On This Day: ‘Man Killed In A Lead Mine’; ‘A Candidate For Transportation’

From the Derby Mercury, 16th December 1857:

Man Killed In A Lead Mine

On Friday last, a poor man named Thos. Thorpe, went from his cottage at Bonsall, to Mr. Greaves’, Cliff-house, Matlock, to beg a handful of mint, and not returning on that night or the next, his wife and family became seriously alarmed for his safety.  On Sunday morning some neighbours went in search, and ascertained that Thorpe had left Cliff-house with a quantity of mint, about six in the evening of Friday.  They then tracked his course homewards by leaves and sprigs of mint, to a mine shaft on Masson, then recently run in, but there the traces of the mint ceased.  On removing the rubbish in the hole the poor fellow was discovered about six feet from the surface, of course quite dead, and the body was removed to a farmhouse near to await a coroner’s inquest.

A Candidate For Transportation

Police Office, Derby  George Marshall, a youth of 14, was charged as follows:- Police-constable Davis stated: Prisoner came to me this morning and said, “Mr. Davis, I shall find you a job to-day.”  I replied, “What shall you do?”  He said, “I shall commit a robbery.”  I endeavoured to persuade him to go home, but he would not, and said, “I shall go to the first watchmaker’s shop I can, break a window, steal a watch and run my chance, as I mean to have seven years.”  I knew that prisoner had been twice convicted at the sessions, and also that he had been twice summarily committed, and therefore I thought it best to lock him up.  Prisoner, in reply to questions from the Mayor, said that he would rather be transported than live in Derby; that he had a comfortable home and neither his father nor his mother-in-law behaved ill to him, but he did not like to stay at home.  The Mayor doubted whether sending prisoner to gaol again would be productive of any good, as it was evident he had a propensity for stealing and leading an idle life; but on the mother-in-law saying they had done all they could for him, and that if he did not return home (and he said he would not) something worse was sure to happen to him, the Bench committed him, as a rogue and vagabond, for three months with hard labour.

We hold the Derby Mercury on microfilm  – just ring to book a microfilm reader.

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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.

On This Day: ‘Mad Leap From A Buxton Train’

From the Derby Mercury, 14th October 1896:

By the 5.30 slow train on Saturday, Buxton to Manchester, was a passenger named Ralph Belfield, who lives at Dove Holes, but belongs to Burbage.  His intention was to alight at Dove Holes, but it is supposed he fell asleep, and did not wake up until just past the station.  On finding he had gone beyond the the station, he appears to have opened the carriage door, and jumped out.  He fell head first into the six foot, and there lay until he was found.  He was fearfully out and smashed about the face, and his condition was indeed sorry.  As soon as assistance could be procured, he was conveyed to the Devonshire Hospital at Buxton, but, from some cause or other, was refused admission.  Dr. Haslewood’s services were requisitioned, and he attended to the man’s injuries, after which he was taken to his brother’s at Burbage.  He was suffering from concussion of the brain, but his condition was not, in the doctor’s opinion, really dangerous.   

We hold the Derby Mercury on microfilm  – just ring to book a microfilm reader.

On This Day: ‘A Struggle with a Thief’

From the Derbyshire Times, 30th April 1881:

UNSTONE

A STRUGGLE WITH A THIEF

On Monday noon an impudent till robbery was committed by a tramp, at the shop of Jabez H. Walker, grocer, Unstone.  Whilst Mr Walker was at dinner the tramp entered the shop without ringing the door bell, and took from the till its contents, amounting to £1 6s. 6d.  But on going out of the shop he accidentally rang the bell, and Mr Walker entered the shop as he was going out at the door.  He was asked what he wanted, and replied half an ounce of tobacco.  This was supplied, for which he tendered sixpence in payment and Mr Walker going to the till for change discovered the robbery, which he charged the prisoner with committing.

The prisoner went away to the Fleur de Lis Inn, where he was followed by Mr Walker.  He acknowledged taking the money, which he gave to Mr Walker,  but on being informed that he would not be allowed to leave the place he took out a large clasp knife, and made a violent attempt to force his way out of the room.  The door of the room was, however, secured, and finding his escape cut off, he attempted, after doing some damage in the room, to jump through the window, one or two of the panes of which he first destroyed.  Whilst attempting to jump out, a man on the road threw a cinder, which struck him on the head, knocking him down insensible.  He was then secured, his hands being tied with a rope, until the arrival of Inspector Spencer, of Dronfield, who took him to the Dronfield Police Station.  He gave the name of George Jones, but refused to give his address.

He had an accomplice, who stood outside Mr Walker’s shop at the time Jones went in and committed the robbery, and who it is said went to the Fleur de Lis Inn and asked to be admitted to the room where Jones had been secured.  Inspector Spencer, with praiseworthy promptitude, went in search for him, and ultimately apprehended him in Dronfield.  He gave the name of Jack Curtis, said he was an Irishman, but refused to say where he hailed from.  On being searched a large knife with long blade and sharp point, similar to the one taken from Jones, was found upon him.  He professed to have no knowledge of Jones.       

We hold the Derbyshire Times on microfilm; Chesterfield edition from 1854, all editions from 1963 – just ring to book a microfilm reader.

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

Three Uses for the Burney Collection (2)

More now from the Burney collection, and the second of three suggested uses for the database. If you are a family historian or biographer, and you suspect the subject of your research ran into financial trouble, you could check lists of recent bankruptcy cases. Here, for instance, are notices from the Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser (London), dated 15 June 1772. I picked it out because of the reference to Tideswell, but could just as easily have turned it up by looking for individual names. 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 Tideswell

Three uses for the Burney collection (1)

Revd Charles Burney (1757-1817) was a busy chap.  Not content with being a busy priest and schoolmaster, he spent much of his time and money gathering together a vast array of books, newspapers and news pamphlets.  The whole collection was bought for the nation by the British Museum in 1817, and is now held at the British Library – where, happily, it has recently been digitised for our enjoyment.  It is quite a resource, being described as “the largest single collection of 17th and 18th century English news media”, and can be accessed using your Derbyshire library card right here: http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/online_information/infotrac/default.asp

I offer three possible uses of this database, having had a go at searching for Derbyshire place names.  Here is the first: you could use the Burney collection for researching the history of a property or a landed estate.  To prove it, here is a notice from the Public Advertiser (London), from 31 March 1775:

Tissington

I will blog another couple of these later in the week.

On This Day: ‘Spitfire in Court’

From the Alfreton and Belper Journal, 3rd December 1909:

SPITFIRE IN COURT

A CHESTERFIELD PRISONER’S ECCENTRICITIES

An extraordinary statement was made by a prisoner at the Chesterfield Borough Police Court, on Monday, the person in question giving the name of Luke Spitfire, of no fixed address, who was something of a “spitfire” by nature.

The man was charged with stealing a Bible, valued at 50s., from the Chesterfield Parish Church, on Saturday, and evidence was given that prisoner was seen to emerge from the building with the book underneath his coat.  Benjamin Gascoigne, a young man living in Durrant road, Chesterfield, asked Spitfire what he was doing with the Bible, and he replied that he was going to sit down and read it, although it was too dark to do so.  Police-constable Kee arrested the man, who made no answer to the charge.

Spitfire loudly requested the attendance of the priests to identify the Bible as the property of the church.  Having entered a plea of guilty, the accused went on to make the following amazing statement: “I have been a ratepayer for 20 years, and of course every ratepayer helps to keep the Bishops and the priests and everybody else between, and supposing I was stealing the Bible, I was only stealing part of my own property.  (Laughter).  It is no earthly use to me, because what is in the book I have swallowed.  I claim to be tried by my peers.  I am a B.A. and an educated man, and I am the same as Lord Byron, when he committed murder, he claimed to be tried by the Lords, and he got off.  I claim to be tried by my equals and not by ‘vagabones’.”  (Laughter).

Sentence of 28 days’ hard labour was passed.

The County Local Studies Library holds the Alfreton (and Belper) Journal, 1870-1935 – just ring to book a microfilm reader.

On This Day: ‘Advertisements’

From the Derby Mercury, 20th November 1767:

Advertisements.

INOCULATION

BELLINGHAM the Elder, is come from Coventry, and proposes residing for some Time at Derby, to attend all proper Subjects that offer for Inoculation of the Small Pox, in the New Method.

He has already given Proofs in this Town, that this once dreadful Disorder may be now got over without the least Confinement, or Shadow of Danger.  

He is at present at the Saracen’s-Head in Derby, and all Letters directed there will be punctually answered.

Mr. and Mrs. DENBY,

Take the Liberty to acquaint the PUBLIC,

THAT as their House in St. MARY-GATE, proves too small for the continuation of their Boarding School for young Ladies, they shall at Christmas next remove to a larger, and more convenient House in All-Saints Church Yard; where, those Ladies committed to their Charge shall, with the utmost Care and Tenderness, be instructed in the following Articles of Learning.

READING, all Sorts of NEEDLE-WORK, and so much of GEOGRAPHY as will illustrate and promote the Reading of History; together with their Board at Sixteen Pounds a Year, and a Guinea Entrance.

MUSIC, DANCING, WRITING, DRAWING, and FRENCH, taught by able Masters.

The County Local Studies Library holds the Derby Mercury – just ring to book a microfilm reader.

On This Day: ‘District News’

From the Derby Mercury, 12th October 1881:

DISTRICT NEWS

CHESTERFIELD

Chesterfield was on Saturday night, for the first time, illuminated by the electric light.  The experimental operations proved very successful; and as the Corporation are hopelessly in conflict with the local gas company, it is probable that the electric light will be a permanent institution in Chesterfield.

ALFRETON

SINGULAR DEATH – John Shaw, the landlord of the New Inn, Greenhill lane, Alfreton, some three weeks ago was attempting to catch a wasp which was in the window of his house, when he stumbled and cut his wrist on a broken pane of glass.  He bled very much at the time, and from blood poisoning and the shock to his system he died on Wednesday.  It is not deemed necessary to hold an inquest.

The County Local Studies Library holds the Derby Mercury – just ring to book a microfilm reader.  If you have a Derbyshire library card you can also view 19th century issues of the newspaper online.