Derby : Its Rise and Progress

By H.W. Davison

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2016

Derby - Its Rise and Progress


AUTHORITIES:- "Derbyshire Domesday Book", Yeatman - "Annales Bermundeseie" - "Materials for History of Thomas à Becket" - "Annales Monasterii Burtonensis" - Calendars Pat. Rolls, Ed. I. to Ric. II. - "Notes on Derbyshire Churches", Cox - "Collegiate Church of All Saints", Cox - "Charters and Records, Abbey of Cluni", Duckett - "Firma Burgi", Madox - "History of Exchequer", Madox - "History of Nottingham", Blackner - "Henry II." ("Statesman" Series), Green.

THE earliest detailed account of the town of Derby is given in Domesday Book, wherein are recorded the facts submitted by those responsible townsmen who appeared before William's Commissioners, most likely at Nottingham, to relate, more or less willingly, the capabilities for taxation of their native town. The state of affairs as they existed before and after the Conquest is thus shewn in strong contrast.

In the Borough of Derby, says the record, there were 243 burgesses before the Conquest, and adjoining the town was common land divided among 41


of these burgesses, who possessed twelve ploughs also in common. Of the taxes, tolls, and custom-dues of the borough, the King took two-thirds, the remaining third going to the Earl. Of the churches, two were in the gift of the King: one, St. Alkmund's, having seven clerks who owned land in Little Chester; the other, All Saints', having six clerks who owned land in Quorn and Little Eaton. There were also fourteen mills within the borough. Now, Geoffrey Alselin, Ralph Fitzhubert, and Norman de Lincolia have the gift of three of the churches, which before the Conquest belonged to the Saxon nobles, Tochi, Leuric, and Brun. One only remains in the gift of a Saxon named Edric, who inherited it from his father, Coin. Moreover, the King holds the land which belonged to the Saxon Algar. There are now only 140 burgesses, the remaining 103 houses being in ruins, together with four of the mills. Sixteen acres of meadow belong to the town, and sixty acres of coppice-wood. Before the Conquest, the town paid twenty-four pounds tax to the King; now it pays thirty pounds. In Litchurch,[4] the King owns land enough for three ploughs, and there is also a farmer with nine cotters who own land for two ploughs, besides twelve acres of meadow.

The Abbot of Burton owns one of the Derby mills, besides arable land and thirteen acres of meadow.


The Earl Hugh also possesses land, and has the right of fishery of the river. Henry de Ferrers has land, also the Saxon priests Osmer and Godwin. At the feast of St. Martin (the 11th of November), the burgesses render to the King twelve thraves of corn, of which the Abbot of Burton is entitled to forty sheaves.

From this account it appears that twenty years after the Conquest half the town was in ruins. One hundred and three houses lay waste, for the property of all those Saxons who fought at Hastings was confiscated. During these twenty years there was no growth of trade; ten mills sufficed in place of fourteen; the Norman master had come, but not the merchant; and, as if the Saxon spirit was not yet sufficiently broken, the tax had been increased, although the population was little more than one-half of its former numbers. William, who, on his way to Nottingham after his successful campaign in Staffordshire in 1069, most probably passed through Derby, may have instituted the first steps towards its renewal by re-establishing the monastery of St. James, whose monks appear to have done much for the revival of the trade of the town. At Nottingham, we read in Domesday that Hugh Fitz-Baldric, the Sheriff, had already filled the vacant places of the Saxon townsmen with his own countrymen, who, under the patronage of their master, laid the foundation of a trade which made Nottingham the "eye of the North" in the Middle Ages; and the early charters show that this growth in trade and commerce soon extended to Derby.

Under the Saxon rule, Derby was an important


town in the kingdom of Mercia, its inhabitants sometimes following the plough, and again at intervals carrying the sword. Where such uncertainty of life and home existed, trade could never advance beyond narrow limits; but under the Conqueror and his successors the country became an united kingdom from sea to sea, and all internal risings were rigidly suppressed by a central government. Derby, lying in the middle of this new kingdom, was destined to hear the clash of arms no more, for the Conquest divides the military from the civil history of Derby. Lying at the foot of the great mountain range which traverses England from the border to the Peak, and remote from the principal highways, it heard little of the din of battle, even during the civil wars of the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries.

