The Strutt Archives

Updated: Monday, July 18, 2011   |   Belper Historical & Genealogical Website

This is an selective index to the Strutt collection in the Derbyshire Record Office, Matlock. It lists miscellaneous documents and reference materials that may be of use in tracing people and deeds. Estate Maps and Plans and the Strutt Scrapbook Reference numbers are listed separately on the Maps and Plans page.

A complete index of the Strutt Collections, Maps and Plans, and also the Derbyshire Quarter Sessions is available online. Please see the LINKS page.



D3772/T13/3/1-3 Creation dates: 1832-1833
Footpaths and roads at Belper
  1. D3772/T13/3/1 Conveyance of part of the line of a road at Belper, from the Shire Oaks road to the Four Lane Ends, with plan, 1832 (Trustees of the Ashbourne and Belper Road - Strutt)
  2. D3772/T13/3/2 Conveyance of waste land adjoining the road to Wirksworth near Four Lane Ends, with plan, 1832 (Trustees of the Duffield to Wirksworth Turnpike Road - Strutt)
  3. D3772/T13/3/3 Order for stopping up a footway at Belper from the Ashbourne turnpike road across fields towards Milford, with plan and note that the footway was sold to Strutt 1833
  4. [Formerly Box 13 Bundle No 118]
D3772/T40/1 Card index arranged alphabetically by person/property
  1. (Bundle/parcel references equate to D3772/T so bundle/parcel 26 is listed as D3772/T26)
D3772/T40/2 Creation dates: 1877
Index to deeds of W G and J Strutt
  1. Arranged alphabetically by name of party, giving page references (to estate book?) and, in some cases, bundle/parcel number
D3772/T40/3/1-2 Creation dates: 19th cent
Index to No.2 Book of Deeds belonging to G H Strutt
  1. (One marked draft, but both appear to have been kept up), arranged alphabetically by name/subject, gives page reference and, in some cases, bundle/parcel number
D3772/T40/4 Creation dates: 1878
Index to deeds by date made in Jan 1878
  1. Covering 1588-1907, gives page reference
D3772/T40/5 Creation dates: 19th-20th cent
  1. Index to deeds by date marked No.2, covering 1607-1929 , gives page ref.
D3772/E1/1 Creation dates: 1840
  1. Reference book to the land in the Township of Belper
D3772/E1/2 Creation dates: 1842
  1. Copy of Tithe Commutation Schedule, Belper 17 Nov
D3772/E2/1 Creation dates: 1839
  1. Copy of Tithe Commutation Schedule, Duffield with index to plan numbers
D3772/E10/1-2 Creation dates: 1765-1796
  1. Lists of Mr Strutt's title deeds
D3772/E10/3 c1765-c1815
  1. Volume listing deeds, rents, agreements
D3772/E10/4 Creation dates:   [late 19th cent]
  1. Volume listing maps, plans and old books


D3772/E16/1 Creation dates: 1820

Reference book recording the Particulars of the Derbyshire Estates of William, George Benson and Joseph Strutt according to the surveys of 1819 and 1820. Surveyed by J.B.H. Bennett.

Gives the name of occupier, a description of the land use, and the area for each parcel of land, for estates in Belper, Duffield, Makeney, Hazelwood, Heage, Ashleyhay, Crich, the borough of Derby, and the Derby parishes of All Saints and St Peter.

The appendices detail the amount of copyhold land, and record the tithes and land tax payable on the estates

D3772/E16/2 Creation dates: 1863

Schedule of the Strutt Estate, October 1863. Arranged by Parish and, within each Parish, numerically by ordnance survey number of parcel of land.

Records area of property, description of land use, name of property, property number, and name of tenant, for Shottle and Postern, Hazelwood, Milford, Duffield, Heage, Alderwasley, Belper, Holbrook and Kilburn

Including: a useful list of rents and tithes.

D3772/E25/2 Creation dates: 1820

Volume: survey of old inclosures and allotments with roads etc in the award dated 11 May 1791 and in the schedules and plans annexed to it, under Act for inclosure of commons called Belper and Chevin Wards and waste lands in liberties of Belper, Duffield, Hazelwood and Makeney, extracted from the award in 1820, noting that it may not be entirely accurate because of the condition of the originals.

