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Archive Reference / Library Class No.D3772
TitleStrutt family of Belper
DescriptionThe 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 but no major series.
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
Extent31.25 shelves
RepositoryDerbyshire Record Office
Full Catalogue ListClick here to view a full list for this collection
Archive CreatorStrutt family of Belper
Administrative HistoryThe 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.
Custodial HistoryThe records were very largely deposited by the Strutt Estate Office between 1993 and 2000. Further items were deposited via the family and via the Estate Trustees in 2015 and 2019 respectively.
ArrangementThe main deposit was listed in series of title deeds and estate papers reflecting the arrangement of the documents when received in the Record Office. Subsequent deposits have been listed in box order but have not been integrated into the main listing arrangement.

Title Deeds, 17th cent-20th cent
T96 William Langton Coke deeds 1871-1912

Estate Records
E1-11 Surveys, including tithes and enclosures
E14 Fishing Rights, c1632-1977
E15/1-8 Agreements, etc. concerning Belper and Milford Mills, 1897-1958
E15/9-10 Leases and other deeds concerning Milford Schools, 1903-1960
E16 Estate Surveys, 1820-1963
E19 Private and Estate Accounts, 1899-1966
E21-E24/2, E28/1-4 Rentals, 1876-1944
E24/3 Tithe Book, 1909-1926
E25/1-3 Belper and Duffield Enclosure, 18th cent-1820
E25/4 Quarries and Waste Lands, Belper, 1806
E25/5-7 Valuations, 1821-1826
E26/1-2,4 Estate Plans, 1892-20th cent
E27 Estate Ledgers, 1847-1928
E28 Banking, 1895-1914
E28/10-27 Accounts, 1786-1942
E29-E30/3 Correspondence, 1870-1926
E30/12-14 Chilwell, Nottinghamshire and Cromford, 1846-1918
E32/49-129 Miscellaneous, 1740-1928
E41/8-22 Estate and Personal Activities, 1793-1944
E45/1-23 Estate, Scientific, Commercial and Social Papers, 1767-1972
E46 Title, Estate and Family Papers, 1803-1930
E49/32-34 Servants, 1858-1920
E49/35-40 Investments, 1858-1933

Business Records
E18 Railway Ledgers, 1901-1945
E41/1-7 Business Activities, 1801-1938
E45/24 Colliery Workings at Newhall Grange, Yorkshire, 1934-1946
E52 (North) Midland Railway, 1835-1930
E53 Heage and Duffield Turnpike Trust, 1815-1880
E45/1-23 Estate, Scientific, Commercial and Social Papers, 1767-1972
E48 Business and Personal Papers, 1835-1898

Family Papers
E12 Family Papers
E13 Photographs, c1895; E26/3 Personal/Business Photographs, 1887-1900
E19 Private and Estate Accounts, 1899-1966
E39 Galton Family, 1819-1929
E40 Marriage Settlements, 1791-1963
E46 Title, Estate and Family Papers, 1803-1930
E47 Family Estate Papers, 1895-1936

Personal Papers
E30/4 Anthony Herbert Strutt (1895-1918), 1916-1918
E30/5-11 Agnes Ann Strutt (d. 1900), 1877-1930
E31 George Ashton Strutt (1878-1935), 1904-1955
E32/1-48 Jedediah Anthony Strutt (1785-1854), 1747-1928
E33 Mary Constance Adela Mosley (1877-1915), 1904-1936
E34 Isabel Clara Hurt (b. 1881), 1895-1944
E35 Forbes Trust (Helen Margaret Strutt), 1911-1924
E36 Moss Trust (Frances Emily Hunter), 1882-1935
E37 Marion Lucy Strutt (b. 1892), 1912-1945
E38 Agnes Edith Neame (b. 1891), 1915-1970
E48 Business and Personal Papers, 1835-1898
E49/1/1-7 George Benson Strutt (1761-1841), 1790-1876
E49/1/8-12 Joseph Strutt (1765-1844), 1792-1846
E49/2 John Strutt (1793-1858), 1830-1859
E49/3-9 Jedediah Strutt (1785-1854), 1829-1925
E49/10-21 George Henry Strutt (1826-1895), 1848-1895
E49/22 Irwin Trust Fund, 1901-1916
E49/23 Frederick Strutt (1843-1909), 1880-1881
E49/24 Anthony Radford Strutt, 1837-1895
E49/25-31A George Herbert Strutt (1854-1928), 1876-1942
E54 Trustees of A N Harrison and Locko Charity, 1841-1954
E55 John Hunter (d. 1886), 1886-1936
E56 John Hunter (d. 1934), 1890-1947
E57/1-16 Correspondence with John Hunter, 1790-1947
E58 H L Jackson, 1952-1956
E59 Mary Emily Strutt, 1928-1951
E60/1-10 Arthur Strutt (1908-1977), 1929-1967

Wills, Legacies, Trusts, etc.
E17/1-2 George Henry Strutt (1826-1895)
E17/3 George Herbert Strutt (1854-1928)
E42/1; E44/5 George Benson Strutt (1761-1841), 1783-1855
E42/2-3; E44/6 Joseph Strutt (1765-1844), 1824-1884
E43/1 John Strutt (1793-1858), 1854-1873
E43/2 Elizabeth Strutt (1828-1855), 1815-1858
E43/4-6 J Strutt: accounts, 1816-1858; personal, 1831-1869; business and investment, 1837-1858
E44/1 William Strutt, 1775
E44/2 Jedediah Strutt, 1796-1862
E44/3 Ann Strutt, 1799-1804
E44/4 William Strutt, 1829-1831
E44/7 Elizabeth Strutt, 1854-1891
E44/8 Jedediah Strutt, 1810-1887
E44/9 John Strutt, 1856-1918
E44/10 Anthony Radford Strutt, 1862-1891
E44/11 Ann Taylor, c1877
E44/12 George Henry Strutt, 1894-1928
E44/13 Edith A Strutt, 1901
E44/14 Frederick Strutt, c1909
E44/15 Lucy Francis Irwin, c1912
E44/16 George Herbert Strutt, 1924-1933
E44/17 Papers found with wills, 1877-20th cent

E49/41-E51 Miscellaneous, including scrapbooks, 1895-1982
E57/17-41 Miscellaneous, 1913-1951
E60/11-E63 Miscellaneous, 1822-1939
Organisation Sub-TypeFamily and estate
Related MaterialFor 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
The 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 are held at Derbyshire Record Office. A hard copy catalogue of prints is available in the search room, as is a set of index cards relating to the 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, formerly deposited in the Archives Department of the Manchester Central Library, are now in Derbyshire Record Office collection D6948

Strutt family of Belper

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Related Names
Name (click for further details)
Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site; 2001-
Belper; WG and J Strutt Ltd; 1762-1897; cotton spinners
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