Henry Anderton.

The temperance, and other poems of the late Henry Anderton, of Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, with a sketch of his life online

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Online LibraryHenry AndertonThe temperance, and other poems of the late Henry Anderton, of Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, with a sketch of his life → online text (page 1 of 11)
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" Praise famous men, such as by their counsels, and knowledge of!
learning were meet for the people, and were wise and eloquent in their
instructions, and such as found out musical tunes, and recited verses in
writing." ECCLEASTICUS xliv. v. 1 and seq.

"A verse may find him who a sermon flies,
And turn delight into a sacrifice."





























I cannot allow this work to pass from my hands without a brief
explanation of the circumstances which induced me to edit and incur
the responsibilities of its publication.

A few weeks before his last illness, I saw Mr. Anderton ; he was
then, to all appearance, in his usual state of health ; on the 17th of
October, I heard by the merest chance that he was dead. At that
time I was living in the quiet little village of Acton, near Nantwich,
where intelligence of even more exciting events than the death of an
individual seldom reached me till it had ceased to interest other people.
I anxiously looked out for the temperance publications, hoping to find
some honorable mention of Mr. Anderton's early labours. But I was
surprised when I found that the conductors of the very publications
which professed to be the organs of the movement, allowed such a
circumstance as the sudden and unexpected removal from this life of
one of the most gifted men who ever espoused their cause to pass
without any particular notice. As one of his old friends I shared the
desire of many that something should be done to preserve the memory
of his excellent deeds and great talents.


During the whole time of my private visits to him, after his retire-
ment from the platform, I never failed to urge him to prepare his
speeches and poems for publication, and though he never positively
refused to agree to my proposal, he always left the subject for future
consideration. I knew that his speeches had been fully written out
before delivery in the Cockpit (the original Preston Temperance Hall),
and also that in their original composition he had attempted to con-
struct and finish the several parts according to the precepts of the great
masters of ancient eloquence. He rested his claims to distinction
upon his speeches ; his poems cost him no labour, and were merely
employed to assist a certain portion of his hearers to retain the lead-
ing features of his arguments in a more familiar style.

Not having received any particulars of his illness or death in a
direct way, I wrote to his brother for information, and to ascertain
whether he, or any one else, had taken steps to bring his speeches
and poems before the Temperance friends, for whose instruction and
amusement they had been composed. The matter appeared to me so
important, that I urged him to give the subject immediate attention.
There were some special reasons at the time why his friends should
have acted upon my suggestion, and these I did not fail to point out.
The peculiarity of his genius, vast as was the popular appreciation of
it, was a riddle that could not be solved without his speeches, and I
was anxious to see them in print, that we might be in a fit position to
determine ' ' What constitutes an oration ?" Knowing these to be of
great value as to their literary character, I offered my assistance and
co-operation to carry out to the fullest any wish the family or friends
might have in the matter. To my letter his brother wrote as


follows : " I fear much that Henry did not take care of any of his
works. So far as I can judge it will be impossible to collect anything
that would fill a volume."

Disappointed but not discouraged at this unexpected intelligence,
I began to rely upon my own resources, and, after retracing the
memory of early times, put myself into correspordence with such of
our friends as I could think likely to possess copies of what he had
written. Every one to whom I had written evinced their willingness
to entrust all their little treasures to my keeping. The Preston
Chronicle and the Alliance Weekly News rendered very valuable assist-
ance in this search. Many of the original poems in this work have
been obtained, through the publicity of the two papers named above
from the United States, Canada, and Australia. The interval be-
tween the several arrivals has been great, indeed, one has come to
hand whilst I have been writing this explanation. It now only re-
mains for me to say to those friends who have shown their readiness
to assist me by giving up the copies in their possession, that I have
done my best to return the obligation by a well-printed and handsome
volume. They will now clearly comprehend the difficulties which
precluded the appearance of the work at an earlier date, and that the
delay, which was unavoidable, has been an advantage. They will be
able to see also that my offer to assist others forced upon me the
alternative either to disappoint those who were anxious the poems
should appear, or to take the responsibility of publishing them at my
own risk.

