which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell

Crich Families

Dr. Christopher Blencowe Noble Dunn M.R.C.S.E.

Dr Dunn was the village doctor, Medical Officer of Health for the Belper Area, confidant and doctor to Florence Nightingale – a most influential man in the community.

He arrived in the village some time before 1851 with his father the Revd Christopher Blencowe Dunn (curate at Crich); mother Eliza; sisters Lavinia and Claressa; brother Robert.

Revd Christopher Dunn
Revd Christopher Dunn, curate of Crich.
Photo courtesy Ross Beddows

In 1859 Revd Dunn emigrated to New Zealand with his family (see later biography), except his son Doctor Christopher Dunn, who remained in Crich.

plaque fior Dr Dunn




Dr Dunn was the highly respected village doctor and medical officer of health for the Belper Union.

He was also the doctor for Florence Nightingale and her staff, when she was in residence at Lea. As well as being her doctor he was her friend and confidant. She paid for many local parishioners of Lea, Holloway and Crich to be treated by him.

Dr Dunn organised for a stained glass window to be placed in the church in memory of Revd Chawner, long-time vicar of Crich parish. In this he had help from Florence Nightingale. View

He was also largely responsible for the setting up of the Whatstandwell Coffee House and Reading Rooms – again he had help from Florence Nightingale. Read more ...

She wrote over ninety letters to him. Some are transcribed below [Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire Record Office, D2546/1-88 Reproduced by permission]

Lea Hurst
Oct 14/77
My dear Sir
I shall be very glad to see you “tomorrow afternoon”
Old Thomas Alison, whom you know has a sort of redness or breaking out al over his head. I trust it is not Gryxipolar (?) Would you kindly see him tomorrow?
Yours sincerely in haste
F Nightingale
CBN Dunn

Lea Hurst
Cromford: Derby
Oct 12/77
My dear Sir
It is good news indeed that Widow Limb may be able to go to Buxton this year.
I should be prepared to send her as soon as you recommend it
This morning I started off ‘board’ & child & Andrew Lee. And I wrote yesterday to the Surgeon of St. Thomas under whose care it is to be:
in haste
yours sincerely
F Nightingale
CBN Dunn Eq

Oct7/77 [no address]
Andrew Lee’s child My dear Sir
Many thanks: very many
Could you kindly find directions to some one as to the “small padded board” for the child & charge it to me.
I am ashamed to trouble you: but the parents are too stupid: & I have no one here that is clever about these things.
Anent (?) Mr Bismarch: Is there a Mrs Johnson? & if so is she at home & would she receive him, his cat? And what is the name of the place?

Lea Hurst
Oct 10/77
My dear Sir
Andrew Lee’s child will go up to St. Thomas’s on Friday . The ‘board’ for it is come: & I will send it to Andrew Lee’s to night
Could you be very kind as to see the child tomorrow, Thursday, look at ‘board’ & child & tell me whether both will ‘do’?
Is there much the matter with Hitchcock’s wife?
in much haste
yours sincerely
C.B.N. Dunn Eq

Lea Hurst
Sep 12/77
My dear Sir
Would you be so good as to see Widow Limb, I believe a former patient of yours for Rheumatism?If you recommend Buxton for her I would gladly send her, if there be room for her [Her husband worked many years for my father]
When may we see you here again?
ever faithfully

C.B.N. Dunn Eq

23/8/77 [no address]
My dear Sir
Ad. Peach: Could you tell me, besides your opinion of the poor girl, where to get the “powders for the bed sore” which I understand you ordered & also what to do about getting her a water pillow or bed, if you order the use of one? & generally what to do?
Hitchcock: Is there anything to be done for him? Is he sinking?
Disinfection: I was told (only yesterday) that a wooden bedstead, feather bed, feather pillow & bolster & straw mattress were removed out of the lad’s room the day or the day after the lad took to his bed with small pox
The beadstead is out of doors: the bedding in an empty room behind the stanbles.
I am always for being on the safe side & should have destroyed them had I known. What would you recommend doing now?
Widow Brown was not gone to Cromford this morning.
Please give me your opinion (tho’ I know you will laugh) of all the invalids in all the departments of this house.
Alice: Please also see my Alice Mundy here I am sure you will laugh: [ she has become so stout since she has been with me: is this not a sign of weak health in a girl of 22]
Please send me your Acct. including poor Hitchcock’s: I know that we shall never cease troubling you all the time we are here: so it is no use waiting for the end.

Lea Hurst
Aug 22/77
My dear Sir
I understand that Adelaide Peach the girl with Pericarditis, has bed sores. If this be so you probably know it. Would you wish her to be put on a water bed or water pillow and if so where could either be had?
It is said that poor Hitchcock, the man with heart disease, is worse: could you see him to-morrow? and would you kindly tell him to make his mind easy for I wish to undertake all that part of his debt to you which can be rpaid with money?
in haste
sincerely yours

C.B.N. Dunn Eq
I am told that there is the most abominable drainage smell at ‘Mount Pleasant’ If the “Nuisance-Man” would put that to rights & say the small pox arose there I would gladly be the scape-goat F.N.

