Posts Tagged ‘Derby’

Derby Cathedral

Posted: May 2, 2019 in Derbyshire, History, UK
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Founded in the mid-10th century, the church was rebuilt in 1725 except for the tower which dates from the 16th century. It became a Cathedral in 1927 when the Diocese of Derby was created.

The retro-choir was designed in the 1930s but was not added until the 1970s.

The Museum was opened in 1878 in a building it shared with the public library. It was extended when a new building was built adjacent to the original building in 1964. It contains some interesting galleries including

* Paintings by local artist Joseph Wright

* History of Derby

* Reconstruction of the room from Exeter House in 1745 when it was briefly the command centre of the Jacobite army.

* The regimental museum of the 9th/12th Lancers, the Sherwood Foresters and the Derbyshire Yeomanry.

Charles Edward Stuart was the grandson of King James II who had been forced to abdicate from the British throne in 1688. Charles’ father had briefly attempted to take the throne in 1715 but had not been able to raise the support in Scotland to challenge for the throne. So in 1745, it fell to Charles, Bonnie Prince Charlie as he would become known, to take up the Stuart cause.

He landed in Northern Scotland in July and proceeded south gathering support and in September took Edinburgh. He defeated the British forces at Prestonpans and decided to make a rapid descent on London. He marched south but although he did not encounter much resistance, he received little support and tired and worn-out his army reached Derby on 4th December 1745. During the 5th a messenger arrived with information that a large British force blocked the road to London and that two others were approaching from the West Midlands. Unbeknown to the Stuarts, this was inaccurate as all 3 forces were still days away and the road to London was still open. Acting on the information as they understood it, the Scottish Lords argued for retreat and Charles reluctantly agreed.

A reconstruction of the room in Exeter House where the Jacobites held their council of war in Derby (items and furnishings removed when it was demolished)

So a day after reaching Derby they began to march north again and kept going until they reached Glasgow. Another British army was encountered near Falkirk and the Scots again were successful, but despite this, the generals and Lords still argued for a return to their Highland lands to regroup. This delay was all the British Generals needed to muster their forces and the final battle was fought at Culloden near Inverness and resulted in a massive defeat for the Stuart army.

Charles escaped and despite a large reward and some narrow escapes he made it back to the continent where he continued to live until 1788. 

There is evidence of Pre-historic occupation in the Derby area.

The Romans built a fort on the site in 50AD and a vicus (town) grew up around it. However when the Romans left Britain the site was abandoned.

There was possibly an Anglo-Saxon settlement in the area, but the Vikings founded a settlement in 873 which was captured by the Saxons in 917. It prospered and a mint and market are recorded in the 10th century.

Viking Sword

The Doomsday book (1086) records a population of 2000 (The average size of a village was about 100-150).  It received charters in 1154 and 1204 and a wool industry was established in the town. Despite outbreaks of the plague in 1636 and 1665, the town continued to grow. The UK’s first silk mill was opened in Derby in 1717.

Bonnie Prince Charlie

The city was occupied by the Jacobite Army in December 1745 and King George I visited in 1773 and warranted the change of name for the local china from Derby to Crown Derby (it later became Royal Crown Derby by permission of Queen Victoria). The Railway reached Derby in 1839 and the Midland Railway soon set up a depot for maintenance and construction of engines.

The Old Roundhouse from the Railway Works

In 1907 Rolls Royce opened a factory manufacturing cars and airoplane engines.