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In 1761, the celebrated engineer, Mr. John Smeaton, examined this part and seven miles further down the Trent, and found that in dry seasons there was not more than eight inches depth of water over the shoals, and that it was impossible for boats to pass, except by the aid of flushes of water let down for that purpose at King's Mills (the lowest on the Trent) and from Little Wilne Mill on the Derwent. To remedy this inconvenience, a side cut of ten miles was proposed to be made, and an Act of Parliament was obtained, but the plan has not been carried into effect. The gravel and other deposits are occasionally removed from the shoals by a sort of dredging machine called a gravel plough, which consists of a large iron shovel, suspended between four large wheels and drawn by four horses.
With these roads and canals, the facilities of communication and of the interchange of commodities is great, so that, notwithstanding the irregularity of surface which distinguishes the northern part of the county, there are few parts of England where travellers or visitants, whether business or pleasure be their object, meet with more conveniences.
The intercourse with the south of England and with Kent and Essex is carried on chiefly by the London mail, which arrives in Derby at half past nine in the morning, and leaves that town at half past four in the afternoon. The same mail-coach proceeds onwards through Ashbourn, and thus carries on the communication with Manchester and Liverpool, the whole of the northwest of England, Glasgow and the south-west of Scotland, and with Dublin and the north of Ireland.— With the south-west and west of England, including Bristol, Bath and the manufactories of Somersetshire, and with Wales and the south of Ireland, the intercourse is carried on by the Birmingham mail, which arrives in Derby every morning. By the Nottingham and York or northern mails, there are constant communications between this county with the north-eastern districts of England, with Edinburgh and the eastern parts of Scotland. There are also numerous stage-coaches, and cars to various towns within and beyond the county, which are enumerated with the time of their arrival and departure in the Directory portion of this work, where will also be found lists of carriers, vans, wagons and fly-wagons and of the canal-boats and fly-boats.
Such are the means of carriage and of commercial communication within the county itself, and with other parts of the kingdom. The internal trade possesses the advantage of well-frequented fairs and markets. The fairs are held at about four and twenty of the principal towns and villages. The cheese-fairs of Derby are much frequented by dealers and factors. There are also cheese-fairs at Chesterfield, Ashbourn and Chapel-en-le-Frith. Cattle-fairs are principally held in Derby, but there are also very considerable fairs for cattle in other parts of the county. Fairs in which horses and horned cattle are met with in great abundance are held at Ashbourn, where on St. Andrew's day particularly, horses continue to arrive from the neighbouring and even distant counties during the preceding week. Sheep, wool, &c. are found at most of these fairs in abundance. The most celebrated fairs for shows, ribands, toys, &c. commonly called holiday or gig fairs, are the Whitsun-Friday fair at Derby, and the October fair at Newhaven.— There are in this county eight market towns which are well attended, and at Buxton, Belper and Cromford, markets have been established of a more modern date, the two last having been rendered necessary by the increase of population which the manufactories of Messrs. Strutt and Messrs. Arkwright drew to those places. Formerly there were markets held at Bolsover, Crich, Higham, Matlock, &c. but they are either much declined or wholly discontinued. - Auctions are conducted as in other parts of the country. Sales by ticket* are known chiefly among wood-dealers, who purchase the
* Sales by ticket are in some parts of the county conducted in a very particular manner. They are thus described by Mr. Farey. “In Glossop the timber and wood is sold standing, as by that means the auction duty is avoided : but more commonly the sale is by ticket, the process of which was described to me by Mr. Matthew Ellison, agent to the Hon. Barnard Edward Howard.— The buyers and the vendor being assembled at a public house, the vendor puts a folded ticket, containing his price of the lot about to be sold, into a glass on the table ; each of the buyers does the same, and then the vendor opens all the tickets but his own, and declares the name of the highest bidder, but not the amount of his offer: a second delivery of tickets by the buyer then takes place, and the name of the highest bidder amongst them is again declared ; and then a third delivery, which, according to the practice about Glossop, decides the sale ; unless on opening the vendor's ticket, none of the biddings come up to it, when the sale is void, unless the highest bidder, or the next or the following in succession, should agree to come up to the vendor's price in the ticket, the amount of which is however not declared, unless a disposition manifests itself among the buyers, to further advances.”
spring wood of twenty-five years' growth, according to the ticketed value set upon it by professional wood valuers, engaging to cut and clear it away by the Lady-day next following, and to pay the money in moieties, at the Midsummer and Christmas following the sale. In what
may be termed the external commerce of the county, it will not be supposed, that an inland district can boast of an equality with some of those busy and improving parts of the kingdom that lay upon the coast ; yet, by means of the Trent and of the various canal navigations, it participates largely in the general trade and transit of commodities enjoyed by the kingdom at large.
