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[Bembrandf Stiidio, Keucastle-on-Tyne. 

































JAMES LOSH ......... 89 
























SIR WILLIAM MIDDLETON . . . . . . . 190 












WILLIAM ORD ......... 235 





































JOHN HUNTER RUTHERFORD . . . . , . . 338 




















ROBERT SPENCE ......... 426 







GEORGE STRAKER . . . . . . . . 458 



































































flDen of HDark 'twiyt ^^ne s, Zwcc^. 

IRobcrt Xambc, 


But little information has come down to us respecting the early days 
of a learned but eccentric country parson — Robert Lambe, M.A., 
vicar of Norham. It is believed that he was a native of Durham, 
born there a year or two before the accession of the first George to 
the English throne. But of his parents, their names, and position in 
life, no record has been preserved. Educated at St. John's College, 
Cambridge, where he took his Arts degrees, he was preferred to a 
minor canonry in Durham Cathedral, and, in 1747, obtained the 
curacy of South Shields, being then about thirty-six years of age. 
Within a few weeks from the date of this appointment, the Dean 
and Chapter living of Norham became vacant, and it was conferred 
upon him. In October, 1747, he migrated from the southern 
harbour town of the Tyne to the charming village in which " Nor- 
ham's castled steep, and Tweed's fair river broad and deep," form 
a picturesque retreat for a contemplative mind. At Norham his 
history may be said practically to begin. 

A singular story of Mr. Lambe's courtship and marriage was 
told by the Rev. James Raine, in a paper read before the New- 
castle Society of Antiquaries, and published in the " Archteologia 

" He had not long been settled at Norham before he began to 
feel the want of a wife; and along with the want came the recollec- 
tion of a young woman who resided in Durham, of the name of 
Philadelphia Nelson, the daughter of a well-known carrier between 
London and Edinburgh, and a female of high character and respecta- 
bility, upon whom he was not long in setting his affections. The 
result was a proposal by letter; and in due time the love-sick vicar 
was accepted. Another request was then made, which, even to the 



carrier's daughter, must, I think, have appeared to be of somewhat 
an unusual kind : — ' I cannot leave my parish to come to you. I 
really wish you would put yourself into one of your father's waggons, 
and come down to me. I will meet you on such a day at Berwick; 
but as I want our meeting to be as private as possible, and as I have 
no very distinct recollection of your personal appearance, I have 
to propose that you will meet me upon the pier there, with a tea- 
caddy under your arm, to prevent any chance of mistake.' There 
was then living in Berwick a person of the name of Howe, who had 
risen to high rank in the navy, and who, thrice a day, for the sake of 
exercise, walked to the end of this said pier, and then returned home 
to his meals. One day, before dinner, the gallant old admiral met 
in his walk a young woman with a tea-caddy under her arm, w^ho, as 
he saw at once, was a stranger; but he took no further notice of the 
matter. Before tea, after an interval of three or four hours, he met 
in the same place the same person walking up and down with the 
tea-caddy under her arm, and looking townwards with an anxious eye; 
but still he spake not — neither did she. Late in the evening, the 
admiral went out for his third and concluding walk; and, sure 
enough, there was the self-same female, no longer walking up and 
down with the tea-caddy, but sitting upon a stone, fairly worn out, 
with the tea-caddy beside her, and apparently anxiously wishing to 
be spoken to, that she might have an opportunity of telling her tale 
of distress. The admiral's gallantry was touched by her beseeching 
eye. He addressed her, and heard her tale of Lambe, and his 
breach of promise to meet her there on that very day, and make her 
his wife at Norham. ' Ha ! ' said he, ' Robin Lambe is a great 
friend of mine. This is just like him. He has forgot all about it. 
But he'll make you a capital husband. Come home with me, young 
woman, and you shall be kindly treated for the night' The girl, 
nothing fearing, complied. Li the morning he put her into a coach, 
and went along with her to Norham. Lambe blushed and apolo- 
gised; and the two were married a few days afterwards — the admiral 
giving the bride away. 

" Robert Lambe, of this parish, in the diocese of Durham, batchelor, and 
Philadelphia Nelson, of the parish of Kensington, in the diocese of London, 
spinster, were married in this church, by license, the nth day of April, 1755, by 
me, Thomas Wrangham, curate. Present, Thomas Taylor, Margaret Peacock." 

So runs the parish register of Norham, as communicated to Notes 
and Queries, October 26th, 1878, the correspondent remarking that 


the bride had come, not simply from Durham, but all the way from 

Dr. Raine, in the paper above quoted, states that "The poor girl 
died in child-bed of her first child — a daughter — who became in due 
time the wife of a gentleman in Berwickshire; and her descendants 
are now numerous and respectable." About this matter Dr. Raine 
must have been mistaken, for in his own " History of North Durham " 
he gives the date of the lady's interment "at Gilligate, Durham, 13th 
January, 1772," and quotes Lambe as ascribing to her death, and 
that of his "son," the preparation of his "History of the Battle of 
Flodden," published in 1774: — "One chief end proposed in this 
work was to divert my mind, oppressed with the severe weight of a 
recent complicated afifliction — the death of an only son, and of an 
amiable and most affectionate wife." And then he continues, 
though Dr. Raine overlooked it: — "The fortitude with which she 
underwent a most excruciating excision of a tumour in her breast, 
was the admiration of all who knew her. The loss of her son, 
whilst a slow and painful illness consumed her, she supported with 
no less resolution." From which it would appear that the marriage 
so curiously begun lasted seventeen years, and that the lady had 
other offspring besides the daughter mentioned in Dr. Raine's 

Mr. Lambe was the author of "The History of Chess, together 
with Short and Plain Instructions, by which any one may easily play 
at it without the Help of a Teacher" — a book of 148 pages octavo, 
published in London in 1764. His "History of the Battle of 
Flodden " was ostensibly taken from a MS. in verse, preserved in 
the library of Mr. Askew, of Pallinsburn. Ostensibly, for Thomas 
Gent, the famous York printer, had issued an edition of this MS. a 
dozen years before, and Lambe simply adapted Gent's copy, with all 
its errors and interpolations, taking no trouble, apparently, to com- 
pare it with the original. He, however, added voluminous notes of 
a rambling and prolix character. In the latest edition, published 
1809, "by and for S. Hodgson, and sold by E. Charnley & Son, 
and the other booksellers in Newcastle," the poem occupies 124 
pages, and the "Notes," with eight appendices, 103 pages! Dr. 
Raine describes these " Notes " as teeming with discursive disquisi- 
tions upon subjects of the highest interest in classical and ancient 
literature, exhibiting an intimate acquaintance with the best writers 
of ancient and modern times, whether sacred or profane, and mani- 


festing much philological and critical knowledge. " Teeming with 
discursive disquisitions " is a descriptive phrase aptly chosen. 

It was in these " Notes " that first appeared the marvellous story 
of St. Cuthbert's body floating down the Tweed in a stone coffin : — 

" It hath been mentioned above that St. Cuthbert was deposited 
at Norham. Whether he at last disliked his damp situation, for he 
was buried near a well, which now bears his name ; or whether, 
being only seven miles from the sea, he began to fear another visit 
from his old foes, the Danes, is not at present known. But this is 
certain, that he ordered his monks to carry him twenty miles up the 
Tweed, to Melross, in Scotland. In process of time he quarrelled 
with this place also ; upon which, by his direction, they put him 
into a stone boai, in which he sailed down the Tweed to Tilmouth, 
where he landed. We cannot find, after the most diligent inquiry, 
how long he abode there. 

" Not many years since, a farmer of Cornhill coveted the Saint's 
stone boat, in order to keep pickled beef in it. Before this profane 
loon could convey it away, the Saint came in the night time, and 
broke it in pieces, which now lie at St. Cuthbert's Chapel, to please 
the curious, and confute the unbeliever. 

" The unlearned reader will readily believe the possibility of this 
fact, and the undermentioned classic authors will remove all scruples 
relating to it from the learned one. Juvenal, Sat. 15, says that the 
Egyptians navigated the River Nile in painted earthen pots : Pliny, 
Uiodorus Siculus, and Strabo say that the inhabitants of the isles of 
the Red Sea used tortoise shells for boats. These were not more 
proper for the purpose of sailing than the Saint's stone boat." 

The flippant style in which the legend is narrated suggests a hoax; 
yet Sir Walter Scott was deceived by it. In the second canto of 
" Marmion," describing St. Cuthh^xi's posf-vwrfon wanderings, occur 
the well-known lines : — 

" In his stone coffin forth he rides 
A ponderous bark for river tides, 
Yet light as gossamer it glides 

Downward to Tilmouth cell." 

At these literary tricks Mr. Lambe was an adept. He was one 
of three or four persons whom Dr. Raine suspected of writing the 
enigmatical inscriptions at Chillingham Castle, which, as the first 
Earl of Ravensworth, translating them in 1858, remarked, had 
"mystified Northumbrians for a hundred years, and doubtless caused 


many sleepless nights to bishops and rural incumbents, to say no- 
thing of lords and baronets and squires, who lived under the shadow 
of the Cheviots." That was a case of suspicion only. But about 
his authorship of another literary hoax of the period there is no 
doubt whatever. Hutchinson, writing the second volume of his 
"View of Northumberland " in 1776, received from Mr Lanibe, and 
printed on pages 162-164 of his book, a ballad entitled " The Laidley 
Worm of Spindleston Heughs," which he represented to be "a song 
500 years old, made by the old mountain bard, Duncan Fraser, 
living on Cheviot, a.d. 1270, from an ancient manuscript." With 
this effusion. Sir Walter Scott, compiling some years later his Border 
Minstrelsy, was not so readily deceived. He accepted without sus- 
picion ballads forged by Surtees, but " The Laidley Worm " was too 
palpable an imitation to pass muster. Inquiring as to its authen- 
ticity from Ritson, that famous collector confirmed his doubts, and 
disclosed the authorship. " The Laidley Worm of Spindleston 
Heughs," he wrote, " was the composition of Robert Lambe, Vicar 
of Norham, as he told me himself." 

Mr. Lambe dabbled a good deal in archaeology, and sent Hutchin- 
son various communications about " finds " of stones and other relics 
of the past. Three of his letters to the historian were read at the 
November meeting of the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries in 1S58. 
In one of them he suggested that a celt which had been found, with 
a spear head of brass, near Melrose, had been hung by the eye to 
the spear top, and was the melon chalkotin, or " brazen apple " 
alluded to by Dion Cassius, per Xiphiline, as attached to the spears 
of the Britons, to terrify the enemy by its noise w'hen shaken. In 
another of the letters he placed in the Roman settlement the origin 
of the spindles with which women near the Tweed make round 
thread, the bagpipes, the Highland costume, the broad ribbon, or 
zone, round the waists of Tweedside brides, British cheese, and 
British cherries ! And he wound up by a statement that from 
whelks, in Scotland called "bukkies," he had extracted the famous 
Tyrian purple ! 

There is an illustration of one of Lambe's remarkable discoveries 
in Hutchinson's second volume. It is a drawing of a stone which 
the parson professed to have found at the east end of Norham 
Church. Upon it are five heads, a broken bust, and an undecipher- 
able inscription. The eyes of the figures so clearly express banter 
and derision that one can hardly escape the suspicion that the whole 


thing is one of the parson's jokes. Lambe's own description of the 
stone, in his " Notes " to the " Battle of Flodden," is so ludicrously 
inaccurate as to strengthen the suspicion. It is to be noted, too, 
that Hutchinson does not say that he saw the stone itself, and there 
is no record of anybody else having seen it. Well might Dr. Raine 
dub the jocose vicar a " fanciful antiquary"; the fulness of his fancy 
exhibited itself in practical jokes upon other antiquaries. 

Mr. Lambe died, during a visit to Edinburgh, on the yth of May, 
1795, having held the living of Norham for nearly half a century. 
He left no male issue to transmit his name to posterity, but one 
of his daughters became the mother of two well-known ministers 
in the Church of Scotland — the Rev. George Robertson, of Lady- 
kirk, and the Rev. James Robertson, of Coldingham. 

(Tbarlcs Xart^in, 


Charles Larkin, whose name is inseparably associated in the 
North of England with the political struggles that preceded the 
passing of the great Reform Bill, was born at Kensington in 1800. 
It was in the same room of the same house (Holland House) in 
Avhich Charles James Fox, the statesman, was born that he first 
saw the light, and from that circumstance received the baptismal 
name of Charles Fox Larkin. 

Larkin the elder, who began life in the North as gardener at 
Ravensworth Castle, and afterwards became landlord of the Black 
Boy, Groat Market, was of Irish extraction; his wife, Charles's 
mother, was an English woman belonging to one of the Midland 
counties. They were both Catholics, and they brought up their 
family in that faith. One of their sons, John Larkin, trained to 
the priesthood, rose to the high position of Bishop of Toronto. 
Similar honours were intended to fall upon Charles, and with that 
object in view he was sent to Ushaw College to be educated, but 
the experiment proved a failure. Preferring the study of medicine 
to that of divinity, he left Ushaw, and was placed with William 
Ingham, the eminent Newcastle surgeon, to be trained for the 
profession of a doctor. 

Having passed the usual examinations and obtained the necessary 


licence to practise, Charles Larkin married and established himself 
as a surgeon in Pilgrim Street, Newcastle. He made his mark in 
1 83 1, during a cholera visitation, by assiduous attention to the poor 
of Westgate district, committed to his care by the Board of Health; 
and if he could have restrained his political ardour he would probably 
have taken a high position among the medical practitioners of Tyne- 
side. But that was not to be. He had not been long in practice 
before he began to air his political views upon public platforms; he 
had not been long on public platforms before his fellow-townsmen 
discovered that an orator, full of fire and passion, had risen up 
among them. They heard him expound his principles in fluent and 

commanding tones; they heard him denounce the views of his 
opponents with bitter sarcasm and scathing invective. Before he 
was thirty, young Doctor Larkin had gained the reputation of 
being one of the most effective political agitators in the Northern 

The origin, composition, and procedure of the Northern Political 
Union have been already explained in these volumes under the head- 
ings of Attwood, Blakey, Doubleday, and Fife. Of that active and 
belligerent association Charles Larkin was a leading member. It 
was he who at the great meeting on the Town Moor, in October, 
£831, denounced "the Ravensworths and Londonderrys, and all 


the tribe who sully and disgrace the peerage," including that " de- 
generate descendant, though not in the right line, of the illustrious 
family that gave birth to the bold and fiery-spirited Hotspur." " If 
they persist in their opposition," he exclaimed, " the people will rise 
in their indignation, and appeal from remonstrance to the sword." 

It was he who, at a similar gathering in March, 1832, threatened 
the Lords with Revolution : — 

" A desperate despondency has come over, and clouded the minds 
of multitudes, who mutter to the secret winds rather than give an 
open revelation and sacred expression to their evil forebodings : to 
the vengeful and wrathful feelings which they repress and curb 
within their heaving and indignant bosoms. Revolution — and let us 
not disguise the fact — revolution is the alternative of reform. But, 
while I shudder at the contemplation even of the probability of 
revolution, still with boldness I assert that the dread of revolution, 
dreadful as it is, should rather infuse the spirit of wisdom into the 
councils of our legislators, than depress the people into a tame, quiet 
submission to tyranny and oppression." 

And it was he who, in May following, made the speech which 
sent a thrill through all the United Kingdom — so outspoken was it, 
so daring, so rash, so terrible: — 

" The King has refused to create peers, he has refused to furnish 
his Minister with the means of carrying to a successful issue that 
bill of reform with which the hopes of this too credulous people 
have been so long deluded. He has lent his name as a tower of 
strength to the borough-mongers. He has identified his cause with 
that of the enemies of his people. The determination on the part 
of the King to transfer his confidence to men whom the people 
detest and scorn, and to support a faction in opposition to the 
people and the votes of the House of Commons, cannot be 
regarded in any other light than an act exceeding in rashness, in 
atrocity, and in guilt the most unconstitutional proceedings of the 
first Charles or the ordinances of Charles the Tenth. To this rash 
step he has been urged by the entreaties of a foreign female and 
the importunities of certain bastards who infest the royal palace. 
It is said there is an irresistible power behind the throne greater 
than the power of the Minister, and sufficient to hurl from his place 
the man who has obtained the confidence of the people. Should 
not William IV. remember the fate of Louis XVI. ? Should not a 
Queen who makes herself a busy intermeddling politician, recollect 


the fate of Marie Antoinette ? From this hustings I bid the Queen 
of England recollect that, in consequence of the opposition of that 
ill-fated woman to the wishes of the people of France, a fairer head 
than ever graced the shoulders of Adelaide, Queen of England, 
rolled upon the scaffold." 

Had these words been uttered a few years earlier they would 
probably have cost the speaker his life. As it was they formed the 
subject of debate in the House of Lords, and a warrant was issued 
for the apprehension of the orator on a charge of high treason; but 
the Reform Bill was passed a short time after, and, in the general 
jubilation which followed, the heated language of the Newcastle 
surgeon was overlooked, if not forgotten. 

After the dissolution of the Union, Mr. Larkin, true to his prin- 
ciples, allied himself with those who demanded still further reforms 
than the mere extension of the suffrage, and the extinction of rotten 
boroughs, was calculated to produce. At a Town Moor meeting in 
1833, with all his former vigour, he advocated vote by ballot, universal 
suffrage, annual parliaments, and the repeal of the corn laws, as 
moderate instalments of the just requirements of the English people. 
Three years later he started a newspaper to promulgate more widely 
his views on political and social questions — the Newcastle Standard, 
but the experiment was not successful, and after a chequered 
existence of six months it ceased to appear. 

Upon the formation, in the later fifties, of the Northern Reform 
Union, Mr. Larkin became a member of its administrative council, 
and in conjunction with Mr, Joseph Cowen, Jun., Mr. R. B. Reed, 
Mr. Thomas Gregson, and other of its leading spirits, addressed 
numerous public meetings in Northumberland and Durham in fur- 
therance of its objects. At the general election in April, 1859, he 
nominated Mr. Peter Alfred Taylor, the Radical candidate for 
Newcastle, and delivered a stirring speech in his favour. His last 
appearance on the political platform was at a demonstration on the 
Town Moor of Newcastle, in October, 1872, in favour of the release 
of Fenian prisoners. 

But it was not in the field of politics alone that Mr. Larkin dis- 
played his eloquence. One of his earliest public efforts was made 
upon the religious platform — in Brunswick Place Wesleyan Chapel, 
Newcastle. An anti-Popery lecturer, one Captain Gordon, was there, 
denouncing the Papacy as the " mother of harlots and abominations 
of the earth." Young Doctor Larkin, as he was called, characterising 


the lecture as a tissue of falsehoods and misrepresentations, chal- 
lenged the lecturer to a discussion. The challenge was accepted, 
and the debate took place, but the disputants were changed — the 
Rev. Mr. Armstrong, an Irish convert from Catholicism, taking the 
Protestant side, and Mr. Falvey, a barrister, representing the 
Catholics. When the discussion was over Mr. Larkin published 
a pamphlet on the subject, in which he defended the Catholic 
position with remarkable force and fervency. Again, in 1836, when 
the public mind was excited by a disgusting book entitled " The 
Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk," in which gross immoralities 
were described as occurring in a nunnery at Montreal, Mr. Larkin 
published " A Letter to the Protestants of Newcastle," containing a 
refutation of the book so effective that the Catholic Defence Society, 
testifying its admiration, presented to him a tea and coffee service 
and ;!^ioo. Later in the same year he delivered a series of lectures 
upon the evils attending the connection of Church and State, and 
these made him, for the time, as popular among Nonconformists as 
he was in his own denomination. During the agitation against the 
"Papal Aggression," in 1850, he delivered lectures on the "Pope 
and Cardinal Wiseman," on Lord John Russell's famous " Durham 
Letter," and on the re-establishment of the Catholic hierarchy. 
When Gavazzi visited Newcastle in 1854, he replied to that eminent 
orator's address with an eloquence scarcely less striking than that 
of the distinguished Italian. In 1852, having discussed the Catholic 
question with Dr. Haigh in Dumfries, the Catholics of that town 
presented him wnth a gold watch to show their appreciation of his 

Although a fearless defender of his church against the attacks of 
outsiders, he was equally fearless in denouncing what he considered 
to be blemishes within its pale. Thus, in September, 1844, when it 
was announced that at the opening of St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral, 
Newcastle, admission would be by ticket only, Mr. Larkin issued a 
pamphlet protesting against the innovation. Strong and fiery were 
the phrases in which he indulged, declaring, among other things, that 
" never since Judas sold the actual and veritable body and blood of 
our Lord, was there anything more treacherous to the interests of 
eternal and sacred truth ; nor could the world's baseness, in the 
wildest imagination of its corruption and depravity, offer a greater 
insult to God and to his religion than to sell the mystical sacrifice of 
the body and blood of his most sacred Son as an exhibition for money." 


In the sphere of invective Mr. Larkin was unrivalled. Among the 
local orators of the past generation were many hard hitters, but none 
of them hit so hard as he. There are men yet living who remember 
the sensation which he created at the annual meeting of the sub- 
scribers to the Central Exchange News Room, Newcastle, in 1842, 
when Mr. William Chapman, " the pious banker," moved a resolution 
to close the rooms on Sundays, on the ground that their opening on 
that day was a desecration of the Sabbath, and a violation of the 
fourth commandment. " I tell Mr. Chapman, and all in this room 
who support him, boldly and to their very beards," said Mr. Larkin, 
" that in coming forward on this occasion and attempting to force 
their notions of Sabbatical observance on us, they exhibit the grossest 
and thickest theological and Scriptural ignorance. The whole of the 
Old Testament, from Genesis to the last of the Prophets, has ceased 
to be of any binding obligation upon Christians. I have the 
authority of an Evangelist for the correctness of my theology and my 
assertion. 'The law and the Prophets,' says St. Luke, 'were until 
John; since that time the kingdom of God is preached and every one 
presseth into it.' Who is it that dares impugn or oppugn this 
emphatic language ? No one can have the brazen-faced assurance 
to do so. The whole Judaic system has been abolished, and the 
law of Moses and the books of the Prophets, which gentlemen quote 
with so much glibness and volubility, are entirely out of date. There 
is not, and it never was intended that there should be, in Christianity, 
a Sabbath. The Sabbath belongs, and belonged to Judaism alone. 
For any command to the contrary in the New Testament, we might, 
without any breach of any Scriptural injunction, follow all our usual 
avocations on the Sunday. We might work, plough, dig, sow, reap, 
buy, and sell, even change money and discount bills. At any rate, 
you have no right to compel me, who dissent from your views, to 
spend the Sunday according to your ideas of holiness, and your 
fashions of Sabbatical observances. Why cannot you be content 
with being holy yourselves without forcing me to adopt your legal 
and ceremonial affectation of sanctity ? What right have you to take 
your pail of whitening and your whitening brush and whitewash me 
into a spectre of holiness ? What right have you to whitewash us 
into as nice and clean-looking sepulchres of sanctity as yourselves ? 
I protest against your right to drive me into sanctimony — to compel 
me to wear a white cravat, a black coat, and a long face. Supposing 
that whips and thongs and scourges were put into your hands, that 


you drove us to church, and compelled us to pray and warble forth 
hymns and psalms, what else would this compelled devotion be but 
to insult God with a lip-service and mock him with a knee homage ? 
In addition to tyranny to man, you would be guilty of impiety to 
God. God will accept of no service but that which is willing, and 
one heartfelt burst of prayer and penitence at any moment is worth 
all the Sabbaths and all the sacrifices of all the Scribes and Pharisees 
of the world. It amazes me that before this day, this evil spirit of 
tyranny has not been exorcised out of religion, and that a just senti- 
ment of indignation does not burst forth from all sides to quell 
into instantaneous silence the fanatical audacity of the man who, in 
a society of truly Christian and liberal-minded men, should rise to 
make motions of this nature, that are an insult to Christian liberty, 
and an affront to common sense." 

Mr. Larkin was an able and accomplished lecturer on other topics 
than those of politics and religion. Two of his most popular themes 
were "A Hair" and "A Feather." On poetry and philosophy, on 
science, on capital punishment, on the laws of health, and other 
subjects of a social and sanitary character, he discoursed frequently 
and eloquently. His lectures on these subjects, though less brilliant 
in many respects than his political speeches and pamphlets, had 
more of solid merit in them. The brilliancy of one was marred by 
the temper of the partisan; in the other Mr. Larkin was seen in 
the higher character of the scholar and cultivated gentleman. His 
last contribution to literature was a series of articles on political 
and other current topics, which appeared in the Newcastle Weekly 
Chronicle during the year 1868. 

Mr. Larkin died on the 28th of February, 1879, aged seventy-nine, 
and was interred in Elswick Cemetery. Over his grave his political 
and literary friends erected a monument upon which, under a pro- 
tecting canopy, a bust preserves his once familiar features. The 
monument was unveiled, with an eloquent address, by Mr. Joseph 
Cowen, M.P., followed by eulogistic speeches from Mr. T. P. Barkas, 
Mr. George Crawshay, and Councillor H. W. Newton. It bears 
on the front panel the inscription — 

" This monument was erected by Public Subscription to the Memory of Charles 
Larkin, Philosopher and Orator, who died 28th February, 1879, aged 79 years. 

The orator is gone, and from this hour 

Hath passed a voice, a presence, and a power." 


3ninc6 Xaweon, 


"William de Cramlington, dying without issue male in the latter end of the 
reign of K. Henry V., was succeeded in his estate by his two daughters and 
co-heirs, Agnes and Alice, who were found by an inquisition to be in possession 
of it, 3 K. Henry VI.; the former first married to John Heselrigge, and after- 
wards to William Lawson; the latter to Nicholas Gobeford; the Lawsons 
afterwards having the whole mediety." — Wallis's HISTORY OF Northumber- 

Of the great local family of Lawson, established during many 
generations in the near neighbourhood of Newcastle — at Cramling- 
ton and Longhirst, Chirton and Usworth — two members distin- 
guished themselves in the public life of the town, and one occupied 
the chief seat of the municipality. That one was James, great- 
grandson of the William Lawson, whose marriage with John Hesel- 
rigge's widow, as described by Wallis in the paragraph quoted above, 
brought a large portion of the manor of Cramlington into the 

James Lawson was the second son of his father, William Lawson, 
the younger, of Cramlington, his mother being a daughter of Mr. 
Horsley, of Thernham. His position as second son made it neces- 
sary that he should follow a trade or profession, and at the proper 
age he was sent to Newcastle (where his father's sister, Joanna, was, 
or had recently been, prioress of the Nuns of St. Bartholomew), to 
learn the business of a merchant adventurer. Acquiring his freedom 
in due course, he took to himself a wife — Alice, daughter of George 
Bartram, of Brinkley, a Newcastle merchant, who lived at the old 
mansion in Westgate Street, where now stands the library of the 
Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society. His mercantile 
speculations proved successful, and in no long time he was a pros- 
perous and rising citizen. In April, 1522, he purchased from 
William W' erdale, or Wardel, a messuage and horse-mill in the Meal 
Market, abutting on Pudding Chare, and the following year he 
entered into the public life of the municipality by accepting the 

Shortly before James Lawson's appointment to the office of Sheriff 
a curious dispute occurred respecting an election in which he was 


interested. Joan Baxter, who succeeded his aant, Joanna Lawson, 
as prioress of the nunnery in Newcastle, died, and his sister, Agnes 
Lawson, a lady under thirty years of age, was installed as her 
successor. The Abbot of Newminster had conducted the installa- 
tion, " with the whole consent of all the convent of the house," 
but Cardinal Wolsey, then Bishop of Durham, claiming the right of 
appointment, through his vicar-general, annulled the election. Lord 
Dacre, Warden of the Marches, and a good friend of the Lawsons, 
interested himself on the lady's behalf, and wrote letters in her favour 
to the Abbot of Fountains, and to Dr. Clifton, the cardinal's vicar- 
general, all of which may be read at length in Hearne's Collections. 
It transpired, after much research and inquiry, that the right of 
presentation belonged to the See of Durham, and in the end, that 
right being acknowledged, the vicar-general consented to reinstate 
Agnes Lawson, advising her friends, meanwhile, to obtain a dispen- 
sation for her nonage, and promising, in consideration of the poverty 
of the convent, a mitigation of the fees for election and institution. 

James Lawson's term of office expired on Michaelmas Monday, 
1524, and the following year we read of him as being engaged in a 
commercial dispute with one Raymond Gutters, a merchant of Calais. 
The facts of the quarrel are of no public interest, but the episode out 
of which it originated exhibits the ex-sheriif as a man of spirit and 
enterprise, who even in those days of slow and difificult transit was 
capable of undertaking a journey to the English possessions in 
France for the purpose of making personal bargains, and of dealing 
direct with merchants and traders on the other side of the English 

Following the usual course of events, Mr. Lawson, after six years' 
interval, rose from the Shrievalty to the Mayoralty. He was elected 
to the higher post in October, 1529. Nothing remarkable occurred 
to him, or to the town over which he exercised authority, during his 
year of office. But, not long afterwards, something unusual did 
happen, and he was the principal actor in the business. Upon 
Michaelmas Monday, 1532, when the electors met, according to 
annual custom, to choose the civic dignitaries, it was found that some 
of their number being absent, they were unable to proceed to an 
election. The absentees were Mr. James Lawson and a few of his 
known friends and partisans, and a general suspicion prevailed in the 
town that their omission to attend had been arranged beforehand. 
It may be noted in passing, that most of the details of Mr. Lawson's 


life that have come down to us, relate to disputation of some kind, 
indicating that the ex-mayor had an imperious temper, and was of a 
contentious disposition. In this instance he contrived for a time to 
upset the whole mechanism of corporate organisation, and to block 
up the fountain of municipal honour. It was not possible, in the 
absence of the Lawson party, to elect a new Mayor and Sheriff, and 
the retiring occupants of those ofifices, Robert Brandling and Ralph 
Carr, were obliged to retain their seats pending the arrival of advice 
and instructions from the Privy Council. The letter in which these 
worshipful persons reported the deadlock to Secretary Cromwell is 
preserved in the Record Office, and although rather long for a 
biography, it is altogether too interesting to suffer material abridg- 
ment. Thus they wrote : — 

" Right worshipful and our very good master. Please it you to be 
advertised how that in time past great division was amongst the 
burgesses of this town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne for the election of 
the mayor and other officers of this town, which, by the king's 
highness and his most honourable council, was tried, and the 
offenders sore punished by imprisonment by a long season in the 
Tower of London; and then was ordained and decreed by his 
highness and his said council in what manner and form the said 
election for ever should be had and used, upon great pains to the 
breakers of the same. Which decree and ordinance, exemplified 
under the king's great seal, we have remaining with us here within 
this town, and it is recorded in the king's chancery at London. 
Amongst other things it is decreed and ordained that the said 
election shall yearly be made by twenty-four persons, burgesses of 
this town, of which twelve shall be such as have been mayors, sheriffs, 
or aldermen of the same. That decree hath inviolably been kept 
sith the making of the same, to Michaelmas last past, the accustomed 
time of the election of officers. That one J'T-mes Lawson, sheriff and 
sometime mayor of this town, with certain other his company who 
hath been sheriffs of the same town, at that time absented themselfs 
from the said election, of intent to break the said decree, and disturb 
the said election. Being well assured that in default of twelve 
persons, mayors, sheriffs, or aldermen, the said election could not 
be had, according to the said decree, for without them who absented 
themselfs and withdrew them from the said election, there were not 
in all the town so many freemen of that sort. And so the said decree 
is broken, and the said James Lawson absenteth himself out of the 


town, and for his offences will not undergo such correction as is 
limited in the said decree, intending by labouring above at London 
to avoid correction here (which God defend), for thereupon shall 
great disobedience and other misdemeanours ensue, and this town 
thereby shall be out of order. He will labour a commission directed 
to foreign lords, and to take order at their hands, which hath not 
been seen within this town, and so to avoid him from our correction as 
though he was no freeman of this town, and the king's decree shall 
so be broken, whereby all offenders at this day be bridled and kept 
in good stay and order. Sir, if he be corrected to his demerit, as 
divers of his company be, which is as is limited in the said decree 
and not otherwise, this town shall continue well ruled and ordered, 
and the king's highness well served in peace and war by the in- 
habitants of the same. Whereunto, as our special trust is in your 
mastership, we humbly beseech you, as we may desire it, to be our 
good master herein, and help that the said James Lawson may be 
ordered at home, and punished here for his said offences. And in 
so doing ye bind us to be at your commandment with such poor 
pleasures as we may do for you. Eftsoons, we require you at the 
reverence of God to be our good master in the premises. And our 
Lord God preserve you. Your loving friends, the Mayor and 
Aldermen of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Robert Brandling, Mayor; 
John Blaxton, Edward Baxter, Edward Swinburne, Gilbert 
MiDDLETON, Ralph Carr, Thomas Horslev." 

There is no record of the way in which Mr. Lawson and 
his friends were "bridled and kept in good stay and order." 
But, by some means or other, they were reduced to obedience, and 
the election proceeded — Henry Anderson being appointed Mayor, 
and John Sanderson Sheriff, without further let or hindrance. Six 
years later, when Sanderson was Mayor, and the North-Country had 
been roused to revolt by the innovations and confiscations which 
heralded the Reformation, James Lawson's name appears in the 
State Papers as one of the aldermen of Newcastle who w^ere 
distinguished by their loyalty to the king's new ideas. Sir Ralph 
Sadler, passing through Newcastle on his way to Scotland, reported 
to Secretary Cromwell that the Mayor and aldermen were " honest, 
faithful, and true men to the king." The burgesses had been at first 
unruly, but the Mayor and aldermen had managed them so well that, 
at length, they were " determined to live and die with the Mayor and 
his brethren in the defence and keeping of the town to the King's 


use." Furthermore, the Mayor, "a wise fellow and a substantial," 
and "James Lawson, one of the aldermen," had taken him upon the 
walls, explained the strength of the fortifications, and the provision 
that had been made for victualling the town, with all of which he 
was so well satisfied that "if it pleased the king's highness to send 
them a letter of thanks it would greatly encourage them," and so on. 
Clearly, Alderman Lawson and his brethren had made a good 
impression upon Sir Ralph Sadler. 

At the great muster of the fencible inhabitants of Newcastle, in 
1539, Alderman Lawson had in charge the four wards of Westgate, 
Gunner Tower, Stank Tower, and Pink Tower, and was able to 
provide for the king's service six servants with coats of plate, jacks, 
steel bonnets, bows, and bills. ^Vhen the final surrender and dis- 
solution of the religious houses took place, being a faithful and 
ardent partisan of his royal master, he secured a considerable share 
of the plunder. Out of the property of the White Friars in New- 
castle he obtained, for 5s. a year, "the site of the said house, with 
the buildings annexed, and the garden to the same belonging"; 
while, for 20s. per annum, he secured a meadow of three acres, 
and a house belonging to the Dominicans. From the nunnery of 
St. Bartholomew, of which his sister Agnes was prioress, he had for 
^8 a year " the farm and site, late the priory or house of the Nuns," 
thirty acres of pasture in the field of Jesmond, and Ouston, near 
Chester-le-Street ; for £,6 iis. 6d. a year "messuages, lands, etc., 
with the Nun's jNIoor, as well aboveground as underground, within 
the town and fields of Newcastle" ; for ^16 a year "the coal-mines 
of the late nunnery in Gateshead." Of the Abbey of Neasham, near 
Darlington, of which his sister Jane was abbess, he purchased for 
;^2 2 7 5s. the whole estate — house, church bells, burial-ground, and 
all the buildings, gardens, and orchards adjoining it, with the posses- 
sions belonging thereto in Neasham, Hurworth, Dinsdale, Burdon, 
and Cockfield. A few days after this last-named transaction had 
been completed he was elected for the second time Mayor of 

During Alderman I.awson's second ^Liyoralty, in August, 1541, 
the king came to York, with his new wife, Catherine Howard, to 
meet his nephew, James, King of Scots. His ^Lljesty had never 
been nearer to his good town of Newcastle, and while he waited for 
his tantalising nephew, who, by the way, did not keep the appoint- 
ment, the devoted burgesses sent him a present of ;j^ioo. The 

VOL. III. 2 


bearer of their thank-offering was the Mayor, who, a few weeks 
before, had himself received a thank-offering from a local admirer, 
though of a much less valuable character. Peter Chator, of 
Newcastle, merchant, making his will on the 23rd of April in that 
year, testified his friendship to the chief magistrate in the following 
curious manner: — "Whereas much good amity and love hath been 
betwixt James Lawson, master mayor of Newcastle, and me, and 
divers reckonings hanging, not yet clearly finished, so that I think, 
so nigh as my conscience doth serve me, I am indebted to him 4/. 
or some more, at the most it passeth not 5/., and in contentation 
and payment of the said sum, and most partly for the good love I 
bear towards him, I give him my best gown, faced throughout with 
marterons, and to my cousin, his wife, a gold ring." 

In July, 1543, Alderman Lawson purchased from the Crown the 
manor of Byker. From this acquisition arose another great local 
disputation. For the Corporation wanted to extend the eastern 
boundary of the town, from the Swirle rivulet into Byker, in order to 
gain more room for depositing the ever-increasing heaps of ballast 
that the collier fleet brought up the river, and they could not bring 
Alderman Lawson to accept reasonable terms of surrender. A year 
later (April, 1544), he executed a deed by which he settled the 
manors of Byker and West Matfen upon his son Edmund, and the 
property at Neasham, Cockfield, etc., upon his son Henry. Soon 
afterwards he must have died. In November, 1547, Alice Lawson, 
described as his "widow," made her will, and in the same year the 
dispute with the Corporation was carried to a final issue in the name 
of his son Edmund. 

Besides Edmund and Henry, Alderman Lawson had two sons 
and two daughters — six in all. These, and their descendants, 
marrying into well-known families, united the Lawsons of Cram- 
lington with Fenwicks and Swinburnes, Constables and Hodgsons, 
Burghs and Inglebys, and other of the oldest and wealthiest land- 
owners in the Northern Counties. 


Dorotb^ Xa\V6on, 


At the beginning of the seventeenth century, when the faith of 
Rome in England lay under a ban, and persecution of those who 
professed it ran hot and strong, there dwelt upon the banks of the 
Tyne a pious Catholic lady, whose blameless life and charitable 
disposition, enabled her to enjoy undisturbed serenity amid all the 
intolerance and bigotry of the time. This lady was Dorothy, widow 
of Roger Lawson, of Heaton, who was a son of Edmund Lawson, of 
Byker, and therefore grandson of Alderman James Lawson, the 
subject of the preceding biography. Details of her life, written by 
Father Palmes, or Palmer, a Jesuit Father whom she sheltered, were 
published, in 1855, by George Bouchier Richardson, from a MS. in 
the possession of Sir William Lawson, of Brough. A curious, almost 
fascinating, biography it is; scarcely inferior in interest to that other 
famous local MS. — the " Memoirs of Ambrose Barnes." By way of 
a change, and with necessary abridgment, we may allow the old 
priest to tell the story of his heroine in his own quaint and impressive 
language : — 

" Dorothy Lawson visibly took her first breath at Wing in 
Bukingam-shire, a house belonging to her grandfather Dormer, in 
the year of our Lord 1580. Her father was Henry Constable, lord 
of Burton Constable, in Holderness, a name in estate and canonicall 
pedigree, inferiour to none within the vast extent of Yorkshire. 
Her mother, the lady Marget Constable, a flourishing branch 
derived from the honourable linage of the Dormers, earls of Caer- 
narvon, rarely parted by nature, embellished with singular endow- 
ments in the internall, full of majesty, tall in stature, sweet in 
countenance, fair in complexion, qualified with a proportion of 
Vermillion, of an accomplished gracefullness, and in her whole com- 
position so attractive that she was commonly stiled the Star of the 
Court, and a mirrour or looking-glass in the country. From this 
matchless pair came our divine Dorothy, bearing in her name the 
gift of God (Dorothea Donum Dei), a true daughter of such parents. 
She was so lively a piece of her mother in stature, voice, proportion, 
comliness, and all other lineaments, that they were scarce by any 
thing but age distinguishable. 


" Amongst many eminent for means and quality, Roger Lawson, 
Esq., son and heire to Sir Ral. Lawson of Brough, in Richmondshire, 
made tender of his respects in noble way of matrimony; to which 
her modesty did so Httle bend, that none but parents could persuade 
her to appear in his presence, and a virginal! blush cast visibly a 
rosy tincture uppon her face, whensoever she heard him named in 
absence. Having attained to her 17th year of her age, the desired 
impression was soon wrought in her thoughts ; forthwith ensued the 
result of marriage, which not long after was celebrated with universal 
acclamations of friends, and splendour in every particular, corre- 
spondent to their calling." 

The marriage deed, dated the loth of March, 1596-97, brought 
the manors of Burgh in Yorkshire, Burn Hall in the county of 
Durham, and Byker, Cramlington, Scremerston, West Matfen, 
Cambois, and Blyth, with lands in West Sleekburn, all in the county 
of Northumberland, into settlement, and gave to the bride the manor 
of Burn Hall for life, in bar of dower. After their marriage, Dorothy 
and her husband resided for a while at Brough, but the lady proved 
to be a fruitful vine, and it became necessary to enlarge the mansion 
or find another residence. Thereupon, in 1605, Burn Hall was sold, 
and in recompense of the jointure thus alienated, a moiety of the 
manor of Heaton, and so much of the manor of Byker as lay on the 
east side of the Ouseburn, were conveyed to trustees for her benefit. 
To Heaton, soon after the date of the conveyance, she and her 
husband removed, and there, and at St. Anthony's, she brought up 
her family. 

While residing at Heaton this estimable woman lost her husband. 
He was in London, engaged in the pursuit of his profession as a 
member of the Inner Temple, when, at the end of the year 16 13, or 
beginning of 16 14, he sickened and died. K devout Catholic, Mrs. 
Lawson had contrived to practise her religion, and to train up all her 
children in the faith of Rome, without giving offence to her Protest- 
ant husband, or his family. And now, upon his death-bed, she had 
the satisfaction of seeing him, also, reconciled to the church of her 
choice. Returning to Heaton, she determined to consecrate the rest 
of her days to religion and good works. 

"When she had again made her house fitt for the service of God, 
and use of her children. Sir Ralph Lawson [her father-in-law] 
desirous to sell it, moves her to condescend to the exigency of his 
occasions, proferring, in lieu of it, a place more advantagious for her 


designs, called St. Antonys — a seat incomparably more pleasant, but 
no house unless shee would erect one att her own charges. Hope 
and confidence in (lod gave courage to commence a new building, 
and charity facilitated the work ; first, because the place was holy, 
dedicated in Catholic times to St. Antony, his picture being decently 
plac'd in a tree near the river Tine, for the comfort of seamen ; 
secondly, for that it was more private than Heton, and free to 
frequent her chapell. At the end of the house opposite to the water, 
shee caused to be made the sacred name of Jesus, large in i)ropor- 
tion, and accurate for art, that it might serve the mariners instead of 
St. Antony's picture ; and when the fabric was ended shee dedicated 
the whole to St. Michael and St. Antony, and each room (the chapel 
excepted) was nominated and publicly known by the name of some 
particular saint. 

" This seat was most commodious for pleasure, and pleasant for 
all commoditys; the rich and renown'd river Tine ebbing and flowing 
in such a proportionable distance from the house, that neither the 
water is inconvenient to it, nor does it want the convenience of the 
water. The vast confluence of ships which it brings to Newcastle for 
coles (and this is looked uppon one of the greatest sorts of traffic in 
the kingdom) pass under the full view of the house, and, notwith- 
standing, Catholicks may resort thither with such privacy that they 
are not exposed to the aspect of any. The name of Jesus shee caus'd 
to be drawn so publick for two reasons. The first her own safeguard 
and protection ; and verily it so prov'd, for whereas all Catholick 
houses were severely search'd, this mercifully escap'd, and when, in 
harder times, allmost all were demolish'd by disaster and war, this 
was daily visited in way of curiosity by soldiers of all ranks, till the 
king's men (not out of spleen but fear), conceiving it a fit place for 
the Scots to make a garrison, made it, as I am informed, by fire, 
even with the ground. The second reason, that sea-fairing men of 
other nations might know it to be a Catholick house, and fly thither, 
as truly they did in swarmes for their spirituall refection." 

Mrs. Lawson's first trouble at St. Anthony's was the death of her 
resident priest. The Superior of the Jesuits sent her Father Henry 
Morse to supply the vacancy, but within a year of his coming he was 
apprehended and imprisoned at Newcastle. A third priest despatched 
on the same errand, Father Robinson, was committed to the same 
gaol. Father Palmes, the writer of the narrative, succeeded Father 
Robinson, and managed to elude detection. But Mrs. Lawson's 


connection with these victims of persecution did not escape notice. 
Bishop Neile wrote to the Privy Council in June, 1626, that the 
houses of Sir Robert Hodgson at Hebburn, of Anthony Berry and 
John Davel at Jarrow, and " one Mrs. Lawson's at St. Anthonie's, 
over against them on ye North side, they all being convicted recus- 
ants, and reputed pragmaticall in ill offices of conveyinge, recevinge, 
and harboringe, of persons of all sorts ill-afifected to ye State, is very 
inconvenient and dangerous." Thomas Liddell, the Mayor of New- 
castle, who received a warning to the like effect from the bishop in 
the preceding November, had refused to become a persecutor of his 
neighbours, and answered that he could find " noe matter thereof but 
idle reports." Several suspected Papists were seized at Shields, 
coming from beyond sea about this time, with " great store of books 
and many MSS., with abundance of pictures and popish relics," but 
Mrs. Lawson was not molested, although her sympathy with such 
persons, and the shelter she afforded them, must have been matter 
of common knowledge. 

After describing the devotion with which Mrs. Lawson kept the 
feasts and fasts of the church in her retreat at St. Anthony's, Father 
Palmes dilates on her charity and benevolence : — 

" Her liberallity did bountifully extend to the poor, both by vow 
and necessity; these shee hourly reliev'd, feeding the hungry, cloath- 
ing the naked, and because shee was a widdow herself, shee kept 
a purse of twopences for widows. The two prisoners in Newcastle 
shee furnish'd with church-stuff, washed their linnen, provided with 
all necessary's for cloths and victualls, and though Mr. Morse was 
known to belong to her, nevertheless preferring his conveniency 
before her own safety, shee adventur'd to visite him in the 
jayle, and suted the magistrate he might enjoy the liberty of the 
town for his health. To her ghostly father nothing was wanting fitt 
for the condition of a religious man. According to the custome of 
colledges, shee gave him a viaticum when he went abroad, the 
remainder of which he restor'd when he return'd home. I dare 
avouch, that for the space of seaven years, I neither knew what was 
in my purse when I took journey nor shee what I expended out of 
it, when I gave it to her att my returne. Half a dozen of the society 
made each year the spirituall exercise in her house for eight days 
with collegiall form and discipline; for which shee provided gowns, 
a refectory, etc., hearing every day all the masses. In the govern- 
ment of her family, her authority, prudence, sweetness, and gravity 


was such that every one lov'd her with fear, and fear'd her with love. 
Shee gave her servants more than was due in temporalis as a bounti- 
full mistress, often relating Saints lives to her maids, and reading 
pious books in their company. A retainer to her father-in-law tould 
me that he was converted to the Catholick religion by the many 
stories shee recounted out of the Old Testament as he rid before her 
out of Northumberland into Holderns. In journeying shee was so 
carefuU of devotion, that if shee took but a walk for recreation shee 
premized the Littanies of Loretto, which were said publickly if the 
liberty of company permitted, if not, shee said them privately herself. 
Every night shee conferr'd with him that had care in chief of her 
husbandry, knowing what he had done that day, and what he was to 
take in hand the next. To the servant who had charge of market- 
ting shee deliver'd her commands over-night, that without impediment 
he might take his best time in the morning. 

" After seaven years passed in this divine manner, under my 
conduct, God visited her with such a sickness as, if we may credit 
Gregorious the Great, was an uncontrolable argument of his love, 
and her predestination. Our Lord came not to her suddainly, or att 
unawares (much less unprovided); he knock'd and gave her above 
six months warning by a languishing consumption or cough of the 
lungs, and shee, expecting his coming, with the resign'd patience of 
Judith, and indefatigable love of Jacob, open'd willingly the gardin 
door of her soul, that he might enter, and reap the fruit he planted. 
Her patience was try'd to the quick in taking without sign of trouble 
(tho' shee had a sharp taste and delicate stomack), an infinity of 
distastfull ingrediencies, all which shee sugar'd with the sweet and 
wholesome preparative of a foregoing intention. Her obedience 
admirable, and physitians that understood the nature of her infirmity 
likewise afifirme it miraculous. I never needed advise one thing 
twice, except the distribution of her personall estate by will, wherein 
I thought shee took too much from her children for her soul, and 
to moderate this I spoak twice, and so did I never in anything before 
or after. Her charity, cedar-like, surmounted the rest, bowing nothing 
from the top of sublimity to the depth of her neighbours' misery, 
for shee took care of all her children, providing them with competent 
livlihood, care to her servants and neighbours, bequeathing large 
legacies; care to her own soul, distributing to the value of two 
hundred pound in pious uses; lastly care of those that were out of the 
true church, with a zeal so compassionately ardent that shee main- 


tained many long and vehement encounters in matters of religion, 
when shee was hardly able to utter one word about her temporal! 

" On Palm Sunday, in the night, which that year fell upon the 
Annuntiation of our Blessed Lady, the messenger of death delivered 
his finall summons. I raisd the house, but shee was so far from 
dying suddenly, that God hearing her former prayer (to witt, that her 
ghostly father might be present at her death), preserved her life till 
twelve at noon, her children, servants, friends, and another priest 
beside myself, kneeling with dewy eyes at her bedside. When we 
thought her epilogue had been ended, and was about to draw the 
curtain, or going to close her eyes, to our amazement shee elevated 
her hand, and imparted her benediction in the form of a large cross; 
then pronouncing, or rather repeating the life-giving name of Jesus, 
to gain the pardon of the sin last committed, as in manner of jubily, 
with Jesus in her mouth, and a jubily in her soul, shee sweetly 
departed about twelve of the clock [Monday, March 26], in the year 
of our Lord 1632, and of her own age fifty-two. 

" Her private exequies were celebrated that night, about eleven 
a'clock, in the place where shee died, with the presence of a hundred 
Catholicks, who spiritually depended of her. Her eldest son, sparing 
no cost, caused her to be honorably interr'd in the Church of All 
Saints' at Newcastle. The next day after her death all the gentry 
thereabouts were invited, and a dinner were prepar'd for them. The 
poor of that and the bordering parishes were served that day with 
meat; the next with money. Divers boats full of people came in 
the afternoon from Newcastle, all plentifully entertained with a 
banquet; and when these civill respects were ended, we carried the 
corps in the evening to Newcastle, in her own boat, accompanied 
with at least twenty other boats and barges, and above twice as many 
horse, planting them on both sides of the shore, till their arrival at 
the city. They found the streets shining with tapers, as light as if it 
had been noon. The magistrates and aldermen, with the whole glory 
of the town, which for state is second only to London, attended att 
the landing place to wait on the cofiin, which they received covered 
with a fine black velvet cloth, and a white satin cross, and carried it 
but to the church door, where with a ceremony of such civility as 
astonish'd all (none, out of love of her, and fear of them, daring to 
oppose itt), they deliver'd it to the Catholicks only, who, with another 
priest (for I was not worthy of the honour), laid it with Catholick 


ceremonies in the grave. In the interim, a gentleman was appointed 
to conduct the ladies and magistrates to a sumptuous banquet in the 
finest house in the town, where they expected, enlarging themselves in 
discourses upon her praises, till all was ended in the church. Then 
her son waited on them, and with more tears than courtship (unless 
it be a point of courtship for ceremony at such a time to swim in 
tears), rendered many thanks for their noble civilities." 

The son who acted as chief mourner in these remarkable obse- 
quies, Henry Lawson, second son of the family (his elder brother, 
Ralph, having died young while a student at Douay College), was 
himself interred beside his mother barely four years later, at the age 
of thirty-four. He married Annie, sister of Sir Robert Hodgson, of 
Hebburn, and had, among other issue, Henry Lawson, of Brough 
Hall, a colonel, and John Lawson, a captain, in the king's service 
during the Civil ^^'ar. Henry, the colonel, fell fighting for the king 
at the battle of Melton Mowbray, in 1644, leaving a daughter, 
Isabella, who became the wife of Sir John Swinburne, of Capheaton, 
while his widow Catherine, daughter and co-heir of Sir William 
Fenwick, of Meldon, married Francis, first Earl of Derwentwater. 
John, the captain, succeeded his brother, and after the Restoration 
(having married Katherine, daughter of Sir William Howard, of 
Naworth, and sister of Charles, first Earl of Carlisle), he was created 
a baronet. 

Concerning the rest of Dorothy Lawson's family and the total 
number of them genealogists are not agreed. Father Palmes 
mentions her having fifteen children; a family pedigree at Brough 
Hall gives her as many as nineteen; but Mr. G. B. Richardson 
could not find notice of more than thirteen — seven sons and six 
daughters. Four of the sons died without issue; two of the 
daughters married into the families of Yorke of Garthwaite, and 
Witherington of Buckland; to the remainder no historical interest 

1bcnr^ Xcavcr, 


Among the English clergy w-ho fled to the Continent when Queen 
Mary came to the throne, was Thomas Leaver, B.D., ex-Master of 
St. John's College, Cambridge, and one of the chaplains to the 


deceased king, Edward VI. Dr. Leaver was a distinguished 
preacher, and but for the early death of the youthful monarch, 
would probably have attained to high preferment. Driven into 
exile, he sought the friendship of Calvin and Bullinger, and, after 
wandering about for some time, settled in Switzerland as the chief 
pastor of a congregation of English Puritans. After Queen Mary's 
death, he returned to England, and was received with some degree 
of favour at Court. Queen Elizabeth made him Archdeacon of 
Coventry, and under his advice refused the title of " Supreme Head 
of the Church." His old college friend, Pilkington, Bishop of 
Durham, collated him, in the early part of 1562, to the Mastership 
of Sherburn Hospital, and gave him the eighth stall in Durham 
Cathedral. But here the Puritanical views which he had imbibed 
abroad stood in his way, and in 1567, because he refused to submit 
to the Queen's rigid views of uniformity, the prebend was taken 
away from him. Being a man of good parts, much learning, and 
exemplary piety, he secured the friendship of Bernard Gilpin, who 
sympathised with him in his troubles, though he did not share his 
views. For fifteen years Dr. Leaver remained Master of Sherburn, 
labouring zealously all that time to restore the ancient discipline of 
the hospital, and prevent the further dilapidation of its possessions. 
Dying in July, 1577, he was buried within Sherburn altar rails, 
under a blue marble stone, bearing a cross flory, wuth a Bible and 
chalice, and the inscription — " Thomas Leaver, Preacher to King 
Edward the Sixte." 

Dr. Leaver was better known as a preacher than an author, but he 
published "A Comment on the Lord's Prayer"; several sermons 
(one preached in "Poule's Churche at London, in the Shroudes," 
which Surtees curiously misquotes as " shrouds on shipboard," two 
delivered before Edward VL, and another preached at Paul's 
Cross); and a volume with the title of "A Treatise of the Right 
Way from the Danger of Sinne and Vengeance in this Wicked 
Worlde, unto Godly Wealth and Salvation in Christe." 

In his office of Master of Sherburn, Dr. Leaver was succeeded 
by his brother and fellow-exile, Ralph Leaver, described by Allan, 
in his "Collections," as a "troublesome Nonconformist, and very 
disobedient to his patron in trifles and frivolous matters." The 
authors of the " Athenae Cantabrigienses " enter him as a senior 
fellow of St. John's, in July, 1559, and incorporated M.A. at 
Oxford the year following; collated to the rectory of Washington, 


county Durham, November 5th, 1565; appointed Archdeacon of 
Northumberland, August 21st, 1566, and installed a canon of Durham 
(5th stall) October 17th, 1567. He resigned the archdeaconry of 
Northumberland in 1573, and on the 17th November, 1575, was 
collated to the rich rectory of Stanhope, resigning Washington three 
years afterwards. Being, during the vacancy in the See of Durham 
occasioned by the death of Bishop Pilkington, appointed, by the 
Dean and Chapter, a commissary to exercise episcopal jurisdiction, 
he, with Fawcett, another prebendary, petitioned the Queen against 
certain of the Chapter leases and asked for a Royal Commission. 
Upon his succession to the mastership, the University of Cambridge 
gave him the degree of D.D. About the same time he gave up 
Stanhope, and, retiring to Sherburn, spent the rest of his life in 
reforming abuses and disputing with Bishop Barnes. Shortly before 
his decease in March, 1584-85, he succeeded in procuring an Act 
for the incorporation of the hospital, by which that institution was 
placed upon a new footing, and guarded against peculation and 
neglect. He was the author of, among other things, a curious work 
on chess, which, enlarged by William Fulke, was issued in 1563, 
without his consent: — 

"The Most Ancient and Learned Play, called the Philosopher's Game, 
invented for the honest recreation of Studients, and other Sober Persons, in 
passing the Tediousness of Tyme, to the Release of their Labours, and the 
Exercise of their Wittes. Set forth with such playne Precepts, Rules, and 
Tables, that All Men with care may understand it, and Most Men with pleasure 
practise it." By W. F. London: 8vo, 1563. 

Henry Leaver, the subject of this biography, was one of the 
sons of Sampson Leaver (son and heir of Bernard Gilpin's friend, 
Dr. Thomas Leaver, of Sherburn), and Margaret, his wife, daughter 
of Philip Hall, of Wingate Grange. Upon his father's estate of 
Aldernage and Scuttes House, in the bishopric, it is supposed that, 
soon after the accession of J^mes I. to the English throne, he was 
born. Of his early years nothing is known. That he was trained 
to follow the profession of Thomas, his grandfather, and Ralph, 
his great-uncle, is evident, but at what school or college has not 
transpired. His first appearance in North-Country history occurs 
at Alnwick, where he is found, in 1637, a B.A., officiating as master 
of the Grammar School, and monthly preacher at the parish church. 
Tate, the Alnwick historian, quotes from the town books for 1639, 


an entry of 33s. paid to him " to make his preaching money 6/.," 
and another of Uke amount "parte of the Schoolemaster's wages." 

It would appear that, at this early period of his career, Henry 
Leaver had shown a decided leaning towards the Nonconforming 
views of his grandfather. These views were coming into a position 
of ascendency, and his enunciation of them recommended him to 
the notice of " Alnwick's lofty lord," Algernon, tenth Earl of North- 
umberland. The earl, dissatisfied with the policy of the king, was 
drifting into sympathy with the rising power of Parliament; Henry 
Leaver, from the pulpit of Alnwick Church, was preaching, as far as 
he dared, in favour of liberty of conscience and freedom of worship, 
and against prelatical uniformity and royal prerogative. Appreci- 
ating his gifts, and approving of his principles, the earl gave the 
young preacher his first benefice — the living of Long Houghton. 
He entered upon his duties at Long Houghton on the 3rd of 
February, 1640-41. 

Mr. Leaver's zeal for the cause of the Parliament, and his pronounced 
views upon the great questions that were tearing the nation asunder 
at this time, marked him out for higher preferment. Just before he 
obtained possession of Long Houghton, Dr. Cosin, afterwards 
Bishop of Durham, had been stripped by order of the House of 
Commons of all his ecclesiastical benefices. One of these benefices 
— the rectory of Brancepeth — was conferred, a year or two later, 
upon Henry Leaver. Leaving Long Houghton, the quondam school- 
master of Alnwick took up his abode upon the banks of the Wear. 
There he remained throughout the exciting period of the Civil War, 
living in good repute with his Royalist neighbours, and working in 
harmony with all other branches of triumphant Puritanism, while 
holding firmly to the belief that the Presbyterian order of Church 
government was the only complete embodiment of apostolic practice. 
Oliver Cromwell, issuing letters patent in May, 1657, for a college to 
be endowed out of the wreck of the See of Durham, appointed him 
one of the first visitors of the proposed foundation. In connection 
with that abortive undertaking Calamy relates an incident greatly to 
Mr. Leaver's credit : — 

"When the design was set on foot of erecting a college at 
Durham, he [Henry Leaver] was one of the commissioners to settle 
that foundation, and in that capacity had an opportunity both of 
shewing his own candor and moderation, and of doing a piece of 
service to one of the sequestered gentlemen. Dr. Naylour, the late 



parson of the rich liviiif; of Sedgficld. The Dr. was informed that 
the whole of his tjuondam parsonage (as he calls it) excepting Mr. 
Lapthorn's salary, who was then incumbent, was designed for the 
endowment of this new college, no exception or reservation being 
made for his wife's fifths. Upon this he wrote to Mr. Leaver, de- 
siring him to use his interest with the gentlemen, his co-assessors, to 
save his family from so great a loss. And it should seem that Mr. 
Leaver, not only heartily, but effectually, recommended his case; 
for the Dr. wrote him a long letter of thanks for the kindness he 
had therein done him." 

From Brancepeth, on the invitation of Ambrose Barnes, Mr. Leaver 
came to Newcastle. "When the wars were over," writes Barnes's 
biographer, "there came to Newcastle, by Alderman Barnes, his 
means, Mr. Cole, a polite man, and an eloquent preacher, who after- 
wards conformed ; Mr. Henry Lever, from Branspeth, whose prede- 
cessors, one of whome, in times of Popery, was a prebend of Durham, 
had purchast an handsome estate which descended to him," etc. It 
was as successor to Mr. Cole, preacher at St. John's Church, that 
Mr. Leaver accepted the alderman's invitation. "About Candle- 
mas, 1659," which would be the 2nd of February, 1659-60, he 
entered upon his clerical career in Newcastle. Short and disastrous 
it proved to be. General Monk and his " Coldstream Ciuards " 
had passed through the town a week or two before on their way to 
London ; the restoration of the Monarchy had practically begun. 
Though the Puritan preachers retained their places after the return 
of the king and the bishops, it was not for long. "Black Bartholo- 
mew's Day," August 24th, 1662, arrived; the Act of Uniformity 
came into force; two thousand Presbyterian and Lidependent 
ministers, unable to comply with the new law, were ejected from 
their preferments. Henry Leaver quitted St. John's, and being a 
widower, without children, sought refuge with his stepson, Thomas 
Dixon, at Shincliffe. 

For three years Mr. Leaver lived a quiet life at Shincliffe, and 
then, returning to Newcastle, and marrying again, he commenced to 
preach. He was one of the four "chief leaders and abettors " at the 
conventicles in the town about which Bishop Cosin wrote so strongly 
to the Mayor in the latter part of 1668, and one of the preachers 
against whom Cuthbert Nicholson, town sergeant, lifted up his 
parable in the July following. So he continued till the Declaration 
of Lidulgence in March, 1671-72, when, after at least one refusal, 


Dr. Gilpin, Mr. Pringle, and he obtained licences to minister to 
congregations of Nonconformists in proper form. Mr. Leaver's 
licence ran thus: — 

" Charles R. Charles, by the Grace of God, King of England, 
Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc., etc. To 
all Mayors, Bailiffs, Constables, and other our Officers and Ministers, 
Civill and Military whom it may concerne, Greeting. In pursuance 
of our Declaration of the 15th of March 1671-72 Wee doe hereby 
permitt and licence Henry Lever of the Persuasion commonly called 
Presbyterian to be a Teacher and to teach in any place licenced and 
allowed by Us according to our said Declaracon. Given at Our 
Court at Whitehall, the 13th day of May, in the 24th Year of Our 
Reigne, 1672. 

" By His Maties Command, Arlington." 

Mr. Leaver received a call from a congregation at Darlington in 
the autumn of 1672, but does not appear to have accepted it. He 
died the summer following, his death being occasioned, Calamy tells 
us, by the unskilful cutting of a corn. He was buried at St. Nicholas' 
Church, Newcastle, on the 6th of June, 1673. 

Little has come down to us of the actual life of this sturdy old 
Nonconformist in Newcastle; still less of his "walk and conversation" 
among the Tyneside people. The biographer of Ambrose Barnes 
tells a story wherein he appears as a humorist, as well as a preacher — 
the story being one which Barnes, who liked not "airy flights that 
inconsiderate people call witticisms," was accustomed to relate when 
in his most cheerful vein : — 

" Mr. Henry Lever, passing through the Castle Yard meets a man 
full of becks and bows, asking him if he knew him, for if he remem- 
bered it, he was the person who married him. ' It may be so,' sais 
Mr. Lever, ' but verily friend I have forgot you.' ' Ay, sir,' sais the 
man, ' but can you unmarry me again ? ' ' No, truly,' sais Mr. Lever> 
'that I cannot do.' 'Ah! God forgive you,' sais the man, 'it was 
the worst deed you ever did in your life, for she is such a shrew I 
have never had a quiet day, and the worst is, she is contriving to get 
me presst away for a soldier ! ' ' Why,' sais Mr. Lever, ' that is the 
way to get rid of her, and methinks 'tis better to take up quarters 
amongst soldiers than live with a woman with whome, thou sayest, 
thou canst have no quarter.' ' Ay, but I like not a soldier's life, for 
it will take me from my trade, just when I am fal'n into a way to live; 


therefore, Sir,' sais the man, ' I entreat your help to get me off.' The 
commission-officer who was raising recruits, was an Italian by birth, 
and Mr. Lever, by the merry conceit of an Oltromontain proverb, 
prevailed for the poor fellow's discharge, that a man whose house lets 
in rain, whose chimney carries not out the smoke, and whose wife is 
never quiet, should be exempt from going to the warrs, as having 
warr enough at home." 

According to Calamy, Mr. Leaver had a close correspondence for 
many years with Philip, Lord Wharton, by whom, and by his lady, 
he was greatly respected. He is described as having a large heart 
and a liberal hand, and as being much of a gentleman, affable and 
courteous, and very agreeable in conversation. Remarkable for his 
generosity, he had nothing in hand when he was ejected, though he 
possessed an estate of his own (worth ;^ioo per annum) and his 
wife's jointure, which latter, upon the marriage of Mr. Dixon, his step- 
son, he handed over to him. His estate, and most of his library, he 
left to his nephew, Robert Leaver, who, being ejected from Bolam, 
preached for some time in the western parts of the county, among the 
miners and workers at the forges. 

IRobert Xec, 


FiVE-AND-TWENTY years ago, because he was the promoter of some 
trifling improvements in public worship in the Church of Scotland, 
there was no better abused cleric between Pentland Firth and the 
English Border than Dr. Robert Lee, of the Old Grey Friars, Edin- 
burgh. It is difficult at the present day, when organs and trained 
choirs, prayer-books and stained glass, are common accompaniments 
of Presbyterian worship, to understand why, no longer than a quarter 
of a century ago, their introduction was so stoutly opposed, and so 
bitterly resented. Yet the fact remains that upon non-essentials such 
as these Dr. Lee was harried, and worried, and persecuted to the day 
of his death. That he was able to maintain his position and defy his 
opponents so long may, perhaps, be attributed to his birth and 
training. For he was not a Scotchman, inheriting the traditions of 
Covenanters and martyrs, but an Englishman, with liberal and 
reforming tendencies — a North Northumbrian, with the clear head, 
and the sound judgment, which are the attributes of his race. 


Robert Lee, the son of a boat-builder at Tweedmouth, was born 
in November, 1804. He received his education at the Grammar 
School of Berwick, then, and for many years afterwards, conducted 
by a well-known dominie — Mr. Guy Gardiner. Being a studious 
youth, he made such progress under Mr. Gardiner's tuition that his 
friends were desirous of training him for the ministry, but the means 
of realising their desires were not available, and he went back to his 
father's workshop, and learned the trade of boat-building. His own 
wishes ran in the same groove as those of his friends, and while 

working at the bench he continued his studies, in the hope of being 
able, at some time or other, to realise the object of their united 
ambition. When he was twenty years old, the opportunity arrived. 
He built a boat with his own hands, and, with the proceeds of its 
sale, added to the little savings he had accumulated, he entered him- 
self, in the session 1824-25, as a student at the University of St. 

Determined to succeed, young Mr. Lee applied himself diligently 
to the prescribed course of study, and distinguishing himself by 


exemplary conduct, and purity of manners, as well as by proficiency 
in scholarship, soon found himself at the head of his class. His 
early vacations were spent with his father at Tweedmouth ; his later 
ones with Mr. White Melville, to whose eldest son, afterwards the 
well-known novelist, he acted as tutor. Thus passed his eight years' 
theological curriculum. When he had finally quitted St. Andrews, in 
I S3 2, he had taken first prize in senior Greek, the same in Moral 
Philosophy, and had received six firsts for essays on other subjects. 

Entering upon his mission as a licentiate of the Church of Scot- 
land with great zeal, Mr. Lee was not long waiting for a settled con- 
gregation. In less than a twelvemonth after leaving the university 
he was elected minister of St. Vigean's Chapel of Ease, subsequently 
known as Inverbrothock Church, at Arbroath, and two years later 
he succeeded Dr. McLeod, father of Dr. Norman McLeod, at 
Campsie, near Glasgow. 

About the time of his settlement in Arbroath the struggle began 
which ended, after ten years' conflict, in the great secession of 1843. 
In its early stages Mr. Lee took no active interest, but as it pro- 
gressed he threw in his lot with the defenders of patronage, and 
decided to remain in the church which Dr. Chalmers, Dr. Candlish, 
and four hundred and fifty other clergymen forsook. 

By this secession, the Church of Scotland was bereft of its most 
distinguished preachers, and the churches in Edinburgh, which had 
been the chief seat of the movement, were left empty and bare. To 
fill their vacant pulpits, the Town Council, in which the patronage 
was vested, made choice of the best of the country ministers who 
had remained faithful. Among the more prominent of them was 
Mr. Lee, and him the Council appointed to the church of the Old 
Grey Friars — a church in and around which cluster memories of 
men famous in Scottish history, and of events fraught with the 
highest interest to the people of both kingdoms. Within the walls 
of the Old Grey Friars, on the 28th of February, 1638, the National 
Covenant — " a piece of parchment one ell square, and so named 
because it resembled the covenant which God is said to have made 
with the children of Israel " — was laid before the representatives of 
the nation, and there it was signed " by a mighty concourse, who, 
with uplifted hands, with weeping eyes, and drawn swords, animated 
by the same glorious enthusiasm which fired the crusaders at the 
voice of Peter the Hermit, vowed, with the assistance of the supreme 
God, to dedicate life and fortune to the cause of Scotland's Church." 

VOL. III. 3 


Among its ministers were Robert RoUock, first Principal of Edin- 
burgh University; Carstares, the friend of WiUiam of Orange ; Dr. 
Wallace, the philosopher ; Robertson, the historian ; and Dr. John 
Erskine. In its capacious churchyard were buried so vast a number 
of eminent men — noblemen, gentlemen, professors, ministers, and 
leading citizens, distinguished by their genius, piety, and public 
usefulness — that a mere enumeration of their names would fill a 
moderate-sized volume. To this heritage of historical associations 
Mr. Lee was inducted in November, 1843, his Alma Mater con- 
ferring upon him the degree of D.D., in honour of his elevation, a 
few months afterwards. 

While at Campsie, Dr. Lee had contributed various " discourses " 
to the Scottish Christian Herald, had issued an " Address to People 
who Never go to Church," and had published "A Catechism, in- 
tended to assist Young Persons in becoming acquainted with the 
Truths of Christianity." But now, having to defend his position as 
a minister of the Church of Scotland among the cultured Free 
Churchmen of the modern Athens, he ventured into the sphere of 
discussion. With an explanatory introduction, he issued a transla- 
tion of " The Theses of Erastus touching Excommunication," his 
object being to repel the taunt, levelled against the Church of Scot- 
land by the Seceders, of being "an Erastian and residuary estab- 
lishment." A year later, in 1845, he published the first of the many 
collections of prayers which, at various times afterwards, he con- 
tributed to devotional literature, under the title of " A Handbook of 

Although delighting in pastoral work, the bent of Dr. Lee's mind 
set strongly in the direction of theological study and exposition. In 
1840 he had been an unsuccessful candidate for the Chair of Theology 
in Glasgow University, and now, as minister of Grey Friars, his 
aspirations towards a professorship were to be realised without the 
turmoil, the humiliation, and the uncertainty of a contested election. 
By the death, in 1846, of Dr. Bennie, one of the Queen's chaplains, 
and dean of the Chapel Royal, the way was cleared for a long pro- 
jected endowment of a chair of Biblical criticism in Edinburgh 
University. The Government sanctioned the endowment, appointed 
Dr. Lee to the Professorship, bestowed upon him the deanery and 
the chaplaincy, and permitted him to minister to his congregation of 
the Old Grey Friars, then worshipping in the Assembly Hall, the 
old church having been, the year before, burnt to the ground. His 


assumption of all these offices was attacked, on the ground of 
plurality, both in the Presbytery of Edinburgh and the General 
Assembly, but the opposition gradually died out, and the doctor was 
permitted to enjoy his position and emoluments, for a time at least, 
in peace. 

Although firmly attached to his Church and its doctrines, Dr. Lee 
held, upon many questions of the day, views that did not harmonise 
with those of his ministerial brethren. He was, for example, 
opposed to their idea of the proper observance of the Sabbath ; 
advocated the acceptance of Government grants for denominational 
education ; favoured private administration of baptism and the 
Lord's supper ; opposed University tests ; spoke against Lord John 
Russell's Ecclesiastical Titles Bill ; and joined the acting committee 
of the " United Industrial School " — an unsectarian organisation, in 
which religious was separated from secular instruction. These and 
other independent courses gradually isolated him from his fellow 
clerics. " He could not stand what appeared to him their narrow- 
mindedness, their dull and supine conservatism ; they could not 
stand his liberal views, his love of progress, his indifference to the 
shibboleths of party, and the time-worn dogmas of current inter- 
pretations of religious truth." In time evil tongues wagged over his 
alleged heterodoxy, and their owners began to regard him as a 
Moderate, a Rationalist, a Unitarian, and, finally, as a lost sinner 
verging on a state of reprobation. Separated, in this way, from 
intimate association with the clerical element in his communion, he 
sought the friendship of cultured laymen. Attracted by his preach- 
ing and liberal views were leaders of thought in Edinburgh like Lord 
Murray, George Combe, and Alexander Russel, of the Scotsman, and 
as the rigidly orthodox withdrew, their places were filled by advanced 
thinkers, till his congregation comprised the most intelligent people in 
the city — the only congregation in which men outnumbered women. 

Grey Friars' Church, restored, and beautified with carving and 
stained glass, was re-opened in June, 1857. Then began Dr. Lee's 
improvements, or " innovations " as they were called, in the order 
of public worship ; then began a bitter and unrelenting persecution 
of the innovator. What were these charges which created so much 
ill-feeling throughout the Presbyterian body, and made their up- 
holder an object of reproach to both cleric and laymen in all the 
churches, whether established or free ? Firstly, instead of standing 
at prayer and sitting down to sing, Dr. Lee taught his people to 


kneel during prayer, and to stand up when they sang. Secondly, in 
lieu of commencing the service with a hymn or a psalm, he opened 
it with prayer. Thirdly, instead of praying extemporaneously, he 
read prayers of his own composing, out of a printed book, copies of 
which were supplied to the worshippers. Fourthly, he introduced an 
organ into his church. These were the changes which Dr. Lee's 
opponents denounced as " abominations " unknown to true Presby- 
terian worship, a "playing at Episcopacy," an attempt to ritualise 
the simple service which had been consecrated by ancient usage, and 
sanctified by the blood of heroes and martyrs. These were the 
innovations for which Dr. Lee was hauled before the Church Courts, 
carried from Presbytery to Synod, and from Synod to General 
Assembly, until everybody but the complainants grew weary of the 

And all this time, amid the pain, the disturbance, the suffering of 
the conflict, Dr. Lee endured the agony of seeing the members of 
his domestic circle droop, fade, and sink into premature graves. A 
favourite daughter died in 1857; another, married to Mr. Lockhart 
Thomson, passed away in 1862; his only son died the same year; 
in 1863 he lost a third daughter, and the following spring his grand- 
child, the one surviving link of Mrs. Thomson's marriage, departed 
also. His wife and one daughter alone remained to comfort de- 
clining days which, fortunately perhaps for him and for them, were 
not destined to be long. While " the Grey Friar's case " was 
passing through one of its everlasting phases in the church courts, 
towards the end of May, 1867, Dr. Lee was stricken with paralysis ; 
in the March following he was summoned to a higher tribunal than 
that of the Church of Scotland. 

Besides the books already named Dr. Lee issued a " Reference 
Bible" (1854); "The Family and its Duties" (1863); and "The 
Reform of the Church in Worship, Government, and Doctrine " 
(1864). His " Life and Remains" form the subject of two portly 
volumes, published in 1870, by one of his faithful friends and 
admirers — the Rev. R. H. Story, minister of Rossneath. To Mr. 
Story's interesting pages the reader is directed who desires to know 
more than this brief narrative affords of a typical Northumbrian, 
who, by force of character and strength of will, raised himself from 
the humble calling of a boat-builder to the position of a profound 
scholar, an eloquent preacher, an accomplished professor, and a 
learned divine. 


Sir (Thomas Xi^^cH, 


The old Newcastle family of Liddell, represented in these later days 
by the noble house of Ravensworth, fills a conspicuous place in local 
history. From the middle of the sixteenth century to our own time 
it has sent forth strong and capable men, who, generation after 
generation, have occupied honourable and distinguished positions in 
the public service. To Newcastle it has given aldermen, magistrates, 
governors of incorporated companies, sheriffs and mayors; to both 
town and county it has furnished a long succession of representatives 
in Parliament. Among the more notable members of this historical 
family are : — 

Thomas Liddell, Sheriff of Newcastle in 1563-64; Mayor in 

Thomas Liddell, Sheriff, 1592-93; Mayor and Governor of the 

Merchants' Company, 1597-98; Mayor and Governor of the 

Hostmen's Company, 1609-10. 
Sir Thomas Liddell, Sheriff, 1609-10; Mayor and Governor of 

the Merchants' Company, 1625-26; Mayor and Governor of 

the Hostmen's Company, 1636-37; ALP. for Newcastle, 1640. 
Henry Liddell, Sheriff, 1621-22. 
Sir Francis Liddell, Sheriff, 1640-41; Mayor and Governor of the 

Hostmen's Company, 1664-65. 
Francis Liddell, Sheriff, 1664-65. 
Sir Henry Liddell, M.P. for Durham City, 1688-98; for Newcastle, 

1701-5, 1706-10. 
Thomas Liddell, M.P. for Lostwathiel, 17 15. 
George Liddell, M.P. for Berwick, 1727-40. 

Sir Henry Liddell, M.P. for Morpeth, 1734-47. Baron Ravens- 
worth, 1747. 
Richard Liddell, M.P. for Bossiney, 1741-46. 
Sir Thomas Henry Liddell, M.P. for Durham County, 1806-7. 

Baron Ravensworth, 182 1. 
Henry Thomas Liddell, M.P. for Northumberland, 1826-30; 

Durham, 1837-47; Liverpool, 1853-55. Baron Ravensworth, 

1855; Earl of Ravensworth, 1874. 


Henry George Liddell, M.P. for South Northumberland, 1852-78 
— the present earl. 

About Thomas Liddell, the first on the roll, and practically the 
founder of the family, local history has little to relate. He was a 
merchant adventurer at a time when the whole mercantile fleet of 
the Tyne consisted of thirty-six ships, with an aggregate burthen of 
1892 tons, and the population of Newcastle did not exceed 10,000 
souls. Yet, being shrewd and enterprising, he was able to accumu- 
late property, and to leave his family well provided for. On the day 
that he died, May the 8th, 1577, he made his will, and from that 
document, still preserved at Durham, we learn the amount and 
ascertain the extent of his worldly possessions. He had three places 
of business upon the Great Bridge of Tyne; a house in the Cloth 
Market, where his eldest son Thomas lived; another house at the 
Head of the Side, in which his second son Francis resided; a third, 
occupied by one John Fogghearde, cutler; his own mansion, with 
its hall and parlour, kitchen and brewhouse, great chamber and little 
chamber, men's room and women's room ; the mill at the Barras ; a 
" place called the Friars " ; and, across the water, a meadow at 
Gateshead. Besides all this real property he had a valuable stock of 
goods in his warehouses, ranging from Spanish iron at ;^io 6s. 8d., 
and amyshe iron at J[,^ 8s. 6d. a ton, to pins at los. a gross, and 
needles at is. 2d. a clout; from hops at 21s. 8d. the cwt., and soap 
at 48s. a barrel, to thread at 2s. the lb., and saffron at is. 6d. an 
ounce. When he was buried his grateful family placed upon his 
tombstone, in St. Nicholas' Church, this pious aspiration : — 

"Thomas Liddell, Merchant Adventurer, died, 8 May, 1577; 
Whose soul in God we trust went straight to Heaven." 

Thomas Liddell (2), eldest son of Thomas Liddell (i), inheriting 
his father's enterprising spirit, was even more successful in winning 
his way to wealth and influence. He belonged to the corn trade 
division of the Merchants' Company, but finding that fortunes were 
being made in the coal trade, he took up his . freedom of the Host- 
men's Company, erected staiths near the Close Gate, and carried on 
large speculations in coal and corn at the same time. While he was 
Mayor of Newcastle in 1597-98, the great dispute about the grand 
lease of Gateshead and Whickham culminated in appeals to the 
Privy Council, and before it ended he, being one of the grand 
lessees, was pretty roughly handled. But like other well-abused 


public men, he survived the ordeal of criticism, and when Queen 
Elizabeth settled the quarrel in 1600 by a grant of the "Great 
Charter," he was one of the aldermen, and one of the fraternity of 
Hostmen, whose position the charter defined and ratified. Not long 
afterwards he acquired the estate with whose name the family of 
Liddell has, ever since, been identified. He purchased, in 1607, 
from Sir William Gascoigne, the castle and manor of Ravenshelme, 
the manor of Lamesley, and lands at Eighton, Longacres, Northend, 
Ravensworth, and Pockerley. Two years later he was elected for 
the second time Mayor of Newcastle, and his eldest son being, at 
the same time, appointed Sheriff, the unusual spectacle was exhibited 
of father and son — both Thomas Liddells — filling the two highest 
offices in the municipality. He died in August, 1619, leaving by 
two marriages, first to IMargaret, daughter of Alderman John Watson, 
and secondly to Jane, daughter of Alderman Henry Mitford, a 
numerous family. 

Sir Thomas Liddell, whose name usually appears in local history 
with the adjunct — "one of the gallant defenders of Newcastle 
against the Scots," was the eldest son of Thomas Liddell (2) by his 
first wife, Margaret Watson. He was baptised at St. Nicholas' 
Church, Newcastle, April 14th, 1578, and married at St. John's on 
the 23rd February, 1595-96, to Isabel, daughter of Henry Anderson, 
of HaswelL Upon the death of his father he inherited the fine 
estate purchased from the Gascoignes, and in the old castle of 
Ravenshelme he went to reside. So, at least, is to be inferred 
from a Newcastle subsidy roll, dated 162 1, in which his name, as 
owner of property or goods in the town, does not appear. He had 
been Sheriff during his father's Mayoralty as already mentioned, but 
for some reason or other he did not take the higher office for many 
years afterwards. It was not until Michaelmas, 1625, a few months 
after Charles I. had succeeded to the throne, that he became Mayor 
of Newcastle. The year which he had chosen for his Mayoralty 
proved to be in every way unfavourable. Plague came round again, 
suspending nearly every kind of business except that of religious 
persecution — for neither pestilence nor tempest interfered with the 
progress of bigotry and intolerance. The Mayor found that, even 
amidst the horrors of this deadly visitation, he was expected to keep 
a watchful eye upon recusants, seminary priests, and emissaries 
from France and Rome. And not upon them alone. He was 
to act the spy upon his Catholic friends and neighbours, and 


report their doings to the bishop, to the Privy Council, or to the 

This work was distasteful to him, and he refused to do it. He 
was willing to arrest, examine, and detain foreign smugglers of relics 
and papistical literature, and he did so; but to watch his neighbours 
he declined. When, soon after his election, a suggestion came from 
Bishop Neile that Sir Robert Hodgson, of Hebburn, and Mrs. Dorothy 
Lawson, of St. Anthony's, were dangerous persons and must be 
watched, he sent back to the bishop's seneschal this spirited reply : — 

"Sir, — I received your letter dated yesterday [Nov. 19, 1625], 
whereby I understand my Lord of Durham desires to be satisfied 
concerning the danger of Sir Robert Hogson's and Mrs. Lawson's 
houses, and of the intercourse with each other by boats over the 
river; these are to inform his Lo'pp that I, and the Aldermen my 
brethren, hearing of such reports, made enquiry, and could finde noe 
matter thereof but idle reports, other than their keeping of boats for 
crossing the river, etc. — Yor. loving brother. "Tho. Lyddell." 

Mr. Liddell's second Mayoralty, in 1636-37, was equally unpro- 
pitious to his dignity and comfort. At the date of his election a 
visitation of the plague of unusual virulence was raging in Newcastle; 
people were dying at the rate of from four hundred to five hundred 
a week; grass was growing in the deserted streets. Politically, the 
horizon was deeply overcast, for the king was governing without a 
Parliament, and while an unauthorised assessment of ship-money was 
creating an uproar in England, liturgical innovations across the 
Border were driving the Scots on the high road to rebellion. Within 
a year of Mr. Liddell's retirement from his second Mayoralty 
he and his brethren were called upon to discuss ways and means 
of fortifying and defending Newcastle against invasion. 

Ardently espousing the Royal cause, Thomas Liddell was sent to 
represent his fellow-citizens in the great assembly of the nation 
during that abortive session of 1640, which from its brevity gained 
the nickname of the Short Parliament. On the 2nd of November, 
1642, King Charles rewarded his fidelity with a baronetcy. When, 
therefore, civil war broke out, and Newcastle was threatened with 
siege and bombardment, he was one of those who made up their 
minds to hold the town for the Crown to the last extremity. His 
name is appended to the letters of defiance which the loyal authori- 
ties sent to Sir William Armyn and the Earl of Leven, before the 


storming began, and there can be little doubt that he was one of the 
five hundred defenders who, when the town was taken, fled to the 
Castle, and made terms for their lives. He was certainly among 
those who, a few days later, were ordered by the House of Commons 
to be sent for as delinquents, and who, being deprived of their seats 
and offices, were afterwards held captive in various parts of London. 
It may be, as Surtees remarks, that Sir Thomas Liddell did not owe 
his imprisonment solely to his loyalty, for " the Committee of both 
Kingdoms did conclude and agree amongst themselves that some of 
the most notorious delinquents and malignants, late coal-owners in 
the town of Newcastle, be wholly excluded from intermeddling with 
any shares or parts of collieries " of which they had already, in the 
opinion of the victorious party, made such ill use. But as Parlia- 
ment might find a difficulty in driving on the trade, they did not 
consider it advantageous " to put out all the said malignants at once, 
but were rather constrained, for the present, to make use of those 
delinquents in working their own collieries, as tenants and servants"; 
so they selected a few only of -the most stubborn and wealthy — viz.. 
Sir Thomas Liddell, Sir John Marley, Sir Thomas Riddell, and 
three others, and kept them in durance for example's sake. 

In the House of Commons Journals, under date February 13th, 
1645-46, is an entry to the effect that "Sir Thomas Lyddale, 
Baronet," being a prisoner in " London House," petitioned for his 
release, and was " referred to the Committee of Goldsmiths' Hall to 
compound for his delinquency." Three months later the terms of 
his acquittal were arranged. On the 3rd of May, 1646, the House 
of Commons passed the following resolution : — " That this House 
doth agree with the Committee of Goldsmiths' Hall; and doth 
accept of the Fine of Four Thousand Pounds for freeing Sir Thomas 
Liddall, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Baronet, from his Delinquency; 
and for the taking off the Sequestration of his Estate : He hath an 
Estate in Lands, for Life, Three hundred Seventy Pounds, Ten 
Shillings per Annum; in Fee a Hundred and Fifty Pounds per 
Annum ; and, for one Life, in a Colliery, Six Hundred Pounds per 
Annum : And that an Ordinance be passed for granting a Pardon 
to him for his Offence, and for Discharge of his Estate, accordingly." 

Sir Thomas Liddell did not live to see the crowning triumph of his 
opponents — the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. He died in the 
spring of 1652, aged 74, the father of fourteen children. Most of 
these, including his son and heir, Sir Thomas Liddell, Knight, pre- 


deceased him, and the titles and estate descended to his grandson, 
Thomas Liddell, who, marrying a daughter of Sir Henry Vane of 
Raby Castle, carried the family name and influence into an utterly 
different political groove — that of the Puritan and the Presbyter. 

Sir ^bomas Xt^^cll, 


The transition of the Liddell interest from the Cavalier to the Puritan 
party is traceable to the influence of Sir Henry Vane the younger. 
Sir Henry, leader of the Independents in the Long Parliament, was 
the brave Northerner, " wisest and greatest of all the Commonwealth 
men," who, when Cromwell, with a file of musketeers, broke up the 
Long Parliament, had the courage to protest against his violence, 
and provoked from the angry dictator the memorable exclamation — 
" Sir Harry Vane ! Sir Harry Vane ! the Lord deliver me from Sir 
Harry Vane ! " While his grandfather lived, the young heir to the 
Liddell baronetcy, respecting the prejudices of the old Cavalier, re- 
frained from any open declaration of the sentiments with which his 
brother-in-law had inspired him. But as soon as he had obtained 
possession of the title and estates, neither he nor his wife concealed 
their sympathies with the leaders of the Commonwealth. They 
attended Presbyterian places of worship, made friends with Ambrose 
Barnes, whose biographer describes Lady Liddell as " the jewel of 
her sex," and exercised generous hospitality towards Puritan friends 
and neighbours. They even interested themselves in the new sect, 
since known as the Baptists, which had sprung up during the Civil 
War, and of which Major Paul Hobson, deputy-governor of New- 
castle, was a reputed founder. In " Records and Letters of the 
Baptist Church at Hexham," published by the Hansard Knollys 
Society, and quoted by Douglas in his " History of the Baptist 
Churches in the North of England," is a complaint from the Baptists 
of Newcastle that Mr. Tillam, Baptist minister at Hexham, had im- 
properly shown to " Mr. Liddle, of Ravensworth," and others, a 
letter respecting Paul Hobson which they had written for private 
perusal only. In these same " Records " is a letter of thanks ad- 
dressed to the baronet and his lady by the grateful Baptists of 
Hexham, for kindness shown to one of their number in a time of 


trouble, an epistle which, as a specimen of the earnest but effusive 
style adopted by sectaries in the time of the Commonwealth, is 
worth reading : — 

'^^ From ye Church of Christy assonhled at Hexham, 

"7th Month, 1654. 
" For the Right Worshipfull Sir Thomas Liddell 
" Worthy Sir, — The many and sweet experiences wch this poore 
despised church hath had of your and your pretious Ladle's favours, 
have solemnly engaged us to honour you, and we looke upon it as 
a duty incumbent upon us, to acquaint you that you have a large 
interest in our hearts, and a choice room in our prayers. It hath 
beene many times as marrow and fatnesse to our spirits when wee 
have heard of yr love wch you beare to ye meanest yt beare any- 
thing of ye image of the Lord Jesus. But, oh ! what consolation 
was it to us, when wee heard of yr bowels and tender affection 
towards our dearly beloved but now, (alas !) sadly afflicted sister 
Elizabeth Heslopp, in this day of her deepe distresse. In our 
greatest sadnesse for our sister, this was even as life from the 
dead to our drooping spirits, to heare of those yearnings of bowels 
wch yr ever to be honoured Lady had concerning her, her many 
thoughts of heart for her, her sympathizing wth her, her care and 
endeavours how to bring her back, and your receiving againe into 
yr house and respects, a poore afflicted member of Jesus Christ. 
This is such an eminent act of yr goodness, yt it hath even over- 
come our hearts, and all our thanks are below it. Only this con- 
fidence wee have in o'r King (whose wee are, and whome wee serve), 
that hee will not suffer yr goodnesse to goe unrewarded. If but a 
single cup of cold water, given to one yt belongs to Christ, hath verily 
a reward, Mar. ix. 41, wee believe, and doe assure ourselves, yt ye 
good things ministered to our sister in the day of o'r Master, his 
appearance, will be found to yr praise and honour. Christ scores up 
yr favrs to her upon his owne account. His answer in that day of 
his returne, Matt. xxv. 40, will be a satisfactory requital. In the 
meantime wee will not cease to make mention of you in our prayers, 
yt God would comfort yr hearts, even in ye like measure as she and 
wee have been consolated in yr loves. That hee would shew mercy 
to you in that hour wherein you shall stand most in need of it. 
That hee would reveal wh'tsoever of his counsell and will are wanting 
in you. That he would water wth ye dews of his grace the sweet 


pledges of yr loves, those olive branches that are planted about yr 
table. That he would recompence yr loves sevenfold into yr bosom 
here, and fitt and prepare you for yt glory wch wee wait for and 
presse after, in waies of his owne apoentment. To his embraces wee 
commend you, and take leave to subscribe ourselves, Your thankfuU 
servants for Xt's sake — Henry Angas, Hugh Heslop," [and six 

Although Sir Thomas Liddell showed a preference for Presby- 
terianism, and cultivated the friendship of leaders in the Common- 
wealth, he took no part in public movements, made no speeches, 
wrote no pamphlets, sought no office. The only position of import- 
ance that he consented to occupy, besides his Commission of the 
Peace, was that of visitor — one of the " constant " visitors — to the 
college which Cromwell was to have founded out of the revenues 
of the See of Durham. So gentle and inoffensive had been his 
behaviour among his Royalist neighbours, that when the Restoration 
of the Monarchy was effected he suffered no inconvenience or 
disturbance. Sir Henry Vane, as we know, was brought to the 
scaffold; Sir Thomas Liddell was not in any way molested. Yet 
he had in nowise changed his views. He sent his son George 
to be educated by Richard Frankland, the ejected minister of 
Bishop Auckland, and down to the last year of his life he 
attended a Presbyterian place of worship. Under whose ministry 
he sat does not appear, but it may be conjectured, with much 
probability, that he worshipped with Dr. Gilpin, at his meeting-house 
outside the Close Gate, Newcastle. 

An interesting account of the advanced views which Sir Thomas 
held in his old age appears in that valuable repertory of facts and 
incidents relating to the religious hfe of the country between 1686 
and 1740 — the "Journal " of Thomas Story, the Quaker missionary. 
Story, a Cumberland conveyancer, who had studied law under Dr. 
Gilpin's son, " Counsellor Gilpin " (afterwards Recorder of Carlisle), 
had been in Newcastle at an early period of his career, and, mingling 
among Puritans, although a Churchman himself, had attracted the 
kindly attention of the tolerant baronet, who entertained him at 
Ravensworth Castle. After his conversion to Quakerism, and at 
the outset of his wide wanderings as a missionary, he came to 
Newcastle again. One of his visits occurred on the 12th October, 
1796, when, having attended a meeting of Friends, he went over 
to Ravensworth, and had a long talk with Sir Thomas on religious 


matters. The details of their interview Story set down at great 
length in his "Journal," which, by the way, was published in 
Newcastle, " by Isaac Thompson & Company, at the New Print- 
ing Office on the Side," in 1747. 

" Sir Thomas Liddel, of Ravensivorth Castle, Baronet, having 
taken notice of me, on some Account, at his House, before I 
frequented the Meetings of Friends; and hearing of my present 
Profession, and being a Person of great Civility and Candour, he 
had desired John Fayrer, a Friend of Newcastle, to invite me to 
Ravensworth, to dine with him, when at any Time I might happen 
to come that Way; which the Friend informing me of, I went 
accordingly, accompanied by him and another; and we were kindly 
and respectfully received and entertained by Sir Thomas and his 
Son, with whom we had much Conversation, in a very friendly 
Manner, till near Night: And, among other Things he told us He 
had a great Respect for us as a People, and liked our Way, being 
sensible of that Principle of divine Light and Truth we profess'd; 
but he commonly went to the Presbyterian Meeting : And then he 
asked me. Whether a Man might not serve and worship God in 
his Mind, among any sort of People, tho' he might differ from them 
in his Sentiments in some Points, and, in his secret Judgment, like 
the Way of some other People better ? 

" Thus, perceiving he was convinced of the Way of Truth in his 
Understanding, and that he stumbled at the Cross, and the Mean- 
ness of the Appearance of Friends, I answered, * That the Lord 
Jesus Christ said, JVhosoever shall deny me before Men, him also 
will I deny before my Father and the holy Angels : And the Apostle 
also saith ' — [A long dissertation follows]. 

"They heard me with Patience; but what I said gave no Coun- 
tenance to the Way in which this great and rich Man had chosen to 
conceal himself, and his real Sentiments, from the World: But I 
found it to be my Place and Duty to be plain with him, according 
to all that was presented in my Mind on that Occasion, that I might 
keep my own Peace, which remained in me. He told me he had 
read some of William Fenn's Works, and would willingly ride a 
Hundred Miles to see him : And had likewise read some of George 
Keith's Books; and said, the former wrote in a free, open, natural, 
and flowing Stile, and gave him great Satisfaction; but the Books of 
the latter were more laboured and artificial, and never afforded him 
any Relish of Sweetness, tho' the Matter was, in itself, true, and his 


Reasoning often strong; But as he was fallen away from his Prin- 
ciples, he was not to be regarded, tho' the Truths he had writ, would 
remain in their own Weight, whatever became of the Author. 

"And in the Evening, when we inclined to return to Newcastle, 
he took his Horse, and accompanied us till we came near the Town, 
and we parted in free and open Friendship." 

