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Arkwright & His Cotton Mill in Matlock Bath
Masson Mill was Richard Arkwright's third mill in the district
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Richard Arkwright's imposing red brick Masson Mill is situated on the west bank of the River Derwent in Matlock Bath, near the south entrance to the dale. This mill was built in 1783 and is sited close to Willersley Castle, the mansion house Arkwright built for himself. Willersley is slightly down river on the opposite bank from Masson Mill and the mill is hidden from view.

Masson Mill was Arkwright's third mill and the photograph of it, right, was taken looking upstream towards Cat Tor. The white bar just discernible in the centre of the picture is the weir that held back the water for both the cotton mill and a nearby paper mill - which was built before the cotton mill[1] but is now part of the mill complex. Slightly lower left of centre is where the mill stream returns to the river.

Arkwright built his first mill in 1771 in the nearby village of Cromford, at the end of the dale, and this mill was the world's first water powered cotton spinning mill. A few years later it was to become the subject of a very powerful painting, dated about 1782-3, by the Derby painter Joseph Wright. 'Arkwright's Cotton Mills at Night' shows all the mill windows illuminated, which must have been an awesome sight in what were very small country villages. The artist painted Arkwright's second Cromford mill in 1776. In 1840 the mineralogist William Adam opined that the night time view of Masson mill was "exceedingly imposing. The spacious mill, with its hundred lights reflecting on the river and the thick foliage, mingling the din of wheels with the noise of the waterfall"[2].

Two late eighteenth century antiquaries, William Bray and James Pilkington, were the earliest to write about Arkwright's mills. Bray recorded that the first mill, at Cromford, "carries on the business [of spinning cotton] with great advantage to himself [Arkwright] and the neighbourhood. It employs about 200 persons, chiefly children. Another mill, as large as the first, is building here (1783), new houses are rising round it and every thing wears the face of industry and cheerfulness"[3]. Pilkington thought the third mill, "in Matlock Dale", was "a very large and handsome building"[4]. The mills were by then (1789) employing a total of 800 people.

William Adam noted that Masson Mill was "replete with the improved machinery employed in making cotton thread"[2].

Not everyone approved of the mill or the site that Arkwright and his partners had chosen. Around twenty years before Adam was in Matlock Bath Ebenezer Rhodes expressed his dismay in "Peak Scenery": "... a cotton mill obtrudes on the scene. _ What is such an object to do in such a place? _ Its presence here, amidst some of the finest scenery of nature, is only calculated to disturb ... In another place, the weir near the cotton mill might be a pleasing object; but in a scene like Matlock dale, where every artificial interference is offensive, it is incongruous and out of place"[5].

Nor was Rhodes the only person to voice criticism. Firth was less than flattering about the architecture in 1908 when he described "the great brick cotton mills with their stone quoins and windows, and their tall chimney"[6]. The chimney, which has been restored within the last few years, had not been erected long before Firth wrote this. He clearly didn't think much of either the mill or Glenorchy Chapel, which he considered to be even uglier than the mill.

Masson Mill, Matlock Bath, DBY is on the banks of the River Derwent.
© Frank Clay
The original Masson Mill is a grade II listed building
beside the River Derwent in Matlock Bath.
Reproduced with the kind permission of the late Frank Clay.

Advertisements for skilled workers for the first mill, built in Cromford:

{ Derby Mercury, 13 December 1771
{ Derby Mercury, 20 December 1771

Cotton Mill, Cromford, 10th Dec, 1771.
WANTED immediately, two
Journeymen Clock-Makers, or others that
understands Tooth and Pinion well : Also a Smith that
can forge and file. - Likewise two Wood Turners that
have been accustomed to Wheel-making, Spole-turning,
&c. Weavers residing in this Neighbourhood, by
applying at the Mill, may have good Work. There is
Employment at the above Place, for Women, Children,
&c. and good Wages.
N.B. A Quantity of Box Wood is wanted : Any
Persons whom the above may suit, will be treated with
by Messrs. Arkwright and Co. at he Mill, or Mr. Strutt,
in Derby.

Davies, who wrote a "History" of the county in 1811, had described Willersley, the mill workers and their housing in the early years of the nineteenth century: "The spacious and elegant mansion of Richard Arkwright Esq. ... together with the numerous dwellings of the persons he employs [at Cromford]. This is indeed a different scene from the calm and sequestered environs of Matlock ; but it is by no means an unpleasing one ; for industry and neatness are combined to give an air of comfort and animation to the whole of the surrounding district ; and cold and unfeeling must be the heart which does not experience gratification at the sight of happy human faces, or know a sentiment of delight at hearing the sounds of merriment and cheerfulness amongst the poorest of their fellow mortals"[7]. When Sir Richard Arkwright was alive he worked long hours and expected the same from his employees.

