Derbyshire and the Slave Trade

This road tour connects both ends of the slave trade: cloths sent from Derbyshire to Africa, where they were bartered for slaves with the owner of plantations in Jamaica.

The first water-powered cotton mill was set up at Cromford, Derbyshire in 1771 by Richard Arkwright and Jedediah Strutt. Their second mill was built at Belper in 1776 – known as the South Mill. The partnership between Arkwright and Strutt ended in 1781 but Strutt continued to establish mills at both Milford and Belper. The North Mill was built in 1786 but burned down in 1803. It was redesigned by Strutt’s son William.

A visit to the redesigned mill, now a museum, is included in this tour.

The Douglas family was from Lochmaben in Dumfriesshire. Archibald Douglas had been a merchant in London, involved in the slave trade, before he purchased Sandybrook Hall, Ashbourne (not the same building as the one today). His son William worked for Alexander Dalzel of Cape Coast Castle on the Gold Coast of Africa and his daughter Isabella married Joseph, son of Jedediah Strutt. William sent Joseph an order for cottons to be shipped to Cape Coast Castle. He disappeared at Madeira on his way home in 1799. His father died the same year.

We pass the ‘new’ hall on our return to Ashbourne.

During the 18th century, the FitzHerbert family of Tissington Hall in Derbyshire inherited four plantations on Jamaica.

The tour visits Tissington to see the village and hall, and for outstanding light refreshments in the former coach house. 

Price: £55.00 per person, including transport & commentary, entry to North Mill Museum at Belper and light refreshments at Tissington.

Note: the tour dates depend upon the openings of the North Mill & Herbert’s Tearoom at Tissington.