I may remark, further, that many of the poems mentioned in
the sketch of his life, are omitted in this collection. It is not necessary

yiii PEE FACE.

to give the reasons which guided my judgment in excluding them.
The poems were all written before he became identified with the
Temperance Reformation, and consequently, they can have no interest
for those into whose hands this volume will mainly fall. Up to the
period of my own college life, which began in the autumn of 1838,
and ended in the spring of 1847, I had a perfect knowledge of all
Mr. Anderton had written, and can, therefore, vouch for this being a
perfect collection of his early Temperance poems. I am warranted
in saying, on the authority of Mr. Miles Pennington, who has fur-
nished original details since (which I would gladly insert did space
permit), that he has not written anything on Temperance but what
this volume contains. I now commit this work to the special protec-
tion and patronage of the friends of the late Henry Anderton ; and
as I have spared neither labour nor expense to honour his memory, so
I confidently rely upon them, and all the true men and women of our
glorious movement, to see well to it that I have not laboured in vain.



Memoir of Anderton xin

A Peep into the Tap-room and its Visitors 1

It's worth your while 3

To the Drunken Politician 5

To Drunkards 7

The Joys of Drinking 8

The Purge " 10

Up, and be doing, Lads 11

Topers and Mopers 12

Oh ! now for a Tug 13

A Farewell to Drunkenness 14

Never Touch, Lads ! 16*

The Kobber, Liar, and Quack, as patronised by law 17

Try, Lads, Try 20

Good News 22

The Lads of Bacup 23

A Temperance Address delivered at Fleetwood-on-Wyre 24

The doings of Jerry 27

What is a Sot? 28

Our Object is Grand ! 30

Pinsa-Piece 31

The Dead Weight ' 33

How Quiet the Publicans are 34

An Address to Christian Professors on behalf of Drunkards 35

A Simile, showing how John Bull's aching tooth may be cured 36

An Address to the Inhabitants of Todmorden 37



Lines on the 13th Anniversary of the Teetotal Birthday of Ambrose Brook 38

A Kecitation for the 16th Anniversary of Ambrose Brook's Teetotalism ... 39

An Address for the 20th Teetotal Anniversary of Ambrose Brook ... 41

An Epistle to Amhrose Brook 42

To the same 43

Lines on the Death of a Friend 43

To Jemmy Fielding, a P. S. 44

We fear not the Number nor Might of our Foes 45

Advice to Drunkards 45

A Temperance Song 46

Fair Down. A True Tale 48

Moderationers 50

Safety 52

Charge to the Onset 53

ToGadsby 53

To the Ladies 55

A Teetotaller's Song 56

The Temperance Hotel 57

Todmorden Lasses 58

Teetotal for ever shall Weather the Storm 58

A Hymn to be Sung at the Funeral of a Teetotaller 59

The Teetotallers' Advice to Drunkards 60

The Fellow who Cuddles his Tally 62

Lines written in an Album 63

Impromptu, on seeing some lines in an Album 64

Peep ! A Panoramic View of Whig Legislation ..64

To Mr. W. Harris 69

A new Song 72

lo Triumphe ! or, Lord Duncan's Finale 74

Swig Away! 75

The Poor, God Bless 'Em ! 76

A Water Drinker's Ehapsody 77

Kailways and other Ways 78

Nature ... 79



Fleetwood-on-Wyre 80

Teetotalism in Harwood Lee 81

Song 83

Song 84

Teetotalism Triumphant 85

The Christian Poet 85

Lines on the Death of a Young Lady 86

To Elizabeth Mills, Rochdale 88

To a Friend, who trembled at the thought of dying 89

To a Young Lady from India 90

Lines on the Death of two Factory Children 91

The Sabbath 92

The "Nile" (steamer) 93

Stanzas to an old man on the Death of his only child 94

Stanzas on the Death of a Young Christian 96

To Little Hannah 96

To the same 97

To little Mary Langshaw 98

For Peter Langshaw, Jun 98

Peter Langshaw 99

To Mary 99

To the same 100

To the same 101

To the same 102

To Fanny 103

To Mrs. Anderton 104

To Miss A. D 105

To Margaret 106

Lines addressed to the Widow and Daughter of the late Richard Stephenson 107

To and his Sisters on the Sudden Death of their Parents 109

On the Death of a Young Friend 110

Euth Johnson Bland, jet. 21 ..Ill

To Mr. Robert Snape 112

Love Song 114


Thirst, and its true Antidote 115

Song 115

A Blessing 116

