Cross Fleury.

Time-honoured Lancaster ... Historic notes on the ancient borough of Lancaster online

. (page 21 of 55)
Online LibraryCross FleuryTime-honoured Lancaster ... Historic notes on the ancient borough of Lancaster → online text (page 21 of 55)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Art Institute. His successor at the Amicable Library is Mr. W.
Blanchard, who entered upon his duties in April, 1891. Mr.
Blanchard is the grandson of the distinguished commedian of that

The Co-operative Library, in Lancaster, is a very good one,
and may well be so, for Lancaster goes in for co-operation principles
to a verv largfe extent. The librarian is Mr. Henrv Motton.

1 &>'

The Assembly Room.

The Assembly Room was erected in 17 14 by the Corporation.
Many entertainments of the highest social character have been held
within it. There have been past Lord Mayors of London banquetted
here, and on Thursday, September 15th, 1842, a complimentary
dinner was given to Dr. Whewell and Sir Richard Owen. A
beautiful monogram appears over the back door at the north end
of the building between the figures which indicate the date. The
letters seem to signify : — " George, King of England ; Corporation
Assembly Room." The date is thus — J714. The premises are now
part of the property of the King's Arms Estate Company.

The Storey Art Institute.

The last piece of munificence which Sir Thomas Storey has
honoured the town with has assumed the form of a School of Art,
erected on the site of the Mechanics' Institute, which latter was
established on the 4th of March, 1824, and formally opened on the
5th of June in the same year. This new edifice is erected in com-
memoration of the attainment of the 50th year of rule of Queen


Victoria, and the happy form chosen by the generous donor, who
in the following inscription modestly sets forth that he gives,
declares, and dedicates the edifice to the advancement of local
talent, is in every way worthy of a public spirited man.

" In Honorem


Annis L. Regixae.

Feliciter Actis.

Tho. Storey, Eques,

D. D. D.

(Dat. dicat. dedicat)


The Lancaster School of Art was established in 1S56. It
was one of the first of those schools founded all over the country
bv the Science and Art Department after the exhibition of 1851, a
department then known as the Department of practical Art. There
was a Lancaster Society of Arts existing early in the present century,
but it was dissolved on Thursday, November 28th. 1844.

A preliminary description of the new Art Institute is all that
can be given at present. Architecturally it is an attractive building
of superior finish. The corridor is a long and ornate passage lit
by a very elegant stained window in which are six medallion figures
symbolical of Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music, Literature
and Science. Beneath these respective symbols are the names oi'
distinguished men whose lives were devoted to Apollo, Minerva,
Clio, Urania, &c. Reading from left to right are these distinguished
names : — Reynolds, Turner, Flaxman, Alfred Stevens, William
the Englishman (William of Wykeham), Wren, Handel, Bennett,
Chaucer, Shakespeare, Roger Bacon, Newton. The stained work
was designed by Mr. Jowett. of the firm of Shriglev and Hunt,
Lancaster. The recesses on the opposite side are to be filled in
with pictures and the effect will then be admirable. The Art Gallery
is a noble chamber lighted from above. At the north end of it is a


