|Area: 78.03 kmē|
Derby is a city in the East Midlands of England. It lies on the banks of the River Derwent and is surrounded by the shire county of Derbyshire. In the 2001 census the population of the borough was 233,700, whilst that of the Derby Urban Area was 229,407. Measured by Urban Area, Derby is the 18th largest settlement in England.
The City has Roman, Saxon and Viking connections. The Roman camp of 'Derventio' was probably at Little Chester/Chester Green, later the town was one of the 'Five Boroughs' (fortified towns) of the Danelaw.
The popular belief is that the name 'Derby' is a corruption of the Danish Deor-a-by (Village of the Deer), however some assert that it is a corruption of the original Roman name 'Derventio'. The town was also named 'Darby' or 'Darbye' on some of the oldest maps, eg. Speed's 1610 map. The city is one of the few cities that have retained a name with a Viking origin, like York, which had the Viking name of Jorvik. The city recently celebrated its 2,000th year as a settlement.
New research (throughout 2004) into the history and archaeology of Derby has provided evidence that the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons probably co-existed, occupying two areas of land surrounded by water. The Saxon Chronicles (c. 900) state that "Derby is divided by Water". These areas of land were known as "Northworthy" and Deoraby, and were located at the "Irongate" (North) side of the city. (Ron Mackeown of Derby Heritage Development Trust has produced a recent paper on this subject.)
The Middle Ages to the 18th century
During the Civil War of 1642-1646 the town was garrisoned by Parliamentary troops commanded by Sir John Gell, 1st Baronet, who was appointed Governor of Derby in 1643. These troops took part in the defence of Nottingham, the siege of Lichfield, the battle of Hopton Heath and many other engagements in Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire, as well as successfully defending Derbyshire against royalist armies.
Bonnie Prince Charlie made camp at Derby on 4 December 1745, whilst on his way south to seize the English crown. The Prince called at The George Inn on Irongate, where the Duke of Devonshire had set up his headquarters, and demanded billets for his 9000 troops.
Statue of Bonnie Prince Charlie located on Cathedral GreenHe stayed at Exeter House, Exeter Street where he held his "Council of War". He had received misleading information about an army coming to meet him south of Derby. Although he wished to continue with his quest, he was overruled by his fellow officers. He abandoned his invasion at Swarkestone Bridge, on the River Trent, just a few miles south of Derby.