A Blessing ... 117

Hymns sung on the occasion of laying the Foundation Stone of the

Temperance Hall, Bolton, May 24th, 1839 117

Hymn for Good Friday 119

A Hymn. " Eejoice in the Lord alway." , 121

AHymn ... 121

Evening Hymn 122

The River of Death 123

The Triumphs of Sobriety 124

An Appeal to the true Friends of Zion 125

What is a Drunkard 127

The Drunkard's Wife 128

The Dying Drunkard 129

To the Drunkard 130

Appeal to Christians 131

Christian Expedience 132

Christian Efforts to re-claim the Intemperate 134

The Drunkard Raised 135

Christ Died for Drunkards 135

Appeal to Drunkards 136


THOUGH the poems of Henry Anderton have made his name known to the
members of Temperance Societies all over the country, and he himself was per-
sonally known in most parts of Lancashire as one who took a prominent
part in spreading abroad the knowledge of temperance principles, little or
nothing is known of his private life beyond the circles of his friends. As one of
the first of those men whose names are associated with the propagation, if not the
actual discovery, of a great principle, his labours possess, in some measure, an
historic interest. It is felt, at the present time, by all who remember him, that
of all those who are regarded as the representative men of the temperance
reformation in its first stages of development, not one ever obtained
popularity by a life more pure, or a genius so commanding, or will retain it
better as the cause advances, than Henry Anderton. The time he devoted to the
advocacy of the cause, and the extent of ground travelled by him in diffusing a
knowledge of the principles of the Preston men, was considerably less than some
of his companions ; but during the short period he devoted himself to the work
he had undertaken, he had no equal in the quality and amount of service
rendered. This was the unanimous verdict at a time when the eventful scenes
of the temperance reformation were such as tried the patience, roused the
courage, and called forth the abilities of all who tcok part in the work, He was
no skulker in these trying times, but took his place in the front ranks with its
early champions, and intrepidly defended them and their cause with an
eloquence and boldness that soon won over the multitude, and silenced the in-
solence of more cunning foes. Whatever opinions men held respecting the cause
they advocated, they were compelled to admit that its success was mainly owing
to the high moral character and extraordinary abilities of its advocates. Henry
Anderton retains to this day the first place in the memory of those who have


survived him, as the most eminent of all our early men. It is with a desire to
gratify those who admired him when living, and to discharge the obligations
which a sense of duty renders absolute, that I venture to supply a few par-
ticulars respecting him not generally known.

Henry Anderton was the second son of James and Ellen Anderton, of
Walton-le-dale, near Preston, Lancashire. He was one of a family of eight
children, all of whom exhibited, in early life, many marks of genius like their
brother Henry. The principal aim of Mr. and Mrs. Anderton was to secure for
their children a good education. With this view they sent Henry, when very
young, to the National School, in Walton-le-dale, at that time conduc-
ted by a very able teacher, Mr. Robinson, the same gentleman who, at a later
period, kept a noted school in Preston. For some time after young Anderton
had been at school, Mr. Eobinson was at a loss what to do with him. He was a
very shrewd man, as well as a clever teacher, and he had never failed before in
finding out the methods of his young pupils, but he was so baffled by Henry's
strange manners as to give up the attempt in despair. On one occasion he went to
his mother, and said, "I don't know what to make of your Henry ; when I ask
him a question he turns his back upon me, and yet I would give anything if the
other lads had heads like your boy." When Mr. Robinson left Walton, Henry
was removed to a school at Salwick, and from that place he was transferred to
the care of Mr. Sedgwick, of Preston.

