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Matlock & Matlock Bath Miscellany
Arms, charities, copyholders, Domesday entry, the Manor, police stations, population figures, 1832 voters, clubs & societies - and the band.
Matlock & Matlock Bath Index
About Matlock | About Matlock Bath | Find a Name | Images
Historical Records

Matlock's arms, on an enamel badge  
Matlock's arms, on an enamel badge.
Designed by Robert Hall[1], the arms were shown in black & white on the cover of Ward Lock's Matlock Guide for many years. The owner understands there used to be a large version on the wall up the stairs in the Town Hall. Photograph © Colin Goodwyn

More about Matlock Bath's arms

Matlock in the Domesday Book, 1086

"Domesday" was a survey of lands in England, made by order of King William the Conqueror, in 1086. The Norman Conquest of England had taken place 20 years earlier, in the year 1066.

"LAND OF THE KING" in the Wirksworth Wapentake:
"12 M. In MATLOCK (Bridge) King Edward had 2 caracutes of land without tax. Waste. meadow, 8 acres; 1 lead mine; woodland pasture in places, 3 leagues long and 2 wide.
To this manor are attached these outliers, MATLOCK, SNITTERTON, WENSLEY, BONSALL, IBLE, TANSLEY. In them 7 caracutes of land taxable. land for 7 ploughs.
11 villagers and 12 smallholders have ploughs.
Meadow, 22 acres; woodland pasture 2 leagues long and 1 league wide; underwood as much"[2].

"15 M. ... These five manors, DARLEY, MATLOCK (Bridge), WIRKSWORTH, ASHBOURNE, AND PARWICH, with their outliers, paid £32 and 6½ sesters of honey 1066; now £40 of pure silver"[2].

The Domesday volumes are held by The National Archive, Kew. The above translation, referring to Matlock (MESTESFORDE), has been extracted from: Domesday Book Series: 27 Derbyshire ed. Philip Morton[2]

The Manor of Matlock

Matlock was anciently called Mestesford and was mentioned in the Domesday Survey, as already stated above. Writing in 1877, Cox said that Matlock was not a berewick [a demense farm] of Wirksworth. "Matlock and Darley were royal manors" at Domesday. He also pointed out that there was no church at Matlock mentioned at that time, though the fragments of Norman masonry outside the Church tower certainly indicate the existence of a church in the Norman period[3].
Also see:
About St. Giles Church

"The manor belonged at an early period to the Ferrers family as part of the Wapentake of Wirksworth". It was, until 1628, "parcel of the earldom of the Duchy of Lancaster". It "was then granted to Edward Ditchfield and others, in trust for the Corporation of the City of London, by whom it was converted to three other persons, as trustees for the copyholders of the manor, and the rights have ever since been vested in the succession of such trustees[4]".
Also see:
Charters and Early Deeds
Documents Relating to Matlock, 14th Century - Leases 1376-1377
Description of Matlock in Davies' 1811 "History" (scroll down the page)

Other significant dates in the history of the Manor were:[5]

Letters patent granted to Edward DITCHFIELD (White's Directory records him as LICHFIELD), John HIGHLOW, Humphrey CLARKE and ffrancis MOSSE, citizens of the City of London.

- by an indenture sold to John MIDDLETON Esq., of Wannesley, NTT, Arthur MOORE gent., of Milthorpe, DBY, Richard SENIOR of Cowley, DBY and George HEATHCOTE of Cutthorpe, DBY. This was in trust for the copyholders.

1629 (14 Jan)
To make certain of the copyholders' rents, there was an agreement between the above trustees and:
William WALKER, Adam WOLLEY and others (copyholders of the manor);
Elizabeth, widow of the late Adam WOLLEY of Riber, Gent on behalf of William WOLLEY (her infant son).

Following the deaths of the original trustees, Mr Thomas STATHAM attempted to have new trustees appointed.

1700 (17 Oct)
Indenture between John THORNHILL and Ann his wife (granddaughter and heir of William BOOTH, gent, Lord of the Manor) and Thomas STATHAM. Conveyed in trust for the copyholders to Michael BURTON, Arthur DAKEYNE, Exuperius TURNER gent., and William TURNER.

1700 - 1716
Court of Chancery proceedings against the proprietors of the manor by Sir John STATHAM, knight.

Also see:
The Wolley Manuscripts, a major collection of pre 1828 documents for more information on the manor
Charities (below) for more on Anthony WOLLEY
Nineteenth Century Lists: Manorial Records, Extracts from 1851 A sample of what is available at the DRO.

