Treasure 40: a plan of Derby’s canals, 1792

This treasure (Q/RP/1/79) is a 1792 plan of canals around Derby, from Smithy Houses near Kilburn to the Erewash Canal at Sandiacre. It also shows the branches from Coxbench to Smalley Mill and from Derby to the Grand Trunk Canal at Swarkestone. There are dozens of canal plans and books of reference in the Quarter Sessions collection – the reason Derbyshire Record Office holds so many of them is that from 1792 onwards, anyone who planned to build a canal, turnpike road or railway had first of all to deposit plans with the Clerk of the Peace for any affected county.

aph-derby-canals-02

If you would like to support our work by adopting this document, for yourself or as a gift, have a look at the Adopt A Piece Of History page.

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Re-discovered: a late eighteenth-century lead-miner’s diary

You may have seen earlier posts highlighting how useful it is to have volunteers, and how useful it is to have a PhD student working with our lead-mining records.  Well, here’s a post that combines the two.

Last week, our volunteer Mavis examined and briefly described a collection, D3017, which had remained unlisted since we accepted it in 1986.  What had interested me was a mention on the Record Office Guide saying that D3017 included a c1789 coal mining diary.  On closer inspection, the thing turned out to have nothing to do with coal; it was the personal working diary of a particular lead-miner.  As Matthew Pawelski, our doctoral student, was on hand to confirm that this was quite a rarity, we digitised it to save wear and tear on the original.  I then spent a bit of time looking at it – just long enough to add a description to the catalogue.  If you follow that link, click on the catalogue entry for a fuller explanation, then click on the next link to see the description of the volume.

I also gave it a new reference number, because I couldn’t find any connection with the rest of that collection, so the diary is now D7812/1.  You can use a copy on any of the record office computers by looking for CD/348.

The diary seems to have belonged to John Naylor, who mined lead in the area around Ashford-in-the-Water.  (He gets a mention in Lynn Willies’s PhD thesis.)  The book looks rather home-made, and if you handle the document you can see how the pages have been roughly sewn together – in fact, it’s just possible that it was not originally a single volume, because it contains some quite different types of material.  For the most part, it’s a daily diary, covering 1789 to 1792, saying what tasks the diarist was engaged on, and where, as well as the dates of religious holidays when no work was done.  It’s also a personal account book, recording his spending on food and candles – for obvious reasons, lead-miners got through quite a lot of those.  As a sample, have a look at this page:

Diary

Here’s a transcription/explanation:

March 1790
21 March: C5 [C is for “church” – and the five means it is the fifth Sunday in Lent]
22-27 March: Knocking etc. all week
28 March: C6 [sixth Sunday in Lent]
29-31 March: at mine, knocking and budling
[No, I don’t know what budling is, but I’m confident one of our readers will know, and will post a comment below to explain.]

1790 March.  Bought of Mr Woodruf
9 March: flour, coarse, 1/2 stone: 1 shilling
10 March: meal, 4 pecks: 4 shillings
12 March: candles, 1 1b; 13 March: flour, coarse, 1/2 stone: 1 shilling, 8d
16 March: cheese, 4 1/2 lb: 1 shilling 5d
17 March: flour, 1 stone, coarse: 2 shillings
18 March: bacon, 3 lbs: 1 shilling, 10 1/2d
19 March: meal, 2 pecks: 2 shillings
20 March: bacon, 1 pound: 7 1/2d
24 March: flour, 1 stone; 26 March: ditto 1/2 stone, coarse, 3 shillings
27 March: Candles, 1 lb; 28 March: beef, 1/2 lb: 4 shillings 11d
Total: £1, 2 shillings, 6d

April 1790
1 April: at mine, budling
2 April: knocking
3 April: budling
4 April C: Easter Sunday
5-10 April: at mine all this week, knocking, budling and washing. Margaret Harrison came to knock two days this week and one washing – in all, three days
11 April: C1 [First Sunday after Easter]
12 April: John and Margaret knocking and washing a little
13 April: knocking ourselves, water [What’s that about water? There’s some writing next to it – a measurement of depth?]
14 April: knocking ourselves
15-17 April: Margaret washing
18 April: C2 [Second Sunday after Easter]

I’m no handwriting expert, so I couldn’t swear it’s all written by the same person, although I think that’s the likeliest explanation.  The reason we think the writer is John Naylor is this page, which says “John Naylor his book”.