Mrs. Anderton's maiden name was Turner ; she was born at Leyland, near
Preston. I paid her a visit in March, 1859, when she had completed the seventy-
seventh year of her age, and she appeared then, when talking about her boy, as
vivacious as a young woman of thirty. She felt very grateful for the sketch and por-
trait of her son, in the Spectator, and requested me to convey her thanks to the
parties connected with that work, for the kindly notice of her dear lad. I told
her it might have been more worthy of him if his own friends had taken
the trouble to furnish fuller information respecting his early life. She
said, ' ' I am not sure that they could have given much additional information ;
what is stated is true, and given in such a way that 1 fancied my poor boy living
again before my eyes." Her tears stopped her utterance ; when she recovered
herself, she went on to say, " He was the queerest lad in the world, always in
books, and, if we asked him what he was doing, we never could get an answer,
he seemed so absent. He used to sketch pictures of dogs and other animals, to
show the tricks and habits of the brutes. We wondered many a time where the
lad got such notions ; the pictures were so droll, our sides were nearly split
with laughing at them. He was a very queer lad and his ways were odd, but,
like Mrs. Ashcroft, what he did would bide looking into. You know how happy
he was in naming his acquaintances, he had the same talent when a lad, for he
found a name for every one. Not only what he did, but what he said, would

bide looking in. You know what a commotion there was about Miss .

Henry would never have a particle of charity for any man that was false to a
woman. In that case he took her part as though she had been his own sister,

and he said to ' If you do not marry that lass, you shall never see my

face again.' "

Henry's maternal grandmother was a poetess, and, in some other respects,


he inherited her characteristics. Mrs. Turner was, however, a Roman Catholic,
while Henry imbibed, from his father, a dislike of Roman Catholicism. When
little more than three years old, he was lost. Inquiries were made of the children
playing about, but neither they nor any of the neighbours had seen him that day.
Mrs. Anderton became greatly alarmed, and concluded that he must have fallen
into the Ribble. Acting upon that conviction, she had the river dragged, but
not finding him there, she ran up Church-brow, crying wildly like one deranged.
The neighbours had, in the meantime, ascertained, from his sisters, where he
was, and ran after her to tell her that Henry was found, and safe from harm.
She flew back, and found him in her own bed, fast asleep, his finger resting on
one of the pictures of the family Bible. She was so delighted at finding him,
that she promised him a new beaver hat, that being an article he had often asked
for. The hat was soon bought, but, when he once got possession, nothing they
could do or say could prevail upon him to give it up. He lived in it in the day,
slept in it at night, and wore it out in a week. These little matters may appear
trivial to some, but those who knew Anderton, as a man, will readily discover in
such incidents the indications of some of those peculiarities which distinguished
him through life. He was, from his childhood, fond of books. Indeed, so strong
was his desire for knowledge, that he could not be prevailed upon to join in the
little amusements and rougher sports of his companions. He would steal from
them and wander alone in the fields, or play by himself on the banks of the Ribble.
This musing turn of mind and aversion to play were ascribed to a feeble state of
body, which unfitted him for enjoying such play as required physical strength,
but this was soon found to be an erroneous conjecture. When about twelve
years old, a party of young people called at his mother's house, and related to
the family some very exciting particulars respecting the revival services in Vaux-
hall Chapel, Preston. Sketches of the characters of some of the individuals who
had been converted by the preaching of Mr. Moses Holden, the astronomer,
were given by some of the young women. The narrative of these conversions,
heightened as it was by the intense enthusiasm of the speakers, so roused the
curiosity of the family, that they all felt a desire to see the same things them-
selves. Mrs. Anderton gave her consent for James and some of the girls to go,
but Henry, on account of his tender age, was to remain at home. No one had
been so much interested in the strange history of the men whose lives had been
described in such graphic colours ; he had been silent all the time, fixing his eyes
stedfastly upon his mother's countenance; he besought her to allow him to
make one of the party. The young people, touched by his earnest manner, the
music of his voice, and the unusual eloquence cf his action, added their joint
entreaty to his own request. His mother told him he was not able to walk so
far, and that he was too young to understand such a man as Moses Holden. The
young person whose narrative of the converted had awakened his desire, said
that she " had known many who were no older than Henry, and not half as
wise, who had been converted, and that no one could be converted without
knowing it." She continued, "Who can tell, if he went with us, but that he
might be converted this very night ? I think by his look, and those other signs
he made, that he is partly converted now !" Henry flew to the damsel, and
kissed her for the speech she had made in his favour, and then fixing his gaze


upon his mother's face, he pleaded his own cause in the following extempore
verses :

1 And after having ta'en such pains.

Must I on pins keep sitting ?
And will she keep my poor crack'd brains

By sad conjecture splitting ?