gracefully adorned apsis in which will be placed a group o\ statuary
representing the Queen and the Prince Consort sculptured by Mr.
Wood, of Chelsea. On the east side their will be a lift for the
bringing up of large paintings. This fine room is twenty-six yards
long and over ten wide. Just beyond it on the north is a very
pleasant committee-room. The general meeting room in suite with
the gallery will be used for drawings and local exhibits. This
apartment is fifty-one feet in length and twenty-seven in width.
These rooms are on the first floor. On the second floor is the
elementary room, furnished with black boards and desks and flat
tables for geometrical drawings. The wainscoting round the
whole of this floor is of pitch-pine, stained a beautiful dark green.
Near to is the Art Master's room, in which is a wardrobe and every
appurtenance essential to such master's requirements. On the same
floor is,the second elementary room, capable of accommodating fifty
scholars. Already there are to be seen on the walls some exceedingly
attractive plaster casts, including one from Notre Dame and one
from the Ghiberti Gates, Florence ; a cast from Stonechurch in
Kent, and the Frieze of the Trajan Forum showing the libation of
fire. The Antique and Life Chamber is near to. It will be used
for drawing and painting from living models. There are now over
one hundred and fifty pounds' worth of casts and models including
Michael Angelo's slave ; the Athlete with the Strigel, Hercules with
the Golden Apples (taken from the one in the British Museum]
anatomised ; casts from the tomb of Lorenzo de Medici, and a
full-sized head of Michael Angelo, a David, &c. There are likewise
excellent specimens of pilaster work and panels. Donetello's figures
of children, and Goujon's Rivers of France. There are vases and
casks of fruit and flowers to be used as models for painting from,
and a very perfect lay figure of a human being, the only one ever
introduced into Lancaster. In the wall are Greek Parthenon friezes,
a study in themselves. In this room is to be seen a geometrical
demonstration board to be utilised chiefly in illustrating relative
planes of projections, &c. Adjacent is the Designing Room and Art
Library and a Modelling Room for the modelling of wax and clay
figures. There are some old models which have been recently


cleaned, amongst them were Discobulus of Miron, Discobulus of
Naucides, a Fighting Gladiator and a Venus 'de Medici. On the
ground floor is a reading-room and hard by an apartment which is to
form the library, a science department, a chemical-room or labora-
tory, and a technical education apartment in which eventually there
will be a carpenter's bench, lathe and other appliances belonging
to artisan capacities. Altogether there are sixteen rooms with
anti-rooms and lavatories besides, the latter conveniences being
plentifully distributed all over the edifice. The heating apparatus
is on the most approved principle and the cellars are large and
well finished. There is an excellent culinary department and lifts
communicating with the general meeting room so that it will be
quite easy to prepare a collation or banquet on the premises. The
lighting has been well considered, the " meteor gas lamps " being

The distribution of prizes to the successful Art Students took
place probably (or the last time in the Mayor's apartment at the
Town Hall, on the 17th of December, 1890.

The Theatre.

Old play goers of Lancaster will take an interest in this
fragment of the past. "Theatre, Lancaster, June 24th, 1777.
Mes>rs. Austen and Whitlock having opened a commodious theatre,
in the town of Lancaster, there will be performed on Wednesday,
the 2nd of July, a tragedy called 'The Orphan of China.' The
characters are to be dressed in proper habits, to which will be added
a farce called 'The Miller of Mansfield.' Boxes; 2s. 6d. pit, 2s ;
gallery, is. To begin at 7 o'clock. N.B. The company will
perform every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, during their short
stay in town." The theatre was erected in 1781. in part by a
subscription of 8 shares of £$0 each for which an interest of ^5 per
cent was paid from the rent of the theatre, each proprietor, continues
Clark (p. 45., 1807), had also a free ticket of admission during the
season. Simpson's, " Lancaster," ( 1852), describes the theatre as
a "Music Hall and Museum."