Incomplete List of Trustees for the Copyholders (1716 - 1903)[5]

1738 - Bache THORNHILL and others.
1760 - Francis RADFORD and others
1769 - Alexander BARKER, Brooke BOOTHBY, Francis HURT, William MILNES, Bache THORNHILL.
1785 - Brooke BOOTHBY, William MILNES, Bache THORNHILL.
1798 - Philip GELL, John HOLLAND, Francis HURT, Bache THORNHILL, John TOPLIS.
1830 - Bache THORNHILL.
1871 - William Pole THORNHILL.
1899 - John Gilbert CROMPTON Esq., Rev Fielding Arthur Wolfe Hamilton GELL.
1903 - Mr. James POTTER, solicitor, was the Steward.

The Court Leet and view of Frankpledge - with the Great Court Baron - were held half yearly (alternately at Matlock and Matlock Bath).

Nineteenth century expansion, population and councils

Matlock and Matlock Bath expanded enormously during the nineteenth century.

"In 1821 there were 605 houses in the parish, occupied by 609 families, and 2,920 persons"[5] . By 1841 "the population [of Matlock] ... including Matlock Bath, Matlock Bank, Matlock Bridge, Riber, Scarthin Nick and Starkholmes, amounted to 3,782 souls, and the area in acres to 4,750"[1848].

1841 Census, Parish of Matlock: Distribution of Occupations. Examines the occupations of those living in Matlock and District at the time of the 1841 census, highlighting some interesting distribution patterns across the seven Enumeration Districts.

There was an increase of about one thousand people every ten years between 1861 and 1891.

"The population in 1861, including Matlock Bath, Matlock Bank, Matlock Bridge, Riber, Scarthin Nick and Starkholmes, was 4,252, in 1871 was 5,220 and in 1881 was 6,093"[1891].

By 1891 the population numbered 7,131, but in 1894 the creation of the new parish of Matlock Bath caused a "reduction" in these numbers.
Read about the Parish in an extract from Kelly's 1891 Directory

Population of Matlock[6]
1801 2,354
1811 2,490
1821 2,920
1831 3,262
1841 3,782
1851 4,010
1861 4,252
1871 5,220
1881 6,093
1891 7,131
1901 7,798

The ecclesiastical parishes of Matlock in 1901 were recorded as - St. Giles (pop. 2,441) and Matlock Bank (3,276). There were 5,979 in Matlock civil parish and Urban District. Matlock Bath's civil parish and Urban District had a population of 1,819 and the ecclesiastical parish 1,550[1908].

By 1911 there were 6,745 people in Matlock; the population was divided between the ecclesiastical parishes of St. Giles (2,510) and Matlock Bank (3,896 - including 431 in two of the hydros). Matlock Bath's population in 1911 was 1,802, although the population of the ecclesiastical parish was somewhat smaller at 1,551[1916].

From 1894 Matlock and Matlock Bath had separate Urban District Councils. Matlock UDC met in the Town Hall and the UDC for Matlock Bath and Scarthin Nick held meetings in the Council Chamber, which was at first located in upper rooms on the Parade but later in the newly built Pavilion. The two joined together again in 1924 to form the Matlocks UDC.

Local Boards, Magistrates and Public Officers of Matlock Bath and Matlock in 1891.
Officials etc in Kelly's 1908 Directory
Officials etc. in Kelly's 1912 Directory
Officials etc. in Kelly's 1916 Directory

If you'd like to have a rough idea about how the inhabitants came and went there are some very basic statistics about a few in 1901
See Did you know ...?
Histpop - The Online Historical Population Reports Website, providing access to hundreds of official documents relating to the history of civil registration and the taking of the censuses.


William WALKER (1631)[7]
He left a rent charge of 10s [10 shillings] yearly for ever, to be paid out of his estate called Hillock Croft in the parish of Matlock.

George SPATEMAN, Yeoman of Tansley (1647)[7]
He left £80 [80 pounds] to the use of a school in Matlock, and £20 [20 pounds] for the benefit of the poor in the parish. Will dated 16 Oct 1647 held at TNA (PROB 11/202/73).
These two legacies were laid out in the purchase of a house and lands in the parish of Matlock in 1750. This property was exchanged for a messuage and lands at Matlock.
See Schools

Several of these benefactors are listed on the Benefaction or Charity Boards displayed inside St. Giles Church
Go to on site transcript

Thomas JOHNS (1667)[7]
He gave four Bibles to the value of £1 [1 pound] and £2 p.a. [2 pounds per annum] to be paid out of lands called Janckin Flat, Causeway Meadow and Dick Lands, situated in Matlock. See Pre 1858 Wills, Surnames J.
Bryan[5] states that up to 1827 the two latter fields were in the occupation of Mr. Adam Woolley.