Hereford Journal 31 July 1783
COUNTRY NEWS. Derby, July 24.
Richard Arkwright, Esq. of Cromford, near Matlock, has given to 27 of his principal workmen, 27 fine milch cows, worth from 81. to 101. each, for the service of their respective families.

Leeds Intelligencer 17 May 1785
Last week between 40 and 50 North Britons, with bagpipes and other music playing, arrived at Cromford near Matlock Bath, from Perth in Scotland : These industrious fellows left that place on account of the scarcity of work, were immediately taken into the service of Richard Arkwright, Esq; in his cotton mills and other extensive works, entered into present pay, and provided with good quarters.-They appeared highly pleased with the reception they met with, and had a dance in the evening to congratulate each other on the perfrmance of so long a journey.

Masson Mill's employees were walking some distance to get to and from work, including from homes in Wirksworth - "more than three miles of one of the steepest roads in England". A few were walking twice that distance. Glover noted in 1829 that of the 1500 employees at Arkwright's three mills, four-fifths are women and children[8]. In 1850 much of the workforce was made up of "young girls, the children of lead miners ... these young girls are employed under the new law ten hours a day ; under the old one it was often fourteen, and even sixteen - at a kind of work which keeps them rigorously standing the whole time. ... The Arkwrights are not famous for giving high wages ; their rates are probably" 20% lower than in the wages paid in the Lancashire mill towns of Preston, Blackburn etc. Yet most did not want to exchange the pleasant surroundings of the Derbyshire towns and villages they lived in for higher wages available in a large industrial town[9].

Ownership of the mill remained with the Arkwright family until 1897 when Masson Mill became part of the English Sewing Cotton Company. At the turn of the century (19th to 20th) the man in charge of Masson Mill was John Edward Lawton, who built a very imposing house overlooking the mill. Lawton's house was called Woodbank when it was first built it but later became Cromford Court. Mr. Lawton was described at the time as "being the chief director of the English Sewing Cotton & American Thread Combines, which have a value of £8,000,000 in shares"[10].

A 1908 Directory stated that "the Masson Cotton Mills .... give employment to many of the inhabitants" of the district[1908].

Apart from a few additions over the years, the Masson Mill of 1910 was "practically identical with that erected by Sir Richard Arkwright in 1784, though its scope and the machinery have changed and developed with the times. Situated low, on the leafy banks of the Derwent, the tall chimney and close set of windows form a by no means unpicturesque feature among the surrounding trees, especially when approached from the direction of Derby. At night, the brilliant light pouring from many windows, and the distinctive throb of the engines, gives a furious and relentless activity, an impression quite at variance with the quiet, steady progress of the work actually existing. ... For night work, a separate staff, of men only, are employed, who receive a higher rate of pay. Having become accustomed to the turning of night into day, these are unwilling to change, the great attraction of night work being the holiday of three whole days involved at the end of the week. ... The hours of labour are ten for women and twelve for men". The journalist added that one of the advantages Masson Mill had for its workers, whether consciously or unconsciously, was the view - instead of the grimy bricks and mortar of northern towns, the view from the windows was "the delightful and ever changing beauty of the Lovers' Walks, and in summer the ripple of the river and the song of birds are heard through the rush of machinery"[12]. If they had the time to look out it would have been a major benefit, but one suspects there was little opportunity for the enjoyment of the scenery in the working day.


Employees of Cromford & Masson Mills[11]

Beginning of nineteenth century - 1150
(150 men, 300 women, 700 children)

1845 - 1200 hands
Owner & employer: Mr. Peter Arkwright

Masson Mill from Harp Edge, about 1900.
Before the chimney was built
Arkwrights of Masson Mill, Advertising for school leavers, 1946
Matlock Bath: Woodbank, later Cromford Court More about Mr. Lawton, whose input ensured the Mill provided employment until close to the end of the 20th century.
Matlock Bath: Woodbank, 1910
Coloured view of Woodbank and Arkwright's Mason Mill taken from Harp Edge
Matlock Bath: The Rutland Arms & Masson Mill - early twentieth century photograph

River Derwent, Masson Weir
Permission was granted to convey water to the paper mill on the banks of the Derwent. The Masson weir was then constructed. Includes information about the "goit" (mill race). Six images.
Masson Mill's Water Wheel, about 1930

