Belper Nightwatchmen's Report Book

In 2021, an invaluable nightwatchmen’s logbook detailing nightly goings-on in Belper during the 1830s was rediscovered, and thanks to a Crowdfunding campaign, returned to Derbyshire.

After being lost for decades, Derbyshire Record Office, working with Belper Historical Society, secured the book of nightwatchmen reports dated 1833-1836. It gives a revealing glimpse into what went on in Belper after dark, and how these men tackled many a confrontation armed with just a trusty truncheon.

Front cover of the Belper Nightwatchmen's Book.

The book is now safely at Derbyshire Record Office, available for everyone to study. The hand-written contents, transcribed by Heather Eaton of the Belper Historical Society, can be downloaded to read here.

Also available is the Pigot Trade Directory for Belper in 1835, which helps identify a number of shops and businesses in the town that relate to names in the reports, and gives a flavour of the town at the time the reports were written.

The reports have also been developed into a learning resource for secondary schools by the Derbyshire Environmental Studies Service.