Advent Calendar – Day 24

Almost there…

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Christmas card painted by John Chaplin, with Edgar Osborne, sent from Palestine in 1917, during World War One (Ref: D5063/3/3)

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Inside the card reads:
Palestine 1917
Christmas 1917
Two campaigners send you Greetings, dear Lill
Edgar
John Chaplin

 

 

 

 

Born in Bournemouth in 1890, Edgar Osborne was County Librarian for Derbyshire for 31 years (1923-1954). During World War One Edgar served on the Bulgarian Front and in Palestine, from where he sent this card to Lill, possibly his future wife Mabel Jacobson, whom he married in 1918, not long before the end of the war. Other papers of Edgar’s from this time are available to view online via our catalogue, as part of our WW1 digitisation project. Although not available to read online, this series of papers contains a very moving story about Edgar’s experience in Palestine, including how he spent Christmas Day 1917 (ref: D5063/3/2).

After the war, Edgar resumed his career in librarianship, becoming County Librarian of Derbyshire at the age of just 33. During this time, he introduced new services, such as mobile libraries, and developed his own interests in literature, especially in children’s books – an interest featuring heavily in his archive collection, which also includes Edgar’s diaries written during World War Two and papers relating to his retirement in 1954.

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Advent Calendar – Day 23

Not many doors left now…

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Derbyshire Archaeological Journal, Vol. 1 (1879) available in Book Room 1

Published in January 1879, the first volume of the Derbyshire Archaeological Journal included

  • an article on the ‘Inscription on the Font at Chelmorton’, by C. S. Greaves, Q.C., M.A.;
  • two articles by J. Charles Cox on ‘The Registers, and Churchwardens’ and Constables’ Accounts of the Parish of Repton’ and ‘The “Mortuary Chapels” of Lichfield Cathedral’;
  • ‘An Account of the Ring of Bells now in the Tower of the Church of All Saints, Derby’ – now better known the Cathedral;
  • ‘A List of the “Alehouses, Innes, and Tavernes” in Derbyshire in the Year 1557’, by W. H. Hart, F.S.A.
  • an article by Rev. J. Magens Mello, M.A., F.G.S. on ‘Palaeolithic Man at Creswell’.

The most recent volume (number 134) now available at the Record Office was published in 2014 and includes articles such as ‘Prehistoric Rock Art, Dobb Edge, Baslow’, by John Barnatt; ‘Archaeological Investigations at Bakewell Churchyard and Hassop Road Roundabout, Derbyshire’, by Alvaro Mora-Ottomano and ‘A Hardwick Scandal of the early seventeenth century: William Cavendish, Lady Arbella Stuart, and the Case of Margaret Chatterton’, by Timothy Raylor.

The Society itself was ‘founded in 1878 as an archaeological and natural history society to foster and encourage interest in the past life and natural history of the county. Though natural history has been taken over by other societies, the Society has widened its archaeological and historical work in response to new needs’ – extracted from Derbyshire Archaeological Journal Vol 134 (2014).

The Society’s extensive Reference Library is stored at Derby Central Library, and a large collection is preserved here at the Record Office (ref: D369). The collection includes the Society’s Council and committee minutes from 1874; accounts 1927-1981; correspondence, 1885-1958; archaeological reports and plans 1940s-1960s; publications, 1950s -1970s, and miscellaneous title deeds and a large number and variety of papers, prints, maps and photographs.

More information about the Society is available on their website – www.derbyshireas.org.uk

Advent Calendar – Day 22

Have you finished work yet? We’re still open for another two and half days so come by and find out more about some of the items featured behind our Advent doors…

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‘A Collection of Hobgoblins’ by George M. Woodward, featuring ten grotesquely caricatured figures, 25 Feb 1796 (Ref: D5459/2/6)

22. D5459-2-6 A Collection of Hobgoblins by George M Woodward 1796

D5459/2/6 A Collection of Hobgoblins

 

George Murgatroyd Woodward was baptised in Hackney, London, in 1767, but grew up in Stanton by Dale, where his father, William, was land agent to Earl Stanhope of Chevening. William Woodward was required to travel frequently in the course of his work as he was also responsible for overseeing the Earl’s estates at Holsworthy in Devon, and Hoggeston in Buckinghamshire. Until 1787 the family also had a house in London, first at 115 High Holborn, then from 1783, at 30 Carey Street, Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

As early as 1782 Woodward was helping his father with his work, carrying letters, and running errands. By 1787 he was working on the Earl’s estates in Buckinghamshire, overseeing the unsuccessful prospecting for coal. He resigned his position with Earl Stanhope in 1791, embarking on his career as caricaturist. He died on 5 November 1809 at the Brown Bear Tavern, Bow Street, Covent Garden.