Things were soon to change. The following year a major extension was added to the southern end, covering a garden tended by the mill's foreman that can be seen in some postcards and photographs. Building began in the first week of January 1911 and by May the same year it was practically complete. Over 500 tons of steel had been used in the new build as well as a million and a half bricks, with additional material in the form of local sandstone from the Black Rocks also used. It was planned by Sydney Stott of Oldham and the building contractors were E. Marshall and sons of Ashton-under-Lyne. The third storey of the new building was level with Derby Road and this was connected by a cart way to the loading door. A sprinkling tank, in case of fire, was at the top of a square tower with the main entrance at its foot. Although the Derby newspaper described the building as "handsome" it was hardly a ringing endorsement that the architects had endeavoured to make the new building "as little of an eyesore as possible" as they were careful of "tender local susceptibilities where scenery is concerned"! A historic cedar tree to the south was therefore spared[13].

During evidence given at the hearing for Matlock's Traction Bill on 10th May the same year, the select committee of the House of Lords were told that "the road [through Matlock Bath] could not be widened where Masson Mill had just been extended[15].

At the outbreak of the First World War the mill's Directors encouraged its male workers to enlist and fourteen of them did not come home. After the conflict had ended those who had survived were welcomed back with a tea for them, plus their wives and fiancées, at the mill and they were presented with a small token of appreciation[15].

By 1922 the Masson Cotton Mills were "now the property of Sir Richard Arkwright and Co. Limited (branch of the English Sewing Cotton Co. Limited)"[1922] and the mill continued to be a major employer in the district for many years, finally closing on Friday 8 November 1991. In relatively recent times the mill building has been turned into a Museum and shopping centre.

In December 2001 UNESCO´s World Heritage Committee in Finland awarded World Heritage status to the mills, along with other notable mill sites in the Derwent Valley. Arkwright's buildings have, therefore, been acknowledged to be of importance both nationally and worldwide.

green button Sir Richard Arkwright

Bicentenary Souvenir
Sir Richard Arkwright
Founder of the factory system
Image provided by and © Ann Andrews
born Preston 23 Dec 1732; died Cromford 3 Aug 1792
Image of bicentenary commemorative plate © Ann Andrews.

Arkwright was one of the greatest men in the British Industrial Revolution and some say that he was the greatest of them all. Adam said of the inventors and mill owners generally that "they have opened new and boundless fields of employment[2]". They totally changed life in Britain.

He was a "self-made man", having being born into a poor household and a large family. He received a little education, but was largely self taught. He began his working life apprenticed to a barber[16] and later travelled the country buying human hair which he then dyed, using a secret recipe he had, and sold to wig-makers[17]. Whilst travelling around "he was brought into constant intercourse with persons engaged in weaving and spinning"[11]. He began to experiment with machinery.

He became acquainted with a Warrington clockmaker called Kay and the two men applied to Peter Atherton of Warrington (later of Liverpool) for assistance to construct an engine for spinning cotton. Whilst Atherton withdrew a loan offer to Arkwright because of the his appearance, he lent money to Kay[18]. So Arkwright was still able to make his first engine, afterwards patented. A venture with Mr. John Smalley of Preston, to construct his machine in a Preston schoolhouse, aroused suspicion amongst the locals. This caused Arkwright, Smalley and Kay moving to Nottingham; Smalley became Arkwright's first partner and Kay became a mechanic for him. It resulted in Arkwright's first patent for spinning cotton. "His circumstances were too unfavourable to enable him to commence business on his own account and few were willing to risk the loss of capital on a new establishment"[7]. In 1770 Arkwright entered into a partnership with Samuel Need of Nottingham and Jedediah Strutt of Derby, initially for a horse powered cotton mill in Nottingham though this proved too expensive. Then came the idea change to water power and Cromford Mill was built using water from the Cromford Sough. The Arkwright / Need / Strutt partnership ended about 1781[19].

Arkwright also had dealings with Peter Nightingale of Lea, with whom he eventually fell out[20]. It was Nightingale who built Rock House in Cromford, Arkwright's Derbyshire home.

  Arkwright's Spinning Frame, model of
Model of Arkwright's Spinning Frame[11]

Richard Arkwright bought the Willersley estate, which lies within the parish of Matlock, from Thomas Hallet Hodges Esq. in 1782[21]. About three thousand pounds was spent removing a "large rock" so the mansion could be built[7]. Unfortunately for the family, a stove caught fire on 8 Aug 1791, as Willersley Castle was nearing completion, and they were unable to move in. The house was rebuilt but Arkwright himself never lived there.