Anthony WO[O]LLEY (1668)[7]
He left a further 5l. [£5] per annum towards the maintenance of the free school at Matlock, and directed that a piece of land should be set apart by his executors for that purpose (see Pre 1858 Wills, Surnames W). Whereupon two pieces of copyhold land were conveyed upon trust to Mr. John WO[O]LLEY and Mr. John SOWTER. In 1817, the Lyson's recorded there was an annual income of 43l. 14s [£43 14 shillings] and White's gives the annual income as £36 p.a. [£36 per annum] - £30 to the school master; £2 for incidental expenses; £4 to the poor.
About Riber
The Wolley Manuscripts
, a major collection of pre 1828 documents

Daniel CLARK (1724)[7]
He gave 10s [10 shillings] yearly for ever, to be paid out of his estate in the parish of Matlock. Bryan states that "in 1828 this sum was paid in respect of lands held by Mr. Wigley Hayward HODGKINSON"[5].

Joshua BRADLEY (1738)[7]
He left a rent charge of 10s [10 shillings] a year out of land called Allcock lying in Matlock Bank.
See Pre 1858 Wills, Surnames B.

Thomas GARRETT, Esq. of Middlesex (1791)[7]
He left £100 [100 pounds] to be invested in the Government funds, the dividends to be given to 20 poor housekeepers not receiving parish relief and to be distributed annually on St. Thomas's Day. In 1857 this bequest was standing in the names of the Reverend Philip GELL, Mr. Adam WOOLLEY and Mr. John NUTTALL. Bryan[5] records GARRETT as "of Hornsey".

Reverend Francis GISBORNE, Rector of Staveley (1818)[7]
In his will written in 1818, confirming a deed of the previous year, he left £5 10s p.a. [5 pounds 10 shillings per annum] for warm clothing to be given to the poor of 100 parishes and chapelries in Derbyshire. Will dated 7 Sept 1821 held at TNA (PROB 11/1648/64).
[Note: Bryan records the sum for Matlock as being £7 3s[5]]

Robert CLAY (1874)[8]
In his will signed on 14 May 1873 and proved at Derby the following year, he bequeathed "unto the Rector and Churchwardens of the parish of Matlock aforesaid the sum of One hundred and forty pounds Upon trust to invest the same in the Public funds of Great Britain and to apply and Expend the interest dividends and annual income thereof for ever thereafter in the purchase of bread or clothing or bread and clothing to be impartially distributed annually on New Years day among such of the poor and needy inhabitants of the said parish of Matlock as the Vicar and the Church wardens for the time being of the said parish shall select for that purpose".
Robert Clay was the 1C5R [first cousin five times removed] of the author of these pages and there is a little more information about him.
See The Andrews Pages Picture Gallery (Derbyshire section), which includes several pages about Bonsall.

Matlock Voters

Parliament passed the Reform Act on 7 June, 1832 and so more men in the country were eligible to vote for Members of Parliament. At that time Derbyshire was split into two Divisions - North and South - and Matlock (including Matlock Bath and Scarthin Nick) was in the Southern Division under the Wirksworth Polling District.

On Tuesday 18th December, 1832 and Wednesday, 19th December, 1832 the first elections took place. Voters were able to chose between three candidates to represent them:

The Hon. George John VERNON
Sir Roger GREISLEY, Bart
The Right Hon. Lord WATERPARK

Not all residents qualified to be a registered elector and some of the electors did not live within the parish. For example, T. WILSON's place of residence was given as Hulley-place, London but he was eligible because he held freehold property in Matlock Bath, though in the event he did not vote. Amongst other absent voters was John Charles MAYNARD of Harlsey Hall, Yorkshire who qualified because he held a one-eighth share of Matlock Old Bath, Matlock Bath. In total, 166 copyholders and freeholders in the parish were eligible to vote and many of those who did cast both of their votes. Abanathan DAFFIN of Starkholmes, with a freehold in Riber, voted for both VERNON and WATERPARK. In contrast, Joshua TOMISSON, a freeholder in Matlock Bath, voted for GREISLEY. So did Rev. H. SIM, living in Matlock Rectory, who was eligible because of his occupation.