Woodward’s artistic talents were apparently evident at a young age, according to his father ‘he used to draw before he could speak plain’. His earliest drawings are mostly humorous scenes of everyday life, and caricature portraits. Between 1782 and 1787 he drew a series of portraits of actors in Shakespearean roles, as well as a number of depictions of the earliest balloon flights.

Woodward’s first prints were published at the family’s London home in Lincoln’s Inn Fields in 1785. By the time he resigned from his position with Earl Stanhope in 1791, he had already produced work for several London publishers, notably Holland and Fores.

Because he was untrained as an artist, Woodward always relied on other artists to transfer his designs on to copperplates for printing. In the 1790s he collaborated with the young artist Richard Newton on a number of prints for the publisher William Holland. There are no examples of that work in the collection, but there many examples of the work he did in conjunction with Thomas Rowlandson for the publisher Rudolph Ackermann. This work includes several humorous series such as the ‘Horse Accomplishments’ and ‘Journals’ and ‘Prayers’, and also a collection of decorative borders. From 1807 Woodward began producing designs for Tegg’s ‘Caricature Magazine’. The quality of these prints is far lower than that of those published by Ackermann, and the subject matter is often somewhat coarser. Woodward also collaborated frequently with Isaac Cruikshank, father of the famous Victorian caricaturist George Cruikshank.

The Woodward collection in the archives at DRO consists of 276 are prints, 169 drawings, 2 pen and ink sketches and 47 pencil drawings. Of the 276 prints, 56 are by artists other than Woodward. There is reason to believe that the archive contains one or more editions of Tegg’s ‘Caricature Magazine’, to which Woodward contributed work. This would explain the large number of prints by other artists, and why a number of the prints by Woodward are reissues, published after his death.

As well as an artist, Woodward was also a writer, and he wrote and illustrated a number of humorous works, several of which are also held here at the Derbyshire Record Office (D6052).

The full catalogue for the D5459 collection is available via the online archives catalogue and includes downloadable copies of the images too.

Advent Calendar – Day 21

Just a few days to go…

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Auntie Grace’s wartime Xmas cake, found loose inside the recipe book of Florence (Florie) Bednall, temp. World War Two (Ref: D3269/F/2/1).

There may just be some time to whip this cake together if you fancy it. Here is the ingredients list as it appears in Florie’s recipe book (transcript of the recipe below).

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The Recipe:

  • Sift flour spices & carb soda.
  • Warm a basin & cream well the butter & sugar with the hand. (The whole cake should be mixed with hand. This is much better and quicker than using a wooden spoon).
  • Beat well in one egg at a time, then the glycerine. If there is any danger of the mixture becoming curdled add a pinch of flour (or beat in only the yolks afterwards adding the beaten whites separately). Add the treacle & vanilla then the brandy or sherry.
  • Now add the sifted flour & spices then the prepared fruit & nuts. If a little milk is necessary warm it just enough to take off the chill. The mixture should not be too stiff but must be strong enough to hold fruit in place.
  • Fill the cake tins about two thirds full levelling well & bake in a slow oven 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

As always, if you do give this one a go (even if it is next year), do let us know how it went.

 

 

Advent Calendar – Day 20

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Derbyshire Parish Registers, edited by WPW Phillimore. and Lt Lt Simpson, often referred to simply as Phillimore’s

Published in 15 volumes this incredibly useful resource (which is available on the open shelves in the Computer Room) provides printed transcripts of marriage records from the earliest extant registers for each of the 75 parishes covered.

