Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 18, 2019
Webpage updated: January 04, 2020



DAVID DERRY (1794-1867)

Mr David Derry was born in Plymouth on February 15th 1794, the son of Mr Richard Derry.

His father being a very religious man, young David was sent to be educated by the Reverend Doctor Cope at Launceston, his father's home town.  Later he spent some time under the tuition of the Reverend William Rooker, of Tavistock.  Upon his return to Plymouth he naturally joined his father in business.

In 1812 Mr Derry in conjunction with his brother-in-law, the Reverend William Hole Evens, of Plympton, set up one of the earliest Sabbath Day Schools in the Town, following only those established in connection with the How Street Chapel and the Norley Street Chapel.  Joining Mr Evens and Mr Derry as teachers were the Reverend Samuel Rowe, of Crediton, and Mr Herbert Mends Gibson, who was also educated by the Reverend Cope.

Mr Derry's first public appointment was in 1829 when he was appointed a member of the Commissioners of Public Improvements.  In 1832 the Devon and Cornwall Banking Company was formed and Mr Derry was fortunate to secure a post with them that saw him quickly made the local manager.  Under his watchful eyes, 'rarely, if ever, misled by unwise speculation, jealous of the reputation of the Bank' the Bank became a prosperous commercial concern.  Only once, 'in the midst of a severe panic', did he ever work on a Sunday.

He was first elected to the Town Council in 1834 as a Liberal member for Drake Ward and his wise opinion as chairman of the Finance Committee was so valued that when, in 1846, he somehow lost his seat the Councillors got him elected as Alderman at the earliest opportunity.  In 1843 he became a director of the new South Devon Railway Company and helped to save the Company's Bills from defeat and Exeter thus becoming the terminus of the railway in Devon.

In September 1848 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace and in 1851 was chosen to be Mayor of Plymouth.

Mr David Derry passed away, after a lengthy illness, at 9.30am on the morning of Thursday January 24th 1867.  For some forty years he had been a Deacon of Sherwell Congregational Chapel.  He was survived by his widow, four sons (one being Mr William Derry (1817-1903)) and three daughters.

The funeral was held at 10am on Tuesday January 29th 1867.