Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811> This page
Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811
The parishes and chapelries as they were just over 200 years ago. Extracts from an early Derbyshire history

Engraving of Derby
From : 'History of Derbyshire' by David Peter Davies
Derby, engraved for Davies History of Derby
Image scan 2007 Ann Andrews

"View of Derby", facing page 125

This delightful engraving of Derby was done especially for Davies's "History of Derby" by Henry Moore.

Derby before 942


"The town of Derby is situated in a valley; extending and opening as 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 of 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 said to be coinpounded 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 Dervientio 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.

After the departure of the Romans, Derby became a place of consequence, under their successors the Saxons. In the reign of Alfred, it was constituted the metropolis of the county: and in the beginning Of the same reign it was occupied by the forces of Haldene, a Danish chieftain, who took up his quarters there, for the winter of 874.[1]. Alfred, after his memorable defeat by the Danish Prince Hubba, and the consequent submission of his followers, in 880, settled a colony of them at Derby; thus proposing to repeople this place ; which like many in the kingdom of Mercia, had been laid waste and totally desolated, by the frequent inroads of those barbarians.[2] During the destructive conflicts, maintained between the Saxons and Danes, in subsequent reigns, Derby was alternately in the possession of both parties. In 918, the Danes, being masters of it, were attacked by surprise, and completely routed, by the heroic Ethelfleda, daughter of Alfred, and Princess of the Mercians, who took possession of the town, and all that belonged to it.[3] Shortly after, the inhabitants were deprived of this masculine and heroic heroine, by her death;[4] and the town once more fell into the hands of the Danes. But in 942 Edmund invaded Mercia, and drove the Danes out of Derby, together with five other towns.[5]"

The Town of Derby continues on the next page

Footnotes and references from the book.

[1] Chron. Sax. p.82.

[2] Hume, vol, I, p.84.

[3] Chron. Sax. p.106.

[4] W. Malsmes. lib ii. chap. 5 Matth. West, p. 162.

[5] Chron. Sax. p.114.

Image in the collection of, provided by and scan © Ann Andrews
Intended for personal use only.

Further examples of the artist's work can be found elsewhere on this website in the transcript of Moore's guide:
"Picturesque Excursions From Derby to Matlock Bath"

There are more pictures of Derbyshire on this website. Please see:
The Andrews Pages Picture Gallery
Matlock and Matlock Bath - Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings

Davies' book
An Ann Andrews book transcript