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Phillimore’s ‘Derbyshire Parish Registers’

As any of you who have used early (i.e. mid 16th to early 18th century) parish registers will know, the handwriting and language you find does not make life easy for family historians – or indeed other researchers searching for information amongst these wonderful volumes. Fortunately, however, there are a good number of transcripts available to speed up the process and help along the way. Some transcripts, such as those by Phillimore, were created for publication; many of the transcripts available (particularly for Derbyshire) have actually been produced by enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers and we are grateful that copies are donated to us to make available to you.

The transcripts can vary in how useful they are (and with a small number being handwritten there can still be issues reading the handwriting occasionally). Some transcripts include merely a chronological list of the main information, some add a little more detail from the registers – if there is any that is – some will provide a name index to help you mop up all occurrences of the name you are looking for. Many transcripts are available in electronic format as well or instead of, which can make finding the information very quick indeed. You may already know that there are a large number of transcripts for Derbyshire parish registers available via the International Genealogical Index (produced and maintained by the Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints), but comprehensive indexes and transcripts for some parishes are also available to search via the PCs at the Record Office.

Nevertheless, whatever transcript you might use, we would always strongly recommend following up that information in the registers themselves. All the transcripts have been made by individuals and are subject to human error, regardless of how diligent the transcriber may have been (and some are certainly more diligent than others). Besides seeing the information as it was actually written, particularly for post-1754 marriages where you are likely to find your ancestor’s signature or ‘mark’, does make the whole process even more rewarding.

Advent Calendar – Day 19

Less than a week to go, not many more doors to investigate now…

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Account of ‘Crismas Boxes’ given to servants of the Chandos-Pole family of Radbourne in 1772 (Ref: D5557/23/2)

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Long before the welfare state, individual families would make charitable donations to the less well-off in their household or their parish. Donations might be in cash such as the Christmas boxes from the Chandos-Pole family to their servants (each man receiving 1s). Other records of such Christmas giving include:

  • beef given to local families by Lady Agnes Fitzherbert in 1857 (Ref: D6943/2/1)
  • List of persons receiving Christmas dole (to the amount of 5s 4d), 1880; recorded in the account book of the Little Eaton Churchwardens (Ref: D1293/A/PW 1)
  • Mr Cavendish’s bounty given at Christmas 1900 to the relatives of West Derbyshire men serving in South Africa during the Boer War(Ref: D504/115/12)
  • the poor of Belper each receiving an additional 1s each and 6d per boarded-out child in Christmas week, approved by the Board of Guardians (responsible for the workhouse and provision of out-relief in 1914 (Ref: D19/CW/1/28)

About the Chandos-Pole of Radbourne archive collection: The item behind today’s door is held amongst the archive collection of the Chandos-Pole family of Radbourne (see the D5557 online catalogue for details of other items in the collection). The collection dates from the time of Sir German Pole (died 1634), and includes estate papers,  surveys, rentals and accounts relating to Chandos-Pole properties and interests in Derbyshire. There is also a good series of correspondence, especially for the time of German Pole (1626-1683), who married Anne, daughter of Richard Newdigate of Arbury in Warwickshire.  The correspondents include John Gell (D5557/2/131) and members of the Mundy family (for example, D5557/2/35,36,42,43,45,51).  There are also letters from Barbados (D5557/2/120,126). Furthermore, there are papers of R W Chandos Pole relating to the Derbyshire Imperial Yeomanry and to Mugginton School which was founded by the charity of Rev Samuel Pole and Ann Pole in the 18th century.

About the family: Sir German Pole served against the Spanish Armada and was made a Knight Banneret for his services in Ireland.  The surname Chandos was assumed by Sacheverell Pole in 1807 as representative of Sir John Chandos.  The family estate based at Radbourne included lands in Barton Park, Dalbury Lees, Littleover, Barlborough, Mercaston and Brailsford in Derbyshire, and Hanbury in Staffordshire.

Advent Calendar – Day 18

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Chesterfield and District Family History Society magazine, no. 92 (Sep 2012), available in Local Studies

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Featured in this edition are

  • a report of the meeting held on 3 July, which included a talk from Ian Morgan about “Within Site of the Gibbet”, ‘a tale of murder, highway robbery and transportation in the Peak District and featuring the well-known story of Robert Blincoe, an apprentice at Litton Mill
  • details of records and information found amongst the archives here about Chesterfield during the Civil War
  • an account by Doreen Rodgers of her great-grandmother Sarah Milner, and the difficulties she had faced and had caused her family to face as well.