If Matlock alone had elected the candidates, the outcome would have been somewhat different : WATERPARK was the favourite in the parish with 115 votes, VERNON polled 74 and GREISLEY trailed the field with a mere 30 votes. However, the final result for the Southern Division was:

VERNON - 3048

Lists of the electors of Matlock, and whom they voted for in several elections in the nineteenth century, can be found in various Poll Books. If you are interested in an ancestor who may have been eligible to vote in Matlock in 1832, please email me, to find out if they did.

Additional Miscellaneous Information

  • In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century there was a sergeant who had four police constables under his leadership based at Matlock Bath Police Station. The police station was in a little house at the rear of the County and Station Hotel, at the bottom of Holme Road. As the photograph on the right shows, the big round archway on Holme Road led through to the police station where there was a small cell with iron bars.
    In 1932 the public were given the opportunity to buy the police station when it was offered for sale by public auction; it was part of a block of property that had been previously been held in a trust. The Lot was withdrawn. By an odd co-incidence, the local police ball took place on the same day.
    There is more about the property sale on the County & Station Hotel, Dale Road, 1900-1930.

    Those with ancestors who were in the Police Force may be able to learn more through records held at the Derbyshire Record Office.
    Also see:
    Names in Nineteenth Century Lists : Keeping Law and Order.
    Matlock Bath Today (1) - another picture of Holme Road

Matlock Bath's original Police Staion was through the arch
Matlock Bath's Former Police Station.
Photograph © Jim Phelan, published with kind permission.
  • Matlock Police Station on Bank Road was built in 1893; it had three cells and a house for the inspector or sergeant, later for the divisional superintendent. The building was enlarged a few years later.

  • Matlock and District Operatic Society was founded in 1906. In 1907 they produced "Erminie" in Matlock's Victoria Hall, which was in grounds adjoining Smedley Street, and the following year performed Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado".
    The Society's papers (1907-75) are held by the Derbyshire Record Office Ref: D1572

    After 100 years as Matlock Amateur Operatic Society it was decided to change the Society's name to reflect what the group performs today.
    Matlock Musical Theatre, formerly Matlock Operatic Society, has a web site

    More about the Society:


  • Other groups who enjoyed singing:

    Prize Choir
    Ladies' Choir 1959

  • Matlock Brass Band was attached to the Volunteers when it started in the mid nineteenth century and the players wore uniforms. The cornettist, trainer and leader was John Naylor of Sutton-in-Ashfield and George Knowles gave considerable support and helped financially. By 1894 the bandmaster was H. Holmes. They won quite a few prizes in the 19th century. For example, in 1863 the Matlock Volunteer Band won the second prize at the Leamington Brass Band Concert[9]. They also performed at local events, such as the ceremony to "Turn the First Sod" for the Matlock Bath Pavilion and Gardens Company Limited project in 1882. The Matlock Volunteer Band appeared by kind permission of Captain Arkwright[10].
    Matlock Brass Band is online.

    Selection of Bandsmen in the Vernon Lamb Archive

    Scottish band
    Scottish Band
    4982, Matlock Band
    Matlock Band

  • Matlock Cycle Club members used a cycle track in the latter part of the nineteenth century. It was supposedly in the grounds of the Olde Englishe Hotel, though the 1903 Ordnance Survey map of Matlock shows an oval, presumably the track, at the very end of Olde Englishe Road and seemingly not in the hotel's grounds by then. It was just behind the buildings at the end of Dale Road and on the opposite bank of the river from Knowlston Place.
    Matlock Cycle Club is online
    The Vernon Lamb Archive, Cycles & Cars has a number of pictures of pre-1914 cyclists, although they were not necessarily members of the Cycle Club.

    The original cycle track is shown on an early 20th century postcards:

  • Matlock Golf Club opened in 1907 at Cuckoostone Grange, Matlock Moor. The course was established mainly for the pleasure of the visitors who came into the district. Horace Loveday was the first Hon. Secretary[1908] but was succeeded by Henry Towle, a retired station master. Mr. Towle can be found in the post in both 1912[1912] and 1916[1916]. He passed away on 31 July 1929, aged 81. At the outbreak of the First World War it was acknowledged that Mrs. John Goodwin had worked had to make the ladies' section a success in her role as its secretary.
    See Newspaper Cuttings, 1914 (competing in the Devonshire Cup).