27/10/76 [no address]
Would you not have luncheon here?
My dear Sir
Could you see Mrs Swindell who is still at her own home with your usual kindness.
And could you also kindly see Widow Henstock, who is said to have vomited blood a few days ago.
[I am very sorry not to be able to see you to-day but I am due with my mother at this hour]
Perhaps you would kindly write me word how Mrs Swindell, Widow Henstock & the girl Holmes are?
Yours v. ffully

Lea Hurst
Oct 20/76
6 a.m.
My dear Sir
Your poor (Typhoid) patient Mrs Swindell has promised to go to Cromford to her sister’s to-morrow, Saturday or Sunday. She says she has more relish or less disrelish for the food sent her. But her feet and ankles have begun to swell & she does not seem to gather strength
Yr faithful servt

July 12/77 [no address]
My dear Sir
Do you wish your Patient’s hair to be shaved or cut short?
Would you say he must not leave off the cotton Jersey next his skin? for if he must not I must get him some more to change?
I think the new nurse is a capable woman.
Perhaps you would suggest to her what you think best about who is to sit up.
Please write me your opinion about the Patient & tell me what hour you will come tomorrow
Yrs v ffully

Lea Hurst
Oct 14/77
Rose Wren
My dear Sir
A very painful matter to me has arisen: Rose Wren (whose father is wonderful to sy recovering) is unable to remain in her situation “on account of her arm”
She states that “Mrs Horton told me that Mr Dunn said that I had scrufula (sic) & that it was infectious”
She has seen “the Doctor that was attending father: and he said that nothing would do it any good but absolute rest: & he put a blister on it, & he said it was no use him doing anything to it unless I could rest it, & he said it would take a month if not longer, and I told her & she said a month was a long time but (sic) I am going as soon as she gets suited

I will not disguise form you my opinion that, as long as that figure-head remains no girl can stay with any safety to her health and that the “Doctor’s” opinion very much tallies with your own.
But I should be very much obliged to you if you now kindly give me an opinion that I could quote to Mr 7 Mrs Shore Smith [I did give copies of yours written on Oct 1 to the figure-head & to my mother’s maid]
& also if you could kindly remember what you did say to that figure-head:
in haste
yours very sincerely

The Lee child is safely and happily housed at St Thomas’s hospital

Lea Hurst
Oct 16/77
My dear Sir
For any real good that can be done while that figure-head is there, you & I might have spared our pains & I my anxiety.
Poor Emma Collins is so ill again that having no home sh has been sent off to the hospital.
I expected it: but not so soon.
This is the second:
We have executed what you kindly ordered about Peter Cotterill’s wife, poor thing & are awaiting fresh orders.
Mrs Swan dined here & went off to her Patient
Have you any orders with regard to Widow Fern & the poor little Duke?
Yours sincerely

C.B.N. Dunn Eq

Lea Hurst
Oct 19/77
My dear Sir
I was very sorry not to see you when you so kindly called yesterday with Buxton Admn.
I had the mother of your former Patient Elizth. Holmes with me.
I conclude that you recommend us to accept “October 31” for Widow Limb’s admission to Buxton Hospital.
And I have already sent her up word of it. Possibly however you kindly saw her yourself.
I will write to the Secretary unless I hear from you to the contrary accepting & telling him that the 30/- will be sent by the Patient when she goes. Probably the information you kindly gave him will enable him to draw up & send a form of admission.
I ascertained from Mrs Holmes what was the difficulty in her daughter’s case. The Secretary having mislaid your Medical Certificate, owing to the time which had elapsed between its date & that of admission they would actually have turned the Patient away, had her mother not taken her to the Medical Officer’s residence & there obtained a fresh examination & a fresh order from him.
This would be impossible in poor crippled Widow Limb’s case:
Would you therefore be so very kind as to send a separate Medical Certificate or ‘Recommendation’ by her as the bearer of it? addressed, as I understand, to the Medical Officer
She complains of feeling so very weak: she has her dinner every other day, & pudding the alternate days: (also milk)” also Cocoatine from here:
is there anything else we could do?
I conclude that you would have ordered any stimulants from here had you wished it.
Widow Fern is very nervous & declares her lungs are fatally affected: I believe that this is not at all your opinion. Have the two poor little “Dukes” hooping cough?
I wish she could be cheered up a bit.
Mrs Cottrill seens progressing very well
Old Thomas Alison says “his head is bad” I could not learn whether you had kindly seen him again.
Any ”orders” you give me are “thankfully received & promptly attended to” (as Wine-men advertised)
Yrs ffully
C.B.N. Dunn Eq

Lea Hurst
Oct 25/77
My dear Sir
I am sorry to say that I have a Patient here for you to come & see.
It is my ‘Fanny’ who seems to have strained something in her heel
Yrs mo. ffully
F Nightingale

C.B.N Dunn Eq

Lea Hurst
Nov 24/77
My dear Sir
Would you be so very good as to send some more pills (Aperient I suppose) for my “Fanny”? such as you gave her last: She says she was bilious & could not take the cod liver oil. she has tken all the pills & lost the box
yrs sincerely (in haste)
F Nightingale

C.B.N Dunn Eq

Lea Hurst
Nov 3/78

My dear Sir
Would you be kind enough to look at the boy Herbert Crooks who brings this? He suffers frequently from sick head aches & as he is growing very fast, I thought a little of your “magic” might do him good.
Elizth Holmes has only just begun to take baths at Buxton & wishes for another 3 weeks which with your sanction I will give her.
I have failed in my attempt to find a lady at Buxton who would enquire into the Nuring & especially the Night Nursing at the Hospital.
Do you know of any one who could do it discretely
in haste
yrs sincererly
F Nightingale

35 South St
Park Lane W
Jan 4/78
My dear Sir
I heard that Samuel Hitchcock had not lived out the Old Year. One cannot regret that he has another New Year than ours.
I am sure that I owe you many thanks for your kind care of him. I should liked to have known whether he was sensible quite to the last & whether he was ever able to lie up.
I was very sorry to hear that poor old Allison was failing. I should be very much obliged to you kindly to do all that can be done for him. He is a very old friend of ours: & it was quite pathetic to see him with his grandchildren. I will tell Mr Yeomans not to spare the money for his diet. Also: I hope that you will be so good as to attend to Widow Limb & send her back to Buxton if you think well. Do you think that she ought to have staid there longer?
Elizth Holmes has written to me that she is very grateful for your kind care.
Did the Carbonate of Soda treatment answer with the burn of Wheeldon’s child?
My maid Fanny is much better for your last prescription thank you.
I have enquired as you desired for Stained Glass Manufacturers about a Window for Crich Church in memory of Mr Chawner
Queen Sq
is one recommended
If you would like to send subject required size of window & about the sum to be expended Mrs Shore Smith would gladly go to Messrs Morris & see what could be done both as to beauty & economy.