Epitaph

Notice the adjacent page?  It contains an epitaph, headed “The Grave has never been denied”:
Ho, ho, lies here
‘Tis I the good Earl of Devonshire
With Cate my Wife, to me full dear
That we spent we had
That we left we lost
That we gave, we have

I don’t know if that’s a quotation, or if Mr Naylor was an aspiring poet.  (If you know, don’t be shy – please use the comments box below.)  We might infer literary aspirations from the bits of the volume that have been used as a commonplace book for prayers, devotional writings and short essays on esoteric subjects, such as “On Dreams”, describing to the attitudes of Ptolemy, Galen and Solomon towards dreams.

Treasure 9: The Gregory Mine Reckoning Book

This treasure has been chosen by Matthew Pawelski, who is working towards a PhD on the history of the Derbyshire lead industry, as a part of a collaboration between Lancaster University and Derbyshire Record Office, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Matthew’s chosen record is a reckoning book from Gregory (or Gregory’s) Mine in Ashover, covering 1782-1803 (D1101/L/4).

Here is a video clip in which he explains what a reckoning book is, and what makes this one so special:

Registering a Complaint

As someone who spends a fair amount of my time searching through parish registers, I have been known to silently (or not so silently) curse the handwriting of a long-dead vicar or parish clerk.  They should have foreseen that a few centuries later I would need to decipher their scrawl to find Great-Great-Great-etc-Grandfather Fred!  So I was rather amused to find this note in one of the Castleton registers:

(unless the Parish will provide better Parchment, it is impossible to write on it legibly   

Castleton parish register

Perhaps I shall be a tad more charitable in future, though it’s a poor workman who blames his tools…

Explore Your Archive – A Derbyshire Spirit Story

From the Derby Mercury, 26 September 1860:

A Derbyshire Spirit Story

The following singular story is given in Owen’s “Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World,” as being told to the writer by William Howitt and given in Mr Howitt’s own words:-

The circumstance you desire to obtain from me is one which I have many times heard related by my mother.  It was an event familiar to our family and the neighbourhood, and is connected with my earliest memories; having occurred, about the time of my birth, at my father’s house at Heanor, in Derbyshire, where I myself was born.  My mother’s family name, Tantum, is an uncommon one, which I do not recollect to have met with except in a story of Miss Leslie’s.  My mother had two brothers, Francis and Richard.  The younger, Richard, I knew well, for he lived to an old age.  The elder, Francis, was, at the time of the occurrence I am about to report, a gay young man, about twenty, unmarried; handsome, frank, affectionate, and extremely beloved by all classes throughout that part of the country.  He is described, in that age of powder and pigtails, as wearing his auburn hair flowing in ringlets on his shoulders, like another Absalom, and was much admired, as well for his personal grace as for the life and gaiety of his manners. 

One fine calm afternoon, my mother, shortly after a confinement, but perfectly convalescent, was lying in bed, enjoying from her window the sense of summer beauty and repose; a bright sky above, and the quiet village before her.  In this state she was gladdened by hearing footsteps which she took to be those of her brother Frank, as he was familiarly called, approaching the chamber-door.  The visitor knocked and entered.  The foot of the bed was towards the door; and the curtains at the foot, not withstanding the season, were drawn, to prevent any draught.  Her brother parted them, and looked in upon her.  His gaze was earnest, and destitute of its usual cheerfulness, and he spoke not a word.  “My dear Frank,” said my mother, “how glad I am to see you!  Come round to the bedside: I wish to have some talk with you.”  He closed the curtains, as complying; but instead of doing so, my mother, to her astonishment, heard him leave the room, close the door behind him, and begin to descend the stairs.  Greatly amazed she hastily rang, and when her maid appeared she bade her call her brother back.  The girl replied she had not seen him enter the house.  But my mother insisted, saying, “He was here but this instant.  Run! quick!  Call him back; I must see him!”  The girl hurried away, but after a time returned, saying that she could learn nothing of him anywhere, nor had any one in or about the house seen him either enter or depart. 