From the Domesday report it is clear that the business of the town was mainly agricultural. Every chief burgess owned his piece of land on the commons adjoining, where he grew his corn or pastured his cattle, although it would be incorrect to liken the Derby of the Conquest to a large agricultural village of to-day. Derby at that time was a self-contained community, who wove their own cloth, fashioned their own ploughs, and ground their own corn, the town thus maintaining within itself, in a primitive fashion, all those trades which nowadays have disappeared from the life of the village. Besides the farms with their labourers, there was a large belt of woodland where the Saxon fattened his swine; there were the millers who made their livelihood by grinding the farmers' corn in the small mills along the Markeaton brook, and there were the fishermen


who caught fish for the church dignitaries, or waded for eels in the marsh which lay between the town and the Derwent. Although Domesday Book is silent on the question of commerce, yet the mention of the mills, and of taxation in money and in corn, implies that the market and its local trade had not been interrupted.

England north of Trent was much later in starting in the race of commercial and social improvement which characterised the country around London. It was a land of "forests, mountains and mosses"; its inhabitants, lying far from the seat of government, were the last to be brought into subjection, a result only effected in the remoter parts by creating a desert with fire and sword; and Derby, lying near the Trent, occupied a middle condition between the progress of the home counties and the more stolid character of the North.

The stern rule of the Conqueror was mitigated by the civilising influence of the Norman clergy, a general expansion of trade being largely due to the Cluniac monks, who settled throughout the land, establishing fairs under the shadow of their monasteries. In Derby, they built or succeeded to the monastery of St. James, with which is associated the great fair of the Middle Ages, also the bridge connecting St. James's Lane with the Wardwick, at which they levied the toll, afterwards commuted by the townspeople for a payment in wax for the altar candles. It may also be noticed that the Corn Market, a broad space on the Saxon highway, stood contiguous to the monastery. Beyond the fact that it became affiliated with the larger Priory of


Bermondsey in London before the year 1140,[5] we get no glimpse of its people until the year 1279, when the monastery was visited by three members of the Order, who were making a tour through the country inspecting the Cluniac foundations.

They found at St. James's a prior with two monks. The prior, a Frenchman,[6] who had only recently succeeded to his office, is reported as a man of exemplary character. It was early in September, and he had just gathered his crop of fruit from the orchard attached to the priory. At no other place so visited was the fruit harvest so advanced, a state which may be attributed to the southern aspect of the orchard at St. James's. The buildings were spacious, but the roof of the church was somewhat dilapidated, and the visitors instructed the prior how he might repair it. Of the two monks, one was in failing health, and the visitors ordered him away to the mother church of Bermondsey (a monastery noted throughout the Middle Ages as a hospital and sanatorium), filling his place at Derby with one from their own train; although it would seem that the long and toilsome journey from Derby to London in the thirteenth century was scarcely suitable for a sick man at the point of death.

From the report, the prior and his monks lived very abstemiously, knowing nothing of luxury either in food or furniture, although it is plain that the visitors, regarded as inquisitors, were shown the best side of


the management and the worst side of the finances, being received everywhere with gloomy stories of debt and hard straits. The prior at Derby told a doleful tale, that on entering into residence, he found neither money nor land, but a debt of sixty shillings, and that he had since been obliged to borrow thirty shillings to meet his liabilities.[7]

During the wars of Henry V. a number of Cluniac monasteries were absorbed by the Crown, under the plea that they were French foundations, but St. James's was suffered to remain, because it had become Anglicised and because of the hospital which offered shelter to travellers. Another short notice occurs in a visitation report of the year 1450, from which we learn that there was still a prior with his two monks, who performed mass daily. The same report says of Bermondsey that the monks there


practised hospitality, almsgiving, silence, and the other regular observances distinctive of the Order.

At the Dissolution in 1538, St James's was swept away with its fellows, its annual revenue of £11 15s. 11d. being derived from the rents of land in Charnwood forest, of land and houses in Derby, from payments made by the Trinity Guild at Derby, and others, and from the Chamberlains of Derby for the right to pass over St. James's bridge on St. James's Day.