I ought to mention little Lee at St Thomas’ Hospital. we have sent to see him several times & sent him toys, of which however there is no lack. They say he looks 2 years bigger, better, stronger & ?? than when they saw him before he went 3 months ago. He is prefectly happy & contented.
The whole ward was dressed up at Christmas: & a musical box, an elephant which would wind up and walk about, a rocking horse which would hold four children & various other wonders bestowed upon the ward, delight the little Patients daily. All have scarlet cloaks. Little Lee is always good & never cries. He is kept lying in his cot.
May all New Year’s blessings be showered upon you & yours.
ever yours faithfully
Florence Nightingale

Please give my kind regards to Mrs Swan if you see her & ask her to remember her promise to see Mrs Cottrell & let me know how she is. I hope Mrs Swan is well herself.
C.B.N. Dunn Esq

35 South St
Park Lane W
Jun 25/78
My dear Sir
Thank you very much for your letter about the poor lad Edwin Bunting to whom you have been so kind. I hope he will quite recover.
Would you kindly pay a visit to your old Patient Widow Limb & if you would be so good as to take the trouble to arrange it, I would thankfully pay
Would you be so good as to send me my quarters Acct. & believe me ever yrs ffully

C.B.N. Dunn Esq

35 South St
Park Lane W
Jun 27/78
My dear Sir
I am extremely indebted to you for your kind account of the ‘Patients’ & most thankful that the boy Bunting will recover entirely & that Mrs Bratley is so much better. I hope that you will be able to get Widow Limb into Buxton Hospital again. You have another Patient who is much better & able, I hope, to go out every day and that is my Aunt at Lea Hurst.
I send a cheque with many thanks: pray continue your kindness to my Patients
I am sorry for her sake, that I have Rose Wren with the strain and swelling on her arm back back on my hands for medical advice. I found her an Out Patient of St George’s Hospital, & have taken her away & given her good medical advice
in haste ever yours faithfully
Florence Nightingale

C.B.N. Dunn Esq

[Black edged letter]
Lea Hurst
Cromford, Derby
Aug 13/78
My dear Sir
I have more patients for your kindness.
Old Lyddy Prince complains of her head.
I hope she not about to have Grysipelas? again
Lizzie Holmes complains of rheumatic pains again
A poor woman Mrs Broomhead who has an, I fear, incurable goitre, is suffering so much that I thought I would ask you to kindly to try & alleviate the pain.
Young Widow Prince is much the better for your care
in haste ever yours faithfully
F Nightingale

C.B.N. Dunn Esq

[Black edged letter]
28/8/78 [No address]
My dear Sir
If, after seeing Mr Shore Smith’s ancle (sic) you think he ought not to go to-morrow, would you kindly tell me as well as him?
Jane Alison is a second time in a state of religious mania. She is with her sister (Mrs Stone) on Gregory Tunnel. She is very ‘bad’ at times.
Will you be so good as to see her?
When you come, she knows that you are watching her & she keeps quiet while you are there. But there is no doubt that she has terrible fits of religious despondency
The first thing is: if you could certify that she is in a fit Subject for an Asylum – where she has been once before.
Out of respect to her father Thomas Alison, I would gladly pay for her for a few months wherever you thought she had a good chance of cure, whether at Mickleover or elsewhere.
I hope that you will think well of your Patient Arthur Cottrell
Yrs sincerely
F Nightingale

C.B.N. Dunn Esq

[Black edged letter]
3/9/78 [No address]
My dear Sir
Many thanks for calling on poor Mrs Shardlow. She says she is better already: I hope you will kindly see her again.
But it is so difficult to know what to do for her. I sent her yesterday a bottle of Port Wine. If you could suggest anything else? One can hardly send her things as one does to old Widow Gregory. Does the Sister eat them?
Would you be so very kind as to call upon the sister of Adelaide Peach. Who died last year. I am told she is very ill.
Do you think there is any chance of Widow Dolly Prince recovering her eyesight? She has been ill again with ‘flooding’: But you have done her much good

Miss Mochler I am sorry to say is out. She wanted much to see you about some of the Patients.
You would not be in this neighbourhood again at 2 to-day to take luncheon with her – or tomorrow, would you?
I hope you will take something at all events now –
I am just going to my Mother
Is old Lyddy Prince recovering at all?
Would you be so good as to write me a note & believe me (in haste)
Yrs sincerely F. Nightingale

8/9/78 [No address]
My dear Sir
I am so very sorry that Arthur Cottie is gone to Chapel
His medicine has been finished since Friday.
If you are making any calls in this village would you not come come back here & have luncheon at 2 o’clock? Miss Joby is here & Mr Jowelt & see your Patient too?
Could you tell me what Adelaide Peach’s sister ought to have?
& what Martha Sheldon’s brother (formerly a Patient of yours) ought to have? He is unable to work.

