By Adam Russell.
PDMHS have just purchased an account book covering the years 1783 to 1802 belonging to William Wyatt, the grandfather of the similarly named 19th century mining agent, from an antiquarian bookseller in York. This book contains information relating to Watergrove, Chapeldale and other mines; Society member John Hunter noticed that it was being offered for sale on eBay, and after a flurry of discussion by email the decision was taken to secure this item so it could be deposited as part of D6967, the Peak District Mines Historical Society Collection, in the Derbyshire Record Office where other Wyatt papers are held, rather than risk it passing into a private collection where it would not be available for study.
Richard Shaw offered to arrange purchase of the item as his wife was visiting York the next day; thanks must go to Fran Shaw for negotiating a sale price below that initially asked! Several members of the Society have offered to make donations towards the purchase price, which has the added benefit to the Society of attracting Gift Aid on the donated sums from HMRC. If any member wishes to donate towards the cost of purchasing the account book, please forward your donation to the Mining Museum or contact the Society treasurer; if you have not already registered for Gift Aid when paying your subscription please do so.
The following information about the provenance of the book was kindly provided by Tony Fothergill, of Ken Spelman Books in York:
“It came from the collection of Denis Gray, a Solihull historian and collector of printed diaries, as well as manuscripts. He died about 10 years ago, but his collection was only recently sold, following the death of his wife. Quite when or where he acquired it I do not know, his library ran to many thousands of volumes, but I would think probably in the 1960s or early 1970s.”