Up the Markeaton valley, but some distance beyond the outskirts of medieval Derby, stood the Benedictine Nunnery of St. Mary de Pratis, founded about 1160 by the Abbot of Darley. Its financial history reveals a somewhat chequered career. In the following century, Henry III. granted the nuns a hundred shillings a year to say masses for the soul of his father, King John; but, either through scarcity of revenue or from poor management, affairs assumed a gloomy aspect by the year 1328, when a royal mandate was issued authorising two persons to take charge of the house for three years, it having fallen into poverty and debt. After providing for the prioress and nuns, these trustees were to use the balance towards placing the establishment in a more respectable position. In 1393, however, the nuns received from Thomas Touchett and others a handsome gift comprising a house, three acres of meadow, and thirty-five acres of pasture, - the Nun's Green of a later period. Still, all did not go well, for about the year 1400, there was a fire at the nunnery, and, amongst other effects, the valuable parchment granting them the hundred shillings per annum from


the Nottingham Crown-rent was burnt. Fearful lest the Nottingham burgesses might hear of their misfortune and profit by it, they approached King Henry IV. for a new charter, which he was pleased to grant in the same terms as before.

Like the priory of St James, their habitation has almost disappeared, leaving little but the name. Excavations made in improving modern Derby disclosed the bones of the former old-world recluses, showing that they possessed their little cemetery within the priory walls; and in a house near Nun's Bridge may yet be seen a Gothic archway which long ago formed part of the ancient nunnery of St. Mary-in-the-Meadows.

The Black Friars, the religious revivalists of their day, established themselves on the verge of the town in 1292, their poverty and their outspokenness gaining them the ear of the working class in Derby, as elsewhere; but as time passed, gifts of land and property changed the begging friar into the fat idler of Chaucer's day. The Friary at Derby gradually became wealthy; the building was considerably enlarged in 1319, and again in 1340, its substantial and spacious character being apparent as late as 1610, long after the Dissolution. After two centuries of silence, the veil is lifted on its last moments in 1539, when the Prior, Laulans Sponar (Laurance Spooner?), with his fellows, made over the Friary to the King, together with their possessions in the counties of Derby, York, Nottingham, and Leicester.

In the fourteenth century we obtain a glimpse of the internal working of the Leper Hospital of


St Leonard, which stood far out of the town along the Ashby road, an institution which appears to have been in a constant state of disorder. In 1328 the King appointed three of his officers to inquire into a case of misconduct reported of the house, and to punish the inmates accordingly. In the following year the King appointed Thomas Goldynham, his clerk, to act as master of the house for life, but this man, together with another of the King's officers, who had recently been appointed to collect the bridge tolls, had proved untrustworthy, and, on the petition of the town-bailiffs and burgesses, had been removed. Under the rule of a man of such character, it is not surprising that matters did not mend, and in 1340 three gentlemen, Richard de Wylughby, Roger de Baukwell, and Richard de la Pole, were appointed to visit the hospital, "which is greatly decayed by misrule". In 1378, King Richard II. found on inquiry that Henry de Coton, clerk and custodian of the hospital, had been suddenly ejected by William de Pakynton, who had obtained, by false representation, letters-patent granting him the custody of the hospital in the previous year. On learning the true state of the case, the King revoked his letters-patent, and ordered the bailiffs of Derby to re-instate Coton. The greatest and most important religious establishment connected with Derby, however, was the Abbey of Darley. In the Norman period this foundation was removed to Darley from St. Helen's, in Derby, in consequence of Hugh, Dean of Derby, granting them a site there, together with his estate in the town, and other valuable adjuncts. Consequently, the Abbot of Darley became a large owner


of property in the town, besides enjoying the endowments of St. Peter's, St. Michael's, and St Werburgh's. His property in Derbyshire and the adjoining counties was also valuable, and he must have been a person of great social influence in Derby, and for many miles around. Like most of the monastic institutions of that period, the Abbey derived a considerable revenue from the growth and sale of wool, which passed through the Derby market, much of it being exported to Flanders, for the Flemish price-lists of about the year 1300 mention Darley Abbey wool amongst others.

The rich and powerful Abbot does not appear to have cultivated the friendship of the people of Derby, either lay or clerical, one dispute between the Abbot and the College of All Saints' assuming such proportions that it was referred to a Papal court for settlement; although it is probable that the smaller religious communities in the town simply bowed to his will and pleasure. The Friars paid him seven nobles a year, and the townspeople paid him two shillings a year for the fishery of the Derwent, although they complained that the Abbot utilised the water of the river to their disadvantage. About 1384, there were scandalous tales of high and extravagant living at the Abbey, which the Derby people no doubt repeated with unction, and were not displeased when in that year it was decreed that the King had taken over the Abbey revenues for four years, on account of "divers oppressions and wrongs done to it by its adversaries, causing a diminution of its revenues and of divine service and other works of piety".