In 1782, during the race week, special performances were
given at the theatre, and the local chronicler remarks that the Earl
of Surrey attended each night. In September, 1789, by special
desire of the Earl oi' Lonsdale, "School for Scandal," and "The
Midnight Hour" were performed to crowded houses. In a critique
dated August 18th, 1802, the oldest local journal, alluding to the
company present at the play, describes the same in the following
lavish manner :— " Such a blaze of beauty and elegance could not
be excelled in any theatre in the kingdom." On the 8th oi
September, Mr. Munden and Mrs. H. Siddons appeared on the
boards in the comedy of "The Poor Gentleman." The management
was then in the 'hands of Messrs. Welch and Thornhill. On August
nth, 1804, the theatre was opened for the season under the
management of Mr. Stanton and Mr. and Mrs. H. Siddons, while
Miss Mellon (afterwards Duchess of St. Albans) occupied the stage.
On August 13th, 1805, Master Betty, the young Roscius, appeared
as young Norval in the play of " Douglas." Mr. Betterton assumed
the part of old Norval, and Mrs. Glover that of Lady Randolph.
The receipts amounted to ^"126. In 1843, " The Infant Sappho "
was performed, Miss Vining taking the leading lady's part. On
November 6th, 1845, a big night of a musical character was scored,
Mr. Ellwood, the noted cornet player, performing before the Mayor
and a fashionable gathering. In 1846, Miss Maria Hawes appeared
in a series of oratorios. This lady was a professional artiste popular
in concert music. In 1843, tne °'d theatre underwent a complete
transformation at the instance oi' Edmund Sharpe, Esquire, and was
opened as a Music Hall, with the oratorio of the "Messiah" in
which the solo performers were Mr. Seymour, Miss Robinson,
Mr. Armstrong, Mr. Scarisbrick, and Mr. Constantine; and on the
evening of the day following this oratorio, a concert of a miscel-
laneous nature was given. On December 5th, 1843, Mr. Harrison
gave a concert consisting of vocal and instrumental music, the
artistes being Messrs. Lindley, Blagrove, and the Misses Williams.
In June, 1866, General Tom Thumb,* and Minnie Warren with

* General Tom Thumb first visited Lancaster on the 21st and 22nd of
February, 1845. He was then reported as being only 25 inches in heighl and 1 5lbs.
in weight ; age, 13.


Commodore Nutt visited the Music Hall, and " Blind Tom" also
performed twice during- the same year. About two and twenty
years ago Sir Richard Owen lectured here on " Cavern Exploration
in the North of France." The concert given on the 27th March,
1848, for the benefit of the widow of Mr. John Harrison, makes it
appear that the deceased was a local musician identical with the
Mr. Harrison who appeared as the artiste special of December 15th,

1843, above referred to. I ought to add that Mr. Stephen Kemble
has performed in this hall, but on what dates I have been unable to

From about i860 until 18S2 the Athenaeum was the property
of a company termed "The Lancaster Athenaeum Company, Limited,"
and in 1865 the name Edward Graham Paley, Esq., appears as
secretary thereto. In May, 1884, the hall again became a private
property, and since that year has belonged to Mr. Henry Wilkinson.

Paganini, the celebrated violin player, who was in Lancaster
for several days in September, 1833, appeared on the Athenaeum
stage. Professor Greenbank lectured in the hall on the 24th April,

1844, and the British Archaeological Association, under the pre-
sidency of Mr. James Heywood, M.P., F.R.S.,F.S. A., held a
meeting in the hall on the 20th August, 1850. Mr. Sims Reeves
has been here several times, and Mr. Bellew, whose last appear-
ance on the stage was on the 28th November, 187 1. Mr. George
Dawson lectured on Richard Cobden from the same platform in
1866. Owing to the courtesy of \Y. G. Welch, Esq., of Dalton
Square, I am enabled to transcribe the autographs of the foremost
litterateurs, scientists, artistes, and vocalists who have entertained
the public of Lancaster between i860 and 1884. This gentleman
(Mr. Welch) was secretary of the Athenaeum Company. The
signatures are a study, and the book will one day be worth no small
sum of money from the virtuoso's point of view. The names are
graphological curiosities, indicating the character of their owners
in many instances. There are specimens of the horizontal, the
vertical, cvlindrical, rectilineal, rhomboid and obtuse-angled tri-


angular. Amongst these sign-manuals I noticed the following : —
"Marian Endersohn (January 10th, 1869), J. G. Patey, Emile
Berger, B. Waterhouse Hawkins, J. L. Hatton, A. Reichardt,
Brinsley Richards, R. J. Sketchley (who lectured on Walpole,
November 28th, i860), Allen Irving, F.S.A., H. Lemmens-Sherring-
ton, Grace Sherrington, \Y. H. Weiss of "Elijah" fame, Philip
P. Carpenter Ph. I)., (March iyth and 21st, 1861), Charlotte S.
Dolby, (October 17th, 1861), Montem Smith, J. C. M. Bellew,
(April 8th, 1865), Lydia Howard, Sam Cowell (' Hie et Ubique '),
D. J. Macgowan, of Ningpo, China, with specimens of Chinese
writing. E. Lankester (' Man and the Gorilla," March 31st, 1862),
J. C. Daniell, L.L.D. ('Life of the first French Emperor,' October
6th and 7th, 1862), George Grossmith, F. Close (late Dean of
Carlisle), Sir Richard Owen (March 8th, 1865), Edward de Jong
(1863), C. A. Calvert (January 27th, 1864), George Buckland, Frank
Burgess", George Dawson (April nth, 1866), Fred Maccabe (1866),
Kate Roberts, L. A. M. Toomkitchie, of the Japanese Troupe (with
specimens of Japanese handwriting), Walter Field, John Hudspeth,
Edwin Waugh (January 31st, 1865), 'Blind Tom,' W. P. Howard,
Musical Guardian (October 30th, 1866), Edmund Rosenthal (Decem-
ber 2nd, 1869), Walter and Henry Wardroper (February 17th,
1870), Signor Foli, Charles Dillon (March 3rd, 1877), J. H.
Curwen (January 16th, 1877), Duncan S. Miller (Royal Handbell
Ringers, January 3rd, 1877). Wilma Norman Neruda's name is
also a fine and prominent sample of chirography. There are other
signatures of men who are more than conquerors, having fought
and won, fought their way to honour and renown. The scientific,
literary, artistic and musical world are all represented, and in the
latter bars of music are not unfrequently met with in addition to
the names. In the beginning of the album is a notification to the
effect that the same was presented to Mr. Welch by resolution of
the Lancaster Athenaeum Company, Limited, at its, final meeting on
June 1 6th, 1884." On the 16th and 17th of August, 1889, Miss
Fortescue appeared in Mr. W. S. Gilbert's Mythological Comedy
" Pygmalion and Galatea ;" also as " Vere " in " Moths."


A few more facts may suitably be introduced while on this
edifice. Some strong" teetotalers reigned here in 1838. In the
Lecture Hall attached many religious and political meetings have
been held by prominent local men at different periods. The
character of the plays now mounted is often of a very superior
order, and it is earnestly to be hoped that in due time the rage for
any extreme sensational pieces will die never to be revived.

In September, 181 2, a son of Crispin thought he would secure
for himself a place "on the cheap " in the theatre. He ascended
the back stairs of the stage leading to the region of thunder and
lightning, and meditating a descent into the gallery, he attempted
to realise his aim, but, unfortunately for himself, he fell into the pit
and escaped with little more than a good shaking.

There used to be a barn called the Bulk Tithe Barn, situated
on the road to Caton, and it was says "Old Recollections," used
as a play house. Munden, Whitelock, Mrs. Siddons (then Miss
Kemble), all the Kembles and Mrs. Munden performed in the rustic
theatre. The old play house was on the south side of the Bulk
Road, and subsequently became a part of the Ridge Lane property.
J . 1 ! . , Lancaster Guardian.

Lancaster Banks.

In Lancaster there are the following banks : The Savings
Bank established in January, 1823, and opened on the 10th of that
month; the Lancaster Bank in Church Street, a fine specimen
architecturally ; the new Preston bank, in Market Street ; and
Wakefield, Crewdson, and Company's Kendal Bank, New Street
and Market Street, formerly the Salford Bank.

