Guide to the Collections held by the Derbyshire Record Office (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Derbyshire Record Office
Collections held by the Derbyshire Record Office (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1821 - 1934
Collection Number
32 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Dickson Family: correspondence 1863-81, mainly from James Dickson and James R. Hamilton to Dr Frank Dickson. The letters from James Dickson to his father relate to his departure from England and prospects of work in Dunedin, New Zealand. Letters from James R. Hamilton concern James Dickson's death and estate and his own business affairs.

Derbyshire Archaeological Society: document 1821 on the population of the British Empire with engravings of Lord Liverpool and the Duke of Clarence.

Rev. Samuel Hey: document 1880 concerning Mahala Cuthbertson and estates in New Zealand.

George Davies: letters 1923, 1934 from George Davies describing economic and political conditions in New Zealand.

Spondon Parish: paper, 1838 concerning the rate of emigration to Australia with note regarding payment of 15 pounds to two emigrants to South Australia.

Melbourne Parish: correspondence, plans and newspaper cuttings 1880 concerning restoration of the church of the Melbourne Vicarage, Derbyshire, including appeals to the people of Melbourne, Australia, for donations through George C. Levy of the Melbourne International Exhibition Offices.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1976 (Reel: M947). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Derbyshire Record Office. Derbyshire, England. For further information see Derbyshire Record Office (

Collection References:D247B Dickson FamilyD369G Derbyshire Archaeological SocietyD449B Rev. Samuel Hey at RisleyD567 George DaviesD574A Spendon ParishD655A Melbourne Parish

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

In 1970 the Australian Joint Copying Project microfilmed selections from three collections held at the Derby Central Library: Sir Robert Wilmot-Horton, Alfred Miller Mundy and William Sacheverell Coke. These collections were later transferred to the Derbyshire Record Office. There is a separate list describing the contents of reels M791-93.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.


Cuthbertson, Mahala; Davies, George; Dickson Family; Dickson, Frank; Dickson, James; Dunedin, New Zealand; Exhibitions; Hamilton, James R.; Hey, Samuel, Rev.; Land: New Zealand; Levy, George C.; Melbourne, England; Melbourne, Victoria; New Zealand: economic conditions; New Zealand: politics and government; Polynesia; South Australia: immigration to


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 136, p50.

Item Descriptions

Fonds D247. Records of Brown and Nesbitt, solicitors of Buxton, 1863 - 1889

26 items

Archival History

Filmed selectively.

Series F. Family papers, 1863 - 1889

26 items
Letters from James Dickson to his family, 1863 (File F/14)
1 item
James Dickson (Glasgow) to his sister [Mary Dickson], 4 June 1863 (Item M947)

He sails tomorrow.

Letters from James Dickson to his family, 1863 (File F/15)
24 items
James Dickson (Edinburgh) to his father Thomas Dickson [Buxton], 1 May 1863 (Item)

Posts in New Zealand still available; has received his testimonials and seen Crawford who has met John Auld the agent.

James Dickson to Thomas Dickson, 2 May 1863 (Item)

Has been offered an appointment; Mataura leaves Glasgow in 1 June; his mother's health has improved.

James Dickson to Thomas Dickson, 7 May 1863 (Item)

Has accepted the post as a road surveyor and formal matters are being completed; salary; clothing.

James Dickson to Thomas Dickson, 3 May 1863 (Item)

Will seek information from Otago Agent for Immigration; his mother seems cheerful.

James Dickson to Thomas Dickson, 8 May 1863 (Item)

Payment; encloses a list of goods required.

Pencilled note (Item)
James Dickson to Thomas Dickson, 9 May 1863 (Item)

Preparations. With note added by Mary Dickson.

Mary Dickson to Thomas Dickson (Item)

Sorry he has been alone since James's departure. (2 letters)

James Dickson to Thomas Dickson, 24 May 1863 (Item)

Arrival at Edinburgh; preparations.

James Dickson (Edinburgh) to Thomas Dickson, 26 May 1863 (Item)

Ship Mataura; vacant posts; preparations.

James Dickson to Thomas Dickson, 28 May 1863 (Item)

Packing; general news.

James Dickson to Thomas Dickson, 30 May 1863 (Item)

Arrangements for departure; general news.

James Dickson to Thomas Dickson, 1 June 1863 (Item)

General news.

James Dickson to Thomas Dickson, 2 June 1863 (Item)

Will go to Glasgow tomorrow; money.

James Dickson (on board Mataura) to his parents, 6 June 1863 (Item)

Sailing off the Irish coast; shares cabin with Leitch; reasons for not signing the pledge.