Now my father’s house stood at the bottom of the village, and close to the high road, which was quite straight; so that any one passing along it must have been seen for a much longer period than had elapsed.  The girl said she had looked up and down the road, then searched the garden – a large, old-fashioned one, with shady walks.  But neither in the garden nor on the road was he to be seen.  She had inquired at the nearest cottages in the village, but no one had noticed him pass.  My mother, though a very pious woman, was far from superstitious; yet the strangeness of this circumstance struck her forcibly. 

While she lay pondering upon it, there was heard a sudden running and excited talking in the village street.  My mother listened: it increased, though up to that time the village had been profoundly still; and she became convinced that something very unusual had occurred.  Again she rung the bell, to inquire the cause of the disturbance.  This time it was the monthly nurse who answered it.  She sought to tranquilise my mother, as a nurse usually does a patient.  “Oh, it is nothing particular, ma’am,” she said, “some trifling affair,” – which she pretended to relate, passing lightly over the particulars.  But her ill-suppressed agitation did not escape my mother’s eye.  “Tell me the truth,” she said, “at once.  I am certain something very sad has happened.”  The woman still equivocated, greatly fearing the effect upon my mother in her then situation.  And at first the family joined in the attempt at concealment.  Finally, however, my mother’s alarm and earnest entreaties drew from them the terrible truth that her brother had just been stabbed at the top of the village, and killed on the spot. 

The melancholy event had thus occurred.  My uncle, Francis Tantum, had been dining at Shipley Hall, with Mr. Edward Miller Mundy, member of Parliament for the county.  Shipley Hall lay off to the left of the village as you looked up the main street from my father’s house, and about a mile distant from it; the road from the one country-seat to the other crossing, nearly at right angles, the upper portion of the village street at a point where stood one of the two village inns, the Admiral Rodney, respectably kept by the widow H–ks.  I remember her well – a tall, fine-looking woman, who must have been handsome in her youth, and who retained, even past middle age, an air superior to her condition.  She had one only child, a son, then scarcely twenty.  He was a good-looking, brisk young fellow, and bore a very fair character.  He must, however, as the event showed, have been of a very hasty temper. 

Francis Tantum, riding home from Shipley Hall after the early country dinner, that day, somewhat elate, it may be, with wine, stopped at the widow’s inn and bade the son bring him a glass of ale.  As the latter turned to obey, my uncle, giving the youth a smart switch across the back with his riding-whip, cried out, in his lively, joking way, “Now be quick, Dick; be quick!”  The young man, instead of receiving the playful stroke as a jest, took it as an insult.  He rushed into the house, snatched up a carving-knife, and, darting back into the street, stabbed my uncle to the heart, as he sat on his horse, so that he fell dead, on the instant, in the road. 

The sensation throughout the quiet village may be imagined.  The inhabitants, who idolised the murdered man, were prevented from taking summary vengeance on the homicide only by the constable’s carrying him off to the office of the nearest magistrate.  Young H–ks was tried at the next Derby Assizes; but (justly, no doubt, taken into view the sudden irritation caused by the blow) he was convicted of manslaughter only, and, after a few months’ imprisonment, returned to the village; where, notwithstanding the strong popular feeling against him, he continued to keep the inn, even after his mother’s death.  He is still present to my recollection, a quiet, retiring man, never guilty of any other irregularity of conduct, and seeming to bear about with him the constant memory of his rash deed – a silent blight upon his life.  So great was the respect entertained for my uncle, and such the deep impression of his tragic end, that so long of the generation lived the church-bells of the village were regularly tolled on the anniversary of his death.  On comparing the circumstances and the exact time at which each occurred, the fact was subtantiated, that the apparition presented itself to my mother almost instantly after her brother had received the fatal stroke.