Willersley Castle.
Built by Arkwright, but he never lived in the property. Repairs following the 1791 fire, which he had witnessed, were not complete when he died.

In his Will, written on 1 Jul 1892, he mentions Willersley:
"It is my express wish and direction that my said son [Richard] shall with all convenient speed after my decease complete in a proper manner the mansion house I have lately built ... "[22]

He was knighted in 1786[23], when he was the Sheriff of the county, and arms were granted a little later. Reverend Davies, who regarded Arkwright as a genius, said that "He was knighted by his present majesty[24], on the 22nd of December, 1786, on occasion of presenting an address, as high sheriff of the county of Derby"[7].

Just under four months after receiving his knighthood he celebrated King George III's recovery from illness at Cromford "in a style of superior elegance to any thing ever exhibited in that part of the country". A large bonfire was lit during the day, with ale provided "for the populace". At night "a large transparency was exhibited, the whole length of the semi circular cotton mill" with the words "Rejoice all men for the King liveth" displayed in lights. A large number of people, accompanied by torch bearers and a band, marched to Arkwright's house where he and several gentleman drank various loyal toasts. This was accompanied by hearty cheers from the crowd who sang several songs. Arkwright also marked the occasion by giving 2,000 loaves of bread to the poor inhabitants of Cromford and its vicinity[25].

Davies stated that "at the same time that he was inventing and improving the machinery ... he was extending his business on a large scale ; he was introducing in every department of the manufacture a system of industry, order and cleanliness, till then unknown in any manufactory where great numbers were employed together...[7]". He added "that during this entire period, he was afflicted with a grievous disorder (a violent asthma) which was always extremely oppressive, and threatened sometimes to put an immediate termination to his existence, his great exertions must excite astonishment. For some time previous to his death, he was rendered incapable of continuing his usual pursuits, by a complication of diseases which at length deprived him of life ...[7] [26]

The merits of Sir Richard Arkwright may be summed up by observing "that the object in which he was engaged, is of the highest public value ; that though his family were enriched, the benefits which have accrued to the nation, have been incalculably greater ; and that upon the whole he is entitled to the respect and admiration of the world"[7].

Arkwright led and others followed. His ideas about a factory system were reproduced elsewhere - from the German mill of the same name (Cromford Mill in Ratingen, Germany) to, many years later, Titus Salt's factory at Saltaire near Bradford. A good example of the factory system in the United States is Blackinton in North Adams, Massachusetts.
Lithograph of Blackinton from 1889 by L.R. Burleigh with list of landmarks.

Sir Richard Arkwright.
Three-quarter-length portrait of the great industrialist. He was wearing a brown coat and knee breeches, seated in a chair, with his left arm on a table.
Landscape background (this information from the Castle's sale catalogue, 1927)[27]

Arkwright had to be wary of others trying to steal his inventions. It was for that very reason there were no windows onto the roadway on the ground floor of Cromford Mill. He also had to undergo two trials regarding some of his patents that were set aside as a result. Recent research by Dr Richard Hills, discussed in "The Derwent Valley Mills and their Communities", shows he should not have lost.

A few days after his death in 1792 the whole population of the district turned out to line the roadsides when his funeral took place[11]. It was said that "more than 2000 Persons, and near 200 Carriages attended the Funeral solemnities"[28]. He was at first buried at Matlock's Parish Church, but when St. Mary's Church at Cromford was completed his body was moved and reburied there[29].
J. P. Malcolm described the funeral in a piece for The Gentleman's Magazine in 1793. This is transcribed elsewhere on this site (pp.44-46).

The rise in the fortunes of the Arkwright family had been rapid. They continued to improve after Sir Richard's death, thanks to his son's interest in finance and land; shortly after his death in 1843 Richard Arkwright was described as "the wealthiest commoner"[30].

green button Additional notes

The Arkwright Festival was held in 1971 to celebrate the bicentenary of the building of his first mill at Cromford. The image of Arkwright, above, is on a small commemorative plate produced for the festival.

