I was at the Derbyshire County Archives today. I was looking for any records of black servants in Derby between 1700 and 1800. I started looking at the records for “All Saints” (Derby Cathedral). During my search I found one or two interesting burials. Well, I say Interesting, but I guess only if you enjoy history. If you do, here they are.
All Saints Burials
- Jan 28: Thomas Evat who was killed by a Tup (Male Sheep)
- Nov.25: Buried in one coffin, William and Ann Drake
- October 7th: Henry Joyce killed in a quarrel by a Butcher.
Feb16: Stanley Mappleby. An infant. Boy was a bastard, his mothers
name Yeomans, and she owned (sic)on her death bed.
May 4th: A stranger. Name unknown, a woman.
Oct 24: His Grace William Duke of Devonshire
April: Buried Henry alsop an infant that escaped the fire. Bottom of Abby Bonny.
Buried Hannah Golling in her hundredth year.
Smallpox in Derby
I also noted that a Smallpox outbreak killed several infants in this parish this year. Over the years the parish saw a few priests but I was particularly struck by the beautiful handwriting. The words were exquisitely written and writing a whole sentence must have taken several minutes as each and every letter seemed to have been lovingly crafted.
Merman House – Build by Ben Gregory in Tideswell
Some of you may remember that I found out some interesting stuff about Merman House in Tideswell. For those of you who do not remember, a relative of mine, Ben Gregory won a large sum of money by betting on horse called ‘Merman’. He used the winnings to build Merman House.
Merman belonged to Lily Langtree
A former occupier of the house contacted me and told me that the Horse belonged to the famous actress of the day. Actress, Lily Langtree.
Apparently this horse was RED HOT and won a hell of a lot of money for a lot of people. I found some old articles about it in the “New York Times“.
I first wrote this post in 2009, and it’s taken me four years to find an image of Merman.
Merman After winning the Gold Cup in 1900
Previously, I had only been able to locate a photo of Merman’s Father, ‘Grand Flaneur’.
“Grand Flaneur was Mermans Father He sired the Melbourne Cup winners Patron, Bravo, and at least 13 other major performers including Merman who was sent to England to win the 1900 Ascot Gold Cup, and also won the Goodwood Cup, Jockey Club Cup and Cesarewitch Handicap.”
Merman House map
built by the older Brother of my Great Grandfather.
Edwin Gregory – Tideswell
Edwin Gregory was my Grandfather. My fathers father. He was fit as fiddle well into his eighties, or always seemed it. He could walk at a blistering pace and used to walk up “Town Head” to tend his plot of land. I know little of his early life, save to say he had some mechanical skills.
When I was a boy he would produce amazing Steam Engines from discarded pieces of junk. I mean, these things actually worked, they had boilers and chimneys, drive belts, wheels etc. They took real fuel. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of one of these devices, but I’ll endeavour to get one.
Anyway, I took this photo myself when I was just a small boy. For a while it hung in my grandparents house, as everyone was so proud of it. I had certainly never taken such a good photo before, and hardly ever since. I never seemed to have a copy though for whatever reason, then when my Grandparents had died, I got to thinking about it. As it was the only decent photo we ever had of Granddad.
I later found out my Aunt had a copy of the photo, but although I borrowed numerous family photos from her, this one got over looked. There are quite a few folk in our extended family who are interested in the Gregory family tree, and when I went back to Tideswell this summer, I called in on my cousin Jonathan Buttle. He had this photograph and kindly made me a copy. Now My parents have a copy, and I have one, soon to hanging on the wall. I’m sharing it with you now.
Edwin’s father was Charles Herbert Gregory, his Grandfather was Charles Gregory and his Grandmother Elizabeth Millar.