I shall have a long story to tell you about little (spine) Lee whenever I have the pleasure of seeing you
Yrs sincerely
F Nightingale

How is Mrs Shardlowe? & does she want more wine on ?

Lea Hurst
Oct 5/78
My dear Sir
I have to apologize for not answering our kind note before: I have been so exceedingly overworked.
Widow Gregory: I have long urged that she should have her bed down stairs & remain in it & offered to provide a nurse. I have succeeded in providing a Mrs Daybank to remain with her: but I do not even know whether she stays all night: & I am pretty sure that Widow Gregory’s bed is not moved & that they have not sent for the bedstead (from the Co-op Store) which I told them they might order on my Acct. for the nurse.And i have no Miss Mochler to enquire for me for she gone with my Mother.

Widow Gregory eats well still: do you know that she takes “Gentian Tea for her appetite”
2. Widow Limb’s daughter with the Quinsy? Is there any different diet you would wish her to have now that it is burst?
She has now only Beef Tea twice a day from us.

Should you think it possible that Widow Broomhead might undergo an operation in London?
If not, how long is she likely to live, & what, poor woman, will be her end?

Widow Peach’s daughter is said to be much better under your care

My mother & all her belongings have left us: I stay on for about a fortnight: & shall hope to see you before I leave
Yrs ever faithfully

C.B.N. Dunn Esq

Lea Hurst
Oct 10/78
My dear Sir
Would you be so good as to come & see Lizzie Brooks? I don’t suppose there is much the matter but she complains of pain in the back & chest & menstruation should have been a day or two ago & was not. You will smile I should not be uneasy about her but that she had an extremely sharp fit of Indigestion in London, owing, I am ashamed to say to over-eating & over drinking & too little work. The Physician who attended her said he had never seen so foul a tongue. And this, the fetid breath & the fetid odour of her bed, makes her a rather anxious inmate for me.
He strictly forbade Beer, heavy breakfasts & suppers, butter Pork etc, in short all that the kitchen most loves, & put her on a mild nourishing diet with milk £ lime water. And I look after this as much as I can & by this means keep the enemy, the dreadful smell, in abeyance
She always struck me like an animal which has been starved & feeds voraciously. And I am rather glad to bring her under good medical care again. [ I was obliged to have a Dentist to her in London & put her mouth entirely to right]
Excuse haste & believe me
yrs sincerely
F Nightingale

C.B.N.Dunn esq

Widow Limb’s daughter with the Quinsy says she has caught cold again: I suppose it was only trifling.
Poor Mrs Broomhead seems sadly suffering: she can hardly lie down, she says, in bed
Widow Gregory I have moved downstairs according to your orders

Lea Hurst
Oct 11/78
My dear Sir
In sending for Lizzie Brooks medicine might I ask you if she may go, as she has asked, on Sunday afternoon to her Mother’s “for the Wakes”
I have no reason against it except a profoundly bad opinion of her Mother: but I own I should not be sorry if you thought that she should not go (medically)
Yrs sincerely

Lea Hurst
Oct 13/78
My dear Sir
Your old Patient Mrs Bratby is looking very ill: she & her husband are thinking of going to Ramsgate for 2 to 3 weeks, if you approve & if you recommend warm water baths for her..
Could you kindly see her within the next day or two? And would you, among other things tell me whether she ought to have stimulants? & if so what?
Do you sometimes see the boy Bunting who recovered so wonderfully under your care from that accident?
I have an idea sometimes that he is allowed to work too much & that he wants looking to medically. If you could make a friendly call & charge it to my Acct. I should be very grateful
Thanking you for your kind note & hoping to see you on Tuesday about 4.30 as you were so good as to propose
believe me yrs sincerely

C.B.N.Dunn esq

Lea Hurst
Cromford Derby
Oct 22/78

My dear Sir
Old Lyddy Prince: I saw her last night she expressed the greatest gratitude for your kindness to her.
There is some magic medicine of yours (for palpitations she says) which she wants to have another “bottle” of: she prays
It would be extremely desirable if she were not to put off any longer applying for parish relief. The Guardians would then compel her 3 sons who can well afford it to do something for her. She has supported herself for 53 years. She does not like to ask you to say whether she is ‘past work’ But if you could give her your medical opinion on this point or a line of medical certificate it would greatly facilitate any application of hers (I have spoken to Mr Yeomans as a Guardian)

Widow Limb: Would you kindly tell me what your opinion of her is. Since I have began this I have had your kind note: d you think that her state is owing to any want of night nursing at Buxton Hospital, or to neglect there?
do you know anything of the nursing at that Hospital?
Miss Shardlowe: I have my “Forms of recommendations” for the Derby Infirmary sent me: I only await your orders to fill up one for her.
Mrs Deebank: Would you be so good as to prescribe for her, if you think she requires medical advice & oblige
yours very sincerely
F Nightingale
CBN Dunn

Lea Hurst
Cromford Derby
Oct 25/78

Miss Shardlow

My dear Sir
Would you be so good as to fill in this “disease” in the enclosed form & return it to me? The Patient is going on Monday early

Mrs Holmes:
What will happen if she will not submit to an operation to the leg? What will be the operation? What its magnitude? Are there any palliative measures whichit is any use trying? for prevent ease. I think possibly she might be pursuaded to submit to an operation if I knew more.
Is there any risk of her losing her leg?