James Dickson (on board Mataura) to his parents, 24 June 1863 (Item)

Account of the voyage.

James Dickson (Port Chalmers) to his parents, 17 September 1863 (Item)

Arrival in New Zealand.

Newspaper cutting and letter, 14 October 1863 (Item)

Newspaper cutting on the quarantine of the Mataura due to smallpox and scarlet fever, n.d.

James Dickson (Goat Island) to his parents, kept in quarantine, continued in Dunedin, dated October 17.

James Dickson (Dunedin) to his parents, 16 November 1863 (Item)

Arrival in Dunedin; his new post; people whom he has met.

Photograph of James Dickson's grave (Item)
James Hamilton (Dunedin) to Thomas Dickson, 17 December 1863 (Item)

Death of James Dickson; they had travelled together on the Mataura; interment at Dunedin New Cemetery.

Robert Burns (Dunedin) to Thomas Dickson, 18 December 1863 (Item)

Illness and death of James Dickson.

James Balfour (Dunedin) to Thomas Dickson, 15 December 1863 (Item)

Death of James Dickson after a few hours illness.

Correspondence, 1863 (File F/16)
2 items
James Dickson (Dunedin) to his mother, 17 November 1863 (Item)

Glad she is better; sends views of Dunedin.

James Dickson to his brother, 17 November 1863 (Item)

Work as a road surveyor; possibility of a post in Works Department; description of Dunedin.

Correspondence, 1865 - 1866 (File F/17)
2 items
James Hamilton (Dunedin) to Frank Dickson (Buxton), 17 August 1865 (Item)

Care of grave of James Dickson; local affairs.

James Hamilton to Frank Dickson, 28 July 1866 (Item)

Exhumation of coffin which will be encased in lead and sent home.

Correspondence, 1864 (File F/19)
1 item
James Hamilton (Dunedin) to Frank Dickson, 18 October 1864 (Item)

Sends an account of money he holds of James Dickson; the grave; cost of the burial.

Correspondence, 1864 (File F/20)
1 item
Account from James Hamilton to William Jolly for opening the grave of James Dickson, 21 September 1864 (Item)
Correspondence, 1865 (File F/21)
1 item
Account of money paid by James Hamilton for the grave rail, stone, work of gardener and photographs, 18 April 1865 (Item)
Correspondence, 1864 - 1865 (File F/22)
2 items
Account of money received and paid by James Hamilton under the late James Dickson's estate, 18 May 1865 (Item)
Account of James Balfour to Prendergast, Kenyon and Maddock regarding James Dickson's estate, 1864 (Item)
Correspondence, 1874 (File F/23)
1 item
Road Engineers Department, Dunedin. Account of the representatives of James Dickson deceased with Provincial Government of Otago, 28 November 1874 (Item)
Correspondence, 1874 (File F/25)
1 item
J.R. Hamilton (Sydney) to Frank Dickson, 28 November 1874 (Item)

Voyage from England to Melbourne; will wait until winter to send possum skins.

Correspondence, 1875 (File F/26)
1 item
J.R. Hamilton (Sydney) to Frank Dickson, 9 April 1875 (Item)

Business has been profitable and a branch is being opened in Brisbane; Mrs Hamilton has altered very little in ten years.

Correspondence, 1875 (File F/27)
1 item
J.R. Hamilton (Sydney) to Frank Dickson, 2 September 1875 (Item)

Death of Dickson's father Thomas Dickson and of his own sister; possum rug for Mrs Thomas Dickson; has bought land for a cottage.

Correspondence, 1875 (File F/28)
1 item
A.F. Steiglitz (Lewis Hill, Tasmania) to Robert Williamson, possum rug. With a covering note from Williamson to J.R. Hamilton, 23 December 1875 - 31 December 1875 (Item)
Correspondence, 1876 (File F/29)
1 item
J.R. Hamilton (Sydney) to Frank Dickson, 13 January 1876 (Item)

Sends possum rug; business is successful.

Correspondence, 1876 (File F/30)
1 item
J.R. Hamilton (Sydney) to Frank Dickson, 11 May 1876 (Item)

Family news; instead of a possum rug suggests a broach of colonial gold with a pearl from the 'Straits North'.

Correspondence, 1876 (File F/31)
1 item
J.R. Hamilton (Sydney) to Frank Dickson, 2 June 1876 (Item)

Sends a brooch and earrings from kangaroo claws; a possum rug.

Correspondence, 1876 (File F/32)
1 item
Mrs M.E. Hamilton to Mrs F. Dickson, 2 June 1876 (Item)

Sends kangaroo claws.