And can a mother use me so,

Can she her feelings smother ?
Will she let James to Preston go,

And keep at home the other ?

No, mother, no ! it's not thy mind ;

Thou canst not deal thus badly ;
And thy pure heart is much too kind

To use a brute beast sadly :

Much less treat ill thy weakly son ;

'T would be above digestion ;
Thouldst rather say, " Put thy clothes on,

And have a walk to Preston !"

This is thy heart, I wot ;

O may these lines impress thee !
And whether I'm to go or not,

May God Almighty bless thee !

I give the piece as it came from his lips, because it was his first attempt at
rhyme, and also because the poet himself was more delighted with it than with any-
thing he composed in his riper years. He gained his point, and from that
moment he grew more attractive to his relatives and friends. His young com-
panions now looked upon him as a youth of very superior talents and ever after
hailed him by the title of poet.

I have now before me a collection of his poems, some written a few days
after the above address to his mother, and all appear to have been composed
within three years from that time. The whole are interesting in this respect ;
they indicate the natural progress of his mind, and shew the methods he took
to nourish his genius and improve himself in the art of composition. The young
person who pleaded his cause so urgently, appears to have had a tolerably good
idea of his susceptible nature. I cannot gather from the manuscript volume
before me whether he was really converted that evening or not, but it was
abundantly evident that the sermon, and the excitement that followed, had a
most powerful effect upon his mind. The week following he composed a poem,
addressed to the Vauxhall preachers, giving them a poet's encouragement " to
preach without money the life-giving word." One of them was taken ill, and he
sent him a copy of verses to console him in his affliction. Several of his poems
in the collection, written about the same time, are addressed to various members
of the congregation, one on his own birth-day, and several birth-day pieces to
the members of his own family. " Walton-le-dale," a rural sketch, is his first


attempt at description of natural scenery. A poem to a young man entering on
the work of the ministry in the Primitive connection, "Mystic Babylon," a
poetical sketch of the Reformation, shows that he had acquired, by reading, a
good knowledge of the facts relating to that great historical event. The char-
acters of the leading men are well drawn, the style bold, the versification
smooth and musical ; but the poem, as a whole, is too one-sided. The chapel
closed, and the people who assembled there separated ; the reason is not
stated, but it caused the worshippers great sorrow to be deprived of their place
of meeting. Anderton, before leaving them, composed a song to "cheer them
in the wilderness."

I am unable to furnish 'particulars of this religious movement, neither do
1 know exactly when the services finally closed; but I know this, the im-
pressions made upon Anderton in that society continued to influence him, more
or less, to the end of his life. The little church broken up, a state of repose fol-
lowed, the memory of previous excitement faded like the recollection of a
dream. The charm of association was lost by the dispersion of those whose pre-
sence awakened his enthusiasm, to supply its loss and preserve the flickering
pictures of his fancy, he betook himself to the fields and groves. He found in the
solitude of nature that stimulus to his imagination which before came from the
living crowd. Withdrawn from society, and the senses open to the voice of
nature, his mind was wholly absorbed in the study of natural objects. Now, the
flowers appeared to have new beauties to please the eye ; the ingenuity ot birds to rival
the workmanship of man ; and the murmuring stream and the howling winds com-
posed or roused his emotions by an unknown spell. He discovers within an increase
of strength, and now, for the first time, tried the fancy in a new sphere of picture-
making. His first experiment as a satirist was in a poem entitled "The Lodge,"
a tale in two parts. This was soon followed by others of the same character ;

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Online LibraryHenry AndertonThe temperance, and other poems of the late Henry Anderton, of Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, with a sketch of his life → online text (page 1 of 11)