The Sisters Allen
Could you be so good as to cll upon them? the eldest Hannah is suffereing from rheumatism & is generally feeble. She is an excellent old body, but not very amenable to medical influence
in haste
yrs sincerely
F Nightingale

Lea Hurst
Nov 13/78
My dear Sir
I am due in London on Friday:
but I have a troublesome little inflammation in one eye (& for some weeks the other side of my face has been swollen). I wanted to have some of your excellent advice & to know whether I ought to make the journey the day after tomorrow on account of the eye – You will be amused at my sending to you for this trifle.
Could you make it convenient to call to-day? & if so what time?
Herbert Crooks is almost laid up with his chilblains.
I had meant to have sent my contribution to the Church Choir at Crich, to which Mrs Dunn is so kind.
Might I trouble you with this contribution (enclosed)?
yrs sincerely

CBN Dunn Esq

10 South Street
Park Lane W

April 12/79
My dear Sir
I hasten to send you a cheque for your qr. Acct. for the people to whom you are so kind & to thank you for your kindness.
I venture to ask you to be so good as to give £2 2s (which I have added to the cheque) to Mr Acraman for his school subscription, for which he wrote to me. I must apologize both to you & to him for this unceremonious way of doing it.

[Later in the letter and marked private and confidential]

You ask me about Buxton Hospital Nursing. I have tried various ways to have it cleaned up & cleaned out, chiefly thro’ ladies who I was astonished to find knew of its abomination before – did nothing then & as far as I know have done nothing now.
Except that in December I believe the Master & Mistress were dismissed for drinking.
I have now appealed to the Duke of Devonshire & I hope that something may be done but this is of course strictly between ourselves
The D of Devonshire had much better appear to be acting for himself without mentioning me. But I really pray that the enquiry may be rightly conducted & not made a blunder of.
I am such an old ‘hand’ & I know what blunders may be made by the best intentions not practically acquainted with Hospital Nursing

8 Nov 1879 Lea Hurst
My dear Sir
Very many thanks for your kind trouble in the matter of the Buxton Hospital.
I am not a “subscriber”. I have positively declined to be so, until the nursing arrangements (which have been unparalleled in England for badness) are put into permanent good order.
The way I managed for Mrs Limb and Lizzie Holmes was by paying 10/6 a week for each which became last year 12/ a week and I am not quite sure that it has not been farther raised to 14/ but believe it is 12/. There are the ordinary terms for non-subscribers. I beg to enclose a cheque for £4. 4 which will be 3 weeks each for Eliz Bunting and Mrs Gladwin at 14/ if that is the amount. If not the 6/ each I dare say will be acceptable for the journey.
I do not know whether Mr Gladwin is bed-ridden. I conclude that you are satisfied that the nursing for helpless patients is now what it ought to be.
For, if you remember, persons who were able to shift for themselves were very well satisfied with their treatment, even while the bed-ridden ones were suffering the abominations we know of. (And the person who gives his name to the Hospital told me distinctly this when I appealed to him in London.)
Do you not think that if Eliz Bunting has relatives in Buxton, she had better reside with them, and be an out patient? I should be glad to hear what you have kindly done for poor old Mrs Joseph Smith (of Lea) and whether it was a case of Paralysis and difficulty about the urine.
My Fanny is much better. She fancies there was much stronger acid in your last medicine. I shall be very glad if you will kindly direct what she is to do in London. She is hoping for the Effervescing steel.
Pray believe me Ever yours sincerely
Florence Nightingale

C.B.N.Dunn esq

9 Nov 1879
Lea Hurst
My dear Sir,
I present my Fanny to you – her appetite and strength seem to me very variable. What do you wish her to do next?
2. I am trying hard to get these village people here, whose money all goes in dress and drink, to save. I hope my “converts” may be “enthusiastic”. Last night Mrs Shardlow (the widow; a most industrious woman, whose daughters are making a comfortable weekly income at the mill) promised me that her eldest, Sarah Ellen, should become a member of the Women’s Club, if you will “pass” her. The mother told me that the father, having died of Asthma (?), she did not think you would admit the daughter into the Club and that “it would hurt her feelings so” if you were “to examine her and not pass her”.
This was, I suppose, a mere excuse. But I only congratulated her on her willingness, and said that I would ask you for her.
Lizzy and Lyddy (who is almost a dwarf) Shardlow were, at school, little friends of mine. And I would give a great deal if they could be brought up with other notions than dress. Pray help me.
3 Francis, the gardener, is better: he wants more medicine. He will go away on Friday for a week when we are gone. When you said he was “just the man to have epilepsy”, - would you kindly tell me what are the symptoms of a susceptibility to those attacks?
4 About the supposed drain under Vincent Greatorex’s floor: Mr Yeomans tells me that the “drain goes quite the other way” and “never went under the floor” and that Greatorex himself “always said that he got the Typhoid Fever at the mill”. As for the latter assertion, it means nothing: I knew a gentleman who with a cess pool under his drawing room and 3 children dying of Typhoid, declared they got it in the Park! But do you think I ought to try and insist that 2 or 3 paving stones should be taken up to see if there is any foulness under Greatorex’s floor?
In haste, ever faithfully yours,
F Nightingale