Correspondence, 1877 (File F/33)
1 items
J.R. Hamilton (Sydney) to Frank Dickson, 16 February 1877 (Item)

Has just returned from Victoria and New Zealand; hopes Dickson is well after recent operation.

Correspondence, 1877 (File F/34)
1 item
Mrs M.E. Hamilton (Sydney) to Mrs F. Dickson, 18 February 1877 (Item)

Has received a ring from Mrs Dickson.

Correspondence, 1877 (File F/35)
1 item
J.R. Hamilton (Sydney) to Frank Dickson, 23 March 1877 (Item)

Has sent a brooch for Mary Dickson and a locket for Isabella; has also sent a possum rug, Aboriginal seeds, a piece of Fijian cloth and other gifts.

Correspondence, 1877 (File F/36)
1 item
J.R. Hamilton (Melbourne) to Mary Dickson, 3 August 1877 (Item)

Her illness; his family are coming out to Australia; his children.

Correspondence, 1878 (File F/37)
1 item
J.R. Hamilton (Sydney) to Frank Dickson, 30 September 1878 (Item)

He now has 101 acres of land on which to forget his business worries; his father and mother have emigrated.

Correspondence, 1879 (File F/38)
2 items
J.R. Hamilton (Sydney) to Frank Dickson, 26 February 1879 (Item)

His son Alick is in charge of the business in Christchurch; business has been good.

J.R. Hamilton (Sydney) to Frank Dickson, 25 March 1879 (Item)

Thanks for his offer to educate his son Dickson as a doctor but he has decided to go into business; the other children.

Correspondence, 1879 (File F/39)
1 item
Mrs Hamilton to Mary Dickson, 25 March 1879 (Item)

Accepts offer to take Dickson to train him for medicine.

Correspondence (File F/40)
Unsigned draft of a letter to Mr and Mrs Hamilton (Item)

Dated 14 April: sorry about their business troubles; Dickson Hamilton is still sullen-tempered after six months; he says he did not want to come to England to study to be a doctor.

Letters from Frank Dickson to other members of his family, 1881 (File F/42)
1 item
Frank Dickson (Buxton) to his sister Mary Dickson, 4 February 1881 (Item)

Sends all letters of James Dickson and James Hamilton; their father must have burnt a lot of letters after seeing Hamilton.

Fonds D369. Records of Derbyshire Archaeological Society, 1821

2 items

Filmed selectively.

Series G/Zpe. Printed ephemera, 1821

2 items
Circular engravings, 1821 (Item 121)

Entitled 'The population of the British Empire 1821', with a portrait of the Earl of Liverpool in the centre

Entitled 'The population of the British Empire 1821', with a portrait of the Duke of Clarence in the centre

Fonds D449. Title deeds and other papers relating to Risley and Sandiacre, 1880

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Biographical / Historical

Risley and Sandiacre are adjoining villages, located between Derby and Nottingham.

Settlement upon the marriage of John Maxey (Chesterfield) and Mahala Cuthbertson (Chesterfield), 8 September 1880 (Item B/F/3)

Referring to the conveyance of estates in New Zealand to Thomas Dickson upon trust to the use of Mahala for life.

Fonds D567. Records of Rolls Royce Ltd., Derby, 1923 - 1934

2 items

Filmed selectively.

Series 6. Letters and ephemera, 1923 - 1934

2 items
Letters to Samuel Brassington from friends in Germany and New Zealand, 1923 - 1934 (File 6/6)
2 items
George Davies (Portland, New Zealand) to 'comrades', 10 July 1923 (Item)

Knows little about the Labor Party in Australia; advises them not to come to New Zealand; situation is bad on the land with high unemployment; best to work as a labourer before acquiring your own land; everything in New Zealand is opposite to home.

George Davies (Portland, New Zealand) to 'friend', 18 November 1934 - 3 December 1934 (Item)

Sends money for his policy; has had a finger amputated; Labour Party should do well in New Zealand as things are bad; anti-British prejudice.

Fonds D574. Records of Spondon Parish, 1838

1 items

Filmed selectively.

Series A/PO. Overseers of the Poor, 1838

1 item
Poor Law Commissioners (London) to Churchwardens and Overseers of Parish of Spondon, 2 June 1838 (Item 117)

Authorises raising of £15 to defray expenses of emigration of poor people. Attached note states that £15 to be paid to John Cozens and his family emigrating to South Australia.

Fonds D655. Records of Melbourne Parish, Church of St Michael with St Mary, 1880

6 items

Filmed selectively.

