General history: Religious houses, boroughs, markets and fairs

Pages xvii-xxi

Magna Britannia: Volume 5, Derbyshire. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1817.

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Monasteries, Colleges, and Ancient Hospitals.

The Austin canons had a considerable abbey at Darley, near Derby, removed from St. Helen's, in the outskirts of that town. They had priories also at Repton and Gresley; the former priory had a cell at Calke. Dale Abbey was originally inhabited by Austin canons; these were soon succeeded by Premonstratensians, and it continued of that order till its dissolution : the Premonstratensians had also an abbey at Beauchief. A piece of ground at Ashborne was given for the erection of a cell for Cistertians belonging to Mireval Abbey, in Warwickshire (fn. n1); but it does not appear that the intention was ever carried into effect. The Cluniac monks of Bermondsey had a cell at Derby: the Benedictine nuns had a priory at that town. The Dominican friers had a priory also at Derby; the Austin friers a priory at Breadsall. The Knights Hospitallers had preceptories at Barrow (fn. n2) and Yeaveley; and it has been supposed that they had one also at Waingrif. The brethren of St. Lazarus had a preceptory, or hospital at Locko, formerly called Lokhay. The church of All Saints in Derby and that of Bakewell, were collegiate. There were two ancient hospitals at Derby. We have records of ancient hospitals also at Chesterfield; in the parish of Longford, between Bentley and Alkmanton; and in the High-Peak, between Hope and Castleton.

Borough and Market Towns.

The only parliamentary borough in the county is that of Derby, which has sent two members to parliament ever since the reign of Edward I. The county also sends two members. There are now sixteen market-towns, of which the following table will give the particulars. A list of Fairs is subjoined.

Market-Towns. Market-Days. Commodities.
Alfreton Friday Corn, butchers'-meat, &c.
Ashborne Saturday Corn, provisions, &c.
Ashover Thursday Bntchers'-meat; only in the winter. (Declined.)
Bakewell Friday Small market for butchers'-meat, &c.
Belper Saturday Butchers'-meat, and other provisions.
Buxton Saturday Corn and provisions.
Chapel-en-le-Frith Thursday Butchers'-meat, &c.
Chesterfield Saturday Corn (particularly wheat and oats), and other provisions.
Crich Thursday Corn, provisions, &c.
Cromford Wednesday Corn, provisions, &c.
Derby Friday Wednesday A great market for corn, and all sorts of provisions. Vegetables, butter, &c.
Heanor Wednesday Butchers'-meat and provisions.
Ilkeston Thursday Vegetables, fruit, &c. (declined).
Tideswell Wednesday Butchers'-meat, &c.
Winster Saturday Butchers'-meat, &c.
Wirksworth Tuesday Butchers'-meat, and other provisions.

Disused Markets.

Date of Grant. Day.
Aston-on-Trent 41 Hen. III. Tuesday.
Bolsover (discontinued about the middle of the last century 10 Hen. III. Friday.
Castleton Had been held by prescription temp. Hen. III. Wednesday.
Charlsworth in Glossop 2 Edw. III. Wednesday.
Cubley 36 Hen. III. Monday.
Dronfield (discontinued within memory) Not known Thursday.
Hartington 5 John Wednesday.
Higham in Shirland (revived about 1750 again discontinued about 1785) 35 Edw. III.; to be held within the manor of Shirland Originally Wednesday,afterwards Friday.
Hope (lately discontinued) 1715 Saturday.
Measham (discontinued within memory) 4 Edw. II. Tuesday.
Melborne 1 Edw. III. Wednesday.
Pleasley 13 Edw. I Monday.
Repton Altered in 1330, at which time it was claimed by prescription. Wednesday.
Ripley in Pentrich 36 Hen. III. Wednesday.
Sandiacre 53 Hen. III. Wednesday.
Sawley (revived for some years between 1760 and 1770, since which time it has been again discontinued. 43 Hen. III. Tuesday.


Towns, &c. On what day held. Description.
Alfreton July 31. For horses, horned cattle, &c.
Ashborne May 21, July 5, Aug; 16, Oct. 20, Nov.
29, first Tuesday after Jan.1, Feb. 13,
and April 3.
Horses, horned cattle, and sheep.
Feb. 13, and Oct. 20., are noted horse fairs. The Feb. fair begins two days before that date, and the Oct. fair three days before, for the sale of horses. The fairs of April 3, and May 21 , are noted for the sale of milch cows.The Aug. and Nov. fairs, chiefly for the sale of fat cattle. Wool is sold at the July fair, but it is the smallest in the year.
Ashover April 25, and Oct. 15. Horned cattle and sheep.
Bakewell Easter Monday, Whit-Monday, Aug. 26, Monday after Oct. 11, and Monday after Nov. 22. Horses, cattle, &c.ts for fat cattle; the days not fixed
Besides these, there are three great markets for fat cattle; the days not fixed
Belper in Duffield Jan. 28, May 15, and Oct. 31. Horned cattle and sheep.
Bolsover Easter Monday.
Buxton Feb. 3d, April 1, May 2, Sept. 8, and Oct. 28. Cattle.
Chapel-en-le-Frith Thursday before Old Candlemas-day, March 3, March 29, Thurday before Easter, April 30, Holy-Thursday, and three weeks after, July 7, Thursday after old Michaelmas-day, and Thursday after old Martinmas-day Cattle, &c.
The July fair was formerly noted for the sale of wool. There was a fair (now discontinued) the Thursday before St. Bartholomew's day, for sheep and cheese.
Chesterfield Jan. 27, Feb. 28, the first Saturday in April, May 4, July 4, Sept. 25, and Nov. 25. Cattle, &c.
The February fair is chiefly for horses,particularly those of the draught kind; the Michaelmas fair has a large supply of cheese, apples, onions, &c. The November fair is chiefly for hiring servants.
Crich April 6, and Oct. 11. Horses, cows, sheep, pigs, woollen-cloths, cotton goods, and pedlar's wares.
Cubley Nov. 30. Formerly famous for fat hogs,much declined.
Darley-Flash May 13, and Oct. 27. Cattle and sheep.
Derby Monday after Jan.6, Jan.25, March 21 and 22, Friday in Easter-week, Friday after May 1, Friday in Whitsun-week, July 25, Sept. 27, for three days, and Friday before Oct.11. Those of March and October are great cheese fairs. Cattle, &c.
Dronfield April 25. Cows, sheep, &c.
Duffield Thurday after New Year's-day,and March 1. Cattle.
Glossop May 6. Horned cattle, wooden and tin wares.
Hayfield May11.
July 23.
For cattle, horses, and sheep.Sheep and wool.
Higham The first Wednesday after New Year's-
Horned cattle.
Hope March 28, (a new fair)
May 13.
The day preceding the second Wednesday in September (a new fair)
For cattle.
For cattle and hiring servants.
For horned cattle and sheep.
A small cattle fair.
Ilkeston March 6, Thursday in Whitsun-week Cattle.
Matlock Feb. 25, April 2, May 9, Oct. 4. For cattle, swine, sheep, and pedlars' wares.
Newhaven-in-Hartington The second Tuesday in September, and Oct. 31 Horned cattle, sheep, and all kinds of hardware.
Pleasley May 6, and Oct. 29. For fat and lean cattle, horses, and sheep.
Repton Michaelmas Statute fair for hiring servants.
Ripley Wednesday in Easter-week, Oct. 23. The last is a great fair for foals. Horses and cattle.
Tideswell May 15, the second Wednesday in Sept.,and Oct. 29. For horned cattle, sheep, &c.
The two last are also for cheese; the October fair was formerly noted for an abundant supply of calves, but has of late years fallen off.
Wirksworth Shrove-Tuesday, May 12, Sept. 8, and the second Tuesday in October The November fair is also for hiring servants. For horned cattle, sheep, horses,and pedlars' wares.

Disused Fairs.

Date of Grant. Day.
Aston 41 Hen. III. St. Peter ad vincula, for three days.
Charlsworth 2 Edw.III. St. Mary Magdalen.
Measham 4 Edw.II. Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr, three days.
Melborne 14 Hen. III.
1 Edw.III.
Nativity of the Virgin Mary for five days.St. Michael for three days.
Repton Claimed by prescription in 1330, July 1.
Sandiacre 53 Hen. III. St. Giles, eight days.
Sawley 43 Hen. III. St. Michael, three days. The fair was held latterly Nov. 12, O. S. and was noted for the sale of mares and foals.


  • n1. Hundred Roll, 2 Edw. I.
  • n2. We were led into an error by the account in Bishop Tanner's Notitia, and placed this at Barrow in Cheshire, in a former volume.