Banking in Lancaster began practically with the Worswicks,
namely, by Messrs. Robert and Alexander Worswick, who had
their bank in New Street, and afterwards, in 181 1, in Church Street.
These two gentlemen were the sons of one Thomas Worswick, who


in 1 753-4 took up the freedom of the borough, "being - then a
watch-movement maker at Singleton. In 1768 he commenced
business as a watchmaker, and in 1787-8 three of his sons were
admitted on the roll of freemen, the above Robert and Alexander,
and Thomas, described as a merchant. In September, 1791,
Alexander Worswick, banker, married Miss Greaves, the daughter
of Thomas Greaves, banker, of Preston, partner in the firm of
Atherton, Greaves and Dennison. Their successors in more recent
times have been the Pedders and the Newshams. Thomas Wors-
wick died in January, 1804, aged 74. Alexander Worswick died at
Leighton Hall, July 29th, 18x4, aged 50 ; and in 1823 Richard
Worswick, who resided at Ellel Grange, died at the age of 57.
The old hies of the Lancaster Gazette give many particulars of the
old and new banking houses, as do also the Kendal Courant, Preston
Review, and the Newcastle Courant and Herald. Leighton Hall
became the property of Richard Gillow, Esq., in 1823, the price
paid for it being ^"22,300, exclusive of the timber valued at ^2,591 ;
and Ellel Grange and Cragg Hall estates, lately held by Richard
Worswick, were bought by Richard Atkinson, Esq., for ^10,800,
timber ^"680 extra.

The new bank was completed in 1870, and was furnished by
Messrs. Gillow & Co. The first chairman was Leonard Redmayne,
Esq. (182610 i860). A portrait in oil of this gentleman is to be
seen suspended over the fireplace in the bank manager's room. It
was erected by subscription.

From the paper read before the members of the Lancaster
Philosophical Society on the 22nd of December, 1887, I take the
following : — " Of Private banks in Lancaster we know little ov
nothing until the closing years of the last century. Local history
seems almost a blank prior to the commencement of the Lancaster
Gazette in June, 1801.

Worswicks' failure left Lancaster with only one bank, that ot
Messrs. Dilworth, Arthington. and Birkett, and into it were paid in


most cases the first dividends received from Worswicks' estates.
Four years after Worswicks' failure, and on almost the same day
of the year, on the ioth February, 1826, the doors of Dilworth's
bank were closed. By this second failure, Lancaster was plunged
into the greatest distress and alarm. For some years the large
trade with the West Indies which had made Lancaster so prosperous,
had been gradually drawn away to modern ports, and it seemed
now that the old town must sink under its misfortunes. But
Lancaster did not lack brave and enterprising citizens. They lost
no time in calling a meeting to consider how the public embarrass-
ment might be relieved. It was held in the Town Hall three days
after Dilworth's failure. After other proposals had been discussed,
Mr. Higgin, senior, at last suggested the possibility of some
substitute for a bank to transact the business of the town. The
outcome of that suggestion was the establishment of the first joint
stock bank in England — The Lancaster Banking Company.

In the Lancaster Gazette of the 25th of February, there is an
extract from the Preston ( 'hronicle, stating that in Dilworth's
bankruptcy the debts were ,£265,565, assets £148,000, leaving a
deficiency of £117,565. On the 14th of March, there was a public
election of assignees, and Messrs. John Brockbank, Oliver Toulmin
Roper, and Armitstead were appointed.

At the time of the failure John Dilworth was 80 years of
age, and was residing at Yealand Comers, Robert Birkett was a
man of 50, and Robert Morley Arthington was a young man who
had only a short time previously joined the firm.

On the 23rd October, 1826, the new Banking Company
commenced business in Dilworth's offices, in Penny Street, in
premises which at the present time are occupied by Messrs. Knipe
and Jones, ironmongers. In a few years the bank was transferred
to Church Street, to the house which the Worswicks occupied, and
after many years the new bank buildings were erected on the site

of that house.


The Lancaster Bank has paid to its proprietors in bonuses
and dividends up to January 27th, 1891, the sum of ^2, 128,666 16s.
And this in addition to making" provision for bank buildings, reserve
lund, &c.

John Coulston, Esq., of Hawkshead, Bolton-le-Sands, who
was manager of the Lancaster Bank upwards of forty years, died on
the 19th September, 1866, aged 69. The shareholders and friends
contributed to the erection of a neat granite pillar to his memory,
which stands over his grave in the cemetery.

Messrs. Wakefield and Crewdson, took over the premises
formerly occupied by the Manchester and Salford Bank, on the
1 st of July, 1873.