These religious houses, with their trade and influence, established a degree of security which was of the greatest value to the merchant and the farmer, a condition further enhanced by the downfall of the old feudal baronage which followed the insurrection of 1174. Taking advantage of Henry's absence in France, and of his unpopularity in the towns, owing to the recent murder of Becket, the barons rose in revolt, and fortified a line of castles across the centre of England. Henry, wise in his generation, reconciled the towns and the clergy to his cause by doing penance at the tomb of Becket, and the rebellious barons were obliged to rely for assistance on foreign mercenaries. One of the chief rebels was Earl Ferrers, who fortified his castles at Duffield, Tutbury and Stafford, but the King's forces came no nearer to Derby than Tutbury, which surrendered, when the rebellion was rapidly suppressed, and Duffield Castle, along with others, was forfeited to the Crown. Henry established confidence by travelling through the district from Lichfield to Nottingham in the summer of 1175, although the murder of the Archbishop[8] must have made a deep impression on the Derby townspeople, as Becket's chapel and well testify. The nunnery also possessed a relic - part of the shirt of the martyred Archbishop, which did duty for centuries on those domestic


occasions when the nuns went abroad in the capacity of a modern monthly nurse, - a relic answering this description having belonged to Darley Abbey, the parent institution of the nunnery.

The grants of land and property made to these religious institutions show that the merchant class was growing in wealth and influence. The Crown, whose revenues always fell short of its necessities, was not slow to share in the advantages which were, in a measure, its due, for the merchant and craftsman could not have given steady and unbroken attention to the affairs of the market and the workshop had they not been assisted by a strong central government to secure internal peace and fair security for life and property.

The policy of Henry II. fostered the merchants in those towns whose members were useful in his struggles with his too-powerful baronage, although it is with the charter of King John, fifty years later, that the relations between the Crown and the merchant class began to assume a purely commercial aspect. This charter cost Derby a sum which in our day might be equal to five hundred pounds; the Crown rent, also, was raised by one-third, being about a thousand pounds a year in modern currency. It contained some valuable privileges, the practical worth of which was soon realised, for in the following reign new grants were added, for which the town again paid heavily. These charters, amongst other advantages, allowed the burgesses to choose their own bailiff and coroner - the one the collector of the King's tolls and taxes; the other, of the fines and forfeitures due to the King in the borough courts.


Previously these officers were appointed by the Crown, and the holders, being strangers, and under no sense of obligation to the townspeople, used methods of collecting the revenues and of conducting suits between the burgesses and the Crown which were naturally arbitrary and partial. Additions in subsequent charters empowered the burgesses to hold the Assizes at Derby alternately with Nottingham, by which suits could be tried in the presence of their own officers, and the status of the town raised by the visits of the judge, with his train, and of the county gentry. In the year 1328, the Sheriff was ordered to provide suitable accommodation for the Judge of Assize, which date may mark the origin of the County Hall in St. Mary's Gate.

It is evident that these charters were regarded as valuable town properties, and had the Crown been satisfied with such methods of adding to its revenues, its dignity would not have been impaired; but expensive wars and rapacious Court favourites drained the royal exchequer, and the Crown, through its officers, often resorted to sordid and paltry methods of extorting money, both from public bodies and private individuals. In 1283, Edward I. seized the town charter because the Merchant Guild was said to have misused its privileges; but as it was returned to them on payment of a fine, this appears to have been one of the many indirect methods of increasing the royal revenues. In the following reign, the King granted part of the town rent to his wife Isabella, having previously applied the same portion to another purpose. The townspeople were not slow to intimate that they were not liable for the


same amount twice, and the King, having no case, quietly cancelled the second payment. In the succeeding reign, the burgesses were commanded to prove their claim to certain privileges, with the usual imposition of a fine.