Includes an index to numbers of old inclosures and allotments ; account of estates recording proprietors, index and award, refs liberties, properties, acreages; exchanges; lists of roads etc including those abolished. By J B H Bennett

  1. D3772/E25/2/1-2 Proposals relating to enclosure of Belper Ward and Chevin, Dec 1783 and 1786
  2. D3772/E25/2/3 Notice concerning tithe payments Belper and Chevin Wards, Jan 1791
  3. D3772/E25/2/4 Legal opinion relating to wall and public highway, Jul 1791
  4. D3772/E25/2/5 Extract from case re highway (1903)
  5. D3772/E25/3 Creation dates: 1791
  6. Commissioners assessment of expenses of the award, listing proprietors and allotting costs under 5 headings to each proprietor. Fixed to door of Belper Chapel, 20 Mar

The Strutt Archives

This is about the archives of the Strutt Family of South Normanton, Blackwell and Belper. Material in the Strutt archives at the Derbyshire Record office mostly relates to Jedediah Strutt, 1726-1797, of Belper, and William Strutt, 1756-1830, of Belper.

Reference Code: D3772 STRUTT FAMILY OF BELPER (Creation dates: June 2001)

Extent and Form: c. 200 boxes
Held at: Derbyshire Record Office

The records were deposited by the Strutt Estate Office between 1993 and 2000. The records relate mainly to the family estate and to the personal interests of members of the family. There are some business records dating from the 1760s onwards.

The title deeds refer to the major estate holdings in Duffield, Chevin Ward, Belper, Makeney, Milford, Hazelwood, Holbrook, Heage, Doveridge and Derby, as well as to other properties in Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Yorkshire, London, Ireland and Canada

Management of the estate is reflected in surveys, rentals, accounts and plans from the 1820s onwards. The family was involved in matters arising from enclosure in Belper, Duffield and Holbrook and from tithe payments in Duffield, Belper, Hazelwood, Holbrook and Little Eaton

Family and personal papers show how members dealt in stocks, shares, mortgages and other investments, with many papers relating to executorships. Marriage into local gentry families and their own increasingly complex personal business arrangements led to substantial marriage settlements and trusts

The papers reflect many areas of local interest including education, charitable work and religious worship. Railways, roads and canals were of importance for transportation of goods and as investments. There are papers relating to the (North) Midland Railway 1835-1930 and the Heage and Duffield Turnpike Trust including order books 1815-1880

Household administration is recorded in Jedediah's domestic account books for Derby 1817-1865 and the servants' wages books for Bridge Hill House in Belper 1858-1906 and Makeney House 1896-1906

George Herbert's papers include deeds and correspondence arising from the marriage settlements of his daughters and the subsequent financial and marital difficulties of some of them. There are also series of correspondence files with his agent in Belper concerning his properties at Ardkinglas and Kingairloch/Scotland and Rhyl/Wales, sailing and country pursuits, trips abroad, arrangements for children's schooling, problems in their later lives, estate and business management and the effects of the 1914-1918 war during which one of his sons, Anthony Herbert, died. The correspondence series was continued by his son George Ashton Strutt 1878-1935 but in less detail.

History of the Strutts

The Strutt family's fame and fortune originated with Jedediah Strutt (1726-1797), inventor of the Derby rib machine. He was also Richard Arkwright's backer and partner as well as founder of a silk stocking firm in Derby and cotton-spinning mills at Belper and Milford.

From a farming background in South Normanton, Jedediah worked as a wheelwright before inventing the Derby rib machine for use on stocking knitting frames in 1756. Soon afterwards Jedediah and his brother William set up a silk stocking firm in Derby, selling mainly in London. The venture was successful enough for Jedediah to back Richard Arkwright and his invention, roller spinning, at Arkwright's Cromford mill from 1771.

By 1780 Strutt had built new cotton-spinning mills at Belper and Milford which operated separately from Arkwright. As the business grew Belper North Mill (1784-1786) and West Mill (1795) and Derby Calico Mill (1792-1793) were built as well as warehousing at Milford. Jedediah also built housing for his employees and was active in providing places of worship and education for them, especially in Belper. He also bought land in Derby, Belper, Milford, Makeney and Crich which formed the basis of the family's estate.

Jedediah's three sons all went into the family business with different areas of responsibility. William (1756-1830), based in Derby, was in charge of the technical side. His chief claim to fame was in connection with the design and construction of fireproof buildings. The Derby Calico Mill, Milford warehouse and Belper West Mill were all constructed to provide protection from the spread of fire, as was the rebuilt North Mill (1804). William was also active in Derby as a founder member of the Derby Philosophical Society and as designer and supporter of Derby Infirmary, as well as being involved in improvements to paving, lighting, bridges and other educational, social and practical developments. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1817. His son Edward (1801-1880) served as Member of Parliament for Derby 1830-1847 and was created 1st Lord Belper in 1856.

Jedediah's youngest son Joseph (1765-1844), also based in Derby, was responsible for the commercial side of the business. He was actively involved in town affairs, especially in education. With his nephew Edward he founded a Mechanics' Institution in Derby but he is particularly remembered for his gift of the Arboretum. He was the first non-conformist to serve as Mayor of Derby, taking office as the first mayor after the reform of the borough in 1835.

