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Melbourne, Derbyshire

Historical Description

Melbourne, a small town and a parish in Derbyshire. The town stands on an affluent of the river Trent, is 7 miles by railway SSE of Derby, and has a station on the M.R., a post, money order, and telegraph office under Derby, a market-place, a church, Baptist, Congiegational, Sweden-borgian, and Wesleyan chapels, a public cemetery, an athen-seum, a public hall erected in 1889, a temperance institute and reading-rooms, and a county police station. The church is a cruciform building, chiefly Norman, with a tower of much later date, was restored internally in 1862 at a cost of £3000, and contains monuments of the 14th and 17th centuries to the Hardinge family, and several memorial windows. Six bells were erected in 1882, and two more in 1887. A General Baptist mission hall was erected in 1890 by the late Mr Thomas Cook, the famous excursion agent, who was a native. The athenasum was opened in 1854 by Lord Palmerston. A weekly market is held on Saturday evenings, and the manufacture of silk, thread, and lace goods, and boots and shoes, is carried on. The parish contains also the village of Kings Newton, and comprises 3506 acres; population, 3369. The manor belonged at Domesday to the Crown, passed to the Beauchamps and the Lancasters, then to the Marquis of Hastings. Lord Donington is now lord of the manor. A royal castle stood here, was several times visited by King John, was the prison for nineteen years of the Duke of Bourbon, taken at the Battle of Agincourt, was dismantled in 1460, and is now represented by only a small portion of the outer walls. A palace of the Bishops of Carlisle stood on the S bank of the pool, and was several times visited by King John. Melbourne Hall belongs to Earl Cowper, occupies the site of a palace of the Bishops of Carlisle, was built by Sir Thomas Coke in 1712, was the place where Baxter began to write his " Saints' Rest," and has gardens in the Dutch style, introduced by William III. Kings Newton Hall belonged to the Hardinge family, gave entertainment to Charles II., and was destroyed by fire in 1859. Market-gardening is extensively carried on. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Southwell; net value, £396 with residence.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyDerbyshire 
Ancient CountyDerbyshire 
Civil parishThornton 
Ecclesiastical parishMelbourne St. Michael 
HundredRepton and Gresley 
HundredRepton and Gresley 
Poor Law unionPocklington 
Poor Law unionShardlow 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The Phillimore transcript of Marriages at Melbourne 1653-1812, Derbyshire, is available to browse online., in conjunction with the Derbyshire Record Office, have the Church of England Baptisms (1538-1916), Marriages and Banns (1538-1932), and Burials (1538-1991) online.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Melbourne from the following:

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Derbyshire is online.


Online maps of Melbourne are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Derbyshire papers online:

DistrictSouth Derbyshire
RegionEast Midlands
Postal districtDE73
Post TownDerby