Sir Thomas Liddell died in November, 1697, and was buried on 
the 23rd of that month, at Lamesley, by the side of his wife, who 
had been interred there on the 28th of January, 1686-87. He was 
succeeded in the title and estates by his eldest son. Sir Henry 
Liddell, third baronet. 

Sir 1benr^ Xlbbell, 


Sir Henry Liddell did not follow his father's example in avoiding 
public life. On the contrary, he aimed at a Parliamentary career, 
and was successful in obtaining it. In December, 1688, he was 
elected with George Morland, son of a local alderman, to represent 
the city of Durham in the second Parliament of King James IL 
This Parliament, as is well known, never met ; for before the 
elections were completed the king had fled, and the government 
of the country was in a state of chaos. But the following month, 
January, 1689-90, when the Convention Parliament was elected, 
both the Durham members were re-appointed; though not without 
a struggle, for William Tempest, an old member for the city, and 
a Jacobite, contested the seat, and polled 278 votes against 599 
recorded for Morland and 407 given to Liddell. At the next elec- 
tion for Durham (March 3rd, 1689-90), the house of Liddell was not 
represented; Tempest and Morland were returned unopposed. This 
Parliament passed the Triennial Act, and at the first election follow- 
ing (October, 1695), the Durham city electors made preparations 
for a contest. Quaint old Jacob Bee enters the result in his diary 
as — " An election, supposed to be one of the day above [October 30, 
1695], betwixt Montagu [nephew of Bishop Crewe], Liddell, and 
Blackston, but Blackston decHned it, and stood noe poll; Liddell 
and Montagu chosen." 

At the next election, in July, 1698, Sir Henry Liddell contested 


the city of Durham again, and was defeated. Thenceforward he 
turned his eyes across the water, to the old liome of his ancestors, 
and the burgesses of Newcastle received him with open arms. Three 
successive times, without opposition it would appear, he and William 
Carr were sent to represent at Westminster the Northern metropolis. 
At his fourth essay, he was defeated by Sir William Blackett, but 
upon the death of Sir William, in December, 1705, he resumed his 
place, kept it at another election in 1708, and in 17 10 finally 
retired from Parliament. He died in London, and was buried at 
Kensington, September 3rd, 1723. 

Sir Henry Liddell married Catherine, daughter and heir of Sir 
John Bright, of Badsworth, Yorkshire, by whom he had five sons 
and one daughter. His heir, Thomas Liddell, " the deaf and dumb 
squire," as he was called, took to wife Jane, daughter of James 
Clavering, of Greencroft, and died in his father's lifetime; another 
son, George Liddell, purchased the Northumberland estate of Esling- 
ton, forfeited by the attainder of George Collingwood in 1715, and 
sat in Parliament from 1727 to 1740, as one of the members for 
Berwick; while his daughter, Elizabeth, married Robert Ellison, of 
Hebburn, grandson and namesake of Robert Ellison, M.P. for 
Newcastle in the Long Parliament. The title and family property 
descended, at Sir Henry's decease, to the eldest son of the deaf and 
dumb squire — Sir Henry Liddell, fourth baronet, M.P. for Morpeth, 
1734-47, and first Baron Ravensworth. 

The influence of the old Puritan baronet lingered long in the 
Liddell family. Douglas (before quoted) tells a story of the toler- 
ance shown by Sir Henry Liddell to his gardener, Michael Wharton, 
who in 1 710 was called by a Baptist congregation at Bitchburn to 
preach to them, and died, in 1746, minister of the united congre- 
gations of Rowley and Hamsterley. And Mr. Longstaffe, in a note 
to the " Life of Ambrose Barnes," points out the fact that among 
the subscribers to a volume'of sermons by the Rev. Robert Hood, 
D.D., minister of the old Nonconformist chapel in Hanover Square, 
Newcastle, published in 1782, were the first Baron Ravensworth and 
his lady — " Right Honourable Lord Ravensworth, 6 copies. Right 
Honourable Lady Ravensworth, 6 copies." 


Ibcnr^, Baron IRavenawortb, 


Sir Henry Liddell, the fourth baronet, succeeding to the title and 
estates on the death of his grandfather, in 1723, became involved in 
a dispute with the Corporation of Newcastle. Unable to settle the 
matter amicably, the municipal authorities went to law, and lost. 
They were very sore about the business, and out of their ill-temper 
arose a curious incident, which Brand, quoting from "Gyll's inter- 
leaved Bourne," narrates as follows: — 

"In 1729, the town had a trial at the [August] Assizes with Sir 
Henry Liddel about paying of tolls, wherein a verdict was given in 
favour of Sir Henry. It was then customary for the judges to go in 
the town's barge, attended by the Mayor and others of the Corpora- 
tion, to Tinmouth; and in their return, Mr. Justice Page, who tried 
the cause, had some hot words with Mr. Reay [Henry Reay, the 
mayor], relating to the trial, and thereupon the judge threatened to 
commit the mayor; and the mayor told the judge he would commit 
him, being then upon the water, and in his jurisdiction. This 
squabble was the occasion of discontinuing [for some time] the 
custom of going to Tinmouth." 

At the general election in April, 1734, Sir Henry was elected 
M.P. for Morpeth, and the following year married Anne, daughter 
and heir of Sir Peter Delme, Lord Mayor of London — a lady possess- 
ing the substantial dowry of ;^67,ooo. He was returned for Morpeth 
a second time at the election in May, 1741, and sat till the dissolu- 
tion in June, 1747, when he was raised to the peerage by the title of 
Baron Ravensworth, of Ravensworth Castle, in the County Palatine 
of Durham. 

During his thirteen years' membership of the Lower House the 
new peer had taken no prominent part in the debates. But he had 
been a good attender, and had shown himself a useful member of 
committees, in which, at that time, even more than now perhaps, the 
real business of Parliament was conducted. These services were 
recognised, when, in 1742, the House ordered a secret committee of 
twenty-one persons to be appointed by ballot for the purpose of 
inquiring into the conduct of Walpole, Earl of Orford, during the 


latter half of his twenty years' administration. Sir Henry Liddell was 
one of the chosen, and would no doubt have justified the trust 
reposed in him, had not the House of Lords, by refusing to in- 
demnify witnesses, caused the collapse of the proceedings. 

After his elevation to the peerage, the first Baron Ravensworth 
maintained a keen and active interest in public affairs. It was 
through his intervention that, in 1753, Christopher Fawcett, 
Recorder of Newcastle, was accused of Jacobitism, as narrated in 
our second volume. Throughout his career he was a warm adherent 
of the Hanoverian dynasty, a foe to jobbery and corruption, the 
steady friend of political honesty and religious tolerance, and an 
earnest advocate of progress in agriculture, and protection to the 
coal trade. A kindly reference to his lordship's advocacy of generous 
treatment in the cultivation of the soil occurs in the "Autobiography " 
of Thomas Bewick. Bewick, recommending landowners to improve 
and fertilise their land, and, instead of squandering their money in 
follies abroad, to spend it, as far as possible, at home, adds — "The 
late good and wise first Lord Ravensworth used to say there was 
nothing grateful but the earth. ' You cannot,' said he, ' do too 
much for it ; it will continue to pay tenfold the pains and labour 
bestowed upon it.' " 

" An Elegy to the Memory of the Right Honourable the Lord 
Ravensworth who died January 30th, 1784, aged 76," is the title of 
a poem written above the initials " T, R." in Bell's " Rhymes of 
Northern Bards." The poet sings the praises of the departed in 
glowing numbers: — 

" LIDDELL, farewell ! to all true Britons dear, 
We mourn in heart and shed the friendly tear : 
Yet not for thee our eyes in tears we steep, 
Our grief is selfish — for ourselves we weep. 

O Ravensworth ! thy hospitable door 
Receiv'd the wealthy, and reliev'd the poor. 
Adorn'd with ev'ry virtue, ev'ry grace 
Which nature e'er bestow'd on human race. 

Speak ye, who knew him best, what man can say 
That Liddell could the distant friend betray ! 
To friendship true, no scandal from his tongue, 
To hurt a friend, or do his foe a wrong. 
For truth he try'd, enquir'd and careful sought, 
Yet loved the man altho' he diflerent thought." 
VOL. in. 4 


It was while this popular nobleman stood at the head of his race, 
that the old castle of Newcastle passed into, and out of, the possession 
of the Liddell family. A lease of the building to the Corporation, 
about which there had been much quarrelling and litigation, ran 
out in 1732, and as the municipal authorities had permitted great 
dilapidation and decay to occur, the Government refused to renew 
it. Colonel George Liddell, of Hebburn, uncle of the peer, petitioned 
for a grant of the place, and in 1736, on payment of;^i5o fine, it 
was leased to him for fifty years, at the old rental of 100 chaldrons 
of coals per annum for Chelsea Hospital. When Colonel George 
died, in 1777, a lease of the reversion for forty and a half years, at 
the same rent, was granted to Lord Ravensworth in trust for himself 
and others named in his uncle's will, and in 1780 the lease was sold 
by his lordship for ^^2,625 to John Chrichloe Turner, one of the 
Receivers of Greenwich Hospital. 

Lord Ravensworth left an only child, a daughter, who married 
first the third Duke of Grafton, and secondly the last Earl of Ossory. 
Thus, through failure of male issue, the peerage became extinct, and 
the baronetcy, with the estates of Ravensworth and Eslington, de- 
volved upon his lordship's nephew, Henry George Liddell — a man 
of high reputation, possessing a warm and generous, though some- 
what romantic disposition. He was the Sir Henry George Liddell 
who made that remarkable excursion to Lapland, bringing back with 
him two native girls, and a collection of live reindeer for Ravensworth 
Park, which forms an oft-quoted episode in local history. When he 
died, November 26th, 1791, he was succeeded by his son. Sir 
Thomas Henry Liddell. 

^bomae 1bcnr^, Baron IRavcnsworth, 


Sir Thomas Henry Liddell, eighth baronet, and afterwards the 
second Lord Ravensworth, was born on the 8th of February, 1775, 
and married, in his twenty-first year, Maria Susannah, daughter of 
John Simpson, of Newcastle and Bradley, by his marriage with Ann, 
daughter of Thomas, Earl of Strathmore. The early aspirations 
of the young baronet pointed to a Parliamentary career, and in 
November, 1806, he successfully wooed the electors of the county of 


Durham, and was returned to represent them in the House of 
Commons. A few months of legislative experience satisfied his 
ambition, and at the general election in May, 1807, he declined to 
renew his candidature. Thenceforward he devoted himself to the 
improvement of his estates, and the development of the great 
Northern coal-field. 

Chief among the improvements which Sir Thomas Henry Liddell 
introduced upon his extensive property was the reconstruction of his 
ancestral home at Ravensworth. If Buck's view may be trusted, 
the old home of the Liddells in the middle of last century was a 
poor, ill-arranged, and, therefore, inconvenient residence. Upon its 
site, from designs by Nash, working-in the two principal towers of 
the old edifice. Sir Thomas Henry erected the stately pile which the 
last three generations of Tynesiders have known as Ravensworth 

A man of gallant bearing and courtly manners, the eighth baronet 
of the house of Liddell was a favourite, though, it may be hoped, not 
a companion, of the Prince Regent. Soon after the Prince ascended 
the throne, as George IV., in July, 1821, he bestowed upon his 
friend a peerage — reviving in his favour the lapsed title of Baron 
Ravensworth of Ravensworth. 

Although a courtier, the new Lord Ravensworth was an excellent 
man of business. Believing that only by combination could the coal 
trade hope to be prosperous, he had joined, at an early period of his 
career, the combination known as the " Grand Allies." The noble- 
men and gentlemen who formed this alliance regulated the vend of 
their collieries, bought up wayleaves on both sides of the Tyne, so 
that new collieries might not be opened out to compete with them, 
and in this way gained thorough control of the London coal market. 
The " Grand Allies " had been in existence many years (there are 
complaints of them as far back as 1750), but soon after Lord Ravens- 
worth became their acknowledged leader, they attained the height of 
their power and influence. His lordship's colleagues in this alliance 
were the Lords Strathmore and Wharncliffe, and a few others. 

As the head of the " Grand Allies," Lord Ravensworth had the 
good fortune to discover the engineering abilities of Nicholas Wood 
and the budding genius of George Stephenson, and, having dis- 
covered them, had the good sense to encourage and develop both, 
to his own and the public advantage. In Smiles's " Life of George 
Stephenson," the story is told how, during the earliest infancy of 


steam locomotion, the Killingworth enginewright, having seen the 
experiments at Wylam and Coxlodge with a " traveUing engine," 
brought the subject under the notice of his employers. " Lord 
Ravensworth," he writes, " had already formed a very favourable 
opinion of Stephenson from the important improvements which he 
had efiected in the colliery engines, both above and below ground; 
and, after considering the matter, and hearing Stephenson's state- 
ments, authorised him to proceed with the construction of a loco- 
motive, though his lordship was by some called a fool for advancing 
money for such a purpose." " The first locomotive that I made," 
said Stephenson many years after, " was at Killingworth Colliery, 
and with Lord Ravensworth's money. Yes ! Lord Ravensworth 
and partners were the first to entrust me with money to make a loco- 
motive engine. That engine was made, and we called it ' My Lord.' 
I said to my friends that there was no Umit to the speed of such an 
engine, provided the works could be made to stand." 

By his marriage with Miss Simpson, Lord Ravensworth had a 
family of seven sons and seven daughters. His eldest son, Sir 
Henry Thomas, became the first Earl of Ravensworth. His fifth 
son, the Hon. and Rev. Robert Liddell, M.A., of All Souls' College, 
Oxford, was vicar of St. Paul's, Knightsbridge; the sixth, the Hon. 
George Augustus Frederick, a colonel in the army, held numerous 
posts of honour about the Court; while the seventh son, Sir 
Adolphus Frederick Octavius, K.C.B., was a well-known Q.C. on 
the Northern Circuit, and afterwards Permanent Under-Secretary 
of the Home Department. Of the daughters, five married into noble 
and illustrious houses, and were respectively known in after years 
as the Marchioness of Normanby, the Countess of Hardwicke, 
Viscountess Harrington, Lady Bloomfield, and Lady Williamson. 

Lord Ravensworth was a liberal patron of the arts, a free-handed 
dispenser of charity, and a bounteous entertainer. The elections of 
1826, in which his eldest son, the late earl, stood the brunt of two 
unparalleled contests, must have taxed his resources, for the cost of 
them, extending as they practically did over the whole of the first 
six months of the year, was enormous. But the lavish expenditure 
involved in the struggle did not restrict Lord Ravensworth's benevo- 
lence, nor weaken the courtly and refined hospitality which, with sons 
and daughters growing to maturity around him, he was accustomed to 
exercise. The columns of the local press, half a century ago, abound 
with notices of the brilliant gatherings which assembled at one or 


other of his lordship's stately houses. Thus we read how, on the 
26th of August, 1838, at the close of the "wise week" in Newcastle, 
Lord and Lady Ravensworth entertained, at the castle, " upwards of 
five hundred distinguished individuals, including all the nobility and 
gentry of the district, the learned foreigners, and other eminent 
members of the British Association." Then in June, 1840, they are 
reported as receiving at a fete chafnpetre in the grounds of their 
villa, Percy's Cross, Fulham, " Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, Prince 
Albert, and about eight hundred of the nobility." Again, in Septem- 
ber, 1842, a glowing account is given of the reception of the Duke of 
Cambridge at Ravensworth ; how his lordship brought his royal guest 
to Newcastle, showed him all the sights of the town, including the 
Exhibition of the North of England Fine Arts Society, and piloted 
him through the tedium of receiving addresses from the Corporations 
of Newcastle and Gateshead. Lastly, and most interesting of all, we 
read that in October of the same year, his lordship gave a brilliant 
entertainment in honour of the coming of age of his grandson, the 
present Earl of Ravensworth. The Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess 
of Gloucester, Archduke Frederick Ferdinand of Austria, and the 
heads of most of the great families of Northumberland and Durham 
were present at the festivities, which began with a concert of sacred 
music (Lady Williamson singing the solos, and Dr. Ions presiding at 
the organ), and concluded with a magnificent banquet and ball. 

Lady Ravensworth died on the 22nd November, 1845, and was 
buried at Lamesley, in which village a group of almhouses, erected 
and endowed at her expense in 1836, preserve her memory. His 
lordship lived to the good old age of eighty years, and, dying on the 
7th of March, 1855, was buried beside her. A beautiful mural monu- 
ment, in Lamesley Church, designed by their son and successor, the 
late Earl of Ravensworth, marks their resting-place. 

Ibenr^ ^bomas, i£arl 1Ravcn6wortb, 


Henry Thomas Liddell, third Baron and first Earl of Ravensworth, 
was born on the loth of March, 1797. At Eton, which enjoyed the 
reputation of being the best abused school in the kingdom, and the 


credit of turning out many of the finest men of the century, he 
received his prehminary training. From Eton he proceeded to St. 
John's College, Cambridge, and there completed his academical 
studies. Then, having made the grand tour, and seen as much of 
the world as a run through the principal cities of Europe afforded, 
he returned to Ravensworth, married, in 1S20, Isabella Horatia, eldest 
daughter of Lord George Seymour, of the Hertford family, and awaited 
an opportunity of utilising his position and talents in the service of 
the public. Son of a Court favourite, heir to the wide-spreading 
estates of the Liddells and the Simpsons, highly educated, and possess- 
ing great natural gifts, every avenue that leads to fame and honour 
was open to him. He chose the thorny path of politics, and, armed 
with accurate and solid learning, definite political views, and con- 
siderable independence of character, at the beginning of 1826, when 
approaching the twenty-ninth year of his age, he set out upon his 
toilsome journey. 

In the biographies of T. W. Beaumont and Matthew Bell the 
struggle and the strife of the Northumberland elections in 1826 have 
been sufiiciently described. It is only necessary here to state that 
upon the death of Mr. Charles John Brandling, on the ist of February' 
in that year. Lord Ravensworth, then the Hon. Henry Thomas 
Liddell, who belonged to the Canning section of the Tory party, 
and Viscount Howick, representing the Whigs, entered the field 
together. Mr. Liddell issued his address from Eslington House on 
the 2nd February, and Lord Howick dated his at Alnwick the same 
day. A few days afterwards Lord Howick retired, promising to fight 
the battles of his party at the general election in the summer, and 
Matthew Bell, a follower of the Liverpool division of the Tory party, 
stepped into the arena. The contest was, therefore, limited to two 
candidates of the same political colour. The struggle was fierce, 
and close, and bitter. Mr. Liddell was stigmatised as an intruder 
from Durham, a peer's son, a bookish man, who did not mix with 
the county squires and share their conviviality. The Whig leaders 
threw their influence into the scale against him. From beginning to 
end he fought an uphill battle. True, he secured at the nomination 
the show of hands, but at the close of the first day's poll he was 
thirty-one votes behind his opponent. Then ensued a neck and neck 
race. At the end of the fifth day Mr. Liddell was five votes to the 
good; the sixth day placed him one vote in the rear; the seventh 
day he was eight votes ahead, and so on, till, on the thirteenth day, 


when only five voters altogether came to the poll, he retired from the 
struggle beaten by thirty-six votes. 

So close had been the contest that the homeward journey of the 
rejected candidate more nearly resembled a triumph than a defeat. 
When he finally left the polling station at Alnwick thousands of 
persons accompanied him, his horses were unyoked, and he was 
drawn to the borough boundary amid joyous acclamations. At 
Morpeth a similar scene was enacted, while in Newcastle the 
enthusiasm of his admirers knew no limit. They met him on the 
Town Moor, and not only drew his carriage to his headquarters, the 
Queen's Head Inn, but all the way to Farnacres. In one of his 
speeches during this triumphal march, Mr. Liddell foreshadowed 
his course at the general election which every one knew was 
impending: — 

"I am one of a large family; I must think of objects near and 
dear to me; I cannot be a further burden to an affectionate and 
beloved father and mother. But I have promised, and if the public 
voice, which never speaks in vain, should call upon me, and if I ob- 
tain the sanction of my family and of my friends, and circumstances 
" warrant the attempt, I pledge myself again to come forward, again 
to stand the contest, not again, I trust, to suffer defeat." 

The pubhc voice did call — called loudly. The poll for the 
by-election closed on the yth of March, and three days later a 
meeting of freeholders at North Shields not only passed a series 
of resolutions, but canvassed the town, in Mr. Liddell's favour. 
The next few days produced similar meetings in Newcastle and 
Alnwick, Hexham and Corbridge, Gateshead and South Shields, 
Belford and Wooler. By the 13th Mr. Liddell had announced 
his acceptance of the call; the next day he went down to Shields 
and opened the campaign. Meanwhile his rivals had not been 
inactive. The old member, T. W. Beaumont, the new member, 
Matthew Bell, and the retired February candidate. Viscount Howick, 
were in the field. Thus, in the space of one week from the declara- 
tion of the poll at Alnwick, the longest, most obstinate, and most 
exciting electoral contest of the century had begun. 

The style in which Mr. Liddell was received by his friends and 
supporters is illustrated in a report of his journey to Shields at the 
date above mentioned: — 

" By two o'clock an immense concourse of persons assembled near 
Byker Hill, accompanied by several societies of seamen, shipwrights, 



etc., of North Shields, Howdon, etc., with their respective banners. 
Having met Mr. Liddell and his party, consisting of his lady, the 
Hon. Miss Liddell, the Hon. T. Liddell, and the Rev. Mr. and Mrs. 
Liddell, the horses were unyoked from the carriages, ropes fastened 
to them, and they were drawn forward by the assembled numbers. 
The cavalcade proceeded in the following order — a large body of 
gentlemen on horseback ; the Good Design Association of Seamen, 
four abreast, with their banners ; a band of music ; then followed 
three flags — the first a large white one, with a red border [Mr. 
Liddell's colours], displaying the words ' Liddell, the I^Lin of the 

People,' the second bearing the arms of Ravensworth, motto ' Unus 
et Idem,' and the third bearing a Raven flying away with a wreath 
of Roses; then followed the carriages, the rear of which was closed 
by a number of horsemen and others displaying banners. All along 
the line of road Mr. Liddell was repeatedly cheered, and with the 
exception of very few, there was not a window or a chimney-top but 
displayed red and white flags. At Chirton Bar a very considerable 
number of gentlemen freeholders and others awaited his arrival, by 
whom he was cheered in the most cordial manner, and who joined 
the cavalcade and proceeded to North Shields. On entering the 
town amidst the ringing of bells and firing of guns, the most dis- 


tinguished honour was shown him by the assembled concourse in 
the streets, windows, and on the housetops, which were crowded 
to excess with an assemblage of beauty and fashion, wearing Mr. 
Liddell's favours." 

The enthusiasm in favour of Mr. Liddell was so great throughout 
the county that Mr. Beaumont published a protest against it, express- 
ing regret that in their anxiety to assist one whom they considered 
to be injured, the freeholders should be led into a sort of injustice 
towards the remaining candidates. The alleged injury was Mr. 
Bell's entering into the February contest ten days after Mr. Liddell 
had announced his candidature, thereby involving the county in the 
heat and turmoil of a close fought election for the sake of a seat in 
Parliament that could be held at the most for a few months only. 
This grievance was worked up with telling effect; Mr. Liddell was 
the popular candidate from the outset, and he maintained his 
position to the end. As one of his admirers expressed it in senti- 
mental verse — 

" Our strife is who shall love hini most, 

Who most behold, and near him tarry; 
Our greatest pride, our country's boast 

Is gallant, noble, matchless Harry." 

While another, less mellifluous, but more heroic, bade his fellows — 

"Strike, strike, Northumbria's harp again ! 
Exhaustless still the glorious strain 

Great Liddell's worth inspires ; 
His honest heart, his judgment clear, 
His eloquence to thousands dear 

Each patriot's bosom fires." 

Thus, through the scorching days of the hottest summer on record, 
the strife went on, till after a fifteen days' poll (from June 20th to 
July 6th) the great election of 1826 came to an end, and the Hon. 
H. T. Liddell, who headed the lists the first day, and kept his 
position to tlie close, was triumphantly returned. The figures were 
declared to be, for 

The Hon. H. T. Liddell ... ... 1,562 

Matthew Bell, Esq. ... ... ... 1,380 

T. W. Beaumont, Esq. ... ... 1,335 

Viscount Howick (retired) ... ... 977 

The expense of these two contests must have been enormous. 
Small wonder that, four years later, when William IV. came to the 


throne, Air. Liddell withdrew and allowed Mr. Bell and Mr. Beau- 
mont to walk over the course. Indeed it was not until 1837, upon 
the accession of her present Majesty, that he ventured again into the 
arena of political conflict. Upon that occasion he contested North 
Durham and won. At the next election, in 1841, he was returned 
for the same constituency unopposed; in 1847 he retired without a 
contest; in 1852 he was beaten at South Shields by Mr. Robert 
Ingham; and in 1853 he was returned for Liverpool, which 
borough he continued to represent till his father's death, in March, 
1855, called him to the House of Lords. Soon afterwards (August 
5th, 1856) he lost his partner in life, the mother of four sons and 
seven daughters, all of whom, at the date of her decease, were living. 
Released from the responsibilities of political life in the House of 
Commons, Lord Ravensworth found more time to cultivate the gifts 
with which Nature had endowed him. His lordship was a man of 
many and widely varied parts. An excellent classical scholar, he 
could use with great effect both brush and pencil; a poet of no 
mean order, he was equally at home in Natural History or Roman 
Antiquities; a fluent and effective orator, he wielded, at the same 
time, the pen of a ready and graceful writer. So early as 1833 he 
had ventured into print with a small volume of poetry, entitled, 

"The Wizard of the North; The Vampire Bride, and other Poems." 8vo. 

And shortly after his accession to the peerage he published, with a 
dedication in Latin verse to the Prince of Wales, a handsome book 
of 500 pages, royal octavo — 

" The Odes of Horace, in Four Books; Translated into English Lyric Verse." 
London : 1858. 

In 1865 his lordship issued a volume of songs in Latin, being 
partly original and partly English rhymes turned into Latin metre 
(an exercise in which he was an adept, and one in which his son and 
successor, the present Earl Ravensworth, is said to excel), entitled, 

" Carmina Latina, partim nova, partam e lingua Britannica expressa." 

These were followed, in 1872, by a translation of five books (7 to 12) 
of the /Eneid of Virgil, in continuation of a version (books i to 6) 
begun by Mr. G. K. Rickards; and lastly, in 1877, by a book of 
" Minor Poems in English Verse." 

To the " Proceedings " of the Natural History Society of North- 


umberland and Durham, and the Tyneside Naturalists' Field Club, 
his lordship contributed papers on the following subjects : — 

"Some Notice of the Falco Apivorus, or Honey Buzzard, shot in Thruston 
Woods, Whittingham." 1829. 

" Observations on the Young of Salmon, and Some Remarks on the Migration 
of Eels." 1833. 

" On Certain Changes in the Plumage of the Pheasant." 1861. 

"Notice of some Rare Birds seen recently — the Roller, Spotted Woodpecker, 
Pintail Duck, Shoveller, and Gannet." 1868. 

" On the Capercailzie." 1876. 

" Note on the Bar-tailed Pheasant (Phasianus Reevesii, Gray)." 1877. 

Before the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries, over whose meetings, 
first as vice-president, and afterwards as president, he frequently 
presided, his lordship read papers as follows : — 

" On Two Curious Inscriptions in Chillingham Castle [The Toad Tablet, and 
the Egg Tablet], with Translations, Notes, and Explanations." 1858. 
" Some Notice of the Corbridge Lanx." 1862. 
" Additional Note on Corbridge Lanx." 1869. 
" Military Roads of the Romans and Incas." 1869. 

Lord Ravensworth's felicitous power of expression, and the rich 
garniture of classical imagery with which he studded his public 
addresses, were the delight of cultivated audiences. Rarely, during 
his later life, did a great public function occur in the North of 
England at which his lordship was not a welcome president, 
celebrant, or guest. 

On the 2nd of April, 1874, when he had entered his seventy-eighth 
year, his lordship was advanced a step in the peerage, being created 
Earl of Ravensworth and Baron Eslington. He died on the 19th of 
March, 1878, having enjoyed his added honours barely four years, 
and was buried among his ancestors at Lamesley. 

ITbornaa Carr Xietcb, 


Within a mile of the rural dwelling from which, in the days of 
Cromwell, Ralph Gardiner launched his ineffective shafts against the 
mismanagement of the River Tyne by the Corporation of Newcastle, 
there arose, a hundred and fifty years later, in the person of Thomas 


Carr Lietch, a river reformer of an altogether different type and 
calibre. That which the old Commonwealth agitator, with his rough 
rhetoric and fiery invective, essayed in vain, the modern reformer, 
learned in the law and courteous in his bearing, successfully accom- 
plished. Under his skilful guidance the Tyne, emancipated from 
the influences which hampered its development, was placed under 
enlightened control, to become, in due time, one of the greatest 
commercial waterways in the kingdom. 

Thomas Carr Lietch was the third son of the Rev. William Lietch, 
a licentiate of the Church of Scotland, who, in the early part of the 
present century, established himself as a schoolmaster in the rising 
town of North Shields. Some years before his arrival, a well-known 
tradesman and banker in that town — George Wakefield, of the firm 
of Horner & Wakefield, drapers — had erected, upon a plot of ground 
facing what is now called Northumberland Square, a house, to which 
he gave the family name of "Wakefield Hall." After ]\Ir. Wake- 
field's death, which occurred in July, 1806, the hall was pulled 
down, and the stones of which it was composed were utilised in the 
frontages of the substantial houses that, ever since, have formed the 
north side of the square. It was in the rear premises of Wakefield 
Hall, abutting on Albion Street, and facing the parish church, that 
the Rev. William Lietch opened his academy, and there, on the 24th 
of May, 1 81 5, his son Thomas was born. 

Lietch, the elder, had the reputation of being an accomplished 
and successful teacher, possessing the happy art of discovering and 
developing latent talent, and of bringing out the best qualities of the 
lads entrusted to his care. Specially gifted with a knowledge of 
mathematics, he was fortunate in imparting to all his pupils a love 
of his favourite science. One of his scholars — Mr. W. S. B. Wool- 
house, afterwards an eminent actuary, and co-editor of the " Nautical 
Almanack," won a mathematical prize in the " Ladies' Diary," at the 
age of thirteen, and published a book on geometry before he was 
twenty ! With him young Lietch was educated, and through him, 
encouraged by his father, he imbibed a love of geometry and 
mathematical exercises that provided him with recreation through 
a laborious life. 

Having completed his education under his father's care, Thomas 
Carr Lietch was articled, in 1829, to John Lowery, an attorney of 
the old school, who practised his profession in Norfolk Street, not 
far from the paternal domicile. Admitted a solicitor, at Hilary Term, 



1840, he entered into partnership with Benjamin Tyzack, and com- 
menced practice. Shortly afterwards, Mr. Tyzack fell into ill-health, 
the partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Lietch started on his own 
account as a solicitor and notary. From the first his venture was 
successful. Clients gathered round him, important interests were 
committed to his charge, and he was rapidly making his way in the 
world, when the first great local crash of 1847 — the failure of the 
North of England Joint Stock Bank — occurred. He was a share- 
holder in that wretched concern, and, in common with 420 other 

I 6 Tg i^, 

unfortunates, lost heavily. But, as sometimes happens, good came 
out of evil fortune, for he was employed, with the late John Fleming, 
as solicitor to the liquidators, and the connection thus formed, ex- 
tending his reputation as a careful and clear-headed lawyer, brought 
him a large accession of business. 

About this time an agitation for extension of Custom House 
facilities at the mouth of the Tyne, which had arisen at various 
periods from the beginning of the century, was revived with 
some vigour. The movement had attained a high stage of develop- 


ment in 1816, as may be read in John Bell's rare brochure, "The 
Custom-House Garland; or Nine Pleasant Ditties; Sung while the 
Question was Pending, whether or no a Branch of the Custom- 
House at Newcastle should be established at North Shields." In 
the meantime authority had been given to clear vessels coastwise on 
the north side, and to open bonded warehouses on both sides of the 
harbour; but beyond these concessions the Lords of the Treasury 
had not consented to advance. The renewed agitation aimed at 
securing a division of the port, and the creation of separate and 
independent custom-houses for each of the harbour towns. 

On the 25th of March, 1847, a Commissioner of Customs came 
down to Newcastle to hold an inquiry on the subject, and Mr. Lietch 
was one of the persons deputed by shipowners and merchants of 
Shields to represent them at the investigation. Although they did 
not obtain all they desired, the deputation effected a reasonable 
compromise — the creation of auxiliary establishments which should 
provide, at North and South Shields, the same facilities of entry 
and clearance that were enjoyed by shipowners and merchants at 
Newcastle. Accepting this as an instalment only, Mr. Lietch and 
his colleagues kept up the agitation for complete severance, and 
they had their reward. On the 6th of April, 1848, amid the firing 
of guns, and the ringing of bells, accompanied by flags and banners, 
music, and fireworks, the " Port of Shields " was formally constituted, 
free, separate, and independent of the Custom House of Newcastle. 

While this movement was progressing Mr. Lietch was engaged 
upon another scheme of local improvement. The ferry service 
between North and South Shields, established in 1829, had proved 
unequal to public requirement. Its route was indirect, the harbour 
was full of shoals, and nobody could predict with certainty when a 
passenger, who embarked in the ferryboat, especially on the ebbing 
tide, would reach his destination. To remedy this inconvenience, 
Mr. Lietch and his friends organised a new company to run boats 
straight across the river. The adventure was a hazardous one, for the 
old company had a monopoly of the traffic secured to them by Act of 
Parliament, and they threatened immediate legal warfare. On the 
24th of May, 1847, the new undertaking was launched, and during the 
first week of its operations 13,296 passengers — one-fourth of the entire 
population of the two towns — were safely carried to and fro. The 
threatened warfare followed; but wise counsels rendered it abortive. 
Mr. Lietch, acting with John Tinley, clerk to the old company, drew 



up a Bill, which in June, 1848, passed through Parliament, empower- 
ing the original Ferry Company to purchase the property of the 
new organisation, and to work the traffic as a united undertaking. 
Amalgamation of the two bodies was speedily effected, and Mr. 
Lietch and Mr. Tinley became joint-secretaries of the reconstructed 
"North and South Shields Ferry Company." Mr. Tinley died in 
1862, and Mr. Lietch conducted the negotiations which led, the 
following year, to the acquisition of the ferries by the River Tyne 

In the midst of the agitation for customs and ferry improvements, 
the active mind of Mr. Lietch had been directed to the possibility of 
obtaining still higher privileges, still greater reforms, for his native 
town. These comprised no less important schemes than the incor- 
poration of North Shields as a municipal borough, and the transfer- 
ence of river management and river improvement upon the Tyne to 
an elective body, wherein the rapidly-increasing population at the 
harbour mouth should be properly and adequately represented. 

An effort made in 1840 to procure an Act of Incorporation for 
the town had failed because local opinion was not unanimous in 
favour of the application. On this occasion Mr. Lietch, Captain 
Linskill, and other leading spirits, converted opponents and con- 
vinced waverers, until only one prominent resident — sturdy William 
Richmond — remained intractable. Their energy and perseverance 
triumphed. On the 6th of May, 1849, the Queen in Council signed 
a charter incorporating North Shields and its seaside suburb under 
the denomination of "The Borough of Tynemouth." The two 
leaders in this successful agitation received the highest honours 
which the new municipality had the power to bestow. Captain 
Linskill was elected the first Mayor of the borough- Mr. Lietch was 
appointed its first town clerk. 

The story of the contest which ended in the establishment of the 
Tyne Conservancy was told in the Monthly Chronicle for March, 
1890. From the graphic pen of the late William Brockie we learn 
how, being in London in February, 1848, on business connected 
with the Ferry Bill, Thomas Carr Lietch and Thomas Hudson heard 
that the Corporation of Newcastle was preparing to consoHdate its 
authority over the Tyne; how they returned to Shields, consulted 
their friends, and devised ways and means of thwarting the Corpor- 
ation; how they drew up a Bill giving to the seaside towns, the 
borough of Gateshead, and the mercantile community west of New- 


castle a proportionate share in the management of the river; how 
they struggled, fought, and won. Mr. Lietch was the foremost 
figure in that memorable contest, and the remarkable skill with which 
he led his party to victory won the admiration and the respect of his 
opponents. In after years, when the Conservancy Board, which he 
had done so much to establish, were carrying out their gigantic 
schemes of river improvement, they frequently resorted to him for 
advice in shipping matters, and in one notable case — an arbitration 
with the contractor for the piers — they appointed him to represent 
them before the arbitrator. 

Besides his office of Town Clerk, Islx. Lietch held the position of 
clerk to the Tyne Pilotage Commissioners, to the North Shields 
Burial Board, and to the local Marine Board. From the vantage 
ground which these appointments gave him he was able to lend 
powerful aid to a variety of movements which had for their object 
the progress and prosperity of his native town. Whenever oppor- 
tunities came to him of being useful, whether in developing 
commercial and manufacturing industry, encouraging maritime 
enterprise and adventure, promoting sanitary improvement, or in- 
creasing facilities for intellectual and recreative enjoyment among 
his fellow-townsmen, he spared no service of tongue or pen that 
he could effectually render. His politics were Liberal, and he took 
an active interest in the local fortunes of his party; yet, though he 
held his views firmly, he was tolerant of adverse opinions, and made 
no political enemies. Gifted with a high sense of honour, and 
possessing a lively appreciation of the value of time, he never spoke 
upon politics, or, indeed, any other topic, unless he had something 
of importance to communicate, and then the precision of his facts, 
the clearness of his arguments, and the quiet earnestness of his 
manner, commanded attention and inspired respect. 

When he had been Town Clerk for nearly a quarter of a century, 
Mr. Lietch found his health giving way, and, seeking its renewal by 
retirement from the more laborious part of his public duties, an 
nounced his resignation. His fellow-townsmen, mindful of his long 
and faithful services, marked their appreciation of his career by 
presenting him with a handsome piece of plate, and commissioning 
a famous artist, Rudolph Lehmann, R.A., to paint his portrait for 
the Council Chamber of the town. On the 25th of September, 
1874, Thomas Eustace Smith, M.P. for the borough, made the 
presentation — a silver urn of beautiful workmanship, inscribed — 

VOL. III. 5 


"Presented to Thos. Carr Lietch, Esq., first Town Clerk of Tynemouth (on his 
retirement from office, after having filled it for 24 years), by his friends and fellow- 
townsmen, who have placed his portrait in the Council Chamber, as a memorial of 
the esteem in which he is held by them, and of the ability and success with which 
he has served his native town." 

Although retired from active business, Mr. Lietch continued to 
take an interest in local matters, and, when health permitted, to be 
of use to the community in which his life had been spent. He had, 
long before, set his heart upon improving the supply of fresh water 
to the borough, the sources of which had been tapped or con- 
taminated by the workings of the adjacent collieries. With the 
assistance of his friend Thomas Fenwick, C.E., now of Leeds, he 
devised a comprehensive project, known as " The East Northumber- 
land Water Scheme," by which it was sought to supply from the 
springs of Tosson and the tributaries of the Alwine, not only North 
Shields, but the whole south-eastern corner of the county, between 
Widdrington and the Tyne, including Bedlington, Blyth, and 
Morpeth. Unfortunately, the plan proved too big to be realised 
just then. At the last moment, when a Bill for securing its realisa- 
tion had passed through several stages in Parhament, influential 
supporters fell away, and Mr. Lietch had the mortification of seeing 
it withdrawn, and of recording his first public failure. The dis- 
appointment hastened his end. Declining rapidly, he died at his 
residence, Hylton Lodge, North Shields, on the 24th of September, 
1876, aged sixty-one years. 

Mtlliain Ikcnnett Xoftue, 


William Loftus, the famous coach proprietor of the Turf Hotel, in 
CoUingwood Street, Newcastle^ had an only son, who bore his name. 
Like many other young men of his time, he preferred a military 
career to the commercial pursuits of his family, became a lieutenant 
in the Durham Light Infantry, and served with his regiment in some 
of the stirring scenes of the Peninsular War. During the long peace 
which followed that great conflict, he lived a quiet and retired life, 
first in the South of England, then near Newark, and lastly, in the 
county town of Lancaster, where he passed away about the year 



i860. But, although he made no great mark in the world himself, 
William Loftus the younger became the father of two boys whose 
devotion to science and love of adventure have given them a high 
position on the roll of fame. Twice married, he had by his first 

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wife, William Kennett Loftus, F.G.S., the subject of this narrative, 
and by his second wife, Captain A. J. Loftus, F.R.G.S., Knight 
Commander of Siam. 

Although not actually a native of Northumberland, for it happened 
that he was born at Rye, in Sussex, William Kennett Loftus always 


regarded himself as a " Son of Father Tyne," and as a thorough-bred 
Newcastle boy. In was in Newcastle that his childhood was spent ; 
at its celebrated Grammar School, under Dr. Mortimer, he received 
the first rudiments of his education ; from the example of its leading 
citizens he acquired the tastes which controlled the remainder of his 
life. For while he was a boy at the Grammar School, the Natural 
History Society of Northumberland, Durham, and Newcastle started 
upon its successful career of investigation and discovery. The study 
of birds and beetles, molluscs and minerals, was uppermost just then 
in the town, and young Loftus joined in the pursuit. He made the 
usual juvenile collections of birds' eggs and butterflies, adding speci- 
alities of his own in metal and mineral, shell and stone. With many 
of his companions the mania for collecting passed away when the 
first excitement was over. Not so with him. To know the secrets 
of Nature, to investigate the sources of life, to unfold the story of 
the rock and explore the wonders of the water, became his principal 
study and delight. With these tastes in the ascendant, he passed 
through Old Park School, Durham, and an academy at Twickenham, 
to Caius College, Cambridge. 

At the University Mr. Loftus's ardour in geological investigations 
attracted the attention of the Woodwardian Professor, Adam Sedg- 
wick — one of the ablest and one of the most advanced geologists of 
the day. Professor Sedgwick enjoyed a reputation for success in 
detecting latent talent among his students, and bringing it out to the 
front, at the same time stimulating and encouraging the possessor 
and helping him to honours and emoluments. It was so in the case 
of Mr. Loftus. Noting the intellectual grasp of the young man, and 
the ease and rapidity with which he solved difficult, and elucidated 
doubtful problems, the Professor honoured him with special advice 
and assistance, and secured his election as a Fellow of the Geo- 
logical Society. Attendance at the meetings of this learned body 
brought Mr. Loftus under the observation of other eminent men. 
Sir Henry de la Beche, founder of the Museum of Practical Geology 
and the School of Mines, and head of the Geological Survey, was 
particularly attracted by the promise of future usefulness which he 
perceived in Mr. Loftus, and admitting him to his friendship, waited 
an opportunity to utilise his undoubted abilities in the public 

Meanwhile, his collegiate course completed, Mr. Loftus returned 
to Newcastle, and took up his residence at the Grand Stand on the 


Town Moor, inherited from his grandfather. He was living there 
in the spring of 1846, when the Tyneside Naturalists' Field Club was 
started, and he was elected a member of the committee of manage- 
ment, and one of the sub-committee on geology. In October of 
that year he accompanied the Club upon its fifth ramble (which 
embraced Tynemouth, Whitley, and Cullercoats), and contributed 
three papers — viz., (i) "An Account of the Occurrence of the Glow- 
worm near Gibside"; (2) "A List of New Localities of Several 
Rare British Shells " ; and (3) " A Letter to the President, recom- 
mending that the Members of the Club should communicate at the 
Meetings any information with respect to Natural History which they 

may have obtained in their researches in the Intervals between those 
Meetings." Notices of his attendances at other gatherings of the 
club occur in the " Transactions." At one of them, held at Dunston 
Hill, in May, 1848, he read a paper on " Evidences of Diluvial 
Action at Belsay, etc." This was his last contribution to the literature 
of the Club. A few months later he was setting out for a far distant 
clime, entering upon a career of exploration and discovery of the 
utmost interest and value. 

For many years prior to 1840 there had been disputes between the 
Turkish and Persian Governments respecting the boundary line of 
the two countries. In that year these disputes culminated, and an 


outbreak of hostilities appeared to be imminent. The Cabinets of 
England and Russia, interested in the quarrel by the proximity of 
their own frontiers in India and Georgia to the region affected, 
proffered friendly mediation. Their offer was accepted. Commis- 
sioners from the four Powers assembled at Erzeroum, and, in 1847, 
concluded a treaty, one article of which provided that qualified 
persons should be sent to survey and define a boundary line between 
the two countries that should not admit of further dispute. Colonel 
William Fenwick Williams (afterwards the hero of Kars), who had 
represented the British Government at the treaty of Erzeroum, was 
selected by Lord Palmerston to take charge of the English detachment 
of the surveying party; Colonel Tcherikoff headed the Russian group ; 
Dervish Pasha and Miza Jafer Khan were the commissioners for 
Turkey and Persia respectively. It was represented to Lord Palmer- 
ston that in the interests of science a geologist and naturalist should 
accompany the expedition, and in January, 1849, on the recommenda- 
tion of Sir Henry de la Beche, Mr. Loftus was appointed to that 
responsible position. 

Mr. Loftus was engaged in the expedition about four years, suffer- 
ing at times much hardship and privation. On the 28th of May, 
1 85 1, the Geological Society of London received from him a short 
communication " On the Geological Structure of the Mountain 
Range of Western Persia." Three years later, on the 21st of June, 
1854, an elaborate paper of his, copiously illustrated, "communicated 
by the Foreign Office by order of the Earl of Clarendon," was read 
to the Society, " On the Geology of the Turko-Persian Frontier, and 
of the Districts Adjoining." This paper was described in terms of 
commendation by the President of the Society at the anniversary 
meeting as " confirming the existence of the nummulitic and other 
formations from the Western Shores of Europe, through the Alps, 
Bulgaria, and Asia Minor, to the very heart of India, and the moun- 
tains of Scinde." During his absence, Mr. Loftus sent home large 
collections of rock specimens and fossils, which were deposited in 
the British Museum, the Museum of Practical Geology, and the 
Museum of the Geological Society. Some of his gatherings he 
presented to the Natural History Museum in Newcastle. 

Delays in the work of frontier delineation, arising from various 
causes, were utilised by Mr. Loftus for the purposes of exploration. 
In the plains of Babylonia a wide field of investigation lay before 
him, and he entered it with great zeal and ardour. He unearthed 


the buried city and cemetery of Warka, the supposed birthplace of 
Abraham, and enriched the national collection at the British Museum 
with specimens of the remarkable earthenware coffins in which the 
Parthians buried their dead, together with innumerable relics of the 
departed — tools and weapons, jewellery and pottery, tablets and seals. 
In like manner, he opened the mounds of Sinkara, and obtained 
similar remains, the clay tablets, on which were depicted the every- 
day life of the people, being especially interesting and valuable. His 
greatest achievement in this direction was the discovery and excava- 
tion of the great palace of Darius at Susa — " Shushan the Palace " — 
the probable scene of Vashti's deposition at the great feast of 
Ahasuerus, and of Mordecai's triumph over Haman, as recorded in 
the book of Esther. Here he found shafts and pedestals, bases and 
capitals, mixed in inextricable confusion ; but he was able to de- 
termine by actual measurement that the Great Hall consisted of 
magnificent groups of columns having a frontage of 343 feet 9 inches, 
and a depth of 244 feet ; that these groups were arranged with a 
centre phalanx of 36 columns (six rows of six each) ; and that they 
were flanked on the west, north, and east by an equal number, 
disposed in double rows of six each, and distant from them 64 feet 
2 inches. Here also he found copper coins, clay vases, alabaster 
statuettes, rude coffins of Parthian or Sassanian origin, sculptured 
slabs, spear heads, and a number of alabaster vases bearing trilingual 
inscriptions in honour of Xerxes. Many of these " finds " are to be 
seen in the British Museum. 

Shortly before Mr. Loftus's appointment on the Frontier Com- 
mission great interest in Eastern exploration had been excited by the 
excavations of Mr. Layard at Nineveh. The natural outcome of 
these discoveries was the formation of a society to prosecute further 
investigations. Funds were subscribed, and the Assyrian Excava- 
tion Society came into being. Scarcely had Mr. Loftus, returning 
from Babylonia in 1852, found time to visit his friends in Newcastle, 
and relate to them his wonderful adventures, when the Assyrian 
Society sought him out, and sent him back to explore the mounds of 
Nineveh, the remains of Babylon, and the debris of other once proud 
cities of the East. The Russian War of 1854 stopped these interest- 
ing researches, but he had in the meantime sent valuable consign- 
ments of disentombed relics to the Exploration Society and the 
British Museum. Nor was Tyneside forgotten. On the staircase of 
the Literary and Philosophical Institution, four beautiful historical 


slabs from Nineveh, covered with inscriptions that are as sharp and 
clear as on the day they were cut by the Assyrian artist, testify to 
the affection with which Mr. Loftus regarded Newcastle, and form 
the most appropriate monument which the town possesses of his 
genius and of his enterprise. 

After his return home in 1855, Mr. Loftus pubHshed an illustrated 
volume describing his journeyings, his researches, and his discoveries, 
entitled — 

"Travels and Researches in Chaldjea and Susiana ; With an Account of 
Excavations at Warka, the ' Erech ' of Nimrod, and Shush, ' Shushan the 
Palace ' of Esther, in 1849-52, under the Orders of Major-General Sir W. F. 
Williams of Kars, Bart., K.C.B., M.P. ; and also of the Assyrian Excavation 
Fund, in 1853-54." London : James Nisbet & Co., 1857. Svo. 

While this book was passing through the press, Mr. Loftus 
received an appointment on the staff of the Geological Survey of 
India ; but in India, as in his last Assyrian expedition, his labours 
were interrupted by the breaking out of the mutiny and war. His 
health having suffered from a sunstroke, received in the discharge of 
his duties, and also from repeated attacks of fever, caught on the 
low-lying shores of the Euphrates and the Tigris, and in the marshy 
grounds of Assyria, which had sapped a constitution previously sound 
and vigorous, he was ordered to Rangoon to recruit. There he 
remained till the month of November, 1858, when he took passage 
in the ship Tyburnia for England. To England, however, he was 
fated never to return. He died at sea on the 27th of that month, 
within a week of his embarkation, at the early age of thirty-seven. 

Those w'ho enjoyed Mr. Loftus's friendship concur in ascribing 
to him a kind and amiable disposition, and a winning manner that 
attracted every one who came under its influence. General Williams, 
with whom he was so closely associated, writing a letter of con- 
dolence to surviving friends at the time of his death, expressed the 
opinion that "a better man, a more zealous and faithful public 
servant, never lived." 


ZX')^ Xoraince, 


OxE of Collins's elaborate genealogical works, published in the early 
part of last century, contained a detailed history of the Loraines, 
which was afterwards issued (by some member of the family, 
perhaps) as an authentic narrative. Enlarged and amended, the 
pamphlet was sent out by John White, under the title of — 

"An Account of the Genealogy and other Memoirs Concerning the Family of 
Loraine, of Kirkharle-Tower, in the County of Northumberland ; with Remarks 
upon some others {obiter) Anno Dom. 1738." Newcastle: Printed by John 
White, 1740. 

White's publication was reprinted in 1843 by M. A. Richardson, 
of whose series of " Rare Local Tracts " it forms a part, and it is the 
foundation of all subsequent accounts of the family in local history. 
The Rev. John Hodgson, although he regarded the story of Robert 
Loraine, the alleged founder of the race in England as altogether 
apocryphal, makes good use of the rest of the pamphlet in the 
pedigree of the Loraines which appears in part 2, vol. i., of his 
" History of Northumberland." 

The narrative which Mr. Hodgson rejects as legendary, pointing 
out that the Loraine estates of Offerton and Kirkharle were both 
obtained by marriage with the Strothers, till which event the name 
does not occur in either Northumberland or Durham, reads as 
follows : — 

" Robert, the first of this Family in England, came an Officer in 
the Army of William the Conqueror, who, for his Service in that 
Expedition, and after in the sixth year of the Reign of his Son 
William U. against Malcolm King of Scots (a valiant Prince) whom 
the English Rebels in the North join'd in his Excurtion into North- 
umberland, whereby many Estates in that County and Durham were 
forfeited to the Crown, was rewarded with several Hides of Land 
in Ufferton; East, Middle and West Harrington; with free Fishing 
in Aqua de Were to him and his Heirs for ever, to be holden in 
Knight's service : 

" Where he settled himself and Family, and whose Descendants 
intermarried with some of the ancient and chief FamiUes of the 
Gentry in that County. 


"He was (as well as a Soldier) a considerable Scholar for that 
age; as recorded in 'Baker's Chronicle,' amongst the Men of 
Note in that Reign, for epitomizing the Chronicle of Marianus 

" He lived in the said County of Durham till the Reign of Henry 
N. [i.e., 300 years !] about which Time there was one William del- 
Strother, presum'd of the Natives and ancient Inhabitants of the 
County of Northumberland, who was a Man of great Power and 
Possessions, and had his chief Seat and Mansion-house at Kirkharle 
Tower in the said County, distant fourteen miles from Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne; situate upon the Bank, and overlooking a spacious 
Lake; surrounded with Timber and Under-wood ; interspersed 
with Apertures, Lawns and Savanas; cloathed with the finest 
Herbage : 

" Which William del-Strother died without Issue-male, leaving 
only three Daughters, viz., Johanna, Alicia, and Maria, to whom all 
his Estate descended," etc. 

Now we come upon firmer ground, for it is admitted that in the 
first half of the fifteenth century a Loraine married Joan, sister of 
William del Strother, grandson of Alan del Strother, who was a 
contemporary of Chaucer at Cambridge, and one of the two clerks 
who tricked the miller of Trumpington in " The Reeve's Tale." 
His name, however, was Edward, not William, and his sister Alicia 
married Robert Michelson, not Nicholson. With these corrections 
we read on : — 

" Which Johanna, eldest Daughter and Co-heir of the said 
Strother, William Loraine, Heir of this Family, married. Alicia, 
the second Daughter, married one John Nicholson, in the county 
of Northumberland. John Fenwick, of Fenwick-Tower, in North- 
umberland, married Maria, the third Daughter: who, with their 
three Wives enjoy'd all the said Estate, in Common and undivided, till 
the said Nicholson, with his wife and Son, released all their Right 
and Title to the Father's Estate to Loraine and Fenwick, in con- 
sideration of having for their Share thereof the Manor of Eabington, 
alias Bavington, c/an membris; whereof Thockrington is specially 

" Whereupon Loraine and Fenwick made a Partition of the rest 
of the Estate betwixt them, whereby the Tower (being the chief seat 
of the said Strother), the Manor, and Lordship of Kirkharle, with the 
Advowson of the Church was allotted to Johanna, with about 1,900 


Acres of Arable Land, etc., all situate on the South-side of the River 

" And John Fenwick had the other half of the Estate for his part, 
viz., the Tower, Manor, and Lordship of Wallington, Sweethop, 
Hawick, Crookden, etc., lying mostly on the North-side of the said 

" After which marriage the said William Loraine removed out 
of the County of Durham with his Family, to his wife's Estate at 
Kirkharle, aforesaid; whose Posterity intermarried with several of 
the reputable and ancient Families of both the said Counties, who, 
by the prudent iNLinagement of their Affairs, acquired other Estates 
there; some of Lands of Inheritance, Coal-mines; others consisting 
of Chattels, Ecclesiastical Leases, etc., Being in their respective 
Generations generally Ivlen of Learning, Virtue, and Sobriety." 

Robert, grandson of Edward Loraine, and the heiress of Strother, 
came to a sad end, being murdered by the Scots within sight of his 
home : — 

" He was so zealous a Prosecutor of Robbers, Thieves, and Moss- 
troopers (called the Border-service), that he kept a certain number of 
Horses and Arms always ready, suitable to his Estate : As others of 
the chiefest Families in the Neighbourhood did, as Fenwick of 
Wallington, Swinburne of Capheaton, ISIiddleton of Belsay, Shaftoe 
of Babington, etc., to pursue the same, upon all occasions of theirs 
and the Scots Excursions and Depredations into Northumberland. 

"For which Service to his Country, they conseived such a Malice 
to him, that a Party of them lay in Ambush between his House and 
the Church (where he frequently resorted for his private Devotions), 
and in his Return home, sudently surprised and dragg'd him into an 
adjacent Close, where they barbarously murdered him, and cut him, 
as they had often threatened, as small as flesh for the Pot. 

" In Memory whereof, his Successor, set up a great Stone in the 
Place, which the present Gentleman finding defaced and broken down, 
erected a new one in its Place, engraven with the same Account." 

So far Collins and the anonymous tract writer, to whose narrative 
Mr. Hodgson adds Sir William's inscription : — 

"This new stone was set up in the place of an old one, by Sir William Loraine, 
Bart, in 1728, in memory of Robert Loraine, his ancestor, who was barbarously 
murdered in this place by the Scots in 1483, for his good services to his country 
against their thefts and robber}', as he was returning from the church alone, where 
he had been at his private devotions." 


Fifth in descent from the murdered chief, came Thomas Loraine, 
who at his father's death in June, 1619, was barely three years old, 
and in 1631, chose Sir John Fenwick, Bart., for his tutor. Educated 
at Christ Church, Cambridge, under the celebrated Dr. Mede, he 
became an elegant classical scholar. He married, January 14th, 
1637-38, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Maddison (Mayor of Newcastle 
in 1623-24), and widow of William Bewicke, son of Robert Bewicke, 
the Puritan chief magistrate. 

Thomas Loraine the writer of White's Tract describes as follows : — 

" He was so great a Lover of Learning (though then the sole male 
heir of his family), that he continued with that learned Gentleman, 
Mr. Mede, of Christ's-CoUege, Cambridge, in pursuit thereof till he 
was reputed as great a Proficient in the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew 
Tongues as any Layman in that University. 

" He was so loyal and serviceable to the King (as his Ancestors 
had been) that a party of Oliver's soldiers burnt a small Seat-house 
of his, and seven or eight more belonging to it, to the Ground in 
Ufferton aforesaid. 

" His great Learning and Endowments brought him into so great 
an Esteem and Familiarity with Cosin, then Bishop of Durham, that 
he stood God-father to his son Thomas, to whom he gave a hand- 
some Present of a silver Censer upon that Occasion. 

" He was a proper Person, and of a comely Aspect; a virtuous, 
sober, honest Man. He lived, and died of a Fever, in Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne, in the thirty-fifth Year of his Age [October 24th, 1649] 
to the great Grief and Loss of his Family and Relations, and Regret 
of his Acquaintance, and was interred in the South Isle of St. 
Nicolas's Church, next the Maddison's Monument, under a large 
Marble Stone, with a Brass Plate, and his character engraven upon it 
(which being torn up and stol'n) the present Gentleman put a new 
one upon it, engraven with the same Character." 

This stone may still be seen, and the inscribed brass plate may be 
read, on the floor of the church. The original plate contained ten 
lines of Latin, quoted by Bourne and Brand in their Histories of 
Newcastle; the present inscription epitomises the facts recorded 

Sir William Loraine, Bart, grandson of Thomas Loraine, the 
scholar, was " the present gentleman " of White's Tract, i.e., the head 
of the family at the time the narrative was written. He was the 
eldest son of fourteen sons and five daughters born to Thomas 


Loraine the younger, by the marriage with Grace, eldest daughter of 
Sir William Fenwick, of Wallington, Bart. Charles II. advanced his 
father to the dignity of a baronet on the 26th September, 1664, and 
he inherited the dignity and the estates at his father's death in 17 18. 
He had been trained to the law at Lincoln's Inn, and practised as a 
barrister till family affairs required his continual presence in the 
North. One great object of his life was to build up and extend the 
family property. With this object he acquired the estates of Little 
Swinburne, Deanham, and part of Bavington, forfeited by the 
Swinburnes at the rebellion of 1715; though this acquisition led to 
a protracted law-suit and much ill-feeling between the two families. 
At the general election in December, 1701, he contested the re- 
presentation of the county of Northumberland with Sir Francis 
Blake and Bertram Stote, and he and Sir Francis were elected. 

Arising out of this election a curious error has crept into local 
history. Richardson, in his preface to AVhite's Tract, makes a state- 
ment that Bertram Stote petitioned the House of Commons for the 
seat on the ground that many unqualified persons were permitted to 
poll against him, and that by the illegal practices of Mr. Loraine and 
his agents, and also of the High Sheriff, Mr. Loraine was unduly 
returned. He adds that the petition was referred to the committee 
on privileges and elections, " and Mr. Loraine declared unduly 
elected." Mr. Hodgson makes a similar entry in the pedigree. 
Now, a search through the Journals of the House of Commons does 
not afford confirmation of the statement that Mr. Loraine was 
unseated. The petition of Stote is there, the reference to the 
committee is there, but no further account appears in the Journals. 
Mr. Loraine's name occurs as serving on committees down to the 
29th April, 1702, and, within a month afterwards, that Parliament 
was prorogued, never to meet again. To the new Parliament, 
appointed to assemble the following August, Sir Francis Blake and 
Bertram Stote were duly elected. 

Soon after he succeeded to the title. Sir William Loraine began to 
indulge a taste for cultivation and tree planting. First of all he 
restored the parish church; then he built himself a new mansion, 
" of his own plan and contrivance," with all the " offices, outhouses, 
gardens, fountains, fish-ponds, etc. (the first regular ones that ever 
were in this part of the country), belonging to them." It was while 
these operations were going on that young Lancelot Brown obtained 
employment at Kirkharle, and gained the knowledge which, expanded 



and improved in after years, enabled him to obtain world-wide 
celebrity as "Capability Brown," the landscape gardener, and to 
marry his brother to one of Sir William's daughters. 

The writer of White's Tract describes Sir William as a living 
person in these terms : — 

" He is competent in Judgment of Architecture and Physick, 
exemplary in Planting and Enclosure; having from the Year 1694 to 
1738, inclusive, planted of Forest Trees, Twenty-four thousand, and 
of Quick-Sets above Four hundred and eighty-eight thousand; and 
being skilfull in the Fruit-Garden, planted of Fruit Trees Five 
hundred and eighty. 

"Who, by his various Industry besides; as dividing the Grounds, 
building new Farms upon them, draining Morasses, clearing the Lands 
of ponderous, massy, and hard Stones, to prepare them for Tillage : 

/dt^/i^yt^ t^^iytO^. 

By which means (with the Assistance of his Wives Portions) he hath 
redeemed a good Part of his Estate, adding some others to it of his 
own Purchase. By struggling with, and the assiduous Application 
of above fifty Years, he hath reduced his Family to pretty easy 
Circumstances, from difficult and numerous Troubles and Incum- 

"The Heirs of the Family having the Misfortune, during those 
dreadful and pernicious Times of Court of Wards and Liveries, of 
falling three Times successively into Wardship, etc., were defrauded 
by covetous and perfidious Guardians, and others, from time to time, 
of several considerable Members of their Estates. 

"And particularly the present Gentleman's Predecessor, by his 
imprudent Credulity, was circumvented and defrauded of one, to the 
Amount of the best Part of Twenty thousand Pounds : by a certain 


Gentleman whose honourable and laudable character was * Double 
tongue Jemmy ' in an ancient and worthy Corporation in the North, 
which he lived near, where William Rufus finished a Castle (pardon 
the .-Enigma). And this he practised under the greatest Confidence, 
Trust, and seeming Friendship imaginable, and the Relation of an 

Sir William Loraine died in January, 1743-44, aged eighty-three 
years. A monument in Kirkharle Church supplies further genea- 
logical details respecting him, as follows : — 

"Under the stone below, lyes the body of Sir William Loraine, baronet, who 
marryed two wives. The first Elizabeth, a daur. of Sir John Lawrence, kt. and 
alderman of the city of London, who dy'd lea^^ng him no issue. Then marry'd 
Anne, onely daughter of Richard Smith, of Preston, in the county of Bucks, 
Esqr., by whom he had issue five sons and four daughters. He and his wife lived 
together very happily for 51 years, then Sir William dy'd, the 22nd day of 
Januar}', 1743, ii^ the 84th year of his age. Hie fuit homo qui divina providentia 
recuperabat familiam prope ruinosam. Under the next stone lyes the body of 
dame Anne his wife, a comely person, of a good aspect and stature, a neat and 
prudent housekeeper; as to herself moderate in all things: She was a serious and 
religious woman, and consequently, a good wife, and a good mother : She dy'd the 
24th day of Sept. 1756, in the 88 year of her age. 

" Here lyes the body of Richard Loraine, Esq., who was a proper handsome 
man, of good sense and behaviour; he dy'd a batcheler of an appoplexy, walking 
in a green-field near London, October 26th, 1738, in the 38 year of his age." 

At the death of Sir William Loraine, M.R, his son, Sir Charles, 
inherited the title. He married, first, Margaret, daughter of Ralph 
Lambton, of Lambton, great-grandfather of the first Earl of Durham, 
and secondl)-, Dorothy, daughter of Ralph Millot, of Whitehill, 
Chester-le-Street. From this second marriage came Sir William 
Loraine, the fourth baronet, High Sheriff of Northumberland in 
1774, and, like his ancestor, the first Sir William, a noted culti- 
vator and improver. He enlarged the mansion-house at Kirkharle, 
beautified the grounds, formed new plantations, restored farmsteads 
and cottages, and was the Squire Bountiful of his time and place. 
When he died, 19th December, 1809, aged sixty-one, it was written of 
him that "he still lives in the affectionate remembrance of his friends, 
and the grateful recollection of the poor, whom he employed in the 
improvement of his estate." He also was twice married. By his 
first wife, Hannah, eldest daughter of Sir Lancelot AUgood, of 
Nunwick, he had eight children; by his second, Frances, daughter 
of Francis Campart, of London, six — fourteen in all. Among the 


elder children were Charles, who succeeded him as fifth baronet; 
Isabella, who married Alderman Thomas Emerson Headlam, M.D.; 
William, a banker and magistrate in Newcastle; and John Lambton, 
for many years postmaster of that town. 

Sir Charles Loraine, the fifth baronet, died in 1833, and the title 
descended to his son William, after whose death, unmarried, at 
Elsinore, May 29th, 1849, aged 48, an extraordinary mortality 
occurred among the heirs of this family. By the decease of the 
sixth baronet, without issue, the title came to his brother, Charles 
Vincent, who bore it for fifteen months only, and died August 
19th, 1850, aged 43. Another brother, Henry Claude, succeeded, 
and he died on the 4th January, 1851, aged 38. Then the title 
reverted to the brothers of the fifth baronet, uncles of the three 
young men who had so rapidly departed, and brothers-in-law of 
Dr. Headlam. Of these, William, the banker, was the elder, and he, 
enjoying his unexpected honours only eight weeks, died unmarried, 
March ist, 185 1, aged 70. John Lambton Loraine, who succeeded 
as tenth baronet, held the title a little longer, dying on the nth July, 
1852, aged 67. Thus between the end of May, 1849, and the early 
part of July, 1852, i.e., within the space of three years and a quarter, 
four heirs of the ancient house of Loraine had worn the family 
honours and departed. 

Sir John Lambton Loraine was succeeded by his eldest son, the 
present Sir Lambton Loraine, Bart., a distinguished naval officer. 
The second son, William Charles Loraine, M.A., for some years 
assistant commissioner in the district of Cachar, India, died at sea, 
April nth, 1877. To his memory, erected by his friends at Cachar, 
there is a monument in St. Nicholas' Cathedral, Newcastle, where 
also a monumental brass commemorates his father, Sir John, and his 
mother, Caroline Isabella, daughter of the Rev. F. Ekins, rector of 


Most of the eminent men who bore the name of Losh upon 
Tyneside were of Cumberland birth. They came hither from the 
family seat of Woodside, about four miles south of Carlisle, at which 


place their forefathers had been settled since the time of Henry 
VIIL, and perhaps from an earlier date. The situation of Woodside 
is, in one respect, fortunate for them and for us. Its contiguity to 
Carlisle enabled Dr. Lonsdale, the most genial of North-Country 
biographers, to become acquainted with the family, to describe them 
in his "Worthies of Cumberland" as familiar friends, and to endow 
all succeeding biographers with a rich store of materials relating to 
their lives and labours. 

The laird of AVoodside in the middle of last century was John 
Losh, who had married the sister of Joseph Liddell, of Moorhouse, 
near Carlisle — a descendant of the Liddells, of Ravensworth. From 
that marriage came, among other progeny, four eminent men — John, 
born in 1756; James, in 1763; George, in 1766; and William, in 
1770. All four of them became in after years identified with the 
commercial and public life of Tyneside, though in different degrees 
and capacities. John founded the Walker Alkali Works; James 
became Recorder of Newcastle; George carried on business as a 
chemical manufacturer; William managed Walker Works for his 
brother, and started the equally well-known iron works of Messrs. 
Losh, Wilson, & Bell. 

Born, as already stated, in 1766, George Losh was educated for 
commercial life in Newcastle. While his brothers John and William 
devoted themselves to manufacturing chemistry, and James to the 
law, he conceived a strong liking for scientific and technical work. 
Marrying, in 1798, Frances Wilkinson, one of the "three beauties 
of Carlisle," he settled in Newcastle, and entered into various manu- 
facturing and commercial undertakings. One of his ventures was 
the production of alkali, by similar processes to those adopted at 
Walker. He was a ship and insurance broker in Trinity Chare, 
head of the firm of Losh, Lubbren, «S: Co., merchants on the Quay- 
side, and a proprietor in the Newcastle Fire Office and Water Com- 
pany. At the turn of the century he was living in Westgate Street, 
probably in one of the fine substantial houses which faced the 
Vicarage and St. John's Church. Subsequently, through the failure 
of Messrs. Surtees & Burdon's Bank, his affairs, became involved 
and he withdrew to a house at Saltwellside, near Gateshead, belong- 
ing to his uncle Liddell. After a time he removed, wnth his family 
of five daughters, to France, and, while there, continuing his interest 
in the progress of chemistry, he kept a watchful eye upon the 
development of chemical manufacture, and communicated the 

VOL. III. 6 


results to his brother WilHam at Walker. In his old age he 
returned to Tyneside, and died at Low Heaton on the 3rd of 
April, 1846, aged eighty years. 

Dr. Lonsdale describes George Losh as a man of powerful intellect 
and fine physique. " His conversation was copious, engaging, and 
instructive. In his tall, handsome figure and well-developed head 
was discernible a marked superiority of character; and his clever- 
ness, geniality, and worth gained him hosts of friends. During a 
winter's visit to St. Petersburg, he surprised the Russians by walking 
out on days of intense cold without a topcoat, whilst they were 
wrapped in furs. His bodily temperament, so fair and sanguine, 
explained this power of resistance to cold, on the same ground that 
Nature has clothed the bear of the Arctic regions in white, and given 
dark skins to the inhabitants of the tropics." 

3amc6 Xo0b (i), 


James Losh, second of the four famous sons of John Losh, laird of 
Woodside, was born at the family seat on the loth of June, 1763. 
His preliminary education, with that of his elder brother, was obtained 
at the Grammar School of Wreay, adjoining the paternal home. As 
soon as they were old enough both lads were sent across the West- 
morland border to Sedbergh, to read mathematics with John 
Dawson, a famous surgeon-mathematician, whose pupils lived at the 
neighbouring farmhouses or boarded at the village inn, where the 
ordinary charge for breakfast was 2d. and for dinner lod. ! About 
the year 1782 they proceeded to Trinity College, Cambridge, where 
James distinguished himself in chemistry, theology, and juris- 
prudence, and became the centre of a group of young men who, in 
after-life, filled high positions in various spheres of public usefulness. 
Among them were John Tweddell, of Threepwood, near Haydon 
Bridge, classical scholar and traveller, in whose " Literary Remains" 
are thirteen letters, some of them in French, written to Mr. Losh 
from various parts of Europe ; John Bell, afterwards King's Counsel, 
and an eminent Chancery barrister ; and the Hon. Charles Warren, 
who also became a K.C., and was for some years Chief Justice of the 
Palatinate Court of Chester. Taking his B.A. degree in 1786, Mr. 


Losh prepared for holy orders, but, imbibing Unitarian views, he 
forsook theology for the law, entered himself at Lincoln's Inn, and 
in due time was called to the 13ar. 

At the outset of his legal career Mr. Losh fell into ill-health, due 
probably to excessive study, and was ordered to Bath to recruit. In 
that health-giving city he found new friends, and formed fresh friend- 
ships. His more intimate acquaintance included the Rev. Richard 
Warner, the antiquary and topographer, and Dr. Beddoes, of Clifton, 
an eminent physicist, the teacher of Sir Humphrey Davy. With 
these and others he co-operated in the promotion of education among 
the poor, interesting himself especially in a local institution desig- 
nated by the name of "The Bath Sunday Schools, and Schools of 
Industry." So well was he known in connection with this philan- 
thropic movement, that when an admirer asked Dr. Beddoes for his 
address, the doctor replied that he did not remember just then the 
name of the street, but the inquirer had only to ask the first poor 
boy that he met in Bath where James Losh lived, and he would be 
sure to find him. 

Soon after the outbreak of the French Revolution, fired with the 
enthusiasm which the preliminary stages of that tremendous upheaval 
excited among liberal-minded men in this country, Mr. Losh went 
over to Paris to study and watch the progress of the movement on 
the spot. Whether he joined his brother William there, or followed 
after that less enthusiastic spectator of events had considered it 
prudent to leave the country, does not appear. Dr. Lonsdale tells 
us that — 

"He arrived in Paris when the frightful events of the loth of 
August [1792] were the freshest news, and the departure of the 
English ambassador was not without its significance. He attended 
the meetings of the Convention, and listened to the classical appeals 
of Vergniaud and the Girondists; and saw that 'grim son of France 
and son of Earth,' as Carlyle describes Danton, and probably heard 
his stentorian voice proclaim, ' // nous faut de Vaudace, et encore de 
raudace, et toujoiirs de Vaudace ' — to dare, and again to dare, and 
without end to dare — words that 'thrilled abroad over France like 
electric virtue.' The daring of the mob soon merged into a sans- 
culotte despotism, encouraged by the ' Commune,' whose conscience 
was JNIarat. This came home to Mr. Losh whilst walking along the 
Rue de Richelieu. Let it be premised that he was a handsome and 
conspicuous figure, and elegantly dressed; his hair, lustrous and 



abundant, hung in long tresses over his shoulders. Such a per- 
sonalit}', savouring of aristocratic life, could not fail to attract the 
sans-cniotles, one of whom stared, and growled, and then exclaimed, 
''Aristocrat ! quelle belle tete pour la lanterne P A pretty compli- 
ment, forsooth, to a man's head, that it would grace a lamp-post ! " 

Mr. Losh owed his safety to the influence of Marat, who, as is 
well known to readers of North-Country history, had practised as a 
veterinary surgeon in Newcastle and visited Carlisle and Penrith 
twenty years earlier. Knowledge of horseflesh recommended the 

versatile Frenchman to the fox-hunting squires of Northumberland 
and Cumberland, and Mr. Losh had a distinct recollection of seeing 
" dog-leach Marat," as Carlyle terms him, visiting his father's house 
when he was a boy of about ten years old. 

Having regained his health, Mr. Losh began to practise his profes- 
sion on the Northern Circuit. He published, in 1797, a translation 
of Benjamin Constant's " Observations on the Strength of the Govern- 
ment of France," married, in February, 1798, Cecilia, daughter of 
the Rev. Dr. Baldwin, of Aldingham, near Ulverston, and the follow- 
ing year took up his residence in Newcastle. His friend Thomas 


Bigge, of Longbenton, was at this time publishing a cheap monthly 
for the enlightenment of the masses, and to this modest and unsuc- 
cessful venture, " The Q^lconomist or Englishman's Magazine, Printed 
by ]\I. Angus, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and sold by all the Booksellers 
in Great Britain," first at three-halfpence and then at twopence, he 
became, with Dr. Beddoes and the Rev. William Turner, a frequent 
contributor. Joining the cultured congregation which worshipped 
under Mr. Turner's pastorate at the Unitarian Chapel in Hanover 
Square, he assisted that eminent teacher in many excellent schemes 
for promoting the social and educational improvement of the Tyne- 
side people. Early in 1799 ^^ joined the Literary and Philosophical 
Society, of which the following year he was elected a vice-president. 
In 1802 he contributed to the establishment of the " New Institution 
for Permanent Lectures " in connection with the Society, and was 
a regular attender at the remarkable scientific expositions which, 
during many years afterwards, at the rate of about twenty per annum, 
his friend and pastor, Mr. Turner, delivered there. The efforts of 
Dr. John Clark to improve and extend the benefits of Newcastle 
Infirmary had his warm approval, and he was one of the chief pro- 
moters of the Royal Jubilee School, of which admirable institution, 
opened in ]March, 181 1, he was appointed a vice-president. The 
establishment in Newcastle of a ISIechanics' Institute, too, enlisted 
his sympathies and secured his assistance ; indeed, every local 
organisation that had for its object the relief of indigence, the 
amelioration of suffering, and the diffusion of knowledge, received 
his cordial and personal support. 

True to the political principles which he had adopted in his college 
days, Mr. Losh was an active worker in the two great movements of 
his time — civil and religious liberty and Parliamentary reform. Upon 
his return from Paris he joined the " Society of the Friends of the 
People," and is said to have assisted Mr. Tierney in drawing up the 
remarkable petition from that Society which, presented to the House 
of Commons in May, 1793, by Mr. Charles Grey himself, when mov- 
ing his famous resolution for a reform of the representation, "excited 
a strong sensation " in all parts of the House — so ably marshalled 
were its facts, so masterly its analysis of electoral incongruities. 
During the long struggle which preceded the Reform Act, j\Ir. Losh 
was the chief spokesman of the Whig party in Newcastle — that party 
which Armorer Donkin and Ralph Park Philipson organised, the 
Newcastle Chronicle championed, and Dr. Headlam led to victory. 


It is difificult to turn over the pages of the Chronicle from 1820 to 
1832, without coming across his name as a speaker at some meeting 
or other, called together to reform the institutions of the country, 
resist oppression, advance the liberties of the people, promote the 
spread of education, or increase the national prosperity. Three of 
his Newcastle addresses were published in pamphlet form, and cir- 
culated far and wide. One, delivered January 20th, 1820, treated of 
Parliamentary Reform ; the other two, delivered April 29th, 1823, 
and March 31st, 1824, were stirring calls for the abolition of slavery 
in the colonies. Of the first named, so cautious a man as the Rev. 
John Hodgson, the historian of Northumberland, who never meddled 
with politics, expressed his cordial approval. Writing to Mr. Swin- 
burne, a few days after it was uttered, he described it as " moderate 
and full of discretion," adding, as his private opinion, that " there 
will never be any reform, either in the representation of the country, 
or in the use of its money, till the moderate of all parties join and 
firmly and perseveringly demand it." 

While the agitation for Parliamentary Reform was approaching its 
climax, the country was excited by the rapid development of steam 
locomotion. To the inhabitants of the Tyne valley this movement 
was of surpassing interest, for in their midst the locomotive had had 
its birth; to Mr. Losh the question was one of personal concern, for 
his brother William was George Stephenson's co-patentee in the 
most successful engine that had then been constructed. When, 
therefore, in the spring of 1825, it was proposed to abandon the 
long-debated project of a canal between Newcastle and Carlisle, 
and unite those towns by a railway, Mr. Losh became one of the 
principal supporters of the scheme. He was one of twelve gentle- 
men elected, on the 9th of April in that year, a Board of Directors 
to carry out the project, and at the first meeting of the Board he was 
appointed chairman. Later on, when the contract was signed for 
the construction of the line, his name appears in the list of share- 
holders as a contributor of ;^6,3oo, and his brother William as a 
subscriber of ^4,300 towards the capital required for the under- 

With advancing age Mr. Losh's interest in public questions 
appears to have increased rather than diminished. Taking the year 
1829 as an example, we find his active mind and eloquent tongue 
engaged in useful labours like the following : — 

February i8th. Making the principal speech at a town's meeting 


in the Guildhall to petition Parliament in favour of the Bill for the 
Newcastle and Carlisle Railway, and receiving the thanks of the 
meeting for his " luminous exposition." 

March loth. Addressing a meeting of five thousand townspeople 
in the Spital in favour of Catholic Emancipation. 

April 2ist. Taking his seat at Hexham for the first time as 
Chairman of the Manor Court, amid the ringing of the Abbey 
Church bells, and other joyous demonstrations. 

December ist. Making a speech "of great length and brilliancy," 
at a public meeting in the Guildhall, Newcastle, in favour of forming 
an Association to obtain free trade with India and China. 

December 3rd. Presiding at a meeting of subscribers to the 
Nonconformist Cemetery at the top of Westgate Hill (of which he 
had been an active promoter), and announcing that the ground was 
ready for interments. 

On the eve of the Whig triumph of 1832, Mr. Losh published a 
pamphlet of thirty-two pages, entitled — 

" Observations on Parliamentary Reform ; to which is added the Petition 
from the Society of the Friends of the People presented to the House of 
Commons by Charles Grey, Esq., in 1793." Newcastle: Emerson Charnley, 

At the great meeting in the Spital on the 15th May, 1832, con- 
vened to protest against the hostile influences which had compelled 
Earl Grey to resign the Premiership, Mr. Losh made a vigorous 
defence of his lordship's action, and a few weeks later participated in 
the double joy which animated the burgesses of Newcastle when it 
became known that the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway Bill had 
passed the House of Commons, and that the Reform Bill had 
received the Royal Assent. 

While the Test and Corporation Acts were in operation, Mr. 
Losh, being a Unitarian, had been unable to receive civic appoint- 
ments, or to accept public office; and now that these stumbling- 
blocks had been removed, and the chief aims of his political career 
had been achieved, he was passing the age when office is no burden, 
and honours can be worn in healthful ease, with promise of con- 
tinuance. Offices and honours both came to him, but came almost 
too late. In the summer of 1832, about the time that the Great 
Reform Bill was passing through its final stages, the Corporation of 
Newcastle invested him with the highest judicial function in their 
gift — the Recordership. A few weeks later he became one of the 


Revising Barristers for the North Riding of Yorkshire, and on the 
1 6th January, 1833, he received the honorary freedom of Newcastle. 
The appointments honoured the givers and strengthened in his 
principles and conduct the recipient. From the exalted position 
of Recorder he made one great speech upon the one great public 
question that, among all those for which he had done battle, still 
remained unsettled — the question of slavery. This was his last 
public address, and the effect of it is described by an eye-witness 
as thrilling. " It seemed as though he had summoned the whole 
energy of a long and active life, and concentrated in a focus the 
resources of a powerful and comprehensive mind — outpouring the 
ardent hope of his life, that 

Wherever Britain's power is felt. 
Mankind shall feel her mercy too ! " 

Mr. Losh died at Greta Bridge in Yorkshire on the 23rd of 
September, 1833, and his remains were brought to the Tyne and 
honoured by a public funeral in Gosforth Churchyard. On the 
staircase of the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society stands 
a life-size figure in white marble, executed by Lough while in Italy, 
bearing the following inscription : — 

"James Losh, 
Recorder of Newcastle-on-Tyne, 
Vice-President of the Literary and Philosophical Society. 
Died the xxiii Sepr. in the Year 1833, Aged Ixxi. 
Zealous in promoting the moral and intellectual improvement of mankind, he 
was one of the earliest patrons of this institution. Distinguished in private 
society for the gentleness of his manners and the kindness of his heart ; in public 
for the consistency and firmness of his political principles, the course of his life 
was equally marked by benevolence and integrity. From early youth the ardent 
friend of civil and religious liberty, he rejoiced in witnessing the successful pro- 
gress of that great and good cause of which he was on all occasions the willing 
and fearless advocate. He had the satisfaction to see humiliating distinctions 
between religious sects erased from the statute book, slavery abolished throughout 
the British dominions, and the representation of the people in Parliament 
reformed. This statue was erected by his friends and fellow-townsmen as a 
testimony of their esteem for^his distinguished virtues, and of their gratitude for 
his eminent public services." 

Within the library (where also is deposited a MS. volume of 
Meteorological Observations taken by him at his residence, Jesmond 
Grove, from 1802 to 1833) is a marble bust of Mr. Losh, by 



3amc5 Xo5b (2), 


James Losh, eldest son of the Recorder, was born at Jesmond in 
1803. He was educated at Durham Grammar School, matriculated 
at Trinity College, Cambridge, and, being destined for the profession 
of the law, became a pupil of his father's friend, John Bell, K.C. 
Called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn, in 
1829, he practised on the Northern Circuit, and after the death of 
his father succeeded to the stewardship of the ]\Ianor Courts of 


Hexham, and, eventually, to the chairmanship of the Newcastle and 
Carlisle Railway. He inherited the Liberal opinions of the Recorder, 
but took no active part in politics. His tastes ran in the direction 
of municipal rather than political life, and as soon as the doors of 
the Newcastle Council Chamber were opened to non-freemen by the 
Reform Act of 1835, he entered the extended circle, and had the 
honour of being elected an alderman. In the early volumes of the 
" Proceedings of Newcastle Council " his name frequently appears 
among the debaters of public questions. He was scarified, like 


most of the Whig members, by the author of " Random Recollec- 
tions of the Reformed Town Council," and perhaps enjoyed the 
joke, as many of them did. John Selkirk, Council reporter in 1841, 
describes him as " a rather agreeable speaker," many of whose obser- 
vations were just and pertinent, " but the whole wants impressive- 
ness, particularly as to producing immediate effect upon his hearers. 
His opinions are much in advance of those held by a number of his 
fellow-councillors ; but his demeanour is always gentle and con- 

Alderman Losh remained in the Council till May, 1853, when, 
being appointed to succeed Mr. George Hutton Wilkinson as judge 
of the Northumberland County Courts, he resigned his gown and 
the chairmanship of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway. In August, 
1858, he was seized with paralysis, and on the ist of October in that 
year he died, aged fifty-five. During his five years' judgeship he 
won universal respect by his impartiality, and throughout his career 
his quiet and amiable disposition endeared him to all classes of the 

3obn Xo6b, 


John Losh, educated at the Grammar School of Wreay, accom- 
panied his brother James to Sedbergh and to Trinity College, 
Cambridge. At the time of their matriculation, Dr. Richard 
Watson, afterwards Bishop of Llandaff, a native of Westmorland, 
was delivering a series of lectures on chemistry. These lectures 
made a deep impression upon the two Cumberland lads, developing 
within them a love of science which, transmitted to their younger 
brothers, George and William, took permanent hold, and gave a 
direction to their lives. 

Heir to his father's estate, John Losh was brought up as the squire 
of Woodside, and after enlarging his experience of the world by 
Continental travel, he came to Tyneside for a wife. The lady of his 
choice was Isabella, daughter of Thomas Bonner, of Callerton, the 
representative of an old and honourable family of merchants and 
municipal rulers in Newcastle. He was married about the year 
1785, and, shortly afterwards, took up his residence as the head of 


his house at ^\'oodside. Inheriting from his parents an active and 
energetic disposition, he became a model country gentleman — a 
pattern to the whole shire. He practised high farming, introduced 
Italian rye-grass to local cultivation, and planted oaks and larches, 
and other forest trees, in every direction. He was an enthusiastic 
volunteer officer; a daring sportsman, famous for his horsemanship; 
a convivial host, entertaining the Howards and Curwens, and other 
leaders of the Whig party; the guiding spirit of his district in the 
business of the county; and in all respects one of the most popular 
of men. 

Devotion to the allied pursuits of agriculture and forestry brought 
John Losh into friendly communion with two kindred spirits across 
the Scottish Border — the Duke of Athole and Sir John Sinclair. 
Knowledge of chemistry procured for him the acquaintance of their 
mutual friend, Archibald, ninth Earl of Dundonald, afterwards author 
of " A Treatise, showing the Intimate Connection that Subsists 
between Agriculture and Chemistry." To JNIr. Losh the earl ex- 
plained the progress which he had made towards imparting com- 
mercial value to chemical experiment, and the practical mind of the 
Cumberland squire, stimulated by the concurrent researches of his 
brothers in the same field of inquiry, readily lent itself to a solution 
of the problem. Woodside became the theatre of chemical opera- 
tions, which created among the neighbouring peasantry unpleasant 
suspicions of sorcery and witchcraft. At length, in 1793 or 1794, 
Mr. Losh and Lord Dundonald commenced the manufacture of 
alkali, or conducted further experiments with that object (for the 
record is not quite clear on the subject) at Bell's Close, near Scots- 
wood, where the earl took out a patent (October 4th, 1794) for 
making sulphate of soda, and another (February, 28th, 1795) for 
obtaining caustic soda from the decomposition of the sulphate 
through the agency of potash. 

While these operations were progressing, Mr. Losh's uncle, 
Squire Liddell, of Moorhouse, inherited a share in Walker Colliery. 
At that place work had been impeded by the irruption of a salt 
spring. Availing themselves of this beneficent provision of Nature, 
Mr. Losh and the earl removed their establishment from Bell's Close 
to Walker in 1797, and taking into partnership Lord Dundas, William 
Losh, and John and Aubone Surtees, formed the firm known to 
many generations of Tynesiders as the Walker Alkali Company. 
John Losh was the moneyed partner of the concern, and took no 


active personal share in the management. He had his property at 
Woodside to look after, his public duties to fulfil, his agricultural and 
sporting proclivities to cultivate, and although he had taken a lively 
interest in the experiments that created the partnership, he left the 
working details of the business to his brother William. When the 
partnership expired, the works at Walker became his exclusive 
property. Thenceforward he carried them on for his own account; 
the enterprising brother became the manager; between them they 
made Walker Alkali Works one of the most successful manufacturing 
establishments in the kingdom. 

Mr. John Losh died in 1814, aged 58, leaving a son, whose mental 
faculties were inadequate to the serious business of life, and two 
daughters. Sara Losh, the eldest daughter, inherited Woodside, and 
carried on the works at Walker till 1847, when she sold them to her 
uncle William. She was a lady of rare accomplishments in classical 
literature, of remarkable taste and refinement, of large-hearted phil- 
anthropy, and of most amiable character. She died at Woodside, 
unmarried, on the 29th March, 1863, her sister Margaret, also 
unmarried, having long predeceased her. 

TOilliam Xosb, 


William Losh, trained in Newcastle with his brother George for a 
commercial career, was sent to Hamburg in early youth to complete 
his education. There he formed a friendship with a fellow-student 
— Alexander von Humboldt, famed in after years as traveller, 
philosopher, and naturalist. "Humboldt and Losh were companions, 
and one day ventured out to sea in an open boat, when a storm 
arose that baffled their exertions for hours. Humboldt felt the 
cold, became desponding, and might have succumbed had not Losh 
stripped off his own coat and vest and wrapped his friend in them, 
at the same time encouraging him by hopeful words, and showing 
redoubled vigour at the oar ; in this way the German's spirits and 
bodily circulation were kept up. They parted in their teens; yet so 
true had been their friendship that Humboldt, after forty years 
engaged in travel and exploration of the earth's surface, making the 


civilised world largely his debtor, retained a thoroughly kind regard 
for his collegiate friend, and in his old age stood godfather to a 
grand-daughter of Mr. Losh's, christened in Paris." 

Having finished his educational course, William Losh resided in 
Sweden for a time, studying the language, and making himself 
acquainted with the metallurgy of the country. Thence he travelled 
through the Baltic provinces, and visited the principal cities of 
Europe. He was in Paris, studying chemistry under Lavoisier, 
when the Revolution broke out, was a spectator of the memorable 
scene in the French Chamber when Louis XVL was brought back 
from his flight to Varennes, and remained in the city till it was no 
longer safe for Englishmen to stay there. He had learned enough 
of French chemical methods to justify him in returning to Newcastle, 
marrying Alice Wilkinson, sister of his brother George's wife, and 
joining his brother John and the Earl of Dundonald in the develop- 
ment of alkali manufacture at Walker. 

The progress of revolution in France closing up the ordinary 
channels of commerce, and stopping amongst other things the supply 
of saltpetre to the gunpowder mills, induced the National Convention 
to institute a commission of inquiry into the chemical industry, and 
especially into the manufacture of soda. The commission reported 
in favour of a process devised by an apothecary named Le Blanc, 
and that process was forthwith adopted under Government sanction. 
British chemists were, however, unable to profit by Le Blanc's dis- 
coveries till the peace of Amiens, in 1802. As soon thereafter as it 
was safe to enter Paris, Mr. Losh went over to learn what he could 
of the new methods of soda- making. His quest was successful. 
" He returned home and put these processes in operation at the 
Walker works, and this was like establishing a new era in the trade, 
and turning over a fresh page in the history of Newcastle. The tide 
of success in the manufacture of soda now came flowing up the Tyne, 
and to Mr. William Losh the credit is attached of giving an impetus 
to the pursuit of one of the most valuable and profitable of com- 
mercial undertakings. The annual dividends of the Walker works 
largely increased, of which a fair proportion fell to the share of the 
active manager; and whilst individual capacity obtained its reward, 
the general interests of Newcastle were vastly promoted, and not the 
least by the alkali trade opening up fresh commercial relations with 
the nations on the Continent." 

A few months before his visit to Paris, Mr. Losh had put his 


metallurgical studies to practical use by establishing, "near New- 
castle," slitting mills, in which Swedish bar iron was utilised as a 
material for making nail-rods. Whether these mills were at Walker, 
or at the Teams, where the Newcastle Directory for 1801 has "Losh, 
Robinson & Co., ironfounders and edge tool makers," cannot now 
be ascertained. The Losh of the Teams firm may have been his 
brother George, but in 1809 we certainly find William Losh starting 
the business of an ironfounder and engineer upon a piece of land 
contiguous to the alkali works. In this enterprise he was assisted 
by two young friends of his — Thomas Wilson and Thomas Bell. 
Mr. Wilson, born at Gateshead Low Fell in 1773, had served in the 
counting-house of Messrs. Losh, Lubbren, & Co.; Mr. Bell, son of 
a farmer on the Losh estate of Woodside, where he was born in 
1784, was a clerk in the alkali factory. Together they formed an 
admirable co-partnery. Mr. Losh, a practical engineer and inventor, 
superintended plans and specifications, and looked after finance; 
Mr Wilson, bookish and retiring (author, in later years, of "The 
Pitman's Pay," and other efforts in local versification), attended to 
the accounts; Mr. Bell managed the works and the workmen. 
Thus were created the firm of Messrs. Losh, Wilson, & Bell, and 
the far-famed Walker Iron Works. 

At a time when North-Country engineers were seeking the philo- 
sopher's stone in successful application of steam to haulage, it was 
but natural that Mr. Losh should turn his thoughts in the same 
direction. The full extent of the assistance which he rendered to 
George Stephenson in solving that great problem will never be accur- 
ately known. That he did help him considerably appears from the 
records of the Patent Office. On the 30th September, 181 6, a 
patent was granted " unto William Losh, of the town and county of 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, ironfounder, and George Stephenson, of Kil- 
lingworth, in the county of Northumberland, engineer, for their 
invented new method, or new methods, of facilitating the conveyance 
of carriages, and all manner of goods and materials along railways 
and tramways, by certain inventions and improvements in the con- 
struction of the machine, carriages, carriage wheels, railways, and 
tramways, employed for that purpose." The advantages to be 
derived from the patent are very clearly set forth in the specification : 
— " In what relates to the locomotive engines, our invention consists 
in sustaining the weight, or a proportion of the weight, of the engine 
upon pistons, moveable within the cylinders, into which the steam 


or water of the boiler is allowed to enter, in order to press upon such 
pistons ; and which pistons are, by the intervention of certain levers 
and connecting rods, or by any other effective contrivance, made to 
bear upon the axles of the wheels of the carriage upon which the 
engine rests." 

Into the respective shares of merit due to the two patentees we 
need not enter. It may be as Dr. Smiles indicates, that Stephenson 
was the real designer and Mr. Losh merely the moneyed man, who 
found the means of taking out the patent, which in those days was a 
costly and troublesome matter. Yet we know from the same official 
records that Mr. Losh was an ingenious and capable inventor him- 
self The year before (April i8th, 1815) he had patented an invention 
relating to the construction of " fireplaces and furnaces employed for 
heating steam and other boilers, ovens, pans, and similar articles," 
which, embracing a double furnace for the prevention of smoke, 
attracted a good deal of attention. Whatsoever may be the claims 
of Stephenson in the matter, the patent locomotive was a success. 
When the line between Manchester and Liverpool was projected, the 
surveyor, Mr. William James, came to Killingworth, met Mr. Losh 
and Mr. Stephenson, saw the locomotive at work, pronounced it 
" the greatest wonder of the age," recommended its adoption, and 
secured an assignment of one-fourth of any profits that might arise 
from its introduction south of a line drawn from Hull to Liverpool. 

Pursuing his investigations into the laws of traction and haulage, 
Mr. Losh patented in 1830 (August 31st) "certain improvements in 
the construction of wheels for carriages to be used on railways." 
The " improvements " consisted chiefly in making the spokes, felloes, 
and tires of malleable iron. A further patent of his, dated June 
26th, 1841, related to "the application of wood, felt, rope, or such- 
like flexible and yielding material " between the tyre and the felloe 
to lessen vibration. Another, for still greater improvements in 
wheels, was taken out by Mr. Losh in April, 1842, and in February, 
1844, ^he patented a process of manufacturing "metal chains for 
mining and other purposes." In chemistry, also, he distinguished 
himself by discovering improved processes of manufacture. One of 
his patents in this department of research bears date the 23rd 
December, 1837, and relates to a method of decomposing muriate 
of soda, applicable to the condensing vapours of other processes; 
while another, dated December ist, i860, describes a new plan 
of preparing sulphurous acid in solution. 


Although ably assisted in the management and development of 
Walker Ironworks by Mr. Wilson and Mr. Bell, and in later years 
by the son of the latter, now Sir Lowthian Bell, Mr. Losh attended 
to the minutest detail of their extensive operations. Dr. Lonsdale 
describes him as "a shabbily dressed person, regardless of the 
pomps and vanities of the tailoring man." "Appearing in a well- 
worn coat, and almost buttonless vest, or buttoned by the odds and 
ends taken from his nether garment in the ' days when we wore 
straps,' he now and then escaped the attention due to his position, 
and came in for the ' hail fellow, well met,' of casual visitors of the 
works." An amusing instance of this occurred during the visit of a 
ship captain — master of a vessel, named The Ark, belonging to the 
Walker firm : — 

•' The captain of The Ark, then lying in the Tyne, entered the 
premises at Walker about noon, and finding Mr. Bell, whom he 
wanted to see, absent, he entered into conversation with the first 
person in his way, and this happened to be Mr. Losh, whom he took 
to be 'a loafing old fellow.' The captain, knowing it was dinner- 
time, said to Mr. Losh, 'You seem to- have nothing to do; come on 
board The Ark and take a bit of boiled beef with me ; ' and Mr. 
Losh good-humouredly consented. In sailor fashion, mine host 
pressed his new acquaintance to eat and drink without, however, 
eliciting much talk, and certainly no clue to his companion's em- 
ployment. At length, he pointedly addressed Mr. Losh in bluff 
Cumbrian, ' Well, old boy, you seem to have quite a ' loafing time,' 
as the Yankees say, about the Walker Works; what are you, and 
what's your name ? ' ' Oh,' replied the seedy-coated old gentleman, 
' I am Mr. Losh.' This was a stopper, down went the knife and fork 
of the astonished captain, who wished as ardently as ever old Noah 
did in the days of the Flood, to escape from his Ark." 

Mr. Losh had been relieved of the supervision of Walker alkali 
works in 1831, by his nephew, William Septimus Losh, but he 
retained an interest in the firm, and, as previously stated, bought 
out his niece, Sara Losh, in 1847. As long as his health permitted 
he took his share in the management of the iron works, and con- 
ducted the business of three consulates in Newcastle, for he had 
been honoured early in life by the appointments of vice-consul for 
Prussia, and for Sweden and Norway, and in later years had become 
vice-consul for Turkey. Both he and his accomplished partner in 
life were favoured with vigorous health and length of days. She 



died at their residence in Ellison Place, Newcastle, January 31st, 
1S59, an octogenarian; and he followed her on the 4th of August, 
1 86 1, having attained the venerable age of ninety-one years. 

3obn (Brabam Xouob, 


" The live air that waves the lilies waves the slender jet of water, 
Like a holy thought sent feebly up from soul of fasting saint : 
Whereby lies a marble Silence, sleeping (Lough, the sculptor, wrought her), 
So asleep she is forgetting to say Hush ! — a fancy quaint. 

Mark how heavy white her eyelids ! not a dream between them lingers ; 

And the left hand's index droppeth from the lips upon the cheek : 
While the right hand — with the symbol-rose held slack within the fingers — 

Has fallen backward in the basin — yet this Silence will not speak ! " 

Mrs. Browning: "Lady Geraldine'S Courtship." 

Travellers who drive from Shotley Bridge to Edmondbyers, or 
traverse the road from Allansford to Riding jMill, will pass, at the 
junction of these two thoroughfares, the curious old hall of Black 
Hedley, and its dependent hamlet of Greenhead. In this pleasant 
and fertile spot, far removed from the busy haunts of men, was born, 
nearly a hundred years ago, the one man whom, in the long list of 
eminent English sculptors, Northumberland can claim as her own. 
John Graham Lough first saw the light of day at this place, in 
January, 1798. 

ISIany biographies of Mr. Lough have been written. In most of 
them, the privations of his childhood, the struggles of his youth, 
and the achievements of his prime, are described in minute detail 
and with graphic force. But, so far as a vigorous hunt through 
accessible books enables one to judge, none of his biographers has 
explained the means by which this son of a husbandman, born in an 
out-of-the-way hamlet, taken from school, with but a scanty educa- 
tion, to help in the homestead and the fields, acquired a taste for 
art, and for a most difficult branch of art — that of sculpture. The 
explanation may now be given. 

Black Hedley was, for many generations, the property of a branch 
of the ancient local family of Hopper. About the middle of last 
century, a member of this family, imbued with military ideas — an 

VOL. in. 7 



old soldier, perhaps — took it into his head to make his home em- 
blematical of the two burning questions of his time — war and peace. 
With crude visions of a barbican floating in his brain, he built at the 
Greenhead end of the avenue leading to the hall, a roofed and 
embattled archway, upon which he planted wooden cannon, and 
seven military figures. There was a figure at each corner, one over 
the centre of the arch, front and back, and a seventh crowning the 
apex of the roof. Having in this manner exhibited his martial pro- 
pensities, and bidden defiance to foes without, he manifested his 
peaceful proclivities, and proclaimed a welcome to friends within, 

John Grahdm Lougk. 

by erecting at the hall figures of a gentler aspect and more inviting 
character. Upon a dovecote attached to the mansion he placed two 
shepherds in Highland costume ; one of them with a crook in his 
hand, accompanied by a couple of dogs, the other without a crook, 
and enjoying the companionship of only one dog ; while upon a 
wall behind the front roof he set three busts. These curious sculp- 
tures (they are still in situ, though the cannons are gone) were 
among the first things which greeted the eye of John Graham Lough 
when he became conscious of surrounding objects ; they were the 
companions of his infancy; they excited the admiration of his boy- 


hood ; and no doubt they inspired him with a desire to emulate the 
gifted being who made them. And thus it happened that the Httle 
farmer's boy became a great sculptor. 

With clay from the ditches of Greenhead the young artist pursued 
his studies. Clay " dollies " came from his hands of all shapes and 
sizes, but mostly rough models of soldiers, like the warriors on the 
archway, or fighting men of some kind. In his father's cottage, as 
he told Haydon, the painter, in after years, was an old copy of 
Pope's Homer; he and a brother fell to modelling representations 
of the contending armies described in it — he fashioning the Greeks, 
and his brother the Trojans. An odd volume of Gibbon's " Decline 
and Fall," containing an account of the Coliseum, came in his way. 
He persuaded his brother to sit up with him all night, and by day- 
break the two lads had constructed a model of the Coliseum in the 
family kitchen, and filled it with fighting gladiators. One day, a 
Shotley Bridge schoolmaster, walking in the neighbourhood, found 
young Lough building up a figure with clay, in the midst of a group 
of youngsters, one of whom stood naked before him. He called at 
the cottage of the boy's parents, and told Mrs. Lough what he had 
seen. " Oh ! " said the matter-of-fact mother, " I'se warrant it's 
just oor cull lad making clay dollies ! " " Cull lad " as they deemed 
him, neither mother nor father put any obstacle in his way. They 
allowed his " clay dollies " to fill the cottage, and overflow into the 
garden. The great squire of Minsteracres, kind-hearted George 
Silvertop, riding past one evening, on his return from fox-hunting, 
saw Lough's little plot strewed all over with legs and arms, and 
broken heads. Curious to know the meaning of it all, he alighted, 
entered the cottage, found it similarly decorated, and received from 
the complaisant mother the necessary explanation. His interest 
aroused by the proofs of genius which he saw in these rude models, 
Mr. Silvertop invited the boy to Minsteracres, showed him his works 
of art, described to him the wonders which, as a far-travelled man, 
he had seen in various countries of Europe, and gave him sound 
advice and encouragement. 

The visit to Minsteracres was a decisive step in young Lough's 
upward progress, followed, as it was, by his apprenticeship to a 
builder in the hamlet of Shotley Field. Here he acquired dexterity 
in the art of stone-cutting, and by the time that his apprenticeship 
expired, he felt himself qualified to undertake commissions on his 
own account. His first independent effort as a stone-cutter is still 


to be seen in the churchyard of Muggleswick — to which village his 
parents during his apprenticeship had removed. It is a representa- 
tion of an angel's head, with drapery, on a gravestone, " In memory 
of Jane, daughter of John and Ann Mayor." A more pretentious 

undertaking, completed soon afterwards, is shown in the church 
of Allendale Town — a monument to the memory of Mrs. Ann 
Stephenson, etc., "remarkably well executed by John Lough, an 
ingenious young man, of Low Muggleswick." 


While the Allendale monument was in progress, in the autumn 
of 1823, the library of the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical 
Society was rising from its foundations. Lough, then approach- 
ing his twenty-sixth year, came to Newcastle, and obtained employ- 
ment upon the new building. Before it was completed, he felt 
himself strong enough to venture upon the hazardous step of pro- 
ceeding to the metropolis, and there maintaining himself while he 
mastered the sculptor's art. He left the Tyne in one of the old 
sailing traders, and in due course arrived in the great world of 
London, friendless and alone. It is said that the skipper of the 
vessel was so much interested by Lough's enthusiasm and pluck 
that he refused the stipulated guinea for passage-money, allowed the 
traveller to sleep on board while the vessel discharged her cargo, 
and promised to bring him back to " canny awd Newcastle " when 
he should have grown tired of the vain pursuit of fortune in town. 
For a time it seemed probable that the prediction involved in the 
old skipper's offer might be fulfilled. Lough took a modest lodging 
in Burleigh Street, Strand, studied the Elgin marbles, worked and 
waited, but the road to success and the way to fortune remained for 
some time closed to him. At the Royal Academy Exhibition, 1826, 
he exhibited, with some smaller subject, a bas-relief of " The Death 
of Turnus," slain in single combat by yEneas. Nothing came of it. 
Still undaunted, he set his hand to a much loftier conception — a 
colossal statue of Milo the athlete, caught in the oak and devoured 
by the wild beasts of the wood. There is a story told of this remark- 
able undertaking which, if not true, deserves to be. Lough's studio, 
it is said, was too low, and he broke through the ceiling to obtain 
the necessary height for his figure. The landlord, annoyed at the 
liberties taken with his property, consulted Brougham, afterwards 
the famous Lord Chancellor, who thought the incident so remark- 
able that he went to inspect the place himself. Amazed at the 
wonderful sight that met his eyes, he went into society and spread 
the story. Society ran to see the phenomenon, were enchanted, 
enraptured, and set the artist at full speed on the highway to fame 
and honour. 

Haydon, in his " Autobiography," tells the story of Lough's sudden 
accession to fame, with his usual enthusiasm and exaggeration : — 

1827 — May i8th. — "From me Lord Egremont went to young 
Lough, the sculptor, who has just burst out, and has produced a 
great effect. His Milo is really the most extraordinary thing, con- 


sidering all the circumstances, in modern sculpture. It is another 
proof of the efficacy of inherent genius." 

May 24th. — " I went down [to Lough's studio], and was perfectly 
astonished. The feet and hands are not equal to the rest, but the 
body, head, thighs, legs, and whole expression and action, are grand 
beyond description. It is the most extraordinary effort since the 
Greeks, — with no exception — not of Michael Angelo, Bernini, or 

Canova. To see such a splendid effort of innate power built up in 
an obscure first floor (No. 1 1 Burleigh Street, over a greengrocer's 
shop), without the aid of education, foreign travel, patronage, money, 
or even food, is only another instance of the natural power which no 
aid or instruction can supply the want of. Lough never ate meat for 
three months; and then Peter Coxe, who deserves to be named, 
found him; he was tearing up his shirts to make wet rags for his 
figure to keep the clay moist, and on the point of pulling it down. 


Lough will be a great man. He has all the consciousness of genius, 
with great modesty." 

June 8th. — " Interested for Lough and his exhibition, whom I 
hope in God I have rescued from a set of harpies, who wanted to 
make him a tool. Cockerell got him a room. I have set him on 
the right road, and his own energy will do the rest. His is the only 
high and sound genius I have ever known." 

June 9th. — " Lough passed the evening with me. He declared 
solemnly to me that he had not ate meat for three months, and 
began the fourth. He said every day at dinner-time he felt the 
want, and used to lie down till it passed. He felt weak — at last 
faint — giddy continually, and latterly began to perceive he thought 
sillily, and was growing idiotic. He had only one bushel and a half 
of coals the whole winter, and used to lie down by the side of his clay 
model of this immortal figure, damp as it was, and shiver for hours, 
till he fell asleep. He is a most extraordinary being — one of those 
creatures who come in a thousand years." 

June loth. — "Lough's private day. It was a brilliant one. I 
wrote to Mrs. Siddons, and begged her to come. She came, and I 
conducted her into the room. She was highly delighted. The Duke 
of Wellington entered before Mrs. Siddons and I had gone. The 
duke felt great admiration indeed, and going to the books opened, 
wrote, with his own illustrious right hand, an order for Milo and 
Sampson. One of Lough's patrons came over and shook his Grace 
by the hand, and thanked him. The duke said, ' He should go 
abroad,' in his loud, distinct, and military voice. Silvertop hesitated. 
The duke, surprised at his view not being acceded to, half-blushed 
and said, * Not to stay, but to see — eh — the — eh — great works, as 
others have done.' To conclude, the day was, I know, a brilliant 
one. I saw it would be, and first advised this step. Such attendant 
circumstances can never concur again in the execution of any future 
work of the same man. I, therefore, told Lough, ' Be prompt and 
decisive ; get a friend to do, I will direct, and promise you a harvest.' 
He did so. Lord Egremont approved. A friend got all the tickets 
ready; I marked the Court Guide ; his servant took them round ; 
Cockerell and Bigge secured his room, and God be thanked ! we 
have placed this mighty genius on the road to prosperity. If his 
health keep strong, which I pray God it may, he will be the greatest 
sculptor since Phidias." 

By the following spring Lough had completed other figures, and 


in March he opened a second exhibition with Milo, Sampson, 
Musidora, and Somnus and Iris. A Httle handbook to this exhibi- 
tion, signed by " Buonarroti," described these creations of Lough's 
genius in terms scarcely less eulogistic than those employed the year 
before by Haydon. Somnus was praised for its bold form and pro- 
portion ; Iris for its contour, flexibility of skin, and rich expression 
of the flesh ; Musidora for its luxuriance of form, dignified air, and 
engaging expression of countenance ; Sampson, though sketchy, and 
open to criticism, as exhibiting a faculty of invention beyond any- 
thing extant in British art, etc. Society again flocked to the show, 
and the artist received unstinted praise and unending compliment. 
Commissions, however, came but slowly. Lough informed Haydon, 
ten days after the exhibition opened, that he had not received a 
single order for his Musidora — that "pure, virginal, shrinking, chaste, 
delightful creature," as Haydon described the figure. " My God ! " 
continued Haydon, " to hear on the private day people saying, 
' Very promising young man,' at works before which Michael Angelo 
would have bowed. ' Why does he not do busts ? ' Why does not 
the State give him sufficient employment to prevent the neces- 

Mindful of his Tyneside friends, Mr. Lough sent down to New- 
castle, in October, 1828, a cast of his Milo to be placed in the 
library of the Literary and Philosophical Institution — the building at 
which he had worked as a journeyman mason but four years before. 
It was a thoughtful act, highly appreciated throughout the North 
Country, where the wonderful achievements of the young man from 
Muggleswick had been the talk not only of the "nobility, gentry, 
and clergy," but of every farmer, cottager, and artisan. For many a 
day after, although frowned upon by some of the more puritanical 
members of the institution, who wanted a figure with more clothing 
upon its limbs, the statue of Milo at the Lit. and Phil. — " deun by 
yen o' wor canny lads, aall oot o' his aan heed " — was one of the 
" Rons " of Newcastle. 

Within the compass of a sketch like this it is not possible to follow 
Mr. Lough through the details of a prolonged and brilliant career. 
He married, in 1832, Mary, second daughter of the Rev. Henry 
North, and sister to the wives of Sir James Paget, surgeon, and Mr. 
Twining, the London banker. With her, in 1834, he did the 
"Grand Tour" of all artists — a pilgrimage to Italy. There he 
remained four years, studying the works of the great sculptors of old, 



relying, as in his youth, upon his own intellectual resources, and 
disdaining the aid of guide or master. 

Upon his return to England, the influence of his Italian studies 
became apparent in "Boy giving Water to a Dolphin," " A Roman 

Fruit Girl," "A Bacchanalian Revel," and similar groups, exhibited 
at the Royal Academy between 1839 and 1844. In the last-named 
year he showed at Westminster Hall Exhibition one of the most 
effective and affecting productions of his prolific fancy — a group 
called "The Mourners." Amonsr monumental statues which issued 


from his studio at this time were the figure of her Majesty, which 
stands in the Royal Exchange, London; the companion statue of 
Prince Albert, which adorns the great room at Lloyd's; a recumbent 
figure of Southey for Crosthwaite Church, Keswick; and a life-size 
statue of the Marquis of Hastings, erected over the hero's grave at 
Malta. To the Great Exhibition of 185 1 he sent a colossal group, 
now at the Free Library, Newcastle, " Satan subdued by the Arch- 
angel Michael," a work that is considered by competent judges to be 
one of the finest, if not the finest production of his chisel; together 
with "Duncan's Fighting Horses," and several figures from a Shake- 
spearian series that he executed for his life-long patron, the late Sir 
Matthew White Ridley. 

Time and space do not permit even an enumeration of Lough's 
further triumphs. For forty years altogether, he was actively at 
work, endowing British art with some of its finest creations. No 
North-Countryman needs to be told of the great things which Lough 
accomplished. In marble or bronze, in stone or plaster, all his 
principal works are with us in the North from day to day, and from 
year to year — a joy for ever. Facing the Chronicle Office in New- 
castle stands his monument of Robert Stephenson; at Tynemouth, 
overlooking the harbour-mouth, rises his statue of Lord Collingwood. 
In the castles of Alnwick and Ravensworth, the halls of Blagdon 
and Howick, on the staircase of the Literary and Philosophical 
Society, and in various parts of the Free Library of Newcastle, are 
brilliant examples of his genius in the finished marble; while at 
Elswick Hall, in the western park of the town, are exhibited, the 
gift of his widow, full-sized plaster models of nearly every work to 
which he set his hand — classical and ideal, statuesque and monu- 

Mr. Lough died in London, April 8th, 1876; his widow died 
December 29th, 1888. The issue of their union was two daughters, 
the elder of whom married Rudolph Scully; the younger was united 
to General Sir George Bouchier, K.C.B. 


%o\^c<^ of 1RiMc\> Iball, 


The vicissitudes of families is exemplified in the history of the 
ancient house of Lowes, long established, and now extinct, in the 
western part of Northumberland. Ridley Hall, their principal seat, 
is situated in the township of Ridley, at the point where the 
united streams of the East and West Allen, after running their 
course through the glorious woods of Staward, fall into the all- 
absorbing Tyne. The estate was part of the possessions of the 
Ridleys of Willimoteswick, and passed into the hands of the Lowes 
family about the beginning of the seventeenth century. Disjointed, 
with many missing links, as the pedigree of the Loweses appears to 
be, there is evidence that the family owned landed estate in the 
neighbourhood from a remote period. Robert Lowes, of Thorn- 
grafton, is mentioned in an order for the Border watches as far back 
as 1552, and Michael Lowes of Ridley Hall, occurs in 1620. John 
Lowes, of Beltingham, another part of Ridley township, purchased 
lands there after the sequestration of INIusgrave Ridley, of Willi- 
moteswick, at the beginning of the eighteenth century. From that 
period the family records are continuous and clear. From John 
Lowes, of Beltingham, came John Lowes, of Whiteshield, Thorn- 
grafton, buried at Beltingham, November 2nd, 1709, and of 
William Lowes (i), who lived at Crawhall (the home of the family 
until the mansion of Ridley Hall was erected), and died about the 
year 1732. 

William Lowes (i), an attorney, law bailiff to the manors of 
Ridley and Thorngrafton, and county keeper in 1705 and 1709, 
died a rich man. To his eldest son, John Lowes, gentleman, he 
left lands at Ridley Hall, Moralee, and Beltingham, and John, 
marrying Eleanor Graham, of Mosknow, in Dumfriesshire, purchased 
Crawhall from the Ridleys, and added it to the family property. 
William Lowes (2), the second son, received a bequest of Lough 
House and Steel-rig, and, dying at Ridley Hall on the 19th 
December, 1750, in his sixty-third year, was described in the New- 
castle Magazine of that year ("printed for J. Thompson & Company 
by John Gooding ") as " a man of great Honour and Integrity, so 


remarkably inoffensive that, 'tis said, no Person was ever known to 
speak Evil of him." Edward Lowes, the seventh son, was endowed 
with lands at East Mains, while Joseph, the fifth son, obtained, as 
his share of the estate, Cockton, the Mains, Rob Close, and the 

John Lowes, heir of William (i), had, like his father, a numerous 
family. Among them were William (3) and Robert, attorneys; John 
Lowes, of Newcastle, who married Jane, daughter of Ralph Clarke, 
of North Shields; and Eleanor, who was united to Thomas David- 
son, of Newcastle, clerk of the peace for Northumberland. 

The two attorneys, William and Robert Lowes, were well-known 
persons upon Tyneside a hundred and twenty years ago — the one 
as a munificent county magnate, and the other as a sordid creature, 
whose friendship was a misfortune, whose acquaintance was a dis- 
grace. William Lowes was baptised on the 28th of July, 1711. 
He married Margaret, daughter of Robert Marley, of Pelton, 
and, for a time, practised as an attorney in Newcastle. At his 
father's death he retired to Ridley Hall, and lived the life of a 
country squire. To him the Corporation of Newcastle leased, 
December 18th, 1755, subject to the right of the boys to play 
therein, the Spital Croft, described by Brand, the historian, who 
was an usher in the school from 1778 to 1784, as "the Campus 
Martius " of the Royal Free Grammar School adjoining. He was 
appointed High Sheriff of Northumberland in the autumn of 1773, 
and in that capacity, on the i6th of May following, " in the presence 
of a great company of ladies and gentlemen," laid the foundation- 
stone of the Assembly Rooms in Westgate Street, built, by contri- 
bution, on part of the garden belonging to the vicarage of New- 
castle. A plate, bearing the following inscription, was put under 
the stone : — 

" In an Age 

When the Polite Arts, 

By general Encouragement and Emulation, 

Have advanced to a State of Perfection 

Unknown in any former Period : 

The first Stone of this Edifice, 

Dedicated to the most elegant Recreation, 

Was laid by William Lowes, Esq., 

On the i6th day of May, I774-" 

Through the medium of his Freemen^s Magazme, satirical James 
Murray, minister of the High Bridge Presbyterian congregation. 


author of "Sermons to Asses" and other works of an incisive 
character, parodied this harmless inscription in the following tren- 
chant fashion: — 

" In an Age 
When the tide of corruption, 

By R 1 encouragement, deluged the land ; 

When Luxury had advanced to 

A state of perfection 

Unknown in any former period, 

The first stone of this edifice, 

Dedicated to the most magical Cii-ce, 

Was laid by W. L s, Esq. 

On the i6th day of May, 1774." 

" When a stagnation 

Of trade, and the high price of provisions, 

Had reduced the poor to the greatest extremity ; 

When the bridge, once over Tyne, 

At Newcastle, remained 

Entomb'd in the depths of the river, 

A heap of ruins, 

A chaos of disorder ; 

To their everlasting disgrace, the gentlemen of Newcastle 

Continue to waste their time, 

And spend their substance. 

In celebrating the rites of Venus, and the ceremonies of Bacchus. 

Five thousand 

Pounds were rais'd by subscription. 

Through a vicious emulation to excel in politeness; 

And land, devoted to pious purposes. 

Was sold by the Vicar, a thing 

Unknown in any former period ; 

And this fabric 

Was raised 

On the ruins of religion, and the morals of mankind. 

The pious sanction of W. L s, Esq., 

Engraved on brass, continues to show the profligacy of this age." 

It was this William Lowes who erected the mansion of Ridley 
Hall, described by Hodgson as occupying a situation very cheerful 
and charming, soft green slopes, and a rich garniture of groves, 
environing it on three sides, while to the south it looks upon 
a broad and fiat lawn, with the deep and thickly-wooded chasm 
of the river Allen full in front. Thomas Whately, an authority on 


ornamental gardening, quoted by Mackenzie, wrote of it in these 
glowing terms : — 

" The prospect, though bounded, is not confined in front ; and 
the rich vale, both up and down the Tyne, with a considerable reach 
of that river, and of the Allen, where it forms its junction with it, are 
in view from the north front of the house ; when there are added to 
this a bridge of two large and handsome arches, the east window of 
a beautiful chapel [Beltingham] shaded by some of the largest yew 
trees in the kingdom, Willimoteswick Castle, and that of Langley, 
with farmhouses and villages, intermixed with woods, and scattered 
in such a way as to give the idea of population, without encroaching 
on that of retirement, the whole forms such a scene as is perhaps 
scarcely to be paralleled, and would, without any other advantages, 
make this a delightful residence. From the house you pass by a 
terrace to one of those scenes which poets have delighted in describ- 
ing — a rapid river murmuring over pebbles, or forcing its way over 
rocks, confined by lofty mountains clothed with wood. This inter- 
esting walk continues for half a mile, when you reach a point called 
the Raven's Craig, where an opening in the vale of a few fields of 
haugh land, with a farmhouse, changes the scene, and recalls the 
mind from the contemplation of romantic beauty to real life. After 
passing the course of the Allen for about half a mile further, you 
ascend the high grounds of Ridley Hall by a walk cut through the 
wood, which at various points admits the view of different and pleas- 
ing objects. On reaching the summit, the prospect south is highly 
interesting ; the ruins of Staward Castle ' bosom'd high in tufted 
trees,' and the hanging banks of Kingswood, with the river at their 
feet, form a scene at once beautiful, grand, and romantic. On re- 
turning north the prospect is that of wildness, grandeur, and extent; 
the vales of the Tyne and Allen are hidden, and it requires little 
force of imagination to suppose yourself in one of the wildest dis- 
tricts of a neighbouring country. Perhaps the force of contrast is no- 
where more strongly marked than at the point of quitting this scene, 
and embracing that of the mansion, with its beautiful and richly 
cultivated grounds below it, the two rivers, and a considerable extent 
of that almost matchless vale through which the Tyne meanders." 

Mr. Lowes died in this beautiful retreat on the 22nd November, 
1783, aged 71, and was buried in the adjoining churchyard of 

Robert Lowes, known throughout the western part of the county 


as "Bobby Lowes the Lawyer," was six years younger than his 
brother WilUam, having been baptised on the 24th of July, 171 7. 
He married a Miss ColHng, and settled down to practice at Hexham, 
where, as described by Joseph Ridley of that place, in Richardson's 
" Local Historian's Table-Book," he embarked on a course of 
"apparently successful knavery, terminating in utter indigence, 
absolute beggary, and merited opprobrium." At first he enjoyed 
considerable practice, for, " having wealthy and extensive con- 
nections," displaying " much confidence and skill as a pleader," and 
being an expert conveyancer, owners of property round about 
Hexham put their affairs into his hands, and trusted him implicitly. 
He lived in the great house opposite to the Abbey gate (afterwards 
converted into a Wesleyan chapel), had a country residence at 
Humshaugh, and for a time kept up a style of living that befitted 
a brother of the owner of Ridley Hall. His subsequent career, 
his downfall, and his miserable end, are thus narrated by his 
biographer : — 

" His chef d''ceuvre was the getting possession of the title-deeds of 
many lots of property, some of which were mortgaged to him, and 
others were detained which came to his hands in the ordinary way 
of business. Many of these documents he is believed to have 
destroyed. Some of the premises were held for a length of time 
after his death, by those who happened to be the occupiers, without 
payment of rent; or if they came to be sold, were knocked down at 
an underworth, in consideration of the insufficiency of the titles, and 
are still recognised [1843] by the older inhabitants of Hexham as 
' Bobby Lowes' property.' Among several men-servants whom he 
kept about him, Tom Wilson, of Jobler's Style, seems to have had 
most influence with his master. Once, after Lowes's failure, whilst 
the lawyer and his man were overhauling a quantity of parchments 
which it was thought prudent to dispose of, while some were 
preserved and others committed to the flames, a document turned 
up which it was Wilson's interest as a tenant to put out of the 
way. ' Burn it,' said Tom, and the lawyer, who had kept his 
carriage, but could not afford to keep a conscience, at once freed 
the man from his responsibility to his landlord. 

" What it was that gave a turn to his affairs, what events acceler- 
ated his ruin, cannot be distinctly traced; but he did at length come 
to utter indigence, and continued so till his end, when he literally 
died in a ditch. He seems latterly to have gone almost mad, and 


ran about the country with a batch of papers on his back; Hving in 
great poverty, and lodging when in the town [his wife died January 
1 8th, 1777] with one Frank Armstrong. He was somewhat small 
in person and peculiar in manner and dress; in the latter period of 
his life he was ragged and dirty, though he was bred a gentleman, 
and had kept his coach. He constantly wore a red nightcap under 
his hat, which, with a bag over his shoulder, gave him an air 
of singularity. On one of his excursions into Hexhamshire, he 
called at a gentleman's house at a late hour in the evening. His 
company was undesirable, but a recollection of his former rank in 
society procured for him a night's quarters, and a servant was 
ordered to provide him a lodging. The lawyer, however, seemed 
disposed to spend the night in study, spread the contents of his 
green bag on the table, unrolled his briefs, and began transacting 
business in his own way; muttering his threatenings in the hearing 
of the servant, he forbade her interference on pain of imprisonment. 
Matters went on thus till three in the morning, when the woman, 
being anxious for rest, swept his papers into the fire, and, calling a 
man-servant, turned him out of the house, raving at the loss of his 
documents, and indignant at the outrage on his person. 

" He was ultimately found dead in, or close by, the Seal Burn, 
a little to the west of Hexham Church, and was buried under the 
old vestry room near the north door of the building. His burial is 
thus recorded: — ' i793j Oct. 13th, Robert Lowes, Attorney-at-Law.' " 

At the death of William Lowes (3), his estates in Northumberland 
and Cumberland descended to his eldest son John, who married 
Helen, daughter of the Rev. Ebenezer Stott, and had an only child — 
William Cornforth Lowes. John Lowes was High Sheriff of North- 
umberland in 1790-91, and died on the last day of the year 1795, 
leaving his property to this son, William Cornforth Lowes, with 
remainder to his cousin John Davidson, successor to his father, 
Thomas Davidson, in the clerkship of the peace for Northumber- 
land. The son, William Cornforth Lowes, of University College, 
Oxford, died in Newcastle on the eve of his majority, November 
17th, 1810, and was buried at St. John's Church there. Mr. John 
Davidson thereupon became possessed of the estates, but as some of 
them were of copyhold tenure, they could not be "willed," and 
Thomas Lowes, brother of John, and uncle of William Cornforth 
Lowes, claimed them as heir-at-law. An amicable suit to try the 
question was entered at the Assizes in Newcastle in 181 2, but the 


claimant, the last of his race, died in September of that year, within 
the precincts of Holyrood, leaving a natural daughter. The estate 
of Ridley Hall passed to this lady under her father's will, and she 
sold it six years later to Mr. Thomas Bates, and died at Hartlepool 
unmarried, August 20th, 1832. 

About Thomas Lowes there is a curious note in the Poll Book of 
the contested election for the county of Northumberland, in October, 
1774. He had voted for Lord Algernon Percy and John Hussey 
Delaval by virtue of a freehold described as " The Sands," and the 
editor of the Poll Book describes his qualification as follows : — " This 
young gentleman's name was omitted from his own declaration during 
the poll that he had no vote; but, on re-examining the books, he 
was found, during the election, to have discovered a freehold upon 
some sands, thrown up at the ever memorable flood, when Newcastle 
and Ridley Hall bridges fell. This, it is supposed, his father had 
given him to make a garden of, or rather plant willows upon — a 
method of pleasing children frequently practised by parents to en- 
courage industry and cherish rising genius. His brother voted for 
Henry's Island, a freehold of the same kind." 

Over the remains of this unfortunate descendant of the house of 
Lowes, visitors to Holyrood Abbey Churchyard read the following 
touching inscription : — 

"Here lies the body of Thomas Lowes, Esq., late of Ridley Hall, in the 
county of Northumberland; one instance among thousands of the uncertainty of 
human life, and the instability of earthly possessions and enjoyments. Born to 
ample property, he for several years experienced a distressing reverse of fortune; 
and no sooner was he restored to his former affluence, than it pleased Divine 
Providence to withdraw this, together with his life. Reader, be thou taught by 
this to seek those riches which never can fail (etc., etc.). An only daughter, over 
whom the deceased had long watched with the tenderest care, and many friends 
who admired his liberal and generous mind, unite in deploring his loss. He 
departed this life on the eighteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord 
1812, and in the 6lst year of his age. 



lEitcas flDact^cnsic, 


Eneas Mackenzie was born at Aberdeen, January 12th, 1777. His 
paternal grandfather was a wild mountaineer of Ross-shire, who, 
having in a fray dealt unmercifully with his antagonist, was com- 
pelled to fly to Caithness, where he continued to reside till Charles 
Stuart landed in Scotland to claim "his ain." Animated by the same 
spirit as his friend, young Sinclair of Olrig, Mackenzie determined 
to join the Chevalier, and, burning with impatience, he proceeded 
to collect a party. His house was soon filled, his cattle were 
slaughtered, and his corn distilled to entertain his adherents, and, 
full of confidence, they marched to join him whom they considered 
their lawful prince. The defeat at Culloden followed, and when, 
after many adventures and hair-breadth escapes, the general amnesty 
left Mackenzie at liberty to return to his home, he was a ruined man. 

From the fierce, unsettled, and imaginative cast of the father's 
mind, his son, Angus Mackenzie, could not be expected to acquire 
habits of strict order or economy, and he accordingly grew up a wild 
fellow, full of frolicsome gaiety, and vain of imitating his haughty 
and eccentric parent. Even when prohibited by law, he continued 
to wear the kilt, plaid, and blue bonnet, and perhaps it was this 
daring which possessed a charm for Ann Horn, whom he prevailed 
on to accept his hand ; perhaps, too, she hoped that her influence 
would tame his wildness and repress his irregularities. 

Some time after the marriage, Angus Mackenzie removed to 
Aberdeen, and thence to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He had a large 
family, none of whom, however, arrived at maturity save Eneas 
and a daughter. While living in Aberdeen, his means had become 
gradually more contracted, and, possibly, pride prevented him 
from returning to, and seeking assistance from, his clansmen, or 
from the Horns, Sinclairs, Omans, Swansons, Coghills, etc., with all 
of whom either himself or his wife was connected. Be this as it 
may, his poverty compelled him to work at the lapstone, while his 
frugal, high-minded wife seconded his efforts both by precept and 

Eneas Mackenzie was three years old when his father removed 



from Aberdeen to Newcastle. The school at which he was placed 
was in Silver Street, and the master's name was Enshaw, or, as he 
was commonly called, " Old Enshaw," and here he remained till the 
old man requested his father to remove him, "as he could teach him 
nothing the lad did not already know." His father then wished 
him to acquire his trade of shoemaking, but for this he was both 
morally and physically unfitted, and the idea was abandoned. 
Meanwhile the lad applied himself diligently to the acquisition of 
knowledge through the means of books, which one friend or another 
lent him, while every halfpenny he could get was laid out in buying 

candles, and these, being forbidden, were used by stealth when shut 
up in his own humble apartment, where the studious boy knelt by 
the one chair it contained, and pored with untiring zeal for the 
greater part of the night over the highly-valued contents of the 
borrowed volumes. 

An old man, a neighbour, having a map which it was forbidden 
to move, young Mackenzie was allowed the privilege of standing 
on a chair to look at it, and thus was laid the foundation of his 
geographical knowledge, which he improved by drawing portions of 
the map from memory in the retirement of his own chamber. At 
this period both his parents were members of the Presbyterian con- 


gregation in the High Bridge, and Eneas, with a young associate, 
Robert Morrison (afterwards the celebrated Chinese scholar. Dr. 
Morrison), was in the habit of repeating portions of Scripture, the 
Psalms, and the Shorter Catechism, on Sunday evenings, in the 
presence of the congregation. Zealous, even as a boy, for the 
diffusion of knowledge, he freely communicated the information 
he had so laboriously gained, and, actuated by this feeling, he 
taught his friend, Robert Morrison, the elements of English gram- 
mar. Quitting the Presbyterians, young Mackenzie joined the 
Baptists in the newly-erected Tuthill Stairs Chapel, and was one of 
the first baptised in the Baptistry, the members of the congregation 
having, previous to this time, undergone the ceremony of immersion 
in the river, at " Paradise," near Scotswood. Such was the influence 
possessed over the members of his own family by the youth, that 
soon after joining the Baptists he persuaded his father, mother, and 
surviving sister to be also baptised. 

Before being admitted a member of this congregation, Eneas 
underwent an examination, the result of which gave so much satis- 
faction that a proposition was made to send him to college forthwith. 
The detection of some circumstances opposed to his sense of justice 
led him to withdraw from the Tuthill Stairs community, although 
after his removal to Sunderland, where he started in business as 
a shipbroker, he occasionally preached to outlying congregations. 
The shipbroking venture proving unsuccessful, he entered the 
family of Mr. Bilton, of Stanton, as a tutor, and there remained 
for several years. All this information, and much more, was contri- 
buted some years since to the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle by a 
correspondent, who appears to have been intimately acquainted 
with Eneas Mackenzie's early history. 

Returning to Newcastle about the beginning of the century, Mr. 
Mackenzie opened a school in the Castle Garth, but finding the 
accommodation insufiicient he removed it to the High Bridge. 
While there, in 1805, he married, and with the responsibilities of 
a young family coming upon him began to devise means of engaging 
in more profitable employment. He had a ready pen, which he had 
employed in contributions to the local press, the publication of " A 
History of Egypt " (published by K. Anderson, in the Side, Newcastle, 
in 1809, in 2 vols., 8vo), the issue of sundry pamphlets, etc., and, 
finding that his literary efforts were appreciated, he conceived the 
idea of starting a printing and publishing business in which his 


readiness with the pen might be more advantageously utilised. 
Accordingly, in 18 10, he entered into partnership with John Moore 
Dent, a practical printer. Thus was established the firm of 
Mackenzie «S: Dent, whose imprint appears on the title-pages of 
so many historical, topographical, and geographical works in local 
collections. For twenty years Mr. Mackenzie conducted the 
correspondence, rendered the accounts, and superintended the out- 
door transactions of his firm, and at the same time found opportunities 
of writing histories, compiling biographies, and acting as author or 
editor of many other useful publications, most of which were issued 
in numbers and delivered by hawkers to subscribers throughout the 
Northern Counties. 

Among his other activities Mr. Mackenzie took a leading part 
in political warfare. He was a Radical, the associate of Larkin, 
Doubleday, Attwood, and Fife. At the great meeting in Newcastle 
over the " Peterloo Massacre" in 1819 he took the chair, and 
delivered a stirring speech, and when the Northern Political Union 
was formed he became one of its secretaries. In or about 1823, 
under the signature of " Peter Pry," he wrote a series of trenchant 
articles in the Refor7ner's Magazine., issued by Marshall, the Radical 
printer in the Groat Market, Newcastle, and it is said that some of 
the best of the pamphlets on burning questions of the day which 
issued from Marshall's press were the production of his pen. 

Eneas Mackenzie was an ardent social reformer as well as an earnest 
political agitator. To him is undoubtedly due the formation of the 
Newcastle Mechanics' Institute. In February, 1824, he wrote to a 
friend : — " I have been lately much engaged in forming a Literary, 
Scientific, and Mechanics' Institution. A public meeting is to be held 
in Fletcher's long room, on Thursday next, for the purpose of intro- 
ducing to the public the nature of the plan. I have written the 
resolutions and appointed the speakers. Though the yearly subscrip- 
tion is small, I have no doubt we shall have as much money to 
expend on books as the other society, which is daily becoming more 
exclusive and aristocratic. I intend that one-third of our committee 
shall be every year ineligible to be re-elected, and I think we shall 
not only do a public good, but also soon vie with ' the Dons,' who 
seem resolved to shut the doors of their society in the face of all 
who have not a heavy purse." Mr. Mackenzie attended the meeting 
and moved a resolution, and when the Institution was fairly started 
he presented to it many volumes of books, prepared the Library cata- 


logue, and read papers on subjects such as " The UtiUty of 
Machinery in Promoting the Comfort and Happiness of the Working 
Classes," " The History and Progress of Navigation," " The Geo- 
graphy of the Ancients," " The Arts of Drawing and Painting," " The 
Population of Nations," " Literary Institutions," " The Effects of 
Steam on the Future Destinies of Mankind," etc., etc. Regarded as 
the father of the Institute during Hfe, he was honoured after death 
by the placing of his bust in marble in the long room of the Institute 

The books by which Mr. Mackenzie is best known are his 
histories of Northumberland and Newcastle. They are avowedly 
"popular" compilations, based upon the works of Wallis and Hut- 
chinson, Bourne and Brand, and brought down to date, but evincing 
no deep research or original investigation. To the general reader, 
desirous of knowing only the leading incidents which have gone to 
make up local history, they are most interesting, while to the local 
biographer the copious notes which underlie the text afford a happy 
hunting-ground that never fails to yield quarry. Both of them are 
models of popular histories for general use. 

Mr. Mackenzie fell a victim to a visitation of cholera which afflicted 
Tyneside in 1832. He died on the 21st of February in that year 
after a few hours' illness, at the age of fifty-four, and was buried in 
Westgate Cemetery. His eldest son, named after him Eneas, carried 
on the business for a few years, issuing, among other publications, a 
newspaper, the Newcastle Press (which lasted from July 20th, 1832, to 
October 4th, 1834), and ultimately emigrating to Australia, where he 
died. One of the daughters, marrying Mr. Furniss, became the 
mother of Harry Furniss, the caricaturist. 

The principal works which Eneas Mackenzie compiled are 
these: — 

"An Historical and Descriptive View of the County of Northumberland, and of 
the Town and County of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with Berwick-upon-Tweed, and 
other celebrated Places on the Scottish Border. Comprehending the various 
subjects of Natural, Civil, and Ecclesiastical Geography, Agriculture, Mines, 
Manufactures, Trades, Commerce, Buildings, Antiquities, Curiosities, Public 
Institutions, Population, Customs, Biography, Local History, etc." Illustrated. 
2 vols., 8vo. Newcastle : Mackenzie & Dent, 181 1. 

" A New and Complete System of Modern Geography ; Containing an Accurate 
Delineation of the World as Divided into Empires, Kingdoms, Republics, 
Colonies, etc. With their Respective Situations, Extent, Boundaries, Climate, 
Soil, Agriculture, Rivers, Lakes, Mountains, Forests, Botany, Zoology, Miner- 


alogy, Natural Curiosities, etc. Likewise the Civil and Polilical State of Each 
Country ; Embracing the various subjects of Population, Manners and Customs, 
Language, Literature, Education, Cities and Towns, Edifices, Roads, Canals, 
Manufactures and Commerce ; also Religion, Government, Laws, Army, Navy, 
Revenues, and Political Importance. With a Brief Sketch of the Origin, History, 
and Antiquities of Each Nation ; and an Introduction, containing a Neat and 
Comprehensive System of Astronomy and Meteorology ; Forming a Complete 
Repository of Geographical Knowledge ; Including every Recent Discovery and 
Political Alteration. Illustrated and Embellished with correct Statistic Tables, 
an accurate and beautiful Atlas, and appropriate Engravings." 2 vols., 4to. 
Newcastle: Mackenzie & Dent, 1817. 

"An Historical, Topographical, and Descriptive View of the County of North- 
umberland, and of those Parts of the County of Durham situate North of the 
River Tyne, with Berwick-upon-Tweed, and Brief Notices of Celebrated Places 
on the Scottish Border. Comprehending [as before]. Second Edition." Illus- 
trated. 2vols.,4to. Newcastle: Mackenzie & Dent, 1825. 

"A Descriptive and Historical Account of the Town and County of Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne, Including the Borough of Gateshead." Illustrated. 2 vols., with 
continuous pagination, 4to. Newcastle : Mackenzie & Dent, 1827. 

"The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, Late Emperor of the French, King of 
Italy, etc., from his Birth in the Island of Corsica to the period of his Death at 
St. Helena," etc. 2 vols., 8vo. Newcastle : Mackenzie & Dent. No date. 

"An Historical, Topographical, and Descriptive View of the County Pala- 
tine of Durham; Comprehending the various subjects of Natural, Civil, and 
Ecclesiastical Geography, Agriculture, Mines, Manufactures, Navigation, Trade, 
Commerce, Buildings, Antiquities, Curiosities, Public Institutions, Charities, 
Population, Customs, Biography, Local History," etc. [Completed after Mr. 
Mackenzie's Death by Metcalf Ross, Co-Editor.] Illustrated. 2 vols., 4to. 
Newcastle : Mackenzie & Dent, 1834, 

Xtoncl fll^a^^i6on, 


In the valley of the Wear, facing Stanhope, half-hidden by stately 
beeches, stands the old manor-house of Unthank, long the property 
of the Merleys, or Marleys, and their descendants, the Maddisons, 
of EUergill. From this picturesque abode, early in the sixteenth 
century, came Lionel, second son of Rowland Maddison, the owner, 
to learn the business of a merchant adventurer in Newcastle. To 
whom he came, and with whom he served his indentures at a time 
when the extravagance of Newcastle merchant apprentices had to 
be repressed by special mandate of the governor, do not appear. 


No record of his early life upon Tyneside has come down to us. It 
is to be presumed that his training was right, because his career was 
successful; it is to be inferred that he became wealthy, because he 
is found in after years occupying high positions in the town. Three 
hundred years ago, the burgesses of Newcastle did not usually 
appoint to posts of dignity and honour men of low degree or mean 

Lionel Maddison married Jane, daughter of Thomas Seymour, 
and by her, when he was about forty-four years old, he had issue 
an only son. It would appear, therefore, that he did not enter into 
the married state early. He was comparatively late, too, in taking 
upon himself the honour, or burden, of municipal office. He had 
passed the middle period of life at the date (1584) of his election to 
the Shrievalty, and he was an elderly gentleman of sixty-three, or 
thereabouts, when, at Michaelmas, 1593, he was appointed chief 
magistrate, with William Jenison as Sheriff. 

To whatsoever cause his tardiness in attaining to the highest office 
of the municipality may have been attributable, the Mayoralty of 
Lionel Maddison was distinguished by a profuseness of hospitality 
which few previous Mayors seem to have equalled. Shortly after 
his election the thirty-fifth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's accession 
came round, and the townspeople celebrated it with noisy demon- 
strations of bell-ringing and bonfire, music and good cheer. In the 
Municipal Records are entries of the charges for ringer and gunner, 
flautist and drummer, and for all the choice things with which the 
Mayor, Sheriff, Aldermen, and Common Council regaled themselves 
at the Penthouse on the Sandhill. The substantial, if they had 
any, must have been provided by the Mayor himself, but the 
"extras," supplied at the cost of the municipality, included claret 
and sack, cakes and apples, 7 lb. of sugar loaf, 12 lb. of dried sweet- 
meats (described as almond, and cinnamon, and violet comfits), to 
please fastidious tastes, or stimulate jaded appetites, and fourteen 
pennyworth of candles to light the table withal. 

But all this merry-making was put into the shade by a feast which 
Lionel Maddison and his brethren gave in September, 1594, to two 
representatives of the Low Countries, or Flanders, who passed 
through Newcastle on their way home from the christening, at 
Stirling, of Prince Henry, eldest son of James VI. To Mr. Mayor 
and the municipal authorities the visit of these strangers was a great 
event, and they celebrated it with stately ceremony and convivial 


joy. From the Municipal Records it is possible to reproduce the 
scene — enacted, be it remembered, three hundred years ago. First, 
the bellman is sent round to command the burgesses to meet the 
Mayor, while armourers dight and furbish the town's weapons, and 
the drummer wakens up the train-bands to provide a guard of 
honour. Then the great day and the great men arrive; the artillery 
of the town proclaims a welcome with "35 lbs. of powder"; Lionel 
Maddison, vested in robes of fur and satin, receives his guests, 
and, preceded by flag-bearer and fifer, mace-bearer and sword- 
bearer, chamberlains and sergeants-at-mace, a long procession 
slowly wends its way through crowded streets of applauding 
citizens to the Mayor's residence. We know even what the 
banqueters ate and drank, and the sum that was paid for every item 
of the entertainment. As a picture of festive life upon Tyneside in 
the days of the " Virgin Queen," and the year in which Shakespeare 
printed his first play, the details, though they look forbidding, are in 
reality most interesting : — 

" Paide the belman for going to geve warninge to the burgesses 
to meete Mr. Maior, 3 times; and for the drum geving warninge 
to muster to mette the Staites of the Low Country cam fro 
Skotland, 8d. 

" Paide for repairinge and mendynge armor which was broken 
when the States of Flanders fro Skottlande to receve them, viz., 
for a new briche and mending the stocke of a musquett, i8d. ; for 
a callever stocke peardet and plaited with iron, 8d. ; for a callever 
sight and a new skowrer, i6d. ; for a new stocke and a breiche 
of a callever, 3s.; for 22 skowrers and sticks that was lost 7s. 4d. ; 
for 4 new hookes and nales lost of the musket flapes, 2s.; myselfe 
reparinge the same armor, 4 dales, 4s. ; for my two men, 3 dales, 
4s.; a b'ende of leth., 4s.; his men to drinke, i2d. ; for nailes, 4d. ; 
— 29s. 2d. 

"Paide for a banquet to the Staites, in Mr. Maior's, for good 
chere, some suger and comfettes, viz.: for manshets, los. ; a kaise of 
mutton, 6s. ; a side of veale, 3s. ; suitt to baiken meate, 2s. ; a swan, 
los. ; 4 gease, 4s. Sd. ; 3 piggs, 4s.; 10 caipons, 15s.; 6 hens, 3s.; 
a turke cock to baike, 5s. ; 6 couple of connyes, 4s. 6d. ; 8 quilles, 
3s. 4d. ; wilde fowl, los. ; a cagge of struggen [keg of sturgeon], 12s.; 
freshe fishe, 4s. ; salte fishe, 2s. ; flowre to baike withall, 5s. ; butter, 
4s.; a lb. of peper and other spices, los. 4d. ; eggs, 2od. ; milke, 
i6d. ; fruite, 3s. 4d. ; a barrle of London beare, 12s.; for Thomas 


Hinde his cook paines, 5s.; the waits playinge musicke, los. Some, 
7/. 6s. 2d. 

"For 21 gallons secke att Fo. Selbies, 2/. i6s.; for 23 gallons and 
a pottle of clarid wyne, 47s.; for 3 quartes of musketyne, 2s. 6d. ; 
for 2 sugar loves, weide 25 lb., i8d. per lb., 37s. 8d. ; for marche 
paines, 23s. 6d.j 6 1b. colliander comfettes, 8s.; orringe comfettes, 
3 lb., 6s.; senymond comfettes, 4 lb., 8s.; clove comfettes, 3 lb., 6s.; 
ginger comfettes, 2 lb., 4s.; rose comfettes, 2 lb., 4s.; vilett com- 
fettes, 2 lb., 4s.; notmeg comfettes, 2 lb., 4s.; muske comfettes, 
2 lb., 4s. ; allmond comfettes, 4 lb., 6s. 8d. ; 3 lb. of marmylaide, 
7s.; 2 lb. of dried suckett [liquorice], 6s. 8d. ; 3 lb. of biskett 
breade, 5s. 2d.; of banquetting conceites, 5s.; quarter pounde of 
bisketts, fyne, 5d.; quarter pounde of carrawaies, 5d. ; 6 lb. of 
Spanche suckett, 4s.; 2 lb. of preservd quinches, los. ; 2 lb. of 
preservd cherries, 6s. 8d. ; 2 lb. of preservd damson, 6s.; 2 lb. of 
preservd plumes, 6s.; 2 lb. preservd barberies, 3s. 4d. ; 2^ lb. of 
perfumes, i6s. 7d. — 31/. 9s. 4d. 

"Paide for good chere to the Staites men, and for wyne and 
suger, and those that came withe theme at dynner and supper, 
2/. i2s., and for horse meate to their horses, 12s. Some is at John 
Carr's [innkeeper] 3/. 4s. 

" Paide for 6 yardes and a quarter of searsnett of corde to Ro. 
Fenwicke which carried the auncient before the Staites, 5s. 4d. per 
iearde, 33s. 4d. ; for 35 lb. of powder which was shott when they 
cam, 3/. 6s. lod. 

"Paide to Ro. Askewe for playinge with his fife before the 
drume, i6d." 

To wind up the record, we have the amount of salary, or fee, 
which was given to the Mayor and Sheriff, at the end of the 
municipal year, to assist them in bearing the burden of office: — 
"Paide to Mr. Maddyson, Maior, for his fee this yeare, 100/. Paide 
Mr. Will. Jennyson, Sherif, for his fee this yeare, 30/." Not large 
sums, truly, but the purchasing power of money was much greater 
at a time when a side of veal cost but 3s., a sucking pig only is. 6d., 
and claret was 2s. a gallon. 

In the great dispute that raged in the town over the Grand Lease 
of Gateshead and Whickham (see vol. i., page 71), Lionel Maddison, 
although a "grand lessee" himself, sided with the anti-monopolists, 
and joined in the complaints which Henry Sanderson, the Queen's 
Customer, and others alleged against them. Sanderson, in one of 


his reports to the Privy Council, dated 1597, sounds Mr. Maddison's 
praises in the following terms: — " Lionel Maddison, alderman, a very 
good townsman; he husbanded the town's treasure in such sort, by 
appointing but a single surveyor, that he did many extraordinary 
things for the common good of the town, as augmenting the town's 
armour greatly, etc., and yet left 680/. in money in the town chamber 
when he went out of his mayoralty. He proved the town's interest 
in the Grand Lease, and sought to have the same restored," etc. 

Before the contest ended, Mr. Maddison himself was drawn into 
the fray. He and Robert Dudley, a brother alderman, addressed 
a letter to Lord Burghley in which they controverted an allegation 
from the other side that " but fifteen base and turbulent people 
complain of their abuses"; and they conclude with this striking 
passage: — "We think that the imputation of baseness, from those 
whose proceedings are supported by Chamberlains that neglect their 
occupations to live on their shares in the town stock, and from 
Common Council that work at the wheelbarrow, could only have 
been to prevent that objection from us. As to turbulency, we 
deserve to be branded with it, if our complaints are unjust; but as 
Ahab and his father's house troubled all Israel, so Mr. Chapman, 
the chief counsellor of the grand leases, and his complices, are 
perturbers of this commonwealth." 

When this difficult quarrel was settled by Queen Elizabeth's 
Charter (1600) Lionel Maddison was one of the aldermen of the 
town and one of the members of the fraternity of hostmen that were 
named in the document. His name occurs also, in the same year, 
at the head of a commission to sit in St. Nicholas' Church and 
examine witnesses in a cause between the Corporation of Newcastle 
and some of the burgesses, as well as in a list of the coal-owners, 
who, by order of the Hostmen's Company, were to observe the 
regulated vend of coal. In the municipal year 1605-6 he was 
Mayor again, and Governor of the Merchants' Company, his son, 
Henry Maddison, being Sheriff, and in the year 161 7-18 he occupied 
the same exalted position for the third and last time. A subsidy 
roll of 1 62 1 shows that he was living in St. Nicholas' parish, his son 
and grandson each having a separate household, and the following 
year, an aged man, he appears as a witness in a dispute between the 
town and certain grantees or farmers under the Crown of a coal 
due of twopence a chaldron : — " Lionel Maddison, the elder, of 
Newcastle, Esquire, aged eighty-five years, or thereabouts [he was 


ninety-two], deposed that he knew none of the complainants; that 
the town was incorporated by the name of the Mayor and burgesses, 
and had been all the time of his remembrance; that they are seised 
of the town and river, and of all the rights belonging to the same ; 
that the town was compassed with fair and stately walls, and is the 
principal refuge for the country in time of war; that the Mayor and 
burgesses bore and maintained the charges of repairs, eta, and that 
they had received as long as he can remember, the said duty of 
twopence; that he had seen an exemplification of an inquisition 
taken in the time of Henry VL, wherein it appeared that the said 
duty of twopence was then, as now, taken by the Mayor and 
burgesses," etc. 

Mr. Maddison died on the 6th December, 1624, aged ninety-four 
years, leaving an only son, Henry, who became the father of Sir 
Lionel Maddison, and fifteen other sons and daughters. A stone in 
the nave of St. Nicholas' Church marked the resting-place of the 
venerable alderman and that of his wife, who died July gth, 161 1, 
while upon the elaborate sculpture which forms the principal attrac- 
tion of St. Nicholas', the " Maddison Monument," appears his efifigy, 
" devoutly postured " in front of his wife, surrounded and supported 
by his son and daughter-in-law, and their sixteen children. 

Sir Xioncl flDabbison, 


Henry, only son of Alderman Lionel Maddison, baptised at St. 
Nicholas', Newcastle, on the 30th of October, 1574, married, May 
14th, 1594, Elizabeth, daughter of Alderman Robert Barker, a 
wealthy Tyneside merchant, and, shortly afterwards, entered into 
public life as one of the town's chamberlains. During the second 
mayoralty of his father, in 1605-6, he filled the ofifice of Sheriff, and 
at Michaelmas, 1623, was elected Mayor himself, being, at the same 
time, appointed Governor of the two great companies of Hostmen 
and Merchant Adventurers. His name frequently appears in the 
heated controversies that raged over the monopoly which he and his 
fellow-hostmen exercised in the sea-borne coal trade, and upon one 
occasion (May 161 8) it figures in a case before the Star Chamber, in 
which he and five others of the fraternity were committed to the 


Fleet Prison, and ordered to pay a fine of ^[^20 to the king, for 
adulterating, or mixing, coals. He died on the 14th July, 1634, 
aged sixty, and was buried in St. Nicholas' beside his father and 

Lionel, eldest of the sixteen children born to Henry and Elizabeth 
Maddison, was baptised on the i6th February, 1594-95, and, on the 
14th of January, 1616-17, he married Anne, daughter of William 
Hall, of Newcastle, merchant. Following the footsteps of his father 
and grandfather, he entered the governing body of the town, and in 
1624, the year of his grandfather's death, and of his father-in-law's 
mayoralty, he received the appointment of Sheriff. In due course 
the higher position of Mayor came to him. He was occupying that 
office, with one of his brothers-in-law, Francis Bowes, as Sheriff, when 
King Charles I. spent a week in Newcastle on his way to be crowned 
in Scotland. His Majesty arrived in the town on the evening of 
Monday, the 3rd of June, 1633, dined with the Mayor the day 
following, and, before leaving for the North, gave his Worship the 
accolade of a knight, bidding him rise up Sir Lionel Maddison. 

When the troubles came which developed into civil war, Sir 
Lionel Maddison took a leading part in preparing Newcastle to 
defy the king's enemies, and resist invasion. He was one of the 
municipal rulers who conferred with Sir Jacob Astley upon the 
proper means to prevent the town being taken by surprise, and sent 
to the lord-lieutenants (January 27th, 1638-39) Sir Jacob's instruc- 
tions, accompanied by this loyal declaration : — " For what concerns 
ourselves by these instructions to be done, we shall not fail (God 
willing) with all expedition to perform the same; and for what other 
things therein contained, which we have made bold to crave the 
assistance of his Majesty's most honourable Privy Council, our 
humble suit to your lordships is that you will be pleased to do us 
that honourable favour as to commend our suit therein to their 
honours; and as duty binds us we shall be, as we have always been, 
most ready and forward to adventure our lives and fortunes for the 
advancement of his Majesty's service, in the defence of this our 
ancient town and liberties." 

Sir Lionel Maddison did not long continue to be the ardent 
Royalist which the foregoing letter indicates. Robert Bewicke, 
Mayor in 1639-40, had married his eldest son to one of Sir Lionel's 
sisters, while William Maddison, one of Sir Lionel's brothers, was the 
husband of Rebecca, sister of Ralph Gray, a Puritan leader in 


Newcastle. Through the influence of these family connections it 
was believed that his loyalty first began to waver. Sir John Marley, 
writing to the Dean of Durham in January, 1639-40, gave expression 
to the prevailing suspicion, informing the Dean that Sir Lionel 
Maddison was " one of the greatest favourers of the faction in all 
Newcastle, but carries it warily." 

Later on, in the autumn of 1640, when the Scots, fresh from their 
victory at Newburn, took quiet possession of Newcastle, the Earl of 
Lothian, whom they appointed governor of the town, lodged at Sir 
Lionel's house, and from thence issued his requisitions upon the 
authorities of Northumberland and Durham for the support of the 
Scottish army. Sympathisers fared no better than opponents in 
these burdensome levies, and both parties made common cause in 
seeking relief from them. Sinking their political differences, Sir 
Lionel Maddison and Sir John Marley journeyed to York, and pleaded 
the cause of their suffering fellow-townsmen before the king and 
his Council. To what extent they succeeded in benefiting New- 
castle is not apparent; terms were arranged long afterwards in 
London, and the Scots departed. 

At the second Scottish invasion, in the beginning of 1644, when 
the Earl of Leven appeared before the walls of Newcastle, and 
requested a parley. Sir Lionel Maddison was one of those who signed 
a defiant refusal to grant it. But in the animated correspondence 
which preceded the storming of the town in October following he 
took no part. He had, in fact, three months before, definitely gone 
over to the side of the Parliament On Wednesday, the loth July, 
in that year, as may be read in the Journals of the House of 
Commons — "Two letters from the Committee in Sunderland; the 
one of June the last, the other of July this Sixth ; and a Letter, 
inclosed in the former from the Earl of Calander, near Blythe- 
nooke, relating, that Sir Lionel Maddison and Alderman Clavering, 
of Newcastle, were come in to the Parliament, were this Day 


Four months later the House took the submission of these two 
Newcastle aldermen into consideration, and ordered " That Sir 
Lionell Maddison, and Mr. Clavering, that came and submitted 
themselves to the Parliament in July last, as appears by a Letter 
from Sir William Armyn, and the rest of the Committees and 
Commissioners of both Houses residing in the Scotts Army, be 
referred to the said Commissioners to deal with, and dispose of, as 


1 27 

they shall find Cause, upon Experience they have had of their good 
and real Affections to the Parliament." 

No further reference to the matter appears in the Journals. There 
are entries of the restoration of coals and collieries to Sir Lionel's 
brother Ralph, the husband of Elizabeth Hall, his wife's sister, and 
nearly a twelvemonth later, in September, 1645, by order of the 
House, Sir Lionel was added to the "Committees for the Town 

lbs P'jatidisor; N(oiZUTn£ijr 

and County of Durham in the Ordinance for the Northern Associa- 
tion." It would appear therefore that the Commissioners were 
satisfied of his " good and real affection to the Parliament," and that 
he was left unharmed in mind, body, or estate. He was not, how- 
ever, fortuned to participate in the triumphs of the party to which 
he had allied himself. The Hostmen appointed him their Governor 
for the year following that of the siege, and in the autumn of the 


next year, on the i8th November, 1646, he died. He was buried on 
the 2ist of that month, near the magnificent monument which he had 
erected in St. Nicholas' to the memory of his father and grandfather. 

The Maddison Monument appears to have been erected by Sir 
Lionel, soon after the death of his father, Henry Maddison. It is, 
as the drawing shows, an elaborate composition — one of the chief 
adornments of the Cathedral. At the top are statues of Faith, 
Hope, and Charity. Faith, on the left, is represented in a sitting 
posture, holding a book in one hand and a cross in the other; Hope, 
to the right, reclines on her anchor in an attitude of aspiration; 
Charity, in the centre, stands erect, holding in her right hand a 
flaming heart. Under the statue of Faith are inscribed the words 
MemoricB Sacrum — " Sacred to the memory" ; below Hope is written 
Memorare Novissima — " To relate the last words." 

In the body of the monument are six kneeling figures — three men 
and three women. Those on the left are Alderman Lionel Mad- 
dison and Jane Seymour, his wife. The central figures are Henry 
Maddison, their son, and his wife, Elizabeth Barker. The effigy in 
armour on the right is Sir Lionel Maddison, and behind him kneels 
Anne Hall, his wife. Below the principal figures are sixteen smaller 
ones, representing Henry Maddison's sixteen children — ten sons and 
six daughters. The second daughter, it will be observed, is repre- 
sented on a smaller scale than the rest, having died in infancy. 
Above are coats-of-arms indicating the family alliances — Maddison 
quartering respectively Marley, Seymour, Barker, and Hall. 

Under the figures of Alderman Lionel Maddison and his wife, on 
the left side of the monument, is the inscription : — 

" Here rests in Christian hope ye Bodies of Lionell Maddison, sone to Rowland 
Maddison of Vnthanke in ye covnty of Durham, Esq. and of lane his wife. Shee 
Died Ivly 9, 161 1. Hee having been thrice Maior of this Towne, Departed Dec. 
6, 1624, aged 94 Yeares. Hee liued to see his onely sonne Henry Father to a 
Fayre «S: numerous Issue." 

The two panels in front, beneath the figures of Henry and his wife, 
are inscribed as follows : — 

" Here Interred also are the Bodys of Henry Maddison & Elizabeth his Wife 
(Davghter to Robert Barker of this Towne Alderman) who liued together most 
comfortably and louingly in trve Wedlock ye space of 40 Years, He was some- 
tyme Maior of this Towne & having liued in good name & fame 60 Yeares Deceased 
in ye trve Faith of Christ the 14th Ivly 1634. 


" Elizabeth his only Wife had issve by him ten sonnes Sr Lionell Maddisoii 
Kt. , Raphe, Robert, William, Henry, Peter, George, Timothy & Thomas, & six 
Davghters lane, Svsan, Elizabeth, Barbara, Elenor & lane. All the sonns at his 
death were lining but lohn, who died in ye late Expedition to Cadiz. She liued 
his Widow 19 Years and being Aged 79 Years Dyed the 24 of September 1653." 

The panel to the right, beneath Sir Lionel and his wife, was left 
blank for their descendants to fill up. For some reason or other — 
perhaps, as Brand suggests, because of the knight's defection from 
the cause of the king — this panel remained unappropriated for more 
than two hundred years. But when St. Nicholas' was restored in 
1873-77, and the monument was removed from the western pillar 
of the south aisle of the chancel, cleaned, and set up in the south 
transept, Mr. Henry Maddison, of Darlington (who died in New- 
castle, February 6th, 1891), caused the space to be filled with the 
following inscription : — 

" In this chvrch are also interred the mortal remains of Sir Lionel Maddison, 
Knt. (descended from the ancient and worshipfvl family of Maddison of Ellergill 
& Vnthank, co. Dvrham) who was Mayor of this town in 1632, & died in Nov. 
1646, aged 51 years; & of Anne his wife, who was sister and co-heiress of Sir 
Alexander Hall, Knt. and died in April, 1633." [This date, by the way, is wrong. 
Lady Anne Maddison was buried on the 14th of April, 1663.] 

Beneath the panels are four Latin mottoes. To the left, under 
Lionel's wife, AnimcR svper cethcra viviint — " Souls live above the 
sky." Beneath Lionel and Henry, Decus vitcz est honorata mors — 
" The glory of life is an honoured death." Under Sir Lionel and 
his mother, Beatl mortiii qui iti Domino jnonvntur — " Blessed are 
the dead which die in the Lord." Below Sir Lionel's wife, Serins 
ant citins Metaju properamns ad vnam — " Sooner or later we all 
hasten to one goal." 

Originally the base of the monument contained a series of small 
shields indicating the marriages of Sir Lionel Maddison's brothers 
and sisters, but these have long disappeared. So far as can be ascer- 
tained the marriages were as follows : — Ralph, to Elizabeth, sister to 
Sir Lionel's wife ; Robert, to a Miss Draper ; William, to Rebecca 
Gray; Henry (Sheriff of Newcastle, 1642-43, and Mayor, 1665-66), 
to Gertrude, daughter of Sir George Tonge ; Peter (Sheriff of New- 
castle, 1637-38), to Elizabeth Marley; Thomas, to Jane, daughter of 
Ralph Cock ; Jane, to William, son of Sir Nicholas Tempest ; Eliza- 
beth, first to William Bewicke, son of Robert Bewicke, the Puritan 
Mayor, and secondly to Thomas Loraine, of Kirkharle ; Eleanor,, 

VOL. III. 9 

1 30 JOHN MA GBR A V. 

to Sir Francis Bowes ; Jane (born after the first Jane's death), to Sir 
James Clavering. 

Sir Lionel Maddison left an only daughter, Elizabeth, who married, 
February 27th, 1639-40, Sir George Vane of Longnewton, knight, 
second son of Sir Henry Vane of Raby Castle, and brother of Sir 
Harry Vane of the Commonwealth. From this marriage the noble 
house of Londonderry traces its descent. 

3obu riDacjbra^, 


Among those who fled across the Border during the persecution 
of the Lutherans in Scotland was a disciple of John Knox, belonging 
to Galloway, named John Magbray or IMackbray. Being of gentle 
birth and good education, he found his way to London, where he 
entered into holy orders, and became a minister of the Reformed 
Church of England. His abilities in his new sphere of action 
brought him preferment. Soon after the Reformation the living of 
Shoreditch was conferred upon him, and in that position, till the 
death of Edward VI., he remained — a zealous and acceptable 
preacher. There is a passing reference to him as a metropolitan 
vicar in the " Diary of Henry Machyn, Citizen and Merchant-Taylor 
of London." Under date 1552, the diarist, recording the burial, 
at Stepney, of Sir Anthony Wakefield, knight, adds a line which 
identifies the fugitive from Galloway : — " At the Communion did 
preach the Vicar of Shoreditch, a Scot." 

Upon the accession of Queen Mary, Mr. Magbray fled again — 
taking refuge this time in Germany. For a while he preached to the 
English congregation at Frankfort. "Afterwards," writes Spotswood 
in his " History of the Church of Scotland," " called by some occa- 
sion to the charge of a church in the lower Germany, he continued 
there the rest of his dayes. Some Homilies he left upon the Pro- 
phecies of Hosea, and an History of the beginning and progress of 
the English Church." It is believed that Spotswood was mistaken 
in supposing that Mr. Magbray died abroad. Other authorities state 
that shortly after Queen Mary's death he returned, with many other 
fugitives, to England, and resumed his ministrations. Industrious 
Machyn makes a note of his re-appearance, though it is to be ob- 


served that he does not identify him with the ex-vicar of Shoreditch : 
— "The 3rd September [1559] did preach at Paul's one Makebray, 
a Scot." Strype, in his "Annals," has a similar entry: — "One 
Makebray, a Scot, an eminent exile in Queen Mary's days, preached 
at St. Paul's Cross in 1559." 

Through the influence of Dr. Best, Bishop of Carlisle, Mr. Mag- 
bray came to the North of England. Lord Scrope, writing from 
Carlisle to Secretary Cecil, on the 15th July, 1564, informs him that 
" A chaplain to the Bishop of Carlisle, a Scotsman, named Maw- 
braye, and tw^o of the Prebendaries of the same church, preached 
several days to great audiences, who liked their sermons and 
doctrines." A year later Mr. Magbray obtained the Dean and 
Chapter living of Billingham, near Stockton, vacant by the depriva- 
tion of Prebendary George Cliff, and on the 2Sth November, 1568, 
on the death of the Rev. William Salkeld, his friend, the Bishop of 
Carlisle, inducted him to the vicarage of Newcastle. 

Neither of these livings being too well endowed, Vicar Magbray 
was allowed to hold them both. It was soon found, however, that 
Newcastle received the most of his attention, and that Billingham 
was neglected. He kept a curate in his Teesside benefice, but 
the curate did not do his dut}', and grave scandal accrued. In 
the Act Books of the Court of Durham, under a date not given, 
but presumably in 1573, is the record of a case in which the church- 
wardens of Billingham complain that for two Sundays running they 
had no service, and that the parishioners had to obtain neighbouring 
clergymen to baptise and marry. At a visitation of the clergy held 
in St. Nicholas' Church, Durham, in February, 1577, the church of 
Billingham was represented by two of the churchwardens only; the 
vicar, his curate, and even the parish clerk being absent. For this 
neglect Mr. INIagbray and the curate were excommunicated. The 
following year he appeared personally as vicar of Billingham at a 
General Chapter held in Heighington Church; his excommunication 
having in the meantime been purged or withdrawn. Soon afterwards 
— date uncertain — he resigned the living to Prebendary Cliff, the 
previous vicar. His withdrawal from Billingham may have been 
concurrent with his resignation of the vicarage of Newcastle, which 
happened on the 8th of April, 157S, "in the Galilee of Durham 
Cathedral, before the Bishop sitting in person in Visitation." Of 
this, how'ever, there is no evidence. He became repossessed of his 
living of Newxastle after no long interval, and he is heard of at 

1 3 2 JOHN MA GBR A Y. 

Billingham no more. In a "deputation" of sermons, allotted by 
Bishop Barnes to be preached between Michaelmas, 1578, and the 
same date in 1579, by various clergymen of the diocese "over 
and besides their ordinary quarterly and monthly sermons in their 
own peculiar cures and churches," Mr. Magbray is put down for nine 
discourses. He was to preach before the General Chapter in his own 
church of St. Nicholas', and afterwards at Bishop Auckland, Morpeth, 
Tynemouth, Gateshead, Benton, Earsdon, Newburn, and Norton. 
He died in Newcastle in the early part of November, 1584, and 
Agnes, his wife, a few months later followed him. "November i6th, 
John Mackbray, preacher, and some time curate," is the entry by 
which the keeper of St. Nicholas' Register of Burials recorded his 

Vicar Magbray belonged to the school of John Knox, and, like his 
exemplar, was a fluent and earnest preacher. He was not content to 
follow stereotyped forms nor to imitate prescribed models of pulpit 
utterance. He claimed the liberty, which he had enjoyed in exile, 
to deliver his message in his own way; to expound the doctrines he 
had received from the Reformers with all the freedom of Luther and 
Calvin. The latitude of thought and expression which characterised 
his ministrations became, in after years, the subject of animadversion 
by Dr. Jackson, one of his successors in the vicarage. Writing upon 
" The Inordinate Libertie of Prophesying," the Doctor classes him 
with Knox and Udale as a sower of tares : — " Since the Libertie of 
Prophesying was taken up, which came but lately into the Northern 
Parts (unless it were in the towns of Newcastle and Barwick, wherein 
Knox, Mackbray, and Udal had sown their Tares), all things have 
gone so cross and backward in our Church that I cannot call the 
Historic for these fortie years or more to mind, or express my 
observations upon it but with a bleeding heart." 

In the archives of the Ecclesiastical Court at Durham are pre- 
served the records of a suit for dilapidations at the Vicarage, brought 
against Roger Boston, administrator or receiver of Mr. Magbray's 
effects, by the succeeding Vicar of Newcastle, the Rev. Richard 
Holdsworth. The details are interesting and curious. Michael 
Frisell, curate of the church of North Gosforth (whose ruins are still 
to be seen in an enclosure adjoining Low Gosforth House), deposed 
that, after Mr. Magbray's decease, Boston took possession of his 
goods — nineteen bushels of wheat and a mare, worth, together, ;^i8 
or more ; a silver salt, worth ^5 or more ; a silk grogram gown and 


a cassock, worth ^6 13s. 4(1. Cuthbcrt Murray, slater, testified that 
he and Richard Burne surveyed the Vicarage, and found that it was 
decayed in the brewhouse and a backhouse [bakehouse ?] adjoin- 
ing, the repairs of which would cost 50s. Burne and he had 
repaired the hall, charging 37s. Sd., and he himself had renovated 
"the old house by the coal-hole" at a cost of 22s. yd. Other 
witnesses gave evidence respecting carpenter work, while Cuthbert 
Ewbank, curate of St. Nicholas', confirmed Mr. Frisell's testimony. 
Boston, according to his account, had taken away goods belonging 
to Mr. Magbray worth, one with another, he thought, ^^40, besides 
the silk grogram gown and the cassock. It was sought to make 
Boston pay for the repairs out of the proceeds of Mr. Magbray's 
estate, but the result of the suit is not stated. 

If there has been no mistake in identifying the exile at Frankfort 
as the Vicar of St. Nicholas', and no error in assuming Magbray in 
Elizabeth's days to have been the Mackbray who fled from Galloway 
at the time of the Reformation, then Newcastle must have had a 
very learned man at the head of her clergy from 1568 to 1584. For, 
besides the two works mentioned by Spotswood, John Magbray was 
the author of several books. Bale names some of them, and adds 
that "he wrote elegantly in Latin." 


One of the figures that looms out large and clear from the haze and 
mist of the Civil War time, is that of Edward Man, merchant, clerk 
to the Merchants and Hostmen's Companies, and Town Clerk of 

Edward Man was a son of Myles Man, of Huttonroof, a township 
in the parish of Kirkby Lonsdale, Westmorland. He came to New- 
castle in 1615, to be bound apprentice for ten years, from the ist of 
August, to Edwin Nicholson, boothman, or corn merchant. Through 
the death or failure of his master in 1622, he was "set over," first to 
Jacob Farniside, his master's half-brother, and, secondly, to Mary 
Nicholson, who was probably his master's widow. Before August, 
1625, when his apprenticeship should have expired, he had been 


admitted to the freedom of the Merchants' Company, for on the ist 
of that month, designated as a "merchant adventurer," he became 
bond for a lad who was indentured to a cooper. Thenceforward he 
appears in the books of the fraternity, following his calling, and 
taking apprentices like other members of the company. By the year 
1639, he had developed aptitudes for business, and skill in the 
management of affairs, which recommended him to his brethren as a 
suitable person for the office of clerk to the company, and to that 
responsible position he was appointed. There is an order of the 
fraternity of that date authorising him to make free use of a horse 
which they owned, to enable him, w^e may presume, to ride to Shields, 
and other places round about, when engaged upon their business. 

Whatsoever may have been, at the outset, Mr. Man's views upon 
the political and religious disputes which were gradually dividing the 
kingdom into two great camps, there can be no doubt that, some 
time before he received the appointment of clerk to the Merchants' 
Company, he was in active sympathy with the anti-prerogative and 
anti-prelatical party. Although in 1635, when cited before the High 
Commission Court at Durham to answer, with other townspeople, 
for scandalous words about a sermon preached in St. Nicholas' 
Church by Dr. Cosin, he backed out of the case, and was admitted 
a witness against his co-defendants, yet, three years later, when 
summoned again before the same court as a witness, his tendencies 
were clearly exhibited. On that occasion, John Blakiston was pre- 
sented by Vicar Alvey for non-conformity to the rites and ceremonies 
of the Church, and Man gave evidence in his favour. He deposed 
that he was forty years of age, and with occasional absences abroad, 
had lived for twenty-three years in the chapelry of All Saints ; that 
he usually attended All Saints' Church, where Dr. Jenison preached, 
though sometimes he attended St. Nicholas'; that Blackiston attended 
both places, and always behaved in a decent and reverent manner, 
etc., etc. 

Then, in February, 1640, he was reported to the Privy Council by 
Sir John Marley as a participant in a " conventicle supper " with Sir 
Walter Riddell and Sir John Buchanan, "two covenanters from 
Scotland of no mean note." A month later, when there was a hotly- 
conducted election in Newcastle, and Anthony Errington, a warden 
of the Merchants' Company, prepared a petition for redress of griev- 
ances, his was the pen which put the petition into shape and added 
various stinging passages. Again, in September, 1641, being one of 


the churchwardens of All Saints', he signed a resolution, passed at a 
meeting of the "four and twentie and auntient of the parish," refus- 
ing to admit George Wishart, the king's nominee, to be their preacher 
in the place of Dr. Jenison, suspended for non-conformity. 

Occupying a prominent position as an official of the greatest and 
wealthiest commercial corporation in the North of England, Mr. 
Man was entrusted with business of high importance. When, in the 
summer of 1641, the Scots quitted Newcastle, after a full year's 
occupancy, he was appointed a commissioner to perfect accounts of 
billets and other moneys due from them. He was also busily engaged 
in a famous contention, which lasted from 1636 to 1665, between the 
Merchant Adventurers of Newcastle and London, respecting the 
right of the latter to levy a duty of 48s. a piece upon cloth exported 
to Rotterdam. The records of the Merchants' Company exhibit him 
as assessed for a sum of 20s. towards the payment of the garrison, 
while the Hostmen's books show that he was clerk to their fraternity 
for a time, and did good service in preventing "unfree" men from 
loading and selling coals. 

Mr. ISIan's next appearance in local history indicates that he had 
suffered a reverse of fortune. By some mischance he was put into 
prison, but for what offence, whether for debt, breach of ecclesiastical 
law, or disloyalty, and by whom incarcerated, do not appear. All 
that we know about the matter is disclosed in a resolution of the 
House of Commons, dated March 7th, 1642-43: — "Ordered, That the 
Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench do grant a Habeas Corpora 
for the Removal of the Bodies of Henry Ogle, John Salkeld, Jo. 
Ridley, Tho. Huntley, Edward Man, Nath. Barnard, and Geo. 
Moore, from the Prison at Newcastle where they are now detained; 
and of the Causes of their Commitment : And Mr. Blakeston is to 
present to the House the Names of such other Prisoners there, or in 
the Bishoprick of Durham, that like Habeas Corpora may be granted 
for them." 

Ill-fortune continued to pursue Mr. Man at this time. At the 
election of officers of the Merchants' Company, on the 9th of 
October, 1643, his post of clerk was conferred upon another, and a 
year later, on the eve of the siege and storming of Newcastle, he was 
obliged to take refuge in the ranks of the besieging army. A letter 
addressed to a member of the House of Commons "From Ben well, 
within a mile of Newcastle," on the day of the final assault upon the 
town, and signed with the initials " E. M.," is believed to have been 


written by him. He had been a witness of the struggle, and, 
rejoicing over the defeat of his fellow-townsmen, he announced his 
intention of congratulating the victors : — 

" I thought once to have gone into towne this night, but durst 
not, till the storme was wholly allayed. To-morrow I intend to wait 
upon his Excellencie and Sir William Armine, to give God thanks 
for this great gaine, being the considerablist place in the Kingdom 
for the Parliament. 

"The storme lasted two houres or thereabouts; it was very hott 
and managed bravely on both parts till the Towne was overmastered. 
I forbear to enlarge, wishing God may give us thankfuU hearts that 
our and God's malicious and malignant enemies are thus happily 
entrapped; howsoever, all my goods they are like to bee a prey to 
the souldiers as well as others; in common judgement there is 
seldome difference; I have not any manner of thing out of towne, 
yet I am happie God made me a spectator of the fall of those wicked 
men who were borne to ruinate so famous a towne; the Maior's 
house or some other adjoyning are burning, yet my Lord Generall 
hath given order for the staying off the fire if possible. The Post 
stayeth, I may not enlarge, so with my love to your good wife, and 
Henery Dawson [Mayor of Newcastle, 1652-53, and first M.P. for 
the county of Durham, 1653], his Wife, and Mistresse Fenick, I rest, 
your ever loving friend, E. M." 

After this great triumph of his party Mr. Man received some of 
the rewards which the victors were able to confer upon their friends. 
Parliament appointed him on the 5th December, 1644, a member of 
the local committee for sequestrating the estates of delinquents, and 
the following year he was promoted to the important office of Town 
Clerk of Newcastle. The order of both Houses, by authority of 
which the Royalist Mayor, Sheriff, Recorder, Town Clerk, and other 
municipal dignitaries were removed, and Edward Man and his 
friends were set up in their places, has not been published by local 
historians. A terrible stern and unrelenting document it is. Copied 
from the Journals of the House of Lords under date May 26th, 
1645, it runs in this fashion : — 

" Forasmuch as the Town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the 
County thereof, hath by a malignant and wicked Party, ill-affected 
to the King and Parliament, and the true Protestant Religion, been 
brought to great Extremity and Misery ; and for that the said Town 
cannot be reduced to due Obedience, and well governed, except the 


Delinquents therein be removed from the Offices and Places of 
Trust which formerly they held and enjoyed there, and have abused 
to the great Prejudice and almost Ruin of the said Town; and that 
others, of Fidelity to the King and Parliament, be put into their 
Rooms and Places; the which cannot be so speedily effected, in the 
ordinary and useful Way of Elections, by and according to the 
Charters of the said Town, as Necessity requireth: It is therefore 
Ordered and Ordained, by the Lords and Commons in this 
present Parliament assembled, That Sir John Marley Knight, the 
present Mayor of the said Town, be forthwith displaced, disabled, 
and disfranchised, and be removed from being ]Mayor, Alderman, 
and Freeman of the said Town; and that Henry Warmouth, Esquire, 
Alderman of the said Town, and unduly removed by the said malig- 
nant Party, be restored to his Place of Alderman, and be the present 
]\Iayor of the said Town ; and that he the said Henry Warmouth 
shall exercise the Power and Authority of the Mayor there, and shall 
have, receive, and take, all the Profits, and Advantages, and Emolu- 
ments belonging, or in any Wise of Right appertaining, unto the 
Mayor of the said Town for the Time being, in as large, ample, and 
beneficial a Manner as any Mayor of the said Town for the Time 
being heretofore had, used, or enjoyed the same: And the said 
Lords and Commons do hereby will and require all and every the 
Inhabitants and Townsmen of the said Town of Newcastle, and all 
and every other Person and Persons, that they give Obedience to 
the said Henry Warmouth, as to the Mayor of the said Town for the 
Time being: And it is further Ordained by the said Lords and 
Commons that Sir George Baker, Knight, Recorder of the said 
Town, for his notorious Delinquency, be displaced and removed ; 
and that Edmond Wright, of Greyes Inn, Esquire, be Recorder of 
the said Town ; and that Sir Nicholas Cole, Baronet, Thomas Lidell, 
Esquire, Sir Francis Bowes, Knight, Ralph Cole and Ralph Cocke, 
Esquires, Aldermen of the said Town, and notorious Delinquents 
against the King and Parliament, be displaced, disabled, and dis- 
franchised, and be removed from being Aldermen and Freemen of 
the said Town; and that John Blakiston, Esquire, a Member of the 
House of Commons, and Burgess of the said Town, be Alderman in 
the Place of Sir Alexand'r Davison, Knight, lately deceased ; and 
that Henry Lawson, Henry Dawson, Thomas Legard, John Cosin, 
and Thomas Bonner be Aldermen of the said Town; also that James 
Cole, now Sheriff of the said Town, who is a notorious Delinquent 


against the King and Parliament, be disabled and disfranchised, and 
be removed from the said Office of Sheriff, and from enjoying the 
Privilege and Benefit of Free Burgess of that Town; and that 
Robert Ellison be Sheriff; and also that Edward Man be Town 
Clerk of the said Town in the Place of Doctor William Greene, 
lately deceased ; and also that Henry Marley, Clerk of the Chamber 
of that Town, who is also a notorious Delinquent against the King 
and Parliament, be displaced, disabled, and disfranchised, and be 
removed from being Clerk of the Chamber, and no longer enjoy the 
Privilege and Benefit of a Free Burgess of that Town ; and that 
Edward Wood be clerk of the said Town in his Place : And it is 
further Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, that Yeldred 
Alvey, now Vicar of that Town, who is a notorious Delinquent, be 
displaced and removed from his Vicarage and Cure there ; and that 
Doctor Robert Jenison be Vicar of the said Town in his Place, and 
have, receive, and enjoy, to his own Use, all Profits and Advantages 
belonging to the said Vicarage and Lecture in as large and ample 
Manner as the said Mr. Alvey might or ought to have enjoyed the 
same; and that Mr. Christopher Love, and Mr. William Struther, 
Two Ministers of God's Word, or some other learned Reverend 
Divines, be sent to preach the Word of God there." 

The patent granted to Mr. Man to exercise the office of Town 
Clerk is dated the 4th of September, 1645, but it is probable that he 
entered upon his duties when the resolution of both Houses had 
been officially communicated to the local authorities. Shortly before 
that time, in order to prevent a coal famine in London, he and 
Robert Ellison, M.P., had sent to the House of Commons a scheme 
for working collieries belonging to delinquent owners. In the 
Journals of the House, June 20th, 1645, the proposal finds a place 
in the following form : — 

" Mr. Lisle further reported a Letter from Sir ^Vm. Armyn and 
Mr. Fenwick from Newcastle of 7th Martii, 1644-45; ^^i'^h Proposi- 
tions signed by Edward Man and Robert EUeson, in the Names of 
themselves, and the rest of the Undertakers, concerning the Manage- 
ment of Delinquents Collieries : Which was read. And, 

" It was thereupon Ordered, That the said Letter and Propositions 
be referred to the Committee of both Kingdoms upon the Place; to 
treat with the Makers of those Propositions, or any other well-affected 
Persons, for the Managing of Delinquents Collieries, for the best 
Advantage of the State; and to consider of, and settle, the Measure 

S/J^ HEi\R Y MANISTY. 1 39 

of Coals at Sunderland, and at Newcastle, the Price of Coals there; 
and for giving an Oath to the Fillers, Staithmen, and Owners of 
Coals, as well as to the Masters of Ships there." 

In the municipal accounts of Newcastle under date March, 1646, 
appears the item — "Paid Mr. E. Man his charges in goeing to 
Scotland for to demand debts for the Burgesses of this Towne, but 
gott not one penny — 12/." — an entry which indicates that the new 
Town Clerk was not so successful among his Presbyterian friends 
across the Border as he had been with the unfree men of the Tyne. 

Mr. Man did not long enjoy the office and emoluments of Town 
Clerk. His domestic life, like his public career, had been full of 
trouble. He had married Dorothy, daughter of George Bindlosse, 
of Kendal, and out of eleven children born to him only one attained 
to the age of manhood. In the prime of life, on the loth of Decem- 
ber, 1654, he was buried in St. Nicholas' Church, beside them. 
Upon a mural tablet, which still exists there, may be read his epitaph, 
and eleven punning verses, enumerating in florid Latin his manifold 
virtues. Freely translated, the epitaph, and some of the lines, read 
as follows : — 

" In memorj- of Edward Man, truly noble, most truly Christian, having long 
laboured as a merchant in foreign marts, as a prudent elder in the public govern- 
ment of the churches, and most faithfully as Town Clerk in the more private 
councils of this noble Town of Newcastle, he rested in the Lord, December 9th, 

"A Man of sweetest disposition. A Man pregnant with wit. A Man of 
Liberal spirit. A Man of public course of life. A Man truly pleasing to the 
people. A Man the darling of the human race. A Man of the Church an elder, 
and a happy part of its government. Wail, ye tribunals, bereft of Man's calm and 
gentle direction ! " 

Sir 1bciu\> nDani6t\>, 


Henrv ]SL\ni.stv was the second son of the marriage, recorded 
on page 239 of our second volume, between Eleanor, daughter of 
Francis Forster, of Seaton Burn, twice Mayor of Newcastle, and the 
Rev. James Manisty, B.D., of Trinity College, Cambridge, then 
newly appointed Vicar of Edlingham, near Alnwick. The marriage 
was solemnised at St. John's Church, Newcastle, in 1804, and Henry 


was born at the vicarage house of Edlingham on the 13th of 
December, 1808. Educated at Durham Grammar School, he was 
articled to a firm of solicitors in Bailiffgate, Alnwick — Messrs. 
Thorpe & Dickson. Having been admitted an attorney he be- 
came a partner with Messrs. Meggison & Pringle of London, 
forming thereby the firm of Meggison, Pringle, & Manisty, well- 
known, fifty years ago, as the London agents of several leading 
North-Country solicitors. 

After a dozen years' practice in the lower branch of the profession, 
Mr. Manisty shaped his course for the Bar. The Admission Register 
of Gray's Inn records his entrance into that great legal training 
school on the 20th of April, 1842. 

Called to the Bar on the 23rd of April, 1845, Mr. Manisty obtained 
a considerable practice from the very outset of his career. In cases 
affecting manorial rights, or involving points of ecclesiastical law, 
he achieved his greatest distinction, but he was a good all-round 
advocate, solid, clear, and precise in his arguments, fair, courteous, 
and considerate towards opponents, and utterly free from trickery, or 
straining after effect. He naturally selected the Northern Circuit — 
which included York, Durham, Newcastle, and Carlisle — for his 
practice in Assize work, and was able through his local connections, 
and especially by painstaking zeal for the interests committed to his 
charge, to command the confidence of North-Country attorneys, and 
secure briefs. It has been written of him that " he bore the very 
stamp of a lawyer, and any physiognomist would have declared that 
his eagle-like features and his penetrating eyes could belong to no 
other than a discriminating jurist. Notwithstanding his long absence 
from the North, Mr. Manisty preserved in his speech a tinge of the 
Northumbrian language, with which he was familiar in his boyhood. 
This was particularly noticeable in his sustained pronunciation of 
the vowels a and o ; and it was all the more noticeable because his 
speech was always deliberate, and somewhat monotonous. His early 
recollections helped him wonderfully in the examination of witnesses 
from the pit villages of Northumberland and Durham, whose uncouth 
and unfamiliar expressions have many a time perplexed both judge 
and counsel at an assize trial." 

On the 7th of July, 1857, Mr. INIanisty was made a Q.C., and for 
some years occupied the position of leader of the Northern, or, as 
it was afterwards called, the North Eastern Circuit. He became a 
bencher of his Inn on the 22nd July, 1857, was treasurer in 1861, and 


received the appointment of Judge of the Queen's Bench Division 
of the High Court of Justice in November, 1876. Although at the date 
of his appointment verging upon the Psalmist's limit of threescore 
years and ten, his physical and mental faculties were in their fullest 
vigour. " He was a most painstaking judge, and whether in criminal 
or civil cases, spared neither time nor trouble to arrive at a right 
apprehension of truth and justice in a cause. A copious and care- 
ful note-taker, his summing-up was always a model of accuracy and 
comprehensiveness. " 

Mr. Justice Manisty died on the 31st of January, 1890, and was 
buried at Kensal Green Cemetery. He was twice married, first to 
Constantia, daughter of Mr. Patrick Dickson, of Berwick-on-Tweed, 
who died August 9th, 1836, and secondly to Mary Ann, daughter of 
Mr. Robert Stevenson, of the same place, by whom he had issue. 
One of his sons, Herbert Francis, LL.B. of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 
born March 2nd, 1854, student of the Inner Temple, called to the 
Bar on the 17th November, 1877, is the editor of the sixth edition of 
" Broom's Legal Maxims." 

Two other sons of the Rev. James Manisty, brothers of the judge, 
rose to positions of distinction in their respective professions. The 
eldest brother, James, born in 1807, matriculated at Lincoln College, 
Oxford, in 1824, took his degrees of B.A. in 1828 and M.A. in 1831, 
and was for a time curate of St. Andrew's, Newcastle. He obtained 
the perpetual curacy of Shildon in 1834, where he ofificiated for twenty- 
eight years, was transferred from thence in 1862 to the rectory 
of Easington, at which place he died on the 12th of April, 1872. 
By his marriage, December 28th, 1830, to Junie Gombert, widow of 
Joseph Francis Forster, of Seaton Burn, his mother's nephew, he 
left numerous issue. 

A younger brother, Francis ALinisty, trained to the practice of 
medicine, became an ALD., and obtained considerable reputation 
in Bombay, where he lived for many years. He married Eliza- 
beth Dale, of Coleshill, in Warwickshire, and died in 1889 at 
Gresford, in North Wales. 


3obn ni>arcb, 


" An admirable Scholar, a Man of strict Piety, and a most powerful Preacher." 
— Bourne's " History of Newcastle." 

One of the few natives of Newcastle who have been entrusted with 
the spiritual oversight of the town was the Rev. John March, B.D., 
who filled the post of Vicar during the latter part of that difficult and 
dangerous period which ended in the Revolution of 1688. Mr. 
March was a firm adherent of the dynasty which the Revolution 
overthrew, and his career of strife and struggle, amidst the changes 
of religion that followed the death of Charles 11. and the accession 
of William III., form an interesting chapter of local history. 

The son of Anabaptist parents, born about the year 1640, Mr. March 
obtained his early education at the Royal Free Grammar School 
of Newcastle, under the learned Bohemian, Dr. George Ritschel. 
When he was about twelve years old, in July, 1652, his father, 
Richard March, merchant, died, leaving him to the care of trustees, 
one of whom it is supposed was Ambrose Barnes. By them he was 
sent, at the age of seventeen, to Queen's College, Oxford, to be 
trained by a celebrated tutor, Mr. Thomas Tullie. Within the year, 
Mr. Tullie removed to St. Edmund's Hall, of which institution he 
became Principal, and his pupil followed him. At St. Edmund's Mr. 
March completed his studies, entered into holy orders, and waited 
for preferment. Meanwhile he practised as a tutor, numbering 
among his pupils the learned and pious John Kettlewell, known in 
after-life as the author of " Measures of Christian Obedience," and 
other works of merit and repute. He remained at St. Edmund's 
Hall fourteen years altogether, acting part of the time as Vice- 
Principal of the College, and then, in September, 1672, he received 
promotion. The Warden and Fellows of Merton College presented 
him to the Northumbrian living of Einbleton, adjoining Dunstan- 
borough Castle. 

Mr. March had taken his Arts degrees, B.A. in 1661, and M.A. 
in 1664; and now, settling down as a country parson, he obtained a 
bachelor's degree in divinity (1674), and married Elizabeth, only 
daughter of Humphrey Pibus, of Newcastle, mercer and hostman. 