  • Matlock Bath Golf Club opened in 1903, so pre dated the one at Matlock. The course of nine holes was on land between Upperwood and Ember Lane and the links were informally opened on 10th May when a number of members were present. The Captain, Mr. H. M. Peacock, and Mr. Broome from Holloway opened the links. The tees and greens had been laid out by the golf professional, Mr. Cross[11]. Teas used to be served in a lean to erected on the side of the clubhouse. The links were officially opened by the local M.P., Mr Victor C. W. Cavendish, on 23rd May[12].

  • Matlock & District Rifle Club started in 1900. The branches were initially at Matlock, Matlock Bath, Tansley, Cromford, Darley Dale, Lea and Holloway. In 1903 the president was Mr. F. C. Arkwright and the secretary Mr. W. Jaffrey. The ranges were on Cuckoostone Moor.
    See Newspaper Cuttings, 1900.

    1914 Rifle Club images in the Vernon Lamb Archive:


  • National Reserve (Matlock Branch) was formed in 1912. In 1914 Captain F. C. Arkwright was Commanding Officer and the Secretary was Quartermaster H. Clay.
    There is a report of those participating in the Empire Day Parade 1914 and other details elsewhere on this site

  • Matlock Town Football Club - "The Gladiators" - started in the nineteenth century (1876) and they originally played on the Hall Leys.
    In 1901 they played Grimsby, and the visiting football team were staying at Jeff's Poplar Hydro

    More about the football club:

    Football stand
    on the Hall Leys
    See stand on
    3rd image down
    Matlock & District
    Sports club
    letterhead (1922)
    1931-2 team
    Officers, 1950s

A traffic free Causeway Lane, Matlock, in the 1950's

The photograph (above) shows a traffic free Causeway Lane in the 1950's, with the football ground on the left hand side of the road, behind the hedge. In 1916 Matlock Cricket, Football & Athletic Club (Alfred Wrigley, hon. sec.) was based at the grounds (Kelly's Directory). The Hall Leys Recreation Grounds are on the right, with Riber Castle dominating the skyline. The image was kindly provided by Bernard Gale.
About Riber Castle

Photograph of Matlock's "arms" kindly provided by and © Colin Goodwyn.
Photograph of the archway on Holme Road through to the old Police Station kindly provided by and © Jim Phelan.
Photograph of Causeway Lane kindly provided by and © Bernard Gale.
Information researched by the web mistress. Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured hyperlinks are to transcripts elsewhere on this website):

[1] "The High Peak News", 18 August 1906. Article about the Matlock coat-of-arms or "seal" which had been designed after much thought by Robert Hall who had also registered the design to himself. Researched by Colin Goodwyn.

[2] The Domesday volumes are held by the Public Record Office, Kew.
The translation quoted above, referring to Matlock (MESTESFORDE), is from: "Domesday Book Series: 27 Derbyshire" ed. Philip Morton from a draft translation prepared by Sara Wood (1978), Phillimore & Co. Ltd., London and Chichester © Mrs. Susan Morris, 1978, ISBN 0 85033 165X (case) - ISBN 0 85033 166 8 (limp).

[3] Cox, J Charles (1877) "Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire Vol II" Chesterfield: Palmer and Edmunds, London: Bemrose and Sons, 10 Paternoster Buildings; and Derby, p.518.

[4] White, Francis (1857) "Directory of Derbyshire" (Matlock names onsite)

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

[6] Figures from "The Victoria History of the English Counties. A History of Derbyshire Vol. II", p. 204. Constable & Co., Pall Mall, London (1907) : (Ed. 1970) University of London. ISBN 0 7129 0447 6.

[7] Lysons, Rev Daniel and Samuel Lysons Esq. (1817) "Topographical and Historical Account of Derbyshire" London: Printed for T. Cadell, Strand; and G. and A. Greenland, Poultry.

[8] Information extracted from personal papers of web mistress.

[9] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, 15 July, 1863.

[10] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, 12 July, 1882.

[11] "Derbyshire Times", 14 May 1903.

[12] "Derbyshire Times", 30 May 1903.

[1848] "The Post Office Directory of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Rutlandshire", Kelly and Co., London (1848)
[1891] "Kelly's Directory of the Counties of Derby, Notts, Leicester and Rutland" (May, 1891), London
[1908] "Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire", 1908
[1912] "Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire", 1912
[1916] "Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire", 1916

There are online
19th century directories
20th century directories