C.B.N.Dunn esq

10 Jan 1880
10 South St Park Lane W

My dear Sir
I am very much obliged to you for your report of our patients.
1. I am thankful to hear that Mrs Limb is so well attended to under the new regime and so much less suffering. I know you will be so kind as to enquire after Rose Limb (morally not physically) when you visit the mother. This child, for I think she is only 12, declared that if she did not like her new sister-in-law, she should leave the house and set up for herself elsewhere. (This is the harm the Mill does – girls of 13 think they owe no allegiances, if they can earn their own bread.)
If this fit of rebellion has, as I earnestly trust, passed away, I would not revive the possibility of her doing such a thing.
Rose Limb is frightfully spoiled. Tho[ugh] she is put to school at no expense to them, she is allowed to go or not as she pleases.
I know you will kindly ask what she is doing.
(The girls at Holloway are a heady anxiety: so much dress; so little putting by money; or even mending their own clothes. Many a girl who begs of me spends more money on herself relatively and in a few instances absolutely, than I do.)
I hope Harriet Limb has entered the Women’s Club and is paying besides a monthly sum into Mr Yeoman’s hands for the P. O. Savings Bank (which I doubt).
2 Widow Broomhead. I am grateful for your care of her. It is, I suppose, wonderful how she lasts on amid such suffering. Pray order her anything you think right. The day before I came away she asked me for some flannel. It was impossible for me to send for it then; I took the opportunity of telling her that she might order it for herself and send the bill to Mr
Yeomans, on condition that her daughter entered the Women’s Club and that her son (who earns 22/ a week) would put money into Mr Yeomans’ hands, which I would double.
I have heard since that she did not get the flannel, because it was not to be had at the Co-op Stores. Surely this is very helpless. Could not a neighbour get it for her at Cromford or Matlock? Pardon my troubling you with these details.
3. Hannah Allen. I am very sorry that my old friend the Prophetess is so ill again. She has 2 lbs of meat a week from me; besides milk and cocoatine [coconut butter], some money and other things. And I obtained for her from the Mill a pension of 3/ a week. But if you think other things requisites, please let me know. And please tell me if the damp in the houses is really remedied. I am very glad Ann is so much better, thanks to you.
4 Lizzie Holmes, I suppose, will never be strong again. I am thankful she is better. Her mother is one of the very best women I know of any where. Most glad am I to hear of the improvement in Buxton nursing. Could you tell me who is the present matron? And where from?
I trust that the water supply will be obtained. Is the pig extinct near Mrs Limb’s well?
Would you kindly remember me to Mrs Swann and tell her I have not succeeded (I hardly expected it) in finding Patty Cottrell a suitable place. I hope she has, for Mr Wildgoose has promised in that prospect not to take her on at the Mill.
I am giving you much trouble. I have been so ill and overworked since I returned to London that I must ask you kindly to take this too true apology for my not visiting.
I hope Mrs Bratby is better for the removal of abominable cess pit overflow. Is she thinking of Ramsgate?
Pray believe me my dear Sir with kind regards to Mrs Dunn, if I may be allowed to send them ever yours faithfully
Florence Nightingale
Like a woman, I have two or three PSS: Poor old Widow Gregory: I suppose she is not gone to the Union?
Adam Prince: is he keeping sober?
Alfred Peach I am afraid to ask after. FN.

CBN Dunn Esq
I cannot say my Fanny is much better. She has taken your “Nux Vomica” pills and your Bismuth (granular) and Iron when I reminded her, and her digestion, if she is very careful of what she eats, is better. But she is weak, especially in the back; and complains of pain in the back when she stands. FN

Lea Hurst
Sep 26/80
My dear Sir
[black edged letter]

After initial enquiry

I am waiting for Mr Shore Smith’s return to urge forward the Whatstandwell Coffee House affair, if possible: which you have so kindly set on foot
yours most faithfully
F Nightingale
CBN Dunn Esq

Lea Hurst
Nov 23/80
My dear Sir
Mr & Mrs Shore Smith desire me to say: would you kindly come here to luncheon tomorrow (Wednesday) at one to talk over with them the proposed Coffee room at Whatstandwell?
Or could you be so good as to come anytime after 11.30, if not to luncheon (tomorrow Wednesday)?
I am in great hopes that it may be settled now with your kind help

Lea Hurst
Dec 18 1880
My dear sir

Might I trouble you to give the enclose £2 2s to Mr Acraman with my best wishes for his ‘Curates Fund”
F Nightingale

10 South St W
April 26/84
[black edged]
My dear Sir
We are always glad to hear of the Whatstandwell Coffee room. But if you think the “men do not like our wares” could you suggest anything else, any other foods, drinks or amusements, that they would like better, with which they could be supplied?
We used the receipts very satisfactory – are they less so? I am afraid you think them less so. The thing perhaps is no so much to “keep men out of the public house (‘swept & garnished & 7 devils, worse than before’ occurs to one) as to find them the means to keep out of the public house
Are the quarry and labouring me corrupt? – not so much as Londoners – not so much as mill people – are they?

10 South St
Park lane W

My dear Sir
Thank you for your kind note about the stone building for the proposed Whatstandwell Coffee Room & for the answers to your Advt. – all of which I have transmitted to Mr Shore Smith.
Some comments about patients
I am glad you saw Mr yeomans. He gladly accepts the office of treasurer to the Whatstandwell Coffee room and proposes that young Mr Sims should be added to the committee.