On the 30th of August, 1676, the Corporation of Newcastle, which, 
since the Restoration, had become conspicuously loyal, finding in 
the Vicar of Embleton a man after their own heart, conferred upon 
him the lectureship of St. Nicholas'. His preaching justified their 
choice. He upheld royal prerogative, inculcated passive obedience, 
and denounced, with scathing invective, dissenters and reformers of 
every grade. The biographer of Ambrose Barnes, while assigning 
to Mr. March the character of " an excellent practical preacher," 
laments that " being sent to the university after the Dissenters 
were crusht, he had imbibed High-Church principles, and blemisht 


i^r^C^ o/f^ci^rvA., 

himself with a virulent animosity against Nonconformists." His 
method of dealing with these grave questions is exemplified in a 
sermon which he preached at St. Nicholas' Church (from Judges xix. 
30), on the 30th January 1676-77 — the first anniversary fast for the 
death of King Charles I. that occurred after his appointment. The 
sermon was published by request of the Corporation, and it therefore 
bears a dedication " To the Right Worshipful Sr. Ralph Carr, Mayor; 
the Right Worshipful Sr. Robert Shafto, Recorder, And to the Right 
Worshipful, and Worshipful the Aldermen and Sheriff, etc., of the 
Town and County of Newcastle-upon-Tyne." Thus it begins: — 


"We may justly take up the Lamentation of the Holy Martyr 
Polycarp : Good God, for what times of wickedness hast thou been 
pleased to reserve us ! Times which have produced such horrid 
Abominations as former Ages were willingly ignorant of, and suc- 
ceeding Generations will never sufificiently abhor ! We have lived 
to see the Christian Calendar stain'd with Protestant, as well as 
Popish, Rebellions: a Thirtieth of January made blacker than the 
Fifth of November. We have seen Treason made a sign of Grace: 
A Corah, Dathan, and Abiram once more Canoniz'd for Saints, 
and Blasphemously styled the People of the Lord. We have seen 
Painted Jezebels proclaiming Fasts, that they might glut themselves 
with the blood of the Innocent, and with keener Appetites devour 
Naboth's Vineyard. We have heard our Steeples Ring for Victories 
that deserv'd no Triumphs: our Pulpits loading innocent Majesty 
with direful imprecations, and sounding forth Thanksgivings for 
prosperous and too successful Rebellion. Nay, we have known this 
Famous Town made the Market of our King, Men of Belial, like 
Judas, selling their Master, and in this at least more wicked than 
He, in that they were guilty of a far greater Covetousness. We are 
called not only by Providence, but also by publick Authority, to 
solemnize this day. A Day as black as Hell ! and such as deserves 
more Curses than Job or Jeremy bestowed upon their Birthdays. 

" Let us consider the Person that was Murder'd. He was a King, 
who, as he had the bloud of all the Princes of Christendom running 
in his Veins, so he had more than all their Vertues shining in 
his Soul. As Saul overlooked the rest of the Israelites by the stature 
of his body, so this mighty Monarch overtop'd all other Princes by 
the size and stature of his mind. He was more Chast than Scipio, 
more Valiant than Caesar; nor did he yield in Temperance to the 
severest Stoick. His Graces, like his Person, were truly Royal. 
He was, like David, a Man after God's own heart; wise like 
Soloman, and Patient like Job: For his zeal he was a Josias; a 
Moses for his Meekness; and tho' none deserved less to endure the 
Cross, yet none knew better to wear it above the Crown." 

This remarkable sermon (there are thirty pages of it altogether) 
gave such pleasure to the Corporate authorities, and to the ecclesi- 
astical patrons of the living, as induced them to mark the preacher 
for early promotion. Their opportunity soon came. In the summer 
of 1679 the Rev. Thomas Nailor, Vicar of Newcastle, died, and 
Mr. March obtained the living. The Corporation gave him their 


stipendiary contribution of ;^6o per annum, with ^\o for turns at 
Thursday's lecture; the Bishop of Durham made him one of his 
chaplains; the clergy of the Archdeaconry of Northumberland 
elected him as their Proctor in Convocation. Everybody conspired 
to do him honour, and he entered into the work of his new cure 
with renewed zeal, and with fresh devotion to the cause of his 
Church and his King. In March, 1682, the Corporation increased 
their annual allowance to him from ^Q^o to £,^0. 

As Vicar of Newcastle, Mr. March became, if possible, more 
devoutly loyal, and less tolerant of heterodox opinion, than before. 
In the preface to a sermon which he preached before the Mayor 
and Corporation on the 3rd of May, 1682, and published at their 
instance, with the title of "The Encaenia of St. Ann's Chappel in 
Sandgate," he told his "right worshipful and worshipful" patrons, 
that as there was no town which could equal Newcastle for " trade, 
populousness, and wealth," so there was none that surpassed it, and 
"but very few that equal it, in point of Loyalty and Conformity." 
" This Happiness and Glory," he continued, " we owe in great 
measure to that Loyalty and Conformity which shine forth in your 
own Examples; partly also to that great encouragement you give 
unto the Loyal and Orthodox Clergy of the place, but chiefly to 
the due exercise of your Authority, suppressing Conventicles, those 
notorious Seminaries of Popery, Schism, and Rebellion." Again, 
in another of his " Royal Martyr Anniversary" Sermons, preached 
the following January, he denounced " factious schismatics," who 
" paint their impious Innovations with the specious colours of Piety 
and Religion"; asked "how many Thousand Ignorant Souls did 
they hurry into Rebellion, and afterwards to Hell"; maintained that 
" Kings and Princes derive their Power and Authority from God, 
and not from the people"; and showed how "heinous a sin" it 
was to make schism in the Church, or promote rebellion against 
the State. 

The compliments which Vicar March paid to the Corporate 
authorities for their energy in suppressing conventicles had a sub- 
stantial foundation. Through their watchfulness, and his own untir- 
ing zeal, Dissenters found it difficult to meet in Newcastle without 
detection. Dean Granville, in his diary of this date, notes with 
much approval the excellent work done through the instrumentality 
of the Vicar, and the Official of Northumberland, Isaac Basire. 
They had been so watchful that, as he told the Archbishop of 

VOL. III. 10 


Canterbury, "there was not now (16S2-83) one publick conventicle 
in the town, and if there were any that did meet at all, it were some 
few by night, according to the example of the primitive Christians." 
What must have been the feelings of Ambrose Barnes, leader and 
head of the Tyneside Nonconformists, as he saw his friends hunted 
down by a Vicar whose parents were Dissenters, and whose youthful 
steps he had himself assisted to guide in paths of learning and 
toleration? Barnes's biographer makes it appear that Mr. March 
had all along a great respect for the sturdy alderman, and that 
he secretly favoured him with explanations and excuses: — "Vicar 
March, most of whose sermons were invectives against Dissenters, 
and who clamoured against such magistrates as showed them any 
marks of sivility or good-will, telling them they let these frogs of 
divines creep into their halls and bed-chambers, when orthodox 
divines could not be admitted; even this Vicar March would step 
privately out by night, and make him respectfuU visits, throwing 
the blame of these rigorous proceedings upon the misfortunes of 
the times." 

"The misfortunes of the times" had quite a different meaning 
before Vicar March was much older. Charles II. died on the 6th 
of February, 1685, and his brother, James II., ascended the throne. 
Mr. March had given offence to his friends of the Corporation by 
appointing Nathaniel EUison (afterwards Vicar) to the curacy of All 
Saints', and now he had the mortification of seeing all sorts of 
sectaries tolerated, petted, patronised, and installed in high places. 

"The misfortunes of the times," like a flowing tide, had, indeed, 
set in strongly against him. But they did not move him. Holding 
his principles firmly, he refused to follow the humour or caprice of 
the hour. He saw the last of the Stuart kings fly from the country, 
but it did not weaken his faith. On the contrary, the more his 
loyalty and allegiance were tested by the course of events, the 
stronger they became, and the fiercer were his criticisms of those 
who, in his opinion, had again brought their sovereign to shame, and 
their country to disgrace. Between the abdication of James II. and 
the accession of William and Mary, another Anniversary Fast for the 
death of the Royal Martyr came round, and Vicar March, as he had 
done on every recurrence of the day since his appointment, preached 
an eloquent sermon in defence of loyalty and conformity. He main- 
tained in this discourse that passive obedience and non-resistance to 
the higher powers was a principle founded on the word of God; 


stigmatised the proceedings of the Prince of Orange and of the 
nobility and gentry who had invited him over, as rebelhon; and 
asserted that "whosoever meddled with the king's forts, castles, 
militia and revenue," were " guilty of Damnation." Among his hearers 
was Dr. James Welwood, a Scotch physician, practising in Newcastle 
(afterwards author of " Observator Reformatus "), and he, taking up 
the cudgels on behalf of the Revolution, entered into a vigorous 
correspondence with the Vicar on the subject of his sermon. The 
controversy was published shortly afterwards in a small quarto of 
thirty-six pages, entitled — 

"A Vindication Of the present Great Revolution in England; In Five 
Letters Pass'd betwixt James Welwood, M.D. , and Mr. John March, Vicar of 
Newcastle upon Tyne. Occasion'd by a Sermon Preach'd by him on January 30, 
16S8-9, before the Mayor and Aldermen, for Passive Obedience and Non- 
Resistance. Licensed, April 8, 1689." Sm. 4to. London, 1689. 

With indomitable will and undaunted spirit, Vicar March con- 
tinued to fight against fate. While he was disputing with Dr. 
Welwood, a general thanksgiving was observed all over England 
" for the great deliverance of the country by the Prince of Orange." 
To give thanks for that which he considered in the light of a 
calamity was, in Mr. March's opinion, an insult added to injury. He 
declined to hold a thanksgiving service, but publicly read, or caused 
to be read, the " Homily against Rebellion." By some means or 
other he was induced to take an oath of allegiance to William and 
Mary, but he adopted the form called the short oath, which left him 
free to serve the abdicated monarch " whenever his Majesty should 
be in a condition to demand his allegiance within any of these king- 
doms." An Order of Council altering the prayers for the Royal 
Family, he positively refused to obey. For more than a year he 
persisted in this refusal — reading the prayers, but omitting the name 
of the king and queen. At length the Corporation interfered. In 
the Common Council books, under date the 15th of July, 1690, 
appears this ominous entry: — "Mr. March, Vicar. — Ordered that 
Mr. Maior acquaint him his salary will be stopped unless he pray for 
King William and Queen Mary by name." 

Worried and baffled. Vicar March bowed to the inevitable. His 
dearest hopes had been shattered, his spirit was broken, his health 
was giving way, he was incapable of offering further resistance to 
"the misfortunes of the times." On Sunday, the 27th of November, 
1692, he preached a sermon from the text, " How shall we escape if 


we neglect so great salvation ? " and before the next Sunday came 
round, death had released him from his burden. He died on 
Friday, the 2nd December, and two days later his remains were 
buried near his pulpit in St. Nicholas' Church. 

While the restorations at St. Nicholas' were progressing, in 1876, 
under the direction of Sir Gilbert Scott, a tombstone was discovered 
in the south aisle of the Chancel with its face downwards — so placed, 
no doubt, during the alterations of 1783. Traversed by the feet of 
countless worshippers for nearly a hundred years, the inscription had 
undergone the usual process of obliteration. But cleaned, restored, 
and carefully replaced in its proper position, the stone may be read 
by the present day worshipper as follows : — 

"[In memory of Humphrey Pibus who] departed this life . . . Anno Domini, 
1694. And of his only daughter Elizabeth, wife of John March, Vicar of this 
Parish. She Depted this life . . . of April, Anno Domini, 1680. And of Ann, 
daughter to the said John and Elizabeth March, who departed this life the 9 day 
of . . . Anno Domini, 1681. And of Grace, second wife of the said Humphrey 
Pibus. She depted this life ye 24th day of February Anno Domini, 1682. 

"John March, Bachelor of Arts [Divinity] and late Vicar of Newcastle, depted 
this Life the second of December, in the year of our Lord 1692," 

Sermons published by Vicar March during his lifetime, and quoted 
in the preceding narrative, bore these titles : — 

"A Sermon Preached before the Right Worshipful, The Mayor, Recorder, 
Aldermen, Sheriff, etc., of the Town and County of Newcastle upon Tyne, On 
the 30th of January, 1676-7, At St. Nicolas their Parish Church. By John March, 
B.D., Vicar of Embleton in Northumberland, and Lecturer to that Congregation. 
' My Son, fear thou God, and the King, and meddle not with those that are given 
to change. Prov. xxiv.— 21.' ' And Pilate said unto them. What, shall I Crucifie 
your King? Joh. xix. — 15.' London : Printed by Thomas Hodgkin, for Richard 
Randell and Pet. Maplisden, Booksellers in Newcastle upon Tyne, 1677." Sm. 
4to, 30 pp. 

"Th' Encffinia of St. Ann's Chappel in Sandgate. Or a Sermon Preached 
May 3, 1682. Before the Right Worshipful the Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriff, etc., 
of the Town and County of Newcastle upon Tyne, Upon their erecting a School 
and a Catechetical Lecture for the Instruction of poor Children, and such as are 
ignorant. By John March, B.D., and Vicar of St. Nicholas in Newcastle upon 
Tyne. London : Printed for Richard Randal and Peter Maplisden, Booksellers, 
at the Bridge-foot in Newcastle upon Tyne." 1682. Sm. 4to, 32 pp. 

"The False Prophet Unmask't, Or, the Wolfe Stript of his Sheeps-clothing, 
In a Sermon Preached before the Right Worshipful (etc., as above); on the 
Anniversary Fast for the most Execrable Murder of K. Charles, the first Royal 
Martyr. By John March, (etc., as above). London: Printed by J. R. for 
Richard Randell, and Peter Maplisden, Booksellers in New-Castle-upon-Tyne." 
1683. Sm. 4to, 32 pp. 

S/J^ JOHN MARLE V. 1 49 

After Mr. March's death a volume of his discourses, with a 
portrait engraved by Sturt, and a preface written by Dr. John Scot, 
was pubhshed, bearing the title of — 

"Sermons Preach'd on Several Occasions by John March, B.D., Late Vicar of 
Newcastle-upon-Tine. The last of which was Preach'd the Twenty-Seventh of 
November, 1692, Being the Sunday before he Died." London : Printed for 
Robert Clavell, and sold by Joseph Hall, Bookseller, in Newcastle, 1693. Post 
Svo, 288 pp. 

(To a second edition, issued in 1699, was added "A Sermon Preach'd at the 
Assizes in New Castle upon Tine in the Reign of the late King James.") 

Dr. Scot's estimate of Mr. March, in the Preface to these Sermons, 
is high and honourable: — "He was a very diligent Pastor of the 
Flock committed to his charge; and that not only in the course of 
his Public Ministry, from which without some necessary Occasion he 
very rarely absented himself, but also in his private Converses : for 
besides that, every Lord's Day in the Evening he generally spent a 
considerable Portion of time in Instructing the Youth of his Parish 
(from which Pious and Charitable Exercise he very rarely suffered 
himself to be diverted, even by the Visits of his best and greatest 
friends) besides which, I say, his known Abilities in resolving cases 
of Conscience, drew after him a great many good People, not only of 
his own Flock, but from remoter Distances, who resorted to him as 
to a common Oracle, and commonly went away from him intirely 
satisfied in his Wise and Judicious Resolutions," 

Sir 3obn (TDarle^, 


" Oh, what a brave knight was Governor Marley ! 
Stout Sir John Marley ! 
Who fought late and early ; 
Though the garrison liv'd, and fed, rather bar'ley." 

Foremost among Tyneside worthies whose valorous deeds local 
historians have conspired to praise, stands Sir John Marley, the 
gallant defender of Newcastle against the Scots in 1644. 

John Marley was the son of William Marley, a merchant who 
flourished in Newcastle during the latter half of the sixteenth 
century. Whether the old merchant was related to the Merleys of 



Unthank in Weardale, and their descendants the Maddisons, or to 
the Marleys of Marley Hill and Gibside, and whether he or they 
could trace descent from the Merleys who anciently held the barony 
of Morpeth, are speculations of interest, but of no great importance. 
All that is positively known about him is that he was a son of John 
Marley, also a Newcastle merchant, who was buried in St. George's 
Porch, St Nicholas' Church, in October, 1561; that he had a 
brother named Simon, and a sister named Eleanor (wife of Ralph 
Carr, of Cocken) ; that his mother married, for her second husband, 
Alderman Mark Shafto, who, by his will, dated November 8th, 1592, 
bequeathed to him, subject to the life-interest of the widow, a house 
in the Side, Newcastle; that at his mother's death, in 1604, he, and 
his brother and sister, were joint administrators of her estate; and that 
he himself was interred at St. Nicholas' on the 28th of December, 1609. 

No register of the baptism of John, son of William Marley, has 
been found, but, as the inscription on the family tombstone states 
that Sir John Marley was " 83 years and 3 days " old when he died, 
and as he was buried in St. George's Porch, on the 24th of October, 
1673, it may be safely calculated that he was born on the 19th or 
20th of October, 1590. More of him we know not until, in 1634-35, 
his name occurs in the municipal roll as Sheriff of Newcastle. That 
he was engaged in the coal trade appears from the books of the 
Hostmen's Company, wherein, under date March nth, 1636, is an 
entry of his being fined, with Robert Bewick and John Cock, " for 
fitting other men's coals." When, on Michaelmas Monday, 1637, 
he was appointed chief magistrate, his brethren of the Hostmen's 
Company elected him Governor. 

John Marley's first Mayoralty occurred at a time of great trouble 
in the North of England. Before he had been three months Mayor, 
the National Covenant was signed; by the time that he went out 
of office the attitude of the Covenanters had become sufficiently 
threatening to create alarm for the safety of Newcastle. Sir Jacob 
Astley, and other officers, sent northwards to inspect fortifications 
and muster the train-bands, found in him a competent and willing 
coadjutor, for he was a man of energy and resource, and a strong 
supporter of Church and Crown. Dividing public attention at the 
same time with the Scottish upheaval, were difficulties about the 
Newcastle coal monopoly, and in that matter also Mr. Marley's 
knowledge and experience were of great value. On the 4th of April, 
1638, he appeared before the king in Council to discuss the grievances 


of " merchants, shipowners, and masters and mariners " trading in 
Newcastle coals, and was able to arrange terms with them and his 
fellow-hostmen, which, for a time at least, gave satisfaction to them 
all. If only Scottish discontent could have been as easily overcome ! 
That, however, was a task not so readily accomplished. The King 
and Laud were obstinate; the Scots persistent; and, day by day, as 
the quarrel deepened, preparations were made on both sides of the 
Border for open warfare. In all the conferences between the king's 
representatives and the local authorities respecting the defences of 
Newcastle, Mr. Marley took a leading part, and his name appears 
attached to most of the detailed reports which went up from the 
town to the Privy Council. These loyal services of his were noted 
by the king, and when, on the 8th of May, 1639, his Majesty, lead- 
ing a considerable army into Scotland, came to Newcastle, he 
thanked him for his zealous exertions. A couple of months later, 
the king having signed articles of pacification with the Scots, con- 
ferred the honour of knighthood upon his faithful servant — to be 
known thenceforward as "Sir John Marley." 

Stimulated by Royal recognition, and quickened by the increasing 
perils of the time, Sir John Marley kept an active watch over the 
interests of his sovereign in Newcastle. The State Papers abound 
with his letters to the Privy Council, and to the ecclesiastical 
authorities at Durham and York, on the growth of Puritanism in the 
town, and the doings of its adherents and abettors. In the midst of 
it all came news that the pacification at Berwick had pacified no- 
body, and that the Scots were again preparing for war. Then 
followed renewed conferences, hasty movements of troops and 
munitions, and fresh plans for defending Newcastle. Sir John 
Marley was foremost in everything that tended to help the Royal 
cause, and was the trusted friend and confidant of all those who 
were sent down to promote it. Of all save one. The great Earl of 
Northumberland, lord general of his Majesty's forces in the North, 
had no confidence in him. The cause of their estrangement does 
not appear, but the quarrel was wide and deep, and not to be healed, 
even by identity of aim and fellowship of peril. In a correspondence 
which followed the arrival of Lord Conway in the town, to take 
charge of the Royal Army, the earl's antipathy to Sir John found 
strong expression. Conway, writing to his lordship on the 23rd of 
April, 1640, stated that he would have preferred to take up his 
quarters in Sir John Marley's house, as being most convenient 


for his needs, but accepted a worse residence because Sir John was 
" not in benign aspect " with his Excellency. The earl, in reply, 
warned Conway that Sir John and Mr. Pinkney (the commissary 
general) would try to " put off," for the use of the army, some corn 
of the previous year's providing, and that it must not be purchased 
till he (the earl) was satisfied of its goodness. Conway rejoined that 
he had had the grain turned over, and found much of it bad and 
inferior, adding that those whom he employed to examine it were 
extremely afraid of Sir John, " lest he should fetch them up to 
London upon some accusation." Then the earl, seeing his oppor- 
tunity, gave Conway his opinion of Sir John Marley's character : — 

" If I thought it possible for a man who has lived twenty years 
a knave to prove afterwards an honest man, I should entertain a 
more charitable opinion of Sir John Mariey. He has all this while 
made himself believe, that what oppressions soever he did amongst 
his neighbours, he should be supported in it by his friends at Court, 
some of whom have, perhaps, deceived his expectations, which makes 
him now contented to set himself right in my good opinion. But he 
is a person I desire not to have to do with, only if his corn upon a 
survey appear to be nought, it shall go hard, but I will make him 
pay for it." 

What became of Sir John a few weeks later, when the Scots, 
flushed with their success at Newburn fight, took possession of 
Newcastle, is not recorded. Chuckling John Fenwick alleges that 
he ran away, along with Sir Alexander Davison, Sir Thomas Riddell, 
"and others that were conscious of the guilt of their good service 
against the Scots, for which they got the honour of knighthood at 
Newcastle and Barwicke; though Sir Marloe, some say, came hardly 
by his, and had well nigh missed if some others merits had not 
surmounted his; the Boyes say that Cuckold luck has raised his 
fortunes from a Tap-house and 'et cetera,' to a Carpet Knight." 
Further, " The swiftest flight was the greatest honour to the New- 
castilian new dubd knights; a good Boat, a paire of Oares, a good 
horse (especially that would carry two men), was worth more than 
the valour or honour of new knighthood." If Sir John did fly, 
as Fenwick asserts, he was soon back again, for he was the leader 
of the deputation that waited upon the king at York, shortly 
after the Scottish occupation began, to discuss ways and means 
of meeting the invaders' assessment, and getting rid of them. 

In May, 1642, Sir John Mariey was summoned before a com- 


mittee of the House of Commons to answer a heavy indictment 
brought against him and his fellow-Royahsts by his Puritan fellow- 
townsmen. The House considered the charges proved, and on 
the 20th of September in that year, they ordered that he and other 
municipal magnates should be sent for as delinquents. It is not 
known whether the order was obeyed, but, a month later, the king 
sent down to Newcastle a mandamus, directing the Corporation to 
choose Sir John for a second term Mayor of the town, and he was 
elected accordingly — the Hostmen's Company, as on the previous 
occasion, appointing him their Governor. When his year of office 
expired he was re-elected, and he was occupying the post when, once 
more, in the beginning of 1644, the Scots crossed the Border. 

The story of the siege and storming of Newcastle has been told 
over and over again; it can be read in the local histories, and is 
related, with copious detail, in a pamphlet published by Mr. 
Thomas Allan, of Newcastle. Passing over, therefore, the well- 
known incidents of that daring enterprise, and the elaborate corre- 
spondence between Sir John Marley and the Earl of Leven which 
preceded it, we take up the narrative at the point where, beaten but 
not dismayed. Sir John, Mayor for the fourth time, with the added 
dignity of Governor, fled to the Castle, and began to parley with 
the conqueror. 

Shut up in the Castle keep, with no chance of escape, the gallant 
knight, on the morning after the storming and capture of the town, 
sent a dignified letter to the Scottish leader, desiring liberty for him- 
self and comrades, within fourteen days, to stay, or leave the town, 
with horses, pistols, and swords, and a guarantee that no wrong 
should be done to them by " ignoble spirits of the vulgar sort," and 
adding that, rather than be " a spectacle of misery and disgrace," he 
would bequeath his soul to Him that gave it, and his body to the 
victor's severity. 

Sir John's letter was unheeded ; Lord Leven would give no terms; 
and after holding out for a couple of days, the knight, and his com- 
panions in misfortune, surrendered at mercy. Conducted under 
strong guard to his own house, till the tumult in the town had abated, 
for the populace were terribly excited against him, he was brought 
back to the Castle, and shut up in the dungeon to await the orders 
of Parliament. What those orders were we learn from the Parlia- 
mentary Journals. Writing to the Speaker on the 22nd of October, 
Sir William Armyn and Robert Fenwick, Commissioners in New- 


castle of both Houses, reported that " This Day the proud and 
insolent Mayor, and the rest of his Fellows came forth of the Castle, 
and the People in the Town were ready to tear the Mayor in Pieces, 
having now discovered how much he had deluded them, and what 
Miseries he had brought them to. We earnestly desire the House 
would be pleased to think of some exemplary Punishment upon this 
wicked Mayor; otherwise all their Friends will be disheartened, and 
their Enemies still encouraged to upbraid them to their Faces ; and 
the Blood and Loss of so many Men, besides the Undoing of many 
of the poorer Sort of the Inhabitants of this Town, through his 
wicked Government, will cry up to Heaven against us." 

Thereupon both Houses fell to considering what should be done 
to this " proud and insolent Mayor," and on the last day of the 
month the Commons, and next day the Lords, agreed " That it be 
signified to the Commissioners of both Houses, by Way of Answer 
to that Particular of the Letter concerning Sir John Marley, That 
the Houses have thought fit to except Sir John Marley from all Mercy 
and Pardon; and do therefore appoint and direct that he may be 
proceeded with according to the Course of War." 

The result of further deliberations in Parliament upon the affairs 
of Newcastle was the issue of that notable ordinance, quoted at 
length in our sketch of Edward Man, which disfranchised and dis- 
placed the Mayor, Sheriff, Recorder, and aldermen — an ordinance 
that was gleefully entered by their successors in a " Black Book," 
with a special denunciation of Sir John Marley, as "a notorious and 
infamous delinquent." 

How long the ex-Mayor and Governor remained a prisoner is 
uncertain. Rushworth states that he was sent up to London to be 
dealt with by Parliament, and " whilst he was in the Sergeant at 
Arms's hands, found means to escape." That he did obtain his 
liberty is certain. He went over to the Continent, whither his wife 
and family followed him, joined the band of exiles that clustered 
round Charles H., and waited the course of events. For nearly 
twelve years he waited, and then, abandoning all hope of seeing his 
party restored to power, he endeavoured to make terms with the 
Commonwealth. Opening up communication with Mr. Downing, 
the English resident at the Hague, he offered, for a hundred pounds 
and a free pardon, to betray his master. The whole transaction is 
revealed in " Thurloe's State Papers," and a most curious revelation 
it is. Writing in cipher on the 7th of June, 1658, Mr. Downing 


informs Thurloe (Cromwell's Secretary of State) that " Sir John 
Marlow sent one of his sons to me with a profer that the said Sir 
John, if he might have from me a pass, and an hundred pound 
sterling to bear his charges, and his pardon, would go for England, 
and discover to you all he knows concerning Charles Stuart's de- 
signs; and this he in general sayd to mee, that hee could discover 
things of importance, and that divers in the north of England had 
sent to him to invite him to England, and that his son would put 
himself anywhere as a prisoner in your power for his father's faithful 

Thurloe, replying on the 25th, states that "the question is, 
whether we must trust him, or he us. I thinke the first more 
reasonable." To which Downing, on the 19th July, answers as 
follows : — " Sir John Marlow his son was this day with mee ; he 
saith that his father would very willingly trust me and come hither 
before he receive any money, but that he cannot stirr without fourtie 
pounds to pay his landlady, and he is resolved not to come rather 
than leave his ladie and children to be affronted and abused, as in 
that case they will certainly be, and that if he knew how in the world 
to doe it otherwise he would not desire this." 

The money and the pardon were provided, and in subsequent 
letters (of which the following is an abridgment). Downing tells 
Thurloe how the business has sped: — 

"August 16, 1658. This morning I despatched hence to you 
Sir John Marlow; hee and his sonne have had of me a thousand 
guilders; he promised well. Not a person of Northumberland, 
Newcastle or Durham hath corresponded with Ch. St. (Charles II.) 
but that it is knowne to him. He is a right Northern man; if you 
speak kindly to him you will have his heart. — August 29. Sir John 
Marlow is, I hope, ere this with you, for that he went from the Brill 
upon the Lord's-day was a seaven-night towards Flushing, there to 
take shipping, and his family are now at the Brill, and will, I suppose, 
take the opportunity of this passage. By a letter which I have 
received this morning from Antwerp I finde that this business 
makes a very greate noise there. It makes them all jealous each 
of other. There is one George Lidle, sonn to Sir Francis Lidle, 
of the County of Durham, that is come with his lady out of 
Flanders. The knight, before his going away, gave me notice of 
this person, and that he would come with his lady. I sent for him, 
and he tells me that Ch. Stuart, upon suspicion that the old knight 


was gone for England, sent for him, and talked with him privately 
about two houres, and asked whether he had noe notice thereof, 
which, he said, he denyed. This gentleman confesseth to me that 
about Christmas last he carryed a letter from the old knight to one 
Weesy Matfin (Matthew Matfin?), that keepes the corner shop on 
the Sandhill in Newcastle, on the left hand as you turn to go from 
off the Sandhill up the Side, and that he did deliver the said letter 
to him and brought an answer from him to the old knight, and that 
he went as a seaman and landed at Hull and went on foote from 
Hull to Newcastle, beging all the way as one that had been taken 
by a Flanders man of warre. He would not acknowledge that he 
had spoken with any of the gentry of those countryes, which seems 
hardly imaginable, and I am more than half of opinion that 
Ch. Stuart hath put this story into his mouth, and bid him goe 
over with it on purpose to weaken anything that the old knight 
could discover against the gentry. But for Matfin, you may have 
enough to deal with him, and an example in those countryes may 
not be amiss, and particularly in that so populous and considerable 

Sir John Marley returned to Newcastle, mingled with his friends, 
and waited orders from the Privy Council. These orders never 
came. Cromwell had died in the interval, and the Commonwealth 
was in confusion. Weeks passed away, and Sir John, expecting to 
be sent for, waited, and waited in vain. Thurloe was willing to 
subsidise the old knight, but not to receive him as a converted 
Royalist. He either doubted his sincerity, or estimated as of little 
value the services that he was capable of rendering. Two letters, 
which Sir John addressed to Thurloe at this period, tell the whole 
story: — 

'■'■ Noveinher 22nd, 1658. 

" My Lord, — I kindly thanke your honor for the favour I received 
from Mr. Fawbanks by your order, wherewith I have a little pacified 
those to whom I am indebted since my cominge over; but perceiving 
your occasions are so great, that I cannot have the honor to confer 
with you, and my owne condition so lowe, that I am not able longer 
to subsist and maintaine my family; therefore I humbly beseech you 
to take into consideration these followinge brief propositions, and 
lett me receive some answere, that I may knowe what to relye upon. 

" If his highnes, the lord protector, will be pleased to receive me 
unto his grace and favour, trust, employ me, and put me in some 

S/J? JOHN MA RLE Y. \si 

condition fitt to serve him, it shall be my utmost endeavour really 
to doe his highnes considerable service; and if uppon triall I faile, 
either in faithfulnes, or in want of abilitie to performe what I promise, 
his highnes may dispose of me at his pleasure. 

" If this be thought not fittinge, 

"Then my humble suit is that I may have the benefitt of such 
part of my estate as is not yet disposed of; and I shall confine 
myselfe into some part of the kingdome where I am least knowne, 
and may live most privatly, ingaginge myselfe never to act, or so 
much as speake of state affaires. 

" And if this will not be graunted, 

" I most humbly intreat that I may have free libertie to acquaint 
my friends, and those that have formerly knowne me, with my 
present condition, implore there helpe and assistance for imploy- 
ment of my children and my owne subsistance ; and that nether 
myselfe for desiringe, nor they for assistinge, may receive any blame 
or harme; provided alwaies there be nothing asked or said prejudicial 
to his highnes or the present government. I dare inlarge no further 
for feare of beinge troublesome, but shal be ready to answeare 
anything that may be objected; and ever remaine my Lord, your 
most humble servant, "John Marlay." 

'■'■ December yd, 1658, 
" My Lord, — I sent your honor a letter with some propositions, 
but having hard nothing from you, I humbly begg pardon to add a 
word more, viz., that if your great and urgent affaires will not per- 
mit to give me any spedy answere, yet I am confident (if I may obtaine 
your favour and assistance) the free tendring of my service, and my 
reall desire and intention to performe the same, will move his highnes 
graciouslie to give order to help me with one hundred pounds more 
than I have had, which will inable me to pay such debts as I have 
contracted since my comming over, put myselfe, wife and children in 
cloths, and make us able to subsist, untill such time as his highnes 
shall think fitt to take me and my humble desires into his further 
consideration. This request is not great, and will for ever oblige me 
faithfully and cordially to serve his highnes, and incourage others to 
follow my example. I have made my addresses onely to your 
honour, both by myselfe and friends. I beseach you lett me finde 
your favour and respect, and undervalew me not so much as to thinke 
me not worthie answeringe; and uppon my credit and reputation, I 

158 S/J? JOHN MA RLE Y. 

will so carry myselfe in all my actions, as that your honor shall never 
receive blame, nor have cause to thinke you have done amisse, but 
alwaies to esteeme me as, my Lord, your most reall and humble 
servant, " John Marlay." 

" My Lord ; hearing there wil be a parliament call'd shortly, and 
having some reason to believe you may have burgesses presented for 
Newcastle not fre from beinge factious and turbulent, which I thinke 
may be prevented, and have chosen whom you think fitt ; I have 
made bold to acquaint your honor herewith ; and if my interest in 
that place can do any service hearein, you may commaund your most 
humble servant, " John Marlay." 

Although an old man when, little more than a year after this 
correspondence had taken place, the Restoration of the Monarchy 
was effected. Sir John Marley lived long enough to enjoy the revived 
order in Church and State. Restored to his freedom of the Corpora- 
tion of Newcastle, and to all his former rights and privileges, he was 
elected, on the loth of April, 1661, one of the representatives of the 
town in Parliament, and at Michaelmas in that year, for the fifth 
time, was appointed Mayor of Newcastle. A thorough Royalist at 
heart, he resumed his old function of watching over the interests of 
his party, and making Newcastle an unpleasant residence for Puritans 
and Republicans. They, in turn, were exceedingly bitter against 
him. The anonymous author of a virulent diatribe, entitled, 
" Flagellum Parliamentarium, Being Sarcastic Notices of Nearly Two 
Hundred Members of the First Parliament after the Restoration," 
pilloried him as " Formerly Governor of Newcastle, which he 
betrayed to Cromwell for ;:^ 1,000. He is now Governor of it again, 
and pardoned his former treachery, that his vote might follow the 
Bribe-master-general; and very poor." But neither sarcasm nor 
abuse shook Sir John's position, and he remained M.P. for New- 
castle till his death, in October, 1673. 

Nothing is recorded in local history respecting Sir John Marley's 
domestic life. Even the family name of his wife is unknown. An 
entry in the Register of St. Nicholas' suggests that he may have been 
twice married, for he was eighty-three years old when he died, and 
the burial of his widow appears under date February 14th, 1692-93, 
nearly twenty years after his decease. About his descendants more 
definite information is obtainable. In June, 1662, while he was Mayor, 
his son Robert was appointed Town Clerk of Newcastle ; another 


son, Henry Marley, who married one of the daughters of Ralph 
Cock (" Cock's canny hinnies "), was for some time Clerk of the 
Town's Chamber. Anthony Marley, grandson of Sir John, a captain 
in the Duke of Ormond's regiment, married an Irish lady, and left at 
his decease, in 1691, two sons — Henry, who became Bishop of Clon- 
fert, and Thomas, who was promoted to be Chief-Justice of Ireland. 
Mary Marley, a daughter of the Chief-Justice, marrying James 
Grattan, M.P. for Dublin, became the mother of Henry Grattan, 
the Irish statesman. 

(Beoroe fIDareball, 


Contemporary with John Marshall, schoolmaster (the subject of 
the next biography), lived another local poet, bearing the same family 
appellative, but with the Christian name of George. Curiously 
enough, he, too, was the son of a timber merchant, and, what is 
equally remarkable, he had run, like the pedagogue, a comparatively 
unsuccessful career. His father, settling at Blyth about the middle 
of last century, rented a raff-yard from Mr. Ridley, ancestor of the 
Ridleys of Blagdon, and formed a profitable connection with the 
shipowners and coalowners of the district. It is open to conjecture 
that he was one of the Newcastle INIarshalls, a relative of the school- 
master ; but of this surmise there is no corroborative evidence. Be 
that as it may, Marshall the elder acquired wealth, and trained up 
his family in habits of thrift and industry. Two of his sons, Mark 
and John, profiting by their father's precepts, became timber 
merchants, ropers, and shipowners, and ranked among the chief 
people of the town. 

George, the third son, less attentive to his own interests, preferred a 
roving life. Selecting the sea for his calling, he entered the maritime 
service of the East India Company. But in this profession he was 
not successful. He rose to the position of chief officer, but beyond 
that grade fortune failed him. Then he took to literature, and, 
being a member of the Trinity House in Newcastle, published, in 
1785, under the 7iom de plume of "Palinurus," 

" Familiar Letters from an Elder to a Younger Brother, serving for his Freedom 
in the Trinity-House, Newcastle upon Tyne." Newcastle: Printed for the Author 
by L. Dinsdale. Svo, vii.-i88 pp. 


A much more pretentious work issued from his pen in 1812. It 
is a substantial quarto of 216 pages (with a list of eighteen hundred 
subscribers at a guinea each, annexed), dedicated to " Hugh Earl 
Percy," illustrated with full-page pictures drawn by Thurston, and 
engraved by Bewick, Clennel, Nesbit, and Branston, and entitled 

"Epistles in Verse, Between Cynthio and Leonora, In Three Cantos, Descriptive 
of a Voyage to and from the East Indies; With Several Occasional Pieces. By 
George Marshall, Late a Chief Officer in the Honourable East India Company's 
Sea Service." Newcastle : Printed for the Author by Preston & Heaton. 

About the same time that John Marshall, the schoolmaster poet, 
received the appointment of master of the Jesus Hospital, George 
Marshall, the sailor bard, succeeding Robert Gee, was installed 
as governor of the old gaol of Newcastle. Shortly after his appoint- 
ment, he fell into ill-health, and, retiring to Portsea for change of air, 
died there on the 4th of January, 1823, aged 72 years. 

3obn riDareball, 


The ease with which a clever man, lacking business habits, slides 
from affluence to poverty, is illustrated in the career of John 
Marshall, a well-known character in Newcastle at the turn of the 
century. Marshall was the son of a timber merchant, owning a raff- 
yard in Pandon, and doing an extensive business in wooden rails, 
props, and other accessories of the coal trade. His relatives were 
well connected and well-to-do. One of them, son of his father's 
sister — the Rev. George Walker, F.R.S. — was an eminent theological 
professor, a great mathematician, and a political writer of such merit 
that Edmund Burke declared he had rather have been the author of 
one of Walker's political treatises than of all the books he himself 
had written. 

Into this highly respectable family, in the year 1757, the only son 
of his parents, John Marshall was born. He was sent to the best 
school his native town afforded, the Royal Free Grammar School, to 
be trained by the Rev. Hugh Moises, When he left Mr. Moises's 
care he had received a sound classical education, was well advanced 


in F'rench and German, and knew something of philosophy and 
mathematics. Before he attained his majority, he lost both his 
parents, and their death placing him in possession of considerable 
property and an old-established business, he attempted to improve 
his fortune by continuing the trade which his father had built up 
around him. In the first "Directory of Newcastle," published in 
177S, his name appears under the heading, "Raff Yards," as 
"Marshall, John, Pandon." 

By the time that the next Directory was published (1787) his 
name had vanished; he had left the business, or the business had 
left him. Social and convivial habits gradually melted the rest 
of his property. He went to sea, but a sailor's life was not to his 
taste, and he became dependent upon his friends and relatives. 
They, in no long time, grew tired of aiding him, and he began to 
experience the usual fate of those who waste their substance in 
high living and reckless hospitality. As he afterwards expressed 
it, translating a couplet from the Greek poet, Theognis, 

" A cellar well stor'd, and a plentiful table, 
A number of friends will obtain ; 
But when to continue good cheer you're unable, 
You'll seek their assistance in vain." 

At length, disowned by his relatives, deserted by his quondam 
friends, John Marshall fell back upon his intellectual resources, and 
took up the humble position of a schoolmaster. This portion of his 
life he has described in a little volume entitled " The Village Peda- 
gogue, a Poem, and other Lesser Pieces; Together with a walk from 
Newcastle to Keswick." The pedagogue is himself, and the poem is 
a narrative of his experience, as a humble teacher, in small and out- 
of-the-way villages among the dales and fells of Cumberland, and up 
and down in his native county. He narrates at the beginning of the 
poem the manner in which 

" Fair Science open'd to his juv'nile mind 
Her ample treasury, and Fortune beam'd 
With gracious aspect on his ripen'd years ; " 

till, having lost the "gracious aspect" of the fickle goddess, she 
"wing'd her way," and, "as a shade the substance still pursues," with 
her departed " all his summer friends." 

His tramp through Lanchester and the Wear Valley, over Kilhope 



and Hartside, and on to the Cumberland Lakes, in search of 
employment as a teacher, is the subject of his " Walk from 
Newcastle to Keswick." He knew nobody in Cumberland except 
Peter Crosthwaite, proprietor of the Museum of Curiosities at 
Keswick, and to the house of that veteran he directed his weary 
feet. Mr. Crosthwaite received him kindly, and, fortunately know- 
ing a vacant school in the Vale of Newlands, three or four miles 
distant, sent him thither with a letter of recommendation. For the 
rest, omitting translations from the classics, with which the narrative 
is plentifully studded, the pedagogue may be allowed to tell his own 
story : — 

"Enter the retired vale of Newlands, the vale where all my hopes 
and wishes centred; wait on the principal inhabitants, and make an 
agreement, in consideration of ;^io per annum with board, lodging, 
etc., to commence teaching on the ensuing day [August 13th, 1804], 
in the vestry of the chapel. Return to Keswick as much elated as if 
I had been appointed a Teller of the Exchequer, to communicate 
the glad tidings to my friend and patron. 

" Twelvemonths did I instruct the young rustics in this charming 
vale. I was fortunate enough to lodge with an agreeable family at 
the distance of half a mile from the chapel. The worthy curate and 
another valuable friend, an ofificer of travel and erudition, furnished 
me with books; much of my leisure time was employed in climbing 
the mountains and exploring. 

" In the small inclosure which contained the chapel were a few 
spreading sycamores; under their friendly shade, in the heats of 
summer, did I teach my scholars; and more than once has our 
humble group afforded a subject for the artist's pencil. During the 
interval of dinner the boys would bathe in the shallow brook, and 
take me with their hands a supper of excellent trout. I had no 
superfluities, but happily my desires were not inordinate. I lived in 
peace with all mankind; my vacant hours were dedicated to reading, 
music, tracing rivulets to their sources, and ascending the mountains; 
content smoothed my pillow, and uninterrupted friendship with all 
my neighbours sweetened each revolving day. 

" A short time before the completion of the year, a vacancy took 
place at Lowes-water. The respectable curate of Buttermere had 
recommended me to the gentlemen of that place. I walked over; 
after a short conference, terms were agreed on, and I became the 
pedagogue of Lowes-water. 


" I was now transplanted into polished society, consisting in great 
measure of gentlemen of independent property; my salary was 
increased from ;^io to ;^i8 per annum, and the honest farmer, with 
whom I dwelt, kept a table far superior to that of mine host at 
Newlands. I no longer slept in a cockloft, but in the red chamber, 
forsooth, glowing with crimson moreen. In the blest elysium of 
Lowes-water, my felicity was mightily augmented; although its luxuri- 
ant scenery had no small share in this augmentation, yet the com- 
pletion of my happiness arose from the friendship of a gentleman [Mr. 
John Head, of High Cross], whose only son was among the number 
of my pupils. The superior beauties of this favoured spot acted as 
powerful stimuli on my propensity to investigate and enjoy the 
beauties of nature. Under natural arbours, where ' the green leaves 
quiver with the cooling wind, and make a chequer'd shadow on the 
ground,' how often has the Saturday been dedicated to Robertson 
or Gibbon, to Milton, to Young, Thompson, Beattie, or to pious 
and poetic Cowper ! Angling expeditions on Cromach occupied 
some leisure hours, with occasional visits to the celebrated 
Mary of Buttermere, a young woman elegant in person, of pleas- 
ing address, and highly respected by characters of the first rank 
for her prudent conduct under very critical and singular circum- 

The poetical pedagogue does not state how long he stayed at 
Lowes Water, but from some memoranda which, shortly before his 
death, he handed over to John Sykes, the Newcastle bookseller, it 
would appear that his residence in the Lake District did not exceed 
five years. " Murton School, commenced in Mr. Metcalf 's House, 
November 27, 1809," and "Opened School at Newburn, June 23, 
181 7," are entries in his MSS. which show how and where he was 
occupied till, on the 20th of December, 181 9, Archibald Reed, 
Mayor of Newcastle, procured him a room in the Peace and Unity 
Hospital at the Westgate, with the customary allowance of 5s. a 
week, and five fothers of coals per annum. There he remained a 
couple of years, and then, the master or governor of the Jesus 
Hospital in the Manors having died, he was appointed his successor. 
After a lingering illness, he died on the 19th of August, 1825, aged 
sixty-eight years. 

Besides his " Village Pedagogue," Marshall was the author of 
several lesser pieces of poetry that display considerable taste and 
fancy. Among them are " Lines addressed to a Lady with a 



Christmas Rose in her Breast," which contain a pretty conceit, 
cleverly expressed: — 

*' A Christmas rose thy bosom grac'd, 

Which long had bloom'd the garden's pride ; 
A few short hours its charms defac'd, 
It bow'd its languid head and died. 

With Envy droop'd the flowret's crest, 

That passion brought on swift decay ; 
With pain it saw thy snowy breast, 

Then closed its leaves and pin'd away." 

3obn noartin, 


John Martin was the youngest of five children, four boys and a 
girl, born of the marriage of Fenwick Martin, of Bardon Mill, tanner, 
and a daughter of Richard Thompson of Low House, near that 
village. Shortly after his marriage Fenwick Martin became foreman 
of a tannery at Bridge House, near Ayr, but subsequently returned 
to Tyneside, and lived at various places, finally settling in Newcastle, 
where, being an expert swordsman, he taught fencing, single stick, etc. 
At East Land Ends, near Haydon Bridge, on the 19th of July, 
1789, John Martin was born, and in the Grammar School of Haydon 
Bridge he was educated. Wliile there he showed a marvellous talent 
for drawing, utilising, as occasion served, the walls of the schoolroom, 
the doors of the villagers, and even the sandbanks of the river for the 
pursuit of his pastime. When the family removed to Newcastle, at 
the beginning of the century, he was apprenticed to Leonard Wilson, 
coachbuilder in High Friar Street, to learn the art of heraldic paint- 
ing, but after a twelve months' trial, dissatisfied with the treatment 
he received, he ran away, and his indentures were cancelled by the 
magistrates. His father, taking his part, placed him under the 
tuition of Boniface Musso, an Italian master of repute who had 
settled in Newcastle, father of the enamel painter, Charles Muss. 
A year later, Boniface Musso joined his son in London, and young 
Martin followed him. He arrived in London at the beginning of 
September, 1806, and after residing for some time with his teacher 
went into lodgings, and began to paint on his own account. Having 


determined never more to receive pecuniary aid from his parents, 
who had already, in his opinion, done enough for him, he worked 
during the day at painting on glass and china for a living, and at 
night studied architecture and perspective with a view to future 
possibilities in the higher regions of Art. 

At the age of nineteen he married, and to add to his income 
painted small pictures both in oil and water-colour, practised enamel 
painting, and gave lessons in drawing. In 181 1 he succeeded in 
obtaining the acceptance of a picture at the Royal Academy, 
described in the catalogue as " Landscape — a composition." The 
following year he painted a large picture — " Sadak," which, being 
hung in the anteroom of the Academy, attracted notice in the news- 
papers, and was afterwards sold to Mr. Manning, a Director of the 
Bank of England, for fifty guineas. At the Academy in 181 3 he 
exhibited " Paradise : Adam's First Sight of Eve," which sold for 
seventy guineas ; but when, in the succeeding exhibition, his " Clytie," 
and in 1815 his " Joshua Commanding the Sun to Stand Still," were 
hung in the anteroom, he considered himself insulted by the place 
allotted to them. The "Joshua "was afterwards exhibited at the 
British Institution, and obtained one of the hundred guinea prizes, 
though it remained in his hands unsold for many years. 

In 1817 Martin was appointed "Historical Landscape Painter to 
the Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold." A conversation with 
Allston led him to paint " Belshazzar's Feast," an elaborate work, 
which occupied him a year. He made use in this picture of all the 
properties at his command — the hanging gardens, the tower of 
Babel, range upon range of massive columns, and terraces one above 
the other. The light shed upon the impious feast is derived from 
the letters of fire in which the handwriting appears upon the wall, 
which the prophet is explaining to the terrified king. Leslie, wrote 
the artist, spent a morning in attempting to convince him that his 
treatment of the subject was wrong, but he persevered, and having 
sent the picture to the British Institution received a prize of two 
hundred guineas. The work, considered as a new mode of dealing 
with such subjects, attracted the public attention, to stimulate which 
the artist repeated the picture on a sheet of plate glass, and this 
being exhibited in the Strand, with light transmitted through the 
terrible handwriting, produced a startling effect. 

After the production of "Belshazzar's Feast," Martin continued to 
paint poetical and scriptural subjects, such as "Adam and Eve 



Entertaining the Angel Raphael," " The Creation," " The Eve of 
the Deluge," "The Deluge," "The Fall of Nineveh," "The Fall of 
Babylon," " The Destruction of Herculaneum," etc. Many of these 
pictures were engraved, and as engraving was peculiarly suited to 
show his work to good advantage, the impressions had a large sale, 
both at home and abroad. The popularity which he achieved by 
these works led to his being engaged to illustrate the poems of 
Milton, for which he received ^2000, and to issue a series of 
"Illustrations of the Bible," in conjunction wnth R. Westall, R.A., 
with descriptions by the Rev. Hobart Gaunter, B.D. In this last- 
named book are about fifty of Martin's productions, exhibiting all 

^^^ \f 

jjoh n Ma. rCirt' 

the characteristics of his style — numberless figures, illimitable dis- 
tances, and architecture of " perspective immensity." 

But Martin had an eye to other subjects than Art. What those 
were he explains in an " Autobiography " as follows : — " In conse- 
quence of the strong interest I had always felt in the improvement 
of the condition of the people, and the sanitary state of the country, 
I turned my attention to engineering subjects; and two-thirds of my 
time, and a very large portion of my pecuniary means have, since 
1827, been devoted to the objects I had at heart. My attention was 
first occupied in endeavouring to procure an improved supply of 
pure water to London, diverting the sewage from the river, and 

JOHN MAR TIN. 1 6 7 

rendering it available as manure; and, in 1827 and 1828, I published 
plans for the purpose. In 1829 I published further plans for accom- 
plishing the same objects by different means, namely, a weir across 
the Thames, and for draining the marshy lands, etc. In 1832, 
1834, 1836, 1838, 1842, 1843, 1^45) ^"d 1847 I published and 
re-published additional particulars — being so bent upon my object 
that I was determined never to abandon it, and, though I have 
reaped no other advantage, I have, at least, the satisfaction of 
knowing that the agitation thus kept up constantly, solely by myself, 
has resulted in a vast alteration in the quantity and quality of water 
supplied by the companies, and in the establishment of a Board of 
Health, which will in all probability eventually carry out most of the 
objects I have been so long urging. Among the other proposals 
which I have advanced is my railway connecting the river and docks 
with all the railways that diverge from London; the principle of rail 
adopted by the Great Western line; the lighthouse for the sands, 
appropriated by Mr. Walker in his Maplin Sand Lighthouse; the 
flat anchor and wire cable; mode of ventilating coal-mines; floating 
harbour and pier; iron ship, and various other inventions of com- 
paratively minor importance; but all conducing to the great ends of 
improving the health of the country, increasing the produce of the 
land, and furnishing employment for the people in remunerative 

Martin was engaged upon three immense pictures — " The Last 
Judgment," "The Great Day of Wrath," and the "Plains of 
Heaven," to within a short time of his death, which happened at 
Douglas, in the Isle of Man, on the 17th of February, 1854. He 
had been some time before created a Knight of the Order of Leopold 
by his old patron the King of the Belgians, and had received 
compliments, presents and honours from the Emperor of Russia, 
the King of Prussia, and the reigning families of France. Besides 
enjoying these distinctions he was a member of the Academies of 
Antwerp and Brussels, and an honorary member of the Royal 
Scottish Academy. Six of a family of eight children survived him. 
Isabella, the eldest, was for some time his secretary, but subsequently 
became joint manager, with Joseph Bonomi, her brother-in-law, of 
Sir John Soane's Museum, and died in 1879. Alfred, the eldest son. 
General Superintendent of Income Tax in Ireland, died in 1872. 
Jessie married Joseph Bonomi. Charles became an artist in New 
York. Zenobia, educated at a boarding-school in Newcastle, where 


she was named by her school-fellows the " Queen of Palmyra," 
married Peter Cunningham, chief clerk in the Audit Office, at 
Somerset House, London, and author of the " Handbook of 
London," " Life of Inigo Jones," " The Story of Nell Gwynn," and 
other well-known books. Leopold Charles, so named after Leopold, 
King of the Belgians, his godfather, author of " Illustrations of 
British Costume," "Gold and Silver Coins of All Nations," "The 
Literature of the Civil Service," etc., and of a series of recollections 
of his father which appeared in the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle, 
married a sister of John Tenniel, the artist of Punch, and died in 
London on the 5th of January, 1S89. 

3onatban riDartin, 


Jonathan Martin, third son of Fenwick Martin, tanner, was born 
at High Side, near Hexham, in 1782. Having served his time to his 
father's trade he went to London, and there he was " pressed " into 
the navy. While serving his country in the capacity of a marine he 
was present at the bombardment of Copenhagen, the blockade of the 
Tagus, and Sir John Moore's expedition at Corunna. When he came 
back to England, he betook himself fitfully to his proper calling, but 
he had acquired in the navy a love of roving which prevented him 
from settling down to regular employment. 

While working at Yarm, Stockton, Norton (where he married), 
Whitby, and Bishop Auckland, he professed great religious fervour, 
and indulged in paroxysms of rage against the clergy. At Norton 
he concealed himself in the parish church with a view of giving the 
worshippers a homily on the sins of their ministers, but was dragged 
out by the sexton and brought before the magistrates, who dismissed 
him with a caution. At South Church, Bishop Auckland, he rose 
in his place and denounced the preacher, calling him " a whited 
sepulchre " and " a deceiver of the people," for which offence he was 
again put in peril of his liberty, but escaped through the intervention 
of his employer. Shortly afterwards he was accused of contem- 
plating the assassination of Dr. Legge, Bishop of Oxford, who was 
administering the rite of confirmation for the Bishop of Durham in 


the parish church of Stockton. Brought before the magistrates, he 
almost admitted that if the Bishop had not given satisfactory answers 
to certain questions that he proposed to put to him, he would have 
finished him in some way. This confession led to his committal as 
a lunatic, first at West Auckland, and afterwards at the instance of 
sympathising friends, in Gateshead Asylum. After three years' deten- 
tion there he escaped, walked to Hexham, and from thence to Norton, 
where he was captured and sent back to the asylum. He escaped 
again, and was left unmolested. His wife had died during his in- 
carceration, leaving one son named Richard, who subsequently, in 
1838, committed suicide. 

Jonathan Martin, a free man once more, resumed his wanderings, 
occasionally working at his trade, but more frequently subsisting 
by selling a pamphlet which he had written, entitled — 

" The Life of Jonathan Martin, of Darlington, tanner, containing an Account 
of the Extraordinary Interpositions of Divine Providence on his behalf, during a 
period of six years' service in the Navy, including his wonderful escapes in the 
Action of Copenhagen, and in many affairs on the Coasts of Spain and Portugal, 
in Egypt, etc. Also, an Account of the Embarcation of the British Army after 
the Battle of Corunna. Likewise an Account of his subsequent Conversion, and 
christian Experience, with the Persecutions he suffered for Conscience' sake, being 
locked up in an asylum and ironed, describing his miraculous Escape through the 
roof of the house, having first ground off his Fetters with a Sandy Stone. His 
singular Dream of the Destruction of London, and the Host of Armed Men over- 
running England," etc., etc. Illustrated by three curious pictures, viz. (i) a 
frontispiece, "The Colossus of Rhodes"; (2) "Jonathan Martin's Providential 
Escape from a Watery Grave in the Bay of Biscay, four different times"; (3) 
"Jonathan Martin's Providential Escape from the Asylum House." Svo. Barnard- 
castle, 1826. 

Two editions of this pamphlet were soon disposed of, and he 
printed a third, consisting of five thousand copies. At Lincoln, on the 
19th of October, 1828, he married for his second wife a young woman 
named Maria Hudson, about twenty years younger than himself. 
On the morrow of Christmas following, the couple arrived in York, 
and lodged with one Stephen Lawn, a shoemaker. A few days later 
a letter was found tied to the iron gates of the Minster choir, 
beginning with " Hear the word of Lord, Oh you Dark and lost 
Clargmen you desevers of the People," and ending with "Jona. 
Martin, a frind of the Sun of Boneypart Must Conclude By warning 
you again Oh Repent repent He will soon be able to act the part of 
his Father." On Wednesday, the 21st of January, another epistle, 


addressed to " all the Clargy in York," was found in the Minster, 
which commenced with " Hear the word of the Lord Oh you blind 
Hipacrits, you Saarpents and Vipears of Hell, you wine Bibears and 
Beffe Yeaters, whose Eyes stand out with Fatness and still caing out 
mor mor wine mor plum Puding and Rost Beffe, and saying to your 
Souls Yeet and Drink Saule and be meary," etc. This letter ended 
with "Oh Repent for the Sourd of Justic's is at hand. J.M. our 
Sincerest Frind." 

Having taken his wife to Leeds and obtained lodgings there, he 
quietly returned to York by himself on Saturday, the 31st of January, 
obtained permission to sleep in his old apartments, and next morn- 
ing went to the Minster and heard the service. In the afternoon he 
returned, provided with flint, steel, and tinder-box, concealed himself 
in the building, and some time in the early morning, having piled 
prayer-books and cushions together in the choir, he set fire to 
them in several places. Then, breaking a window, he made good 
his escape. The fire was discovered about seven by an early rising 
chorister, and before it was extinguished, the stalls, galleries, pulpit, 
altar rails, tabernacle work, the organ, and the roof of the centre 
aisle were destroyed, and several of the shrines and monuments 
irreparably injured. Martin, as the writer of the letters, was suspected; 
and a reward of ^100 was offered for his apprehension. The hand- 
bill containing the offer described him thus : — 

" He is rather a stout Man, about 5 Feet 6 Inches high, with light Hair cut 
close, coming to a point in the Centre of the Forehead, and high above the 
Temples, and has large, bushy red Whiskers : he is between 40 and 50 Years of 
Age, and of singular Manners. He usually wears a single breasted blue Coat, with 
a stand-up Collar, and Buttons covered with the same Cloth ; a black Cloth Waist- 
coat, and blue Cloth Trousers ; Half-boots laced up in Front, and a glazed broad- 
brimed low crowned Hat. Sometimes he wears a double-breasted blue Coat, 
with yellow Buttons. When travelling he wears a large black Leather Cape 
coming down to his Elbows, with two pockets within the Cape ; across the back 
of the Leather Cape there is a square Piece of dark-coloured Fur, extending from 
one Shoulder point to the other. At other times he wears a Drab-coloured great 
Coat with a large Cape and shortish Skirts." 

The incendiary was apprehended at Codlaw Hill, between Hex- 
ham and Stagshaw, on Friday, the 6th of February, taken to York, 
and tried for arson on the 31st of March. Mr. Brougham, after- 
wards Lord Brougham, was engaged on his behalf, but the prisoner 
made a long statement on his own account which was a complete 

/ / 'J 1. 1. 1 A M MA R TIX. 171 

confession of the crime. He had been told by the Lord, he said, to 
destroy the Cathedral "on account of the clergy going to plays and 
balls, playing at cards, and drinking wine." The jury returned a 
verdict of " Guilty of setting fire to the Minster while in an unsound 
state of mind," which the judge directed to be changed into a verdict 
of "Not guilty, on account of insanity." He was confined during 
the remainder of his life in St. Luke's Hospital, London, and there 
he died on the ist of May, 183S. 

MilUain fIDartin, 

"philosophical conqueror of all nations." 

William, the eldest brother of John and Jonathan Martin, was born 
at the Low House, in the township of Henshaw, near Bardon Mill, 
on the 2ist of June, 1772. In an account which he wrote of his 
own life he states that when he was about four years old, he was 
carried to Cantyre, in Argyllshire, by his maternal grand-parents, 
who were very partial to him, and who were removing to that part of 
the Highlands, on the invitation of the Duke of Argyll, with a view 
" to show the Highlanders how to cultivate the ground." He 
remained there till he was about nine or ten years of age ; and he 
gives a graphic account of how his time was spent on and about 
the farm, and also gives an interesting account of his grandfather 
Richard Thompson's open-handed hospitality, and of the sincere 
piety of the household. "Prayers were made to the mighty God by 
all his family and servants twice a day, and for all the neighbours 
who could attend ; and the remainder of the family," he adds, 
" follow the same example to this day; so did my mother as long as 
she lived ; and on her death-bed she told her nurse, one of her 
nieces, that waited upon her, in prophetic language, that her family's 
name would sound from pole to pole." The good woman moreover 
told her nurse that " she was delighted with such heavenly music the 
night before she died, that she was wishful for them all to hear, but 
she thought proper to let them sleep on, and not disturb them, for it 
might be what she heard should be concealed from them, as it was 
heavenly." William, who was her first born, she knew "had a god- 
like soul." 

In 1794, William Martin went to work at the ropery at Howdon 


Dock, where, according to his own story, he pointed out the folly of 
coal-waggons running on wooden rails, declaring that they should be 
put on cast-metal rails laid upon stone ; thus the waggons would go 
with less friction, and, if any of the rails were to break, they could 
be cast over again, or others put in their stead ; and one horse 
would draw as much as three or four. The following year he joined 
the Northumberland Militia, and distinguished himself in swords- 
manship, fencing, leaping, etc. At the disbanding of the regiment 
in 1802 he returned to his ropery work, and began to dabble in 
what he called philosophy, to make wonderful discoveries, and to 
announce marvellous inventions. That is to say, as soon as some 
great invention was made known, he claimed to have discovered it 
before, and to have had his plans stolen, or copied, or otherwise 
misappropriated. Thus : — 

"In 1805 I began to study the cause of perpetual motion, and 
continued till I had thirty-seven different inventions, and discovered 
it on the fourth of January, 1807. In the year 1805 my brother 
John and my brother Richard, being on a visit to me at Howdon 
Dock, we took a walk to see Percy Main Colliery. [Describes the 
struggles of a horse drawing coals from the pit's mouth to the 
screen, and his suggestion to dispense with the animal by laying 
inclined rails from the pit to the screen.] My brother John made a 
sketch, and afterwards drew a regular plan according to what I had 
suggested. About this time I was deeply engaged in my researches 
after a perpetual motion, and the plan was stolen out of my 
lodging. . . . In 18 14, when returning from the Northumberland 
Militia, I saw them all over the country; and the fan ventilator 
(which I also found in general use) was my invention in 1806." 

The same fate befell his safety-lamp, about which he published a 
long account, contending that his invention was the only safe and 
genuine article. Some of his discoveries came to him, like the 
injunctions to his brother Jonathan, in dreams and visions of the 
night, but none of them brought him in much coin. Among his 
alleged inventions were a life-preserver for seamen; a cure for dry 
rot in timber; plans for cutting canals; extinguishing fires at sea; 
erecting a suspension bridge ; and an improved velocipede, which he 
facetiously named the Eagle Mail, and on which he rode about the 
country with what was then considered marvellous speed. All these 
inventions, or at least most of them, were " stolen from him by un- 
principled men." He did, however, obtain, in 18 14, a silver medal 

ikiJdaucw(idoiMiavca/)i(i adeceww oi 
JLiMnd a^d all kiDide:) of ^.^ofiU^ 
"^iifT^Oii.l^ no ^iuh trwmfor Ac ncu 
^^M down kidJaU wmUft/y //^i^ • 


and ten guineas from the Society of Arts, for his invention of a 
spring weighing machine, with circular dial and index. 

About the year 1820 William Martin began to pose as an authority 
on philosophical questions. He dubbed himself "Natural Philo- 
sopher and Poet," and commenced to write in the papers, and to 
discuss with his friends and little knots of rustics in the neighbour- 
hood of Wallsend, where he resided. In 1827 he came out as a 
lecturer, and issued a pamphlet of 32 pages, attacking Sir Isaac 
Newton's philosophy and defending his own, after the manner of the 
flat earth theorists — 

"A New Philosophical Song or Poem Book, called the Northumberland Bard, 
or the Downfall of all False Philosophy. Printed Verbatim from the MS. 
Entered at Stationers' Hall. To be published throughout the Kingdom." 8vo. 
Newcastle: Thomas Blagburn, 14, Old Flesh Market, 1827. Price Sixpence. 

One extract will sufifice to show the style in which the Wallsend 
philosopher wrote — 

" Martin has rush'd out in a sudden, like a lion from his den; 
Now the odds goes against them — it is a horse to a hen. 
Cheer up, you Northumberland and British Bards that can use the pen. 
And show your divine wisdom for the good of all men. 
I have flank'd the Newtonians, both right and left, it is clear, 
And the Martinians are boldly charging both front and rear. 
Cheer up, you Britons, your champion has the battle won. 
All the world cannot penetrate the celestial armour he has him upon." 

Two years later he went to press with — 

"William Martin's Challenge to the whole Terrestrial Globe as a Philosopher 
and Critic, and Poet and Prophet, Shewing the Travels of his Mind, the Quick 
Motion of the Soul, that Never-dying Principle, the Spirit belonging to Mortal 
Man." 8vo. Newcastle: W. Fordyce, 1S29. Two Editions, 18 and 20 pp. 

Shortly afterwards he adopted the title of "Anti-Newtonian," and 
published — 

" The Defeat of Learned Humbugs, and the Downfall of all False Philosophers 
in the Nineteenth Century, for the Good of All Mankind and the Christian Church." 
8vo. Newcastle: John Clarke, 1832. 54 pp. 

Some time after William Martin left the Northumberland Regi- 
ment of Militia he married. His wife, who was, he says, " an 
inoffensive woman, and was respected both by rich and poor, and a 
celebrated dressmaker, and had upwards of sixty apprentices during 
the time she was in business," died in her sixtieth year, on the i6th 

WILLIAM .\r A RTIX. 175 

of January, 1832. "Mrs. Martin was, indeed, a jewel of a woman, 
and she had a love amounting to devotion for her eccentric husband, 
who may be said to have been for years mainly fed and clad by the 
produce of her industriously-plied needle. So long as she lived he 
had always a comfortable home to return to, after his philosophic 
peregrinations. On her deathbed the only concern she felt was who 
would take care of William, for she knew he could not take care of 
himself, as clever as he was. For some time after her decease the 
widower lived in his house alone; and finding some difficulty in 
commissariat and cooking matters, he made fain to subsist on boiled 
horse beans seasoned with salt, which he alleged contained all the 
elements of healthy nutriment for human beings." 

His next adventure in the publishing line was his autobio- 
graphy :— 

"A Short Outline of the Philosopher's Life, from being a Child in Frocks to 
the Present Day, after the Defeat of all Impostors, False Philosophers, since the 
Creation ; By the Will of the INIighty God of the Universe, he has laid the Grand 
Foundation for Church Reform by true Philosophy. All my Inventions, which 
would make a Large Volume, are not named, as it would put it out of the reach 
of the Poorer Class of People to purchase ; the Burning of York Minster is not 
left out, and an Account of the Four Brothers and One Sister." 8vo. New- 
castle : Blackwell & Co., 1833. 56 pp. 

From this date he published pamphlets and leaflets in great 
abundance, and earned his subsistence by selling them. In a col- 
lection belonging to the present writer are a hundred and forty-eight 
of them. Those which exceed eight pages in length bear the follow- 
ing titles : — 

" The Christian Philosopher's Explanation of the General Deluge, and the 
Proper Cause of all the different Strata : Wherein it is clearly demonstrated that 
One Deluge was the Cause of the whole, which Divinely proves that God is not 
a Liar, but that the Bible is strictly True." 8vo. Newcastle : Fordyce, 1S34. 
18 pp. 

" Diamond Cut Diamond. The Defeat of Impostors by Common Sense Philo- 
sophy. To Bishops, Priests, Jews and Gentiles, and all the World." Svo. 
Newcastle: Pattison & Ross, 1836. 16 pp. 

' ' The Thunder Storm of Dreadful Forked Lightning : God's Judgment against 
all False Teachers that cause the People to Err, and those that are led by them 
are Destroyed, according to God's Word. Including an Account of the Railway 
Phenomenon, the Wonder of the World." Svo. Newcastle: Pattison & Ross, 
1837. 40 pp. 

"The Defeat of the Eighth Scientific Meeting of the British Association of 
Asses, which we may properly call the rich Folks' Hopping, or the False 
Philosophers in an Uproar." Svo. Newcastle: Pattison & Ross, 1838. 16 pp. 


" William Martin, Philosophical Conqueror of All Nations. Also a Challenge 
for all College Professors. To prove this Wrong and themselves Right, and that 
Air is not the great Cause of all things, animate and inanimate. I say boldly 
that it is the Spirit of God, and God himself, as the Scripture says God is a Spirit, 
and that Spirit was never created nor made, or how could there be any Creation ? 
This is clear to any one that has common Sense." 8vo. Newcastle: M. Ross. 
32 pp. 

Firmly believing that he had a special mission from on high to put 
the World and the Church in their proper position, and conquer all 
nations by his philosophy, he never failed to send a copy of each of 
his productions to the most prominent public men in the United 
Kingdom, leaving them, however, to pay the postage. Thus, for 
instance, he sent his " Railway Phenomenon, the Wonder of the 
World," to King William the Fourth, the Duke of Northumberland, 
Earl Grey, Lord Melbourne, the Duke of Wellington, the Bishop of 
Durham, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Speaker of the House 
of Commons, Daniel O'Connell, Sir Herbert Taylor, Joseph Pease, 
Cuthbert Rippon, Matthew Bell, Lord Brougham, J. A. Roebuck, 
Joseph Lamb, the Mayor of Newcastle, and all colleges throughout 
his Majesty's dominions. It was to let them know that " From 
Northumbria's coast the Christian Philosopher had appeared, steer- 
ing bravely the helm of the ship of truth," to frighten the Newtonians, 
"the devil's mad crew," "the wise men of Gotham, the foolish jack- 
dandies," in whose mouths " a cigaw " was often seen. 

Among other things which William Martin attempted was copper- 
plate engraving. He executed the copper-plates to illustrate the life 
of his brother Jonathan, views of York Cathedral done after the fire, 
flash bank-notes, etc. The portrait on page 173 is a specimen of his 
skill in that direction. 

His eccentricities of costume were not less remarkable than 
his writings. For some years previous to his death, his head- 
dress consisted of the shell of a tortoise, mounted with brass; and 
his breast was generally ornamented with a variety of stars and 
other decorations, believed to be the insignia of distinguished 
foreign orders. These are said to have been manufactured by 
Newcastle Quayside clerks and other hoaxers, and palmed on 
the vain, credulous, inoffensive man as genuine. 

In " Autobiographical Notes of the Life of William Bell Scott," 
the poet-artist, who was for some time master of the School of 
Design in Newcastle, is a passing reference to William Martin as 
he appeared to Mr. Scott in 1845: — "One of the street characters 


about Newcastle at that time was a brother of John Martin, the 
inventive painter of * Belshazzar's Feast': not the one who set fire 
to York Minster — a third brother, quite as mad as the incendiary, 
but more innocent. He was habitually to be met with in the 
principal thoroughfares, generally with a pamphlet in his hand, 
which he was willing to dispose of He quickly recognised me as 
a stranger, and offered me the chance of enlightenment, in such 
a way, however, as did not make me respond; but a few weeks later 
... we encountered the well-known figure in his extraordinary skull- 
cap, decorated with military surtout closely buttoned to the throat. 
Captain Weatherley, as his manner was, received him in the friend- 
liest way, and listened to the information that Martin's claim to the 
invention of the High-Level Bridge then building over the Tyne — a 
railway scheme designed, if I remember right, by Stephenson the 
younger — was now in print, and would be forwarded to the Queen 
to-morrow ! He then introduced me as a great London artist, come 
to educate the people of the North, when Martin, with exaggerated 
politeness, drew his feet together, bent forward, lifted his tortoise- 
shell hat high in the air, and answered ' Gratified to meet you, sir ! 
I am the philosophical conqueror of all nations, that is what I am ! 
and this is my badge; at the same time unbuttoning his surtout he 
showed a medal as large as a saucer, which was hung round his 
neck by a ribbon. It was not a medal at all, and he was manifestly 
crazed, yet he had that about him that made one treat him with 
respect. A noble presence even was his, although he was poor 
enough to sell his pamphlets thus on the street, which pamphlets 
were of course only evidence of his craze." 

The last of Martin's leaflets — "The Philosopher on the Millen- 
nium," is dated "Newcastle 18, 1849"; shortly afterwards his brother 
John took care of him in London, and there, at his brother's house 
in Chelsea, on the 9th of February, 185 1, he died. 

Richard Martin, the second of these four remarkable sons of 
Fenwick INIartin, was born while the family were living at the 
Bridge of Doon, near Ayr. He was put to his father's trade of 
a tanner, but entered the army and served twenty-nine years, of 
which twenty-two were passed in the First or Grenadier Regiment of 
Foot Guards. Of this regiment he was quartermaster-sergeant. In 
1830 he published in London a volume of poems containing "The 
Last Days of the Antediluvian World," " A Forlorn Hope," and 
" Ishmael's x\ddress." He had one daughter, who became the 

VOL. III. 12 


wife of George BuUen, Keeper of Printed Books in the British 

The sister of these four brothers, Fenwick Martin's only daughter, 
married a Mr. Atkinson, and her daughter was united to Henry 
Warren, K.L., President of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water 

3anic0 riDatber, 

THE miners' and SAILORS' FRIEND. 

James Mather was a native of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where he was 
born on or about the 23rd December, 1799. After receiving the 
rudiments of education at home, he was sent to the University of 
Edinburgh, where he studied medicine and philosophy, and passed 
through the classes with honour. 

As a young man he gave early promise of public usefulness. In 
1827 he invented a lifeboat, and placed it on board the Mary, a 
vessel belonging to his father. It is said to have been the first 
appliance of its kind supplied to a merchant vessel, and the utility 
of the invention was manifested on the loth of July in the same 
year, when the Mary was wrecked in a gale on the rocks of Lessoe, 
in the Cattegat, and the crew were saved by means of their own life- 
boat. This attracted the attention of the Danish Admiralty, the 
members of which personally inspected the boat at Copenhagen, 
obtained plans and sections of it ; and so impressed were they with 
the importance of the invention that the thanks of the Board were 
conveyed to Mr. Mather through the Danish Ambassador in England. 

In the exciting political times which preceded the Reform Act of 
1832, Mr. Mather took a prominent part in the district as a Radical 
reformer. Associating himself with other liberal-minded gentlemen, 
he raised his voice at a great public meeting held in South Shields 
to petition Parliament against Catholic Emancipation, supporting 
that measure in opposition to the clergy and magistrates. He, more- 
over^ officiated as secretary to the local committee for the repeal of 
the Test and Corporation Acts. 

In 1830-31, he was chairman of the Political Union of South 
Shields, and took a prominent part in the efforts made for the 
extension to that town of Parliamentary privileges. In the following 


year, when the people demanded " The bill, the whole bill, and 
nothing but the bill," he drew up an address to the king, calling on 
his Majesty to reinstate the Reform Ministry, and reform the House 
of Lords. At the same time he prepared a petition asking the 
House of Commons to reject any modification of the Reform Bill, 
and, " until they got a better understanding, to stop the supplies." 
At a public meeting in South Shields Market Place, where resolu- 
tions to the above effect were adopted, Mr. Mather declared that 
"twenty millions of people would never submit to place their necks 
beneath the yoke of two hundred of a contemptible faction — a 
borough-mongering aristocracy." Further, " The times are serious, 
and demand more than a simple demonstration of feeling. It 
behoves every man to lay his offering on the altar of his country's 
freedom, and crush the monster of corruption — the power of an 
overgrown oligarchy. I myself, rather than submit to bow my head 
to the power of such corruption, will lament the degradation of my 
country in a foreign land, to which many a free soul, tired of oppres- 
sion, is at present emigrating; but let us, rather than yield supinely 
and take up our abodes in foreign climes, manfully eject our 
oppressors and force them to leave that country whose burdens 
they have so much increased." 

By the Reform Act of 1S32, South Shields became entitled to 
send a member to the House of Commons, and as neither Robert 
Ingham nor Russell Bowlby, the two gentlemen who offered them- 
selves for election, satisfied the advanced wing of the Liberal party, 
an Independent Election Committee was formed, with Mr. Mather 
at its head, with the view of securing the election of a man of " real 
and undoubted Reform principles." Their choice fell upon Captain 
William Gowan, of London (afterwards Mauleverer, of Arnecliffe Hall, 
near Northallerton), " the friend of Hume, the friend of his country." 
During the contest Mr. Mather drew up "A Short Political 
Catechism," to test the principles of the candidates, was the leader 
and spokesman of the Radical Refomers, advocating triennial 
Parliaments, vote by ballot, cheap and intelligible law, the repeal 
of the taxes on knowledge, the breaking up of the corn monopoly, 
the East India monopoly, the Corporation monopoly, and the 
Church monopoly, the discontinuance of the system of imprison- 
ment, and the extinction of slavery. Some days before the election, 
Joseph Hume, the champion of economy in national finance, arrived 
in the town to. advocate his friend's cause, and Mr. Mather acted as 


chairman at a public banquet given to him, in the Seamen's Hall, 
Fowler Street. Mr. Gowan was defeated by a large majority. After 
the declaration of the poll, both he and Mr. Mather were borne in 
chairs through the principal streets, and a few days subsequently 
the Reformers presented Mr. Mather with a silver cup, " in testimony 
of their respect for the noble manner in which he had endeavoured 
to secure the independence of the borough." 

In the same year Shields suffered from the cholera epidemic, and 
Mr. Mather again distinguished himself by his indefatigable labours 
and kindly care of the afflicted. He was appointed a member of the 
Board of Health for the district by the Government, and in con- 
nection with his investigations he observed some curious effects 
of electricity in spasmodic cholera. A writer in the Northern 
Tribiaie states that some years later, " in a letter to the London 
journals, he urged attention to the electrical phenomena connected 
with the prevalence of cholera, and entreated the Government for a 
scientific commission to follow the pestilence and investigate the sub- 
ject. He had himself traced the existence of a disordered atmospheric 
electricity near the towns of Sunderland, Newcastle, Shields, Gates- 
head, Liverpool, Edinburgh, and London, during the prevalence of 
the epidemic; the more violently deranged the more virulent the 
attacks of the disease. In 1849 he had tested it with a magnet 
whose normal power was 2 lbs. 10 oz. When the atmospheric indica- 
tions were at the worst and cholera most fatal, this magnet could 
only sustain i lb. 11 oz., varying with the violence of the disease. 
Mr. Staite, the projector of the electric light, wrote to Mr. Mather 
that his instrument for measuring the intensity of voltaic currents of 
electricity varied one-half its range (2.50 grains instead of 5.50), and 
when cholera disappeared it recovered again its original power of 

In 1834, Mr. Mather made his first appearance as an author on 
political themes by publishing " The Constitutions of Great Britain, 
France, and the United States of America," a book which the Times 
of that day declared was an "excellent text-book for the poHtician." 
Two years later he was delegated from the Shipowners' Society of 
South Shields, with Joseph Straker from that of North Shields, 
to make representations in their interests to Lord Melbourne's 
Government, which had in contemplation some considerable change 
in the Navigation Laws. On returning to the North, they brought 
with them a scheme from a Parliamentary agent, for putting the river 


Tyne in commission, by deputies from the four shipping towns on its 
banks — viz., Newcastle, Gateshead, North Shields, and South Shields. 
In 183S he visited America, and on his return delivered two lectures 
on the United States' system of government and slavery, which the 
conductors of the Liberator newspaper printed for general circula- 
tion. When the Anti-Corn Law League was founded he became 
chairman of the South Shields branch of that powerful organisation. 

The terrible explosion in St. Hilda's Pit, South Shields, by which, 
on the iSth of June, 1839, fifty-two lives were lost, drew jNIr. Mather's 
attention to the special perils of a miner's life. As soon as he heard 
of the accident, he hurried down the shaft to relieve the men in peril 
below. On the following day he was publicly thanked by his fellow- 
townsmen. This incident caused him to assist in the formation .of a 
committee to inquire into the causes of accidents in mines, of which 
committee he became honorary secretary. In 1842 a complete 
and exhaustive report of the labours of the committee was drawn up 
by Mr. Mather, the value and importance of which may be judged 
when it is stated that in 1852 the report was specially reprinted by 
order of the Government. 

On the I St September, 1839, Mr. Mather earned an address on 
vellum from the Royal Humane Society, for his courage and 
humanity in saving, at much personal risk, the lives of three boys 
who were blown off the land in a ship's boat. The boat was lost, 
but the boys were rescued. 

In 1845, oil the 2 1 St August, his attention was once more directed 
towards mining matters by an explosion at J-'^rrow Pit, when forty 
people were killed. On this occasion, as in the St. Hilda explosion, 
he lost no time in going down the pit, and, by his example, was the 
means of saving several men from being killed by the fire-damp. 

During the following year he published a pamphlet on " Ships and 
Railways," in which he deprecated the formation of lines to convey 
the Northern coal to London to the detriment of the shipping 
interest, and advocated the reduction of passenger fares, which he 
protested were being kept at exorbitant rates to assist low coal rates. 

From coal-mines, Mr. Mather extended his researches into the 
value of fresh air, in connection with the more general affairs of life, 
and in 1847 he published a paper, read at the Society of Arts, 
London, " On the Ventilation of Schools, Churches, Public Rooms 
and Dwelling Houses, and Confined Streets, Lanes, and Courts of 
Towns," in which he proposed to ventilate the sewers of London by 


the steam jet, first invented by his friend Goldsworthy Gurney. 
This suggestion was afterwards adopted with success by Mr. Gurney 
in the Friar Street sewer, Southwark. 

Though much of his time was absorbed in his exertions on behalf 
of the mining population, he found occasion to espouse the cause of 
the seafaring community. When, in 1848, it was proposed to inter- 
fere with the interests of the blue-jackets by legislation, he advocated 
the cause of the sailors at a great meeting in the Amphitheatre, 
Liverpool, and headed a procession of 15,000 seamen to Westminster 
with a petition to Sir George Grey, then Home Secretary. These 
labours on behalf of the shipping trade prompted the shipowners of 
North and South Shields to entertain him to a public dinner. Six 
years later the seamen of the Tyne presented him with a memorial — 
an allegorical picture of a seaman's life, bearing an inscription which 
stated that it was given him " for his kind and most arduous en- 
deavours at all times to induce all classes to look for their rights as 
men, and to secure the just rights of British seamen." 

As chairman of the Commissioners under the South Shields 
Improvement Act, Mr. Mather initiated a number of street and other 
reforms, which helped to remove the reproach from the town of being 
one of the worst paved and flagged, cleaned, sewered, and lighted 
towns in England. 

In the beginning of 1851, he accompanied Mr. Gurney into Clack- 
mannanshire, for the purpose of trying to extinguish a fire which had 
been burning for twenty-five years in the mines belonging to the 
Earl of Mansfield. While preparing for this operation, a shaft on 
the other side took fire, and communicated to the waste below, 
endangering the whole valuable coal-fields of Lords Mansfield and 
Marr. It was apprehended that years of labour and many thousand 
pounds would be required to extinguish or isolate it. The fire was 
therefore attacked hand to hand, night and day, for three weeks, 
amidst dangers and difficulties seldom met with even in mines. Mr. 
Mather, upon whom fell the whole responsibility, frequently slept all 
night in the fire-drift, ready at every change to meet it by corresponding 
operations. The flames were not merely burning coal from large pass- 
ages and pillars, but the gases of the coal, distilled by the great heat, 
frequently burst out. The shaft, heated to upwards of 120 degrees, 
had to be passed to reach the fire. On several occasions Mr. Mather 
appeared through this chimney with burning cinders embedded on 
his gutta-percha cap. He and his assistants followed the fire into 


the workings, and cut it out step by step, projecting in their course 
800 gallons of water an hour from the surface upon the burning mass 
around them, and maintaining a small supply of fresh air amongst 
the men, while the rocks over their heads, being " plumped," formed 
a chimney for the smoke and steam to escape. In the meantime 
the process for the extinction of the fire in the old waste went on 
continuously; and when the fire-destroying gases had, from all 
indications, done their work effectually, a new pit, named in his 
honour, " Mather's Pit," was sunk. 

While busy with these operations, Mr. Mather was summoned to 
Newcastle to receive from the Coal Miners' Society of Northumber- 
land and Durham a silver cup, as a mark of their "gratitude for 
his talented and praiseworthy exertions in promoting measures to 
diminish the dangers from bad ventilation and other causes in the 
mines of this kingdom." The presentation took place on the 22nd 
March, 185 1. 

Upon their return from Scotland, Mr. Mather and Mr. Gurney 
were sent to Bolton to put out a fire in one of Lord Bradford's mines, 
and here, while leading a gang of men into the mine, Mr. Mather 
was suddenly struck by the "white damp," and fell insensible, in 
which condition he was dragged out of the mine, and resuscitated. 
Mr. Darlington, Government Inspector of Mines, who was present at 
the Bolton fire, described the advantages which Mr. Mather and Mr. 
Gurney had conferred on coal mining as invaluable; "as for the 
judgment and energy of Mr. Mather in the colliery yesterday, I could 
not have believed it unless I had been present. He is a man in a 

After the explosion by which seventy-six lives were lost at Burradon 
Colliery, in i860, Mr. Mather was again actively at work. He made 
a careful examination of the mine after the accident; and the 
evidence he gave at the inquest was complete and exhaustive. 
He was frequently examined before Parliamentary Committees 
respecting the ventilation of coal-mines; and in 1849 ^"^^ ^^5 2 he 
advocated the enforcement of better ventilation by legislation. For 
these services, and the interest he had shown in devising means of 
saving life and property, the Society of Arts appointed him an 
honorary member. 

In the Gateshead Observer, Shields Gazette, and other local 
journals, Mr. Mather frequently wrote upon the improvement of the 
river Tyne, so as to render it a harbour of refuge. Along with Mr. 


Cowen — afterwards Sir Joseph Cowen, M.P. — he was one of a 
deputation sent by the four river towns to urge their claims upon the 
Admiralty and the Government. When the control of the river 
passed into the hands of a Commission he was elected one of the 
members to represent South Shields. For many years he advocated 
at the river board the liberal course of improvements which has 
converted the Tyne into one of the noblest river estuaries in the 
United Kingdom. Besides officiating as a River Tyne Commis- 
sioner, he was a member of the Local Marine Board. 

During the greater part of his life Mr. Mather was at the head of 
the firm of Mather & Co., wine and spirit merchants, in South Shields 
and Newcastle. He died at his residence, The Grove, Westoe, on 
the 14th of December, 1873, aged seventy-four years. 

By his marriage with a daughter of Colonel Ainslie, of Overwells, 
Roxburghshire, Mr. Mather had two sons who helped to make 
history by an exciting adventure in Italy. These young men, 
Erskine and Thomas Mather, being in Florence on the 29th of 
December, 1851, stopped in the street to hear a military band. 
An Austrian officer, ordering them to stand on one side, and not 
being promptly obeyed, raised his sword and struck the elder 
brother, Erskine, a severe blow on the head, knocking him sense- 
less on the ground. An official inquiry into the circumstances 
attending this outrage, and justice on the attempted murderer, 
were demanded. The former was conceded, the latter took the 
shape of an offer of pecuniary compensation, which Mr. Mather 
indignantly refused. When the question was afterwards discussed 
in Parliament Lord Palmerston admitted that grave errors had 
been committed by our representatives abroad, declared that gross 
injustice had been perpetrated by the Austrian and Tuscan author- 
ities, and added that " the ^Messrs. Mather's conduct alone was 
free from blame." 

Erskine Mather, who afterwards became a captain in the North 
Durham Artillery Militia, and was for a short time a town councillor 
in his native town of South Shields, died there on the loth of 
November, 1882. 


Gilbert nI^i^^lcton, 


Next to "Newton," or new town, the favourite place-name in Great 
Britain is " jMiddleton," or middle town — the dwelling or habitation 
situate midway between two towns or villages of older date or 
greater importance. Twenty-two places in the island bear this 
appellative alone, while eighteen others possess it with various 
distinguishing affixes. Altogether there are forty INIiddletons in the 
three kingdoms, of which number exactly one-half fall to the share of 
the North-Country, namely, two in Scotland, six in Northumberland, 
four in Durham, six in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and one each 
in Cumberland and Westmorland. Families bearing this name, 
with apparently distinct genealogies, are nearly as numerous. From 
Fraserburgh to Horsham, from Denbigh to Winterton, IMiddletons 
and branches of Middletons are to be found, occupying various 
ranks and stations in life — peers and peasants, clergymen and clod- 

The Middletons of Northumberland can be traced back to a remote 
period in English history. The Rev. John Hodgson found them 
holding lands at Belsay in the middle of the thirteenth century. One 
member of the family — Sir Richard ]\Iiddleton — filled for some time 
the exalted post of Secretary and Chancellor to Henry HI. ; his 
nephew and successor, Sir John ISIiddleton, was a favourite of 
Edward I., who visited him at Belsay, and received from him 
material aid and assistance in pursuing his schemes of aggression 
upon the king and kingdom of Scotland. 

While Edward I. lived, the IMiddletons of Belsay were devoted 
adherents of the Crown. Although the perpetual wars of that 
monarch impoverished their estates, and brought them to the verge 
of ruin, they remained faithful and loyal. But when Edward II. 
ascended the throne, and renewed his father's quarrel in the northern 
parts of the kingdom, they broke into open rebellion. The nobility 
and gentry of the whole county of Northumberland were at this time 
in desperate straits — the lands were laid waste, and they and their 
vassals were without means of subsistence other than the plunder 
obtainable by retaliatory inroads into Scotland. Sir Adam Swinburne 


(whose niece had married Gilbert Middleton), being high sheriff of 
the county for the third time in 131 7, when the king was in the 
North, ventured to represent to his sovereign the grievances and 
hardships which the people suffered by these interminable wars, and, 
speaking "sharply," was hurried off to prison. His nephew, Gilbert, 
son of Gilbert Middleton, resenting this high-handed proceeding, 
fiew to arms, and, summoning as many of his own friends and 
adventurers from the Borders as could be collected together, pro- 
ceeded to revenge the insult. Sir John Middleton, of Belsay, 
cousin of Gilbert, and a great many persons of property, joined his 
standard, and in no long time he found himself at the head of 
a formidable band of freebooters, with which he proceeded to 
plunder the country. It is said that " all the castles of 
Northumberland, except Norham, Bamburgh, and Alnwick," fell 
into his hands; he levied black-mail upon the monasteries, paid 
flying visits to various parts of the bishopric, and, glutted with 
plunder, penetrated as far as Cleveland. 

While Gilbert Middleton and his band of raiders were scouring 
the Northern Counties, Louis Beaumont, bishop-elect of Durham, 
a kinsman of the Queen, was journeying from the South to take 
possession of his See. Accompanied by his brother Henry, two 
cardinals, charged with a pacific embassy into Scotland, and a 
numerous and splendid retinue, he reached the borders of the 
bishopric on the ist September, 131 7. At Darlington he was 
warned by a messenger from Durham that a band of adventurers 
were in the neighbourhood, and might obstruct his progress. But 
the eager prelate, relying upon his high rank and sacred calling, 
neglected the warning, and pressed on. In a few hours afterwards, 
at the Rushyford, a low and sequestered spot midway between the 
villages of Woodham and Ferryhill, Middleton, accompanied by a 
troop of light horsemen, fell upon the whole party and took them 
prisoners. Plunder and ransom being their chief end in this enter- 
prise, they rifled the cardinals, and sent them on to Durham to excite 
the liberality of the monks in providing money for the release of the 
captive prelate. The bishop, with his brother Henry, they carried 
off sixty miles away, to Mitford Castle (one of the strongholds which 
had fallen into Middleton's hands), and there kept him a prisoner 
till the treasures of the Church should yield a sufficient ransom. 

Edward II., coming to York three days after the "Bishop's Raid," 
heard the details of that daring outrage upon Church and Crown, and 


determined to stop the lawless career of its perpetrators. He wrote, 
on the nth of the month, to " the Mayor, Bailiffs, and good men of 
Newcastle," reciting the facts which had occurred " to the scandal of 
the Church, and Us, the dishonour and vituperation of all the King- 
dom, and the manifest breaking of Our Peace," directed the Mayor 
and Bailiffs to allow no armed men to enter the town of Newcastle, 
and ordered all who owed him service to assemble at York. Re- 
covering from the panic and terror into which Gilbert Middleton's 
surprises had thrown them, the loyal part of the community rallied 
round the king, and kept strict watch upon the movements of the 
freebooters. Middleton shut himself up in the Castle of Mitford, 
but one day, as he was reposing in fancied security there, some of 
his own men betrayed him into the hands of William Felton, and 
he was taken prisoner. Heavily fettered, he was brought to New- 
castle, put on board a ship, and taken to Grimsby, whence, in a 
starving condition, he was led to London on horseback, with his 
feet tied beneath the animal, and committed to the Tower. 

Brought before the king, and John Crumbwell, Constable of the 
Tower, on the 23rd of February, 13 18, being then about thirty-eight 
years old, Gilbert Middleton was put upon his trial. It was found 
that, contrary to his allegiance, he had attracted to himself a multi- 
tude of men, as well the king's enemies of Scotland as other felons, 
and riding out with his standard unfurled, in manner of war, had 
seduced many Englishmen from their allegiance, and administered 
to them oaths of fidelity to himself; that he had robbed two car- 
dinals, Nuncios of the Pope, who had come into the kingdom as 
peace-makers, and at the same time had captured and robbed the 
bishop-elect of Durham, his brother Henry, and many others; that 
he had extorted a large sum of money from the bishopric for truce, 
peace, and ransom ; and that he had held by force the castle of 
Mitford in defiance of the king, and stirred up war and commotion 
within the kingdom. For these felonies and seductions the king 
gave sentence that he should be " dragged through the city to the 
gallows, and there be hung up alive, taken down alive, and beheaded ; 
his head to be sent to the city, his heart and viscera (from which he 
had audaciously excogitated the horrible felonies aforesaid, against 
God, Holy Church, and his liege lord) to be burned under the 
gallows ; his body to be quartered, and one part thereof sent to New- 
castle, another to York, the third to Bristol, and the fourth to Dover." 
His goods and chattels were valued at ^2,615 12s. 4d., and his 


lands were estimated to be worth ^^23 is. 4d. a year — being two 
parts of the Manor of Breredene, half the vill of Hertelawe, and a 
toft, and ten acres of land in Caldstrothre. 

Gilbert Middleton's cousin, Sir John Middleton of Belsay, was 
involved in his disgrace and attainder. Belsay and other lands of the 
family, forfeited to the king, were bestowed upon the Constable of 
the Tower, John Crumbwell, and after Crumbwell's death they were 
given to Sir John Strivelyn, a celebrated military commander under 
Edward III. A female relative of Sir John Strivelyn's first wife, who 
was a Swinburne, was wooed and won by Sir John Middleton's son, 
and through her the .Sliddletons obtained their estates again. A 
son of this marriage, Sir John Middleton, was elected in the first 
year of Henry V. (1413), one of the knights of the shire for North- 
umberland — at which time William Middleton, who had been several 
times Sheriff, was chosen a parliamentary representative of Newcastle. 
Sir John was again returned for the county in 141 7 and 1425, having, 
meanwhile, filled the office of High Sheriff. 

^Cbonias flDibblcton, 


Passing over other members of the Middleton family, one of whom, 
another Sir John, was High Sheriff in 1461, and M.P. for the county 
in 1472, we come to Thomas Middleton, who held the family estate 
of Belsay in the time of Charles I., and who, following the example 
of Gilbert, his ancestor, turned against his king, and became a leading 
spirit in the Rebellion and Civil War. 

Thomas Middleton was a son of Robert Middleton of Belsay 
Castle, by his marriage with Mabel, daughter of John Ogle of Ogle 
Castle. He succeeded to the estate on the death of his father in 1 590, 
and, in 16 14, made considerable additions to the family residence. 
He married (i) Dorothy, daughter of John Constable of Dromonby, 
Yorkshire, and (2) Milcha, third daughter of Sir William Strickland 
of Boynton, Yorkshire, was High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1618 
and again in 1634. Summoned before the High Commission Court 
of Durham in June, 1639, for "entertaining in his house unconform- 
able ministers," he gave great offence the following year to the loyal 
authorities of Newcastle and the dignitaries of the Church, by bring- 

5/A' iriLLIAM^ MIDDLE TON. 189 

ing to the town two leading Covenanters from Scotland — Sir Walter 
Riddell and Sir John Buchanan. Vicar Alvey, writing to the Arch- 
bishop of York in January, 1640, about their arrival, adds: — "I 
heard that Mr. Middleton of Belsay, and some three or four of our 
nonconformists, held a more familiar correspondence with them than 
was fit, and accompanied them both in walking about the town walls, 
and also at their lodgings and other places." And the Archbishop, 
transmitting ISIr. Alvey's letter to the Privy Council, informs Secre- 
tary Windebank that " Mr. Middleton of Belsay is a man no better 
affected to conformity than he should be ; he has a private chapel 
at Belsay, where all comers are permitted to preach, and to which 
the factious people of Newcastle have ordinary recourse when they 
are disposed to abandon common prayer in their parish churches." 

In the great struggle which followed, Mr. Middleton was a warm 
supporter of the Parliament, by whom he was appointed, in 1643, 
a commissioner for sequestering delinquents' estates, and in 1645, 
1649, and 1650, a commissioner of taxes in Northumberland. He 
died about the year 165 1, and was succeeded by his nephew. 
Sir William Middleton (i), who, holding the same political and 
religious views, obtained equal notoriety for harbouring dissenting 
ministers during the changes that followed the Restoration. Of 
his sympathies and predilections we learn something in the " Life 
of Ambrose Barnes," and Calamy's " Nonconformists' Memorial." 
On the 24th October, 1662, he was created a baronet, and, dying 
in March, 1690-91, was succeeded by his son, Sir John, who 
had married a grand-daughter of John Lambert, the Parliamentary 
general, a descendant, it was said, of William the Conqueror. 

Sir MilUant riDibMcton, 


Sir William Middleton (2), grandson of the first baronet, came 
into possession of the title and estates on the death of his father. 
Sir John Middleton, in October, 171 7. The year before, as a 
member of the " Association of the Nobility, Gentry, etc., of 
Northumberland for the Defence of the King and Government 
against the Rebellion in Scotland," he had distinguished himself 
at the battle of CuUoden. The public spirit which he displayed 


from the beginning of the RebeUion to its close had made him 
popular throughout the North of England. When, therefore, at 
the dissolution of Parliament in 1722, Sir Francis Blake Delaval 
retired from the representation of Northumberland, Sir William 
Middleton, who represented the Whig interest in the county, was 
chosen as his successor. There was some talk of opposition, but 
it died out, and he was returned unopposed with Algernon (after- 
wards seventh Duke of Somerset, and the last Earl of Northumber- 
land), as his colleague. While the canvass was proceeding, Thomas 
Whittell, the Shaftoe poet, published a long string of verses in dis- 
praise of Sir William and his claims. The popular candidate was 
described in this abusive production as " well stored with coin, with 
silly words and spicey," mustering his tribes, " allur'd by promises, 
secur'd by bribes "; wherefore, 

" The modern saints, the Whigs, to meet him fly, 
As mortal life to meet eternity, 
They all encourage this young spruce beginner. 
But how — just as the devil does a sinner; 
Women and honesty they use as one, 
First gain your ends, then damn them when you're done." 

Sir William was returned to Parliament again in 1727; won a 
hotly-contested struggle for his seat in 1734; and three times 
afterwards was re-elected without opposition. He died on the 
28th of September, 1757, and through failure of issue by his wife, 
Anne, daughter of William Ettrick of Silksworth, the baronetcy and 
property went to his brother — -Sir John Lambert Middleton. 

%\x Milliam nl^i^Mcton, 


Born on 6th of June, 1738, Sir William Middleton (3), eldest son of 
Sir John Lambert Middleton, was trained to the profession of arms. 
He joined the Royal Horse Guards Blue, and during the Seven Years' 
War, saw active service with his regiment on the Rhine. He was 
wounded, fighting under Lord George Sackville at the battle of 
Minden, on the ist of August, 1759. The death of his father in 
March, 1768, put an end to his military career. Entering into 


possession of the title and estates, he married Jane, only surviving 
daughter of Lawrence Monck, of Caenby, Lincolnshire, made Belsay 
his residence, and prepared himself to follow in the footsteps of his 
uncle as a knight of the shire. 

An election was pending at the date of his father's decease, and, 
therefore, he was unable to move in the direction of his ambition. 
But at the next dissolution, in 1774, he entered the field as a candi- 
date. A warm and exciting contest followed, the details of which 
may be read on page 399 of our second volume. Four representa- 
tives of leading county families went to the poll — Lord Algernon 
Percy, second son of the Duke of Northumberland, and Sir John 
Hussey Delaval on the one side; and Sir William ]Middleton and 
William Fenwick, of Bywell, on the other. Extraordinary exertions 
were made by the ducal party to bring in Sir John Hussey Delaval. 
Sir Walter Blackett, " the king of Newcastle," espoused his cause ; 
Ridleys, Ellisons, Collingwoods, and Selbys ranged themselves under 
his banner; even the great founder of Methodism was induced to 
write a letter in his favour. But all these influences did not avail. 
After a nine days' poll, Percy and Middleton were elected. 

To the three succeeding Parliaments — those of 17S0, 17S4, and 
1790, Sir William Middleton was elected without a contest. Dying 
on the 7th July, 1795, he was succeeded by his third son, Charles, 
who, taking the surname of Monck (which see), became Sir Charles 
Miles Lambert Monck. 

3obn riDitcbcII, 


When the last century was approaching its end, there came to New- 
castle a printer named John Mitchell. He was a Scotchman by 
birth, having first seen the light in "the awd toon o' Ayr," in 1772. 
At Ayr he had obtained his education, having for schoolfellow a 
man afterwards well known in Newcastle — Dr. Thomas McWhirter, 
one of the Infirmary physicians. In Kilmarnock, under Wilson, the 
printer who issued the first edition of Burns's poems, he had served 
his time, and made the personal acquaintance of " Scotia's darling 
bard." At Carlisle he had attempted to establish himself in business 
as a bookseller and printer, and, this venture proving unsuccessful, 


he had migrated, with a newly-married wife, to Newcastle, to tempt 
fortune anew among the thriving industries of Tyneside. 

While at Carlisle, Mr. Mitchell started, or took over, a little magazine 
of twenty-eight pages, entitled " The Satellite, or Repository of Litera- 
ture, Consisting of Miscellaneous Essays intended for the Diffusion of 
Useful and Polite Knowledge." Its first number bears date Novem- 
ber loth, 1798, and the statement that it is " Printed for W. Clarke, 
New Bond Street, by whom subscriptions are received ; also by J. 
Mitchell, Bookseller, Carlisle." The second number, issued January 
12th, 1799, contains the imprint — "Carlisle : Printed by and for J. 
Mitchell " ; the third number, without date, bears the same imprint ; 
while number four, also undated, is printed, " by and for J. Mitchell," 
in Newcastle. By this means it is ascertained that Mr. Mitchell 
commenced business on the banks of the Tyne during the summer 
of 1799. He began, upon a small scale, in Pilgrim Street; the fol- 
lowing year removed to larger premises in Dean Street, and from 
that date, to use a common expression, never looked behind him. 

Newcastle was famous at this time for the production of books in 
periodical numbers. In that way Ostervald's great folio Bible, the Rev. 
James Murray's "History of the Churches," "Lectures on Genesis," 
and " History of the American War," together with standard works 
by various authors, had been issued. Mr. Mitchell, however, pre- 
ferred to strike out a line for himself. He printed a few chap-books, 
moral tales, etc., for the hawkers of such wares, but, as soon as he 
was fairly settled in his new premises, he projected a much more 
important undertaking. Five years had passed away since a direc- 
tory of Newcastle, the fifth of its kind, had been issued, and Mr. 
Mitchell determined to signalise the advent of a new century by 
producing a new and extended guide to the people among whom he 
had taken up his abode. He commenced by compiling and printing 
for ofifice use " A List of INIerchants, Bankers, Brokers, Wharfingers, 
and Fitters in Newcastle," and at the end of February, 1801, he 
brought out the complete work, a i2mo of XX.-64 pages, entitled — 

" The Directory for the Year 1801, of the Tow^n and County of Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne, Gateshead, and Places Adjacent. Containing An Alphabetical List 
of Merchants, Bankers, Brokers, Wharfingers, and Coal-Fitters ; likewise of the 
Manufacturers, Traders, and principal Mechanical Tradesmen; Representatives 
in Parliament, Members of the Corporation, Consuls ; Public Offices, and their 
Agents' Names in Newcastle and Gateshead ; with a List of the Clergy, Regula- 
tion of the Coaches ; List of Carriers, Coasting Vessels, and Wherrymen ; also a 


Tide Table for the Northern Coasts, and the Temporal and Spiritual Courts of 
Durham. To which is Prefixed, An Account of Newcastle, its Commerce, 
Curiosities, and Public Buildings. Compiled and Digested from an accurate 
Survey. Newcastle-on-Tyne : Printed and sold by J. Mitchell, Dean Street. 
Price Two Shillings." 

According to his announcement in this pubhcation, " J. Mitchell " 
executed every kind of letterpress printing " in the neatest manner," 
and likewise "elegantly hot-pressed"; ruled and bound account- 
books, and sold all sorts of paper, ink, colours, pens, pencils, wax, 
wafers, pen-knives, mathematical instruments, asses' skin memorandum 
books, pounce, lead ore, cards, blacking, tooth powder, ladies' canes, 
violin strings, musical instruments, purses, and a liquid for cleaning 
boot-tops. At the same time he supplied magazines, reviews, news- 
papers, and books of all kinds, and gave "the greatest price" for 
libraries and parcels of books. (Upon this latter announcement, 
some previous owner of the writer's copy of the Directory has boldly 
marked an asterisk, adding the unkind footnote, — " He has not paid 
for mine yet ! ") 

Having thus fairly established himself in business as a printer, 
bookseller, and stationer, Mr. Mitchell aimed at still higher game — 
the publication of a newspaper. Newcastle possessed three respect- 
able family weeklies — the Courant, the Chronicle, and the Advertiser. 
None of them represented advanced views upon political subjects, 
and the rising democracy of Tyneside wanted something hotter and 
stronger than the most liberal of these journals was in the habit of 
supplying. Mr. Mitchell thought he saw an opening for a Radical 
organ, and he determined to avail himself of it. On Tuesday, June 
ist, 1802, he issued the first number of The Tyne Mercury, and 
Northumberland and Durham Gazette. It was a bold venture, and 
the adventurer soon found that he had embarked upon a sea of 
troubles. Mackenzie describes him as " struggling against opposition 
and difficulties almost inconceivable." Tories laughed and Whigs 
derided; tradesmen would not advertise, and farmers would not buy; 
literary loafers sneered, and even play-actors made him the butt of 
their ridicule and his paper the subject of their scorn. At the 
theatre, in 1803, a Mr. Noble sang a topical song, called "The 
Newcastle Bellman," in which, after each verse, the bellman made 
a "call" or "cry." None of these cries brought down the house so 
well as the fourth, which was devoted to the Tyne Mercury and its 
proprietor : — 

VOL. III. 13 


"To be sold by Auction, J. M. Auctioneer, a large and choice Collection of 
Materials for Sleeping, consisting of a Quantity of old News ; erroneous and 
clumsy statements of recent events ; heavy Critiques on Theatrical Performers and 
Plays not performed ; flat Pieces of uninteresting Biography ; drowsy original 
Letters ; dull Extracts from a Northern Caput Mortutun of Insipidity ; a number 
of Puns, Jests, and Old Anecdotes, warranted free from Attic Salt, chigramatic 
Point, or any other Ingredient capable of rousing Attention, or exciting Risibility; 
also a Quantity of pure Tyne Mercury, which possesses the peculiar Property of 
never rising in the Barometer of public Estimation, higher than the Point Ennui. 
The Sale to begin every Monday Evening at Eight o'clock, and continue till all 
be sold." 

Out of this not too pungent wit arose a small pamphlet war, 
opened by an actor named Mara, who issued " The Mitchelliad, or 
Tyne Mercury Analyz'd," to which Mr. Mitchell replied by an 
ironical paper with the same title, in which the actor was made to 
give a ludicrous account of his life, adventures, and qualifications. 
Mara came out with " The Dean Street Dunciad, or a Peep into 
Pandaemonium. A Poem in Four Cantos. By S. D. Mara of the 
Theatre Royal, Newcastle. Dedicated without permission to Mr. 
John Mitchell, Proprietor, Editor, Compositor, Conductor, Paragraph- 
monger, and Printer of the Tyne Mercury^ etc., Newcastle: D. Bass, 
1804." Then a defender of the assailed editor joined in, and so the 
quarrel went on. But none of these things shook Mr. Mitchell's 
resolution, or depressed his buoyant spirits; his energy and per- 
severance triumphed over all the obstacles which critics and pamphle- 
teers threw in his path. By-and-by friends rallied round him. 
The Rev. William Turner, his friend and pastor, William Burdon, 
the philosopher, Leigh Hunt, the Radical essayist, and other writers 
of ability came to his aid. That erratic genius, Hewson Clarke, 
contributed to the new paper those curious letters which were after- 
wards gathered together in a local book called " The Saunterer." 
By the time that the Tyne Mercury was ten years old it had attained 
an established position among the political organs of the North of 

Some part of the success which Mr. Mitchell achieved was 
attributable no doubt to the stirring nature of current events. 
Europe was in arms against Bonaparte, and the desire for news 
of our troops in Spain and Portugal was feverish and intense. 
The older Newcastle papers came out at the end of the week; 
Mr. Mitchell published his journal on Tuesday morning. He was, 
therefore, able to obtain the latest intelligence received on Saturday 


nights in London, and thus not only to anticipate the Sunday papers, 
but frequently the London papers of Monday, for on Tuesday morn- 
ings none of the metropolitan journals of the day before arrived 
farther north than York. The price of the Mercury was sixpence, 
the same as that of its contemporaries; but this sum formed no 
serious obstacle to circulation, and sometimes, when news of import- 
ance came to hand after the week-end papers had been published, 
his issues went up to what was considered in those days a high 
figure. During that eventful week in April, 18 14, when the tidings 
came to England that the allied armies had entered Paris, and that 
Bonaparte had been dethroned and banished to Elba, the demand 
for his paper was so great that the delighted proprietor vented his 
feelings in the following exultant paragraph : — 

" We should be wanting in gratitude to our numerous readers 
on both sides of the Tyne did we not notice the reception our 
Newsman met with on Tuesday last in the several villages through 
which he passed. The defeat of the French armies in the vicinity 
of Paris — the surrender of that capital to the Allies — the dethrone- 
ment and abdication of Bonaparte, and the calling of Louis XVIII. 
to the throne of his ancestors, formed such a mass of important 
events as perhaps were never before recorded in one newspaper; 
and the populace, who could not repress their feelings on the 
occasion, were unanimous in bestowing the ' highest honors ' on 
the courier who brought them the glad tidings. In some places 
he was simply greeted with the huzzas of the villagers; in others 
all the fiddlers were put in requisition, and he was accompanied 
on his journey, allegro et spirito ; but at Winlaton, he thought him- 
self equal to some of our M.P.'s, for he was ' chaired ' through the 
village on men's shoulders, attended by nearly the whole of the 
inhabitants, who almost rent their ' iron ' lungs with repeated accla- 
mations. Such was the proud day experienced by Mercury's herald, 
whose spirits were not a little elevated by the old English hospitality 
of some of the opulent residents on the banks of the Tyne. 

" The sale of this paper last week was 


During all this time Mr. Mitchell was his own editor, sub-editor, 
reporter, and publisher. His editorials were never long, and some- 
times he had none at all; but what he did write was strong and 
vigorous, trenchant and austere. " Though endowed with the 


greatest kind-heartedness, yet the severest expressions dropped 
from his pen," Here is a sample of his style, culled from the 
Mercury of July 27th, 181 3: — 

" From one end of Europe to the other, every Court has its 
minions and favourites, through whom alone all the appointments 
of the State or to the army took their rise. Every department of 
government being thus filled with creatures brought forward either 
by stupid ministers, or their avaricious mistresses, it is not to be 
wondered at that such a bold and intrepid adventurer as Bonaparte 
should have overthrown all those States in succession, the affairs of 
which were thus administered. Such must eventually be the fate of 
this country, if the system of patronage and parliamentary influ- 
ence, which operates in the very same way, is not removed root and 
branch from the administration of our State affairs, both in foreign 
and domestic policy. Wherever a hypocritical bishop or a political 
magisterial parson are to be found in our Church; wherever a pusil- 
lanimous general or skulking colonel in our army; wherever a timid 
admiral or a stupid captain in our navy; and wherever a furious 
judge or an acrimonious attorney-general are to be found in our 
courts of law, their appointments are all to be traced to the same 
pernicious origin — parliamentary patronage and Court intrigue." 

Along with his newspaper Mr. Mitchell kept up his printing and 
publishing establishment. Numbers of pamphlets, tracts, sermons, 
chap-books, etc., bear his imprint, while he issued on his own 
account a variety of books of higher character and more lasting 
value. Among other announcements of works printed by him are 
" Cowper's Poems," with a memoir and portrait of the author; 
" Shakespeare's Dramatic Works," consisting of the plays " now 
acted on the British Stage" (3 vols.); "Yorick's Budget," a 
collection of "Choice Anecdotes, Remarkable Stories," etc.; "The 
British Minstrel," containing 500 ancient and modern songs; 
St. Pierre's " Indian Cottage, or a Search after Truth " ; " Flowers 
of British Poetry," with seven cuts by Bewick; "The Charms of 
Literature," with twenty original designs by the same artist, etc., etc. 
— books that are now entirely forgotten, and only to be found on the 
shelves of local collectors. 

Throughout his editorial career Mr. Mitchell had the misfortune 
to excite by his free and outspoken criticisms upon dramatic repre- 
sentations in Newcastle, the angry satire of gentlemen of the stage. 
Mara's Mitchelliads and Dunciads were followed in February, 18 18, 


by a scurrilous publication in three numbers written by an actor 
named Hillington, and entitled — 

" Grim Typo, The Tyne Demon; or the Resurrection of the Barber's Pig. A 
Satirical Miscellany; Illustrated with Occasional Notes, Anecdotes, etc., of the 
Life, Character, & Behaviour of the Demon, both before and since his Defeat 
by Mara in 1804, to the Present Period ; and Dedicated (without permission) 
to the Editor of the Tyne Mercury. Newcastle upon Tyne : Printed and sold 
by William Hall, Groat Market. Price Twopence." 

In this abusive brochure the editorial critic is assailed with such 
epithets as "caitiff," " paperstaining gander," "illiterate and un- 
informed ignoramus," "grovelling and unlettered paragraph writer," 
" head like a wrought-out pit," etc., etc. Wherefore, according to 
the author, 

" His petty Drugs may scare the Bugs 
Whose smell they much resemble ; 
Contempt and hate must be his fate, 
From men who never tremble." 

Absorbed in his newspaper enterprise and his extending business 
as a printer and bookseller, Mr. Mitchell neglected his health. 
During the winter of 18 18, he fell ill, and on the 24th of April, 
1819, at his house, Chimney Mills, Newcastle, aged only forty-seven, 
he passed away. Radical in religion as well as in politics, he had 
selected the bottom of his garden for his grave, and had planted 
lilacs, laburnums, and ornamental shrubs to shade his burial-place. 
There, accordingly, he was interred, with a ceremony which the 
Newcastle Chronicle of May ist following, thus describes : — 

" The procession was conducted in the usual manner, and a 
numerous assemblage of friends attended the body to the grave. 
Before the principal part of the funeral service, which was read in a 
most impressive manner from the reformed liturgy of Dr. Lindsey, 
by the Rev. William Turner, of Hanover Square Chapel, that 
gentleman delivered the following explanatory address : — ' Friends 
and Fellow-Christians, — We are assembled to discharge the last 
offices to the memory of our departed friend. If any should enquire 
into the reasons why we are called upon to do it in this place, rather 
than according to the accustomary mode of the country in which we 
live, I am desired by the family to state, that our friend always 
expressed the strongest reluctance to disturb the living with the 
remains of the dead, by crowding with them our churches and 
churchyards, and the most populous parts of our towns; and that he 


was often shocked at the Httle respect paid to those very remains, 
when he saw them lying promiscuously around the newly-opened 
graves; and as it appears from several remarkable passages that the 
Scriptures authorise family burial-places, and that particularly in 
gardens, he was anxious to imitate this primitive custom; himself 
made this express preparation for it, and earnestly charged his family 
to comply with this, his last request. However, therefore, we may 
any of us regret this departure from ordinary custom, or be led to 
question, in other respects, its prudence or propriety, I persuade 
myself these reasons will sufficiently acquit him of having directed 
it through any disregard to religion, or disrespect to the institutions 
of his country (I know that he firmly believed the religion of Jesus 
Christ); especially when I add that it was his desire that his inter- 
ment might be accompanied by some religious service. This it has 
fallen to my lot to conduct, and I have endeavoured to make it as 
comfortable as I consistently could, with the form appointed by our 
Established Church.'" 

The writer of the obituary note in the same paper — possibly 
Thomas Hodgson himself, a fellow-worshipper with the deceased at 
Hanover Square Chapel — pays a genial tribute to Mr. Mitchell's 
memory, describing him as "the conductor of an independent 
political journal, and an ardent advocate of the principles of civil 
and religious liberty," whose death "cannot but be regretted, and 
his memory respected, by all who are attached to that cause." 

Mr. Mitchell left three sons to carry on the business which he had 
so successfully established, and from which he had been so suddenly 
called away. The eldest son, William Andrew Mitchell, edited the 
paper; the second son, Henry Armstrong Mitchell, looked after the 
finances; the third son, Edward Routledge Mitchell, superintended 
the printing department. Together they formed a powerful combina- 
tion, known to irreverent Newcastle youths by their initials — 

W A M, 
E R M, 

and to more cultured Novocastrians as the Three Mercuries, the 
interpreter, the messenger, and the cupbearer to the gods. 


MilUam Hnbrcw mMtchcU, 


William Andrew Mitchell was but twenty-three years of age 
when his father, John Mitchell, died. Upon him, as the eldest 
son, devolved the responsibility of conducting the Tyne Merairy, 
and of directing his younger brothers in carrying on the associated 
business of a printer and bookseller. Fortunately for the family, he 
was equal to the task. He had received a " college " education — at 
Edinburgh University perhaps — and exhibiting unusual abilities in 
literary composition, had been trained for the position which he was 
now unexpectedly called upon to assume. Before his father's death 
he had published a book and printed a pamphlet. The book, a 
substantial volume of 550 odd pages, and a very remarkable work 
for so young a man, was issued anonymously and without date, in 
November, 181 7, when the writer had barely attained his majority. 
It bore the long, descriptive title of — 

" An Essay on Capacity and Genius; To prove that there is no Original Mental 
Superiority between the most Illiterate and the most Learned of Mankind ; and 
that no Genius, whether Individual or National, is Innate, but solely produced by, 
and Dependent on, Circumstances. Also, An Enquiry into the Nature of Ghosts, 
and other Appearances supposed to be Supernatural." London: W. Simpkin & 
R. Marshall. 8vo, xix.-538 pp. Price 15s. 

The pamphlet came out the following year in the same anonymous 
fashion. There is some doubt whether it was ever offered for sale, 
or only distributed among the writer's friends, but it was certainly 
printed, for he who chooses to search collections of tracts in the 
libraries of local collectors will find it, with this title-page — 

" The Bar Incompatible with Truth and Mental Freedom. A Letter Addressed 
by a Young Gentleman to a Near Relation." London: Printed for the Author 
and Sold by Pinnock & Maunder, Strand. 1818. 8vo, 23 pp. 

For some months after his father's decease, young Mr. Mitchell 
devoted himself to the editorial supervision of the Mercury. In 
1820 he saw, or thought he saw, an opening for a local periodical, 
conducted on the same lines as the GentlemarHs^ the European^ and 
other London magazines. Several attempts had been made to 
estabUsh a literary " monthly " in the town, the last of which, Mr. 


Joseph Clark's Northumberland and Newcastle Monthly Magazine^ had 
completed its twenty-fifth and final number in the preceding December. 
Mr. Mitchell aimed at something higher than any of his predecessors 
had ventured to produce. His idea was to publish a big bi-monthly, 
or perhaps more correctly, twi-monthly, publication. On the ist of 
September, 1820, he sent out the first number of the Newcastle 
Magazine — a portly octavo of 108 (increased afterwards to 120) 
pages, consisting of essays, reviews, local history and biography, 


mathematics, poetry, etc., etc. It was a mistake. Nobody wanted 
a magazine that came out but once in two months, and long before a 
volume had been completed the enterprising projector saw that his 
venture was doomed to failure. He persevered through six numbers, 
and then stopped — stopped for a time, as he said, to begin again on 
fresh lines and better conditions. " It stays its course," he wrote, 
"that it may acquire an additional impetus; it dies that it may gain 
new vigour." 

While the magazine was running its unsuccessful career, Mr. 


Mitchell published, in his own name this time, a volume of not too 
sprightly poetry, with the doleful title of — 

" The Thoughts of One that Wandereth; A Poem in Four Books, or Reveries. 
On the World, Kings, Prostitution and Death." Newcastle, 1820, post 8vo. 
Price 5s. 

Reverting with greater assiduity to his newspaper work, the 
youthful editor developed a new idea. Under the pen-name of 
"Tim Tunbelly," he commenced to publish in the Merairy a series 
of pungent letters on the mistakes of the Corporation of Newcastle, 
and the misdeeds of its ofificials. These proved as decided a 
success as the magazine had been a failure. Everybody read them, 
and talked about them, and wondered who the spirited author could 
be. They began in October, 1821, and lasted till November, 1822, 
by which time " Tim " had bestowed his censures and lavished his 
praises upon all and sundry — the municipality and the freemen, 
their leaders and understrappers, their works and ways. When the 
series was finished he wrote a pretended autobiography of the author, 
and attaching to it a frontispiece, illustrating local events in sixteen 
tableaux, ranged around an assumed portrait of the redoubtable 
critic, he issued — 

"The letters of Tim. Tunbelly gent. Free Burgess, Newcastle upon Tyne; 
Or The Tyne, The Newcastle Corporation, The Freemen, The Tolls, etc., etc. 
To which is prefixed A Memoir of his Public and Private Life. ' Stat Nominis 
Umbra.' 'The integrity of the upright shall guide them; but the perverseness of 
transgressors shall destroy them.' Prov. xi-3." Newcastle upon Tyne. Printed 
and Published by W. A. Mitchell. 1823. 8vo. xx.-is6 pp. Price 5s. Large 
paper, 7s. 6d. 

Still clinging to the anonymous, and making use of another 
printing-office for his effusion, Mr. Mitchell put forth a pamphlet 
upon a long-debated subject — 

"A Letter to the Vicar of Newcastle. On the Present State of St. Nicholas' 
Church and its Library. By A Townsman." Newcastle: T. & J. Hodgson. 
1823; 8vo. Price 6d. 

In the meantime he had completed arrangements for a revival 
of the Newcastle Magazine. Profiting by the failure of the first 
effort, he resorted to a monthly issue, and began it in January, 1822. 
This time he was more successful. Enlisting the services of well- 
known men as contributors to the literary department, he set up a 
lithographic press — the first of its kind in Newcastle — and illustrated 
the magazine with local views and portraits, which, although crude 


in design, and poor in execution, helped to make its pages attractive. 
By these efforts he was able to keep the periodical going for nine 
years. To present-day readers the contents appear, for the most 
part, prosy and dull, and for the rest shallow and insipid; yet at the 
time of its publication it was considered to be the best of its kind 
out of London. No local library can be considered as properly 
furnished that does not contain the ten volumes and three conclud- 
ing numbers of the Newcastle Magazine. 

The combined editorship of the Mercury and the Magazine gave 
Mr. Mitchell a position of influence. Criticism was his strong 
point, and he indulged his propensity freely; invective was his 
favourite weapon, and he wielded it with vigour. Professing to be 
independent and impartial, he hit out all round — without malice, no 
doubt, but sometimes without consideration. The usual fate of 
unmerciful critics accompanied him. A few admired, many des- 
pised, and others disliked him. One of his victims, T. M. Richard- 
son, the painter, struggling, in 1823, to obtain recognition of his 
art in Newcastle by public exhibitions of pictures, ventured to 
remonstrate with the doughty editor upon his everlasting use of 
the club and the tomahawk. *' Accustomed as I am to handle 
the pencil only," he wrote, " what shall I do with the pen against 
one so powerful as yourself, backed as you are by a formidable 
engine, which you seem determined to exert in crushing me and 
my prosperity ? " What, indeed, but suffer and be silent ? 

As long as the Magazine lasted Mr. Mitchell found but little 
opportunity for literary recreations outside the sphere of journalism. 
All that issued separately from his pen at this time were a pamphlet 
on Angling, and a drama, performed, in the season of 1827-28, at the 
Theatre in Newcastle, under the management of Mr. Nicholson: — 

"On the Pleasure and Utility of Angling. A Paper read to the Waltonian 
Club of Newcastle, July 27, 1824. By W. A. Mitchell, President for the Year." 
Newcastle: 1825. Svo. Woodcut by J. Nicholson. 

"Crohoore of the Bill Hook, Or Crohoore-na-Bilhoge. In Three Acts. 
Dramatized from the First Series of the Tales, by the O'Hara Family." New- 
castle : Mercury Press, 1828. Svo. 52 pp. 

Once more relieved from editorial pressure, Mr. Mitchell emerged 
from his sanctum, and began to appear in public. During the winter 
of 1 83 1, at the request of his friend and pastor, the Rev. William 
Turner, he gave four lectures at the Literary and Philosophical 
Society, on " The History and Progress of Knowledge." The follow- 


ing year, joining the Newcastle Mechanics' Institute, he re-delivered 
his lectures on Knowledge, expanding them into a series of thirteen, 
and read an essay on " Newspapers, and the Progress of Reporting 
Debates in Parliament." At the ninth anniversary meeting of the 
members, in 1833, he was elected one of the Secretaries of the 
Institute — a position which he held to within a few months of his 

When the Municipal Reform Act rendered membership of the 
Corporation of Newcastle accessible to the burgesses at large, Mr. 
Mitchell aspired to a seat in the municipal chamber. His name does 
not appear amongst the nominations to the first Reformed Council 
of the borough, but, in November, 1S36, beating his rival Mr. Gibson, 
he was elected to a vacancy in the ward of St John ; his brother 
Henry being at the same time returned for St. Nicholas'. Through 
the daring satirist who penned the " Corporation Annual " of that 
date we obtain a glimpse of the editorial Common Councilman as he 
appeared to his limner : — " Gibson had no chance with the a la Buona- 
parte of Newcastle. The Emperor's local habits have done much to 
improve his favourite snuggery at Longwood Street Corner. There, 
at four o'clock each day, he assembles round his august personage 
his old favourite Generals, and fights over their ' bottles ' again, with 
puff and smoke. A slouch, not a cocked, hat covers his head ; 
carries a gold-headed cane under his left arm, and, for pastime, 
occasionally scribbles in one or more of the provincial journals." 

A much livelier sketch of him is to be found in a most rare publi- 
cation — " The Mechanics' Mirror " — a smart satire upon the officials 
of the Newcastle Mechanics' Institute, pubUshed shortly before Mr. 
Mitchell's election to the Town Council : — " A Simon Pure in 
attire — wears a cloak and broad-brimmed editorial hat — affects the 
philosopher in the cut of his coat — possessed of considerable literary 
talent — distinguished as the author of a History of Ghosts, and of 
a farce deservedly damned — a disciple of Isaac Walton — caught a 
whale at Cullercoats, and thrice related the marvellous feat to his 
wondering readers — a student of Mr. Joseph Miller, and a weekly 
vendor of his wit and ware — editor of a newspaper sacred to Bacchus 
and Cloacina — one of the secretaries of the Institution, but is anxious 
to transfer his services to a higher sphere — should have lived in the 
Tavern days of Dryden — patronises widows, and loves to be a ' very 
Triton among the minnows.'" 

As a member of the municipal body Mr. Mitchell took an inde- 


pendent course, refusing to ally himself with any clique or party. He 
opposed the sale of the Mansion House (the burning question of the 
day), declaring that some such place was necessary, "not for eating 
and drinking, not for dissipation and profusion, not for extravagance, 
nor even for amusement, but as an ofiEicial residence for the Mayor, 
where he might entertain the judges, distinguished foreigners, and 
other visitors to the town." Against many proposed changes that 
are now considered to be undoubted improvements, such as the 
New Police, he steadily set his face ; while others, that are of doubt- 
ful utility, as the opening of the Council meetings to the public, 
received his warm support. On the whole, however, his municipal 
record was satisfactory. John Selkirk, the Corporation reporter, 
classed him among those members of the governing body who "make 
short and sensible speeches, and perform the business of a councillor 
very creditably." 

Early in " the forties," through circumstances which need not be 
discussed in this place, the influence of the Mitchells and their paper 
in Newcastle began to decline. William Andrew secured his re-elec- 
tion to the Council in 1840 by a casting vote only; his brother 
Henry was rejected, in 1841, in favour of William Lockey Harle ; in 
November, 1843, he himself succumbed to the superior influence of 
William Brown, of the Turf Hotel. In the preceding June the Ty7ie 
Mercury had been transferred to William Fordyce, to be absorbed, 
two or three years later, into the Newcastle Guardian. 

For some time before the Mercury slipped through his hands, Mr. 
Mitchell had conducted in that paper a new series of letters after the 
manner of " Tim Tunbelly's," signed " Peter Putright." As soon 
as the transfer had been effected he started these letters as a weekly 
magazine of 16 octavo pages, entitled — 

"Peter Putright's Newcastle Register: A Magazine of Local, Literary, and 
Scientific Investigation." Price 2d. 

The first number began with "Peter's" 265th letter, on the ist 
July, 1843, and for a time the periodical showed life and vigour. 
" Peter's " contribution was smart and telling, and a page or two of 
advertisements imparted an appearance of prosperity. But gradually 
these promising features faded. With the 22nd number "Peter 
Putright" dropped out of the title; then the advertisements dwindled 
and finally disappeared. Still the editor struggled on. Poor as it 
was, this magazine was all that was left for him to edit, and he was 


loath to let it go. Death alone brought the series to a termination. 
No. 127 of the *' Register" informed subscribers that the work was 
finished, that Peter Putright's pen had dropped from his fingers, that 
" W. A. M." was no more. He died November 25th, 1845, in the 
house at Chimney Mills, in which his father had passed away, and 
overlooking the garden wherein his father's remains lay buried. 

Ibcnr^ Brmetrono fIDitcbell, 


Little remains to be written of the business brother in the Mitchell 
partnership. Born in 1798, he went into the counting-house of his 
father as soon as he left school, and there contracted a taste for mer- 
cantile pursuits which never left him. His five years' membership of 
Newcastle Corporation has been already noted. The records of the 
municipality show that he was a constant attender at the Council 
meetings, and a frequent participant in the debates. Although not 
so fluent in speech, or so effective in argument, as his brother, he 
brought to bear upon all public questions sound common sense, and 
good business habits — qualities that are usually appreciated at a 
high value. 

While associated with his brothers in printing and publishing, he 
was occupied on his own account in various enterprises. For many 
years he was the local agent of two great insurance companies — the 
" London Life," and the " Imperial Fire." He was one of the five 
persons who founded the Newcastle Gas Company, and he carried 
on business for some time as a coke and lampblack manufacturer at 
Blaydon. Notwithstanding his brother's pamphlet against the legal 
profession he had at some period of his life intended to practise the 
law, and with that object had eaten his terms, and received a call to 
the Bar. But that idea he had abandoned when commercial pursuits 
opened out for him wider avenues to prosperity. Into the thorny 
paths of journalism he did not venture, nor, with two exceptions, 
employ his pen upon anything more literary than his letterbooks and 
ledgers. The exceptions occurred in 1820, when he issued a two 
shilling pamphlet entitled, "The Necessity of Annual Parliaments 
Asserted on the Principles of Justice and Good Policy," and in 


1830, when he pubUshed a "Report of the Proceedings in the 
Mayor's Chamber during the Mayoralty of George Shadforth, Esq." 
He died in Newcastle, March 21st, 1854, aged 56. 

Short were the lives given to the members of the Mitchell family 
in Newcastle. John, the founder of it, lived but forty-seven years ; 
his third son, Edward Routledge, died at thirty-seven ; his first-born, 
William Andrew, at the age of forty-nine ; his second son, Henry 
Armstrong, the longest liver of them all, did not exceed fifty-six. 

Sir Cbarlc0 HDilca Xambert riDoncF^, 


Sir Charles Miles Lambert Middleton, born on the 7th iYpril, 
1779, took the surname of Monck only, and the arms of Monck, in 
compliance with an injunction in the last will and testament of his 
maternal grandfather, Lawrence Monck, by sign manual bearing date 
13th February, 1799. He was appointed High Sheriff of North- 
umberland the following year, and on the nth September, 1804, at 
Doncaster, he married Louisa Lucy, daughter of Sir George Cooke. 

At the outset of his career Sir C. M, L. Monck ardently espoused 
the cause of the Greeks, and although he did not, like Lord Byron, 
volunteer to fight for them, he was through life their untiring 
advocate and friend. The year after his marriage, as he was travelling 
in Greece, his wife presented him at Athens with a son and heir, and 
the boy, in honour of this event and his father's predilections, was 
baptised by the name of Charles Atticus. In 181 2, Sir Charles was 
sent to the House of Commons as one of the knights of the shire 
for Northumberland, and there he distinguished himself by his warm 
advocacy of the claims of Greece to independent national life, and 
the achievement of her freedom from the galling oppression of 
Turkey. Upon this and many other topics he was a frequent 
speaker in the House. It is said that he was the only member of 
the House of Commons who was in the habit of quoting Greek, and 
that his fellow-members, instead of resenting the practice as pedantic, 
paid the greater deference to his utterances. He was fond of public 
life, and shone in it. Turning over the files of the Chro?iicle or 
Tyne Mercury for many years following his election, we find him 


continually at work, speaking here, presiding there — encouraging 
agriculture, developing manly sport, or upholding the principles of 
his party in the heated controversies of his time. 

It was no light matter in those days to be a county member. 
"When George the Third was King," hearty eating and heavy 
drinking were the inevitable concomitants of political demonstration. 
Sir Charles Monck took the chair in the long room of the Queen's 
Head, Newcastle, at the second of the great dinners which the 
admirers of Charles James Fox — imitating the Pitt Clubs — held on 
the anniversary of that statesman's first election for Westminster, and 
disposed of a toast list containing forty-three toasts ! This may 
seem incredible, but — a curiosity of political fervour and convivial 
endurance — here it is : — 

1. The King. 

2. The Prince Regent. 

3. The Memory of the Right Hon. C. J. Fox. 

4. The House of Hanover, and may they never forget the principles which 
seated them upon the Throne. 

5. The Constitution as it was estabUshed in 1689. 

6. The Army. 

7. The Navy. 

8. Sir Charles Monck. 

9. Earl Grey. 

10. The Palladium of the British Constitution — the Liberty of the Press. 

11. Mr. Lambton, and may he ever maintain the Principles of his Father and 
his Uncle. 

12. Dr. Fenwick and the Whigs of Durham. 

13. Sir Matthew White Ridley and the Whigs of Newcastle. 

14. Sir John Swinburne and the Whigs of Northumberland. 

15. The Stewards for next year — Major George Ker, Mr. Charlton, of Hesley- 
side, Mr. Lambton, and Dr. Fenwick. 

16. Lord Wellington and the Army in Spain. 

17. Sir T. Graham, and his brave comrades who stormed St. Sebastian. 

18. The Rights of the People, of which Mr. Fox was ever the zealous de- 

19. The Cause for which Hampden died in the Field, and Sidney on the 

20. The just Prerogative of the Crown, and the Pure Representation of the 

21. The Cause of Ireland, and may the exertions of the friends of Religious 
Liberty be crowned with success. 

22. The Cause of Civil and Religious Liberty all over the World. 

23. The man who dares to be honest in the worst of times. 

24. Thanks to those who effected the Abolition of the Slave Trade. 

25. The Rose, the Thistle, and the Shamrock. 


26. The Constitution in full vigour, without its abuses. 

27. The Patriots of Spain, and may their exertions be crowned with success. 

28. The Allied Armies in Germany, and may a speedy and honourable peace 
be the consequence of their successes. 

29. Trial by Jury, and Lord Erskine, the steady asserter of British freedom, 
whenever and wherever it has been assailed. 

30. Lord Holland, and may he always support the principles of his illustrious 

31. Lord Grenville, the steady and able friend of Catholic Emancipation. 

32. The Duke of Norfolk and the Whig Club. 

33. The Memory of Sir George Saville. 

34. Mr. Whitbread, the zealous detector of abuses, and the determined defender 
of the oppressed. 

35. Sir Samuel Romilly. 

36. Mr. Grattan. 

37. Mr. Henry Brougham. 

38. Lord Lauderdale and the Whigs of Scotland. 

39. Mr. Coke and the Whigs of Norfolk. 

40. Both sides of the Tweed. 

41. Mr. Selby, and the Independent Freemen of Berwick, who supported him 
at the last election. 

42. The Memory of Parliamentarj' Reform, and may there be a speedy 

43. The Rev. Christopher Wyville, the great apostle of Religious Freedom. 

At the Parliamentary election in June, 181 9, Sir Charles Monck 
was returned for the second time, and sat till the accession of 
George IV., in 1820, brought on another dissolution. Then some 
little complication of parties arose, which ended in the retirement 
of Sir Charles, and the unopposed return of T. W. Beaumont and 
Charles John Brandling. From this point Sir Charles drifted 
gradually away from his Whig allies. At the great election of 1826, 
he plumped for Matthew Bell; and at a county meeting held in 
the borough of Morpeth on the eve of the Great Reform Act he 
opposed the resolutions submitted to the freeholders on behalf of 
that measure, and published his reasons in a pamphlet. When, 
however, the Act had been passed, and a new election was imminent, 
he issued an address, soliciting the suffrages of the electors in the 
southern division of the county as a genuine Whig and real 
Reformer. But the Whigs declined to accept him. They put for- 
ward T. W. Beaumont and William Ord to fight for the party, and 
Sir Charles withdrew. On the day of the election he plumped again 
for Matthew Bell, and thenceforward, though he took no active part 
in politics, his votes at contested elections went invariably in favour 


of the Tories. He had married the year before, as his second 
wife, Lady Mary Elizabeth Bennett, daughter of the fourth Earl of 

Released from the turmoil of Parliamentary life, Sir Charles 

Monck applied himself to the improvement of his estates, and the 
cultivation of a stud of race-horses, which he brought to a high 
degree of perfection. He erected the present seat of the familyj[at 
Belsay, designing it according to " the purest models of Grecian 

VOL. III. 14 


architecture," presenting " the most dignified simphcity, without any 
false and meretricious ornaments." Acquaintance with the ruined 
temples of Greece having given him a taste for the study of anti- 
quities, he presided over the meeting in Newcastle at which the 
local Society of Antiquaries was launched, and for many years he 
was one of the Society's vice-presidents. But he took no active 
interest in the operations of that useful organisation. All that Dr. 
Bruce, writing of the early founders of the Society, could remember 
of him was a ludicrous incident of which he was the hero. Having 
been invited to the banquet given in the Castle in 1848, and having 
left his hat, great-coat, and umbrella in the lower dungeons, where 
the guests assembled before dinner, he descended thither after the 
banquet, and, losing his way in the darkness, was nearly detained 
there all night. 

Shortly after the introduction of railways Sir Charles Monck led 
his brother magistrates in an effort to curtail the expense of receiving 
and entertaining the judges in Newcastle. He was chairman of a 
committee of county justices, which, in February, 1846, reported 
that the riding out by the Sheriff on horseback, in state, to meet and 
receive the judges, might be discontinued ; that four horses to the 
sheriffs coach would be a sufficient equipment ; that the services of 
out-riders might be dispensed with ; and that, as the salaries of the 
judges had been increased, the fees paid to their lordships, and the 
gratuities to their servants, might be inquired into with a view to 
their abolition. The adoption of these recommendations, and the 
consequent reduction of equipage, created for a time a feeling of 
restraint between some of the judges and the county gentry. At the 
summer assizes in 1850, this feeling culminated in an unseemly epi- 
sode, of which Sir Charles was the leader. For convenience' sake the 
assize business of the borough had been transferred from the Guild- 
hall to the Moot Hall, and the judges were sitting there, as they do 
now, each in his separate court, with the Grand Jury room, or Magis- 
trates' Court, between. Justice Weightman, sitting in the Criminal 
Court, had occasion to confer with Justice Cresswell, who was hear- 
ing cases in Nisi Prius, and the private way from one Court to the 
other lay through the Magistrates' room. The magistrates were 
transacting county business at the time, and when Justice Weight- 
man's attendants proceeded to open the door for his lordship they 
found it locked. A message sent to the magistrates by the judge 
elicited a reply that the door would not be opened. Shortly after- 


wards the magistrates, headed by Sir Charles Monck, opened the 
door from within, and, advancing towards the bench, took part in 
the following wrangle: — 

Sir Charles Monck : It is my duty to tell your lordship that these buildings 
are the properly of the County, and that they are vested in the County magistrates, 
who have power to assign the various parts to various uses. 

The Judge : And I, being Judge of Assize, choose to use them. 

Sir Charles : Exactly so, my Lord ; but the Justices here have to appoint 
the ditierent parts of the building to difterent purposes. On account of the power 
which the Judges have to adjourn the borough business here, the Justices assign 
this room for that purpose, which has a retiring room for the Judge, which has its 
own accesses, and, we hope, sufficient accommodation. But the same statute 
which enables the Judges to adjourn here enables them to adjourn to any place 
within twelve miles — to any building, or to a public-house, if they like. If the 
adjournment be to this place, it is the duty of the Justices to provide which part 
of the building shall be used for the town business, and they appoint it to be 
transacted here. 

The Judge : At present I, being one of the Judges of Assize for the County as 
well as for the Town, purpose to sit here, and to have such means of access as I 
think proper. 

Sir Charles : I hope there are sufficient means of access. 

The Judge : I require to pass to the other Court. I desire you to open the 

Sir Charles : I cannot do it. We have authority in this matter. 

The Judge : I supersede your authority. 

Sir Charles : I cannot help it, my Lord. 

The Judge : Then I must order the High Sherift" to procure sufficient force, 
and to break open the door. 

Sir Charles : If your Lordship will take upon yourself the responsibility of 
so doing, we shall make no further resistance ; but we protest against it. 

The Judge : Well, to terminate this unseemly scene, it will perhaps be suf- 
ficient for your purpose that you have made this protest. 

Sir Charles : No, that will not do. 

The Judge : I wish to consult with my brother Cresswell. 

Sir Charles : Specially, on this occasion, we will permit it ; but not as a 

His Lordship said he would make no condition, and immediately passed into 
the room ; Sir Charles remaining in Court, and stating that he should not go back 
to the room till the judge returned. A loud talking, however, was heard, and 
Sir Charles re-entered the apartment. Shortly afterwards his lordship came back 
by the same door, and the affair ended, nothing more being heard of the matter. 

On the ist December, 1856, Sir Charles Monck suffered a heavy 
bereavement in the death of his son and heir, Charles Atticus 
Monck, who had been appointed chairman of the county in 1849, 
and was presiding at the meeting of the magistrates when the scene 

2 1 2 JAMES MURRA I '. 

with Justice Weightman occurred. Mr. C. A. Monck was a retired 
ofificer of the Coldstream Guards — the regiment which is identified 
in EngUsh history with the proceedings of an illustrious member of 
his family, General George Monk, the restorer of Charles II. After 
his son's death Sir Charles lived a quiet and retired life at Belsay, 
and died there on the nth July, 1867, at the ripe age of eighty-eight 
years. He was succeeded in the title and estates by his grandson, 
Arthur Edward, eldest son of the marriage of Charles Atticus Monck 
with Laura, daughter of Sir Matthew White Ridley. Sir Arthur 
Edward, the seventh and present baronet (born January 12th, 1838, 
M.P. for Durham City 1874-80), resumed his patronymic Middleton, 
in lieu of Monck, by deed-poll dated February 12th, 1876, having 
married November 8th, 187 1, Lady Constance Harriett Amherst 
(daughter of William Pitt, second Earl of Amherst), who died 
October 7th, 1879. 

3atnc6 flDurra^, 


In the latter half of the eighteenth century, for about twenty years, 
the bitter and biting pen of the Rev. James Murray was the chief 
weapon in the political and religious warfare that rose and raged, 
floundered and fell, in Newcastle. 

James Murray was born at Fans, near Earlstoun, in Berwickshire, 
in the year 1732. His family, which was respectable, had suffered 
severely during the cruel persecutions carried on under the later 
Stuarts against the Scotch Covenanters, and the young man's mind 
was imbued from his earliest years with the love of civil and 
religious liberty, and a hatred of popery, prelacy, and political 

Intended for the ministry, he studied at the University of Edin- 
burgh, and soon after leaving college came into Northumberland 
as a tutor. In a short time he became assistant to the Rev. John 
Sayers, minister of the Bondgate Meeting-House at Alnwick, who, 
having lost his eyesight, was incapable of discharging the duties 
of his office. As is often the case, the old man did not take very 
kindly to his young helper, and soon dismissed him. It is said that 
his appearance and habits were not prepossessing; he was careless 


about his dress, delivered his discourses in a loud voice with a 
Scottish accent, and took so much snuff in the pulpit that the elder 
part of the congregation thought it was a pretext to conceal defects. 
A large proportion of the congregation, however, resolved to support 
the young minister, who, as they conceived, had been ill-treated. 
They, therefore, formed themselves into a separate congregation, 
met first in the Town Hall, then in a malt-kiln, and eventually 
built themselves a meeting-house in Bailiif Gate Stjuare, and 
ordained him their pastor. There he remained till 1764, when 
(some of the leading members of his congregation having left the 
town), receiving a call from friends in Newcastle who worshipped 
in Silver Street, he removed to Tyneside. Under the influence of 
his preaching the Silver Street friends rapidly increased in numbers, 
and having acquired a site in the High Bridge, they built a chapel in 
which he officiated for upwards of sixteen years. 

No sooner was Mr. Murray settled in Newcastle than he began to 
write and to publish. His first work, issued in September, 1765, 
was a volume of Select Discourses. From that date till 1768 the 
productions of his pen were either published anonymously, or 
appeared in the Nezvcastk Chronicle, with whose founder and pro- 
prietor he was on terms of great intimacy. But in March, 1768, he 
issued the book by which he is best known, the " Sermons to 
Asses," and after that his pen was never idle. The following May 
appeared an " Essay on Redemption," and, before the year was 
out, "Sermons to Men, Women, and Children." In 1770 he 
published a school-book on grammar, and began to compile a 
" History of the Churches in England and Scotland," which came 
out in 1 771 and 1772 in three volumes, and was followed by 
a description of a journey from Newcastle to London in a stage 
coach. In March, 1773, he began a course of sixteen lectures upon 
the Philosophy of the Human Mind, which he delivered in his 
]Meeting-House on Monday and Thursday evenings at half-a-guinea 
a course, or a shilling each night. These lectures increased his 
popularity, and towards the end of the year he sent out a volume of 
" New Sermons to Asses," dedicated to the petitioners against the 
Dissenters' Bill. 

During the contested election of 1774 in Newcastle, when the 
Hon. Constantine John Phipps and Thomas Delaval opposed Sir 
Walter Blackett and Sir Matthew White Ridley, he started a monthly 
periodical, " The Freeman's Magazine," and carried it on to the end 



of its sixth number. Before the poll he issued a pamphlet of forty 
pages, entitled " The Contest," in which with pungent satire he 
examined the merit and conduct of the four candidates. Again, in 
1780, at another contested election in Newcastle, with Sir Matthew 
White Ridley, Stoney Bowes, and Thomas Delaval in the field, he 
stood forward as an independent critic, and proposed a test or pledge 
to be taken by each of the candidates as proof of the sincerity of 
their promises. Sir Matthew White Ridley refused, and Stoney 
Bowes said at once, " He'd be d — d if he gave anything of the 

sort." Thomas Delaval, the unsuccessful candidate, gave it, prob- 
ably out of sheer complaisance, but it did not gain him the seat. 

Being strongly opposed to the American War, Mr. Murray 
delivered many political lectures condemnatory of Lord North's 
Administration. His indignation having being roused on reading 
a pamphlet by the Rev. John Wesley on this subject, the object of 
which was to prove that taxation was no tyranny, he immediately 
wrote a reply to it, couched in not very measured terms. 

Believing that the Catholic Church was a dangerous instrument of 
deception and tyranny, he was extremely active in opposing Sir 


George Saville's Bill for the removal of certain Catholic disabilities. 
In the fervour of his zeal against this godless measure, as he deemed 
it, he preached a sermon from the text, " He that hath not a sword, 
let him sell his garment, and buy one"; and it having been announced 
beforehand that he would do so, the magistrates were seriously 
alarmed, and caused some of the town's sergeants to attend, " to 
catch him in his words," if they should be seditious. It would 
rather seem that they bore that complexion, for the preacher, in 
order to get out of the way, as was supposed, went off to London 
very suddenly. When in the metropolis, he called upon Lord 
Mansfield — a Murray like himself, but by no means so zealous a 
Protestant — for the purpose, it was said, of clearing himself On his 
first asking for his lordship, he was informed that he was not at 
home. " Tell him," said he, " that a Scotch parson of the name of 
Murray, from Newcastle, wants to see him." What passed between 
them never transpired, but the conversation seems to have been one 
of mutual satisfaction. At any rate, it is plain, from a concluding 
remark of the learned judge, as Mr. Murray was leaving the house, 
that the latter had been afraid of some prosecution, and had con- 
sulted his eminent namesake. " Mr. Murray," was the observation, 
" you have just come away with your skin between your teeth." 

But stern and dreaded as he was when defending civil or religious 
liberty, he was of a most cheerful disposition, and, on most topics, 
exceedingly facetious and playful. His conduct throughout life was 
independent ; he was not a man to bend, crouch, and truckle. He 
was likewise consistent, exemplifying the principles which he con- 
scientiously believed and zealously taught. The following two 
anecdotes illustrate his disposition : — 

"As he was coming from Alnwick to Newcastle on a rainy day, he 
overtook a poor man who had no coat. Happening to have two on 
at the time, Mr. Murray took one off and put it on the poor man's 
back, with the observation that ' it was a pity he should have two 
coats on and the man none, indeed it was not fair.' " 

" A Scotch drover came into his chapel rather late one Sunday, 
and leaning on the edge of the pew, stood contented and listening 
to the sermon. Mr. Murray caused a pew to be opened to him, 
exclaiming at the same time, ' If that man had had a powdered head 
and a fine coat on his back, you would have thrown open twenty 
pews to receive him.' " 

For some years Mr. Murray was the most popular preacher in 


Newcastle. His Sunday evening lectures, delivered to overflowing 
congregations, were announced every week in the Newcastle Chronicle, 
not in the form of advertisement, but as important local news. 
Thus : — 

*' To-morrow evening, at six o'clock, Mr. Murray will deliver in the High 
Bridge meeting, a lecture upon the sea of glass mingled with fire, mentioned Rev. 
XV. 2 ; and the Song of Moses and the Lamb, recorded verse 3. In this lecture 
will be given some curious observations on prophetic emblems." 

" Mr. Murray's Lectures, to-morrow evening at six o'clock : — The vain hope of 
the princes of Judah disappointed ; On the unanimity of a nation in bad measures 
— the speedy and certain ruin thereof. Jer. xxxvii. 9, 10. — Thus saith the Lord, 
deceive not yourselves, saying, the Chaldeans shall surely depart from us, for they 
will not depart. — Nothing can raise us more at present than unanimity." 

In August, 1 781, Mr. Murray, who resided in Tabernacle Entry, 
Northumberland Street (part of the present Lisle Street), announced 
that on the first Monday of the following month he would open an 
academy there for teaching "the English and French languages 
grammatically, and also Latin and Greek, writing, arithmetic, 
accounts, etc., according to the most approved methods, all for half 
a guinea a quarter, and half a guinea entrance." He added, " Par- 
ticular attention will be paid both to the education and behaviour 
of the scholars. The school is in one of the finest situations in 
Newcastle, free from all noise, and in open free air. N.B. — Students 
in divinity, or such as are intended for the Church, will be taught 
Hebrew at a private hour for the same expence." This scheme was 
never carried out. Mr. Murray had for some time suffered greatly 
from calculus, and by the time that his school was to have been 
opened he was confined to his bed. He died on the 28th of 
January, 1782, in his fiftieth year, and was buried in St. Andrew's 

" He was a man of middle size and well proportioned," writes an 
admiring biographer, " his air was firm and erect, and his expression 
commanding. His manners had all that simplicity and playful ease 
which belong to genius, but when roused to defend the sacred cause 
of truth he was stern and decided. He possessed solidity of judg- 
ment, depth of thinking, and brilliancy of wit ; his style was nervous 
and bold — his satire was not like the keen, polished, and poisoned 
shafts of Junius, shot secretly in the dark — no ! his darts were naked 
and barbed — they rankled and tore the wounds they made ! He 
scorned to remain under cover, but nobly stepped forward, the 


dauntless champion of liberty, and fearlessly set at defiance the 
frowns of power. . . . He would allow no winking at oppression for 
the sake of filthy lucre. . . . His hatred to priestcraft was rooted in 
him by feeling as well as principle; and when the Catholics arose to 
demand their rights, imagining that he saw among them fiery 
ambition cowering behind the benign form of religion, he imme- 
diately became their foremost foe. . . . His active life was one 
perpetual warfare against such Fiends as Tyranny, Bigotry, and 
Fanaticism; and though opposed by wealth and power, unaided but 
by reason and truth, yet, lion hearted, he never shrunk from the 
unequal contest, but nobly sacrificed every interest at the shrine of 
virtue for an approving conscience." 

Mr. JNIurray's published works were the following : — 

"Select Discourses upon Several Important Subjects." Newcastle: T. Slack, 
1765. 8vo, vi.-290 pp. 

"Sermons to Asses." London: Printed for J. Johnson in Paternoster Row, 
and W. Charnley in Newcastle, 176S. 8vo, vi.-2i2 pp. Title-page afterwards 
withdrawn in favour of one with a copperplate vignette representing an ass fallen 
under two panniers, inscribed respectively "Politics" and [Religi]"on," with a 
volume of sermons under its nose, and the introduction of " T. Cadell (successor 
to Mr. Millar) in the Strand" after the words " Pater-noster Row." Dedicated 
"To the Very Excellent and Reverend Mess. G.[eorge] W.[hitfield], J.[ohn] 
W.[esley], W.[illiam R.[oniaine], and M.[artin] M.[adan]." Second Edition, 
1783. Reprinted by William Hone, 1819. 

"An Essay on Redemption by Jesus Christ, Shewing from Scripture the Char- 
acter of our Redemption, and the Benefit arising from it to Men." Newcastle: 
T. Slack, 1768. 8vo, 50 pp. 

" Sermons to Men, Women, and Children. 'Tis with our judgments as our 
watches, none go just alike, yet each believes his own," Newcastle, 1768. 8vo, 

34 PP- 

" The Rudiments of the English Tongue ; or the Principles of English Grammar, 
Methodically Digested into Plain Rules," etc., etc. Newcastle, 1771. i2mo, iv.- 
170 pp. 

"A History of the Churches in England and Scotland from the Reformation to 
the Present Time." Newcastle: T. Saint, 1771-72. 8vo. ist vol., 483 pp.; 2nd 
vol. (portrait of Cranmer), 485 pp.; 3rd vol. (portrait of Calvin, by Ralph Beilby), 
xiii. -521 pp. 

"The Travels of the Imagination; A true Journey from Newcastle to London. 
■With Observations upon the Metropolis." London, 1773, i^'""i35 PP- 

" New Sermons to Asses. Judges iii. 22. And the Dirt came out." London: 
Printed for J. Atkinson, in the Groat-market, Newcastle, 1773, iL-167 pp. 

" Eikon Basilike: or the Character of Eglon King of Moab and his Ministry; 
wherein is demonstrated the advantage of Christianity in the Exercise of Civil 
Government." Newcastle: Printed for P. Sanderson, bookseller in Durham, 
1773. 8vo, 34 pp. 


" Lectures to Lords Spiritual; or an Advice to the Bishops concerning Religious 
Articles, Tithes, and Church Power. With a Discourse on Ridicule." London, 
1774. 8vo, viii.-2i7 pp. 

"The Freeman's Magazine; or the Constitutional Repository, containing a 
free Debate concerning the Cause of Liberty; consisting of all the Papers pub- 
lished in the London News- Papers from Northumberland and Newcastle, or the 
County of Durham, from the sending of Instructions to the Newcastle Members 
of Parliament till this Present Time." Newcastle: Printed for the Editors; And 
sold by T. Slack, W. Charnley, J. Chalmers, and J. Atkinson, Booksellers; R. 
Fisher, the Circulating Library; and G. Young, High Bridge, Newcastle, 1774. 
8vo, viii.-i82 pp. 

" The Contest: Being an Account of the Matter in Dispute between the Magis- 
trates and Burgesses, And an Examination of the Merit and Conduct of the 
Candidates In the Present Election for Newcastle upon Tyne. ' Give the Devil 
his Due.' Sold by the Booksellers in Newcastle and the neighbouring Town's. 
Price Sixpence." 1774, 8vo, 40 pp. 

" A Grave Answer to Mr. Wesley's Calm Address to our American Colonies. 
By a Gentleman of Northumberland. ' The words of his mouth were smoother 
than butter, but war was in his heart ; his words were oil, yet were drawn 
swords.'" Small 4to, from the newspapers, 4 pp. 

"An Old Fox Tarr'd and Feathered, occasioned by what is called Mr. John 
Wesley's Calm Address to our American Colonies. ' In politics I dabbled too, 
Brave Jack of all trades I.' By an Hanoverian." Woodcut of a fox in clerical dress 
holding a book, and supposed to be reading Wesley's " Calm Address." London, 
Printed for the Author and Sold by the Booksellers in Newcastle, Shields, 
Sunderland, Durham, Hexham, Morpeth, Alnwick, Belford, and Berwick. Price 
only id. 1775, Svo, 16 pp. 

" Lectures upon the most Remarkable Characters and Transactions recorded 
in the Book of Genesis." 2 vols. Newcastle : T. Angus, Trinity Corner, St. 
Nicholas' Church-Yard. 1777. i2mo, vol. i., 319 pp.; vol. ii., 316 pp. 

" The Magazine of Ants ; or Pismire Journal." Six penny numbers, the fifth 
of which is embellished with a cut of a harp by T. Bewick. Newcastle, 1777. 

"The New Maid of the Oaks, a Tragedy, as lately Acted near Saratoga; by 
a Company of Tragedians under the direction of the author of the Maid of the 
Oaks, a Comedy. By Ahab Salem." London, 1778. Price one shilling. 8vo, 
72 pp. 

" Lectures upon the Book of the Revelation of John the Divine : Containing a 
new Explanation of the History, Visions, and Prophecies contained in that Book. 
2 vols. Newcastle: T. Angus, 1778, i2mo, ist vol., xxiv.-352 pp.; 2nd vol., 
382 pp. 

" An Impartial History of the Present War in America, containing an Account 
of its Rise and Progress, the Political Spring thereof. With its various Successes 
and Disappointments on both Sides." 2 vols. Newcastle: T. Robson, Side. 
Svo, vol. i., 573 pp.; vol. ii., 576 pp. 1778. A third volume begun by Mr. 
Murray was completed after his death by the Rev. William Graham, Newcastle. 

"Popery not Christianity; or the Prerogatives of Jesus Christ vindicated 
against the Usurpation of Anti-Christ ; a Sermon preached in Silver Street. 
Meeting at the Evening Lecture against Popery. Published at the desire of the 


Audience." Newcastle: T. Robson, Head of the Groat Market, n.d. [17S0]. 
8vo, 47 pp. 

"Sermons to Ministers of State." Newcastle: T. Robson & W. Charnley 
[1780]. Dedicated to Lord North, 8vo, vi.-228 pp. 

" An Alarm Without Cause ; or the Administration of Peace, supported by the 
Sword of the Spirit : An Evening Lecture delivered in the High Bridge Meeting, 
Newcastle. 'He that hath no Sword, let him sell his garments and buy one.' 
Luke xxii. 36." Newcastle: T. Robson, n.d. i2mo, 30 pp. 

" The Protestant Packet ; or British Monitor, designed for the use and enter- 
tainment of every denomination of Protestants in Great Britain." Newcastle: 
Thomas Angus, 1780. Published in Twopenny fortnightly numbers. 

" News from the Pope to the Devil, on Thursday, Feb. 6, 1781, with their 
Lamentations for the acquittal of Lord George Gordon ; to which is added The 
Hypocrite, by Judas Guzzle Fire, A.M. Printed for the Author, 1781." l2mo, 
19 pp. 

In addition to the foregoing works the following are attributed to 
Mr. Murray's pen : — 

"The History of Religion, Particularly of the Principal Denominations of 
Christians. By an Impartial Hand." London, 1764. Published in 40 Sixpenny 
numbers forming four 8vo vols. 

" An Appeal to Common Sense : or the Principles and Practice of Burgher 
Seceders considered ; in a Letter to Protestant Dissenters in Northumberland. 
By a Protestant." 1764, 8vo, 43 pp. 

"A Letter to the Minister and Session of the Ass — te Congregation in the 
Close, Newcastle, by a Free Inquirer." 1766, Svo, 8 pp. 

"The Fast." A Poem. 

The course of lectures on the " Philosophy of the Human Mind " 
and "Lectures on the Book of Job," left at Mr. Murray's death 
nearly ready for the printer, were never published. " A Journey 
through Cumberland and the Lakes," in manuscript, and likewise a 
manuscript "Journey to Glasgow," were lent to gentlemen to read, 
and lost. 

IMr. Murray's widow, whose maiden name was Sarah Weddle 
(daughter of William Weddle of Mouson, near Belford, in whose 
family Mr. Murray had been a tutor), died in 1798. Their surviving 
children were John, a surgeon in Newcastle, and ^Villiam, a silk 
manufacturer in Glasgow, Jane, who married Charles Hay, maltster 
in Newcastle, and Isabella, unmarried. 



Milliam IRcwton, 


" He is a Fool who cannot be angry ; but he is a Wise Man who will not.'" — 
Old Proverb. 

FiVE-AND-THiRTY years ago, one of the most prominent figures in the 
public life of Newcastle was William Newton, surgeon, better known 
as Doctor Newton. Possessing a vigorous intellect, a strong will, 
and considerable literary culture, he exercised a powerful influence 
upon local affairs, and if he had been spared to attain his prime, 
would in all probability have risen to the highest positions which his 
fellow-townsmen could bestow. 

William Newton was a son of Henry Newton, nurseryman, and 
was born in Newcastle in March, 1815. Educated for the medical 
profession, he served his pupilage under Mr. W. C. Preston, a general 
practitioner in the newly-formed thoroughfare of Carliol Street. He 
passed through his scholastic career at Edinburgh University with 
credit, obtaining five silver medals and other honours, and in or 
about the year 1840 commenced practice in Newcastle. In 1842 he 
married, and a couple of years later obtained his first public appoint- 
ment — that of surgeon to one of the divisions of the parish of All 

Being thus fairly settled in life, young Mr. Newton commenced to 
take an interest in public affairs. Holding liberal views in political, 
religious, and social matters, he made his entrance into the arena of 
debate by publishing a pamphlet against capital punishment, and by 
acting as local secretary to an association for the total abolition of 
the death penalty. His first recorded appearance as a speaker 
occurred during the excitement caused by the re-establishment of 
the Catholic hierarchy in this country — the " Papal Aggression " of 
1850. On that occasion a town's meeting was being held under the 
presidency of the Mayor, and a resolution protesting against the 
" aggression " was about to be put, when the Rev. George Harris 
moved an amendment in favour of toleration and freedom of con- 
science, and found an unexpected seconder in Mr. Newton. Young 
Dr. Newton, as he was called, made an excellent impression, and his 


impromptu speech, delivered in the face of an excited and hostile 
crowd, was long remembered. 

About this time began the dispute in the Newcastle School of 
Medicine and Surgery, which led to its disruption, and the formation 
of two rival institutions. The quarrel and its details are of no 
interest now; it is sufficient to state that the dissolution of the 
school, of which Mr. Newton was a proprietary member, arose out of 
heated language which passed between himself and a colleague. Mr. 
Newton published his account of the quarrel in a pamphlet, entitled 

" A Letter to the Venerable Archdeacon Thorp on the Causes which led to the 
Disruption of the School of Medicine in Newcaslle-on-Tyne. By a Lecturer." 
Newcastle : Thomas Pallister Barkas, 26 Grainger Street, 1S51. i2nio, iv.-20 pp. 

The concluding paragraph of the pamphlet reads as follows: — "My 
character has been mercilessly assailed. My position in the School 
and in the Town attempted to be destroyed. My professional 
standing attacked ; and I would be unworthy of the boon of life if I 
should think of continuing it accompanied with dishonour and degra- 
dation. In the bitterness of my wrongs I have spoken. I am. Very 
Rev. Sir, Your humble and obedient servant, William Newtox 
(Lecturer on Forensic Medicine). 

After the dissolution Mr. Newton allied himself with those members 
of the old school who formed the " Newcastle College of Medicine 
and Practical Science." In that institution he filled successively the 
chairs of Medical Jurisprudence, .\natomy, and Materia Medica, 
and so continued until, in 1857, the rival schools were united in one 
college, under the protection of the University of Durham. While 
the contest was raging he issued, under the pen-name of " A Country 
Squire," ?ijeu d' esprit professing to describe the characters of five 
applicants for vacancies in the office of Physician to the Infirmary, 
and bearing the title of — 

"The Five Physicians: Being Mental Portraitures of Drs. de Mey, Robinson, 
Charlton, Embleton, and Glover. In a Letter to his Grace the Duke of North- 
umberland." Newcastle : Nathaniel Collins, .Side. 

During the cholera epidemic of 1853, Mr. Newton, being parish 
surgeon in that part of the town which contained the worst slums, 
and the densest population, exerted himself heroically to arrest the 
progress of the plague. By night and by day he was at his post, 
fighting the pestilence with the vigour of a strong and healthy 
physique, and the skill of a well-informed and well-balanced mind. 


When the peril had passed away he was entertained at a pubUc 
banquet and presented with a service of plate, upon which was 
inscribed the object of the gathering — " appreciation of his pro- 
fessional talents," and commemoration of "the intelligence and 
energy displayed when his fellow-townsmen were exposed to the 
dangers of pestilence." 

Mr. Newton entered the Town Council of Newcastle at the 
November elections of 1851 as one of the representatives of the 
ward of East All Saints, and for that ward, although hotly opposed 
on one or two subsequent occasions, he sat till the day of his death. 


In the Council Chamber he took an independent course, following 
no man's lead, but hitting hard all round, and continually enlivening 
the debates wuth caustic wit and satirical invective. Education and 
sanitation were the subjects that lay nearest to his heart, and upon 
which he spoke with authority and effect. In season and out of 
season, with florid declamation, he endeavoured to rouse the 
Corporation to the performance of its duty in providing cheap 
schools, a free library, recreation grounds, baths, and washhouses, 
efficient sewerage, wholesome water, and other institutions and 
appliances calculated to promote the well-being of the poor, among 
whom he lived and laboured, and through them, the health and 


happiness of the whole community. His colleagues, recognising 
his abilities and exertions in these directions, appointed him chair- 
man of the Schools and Charities Committee. In that position he 
did much useful work, and might possibly have done more if his 
temperament had been less combative and his attitude less pug- 
nacious. He was the leader in the opposition to the appointment 
of Vicar Moody to the I^Iastership of the Mary Magdalene Hospital 
(already described in the biography of Alderman Blackwell), the 
founder of a Girls' School in connection with the Virgin Mary 
Hospital, and outside the Council, a promoter of the Miners' 
Permanent Relief Fund and a supporter of industrial co-operation. 
The cause of oppressed nationalities excited his warmest sympathies, 
and some of his most effective public addresses were delivered in 
support of the claims of Hungary, Poland, and Italy to freedom and 

Upon local literature Mr. Newton left no mark worthy of his un- 
doubted abilities. Preferring the anonymity of journalism to the 
responsibilities of authorship he contributed to the Northern 
Exatniner, and after its cessation to the Northern Daily Express, 
articles and personal sketches in which he blended classical imagery 
and Shakespearian quotation with sardonic humour and pungent 
satire. He published a lecture on " The Blood and its Circulation," 
and a " Letter on the Stephenson Monument " ; but beyond these 
two pamphlets, and the ephemeral brochures named in a previous 
paragraph, he does not appear to have ventured. 

On the loth of April, 1863, while riding across the Town Moor of 
Newcastle, he was thrown from his horse, and sustained injuries 
which terminated his life on the 30th of May following, at the 
early age of forty-five years. His remains were interred in Jesmond 
Cemetery with the honours of a public funeral. 

Mr. Newton left a widow and three children, the eldest of whom, 
Henry William, succeeding him in his practice and appointments, 
and running a similar municipal career, has been Sheriff and Mayor 
of Newcastle, is an alderman of the borough, and Chairman of the 
Free Library and Parks Committees. 


2 24 S^-^ C H ALONE R OGLE. 

Sir Chaloncr ®olc, 


" How sleep the brave who sink to rest 
By all their country's wishes blest ! 
By fairy hands their knell is rung, 
By forms unseen their dirge is sung." 

— Collins. 

High among the ancient and potent families of Northumberland 
stand the Ogles. They did not come in with the Normans, for the 
Normans found them here — lords of the soil, long before, under 
Saxon earls and Danish kings. If genealogists may be believed, one 
Humphrey Ogle received from William the Conqueror confirmation 
of all the liberties and royalties of the manor of Ogle, " in as ample 
a manner as any of his ancestors enjoyed the same." The favour 
of successive monarchs, and marriages with well-dowered heiresses, 
brought the Ogles other manors and estates, and, in course of time, 
they spread themselves out over the eastern part of the shire — at 
Bothal and Bebside, Causey Park and Choppington, Eglingham and 
Tritlington, Cockle Park and Kirkley. In the old fighting days they 
rendered useful aid to their king and country, and received the 
honours and rewards of loyalty and courage. In later times, a strong 
armed and a strong-minded race, they achieved distinction in the 
services and professions, especially in those of the navy and the 
church. The list of Ogles who have occupied positions of trust and 
emolument in the public interest since Humphrey of that ilk did 
homage to the Conqueror is a long one. It includes — 

Sir John de Ogle, knight, who assisted the Barons in their long 
quarrel with Henry III. (125 8- 1267), and received an extension of 
his lands in Northumberland for his fidelity to their cause. 

William Ogle, one of the four bailiffs of Newcastle in 1283, 1289, 
1292, 1294 to 1303, 1305, 1306. 

Robert Ogle, son of Sir John, high bailiff of Tynedale, 1335; 
licensed to crenellate his manor-house of Ogle, 1341; fought at the 
battle of Neville's Cross, 1346, and received in his castle of Ogle, 
David, King of Scots, captured by John of Coupland in that battle. 

Sir Robert Ogle, conservator of truces with Scotland, 1386, 


accompanied Hotspur to Otterburn and was taken prisoner by 
the Scots, 1388; served in the garrison at Berwick under Prince 
John, the king's son, 1404; buried at Hexham, 1410. 

Sir Robert Ogle, one of the commissioners of a truce with Scot- 
land, 1410; High Sheriff of Northumberland, 141 7; captain of 
Berwick, 1423; warden of Roxburgh Castle, 1424; M.P. for North- 
umberland, 1415, 1419 to 1421, 1425. 

Sir Robert, first Lord Ogle, M.P. for the county, 1435-41; High 
Sheriff, 1437; co-warden of the East Marches, 1438-39; ambassador 
to Scotland, 1459, 1461; created Baron Ogle, 1461; died November 
4th, 1469. 

Owen, second Lord Ogle, M.P. for the county, 1482-85. Fought 
at Stoke, 14S7, and at Norham, 1494. 

Ralph, third Lord Ogle, M.P. for the county, 1509-11. 

Robert, fourth Lord Ogle, fought at Flodden, 15 13; M.P. for 
Northumberland, 1514, 1529. Died 1539. 

Robert, fifth Lord Ogle, slain at the battle of Ancrum Moor, 


Gregory Ogle, of Choppington, commissioner for enclosures on 
the Middle iMarches, 1552; outlawed for aiding and abetting the 
murder of Bertram Killingworth, 1558. 

Robert, sixth Lord Ogle, deputy warden of the Marches, 1547; 
M.P. for the county, 1552; died without issue in 1562, possessed of 
the following estates: — the castle and manor of Bothal; the castle 
and manor of Ogle, with Ogle, Shilvington, Saltwick, Twysle, Seaton 
near Woodhorn, and Shypbanks; Hepple, including Flotterton, 
Great and Little Tosson, and Wharton; the castle and manor of 
Hyrste; 10 cottages and 700 acres of land in North Middleton; 
the manor of Lorbottle, consisting of 20 messuages and 800 acres 
of land. 

Luke Ogle, of Eglingham, a commissioner for enclosures in the 
Middle Marches, 1560. 

Cuthbert, seventh Lord Ogle, a stout opponent of the Rebellion 
of the Earls in 1569. 

Catherine, daughter of the seventh lord, created Baroness Ogle in 
her own right, 1628; married Sir Charles Cavendish, and became 
the mother of William Cavendish, who was created Earl of Ogle and 
Duke of Newcastle in 1664. 

Henry Ogle, of Eglingham, sequestrator of lands in Northumber- 
land for the Parliament, 1645; M.P. for Northumberland, 1653-54; 

VOL. III. 15 

226 5//? CHALONER OGLE. 

stopped the career of the Scottish witch-finder, 1655, or there- 

James Ogle, of Cawsey Park, compounded for delinquency, 1649; 
Deputy-lieutenant, and Commissioner of Subsidies in Northumber- 
land; Major of a local troop of horse, 1660; died in 1664, and was 
buried at St. Andrew's, Newcastle. 

Nathaniel Ogle, of Kirkley, M.D., Physician to the Forces under 
Marlborough, died 1736. 

Sir Chaloner Ogle, knight. Admiral of the Fleet, 1740; M.P. for 
Rochester, 1746-47; died 1750. 

Newton Ogle, Captain of the 70th regiment, aide-de-camp to 
General Sir Charles Grey, killed in a skirmish at Guadaloupe, 

Thomas Ogle, Major in the 58th regiment, killed at the landing 
of the army in Aboukir Bay, 1801. 

Newton Ogle, D.D., third son of Nathaniel Ogle, M.D., Arch- 
deacon of Surrey, 1766; Prebendary of Durham, 1768; Dean of 
Winchester, 1769. Died 1804. 

Sir Chaloner Ogle, first baronet, fourth son of Nathaniel Ogle, 
M.D.; Admiral of the Red. Died 1816. 

John Savile Ogle, D.D., Prebendary of Salisbury, 1794; Canon of 
Durham, 1820. 

Savile Craven Henry Ogle, M.P. for South Northumberland, 
1841-52. Died 1854. 

Sir Charles Ogle, second baronet, M.P. for Portarlington, 1830; 
Admiral of the Fleet, 1857. Died 1858. 

Among all these distinguished men who bore the Ogle name, two 
or three stand out prominently as naval heroes at a period in English 
history when the honour and safety of the country depended upon 
the fleet, and the skill and courage of its officers. First in the list 
stands Sir Chaloner Ogle. 

Chaloner, son of Ralph Ogle, the elder brother of Nathaniel 
Ogle, M.D., Physician to the Forces, was born at Kirkley in 1680. 
Brought up to the sea by his uncle, he obtained in due time the 
command of a man-of-war — the Swallow. In this vessel, under 
circumstances which displayed great bravery and acuteness, he' 
achieved his first claim to honour — the capture of a notorious 
pirate. Campbell, in his "Naval History," tells the story as 
follows : — 

" The pirates in the West Indies which had received some check 



from the vigorous dispositions of Governor Rogers and other com- 
manders in those parts, began to take breath again, and by degrees 
grew so bold as to annoy our colonies more than ever. There was 
among these pirates on the coast of Africa one Roberts, a man 
whose parts deserved a better employment; he was an able seaman, 
and a good commander, and had with him two very stout ships, one 
commanded by himself, of 40 guns and 152 men, the other of 32 
guns and 132 men; and to complete his squadron he soon added a 
third of 24 guns and 90 men. With this force Roberts had done 
a great deal of mischief in the West Indies, before he sailed for 
Africa, where he likewise took abundance of prizes, till in the 

month of April, 1722, he was taken by the then Captain, after- 
wards Sir Chaloner Ogle. Captain Ogle was in the Swallow, and 
cruising off Cape Lopez, when he had intelligence of Roberts being 
not far from him, and, in consequence of this, he went immediately 
in search of him and soon after discovered the pirates in a very 
commodious bay, where the largest and the least ships were upon 
the heel scrubbing. Captain Ogle, taking in his lower tier of guns 
and lying at a distance, Roberts took him for a merchantman, and 
immediately ordered his consort, Skrym, to slip his cable and run out 
after him. Captain Ogle crowded all the sail he could to decoy the 
pirate to such a distance that his consort might not hear the guns, 


and then suddenly tacked, run out his lower tier, and gave the pirate 
a broadside, by which their captain (Skrym) was killed, which so 
discouraged the crew, that after a brisk engagement, which lasted 
about an hour and a half, they surrendered. Captain Ogle then 
returned to the bay, hoisting the king's colours under the pirates' 
black flag, with a death's head in it. This prudent stratagem had 
the desired effect; for the pirates, seeing the black flag uppermost, 
concluded the king's ship had been taken, and came out full of 
joy to congratulate their consort on the victory. This joy of theirs 
was, however, of no long continuance, for Captain Ogle gave them a 
very warm reception ; and though Roberts fought with the utmost 
bravery for near two hours, yet being at last killed, the courage of 
his men immediately sunk, and both ships yielded. Captain Ogle 
carried these three prizes, with about one hundred and sixty men 
that were taken in them, to Cape Coast Castle, where they were 
instantly brought to their trials. Seventy-four were capitally con- 
victed, of whom fifty-two were executed, and most of them hung in 
chains in several places, which struck a terror in that part of the 

Captain Ogle's letter to the Lords of the Admiralty containing an 
exact relation of this gallant exploit, dated " Swallow^ in Cape 
Coast Roads, Africa, April 5, 1722," may be read in the " Historical 
Register " for that year. The services which he had rendered to the 
freedom of commerce and navigation were suitably recognised. In 
May, 1723, on his return to England, he was knighted by the king, 
and marked for early promotion. His upward progress took the 
following order: — Rear-Admiral of the Blue, July, 1739; and Rear- 
Admiral of the Red, March, 1 742 (in which year he was tried by 
court-martial for an alleged assault upon Mr. Trelawney, Governor 
of Jamaica, at Spanish Town, and acquitted); Vice-Admiral of the 
Blue, August, 1743; Admiral of the Blue, June, 1744; Admiral of 
the White, July, 1747; Admiral and Commander of the Fleet on the 
death of Sir John Norris in 1 749. He entered Parliament as one 
of the members for the borough of Rochester in 1746, and dying, 
April nth, 1750, at the age of seventy, was buried at Twickenham. 

Sir Chaloner Ogle was twice married, but left no issue. His first 
wife was a sister of John Isaacson, Recorder of Newcastle; his 
second a daughter of Dr. Nathaniel Ogle (the Physician to the 
Forces), and therefore his first cousin. Some time before his death 
he had purchased from a reckless relative, Ralph Wallis of Knaresdale, 


the estate of Coupland Castle, and this fine property he bequeathed 
to the family at Kirkley, by one of whom it was sold, in 1S06, to 
Matthew Culley, the famous agriculturist 

Another Chaloner Ogle, son of Nathaniel Ogle, M.D., and there- 
fore cousin and brother-in-law of Admiral Sir Chaloner, born at 
Kirkley in 1729, followed the sea as a profession and rose, like his 
relative, to high rank in it. He was knighted for his services afloat, 
and attained the post of senior Admiral of the Red when the Duke 
of Clarence was appointed Admiral of the Fleet. On the 12th of 
March, 181 6, he was further rewarded with a baronetcy, and died on 
the 27th of August following, aged eighty-seven. He had married a 
daughter of the Bishop of Winchester, and left issue three sons and 
four daughters, one of whom, Charles Ogle, succeeded him. 

Sir Cbarlea ®(jle, 


Charles Ogle, son of Sir Chaloner Ogle (2), entered the navy, 
and in 1793, when the war with the French Republic broke out, 
was a midshipman on board the Boyne, 98 guns, bearing the flag 
of Sir John Jervis, afterwards Earl St. Vincent. In January, 1794, 
he commanded one of the Boyne's boats in an attack upon some 
French vessels at Martinique, and brought away, under a heavy fire, 
a couple of the enemy's schooners. He assisted at the capture 
of Pigeon Island, co-operated with the army at Point Negro, and 
distinguished himself at the storming of a fort in the island of 
Guadaloupe. After this event he was appointed acting commander 
of the Assurance, 44 guns, from which ship he removed into the 
Avenger sloop. His next appointment was to the Petrel, employed 
in the North Sea and subsequently in the Mediterranean, where 
he joined the Minerve frigate, and obtained post rank by com- 
mission dated January nth, 1796. From the Minerve Captain 
Ogle exchanged into the Meleager, 32 guns, engaged off Cadiz, in 
the war with Spain, and capture of the enemy's vessels. 

In July, 1769, Captain Ogle was tried by court-martial, on a 
charge preferred by the master of a merchant brig, which had been 
captured while under convoy of the Petrel. The finding of the 


Court was entirely in his favour; he was declared to be " a zealous, 
attentive, and most diligent officer." 

From the Meleager, which he commanded in various cruises, 
Captain Ogle exchanged into the Greyhound frigate and was sent 
to the Mediterranean, where he captured a Genoese privateer of lo 
guns, a Spanish armed polacre, and several trading ships. Towards 
the latter end of 1801, he removed into the Egyptienne, a frigate of 
the largest class, and about the same time received the Turkish gold 
medal for his services in the expedition to expel the French from 
Egypt. His subsequent commands were the Unite, 38 guns, the 
Princess Augusta yacht, Ra7nilies, Malta, and Rivoli, ships of the 

Succeeding to the baronetcy on the death of his father in 18 16, 
he became, three years later, a flag officer. He was commander-in- 
chief in North America, 1827, and at Portsmouth in 1845, and died, 
Admiral of the Fleet, at Tunbridge Wells, June i6th, 1858, aged 
eighty-three. In a newspaper notice of his decease it is stated 
that he took an active part in the promotion of the monument at 
Tynemouth to the memory of his friend and companion in arms. 
Lord CoUingwood, was " the model of an English gentleman," and 
was " highly regarded by all who knew him." 

By his first wife, a sister of Lord Gage, Sir Charles Ogle, who was 
married three times, had a son (his successor as third baronet) and 
two daughters, the youngest of whom, Sophia, married, in 1830, the 
Rev. Edward Chaloner Ogle, of Kirkley. 

1benr^ ®cjle, 


Henry Ogle, co-designer with John Common, of Denwick, of a 
reaping-machine, was a descendant of the Ogles of Cawsey Park, and 
was born within the old pele tower of Whittingham in 1764. Always 
occupying a lowly station in society, his career was one life-long 
struggle with poverty. Many little parts he played in the world's 
drama. At one time he was at sea; but falling from the mast he 
was lamed, after which he went into the pits and quarries at Whittle. 
He had a good knowledge of navigation, and could survey land well; 
music he knew, and could sing; somewhat of a poet, he could write 


verses. After knocking about from place to place, he settled down 
as a schoolmaster, first at Newham, and then at Rennington, where 
he eked out his scanty income by acting as parish clerk, and teaching 
a singing class and night school; by singing his own funeral hymns 
before the dead on their way to the place of sepulture, by working 
in the harvest field, and stacking hay and corn, at which he was 
proficient; by cobbling old shoes; and by selling a nostrum of his 
own for cut fingers. Yet with all these accomplishments, and all this 
labour, his emoluments seldom exceeded ;^40 a year. 

Tate, the historian of Alnwick, states that Ogle began to experi- 
ment with mechanical appliances for cutting corn as early as 1802. 
About that time he read in the newspapers an account of a trial that 
had been made in the South of England with a reaping apparatus, 
and he produced a machine, or a model of one, which cut the 
corn with a plain straight blade. Some time afterwards he became 
acquainted with Common, and from an improved model, constructed 
in 1822, Messrs. Brown, ironfounders at Alnwick, made a complete 
reaper, which, having been exhibited in Alnwick Market, was tried 
at Broom House, where the projectors were nearly mobbed by 
the work-people. After improvements it was tried again on a 
field of wheat at Southside, and is said to have " cut to perfec- 

A correspondent of the Mark Lane Express, in 1S50, drew 
attention to a letter which had appeared in the Mechanics^ Magazine 
for November, 1825, written by Mr. Ogle himself, describing the 
reaper, accompanied by a drawing. The machine had revolving 
beaters, or gatherers, a reciprocating motion applied to a long, 
straight, serrated, cutting edge, and the horse was so placed as to 
walk alongside the corn. Why this reaper did not come into 
common use is thus explained: — "Messrs. Brown advertised, at the 
beginning of the year 1823, that they would furnish machines of 
this sort complete for shearing corn at the beginning of harvest, but 
found none of the farmers that would go to the expense, though the 
machine was seen to cut even the lying corn, where it was not 
bound down with new rising green corn. Some working people at 
last threatened to kill Mr. Brown if he persevered any further in it, 
and it has never been more tried." 

The failure of their joint enterprise stimulated Common to 
independent experiment. He designed a machine which cut the 
corn by means of angular blades instead of a long straight blade, as 


in Ogle's design, and this eventually became the general type of 
mechanical reapers, and is the one in use at the present time. 

Among other ingenious schemes of Henry Ogle was a cure for 
smokey chimneys. He was an enthusiastic searcher after perpetual 
motion, and like William Martin, the Newcastle eccentric, he 
opposed the Newtonian system of the universe. After spending 
twenty-four years of unremunerative drudgery at Rennington, he re- 
moved to Alnwick, where he taught, for a while, a poor school. In 
his later days he received relief out of the poor rates, and on February 
loth, 1848, he died a pauper in the eighty-fourth year of his age. 


Luke Ogle, vicar of Berwick during the Commonwealth, was a 
notable figure among the two thousand ministers who were ejected 
from their livings on St. Bartholomew's Day, 1662. His relationship 
to the historical family of Ogle is not traceable, but he was a man 
of means, possessing an estate of his own at Bowsden, near Lowick, 
and presumably well connected. He received the appointment at 
Berwick, with a stipend of p{^i2o per annum, in 1655, and while 
the Commonwealth lasted was a widely popular and successful 
preacher. His position among the preachers on Tyneside is indi- 
cated by the author of the " Memoirs of Ambrose Barnes," who 
tells us that " Mr. Luke Ogle, of Barwick, never came to Newcastle 
but was sure to lodge at the house of Mr. Barnes ; " while Calamy 
represents him as a man of great learning, well skilled in ecclesi- 
astical history, a laborious, judicious, and affectionate preacher. 
General Monk, tarrying a while at Berwick on that memorable 
journey southward which ended in the restoration of the Monarchy, 
paid him considerable deference, treating him as a competent 
representative of local public opinion, and consulting him upon 
confidential matters relating to the affairs of the kingdom. 

After the Restoration, Mr. Ogle's position became perilous. He 
hated prelacy as he hated papacy, and he took no pains to conceal 
his views. Lord Widdrington, the new Governor of Berwick, hear- 
ing that he had preached an anti-papal sermon, took alarm, and 
employed an agent to take notes of his discourses. The views 


expressed in these notes were so pronounced that the Governor 
hastened to repress them. He sent for Mr. Ogle, accused him of 
preaching treason, and declared that he had many articles against 
him which he would force him to answer. Unwavering in his 
fidelity to the doctrines which he had expounded in Berwick Church 
for the previous six years, Mr. Ogle refused to change his methods 
or alter his tone. Then Lord Widdrington took action. On the 
26th December, 1661, while the bells were ringing for the Thursday's 
sermon, a guard of soldiers from the garrison took possession of the 
sacred edifice, locked the doors, and prohibited both preacher and 
congregation from entering. The Governor's pretext for this high- 
handed proceeding was the refusal of the vicar to preach the day 
before — on Christmas Day. The clergy of the North of England, 
like their brethren in Scotland, refused to acknowledge the high 
festivals of the Church, and many of them declined to read the Book 
of Common Prayer. Mr. Ogle was one of these, and his obstinacy 
cost him his living. The Burgess Guild of Berwick, anxious to 
retain him as their minister, suggested a compromise by which he 
should preach only, and some other clergyman should read the 
prayers. But to this the Governor would not consent. So matters 
remained till, on St. Bartholomew's Day following, the Act of 
Uniformity came into force, and Mr. Ogle was formally ejected 
from his church and divorced from his people. 

" When K. Charles 11. granted liberty to the Dissenters, the 
Governor would not suffer Mr. Ogle to live in Berwick, unless he 
would conform. Upon the Indulgence in Scotland, he was called to 
Langton (in the Merse). In Monmouth's time, tho' he was much 
indisposed, yet by the order of Sir John Fenwick he was taken up 
by a party of soldiers and carried to Newcastle, where he was 
confined 6 weeks, which had like to have cost him his life. Upon 
K. James's liberty he was invited again to Berwick, and fixing there, 
had a considerable and numerous congregation. In K. William's 
time he was invited to Kelso, a considerable living upon the borders 
of Scotland. He had also a call from the magistrates, ministers, 
and people of Edinburgh, to be one of the fixed ministers of that 
city; but he was not to be prevailed with to leave Berwick." 

It was in 1690 that Mr. Ogle returned to Berwick in peace and 
quietness. He had no proper preaching place, but his old friends 
rallied round him, enabled him to occupy the Grammar School 
house, and to make use of the school itself for public worship. He 


was then sixty years old, and having suffered much, was not destined 
to enjoy a long lease of life. He preached among his old flock, or 
some of them, for over five years, and in April, 1696, at the age of 
sixty-six, he died. 

No record of Luke Ogle's family has come down to us. He had 
one son, we know, but beyond that fact genealogical knowledge is 
wanting. That son, Samuel Ogle, became Recorder of Berwick, 
and was one of the representatives of the town in Parliament from 
1690 till his death in 17 10. 

IRcwton ©gle, 


Newton, one of the sons of Dr. Nathaniel Ogle of Kirkley, Physician 
to the Forces, rose to high preferment in the Church. He was born 
in 1726, matriculated at Lincoln College, Oxford, in 1743, where, 
four years later, he took the B.A. degree. He proceeded to the 
degree of M.A. from Merton College in 1750, and D.D. in 1761. 
His preferments were these : — Prebendary, or canon, of Salisbury, 
1750; Archdeacon of Surrey, 1766; prebendary of the seventh stall 
at Durham, 1768; Dean of Winchester, 1769. He succeeded to the 
Kirkley estate on the death of his brother Nathaniel in 1762. By his 
marriage with Susanna, daughter of Dr. Thomas, Bishop of Win- 
chester, he had three sons and five daughters, the youngest of whom, 
Esther Jane, became the wife of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the 
orator and dramatist. Dr. Ogle died in 1804. On the floor of the 
Chapel of the Nine Altars in Durham Cathedral is a slab inscribed 
to his memory. He was succeeded at Kirkley by his second son, 
the Rev. John Savile Ogle, D.D., prebendary for thirty-two years of 
the twelfth stall at Durham. 

Dr. Newton Ogle was a classical scholar of high repute. A poem 
of his on the river Blyth is quoted by the Rev. John Hodgson, as a 
specimen of elegant Latinity; " Dean Ogle's charming ode" he terms 
it. The original may be read in Raine's " Life of Hodgson," to- 
gether with the historian's translation of it. 

It was this Dr. Ogle, the Dean of Winchester, who in 1788 erected 
a monument at Kirkley to commemorate the landing of William of 
Orange a hundred years before. 


Milliam ©r^ 


The Ords of Newcastle and Fenham do not appear to have sprung 
from the same stock as the Ordes of Tweedside, whose biographies 
appear on subsequent pages. So, at least, thought the Rev. John 
Hodgson, who devoted much time to the construction of their pedi- 
gree. With the aid of Mr. Bigge of Linden, he carried the family 
history back to the seventeenth century, but the link which might have 
united them to the older race was not discovered. The Rev. James 
Raine, historian of North Durham, came to the same conclusion. 
To his account of the Ordes of Orde he adds : — " The Ords of 
Fenham have, I believe, no connection with this ancient stock or 
name ; an aged lady of the true family designated them, with great 
indignation, as the usurpers of the name and arms." 

The common ancestor of the Ords of Newcastle and Fenham was 
one John Ord, whose son, John Ord, solicitor, was, from 1685 to 1703, 
under-sheriff of Newcastle. The under-sheriff's first wife, Anne 
Preston, to whom he was married in 1680, brought him three sons 
and five daughters. His second wife, Anne Hutchinson of Loft- 
house, near Leeds, gave him a fortune which enabled him to pur- 
chase Fenham and Newminster, and, more prolific than his first 
spouse, presented him with eight sons and five daughters. Most of 
these twenty-one children died young. One of the sons, named 
Robert, inherited Hunstanworth, was M.P. for Morpeth from 1741 
to 1755, when he was made Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Scot- 
land, and settled in Edinburgh. Thomas, the heir, second son of 
the first marriage, married Anne Bacon of Staward, and by her had 
two sons — John and William. John died in July, 1745, at which 
time he was Mayor of Newcastle, and M.P. for St. Michael's in 
Cornwall. William, his brother, succeeding him, took to wife Anne 
Dinningham of Leicester, added, in 1750, the estate of Whitfield in 
Allendale to the family possessions, and married two of his sons to 
daughters of Charles Brandling of Gosforth. Swinburne of Hamster- 
ley, who delighted to say sharp things about the local squirearchy, 
visiting Whitfield in September, 1791, tells the following remarkable 



story in his fascinating book, " The Courts of Europe," about John 
Ord of Newcastle, his host's grandfather: — 

" We have been spending a very agreeable time at Whitfield in 
Allendale. The party consisted of Mrs. Ord and her family, Messrs. 
Brandling, Ferrers, etc. The present owner's grandfather was an 
attorney at Newcastle, and had a passion for hanging himself. The 
first time he was cut down by his servant; the second time the cord 
broke; but he accomplished his purpose afterwards." 

