Document ReferenceMS 162
TitlePapers of John Derry (1792-1869) of Leicester, bookseller, and his immediate family, 1756, and 1817-1869
Extent1 box
Access ConditionsAccessible to all readers.
Admin HistoryJohn Derry (1792-1869) began a career in the army, later becoming a warehouseman, agent and bookseller. Derry saw action with the King's Dragoon Guards at Waterloo, was corporal by 1817 and, shortly after his second marriage, was stationed in York. His life was profoundly altered after a deeply moving religious experience. He became a Methodist and urged his family to follow the same course. He remained in the army for some years, and was stationed at Hamilton, Scotland and Dundalk, Ireland. During his later career in Leicester, he was deeply involved in missionary work among the boat people.

Derry's first son, John Derry Junior (1817-1838), whose papers comprise a significant part of the collection, died at the age of 21 from a chronic infection of the knee. He spent time in Lincoln, Leicester and at school in Grantham.

Derry's fourth son, Joseph Derry (1835-1910), founded the Nottingham-based printing and bookbinding firm of Derry's. No records relating to the firm are contained within the collection.
Custodial HistoryThe collection was acquired by the University as two separate accessions, in 1965 and 1968.
DescriptionThis small collection is composed almost entirely of personal and family correspondence. It concerns the activities of two members of the family in particular, John Derry and his son John Derry, Jnr. Many of the letters and papers refer to Derry's conversion to Methodism and his interest in spiritual and religious matters. An account of his work with the Leicester Seamen's Friend Society survives with references to the Boatmen's Chapel, Leicester.

A further substantial section concerns John Derry, Jnr (1817-38), the eldest son, who died at the age of 21. The letters are chiefly from his friend John Gee, describing his life as a young clerk in Lincoln, 1835-37. A brief journal of John Derry, Jnr (1831) contains a description of the Leicester celebration at the passing of the Reform Bill. Other family papers include a number of letters from Derry's mother while he was away at school.
MgtGroupFamily and estate collections
MgtSubGroupEast Midland
ArrangementThe papers are arranged according to correspondent and subject matter.
TermMethodist church - Great Britain - History - 19th century
Dissenters, Religious - Great Britain - History - 19th century
Great Britain - Social life and customs - 19th century
FindingAidsCopyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham. In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus: Typescript Catalogue, 17 pp At the National Register of Archives, The National Archives, Kew: Typescript Catalogue, 17 pp Online: Catalogue accessible from the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue.
ReprodnNotePhotocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.
Related MaterialDeeds, correspondence and accounts of Derry and Sons, Nottingham, 1867-c.1967, at Nottinghamshire Archives, Nottingham.

Click the links below to view related name indexes

Click the links below to view related place indexes

CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA618Derry; John (1792-1869); soldier and bookseller1792-1869
NA619Derry; John (1817-1838); eldest son of John Derry 1792-18691817-1838
NA620Leicester Seamen's Friend Society
Add to My Items