public service as COVID-19 conditions will safely permit.  As it was in the Creche era, the new service is a limited one.  If you want to make use of it, it is really important that you start by reading our website’s Visiting Us page.

One of the most noticeable changes is that, just like at the Creche, you will need to book your visit. Also, we are dividing the day into morning and afternoon sessions, so that we can close over lunch time to clean the public areas of the building.

On the subject of lunch: one of the most pleasing aspects of the 2013 relaunch was that for the first time we could offer you a break room, giving somewhere comfortable to sit, chat, have a hot drink and enjoy a packed lunch if you had brought one. Regrettably, we can’t offer this facility as part of the new restricted service, so the break room will stay locked for the time being.

In the days of the Creche, we had a pretty good idea how long the changes would need to stay in place, but that’s clearly not the case this time round.  However, we can at least promise you that we will cast off these irritating restrictions just as soon as we safely can.  In short, this won’t be forever.

Let me say a bit about records management.  One of the changes that has been forced on us is that we have to take down your contact details in case a fellow record office user should test positive for COVID-19, in which case NHS Test and Trace could ask us for the names of staff and visitors who were in the building at the same time as the infected person.

It’s not a nice thought.  However, it is a sensible precaution, and the latest government guidance urges services like ours to keep a visitor record, in just the same way that your local pub or hairdresser will be doing right now.

In practice, we already keep visitor records, so the challenge for me is to think about how we can adapt what we already do to fit in with the law, namely the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR).

Even something as simple as asking visitors their names and addresses in case we need to contact them counts as data processing, so we need to have one of the GDPR Article 6 lawful bases:

(a) Consent: sounds nice, but it won’t help in this case.  To use Consent as lawful basis, the data subject (that’s you) has to be able to refuse Consent yet still receive the service.  That’s not what we are saying in this case.  If you want to us to let you in the building, we are going to need your contact details.

(b) Contract: this is the basis we normally use, because your application for an Archives Card is effectively a contract with the Archives and Records Association (ARA) for the provision of archive services.  Your application for a temporary card, on the other hand, forms a contract with Derbyshire County Council.

(c) Legal obligation: no good unless there’s a specific law that requires us to gather your details.  The government has been passing emergency legislation during this crisis, but nothing so far that explicitly gives us a legal obligation to take visitor details.

(d) Vital interests: applies if the data processing is to protect someone’s life.  That will sometimes be the case, where this virus is concerned – but it’s an indirect threat, and the “vital interests” test sets a higher bar than that.

(e) Public task: thanks to the helpful advice of my legally-qualified council colleagues, this is the lawful basis of processing we will rely on, if we need to give the names of visitors to NHS Test and Trace.  Helping in this way would be performing a task in the public interest.

(f) Legitimate interests: I suppose this is the basis used by your hairdresser or publican for collecting your contact details.  It only applies if the processing is in your legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of a third party (so they wouldn’t be able to use it for marketing and suchlike).  It can’t be used by a public authority performing official tasks, which is why we are ignoring it in this case.

Whatever the lawful basis of processing, we are legally bound to tell you about it – so thanks for reading this far!  We have also updated the privacy notice for users of archive services and the Community Services privacy notice which also covers the libraries and museum.  Doubtless more updates will be needed, to explain how other council services have adapted their data processing activities to pandemic conditions – so keep an eye on the website if you (like me) have turned into a GDPR nerd!

School and College archives

A guide to archives of education in Derbyshire.

Before the Victorian period, there was limited access to formal education for most children because schooling was available mainly through fee-paying private, public and grammar schools.  In 1811 the Church of England founded the National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church and encouraged the creation of schools throughout the country.  The following year, the British and Foreign Bible Society supported non-denominational education through “British” Schools, sometimes also known as Lancastrian Schools.  Legislative developments (including the Factory Acts promoting the establishment of education for children at work and the 1834 Poor Law (Amendment) Act requiring three hours of education per day for children in the workhouse) were limited until the Education Act of 1870.

This Act established School Boards to build and administer schools where existing education provision was inadequate.  Acts of 1876 and 1880 made education compulsory for children up to aged 10 and in 1901 elementary education became free of charge.