To this curious propensity in old Mr. Ord the writer of that 
scurrilous tract, "The Vicar's Will and Codicil," alludes in the 

V[/i|[i9q0rci- f|. 


lines: — "And to my good friend William Ord, the use (and so forth) 
of a cord." But this by the way. 

William Ord (i) was succeeded by his son William Ord (2), who, 
by his marriage with Eleanor Brandling, became the father of 
William Ord (3), the subject of this narrative. 

William Ord (3) was born on the 2nd January, 1781. Brought 
up amid political surroundings, and aspiring to a seat in Parliament, 
he wooed the electors of Morpeth, with whom, through his father's 
estate at Newminster, and his own promising qualities, he obtained 


considerable influence. In 1802, a few months after he had attained 
his majority, Parliament was dissolved, and he became a candidate 
for one of the two seats which Morpeth held in the House of 
Commons. The Howard family having had the representation of 
the borough pretty much in their own hands for generations, put 
forward one of the retiring members, George Howard, Lord Morpeth, 
and his cousin, the son of Peter Delme, a former representative. A 
hotly-contested election followed ; two hundred and twelve freemen 
went to the poll, and chiefly by the aid of plumpers, Mr. Ord 
won. In eight succeeding Parliaments, extending over thirty years, 
Mr. Ord sat as one of the members for ]\Iorpeth without opposi- 

When the Reform Act, of which Mr. Ord had been a warm 
supporter, came into operation, Morpeth lost one of its members, and 
the county of Northumberland, divided into two parts, obtained the 
privilege of sending to Parliament four representatives — two for each 
division. At the last election for the undivided county, Matthew 
Bell, who had helped to defeat the Reform Bill in its earlier stages, 
had declined the contest, and the retiring member, Thomas Went- 
worth Beaumont, had received as his colleague, Lord Howick, son of 
the author of the Bill. Under the new arrangements, the Tories 
proposed to divide the representation — assigning a member of each 
of the two great political parties to each of the divisions. Lord 
Howick was to transfer his services to the northern part of the 
county, with Lord Ossulston as his Tory colleague; while Mr. 
Beaumont was to remain in South Northumberland, with Matthew 
Bell as his co-representative. 

This compromise was accepted in North Northumberland; 
Howick and Ossulston were elected without opposition. But the 
Whigs of the Southern division would not accept it. They wanted 
both seats, and they put forward Mr. Ord to champion their cause 
with Mr. Beaumont against Mr. Bell. ISIr. Ord and Mr. Bell were 
first cousins, and fought like gentlemen, but, for all that, the contest 
was very sharp and bitter. The Whigs were very confident of 
success. They had two powerful candidates; their party had just 
won the battle of the suff'rage ; and they were able to boast of various 
other reforms which they had effected, or were striving to effect. 
But they had over-rated their strength. They put up their best men 
to speak at their meetings — Fife and Losh, Bigge and Brockett, 
Silvertop and Ogle, Blackett and Ridley, Howard and Grey. They 


obtained the show of hands at the nomination, and they marched to 
the poll, singing, — 

" Let Ord and Beaumont be the cry, 
Those Patriots true and all that ; 
We'll to the hustings eager hie, 
Free of expense for a' that. 
For them we'll vote for a' that, 
They're men of independent mind 
An' lib'ral views an' a' that." 

But when the poll was declared — Beaumont, 2,537; Bell, 2,441; 
Ord, 2,351 — the tune was changed. Such a result had never been 
anticipated, and the defeated took their defeat badly. Mr. Ord 
himself did not attend to hear the declaration of the poll, " through 
fatigue and anxiety," and he absented himself from a dinner at 
Hexham, in honour of Mr. Beaumont and himself, on the ground 
that his presence might encourage hopes of his renewing the struggle 
at next election, while he was firmly resolved never to become 
a candidate for the county again. He soon found scope for his 
abilities and experience in another constituency — that of the borough 
of Newcastle. 

At the Newcastle election in 1832, the sitting members. Sir 
Matthew White Ridley, Whig, and John Hodgson (afterwards John 
Hodgson-Hinde), Independent Tory, had retained their seats by 
substantial majorities over a Radical candidate in the person of 
Charles Attwood. But when, in 1835, ^^er three years of political 
ineptitude, the first Reformed Parliament was dissolved, the repre- 
sentation of the borough was contested by four candidates. The 
Tories rallied round Mr. Hodgson; the Radicals brought James 
Aytoun from Edinburgh to fight their battle; the Whigs put forward 
Sir Matthew and Mr. Ord. Mr. Ord was returned at the head of 
the poll, with Sir Matthew as his colleague; Mr. Hodgson and Mr. 
Aytoun were defeated. 

For seventeen years afterwards Mr. Ord retained his position. 
During that time he fought two contested elections, on each occasion 
heading the poll, and twice was returned without opposition. At the 
general election in 1852, being an old man of seventy-one, he 
retired. He had been in Parliament forty-seven years, and had 
earned his repose. His friends and admirers honoured him and 
themselves by a public dinner in the Newcastle Assembly Rooms. 
James Hodgson, Mayor of Newcastle, and ex-proprietor of the 


Newcastle Chronicle., was in the chair, and round him were grouped 
Earl Grey and the Earls of Durham and Carlisle; Sir Walter 
Trevelyan; J. F. B. Blackett, William Hutt, Robert Ingham, T. E. 
Headlam, and W. B. Beaumont, members of Parliament; Sir John 
Fife, Dr. Headlam, Philip Howard, the Hon. F.^Grey, Aldermen 
Losh and Lamb, and the Sheriff of Newcastle (Mr. Lowthian Bell); 
while complimentary apologies for inability to be present were read 
from the Marquis of Lansdowne, the Earl of Zetland, Lord John 
Russell, Lord Panmure, and Sir James Graham. 

Mr. Ord died at Whitfield Hall on the 25th July, 1855, aged 75. 
An obituary notice of him in Latimer's " Local Records " states 
that " On his first entrance into the House of Commons, he became 
a member of the small and proscribed band which, under the leader- 
ship of Mr. Fox and the late Earl Grey, constituted the Liberal party, 
and notwithstanding the apparent hopelessness of their cause, and 
the dangers with which they were beset, Mr. Ord was their constant, 
zealous, and devoted supporter. On the questions of Parliament- 
ary Reform, Catholic Emancipation, Corporation Tests, Corporate 
Abuses, Slavery and the Slave Trade, the Freedom of Commerce, 
the Amelioration of the Criminal Law, and many kindred subjects, 
few names were so constantly found in the division lists in the cause 
of enlightenment and freedom. The deceased had an only son, 
William Henry, who, unfortunately, died in 1838, just when his 
talents were beginning to develop themselves, and the family property 
descended to the Rev. J. A. Blackett, who married, in 1842, a niece 
of Mr. Ord, and who, soon afterwards, assumed his name." 

Sir 3obn ®rbe, 


Although the Ordes of Northumberland do not, like the Ogles, 
trace their pedigree back to pre-Conquest times, yet they are able to 
claim a most respectable antiquity. They were established at Orde, 
on the southern bank of the Tweed, as early as the twelfth century. 
The whole township of that name, including East, Middle, and West 
Orde, with Murton and Unthank, constituted their patrimonial estate. 
Their descendants married into all the great families of the county 
— Blakes and Blacketts, Carrs and CoUingwoods, Fenwicks and 



Forsters, Selbys and Swinburnes, Herons, Lisles, and Ogles. They 
owned property in almost every hamlet of that wide-spreading dis- 
trict which, although geographically situated in Northumberland, 
belonged to the bishopric, and was known as Norhamshire and 
Islandshire in the County of Durham. In Raine's " History of 
North Durham " may be read the pedigrees of the separate branches 
of the Orde family — the Ordes of Orde, of West Orde, of East Orde 
and Berwick, of Longridge, of Newbiggin, of Grindon, and of Holy 

Descended from this old and honourable family came Admiral Sir 
John Orde, a contemporary of Collingwood and Nelson. He was a 


son of John Orde, of Morpeth, who succeeded his cousin as heir 
male to a considerable part of the family estates in Norham, East 
Orde, and Grindon. John Orde, pere, was twice married. His first 
wife, Anne, daughter of Edward Ward, of Morpeth, died within a 
year of her marriage, leaving him with one child — William, after- 
wards known as William Orde, of Nunnykirk. His second wife was 
Anne, daughter of Ralph Marr, of Morpeth, and widow of the Rev. 
William Pye, of that town. By her he had two sons. The eldest, 
Thomas Orde, marrying in 1778, Jean Mary Powlett, daughter of 
Charles, Duke of Bolton, obtained, through his wife, a considerable 
part of the estates of the Powletts, assumed their surname, and was 


elevated to the peerage in 1797, by the title of Baron Bolton, of 
Bolton Castle, Yorkshire. The second son was the naval hero whose 
career, abridged from Marshall's " Naval Biography," is now to be 

Born at Morpeth, December 22nd, 1751, Mr. John Orde, at the 
age of fourteen, entered the navy on board the Jersey, 60 guns, 
stationed in the Mediterranean under the broad pendant of Com- 
modore Spry. He subsequently served off Newfoundland under 
Commodore Byron, and on the Jamaica station with Sir George 
Rodney, who, in 1773, promoted him to the rank of lieutenant. 
At the commencement of the American troubles he was appointed to 
the Roebuck, and served in that vessel on the American coast until 
1777, when he was removed to the Eagle, 64 guns, the flagship 
of Lord Howe. He commanded the Zebra war sloop at the 
reduction of Philadelphia, and on the 19th of May, 1778, in the 
Virginia, a frigate of 32 guns captured from the Americans, he was 
advanced to the rank of post captain. 

The year following Captain Orde accompanied Sir George Collier 
in an expedition up the Penobscot, and assisted at the destruction of 
the colonial fleet in that river, and the relief of Fort McLean. In 
1780 he commanded the Virginia at the capture of Charleston, 
where, taking on shore a battalion of seamen, he served with such 
conspicuous bravery as to earn favourable notice in the official 
despatches of Admiral Arbuthnot, the Commander-in-Chief. Shortly 
afterwards in the Chatham, 50 guns, he effected the capture of the 
General Washington of 22 guns and iiS men. Upon the recall of 
Admiral Arbuthnot, in 1781, Captain Orde conveyed him to England. 
During the rest of the American struggle he was employed in the 
North Sea, and on the coast of France. At its close, in 1783, he 
was appointed Governor of Dominica, and on the 27th of July, 1790, 
the dignity of a baronet was conferred upon him. 

When the French Revolution broke out, Sir John Orde obtained 
leave to resign his Governorship and resume the active duties of 
his profession. He commanded successively the Victorious, the 
Venerable, and the Prince George, in which last-named vessel he 
obtained the rank of Rear-Admiral. At the beginning of 1797 he 
took charge at Plymouth during the absence of the Port Admiral, 
Sir Richard King. In May of that year he hoisted his flag on board 
the Princess Royal, 98 guns, and joined the fleet in the Mediter- 
ranean under Earl St. Vincent, by whom he was sent with a 

VOL. III. 16 


squadron of eight sail, and a proportionate number of sloops and 
frigates, to blockade the port of Cadiz. This service he performed 
so well, that Earl St. Vincent paid him a high compliment. " You 
have shown uncommon ability and exertion," said his lordship, "in 
preserving your position during the late unpleasant weather, and I 
very much approve every step you have taken." 

A few weeks after this agreeable episode had occurred. Sir John 
Orde was brought into unpleasant competition with Nelson. He had 
joined the Mediterranean fleet under the impression that he was to 
be second in command to Earl St. Vincent, but now he learned that 
Nelson, an officer junior to himself, had been selected to command 
a squadron on the only service of distinction that was likely to 
happen, while he himself was to retire into the fourth place. Com- 
plaining of this arrangement he was sent home to England in com- 
mand of a fleet of merchantmen, upon which he wrote to the 
Admiralty requesting a court-martial on the Commander-in-Chief. 
His request was declined, but he was offered a command in the 
Channel Fleet, which he refused to accept. Early in 1799, he was 
advanced to the rank of Vice- Admiral, and in the following autumn, 
when Earl St. Vincent returned to England, Sir John challenged him 
to a duel. The challenge was accepted, and a meeting-place was 
appointed, but the authorities interfered and prevented the com- 
batants from coming together. As soon as peace was pro- 
claimed. Sir John published an account of the quarrel in a 
pamphlet, the circulation of which he had previously confined to 
his friends: — 

" Copy of a Correspondence, etc., between the Right Hon. the Lords Com- 
missioners of the Admiralty, the Right Hon. Earl St. Vincent, K.B., the Right 
Hon. Earl Spencer, K.G., and Vice- Admiral Sir John Orde, Bart." London: 

Upon the removal of Lord St. Vincent from the chief administra- 
tion of naval affairs. Sir John Orde accepted the command of a 
squadron, and cruised in the Mediterranean, his flagship being the 
Glory, of 98 guns. He was one of the pall-bearers at Nelson's 
funeral in October, 1805, and the following month was promoted to 
the rank of Admiral of the Blue. From 1809 to 18 12 he sat in 
Parliament as representative of the borough of Yarmouth, in the Isle 
of Wight. He died at his residence, Gloucester Place, Portman 
Square, London, on the 19th of February, 1824, aged seventy-three. 


At the time of his death he was an Admiral of the Red, and Vice- 
President of the Naval Charitable Society. 

Sir John Orde was twice married. By his second wife, Jane, 
daughter of John Frere, M.P., he had a son who succeeded him as 
second baronet. The present representative of the family is Sir John 
William Powlett Campbell Orde, third baronet, the Admiral's grand- 
son, married (July, 1862) to Alice Louisa, only sister of Sir Arthur 
Middleton, Bart, of Belsay. 

^boma0 ©rbc, 


Thomas Orde, uterine brother of the Admiral, who, as already 
described, married a daughter of the Duke of Bolton, and rose to 
the peerage, was a noted and successful politician. He had been 
educated at King's College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1770 
and M.A. in 1773, and entered public life in 1780 as the colleague 
of Anthony Bacon in the representation of the borough of Ayles- 
bury. There is a note of him in Gibbs' " History of Aylesbury " 
which illustrates the method of winning elections at the end of 
last century. "About Christmas, 1780, Mr. Bacon and Mr. Orde 
gave twelve guineas to such of the electors as would accept that 
sum, and those who could not prove themselves legal voters two 
guineas each. In 1781 the same gentlemen gave the voters ten 
shillings each at the Bell Inn, and a supper, and a very handsome 
company there was." At the election in 1784, he was returned by 
the burgesses of Rathcormick, and, in 1790, by those of Harwich, 
whom he represented till he was called to the Upper Chamber. 

During his career in the House of Commons Mr. Orde filled 
offices of considerable importance. In 1782 he was appointed 
one of the secretaries to the Treasury, and Parliamentary Under- 
Secretary of State for the Home Department. Three years later 
he was made a privy councillor, and the following year a lord of 
the Treasury, and a member of the reconstituted Board of Trade. 
From 1784 till 1787 he held the post of Chief Secretary for Ireland, 
an office which appears to have been as uncomfortable to its holder 
then as it is now. In the RoUiad Mr. Secretary Orde was spitted in 
the following fashion : — 


" Tall and erect, unmeaning, mute, and pale, 
O'er his blank face no gleams of thought prevail : 
Wan as the man in classic story fam'd, 
Who told old Priam that his Ilion flam'd. 
Yet soon the time will come when speak he shall, 
And at his voice another Ilion fall ! 

Caesar, we know, with anxious effort try'd 
To swell, with Britain's name, his triumph's pride : 
Oft he essay'd, but still essay'd in vain ; 
Great in herself, she mock'd the menac'd chain. 
But fruitless all — for what was Csesar's sword 
To thy all-conquering speeches, mighty Orde ! 
Amphion's lyre, they say, could raise a town : 
Orde's elocution pulls a nation down." 

After his call to the peerage, Lord Bolton became Lord-lieutenant 
of Hants, and Governor of the Isle of Wight. He died on the 30th 
July, 1807. 

Milliam ®rbe, 


The estate of Nunnykirk, long the property of the Greys of Chilling- 
ham, came into the possession of the Ordes through the marriage 
of William Orde (half-brother of Admiral Sir John Orde) with his 
cousin Anne, daughter and heiress of William Ward, whose father, 
Edward Ward, of Morpeth, had purchased it from the trustee of 
Ralph, Lord Grey, Baron of Werke. William Orde died at Morpeth 
in February, 18 14, and having lost his eldest son and heir in the 
West Indies, was succeeded by his second son, who bore his name. 
This William Orde, bred to the law, had been called to the Bar 
at Lincoln's Inn, and was practising his profession in London when 
his brother's death made him the heir of Nunnykirk, and changed 
all his plans and aims in life. Forsaking the Courts of Law, he 
came down to the North, and prepared himself to play the part 
of a country squire, living upon his own property, discharging 
those duties and cultivating those pursuits and pastimes with 
which country squiredom is usually associated. Having enlarged 
and extended the old mansion-house of the Wards, under the 
architectural guidance of Mr. John Dobson, of Newcastle, he 



entered upon a long and honourable career in connection with 
the Turf, and made his name famous in the annals of sport. 
He brought out Tomboy and Beeswing — horses whose achieve- 
ments, fifty years ago, were the theme of endless admiration 
throughout the North-Country. 

Tomboy won, among other trophies, the Gold Cup at Durham in 
1832; the Gold Cups at Pontefract and Newcastle, the Silver Tureen 
at Stockton, and the Northumberland Plate (its first introduction), 
in 1833; the Gold Cups at Richmond, Doncaster, and Newcastle in 


1834. Beeswing's career was even more remarkable, rivalling that of 
Flying Childers or Eclipse in the previous century. She carried off, 
in 1837, three gold cups — those of Richmond, Newcastle, and 
Northallerton; in 1838, the gold cup at Northallerton again, the 
gold shield at Doncaster, the gold cup at Newcastle, and a special 
trophy in the form of a silver coal-waggon, composed of three 
hundred and fifty separate pieces of silver, given by the last of the 
George Bakers, of Elemore, as a contribution to the local races, " in 
acknowledgment of the many acts of kindness he had received from 
the inhabitants of Newcastle." By the end of the racing season of 
1842, when Beeswing's career on the turf ended, she had scored her 
fifty-first victory, and added her twenty-fourth gold cup to Mr. Orde's 
sideboard. Success like this was almost unprecedented. Northum- 
brians could think and talk and boast of nothing else. Pictures of 
the mare — " Beeswing, the Pride of the North " — were hung up in 
every tap-room of the county; there were Beeswing public-houses, 
steamboats, and coaches, pipes, hats, and sweets. Being once asked 
to name the price at which he would sell this incomparable animal, 
Mr. Orde repHed that she could not be sold, for she belonged to 
"the people of Northumberland." 

Mr. Orde died at Morpeth, unmarried, on the i6th of November, 
1842, aged sixty-eight. He was succeeded in his estates by his 
nephew, Charles William, for many years Chairman of Quarter 
Sessions for the County of Northumberland, who died on the i6th 
of September, 1875. Charles William Orde made himself famous 
for a time by a sentiment which he expressed in proposing "The 
Ladies " at a Northumberland Agricultural Show Dinner, in the 
days when crinolines and hoops were at their highest expansion, and 
bonnets had shrunk to almost infinitesimal dimensions : — 

" The Ladies : May their virtues be as large as their crinolines, 
and their faults as small as their bonnets." 

amor ®yle^, 


One of those who suffered for their loyalty during the Civil War was the 
Rev. Amor Oxley, head-master of the Royal Free Grammar School, 
Newcastle. He was the fourth son of Amor Oxley, a schoolmaster at 


Morpeth, who died there in 1609, leaving ten children, of whom but 
one was oFage, and to him, Thomas Oxley, letters of administration 
to his father's effects were granted. It is open to conjecture that 
"Amor" Oxley, who appears as one of the bailiffs of Morpeth four 
times between 1591 and 1608, was the paternal schoolmaster, and that 
Charles Oxley, vicar of Edlingham from 1627 to his death in 1636, 
and William Oxley, of Heddon-on-the-Wall, whose wife was cited 
before the High Court at Durham, in 1633, for blasphemous language, 
were two of his sons. But that is only a supposition, arising from 
similarity of names, and is not sustainable by evidence. What we 
do know about Amor Oxley the elder is that on the 27th January, 
1577-78, at a visitation of Chancellor Swift, held in the parish church 
of Morpeth, he answered to his name as parish clerk and school- 
master at Woodhorn; that on March 3rd, 1592-93, he witnessed the 
will of Eleanor Widdrington, of Choppington; and that he died, as 
already stated, in 1609. 

Amor Oxley the younger followed his father's profession, and, in 
1623, seems to have been practising it either at Chillingham or in 
the near neighbourhood. Wherever he may have been, he was well 
known to the illustrious family of Grey of that place. For in the 
year just named Dorothy, widow of Sir Ralph Grey, of Chillingham, 
making her will, gave instructions that her son Robert, afterwards the 
famous Dr. Robert Grey, of Bishopwearmouth, and his brother 
Edward, should be taught by Amor Oxley, who was to receive ;z{^2o 
per annum for his pains. The lady lived for twelve years afterwards, 
and Robert Grey, we know, was sent to school at Northallerton ; but 
it is supposed that, after the lad's return from Yorkshire, Mr. Oxley^ 
discharged the trust committed to him in Dorothy Grey's presence, 
and under her supervision, at Chillingham. By the time that his 
duties as tutor ended, he had entered into holy orders, and, in 1630, 
he was ordained priest. Seven years later, or thereabouts, he was 
presented by the Corporation of Newcastle to the head-mastership 
of the Royal Free Grammar School, vacant by the resignation of the 
Rev. Francis Gray. 

Holding no preferment in the town beyond his mastership, and 
being of a studious and retiring disposition, Amor Oxley took but 
little part in the struggle and strife which was dividing the towns- 
people into two great camps, breaking down municipal authority, 
destroying social intercourse, bursting the bonds of brotherhood, 
and sundering even the dearest ties of family and relationship. 


Trained in loyalty to Crown and Church, he adhered to the cause 
of the king, refused to trim his sails to the stiffening breeze of Puri- 
tanism, and like the master under whom he served, was overwhelmed 
in the storm. On the 30th of May, 1645, by order of Parliament, 
he was deprived of his mastership ; in the expressive language of 
royalist writers, he was " sequestered and plundered " — that is to say, 
his means of living were taken from him, and his goods and chattels 
were confiscated. 

What he did during the Commonwealth is not known. That he 
suffered great privation and distress appears from the Newcastle 
Municipal Records. Under date January 26th, 1656-57, the books 
of the Common Council of that town contain an entry of ;^40 " paid 
to Amor Oxley, in part of arrears due to him at the time of his dis- 
charge, and in consideration of the great wants and necessities, and 
poverty and indigent condition of the said Amor Oxley." 

When the king came back, Mr. Oxley obtained his own again. 
On the 27th of April, 1662, he was re-appointed master of the 
Grammar School, with a salary of ;^ 100 per annum and perquisites. 
His loyalty and patience were further rewarded, in 1665, by pre- 
sentation to the living of Kirknewton, at the foot of Yeavering, 
within easy access of Chillingham, and the scenes of his youth. His 
enjoyment of these benefits was but brief He died in 1669, and 
was buried at St. Nicholas' Church, Newcastle, where his name 
appears in the Register of Burials : — 

August 22. — " Amor Oxley, Mr. of the Free Schoole." 


1bcnrv> pcrlcc parhcr, 


Henry Perlee Parker, an artist, who, during the last generation, 
enjoyed a high reputation in Newcastle as a delineator of local 
scenes and incidents, was a son of Robert Parker, of Plymouth Dock 
(Devonport), teacher of marine and mechanical drawing. Born on 
the 15th of March, 1795, he received from his father instruction in 
drawing and painting, but as he showed little promise of success in the 
profession he was sent on trial to a tailor. This decisive step seems 
to have settled his mind in favour of painting, and as the best 
means of teaching him how to combine that art with a steady and 
regular income, he was placed in a coachbuilder's workshop, like 
John Martin, to learn panel painting and heraldic work. Of that 
workshop also he soon grew tired, for instead of being put to colour 
painting he was chiefly employed in puttying up and rubbing down, 
and grinding colours. Finally, at the age of eighteen or nineteen, he 
married Amy Morfey, of Woodbridge, Suffolk, and set up in business 
on his own account in his native town as a portrait-painter. Finding 
soon afterwards that his expectations in that direction were not 
likely to be realised, he migrated to the North, and, at the beginning 
of the year 1815, settled in Newcastle. 

Being a young man of good address and prepossessing appearance, 
and developing a vigorous and taking style of painting figure subjects, 
Mr. Parker received from the people of Tyneside flattering encourage- 
ment and support. He made his mark among them by a picture of 
" Newcastle Eccentrics " — representing a group of well-known char- 
acters identified with the street life of the town. The scene was laid 
in a famous public-house — the resort of cadgers, tramps, and denizens 
of the slums, designated then, and for long afterwards, by the name 
of " Hell's Kitchen." Blind Willie, hatless, as was his wont, singing 
one of his simple songs, occupied the centre of the picture, and 
round him, in characteristic attitudes, were grouped Captain Starkey, 
Cull Billy, Bold Archy, Highland Donald, Jacky Co.xon, Bawling, or 
Shoe-tie, Anty, Whin Bobby, Bugle Nosed Jack, Hangy, Old Judy, 
Jenny Balloo, Pussy Billy, Doodem Daddum, and the Dog Timour. 
This picture, purchased by Mr. Charles John BrandHng, M.P., was 



engraved, published by Emerson Charnley, and became exceedingly 
popular. Among old residents in Newcastle the engraving still finds 

Possessing business capabilities, which are not always associated 
with artistic and literary skill, Parker joined a little band of earnest 
young men who were striving to cultivate a taste for the fine arts 
among the money-making communities of Tyneside. With the leader 
of this group — Thomas Miles Richardson— he formed a close friend- 
ship that extended into all the avenues of professional and domestic 

H. p. PARKER. 

life. Out of their intimacy sprang the "Northumberland Institution 
for the Promotion of the Fine Arts," of which organisation he was 
secretary, and Richardson treasurer. Through all the vicissitudes of 
that daring enterprise, from its modest beginning under Richardson's 
roof in 1822, to its location, five or six years later, in the new building 
erected for its accommodation — the Academy of Arts in Blackett 
Street — he was Richardson's artistic colleague and business adviser. 

At the exhibitions of the Northumberland Institution, and in the 
galleries of London and Edinburgh, Parker was both a fruitful and 
a successful exhibitor, for he painted rapidly, and was remarkably 


fortunate in securing patrons and purchasers. His was the happy 
business knack of seizing upon some stirring event, and fixing it 
upon canvas ere the interest faded and the excitement died out. 
For example, there was a wonderful spectacle on the Sandhill of 
Newcastle at the coronation of George IV., in 182 1, when a 
temporary "pant," or fountain, flowed with wine, and hats, caps, and 
pots of every description were put into requisition, amid great 
confusion and disorder, to obtain a share of the invigorating stream. 
Parker painted a picture of the scene, the Corporation of Newcastle 
purchased it for the adornment of the Mansion House, and upon 
the walls of the building in Ellison Square which bears that name 
the picture is still to be seen. Beside it hangs another picture which 
Parker painted, and the Corporation purchased under similar circum- 
stances — a Fancy Ball given at the old Mansion House in the Close 
when William IV. was crowned in 1830, with portraits of the 
principal guests and dancers. The opening of the New Markets, in 
'^'^ZSi by a public dinner in the Great Hall, or Vegetable Market, 
formed the subject of another striking picture; while the wreck of 
the Forfarshire in 1838, and the brave deed of Grace Darling, gave 
the artist an opportunity of producing a couple of pictures (one 
his own, and the other in collaboration with his friend, J. W. 
Carmichael) that were exceedingly popular. 

To enumerate the paintings which Parker exhibited during the 
five-and-twenty years that he lived in Newcastle, were a hopeless task. 
The majority of them are described and illustrated in a volume 
which he published on the twentieth anniversary of his settlement in 
the town, entitled — 

"Critiques on Paintings by H. P. Parker, etc., Together with a few slight 
etchings showing the Compositions, etc." Newcastle-on-Tyne : John Hernaman, 
at theyiM^r«a/ Office, 69, Pilgrim Street. 1835. 

Some of these pictures, purchased by Akerman, and engraved, 
had more than a passing reputation. Nearly everybody must have 
seen at some time or other a print of his picture of Grace Darling, 
and have become familiar with his pair of small plates, entitled 
" Looking Out " and " Looking In " — the first-named exhibiting a 
bold and resolute smuggler, leaning out of a port-hole, with a pistol 
in his hand, and the other representing a weather-beaten sailor, in a 
similar position, reading the Naval Gazette. Parker excelled in 
painting figure subjects like these. He seems, indeed, to have had 


a special fancy for smugglers. Any catalogue which includes his 
exhibits is sure to contain pictures bearing such titles as " Smugglers 
Watching "—" Alarmed," "Attacked," "Wounded," "Shipwrecked," 
" Resting," etc., accompanied by subjects of a similar rough and 
homely character — " Fisherman and Family," " Fisherman Selling 
his last Fish to a Country Girl," " The Hardy Keelman," " Pitmen 
Playing at Marbles," " Poachers Watching," " The Covenanter," 

In portraiture Parker was equally fortunate. He painted, mostly 
for subscription plates, or as family heirlooms, portraits of Charles 
John Brandling, M.P., John Hodgson, M.P., Matthew Bell, M.P., 
Lord Adolphus Fitzclarence, Revs. James Pringle, Richard Pengilly, 
Valentine Ward, and N. J. HoUingsworth, John Bruce, the school- 
master. Dr. Robert Morrison, Nathaniel Bates, of Milbourne, Mr, 
and Mrs. Annandale, Thomas Scott, parish clerk of St. Andrew's, 
and many others, including a series of sketches of eminent persons 
for Mr. C. J. Brandling. 

When the Wesleyan Methodists held their centenary Conference 
at Liverpool in 1839, and determined to come, the following year, to 
hold their first Conference in Newcastle, Parker, who was a member 
of the denomination, desired to commemorate the occasion by 
painting a picture of some striking incident in their history. He 
consulted the Rev. James Everett, who, as quoted in his Memoirs, 
suggested both subject and treatment in manner following: — 

" Mr. Parker waited upon me to ask what I thought would be 
a proper subject for a picture to commemorate the centenary of 
Methodism. I replied, 'Take the escape of the founder of the body 
from the fire at the parsonage at Epworth, when he was a boy. But 
for this escape, Methodism, for anything we know to the contrary, 
would never have existed, and therefore would not have had a 
centenary in which to glory.' Mr. Parker hesitated, and expressed a 
doubt whether it would be susceptible of sufficient interest. I told 
him that, independently of the occasion, he could not have a finer 
subject for the display of artistic skill, and suggested to him the 
main object, with a few of its surroundings, hurriedly throwing 
before his imagination the house in flames, the child at the window, 
one person on the shoulder of another to eff'ect a rescue, the father 
engaged in prayer, the distressed family grouped together in front of 
the building from which they had just escaped; neighbours half 
dressed, coming to lend their aid. . . . He went home and next 


morning brought a rough sketch in oils in accordance with the hints 
thrown out by me the preceding day. I furnished the artist with the 
attitudes of the various persons introduced, by throwing myself into 
different postures. ... In this picture Parker took a profile likeness 
of myself, and placed my figure towards the place of rescue, between 
the dog and the group below the window, with outstretched arms 
ready to receive the child second-hand from its first deliverer." 

The proceedings of the Conference began in Newcastle on the 
29th of July, 1840, under the presidency of the Rev. Robert Newton, 
and on the 4th of August Parker sent Mr. Newton the picture. 

This incident led to his removal from Newcastle. For, shortly 
after he had completed it, Wesley College, Sheffield, which had been 
erected in 1838, for the higher education of Methodist youth, needed 
a drawing-master, and Parker's sympathies, as exhibited in the paint- 
ing, added to his high reputation in Art, marked him out as a most 
suitable man for the post. Obtaining the appointment, he left Tyne- 
side in 1841 or 1842, and removed with his family to Sheffield. In 
that town, as in Newcastle, he endeavoured to foster a love of Art, 
and to increase the public facilities for cultivating it. In conjunction 
with Dr. Harwood and Mr. Holland, he organised a movement for 
the establishment of an Art School, and carried it to a successful 
issue. He had indulged a hope that, as the reward of his exertions 
he might be offered the post of teacher, but the Government sent 
down a nominee of their own, and ignored his claims to considera- 
tion. This disappointment, and the loss of his wife in 1844, un- 
settled him. Some time afterwards he resigned his connection with 
Wesley College, and launched himself into the great world of London. 
From that date his friends in Newcastle heard little of his doings. 
They saw his name in the Academy and other catalogues, learned 
that he was prosperous and well-to-do, but no more, till one morning 
in November, 1873, they saw an announcement in the papers that, 
on the nth of that month, he had joined the great majority. 

One of Parker's sons, Raphael Parker, inherited his father's genius, 
and succeeded him as drawing-master at Wesley College. He was 
an artist of repute, and exhibited the productions of his brush at 
London and provincial exhibitions, but died a few years after his 


2)avib patcreon, 


Tate's " History of Alnwick " contains a copious biography of the 
gifted minister who bore this name, and who, although not a native 
of Northumberland, was a " man of mark " in the religious life of 
the Northern Counties for nearly forty years. 

The son of a farmer, David Paterson was born at Newhall, 
Selkirkshire, in December, 1775. He received his early education 
at Selkirk Grammar School, and, in 1793, entered the University of 
Edinburgh to study for the ministry. At the University he attained 
distinction in Logic and Moral Philosophy, and was a member of 
the Speculative Society, of which Brougham, Horner, Leyden, 
Erskine, Murray, and Dr. Thomas Brown were distinguished 
ornaments. When his curriculum at Edinburgh ended he attended 
the lectures of Dr. George Lawson at Selkirk, who was professor of 
divinity to the burgher section of the Presbyterian body, in which 
section his father, the Newhall farmer, was an elder. There he 
made the acquaintance of John Brown, afterwards professor of 
exegetical theology to the United Secession Church. So great was 
their friendship that while preaching week after week as probationers 
among vacant congregations, they exchanged sermons. Out of this 
fraternal intercourse arose an unfortunate incident. Within a few 
weeks of each other each of these gifted young men preached the 
same sermon from the same pulpit ! The next time that Mr. 
Paterson officiated he was reminded of the co7itretemps by an acute 
hearer — " Ah, sir ! we kenned your sermon again." 

In probationary work, Mr. Paterson was engaged for about 
five years. Receiving calls from burgher congregations at North 
Berwick and Alnwick, he chose the latter, and in August, 1806, he 
was ordained pastor of Clayport Street Chapel, in that town. His 
reputation had preceded him, and he entered upon his duties under 
most favourable auspices. Dealing but slightly with subjects of 
technical theology, he treated his hearers to elaborate expositions of 
philosophy, delivered in polished style and with refined sentiment. 
Thoughtful persons of various shades of religious opinion were 
attracted to his services, and his congregation grew in numbers and 


influence. His remuneration was not extravagant — only ^1^164 a 
year, but his flock made up by hospitality what they begrudged in 
coin. In time this festive sociality of theirs became a source of 
danger to him, breaking up his course of study, and leading to 
habits of indolence. 

Under these influences his preaching deteriorated. Still his con- 
gregation grew and flourished. In its best days the number of 
members exceeded 350, and not less than a thousand persons were 
in one way or another connected with it. A Fellowship Society 
which he directed, in connection with his church, was instrumental 
in. quickening intellectual life among the young men of the town and 
district. Several of its members occupied in after years positions 
of distinction. Among them were Robert Weddell, the antiquary; 
John Mason, essayist and proprietor of the Border Courier; John 
Douglas Loraine, independent minister at Wakefield; James Duncan, 
Secession minister at Warkworth ; Benjamin Slight, pastor of a Con- 
gregational Church at Tunbridge Wells ; James Fettes, poet and 
preacher ; Thomas Pearson, teacher in Heriot's Hospital, minister of 
a Secession Church at Eyemouth, and author of the Evangelical 
Alliance prize essay on Infidelity; and the Rev. George Bell, of 

In authorship Mr. Paterson frequently indulged, but his books, 
although containing many noble thoughts and clever literary con- 
ceits, were unequal, diffusive, and ofttimes commonplace. No com- 
plete list of his publications is accessible, but the following is a 
summary of those among them which were best known : — 

A Volume of Discourses, published in 1814. 

A Discourse on the Arminian Controversy. 

Three Discourses on a Future State. 

Several Metaphysical Articles for the " Edinburgh Encyclopaedia." 

A Series of Discourses to the Young. 

Various Pamphlets on the Unitarian Controversy. 

To the Newcastle Magazine for 1823, Mr. Paterson contributed a 
" Life of Dr. James Beattie," and in the same magazine, running 
through the volumes for 1824, 1825, and 1826, appeared a volu- 
minous essay, or rather series of essays, from his pen, on " Human 
Improvement." These essays were originally sermons, preached in 
the afternoons of successive Sundays, but containing criticisms on 
philosophy, poetry, art, the drama, and similar subjects that rarely 
found their way into Presbyterian pulpits. It must have been with 


mingled feelings of surprise and doubt that some of his hearers 
listened to his eulogy of Shakespeare, as " Fancy's sweetest child," 
who " drew the most lively and glowing pictures of individual char- 
acter, in all the varieties of which human nature is susceptible, and 
the most accurate and powerful delineations of the intricate and 
complicated passions of the human heart that ever were exhibited," 
or heard him recommend the reading of the Waverley Novels, the 
"Vicar of Wakefield," and other works of fiction that were then 
generally tabooed in Evangelical households. 

Mr. Paterson was Moderator of the Associate Synod in 1812, but 
filled no other office, within the Church or out of it, and it was not 
until he was advanced in years that he received honours from the 
University of Edinburgh — the degree of Master of Arts. He died 
at Alnwick on the 22nd of November, 1843, in the sixty-fourth year 
of his age, and the thirty-eighth of his ministry. 

IRtcbarb Ipcnoill^t 


" ByTre, Pol, and Pen, 

Ye shall know the Cornish-men." 

During the first half of the present century, the pastoral charge of 
the Baptist community in Newcastle was entrusted to the Rev. 
Richard Pengilly. He was of Cornish blood, a Pen-gilly of Pen- 
zance, born in that town on the 14th of September, 1782, At the 
date of his birth his father was a Churchman; his mother and sisters 
had joined the Methodists. Into the Methodist body he also, at the 
age of fifteen, obtained admittance. Exhibiting more than usual 
ability in public speaking, he was encouraged to exercise his gifts, 
and before long he developed into a boy preacher. One of his 
early converts was his own father, and thus the whole family were 
brought into the fold of Methodism. He himself was the first to 
break the circle. In the year 1800 he saw, for the first time, a 
public baptism by immersion, and the service made such an impres- 
sion upon him that when, two years later, the Baptists opened a 
chapel in Penzance, he joined in their worship. In no long time he 
had convinced himself that the way of the Baptists was the right 


way, and that it was his duty to walk in it. He left Methodism, 
was baptised and admitted into full communion with the Baptist 
Society. Desiring to become a minister among them, he was sent 
to their academy at Bristol, to be trained by their celebrated tutor — 
Dr. Rylands. At that place he remained till, in the beginning of 
1807, the Baptist Church in Newcastle applied to Dr. Rylands for a 
probationer. He was offered the appointment, accepted it, and on 
the 23rd of March in that year made his first appearance upon 

At the time when Mr. Pengilly came to Newcastle, a young man 
of twenty-four, the Baptist community to whom he was accredited 
had suffered from a long period of change and vicissitude. They 
had become depressed and discouraged when the Rev. John Allen 
left them in 1771. For nine years after his departure, they had no 
settled minister. Some amongst them, headed by Caleb Alder, 
adopted Socinian views, and formed a sect of their own, under 
the designation of "Unitarian Baptists"; the remainder contented 
themselves with ministerial supplies borrowed from the neighbouring 
congregations of Hexham and Hamsterley. But in 1780, a change 
for the better was effected. Mr. Richard Fishwick came from Hull 
to Newcastle to open out the Elswick Lead Works, and he infused 
new life into the denomination. With his assistance, the congrega- 
tion were able to secure the services of resident ministers, though, 
from various causes, they were not for some time fortunate in retain- 
ing them. Henry Dawson took pastoral charge of the church for 
a year, and when he left, William Pendered became pastor. Mr. 
Pendered filled the pulpit for six years, and resigned because two of 
his principal members, being pawnbrokers, took offence at a sermon 
which he preached against usury. To him succeeded Mr. Hartley, 
of Bingley, who stayed a twelvemonth; the celebrated John Forster, 
who remained three months; Mr. Skinner, from Towcester, who 
died in the third year of his ministry; Mr. Rowland, who preached 
for a year and a half; and Thomas Hassell, from Plymouth. Mr. 
Hassell, entering upon his ministry in November, 1796, strengthened 
the cause so abundantly that the old meeting-house, near the foot of 
Tuthill Stairs, no longer held the worshippers, and a new chapel, 
higher up the hill, " near the house of Mr. Thomas Small, auctioneer," 
was erected. When Mr. Hassell left, in 1801, the congregation 
obtained supplies and probationers for a couple of years, among 
whom Thomas Berry proved acceptable, but he died in 1804, and it 

VOL. III. 17 


was not until Mr. Pengilly arrived that the Baptists of Newcastle 
finally settled down to a long, resident ministry. 

Mr, Pengilly came to the town, as already stated, at the end of 
March, 1807. His preaching satisfied the Church, which consisted 
of only twenty-nine members, his manners were attractive to the 
congregation, and on the 12th of August, 1807, he was ordained. 
This ceremony over, and his position assured, Mr. Pengilly began to 
take an active interest in various developments of religious enterprise 
in Newcastle. He joined with George Fife Angas in opening a 
Sunday-school. With Archdeacon Prosser, the members of Parlia- 
ment for the town, and his local colleagues in the ministry, he helped, 
in 1809, to institute the Newcastle Auxiliary Bible Society. The 
following year, in conjunction with C. N. Wawn and John Fenwick, 
he started the Newcastle Religious Tract Society. About the same 
time, assisted by George Richardson, Thomas Brunting, and Thomas 
Gibson, he commenced an " Adult School Society," to teach the 
uneducated poor to read the Scriptures. A few years later he was 
instrumental in establishing a local Auxiliary to the Baptist Mission- 
ary Society, with a central committee in Newcastle, and corresponding 
committees in various parts of the Northern Counties. Of this 
organisation he acted for many years as Secretary and Assistant 

Another movement in which Mr. Pengilly played a leading part, had 
for its object the acquisition of land to form a new cemetery for local 
Nonconformists. The old burying-place at the Ballast Hills, where 
two of his predecessors, Mr. Skinner and Mr. Berry, were interred, 
was crowded to the verge of indecency if not pestilence. More suit- 
able provision for the inhumation of those who objected to Church 
of England burial, was an absolute necessity. The committee, under 
whose control a new burying-ground, that of the Westgate, was 
formed, included the names of many townsmen of high repute — 
James Losh, John Bruce, John Fenwick, Emerson Charnley, John 
Bell, Anthony Clapham, Caleb and John Lindsay Angas ; Henry 
and William Angus, Christian Ker Reid, Robert Robinson, John 
Nichol, and the Reverends William Turner, James Pringle, Ralph 
Davison, Richard Gibbs, William Syme, etc., etc., with James Finlay 
as treasurer, and Mr. Pengilly as secretary. 

Contrary to all previous experience, the Newcastle Baptists retained 
Mr. Pengilly as their minister for eight-and-thirty years. They had 
tiffs and troubles, disputations and disagreements, like other volun- 


tary communities of religious men, but the preacher always outlived 
them. With but one exception, his tact and temper carried him 
through whenever the demon of discord raised its head in the flock, 
or the serpent of discontent glided through the congregation. Upon 
that occasion, in 181 6, though he did not succeed in restoring 
harmony, it was the malcontents who took their departure, not the 
minister. Twenty-nine of his young men, headed by John Fenwick 
— " John the Baptist " — seceded to Carpenter's Hall, where they 
preached to themselves till the Rev. George Sample settled among 
them, and procured the erection of a chapel in New Court, West- 

To the literature of his denomination Mr. Pengilly was not an 
abundant contributor. He produced one important work — " The 
Scriptural Guide to Baptism " — a book that had an extensive circula- 
tion, both at home and in America, and was translated into several 
continental languages. The rest of his productions were pamphlets, 
addresses, sermons, etc. — ephemeral literature, whose reputation 
rarely outlives the writer, and of which copies exist only in the 
libraries of local and denominational collectors. 

In 1845, finding his labours burdensorne, Mr. Pengilly resigned 
his charge, and was succeeded by Mr. Sample, of the New Court 
congregation. During his pastorate he had admitted about four 
hundred members to Tuthill Stairs Church fellowship, had been 
instrumental in leading several young men into the ministry (amongst 
them Dr. Angus, for many years President of Regent's Park College), 
and in sending others out as missionaries, and the grateful com- 
munity, mindful of his services, granted him a retiring pension of 
;^5o a year. With this and his savings he retired, first to Eggles- 
cliffe, near Yarm, then to his native town of Penzance, and lastly, 
to Croydon, where he died, March 22nd, 1S65, at the age of eighty- 
three years. 

(BcovGC 1bare pbilipeon, 


The Philipsons of Newcastle, represented in their two main branches 
during the past generation by George Hare Philipson, coach-builder, 
and Ralph Park Philipson, solicitor, derive their descent from 


Philip, a younger son of Philip de Thirlwall, of Thirlwall Castle, 
situated on a rocky precipice above the Tippal. The first of them 
who took the name of Philipson (Philip's son) was Robert, of 
Rolling Hall, and this is set forth in a confirmation of the arms of 
Thirlwall to Rowland and Myles Philipson, who were his grand- 
children. The confirmation is dated i8th May, 1581, and says, 
" which said Rowland, by reason of the Christian name of one of 
his ancestors was called Philip, the son of ye said Philip was called 
Philipson, and so continueth the same Surname." The crest 
granted to Rowland Philipson is recited as follows : — " Upon 
the Healme fyve oystretch feathers, three argent, and two gules, 
sett in a Crowne Murall d'or, and to his issue and posteritie for ever." 
The family of Philipson resided for several generations in the neigh- 
bourhood of Windermere. Their chief seat was Calgarth, in the 
township of Applethwaite. The largest island on Windermere lake 
belonged to the family, on which stood Holme House. According 
to Nicolson and Burn, it is doubtful which was their most ancient 
house in the county; some say HoUing Hall, others affirm Thwat- 
terden or Crook Hall. 

One of the members of this old family, Christopher Philipson, 
of Calgarth, was receiver of rents in Westmorland to King 
Edward VI. Another, Anne, daughter of Myles Philipson, of 
Thwatterden, married Thomas Lord Arundell, of Wardour, and 
their only daughter became the wife of Sir Henry Tich borne, Bart. 
Huddleston Philipson, son of a later Christopher, was a colonel in the 
Royalist army during the Civil War; and Robert Philipson, his brother, 
a major in another regiment, for his martial achievements was sur- 
named " Robin the Devil." It was he who defended Holme House 
when it was besieged by Colonel Briggs, and rode into Kendal 
Church up one aisle and down another in his pursuit. He was 
unhorsed by the guards, and his girths broken; he clapped his saddle 
on to his horse without any girths, vaulted into it, killed one of the 
guards, and rode away. On leaving the church his helmet was 
struck off by the door, and it is still preserved in the sacred edifice. 
Sir Walter Scott introduces the incident into " Rokeby": — 

" When through the Gothic arch there sprung, 
A horseman armed at headlong speed." 

Huddleston Philipson's son, Christopher, M.P. for Westmorland, 
was knighted by Charles II. in 1681. In Windermere Church are 


several interesting monuments of the family, and, in particular, one 
in Latin, which commemorates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot. 

Towards the close of the seventeenth century, John, third son 
of John Philipson, of Calgarth and Melsonby, married Elizabeth 
Watson of Stanhope-in-Weardale, and settled at Lintsgarth in that 
parish. F'rom this union came the two branches of the Philipson 
family in Newcastle. John, eldest son of John Philipson and Eliza- 
beth Watson, was the great-great-grandfather of George Hare 
Philipson, and Nicholas, a younger son, was the great-great-grand- 
father of Ralph Park Philipson. 

George Hare Phihpson, eldest son of John Philipson, of Simon- 
burn, North Tyne, by his marriage with Jane Hare, a daughter of 
George Hare, of Mitford, agent to the Mitford family, was born at 
Parkgate, near Wark, in 1801, While in his teens he entered the 
office of Thomas Davidson, in Westgate Street, Newcastle, whose 
literary and poetical proclivities are described in the biographies of 
Bedingfeld and Pickering, and exemplified in the sketch of Anthony 
Hood. Mr. Davidson was a solicitor. Deputy Clerk of the Peace, and 
distributor of stamps for the county of Northumberland, and it was 
in the stamp department of Mr. Davidson's business that young Mr, 
Philipson passed his youth and early manhood, until, in 1820, he 
rose to the position of deputy distributor. He married, at St. 
Andrew's Church, in 1830, Elizabeth Lucy, the eldest daughter of 
John Atkinson, of Garden House, Newcastle, sister of John Atkin- 
son, of Newbiggen, near Hexham, who acquired from his uncle, 
Leonard Wilson, Newbiggen House, Hallington Hall, and other 
properties, including the old Newcastle coach-building establishment 
in High Friar Street, in which, as recorded on page 164, John 
Martin was apprenticed to the art of heraldic painting. Leonard 
Wilson founded the coach manufactory in 1794, and supplied the 
mail coaches between York and Edinburgh. His father, William 
Wilson, married Elizabeth Surtees,^ only sister and heiress of 
Anthony Surtees, of Newbiggen, who, as ]\Iajor and Commanding 
Officer of the Northumberland ]\Iilitia, saved the metropolis during 
the Lord George Gordon riots. He was offered knighthood at the 
time, and is commemorated in local song: — 

^ Mrs. Elizabeth Wilson in 1804 gave to her grand-daughter, Elizabeth Lucy 
Atkinson (afterwards Philipson), her teapot, "made out of silver extracted from 
her husband's lead-mines at Kingswood, Northumberland," and this teapot is still 
in possession of the family, with some other old silver of the Surtees family. 


" Full fifty thousand stout and bold, 
Were assembled in this riot; 
Five hundred of Northumberland boys, 
Made all these thousands quiet." 

The coach-building business was removed about 1830 to new 
premises stretching from Pilgrim Street to Erick Street, and some 
time afterwards Mr. Atkinson took his brother-in-law into partner- 
ship, forming thereby the firm known throughout the North of 
England as "Atkinson & Philipson." After Mr. Philipson became 
a partner, coaches .were superseded by railways, and the firm de- 
signed and constructed the first railway carriages, and had contracts 
for supplying them to the North-Country Railway Companies 
until eventually these companies built their own. Removing from 
the breezy altitude of Cumberland Row to Pilgrim Street, he took 
up his residence in the old mansion attached to the coach works, 
and there he brought up his family and died, and there his widow 
lived with her son, Joseph A. Philipson, until her death in 1881, 
when it became the home of the Conservative Club. Quiet and 
retiring in his manner, punctual and methodical in his habits, 
Mr. Philipson lived an unobtrusive and unostentatious life among 
the bustling activities of Tyneside. He had no taste for muni- 
cipal administration, and steadily resisted all temptations to enter 
the heated atmosphere of the Town Council, but he filled 
various offices connected with church and parochial work, and 
discharged the duties pertaining to them in a painstaking and 
effective manner. He was churchwarden successively of St. John's 
and St. Andrew's for many years, a Sunday-school teacher and 
an earnest promoter of what in his time was called National 
Education. To his efforts and those of the vicar, the Rev. H. W. 
Wright, was due the erection of the Parish Schools of St. John's 
in Sunderland Street, Newcastle. He helped also to establish and 
carry on the beneficent work of the Royal Victoria Asylum for the 
Blind and the Northern Counties Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. 
The medical charities of the town, too, had his hearty sympathy and 
active support. He was a member of the governing bodies of the 
Royal Infirmary and the Dispensary, and one of the most earnest 
of the philanthropic Northumbrians who founded the Prudhoe 
Memorial Home for Convalescents at Whitley. In 1867 he received 
the only honour he could be prevailed upon to accept, a seat on 
the bench of magistrates for Newcastle. 


Mr. Philipson died on the 5th of June, 1876, aged seventy-five, 
and was buried in Jesmond Cemetery. His surviving sons are (1) 
Mr. John Philipson, J. P., the senior partner in the carriage manu- 
factory, who married the only daughter of the Rev. Dr. Bruce, 
F.S.A., is a vice-president of the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries 
and of the Institute of British Carriage Manufacturers, and the 
author of various useful works on coach-building, harness, etc.; (2) 
Professor George Hare Philipson, M.A. Cantab., M.D. and D.C.L. 
Dunelm, F.R.C.P. London, J.P. for the city. Member of the 
General Medical Council of the United Kingdom, Professor of 
Medicine and Member of the Senate of the University of Durham, 
President of the Newcastle College of Medicine, President of the 
British Medical Association, 1893-94, Senior Physician to the Royal 
Infirmary, Newcastle, and author of several medical works; (3) Mr. 
Joseph Atkinson Philipson, solicitor, who married a daughter of 
William Dickinson, of Benton House, Longbenton, Alderman and 
Justice of the Peace for Newcastle, and a member of the River 
Tyne Commission. 

IRalpb park pbilipson, 


Ralph Park Philipson, eldest son of Nicholas Philipson, by his 
wife Dorothy, only daughter of Thomas Annett, and heiress of her 
maternal grandfather, Ralph Park, was born in Newcastle on the 
ist of October, 1799. His education was begun at the Grammar 
School of his native town, and completed in that of Houghton-le- 
Spring. Choosing the law for a profession, he served articles with 
John Trotter Brockett, solicitor, and in due time was admitted an 
attorney. Mr. Brockett, who, as his biography shows, devoted the 
greater part of his life to the collecting of books, coins, and curios, 
found young Mr. Philipson clever, competent, and willing, and, soon 
after he had qualified himself to practice, admitted him into partner- 
ship. After Mr. Brockett's death in 1842 the junior partner con- 
tinued the business on his own account, and the firm of Brockett 
& Philipson, 18, Sandhill, became that of R. P. Philipson at the 
same place. 


At an early period of his career Mr. Philipson gave proofs of 
conspicuous ability. Clear-headed and painstaking, with a wonder- 
ful faculty for grasping facts and marshalling figures, and a knowledge 
of the law which older heads envied, he made rapid progress in his 
profession. Long before Mr. Brockett died, the Earl of Durham, 
for whom the firm acted, extended confidence to Mr. Philipson. 
With the Lambton influence at his back, and the progressive 
principles of the Lambtons and the Greys in his heart, the young 
attorney became an earnest and successful electioneering agent for 
the Liberal party. He helped to win the battle of Parliamentary 
Reform, and when that object was achieved he laboured as assiduously 
in the cause of Municipal Reform. At the public inquiry in 
Newcastle which preceded the Municipal Reform Act, he attended, 
as a member of a committee of non-freemen, to claim " a better and 
more popular constitution of the government of the town and port, 
the removal of all those oppressive imposts, unequal privileges, 
mischievous partialities, apathetic indifference, and ignorant regula- 
tions which have hitherto cramped the skill, industry, and enterprise 
of the inhabitants; and the adoption of a system which shall at once 
ensure the proper collection and application of the revenue of the 
Corporation, and promote the prosperity of the town and district." 
At the first elections to the Reformed Town Council in December, 
1835, the electors of North St. Andrew's Ward sent him to represent 
them, placing him next to Dr. Headlam, who headed the poll. 

To describe the active part which Mr. Philipson played in New- 
castle Town Council during the forty-four years that he sat there as 
Councillor, Alderman, and Town Clerk would be equivalent to 
writing the municipal history of Newcastle during that period. John 
Selkirk, reporter of the Council " Proceedings," placed him at the 
head of the Councillors whose characteristics he sketched in the 
volume for the year 1841 : — " Deservedly the first to be selected is 
Mr. R. P. Philipson, whose amplitude of talent and scantiness of 
speech are almost proverbial. One of the most striking properties of 
Mr. Phihpson's mind is his power to express his views in the briefest 
language possible. You cannot well admire his hard, and occa- 
sionally somewhat bitter, manner of doing this; but you feel each 
sentence to be so much to the point, and to contain so much really 
valuable matter, that you are carried along in admiration and sur- 
prise, as if new lights were constantly flashing upon your mind, 
until he suddenly ceases, and leaves you wondering that you never 


before thought of what he has said. He is remarkable for giving a 
new feature, and often a new direction, to a discussion. He has the 
judgment never to speak unless he has something pertinent to say, 
and which is always well worth the little trouble it appears to cost 
him to say it. Sometimes, when a question appears to be nearly 
exhausted, and one speaker is merely repeating the observations of 
another, Mr. Philipson will interpose a few words — rather magis- 
terially it may be — which, starting, perhaps, quite a new view of the 
subject, either give rise to a long debate, or suddenly close the 
discussion from a conviction that he has suggested exactly the course 
which ought to be pursued." 

Mr. Philipson retained his seat for North St. Andrew's Ward until, 
in 1857, he consented to be elected an alderman. The honour had 
been pressed upon him seven years before, but he declined to accept 
it. Meanwhile he had been appointed a River Tyne Commissioner, 
and in the municipal year 1855-56 he filled the ofifice of Mayor. 
His term of office covered the period of the noisiest contention that 
had occurred in the town within living memory — the contention 
over the appointment of Vicar Moody to the Mastership of the 
Mary Magdalene Hospital. The Mayor went with the majority, 
and made one of his most effective speeches in support of the 
appointment. Calm and unruffled he faced the storm that followed, 
and when it had passed over, and the angry passions to which it 
gave rise had subsided, most of those who had fallen away came 
back to him, charmed by his cleverness, fascinated by his ability, or 
propitiated by his earnestness and zeal in promoting or defending 
the material interests of the town. It is not too much to say that at 
that time, and for long after, Mr. Philipson was virtually the ruler of 
Newcastle. Down to 1865, when Mr. Joseph Cowen, sen., defeated 
Mr. Somerset Beaumont, the candidates whom he supported for the 
representation of Newcastle were invariably elected; down to the 
day of his death the movements within the Town Council to which 
he gave his adhesion were seldom defeated. Nobody quite under- 
stood how it was done, but done it was. He was a consummate 
tactician, a past-master in "the art of convincing"; when he spoke 
his colleagues listened, and while they listened, they, or a majority 
of them, became convinced that, as Mr. Selkirk wrote in the para- 
graph before quoted, he had suggested exactly the course which 
ought to be pursued. Another quality which helped to strengthen 
his influence in the Council and the town was his transparent 


honesty, his self-denial, his contempt of office and the honours 
attaching thereto. Although he was one of the keenest and most 
enthusiastic agents that ever worked and triumphed for a political 
party, it is said that he never charged a farthing for his services; 
although he laboured and fought for Newcastle the whole of his long 
life, it was with the utmost difficulty that he could be prevailed upon 
to become an alderman, or to accept the honour of the Mayoralty. 
Whosoever might be accused of jobbery, favouritism, or corruption, 
everybody knew that Alderman Philipson's hands were clean. 

Many examples might be cited of the use which Alderman 
Philipson made of his commanding influence to foster and protect 
the industries of his native town, and increase its prosperity. 
Two may suffice. In the Parliamentary session of 1856, Mr. 
Robert Lowe brought in a Bill on behalf of the Government 
which, under the plea of regulating local dues on shipping, and 
on goods carried in ships, proposed to take from Municipal 
Corporations and other public bodies their property in such dues, 
and transfer them to the Board of Trade. If this Bill had become 
law Newcastle would have lost its coal dues and town dues. Alder- 
man Philipson was Mayor, and he forthwith called the townspeople 
together in the Guildhall and, in a long and powerful address, to use 
a common expression, tore the Bill to tatters. His speech, printed 
and circulated in a twelve-page pamphlet, produced a marked eifect 
throughout the country. Ten days after it was delivered Lord 
Palmerston, the Premier, announced that the Bill would be with- 
drawn. In 1 87 1, a prolonged and stubborn strike for a nine- 
hours' working day paralysed trade throughout the northern 
district. Various conferences had taken place between the con- 
tending parties without effecting a settlement. At this juncture Mr, 
Philipson had a consultation with Mr, Joseph Cowen, jun,, and he, 
representing the employers, and Mr. Cowen acting on behalf of 
the men, soon found a basis of agreement, and the strike was 

When Mr. John Clayton announced his intended retirement 
from the Town Clerkship of Newcastle, in 1867, all eyes were 
turned towards Alderman Philipson as the one person specially 
qualified to succeed him. No living man, other than Mr, Clayton, 
possessed such an intimate knowledge of the business of the 
Corporation as he; no living man wielded the same influence and 
authority in the Council. His reluctance to take the office being 


overcome, he was appointed Town Clerk with the hearty approval 
of the whole community. 

In his professional career Mr. Philipson filled several important 
offices. He was solicitor to the North-Eastern Railway Company 
for the local portion of their business ; to the Newcastle and 
Gateshead Water Company; the Newcastle and Gateshead Gas 
Company; and the Masters and Brethren of the Trinity House; 
and Clerk of the Peace for the county of Durham. Outside of 
it he was a member of the coal trade, being the owner, or one 
of the principal owners, of Cassop Colliery in the county of 

Mr. Philipson attended to his duties as Town Clerk till within 
a few days of his death. He occupied his accustomed place in the 
Town Council on the 3rd of December, 1879, and on the i6th of 
that month, in his eighty-first year, he died, and was buried in 
Jesmond Cemetery. He married a daughter of Jonathan Hilton, 
cornfactor and miller in Newcastle, by whom he had three sons, 
two of whom, Mr. Hilton Philipson, J. P. of Newcastle, and Mr, 
Ralph Philipson, of London, survived him. Mrs. Philipson died in 
February, 1873, and to her memory was erected the spacious 
building facing the Town Moor of Newcastle, which bears the 
name of the " Philipson Memorial Orphan Asylum." 

Nicholas John, a younger brother of the Town Clerk, born on 
the 23rd of November, 1801, published in 1820, Flower's "Heraldic 
Visitation of the County Palatine of Durham in the year 1572," 
and died at the age of twenty-four. 


Under the names of " Bedingfeld " and " Ellis " some account has 
been given in this series of a triumvirate of lawyers' clerks, who, to- 
wards the end of last century, varied the monotony of engrossing and 
conveyancing by recreative excursions into literature under the wing 
of their employers, Messrs. Thomas Davidson & Sons, attorneys, in 
Newcastle. George Pickering, the other member of the group, now 
takes his turn in the list. 

George Pickering was the eldest son of a land steward of the same 


name, who for some years looked after the estates of Sir Lancelot 
AUgood, of Nun wick, and afterwards those of Sir William Middleton, 
of Belsay. The place of his nativity was Simonburn, North Tyne, 
in the baptismal register of which parish his name is entered under 
date January nth, 1758. He received the usual country schooling, 
his master being Joseph Atkinson, one of those clever mathe- 
matical teachers, which, for many generations, the banks of the North 
Tyne and Redewater were famed for producing. At a suitable age 
he was sent to Haydon Bridge Grammar School to pick up the 
classics, and in December, 1776, he took his seat as a clerk in the 
office of the Messrs. Davidson. 

The arithmetical knowledge with which Mr. Atkinson had en- 
dowed his pupil, aided by a manly bearing, and an intelligent 
interest in office routine, gave the new clerk a firm position with his 
employers. Before long he was promoted to a post of greater trust 
and confidence. The Messrs. Davidson were stamp distributors 
for Northumberland, Newcastle, and Berwick, and they put the 
management of that department in Mr. Pickering's hands. He was 
thus engaged when, in 1780, Mr. Bedingfeld came to occupy an 
adjoining stool, and the poetic faculty which each of them possessed 
began to find expression and to meet with encouragement. A couple 
of years later Mr. Ellis came upon the scene, and then followed 
those literary diversions which are enshrined in Mr. Ellis's book. 
While Mr. Bedingfeld played the learned philosopher, and Mr. 
Ellis the sentimental swain, Pickering was the jovial and convivial 
poet of the set, who kept them all in good humour. He had a 
keener sense of wit than his companions, a wider range of style, and 
a faculty of imitation which sometimes bordered upon plagiarism, 
and to which perhaps they did not aspire. Three of his pieces are 
printed in Bell's " Rhymes of the Northern Bards," and of another, 
entitled " Donocht-Head," the first verse of which reads as follows, 
Robert Burns wrote that he would have given ten pounds to have 
been the author: — 

" Keen blaws the wind o'er Donocht-head, 

The snaw drives snelly through the dale; 
The gaberlunzie tirls my sneck, 

And, shivering, tells his waefu' tale. 
' Cauld is the night — O ! let me in. 

And dinna let your minstrel fa', 
And dinna let his winding-sheet 

Be naithing but a wreath o' snaw.' " 


Mr. Pickering's principal contribution to Ellis's collection is a 
clever literary hoax, which he perpetrated when Sir H. G. Liddell, 
returning from Lapland, brought two Lapp girls to Ravensworth 
Castle. He concocted a rhythmical ditty of outlandish and uncouth 
words, which nobody had ever seen before, and, with the initials 
" T. S.," sent it to the Newcastle Courant as a genuine song to 
which he had often listened in Lapland, and, to his great delight, 
had heard repeated by the Lapp maidens at Ravensworth. Thus 
it began : — 

" Ouk fruezen tharanno el Tome vau zien ; 

Zo fruezen Lulhea thwe zarro a rien : 

Thwe zarro a rien pa Lulhea teway, 

Zo fleuris erzacken par etta octa." 

The song, accompanied by a translation from the same pen, 
appeared in the Newcastle Courant on the 2nd of September, 1786, 
and on the 21st of October following, Mr. Bedingfeld published in 
the same paper, signing himself " W. V.," a pretended criticism 
of the translation, showing that " T. S." had failed to grasp the 
subtleties of the Lapponian idiom, and . offering a new and more 
correct rendering. The trick succeeded beyond the expectation of 
its perpetrators. An ingenious composer set the words to music, 
and published them as a native song, which the simple-hearted 
foreigners at Ravensworth were in the habit of singing ! Nor was 
that all. Pickering's pseudo-translation actually appeared as genuine 
in an account of the Lapland Tour, published by Mr. Matthew 
Con sett, one of Sir H. G. Liddell's fellow-travellers, and from thence 
was copied into some of the London magazines ! 

Shortly after the publication of this remarkable imposition, Mr. 
Pickering left Newcastle. His subsequent career is involved in 
obscurity. He seems to have fallen into intemperate habits, and to 
have drifted aimlessly about, never settling down to steady and con- 
tinuous employment, or making any serious effort to restrain himself 
from following vicious courses. In his declining years he was taken 
care of by a sister at Kibblesworth. In her house he died on the 
28th July, 1826, aged sixty-eight, and was buried in Lamesley 
Churchyard, where, shortly afterwards, a tombstone was set up " by 
his sister, Elizabeth Pickering, from motives of true affection to her 
much beloved and esteemed brother." 


^be Milliam Procters, 


For the better part of a century, two notable clergymen named 
William Procter filled prominent places in the religious, educa- 
tional, and social life of the northern part of Northumberland. One 
of them was a preacher and pedagogue, the other a parish clergyman 
and author. 

William Procter, the elder, a native of Long Preston in Craven, 
was born on the 4th of October, 1762. He was educated at 
Giggleswick Grammar School, under the Rev. William Paley, father 
of Dr. Paley, and at the age of twenty obtained the mastership of 
the endowed school of Bowes, near Barnard Castle. He married, 
in 1784, Mary Aislabie, a girl of eighteen, and having prepared for 
holy orders, was ordained deacon in 1791, and priest the year 
following, being admitted at the same time to the assistant curacy 
of Bowes Church. In July, 1794, he succeeded Abram Rumney 
as Master of the Grammar School of Alnwick. 

Mr. Procter's career in Alnwick is described by Tate, the historian 
of that town, who was one of his pupils, as highly successful. Many 
of his scholars filled useful and important stations in after-life, and 
some distinguished themselves ; among them were John Baird, an 
eminent surgeon in Newcastle; Robert Weddell, of Berwick, solicitor, 
and Thomas Tate, F.R.S., Mathematical Master of Kneller Hall 
College. "So much was Mr. Procter esteemed by the inhabitants, 
that when the curacy of Alnwick became vacant, they presented 
a petition in his favour to the Bishop of Durham, who, in con- 
sequence, conferred on him the living in July, 1799. Other and 
more lucrative preferments followed; in 181 1 the vicarage of 
Longhoughton, and the following year the vicarage of Lesbury. 
At this time he obtained the degree of M.A. from the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, and was appointed chaplain to Baron Percy. Notwith- 
standing these promotions, his home and his affections were at 
Alnwick, where he continued to teach the grammar school, and to 
live in the old house connected with it." 

In his declining years, Mr. Procter was the recipient of various 
proofs of the good will and esteem of the people among whom he 



laboured. The parishioners of Alnwick celebrated the thirty-sixth 
anniversary of his incumbency by giving him a handsome tea-service 
of silver; and his old scholars, in commemoration of the forty-second 
year of his head-mastership, presented him with a piece of plate bear- 
ing an appropriate Latin inscription. He died in the old Grammar 
School House on the 19th March, 1839, aged seventy-seven, and 
was buried in the porch of St. Michael's Church. Five sons survived 
him — George, a surgeon in the navy; Thomas, a merchant; Richard, 
rector of Kenninghall, Norfolk; Aislabie, vicar of Alwinton ; and 
William, incumbent of Doddington. 

William Procter, third son of the schoolmaster, was born at 
Bowes on the 17th of March, 1791, and was educated by his father 
at Alnwick Grammar School. His acquirements in classical learning, 
and his sober and studious habits, pointed to the ministry or a pro- 
fessorship as his proper- course of life, and with that object in view 
he was sent to St. Catharine's Hall, Cambridge. He took his B.A. 
degree (Senior Optime) in 1S13, and that of M.A. three years later, 
and was elected in due course fellow of his Hall. On obtaining his 
M.A. degree he entered into holy orders, being ordained deacon by 
the Bishop of Durham in 181 6, and priest by the Bishop of Ely in 

Mr. Procter's first clerical employment in the North of England 
came to him in 1824, when the Mercers' Company of London, under 
the Fishbourne bequest, appointed him lecturer of Berwick, in suc- 
cession to the Rev. William Rumney. The name of Rumney, it 
may be remarked in passing, is not a common one in North-Country 
history, and, therefore, there is something noteworthy in the co- 
incidence that his father's predecessor at Alnwick, as well as his own 
at Berwick, bore that name. In 1829 Mr. Procter became curate of 
Norham; in 1833 he went for a short time to assist his father at 
Alnwick; and the following year the Duke of Northumberland gave 
him the living with which his name is identified — that of Doddington, 
near Wooler. His subsequent honours were the degree of M.A., 
conferred, with an honorary canonry at Durham, in 1854, and 
election as rural dean of Bamborough from 1862 to 1866. 

The mark which the Rev. William Procter of Doddington made 
upon the l^orth-Country was polemical. Being a man of energy and 
resource, who kept himself abreast of public movements, here and 
elsewhere, his pen was pretty constantly employed in current con- 
troversies. The local press. Church papers, and denominational 


magazines alike testified to his mental activity. Whenever Church 
principles, as he understood them, needed strengthening, or defend- 
ing, he was ready to meet all comers. He wrote earnestly but 
without asperity, ardently but with much self-suppression, upon all 
sorts of subjects, and his writings had this merit, that if they did not 
always convince his opponents, they rarely offended them. His 
principal publications are these: — 

"Five Discourses; (l) On the Personal Office of Christ, and (2) Of the Holy 
Ghost; (3) On the Doctrine of the Trinity; (4) On Faith; (5) On Regenera- 
tion." 1824. 

"A Sermon on the Epiphany, with a Chronological Appendix." 1850. 

" Pastoral Letter to the Inhabitants of Doddington." 1850. 

" Wiseman Weighed, or the Tactics of Trent." 1851. 

" Marriage of a Deceased Wife's Sister shown to be forbidden in Scripture." 

"Bishop Colenso's Principal Objections to the Historic Truths of the Penta- 
teuch Anticipated and Answered more than Two Hundred Years Ago by 
Archbishop Usher." 1863. 

"Confirmation." A Sermon. 1866. 

An appreciative memoir in the " History of the Berwickshire 
NaturaHsts' Club" for 1877 shows another side of Mr. Procter's 
character: — "As a member of the Club, Mr. Procter took a cordial 
interest in its well-being, and assisted in its researches. Nearly all 
the Rock-inscriptions in the Doddington district were discovered by 
him, and the members of his family. To the records of the Club he 
did not largely contribute, but we owe to him the revisal of his 
excellent son's notes on Chatton; a memoir of his brother-in-law, 
Mr. William Dickson, of Alnwick; and some remarks on Bishop 
Bek's disposal of the Alnwick Barony. About a year before his 
death, he had finished in MS. a history of Doddington." 

Mr. Procter lived to a great age, and continued his preaching and 
letter-writing down to the last few weeks of his existence. Although 
eighty-five years old, he preached as usual on the 17th November, 
1876, and died on the 30th December following. 



3obu IRawlct, 


I^f the later years of Charles the Second's reign a Westmorland 
clergyman, the Rev. John Rawlet, vicar of Kirkby Stephen, received 
from the Corporation of Newcastle the lectureship of St. Nicholas' 
Church. Why he left the living of Kirkby Stephen, to which he 
had been appointed by Philip, Lord Wharton, only six years before, 
is not apparent. It may have been to improve his position, for the 
Westmorland benefice was poor, not exceeding fifty pounds a year, 
while the lectureship at Newcastle was worth ninety pounds per 
annum, with prospects of promotion. Whether that, or some other 
reason, influenced his removal, is not important; it is sufficient to 
know that, in June, 1679, when the Rev. John March was raised 
from the lectureship to the vicarage of Newcastle, Mr. Rawlet was 
appointed his successor. 

Nothing has come down to us respecting Mr. Rawlet's early 
history, and very little can be learned about his career in Newcastle. 
He is known by what he wrote, rather than by what he did. For 
his tastes being literary, his habits were bookish and sedentary, and 
in the public affairs of the town he took no sort of interest. He 
was preacher and teacher, student and author, nothing more. His 
patrons, the Corporation, were impressed by his pulpit work, and in 
1682, when they restored the old chapel of St. Anne, ruinous from 
the time of the Reformation, they appointed him to be the first 
lecturer at that place. His duties were to preach every Sunday 
morning, and to expound the Catechism every Sunday afternoon, for 
which services a stipend of ^^30 a year was added to his salary as 
lecturer at St. Nicholas'. The Vicar opened St. Anne's with a 
characteristic sermon, which was afterwards published under the 
title of " Th' Encaenia of St. Ann's Chappel in Sandgate," wherein 
he commended the public spirit of the Corporation in restoring the 
sacred edifice, and eulogised the new duty which Mr. Rawlet had 
undertaken, on the ground that it was " the shameful neglect of 
Catechising" that had given birth to "those numerous and dangerous 
Sects which were spawn'd in the late times of Anarchy and Con- 

VOL. in. 18 



To what extent Mr. Rawlet sympathised with the Vicar's views on 
political questions does not appear. He was, probably, too fond of 
his books to worry himself about the divine right of the Stuarts to 
the throne; of too gentle and placable a temperament to deal out 
" death and damnation " to his opponents. Bourne describes him 
as "a very pious and charitable man." "He seem'd to have 
imitated the example of Onesiphorus to St. Paul, in making it his 
Business to find out the Sick and Needy, that he might have the 
Pleasure and Happiness of assisting them. For he sought them out 
very diligently and found them, and, therefore, the Lord will shew 
Mercy unto Him in that Day." In a similar strain wrote Nicolson 

WMmm iBoi>. 

and Burn, the historians of Westmorland and Cumberland, when 
entering him in their list of Vicars of Kirkby Stephen: — "His 
character as a most exemplary, pious, and good man remaineth to 
this day" — /.(?., nearly a hundred years after his death. 

Mr. Rawlet continued his ministrations at St. Nicholas' and St. 
Anne's till the autumn of 1686. In the spring of that year the 
Corporation gave him the sum of forty shillings "to buy books." 
Before he could have had much time to enjoy the gift he fell ill ; on 
the 28th of September, at the early age of forty-four, he passed away; 
a couple of days later the graveyard of St. Nicholas' received his 


An incident inexpressibly pathetic preceded his decease. The 
biographer of Ambrose Barnes relates it in a passing reference to 
John Butler (a relative of the alderman's wife), who was Sheriff of 
Newcastle in 1652: — "This gentleman left a daughter, a sober and 
rehgious woman, who married Mr. John Rawlet, a conformist 
minister, a devout and laborious lecturer at St. Nicholas' Church. 
They had been some time in love together; but falling sick he, at 
her request, that she might bear his name, married her upon his 
deathbed, and left her both a maid, a wife, and a widow." Seven- 
teen years later the Registers of St. Nicholas' disclose the sequel to 
this affecting narrative : — "1703. September 3. Mrs. Ann Rawlet, 

Considering the early age at which he died, Mr. Rawlet was an 
industrious author. He published the following books, most of 
them written and issued while he was in Newcastle : — 

" The Christian Monitor, Containing an Earnest Exhortation to an Holy Life; 
With some Directions in order thereto ; Written in a Plain and Easie Stile, for all 
Sorts of People.'"' 

" An Explication of the Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord's Prayer, 
With the Addition of some Forms of Prayer." 

"A Treatise of Sacramental Covenanting with Christ; Shewing the Ungodly 
their Contempt of Christ in their Contempt of the Sacramental Covenant : And 
calling them (not to a Profanation of this Holy Ordinance but) to an Understand- 
ing, Serious, Entire Dedication of themselves to God in the Sacramental Covenant, 
and a Believing Commemoration of the Death of Christ. Written by J. Rawlet, 
B.D., Author of the Christian Monitor." London: 1682. This work ran into 
several editions; the later ones containing "A Preface chiefly designed for the 
Satisfaction of Dissenters, and to Exhort all Men to Peace and Unity. Not 
before Printed." The fifth Edition, "Printed by W. Bonny, for Sam. Manship, 
at the Black Bull in Cornhill, near the Royal Exchange, 1692," is a book of xxxvi.- 
240 pp., sm. 8vo. 

" A Dialogue Betwixt Two Protestants (in Answer to a Popish Catechism, called 
A Short Catechism against all Sectaries), Plainly shewing That the Members of the 
Church of England are no Sectaries, but True Catholicks ; and that Our Church 
is a Sound Part of Christ's Holy Catholick Church, in whose Communion, there- 
fore, the People of this Nation are most strictly bound in Conscience to remain." 
First Edition, 1685. Second Edition, Corrected — London : Printed for Samuel 
Tidmarsh, at the Iving's Head in Cornhill, near the Royal Exchange, 1686. xvi.- 
247 pp., sip. Svo. 

Bourne attributes another book to Mr. Rawlet's pen — viz., " Solo- 
mon's Prescription against the Plague," published in 1685, but no 
other reference to it occurs in local history. 

2 7 6 JOHN RA WLE T. 

On the strength of these writings, the Rev. James Granger, com- 
piling his " Biographical History of England" in 1768, includes Mr. 
Rawlet among the literary notabilities of the seventeenth century. 
He describes him as " a man distinguished by his many and great 
virtues, and his excellent preaching." " He thoroughly understood 
the nature of a popular discourse, of which he has left us a specimen 
in his Christian Monitor; which has been oftener printed than any 
other tract of practical divinity. The late ingenious and learned Mr. 
James Merrick, a well-known clergyman of Reading, distributed near 
10,000 copies of this excellent tract, chiefly among the soldiers." 

In Dr. James Stonehouse's " Friendly Letter to a Patient just 
admitted into an Infirmary" the writer recommends to persons of 
"tolerable circumstances" Rawlet's Treatise on Sacramental Coven- 
anting, which, he adds, has "passed through eight editions, and is 
a lively and judicious book, in which there is a happy mixture of the 
instructive and pathetic." 

After Mr. Rawlet's death his friends issued — 

" Poetick Miscellanies of Mr. John Rawlet B.D. and lale Lecturer of St. 
Nicholas' Church in the Town and County of New-Castle upon Tine. Licensed 
Novemb. 22, 1685, Rob. Midgley." London : Printed for Samuel Tidmarsh, at 
the King's Head in Cornhill near the Royal Exchange, 1687, 144 pp., sm. 8vo. 
This book also went into at least three editions. The third bears the London im- 
print of " Edmund Parker, at the Bible and Crown in Lombard Street, 1721." 

Rawlet's " Miscellanies " consist for the most part of devotional 
pieces, paraphrases, and translations. One of them, "An Account 
of my life in the North," illustrates the pious disposition, gentle 
spirit, and contented mind attributed to the author in Barnes's 
Memoirs and Bourne's History : — 

" Riches I have not, nor do riches need. 
Whilst here at easy rates we clothe and feed. 
I have no Servants whom I may command, 
Nor have I work that needs a Servant's hand. 
I am not high enough to envied be, 
Nor do I one whom I should envy see; 
Here's no applause to make me proud or vain. 
Nor do I meet with censures or disdain. 
And if I want the comfort of a Wife, 
I have the pleasures of a single life ; 
If I no Gallants here, nor Beauties see. 
From slavish Love and Courtship I am free ; 
What fine things else you in the South can name, 
Our North can show as good, if not the same ; 


Ev'n as in Winter you have shorter Nights, 
But Summer us with longer Days requites. 
Thus if my want of joy makes life less sweet, 
Death then will seem less bitter when we meet. 
But what is this World's Joy? 'Tis Innocence 
And Virtue that do truest Joys dispence; 
If Innocence and Virtue with me dwell, 
They'll make a Paradise of an Hermit's Cell."' 

At the end of the 1721 edition of the "Miscellanies" is a list of 
the "Books written by Mr. John Rawlet, B.D., and sold by Edmund 
Parker, at the Bible and Crown in Lombard Street." Containing all 
the works enumerated above, except " Solomon's Prescription against 
the Plague," the list shows that at that date, thirty-five years after 
his death, the writings of Mr, Rawlet were serving their original 
purpose of strengthening the faith, and aiding the devotion of 
Evangelical Christendom. 

Sir Milliam IRcabc, 


During the Border warfare of the sixteenth century, a gallant 
soldier, who figures in history as Captain Reade, acquired fortune 
and achieved distinction. He makes his first appearance in North- 
Country annals as the occupant of a responsible post in Border 
administration, and the hero of an important event connected with 
it. Ridpath, describing one of those spirited incursions which kept 
both nations for centuries in a state of ferment and disquietude, 
introduces the captain, under date 1557, as Governor of the fortress 
of Wark-on-Tweed, which fortress a mixed army of Frenchmen and 
Scots set themselves down to besiege. The besiegers were acting 
without orders from their leaders, and being recalled, commenced to 
retreat; whereupon they were attacked by some Borderers, and other 
forces of the English. " The aggressors, repulsed by the Scots, were 
retiring in distress, when Captain Reade, the Governor of the Castle, 
made a sally for their relief, and renewing the fight, the Scots were 
obliged to retire in their turn, and to cross the river with precipita- 

From the date of this event there is a fairly continuous record of 


Captain Reade's military services and public career. We find him, 
the following year, engaged under Sir Henry Percy and Sir George 
Bowes, in a raid through the Merse. " There they burnt Dunse and 
Langton, and were returning homeward with a great booty of cattle, 
when the Scottish forces that lay at Kelso, etc., came up with them 
at Swinton. The Scottish foot, trusting to the superior number of 
their horse, made a bold charge on the infantry of the English, who 
were obliged to give way. But they were restored to order, and 
kept on their ground by the bravery of Sir Henry Lee, Captain 
Reade, and other officers," and in the end the Scottish infantry were 
all either slain or taken prisoners. 

Distinguishing himself in these frays and skirmishes. Captain 
Reade received promotion. He was appointed one of the captains 
of Berwick, and Captain of Holy Island and the Fames. His duties 
in Islandshire did not require him to live there; he was allowed to 
have a deputy while he resided with the garrison at Berwick. We 
obtain a glimpse of him and of his men at this time, through a letter 
which Sir Francis Leek, Deputy-Governor of the old Border Town, 
sent to Secretary Cecil. This candid friend of Her Majesty's forces 
informed the great courtier that he feared the garrison of Berwick 
were " fonder of thieving than of sermon hearing." " The preacher," 
he adds, "is almost weary. He cannot bring Mr. Somerset nor 
Mr. Reade to hear a sermon ! " From which incident, it may be 
conjectured that the Captain of Holy Island, although a brave 
soldier, was by no means a devout one. 

Captain Reade is frequently mentioned in the " State Papers 
and Letters of Sir Ralph Sadler." In a letter to John Knox, 
dated August 20th, 1559, desiring conference with "Mr. Henry 
Balnaves, or som other discrete and trustie man, for the better 
expedicion of this grete and weightie busyness which you have 
in hande," Sadler expresses the opinion that " if Mr. Balnaves, or 
who soever shall com, it shalbe best that he com by sea to Holy 
Ilande, there to remayne quyetly with Capitayn Rede, till I may be 
advertised of his arryvall there." A few days later the Lords of the 
Privy Council wrote to the Earl of Northumberland and Sir Ralph, 
stating that " fiftye soldiours of Captain Read's bande remayning at 
Warke, mighte be removed to Berwicke," as they had been advised, 
" and joyned to the rest of the said Captain Read's bande servinge 
there." These references serve to show that at the time when Sir 
Ralph Sadler was in the North intriguing for his royal mistress 


against Mary, Queen of Scots, Captain Reade was in confidential 
communication with that astute diplomatist as a faithful servant 
of the English Crown. His fidelity was rewarded a little later 
on, by a lease from the Queen of the Priory and its belongings 
at Holy Island, and of lands and tenements, the water-mill, the 
Grange, and some gardens at Fenham — a village on the north 
side of the Priory ruins. 

In 1569 the rebellion of the Earls broke out, and the Governor 
of Holy Island was among those who were suspected of sympathy 
with the rebel cause. It was an unfounded suspicion, based upon 
the innuendo of Christopher Norton, who tried to conceal his own 
complicity in the insurrection by casting doubts upon the loyalty of 
others; but it caused Captain Reade much trouble. Constable, the 
spy, writing to Sir Ralph Sadler on the 15th of January, 1570, tells 
the whole story: — "Crystoffer Norton can tell yow of Captayn Read's 
part; he was his soldyer, and towld me an yll favored tayl of hym 
the last tyme I was at Brawnspeth before thys, but I thynk he had 
rather dye than accuse. I humeble crave pardon becaus I never 
remembered Crystoffer Norton's words when I ether wrote or spak 
to you; the words were thes: — 'Yf Captayn Read, my captayn, had 
beyn so faythfuU a man of hys promes, as men judges hym to be, he 
had beyn or now amongs us; but I trust yow wyll not constreyn me 
to prove and fend, although yt ys trewe.'" 

Captain Reade, under the influence of this slander, had been 
committed to prison and deprived of his governorship of Holy 
Island and the Fames; but Lord Hunsdon, the Governor of 
Berwick, disbelieving Norton's tale, interested himself on his 
behalf, and laboured to procure his release. A day or two before 
Constable sent his letter to Sadler, Hunsdon wrote to the Queen : — 
" Captain Reed desyers your Majesties favor, only yn hys just cawse 
and trothe to your Majestic, and thynketh himself hardly delt withall, 
to be condemned without tryall; and defyse all the world, or any 
man, than towch or spott hym any way, with any sparke of untrothe 
too your Majestic, eyther by deede, knowledge, consentyn, or con- 
selement, and desyres only hys purgacyon, whyche yor Majestie 
cannot well deny to hym." 

This vigorous letter procured the Captain's release, for he took 
a prominent part, with Lord Hunsdon, in quelling the rebellion of 
Leonard Dacre, who was utterly defeated in a battle fought near 
Naworth Castle on the 20th February following. His honours and 


emoluments were, however, still withheld from him, and Lord 
Hunsdon, resenting the dilatoriness of the Court in restoring to 
favour a brave man, whom he believed to be wrongfully accused, 
wrote to Cecil, on 3rd of April, a stirring appeal for justice. 

Lord Hunsdon's determined attitude settled the matter. Captain 
Reade, relieved from suspicion, accompanied his gallant defender on 
a fighting tour through Scotland in May following. In due time 
he recovered his position at Holy Island, obtained a renewal of his 
leases, and became once more a trusted servant of the Crown. 
There is an interesting note of him in the will of Thomas Ilderton, 
of Ilderton, dated April 29th, 1578 — "To Sir Thomas Graye (of 
Chillingham) my beste horse, freind Graye, with all my houndes 
saving onlie two, that I gyve to Mr. Captayne Reade, that ys to 
saye, Waklet and Ruffler." 

Restored to favour. Captain Reade justified in his subsequent 
career Lord Hunsdon's intercession. A bold and fearless warrior, 
and a strategist of remarkable ability, he was always ready for battle 
or beleaguer, skirmish or foray. So much confidence was reposed 
in his military experience that in December, 1585, when the Earl of 
Leicester was sent over to Holland to assist the Dutch against Spain, 
" William Reade, Captain of Holy Island," was specially selected to 
be one of the heads of the expedition. In Flanders, as upon the 
Scottish Borders, he distinguished himself by personal bravery and 
tactical skill. Lord Leicester, writing to Secretary Walsingham in 
September, 1586, respecting the victory at Zutphen, awarded the 
honours of the field to Sir William Stanley and Captain Reade, 
adding that " He (Stanley) and old Read are worth their weight 
in perle; theie be ij as rare captens as anie prince living hath." A 
few days later, in a despatch describing the capture of the Zutphen 
forts, he informs Walsingham that he " never knew a worthier old 
fellow then old Read is, nor so able bodie to take pains; he hath 
past all men here for pains and perilL" Nor did the Earl content 
himself with compliments. He honoured the captain, and himself, 
by conferring upon him the dignity of a knight. Robert Carey, son 
of Lord Hunsdon, and afterwards Earl of Monmouth, sent by Queen 
Elizabeth to seek her favourite, the Earl of Essex, who was supposed 
to have stolen away to join the troops in Flanders, and meeting with 
him at Sandwich willing to return to Court, crossed the Channel to 
Ostend, where he found his old friend from Holy Island installed in 
a high position as "Sir William Reade, Commander of the Town." 


When the troops were recalled from Flanders, Sir William Reade 
returned to his home — the old Manor House of the monks at Fen- 
ham, and there he remained for the rest of his days. A note of him 
is to be found among the Hunter MSS. at Durham, wherein, under 
date 1592, he is seen presiding over his court in the Island, and 
recording the finding of his jury to the effect that he was lawfully 
possessed "of and in all lands that belong to the Deanerie of 
Durham within Holy Island, by vertue of a lease for xxi yeares, 
made unto him by ye Dean and Chapter of Durham, shewed unto 
us under their scale, dated 13 Jan., 32 Eliz." He was living there, 
old and blind, when James of Scotland succeeded to the English 
throne. In his fighting days he had been honoured by the 
acquaintance of the Scottish king, and now that he was blind 
and decrepit, the monarch did not forget him. Travelling south- 
wards in 1603 to receive his English Crown, James made a detour 
to Holy Island, for the purpose of comforting his old friend in 
the day of affliction. " His Majestic, on his way from Berwick 
to Widdrington, of his kingly goodnesse and royall inclination, to 
the honour of armes, and reverence of virtuous age, vouchsafed to 
visit that worthy honourable souldier. Sir William Read, who, being 
blind with age, was so comforted with the presence and gracious 
speeches of the king, that his spirits seemed so powerful within 
him, as he boasted himselfe to feele the warmth of youth stirre 
in his frost-nipt bloud. The way his Majestic had to ride being 
long, enforced him to stay with this good Knight the lesse while; 
but that little time was so comfortable that his friends hope it will 
be a meane to cherish the old Knight all his life long." 

"All his life long" proved to be little more than a year. He 
received the king on the 8th of April, 1603, and he died on the 6th 
of June, 1604. He was buried in Holy Island Church, within the 
altar rails, where a blue slab, bearing the following inscription, in- 
dicates his resting-place: — 

" Under this Ston lies the Body of Sr. William Reed, of Fenham, Who 
Departed this Life the 6th of June, 1604. Contra vim Mortis non est Medicamen 
in Hortis." 

An inventory of Sir William Reade's goods and chattels " valuable 
as affording a complete conspectus of the house of a man of his 
rank at the commencement of the seventeenth century " is printed at 
length in Raine's "North Durham." The old knight had a well- 


stocked mansion, with the usual appUances for making his own malt, 
beer, butter, and candles. Among his "plenishings" were three 
pictures — "Action and Diana," "Abraham Offering up Isaac," and 
"The Holy Ghost Descending on the Virgin Mary"; together with 
a few books — "One large Bible standing upon a Desk"; "Mr. 
Calvin's Commentarie upon Job"; " Sleaden's Commentaries"; 
" One Table of the Ten Commandments"; " Couper's Dictionarie"; 
" Ryder's Dictionarie"; also, " One Chronicle of England, Scotland, 
and Ireland (Holinshed's) and One other cronicle, Henrie Jones 
hath." " Henrie Jones " was a neighbour, who, if he had borrowed 
Holinshed, instead of the other " cronicle," would have read the 
following interesting passage relating to the reigns of Mary and 
Elizabeth : — " I have set downe these notes as I have learned the 
same of such as had good cause to know the truth thereof, being eie- 
witnesses themselves of such enterprises and exploits as chanced in 
the same warres; namelie captaine Read . . . with others, which of 
their courtesie have willinglie imparted to me the report of diverse 
such things as I wisht to be resolved in." 

Three times married, Sir William Reade was succeeded by his 
son. Sir William Reade of Fenham, knight, who took to wife, ist, 
Dorothy, daughter of Sir Cuthbert Collingwood of Eslington, and 
2nd, a lady whose surname is not recorded. He died in 1616, 
having had fourteen children, the eldest of whom, William Reade, 
Esquire (3), purchased the estate of TitUngton, near Eglingham, in 
1618, and transmitted it to his son of the same name. With this 
last William Reade, great-grandson of the founder, who married 
a daughter of Henry Gray, of Kyloe, and in 1646 was described as 
greatly in debt, the name of Reade of Fenham and Titlington 
disappeared from the annals of local history. 

arcbibalb IRccb, 


The Reeds of Northumberland divide themselves into three main 
lines, or branches. First, the historical family, the Reeds of 
Troughend, who trace their settlement in the county to some 
remote period anterior to the Norman Conquest, and claim to 
derive their name from the river Rede, upon whose banks the estate 


of Troughend is situated. To this ancestral line belonged Percival 
Reed — " Parcy Rede " — keeper of Redesdale, treacherously slain by 
the Halls of Girsonfield, and thereafter celebrated in local legend, 
song and story. Secondly, the Reeds of Cragg, of which branch 
Colonel Reed, of Springwell, is the present representative. Thirdly, 
the Reeds of Hoppen, one of whom, marrying Robert Roddam, of 
Hethpool, became the grandmother of Lady Collingwood. All these 
Reeds claim to have come from the same old stock — the Cragg and 
Hoppen divisions being scions, or offshoots, of the Troughend line. 

At the beginning of last century another family of the same name 
sprang into affluence and position in the county — the Reeds of 
Chipchase. Their common ancestor was Archibald Reed, a trades- 
man in a small way of business at Bellingham, near the junction of 
Redewater with the North Tyne. Although located near the 
source of the race and the confluence of the river, Archibald Reed, 
of Bellingham, does not appear to have claimed relationship with, or 
descent from, the old family at Troughend whose surname he bore. 
He was a man of frugal and industrious habits, who, like Gallio of 
old, " cared for none of those things." His chief aim in life was to 
be a successful tradesman, and he realised his wishes. So success- 
ful indeed were his dealings with his neighbours that he was able to 
start his sons in life with excellent prospects, and to enjoy in his old 
age the ease and comfort which follow an exemplary and a prosper- 
ous career. In the old church of Bellingham, a monument of 
blue and white marble, upon which is cut the following inscription, 
perpetuates his memory: — 

" This Marble is raised to the Memory of Mr. Archibald Reed of Bellingham, 
Who died in the Year 1729, aged 86 Years; By Mr. John Reed, his dutiful Son. 
Too small a Monument of filial Piety to so indulgent a Father. 

By frugal acts of Industry he rose, 

Preserved his virtue and provoked no foes. 

But died lamented as he lived beloved, 

For all his actions just and generous proved. 

Always subservient to a poor man's suit, 

His gains were sweetened by a good repute. 

Unenvied he his fortune fairly left, 

And mourned his country, of such worth bereft." 

