19th Century Derby

1801 AD

Derby’s population stood at 14,695.

1808 AD

On November 22, Thomas Cook – the ‘inventor of modern tourism’ was born in Melbourne, Derbyshire.

1810 AD

The Derby General Infirmary opened on London Road.

1815 AD

Historian and poet William Hutton died on September 20. Born in Derby, he released the book ‘History of Derby’ in 1791 which is still used as a reference work today.

1820 AD

Derby’s Gas, Light & Coke Company was set up.

1821 AD

On February 19, Derby inaugurated gas lighting with a single lamp outside of the old Guild Hall.

1828 AD

Derby’s Guild Hall was demolished with a newer one erected south of the previous structures.

1831 AD

When the Reform Bill, which had passed the House of Commons, was defeated at a Tory-dominated House of Lords, riots occurred in many towns and cities including Derby. In Derby looting occurred, buildings were burned down and the gaols were attacked with prisoners being set free.

1833 – 1834 AD

Despite Trade Unions being forbidden by the Combination Act of 1825, 800 Derby silk workers joined a union in the hope of better wages and working conditions. After the workforce walked out due to the dismissal or a worker at the Peat & Frost mill and other workforces and trades showed their support, 20 proprietors locked out their men until they renounced the union. The strike ended on April 21, 1834.

1836 AD

On February 2, the Derby Corporation agreed to share a railway station to be built by North Midland Railway on the south-east of the town centre.

1836 AD

Fifteen years after the first gas lamp had been installed in Derby, there were now 210 gas lamps in operation in the town.

1837 AD

On October 19, the Derby Poor Law Union formally came into existence.

1837 – 1838 AD

Designed by John Mason, the first Derby Union was built on the south side of Osmaston Road.

1839 AD

At 1.18pm on May 30, the locomotive Sunbeam arrived at Derby’s temporary rail platform – the first steam locomotive to arrive at Derby.

1839 AD

The dedication ceremony was held at St. Mary’s Church on 9 October, with Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman preaching. The church had been designed by Augustus Pugin.

1840 AD

Derby Arboretum (the first public park in Britain), was opened on September 16. The Arboretum was donated to the town by Joseph Strutt, a former mayor of Derby and member of a prominent local family of industrialists.

1841 AD

The Midland Hotel – the first purpose-built railway hotel in the world – was designed and built by Francis Thompson.

1842 AD

The Great Flood of Derby occurred with flood levels in some areas of the town centre reaching between five to six feet.

1842 AD

The interior and part of the structure of the Guild Hall was rebuilt by to a design by Henry Duesbury after it was badly damaged by fire in 1841.

1846 AD

The new St. Alkmund’s Church was opened after being built by the architect Henry Isaac Stevens. Built directly in the line of sight of the Catholic St Mary’s Church, the Anglican church was referred to as ‘The Church of the Holy Spite’ for many years. The church was demolished in 1968 to make way for part of Derby’s inner ring road.

1849 AD

Queen Victoria spent the night in the Midland Hotel during her visit to Derby.

1849 AD

The Derby Co-operative Provident Society was founded. It is now part of the Central England Co-operative which has over 400 trading outlets and 8,000 staff.

1850 AD

John Lonsdale, the Bishop of Lichfield, opened a college for ‘the Training of School Mistresses’ on Uttoxeter New Road.

1851 AD

Derby’s population stood at 48,506.

1861 AD

The Corn Exchange, on the corner of Exchange Street and what is now Albert Street, opened in Derby.

1866 AD

Costing £29,000, the Market Hall was opened and became the UK’s first purpose-built indoor market.

1866 – 1867 AD

Iron Gate was widened with all buildings on the east side demolished.

1867 AD

Michael Thomas Bass, of the Bass Brewing family donated £12,000 for the creation of the Bass Recreation Ground in Derby. The land was restricted by covenant to ‘be forever used and enjoyed by the inhabitants of the Borough of Derby for a public play and recreation ground.’

1869 AD

On October 6, a report was published proposing a Free Library for the town of Derby.

1870 AD

During a meeting at the Guildhall in Derby on November 4, Derbyshire County Cricket Club was formed.

1871 AD

The Town and County Museum was purchased by the Borough of Derby and the library within it was expanded.

1873 AD

Michael Thomas Bass MP offered the sum of £4,500 for the creation of a purpose-built library.

1874 AD

Building commenced on the Normanton Barracks with the first soldiers arriving in 1877. The barracks became the HQ of the newly-formed Sherwood Foresters in 1881.

1875 AD

After an architectural competition to build Derby’s new library was won by R.K. Freeman of Bolton, Michael Thomas Bass increased his offer to £8,000 for the creation of a purpose-built library and the Borough Council provided the site.

1876 AD

Friar Gate Bridge was built by Andrew Handyside for the extension of the Great Northern Railway.

1876 – 1878 AD

Designed by architects William Giles, Robert Brookhouse and Thomas Brookhouse, a new Derby Workhouse was built on the north side of Uttoxeter Road. Later known as the Boundary Road Institution and then from 1948, Manor Hospital, the hospital eventually closed in 1988.

1877 AD

The Derbyshire Hospital for Sick Children was established on North Street. It became part of the National Health Service in 1948 and in 1996 moved into a modern building on the Royal Derby Hospital site.

1877 AD

A new factory was built on Osmaston Road for Crown Derby, (latterly Royal Crown Derby).

1878 AD

The Strand and Strand Arcade were opened in Derby.

1879 AD

The official opening of the Central Library and Museum by Michael Thomas Bass MP took place with a collection of around 11,600 books.

1882 AD

The Midland Drapery store was built on St. Peter’s Street. It was demolished in 1970.

1884 AD

A meeting was held at The Old Bell Hotel by the Derby Midland Cricket Club. At the meeting the members agreed to form their own football team and Derby County Football Club was born.

1886 AD

The Grand Theatre was opened on Babington Lane by Andrew Melville with its opening night on March 25. It remained as a theatre until 1950.

1886 AD

On May 6, a fire at the Grand Theatre killed actor John Adams, carpenter James Lockley and badly damaged the building. Andrew Melville rebuilt the theatre within six months, making it bigger and grander than it had previously been.

1890 AD

Queen Victoria appointed Crown Derby to be ‘manufacturers of porcelain to Her Majesty” and with a Royal Warrant gave them the title The Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company.

1891 AD

The Derby Silk Mill was almost completely destroyed by a fire.

1891 AD

Queen Victoria made a State Visit to Derby.

1891 AD

On May 21, Queen Victoria visited Derby and laid the foundation stone for the new Derbyshire Royal Infirmary.

1892 AD

On November 3, the foundation stone for the Midland Deaf and Dumb Institution on Friar Gate was laid by the Duchess of Devonshire.

1893 – 1894 AD

Large parts of St.Werburgh’s were rebuilt.

1894 AD

Rebuilding work that commenced in 1891 at the Derby General Infirmary was completed and the hospital was reopened as the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary.

1894 AD

On October 18, the Midland Deaf and Dumb Institution on Friar Gate was formally opened by the Duchess of Rutland.

Silk Mill Mural depicting the Silk Trades’ Lock-out of 1833-34 – (see 1833-34 AD)

St. Mary’s Church – (Oct 9, 1839 AD)

Corn Market, Derby, c 1855.
Iron Gate looking south, c 1859.