The Boards were abolished by the 1902 Education Act and established County and County Borough Councils as Local Education Authorities (LEAs).  The LEA system remains in place today though it does not cover schools that have become academies.  After 1902, the next significant change came in 1944 when the Butler Act widened the availability of secondary education, laying the groundwork for comprehensive, non-selective secondary schools.

School Board records tend to include the minutes of the Board meetings and financial records.  A full list of archive collections for School Boards can be found here.

School records

Although many schools have transferred or deposited records (including non-denominational and some Roman Catholic schools) unlike for parishes and public-recording bodies, there is no statutory or other obligation on schools to transfer their archives to the record office. Dates of the records vary from school to school but most begin from the late 19th century.  We hold virtually no archive collections for fee-paying schools, and it is best to contact the schools directly as many of them have their own arrangements.  The main series of school records available:

  • Log books are the Headteacher’s record of daily activities and can include information relating to staff appointments and sickness, pupil attendance figures, curriculum information and comments on school buildings.  Occasionally they may refer to some pupils by name and almost always include useful information about the local area.  In the 19th and early 20th century, the report of the HM Inspector was usually copied into the log book.
  • Admission registers usually give dates of pupil’s entry and departure, often including reason for leaving, age and date of birth, name and address of parent/guardian.  Most Derbyshire pre-1914 admission registers and log books can be found on Find My Past (subscription required).
  • Minutes of the meetings of managers/governors/trustees, mainly relating to administration

Other records that might be found in a school archive collection include photographs, newscuttings, school magazines/newsletters, event programmes, a small number of schools rules and teaching schemes, some school scrapbooks and occasionally Inspection Reports.

Pupil cards are only held for a very small number of schools: Netherthorpe School at Staveley, Tapton House School, Chesterfield, William Rhodes Secondary School for Boys, Chesterfield, Violet Markham School, Chesterfield, Chesterfield Grammar School, St Mary’s Roman Catholic Secondary School, Chesterfield and Herbert Strutt School, Belper.

Finding the records

Lists of the archive collections for schools and colleges and universities can be found on our online catalogue.  To find records for specific school, college, school board (or all those in a particular town), search the catalogue entering the word ‘school’ (or ‘school board’ or ‘college’, etc.) and the school/place name in the Archive Collection Creator field:

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Other records relating to schools
  • Parish archives for references to private and charitable educational foundations
  • D335 for school plans submitted to central government for building grants in the 19th century and D2200 for plans created by the County Architect’s Department
  • County Council’s School Organisation files (mostly for closed schools) are held under references D2080 and D5288, with other records from the county council’s Education department under reference DCC/ED, including a small number of Registers of Teaching and Caretaking Staff arranged by school are available between 1904 and 1946, along with some Pupil Teacher records 1904-1908
  • OFSTED Inspection reports are held in Local Studies
  • House of Commons report of 1841/2 on educational provision is also available in Local Studies (class: 370.94251, file).
A note about access

Under the Data Protection Act, records containing personal information less than 100 years old are not generally available for public consultation. Access to these records may be permitted if evidence is provided that the individual to whom the information relates is no longer living. In many cases, we may not be able to provide access to the full record in the search room, as other people mentioned in the records may still be alive. In these cases, our staff can undertake a search of the records on your behalf and provide relevant extracts from the record.

Records not held by the record office 
  • pupil records or personal files for individual pupils (excluding the pupil cards for schools mentioned above)
  • examinations results and certificates
  • current school records.
Further Reading
  • Marion Johnson (1970) Derbyshire Village Schools in the 19th century
  • A. Clarke (1983) Finding out about Victorian Schools
  • P. Horn (1978) Education in Rural England, 1800-1914
Appendix: Features of Victorian school education
  • Class monitors: older school children who acted as teaching assistants
  • Pupil-teacher system: introduced in 1846, 13-year old children were appointed as pupil teachers within schools.  At the end of this time, they could progress to college to formally qualify
  • ‘Payment by results’: from 1862 grant aid was linked to regular pupil attendance and performance in exams
  • Standards: from 1862, pupils in elementary schools were divided into six standards according to age, ability and successful completion of annual exams.

 

 

Coal mining records

A guide to records of the Derbyshire coal mining industry (written March 1993, updated June 2020).

Development of coal mining in Derbyshire

There has been coal mining in Derbyshire since the medieval period.  Mining initially took place along the eastern edge of the county, around Dronfield, Chesterfield, Alfreton, Ripley and Heanor, where the coal seams occur close to the surface.  Production was not large, as charcoal was widely available as a source of domestic fuel, and the extent of coal mining operations depended on the interest of the private landlords under whose estates the seams lay. 

The demand for Derbyshire coal increased from the 18th century.  Local lead was now being smelted using coal fired hearths, whilst the construction of the Derbyshire canal network and subsequently the rail network, meant that both lead and coal could be distributed to wider markets far more cheaply than had hitherto been possible.  The incentive of profit attracted entrepreneurs into the coal industry and led to the formation and growth of large colliery companies.  In 1790, the partnership of Benjamin Outram, Francis Beresford, John Wright and William Jessop bought the freehold of the Butterley Hall estate (see comment below), from which they shortly took the name The Butterley Company, and began mining for coal and iron-ore.  See D503 for the large archive collection for the firm.

Coal Mining Archive Collections

Derbyshire Record Office holds a number of private family and estate collections relating to to coal mining on private lands:

  • D1881 Coke of Brookhill
  • D76 and D187 Hallowes of Glapwell
  • D2535, D126 and D513 Hurt of Alderwasley
  • D517 Miller Mundy of Shipley
  • D2536 Oakes of Riddings
  • D1763 Palmer-Morewood of Alfreton Hall
  • D255 Ray of Heanor Hall
  • D505 Rodes of Barlborough
  • D1000 Sitwell of Renishaw
  • D551 Strelley of Denby Old Hall

In some cases  these landlords worked the coal themselves, as part of their estate, in other cases they leased the right to work the ground in return for mineral rents.

The main coal mining archive held at the record office was received from the National Coal Board (NCB) in various consignments.  The Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946 transferred the ownership of all coal mines from the private colliery companies to the State.  The NCB records are public records, and whilst they do contain some post-1946 material, the bulk of the archive is made up of pre-vesting material inherited by the NCB from 80 collieries and colliery companies, including 1,400 plans and hundreds of photographs.  The records of each colliery and each company have not been kept together but were split up by the NCB and much material has been lost. Over 2020 and 2021 we are cataloguing and conserving this collection as part of the Wellcome Trust funded project Mining the Seams, in partnership with Warwickshire County Record Office, who are also cataloguing their coal mining records.

Between 2016 and 2017, the large archive of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Derbyshire Area was also catalogued with funding from the Wellcome Trust.  As part of the project, it is now possible to search and download our anonymised data about coal miners’ occupational ill health and accidents in Derbyshire on the Miners’ Health and Welfare Project website.

A list of archive collections for coal mining companies can be found via the online catalogue, as can a partial list of Local Studies items relating to coal mining.

Coal Mining Records

Title deeds: large number of title deeds have survived both in the family collections and amongst the records of the NCB.  The purpose of the title deed is to show proof of ownership of the mine.  In many cases there may be a whole series of  title deeds for the same plot of land, tracing its ownership back to the Middle Ages.  In such cases it is unlikely that the early deeds will even mention coal.  Many colliery companies leased the right to work the local seams from the owner of the land and lease documents are likely to survive.

Other family and estate records: if the family worked the mines on its own estates then there may be accounts relating to the amount of coal produced and the costs incurred.  If however, the family leased the mines to a private company there may be accounts relating to the amount of mineral rent received.

Company records: by the late 19th and early 20th century colliery companies were producing a huge amount and variety of records, as the industry became the subject of increasing regulation.  The researcher may find sales ledgers, letter books, production figures, minute books, managers reports, equipment inventories, and even the occasional register of pit ponies.  For those attempting to trace an individual miner there are a limited number of staff registers, signing-on books, accident report books and pay records for several Derbyshire companies.

Price lists and Wage agreements: the early 20th century saw disputes over miners’ pay claims which culminated in the strike of 1926.  The NCB archive (formerly reference N3) contains much contemporary material relating to this issue, including a large number of price lists and wage agreements.  The price list is a printed list, published by the colliery company, detailing the amount the company is prepared to pay the miner for different types of work on a particular seam.  The prices paid are normally per ton of coal produced, or per yard mined, and will vary from seam to seam.

Maps and Plans: particularly of underground workings.  These can be difficult to use, especially when they do not show many (or even any) surface working to which the underground tunnels can be related.