Updated 26 Jan 2008

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

Return to Front Page



Photo 565


Cromford programs

Scans of these three old programs from Cromford were sent by an anonymous researcher in Australia.

Every town and village had their own celebrations on this great day marking Queen Victoria's 60th year on the throne of the British Empire.
See a similar program for Wirksworth.

Diamond Jubilee.
On 22 September 1896, Victoria surpassed George III as the longest reigning monarch in English, Scottish, and British history. The Queen requested all special public celebrations of the event to be delayed until 1897, to coincide with her Diamond Jubilee. The Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chamberlain, proposed that the Diamond Jubilee be made a festival of the British Empire.

The Prime Ministers of all the self-governing dominions and colonies were invited. The Queen's Diamond Jubilee procession included troops from every British colony and dominion, together with soldiers sent by Indian Princes and Chiefs as a mark of respect to Victoria, the Empress of India. The Diamond Jubilee celebration was an occasion marked by great outpourings of affection for the septuagenarian Queen. A service of thanksgiving was held outside St. Paul's Cathedral. Queen Victoria sat in her carriage throughout the service. Queen Victoria wore her usual black mourning dress trimmed with white lace.

John Farmer (August 16, 1835 - July 17, 1901), from Nottingham, composed oratorios, cantatas, and other church music, and chamber music. The youngest of a large family, he was recognised as a child prodigy, and was taught by his uncle Henry Farmer (1819-91), who was also a composer, violinist and the owner of a music warehouse in Nottingham. After teaching abroad for some years John became music master at Harrow in 1862 as a result of being noticed while giving piano demonstrations at the London International Exhibition of that year. At Harrow he composed school songs, one of his best known being "Forty Years On" which he wrote in 1872 (Edward Ernest Bowen wrote the lyrics). He also composed cricketing ditties like "Willow the King" one of the most famous of all cricketing songs.

A work of his called "Cinderella" was performed at Harrow in 1883. When he left Harrow he became Organist of Balliol College, Oxford, and founded the Balliol Concerts. He championed the music of Bach, and his own oratorio "Christ and His Soldiers" was popular with smaller choirs. Most of Farmer's stage works were intended for amateurs, often youngsters. His father, also John (1812 - 1894), was a Nottingham lacemaker and a cellist. John Farmer was buried at St. Sepulchre's Cemetery, off Kingston Road, Oxford.

Likely entries in the Census for people mentioned:

An anonymous researcher writes:
Mr DAWES, in the Choral Society had coal barges on the Cromford canal. He lost his business (so I am told) by the corrupt manner in which his men were sent off to war and not those of his competitor who then bought him out. I believe that it was Wheatcroft and Key who were in charge of selecting men and it was the same men that made good through it.

The chapel mentioned was St Mark's, a chapel of ease to St Mary, Cromford. It was opened in 1877, closed in 1957, and later demolished.

St Mark's Church was built in 1874 as a mortuary chapel with graveyard and for occasional services. Before that burials took place at Wirksworth cemetery, only members of the Arkwright family were interred at St Mary's Church. St Mark's became unsafe due to subsidence and was demolished in the 1960s. The graveyard continued to be used until recently when burials were transferred to the new cemetery at Steeple Grange, Wirksworth.

St Mary, Cromford was also a chapel of ease to St Mary, Wirksworth, and was built in 1797. Cromford became a separate parish in 1869.

The original Registers in Derbyshire Record Office contain Baptisms for 1877-1957 and burials 1877-1954.

Entries in Census for people mentioned:
Miss Susan A ARKWRIGHT 1881, 1871
R.M.JONES 1881, 1871

Compiled, formatted, hyperlinked, encoded, and copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved.