The Bailiffs of Derby: Urban Governors and their Governance 1513–1638
By Richard Clark
Derby has had the doubtful distinction of being the least well studied major county town in early modern England, on which little work based on detailed archival research has been published. This new monograph provides a detailed picture of the bailiffs, chosen annually by their fellow burgesses, who headed the corporation between the early sixteenth century and the eve of the Civil War: who they were, what occupations they pursued, and the extent to which they formed a closed oligarchy. The second half of the book deals with their work: the maintenance of law and order, often in the face of incursions by county gentry; how theydealt with the plague and disputes over commons and enclosure; their response to the Reformation locally; and their role as benefactors. A final section considers how far a civic culture developed in Derby. Appendices list the bailiffs, their occupations and wealth.
This study will be of great value to anyone interested in the history of Derby, and at the same time, because the author carefully contextualises his findings, is an important addition to case–studies of the larger provincial towns of Tudor and early Stuart England.
ISBN 978 0 946324 39 2
125 pages, 1 map
£15.00 (£10.00 to members)