By his marriage with Sarah, daughter of ^\'illiam Ridley, of the 
Yethouse, a small proprietor of Tarset, " Old Archy Reed " had 
two sons — Ralph and John, and a daughter named Martha. Ralph, 


Sheriff of Newcastle in 1710-11, and Mayor in 1716-17, died before 
his father, and was buried in St. Nicholas' Church, on the 12th 
April, 1720, leaving no issue. John survived, and in 1732 pur- 
chased Chipchase Castle, the ancient seat of the Herons, and the 
same year was appointed High Sheriff of Northumberland. He 
married, September 9th, 1740, Mary, daughter of Gawen Aynsley, of 
Little Harle, and dying in April, 1754, was buried in the chapel of 
Chipchase, whither his wife had preceded him. Having no children 
to inherit his property, he bequeathed it to his nephew, Christopher 
Soulsby, son of his sister Martha, and Christopher Soulsby of New- 
castle, her husband. Christopher Soulsby took the name of Reed, 
and married, April 25th, 1757, Sarah, daughter of Sir Francis Blake 
of Twizell, "with a fortune of ;^io,ooo." The seventh child, and 
youngest son of their marriage, born February 9th, 1766, received 
the name of his great-grandfather — Archibald. 

Archibald Reed, educated at the Grammar School of Newcastle, 
served his time to a member of the Mercers' branch of the Merchants' 
Company, and about the year 1790, set up in business for himself on 
Newcastle Sandhill. Being a young man of good address and 
pleasing manners he made friends, and at Michaelmas, 1794, when 
the annual choosing of the Corporate officers took place, the post of 
Sheriff of Newcastle was conferred upon him, although, so far as the 
municipal records show, he had not previously taken any active part 
in civic administration. From that date, however, to the end of his 
days, he was identified with the governing body of the town. He 
became a Common Councilman the year following his Shrievalty, 
and upon the death of Hugh Hornby, the local antiquary, in 1798, 
he obtained the gown of an alderman. Two years afterwards, the 
last of the eighteenth century, he was elected Mayor. He filled that 
responsible office six times altogether, viz., in 1800-1, 1806-7, 1819- 
20, 1826-27, 1830-31, and 1831-32. 

During the earlier part of his municipal career, Archibald Reed 
was in the thick of the struggle against financial secrecy and ex- 
travagance which Joseph Clark led to victory in 1809-10; and 
although he did not share Mr, Clark's views, he steered a course 
which earned the gratitude of that sturdy reformer and his intrepid 
allies. At a meeting of the Cordwainers' Company, of which Mr. 
Clark was a steward, held in December, 181 2, it was resolved: — 
" That the freedom of this Company be presented to Mr. Alderman 
Reed, in token of our regard and gratitude for the many and 


disinterested services rendered by him to the Burgesses of New- 
castle-upon-Tyne in particular, and to the public in general." And 
a few days later the stewards of the whole of the Incorporated 
Companies of the town voted him their thanks "for his unremitted 
attention to the rights and interests of the free Burgesses." Mr. 
Reed had used his influence with his colleagues in the Corporate body 
to obtain for the freemen more direct control over the management of 
the town's business, and had interested himself in securing a better 
allowance to the inmates of the hospitals in which their widows and 
orphans were sheltered. Stimulated by the appreciation of his 
services which the foregoing resolutions testified, he turned his 
attention to a reform of the town prison. In December, 18 18, 
accompanied by Mr. James Archbold, and Mr. John Dobson, 
the architect, he made an unexpected visit to the gaol in Newgate, 
put the gaoler through a long examination, and published the result 
of his inquiries in a document which, at the spring assizes of 1820, 
induced the grand jury to present the place as " inconvenient, in- 
sufficient, and insecure," and led, two years later, to the passing 
of an Act of Parliament for building a new gaol in the Carliol 

Towards the close of his fourth mayoralty, Mr. Reed did the 
honours of the town to the Duke of WelUngton — presenting him 
with the honorary freedom of the borough, and entertaining him at 
dinner in the Mansion House, and a ball at the Assembly Rooms. 
From the glowing periods of the local reporters, it may be con- 
jectured that the Mayor discharged his agreeable functions with 
courtesy, dignity, and good sense. By this time the burgesses had 
discovered that Alderman Reed, who meanwhile had retired from 
business and taken up his residence in the country, at Whorlton, 
was a model Mayor, and that they could not have him as chief 
magistrate too often. Thus, while seven years passed between his 
third and fourth terms of office, an interval of but four years separ- 
ated the fourth from the fifth, and the fifth and sixth were con- 

Under the old regime the office of Mayor of Newcastle was worth 
having. In the Corporation accounts for 1830-31 and 1831-32 
(Mr. Reed's fifth and sixth mayoralties), the annual salary of the 
chief magistrate is entered as ;^2, 100, besides which he enjoyed 
the free use of the Mansion House, carriages, horses, state barge, 
etc., etc. The Mansion House expenses in the first-named year 


amounted to ;^i,o85 15s. 6d., and in the latter to £,^2% 6s. gd., 
and there were payments for the Mayor's gardener, newspapers, 
butler's clothes, etc., in addition. A part of Mr. Reed's popularity 
was attributable, without doubt, to the fact that he expended his 
official income in hospitality and charity. The Corporation auditors, 
at the end of his fifth Mayoralty, make this point clear, for they 
passed a resolution thanking him " for the great attention which he 
has uniformly paid to all applications that have been made to him 
in his official capacity, and for the generous hospitality he has 
maintained, worthy and becoming the station of chief magistrate 
of this ancient and respectable Corporation." To this testimony 
his friends and admirers contributed by presenting to him, upon 
his retirement in 1832, a silver soup tureen of the value of ;^ioo. 

Into the Reformed Town Council Mr. Reed did not seek to enter. 
Returning to Newcastle to reside, he passed the remaining six years 
of his life in quiet retirement. In February, 1842, his eldest brother, 
John (who had lost Chipchase, and the bulk of his fortune, by the 
failure of the Northumberland Bank), died, and a week afterwards 
his eldest sister, Isabella, passed away. These bereavements told 
upon his health, and before the year was out, on the 13th of 
December, he also departed. By public subscription, to which 
all classes of the community contributed, monuments to his memory 
were erected in St. Nicholas' Church, and at the place of his inter- 
ment in Jesmond Cemetery. The memorial in St. Nicholas' is a 
Gothic arch surmounted by a bust of the deceased, with the mace 
and sword of the Corporation on either side. The monument at 
Jesmond Cemetery, overtopping all other memorials of the dead in 
that beautiful place of sepulture, bears upon its southern face a 
summary of his life and character. 

IRobcrt 1RbobC6, 


Few of the eminent men whose pubHc services have been described 
in these sketches have left to posterity a memorial of their good 
works so lofty and so durable as that with which Robert Rhodes 
enriched the North of England when he originated the beautiful 


lantern tower of St. Nicholas' Cathedral, Newcastle. " It lifteth up 
a head of Majesty, as high above the rest as the Cypresse Tree 
above the low Shrubs," writes Gray in the " Chorographia." " Sup- 
posed, as to its Model, to be the most curious in the whole 
Kingdom," continues Bourne. " Surpassing the Cathedral of St. 
Sophia at Constantinople, the Mosque of Sultan Saladin at Jerusalem, 
the Church of St. Peter at Rome, and even the Temple of Minerva 
at Athens," adds Vicar Carlyle, in a fit of generous, and apparently 
genuine, enthusiasm. 

Gray tells us that this " stately high Stone Steeple, with many 
Pinakles," and its " stately Stone Lantherne, standing upon foure 
Stone Arches," was " builded by Robert de Rhodes, Lord Priour 
of Tynemouth, in Henry 6 dayes." Bourne, doubting the accuracy 
of this statement, was " rather inclinable to believe that one Robert 
Rhodes, Esq., who lived in this Town in the Reign of Henry the 
6th, was the true Person." Subsequent inquiry has confirmed 
Bourne's conjecture. It is true that there was a Prior of Tynemouth 
named Robert Rhodes in the latter part of Henry the Sixth's reign, 
but there is no proof that he troubled himself in the slightest degree 
with matters relating to Newcastle or its churches. By common 
consent, therefore, the erection of St. Nicholas' lantern-crowned 
steeple is ascribed to Robert Rhodes the esquire. 

Robert Rhodes, " learned in the law," was a son of John Rhodes, 
of Newcastle, and Isabel, his wife. Besides the lawyer, John Rhodes 
had a son named after himself, and either he, or that son, succeeding 
the great merchant, Roger Thornton, was Mayor of Newcastle from 
Michaelmas, 1429, to the same date in 1432. Robert Rhodes did 
not accept municipal office. In 1427 he was elected one of the 
representatives of Newcastle in Parliament, and he occupied the 
same position in seven successive elections — perhaps in eight, for 
the returns of the Parliament which met in 1445 (the eighth after 
his first appointment) have not been preserved, and the names of 
the Newcastle members are unknown. While he was thus occupied, 
before 1435, he married Joan, daughter and heiress of Walter 
HaAvyck, of Little Eden, near Easington. This lady was connected, 
in some way or other, with William Hoton, of Hardwick, in the 
parish of Sedgefield, steward of the convent of Durham, in whose 
will, dated 1445, " Robert Rodes, and Joan his wife," and Roger 
Thornton, appear with separate remainders. Shortly after his mar- 
riage his name occurs in the Rolls of Bishop Langley (1436) as a 


commissioner, with Roger Thornton, Sir WilHam Eure, and six 
others, to take inquisition concerning all persons seised of lands, 

rents, offices, etc., of the annual value of loos. and upwards, and, 
therefore, liable to the payment of a new subsidy granted to the 


king. The following year, described as Robert Rhodes, of the 
parish of All Saints in Newcastle, he conveyed property at Gates- 
head to one William Abletson, and Agnes his wife, and about the 
same time he became lessee for forty years of the manor of Wardley, 
near Jarrow, formerly a demesne residence of the Priors of Durham. 
In 1440, Henry VI. appointed him Controller of Customs at New- 
castle. Bourne prints the documents relating to this appointment 
at full length — viz., (i) The King's Mandate; (2) the Royal Order 
to the Prior of Durham to receive Rhodes's oath that he would faith- 
fully discharge the duties of the office; (3) the form of oath taken; 
(4) the Prior's certificate that the oath had been duly administered. 

Loans of money to the convent at Durham and other acts of 
devotion to the Church procured for Robert Rhodes in August, 
1444, a grant of "Letters of Fraternity" from the Prior and the 
brethren, entitling him to be addressed as "brother," and to par- 
ticipate in all masses, vigils, fasts, prayers, divine offices, and other 
works of piety performed by the monks and their successors during 
his lifetime, and after his death to the usual suffrages of prayer for 
the welfare of his soul. The following year, on the decease of 
William Hoton, the Prior wrote to Sir Thomas Neville, brother of 
the Bishop, suggesting that Hoton's successor in the stewardship of 
the convent should be "a learned man," as Hoton was, and desiring 
him to " charge Robert Rhodes, my Lord's servant, and yours, and 
my trusty friend, to be our steward, for we had never more need." 
Sir Thomas complied with the Prior's wish, and Rhodes, accepting 
the appointment, was assigned an official residence at Durham, in 
the South Bailey, near the Watergate. Soon after his appointment 
he presented to the shrine of St. Cuthbert a handsome cross of gold, 
" containing portions of the pillar to which Christ was bound, and of 
the rock in which his grave was hewn," and in return, to make his 
occasional residence within the precincts agreeable, the grateful 
monks obtained for him licence to construct a little door, " in the 
outer wall of the castle of Durham, in the southern bailey, opposite 
his mansion there, and contiguous to the garden thereof, and to have 
free ingress and egress thereby." In 145 1, with Roger Thornton, 
the younger, he became a trustee of the possessions of William 
Johnson's chantry (St. Catherine's) in St, Nicholas' Church, New- 
castle, and the same year he acquired the vill of Whetlawe, or 
Wheatley Hill, near Wingate. During all this time he retained his 
Newcastle home, as appears from a letter addressed to him in June, 

VOL. III. ig 


1456, by the Prior of Durham, desiring him, being on business in 
London, to purchase two hogsheads of the best " Malvesye " that 
could be bought there, and send it, in his own name, to his " house 
in Newcastle." 

His wife, Joan Hawyck, dying childless, Robert Rhodes married 

Agnes , a lady whose surname has not been discovered. The 

date of the marriage is unknown, but it was before September, 1459, 
on the 14th of which month, Agnes, wife of John Bedford, of Hull, 
and widow successively of John Strother and Richard Dalton, of 
Newcastle, bequeathed " to Agnes Rhodes " a girdle embroidered 
in silver gilt. About this time, prior to the deposition of Henry VI. 
(1461), whose licence was obtained for the purpose, he and his 
second wife refounded the chantry of St. John Baptist and St. John 
Evangelist, in St. Nicholas', to find a priest for ever to say mass 
daily, and pray for their souls and the souls of all Christian people. 
And now occurred a remarkable episode in Robert Rhodes's 
career of pious devotion to the Church. His friend and patron. 
Bishop Neville, had died in 1457, and Laurence Booth, Dean of St. 
Paul's, had been appointed his successor. To him, in 146 1, Robert 
Rhodes sent the following curious petition — curious as a specimen 
of orthography and grammar, and still more curious in its confession 
of injury to the rights and privileges of the See: — 

" Be it to remembre, that I Robert Rodes satt, at the Castell in 
the Newe Castell upon Tyne, in the Counte of Northumberland, by 
force of a wryte of diem clausit extreinum after the deth of the Erlle 
of Warwyke, and thar toke an inquisicion of the Castell of Bernarde 
Castell in the Bysshopryke of Dureham, and informed tham, that 
ware sworne in the saide inquisicion, that the saide Castell of 
Bernarde Castell was in the Counte of Northumberland, quarin I 
hurte the liberte and title of the Chirch of Seynte Cutbert of 
Dureham, qwylk me sore repentis. Qwarefore I beseke my Lorde 
of Dureham, of his grace and absolucion at the reverence of Jhesu. 
Wretyn of myne awne hande at Dureham, the xxix day of Aprill, 
the yere of the reigne of Kyng Edwarde the iiij the fyrste." 

In that same year it was certified that Robert Rhodes detained a 
missal, of the value of ten marks, given by the baron of Hilton to 
the chapel of that place. How that matter was disposed of does 
not appear, but in 1465 Bishop Booth granted him a licence to 
found a chantry at St. John's Chapel, in Weardale, and to appoint a 
chaplain, paying him loos. a year out of the manor of Whetlawe, to 

^ OBER T RHODES. 2 9 x 

pray for the happy estate of himself, and Agnes Rhodes, his wife, and 
for the souls of John and Isabel, his father and mother, and Henry 
Ravensworth. At the same time the agent of the Convent of 
Durham, travelling to Rome, was directed to obtain for him— /w 
Domino Roberto Rodes — a Veronica, or handkerchief bearing a repre- 
sentation of the features of the Saviour. 

Robert Rhodes died on the 20th April, 1474, without issue. His 
estate at Little Eden went, under settlements, to the Trollop family; 
Wheatley Hill and the rest of his property descended to his heiress, 
Alice, daughter of his brother John, who married Richard Bain- 
brigge, a younger member of the family of Bainbrigge, of Snotterton, 
near Staindrop, 

Agnes, second wife of Robert Rhodes, survived him. To her, for 
her "well-known deeds, gifts also, and precious presents conferred 
upon us," the monks of Durham, in 1495, g^ve letters of fraternity; 
and five years afterwards, when she was dead, the Corporation of 
Newcastle honoured the memory of the departed by providing a 
house for the priest of the chantry in St. Nicholas', which she and 
her husband had refounded. 

No will, or inventory, of Robert Rhodes, nor any record of his 
interment, can be found. In the chancel of old All Saints', of which 
parish he was an inhabitant, there was at one time a large stone, 
" insculp'd with Brass," bearing an imperfect inscription, denoting 
that the person whom it commemorated was a promoter, or bene- 
factor, of churches. It is supposed that this stone marked Rhodes's 

At what time Robert Rhodes set up the stately crown of St. 
Nicholas' is unknown. That its erection was due to his munificence 
can hardly be doubted. "A little worse for smoke and substitu- 
tions," writes Mr. Longstaffe, "there it stands, a joy; and, aloft in 
the groining of the coeval tower which supports it, we read. Orate 
pro antma Roberti Rodes." The same prayer, and shields bearing 
Rhodes's arms, were at one time to be seen in the churches of All 
Saints and St. John. When All Saints' was rebuilt, these memorials 
disappeared. At St. John's one of the shields decayed, and an attempt 
was made to reproduce it. " But," wrote the late James Clephan, 
" not long had the new shield and inscription occupied the place of 
the old ere an iconoclastic chisel was raised against the legend, and 
Orate pro anuna fell before its edge — leaving the grammar of Roberti 
Rodes to shift as it misht." 


3o6epb 1Ricbarb6on, 


Among the eminent men who owe their origin to the quiet, pastoral 
town of Hexham, a prominent place must be assigned to Joseph 
Richardson, dramatist, satirist, poet, and Member of Parliament. 
He was born in that town in the year 1755, and after receiving a 
sound education in the local Grammar School, was sent to St. John's 
College, Cambridge, to be trained for holy orders. He distinguished 
himself at the University by the elegance and vigour of his composi- 
tions, both in prose and verse, earning thereby the commendation of 
his tutors, and the admiration of his fellow-students. The death of 
his father before his studies were completed left him at liberty to follow 
his own inclinations, and being attracted to London by a love of 
the drama he adopted the advice of literary friends there that he 
should relinquish his intention of entering the Church, and turn his 
thoughts to the profession of the law. In 1778, he quitted the Uni- 
versity, and the following year entered himself a student at the 
Middle Temple, put himself under a special pleader of eminence, 
and in 1784 was called to the Bar. 

While at the Temple Richardson became acquainted with members 
of the Whig Opposition, led by Fox, Burke, and Sheridan. His 
political principles being the same as theirs, he became exceedingly 
zealous in their cause, and exerting the talents with which he was 
amply endowed in its support, he forgot his graver studies and, by 
degrees, was alienated from his professional pursuits. One of the 
methods employed by the Opposition to discredit the government 
was the publication of a satirical work called " The Rolliad." It 
took the town by storm, and in a few years ran its course through 
twenty-one editions. " The Rolliad " was written by four persons, 
of whom Richardson was one, and it is said that his contributions to 
it were the most popular, because they were the most biting, most 
sardonic, most rhythmical of the series. The "Rolliad" was followed 
by " Probationary Odes for the Laureateship," and of these odes three 
emanated from Richardson's pen. " Political Miscellanies ; By the 
Authors of the Rolliad and Probationary Odes," came next, and 
among his contributions to that series Mr. Richardson sent " The 


Delavaliad," quoted on page 57 of our second volume. In 1792 he 
published a comedy, entitled " The Fugitive," the prologue of which 
was written by Tickell, and the epilogue by General Burgoyne. It 
was acted with considerable success, " the dialogue being peculiarly 
neat, spirited, elegant, and classical, and the whole manifesting so 
much power of sentiment, wit, and humour, that the playgoing 
public much regretted that he never resumed his dramatic studies 
after this successful trial of his powers." 

About this time Richardson made an attempt to rid himself of 
the entanglements of convivial society and party politics, attended 
the courts, went on circuit, and placed himself under instruction of 
an eminent serjeant-at-law. But " unfortunately his turn of mind 
was rather calculated to do credit to a large fortune than to acquire 
one," and again he relinquished his profession and never resumed 
it. Introduced to Hugh, second Duke of Northumberland, he was 
elected, in 1796, and again in 1802, one of the parliamentary 
representatives of the Duke's pocket borough of Newport, in Corn- 
wall. "All who knew him entertained the strongest persuasion of 
his becoming one of the most distinguished parliamentary orators. 
Qualified, nevertheless, as he was both by nature and education to 
fulfil those expectations, a diffidence in his own power unhappily 
precluded him from availing himself of those high advantages which 
his situation as senator held out to him." He held a high place, 
however, in the Duke's circle, and that nobleman advanced him, 
on loan, a sum of ;!^2ooo to enable him to join Sheridan in the 
proprietorship of Drury Lane Theatre, The speculation proved 
disastrous, Richardson's health gave way, and on the 9th of June, 
1803, at Virginia Water, near Windsor, he died. 

Richardson married "a lady of the family of the learned and 
reverend Dr. Watts," and by her had five daughters, four of whom 
survived him. In 1807 his widow published a sumptuous book, 
entitled "Literary Relics of the Late Joseph Richardson, Esq., 
consisting of the comedy of the Fugitive and a few Short Poems ; 
with a Sketch of the Life of the Author by an Intimate Friend." 
From that sketch the foregoing narrative has been condensed. The 
volume was published by subscription, and among the subscribers 
are many Northumbrians — Beaumont, Bigge, Brandling, Davidson, 
Fenwick, Heron, Hodgson, Lawson, Loraine, Ord, Plummer, Ridley, 
Selby, etc. 


V^OQZQ Baron 1Ricbarb6on, 


At the end of last century, facing the Town Wall in the Back Lane, 
High Friar Street, Newcastle, stood the charity school given to the 
parish of St. Andrew by Sir William Blackett. The master of the 
school, passing rich on jP^t^o a year and a free house, was George 
Richardson, descendant of a family of small landed proprietors in 
the lower part of North Tyne, who, marrying against the wishes of 
his parents, had been compelled to seek a living in other pursuits 
than those of his ancestors, and in default of a better, had chosen 
the calling of a schoolmaster. To him were born, while so employed, 
two sons who afterwards became men of mark in Newcastle — Thomas 
Miles Richardson, the artist, and Moses Aaron Richardson, author 
and publisher. 

Moses Aaron Richardson, born in 1793, was educated with 
Richard Grainger, the future rebuilder of Newcastle, in the old 
charity school, under the eye of his father. At the age of thirteen, 
he was deprived of his parent's watchful care, but the eldest brother, 
Thomas Miles, stepping into the old dominie's place, carried on the 
school and kept the family together till he, the youngest son, was 
able to fend for himself. In whose employment his youth was spent 
does not appear. When the school was given up, the two brothers 
started on separate, though interdependent courses. Thomas Miles 
entered upon the rough and tantalising paths of Art; Moses 
Aaron struggled along the equally difficult and uncertain by-ways 
of Literature. 

In early youth Moses Aaron Richardson had become enamoured 
of genealogy and local history; of heraldry and antiquities. Most of 
his spare time was occupied in collecting obituary notes from the 
local press, copying inscriptions in the parish churches, and tracing 
heraldic devices from memorial tablets in the public halls, and places 
of sepulture in and about his native town. His first adventure in 
authorship was — 

"A Collection of Armorial Bearings, Inscriptions, etc., in the Parochial 
Chapel of St. Andrew, Newcastle-upon-Tyne." Newcastle: Printed by Edward 
Walker, 18 18. 8vo, 34 pp. 


This little book, illustrated on the title-page with a drawing of the 
church by his brother, Thomas Miles Richardson, and twenty-three 
plates of arms, was published by subscription. Ninety persons, 
mostly leading public men in Newcastle, put their names to the 
subscription list. As soon as the book was completed, the compiler 
issued prospectuses of a much larger undertaking. 

" M. A. Richardson begs permission to state that the approbation his friends 
and the public have shown to his publication of the Armorial Bearings and 
Inscriptions in the Parochial chapel of St. Andrew, induces him most respectfully 
to solicit their attention to another which will contain those of Saint Nicholas, 
with a Vignette View of the Church, and other embellishments from Drawings by 
T. M. Richardson. The plates for the work will be executed in the best style by 
Messrs. Armstrong & Walker under the immediate care of the Publisher. The 
work will comprise two hundred coats of arms, engraven on copper, a Vignette 
View of the Church, and other devices. It will be published in four parts, royal 
octavo, each part containing about fifty Engravings, with Letter Press. Price to 
Subscribers, each part 12s. 6d. ; to non-subscribers, 15s., to be paid on delivery." 

A hundred and twenty-eight subscribers were obtained, and in 
1820 the work was completed, forming two handsome volumes. Mr. 
Richardson followed it up with a book which, although conducted 
on similar lines, appealed to a larger section of the community, 
and secured a much longer subscription list. Co-edited by James 
Walker, it was entitled — 

" The Armorial Bearings of the Several Incorporated Companies of Newcastle 
upon Tyne, with a Brief Historical Account of Each Company ; Together with 
Notices of the Corpus Christi or Miracle Plays, Anciently Performed by the 
Trading Societies of Newcastle upon Tyne. Also a Copious Glossary of the 
Technical Terms used in the Work." Newcastle: Printed by Edward Walker, 
Pilgrim Street, 1824. 8%'o, X.-64 pp. and 29 plates. 

About this time Mr. Richardson commenced business for himself. 
He opened a shop at No. 5, Blackett Street, as a " bookseller, 
stationer, music and print seller, colourman to artists, and picture 
frame maker," with a circulating library. From thence he removed 
to 1 01, Pilgrim Street, the shop which formed the junction of that 
thoroughfare with Blackett Street, and there he remained till the 
completion of Grey Street afforded him more convenient premises. 
During his early days at Pilgrim Street he was the local agent for 
the sale of lottery tickets, a dealer in rare prints and pictures, a 
collector of scarce works on the fine arts, poetry, and music. For 
some years after the completion of the series of "Armorial Bear- 
ings," he gave up his time to book-collecting, book -selling, and book- 


circulating, rather than to bookmaking. With the exception of the 
letterpress to a series of views of " The Castles of the English and 
Scottish Borders," which his brother Thomas projected, and relin- 
quished at the third number, he published nothing of his own till 
the close of 1837. At that date, having in the meantime added 
letterpress printing to his business, he issued — 

" Directory of the Towns of Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead for the year 
1838." Newcastle: M. A. Richardson, loi, Pilgrim Street. 

Like many other collectors of local annals and passing events, 
Mr. Richardson projected a history of Newcastle, and went so far 
with the project that his brother prepared a set of views to accom- 
pany it. Mackenzie's portly quarto on the same subject rendered 
the Richardson scheme abortive. But in the same year that he 
issued the Directory, on the occasion of the first visit of the British 
Association to Newcastle, he published an illustrated volume of 
360 pages, entitled — 

" Richardson's Descriptive Companion Through Newcastle-on-Tyne, and 
Gateshead ; With their environs included within a Circuit of Ten Miles ; 
Designed as a Useful and Entertaining Guide to all Subjects of Interest and 
Curiosity for which the Locality is celebrated : To which is prefixed An Inquiry 
into the Origin of the Primitive Britons." Newcastle: M. A. Richardson, loi, 
Pilgrim Street, 1838. Re-issued with an introduction, being the descriptive 
portion down to date, in 1846, when the Royal Agricultural Society of England 
held its annual show in Newcastle, 

A few years earlier, in 1824, Mr. John Sykes, of Newcastle, had 
issued a volume of " Local Records," or historical events occurring 
in Northumberland and Durham. The book found favour, and in 
1833 it was re-issued in an enlarged form, comprising two stout 
volumes. Mr, Richardson conceived the idea of bringing out a 
much more comprehensive work, based upon the same lines, but 
with the added attractions of local legend and story, ballad and 
song. He commenced to issue the publication in 1838, and it went 
on till 1846, when he had completed eight volumes, royal octavo, 
bearing the title of — 

" The Local Historian's Table Book of Remarkable Occurrences, Historical 
Facts, Traditions, Legendary and Descriptive Ballads, etc., etc., connected with 
the Counties of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, and Durham." 

The work is divided into two divisions — five volumes Historical, 
ranging from a,d, 84 to 1842, and three volumes Legendary; the 
whole of them illustrated by woodcuts of antiquities, arms, etc., 


numbering altogether about 850. It is a monument of patient 
research and industrious compilation, but, coming so soon after 
Sykes's volumes, it was a comparative failure. Great part of the 
impression was left on the publisher's hands, and for years after- 
wards copies in sheets were obtainable at little over waste paper 

Before the " Local Historian's Table Book " was well out of hand, 
Mr. Richardson commenced to issue a series of Reprints of Rare 
Tracts, etc., chiefly illustrative of the history of the Northern 
Counties, beautifully printed in crown octavo, with illuminated 
dedications and initial letters, on a fine thick paper, with fac-simile 
titles, and other features characteristic of the originals. Only a 
hundred copies of each tract were struck off, and the series was 
completed in seven volumes — four historical, two biographical, and 
one miscellaneous — at the price of seven guineas. 

Shortly after they were finished, Mr. Richardson, finding that his 
laborious efforts to collect the historical records of his native town 
were not appreciated, emigrated to Australia. He arrived in the 
colony of Victoria some time in the year 1850, obtained a situation 
as rate-collector in Prahran, a suburb of Melbourne, lived a retired 
life till, on the 2nd of August, 187 1, in the seventy-eighth year of 
his age, he died, and was buried in St. Kilda's cemetery there. 

George Bouchier Richardson, son of Moses Aaron Richardson, 
was brought up as a compositor in his father's printing office. The 
artistic surroundings of his boyhood made him a tasteful printer, his 
father's literary activities imbued him with a love of local history and 
antiquities, and by the time he was of age he was able to render 
valuable assistance in the various enterprises which his father had 
taken in hand. Many of the woodcuts which illustrate the " Table 
Book," and all the illuminations in the " Reprints of Rare Tracts " 
were his productions. Joining the Newcastle Society of Anti- 
quaries, he contributed three useful papers to the Society's published 
volumes : — 

"An Account of the Discovery of some Roman Relics in the 
Western Suburbs of Pons Aelii " (i}^ pp., 4to). 

" An attempt to indicate the Site of the Roman Station at Newcastle 
upon Tyne, and the Course of the Wall through that town" (20 pp., 

"A Muster of the Fencible Inhabitants of Newcastle upon Tyne in 
the Year 1539, derived from the Original preserved in the Rolls 


Chapel ; preceded by some Observations on the System of Watch 
and Ward" (22 pp., 4to). 

He wrote also an illustrated " Guide to the Newcastle and Berwick 
Railway," published by his father in 1846, and designed as a means 
of agreeably occupying time, which, according to the compiler, " from 
the incessant rumbling of the carriages on their onward passage, can- 
not possibly be devoted to conversation ; " a pamphlet on " Plague 
and Pestilence in the North of England " ; and three papers on 
" The Mosstroopers of the Borders," which appeared in The Northern 
Tribune for May, June, and July, 1854. Among his most intimate 
friends was the late James Clephan, then the far-famed editor of the 
Ga/eshead Observer. Under Mr. Clephan's guidance he frequently 
lectured at the Gateshead Mechanics' Institute on local subjects, such 
as " The Topography of Ancient Newcastle," " Masters and Appren- 
tices in the Olden Time," " The Walled Town of Newcastle," "The 
Monk's Stone," etc., most of which lectures were printed in his 
friend's newspaper. In 1850 he delivered a course of three lectures 
at the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society, on " Newcastle- 
on-Tyne: Its Memorabilia and Characteristics," followed, in 1852, 
by two others, on " The English Border, during the Middle and Later 

When his father emigrated to Australia, Mr. George succeeded to 
the business, and removing his establishment to West Clayton Street, 
endeavoured to combine artistic printing with literary composition. 
The effort was a failure. He was an artist and man of letters, but 
his commercial abilities were not of a high order, and after struggling 
on for three or four years he determined to follow his father. Some 
time in 1854 he went to Melbourne, in which city he obtained a 
situation as proof-reader on the Melbourne Age, and librarian of the 
Melbourne Mechanics' Institute. From that somewhat humble posi- 
tion he rose to the successive sub-editorships of the Geelong Daily 
News and the Ballarat Star, and finally to the editorial chair of the 
Wallaroo Times, in South Australia. In 1874 he left Wallaroo, and 
settled in Adelaide, where he taught drawing, and painting in water- 
colours. He died suddenly of heart disease at North Adelaide, on 
the 28th of November, 1877. 


(Ihomat? flDilcs 1Ricba^^tvn, 


Thomas Miles Richardson, eldest son of the schoolmaster, was 
born on the 15th of May, 1784. Like many, if not most geniuses, 
he exhibited his future capacity when a mere child. One day, while 
he was yet in petticoats, a friend of his parents found him drawing 
the figure of a cock on the floor of the room with a piece of chalk, 
and presented him with a shilling for it. In his eleventh year, going 
to Alnwick on a visit to some relations, he made his first attempt at 
sketching from nature. The subjects were a view of Alnwick Castle 
from the Pasture, and another of Coquet Island from Alnmouth. 
His box of colours consisted of one pennyworth of sap-green, a piece 
of stone-blue cribbed from the laundry, and of gamboge another penny- 
worth. These rude sketches he preserved till within ten years of his 

Bound apprentice to John Gibson and Lancelot Usher, joiners 
and cabinet-makers in Newcastle, he practised drawing at every oppor- 
tunity, and when he was out of his time he took lessons in furniture 
drawing from Thomas Pether, carver and gilder in Dean Street. 
He carried on the cabinet-making business for a short time, and 
then his father's death having left the mastership of St. Andrew's 
school vacant, he was prevailed upon to accept it. He had married 
at the expiration of his apprenticeship, he had to assist his brother, 
and, therefore, there was good reason for accepting a permanent 
situation although the remuneration was only ;Qio a year and a free 
house. In this position he continued for about seven years, supple- 
menting his income meanwhile by the sale of drawings and paintings, 
and by teaching drawing to a few pupils, the first of whom were the 
sons of William Fife, surgeon — William and John (afterwards Sir 
John) Fife. 

Having resigned his office of dominie he devoted himself to the 
profession of an artist The first remarkable picture which he 
produced was " Newcastle from Gateshead Fell," which the Corpora- 
tion purchased for fifty guineas. It is said that Sir Thomas Law- 
rence, who was at the Mansion House at the time the Duke of 
Wellington visited Newcastle, asked Mr. Archibald Reed, then 


Mayor, the name of the artist who had painted this piece, and when 
told it was by a Newcastle man, he expressed his surprise that the 
artist had not gone to reside in London. 

About 1816, Mr. Richardson commenced, in conjunction with 
William Dixon, an illustrated work in coloured aquatint, representing 
the chief objects of interest in Newcastle and the Northern Counties. 
This work was placed in the hands of Mr, Emerson Charnley, but 
very few numbers appeared. In 1833, his brother, Mr. M. A. 
Richardson, and himself commenced the joint publication of the 
" Castles of the English and Scottish Borders," a splendid work, 
intended to supply the defects of Scott's " Border Antiquities." 
This work was got up in sumptuous style; the plates were in mezzo- 
tint, and engraved by him without assistance; but delay between the 
periods of publication reduced the subscriptions, so that after two 
numbers had appeared, and a third had been nearly completed, the 
work was unwillingly relinquished. A few years previous, he had 
etched, and, in conjunction with his brother, published, a series of 
etchings of antiquities in Newcastle, many of which are now levelled 
with the ground; and at different times he engraved views of 
Melrose and Dryburgh Abbeys, and by the aid of a private litho- 
graphic press, produced "The Side, Newcastle," "Easby Abbey, on 
the Swale," " Alnwick Bridge," etc. 

In 1822, in conjunction with H. Perlee Parker, and under circum- 
stances described in Parker's biography (see page 250), he opened 
the first fine art exhibition in the North of England. It was held at 
his own house in Brunswick Place, Newcastle, and he contributed to 
it fourteen pictures, the most important being a view of "Stirling 
Castle— Evening," and "The Old Mill at Ambleside." The following 
year he showed twelve pictures and drawings; in 1824 twenty-two. 
When the Academy of Arts in Blackett Street was completed, in 
1828, the exhibitions were removed from Brunswick Place to the 
new location. Two years later he produced four huge pictures 
covering 1,357 f*^et of canvas — "Melrose Abbey by Moonlight," 
" Interior of the Hermitage at Warkworth," " Entrance to the Shrine 
of Henry V. in Westminster Abbey," and " A view from the Cavern 
of Majuri in the Bay of Salerno " from a sketch by Edward Swin- 
burne. These were exhibited with dioramic effects and excited 
great interest, being the first pictures so treated in Newcastle. In 
1835 he painted the celebrated picture, "A View of the Side, 
Newcastle, with the Annual Procession of the High Sheriff of 


Northumberland going to meet the Judges of Assize for the Northern 
Circuit," which was purchased by the Corporation. Altogether, at 
the various exhibitions in Newcastle, he must have shown about 
three hundred pictures in oil and water colours; the majority of 
which are in the possession of local collectors and connoisseurs. 

When he was approaching his sixty-third year, the infirmities of a 
constitution never robust, and early and severely tried, brought his 
busy life to a close. He died on the 7th of March, 1847, and was 
buried in Jesmond Cemetery. Twice married, he was the father of 
a large family. By his first wife he had George, an artist, who, when 
rapidly rising in his profession, was seized with a consumptive dis- 
order, and died in 1840; Thomas Miles, who settled in London in 
early life, and soon won a name in his father's profession; and 
Edward, who for some time before his father's death acted as his 
substitute, assisted by Henry Bordon, the eldest son of the second 

Milliam IRicbarbson, 


William Richardson, who at the turn of the century occupied 
a prominent position in shipping and literary circles on the north 
side of the harbour of Tyne, was born at Little Harle, Kirk- 
whelpington, on the 26th of May, 1759. Having chosen the 
profession of a teacher, he opened a school at Backworth, and 
from thence, about the year 1790, removed to North Shields, 
where he commenced business as a notary public, and became 
secretary to several marine insurance clubs. In youth he had 
acquired a taste for local antiquities, and for the music, songs, 
and tales of the Borders, and now, having found his vocation, 
he published, at intervals, specimens of his poetic talents and 
antiquarian knowledge, for private circulation among his friends. 
He was a frequent contributor to the periodicals of the day, and 
an attentive correspondent of the local press. One of his little 
books, entitled " Croft Spaw, Yorkshire : A Brief Address with 
Digressions," obtained some celebrity, and ran into a third edition, 
which was printed by Appleby, of North Shields, in 1822. Another, 
" The Odes of Anacreon Translated by William Richardson " (1824), 


was described by a writer in the Newcastle Courant in highly eulogistic 
terms. " It gives the luscious strains of the bard," he wrote, " in such 
chaste, smooth, and elegant verse, as places Mr. Richardson amongst 
the classics of his country, and would have done honour to the 
Clarendon press of Oxford." There was at that time at Whitburn, 
near Sunderland, a " Dilettanti Club," and the gentlemen composing 
it, adopting the views expressed in the newspapers, presented the 
translator with a cairngorm, set in gold, on which was cut the profile 
of the Grecian bard, as a memorial of their appreciation and regard. 
Few local collectors possess copies of Mr. Richardson's effusions, 
though at the time they were written they were much prized and 
sought for. In the sale catalogue of Thomas Bell's great local 
library there was a collection of " Fugitive Poems," culled from 
periodicals and newspapers by an admirer of Mr. Richardson, and 
bound up with critical notes and notices of his works. Among 
his privately printed books, one entitled " Hotspur " is highly 
spoken of, and in the Newcastle Magazine for 1825 his style of 
composition may be studied. The editor of that magazine, present- 
ing to his readers a portrait of Akenside the poet, accompanied it 
by an ode which Mr. Richardson composed and recited when the 
centenary of Akenside's birth was celebrated within the walls of the 
old house in the Butcher Bank, Newcastle, where the poet was 
born. The " Ode " scarcely maintains the reputation assigned to 
Mr. Richardson by the local press, being stilted, turgid, and weak. 
The best passage in it is the following : — 

" Oft would the Bard, enraptur'd on the heights 
Of Tyne, whose copious streams six thousand years 
Have roU'd to swell the mighty ocean-wave, 
Tune the heroic string, while Ravendale, 
Then beaming in his front, re-echo'd back 
The proud, th' imperial Theme. Or smote with zeal, 
At dawn of day, trace the wild winding brook 
To Jesu-Mount; there snuff the early breeze. 
Loaded with scent of blossom, and with Health 
Sedately ramble round the whiten'd thorn." 

In his business transactions Mr. Richardson is described as "the eye 
of the shipping interest, its watchful guardian, and ready advocate," 
whose " powerful mind and able pen were always ready to aid any 
patriotic, useful, or philanthropic undertaking." To his exertions 
was chiefly due the establishment, in 1802, of the Shields Subscrip- 
tion Library, and the erection of the handsome building, with its 


huge clock dial, at the foot of Howard Street, in which, four years 
later, the institution was located. 

Mr. Richardson died suddenly on the 29th of August, 1824. 
Shortly afterwards his friends and admirers set up in Tynemouth 
Church a marble tablet, bearing the following inscription to his 
memory: — 

" In memory of William Richardson, of North Shields, Public Notary, and 
Secretary to several of the Shipping Associations of this town for thirty-eight 
years. His strong natural powers were highly cultivated by extensive reading, 
and an enlarged observation of men and manners. His poetical talents were 
pourtrayed in numerous pieces of considerable merit. As a friend and neighbour, 
he was uniformly kind and benevolent ; whilst his exertions and resources were 
never denied to the calls of charity and public improvements. He died suddenly, 
at the age of sixty-five years, without any previous indisposition, on Sunday, the 
29th day of August, 1824, after attending divine service in this church. This 
tablet was erected to his much revered memory by the subscriptions of his friends. 

Dear to his friends, humane and good, 

Of strong perceptions — always clear. 
His works abound with mental food. 

With beauties shining rich and rare." 

Milliam IRicbarbson, 


Local annalists have been far from kind to local poets and rhymesters. 
They tell us that Mr. So-and-so, who obtained considerable celebrity 
as the author of This and That, died upon such and such a date, and 
there they leave him. , His name and his writings survive, and oft- 
times nothing more. Such was the fate of William Richardson, a 
child of misfortune, who, a hundred years ago, carried on the business 
of a corn merchant in Newcastle, wrote satirical verse, and ended his 
days a prisoner for debt. All that Sykes can give us about this 
notable versifier is contained in the following brief paragraph: — 
"181 7, June 12. Died in the gaol of Newgate, Newcastle, where 
he had been confined several years, Mr. William Richardson, formerly 
an eminent corn merchant in that town. Mr. R. possessed consider- 
able talents, and various were his satiric effusions, the chief of which 
is ' The Newcastle Attorneys,' which was privately circulated, and of 
course has become exceedingly scarce. His widow placed a very 


singular epitaph over his remains, in Heworth Chapel-yard, which 
has since been much mutilated." 

Fortunately there are copies of " The Newcastle Attorneys " in 
existence, and though we know nothing of the writer's origin and 
career, we can judge of his ability from the chief production of his 
Muse. It is a 32mo pamphlet, printed for private circulation, and 
issued anonymously, and its object is to hold up to public scorn 
certain local lawyers, through whose proceedings he was committed 
to the custody of Gaoler Gee, the Keeper of Newgate prison. Upon 
the title-page we read: — 

"The Newcastle Attornies, or Villany Displayed : 
A Satirical Poem. 
Fair honest Truth my Muse inspires, 
Nor rage nor spleen her bosom fires, 

The Public Good her aim: 
The virtuous she'll hold up to view, 
The base with lash she'll quick pursue 
And hold them up to shame. 
Printed for the Author, Pro Bono Publico, 1809." 

The author expresses an opinion in his preface that in all 
probability no town in England has "so much cause to complain 
of impositions practised by attornies as that of Newcastle-upon-Tyne; 
there having, of late years, a set of ignorant, debauched young fellows 
got themselves initiated into the profession who in place of an ac- 
quisition have positively become a public grievance." For which 
reason, and "in order that these wretches may, in some measure, be 
exposed to public view, I shall, in the following poem, endeavour 
to delineate their sundry characters; not doubting but, by a perusal 
thereof, the public will be able to discriminate those of the profession 
who, in common justice, ought to be marked as the pests of society; 
which it is to be hoped will have at least a tendency to induce many 
of them to quit the profession of the law for the army or navy, 
where they may be of some service to that country to which (as 
attorneys) they are at present a disgrace." 

There are thirty-six verses altogether in this remarkable com- 
position; most of them like this: — 

" Newcastle for Attornies fam'd, 

Tho' most of them degrade the name — 

They, sure, our town disgrace : 
Satire thy honest weapon draw, 
And scourge these base limbs of the law, 
That miscreant, motley race." 


The epitaph in Heworth Churchyard, noted by Sykes, consists of 
sixteen doggerel lines, headed " The Tomb of William Richardson, of 
Greenside, late Corn-merchant, Newcastle, who died June 17th (not 
1 2th as in Sykes), 18 17, in his fifty-fourth year," and ending with 
" After offering thirteen shillings in the pound " — an evident allusion 
to the hardship of his imprisonment. It is now in great part un- 
decipherable, but the last six lines can be made out as follows: — 

" So like the western goat in Daniel's dream 
Which came with noted horn and choleric theme, 
To stamp his cloven feet on Tyne's mercantile head, 
Who pushed his ships all airts to bring them bread ; 
But God, that puUeth doun, and raiseth up, will see 
To lop his foes, like th' arm of Gaoler Gee." 

Sir ITboinae IRib^cll, 


The Riddells are an old and honourable family in the North of Eng- 
land, giving High Sheriffs to Northumberland, and Sheriffs, Mayors, 
and Parliamentary representatives to Newcastle from generation to 
generation. As far back as the municipal year 1 500-1, Thomas Rid- 
dell was Sheriff of the town, and in 1510-11, 1521-22, and 1526-27, 
he was Mayor. His successor in civic honours, William Riddell, 
Sheriff in 1575-76, ]\Iayor in 1582-83 and 1595-96, was his grandson, 
son of Peter Riddell, merchant, by a marriage with Dorothy, sister of 
Sir Robert Brandling. William Riddell, son of Peter and grandson 
of Thomas, married twice — ist, Ann Lawson, by whom he had 
Thomas, the subject of this narrative; 2nd, Barbara, daughter of 
Alderman Anderson, who brought him, among other progeny, 
Peter, afterwards Sir Peter Riddell, Sheriff in 1604-5, Mayor in 
1619-20, and 1635-36, and M.P. for the town in 1624, 1626, 1628, 
and 1640. 

Thomas Riddell, issue of the first marriage, took to wife Elizabeth, 
daughter of Sir John Conyers, of Sockburn, knight, and was Sheriff 
of Newcastle in 1601-2. In the following year, when James I. came 
through Newcastle on his way to the English throne, and was received 
with such reverence and obeisance by the people as led him to ex- 
claim, " By ma saul, they are enough to spoil a gude king ! " he 

VOL. III. 20 


knighted the Mayor, Robert Dudley, and, shortly afterwards, he 
conferred the like honour upon Thomas Riddell. In 1604-5, ^"^ 
in 1616-17, Sir Thomas was Mayor; and in 1620 and 1628 repre- 
sented Newcastle in Parliament. He was bailiff in 1605, 16 14, 
and 1620, of the bishop's town of Gateshead, and there, having 
acquired considerable property on that side of the Tyne through his 
father, and being himself a " grand lessee " of the coal in Gateshead 
and Whickham, he took up his residence. He was living there when 
the Scots entered Newcastle, after the skirmish at Newburn, and 
being a sufferer by their invasion he petitioned King Charles I. 
in terms that enable us to ascertain the position which he occupied, 
and the manner in which he had been accumulating wealth. He 
states " That being an inhabitant in Gateside, near Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne, the Scots army, now of late, since their coming thither, have 
taken and disposed of all your petitioner's corn, as well that in his 
garners, being a great quantity, as also his corn in the ground ; and 
had spoiled and consumed all his hay, both of the last year and this 
year's growth ; have taken and do keep possession of his two milnes 
of great value ; have spent his grass, and spoiled many acres of his 
ground by making trenches in it ; have wasted and disposed of his 
coals already wrought ; have spoiled and broken his engines, and 
utterly drowned and destroyed the best part of his coal-mines ; have 
banished his servants and overseer of his lands and coal-works ; have 
plundered divers houses of your petitioner's tenants and servants, 
and taken and spoiled their goods, so that they are not able to pay 
your petitioner any rents, nor to do him any services. By all which, 
your petitioner is already damnified ^^1,500. And for all which 
premises the said Scots have not given any satisfaction to your peti- 
tioner nor his tenants ; whereby your petitioner and his posterity are 
like to be ruinated and undone (most of your petitioner's estate con- 
sisting in the said coalyerie), unless some present course be taken for 
your petitioner's relief," etc. 

Gateshead House, the mansion in which Sir Thomas Riddell 
lived, had been built upon lands belonging to the ancient Hospital 
of St. Edmund. It was a beautiful house, in a lovely situation, with 
the glittering spires of Newcastle to the north, the verdant slopes of 
Gateshead Fell and the valley of the Team to the south, and the 
wide-spreading Tyne, dotted with islands, and alive with craft, away 
down in the west. His fertile lands had been laid waste by Lesley 
and the Scots, and his house had been made, so to speak, desolate. 


The Scots cared for none of these things, but when they came back 
to besiege Newcastle in 1644, they remembered the petition in 
w^hich he had poured forth his complaints, and they, or their friends, 
played him a grim joke. A letter was addressed to him, purporting 
to emanate from General Lesley, in which his love of home and 
garden, goods and gear, were held up to ridicule. Whether the 
letter ever reached Sir Thomas, or was simply circulated privately, 
like a modern "squib" or "take off" is not known. Copies of it 
got afloat, with various readings, and in 1764, a few weeks after the 
Newcastle Chronicle was started, what purported to be " the original " 
was sent to the editor for publication, and printed as follows: — 

" Sir John Lesley's Letter to 5/> Thomas Riddle of Gateshead^ 
upon the Siege of Newcastle by the Scots, in the Reign of 
Charles I. 
" Sir Thamas, 
" DEtween me and Gad it maks my heart bleed bleud, to see 
the wark gae thro' sae trim a gairden as yours. I ha been 
twa times wi my cusin the general, and sae shall I sax times 
times mare afore the wark gae that gate: But gin aw this be 
doun, Sir Thomas, ye maun mack the twenty punds throtty, 
and I maun hae the tagged tail'd trouper that stands in the 
stawe, and the little wee trim gaying thing that stands in the 
newk of the haw, chirping and chirming at the newn tide of the 
day, and forty bows of beer to saw the mains with awe. 

" And as I am a chivelier of fortin, and a limb of the house of 
Rothes, as the muckle main kist in Edinburgh auld kirk can 
well witness for these aught hundred years bygaine, nought 
shall scaith your house within or without, to the validome of a 
twa penny chicken. 

'■^ I am yoier humble servant, 


" Major general, and captin over sax score and twa men and some 

maire, crowner of Cumberland, Northumberland, Marryland, 

and Niddisdale, the Alerce, Tiviotdale, and Fife; Bailie of 

Kirkadie, governor of Brunt Eland and the Bass, laird of 

Liberton, Tilly and Whooly, siller tacker of Stirling, constable 

of Leith, and Sir John Lesley, knight, to the bute of aw that." 

This comical communication, highly suggestive of a hoax, is 

suggestive, also, of many an " ower-true tale " of levies made in that 

bitter period — a period when, as appears by the records of the 


Gateshead vestry, " the great new gate " was carried off to their 
quarters by the Scots; "which gate did hang at the entering into 
the Town Fields," and was only recovered by a ransom of fourteen- 
pence ! Town Fields, and gate by which they were entered, had 
little quarter from the Covenanters, who must often themselves, as 
well as the Gatesiders and their neighbours, have been reduced to 
severest straits. But this by the way. 

William Lithgow, a travelled Scottish tailor, who was an eye- 
witness to the siege of Newcastle in 1644, and wrote "an 
experimentall and exact relation " of the " diverse conflicts and 
occurrences " that fell out there during its continuance, tells his 
readers that " as to the inhabitants resyding within, the richest or 
better sort of them, as seven or eight Common Knights, Aldermen, 
Coale Merchants, Pudlers, and the like creatures, are altogether 
Malignants, most of them being Papists, and the greater part of all 
irreligious Atheists, the vulgar condition being a Masse of silly 
ignorants." Sir Thomas Riddell was one of the " Common Knights " 
whom Lithgow libelled. He signed the letter, with twenty-nine 
others, in which the authorities of Newcastle refused to surrender 
the town to the Scots, and probably was one of the four or five 
hundred citizens who fled to the Castle and held out to the last 
extremity. Much more than is here recorded of Sir Thomas 
Riddell, his sons and family connections, may be read in the 
" Chronological History of Newcastle and Gateshead," and in 
Longstaffe's appendix to the " Memoirs of Ambrose Barnes." For 
present purposes it is enough to add that he did not live long after 
the siege of Newcastle. He died, probably at Gateshead House, on 
the 30th of March, 1650, and was buried two days later, but whether 
in his own parish church of Gateshead, or in St. Nicholas', Newcastle, 
among his kindred, is not certain. The Registers of Burials in both 
churches contain an entry of his interment. 

The second son of Sir Thomas, named after him, and also 
knighted (throwing, thereby, a little confusion into local history), was 
Recorder of Newcastle. He is usually styled "of Fenham," where 
he resided. During the Civil War he became a colonel of foot in 
the king's service, and Governor of Tynemouth Castle. When 
Tynemouth surrendered through "the pestilence having been five 
weeks amongst the garrison with a great mortaHtie, soe that they 
were glad to yeeld, and to scatter themselves abroad," Sir Thomas 
made his wav to Berwick, from which place he effected his escape to 


the Continent in a small fishing smack. He died in 1652, two 
years after the death of his father, " a broken and banished man," 
his lordship of Tunstal having been previously sold to satisfy the 
composition levied upon him, amounting to about as much as it was 
worth. He was buried in the church of St. Jaques at Antwerp. 

Gateshead House passed to the Claverings of Callaley, and it was in 
their possession when a later Scottish outbreak caused its destruction. 
For, as the Duke of Cumberland was passing through Gateshead in 
January, 1746, to put down the young Pretender, a mob of keelmen 
and labourers showed their loyalty by wrecking the mansion and the 
" Popish Chapel " attached to it, and burning them to the ground. 

MiUiam 1Ri^^cll, 


The Riddells of Felton, Swinburne Castle, and Cheeseburn Grange 
are descendants of Sir Thomas Riddell, of Gateshead House, through 
his son the Recorder — Sir Thomas Riddell of Fenhani. By the 
marriage of the latter with Barbara, daughter of Sir Alexander 
Davison, and widow of Ralph Calverley, he had nine children, the 
eldest of whom, also named Thomas, sold Fenham to John Ord of 
Newcastle, and purchased the estate of Swinburne. His grandson, 
another Thomas, married in 1726 Mary, daughter and co-heiress of 
William Widdrington of Cheeseburn Grange, and so the Cheeseburn 
Grange property came to the family. This Thomas Riddell was 
involved in the Derwentwater Rebellion, and saved himself by 
escaping from Lancaster Castle, but not being excepted from the 
general pardon, was allowed to return to his estate and to reside there 
unmolested. His elder son (Thomas again) married Elizabeth, only 
daughter and heir of Edward Horsley Widdrington of Felton, and 
thus Felton was added to the estates of this thriving and wide- 
spreading family. 

Later on, in 1803, the w'idow of Edward Horsley of Felton (son 
of Thomas Riddell and Elizabeth Widdrington) w-as united to Ralph 
Riddell of Cheeseburn Grange. Ralph Riddell, their third son, was 
the famous breeder and trainer of racehorses, the owner of Doctor 
Syntax, Don Carlos, and X Y Z, about w^hose achievements local 
bards invoked the Muse — 


" The bets flew round frae side to side; 
• The field agyen X Y ' they cried : 
We'd hardly time to lay them a' 
When in he cam — Hurraw ! Hurraw ! 

' Gad smash !' says aw, ' X Y's the steed, 
He bangs them a' for pith an' speed, 
We never see'd the like, man ! ' " 

Doctor Syntax won about twenty gold cups, X Y Z carried off nine, 
and Don Carlos had been the winner of a similar prize when he was 
purchased for the Russian Government, and sent over to that 
country. Mr. Riddell gave up his racing establishment a few years 
before his death, which took place on the 9th of March, 1833, when 
he was sixty-three years of age. 

William Riddell, third son of the owner of X Y Z, born February 
5th, 1807, being the subject of deep religious convictions, deter- 
mined to be a priest of the Church to which his family had remained, 
through all changes of time and fortune, staunch adherents. 
He was, therefore, sent to Stoneyhurst, and after he had ran his 
curriculum and studied for a while at Rome, he returned to North- 
umberland, in the autumn of 1832, as assistant priest with the 
Rev. James Worswick, of St. Andrew's Catholic Church, Newcastle. 
He laboured in this sphere, among the poorest of the poor, till, 
on the 22nd of December, 1843, ^^ ^^s appointed by Pope 
Gregory XVI. coadjutor to the Right Rev. Dr. Mostyn, Vicar 
Apostolic of the Northern District. 

The new prelate, who was styled Bishop of Lango, i7i partibus 
infidelium, was consecrated at Ushaw on the 17th of March follow- 
ing, when the Right Rev. Dr. Wiseman (afterwards Cardinal) delivered 
a discourse. 

On the death of Dr. Mostyn in August, 1847, Dr. Riddell 
became sole bishop of the district. Newcastle, in which he had 
lived and laboured for so long, was not the only place that engaged 
his solicitude. The Catholic Church at Felling was erected 
almost exclusively by his private generosity and episcopal effort. 
Perhaps the opening of St. Mary's Cathedral in West Clayton Street, 
on the 2ist of August, 1844, when nine bishops took part, and 
pontifical high mass was performed by Bishop Riddell, was the last 
joyful day of his worldly existence, for after that he had little else to 
occupy his thoughts, besides the constant solicitude of his daily 
pastoral duties, than to watch the declining years of Dr. Mostyn. 
Scarcely had that worthy man been removed to another world, than 


there came upon the town a dreadful epidemic, in the shape of 
typhus fever, which carried off a large number of victims. Not a 
few devoted women and men voluntarily took upon themselves the 
dangerous and difficult task of succouring and comforting the afflicted, 
and none of the workers were more zealous, self-denying, and helpful 
than the priests connected with the Catholic body, with Bishop 
Riddell at their head. The good man fell a martyr, indeed, to his 
warmth of heart and his sense of duty. Within the last fortnight of 
his existence he had to perform the obsequies of two among his own 
clergy who had fallen victims to the plague. Left comparatively 
helpless for want of priestly assistance, he went forth himself into the 
lanes and alleys, in the spirit of St. Charles of Milan, who made him- 
self a victim for his people, and by that act of self-renouncement 
averted the plague from his episcopal city. In the last week of October, 
1847, Bishop Riddell was laid aside by an attack of the fever, which 
carried him off on the 2nd of November. On the 8th of the month his 
remains were conveyed from his residence in Charlotte Square to the 
Cathedral Church of St. Mary, where they lay in state, and on the 
following day the interment took place, mass being performed by 
Bishop Wiseman, assisted by Bishops Briggs, Gillies, and Wareing, 
and a great number of clergy. 

lEbwarb IRibMe, 


"Time, place, and action may with pains be wrought, 
But genius must be born, and never can be taught." 

— Drydex. 

Edward Riddle, "one of the most profound of English mathe- 
maticians," was born at the farm of Low Learn, in the valley of the 
River Reed, and not far from the junction of that stream with the 
North Tyne. He received the rudiments of his education at the 
neighbouring hamlet of Troughend, and completed them at the still 
nearer village of West Woodburn, where he had a thorough mathe- 
matical training under the care of Cuthbert Atkinson, father of 
Henry Atkinson, the mathematician. Choosing the profession of a 
teacher, he began school-keeping when only eighteen years of age, at 
Shielyfield, in the parish of Wark. From thence he returned to the 


neighbourhood of his birthplace, and opened a school at Otterburn, 
in which village he formed an intimate friendship with James 
Thompson, a man noted for his attainments in science. With Mr. 
Thompson he pursued, through its higher developments, the study 
of Mathematics, branching off, at the same time, into the affiliated 
sciences of Astronomy and Optics, and the kindred arts of Seaman- 
ship and Navigation. He even ventured into the experimental stage 
of that new, perilous, and therefore fascinating study, which Dr. 
Benjamin Franklin had made popular — the study of electrical 
phenomena. It is said that he constructed for his own use an 
electrical machine, with which he drew sparks from the knuckles of 
the wondering rustics of Otterburn, and almost paralysed with fear 
the credulous old women and the shrinking lasses of the Redesdale 

From Otterburn, Mr. Riddle removed his school, in 1807, to 
Whitburn, near Sunderland. While in that charming seaside retreat, 
he sent a contribution to the mathematical department of the 
famous " Ladies' Diary," then under the editorial management of 
Dr. Charles Hutton, at Woolwich. The contribution was accepted, 
and a friendship was formed between editor and contributor which 
helped the latter to preferment. When the mastership of the Trinity 
House School in Newcastle became vacant by the retirement of 
John Rutherford in 1814, Dr. Hutton was requested to nominate a 
competent person for the post, and he recommended his ingenious 
correspondent. Mr. Riddle was appointed accordingly, at a salary 
of ;^8o a year, being ^i^^ao a year more than his predecessor had 
enjoyed, with a free house, and coals, and other privileges. The 
same year (and again in 18 19), Mr. Riddle won the chief prize 
in the " Ladies' Diary." His construction of problems, and his 
solutions of questions submitted by other mathematicians, were 
distinguished by so much ingenuity of design, beauty of form, and 
accuracy of expression, that, in time, he came to be regarded as one 
of the ablest contributors to that popular annual. Dr. Hutton was 
proud of his fellow-countryman, and went out of his way to pay him 
compliments and do him honour. 

In Newcastle Mr. Riddle joined the Newcastle Literary and 
Philosophical Society, and became a diligent attender at the scien- 
tific lectures of the Rev. William Turner. His chosen companion 
was Henry Atkinson, son of his old schoolmaster, who, a few years 
later, united the two families by marrying his friend's sister, Isabella 


Riddle. Encouraged by Mr. Atkinson's example, he contributed to 
the Newcastle JSIa^azitie, and ventured into authorship, issuing, in 
1 82 1, a pamphlet entitled — 

" Observations on the Present State of Nautical Astronomy, With Remarks on 
the Expediency of promoting a more general Acquaintance with the Modern 
Improvements of the Science among Seamen in the British Merchant Service. 
Dedicated to the Worshipful the Master and Brethren of the Trinity House, 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in Grateful Remembrance of numberless Acts of Kindness." 

Shortly after this publication appeared the author was appointed, 
through Dr. Hutton's influence, to the mastership of the Upper 
School at the Royal Naval Asylum, Greenwich. Within three years 
of his appointment, he was able to publish an elaborate work, which 
put him at once into the forefront of teachers in his special depart- 
ment. Every shipmaster over forty years of age knows that marvel- 
lous compendium of maritime knowledge, " Riddle's Treatise on 
Navigation and Nautical Astronomy, adapted to Practice, and to 
the Purposes of Elementary Instruction." Dedicated to the Com- 
missioners of Greenwich Hospital, this portly and elaborate work 
united the theory with the practice of navigation in a manner that 
had never been attempted before. By its aid, the old rule of thumb, 
helped though it might be by those two great elements of safety — 
the lead-line and the look-out — was rendered obsolete, and, when 
fog and mist permitted, masters in the merchant service, as well 
as naval captains, were able to find their way across " the wide 
waste of waters " with accuracy and precision. 

Upon his settlement at Greenwich Mr. Riddle joined the Royal 
Astronomical Society, and, in course of time, he became one of 
the members of the Council of that learned body. He contributed 
several valuable papers to the Transactions of the Society, wrote 
frequently in the Philosophical Magazi?ie, and furnished articles 
on mathematical subjects to the " London Encyclopaedia." Some 
of his writings — overprints of papers read before the Astronomical 
and other learned Societies — were presented by him to the Literary 
and Philosophical Society of Newcastle, as follows : — 

"Suggestions for Simplifying Mr. Ivory's solution of the Double Altitude 
Problem." 8vo, 1822. 

"On finding the Rates of Timekeepers." 4to, 182S. 

" On Deducing the Longitude from an observed Occultation of a Fixed Star by 
the Moon." 4to, 1830. 

After thirty years' service in the training of boys for the navy 


and the mercantile marine, Mr. Riddle, in 1851, retired into private 
life. His withdrawal was made the occasion of an appreciative 
demonstration among his old pupils, who presented him with his 
bust in marble. The Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital, equally 
appreciative, awarded him a pension for life equivalent to the full 
salary which he had received during the later years of his head- 
mastership, and elected his son, John Riddle, F.R.S.A., to be his 
successor. Out of harness his days were not prolonged. He died 
on the 31st of March, 1854, at Greenwich, and was buried there. 

IRicbolae IRiMc^, 


The family of Ridley has occupied a prominent place in the annals 
of Northumberland for at least five hundred years. Five places in 
the county bear their name — Ridley Hall, near Bardon Mill; Ridley's 
Close, in Warden parish; Ridley Shield, near Bellingham; and Old 
and New Ridley, in the parish of Bywell St. Peter. Their chief 
seat was at Willimoteswick, a short distance west of Ridley Hall; a 
branch of the family resided at Hardriding, a little farther westward; 
another branch settled at Walltown, a few miles to the north-west; 
all in the barony of Tindale and within easy reach of each other. 

It was about the close of the fifteenth century that the Willimotes- 
wick property passed into the hands of the family. The second 
and third Ridleys of WiUimoteswick successively were members of 
Royal Commissions, appointed to meet the representatives of the 
King of Scots for the adjustment and settlement of disputed matters 
on the Border. The fourth Ridley, Sir Nicholas, who, being 
knighted, was popularly known as " the Broad Knight," was High 
Sheriff of Northumberland several times, and was also commander of 
a division of the marauding army which invaded Scotland, under 
Lord Dacre, in 15 13 — the same year in which the battle of Flodden 
was fought. He, his son Hugh, and other members of the family, 
were frequently engaged in Border raids and family and district 
quarrels, and had many daring adventures and hair-breadth escapes. 

Sir Nicholas had two brothers. The first, Christopher, lived at 
Unthank, on the verge of the heath-clad waste called Plenmellor 


Common. The second, Robert Ridley, D.D., was successively 
rector of Simonburn, of St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, of St. Edmund's, 
Lombard Street, London, and of Fulham, besides holding two pre- 
bendal stalls. He is described as " famous not only at Cambridge, 
but at Paris, where he long studied, and throughout Europe by the 
writings of Polydore Virgil," whom he assisted in the work of 
collating manuscripts and correcting the press for his edition of 
Gildas, published at the expense of Bishop Tunstal, Dr. Ridley's 
intimate friend. When the learned doctor resigned the living at 
Simonburn, in 1532, in favour of John Ridley, clerk, his influence at 
Court was such that the king granted the next presentation to 
Thomas Ridley, gentleman, another of the family. He died in 

Nicholas Ridley "the martyr," nephew of the "Broad Knight," 
was born in Tynedale, but whether at Willimoteswick, Hardriding, 
or Walltown, does not appear. It is said that he received "an 
excellent grammatical education " in Newcastle, but of this statement 
there is no corroborative evidence. All that we positively know of 
his early years is that he was entered at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, 
by his uncle. Dr. Robert Ridley, in or about 15 18, proceeded B.A. 
1522-23, and ALA. 1526, and between the two dates was elected a 
Fellow. The following year he proceeded to Paris and studied at the 
Sorbonne, thence went to Louvain, and returning to Cambridge in 
1530, served as junior treasurer of his college. In 1534 he was one 
of the Proctors, and was instrumental in procuring the decree of the 
University against the spiritual power of the pope, which declared 
that " the bishop of Rome hath no more authority and jurisdiction 
derived to him from God in this kingdom of England, than any 
other foreign bishop." 

Mr. Ridley lost his uncle in the year 1536; but his talents pro- 
cured him a more powerful patron in Cranmer, Archbishop of 
Canterbury, who, in the year following, when he proceeded B.D., 
made him his chaplain, and on the 13th of April, 1538, presented 
him to the vicarage of Heme, in Kent. In 1540 he took his 
degree of D.D., and in October of that year was elected Master of 
Pembroke Hall. About the same time, through Cranmer's influence, 
he was nominated chaplain to the king, and collated to a prebendal 
stall in the cathedral of Canterbury. 

While at Canterbury Dr. Ridley provoked some of the pre- 
bendaries and preachers of what was called the old learning, who 


exhibited charges against him for preaching contrary to the statute 
of the six articles. On this occasion Dr. Ridley delivered his 
opinions with so much caution, that his accusers were discomfited. 
Notwithstanding this, articles were exhibited against him for preach- 
ing against auricular confession, applying the epithet " beggarly" to 
some of the ceremonies of the church, and directing Te Deum to be 
sung in English at Heme. The cognisance of this accusation was 
referred by the king to commissioners, who reported in Dr. Ridley's 
favour. In January, 1544-45, Cranmer procured for his friend the 
eighth stall at Westminster, and on the accession of Edward VI, he 
was appointed preacher for the dioceses of York, Durham, Carlisle, 
and Chester, to a body of Visitors who were sent to spread the 
principles of the Reformation throughout the kingdom. He was 
presented by his college, in 1547, to the living of Soham in Cam- 
bridgeshire, and in September of that year he was elected Bishop of 
Rochester. During the following year he appears to have been 
employed in reforming the liturgy; and in 1549 he was appointed 
one of the Commissioners for the reformation of the ecclesiastical 

When Bishop Bonner was deprived, Bishop Ridley was trans- 
lated to London, and was installed on the 12th of April, 1550. 
One of his first acts was to direct that altars should be taken down 
in the churches, and tables substituted for the celebration of the 
Lord's Supper. The year following, the Council appointed Cranmer 
and Ridley to prepare a book of articles of faith. They drew up 
forty-two articles, and sent them to the other bishops and learned 
divines for correction and amendment; after which they received 
the royal sanction, and were published by the king's authority. In 
1552 Bishop Ridley visited Cambridge, and upon his return called 
at Hunsdon, to pay his respects to the Princess ISIary. The recep- 
tion which he met with from her was civil, till he offered to preach 
before her on the following Sunday. She replied that the doors of 
the parish church should be open for him if he came, and that he 
might preach if he pleased ; but that neither would she hear him, 
nor allow any of her servants to do it. From this interview he 
appears to have contracted a dislike to her, and therefore the more 
readily concurred in the steps that were taken to set Lady Jane Grey 
on the throne. After that design had miscarried, and Mary had 
been proclaimed queen, he went to do homage, but was taken into 
custody, and sent to the Tower. From thence he was removed to 


Oxford, tried, and convicted of being an obstinate and incorrigible 
heretic, sentenced to degradation from his ecclesiastical orders, and 
handed over to the secular power for punishment according to law. 
He suffered death at the same stake with Latimer on the i6th of 
October, 1555. 

fIDattbcw 1RiMcv\ 


" Bright star of Heaton 
You're aye our darling sweet one, 
May Heaven's blessing light on 
Your lady, bairns, and you." 

Nicholas Ridley, son of John Ridley, of Hardriding, came to 
Newcastle as a youth towards the middle of the seventeenth century, 
and having served his time to a merchant adventurer, entered into 
trade on his own account, and founded the local family of that 
name. He married Martha, daughter of Richard March, of New- 
castle, merchant, was Sheriff of the town in 1682, Mayor after the 
displacement of William Hutchinson during part of the year of 
Revolution, 1688, and again in 1706-7. He died on the 22nd of 
Januar}', 1710-11, and was buried in St. Nicholas' Church. His 
eldest surviving son, Richard Ridley, married at Stannington, in 
1707, Margaret, eldest daughter of Alderman Matthew White, was 
Mayor in 1 713-14 and 1732-33, and having purchased a part of the 
estate of Heaton, erected for his country residence the present 
Heaton Hall, where he died on the 2nd of November, 1739, and 
was buried beside his father. 

Richard Ridley's father-in-law, Matthew White, was a wealthy 
merchant, who had acquired from the Fenwicks the estate of 
Blagdon, near Stannington. Upon this estate his son, INIatthew 
White (2), erected the mansion of Blagdon Hall. Elizabeth, 
daughter of Matthew White (2), married in 1742 (as second wife) 
her cousin, Matthew Ridley, of Heaton, son of the aforesaid 
Richard, and thus united the families of Ridley and White in a 
double bond of union. Mrs. Ridley's brother, Matthew White (3), 
while serving the office of High Sheriff of Northumberland, was 
created a baronet, and being a bachelor, and the last of the male 


line of his family, provision was made for his title and estates to pass 
to her (Mrs. Ridley's) heirs male. 

Matthew Ridley entered at an unusually early age the public life 
of Newcastle. In the year that he attained his majority, 1733, he 
was elected Mayor of Newcastle, being probably the youngest man 
that had ever occupied that exalted position. In 1740, on the 
occasion of a riot in Newcastle, produced by an uncommon dearth 
of corn, he appeared at the head of a body of volunteers, popularly 
known as " The White Stocking Regiment," but styled by themselves 
militia, and composed of middle-aged gentlemen of different pro- 
fessions, and young men, mostly merchants' apprentices. Cuthbert 
Fenwick, the then Mayor, was supposed to be jealous lest Mr. 
Ridley should gain too much in popularity, and he accordingly 
ordered the militia to forbear assembling. The consequence was 
that the populace became very riotous, and the town was in danger 
of being plundered and burnt. The volunteers, therefore, re- 
assembled, and, in the course of protecting the magistrates, and 
guarding the delivery of corn from a ship, they fired upon the 
mob and killed a man. This had the effect of rendering the rioters 
more outrageous than before. They broke into the Guildhall, de- 
faced the portraits of Charles II. and James II., plundered the town's 
hutch of near ;^i,2oo, and probably would have set fire to the town, 
if a party of soldiers had not fortunately arrived from Morpeth. 

At the Newcastle parliamentary election of 1 741, as described on 
page 312 of our first volume, four Newcastle aldermen went to the 
poll. Matthew Ridley (an alderman at twenty-nine !) was one of 
them, and he came out of it beaten. He and his defeated colleague 
petitioned, but did not succeed in upsetting the Sheriff's declara- 
tion. These were the days of limited constituencies and unlimited 
expense, and one result of the contest is said to have been that 
Alderman Fenwick, who stood second on the poll, had to seek the 
shelter of Holyrood, while Alderman Ridley paid his bills by selling 
Hardriding to William Lowes, his attorney. 

In the middle of the year 1745, John Ord, Mayor of Newcastle, 
died, and Alderman Ridley accepted the office for the rest of the 
term. A few weeks after his election news came to Tyneside that the 
young Pretender had landed in Scotland, and that in all probability 
an attempt would be made by his adherents to cross the Border 
and possess themselves of Newcastle. The military instincts of the 
Mayor were at once excited, and he took prompt measures to pre- 


serve the town from invasion. Hundreds of the inhabitants came 
forward and enrolled themselves as volunteers, the town walls were 
hastily repaired, all the gates and entrances, except three, were 
walled up, guns and ammunition were provided, and the town secured 
against surprise. His preparations were so effective that the rebels 
diverted their course westward, and went by Carlisle. When the 
Duke of Cumberland afterwards arrived at the Mansion House, on 
his way to CuUoden, he asked for Mr. Ridley, then out of his 
Mayoralty, and told him that he had it in charge from his Royal 
father to deliver to him particular thanks for his loyalty and good 
conduct in the preservation of the country. 

When the next parliamentary election for Newcastle came round, 
in 1747, Alderman Ridley was returned without opposition. He 
was equally successful at the elections of 1754, 1761, and 1768, and 
twice in the meantime (1751-52 and 1759-60) filled the ofifice of 
Mayor. He retired from the representation of the town at the 
election in 1774 in favour of his son, and dying on the 6th of April, 
1778, in his sixty-seventh year, was buried at St. Nicholas' with the 
honours of a public funeral. 

In the Governor's Hall at the Infirmary, Newcastle, is a full- 
length portrait of Alderman Ridley, and in St. Nicholas' Church is 
a beautiful monument to his memory. The monument represents 
him in a Roman habit, sitting in the curule chair, the seat of 
magistracy, under which are scales and fasces, emblems of justice 
and authority. Beneath the figure is an inscription as follows: — 

" To the Memory of MATTHEW RIDLEY, Esq., of 

Blagdon and Heaton, in the County of Northumberland, 

Senior Alderman of the Corporation of this Town, 

and Governor 

Of the Company of Merchant Adventurers. 

He four times served the office of Mayor, in which Station in the year 1745 he 
rendered essential Service to his Country; averting, by his Prudence and Activity, 
the Attack meditated against this Town by the Enemies of the House of Bruns- 
wick ; and thereby materially checking the Progress of their Arms. He was 
unanimously elected by his Fellow Burgesses to represent them in five ^ successive 
Parliaments, and retired from that Situation when the declining State of his Health 
rendered him incapable of conscientiously fulfilling the Duties of it. 

He lived respected and beloved ; He died unfeignedly lamented, 
April 6, 1778, Aged 66 years." 

^ A mistake which has misled every local historian from Brand downwards. 
Matthew Ridley sat in four parliaments only. 


The base of the monument is formed by a medallion on which 
Newcastle is represented by a woman wearing a turreted crown, with 
the arms of the town on a shield at her feet, and behind her an urn, 
from which are issuing salmon — the product of the river Tyne. 
Over her an armed soldier, with a shield bearing the arms of Ridley, 
is contending against Rebellion, represented by a figure treading on 
the crown and sceptre, and flourishing in one hand the burning torch 
of sedition, and in the other hand the sword of destruction. 

Alderman Ridley's first wife was Hannah, grand-daughter of 
Ambrose Barnes. Their marriage was not publicly acknowledged 
during her lifetime, and when she died, in 1741, one of her brothers, 
thinking she had been harshly treated, and that the concealment of 
her marriage hastened her death, published an angry account of her 
sufferings. This and much more on the subject we read in Long- 
stafife's notes to the " Memoirs of Ambrose Barnes." A son of the 
concealed union, Richard Ridley, colonel in a foot regiment, was born 
in London, July 5th, 1736, and died at Edinburgh in 1789. From 
the second marriage came seven sons and four daughters, of w^hom 
the eldest, Matthew White Ridley, succeeded to the baronetcy of his 
uncle, Matthew White; another, Nicholas, was a bencher of Gray's 
Inn, and a Master in Chancery; and a third, Henry, was a D.D., 
Prebendary of Gloucester, and the husband of Frances Surtees, 
sister of Lady Eldon. 

Sir noattbew Mbitc IRtMc^, 


Alderman Matthew Ridley's eldest son, by his cousin, Elizabeth 
White, was born at the family residence in Westgate Street, New- 
castle, on the 28th of October, 1745, a few weeks after his father had 
retired from his second, and most popular Mayoralty. He succeeded 
to the baronetcy in 1763, while a minor at Westminster school. 

The public life of the first Sir Matthew White Ridley commenced 
in 1768, when he was elected one of the two parliamentary repre- 
sentatives of Morpeth. At the next election, in 1774, on the retire- 
ment of his father, he stood for Newcastle, and winning the seat after 
a vigorous contest, retained it through eight successive parliaments, 
extending over a period of thirty-eight years. When his father died 


he took his place as Governor of the Merchants' Company, and he 
was three times Mayor of Newcastle, as well as M.P, — namely, in 
1774-75) 17S2-S3, and 1791-92. His career as a member of the 
legislature was distinguished by activity, independence, and steady 
opposition to the belligerent Administrations of the day, which 
involved the country in expensive wars, and burdened the nation 
with debt. In the first edition of Mackenzie's " History of North- 
umberland," it is said of him : — " He does not figure in the House as 
a speaker, but in solidity of judgment and independence of principle 
he is inferior to none. He has expended his time and his fortune, 
and exposed his health to injury, in the faithful discharge of his 
public duties; nor has he sought reward in the smiles of the Court, 
or the plaudits of a party." 

Just before his last election to Parliament Sir Matthew became a 
partner in the " Old Bank," Newcastle (described on page 491 of our 
first volume), which then became known as the firm of Ridley, 
Cookson, &: Co. Two years later, the French revolutionary war 
caused an alarming run on provincial banks, and Messrs. Ridley, 
Cookson, &: Co., in conjunction with the other bankers in Newcastle, 
were compelled to " request the indulgence of the public for a short 
interval." The adoption of this precautionary measure led to an 
investigation, and the formation of a guarantee fund among the 
principal merchants and traders of the district by which the banks 
were tided over their difficulties. A similar stoppage occurred about 
four years later, when the aspect of public affairs was so dark and 
threatening that the Corporation resolved to discontinue the cus- 
tomary festivities at the Mansion House till the political atmosphere 
should clear up. 

The numerous troops which the French Directory had assembled, 
with the title of "the Army of England," on the south shore of the 
Channel, under the command of General Bonaparte at this time, 
produced, and helped to prolong the financial crisis. It also had 
the effect of rousing the martial spirit and patriotic ardour of the 
people. Newcastle early displayed its enthusiasm, and an Armed 
Association was formed for the defence of the town. Of this 
Association, which numbered eight companies, Sir Matthew was the 
commander with the rank of colonel. Again, in 1S02, after the 
breach of the Treaty of Amiens, the worthy baronet betook himself 
to the war-saddle with unabated spirit. The presentation of a piece 
of plate, valued at ^^350, to their colonel by the officers and men, 

VOL. III. 21 


gives some indication of the esteem in which he was held by those 
under his command. 

Sir Matthew married, on the 12th July, 1777, Sarah, daughter and 
heiress of Benjamin Colburne, of Bath, by whom he had issue five 
sons and one daughter — (i) Matthew White, who succeeded him in 
the baronetcy; (2) Nicholas William, who, succeeding to the pro- 
perty of his maternal uncle, assumed the name and arms of Colburne, 
and after sitting in the House of Commons for Blechingley, Malmes- 
bury, Appleby, Thetford, Horsham, and Wells, was created Baron 
Colburne ; (3) Henry Colburne, rector of Hambledon, Bucks ; (4) 
Richard, also in holy orders; (5) Charles John, also in holy orders; 
and (6) Henrietta Elizabeth, who married the Hon. John Scott, eldest 
son of Lord Chancellor Eldon. Sir Matthew died on the i6th of 
April, 18 13, at his house in Portland Place, London, in his sixty- 
seventh year, and on the 3rd of the following month he was interred 
in the family vault in St. Nicholas' Church. 

In 18 1 9, a beautiful monument to his memory, by Flaxman, was 
placed in the nave of the church. It displays, in high relief, a full- 
length figure of the deceased, dressed in a Roman toga, and standing 
with his right hand grasping a roll and resting upon a pedestal. At 
the foot of the pedestal lies a volume inscribed " Magna Charta " ; 
behind the figure is seen a curule chair, underneath which are placed 
the fasces and scales, as in the monument of his father, while a 
military standard, on the top of which is a lion, is seen leaning above 
the pedestal ; and high up hangs a shield charged with the family 
arms. The inscription — a long one — enumerates the leading events 
of his public career. 

Sir riDattbcw Mbitc 1RiMcv\ 


Sir Matthew White Ridley, Bart., the second of the name, was 
born on the i8th of April, 1778, was educated at Christ Church, 
Oxford, where he proceeded B.A. in 1798, and succeeded to the 
family honours and estates at his father's death, April i6th, 18 13. 
He had been chosen, the year before, on the resignation of his 
father, to represent Newcastle in the House of Commons ; and he 
continued to hold the seat for twenty-four years, making altogether, 


^or the Ridley family in direct descent, a period of representation 
extending over eighty-nine years, from the second Scottish Rebellion 
to the last year of the reign of King William the Fourth. His 
principles were those of the Whig party ; during the last few years of 
his life they inclined to Conservatism. At his first two elections in 
1812 and iSiS, there had been no contest; but when the Parliament 
elected in the latter year came to an end, in 1820, with the termina- 
tion of the long reign of George III., he was opposed by a son of 
Sir William Scott, afterwards Lord Stowell. Mr. Scott's candidature, 
however, found so little favour with the constituency, that he with- 
drew from the poll on the second day. At the next election, in 
June, 1826, Sir Matthew and his colleague, Cuthbert Ellison, were 
returned unopposed. In 1830, Mr. Ellison gave place to John 
Hodgson, but the baronet kept his seat. At the election in the fol- 
lowing year, 1831, there was no opposition, and in 1832 Sir Matthew 
headed the poll, carrying everything before him. Not so, however, 
in 1835. Though he retained his seat he ran second to William 
Ord, and the treatment which he received at the hands of the mob 
when the poll was declared disgraced Newcastle. He died the year 
following (July 15th, 1836), at Richmond in Surrey, in his fifty-eighth 

Sir Matthew White Ridley the second married, at the age of 
twenty-five, Laura, youngest daughter of George Hawkins, Esquire, 
by whom he had five sons and five daughters : — Matthew White, 
who succeeded to the title; Charles William, Major-General, C.B., 
Colonel of the 53rd Regiment, who married a daughter of Lord 
Oranmore; Henry Richard, M.A., vicar of St. Cuthbert's, Durham; 
Sir William John, K.C.M.G., a Crimean hero; George, jSLP. for 
Newcastle, 1856-60; Sarah, wife of John Cookson of Meldon; Laura, 
wife of Charles Atticus Monck, and mother of Sir Arthur Edward 
Middleton; Louisa, who married Martin Tucker Smith, M.P. ; 
Marianne, wife of the Rev. Andrew Corbett ; and Janetta Maria, 
wife of Isaac Thomas Cookson. 

Sir Matthew succeeded his father in the banking establishment, 
was lieutenant-colonel of the Loyal Newcastle Associated Volunteer 
Infantry from their embodiment in 1803 to their dissolution in 1813, 
and Governor of the Newcastle Merchants' Company. He presented 
to St. Nicholas' Church the large painting by Tintoretto which hangs 
in the chapel behind the reredos, representing Christ washing the 
disciples' feet. 



Sir riDattbcw Mbite IRiMc^, 


Sir Matthew White Ridley (3), born September 9th, 1807, was 
educated at Christ Church, Oxford, where he matriculated in June, 
1825, and took the degree of B.A. in 1828. He filled the office of 
High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1841 ; in 1859, and again in 1865, 
he was elected one of the M.P.'s for North Northumberland. A 
prominent agriculturist, he twice filled the chair of the Northumber- 
land Agricultural Society, and for many years he occupied the post 
of lieutenant-colonel of the Northumberland Yeomanry, and Master 
of the Northumberland hunt. He married, in 1841, the Hon. 
Cecilia Anne Parke, daughter of Baron Wensleydale, by whom he 
had issue. Sir Matthew, the present baronet, M.P. ; Edward, M.P. 
for South Northumberland, 1878-80, and Mary, widow of the Rev. 
Arthur Octavius Medd, Vicar of Rothbury. Sir Matthew died on 
the 25th of September, 1877. 

IRobcrt IRobbant, 


The Roddams of Northumberland are described by Burke as rank- 
ing among the most ancient in the British dominions, and still 
resident upon lands granted to their Saxon progenitors. Upon an 
old pedigree of the family, the original grant by which they held 
their lands is said to be written in Saxon characters thus — 

" I King Athelstan, gives unto thee Pole Roddam 
From me and mine, to thee and thine, 

Before my wife Maude, my daughter Maudlin, and my eldest son Henry ; 
And for a certen troth 
I bite this wax with my gang tooth. 
So long as muir bears moss and cnout grows hare, 
A Roddam of Roddam for ever mare." 

" Leland's Itinerary," written in the reign of Henry VHL, con- 
tains a passage in which the Roddams are described as " men of 


faire landes in Northumbrelande, about Tylle river, ontyl one of 
them having to wife one of the Umfraville daughters, killed a man 
of name, and thereby lost the principale of eight hundred markes by 
yere ; so that at this time Roddam, or otherwise Rudham, of North- 
umbrelande is but a man of mene landes." It is probable that great 
part of the original estates of the family were forfeited during the 
reigns of the Norman and Plantagenet kings, but the lands of Roddam, 
named in the supposed grant of Athelstan, descended through many 
generations of Roddams, who intermarried with Greys and Selbys, 
Brandlings and Forsters, Collingwoods and Lawsons, Lisles and 
Swinburnes, and other eminent North-Country families. 

The most notable member of the house of Roddam in modern 
times, and the last of the family in a direct line, was Robert Roddam, 
a distinguished naval ofificer. He was the second son of Edward 
Roddam, of Roddam and Little Houghton ; his mother was Jane, 
daughter of Robert Shelly, merchant in Newcastle. Born in 1720, 
he was trained for the service of his country at sea, and entered the 
navy, at the age of fifteen, as a midshipman on board the Lowestoffe. 
Having served upon the Antigua station for five years. Sir Chaloner 
Ogle took him into his own ship on his way to Jamaica to join 
Admiral Vernon, whom he accompanied on various expeditions to 
Carthagena, Cuba, Cumberland Harbour, etc. While serving on 
board the Superb^ in Cumberland Harbour, he was promoted to a 
third lieutenancy, and, though so young an ofificer, saved his ship 
twice on her homeward passage. In i 744 he was appointed second 
lieutenant, and two years afterwards obtained command of the Viper, 
sloop of war. 

About this time Mr. (afterwards Lord) Anson, one of the Lords 
of the Admiralty, went to Portsmouth to command the western 
squadron, and expressing to the captains of the fleet his desire 
that a fleet lying there should be stopped, they urged the impractic- 
ability of the undertaking in the then state of the wind and other 
obstacles. Mr. Roddam, the youngest of them, undertook the 
enterprise, and although the Viper, being just off the stocks, was 
ill adapted for the work, he met Mr. Anson's wishes with an 
alacrity and success which brought him into special favour. A 
few weeks later. Admiral Warren, hearing that thirty sail of vessels 
laden with naval stores were in Cederia Bay, on the coast of Spain, 
proposed to capture or destroy them, but relinquished the attempt 
as impracticable. One of his captains, however, recommended him 


to send the Viper, adding that he would answer for young Roddam's 
courage and daring. The advice was taken. Captain Roddam 
sailed for the bay as soon as darkness set in, and at daylight he 
had carried the first battery, though it contained five hundred 
men, spiked the guns, and captured a privateer on its way out. 
Then he proceeded into the bay, burnt most of the ships, captured 
the rest, and on the third day after his departure from the fleet 
returned to it with his prizes, and was received with the greatest 
enthusiasm. The Admiral sent a glowing despatch to the Admiralty, 
which procured for Captain Roddam promotion to the Greyhound 
frigate, 24 guns, with the rank of post-captain. On his return to 
England he was welcomed and feted as a hero. The electors of 
Dartmouth sent a deputation to him offering to elect him as their 
representative in Parliament; but this honour, and similar proposals 
from other boroughs, he thought fit to decline. 

In 1755, being in command of the Greemvkh, 50 guns, he was 
captured, after a desperate fight, by a French squadron. For this 
misfortune he was tried by court-martial, and honourably acquitted. 
In 1759, he took command of the Colchester, and being off Brest 
with two other ships chased three French men-of-war under two 
batteries, and ran one of them ashore. Being ordered to relieve 
Captain Duff off Belleisle, he carried the Colchester right through 
the narrow and rocky passage that led to Audienne Bay — a feat 
that no British warship had ever before attempted. Shortly after- 
wards he was despatched to St. Helena in the Colchester, with the 
Rippon, Captain Jekyll, under his command, to bring home the fleet 
from India. On the homeward passage Admiral Sir George Pocock 
joined them. Arriving off Scilly in a dense fog. Captain Roddam, 
suspecting that the Colchester was nearing St. Mary's Island, and 
that the other ships were still closer to it, made a signal to tack. 
The Admiral honoured him by repeating the signal, and afterwards 
thanked him for his sagacity and promptitude, which had probably 
saved one or more of the fleet from stranding. When they were off 
Dover, the fog being still heavy. Sir George Pocock made a signal 
for laying-to, but Captain Roddam, catching a glimpse of the South 
Foreland, signalled for the ships to bear away to the Downs, which 
the Admiral approved, sending his thanks at the same time for 
another happy deliverance from danger. Arrived at Spithead, the 
Colchester was found to be unserviceable, and was paid off. 

Peace being proclaimed soon afterwards, Captain Roddam re- 


turned to the family seat in the North, then in possession of his 
elder brother, Edward. With characteristic energy he assisted his 
brother to improve the paternal estate, furnishing funds for the 
purpose, and helping to erect the present mansion-house of the 
family. While so engaged, a war scare arose, and he was com- 
missioned, on the 7th December, 1770, to take command of the 
Lennox, 74 guns, guardship at Portsmouth. He served in that 
capacity for three years, and then returned to Roddam. In 1776 
his brother Edward died, and he came into possession, as heir- 
at-law, of the whole of the family property. 

From his retreat among the Northumbrian hills, the outbreak 
of war with the American colonies brought Captain Roddam once 
more on the verge of active service. Hoisting his flag on board the 
Cornwall, 74 guns, he received orders for the Mediterranean, and 
remained afloat till, in 1778, being appointed Rear-Admiral of the 
White, he was sent to Chatham as Commander-in-Chief of his 
Majesty's ships in the Medway and at the Nore. In the spring 
of 1779, he received the rank of Vice-Admiral of the Blue, and, 
continuing in the same command, was promoted a year later to 
be Vice-Admiral of the White. In 17S2 he struck his flag; in 
1787 he became Vice-Admiral of the Red, and in April, 1789, 
was appointed Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth. His subsequent 
promotions were these: — Admiral of the Blue, February, 1793; 
Admiral of the White, April, 1794; Admiral of the Red, and 
highest on the list, in 1795. 

Admiral Roddam lived to a great age, and enjoyed the use of all 
his faculties to the last — lived to see the triumph of Nelson and 
Collingwood at Trafalgar, and to share the enthusiasm which the 
skill and courage of his countryman excited throughout the North of 

While residing in Newcastle, on the 31st of March, 1S08, in his 
eighty-ninth year, he passed away. He was thrice married, but left 
no issue, and being the last of his race, if not of his name, he be- 
queathed his estates to his kinsman, William Spencer Stanhope, 
who was a great-grandson of Edward Collingwood, of Byker and 
Dissington, by his marriage with Mary, daughter of John Roddam, 
the Admiral's uncle. 


3obn IRothcram, 


John Rotheraini was a son of Caleb Rotheram, D.D., school- 
master and preacher at Kendal. He was born in that town in 17 19, 
educated by his father, and sent at the proper time to the University 
of Edinburgh, where he studied medicine under Dr. Maclaurin. 
His University career was brilliant, so much so, that Dr. Maclaurin 
permitted him, while yet a student, to fill his place in the Lecture 
Room, and instruct the younger pupils. Having taken his degree, 
he commenced practice at Hexham, and about the year 1760 came 
to Newcastle, and establishing himself in Westgate Street, acquired 
a high reputation. He shared with Dr. Askew, then in declining 
years, the honours and emoluments which attach to the leading 
practitioner in an important provincial centre, and when, in 1771, 
Dr. Askew resigned the post of physician to Newcastle Infirmary, 
he was appointed his successor. He was also the physician to 
another useful charity, begun in the year that he settled in 
Newcastle — the Lying-in Hospital; and he attended the prisoners 
in the old gaol of Newgate for that best of all rewards, the pleasure 
of doing good. 

Outside of his professional engagements Dr. Rotheram was an 
active and useful public man. Among the more cultured residents 
in Newcastle he introduced a taste for natural philosophy, in the 
several branches of which, forestalling, and probably leading up to 
the formation of the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society, 
he gave repeated courses of lectures. His musical tastes were 
refined, and his abilities, vocal and instrumental, were more than 
respectable. With Mrs. Ord, of Fenham, Ralph Beilby, and other 
amateurs he assisted at the concerts which Dr. Brown, the learned 
and unfortunate Vicar of Newcastle, gave on Sunday evenings at the 
Vicarage. Having early in life imbibed a strong prejudice against 
Romanism, he wrote several papers against it in the "Protestant 
Packet." His political principles ran in a similar groove. He 
was a strong opponent of the Jacobites, and an enthusiastic supporter 
of the Hanoverian succession. When the statue of Charles H., 


removed in 1771 from the Magazine Gate, was set up in the 
Exchange, Newcastle, he wrote the following fiery pasquinade, and 
posted it on a door below the royal figure : — 

" Sacred to the Memory 


Of a justly detested race, and the most detestable rascal 

That ever disgraced the British throne. 

Ungrateful to his friends, 

Treacherous to his country. 

To humanity a stranger, 

He prostituted the best gifts of Nature 

(A strong bodily constitution and stronger mental parts), 

To the most abominable lewdness, and the worst of vices. 

Tho' a barren wife 

Left him no legitimate succeeding issue, 

Yet seven prolific 

Furnished a loyal and grateful people 

With numerous opportunities 

Of paying, daily, ample and lasting tribute 

To his lustful enjoyments. 

Curious Spectator, whoever thou art, 

Thankfully acknowledge thy obligations 

To the Right Worshipful the M— r and M— tes 

Of this once truly loyal, 

But now, alas ! licentious town ; 

That they have gratified the curious eye 

By placing this e.xquisite piece of art 

In a more elevated and conspicuous situation, 

In the front of their Hall of Justice. 

If happily thou retainest in thy generous breast 

The seeds of loyalty and affection 

To the unfortunate Royal House of Stuart, 

Reflect with gratitude 

On the blessings thou enjoyest 

From the happy and glorious Restoration 

Of Charles the Second, 

If unhappily thy principles or thy passions 

Torment thee with indignant rage, 

Receive instruction and profit 

From the wretch whose memory thou abhorrest : 

Or learn to moderate thy resentment, or party zeal, 

By the humiliating reflection 

That the heaviest oppressions, 

The most cruel persecutions. 

The vilest debaucheries, 
And most destructive vices, 


May reign and spread with Triumphant havock, 

Under the mild connivance, mistaken confidence, and unmerited favour, 

Of a most gracious and virtuous sovereign, 

As under the avowed auspices. 

The lewd example, and open encouragement. 