Part of undated letter
I beg to give you joy & the Miss Hurts of the good prospect of the Whatstandwell Coffee room. And I look forward to the day that is near when Adam Prince will be found sitting there instead of being fished out of a Crich public house by his poor old mother after 3 days drinking as he was last winter

10 South St
Park lane W

Dec 11/84
My dear Sir
We are rejoiced that the Whatstandwell Coffee room prospers

Part of undated latter
I am very sorry about Adam Prince. I wrote to him on Miss Mochler’s death. He answered & sent some little sum to his mother – at the same time saying o me how much had been spent in drinks!!! I think there may still be hopes of him.
Poor Lyddy Prince has been helped this winter – it is a difficulty about this, jnowing that what helps her goes to supply Adam with drinks.
She is now on the parish in Holloway – without any one living with her – I am glad she went to you.
Whatstandwell Coffee-rooms – It rejoices me that you think they prosper – I am sending them some more books for their lending library

Part of undated leter
Do you know of a Mrs Sims of Crich, married daughter of that good woman your old Patient Mrs Limb, who died at Holloway. If she comes your way would you be so very kind as to ask her to write to me about her youngest sister Rose Limb – now married.
I am afraid not very well in derby & whose confinement – Mrs Sims has been attending & to tell me how Rose Limb is & give me her married name & address.
Would it be troubling you too much to ask you what sort of woman Mrs Sims is? My recollection of her is that she nursed her mother, Mrs Limb once, not very well & was rather ramshackle & dirty slovenly. But I am not sure

Dr Dunn was also a witness in the one of the many court cases against the Crich vicar Revd William Acraman. He had his finger injured trying to stop a scuffle between the vicar and his curate in the vicarage. The full story is in the published book "Parish life with a troubled vicar" by Peter Patilla

His death was covered in the local newspapers –

Derbyshire Times 23 April 1892

obituary Dr Dunn 1892

Derby Mercury: Wed 27 April 1892
DEATH OF DR DUNN – A large circle of friends in Derbyshire will lament the death of Dr C. B. N. Dunn who for upwards of 30 years has practised at Crich. The deceased gentleman has been ailing for several months, but last week his condition considerably improved. On Saturday, however, unfavourable symptoms supervened, and death took place on Monday. The late Dr Dunn was born in West Riding of Yorkshire and was apprenticed to the late Dr Charles Trotter of Holmfirth, until the latter’s death, after which he finished his apprenticeship with the late Dr Dunn of Belper. He studied at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, receiving his diploma in 1860. The deceased was medical officer and public vaccinator for the parish of Crich, but a letter resigning this position was read from him at the Belper Board of Guardians last Saturday. He was the first chairman of the Bull Bridge, Crich, and Ambergate Gas Company, which position he filled up to the time of his death. He took a keen interest in antiquarian matters. The funeral took place on Thursday in the parish churchyard at Crich. The deceased was 55 years of age. Many beautiful wreaths and floral designs were placed on the coffin from friends including a cross sent by Miss Florence Nightingale, who was a former resident of the district, having been born at Lea Hurst. The wreath bore the following inscription:– “This cross, in sacred memory and hope everlasting, is offered to the bereaved wife of C. B. N. Dunn, with the deepest sympathy of Florence Nightingale. London, Easter, 1892

From Bulmer's Directory of 1895 –

Above the sedilia is a brass encased in marble to the memory of Christopher Blencowe Noble Dunn, M.R.C.S., E., who died in 1892, and was for 30 years medical officer of this district. He was an enthusiastic antiquary, and also wrote several short poems, which, but for an unforeseen accident, would have been published under the title of "In Wood and Meadow."

With thanks to Prunella Bradshaw

Dr Dunn's father, Revd Christoper Blencowe Dunn, had emigrated to New Zealand in 1858. A brief biography of him was found on the site,

Christoher Blencow[e] Dunn:   Howden to New Zealand

Christopher Blencow[e] Dunn was born on September 4 1798 in Howden. He emigrated aged about 60 with his wife to the remote Northland area of New Zealand. There he settled and founded a school as well as working with the Maori people.

He was the only son by the second marriage of Blencow Dunn to Rebekah Hinsley. Blencow Dunn was born in 1749 in Howden, the son of Samuel Dunn and Dorothy. The Dunns were a prominent Howden family. Blencow Dunn had married firstly Mary Haigh, the daughter of Abraham Haigh of Saltmarshe, on 19 Feb 1776 in Howden and they had had children Susannah, Elizabeth, Mary, John, Samuel, Dorothy and Robert. Blencow's wife Mary died in 1787 of consumption and is buried in Howden church.

Blencow Dunn married secondly Rebekah Hinsley and they had children Rebekah, Hannah Maria, Margaret and Christopher Blencow. Rebekah died in 1799(?) aged 34 and Blencow went on to marry again for a third time.

Christopher Blencow[e] Dunn served for a time as a midshipman in the Royal Navy then trained at St Bee's Theological College. Ordained as a deacon in 1822 and a priest in 1824, he was initially appointed as curate at Cumberworth near Huddersfield, and later at Heanor in Derbyshire. He is also recorded as serving for a time as chaplain to Queen Victoria.

He married Eliza Noble, the second daughter of John and Mary Noble, from Hill Top Farm, Cartworth Moor, on January 20 1834. They had four children. Rev Dunn was the author of several books and poetry and also wrote music for the organ. His literary works included Some Remarks on the Corn Laws and the poems Infancy and Parental Love and The Battle of the Alma; he also composed A Morning Hymn for the Prince of Wales.

Christopher and Eliza Dunn emigrated to New Zealand in 1858, sailing for Auckland aboard the Whirlwind and leaving their eldest son, Dr Christopher Blencowe Noble Dunn, behind them. The Whirlwind was 'a fine barque of nearly 1,000 tonnes, one of the well-known Dundee clippers, owned by Messrs Somes Bros., was of great length and had splendid accommodation for passengers'. On her only voyage to New Zealand she carried 40 saloon passengers and 200 immigrants.

The family's cottage grand piano, now on display at Kaitaia's Far North Regional Museum, was somehow dropped into the tide at Taipa in 1858, and was immediately despatched to Sydney for repairs. Years later it was put into storage on its side but has since been beautifully restored.

