"View of Derby", facing page 125
This delightful engraving of Derby was done especially
"History of Derby" by Henry Moore.
"The town of Derby is situated in a valley; extending and opening
it advances southward, into a fine and well cultivated plain.
It stands upon the western banks of the Derwent, on ground a
little elevated above the level of the surrounding vale: its
situation is, therefore, very pleasant; and the scenery in its
environs extremely beautiful.
Antiquarians do not agree, in the derivation of the word Derby.
Historians inform us, that during the Heptarchy, the Saxons called
it Northworthig; but of this appellation, not a trace
now remains. In the time of the Danes, it was called Deorby;
a word laid to be compounded of two Saxon ones, signifying a
habitation for deer. To support this derivation, it is alleged,
that the ground on which the town now stands, was once a park,
stocked with deer.
This appears to derive some probability from the town's arms,
exhibiting a buck couchant in a park; and from one of the lanes
adjoining the town being called Lodge-lane. - But when it is
recollected, that a park was not known in England until the arrival
of the Normans, and a coat of armoury until a period much later,
and, that Derby was a considerable town before the introduction
of either; it does not appear very likely, that it derived its
name from deer in a park. The most probable conjecture
is, that the name of the town, and that of the river Derwent
have the same origin; that originally it was called Derwentby,
or the town by the Derwent ; and that in process of time this
name was corrupted or abbreviated into Deorby or Derby.
Derby is undoubtedly a place of great antiquity; but in what
age, or by what nation, it was founded, is impossible to determine.
It is supposed to have been a place of some consequence prior
to the Roman invasion. That people generally fixed their stations
in the vicinity of some British town; and as it is ascertained
that Derventio or Little Chester was one of these:
Derby therefore appears from its small distance from it, to have
existed before the time of the Romans".