Chesterfield in 1837
CHESTERFIELD, a parish, municipal borough, and market-town in the hundred of Scarsdale, Derbyshire, 132 miles north by west from London. The parish of Chesterfield, which contains several chapelries, hamlets, and townships, has an area of 13,160 acres, with, in 1831, a population of 10,688, which is an increase of 1,498 on the census of 1821. This is attributed, principally, to an increase of collieries and iron works. The population of the borough of Chesterfield in 1801, was 4,267 ; in 1811, 4,476 ; in 1821, 5,077 ; in 1831, 5,775. Two rivulets, the Hyper and Rother, run past the town.
Chesterfield is conjectured, from its name, to have been a Roman station. At the Norman survey (Domesday book) it was an insignificant place. The town received various privileges from King John, but was not incorporated till the reign of Elizabeth. Under the Municipal Corporations' Act, it is governed by four aldermen and twelve councillors, but is not divided into wards. The limits of the borough are co-extensive with the township. which is about four miles in circumference.
The town is lighted under an act passed in 1825. In and near the town there are silk, lace, and pipe manufactories, potteries, and iron foundries.
Chesterfield Church, erected during the thirteenth century, is a beautiful and spacious edifice. The spire is remarkable from being crooked. This crookedness, which was supposed to be merely apparent, has been ascertained to be real, by actual measurement. The bulging out of a portion of the middle of the spire causes the ball on the summit to deviate from the perpendicular six feet towards the south, and four feet four inches towards the west. The spire is 230 feet high. Its crookedness may be the result of some accident (perhaps the effect of lightning) which is not recorded.
There were in 1835 twenty-six daily and Sunday schools in the town of Chesterfield. A grammar or free-school, founded in the reign of Elizabeth. and formerly well attended, has been closed since 1832. It was under the management of the corporation. There are various public and benevolent institutions, and a liteary and philosophical society in the town.
The Chesterfield Canal, which commences in the tideway of the Trent, after a course of forty-six miles, terminates at Chesterfield. This canal was planned by Brindley. It has sixty-five locks, and is carried through two tunnels, one of which is 2,850 yards long. The North Midland Railway, between Derby and Leeds, will be carried past Chesterfield.