Heanor church burial, 4 February 1795, M465 vol 4

Heanor church burial, 4 February 1795, M465 vol 4

Derby Mercury, 5 February 1795

Derby Mercury, 5 February 1795

D4734/1/10/11 Account of murder of Francis Tantum in 1795

D4734/1/10/11 Account of murder of Francis Tantum in 1795

Derby Mercury, 19 March 1795

Derby Mercury, 19 March 1795

D4734/16/20/3 Elegy on death of Francis Tantum by F. Skerrett for newspaper, 1795 (pt1)

D4734/16/20/3 Elegy on death of Francis Tantum by F. Skerrett for newspaper, 1795 (pt1)

D4734/16/20/3 Elegy on death of Francis Tantum by F. Skerrett for newspaper, 1795 (pt2)

D4734/16/20/3 Elegy on death of Francis Tantum by F. Skerrett for newspaper, 1795 (pt2)

D4734/16/20/3 Elegy on death of Francis Tantum by F. Skerrett for newspaper, 1795 (pt3)

D4734/16/20/3 Elegy on death of Francis Tantum by F. Skerrett for newspaper, 1795 (pt3)

Q/RA 1/3 Register of licensed victuallers, 1795

Q/RA 1/3 Register of licensed victuallers, 1795

Excerpt from Pigot's Directory, 1821-1822

Excerpt from Pigot’s Directory, 1821-1822

Heanor church burial entry, 16th February 1848, DVD 83

Heanor church burial entry, 16th February 1848, DVD 83

EYA-poster-poetry-workshop

Explore Your Archive – Reading, Writing and the Theatre Royal

Compare and Contrast – a selection of Derbyshire Record Office documents regarding Regency children and education.

Derby Mercury, 18 November 1829 (pt1)

Derby Mercury, 18 November 1829 (pt1)

Derby Mercury, 18 November 1829 (pt2)

Derby Mercury, 18 November 1829 (pt2)

From 'Sorrows, sacred to the memory of Penelope', 1796 (published by Sir Brooke Boothby whose daughter Penelope died aged 5)

From ‘Sorrows, sacred to the memory of Penelope’, 1796 (published by Sir Brooke Boothby whose daughter Penelope died aged 5)

From 'Sorrows, sacred to the memory of Penelope', 1796 (published by Sir Brooke Boothby whose daughter Penelope died aged 5)

From ‘Sorrows, sacred to the memory of Penelope’, 1796 (published by Sir Brooke Boothby whose daughter Penelope died aged 5)

D2375 M/84/24 Printed orders to parents on the admission of their children into charity schools, 18th cent

D2375 M/84/24 Printed orders to parents on the admission of their children into charity schools, 18th cent

D6948/15/2 Pages from Belper Mill Girls School admission register, 1820s

D6948/15/2 Pages from Belper Mill Girls School admission register, 1820s

Dronfield Academy advert, Derby Mercury, 11 July 1811

Dronfield Academy advert, Derby Mercury, 11 July 1811

D5410/17/6 Letter from Alleyne Fitzherbert (b.1815) at Tissington Hall (pt1)

D5410/17/6 Letter from Alleyne Fitzherbert (b.1815) at Tissington Hall (pt1)

D5410/17/6 Letter from Alleyne Fitzherbert (b.1815) at Tissington Hall (pt2)

D5410/17/6 Letter from Alleyne Fitzherbert (b.1815) at Tissington Hall (pt2)

D5410/17/5 Letter from William Fitzherbert (b.1808) at Charterhouse School, 1819 (pt1)

D5410/17/5 Letter from William Fitzherbert (b.1808) at Charterhouse School, 1819 (pt1)

