Family correspondence of the Arkwright family of Rock House and Willersley Castle, Cromford
An unusual item is a copy letter written in 1845 to Captain William Kelly of the British frigate 'The Conway' by a member of the royal household in Madagascar. At this time the island was closed to Europeans. Its Queen, Ranavalona, was extremely hostile and enslaved any Westerners who landed. Captain Kelly was sent to demand redress for a shipwrecked British subject who had been made a slave. when this was refused, he attacked the capital Tamitave in June 1845.
The collections also includes letters from several members of the Arkwright family as children and two letters from Erasmus Darwin to Richard Arkwright junior.
D5991/1 Richard Arkwright senior (1732-1792)
D5991/2 Letters to Richard Arkwright junior (1755-1843) from his children
D5991/3 Letters to Richard Arkwright junior (1755-1843) from various correspondents on personal matters
D5991/4 Letters to Richard Arkwright junior (1755-1843) from various correspondents on business matters
D5991/5 Mrs. Mary Anne Hurt (née Gell)
D5991/6 Charles Hurt senior
D5991/7 Mary Anne Arkwright (née Hurt), wife of Peter Arkwright
D5991/8 Charles Hurt junior
D5991/9 Mary Anne Arkwright, daughter of Peter and Mary Anne Arkwright (née Hurt)
D5991/10 Augustus Peter Arkwright (1821-1887), son of Peter and Mary Anne Arkwright
D5991/11 Miscellaneous correspondence
For other Arkwright family papers, see D967, D978, D2387, D4476, D5464, and D6128.
Arkwright, Richard, 1755-1843, mill ownerArkwright family of Cromford, Derbyshire
Arkwright family of Sutton Scarsdale
Immediate source of acquisition:
These documents were donated to Derbyshire Record Office by a private individual in March 2003.
Arkwright, Richard, 1755-1843, mill owner
Administrative / biographical background:
Richard Arkwright (1732-1792), the textile entrepreneur, established Cromford as the family home, first at Rock House and then at Willersley Castle, both in Cromford. His son, also Richard (1755-1843)), developed the banking side of the family's business. Richard Arkwright junior's grandson, Augustus Peter Arkwright (1821-1887), joined the Royal Navy at the age of 12 years and served until the 1850s, travelling extensively. He wrote to his parents in Derbyshire from many ports including: Barcelona; Valencia; Malta; and Marseilles in the Mediterranean, Barbados and Jamaica in the West Indies, Rio de Janeiro in South America, Sierra Leone and Bathurst in The Gambia. In 1842 he was part of the British fleet pursuing slave ships off the west coast of Africa. Arkwright on his vessel 'The Prompt' did succeed in capturing a slave ship and received a commendation from the Admiralty for his 'zeal and courage'.