by James Pigot  (1821)


The county and principal town in Derbyshire, occupies a flat tract of land, on the

banks of the river Derwent. It is a very ancient town; and many severe conflicts took

place here in the early periods of English history. It is also noted for being the place

where silk-mills were first established in this country. The town is governed by a mayor,

nine alderman, fourteen brethren (out of whom the aldermen are elected), fourteen common

council-men, a recorder, a high steward, and a town-clerk. It sends two members to

parliament, and the privilege of returning them is possessed by the freemen and sworn

burgesses. The present members are T. W. Coke, jun. and H. T. C. Cavendish, Esqrs. .

—Derby being situated on the banks of the Derwent, renders it extremely favourable

for the process of manufactures which require the aid of water, and various mills have

been established in the town, or its immediate vicinity, for the manufacture of silk and

cotton, on the most improved construction: besides the manufacture of silk and cotton,

the most celebrated are those of porcelain and ornaments of Derbyshire spar and marble.

The manufacture of silk is carried on to a considerable extent, and the number of men,

women and children employed in it is upwards of 1000. The original mill, erected by

Mr. Crochet, called the Silk-mill, by way of pre-eminence, being the first and largest of

the kind ever erected in England, stands on an island on the river Derwent. Its history

is remarkable, and serves to shew the great influence which the enterprises of an indivi

dual have on the commerce of a country. The manufacture of porcelain was originally

established here about the year 1750, by the ingenious Mr. Duesbury; but the most con

siderable improvements have been effected since his decease by the judicious method of

preparing the paste, and increasing the beauty of the decorations. The ware itself is not

of equal fineness with the French and Saxon, but its workmanship and ornaments are far

superior. The manufacturing of spar and polishing of marble carried on here is very

curious. Various other branches of business, besides the manufactures already mentioned,

are also carried on to a considerable extent, and several works of magnitude have lately

been established. On Nun’s-green a bleaching-ground has been opened, in which the

processes are performed by chemistry. A mill for the slitting and rolling of iron ; a large

furnace for smelting copper ore, with a machine for battering and rolling the copper into

sheets; a red lead manufactory; a mill for making tinned-plates, &c.—Derby is divided

into five parishes, each of which has a church, which are, All Saints, St. Alkmund, St.

Pater, St. Werburgh, and St. Michael. That of All Saints is a very ancient structure,

and is one of the greatest ornaments of the town. The principal public buildings are a

very beautiful infirmary, lately built by subscription, replete with every convenience;

county hall, a town hall, a county goal, an elegant assembly-room, and a theatre.

Among the modern improvements of the place are the lighting and paving of the streets,

and the removing those obstructions that prevented a free passage. These purposes were

effected by an act passed in the year 1792. Since which time several of the bridges that

were built across the Markeaton-brook have been removed, and three new ones, of stone,

erected by subscription. An elegant bridge of three arches has likewise been built over

the Derwent, and, together with the silk-mills, the weirs, and the broad expanse of the

river forms a very pleasing prospect on entering the town from the Nottingham road.

The vicinity furnishes a variety of agreeable walks, where the inhabitants may enjoy a

salutary exercise, and a succession of prospects, distinguished by the softer features that

attend cultivation.—Numerous bequests, for the relief of the poor, have been made at

different times by benevolent persons. One of the most considerable is the Devonshire

alms house for the support of poor men and women, Science and literature meet with

encouragement: this may, in some degree, be ascribed to the Philosophical Society esta

blished here about the year 1772. Several book societies have also been instituted; and to the

credit of the individuals composing them, the works purchased are chiefly of a scientific

and philosophical tendency. - -

Derby is 126 miles north-west from London. The population, according to a recent

calculation, is about 14.000. The weekly market is on Friday. The fairs are held Jan. 25,

March 21 and 22 for cheese; Friday in Easter-week for horned and black cattle ; Friday

after May-day, Friday in Whitsun-week, St. James July 25, for horned cattle, &c.;

Sept. 27, 28, 29 for cheese; Friday before Old Michaelmas, meeting by custom, for horned








by James Pigot  1828-29


01. Church Maria                        Nottingham Road

02. Taft John                               Chester Place

03. Wood George                       13 Bath Street