It is, however, in the dealings of the Crown with individuals that its powers of extortion and injustice are most glaringly shown. An instance occurred in Derby in the reign of Edward II., which was only one of many throughout the kingdom. In or about the year 1308, the King's Escheator, an official generally dreaded for his rapacity, decided that certain twelve shops in the Market Place in Derby were encroachments on the public place, to the annoyance of the King and the townspeople - a description corresponding with the old Rotten Row. They were forthwith escheated, or taken from the lawful owners and absorbed by the Crown. The owners were John de la Cornere, a townsman of wealth and consequence; Payn le Draper; Nicholas le Lorimer, and Agnes le Coupere (whose names probably denote the trades they followed); Walter de London, Vicar of St. Werburgh's; John de Chaddesden; Ranulph de Hieling; John Proudfote; and Robert de Etton. Whether these people were summarily ejected, or allowed to continue their several businesses as Crown tenants at a rental, is not stated; but in 1316, under another escheator, it was proved that this property was not an encroachment, as stated by the late officer, whereupon the King ordered that it should be returned to the rightful owners.

The "neighbouring nobility were not slow in imitating the methods of the Sovereign and his


agents, for, during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, there appears to have been a long series of disputes between the townspeople and the Touchetts and Meynells, of Markeaton and neighbourhood. In the complaint of 1276, it is stated that the bailiffs of Thomas Touchett, of Markeaton, distressed the townspeople passing over Essebourn (Ashbourne) ford; and in the following century, we find Thomas Touchett farming the King's rent in Derby, a post remunerative to the collector, but always obnoxious to the community.

A dispute, however, which reached the proportions of a general riot, occurred in 1341 between the townspeople and Touchett's neighbour, Hugh de Meygnill (Meynell). The origin of the trouble is not stated, but he complains that many of the townspeople (sixty-five of whom are mentioned by name) took away his horse and mare and his goods, besides ten pounds in money, at Derby, and assaulted his men and his servants there and at Markeaton. The other side of the story is missing, although a glimpse of history some nineteen years earlier shows that the Meynells were not slow to assert themselves. In the Annals of St. Werburgh's for 1322 it is recorded that during a quarrel, Hugh Meynell, of Langley, "violently shed blood within the church"; and whatever was the cause of the trouble in 1341, it is evident that strong feeling prevailed to cause a general uprising of the townspeople which takes rank with the riots of 1610 and 1831.

In addition to this slowly-dying enmity between the Saxon and the Norman races, the question of direct taxation, always uncertain both as to time and


amount, must have caused much irritation in such an outlying community as Derby, where little of the glory and none of the spoils of war ever came. Taxation under the later Plantagenets, although in many cases it resembled spoliation, had at least the sanction of Parliament, and was preferable to the insecurity which prevailed previous to the signing of Magna Charta in 1215. An instance is on record of the year 1200, when Isolt, the widow of one Philip of Derby, paid King John twenty marks for power to repudiate all debts owing by her late husband, the King agreeing for this sum to shield her from her creditors.

Such gross injustice became unknown after the law was codified, although the later Plantagenets, to replenish their empty exchequers, often adopted unscrupulous measures. Edward I. encouraged foreign merchants by granting them privileges detrimental to his own subjects, for which favours these foreigners made him large grants. The merchants of Derby and elsewhere, in retaliation, raised their market-prices when these people came to trade, and the King, in turn, punished the town with a fine.

In 1339, Edward III. was permitted by Act of Parliament to take a moiety of the wool in the markets of the kingdom, and the Derby exciseman, Simon de Cestre and his assistants, consequently seized the King's share, in the town market, irrespective of special privilege or exemption. The town merchants submitted to the impost with the best grace possible, for the guilds of the more important towns had arranged


the terms with the King; but it happened that, amongst others, the exciseman seized four sacks and six stones of wool belonging to the Abbot of Darley, whose property was taxed through another channel, and who, on making complaint, was promised restitution by the King in the sum of £21 3s. 0d., to be paid in two half-yearly instalments. This irregular method of taxation did not improve the honesty of the officers engaged in the work, for, following this seizure, a royal mandate was issued ordering Richard Hervy to appear before the Council, charged with fraud in collecting the wool, he having been in collusion with Henry de Howes, of Derby, one of the receivers.

Richard II. adopted the method of borrowing money from the towns on his own security, a transaction equivalent to a grant, and, in 1397, Derby advanced twenty pounds under this arrangement.