Joseph Wright painted several portraits of Sir Richard Arkwright including the famous privately owned portrait of him that shows a seated Arkwright resplendent in scarlet jacket and striped cream and green waistcoat with a model of the machine which revolutionized the cotton industry on the table beside him[31].
National Portrait Gallery : for example, see Sir Richard Arkwright, two portraits

There is a painting of his grandsons also by Wright of Derby, Three Children of Richard Arkwright with a Kite (1791), that is listed amongst the Collections of the Tate Gallery, London.
Tate Gallery, London

Richard Arkwright's Will is held by The National Archive and you can purchase and download a copy of it.
Discovery - at the National Archives ( Will of Sir Richard Arkwright of Cromford, Derbyshire 4 September 1792, PROB 11/1222)

Erasmus Darwin wrote a comment about Arkwright and his mill in verse.
Matlock & Matlock Bath: Inspiration of Poets.

Suggested Further Reading

  1. Fitton, R. S. and Wadsworth, A. P. (1958) "The Strutts and the Arkwrights 1758-1830", Manchester University Press.

  2. Fitton, R. S. (1989) "The Arkwrights, Spinners of Fortune", Manchester University Press ISBN 0/7190/2646/6.

  3. Unwin, G. (1924) "Samuel Oldknow and the Arkwrights 1758-1830", Manchester.

  4. Dictionary of National Biography, Volume I - Look under Arkwright, Sir Richard.

  5. "The Derwent Valley Mills and their Communities"

There is more information about titles1, 2 and 5 on Books & Other Publications.

The Arkwright Society has done, and is still undertaking, an enormous amount of restoration work at Cromford Mill. Their address is:

The Arkwright Society,
Sir Richard Arkwright's Cromford Mill,
Mill Lane,

Visitor Services Department :
Telephone +44 [0]1629 823256

Or visit:
Arkwright Society web site

Masson Mill (this site will open in a new window)

The Mill is now a shopping village. It also is home to a collection of historic working textile machinery.

green button More onsite information about the Arkwright family

Pedigree of ARKWRIGHT
"The Beauties of England and Wales" (1802), cotton manufacturing, the mills, Willersley & the surrounding area, Sir Richard Arkwright
Wolley Manuscripts, Matlock, Surnames A

Description of ARKWRIGHT Coat of Arms
Matlock Biographies See ARKWRIGHT
Arkwright Family MI's
Find the Arkwright surname in Eighteenth Century: Game Duty Lists | Nineteenth Century - Game Duty Lists
Matlock and Matlock Bath Trades Directories & Census
Cromford, DBY : 19th century trade directories

green button And more about Willersley

Unfinished Castle
before 1790

1802 engraving
Willersley Castle

Early 1900s
Lodge & gardens

1927 - the sale

Contents sale,

Bedroom 15

Drawing Room

Estate sale, 1927


Terrace 1933

St. Mary's Church

elsewhere in
this web site

Willersley &
Matlock Hills
from Black Rocks

Photograph of Masson Mill © Frank Clay.
Masson Mill 1900 © Susan Tomlinson collection.
Photograph of Arkwright Commemoration saucer © Ann Andrews.
Scanned photograph of Arkwright's spinning frame by and © Ann Andrews collection[11].
Photograph of Willersley Castle, Matlock © Andy Andrews (enlarged Jan 2018).
Scanned photograph of Sir Richard Arkwright by and © Ann Andrews collection (enlarged Jan 2018)[27]
Researched, written and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links go to transcripts or information elsewhere on this web-site):

[1] The paper mill was built by a Mr. George White of Winster and a Mr. Robert Shore of Snitterton (see Wolley Manuscripts, vol 6670 f.90d and vol 6671 ff.310-313). In the early 19th century it was run by Anthony Debanke, whose Will is elsewhere on this site. Following Debanke's death John Skidmore eventually took over the business.

[2] Adam, W. (1840) "The Gem of the Peak" London; Longman & Co., Paternoster Row. There are extracts on this web site.

[3] Bray, William (1783) "Sketch of a Tour Into Derbyshire and Yorkshire" (Second Edition) London, Printed for B. White at Horace's Head, in Fleet-Street. The first edition was published in 1778.

[4] Pilkington, James (1789) "A View of the Present State of Derbyshire; with an Account of its most Remarkable Antiquities ... in two volumes. Volume I". Derby : Printed and sold by J. Drewry; Sold also by J. Johnson, No.72, St. Paul's Churchyard ; And J. Deighton, Holborn, London.

[5] Rhodes, Ebenezer (1824) "Peak Scenery" pub. London, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, Paternoster Row.

[6] Firth, J. B. (1908) "Highways and Byways in Derbyshire" MacMillan & Co., London

[7] Davies, David Peter (1811) "History of Derbyshire" pub. S. Mason, Belper. Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811 is based on this book.

