Originally an apprentice to a linen-maker he became an actor and playwright, before being appointed Master of Ceremonies at Bath and Tunbridge Wells in 1763 succeeding Beau Nash who had died in 1761. In this position, he also became known as "The King of Bath". Derrick much preferred Bath to Tunbridge Wells, "deploring Tunbridge Well's lack of enterprise".1
According to some sources, Derrick was the actual author behind the infamous but bestselling publication Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies.2
- 1. Hembry, P. M. The English Spa 1560-1815: A Social History. p. 238
- 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harris's_List_of_Covent_Garden_Ladies
Boswell met Derrick during his first stay in London in 1760, and Derrick showed him the shabbier aspects of London "in all its variety of departments, both literary and sportive",1 before he was "saved" by Lord Eglinton and introduced to the higher social circles. When Boswell and Derrick met again, accidentally, on March 27, 1763, Boswell was not at all interested in renewing their friendship, referring (in his journal) to Derrick as "a little blackguard pimping dog".
- 1. According to the preface to [LJ]
A few books written or compiled by Derrick are available via [Abebooks].