- On January 10th, 1823, it was resolved at a meeting held in
the Town Hall, to establish a Savings Bank in Lancaster, which only
ceased to exist in 1889, its last annual return showing its amount
of funds to be ;£ 146,835 5s. 6d. Mr. Richard Bond was auditor
to the Bank for twenty-four vears.




Lancaster Worthies.

Eminent Divines born in Lancaster.

John Taylor, D.D. — Thomas Ashton, D.D. — Robert Hoisman, B.A.— Pro-
fessor William Whewell — Thomas Hathornthwaite, L.L.D.—
J. C. M. Bellew, M.A.

Eminent Divines closely identified with Lancaster.

Seth Bushell, D.D. — William John Knox-Little, M.A. — Colin Campbeli .

Eminent Laymen bom in Lancaster.

Sir. John Harrison — Hkxry Bracken, M.D.— John Hlysham, M.D.— Wm.
Penny — William Hadwen — William Sanderson — James Lonsdale—
Cornelius Henderson — Sir Richard Owen — Sir William Turner —
Professor Edward Atkinson — W. H. Higgin, Q.C. — Col. Richard
Wadeson, V.C.— George Danson Thomas Edmondson— William
Shaw Simpson — James Bru nton— James Tomlinson.

Eminent Laymen closely identified with Lancaster.

Processor Franki.and — Professor Calloway— Sir Robert Rawlinson—
Sir A. J. Loftus — William Linton — Jonathan Binns— Edward Denis
de Vitre — Stephen Ross — Sir Thomas Storey — Benjamin Robinson
— H. Gilbert.

Eminent Catholic Divines and Laymen closely identified with


Edward Hawarden, D.D. — Nicholas Skelton— Charles Viscount Fau-
conberg, D. D. — John Rigby, D. D. — Proyost William Walker.
M.R.V.F. -Richard Gillow.

MONG Lancaster worthies stands out pro-
minently :—

John Taylor, D.D.

According to tradition Dr. Taylor was
born in Scotforth (not China Lane, as is
stated by some), and educated under Dr.
- Dixon, o\ Whitehaven. In 171 5 lie was
appointed by one of the Disney family to
Kirkland Chapel, in Lincolnshire. Taylor
strongly opposed Calvinistic Divinity. His
principal works are as follow :■-

1740. " The Scripture Doctrine of Original Sin."'

174s. " A Pharaphrase and Note- on the Epistle to the Romans.'
mended by Dr. Paley.

A wi >rk recom


1750. " Collection of Tunes in various Aits, \:c."

1754. " Hebrew Concordance " (adapted to the English Bil

1754. '-The Lord's Supper explained upon Scriptural Principles."

1 755. "Cox enant of G race. "

1759. " An Examination of the Scheme of Morality advocated b) Dr. Hulcheson,

late Professor of Morality at the University of Glasgow."

1760. " Sketch of Moral Philosophy."

1761. "Scripture Account of Prayer.''
1763. " A Scheme of Scripture Divinity."*

In 1733 Taylor went to Norwich, and in 1757 he became
Divinity Tutor at the newly-founded academy at Warrington. He
died March 5th, 1 76 1 , aged 66. He had a son named Richard
Taylor, of Norwich, who wrote a preface for the last work which was
published after his father decease. Bishop Watson strongly com-
mended this work. "The importance of Children, or Motives to
the Good Education of Children," " A Sermon," and "A Charge
delivered on the Ordination of Mr. Smithson," are among his
minor productions. He was a D.D. of Glasgow University. He
lies interred at Chowbent.

Baines quoting Mr. H. A. Brig-ht's " Historical Sketch of
Warring-ton Academy, gives this information :

•' In 1757. the Collegiate establishment known as 'The Warrington
Academy,' intended to prepare young men lor the ministry and to afford to the sons

Online LibraryCross FleuryTime-honoured Lancaster ... Historic notes on the ancient borough of Lancaster → online text (page 21 of 55)