Francis Wright died in 1873 and a memorial, The Wright Monument, was erected on the north side of the Market Place "by public subscription to the memory of Francis Wright as a record of his valuable services to this town and neighbourhood”, but he was also known as the "president of the stick your nose into other peoples' business society".
Francis Wright was born in 1806, son of John Wright, a Nottinghamshire Banker and a principal share holder and director of the Butterley Iron Company. John Wright had married Elizabeth Beresford of Osmaston and Compton House, Ashbourne. (Compton House is Lloyds Bank today.)
The Butterley Co lasted from 1807 until 1968. Francis Wright took over as director from 1830 until his death in 1873. His Company provided teh iron work and bricks for St Pancras Station in London. Wright believed ‘busy hands keeps the devil away’ and was a zealous low churchman. Francis built or established a number of schools churches and other institutions. He built churches in Ironville, Lenton, Osmaston and St John's in Ashbourne. In 1866, he founded, with like-minded trustees, Trent College at Long Eaton, a public boarding school for boys. He was also a significant patron to Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, corresponding with Florence Nightingale on the best design.
Francis Wright died in 1873 and a memorial, The Wright Monument, was erected on the north side of the Market Place "by public subscription to the memory of Francis Wright as a record of his valuable services to this town and neighbourhood”.
As chairman of the Ashbourne bench of JPs, he was stern, and tried to impose his moral principles. He had put a stop to the annual fair and also tried to stop the Shrovetide Football tradition! Perhaps he was not as popular locally as the memorial suggested.
Probably the best known of the 15 remaining Festival Football games played in Britain, the game at Ashbourne is takes place throughout the streets each year on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. The boundary between the two teams, Upards and Downards, is the Scolebrook/Henmore Brook.