The Chesterfield and District Family History Society (CADFHS) was established in September 1989 and their first newsletter was published that October. CADFHS continue to donate a copy of their quarterly magazine to our Local Studies collection, and these are preserved amongst our periodicals section in the main Local Studies store room at the Record Office.

There are hundreds of titles of local magazines, newspapers, newsletters as well as national journals and periodicals, in the local studies collection spanning a wide range of themes and subjects across Derbyshire. From family history magazines and society newsletters, parish magazines, research journals, printed minutes, reports and other publications of local organisations, including local authorities, year books and more.

If you are interested in taking a look at any of these items, just drop by and we can get them out for you. Unlike material held in the archive collection, we can retrieve almost all material held in the local studies collection within a few minutes – some items on the public access shelves, but we will still be very happy to help you find the right items.

Advent Calendar – Day 17

A week to go until Christmas Eve. We will be closing at 1pm on Christmas Eve and reopening at 9.30 on Tuesday 29th December. It will be a three day week though, as we will also be closed on the Friday for New Year’s Day, reopening as normal on Saturday 2nd January at 9.30.

Until then, we have a few more advent doors for you…

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Photograph of the football team at Chapel-en-le-Frith High School, c1960s (Ref: D3512/10/3)

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Chapel-en-le-Frith High School was originally established as a boys school in 1830, with a girls school established in 1887. In 1934, the boys, girls and infants schools merged to become the Church of England Mixed School. From 1947, the school accommodated children of secondary school age only (primary school children being taught at what had been the Methodist Church). A new school was erected and opened in Long Lane in 1952 as Chapel-en-le-Frith County Secondary School, and is still there today as the High School.

Other records held in the school’s archive collection at the Record Office include log books 1935-1960, admission registers 1875-1947, governors’ minutes 1991-1993, and papers relating to courses taught between 1986 and 1988.

Advent Calendar – Day 16

I hope you are all feeling better prepared than me for Christmas next week (next week!). Maybe something beautiful behind today’s door…

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Beautiful bindings, volumes from Local Studies

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Together these items were actually the first of our 50 Treasures – chosen by Local Studies Librarian, Lisa, who reminds us that items can be appreciated simply for their aesthetics as well as the information they hold.

Those who have visited the Record Office since we reopened as and archives and local studies service nearly three years ago, will have seen how other items in our collections have inspired the internal decor, from wallpaper to building signage to a poem inspired by Treasure 11.

Advent Calendar – Day 15

Have you been up early this morning waiting to find out what is behind today’s door? (only joking)

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Copy. Map of Belper and Heage by John Hatton, 1698 (Ref: D369/G/Maps/15). This item is part of the series of maps collected and deposited by the Derbyshire Archaeological Society (ref: D369).

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To the modern eye, this item may look quite unfamiliar as a map, however it is quite typical for the 17th century, when cartography and map making was an expensive business. Maps were generally produced for a very specific purpose and would therefore only include information relevant to that purpose rather than as an accurate geographic or geological representation of an area. Nevertheless this is a particularly useful map as it does include a scale in the top right corner, and many of the buildings (the sketches of which are likely to have some, though not complete, reliability with regards to the actual buildings) are accompanied by a name. I’m afraid I have not had time to look at this item, and any related records in enough detail to determine whether these names belong to the owner or occupier of each building.

For a list of more early maps of Derbyshire, including items held in other archives, please see Derbyshire Record Society’s 2012 edition of A Catalogue of Local Maps of Derbyshire c1528-1800, available in our Local Studies collection, and other libraries across the county (see the Library Catalogue for more information).

Of course you can also search the online archives catalogue for these and other maps and plans held in our archives collection. In particular, there are quite a good number of different maps for Belper, especially amongst the Strutt estate collections (ref: D1564, D3772).

If you are interested in old maps generally, there is a beautiful example amongst our 50 Treasures – Treasure 8: the Gresley processional map And don’t forget, you can nominate an item from our archives and local studies collection (or even a series or collection of items) for the 50 Treasures.