The principal circulating medium, until the recent Act of Parliament for suppressing the issue of one pound notes, was, together with the silver and copper coin of the realm, chiefly the promissory paper of resident bankers, who are distinguished and esteemed for their solidity and probity; and it has been remarked, that a decided preference was given, by the receivers of payment, to these notes of our local bankers, to those of the bank of England. The names of the bankers of the county, and of the bankers in London, on whom they usually draw, will be found in the Directory part of this work.—Silver tokens, purporting to be of one shilling value, issued by different manufacturers in Sheffield and other places, were, during the latter years of the last war, in considerable circulation; and this species of money yielded very slowly and reluctantly to the Acts of Parliament that were passed to suppress them. The Soho coinage of copper was also, during the same period, extensively circulated in all parts of the country, and always preferred to the old tower halfpence.* During the seventeenth century, there were many tradesmen's copper tokens struck in the town of Derby; and those in the following list are still in the possession of William Bateman, esq. F.A.S. Rev. R. Simpson, F.R.S. &c. and Mr. John Swanwick.
A list of tradesmen's Copper Tokens, struck in the town and county of Derby.
ALFRETON 1. Obverse, Cornelius Launder (arms)-Reverse, in Alfreton, 1663.
2. Ob. Robert Wright (device, a bee-hive)— Rev. of Alfreton, 1668 (device a man's head.) ASHBOURN 1. Ob. Thomas Baguley — Rev. in Ashburne.
2. Ob. William Brunt - Rev. in Ashburne, 1671 (W. B.)
6. 06. Marie Sleigh (arms) — Rev. in Ashburne (her halfpenny.) BAKEWELL .......
1. Ob. John Dickens of — Rev. Bakewell, 1669.
2. 06. Thomas Grammer (arms) – Rev. in Bakewell, Derbyshire (TM.) BELPER
1. Ob. Joseph Clarke at (a crown)— Rev. Belpar lane end (J. C.)
2. Ob. James Jackson of (arms)— Rev. Belpar (his halfpenny.)
2. Ob. James Dutton (device, a lion) - Rev. in Chesterfield, 1666.
6. Ob. Richard Wood - Rev. of Chesterfield (RW.) CRICH
1. Ob. Thomas Lowe of — Rev. Critche, butcher, 1669.
I saw the toll collectors, on several roads, peremptorily refuse these still legal coins of the realm, and shut their gates against the traveller, until he produced a sixpence or shilling, or more probably a token for change. Farey, Vol. III. page 512.
DERBY 1. 06. John Dunnidge (arms) — Rev. (1 P.) in Darby, 1663.
2. 06. Thomas Beebye (arms) - Rev. in Darby, 1664 (his halfpenny.)
vice, two doves meeting.)
R. V. DORE ..............,
1. Ob. Robert Unwen, in (hammer and pincers)—Rev. Dore in Darbyshire
Rev. in Eckington
HH. 1. Ob. Henry Hazlehurst.
2. 06. John Lowe of Higham, butcher, 1669– Rev. his halfpenny (arms.)
2. 06. Edward Ashe (arms)— Rev. in Tideswell, 1667.
5. 06. Richard Middleton (his halfpenny) - Rev. in Tydswall, 1669 (+). WINSTER 1. Ob. Ralph Bowers (arms) - Rev. in Winster, 1666
2. 06. Thomas Wigley (TW) - Rev. in Wirksworth (arms.)