The family farmed at Peria, opposite St Barnabas' Church and cemetery. In 1866 Rev Dunn began teaching several pupils privately in a room in his house, situated across the creek from the present site of Peria School, and continued to do so for several years. He is credited with founding Peria School, a private institution, in 1873, in the old church for the first six months while a building was constructed.

The family lived at Oruru for 12 years, during which time Rev Dunn was of great assistance to Rev Joseph Matthews and Rev Renata Tangata in their work among the Maori of the district. They also lived in Kaitaia for six years, and later at Mangonui, where Rev Dunn retired in 1876 to his daughter Lavinia Campbell's residence. Lavinia was married to Samuel Campbell, the first surveyor in the Far North.

Robert Horatio Dunn, second son of Christopher and Eliza, married Mary Sophia Louisa Matthews, daughter of Rev Matthews, in 1868. They had 21 children.

Christopher Blencowe Dunn died at Mangonui on December 29, 1882 and is buried in the cemetery at St Andrew's. Eliza died on April 30, 1885. The Church Gazette records Dunn's passing, at the then grand old age of 84 years, in February 1883, noting that he had given 60 years to the ministry, serving 40 of those years as a curate in England where he gave from his private means "rather than receiving".

NORTHLAND AGE 20 February 1929
Chris Dunn Now in England
The following is a letter from Sailor Boy Chris to his grandmother Mrs Dunn Snr. of Hill-farm Kaitaia. Chris wrote this letter from The Tors’; Crick, England;

“Dearest Gran,
I have reached my goal at last amidst snow, and ice and frost and sleet.
I arrived here on the 8th inst. after dark, from Hull, frozen to the marrow, where the ship docked, two days previously. The train journey took five and a half hours with innumerable stoppages which made it impossible to make an acquaintance for the trip.
However I landed at the “Tors” at about six o’clock and great was the excitement thereof.
Aunt Ellen and her lovely old servant had become worked up to quite a pitch thinking I was not coming, although I had wired that morning. I had written to her from Jamaica telling her I would be docking at Liverpool on the Tuesday and would probably be with them on the third or fourth, but we received fresh orders at sea to proceed to Rotterdam and Hull so that altered my arrangements, and kept Aunt Ellen in a state of uncertainty for several days.
The whole village of Crick knew of my coming long before my arrival, and it is one of those old English villages one reads about, where nothing ever happens to break the tenor of the people’s ways, my arrival caused quite a stir.
Aunt Ellen is simply the love-est old lady ever and is very popular by everyone within miles. She is a typical aristocrat of the old school and is bright and happy despite the terrible rheumatism from which she suffers.
I do not know how long I shall be staying here, as I do not have the necessary clothes with me, but next time I come I shall see to it that I have. The “Tors” is a most beautiful place, lovely grounds and a perfect home, solid stone and said to be the best house in the district. I long for a camera to take some snaps, the scenery is marvellous. Matlock and its surroundings are famous all over England for scenery and healthy air.
The Church here was originally built by the Normans, and although renovated and built onto it is the joy and pride of the local folks, it really is a splendid building. The old Norman work and some of the writings are still there. In it is a brass plate in honour of Christopher Blencove Noble Dunn. I also saw his grave in the venerable cemetery outside.
As ever Gran,
Your loving grandson

NORTHLAND AGE 24 July 1929
The following is a letter from Mr Chris Dunn, junior, from Crich, England, written on 25th May:
Dear Dad,
I arrived in Crich again last Sunday under very different conditions to my last visit here. The ship berthed in Swansea Saturday morning and I caught the train at 6.30 that evening, arriving here about ten o’clock the following morning, quite a journey and night travelling by train with numerous changes is a pretty monotonous business. However, I have arrived at the very best time of the year and the weather is glorious. Added to that all England in enjoying Whitsuntide holidays. Crich is in the throes of school treats and cricket matches etc.
A party of us went on a tour of some of Derbyshire’s chief places of interest. And what a day it was. First we visited the ruins of Wingfield Manor about a mile from here, which was blown up by Oliver Cromwell. It would take a book to describe that so I won’t attempt to. Then on through numerous villages, all of great historical interest, and through scenery unsurpassed to Chesterfield with its church and precariously crooked steeple, both of which we inspected from inside.
Then on through more scenery and over the Derbyshire moors and more beautiful villages, to Chatsworth Park and the home of the Duke of Devonshire all historic places which I haven’t time to describe properly. You have probably read all about them in any case. From there we went to Bakewell and visited the grand old Norman church there. Most of it still stands as the Normans built it, with only a few modern improvements for the sake of safety. There are statues of all the Vernon family in marble carved somewhere about the year 900. Perhaps you will have read of them. I could have gone around and listened to the attendant all day. It was all rather enthralling. Next we went to Haddon Hall, the home of the old Vernons, but had no time to go ion and inspect it. From there home we passed through the most glorious scenery I have ever see. Really, it was just grand and I would have given anything for a camera. Old England at this time of the year is a very lovely place.
We arrived home at about eight o’clock and the Tors is as beautiful as any of it. I wish you could get over and see it too. I am tired of the sea and after I leave here in about a week’s time I am going to London to get a ship home. I tried hard enough last time from Hull but missed out, so this time will go to the big smoke and make sure. I want to have a look at you all again so next time I write I hope to be telling you I am on my way home and to have ready a fatted calf.

Mrs Ellen Dunn's 90th birthday

The Derbyshire Times 16 July 1932

Ellen Dunn's birtsfat 1932

Mrs Ellen Dunn's funeral

Belper News 29 December 1933

Ellen Dunnfuneral

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