[8] Glover, Stephen (1827-8-9) " Directory of the County of Derby", Intro. p.viii.

[9] "Mornings at the Mills", "Daily News", 10 September, 1850. The journalist was referring to various Factory Acts, which had resulted in better working conditions. For example, the 1847 Act meant that Women and children under 18 years of age working in the Textiles Industry could not work more than ten hours a day.

[10] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, December 5, 1900.

[11] Bryan, Benjamin (1903) "History of Matlock - Matlock, Manor and Parish" London by Bemrose & Sons, Limited.

[12] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 2 July 1910. A Picturesque Factory.

[13] "ibid.", 5 May 1911. Masson Mill Extension, Matlock.

[14] "ibid.", 19 May 1911. Matlock's [Railless] Traction Bill. Important Evidence. Bill Lost. The bill was opposed by Matlock Bath UDC, Derbyshire County Council, Mr. Gill of Matlock and the Midland Railway Company. Others believed that the system at the time was out of date and this scheme would be beneficial. The hearing lasted for three days, after which the committee decided it should not proceed.

[15] Masson Mill's offer to its men at the outbreak of war can be found on Matlock & Matlock Bath Newspaper Cuttings, Jul 1914 - Nov 1918, 1914. The welcome back party is reported on Matlock Bath & Scarthin Newspaper Cuttings, 1919.

[16] Whittle's "History of the Borough of Preston", vol. ii (1837) says that, whilst serving his apprenticeship, Arkwright probably attended school during the winter months. He was first taught to read by his uncle.

[17] An advertisement was placed in "The Derby Mercury" of 23 Sept., 1846 by R. Knevett of Oxford Street offering Sir Richard Arkwright's famous recipe for dyeing hair. The prospective purchaser was promised a splendid fortune for the outlay of £1,000.

[18] Various accounts refer to his appearance at this period. Arkwright had by this time given up business to concentrate on his experiments, so must have been short of money. An election took place whilst he was in Preston: it is unclear whether or not he voted, as some sources say he was too ashamed to vote, whilst others say he was bought a new suit to enable him to do so.

[19] Samuel Needs moved to London, where he died; he was buried at Bunhill Fields, aged 63, in 1781. Strutt went on to build mills at Belper and Milford.

[20] Peter Nightingale persuaded a trusted employee of Arkwright, one Benjamin Pearson, to go into partnership with him. Their partnership did not last long and was dissolved on March 28, 1785 ("The London Gazette"). Also see: Biographies, N | Pedigree of Nightingale.

[21] Eighteenth Century Lists: Matlock Land Tax, 1780 records Thomas Hodges Esq. as the owner of "Willersley land", which he had bought from Edmund Hodgkinson two years before. Eighteenth Century Lists: Poor Rate, 1784 (part 1) shows Arkwright had bought the estate in the interim.

[22] PCC Will of Sir Richard Arkwright of Cromford, Derbyshire, proved 4 Sept 1792 by his son Richard Arkwright (TNA Ref: PROB 11/1222). Power was reserved to William Strutt the Younger, the other executor.

[23] "The London Gazette", 13 Feb 1787.

[24] Davies was referring to King George III.

[25] The event was reported in at least three newspapers: "The Derby Mercury", 26 March 1789; "Sheffield Register, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, & Nottinghamshire Universal Advertiser", 28 March 1789; "Leeds Intelligencer", 31 March 1789. There were similar events in other parts of the county.

[26] Davies' comment about Arkwright's poor health is borne out by a report in "The Times", Tuesday, Jun 20, 1786: "The reported death of that ingenious mechanic Mr Arkwright is premature; but we are sorry to find he is dangerously ill at his house at Cromford, near Matlock". This was over six years before he died.

[27] From "A Catalogue of the Contents of the Mansion Willersley Castle, Matlock Bath", Knight Frank & Rutley (1927).

[28] "Manchester Mercury", 21 August 1792. Several newspapers around the time claimed that he had been born in Manchester.

[29] "The Times", Tuesday, Aug 14, 1792, reported his internment at Matlock on 9 May. The notice said he had one son and one daughter (Mrs. Hurt). See Matlock St. Giles burials for 1792.

[30] "The Times", 12 May, 1843.

[31] Information from: The Masters Volume 22: Wright of Derby (1966) Purnell and Sons, Bristol.

[1908] "Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire", 1908, Matlock Bath. There is a names only transcript. See 20th century directories.

[1922] "Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire", 1922 (not transcribed on this site).