Considering such interference with trade and business, it is not surprising that the townspeople took every means which came within their power to retaliate. With the keen and energetic statesmen, Edward I. and his grandson, Edward III., this was difficult; but under the reign of the feeble monarchs, Edward II. and Henry VI., the people took advantage of their opportunities. In the first year of the reign of Edward II. (1307), the town refused to pay the sum of £106 17s. 0d., and the Sheriff, William de Chelaston, was forthwith ordered to seize the goods of Walter de London, Vicar of St. Werburgh's, to the value of about ten pounds, being the Vicar's proportion. The seizure included his hay, corn, agricultural implements, and a few metal utensils, the


Vicar evidently adding farming to his clerical vocation. Both Edward II. and his son exacted tallages from their royal demesnes, although not without demur and difficulty in collection; and Derby at this time belonged to the Crown, the burgesses being styled in 1256, "Burgenses Regis de Derbia".

Again, in the year 1452, the townsmen withheld the borough tax, for the King was weak, the two factions of York and Lancaster were on the eve of the long Wars of the Roses, and the Derby men had little fear of coercion from headquarters. In that year the bailiffs, Richard Wright and Richard Fox, were summoned to appear before the Sheriff for non-payment of the town rent due to the Crown, the bailiffs being held personally responsible.

In the year 1460, the appointment of a Recorder shows that the medieval trading Guild had changed its character and had become an incipient borough Corporation, meeting in the Town Hall. The old borough court, which was doubtless held in St. Werburgh's churchyard during the days of Saxon Northworthige, had been gradually superseded by the County Hall, where the Assizes were held from 1328, and where the Quarter Sessions followed on the creation of Justices of the Peace during the fifteenth century. As the Guild also gradually changed its character and declined, the functions of its ancient court were transferred to the bailiffs and a rudimentary Town Council or Common Hall, the appointment of a Recorder marking the completion of the change, when Latin had almost disappeared from the courts of law, and the actions and bye-laws

[Image] OLD SILK MILL From the River Derwent.


of the Corporation were recorded in the English tongue.

Some fifty years later, these clerks began to jot down the more important events in the life of the town, a valuable if scanty record which constitutes the chief local history of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

[4] The Manor of Litchurch probably refers to the hamlet which grew up around the ruins of the earlier Saxon castle. Here stood the church of St. Peter with the priest's house and his glebe land, and near by, the farmstead of the King's tenant and the huts of the nine cotters, who farmed his estate and cultivated their own plots in their own time. The borough after the Conquest included this outlying community who henceforward paid their share of the town tax, this being the first recorded extension of the borough boundary.
[5] Et hoc anno (MCXL) Stephanus rex confirmavit donationem Waltheof filii Swein (Siward?) de ecclesia Sancti Jacobi de Derbye monachis de Bermundeseie.
[6] The visitors say regarding a house in Sussex, "Prior est Anglicus" - evidently a rara avis.
[7] Die lune post fuimus apud Sanctum Jacobum de Derbi, cellam Bermundesie, ubi sunt duo monachi cum priore. Prior bone et laudabilis vite et fame; novus est; venit ibi in ista Purificatione; fuit unus de sociis suis bone vite, alius non bene quem misimus moraturum apud Bermundesiam et loco illius veniet alius, divina bene faciunt; prior invenit domum obligatum in LX. solidis et quod nichil invenit in domo aut patria, contraxit mutuum ita quad nunc debet IIII. lb. et X. solidos. Erat in recipiendo fructus novos, qui bene sufficient usque ad alios. Edificia bene sufficiunt; ecclesia non bene erat cooperta; precipimus priori quod facerat cooperiri.
The suggestion in the report that the prior and his household lived on the produce of the orchard is scarcely borne out by accounts of the Cluniacs given by secular writers. It was an old story in France in the thirteenth century that the brotherhood ate poultry on fast days because their church taught them that fish and fowl had a common origin, and they were also expert in the manufacture of hydromel, a fermented drink made from honey, which their statutes permitted them to use on stated occasions.
Nevertheless, history acknowledges to their credit that they were the first reconciling agents between the Saxons and the Normans. Following in the wake of the Conquest they instituted the great fairs, doubtless with an eye to their own revenues, yet giving a new impetus to trade which acted as a solvent to racial enmities.
[8] That he was generally regarded as a martyr in Derby and neighbourhood appears from the entry in the chronicle of Burton Abbey:- "Sanctus Thomas Archiepiscopus passus est".
This short, concise entry may imply caution on the part of the Abbey scribe, for it is said that an accomplice of the assassins was a baron of the neighbourhood, Robert Fitz-Ralph, Lord of Alfreton. Dugdale indeed claims him as one of the four principals in the murder - a palpable error.

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in November 2016.

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