The Slums of Derby

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Willow Row, Old Derby

If you lived in the West End of Derby in the 19th century, you were considered to live in the slums.  It is here that the families I’ve researched lived mainly in what was known as court housing (see Discover Liverpool for a good explanation of this type of housing).

An article on the Derby Telegraph site mentions that this area was part of an 1849 report to the General Board of Health on “The Sewerage, Drainage and Supply of Water and the Sanitary Conditions of the Inhabitants of Derby”;

 In Willow Row, Court 1, 103 inhabitants shared two privies and residents reported that milk would turn to curd when mixed with water from the communal pump…

Observations of Walker Lane, where 75 cases of typhus fever were reported between June 15 and September 14, 1847, were: “The houses are of the most inferior description and the inhabitants of a piece with their houses; to crown all, there are lodging houses, which are the principal headquarters of vagrants, and of those comers and goers who, for reasons best known to themselves, prefer darkness to light.”

Model of Court Housing via National Museums Liverpool

It is in these conditions that Hannah Bates, William Lamb (& their families) lived most of their lives.  The slum clearances of the 1930s mean that the court housing is now long gone but it’s important to keep these living conditions in mind when researching the people of the area and trying to understand their lives.

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2016 map of Derby (old street layout  in black)

 

 

Saint vs Saints

I have done a LOAD more research on the Lamb/Rollett family and found what I believe are answers to some of the questions I posed in my previous post (which I will write about later, I promise) but I’ve just come back from a quick trip to Derby and inputting the information into my online tree has thrown up ANOTHER question.

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All Saints, Derby

While at the Derby Local Histories & Family History Library, I found the baptism entries for William Henry LAMB & Rebecca TAYLOR’s children on a parish register microfilm.  Their 5 oldest children were baptised at All Saints, Derby (which is now known as Derby Cathedral) all on the same day – 11th March 1849. Beside the first column, the children’s actual birth dates were also recorded – the eldest, John, being born nearly 10 years previous.

This is not that unusual and I have come across this before in my research over the years.  However, these children had already been baptised as infants in St Alkmund’s Church!

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St Alkmund’s Church, Derby c.1906

Now, I have heard of some children being re-baptised after changing religions or denominations; I’ve even heard of some being re-baptised after moving to a new area. But St Alkmund’s & All Saints are both Church of England AND within a stone’s throw of each other so those explanations don’t fit.

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Plan of the Town of Derby c.1817 – arrows indicate the locations of All Saints & St Alkmund’s churches

 

Researching the church of St Alkmund’s shows that it was rebuilt 1844-46 (during the time some of the children were originally baptised); perhaps there was some issue surrounding this? The only other thought that has come to mind is some kind of scandal where there were concerns the children were not legitimately baptised.

If anyone can shed some light on this, or pose an alternative explanation, please contact me.