George Benson Strutt (1761-1841) was based in Belper with responsibility for running the mills and the estate. He continued the work of his father in ensuring that the workforce had adequate housing as well as arranging supplies of provisions for the growing populations around the mills. Education through schools and Sunday Schools and places of worship were also provided and supported. George was prominent in local affairs including the Belper Bank for Savings.

George Benson's son Jedediah (1785-1854) and grandson George Henry (1826-1895) continued the family's connection with the textile business. However, during the nineteenth century the family and individual members began to make money from investments in railways and mortgages rather than land or direct involvement in industry. In 1897-1898 the Belper and Milford mills became part of the English Sewing Cotton Company and the Derby Cotton Mill was demolished.

George Henry's son George Herbert (1854-1928) lived in Belper at the family home Bridge Hill House and at Makeney House and Brailsford Hall. He was active in Belper affairs, donating the River Gardens in 1904, a school in 1909, public baths including a swimming pool in 1910 and the Memorial Gardens in 1922. He also donated the offices for Belper Urban District Council, on which he served. He was a County Councillor from the beginning of Derbyshire County Council in 1889. He was involved in managing the family estate and various investments and still kept in touch with the textile business.

As the family became prominent throughout the nineteenth century, members served as Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs and Deputy Lieutenants for the county and as Mayors of Derby. They were active on many local government authorities at local and county level. Committed to charitable work especially in the fields of education and social welfare, they were in correspondence with many well-known figures. The early generations were closely connected to Unitarian chapels in Derby, Belper and Milford but later generations moved towards the established Church of England.

Related Material in the Derbyshire Record Office, Matlock

For Strutt estate maps and plans including Belper, Milford, Crich, Derby, Makeney, Holbrook, Hazelwood 1790-1837, plans of mills and houses in Belper, Milford, Crich, Makeney and Heage 1796-1927, weather observations at Belper 1880-1900 see D1564

For letters to Jedediah Strutt and other members of the family dealing with family and personal matters but also including letters from Jeremy Bentham, Joseph Lancaster, Richard Lovell Edgeworth and his daughter Maria, and Joseph Chamberlain see D5303

For travel diaries probably written by female members of the Strutt family of Derby, including England 1814-1831 and Europe 1823-1861, with copies of Jedediah's letters 1750-1775 and family memoirs see D2943

For records of the English Sewing Cotton Company and its predecessors including records of production and photographs at Strutt Belper mills 1823-1895 see D3638

For Strutt Library of printed material on Derbyshire bequeathed to Derbyshire County Council under the will of Frederick Strutt in 1910 and prints of Derbyshire scenes etc given by Lord Belper in 1912 see Derbyshire Record Office Printed Books.

Records of the Barons Belper including deeds, family and estate papers relating to Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire 17th-20th cents are held at Nottinghamshire Archives (DD/BK)

Business records of the Strutt Mills in Belper and Milford including ledgers and mill school registers (dated 1780 to 1936) are deposited in the Archives Department of the Manchester Central Library. (But see below 2008)

New Material: Strutt archive returned to county after 50 years

July 2008: ARCHIVES detailing the history of Belper's most well known family have been brought back to Derbyshire after 50 years.

The 300-volume collection, dating back to 1780, is packed with information about the early businesses of the Strutt family – the pioneers of Derbyshire's cotton industry. The records, which are nearly 230 years old, had been held in the record offices of Manchester Library since the 1950s and reveal how the Strutt family created their wealth.

They have now been transferred to the Derbyshire Record Office on New Street, Matlock.

Margaret O'Sullivan, county and diocesan archivist at the record office said: "We already have a large collection that has been with us for many years so we knew they would be popular and that researchers would benefit from them. The school records will be of particular interest because there will be many local names in them."

The collection includes records from 1818 to 1883 on the Belper Mill School, which later became Long Row Primary School. The school opened in 1818 and was created for children who worked in the mills, in addition to the children of mill workers, well before there were any local authority schools. Early volumes record whether the mill children attended school during the day or night and noted the amount of money deducted from their wages for schooling.

Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for cultural services, Councillor Bob Janes, said he was delighted to be able to bring such important documents back to Derbyshire.

He said: “We already have a large collection of personal details about the Strutt family, including information about the properties they owned, but we didn’t have a record of how the business created the family’s wealth. This has added to our archives enormously, creating a comprehensive and rounded collection.”

The founder of the Strutt’s fortune was Jedidiah Strutt. He made a fortune from building textile mills in Belper and Milford. Restoration work, including replacing damaged book spines, will now be carried out by county archivists. The records should be fully available for members of the public in around six months’ time.

© Copyright 2011 Tricia Booth BACK HOME CONTACT

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