Essex turned the screw on Gloucestershire as they made 400 before leaving the hosts struggling to avoid the follow-on.
All-rounder Greg Smith is moving from Derbyshire to Essex, who have also tied star bowler David Masters to a new deal.
Alex Gidman hit 70 not out to see Gloucestershire to a seven-wicket win over Derbyshire.
Chris Rogers has quit as Derbyshire captain and will be replaced by Greg Smith.
Inclement weather ruined a potentially exciting fourth day between Derbyshire and Northamptonshire.
Derbyshire completed a 185-run victory over Gloucestershire on the final afternoon to go top of Division Two.
Lancashire moved to the brink of the FP Trophy quarter-finals with a 114-run victory over Derbyshire.
Charl Langeveldt and Wavell Hinds were on form as Derbyshire beat Middlesex by seven wickets.
Kolpak all-rounder Greg Smith has signed a new two-year contract with Derbyshire.
Score updates from the penultimate round of the season
Andrew Strauss says England have a lot of ‘difficult questions’ to answer ahead of the World Cup.
Twenty20 Champions League 2014
Full-on Yorkshire are the pride of the County Championship, says David Lloyd, and deservedly so.