Extract from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England, 1831.
Transcribed by Mel Lockie, © Copyright 2010
Lewis Topographical Dictionaries

MELBOURN, a parish in the hundred of REPTON-and-GRESLEY, county of DERBY, 7 miles (N.N.E.) from Ashby de la Zouch, containing 2027 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Derby, and diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, rated in the king's books at £9. 13. 4., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Carlisle. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a fine specimen of Norman architecture, with round massive piers, circular arches, fine mouldings, and zigzag ornaments. There are places of worship for General Baptists, Independents, and Wesleyan Methodists; the Society of Friends had a meeting-house here, which is now occupied as a school for the children of Swedenborgians.

In 1738, Lady Eliz. Hastings bequeathed land, now producing £20 per annum, for the education of twelve poor children, who are taught by the master of the National school, which was erected in 1822, at an expense of more than £500, defrayed by the Rev. James Bagge and the National Society. Here was anciently a baronial castle, in which John, Duke of Bourbon, who had been taken prisoner at the battle of Agincourt, was confined for several years; it is said to have been dismantled, in 1460, by order of Queen Margaret, but it was afterwards repaired; scarcely any vestiges remain. Melbourn hall was formerly a palace belonging to the Bishops of Carlisle. The river Trent bounds the parish on the north. This parish is in the honour of Tutbury, duchy of Lancaster, and within the jurisdiction of a court of pleas held at Tutbury every third Tuesday, for the recovery of debts under 40s. Melbourn gives the title of viscount to the family of Lamb.

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