Series A/P1. Records of the Parish Incumbent, 1880

1 items
Correspondence and papers concerning a new roof, 1880 (File 90-121)
5 items

Biographical / Historical

Correspondence, plans, drawings and newspaper cuttings concerning the funding of repairs to the tower, roof and bells of the Church of St Michael and St Mary, Melbourne. Melbourne is a town about eight miles south of Derby. The principal correspondents were the vicar, Rev. Joseph Deans, W.W. Fox, William Briggs, Arthur Wilson and Lord Cowper.

Plan of proposed new roof to the tower, 24 February 1880 (Item 90)
Specification of work to be done and materials to be used in fitting a new tower roof, according to plans furnished by W.R Dick in 1874, 24 February 1880 (Item 91)
Estimate from Joseph Bullock for fitting a new belfry floor and tower roof, 10 April 1880 (Item 92)
Letter from Joseph Bullock to A. Wilson, 12 April 1880 (Item 93)

Agreeing to reduce his estimate by 22 pounds.

Drawings by Gilbert Scott of proposed extensions to the western towers, 1880 (Item 94)
Letter from Thackeray Turner to Arthur Wilson, 12 May 1880 (Item 95)

Stating that the higher gable on Scott's drawing was included to show the appearance if the high pitche nave roof should ever be restored.

Letter from W. Briggs to Mr. Fox, Tuesday 1880 (Item 96)

Informing him that Bullock and Barton have sent in their estimates for restoring the western towers. He proposes to call a meeting for Friday.

George Levey (Melbourne, Victoria) to Rev. Joseph Deans, 24 June 1880 (Item 97)

Encloses articles that he submitted to Melbourne newspapers.

Newspaper cuttings from the Melbourne Age and Argus, 21 June 1880 - 23 June 1880 (Item 98-100)
George Levey to Editor, The Age (copy), 22 June 1880 (Item 101)

Forwards a letter that he received from Rev. Joseph Deans seeking financial assistance from the 'daughter Melbourne' for the 'mother Melbourne'.

J.S.J. to the editor of The Argus (copy), 22 June 1880 (Item 102)
Leading article in the Melbourne Argus (3pp, manuscript copy), 25 June 1880 (Item 103-4)
Draft and copy letter from the churchwardens to Earl Cowper, 1880 (Item 105-106)

Informing him of the proposed restoration of the towers and asking for financial aid.

Letter from Joseph Deans to Mr. Briggs, 7 July 1880 (Item 107)

Stating that he has certain reservations about the letter to Earl Cowper.

Copy of letter from Joseph Deans to Mr. Briggs, 7 July 1880 (Item 108)

With further pages setting out Joseph Deans and F.F Fox's reservations about the letter to Earl Cowper.

Copy resolution that "this meeting be adjourned until an answer be received from Earl Cowper, 1880 (Item 109)
Copy letter from F.F Fox to Earl Cowper, 1 August 1880 (Item 110)

Saying that he and the vicar feel that Scott's plan for the western towers are unsuitable.

Letter from Earl Cowper to Mr. Fox, 2 August 1880 (Item 111)

Saying that, as he objects to all restoration on principle, he cannot help, and he particularly distrusts Mr. Scott.

Copy letter from Joseph Deans to Mr. Briggs, 3 August 1880 (Item 112)

Stating that the work cannot go ahead as Earl Cowper will not help.

Letter from Joseph Deans to Mr. Fox, 28 August 1880 (Item 113)

Enclosing a copy of his letter to Earl Cowper.

Copy of letter from Joseph Deans to Earl Cowper, 28 August 1880 (Item 114)

Stressing the dangerous state of the tower which necessitated immediate repair and asking his help to defray the cost.

Letter and copy letter from Earl Cowper, 30 August 1880 (Item 115-116)

Saying that as the work seems to be more a repair than a restoration, he is happy to donate 50 pounds.

Letter from Arthur Wilson to Mr. Fox, 4 September 1880 (Item 117)

Complaining that the attitude of the Cowpers to restoration is inconsistent as the Countess is patron of a bazaar in aid of the restoration of Greasley Church.

Copy of letter from F.F Fox to Arthur Wilson, 4 September 1880 (Item 118)

Stating that Lord and Lady Cowper are perfectly consistent since the restoration will affect only the modern gallery, inconvenient pews and the heating system.

Letter from Arthur Wilson to Mr. Fox disagreeing with the previous letter, 6 September 1880 (Item 119)
Copy of letter from F.F Fox to Mr. Briggs, 16 September 1880 (Item 120)

Saying that rain is seeping in to the tower around the vane post and it would be as well to get it remedied before the balance of the contract is paid.

Sketches of Melbourne Church by F.H Sutton, 26 October 1880 (Item 121)