5. Ob. Richard Heape (arms)— Rev. in Wirksworth (RH.)
We cannot conclude this chapter without noticing the frequently urged question relative to the effects of manufacturing enterprise upon the interests of the agriculturists; particularly as this county combines and intermingles those interests more closely than almost any other district of the realm. We may safely admit, that farming has been a less profitable pursuit, than the many species of manufactures carried on in Derbyshire; and it is also probable that the landowners in this neighbourhood are more affected in their interests by manufactures than by general commerce; but, it is equally certain that the profits of manufacture, together with the accumulating population which is drawn around it, must have a tendency to stimulate agricultural industry. Agriculture has, undoubtedly, obtained many very substantial advantages from the proximity of enterprising capitalists, and we need only to point out the north-western district of the High Peak, where agricultural improvements would not have been known, had not the streams in its barren and mountainous declivities invited manufacturers to render their waters subservient to the purpose of the powerful machinery which gradually arose upon their banks. It has also been observed, that when men of commercial and manufacturing pursuits engage in agriculture, they soon acquire sufficient experience to enable them to carry into effect very considerable plans of draining or irrigation, and of other modes of meliorating the land and of rendering it more generally productive, than would have ever entered into the imagination of the habitual or regularly bred farmer. In a word, we may venture to assert, that these interests which are often thought to be in conflict, have, in reality, a mutual accordance with each other.
Antiquities : British remains; Castle-hill Barrows, Arbelows; Roo-Tor rocks, Graned Tor and
other Tors, Nine Ladies, Rocking stones, Robin Hood's mark, 8c. Celts, &c.- Roman antiquities, camps, stations, coins, fc. Ancient Saxon, Danish and other remains.
THE antiquities of any country or district are those vestiges of its earlier inhabitants, by the investigation of which, much of their origin, their manners and their superstition may be discovered. They aid the labours of the historian, and serve, frequently, either to corroborate or confute the voice of popular tradition or the legends of the poets. In Derbyshire there are many of these important memorials, but it will be our business to describe them and to leave their critical examination to others. Of those that are to be ascribed to a period antecedent to the invasion of this island by the Romans under the command of Cæsar, there are remains probably belonging to the worship and interment of the Britons, the earliest inhabitants of this island known to authenticated history.
At Pilsbury, in Hartington parish, in a deep valley on the banks of the Dove, in a field called Castle Hills, are some ancient remains deserving of notice. On the east side is a sharp natural ridge of rocks, which in one part rises to the height of seven or eight yards, bearing some resemblance to a sugar loaf. Adjoining to this is a raised bank, enclosing an area of about sixty yards from north to south, and forty from east to west, and having a barrow near its western side, about forty yards in diameter. Southward of the barrow is a second bank, forming a square of nearly thirty yards each way.
A large barrow is to be seen on a high eminence called Wolf's-cote hill, in Hartington parish; and upon
common, which extends ten miles in the direction of north and south, are many barrows, generally situate on the highest points of ground. Near Brassington there is a remarkable low or barrow, called Mining low, having a number of vaults carried round its circumference, several of them now exposed to sight. During the time of the enclosure, a quantity of human bones were found on the moor.
Between two and three miles north-east of Newhaven, at a little distance beyond the Roman road from Buxton to Little Chester, is one of the most remarkable monuments of antiquity in Derbyshire. This is the ARBOR-Low or Arbelows, a druidical circle, surrounded by a ditch and vallum. Its situation, though considerably elevated, is not so high as some eminences in the neighbouring country; yet it commands an extensive view, especially to the north-east. The area, encompassed by the ditch, is about fifty yards in diameter, and of a circular form ; though, from a little declination of the ground towards the north, it appears somewhat elliptical, when viewed from particular points. The stones which compose the circle are rough and unhewn masses of limestone, apparently thirty in number ; but this cannot be determined with certainty, as several are broken. Most of them are from six to eight feet in length, and three or four broad in the widest part; their thickness is more variable, and their respective shapes are different. They all lie on the ground, and generally in an oblique position ; but the opinion that has prevailed, of the narrowest end of each being pointed towards the centre, in order to represent the rays of the sun, and prove that luminary to have been the object of worship, must have arisen from inaccurate observation : for they almost as frequently point towards the ditch as otherwise. Whether they ever stood upright, as most of the stones of druidical circles do, is an enquiry not easy to determine; though Mr. Pilkington was informed, that a very old man living in Middleton, remembered, when a boy, to have seen them standing obliquely upon one end. This second