18th Century Derby

c.1714 AD

Derby’s first Assembly Rooms were built in Full Street.

1721 AD

The world’s first factory was built for the Lombe brothers by George Sorocold on the site of the current Derby Museum of Making. John Lombe himself had travelled to Italy in 1716 and stole plans for silk manufacturing machinery from mills in Piedmont.

1722 AD

John Lombe died. It has been alleged that he was poisoned by an assassin from Italy in an act of revenge for stealing the plans which made the Silk Mill in Derby possible.

1726 AD

The Derby Post-Man newspaper began publication.

1727 AD

Darley Hall was built by Smith of Warwick. It was located on what is now Darley Park but was demolished in 1962.

1729 AD

All Saints Workhouse was erected on Walker Lane.

1730 AD

St Werburgh’s Workhouse was erected on Friar Gate.

1730 AD

The medieval guildhall in the Market Place was demolished and replaced by a new guildhall designed by the architect Richard Jackson. Six years later a new turret clock designed by John Whitehurst was added.

1732 AD

The Derby Mercury newspaper began publication and ran until 1900.

1735 AD

Samuel Johnson, author of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language – one of the most famous dictionaries in history, married Elizabeth Porter (née Jervis) on July 9, 1735 at St. Werburgh’s Church.

1750 AD

Devonshire House was built in the Cornmarket. It was later demolished to become the site of Littlewoods and now houses Primark.

c.1752 – 1775 AD

Derby’s second Assembly Rooms were erected on the north side of the Market Place and were provided by the Duke of Devonshire.

1756 AD

André Planché formed a partnership with William Duesbury and John Heath, creating what would ultimately become the Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company.

1769 AD

Joseph Pickford, a local architect built an elegant Georgian townhouse at No. 41 Friar Gate. It was opened as a museum in 1988 as Pickford’s House Museum.

1771 AD

The world’s first water-powered cotton spinning mill was opened by Richard Arkwright in Cromford, Derbyshire.

1773 AD

On September 13, Derby’s Theatre Royal opened with a performance of Oliver Goldsmith’s ‘She Stoops to Conquer’. The theatre closed in 1952.

1777 AD

A Parliamentary Report stated that Derby had five workhouses – St. Alkmund, All Saints’, St. Peter’s, St. Werburgh and St. Michael’s.

1796 AD

The Derby Canal was opened.

1797 AD

A survey of the poor was conducted in England and concluded that those who were employed in Derby were largely employed in the silk and cotton mills.

Darley Hall – (see 1727 AD)

The Guildhall ‘Town Hall’, Market Place, Derby, c 1730s – (see 1730 AD)