D5410/17/5 Letter from William Fitzherbert (b.1808) at Charterhouse School, 1819 (pt2)

D5410/17/5 Letter from William Fitzherbert (b.1808) at Charterhouse School, 1819 (pt2)

EYA-poster-story-boxes

D394 Z/Z 49 Apprenticeship indenture of William Smith alias Waterfall of Bakewell, 1812 (pt1)

D394 Z/Z 49 Apprenticeship indenture of William Smith alias Waterfall of Bakewell, 1812 (pt1)

D394 Z/Z 49 Apprenticeship indenture of William Smith alias Waterfall of Bakewell, 1812 (pt2)

D394 Z/Z 49 Apprenticeship indenture of William Smith alias Waterfall of Bakewell, 1812 (pt2)

EYA-poster-poetry-workshop

D5459/1/35 Part of 'Sunday Morning', George M. Woodward.  On the back is written: 'GM Woodward sketches when a child.  These are evident proofs of his natural Genius he used to draw before he could speak plain (W.W.)' - the handwriting is that of his father, William Woodward.

D5459/1/35 Part of ‘Sunday Morning’, George M. Woodward. On the back is written:
‘GM Woodward sketches when a child. These are evident proofs of his natural Genius he used to draw before he could speak plain (W.W.)’ – the handwriting is that of his father, William Woodward.

Explore Your Archive – Get the Ball Rolling

As we await kick-off of the first Explore Your Archive week, here is a vigorous selection of images for sporting ladies and gentlemen.

D5459/2/23/9 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1799

D5459/2/23/9 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1799

D5459/4/32/5 A Cricket Match Extraordinary, Thomas Rowlandson, [1811]

D5459/4/32/5 A Cricket Match Extraordinary, Thomas Rowlandson, [1811]

D5459/3/11 A Mistake at New-Market, or Sport and Piety, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, [1807]

D5459/3/11 A Mistake at New-Market, or Sport and Piety, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, [1807]

The Derby Races advert, Derby Mercury, 29 July 1813

The Derby Races advert, Derby Mercury, 29 July 1813

D5459/2/23/14 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 21, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

D5459/2/23/14 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 21, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

Boxing report, Derby Mercury, 13 May 1829

Boxing report, Derby Mercury, 13 May 1829

D5459/2/23/12 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 18, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

D5459/2/23/12 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 18, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

The Football, Derby Mercury, 28 February 1827

The Football, Derby Mercury, 28 February 1827

EYA-poster-story-boxes

Three uses for the Burney collection (3)

And now, the last of my three suggested uses for the Burney collection.  It is this: you could use it to find examples of the variety of social conditions in your area.  If your area is Swadlincote – and even if it isn’t – you might be interested in this article from the Whitehall Evening Post (London) dated February 1790: Swadlincote

Not happy reading – although, then as now, we might wonder whether press reports are wholly accurate all of the time.  The article does not give the name of the purchaser or the purchased, the vendor or the absconding husband.  Or perhaps it is intended as satire?  Let us know what you think.  Anyway, if you want to use the Burney collection, grab your Derbyshire library card and head to: http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/online_information/infotrac/default.asp

One book, three centuries: Derby Canal Company minutes arrive

We have just received a single volume containing Derby Canal Company minutes from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  As you can see from these pictures, they start with the inaugural “General Assembly” in 1793, and end with the 150th such assembly in 1940.  Just for good measure, we have included shots of the meetings held 100 and 200 years ago.  Isn’t it amazing that they kept recording the same type of information in the same way for such a long period of time?

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As ever, if you want to see this stuff, just contact us and we will arrange it.  (See “Visiting Us” on www.derbyshire.gov.uk/recordoffice).  The reference number to quote is D5751/4/1 for the minute book, or D5751/5/1 for a book containing copies of the company’s deeds.  We have also taken in another volume of Cromford Canal boat permits (D501 B/B 67).