Of the most dissolute and abandoned Tyrant." 

About this time the inhabitants of Newcastle suffered from a 
scarcity of water, and the Corporation invited all persons conversant 
with the subject to make experiments for the purpose of determining 
which of the surrounding springs and streams yielded water the best 
fitted for domestic use. Dr. Rotheram was one of those who 
responded to the municipal appeal. He gave a series of lectures 
on the subject in Parker's Long Room, Bigg Market, explaining and 
illustrating them with curious and entertaining experiments, and in 
September, 1770, he issued them in a book, entitled — 

"A Philosophical Inquiry into the Nature and Properties of Water. With 
Elegant Copper-Plate Figures of the several Salts. By J. Rotheram, M.D." 
Newcastle: I. Thompson, Esq. 8vo, 132 pp. 

Some of the experiments in this book are very curious. For 
example, in testing water from Coxlodge, Dr. Rotheram found that, 
after evaporation and calcination, the residuum corroded the polished 
brass dish of the scales in which it was weighed; whereupon, suspect- 
ing the presence of mineral poison, he took thirty grains of it, mixed 
it in balls of oatmeal, and put the whole down the throat of a chicken, 
which he kept in his room for the rest of the day. It was not 
apparently disturbed or disordered, and when it was killed, three 
weeks afterwards, along with the rest of the brood, appeared upon 
the table " equally fat, and in good condition ! " Notwithstanding 
this convincing experiment the Doctor was not satisfied with 
Coxlodge water, and finally he gave his opinion that water " much 
more simple and pure, better in every respect, and much more in 
quantity," in fact, the best of all, was obtainable — from the River 
Tyne ! " The Tyne water," he wrote, " is undoubtedly the best and 
fittest in all respects; and next to it the springs in Westgate Hill, 
and those from which the fountain near Sir Walter Blackett's is 

Dr. Rotheram was the first President of the Philosophical and 
Medical Society of Newcastle (founded November ist, 1786), but did 
not live out his year of office. He died at his house in Westgate 
Street, on the i8th of March, 1787, and is commemorated on his 


father's tablet in Hexham Church by a Latin inscription which states 
that " his remarkable mental endowments, well-trained by the study 
of the sciences, he used for the public advantage, and not for his 
own." He left two sons — John (friend of Bewick, the engraver), 
who followed in his footsteps, studied physic under Linnaeus at 
Upsal, and became Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University 
of St. Andrews, and Edward, who went to sea, and distinguished 
himself in the service of his country. 

Edward Rotheram, born at Hexham, in 1753, studied mathematics 
under Charles Hutton, at his school in Westgate Street, Newcastle, 
and evincing a marked preference for navigation, was brought up to 
a seafaring life on board one of the famous colliers that ran between 
the Tyne and the Thames. Leaving the coal trade, and entering 
the Navy, he served in the squadron commanded by Admiral 
Barrington throughout the American War. He obtained a lieu- 
tenant's commission on the 19th of April, 1783, and was the senior 
officer of that rank on board the Culloden, 74 guns, in the battle of 
June ist, 1794, an event that led to his further promotion. A year 
later he commanded the Ca?nel, store ship, on the Mediterranean 
Station, and subsequently the Hawke, sloop of war, and the Lapiving 
frigate, at the Leeward Islands. His post commission bore date 
August 27th, 1800. 

In the great struggle against the united fleets of France and Spain 
which led up to the battle of Trafalgar, Captain Rotheram served 
under Admiral CoUingwood. He commanded the Dreadnought, 98 
guns, CoUingwood's flag-ship during the blockade of Cadiz, and 
"in Trafalgar's bay" he was captain of the ship to which CoUing- 
wood had been transferred — the Royal Sovereign. When that 
vessel, hotly engaged with the Santa Anna, one of the Spanish first- 
rates, was heeling over, two strakes out of the water, her studding- 
sails and halyards shot away, " Captain Rotheram, whose bravery 
on this occasion was remarkable, even among the instances of 
courage which the day displayed, came up to the Admiral, and 
shaking him by the hand, said, 'I congratulate you, sir; she is 
slackening her fire, and must soon strike!'" By his side fell three 
officers, two midshipmen, and forty-two seamen; while the wounded 
numbered four officers, five petty officers, and eighty-five men. At 
the close of the battle not a spar of his ship was left standing, 
except the tottering foremast, and it went overboard in the ensuing 


During the battle, Captain John Cooke, of the Bel/erophon, 74 
guns, was killed, and Admiral Collingwood, appreciating the valour 
of his townsman, appointed him to the command of that vessel. 
Captain Rotheram bore Lord Nelson's banner as a K.B. at the 
public funeral of that great naval warrior in January, 1806, and was 
nominated a Companion of the Most Honourable Military Order of 
the Bath at the conclusion of the peace in 18 15. A few months 
before his death, on the recommendation of the Duke of Clarence, 
lord high admiral (afterwards William IV.), he was appointed to an 
extra captaincy of Greenwich Hospital. This gallant officer died at 
Bildeston, in Suffolk, on the 2nd of November, 1830, aged 77. 

3obu IRotbcram, 


At the beginning of last century, the head-master of the Free 
Grammar School at Haydon Bridge was the Rev. William Rotheram, 
a man of solid learning and piety, and of great skill in his profession. 
He died there on the 4th of April, 1734, leaving two sons who 
became famous in after-life, one as a college professor and parish 
clergyman, and the other as an author and divine. 

Thomas Rotheram, the eldest son of the schoolmaster, was born 
at Chapel Hill, Haydon Bridge, in 1715. Educated at the Grammar 
School by his father, he was sent to Queen's College, Oxford, where 
he matriculated on the 24th of May, 1737, and afterwards took his 
Arts degrees — Bachelor in 1741, and Master in 1744. In the last- 
named year he accepted a professorship in Sir William Codrington's 
college at Barbadoes, and remained there till ill-health compelled 
his retirement in 1753. Upon his return to England he accepted 
the curacy of Great Stainton, in the county of Durham, where he 
remained till October, 1768, when he was collated to the vicarage of 
Haltwhistle. There, among the scenes of his youth, he continued 
to officiate till his death, which occurred at his brother's house, 
Houghton-le-Spring, in April, 1782, 

John Rotheram, second son of the schoolmaster, was born at 
Haydon Bridge on the 22nd of June, 1725. Trained in the Grammar 
School of that place by his father, he followed his brother Thomas to 



Queen's College, Oxford, where he matriculated on the i Sth of March, 
.1744-45. I"'' 1749 he took the degree of B.A., and entered into 
holy orders ; and having no particular prospect of patronage or pre- 
ferment, became tutor to the two sons of the Hon. Mr. Frere, in the 
island of Barbadoes, where his brother Thomas had already settled; 
the following year he became an assistant in Codrington College, 
under his brother. A controversy which excited much attention in 


the mother-country was being waged between Sherlock, Bishop of 
London, and Dr. Conyers Middleton, respecting Prophecy, and Mr. 
Rotheram wrote a book on the subject, entitled 

" The Force of the Argument for the Truth of Christianity, Drawn from a Col- 
lective View of Prophecy, etc. Being a Reply to Dr. Middleton's ' Examination 
of the Bishop of London's Discourse on Prophecy.' " 1732. 

For this publication Mr. Rotheram was presented by the University 
of Oxford with the degree of M.A, His next work, published in 
1754, was entitled — 


" A Sketch of the One Great Argument formed from the General Concurring 
Evidences for the Truth of Christianity." 

Three years later, hearing that there was a probabiUty of obtaining 
a fellowship in University College, Oxford, he returned to Eng- 
land, and accepted the curacy of Tottenham, Middlesex. In 1760, 
the suggested preferment came to him ; he was elected Percy Fellow 
of University. The following year he published a sermon " On the 
Origin of Faith," preached before the University of Oxford from John 
X. 37, 38, which, in 1766, he re-issued in an enlarged and improved 
form under the title of 

"An Essay on Faith, and its Connection with Good Works." Newcastle : T. 
Saint. 8vo, 242 pp. 

Soon after the publication of the " Essay on Faith," Bishop Trevor 
of Durham appointed him one of his domestic chaplains and col- 
lated him to the rectory of Ryton, vacant by the death of the Rev. 
John Lloyd, M.A. He entered upon his duties there in February, 
1766; and three years later, on the death of Dr. Stonhewer, the 
bishop gave him the valuable living of Hough ton-le-Spring. Shortly 
afterwards he was appointed one of the trustees of Bishop Crewe's 
Charity; in 1774 he was one of the Proctors in Convocation for the 
Archdeaconry of Durham, and in 1778 he obtained the vicarage of 
Seaham, which he resigned, in 1783, to his nephew, the Rev. Richard 
Wallis, son of the Rev. Richard Wallis, Vicar of Carham (brother of 
WaUis, the historian), by his marriage with Mr. Rotheram's sister. 
He died at Bamborough Castle, July i6th, 1789, aged 64, and was 
buried in his church at Houghton-le-Spring. 

Besides the works already enumerated, Mr. Rotheram published 
the following : — 

" Three Sermons on Public Occasions : (l) The Wisdom of Providence in the 
Administration of the World, preached at St. Mary's, Oxford, October 25, 
1762, on the Anniversary of his Majesty's Inauguration; (2) The Influence of 
Religion on Human Laws, preached also at St. Mary's, at Oxford Assizes, March 
II, 1763; (3) On the Nature of Government, preached before the University, 
May 29, 1765." 

" Sermon Preached at St. Nicholas' Church In Newcastle upon Tyne, On 
Saturday, July 27, 1771, Before the Governors and Stewards of the Infirmary, 
And Published at their Request." Newcastle: T. Saint. 8vo, 177 1. 

"A Sermon on the Death of Richard Trevor, Lord Bishop of Durham." 8vo, 

" An Apology for the Athanasian Creed." 1775. 

"A Sermon against Persecution, Preached at Houghton-le-Spring, July 16, 


17S0, Occasioned by the Late Riots in London and other parts of the Kingdom." 
Newcastle, 17S0. 

"An Essay on the Distinction between the Soul and Body of Man." New- 
castle: T. Saint. 8vo, 17S1. 

"An Essay on Human Liberty." 8vo, 1782. 

" An Essay on Establishments in Religion, With Remarks on the Confessional." 
Newcastle: J. White & T. Saint. Svo, 1767. 

IRobcrt IRoyb^, 


" They may talk of 'Arabian bowers,' 
And ' myrtle groves ' over the sea ; 
Give me my Northumbria's wild flowers. 
And the hills o' my native countrie ! " 

— Roxby's "Epistle to Robert Boyd." 

The banks of the River Reed, birthplace of celebrated mathe- 
maticians, and home of famous schoolmasters, can claim also to 
have added to local biography adepts in the lighter arts of minstrelsy 
and song. One of the best known among them is Robert Roxby, 
the bard who sang of angling, with its perils and pleasures, its dis- 
appointments and delights. 

Robert Roxby, born in 1767, and deprived at an early age of a 
father's care, was admitted into the family of Gabriel Goulburn, an 
extensive Redesdale farmer, to be trained to the pursuit of agricul- 
ture. With him he remained till about 1792, when the little fortune 
which his father had left him was swept away by his guardian's 
failure, and he was compelled to seek a living elsewhere. To New- 
castle he directed his steps, and in the bank of Sir AVilliam Loraine 
& Co. he obtained a situation as clerk. Here again misfortune 
attended him. The bank came to grief, and once more he was 
thrown upon his own resources. Not for long, fortunately ; for 
another firm of bankers — that of Sir Matthew White Ridley & Co. — 
gave him employment. In their service he rose to the position of 
chief clerk, and so continued till old age brought his commercial 
career to an end. 

In early youth Mr. Roxby began to cultivate the poetic faculty. 
For some time the outward manifestation of his abilities in this 
direction was limited to the production of rhythmical letters, ad- 



dressed to friends in Redesdale and Coquetside. By these friends 
the humble efforts of his muse were highly appreciated, for he sang 
of them and their homes, and described the scenes in which they 
lived, and moved, and had their being. So pleased were they with 
some of his verses that they copied and re-copied them for other 
friends, near and far, and thus obtained for them a wide circulation, 
and for the author a considerable reputation. The time came when 
they persuaded him to venture into print. Desirous to please, Mr. 
Roxby expanded into a ballad poem of a hundred and sixteen verses 
a metrical letter of a few stanzas which he had originally indited to a 

friend at Broomyholme, near Chester-le-Street. Two hundred and 
fifty copies of it, in quarto, were printed by subscription, with the 
following title : — 

"The Lay of the Reedvvater Minstrel. lUustrated, with Notes, Historical and 
Explanatory, Addressed to Matthew Forster of Broomyholme, Esq. By a Son of 
Reed." Newcastle: D. Akenhead & Sons, 1809. 

Upon the title-page is a cut by Bewick, representing the bard and 
three of his friends in the enjoyment of a social evening under the 
broad rafters of a farmhouse, to which enjoyment one of the party is 
contributing music from the Northumberland pipes. When this 
edition had long been out of print, in 1832, a second issue, uniform 
with the publications of the Newcastle Typographical Society, was 

R OBER T R OXB Y. 337 

printed by T. & J. Hodgson, with the Bewick cut reproduced, and 
the author's name appended. By this time the rhythmical skill of 
Mr. Roxby had become more widely known, and tlie whole impres- 
sion went off rapidly. 

An enthusiastic disciple of Izaak Walton, Mr. Roxby added zest 
to his favourite pursuit by contributing to its poetical literature. In 
182 1, in conjunction with his friend Thomas Doubleday, he pub- 
lished what proved to be the commencement of a series of lyrical 
productions, known to sportsmen with rod and fly as " Fisher's 
Garlands." These Garlands, illustrated with appropriate cuts by 
Bewick, were published annually, till 1843, by Emerson Charnley, 
who, printing a title-page for those that were issued prior to 1836, 
made up a much-prized little volume. The Garlands for 1844 and 
1845 were printed by William Garret, and he, making up complete 
sets of twenty-nine, issued another volume, with a new title-page. 
Finally, the original MSS., with the correspondence relating to them, 
and the corrected proof-sheets of the entire series, were acquired by 
Mr. Joseph Crawhall, and that gentleman, editing the whole set, and 
adding others, published, in 1864 — 

"A Collection of Right Merrie Garlands for North Country Anglers. Edited 
by Joseph Crawhall, and Continued to this Present Year." Newcastle: George 
Rutland, 1S64. 8vo, xvi.-3i4 pp. 

In Mr. Crawhall's collection the following " Garlands " appear in 
the joint names of Mr. Roxby and Mr. Doubleday — 

The Fisher's Garland for 1821. 
The Fisher's Garland for 1823. — "Coquet Side." 

The Fisher's Garland for 1824. — " The Auld Fisher's Welcome to Coquet Side." 
The Fisher's Garland for 1825. — "The Auld Fisher's Farewell to Coquet." 
The Fisher's Garland for 1826. — " The Coquet for Ever." 

The Fisher's Garland for 1832. — " The Fisher's Invitation to his Friend in 

By Mr. Roxby alone is the Garland for 185 1, "The Auld Fisher's 
Visit to North Tyne," which, first appearing in " Richardson's Table 
Book," as an " Epistle to Robert Boyd, Esq.," had been transformed 
into a Garland by Mr. Doubleday, in a collection which he published 
in 1852, under the title of "The Coquetdale Fishing Songs, Now 
First Collected and Edited by a North-Country Angler." 

Along with the " Epistle to Robert Boyd," three other examples 
of Mr. Roxby's INIuse are to be found in the Legendary Division of 
the " Table Book." They are all of the same character as those 

VOL. III. 22 


with which the author began his poetical career, namely, rhyming 
letters to friends and acquaintances, and are headed, respectively — 

" Stanzas to a Friend at Byrness, Redesdale." 

" Stanzas to Miss J H ." 

" Poetic Epistle to Misses Ann and Jane Hedley, Bridge End, near West 

Mr. Roxby is described in " Thomas Bewick, his Life and Times," 
by Robert Robinson, as of middle height, with much colour, and 
wearing a patch over one eye. He usually wore a dark green dress 
coat, and light drab gaiters. On first entering the bank in the 
morning, he used to ask a clerk in the establishment, who lived in 
Jesmond Dene, " Were the mennims loupin' in the burn this 
morning?" His death occurred at his residence, Westgate Hill, 
Newcastle, on the 30th July, 1846, in the seventy-ninth year of his 

3obn Ibunter IRutberfor^ 


John Hunter Rutherford, a native of Jedburgh, trained for the 
Presbyterian ministry, received his education at the Grammar School 
of his native town, and at St. Andrews and Glasgow Universities. 
He did not, however, enter the ranks of the Scottish ministry, but 
became an evangelist, proclaiming what was called in those days the 
new light — the Morisonian doctrine of a free gospel to all, in opposi- 
tion to the stricter forms of Calvinism. Traversing the North- 
Country from Cheviot to Crossfell, he came to Newcastle, where he 
soon became popular as a public speaker and preacher. Admirers 
gathered round him, and finally the Lecture Room, in Nelson 
Street, was taken for regular services. At that place he officiated as 
minister, Sunday after Sunday, till his hearers became so numerous 
and so much attached to him that they decided upon erecting Bath 
Lane Church, which was opened in i860. 

An educational reformer of the most liberal and pronounced type, 
Mr. Rutherford had not been long settled in his church before he set 
about the establishment of schools. His first effort in this direction 
was the elementary school in Corporation Street, the foundation- 
stone of which was laid by Lord Amberley, son of Earl Russell, on 



the 29th of June, 1870. Room was provided for 660 scholars, 
and withui two years every place was occupied. Additions were 
made, and the class-room space nearly doubled; still more accom- 
modation was needed, and eventually a branch school was built 
in Camden Street, Shieldfield, for 480 children. At Heaton 
elementary classes were held in the Leighton Memorial School, 
and a building in Shields Road, formerly a chapel, was devoted 
to the purposes of an infant school. All this time, however, there 
was felt to be a need for something more than mere elementary 
education; and the next step was the erection of the School of 

D-r J.-fl-fJurijcrfor'd 

Science and Art in Corporation Street, the foundation-stone of 
which was laid by Mr. Joseph Cowen, on the 21st of November, 
1877. As it was impossible to receive the Byker students at 
Corporation Street, Ashfield Villa, near Heaton railway station, 
was acquired as a branch science and art school. In the early 
part of 1886, a further important step was taken in the opening 
of a technical college in Diana Street, with playground, workshops, 
dining hall, kitchen, and dormitories. Over these educational under- 
takings Mr. Rutherford exercised a direct personal supervision, and 
frequently addressed the scholars and students on subjects affecting 


their duty and conduct in life. To diligent and successful students 
encouragement was given by a liberal distribution of prizes; and the 
annual meetings at which these proceedings have taken place were 
the occasions of visits to Newcastle of at least two well-known 
politicians — the Marquis of Hartington and Lord Randolph 

Considering the active part which he took in the promotion of 
education, it is not surprising that Mr. Rutherford should have been 
selected to represent his fellow-townsmen upon the Newcastle School 
Board. He was returned as one of the first members of that body, 
and he retained an unbroken connection with it as an ordinary 
member, and later as vice-chairman, to the end of his days. 

With a view of realising more completely his ideal of what a 
Christian minister should be, Mr. Rutherford determined to study 
medicine; and although a man in middle life, he went amongst the 
young students at the Medical College, Newcastle, and obtained his 
qualifications, taking the degree of L.R.C.P., Edinburgh, in 1867, 
and that of L.R.C.S., Edinburgh, in the same year. To this course 
of procedure he was largely incited by a desire to speak with 
authority on the physiological phases of temperance, of which he 
was a zealous advocate; but among members of his congregation 
and others, he had a considerable practice as a family doctor. Closely 
allied with this branch of Dr. Rutherford's attainments was the in- 
terest which for many years he manifested in local sanitation. In 
1866, as the result of a long inquiry personally conducted by him, 
he prepared a voluminous report on the Public Health of Newcastle, 
which furnished material for prolonged discussion in the Town 
Council. On the same subject he read a paper at the Social 
Science Congress, held in Newcastle in 1870. 

But the labours of Dr. Rutherford (for after he became a surgeon 
he was universally called " Doctor ") were not confined even to these 
varied spheres. After the nine hours strike, in 1871, he considered 
that the time had arrived when it was possible for workmen to 
become their own employers, and he organised an Engineering 
Co-operative scheme, acquiring for that purpose the Ouseburn 
Engine Works in the east end of Newcastle. The scheme was 
a failure, and it entailed upon Dr. Rutherford heavy responsibilities 
and great losses. Relatives and friends were largely involved in the 
business, and year by year up to the time of his death he paid out of 
his income towards the debts that were then contracted. 


Although Dr. Rutherford's labours were chiefly devoted to re- 
ligious, educational, and social movements, he was a keen politician. 
The Northern Reform League and the Northern Reform Union had 
in him a most successful organiser of great demonstrations. When 
the advanced wing of the Liberal party in Newcastle determined in 
1857 to claim from the Whigs a share in the representation of the 
town, he went to Bradford to induce Mr. W. E. Forster (afterwards 
the Right Hon. W. E. Forster) to become a candidate. Mr. Forster 
was willing to contest the borough, and came to Newcastle for that 
purpose, but found on his arrival that another section of the Radicals 
— an Evangelical branch — had entered into negotiations with Mr. 
Peter Carstairs, a retired Lidia merchant. Mr. Carstairs fought two 
elections in Newcastle, and, although heartily supported by the 
Rutherford following, was beaten in both. Dr Rutherford learned 
from these elections the fact that, in a district like Tyneside, 
local interest supersedes other considerations, and he promoted a 
requisition asking Sir Joseph Cowen — then plain Mr. Cowen — to 
stand for Newcastle. The requisition was accepted, the candidate 
went to the poll and won easily. When Sir Joseph died, and his 
son, Mr. Joseph Cowen, became a candidate. Dr. Rutherford worked 
even more energetically than before. So long as Mr. Cowen 
represented Newcastle, the doctor's interest in politics was strong; 
after Mr. Cowen's retirement he withdrew from the political platform, 
and his voice was seldom, if ever, heard there again. 

Once, at least. Dr. Rutherford tried to enter Newcastle Town 
Council, and was defeated. To the Board of Guardians he was 
returned regularly for some years, where, making himself acquainted 
with the poor and their surroundings, he was able to bring practical 
experience to bear upon Poor Law administration. He was one of 
the leading spirits in movements for the relief of the unemployed, 
and he began, and helped to conduct for several winters, Sunday 
morning free breakfasts for poor children at Bath Lane Hall. From 
his first coming he identified himself with the temperance movement, 
and it may be doubted whether North of England abstainers ever had 
a more skilful, more eloquent, more effective mouthpiece. 

Dr. Rutherford died on the 21st of March, 1890, aged 64, and was 
interred in Elswick Cemetery amid a vast concourse of people. His 
memory is preserved in Newcastle by Bath Lane Church, and the 
Rutherford College adjoining, and by a handsome drinking-fountain 
in front of the Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas. 


3obn Sal?lel^, 


" Here lies in hope of a blessed Resurrec. the body of ye truly valiant and 
loyal Gent. Col. John Salkeld, wo serv'd King Charles ye 1st with a constant, 
dangerous, and expensive loyalty as voluntier Captain and CoUonell of horse. 
And for the service of his King and Country he took in Berwick-upon-Tweed, and 
Carlile, which was a rice to the warr of 48. He afterwards served in Ireland 
under King Charles and King James ye 2nd as Lieutenant Coll. He was Justice 
of ye Peace 35 years, and aged 89 he departed this life June the 2nd 1705." — 
Epitaph at Rock. 

The Manor of Rock, situated about five miles north-east of Alnwick 
— one of the ancient possessions of the Swinhoes, and afterwards, for 
a short time, of a branch of the wide-spread family of Lawson — 
passed, by purchase, in 1620, into the hands of John Salkeld. The 
vendors were Sir Ralph Lawson, of Burgh, knight, Marmaduke 
Lawson, his second son (who had become the heir through the 
death of his brother Roger, husband of the famous Dorothy Lawson 
of St. Anthony's), and Thomas Fenwick of West Matfen. The 
purchaser is described as John Salkeld the younger of Hull or Huln 
Abbey, Alnwick, gentleman, a descendant of the great house of 
Salkeld in Cumberland. Thomas Salkeld, a younger son of the 
Cumberland family, marrying, about the middle of the sixteenth 
century, an Ogle of Ogle Castle, settled at Bassington, near 
Eglinghain. His heir, John Salkeld, of Bassington, took to wife 
Catherine, daughter of Nicholas Forster of Newham, and the eldest 
son of that marriage, born in 1593, and united, about the year 1614, 
to Dorothy, daughter of William Carnaby, was John Salkeld the 
younger, of Huln Abbey, the purchaser of Rock. John Salkeld, 
No. 3, whose name heads this biography was John Salkeld the 
younger's eldest son. 

That "truly valiant and loyal gent.," who served King Charles I. 
with such " constant, dangerous, and expensive loyalty," as the 
epitaph declares, was born in 161 6. By the time he had reached 
the age of manhood, civil war was impending, and the landed gentry 
were obtaining instruction in the use of arms for the defence of 
Church and Crown. Young Mr. Salkeld became a volunteer in the 
king's service, and in 1640, shortly after the skirmish at Newburn, 
and the first capture of Newcastle by the Scots, he gained the rank 


of captain. Three years later he obtained notoriety by a particularly 
daring outrage. On the 13th of February, 1643, a party of North- 
Country gentlemen assembled at Meldon, the seat of Sir William 
Fenwick, to discuss public affairs, or to celebrate some festive 
occasion. Among them were Baron Venables, Sir Nicholas 
Thornington, John Swinburne of Capheaton, George Heron of 
Chipchase, Henry Lambert of West W'itton, in Wensleydale, and the 
young captain. Between two and three o'clock in the afternoon 
Mr. Swinburne left Meldon, accompanied by his third wife, Anne, 
daughter of Sir Charles Blount. In a short time, leaving his wife 
to pursue her journey towards Capheaton alone, and probably 
promising to overtake her, he returned to Meldon and rejoined the 
party, with whom he remained about half-an-hour. Pressed to stay 
longer, he declined. Captain Salkeld, heated no doubt with wine, 
was particularly obtrusive in desiring Mr. Swinburne to prolong his 
visit, but he remained firm. Thereupon, the choleric captain drew 
his rapier, and ran Mr. Swinburne through the body, inflicting a 
wound of which, two days later, the victim died. At the coroner's 
inquest, Henry Brown, a servant of Mr. Swinburne's, told the dismal 
story in a very clear and concise manner: — 

" Mr. Swinburn, being riding upon his hors at Meldon Gaits, 
intending to ride home after his wife, who was gone a little afore to 
Capheton, Salkeld stept afore him, and would have him to light, and 
drinke more. Mr. Swinburn refused. Salkeld told him he should light 
anddrinke a cupe more; but still Mr. Swinburn refused, where upon 
Salkeld stept afore him and drew his raper ; made a thrust at him, and 
hurt his hors ; where upon Mr. Swinburn, seeing his hors hurt, alighted, 
and as he was a leting his cloike fall from him, profering to lay his 
hand on his sword, where upon I being present, and his servant, run 
in hastely, fearing my Master, Mr. Swinburn, should have drawn his 
sword. I cacht hould of him, and in ye intrem, Salkeld came run- 
ning in and thrust him in ye belly, which wound was his death." 

There was some evidence before the coroner of a previous quarrel 
between Mr. Swinburne and Captain Salkeld, and the jury had no 
hesitation in returning a verdict of murder and in attributing it to 
"premeditated malice." The murderer took to his heels as soon as 
he discovered the serious consequences of his violence and fled to 
"an adjoining county." What penalty he paid for his crime is not 
stated. From the fact that the jury described the murder as being 
committed with " a rapier sword, of the value of five shillings 


sterling," it may be that something in the nature of a deodand was 
exacted from him. Or, on the other hand, it may be that, in the 
confusion created by civil war, the crime went unpunished. 

Into the war Captain Salkeld threw himself with characteristic 
boldness and enthusiasm. Hot-headed and impetuous, he was ready 
to adventure anything and everything for the cause of his royal 
master. Whether he occupied the very prominent position assigned 
to him in the epitaph may be doubted, but he certainly took an 
active part in the seizure of Berwick by Marmaduke Langdale in 
May, 1648, and in the loose warfare along the Borders which fol- 
lowed, till in June he and many of his compatriots were taken 
prisoners. Major Sanderson, a Parliamentary officer, writing from 
Newcastle on the 3rd July to the House of Commons, describes 
the capture of Salkeld (who had been made a lieutenant-colonel in 
Langdale's army) in the following terms : — 

" Friday, 30 Junii, according to agreement, we randezvoused about 
eleven of the clocke at ChoUerford, three miles north of Hexam. 
We hasted away that night, and marched sixteen miles from Hexam 
to Harterton, bated our horses two houres, then mounted again and 
marched from thence ; I had the command of the forlorne hope. 
The first Towne we fell into was Tossons, where wee took a Lieu- 
tenant and sixe of his Dragoons, all in bed; the next Town was 
Lurbottle, where we took 60 Horse and 60 Men, all in bed. The 
next quarter was Carlile (Callaly?) where Col. Grey, Lieut. -Col. 
Salkeld, and many others were taken, with 80 horse." 

Lieutenant-Colonel Salkeld must have obtained his release shortly 
after, for in September, when Cromwell came northward, and put the 
final stroke to the combat, he was among the Royalists who fled from 
Berwick and took refuge on the Continent. On the 26th of that 
month the House of Commons was informed, from Newcastle, that of 
100 English officers or persons of quality who had taken part in the 
struggle, 80 had " gone from Berwick in a small Vessel beyond Seas, 
among whom is Sir John Morley, Colonel Grey, Major Hoborn, 
Young Salkeild, and others; the rest gone towards CarUsle." Not 
for long, however, did this ardent cavalier remain in exile. He 
bowed to the storm, made his peace with Parliament, and returned 
to take part in the public life of his native county. His name occurs 
as one of the Commissioners appointed in 1650 to make what is 
known as the Oliverian Survey of Church Livings in Northumberland, 
and in 1654 he was one of the freeholders who certified the return of 


three members to serve the county in Cromwell's Parliament. After 
that date history is silent respecting him. Nothing is known beyond 
the statement made in the epitaph that he " served in Ireland under 
King Charles, and King James ye 2nd as Lieutenant-Coll," that he 
was "Justice of ye Peace 35 years," and that "aged 89, he departed 
this life June the 2nd, 1705." 

IRicharb Bur^ons=San^er6on, 


In the days of our fathers and grandfathers, few names were more 
familiar in the religious circles of the North of England, or more 
highly honoured among Evangelical Christians throughout the 
kingdom, than that of the gifted squire of Jesmond, Richard 
Burdon-Sanderson. A man of good family, related to high per- 
sonages in Church and State, Mr. Burdon-Sanderson forsook, at 
a comparatively early age, the Tory and High Church principles 
of his relatives and friends; sacrificed for conscience' sake brilliant 
prospects of preferment; threw in his lot with the lowly; and, aided 
by a cultured mind and a fluent pen, became known to our fore- 
elders as the unflinching advocate of Protestant Nonconformity, and 
the untiring champion of civil and religious freedom. 

Mr. Burdon-Sanderson was the third son of Sir Thomas Burden, 
Knight, by Jane, daughter of William Scott, of Newcastle, and sister 
of the future Lords Eldon and Stowell. He was born in Northum- 
berland Street, Newcastle, on the 31st March, 1791, and at the age 
of seven was sent to the preparatory school of the Rev. Mr. Birkett, 
at Ovingham. From thence, in 1S03, he went to Durham Grammar 
School, and six years later, after twelve months preliminary training 
with the Rev. Mr. Manisty at Edlingham, he was entered at Oriel 
College, Oxford. 

Young Mr. Burdon (for he did not assume the name of Sanderson 
till his marriage) entered the University at a time of great religious 
fervour, and he had not been long there before he came under 
its influence. With George Clayton, son of Nathaniel Clayton, 
Town Clerk of Newcastle, and a student named Brandram, known 
in after-years as the Secretary of the Bible Society, he entered upon 
a course of religious worship and ritual observance which, involving 



attendance at divine service twice a day, fasting twice a week, etc., 
excited some commotion in the College. So earnest was Mr. Burdon 
in his spiritual exercises, that, until severely chided by his father, he 
declined an invitation to spend Christmas, 1809, at the house 
of his uncle, Sir William Scott, on the ground that Sir William's 
style of living did not fully accord with his principles. He joined 
a " nest of Methodists " at St. Edmund's Hall, under Daniel Wilson, 
afterwards Bishop of Calcutta, and chose for his friends and com- 
panions youths like Whately and Keble, Arnold and Hinds. 
Meanwhile he pursued his studies with great ardour and success. 

1^.Sardot\ &i\(i8rgoii^fl?&£|ijr. 

In 1810 he gained the Newdigate Prize, the subject being "The 
Parthenon," and, in 1812, having entered himself at the Temple, to 
follow the legal profession, he took a First in classics, and his degree 
of B.A. The following year he was beaten by Coleridge for the 
Latin prize, but obtained a fellowship of his college, and the office of 
" Secretary of Presentations " to his uncle. Lord Chancellor Eldon. 
A twelvemonth later he won the prize for the English Essay, " A 
Comparative Estimate of the English Literature of the Seventeenth 
and Eighteenth Centuries," and shortly afterwards received from his 
uncle another office — that of Commissioner in Bankruptcy. 


While studying at the Temple in 1813, Mr. Burdon met the lady 
who was destined to become his wife. She was the daughter and 
heiress of Sir James Sanderson, Bart, a native of York, who had 
filled the offices of Sheriff and Lord Mayor of London, and had sat 
in Parliament as M.P. for Malmesbury (1792) and Hastings (1796). 
Her mother, a daughter of Alderman Skinner, was a Nonconformist. 
They were married at St. George's, Bloomsbury, on the 7th of 
February, 1S15, when, in accordance with Sir James's will, Mr. 
Burdon took the name of Sanderson in addition to his own, and 
became Richard Burdon-Sanderson. 

For a year and a half after his marriage, Mr. Burdon-Sanderson 
followed the study of the law, and attended to his official duties. 
He accompanied the Lord Chancellor to the House of Lords during 
the Burdett riots, and received in his coat a shot intended for his 
patron. Lord Eldon took a fatherly interest in his young relative, 
and most brilliant prospects seemed to be opening out before him. 
Could he have stifled his religious views, he might have attained 
to a high position in the service of the State. But those views 
were gradually becoming deeper and stronger, and as they increased 
in intensity his discontent with the formalism and indifference of 
Churchmen, and his distrust of Church methods, grew apace. As 
Secretary of Presentations he saw the shady side of the system 
of patronage. One clergyman, asking for a living, pleaded that he 
had raised a troop of yeomanry; another that he had voted for Lord 
Eldon at Oxford; a third offered ten per cent, commission upon any 
living to which the Lord Chancellor might present him. After 
struggling with his conscience for some time, Mr. Burdon-Sanderson 
wrote to his uncle resigning both his appointments. Lord Eldon 
respected his nephew's motives, and offered him a Mastership in 
Chancery. But with the Test Act in operation, the acceptance 
of that office involved a profession of conformity which he was 
not prepared to make, and he declined it. The same obstacle 
stood in his way to the Bar, and he determined to withdraw from 
his legal studies. Shortly afterwards, in 181 7, Lady Sanderson, his 
mother-in-law, died, and at her interment (which took place upon 
her own property at Cranbrook, in unconsecrated ground), the 
appointed Nonconformist minister being absent, he conducted the 
funeral service. This decisive act of divergence from the principles 
of his family gave great offence, and widened the breach which his 
independent attitude towards the great Chancellor had created. 


For the next few years Mr. Burdon-Sanderson lived at Tunbridge 
Wells, and there on the 27th June, 1821, his eldest son, Richard 
Burdon-Sanderson, was born. Having by this time broken his 
connection with the Church of England, he had the infant baptised 
at an Independent Chapel — a ceremony which was repeated two 
years later on the occasion of the birth of a daughter. In 1822 
he lost his mother, and in 1826, during the heat of the great 
election, his father. 

Under Sir Thomas Burdon's will Mr. Burdon-Sanderson succeeded 
to the family estates. Returning to Northumberland to reside, he 
led a quiet and retired life, till, in 1833, being at Biddlestone during 
the rebuilding of the family mansion at Jesmond, he commenced a 
series of Sunday evening services, and published a collection of daily 
thoughts on sacred subjects, under the title of " Bread of the First 
Fruits." Having in this way broken the ice, he entered upon a 
career of unusual activity as a religious teacher. Nonconformist 
lecturer, and polemical pamphleteer. In his new mansion at West 
Jesmond, erected from his own designs, and in his country house 
at Otterburn, he gathered round him the foremost men in Evangelical 
propagandism and philanthropic endeavour. Among them came the 
Hon. and Rev. J. A. Methuen, brother of Lord Methuen, who, 
changing his views on baptism, had abandoned infant sprinkling, 
and adopted the practice of immersion for believers only. By him, 
in a piece of water that ran through the grounds at Otterburn Dene, 
Mr. Burdon-Sanderson was baptised in 1837. His wife was baptised 
in the same manner soon afterwards, and both of them had the 
satisfaction ere long of seeing their children follow their example. 

At the time of his baptism, Mr. Burdon-Sanderson held a com- 
mission of the peace for the county, and a commission of war as 
major of the Tyne Hussars — a corps which, with the rank of colonel, 
his father, Sir Thomas Burdon, had proudly commanded. Upon 
the accession of the Queen, he allowed both of these honourable 
appointments to lapse, rather than take an oath of fidelity to the 
Established Church. He had just published a pamphlet in which 
he attempted to show what he considered to be the popish origin 
and tendency of the government and ritual of that Church, and was 
busy with others of the same design and tendency. From that date, 
for several years, his activity as a pamphleteer knew neither cessation 
nor rest. Press and platform were alike utilised in spreading his 
principles, and at length he resorted to the pulpit. 


In 1843, a small property in Brandling Village came into the 
market. It consisted of a chapel, with a house and garden, which 
had originally belonged to the Methodists, and had been transferred 
by them to the Church of England. Mr. Burdon-Sanderson bought 
this property, intending to place in the chapel an ex-rector, who, 
having left the Church for conscience' sake, was, at the time, acting 
in the capacity of tutor to his sons. But this intention was never 
realised, for he began himself to officiate in the building. He 
commenced with a Sunday evening lecture, and then, finding the 
attendance encouraging, he accepted the help of his eldest son, 
Richard Burdon-Sanderson, junior, and opened the place for public 
worship on Tuesday and Friday evenings. It was not connected 
with any particular denomination, though the doctrines expounded 
therein were those professed by the Baptists. Members of that 
community in Newcastle, attracted by the vigour and intelligence 
of the two preachers, sought church communion with them. 
" Having found your ministry, and the ministry of your son, to be 
according to the oracles of God, and edifying to ourselves," they 
wrote, "we earnestly desire to be united with you in the fellowship 
of the Gospel, and in celebrating the ordinances of our Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ." Their wish was granted, a church fellowship 
was formed, the cause was strengthened later on by the acquisition 
of Marlborough Crescent Chapel, in Newcastle, and in these two 
places of worship father and son preached for many years to varying 

In the same year that Mr. Burdon-Sanderson began to preach at 
Brandling Village the disruption of the Church of Scotland occurred. 
His sympathies were all with the seceders; he put up their names in 
his chapel, subscribed to their funds, and to encourage the English 
clergy in following their example, he started a monthly magazine, 
bearing the euphonious title of "The English Non-Intrusionist; or, 
Northern Lights in Southern Latitudes." A few issues of this 
publication served its editor's turn, and then he changed the title to 
that of "The Anti-]Monopolist; Religious and Political." "Anti- 
Monopolist" was smart and vivacious, caustic and incisive. It 
opposed the three "P's" — Popery, Prelacy, and Puseyism, de- 
nounced the University monopoly of Bible printing, the system of 
patronage in Church livings, and the imposition of Church rates; 
advocated the extension of the voluntary system; demanded the 
repeal of the Corn Laws, and put forward with considerable skill 


most of the views held by contemporary reformers in Church and 
State. It ran for about a year and a half, and was then withdrawn. 

Towards the close of 1847 Mr. Burdon-Sanderson formed an 
intimacy with the brothers Haldane, pioneers in the diffusion of 
Evangelical religion in Scotland and in Geneva. A fortnightly 
correspondence, chiefly on doctrinal points, ensued, and was kept up 
for several years. The friendship thus begun was deepened by the 
union of R. Burdon-Sanderson the younger to Isabella Haldane 
in 1848, and by the marriage of Robert Haldane to Mary 
Elizabeth Burdon-Sanderson five years later. Between these two 
dates Mr. Burdon-Sanderson resided for his health's sake at Belle 
Vue, near Plymouth, and there, as at home, he held meetings for 
praise and prayer, preached, and baptised converts. Wherever he 
went he pursued the same course. At home he provided services 
and schools in Marlborough Crescent, at Brandling Village, and 
upon his property at Brunton, in the parish of Gosforth. At Edin- 
burgh and Rothesay, London and Ealing, scenes of successive 
holidays in the next half-dozen years, he was ever " working for the 

In the spring of 1859, Mr. Burdon-Sanderson took a house at 
Hampstead, and for the rest of his life made it his winter home. 
The year following, he honoured the cause he had espoused by 
making himself responsible for the whole of the debt outstanding 
upon the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon's Tabernacle. At the same time he 
began a series of social gatherings for prayer among his friends and 
neighbours on the northern heights of London. These gatherings 
soon outdrew his design. In no long time they had developed into 
two meetings on Sundays, a prayer-meeting on Mondays, a lecture 
on Thursdays, and the administration of the Sacrament every 
Sunday morning. In labours like these his remaining years were 
spent. They were but few. A severe blow fell upon him in June, 
1864, when his wife, with whom for fifty years he had been united in 
the closest sympathy, was taken away. He never properly recovered 
from the effects of that great bereavement. He died on the loth of 
February following. 

Mr. Burdon-Sanderson's family consisted of two sons and three 
daughters. The elder son succeeded to the estates, and died under 
circumstances to be related hereafter in 1876. The second son, 
named after Lord Eldon, John Scott Burdon-Sanderson, has 
attained a world-wide reputation as a physiologist. 


The principal productions of Mr. Burdon-Sanderson's pen (with 
titles somewhat abridged) are these : — 

" Parthenon: Verses Recited in the Theatre, Oxford, in the year 1811." 

"A Comparative Estimate of the English Literature of the 17th and iSth 
Centuries." 1S14. 

" Bread of the First Fruits." London, 1833. 

"The Church of England Identified. The Church of Rome Identified." 
London, 1836. 

" The Seven Vials." London, 1837, 

"Babylon: Or the Conservative System: With the Comparative Anatomy of 
each." London, 1837. 

" Essays on the Apocalypse (comprising the Three Preceding Tracts). With 
Illustrations." London, 1837. 

" Pietas Dunelmensis: Or the Religion of Durham Illustrated." London, 1837. 

"Illustrations of Certain Points in Church History. A Series of Essays." 

" Letters of a Layman, or Epistles to the Priesthood." 1839. 

" The Autobiography of an Obsolete Churchman." London, 1840. 

"The Dew of Hermon, or Sion's Daily Sacrifice." London, 1840. Second 
Edition, 1854. 

" The Church of Scotland Identified." London, 1842. 

" The Church of England as by Law Established." Newcastle, 1843. 

" The Practice of Lay Preaching Stated and Vindicated from the Scriptures." 
Newcastle, 1843. 

"The 'Three Orders' in the Church of England as by Law Established." 
Three Lectures. Newcastle, 1844. 

" Free Will Believing, Not the Faith of the Gospel." Newcastle, 1844. 

"The 'Three Churches,' Catholic and ^-Ecumenical; Roman, English, and 
Greek." Newcastle, 1S44. 

" Translations from Luther : — ' Luther's Answer to Henry VIII.,' ' The Apos- 
tolical Succession,' etc." Newcastle, 1S44. 

" The Doctrine of Faith and Works." Newcastle, 1844. 

" The Latter Rain." Newcastle, 1845. 

■' Sin after Baptism ; Or a Substitute for Penance." Newcastle, 1846. 

" Rest in God," and " Sleeping in Jesus." Two Tracts. 1857. 

Pamphlets of various dales: — "Lord's Day Literature"; "On the 119th 
Psalm " ; " Theological Course," No. i and No. 2 (republished from the Netti- 
castle Chronicle); "Christian Catholicity"; " Religious Monopoly " ; "Catena 
Testium " — Nos. i, 2, 3 ; " The Anglican Baptismal Service Considered " ; " The 
English Communion Service Examined"; "The Doctrine of Dispensations and 
Indulgences" ; " The Three Creeds of the Holy Catholic Church." 

Poetical Pieces: — "The Border Shepherd," "Helen of Coquetdale, or the 
Fair Bondager," and various contributions to the Poet's Corner of the "Anti- 
Monopolist," etc. 


IRicbarb Burbon^Sanbcrson, 


Born at Tunbridge Wells in 182 1, Richard Burdon-Sanderson, 
the younger, was educated at home, partly by tutors, and partly by 
his father. Possessing great natural ability and the gift of applica- 
tion, he acquired knowledge for the pleasure which its possession 
afforded him. Heir to his father's estates, and destined for the life 
of a country gentleman, he equipped himself for the duties and 
responsibilities of that position. Imbibing the religious views of his 
parents, he assisted his father in teaching and preaching, as already 
indicated, and his ministrations were everywhere received with ac- 
ceptance. For a long period he was the active honorary secretary 
of the Newcastle and North of England Protestant Alliance. On 
the 1 8th of January, 1848, he was united in marriage to Isabella 
Mitchelson, daughter of his father's friend, James Alexander Hal- 
dane, of Edinburgh. 

In 185 1, upon the disruption in the Newcastle School of Medicine 
and Surgery, the minority founded a " Newcastle College of Medicine 
and Practical Science." Among the medical men who allied them- 
selves with the minority was Mr. Burdon- Sanderson's younger 
brother, John Scott-Sanderson. Already an M.D. and an M.R.C.S. 
of London and Edinburgh, this accomplished physiologist accepted 
the chair of Anatomy in the new college. Mr. Burdon-Sanderson, 
interested in his brother's work, associated himself with the enter- 
prise, and took the post of treasurer. Later on, when his brother 
removed to London, he, being an accomplished botanist, and an apt 
and skilful demonstrator, took the chair of Botany and Vegetable 
Physiology, and so continued while the rivalry lasted. Mr. Burdon- 
Sanderson was the leading negotiator of the re-union, and as soon as 
it had been formally and satisfactorily completed, he was appointed by 
Convocation of the University of Durham Lecturer on Botany in the 
amalgamated institution. That office he held till the session of 1860- 
61, and upon his resigning it, through pressure of other engagements, 
he accepted the post of honorary co-auditor of the college accounts, 
the duties of which he fulfilled for many years. 

Entrusted with the Commission of the Peace for the county of 



Northumberland in 1S56, Mr. Burdon-Sanderson attached liimself 
to the Petty Sessional Division of Bedlington, where few Justices 
could make it convenient to attend. Soon afterwards, becoming 
Chairman of the Police Committee, he entered with much spirit into 
a question that had been agitating the country for some time — 
namely, how to reclaim and reform juvenile delinquents. In 1857 
he had the satisfaction of participating in a ceremony which served 
as a prelude to a practical solution of the question. On the 23rd of 
July, 1857, Earl Grey, lord-lieutenant, and the leading magistrates of 

Tljc|?apd Bup^on xS^andersrori, 

the county, supported by the local clergy and gentry, assembled 
at Netherton, near Morpeth, and laid the foundation-stone of a 
building, erected from Mr. Sanderson's own designs, and known 
ever since as the " North-Eastern Reformatory." In the boys at 
Netherton he took great interest, and gave constant encouragement 
to the superintendent, a man more than usually qualified for such an 
office. The well-doing of such as had passed through the institution 
was an object he had at heart, and he e.xamined with interest the 
individual reports made from time to time to the managers by their 
officers or by employers. 

VOL. III. 23 


In the performance of his magisterial duties, Mr. Sanderson made 
his industry and energy felt, and naturally obtained a prevailing in- 
fluence over those associated with him. He carefully studied the law 
of evidence, and was strict in matters of account, insomuch that his 
opinion on these subjects was seldom questioned and hardly ever 

Brought up, for the most part, in Newcastle, the commercial 
metropolis of the Northern Counties, and possessing business know- 
ledge beyond that of the ordinary country squire, Mr. Burdon- 
Sanderson lent his aid to several local enterprises of importance. 
He became a director of the Whittle Dene Water Company, and, 
upon the retirement of Sir William Armstrong, he filled the office of 
chairman to that prosperous undertaking. He was, at the same time, 
chairman of the Redheugh Bridge Company; chairman also of that 
bold enterprise among the drowned-out coal-pits on the North side of 
the Tyne which developed into the Tyne Coal Company. 

Absorbed in magisterial, pastoral, commercial, and philanthropic 
work, Mr. Burdon- Sanderson found little time, in the early stages of 
his career, for participation in the municipal life of Newcastle. He 
played a prominent part in the public condemnation of Newcastle 
Town Council for its precipitous action in appointing Vicar Moody 
to the Mastership of the Mary Magdalene Hospital ; but it was not 
until a few weeks before his father's death that he could be persuaded 
to enter the Council Chamber. Having allowed himself to be 
nominated for the Ward of Jesmond in which he resided, he was 
elected, without opposition, on the 3rd of January, 1865. 

As became a county magistrate and a representative of an old 
and worthy family, Mr. Burdon-Sanderson's career as a Councillor 
was dignified and honourable. He allied himself to no clique or 
party, but pursued a thoroughly straightforward and independent 
course. He was elected Mayor for the municipal year 1870-71, and 
although he had no house in Newcastle, except the Judges' Lodgings 
in Ellison Place, he devoted himself with remarkable diligence and 
assiduity to the duties of his office. These duties proved to be 
unusually onerous and perplexing. It fell to his lot to be returning 
officer at the election of the first School Board of Newcastle — the 
strife and turmoil of which exceeded by many degrees the heat and 
rancour of a Parliamentary election. And no sooner had he dis- 
charged this difficult duty than he was plunged into the protracted 
struggle between employers and employed for a reduction of the 


hours of labour to nine per day. In the early stages of that contest 
he essayed the task of mediator; but neither of the contending 
parties were in a mood to listen, and his friendly intentions were 
rendered abortive. Among the more agreeable events of his Mayoralty 
were his appointment as a deputy-lieutenant of the county of North- 
umberland, and his attendance at the inauguration of a College of 
Physical Science in Newcastle — an institution in which he lived 
to see the dream of his younger days fulfilled, and the efforts of 
his maturer years rewarded. 

In politics Mr. Burdon-Sanderson was a moderate Whig — one of 
the little band of Nonconformists which, through good report and 
evil report, sustained the claims of Mr. T. E. Headlam to the 
suffrages of the electors of Newcastle. He did not often take part 
in political meetings, but at election times he was generally to 
be found heading the procession that accompanied Mr. Headlam 
down Dean Street to the hustings on the Sandhill. In 1865 he 
nominated the honourable gentleman for re-election, and he per- 
formed the same service for him in 1868 — the last occasion on 
which a public nomination on the hustings occurred in Newcastle. 
More than once he himself was solicited to become a candidate for 
the representation of the town, but he did not aspire to that high 
distinction. Indeed, it was not without difficulty that he was 
induced to sanction his nomination for the Mayoralty. 

At the municipal election in 1875, having completed nearly eleven 
years' service in the public affairs of Newcastle, INIr. Burdon-Sanderson 
withdrew from the Council. He had sold his mansion and a part of 
his estate at West Jesmond, some time before, to Mr. Charles 
Mitchell, and upon the rest of it roads and terraces, streets and 
avenues, were springing up. Living mostly at a distance from New- 
castle, he had lost that personal interest in municipal matters which 
local residence promotes and confirms. Three months after his retire- 
ment, on the 2ist of January, 1876, while travelling to London with 
his wife and family, he was involved in a terrible collision which 
occurred at Abbots Ripton, near Peterborough. His two daughters 
were killed on the spot, INIrs. Burdon-Sanderson and his two sons 
narrowly escaped with their lives, and he himself received fatal 
injuries. He died on the 30th of April following, and was suc- 
ceeded by his eldest son, Mr. Richard Burdon-Sanderson, J. P. 
and M.F.H. 


3obn Scott, 


" A man's genius is always, in the beginning of life, as much unknown to him- 
self as to others; and it is only after frequent trials, attended with success, that he 
dares think himself equal to those undertakings in which those who have succeeded 
have fixed the admiration of mankind." — Hume. 

John Scott, the son of a journeyman brewer, was born in Newcastle, 
in March, 1773. At the early age of nine years, having received a 
scanty education in one of the parochial schools, he was sent out to 
assist the meagre income of the family in the capacity of errand boy. 
The master whom he served was John Greenwell, a tallow chandler, 
carrying on his business at the foot of the Flesh Market, hard by St. 
Nicholas' Church. At the proper age he was bound apprentice to Mr. 
Greenwell, and duly served his time to the art, craft, and mystery of 
dipping candles, which, in Newcastle, ranged from "pit winkies," 
forty to the pound, through "rush-lights" and "twelves," to those 
high power illuminators, the "best short sixes." 

During his apprenticeship, young Scott developed a remarkable 
taste for drawing, which he managed to cultivate in his leisure 
hours, i.e., at early morning, and in the evening when the shop was 
shut. Some of his juvenile productions he showed to Richard 
Fisher, parish clerk of St. Nicholas', who kept a bookseller's shop 
and circulating library in the High Bridge. Mr. Fisher, in turn, 
showed the drawings to his customers, by some of whom, persons 
qualified to judge, they were commended as exhibiting traces of 
genius that only needed cultivation to grow and eventually bloom 
into fame. One of his first performances that attracted notice was a 
profile portrait, in Indian ink, of a well-remembered townsman — 
Thomas Bulman, master shoemaker at the foot of Middle Street. 
The portrait had been sketched from memory, after Mr. Bulman's 
decease, and was recognised as a " speaking likeness " of the original. 
One Purvis, a carver and gilder, noting the lad's ability with his 
pencil, advised him to try his skill upon copper. Following that 
advice, the youth practised upon the handiest pieces of copper he 
could obtain — old halfpennies, worn smooth in the course of circula- 
tion. Scratching upon these by the fitful gleam of the fireside, for, 
on the same principle that shoemakers' children are always badly 



shod, a tallow-chandler's dwelling was generally ill-lighted, he 
acquired such skill and dexterity as enabled him, by-and-by, to 
venture upon a proper plate of the indispensable metal. Choosing 
for his subject the story of Tobias and the Fish, from the Apocrypha, 
he produced a print which surprised his friends and encouraged him 
to higher effort in the same direction. 

As soon as he had completed his apprenticeship, young Mr. Scott 
determined to abandon the candle trade, and follow engraving as a 
profession. There lived in Newcastle at that time an engraver 

named Abraham Hunter, who had his workroom in the Side, and 
was engaged upon the illustration of " An Historical View of the 
French Revolution," which his neighbour, Mrs. Angus, the printer, 
was publishing. Applying to him for employment, Mr. Scott re- 
ceived a commission to engrave a portrait group of Louis XVI., 
Marie Antoinette, and the Dauphin. The plate was done, and well 
done, as critics averred; but Mr. Hunter refused to give the young 
artist any remuneration for his work, alleging a custom that members 
of his profession received no payment for their first productions in 


independent practice. Discouraged and annoyed by this shabby 
and fraudulent excuse, Mr. Scott made no further effort to follow 
the bent of his inclinations among his fellow-townsmen. Shaking 
the dust of Newcastle from his feet, like other out-driven Tynesiders, 
he made his way to London. 

Furnished with letters of recommendation from his friend Mr. 
Fisher, Mr. Scott visited the workshop of a well-known Novocas- 
trian, Robert Pollard, brother of Joseph Pollard, corn merchant in 
Newcastle, who some time before had settled in London, and was 
carrying on a successful business as an engraver. In consideration 
of his circumstances, and of the recommendatory letters he brought 
with him, Mr. Scott obtained from Mr. Pollard an exceedingly favour- 
able engagement. He was to serve for a year, receive instruction in 
the higher branches of his art, and be content with a small wage till 
his acquirements had made him useful. 

When this arrangement had ran its course, Mr. Scott felt himself 
competent to enter into business on his own account. He had 
discovered, long before, that the highest development of his skill 
was manifested in depicting animal life, and to this branch of 
art he devoted himself. His abilities in portraying the natural 
characteristics of horses and dogs introduced him to the notice 
of painters who were engaged upon that kind of work, and in no 
long time his hands were full of orders from the publishers of 
magazines and books devoted to country life and the pleasures of 
the chase. It is said that " The Sportsman's Cabinet," " The 
Sportsman's Magazine," and Daniel's " Rural Sports " owed much 
of their attractiveness to the truth and delicacy of the delineations 
with which he embellished them. 

In illustrating this class of publication Mr. Scott made a great 
reputation; a couple of detached prints which he issued in 1810 
brought him fame and honour. The prints were spirited representa- 
tions of two common incidents in the hunting-field — " Breaking 
Cover," after a picture by Reinagle, and " The Death of the Fox," 
from a painting by Sawrey Gilpin. Nothing equal to them had 
been seen before; commendation and compliment came from all 
quarters; and, before long, copies of both pictures were hanging 
in clubs, taverns, and country houses, wherever sporting tastes 
prevailed. Joining in the chorus of approbation, the Society of 
Arts stamped these prints with their high approval. They bestowed 
upon the delighted artist their Gold Medal, and on the 28th of May, 


iSii, in the presence of twelve hundred people — admirers of sport 
and cultivators of the fine arts — it was presented to him by the hands 
of the Duke of Sussex. His Royal Highness delivered an address 
upon the occasion, expressing the pleasure and satisfaction with which 
he had seen the art of engraving brought to so high a standard of 
merit, and paying high and courtly compliments to the accomplished 

.Mr. Scott, now at the height of his fame, did not forget his early 
struggles, and the days of his poverty. With six or seven other 
members of the profession, he helped to establish an organisation 
for the relief of distressed artists, and the widows and children of 
artists deceased. Its success was beyond the promoters' most 
sanguine expectation. Subscriptions poured in on all sides, and 
Mr. Scott found himself, in a comparatively short time, one of the 
administrators of a flourishing institution — the Artists' Benevolent 

Strange to relate, within a very few years he himself became 
a recipient of the bounty he had assisted to provide for others. 
For, in March, 1S21, seized with paralysis, he became unable to 
follow his profession. A visit to his native air in Newcastle pro- 
cured no amelioration of his condition, and he returned to 
London, shattered and helpless. A subscription was raised for 
his benefit in London, headed by thirty guineas from the Royal 
Academy, and a similar effort was made for his relief in Newcastle, 
which Sir John E. Swinburne started with a gift of six guineas. 
But the requirements of a family of nine children soon absorbed 
these resources, and he was under the necessity of accepting the 
pensionary allowance of the Benevolent Fund for the remainder of 
his days. He died at Chelsea, on the 24th of December, 1827. 

Among the numerous works to which Mr. Scott contributed 
engravings other than those of animals, are " Britton's Cathedral 
Antiquities," " Westall's Illustrations to the Book of Common 
Prayer," "Physiological Portraits," "Fine Arts of the English 
School," etc. Some of the best of his detached pieces, besides 
those which gained the medal, were "Warwick," a famous racer, 
after Abraham Cooper, and a series of landscapes with animals, 
after Gainsborough, Callcott, and Weenix. 


3obu Scott, Xor^ lEl^on, 


The ancestry of John Scott, the first Earl of Eldon, is not traceable 
beyond his paternal grandfather, William Scott, who was a clerk] in 
the office of a hostman or fitter on Newcastle Quay. William Scott's 
son, William, father of the future Lord Eldon, was bound apprentice, 
September ist, 1716, to Thomas Brumell, junior hostman, and was 
" set over" two years later to Joseph Colpitts. He was admitted to 
the freedom of the Company, September 7th, 1724, and six years 
later was married at South Shields to Isabella, daughter of George 
Noble. By this lady, who died in 1734, he had three children, two 
of whom died young, and the third, Anne, married William Cram- 
lington, as described in vol. i., page 656. His second wife, Jane, 
daughter of Henry Atkinson, of Newcastle, to whom he was married 
in 1740, proved to be a fruitful vine, presenting him thrice with 
twins, and bringing him thirteen children altogether. William Scott 
was a thrifty, enterprising, and prosperous man. He started in 
business as a coal-fitter for the Bowes family, owned keels, kept a 
public-house on the Quay to supply the keelmen in his employment 
with the beer which formed part of their wages, speculated in 
shipping and marine insurance, owned a sugar-house, and supplied 
timber, waggon wheels, and rails to the collieries. At his death, at 
the age of seventy-nine, 6th November, 1776, he left to his family, 
including what some of them had previously received from him, 
property to the value of between thirty and forty thousand pounds. 

John Scott, twin child with a sister named Elizabeth, who died a 
few days afterwards, was born in Love Lane, Newcastle, on the 4th 
of June, 1 75 1. After a brief course of juvenile instruction under a 
local dominie he was sent to the Royal Free Grammar School to be 
educated, like his brothers, William and Henry, by the Rev. Hugh 
Moises. William went to Oxford, and became a tutor at the age of 
twenty. John had been intended by his prudent father to succeed 
him in his calling. But William was earnest in endeavours to 
dissuade him from this design. " Send Jack up to me," he wrote, 
"I can do better for him here." Parental ambition triumphed, 
John was snatched from coals, and, on the 15th of May, 1766, 
entered at University College, Oxford. 



In 1767, John Scott was elected a fellow of his college, and, in 
1 771, he was the successful competitor for the English prize essay 
6n " The Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Travel." This 
success, achieved when he was not yet twenty years of age, raised 
him in the estimation of his fellows, confirmed the impression of his 
brother as to his sterling ability, and greatly delighted the heart of 
his old master, Aloises, who, on hearing the news, rushed into the 
school with a copy of the paper in his hands, exclaiming to the boys 
of the senior division, " See what John Scott has done ! " 

While on a visit at Sedgefield, in South Durham, young Scott 
saw at church Elizabeth Surtees, a very pretty girl, with whom he fell 
desperately in love. Her father, Aubone Surtees, banker in New- 
castle, aspired to some more promising husband for her than a 

1 1* ' 



college tutor. But the young lady would not be dictated to in an 
affair of the heart, and she readily gave her affections to Scott. 
Her father sought to prevent their meeting, and sent her to her uncle 
in the South of England. But Scott contrived to meet her often, 
and a private correspondence was kept up. In the following year 
there was a rumour that her hand was sought by a suitor of rank 
and wealth, who carried with him the hearty good-will of the family. 
Almost distracted, young Scott obtained an interview with her, and, 
finding her faithful, persuaded her to elope with him. During the 
night of the i8th of November, 1772, she descended by a ladder 
from one of the upper windows in her father's house on the Sandhill, 
into the arms of her lover, and a post-chaise conveyed them, with 
relays of horses, to Blackshiels, near Dalkeith, where they were 


married in due form of Scottish law by the Rev. J. Buchanan, Epis- 
copal clergyman at Haddington. This business done they returned 
to Morpeth, where they were compelled to await an answer from the 
offended father of the bride, to whom a professedly penitent letter 
had been addressed. Mr. Surtees refused to make any provision for 
his rebellious child; and John Scott half resolved to accept a kindly 
offer made to him by a grocer and bacon factor in Newcastle, a friend 
of the family, to take him into partnership. Eventually ]\Ir. Surtees 
relented, negotiations were entered into between the two fathers, the 
result of which was that the banker settled ;^i,ooo on his daughter, 
and the coal-fitter ^2,000 on his son. The couple were also formally 
re-married according to the English ritual. 

It was then determined that John Scott should enter into holy 
orders if a University college living fell vacant during the twelve 
months of grace, 'as they are called, for which he was still allowed to 
hold his fellowship. But that event did not happen ; and he then 
made up his mind to try the profession of the law. He entered 
himself a student of the Middle Temple in January, 1773; and he 
took his degree of Master of Arts on the 13th of February following. 
During the next two years, while keeping his terms at the Temple, 
he held the office of a tutor at University College, where his brother 
William was senior tutor ; he also read law lectures as deputy for Sir 
Robert Chambers, the Vinerian Professor, for which he received ;z^6o 
a year. His industry was unremitting. " I have married rashly," he 
wrote to a friend, " and have neither house nor home to offer my 
wife ; but it is my determination to work hard to provide for the 
woman I love." Thus the midnight flight to Blackshiels became 
the first stage to a peerage. 

Severe, indeed, was John Scott's toil. He rose at four, read all day 
and till late into the night, keeping himself awake by the help of a wet 
towel about his head. He never devoted to relaxation a moment 
more than was absolutely necessary for his health, and resisted all 
the persuasions of his brother to join the literary conversaziones of the 
time. He spent six months of his studentship with Mr. Duane, a 
conveyancer, who, having married a Newcastle lady, took him without 
fees, and that was all the legal education he ever received from others. 
He never set foot in a pleader's chambers ; but he told a friend that 
" he acquired his knowledge of pleading by copying everything he 
could lay his hand upon." In short, he took the only royal road to 
success — patient perseverance. He read, and copied, and reflected. 


and suffered no calls of pleasure to lure him from his pursuit of 
juridical knowledge. Indeed, he wanted the means, as well as the 
inclination, for, as he was accustomed to say in after-life, he " fre- 
quently ran down to Fleet Market to get sixpennyworth of sprats for 
supper," from his lodgings in Cursitor Street. 

Mr. Scott was called to the Bar on the 9th February, 1776, and then, 
according to his own account, " Bessy and I thought all our troubles 
were over; business was to pour in, and we were to be almost rich 
immediately. So I made a bargain with her, that during the following 
year all the money I should receive in the first eleven months should 
be mine, and whatever I should get in the twelfth month should be 
hers. What a stingy dog I must have been to make such a bargain; I 
would not have done so afterwards. But, however, so it was; that was 
our agreement; and how do you think it turned out? In the twelfth 
month I received half-a-guinea; eighteenpence went for fees, and Bessy 
got nine shillings; in the other eleven months I got one shilling." 

He chose the Northern Circuit, and took several rounds with very 
indifferent success. A few defences of prisoners, and a general 
retainer for the Corporation of Newcastle, possibly procured by the 
interest of his father-in-law, were all that the young barrister could 
boast of in his early circuits; and in town he received nothing but a 
brief on behalf of the Duke of Northumberland in some merely 
formal proceedings before the House of Lords. Thoroughly dis- 
heartened, he had serious thoughts of settling down as a provincial 
barrister in Newcastle, and proceeded so far as to engage a house in 
the lower part of Pilgrim Street for that purpose. But just at that 
time business came to him through the candidature of Stoney Bowes 
for Newcastle in the contested by-election of 1777, and three years 
later he won a notable case in the Court of Chancery. Then he 
distinguished himself by taking up an election petition in the 
absence of his leader, and for fifteen days conducted it with such 
marked ability that his friends strongly urged him to stay in 
London: — "Wilson came to me and pressed me to remain in 
London, adding what was very kind, that he would insure me 
;z^4oo the next year. I gave him the same answer I had given 
Mansfield [a negative]. However, I did remain in London, and 
lived to make Mansfield Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and 
Wilson a Puisne Judge." 

After this turning-point of his life, Mr. Scott's reputation rose 
rapidly. He never again wanted a brief. Lord Thurlow was so 


struck with his style of pleading that, one day, on breaking up the 
Court, he invited him into his private room, and offered him a vacant 
mastership. He was offered, at the same time (1781), the Recorder- 
ship of Newcastle, but he declined both proposals. Events proved 
his determination to be judicious. In a short time he had more 
business than any other counsel at the Bar; and, in 1783, he 
procured, through the favour of Lord Thurlow, a patent of pre- 
cedency, bv which he became entitled to the honours of the silk 


gown, and ranked with the king's counsel. Business poured in upon 
him; and his practice at the Equity Bar had ere long so increased 
that he was forced to give up the eastern half of the circuit. 

In 1783 Mr. Scott was sent to the House of Commons in the 
Tory interest for Lord Weymouth's pocket borough of Weobly, 
in Herefordshire, and he continued to represent that borough 
through several successive parliaments, until 1796, when he was 
returned with Sir Francis Burdett for Boroughbridge. Though 


his powers as a debater were never effective, he soon obtained 
the patronage and friendship of Mr. Pitt, who found he could 
depend upon him as a staunch and steady supporter in all matters. 
He and Erskine made their maiden speeches in the same debate, on 
the 20th November, 1783, on a motion connected with the India Bill, 
which eventually upset Fox's Government. In the new Parliament Mr. 
Scott took up most of the legal questions that came before the House, 
and, on one occasion at least, spoke and voted with Fox against 
Ministers, the point at issue being, however, not exactly a party one. 

In June, 1788, the Attorney-General, Mr. Pepper Arden, was 
made Master of the Rolls; the Solicitor-General, Sir Archibald 
Macdonald, became Attorney-General; and the office of Solicitor- 
General was conferred on Mr. Scott, for his special services in 
drawing the East India Declaratory Bill. At the same time he was 
also knighted. It is said that he expressed to George III. a modest 
desire to decline the latter honour, but the king exclaimed, " Pho, 
pho, nonsense, man ! I will serve you both alike " — meaning 
Macdonald and him. Shortly afterwards the king's first illness 
occurred, and the country was much agitated upon the regency 
question. The Bill introduced by the Ministry on that occasion was 
drawn by the new Solicitor-General; and the line of conduct which 
they pursued was also attributed to him. 

On the 13th of February, 1793, Sir John Scott was advanced to 
the post of Attorney-General. It fell to his lot, during the six years 
that he held the office, to prosecute in several political cases, 
the most notable being the trials of Hardy, Tooke, and Thelwall, 
indicted for treason. Indeed, in the year 1795, during the debate 
on the Treasonable Practices Bill, he observed that " there had been 
more prosecutions for libel within the last two years than in any 
twenty years before." And it was said by others that he prosecuted 
for libel twice as many persons as any two of his predecessors. 

In July, 1799, on the resignation of Sir James Eyre, he was 
appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and a 
member of His Majesty's Privy Council. He was raised to the 
peerage at the same time, by the title of Baron Eldon of Eldon in 
the county of Durham, a manor near St. Andrew's Auckland, con- 
sisting of 1,540 acres, which he had purchased in 1792 for ;!^22,ooo. 
When it became known that Sir John Scott was to have the place, 
Lord Kenyon, then Chief Justice of the King's Bench, publicly 
congratulated thejprofession upon the appointment of one who, he 


said, would probably be found "the most consummate judge that 
ever sate in judgment"; and Lord Eldon did, in fact, prove an 
admirable common law judge. 

Upon Lord Loughborough's resignation of the great seal in April, 

1 80 1, Lord Eldon became Lord Chancellor. The king presented 
him on his elevation with a watch and seal, the latter bearing on its 
face the figures of Justice and Religion. In giving directions to the 
engraver, the king said : — " Let not Justice have any bandage over 
her eyes, as she is usually painted. Justice ought not to be blind, 
but should be able to see everything." Lord Eldon retained his place 
until January, 1806. His rival Erskine then succeeded him, but, upon 
the return of Mr. Pitt's friends to power, shortly afterwards, he was 
again appointed Chancellor; and from that time he continued in office 
until the 30th of April, 1827 — altogether a period of nearly twenty- 
five years. He had been raised to the dignities of Viscount Escombe 
and Earl of Eldon in 182 1 on the accession of George IV. to the 
throne, and he made his last speech in the House of Lords in 1834. 

Lord Eldon lost the partner of his life in 1831. He survived her 
seven years, and died from gradual decay of nature, at his house 
in London, on the 13th of January, 1838, aged eighty-six, leaving 
personal property valued at nearly three-quarters of a million, and 
large landed estates. His family consisted of two sons and two 
daughters — (i) the Hon. John Scott, who married Henrietta Eliza- 
beth, daughter of Sir Matthew White Ridley, Bart., and died in 
1805, leaving one son, who succeeded his grandfather in the 
earldom; (2) Elizabeth, married in 181 7 to George S. Repton ; 
(3) the Hon. William Henry John Scott, barrister, who died in 

1802, aged thirty-seven ; (4) Frances Jane, married in 1820 to the 
Rev. Edward Bankes, rector of Corfe Castle. John, second Earl of 
Eldon, was declared of unsound mind in 1853, and died in 
September, 1854. His son John, the present earl, was born in 
1845, and succeeded to the title on the death of his father. 

MilUam Scott, Xorb Stowcll, 


William Scott, elder brother of John Scott, Lord Eldon, was born 
at Heworth, near Gateshead, on the 8th of October, 1745, under 


circumstances described on page 1 13 of our first volume. ^ He, also, 
was accompanied at birth by a twin sister, a child named Barbara, 
who lived to the age of seventy-seven and died unmarried. The 
twins were baptised at Heworth, but in the Registers of All Saints', 
Newcastle, in which parish the paternal home in Love Lane was 
situated, entry was made of their baptism in due form : — 

" 1745. October iS. William and Barbara, twins of William Scott, Hoast- 
man. Certifyd by the Rev. Mr. Leonard Rumney, curate of Jarro and Heworth : 
occasioned by ye present rebellion." 

Educated at the Royal Free Grammar School of Newcastle by 
Hugh Moises, William Scott proceeded to Oxford. The event 
which changed the place of his nativity had rendered him eligible to 
compete for a Durham scholarship in Corpus Christi College; he 
accordingly entered the lists, passed the necessary examinations, and 
won the scholarship with ease and credit. He matriculated, March 
3rd, 1 76 1, took his bachelor's degree, November 20th, 1764, and on 
the 14th of December in that year (1764) was elected to a Durham 
Fellowship at University College. Having proceeded M.A. in 1767, 
he took up the study of the law, obtained a degree of B.C.L. in 
1772, and would, possibly, have proceeded to one of the Inns of 
Court to eat his terms, and be called to the Bar, if Convocation 
had not elected him, in 1774, Camden Reader of Ancient History. 
This was a fortunate appointment both for the University and for 
himself. His lectures are said to have been attended by the largest 
number of students and readers ever known, excelling even those 
of the Vinerian professor, Blackstone. Dr. Parr wrote of them as 
captivating the young and interesting the old, as being argumentative 
without formality, and brilliant without gaudiness, while the lecturer 
himself united suavity of manners with qualities of a higher order, 
being in morals " correct without moroseness," and in religion 
" serious without bigotry." 

In 1776 Mr. Scott withdrew from the arduous work of a tutor, 
and devoted himself to his professional studies. Three years later, 
he took the degree of D.C.L. and went out, in University phrase, 
grand compounder, meaning that he was fortunate enough to be 
worth ;^3oo a year and capable of paying higher fees. Having 
thus secured independence, he enrolled himself a member of the 

^ Erratum. — In the fifth line from the bottom of page 113, vol. i., the word 
"Eldon" should be " Stowell." 


College of Doctors of Law in London, which entitled him to 
practice in the Ecclesiastical and Admiralty Courts. Removing to 
London, and being a clubbable man, he joined the Literary Club, 
where he enjoyed the society of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Burke, 
Wyndham, and others, and formed a close friendship with the great 
lexicographer. Dr. Johnson. It was not until he knew that Scott 
would accompany him as far as Edinburgh that Johnson consented 
to visit Scotland, and though he behaved like a petted child all the 
way, the dictator showed great affection for his companion during 
the rest of his life, made him one of his executors, and bequeathed 
to him two of his rare books. 

Mr. Scott was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1780; 
two years later was appointed Registrar of the Court of Faculties; 
in 1788 was selected to be Judge of the Consistory Court and Vicar- 
General of the Province of Canterbury, and in the same year was 
advanced to the lucrative office of King's Advocate-General and 
knighted. The pecuniary value of this last-named appointment 
may be estimated by the fact that several of the prizes captured 
by English cruisers on the high seas yielded him ;^iooo each. 
In 1790 he was raised to the post of Master of the Faculties, 
and in 1798 created Judge of the High Court of Admiralty and a 
Privy Councillor. It is noted as a curious fact, by one of his 
biographers, that his brother John, whom he had taken under 
his wing, so to speak, ran his career almost abreast of him : — " They 
were knighted on attaining official rank within two months of each 
other; as Advocate-General and Solicitor-General respectively they 
attended for the first time the same levee; in the same year they 
both took their seats at the Board as Privy Councillors, and the 
wax had scarcely hardened on the appointment of the Admiralty 
Judge before a fresh seal was required for the patent of John, Lord 
Eldon. Such a close race between such near kinsmen is, we believe, 
unparalleled, and was sportively alluded to by his Majesty George 
III. Being in at the death of a stag, which had given the field 
a very bad run, while a stag of the same herd had afforded excellent 
sport the day before, ' Ah ! ' exclaimed the king, ' there are not often 
two Scotts to be found in the same family.' " 

A few years before his elevation to the judgeship of the Admiralty 
Court Mr. Scott aspired to a seat in Parliament. The constituency 
that he was specially anxious to represent was his University, but, 
advised to defer his claims in favour of Sir William Dolben, he 


wooed the electors of Downton, a close borough in Wiltshire. He 
was elected for that place in April, 1784, but the sheriff made 
a double return, and by order of the House he was declared not 
to have been duly elected. In 1790, he went down to the little 
borough again, and was returned without cavil. For Downton he 
sat till 1 80 1, and then, one of the seats for the University becoming 
vacant, he realised the object of his ambition. It is said of him 
that for six years after his first return he spoke but once in the 
House, and that during the whole of the thirty-two years over which 
his parliamentary career extended, he showed remarkable reserve, 
never taking part in great debates, but limiting his observations to 
third readings and orders of the day upon which his opinions as 
a judge were of interest and value. He made one great speech 
in the House (the report of which occupies thirty pages of Hansard), 
in opposition to a Bill proposing to exempt chapel property from 
payment of rates, and beat the Treasury Bench by a majority of 
two to one; he delivered another in defence of a proposed grant 
to the Duke of Cumberland; and he wrote his name in the Statute 
Book wath at least one Act of Parliament — an amending measure 
relating to plurality of church livings. 

On the coronation of George IV. in 1 821, Sir William Scott was 
raised to the peerage. His brother, Lord Eldon, was desirous that 
he should take his title from Usworth, where the family owned 
property, but Sir William adhered to his own intention, and became 
Baron Stowell, of Stowell Park, in the county of Gloucester. He 
was then seventy-six years of age; too old to care much about 
political strife, and too reticent to take part in political debate. His 
record in the House of Lords, therefore, is practically a blank — his 
name is chiefly to be found among the proxies. To his Court he 
clung till December, 1827, delivering, down to the last week of his 
sitting, though by deputy, judgments that were remarkable for 
lucidity, closeness of reasoning, and profound knowledge of the law. 
The rest of his life was spent in retirement; it came to an end on 
the 29th January, 1836, having extended over ninety years. 

Lord Stowell married in April, 1782, Anna Maria, eldest daughter 
and co-heiress of John Bagnall, of Early Court, Berks, who, dying in 
1809, left him a son and a daughter. His marriage to the Dowager 
Lady Sligo three or four years afterwards, forming the subject of much 
wit and scandal, is too long to be described here. Full details of this, 
and of other incidents in the lives of the two brothers, may be read 

VOL. III. 24 


in the three volumes of Horace Twiss — " The Pubhc and Private 
Life of Lord Chancellor Eldon "■ — and in the subsequent publication 
by W. E. Surtees, grand-nephew of the Lord Chancellor, entitled 
" A Sketch of the Lives of Lords Stowell and Eldon." 

Milliatn anb Maltcr Scott, 


" But by your fathers' worth if yours you rate, 
Count me those only who were good and great. 
Go ! if your ancient, but ignoble blood 
Has crept thro' scoundrels ever since the flood. 
Go ! and pretend your family is young ; 
Nor own your fathers have been fools so long. 
What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards ? 
Alas ! not all the blood of all the Howards." 

— POl'E. 

A RARE tract, entitled " Pedigree of the Family of Scott of Stokoe, 
in the Parish of Symondburn, and County of Northumberland," bear- 
ing upon its title-page the verse from Pope above quoted, provides 
materials for a brief memoir of two gifted Northumbrians — William 
Scott, M.D., the author of the tract, and Walter Scott, M.D., his son 
and successor. 

According to the pedigree, the Scotts of Stokoe were descended 
from a younger son of a Baron, or Laird, of Buccleugh (ancestor of 
the Dukes of that name), who was one of the wardens of the Scottish 
Border towards the end of the thirteenth century. In course of time 
this branch of the family acquired considerable landed estate ; 
members of it established themselves at Lynton and Whitslade, in 
Roxburghshire, and at Toderick, in the county of Selkirk. Lito 
these details, however, it is not necessary to enter. The connection 
of the family with the county of Northumberland does not commence 
till the fourteenth generation from the old laird, at which time Walter 
Scott, eldest son of Thomas Scott, of Toderick, married Jane, the 
only daughter and heiress of William Robson, of High Stokoe, near 
Falstone. " This Thomas," writes his descendant, " having lived 
genteelly, and perhaps a little too liberally, hurt his fortune ; and in 
1746 sold his estate and mansion-house of Toderick, having some 


years before sold the estate of Wester Essenside in Roxburghshire." 
From which statement it would appear that Walter Scott, the first of 
the family who settled in Northumberland, inherited nothing, or next 
to nothing, from his father, and owed his position as a landowner to a 
fortunate marriage with a North Tyne heiress. By that marriage he 
had issue eleven or twelve children, all of whom died young, except 
two sons and two daughters. The sons were William, who compiled 
the pedigree, and Patrick, a medical practitioner at Douglas, in the 
Isle of Man. 

William Scott, the compiler, born at High Stokoe in 1773, was 
educated at the University of Edinburgh, where he took the degree 
of M.D. He married, in 1759, Martha, youngest daughter of the 
Rev. Edward Fenwick, the unfortunate vicar of Kirkwhelpington, 
and settled at Stamfordham, the living of which parish had been 
held by his wife's great-grandfather and grandfather in succession. 
In this quiet village, the centre of a scattered agricultural district, his 
wife's family influence and his own skill brought him considerable 
practice. He filled for some years the office of county coroner — a 
laborious post at a time when there were no railways, and every 
journey from home was performed on the back of, or behind, a horse. 
In the height of his practice he must have spent the greater part of 
his time on horseback. Yet his grandson, William Robson Scott, 
who issued a limited reprint of the pedigree in 1852, was able to 
write of him — " Amidst all these professional duties, he still found 
a leisure hour to devote to literature. His great love of genealogical 
subjects, combined with his untiring perseverance and energy, en- 
abled him to collect from all available sources, everything he could 
meet with on the name of Scott. As well as this pedigree — which 
is the only work he published on the subject — he left a large collec- 
tion of manuscripts, which form, probably by far, the best essay 
towards a history of the name of Scott that has ever been attempted. 
Sir Walter Scott, who saw some of these manuscripts, pronounced 
them to contain much curious information. Independent, however, 
of his genealogical researches, he sent papers to the Royal Society 
on subjects of more general interest, and published elsewhere contri- 
butions to the scientific literature of his profession. His reading had 
been so extensive, that it was once stated to tlie writer, by a gentle- 
man who knew him well, himself a man of great acquirements, that 
there was scarcely a subject on which he was not so well informed, 
but he could tell all that had been written upon it, or knew where to 


find it. A life spent in the strictest sobriety, combined with habits 
of the greatest industry, could alone have enabled him to do what he 
accomplished, and these were with him prominent characteristics." 

Dr. William Scott died at Stamfordham on the iSth of November, 
1802, at the age of sixty-nine years, and is buried, with his wife and 
family, at the entrance of the western door of the church there. On 
the monumental stone which marks his resting-place, he is com- 
memorated by the curious inscription : — 

"Gill. Scott, M.D., Ob. Nov. 10, 1802, Aet. 69. Vir Eruditissimus, et Accou- 
cheur Celebenimus : Ex Familia de Buccleugh." 

Dr. Scott had issue four children, the eldest of whom, Walter 
Scott, born August 12th, 1761, and bred to his father's profession, 
succeeded to the practice at Stamfordham and the estate at High 
Stokoe. He married, first, Eleanor Walker, who died without issue, 
and, secondly, Mary Bell, by whom he had two sons and a daughter. 
Like his great-grandfather (Thomas Scott of Toderick), Walter Scott 
of Stamfordham had the misfortune to possess a free and easy 
disposition, which brought him to the verge of impoverishment, and 
compelled him, late in life, although an M.D. and a Justice of the 
Peace, to accept the ofiice of master of Stamfordham Free School. 
His son, in the introductory article to the pedigree, tells us that his 
father inherited much of the ability which characterised Dr. William 
Scott (the writer's grandfather), but was far inferior in patient and 
steady perseverance. " An early manhood spent in the army was 
not at that time likely to develop to the best advantage those higher 
literary promises he had given at College, while a marriage with a 
lady, who both in herself and through her connections was the 
source of much unhappiness to him, as well during her life as in after 
years, was another cause that led his mind to seek occupation in 
pursuits not congenial with those severer studies through which alone 
lasting fame or honourable achievement can be attained. The 
patrimony left him by his father at his death was so considerable 
that it enabled him to give up the practice of his profession, so that 
he lived a great part of his life on his private fortune. His was an 
age when frugality and forethought were not conspicuous features in 
the character of a country gentleman. A too free indulgence in ex- 
pansive tastes, with a trustfulness in others extending to a negligence 
of his own interests, so injured his fortune, that the parliamentary 
measures passed at this time regarding the monetary circulation. 


which depressed the value of landed property, obliged him to part 
with his already mortgaged estates. After his misfortunes, he had 
again recourse to professional labours for a subsistence, and had to 
experience many trials and deprivations. Amidst all his reverses, 
however, he preserved a taste for literature, and this, during his later 
life, became the great source of his enjoyments. He contributed 
many articles, both on general literature and medical science, to the 
different periodicals of the day, and to the last, amidst all his mis- 
fortunes, preserved his fresh and joyous spirit, trusting every one and 
hoping everything. With him it might truly be said the child was 
father of the man; and all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance 
must ever remember his kind, open, and generous heart, his playful 
satire, and his sparkling wit, that was ever ready to set the table in a 
roar. He, too, lies buried at Stamfordham with his father; let us 
hope that death was to him the portal to a kindlier world." The 
date of his death was December 30th, 1831; his age seventy years. 

In the Newcastle Alagazine for the years 1823, 1824, and 1825, 
are several valuable essays, some of them of great length, from Dr. 
Walter Scott's pen. Signed with his own name, and dated from 
Stamfordham, they deal with such subjects as these: — "Suspended 
Animation, and the Means of Recovering Drowned Persons"; 
"Spontaneous Hydrophobia " (two articles); "Diabetes"; "Angina 
Pectoris"; "Study and Conversation"; "The Utility, Choice, and 
Use of Pleasure in regard to Gaming, Hunting, etc., etc."; "Retire- 
ment from Business"; and "Old Age." 

Sir (Beorge Selb^, 

THE king's host. 

The Selbys of Northumberland came of a good stock — a stock that 
bore many capable men, formed for office and service, for honour 
and distinction. There were Selbys on the Tyne and the Tweed, and 
other of our northern rivers, for a long succession of generations ; 
men whose surname had originally come to them from the Yorkshire 
town on the Ouse, where the son of William and Matilda, Henry I., 
surnamed " Beauclerk," was born after the Conquest. " Henry de 
Selby " was the first king of the Norman line of English birth ; and 


many there were, before and after him, who first saw the light in 
Selby, and took their name from the spot. 

Very famiHar in the land, in the days of the Tudors, became the 
Selbys. When Henry VII. came to the throne in 1485, and united 
the houses of the Red Rose and the White, William Selby of York, 
and Robert Gamelle, chaplain, had acquired two parts of the manor 
of Heworth from William, son of William Bruys, knight. Near the 
close of the first Tudor reign, Walran Morton, of Helperby, yeoman, 
surrendered to Robert Selby, yeoman, all his interest in certain lands 
called " Tannfeldleigh "; and in 1520, when Henry VIII. was king, 
Henry Selby was a yeoman of the Royal Household, with a mark 
as his quarter's wages. Odinel Selby occurs in the following year 
among the lessees of the fishery of "the kinges waters of Twede" 
belonging to the town of Berwick ; some years afterwards acquiring, 
with seven other merchants, a lease of the fishery pertaining to the 
castle of Norham. Between the dates of the two leases comes 
" Persevell Selby of Bettelsdayn " as one of the residents on the 
Borders "content to take soldiers within the Middle Marches"; 
while in 1528, Robert and John Selby of Norhamshire, and William 
Selby of " Brangyston " (where Flodden had been fought in 15 13), 
were " of the Counselle of the Borders in Household with the 
Warden." The Selbys were still at the front in the decade of the 
Armada, when Sir John of Twisell, Henry Lord Scrope (Warden of 
the West Marches), William Bowes, and Christopher Dacre, had 
their attention called by Her Majesty to the murder of Francis Lord 
Russell at Cocklaw on a day of truce. 

The sixteenth century was remarkable in having witnessed no 
change in the royal dynasty. The Tudors, who in 1485 won the 
crown by the sword on Bosworth Field, wore it down to 1603. All 
this time the Selbys were more or less in the exercise of power and 
influence. They were Sheriffs, Mayors, Members of Parliament, 
Governors of the Merchants' Company of Newcastle, etc. And 
when the Tudors passed away and the Stuarts came in, the Selby 
influence was still supreme. King James I., who succeeded to the 
Tudor throne, knighted no fewer than five of them : — William of 
Biddleston, John of Twisell, George of Newcastle, William of 
Winlaton, and William of the Mote (near Ightham) in Kent. 

Sir George Selby, appointed Sheriff of Newcastle in 1594, was 
Mayor in 1600-1, 1606-7, 1611-12, 1622-23, fo^^ times altogether. 
Associated with him in two of his Mayoralties, as Sheriff, were a 


Maddison and a Davison; the latter the Alexander Davison who 
fought for the king in the siege of 1644, and died of his wounds. 
A merchant adventurer, Sir George Selby was raised to the office of 
(lOvernor of tlie Company, and held it through every one of his four 
mayoralties. When and where he was knighted is uncertain. "The 
King," writes Brand (describing His Majesty's coming in 1603), 
"was entertained at the house of Sir George Selby, who was prob- 
ably knighted on that occasion." Probably enough Selby received 
the honour at that time; but the king was the guest of the Mayor, 
Robert Dudley, on his first visit to Newcastle, and made him a 
knight at their parting on Tyne Bridge. Nicholas Tufton, after- 
wards Earl of Thanet, had also been knighted on the same day; and, 
not unlikely, George Selby was similarly distinguished by the depart- 
ing monarch, whose sword seems to have itched for his subjects' 
shoulders. In 1617, when James was on his road back, revisiting 
his native land, he reached the Sandhill on St. George's Day (April 
23rd), and was welcomed by the then Mayor (Sir Thomas Riddell), 
the Aldermen, and Sheriff, etc. The Town Clerk made a speech; 
and the Mayor, in the name of the Corporation, presented His 
Majesty with a great standing bowl, glittering within with a hundred 
marks in gold. The royal lodgings at Newcastle were in the 
mansion of Sir George Selby; whence, on the king's arrival, the 
Earl of Buckingham wrote to the Lord Keeper Bacon, that His 
Majesty was in very good health, and so well pleased with his 
journey that he never saw him better nor merrier. On the first of 
May, 16 1 7, visiting Henry Babington at Heaton Hall, he knighted 
his host. On the same day he created Simon Clarke, a Warwick- 
shire gentleman, a baronet. On Sunday, May 4th, being the day 
prior to resuming his journey, King James dined with the Mayor, 
knighted Peter Riddell (the Mayor of 16 19), and also John Delaval 
of Northumberland. 

The bedroom of James VI. when Sir George had him as a guest 
was thenceforward known as "The King's Chambre." It had 
" three bedsteads, with their accompaniments, a great chaire, one 
large quission covered with taffaty, one ciprusse cabinet, one trunke 
gilded, one cabinett of chiney work with a case, two water boxes, 
one seeinge glasse, and an iron chimney." 

Sir George Selby, as recorded above, was chosen to the office of 
Sheriff of Newcastle in 1594. In the autumn of that year, the town- 
purse "paidc for peres, wine, and buUis [small plums], to Mr. 


Alderman Selbie, with his daughter, and other Aldermen, in the 
towne chartiber, 13s. 4d." Next year, when his Shrievalty was ending, 
a similar item occurs in the accounts: — " Paide for secke, suger, 
Rennysh wine, peres, carrawaies, and biskett, and biskett suger 
breed to Mr. Selbie, with other Aldermen more, and the Bishop of 
Yorke, 13s. 4d." 

Sir George's daughter, who partook of the entertainment of 1594, 
was by birth doubly a Selby. Her mother, Margaret, has a place in 
the pedigree of William Selby of Branxton, the purchaser of Twisell 
in the days of Henry VHI. With other pedigrees of the Selbys, it 
is printed in Raine's "North Durham." John, son and heir of 
William Selby, was Gentleman Porter of Berwick. In 1565, he 
handed down the office to Sir John of Twisell, knighted by Queen 
Elizabeth in 1582. In this year. Sir John's brother. Sir William 
Selby of the Mote, at Ightham in Kent, was Member for Berwick. 
Sir John Selby had several children ; one of whom. Sir William, also 
Gentleman Porter of Berwick (he who received King James in 1603), 
represented the borough in Parliament in 1592, 1597, and 1601, and 
succeeded to the estate of the Mote on the death of his uncle in 
161 1. His brother. Sir Ralph Selby, inherited the northern estates 
of Sir AViUiam Selby of Ightham, and was Mayor of Berwick in 1631. 
A third brother was Sir John Selby, knighted in 1604, Member for 
Berwick; and Margaret, the sister of these three knights, married 
Sir George. He was a magnificent merchant, wealthy and powerful, 
and in great request in the public service; known to the end of 
his days as "The King's Host"; Sheriff of Newcastle, North- 
umberland, and Durham; Member for Newcastle and Northumber- 
land; and only unseated for Northumberland because, as Sheriff of 
Durham, he was thought by the Commons to be disqualified. It is 
curious to read that in 1610 he informed the House that the coal- 
mines of Newcastle could not hold out their lease of twenty-one years ! 
But the coalowner of those days, it is well to bear in mind, had not 
the equipment of the present time. The miner was more at the 
mercy of his besetting difficulties; and if these got the better of him, 
the coal was practically exhausted. 

Sir George's father, William Selby, the Mayor of 1573 and 1589, 
who had also been Governor of the Merchants' Company, died in 
January, 16 13-14. Chaytor of Butterby made in his Diary an entry 
relating to the burial, January 25th, 1614: — "A great and an admir- 
abl funerall for old Mr. Selbie att Newcastle. Ther wer assembled 


in the church 1000 at least in niyn oi)inion, for the church cold 
unitli conteyn all without thronge. Eniongst other ghests most 
kindlie Sir (ieorge Selbie invited me. My Lord Bishop [Bishop 
James], notwithstandinge a great stormy daie, rode to Newcastle the 
24 of this, to the sollemnitie of the funcralls of old Mr. Willm. 

Sir George, a sumptuous citizen, reared a marvellous family monu- 
ment of marble in the northern end of St. Nicholas'. " His tombe, 
alredie erected," is mentioned in his will of December, 1624, made 
some months before his death; and to the churchwardens of the 
parish he gave his house at the Stock Bridge, of the yearly value of 
a mark, " soe that they and their successors doe p'vyde that from 
tyme to tyme the said tombe be well kept and cleane, in comlye 
manner." Local history fondly dwells on the recumbent effigies of 
Sir George and Lady Selby, with the kneeling figures of their 
children. Five sons had passed away in infancy. In the inscription 
on the wall over the monument the names of six daughters were 
recorded, four of whom were then married; and "within the palisa- 
does, upon a fiat marble stone," was inscribed — "Jesu have mercy 
of the sowlle of George Selbe, Merchant Adventurer, some time 
Alderman of this town, and Margaret his wife, and their children." 

To make way for the Selby Tomb, a wooden cenotaph of the 
fourth Earl of Northumberland, who had a house in the parish of 
St. Nicholas', was shifted aside. Slain near Thirsk in 1489, in a 
popular commotion arising out of an obnoxious tax imposed by 
Henry VH., the Earl was buried in Beverley ^linster, and his name 
commemorated in his parish church of Newcastle, at the northern 
corner. But " when Mr. William Selby was buried," says the Mil- 
banke Manuscript, "the monument was removed out of that corner, 
and Sir George Selby did set there his magnificent tomb. After 
that, it was placed against the wall, next to Sir George's tomb; and 
so continued till Mr. Lane. Hodshon [in the reign of Charles H.] 
got leave of Vicar Nailor to remove it, and place his father. Where 
it is now," adds Milbanke with a sigh, " I know not." 

The Percy Memorial, moved out of the way in the days of King 
James, was banished altogether in the reign of his grandson. And 
what became of its successor, the Selby Marble, in the time of 
George HL? Brand has to tell, in 1789, of "shrines, monuments, 
and monumental inscriptions, formerly in St. Nicholas', most of 
which have been removed by the late alterations in the inside of that 


edifice;" not a few of which found their way into the foundations of 
a house in course of erection in the then new Mosley Street ! On 
the 9th of February, 1782, an advertisement appeared in the New- 
castle Chronicle offering for sale " all that tomb and vault " at the east 
end of St. Nicholas', 18 feet by 12, enclosed with iron rails, "known 
as the Selby's burial tomb or vault." Vanity of vanities! Henry the 
Earl and George the Knight must give place in turn. The Percy 
monument must go to " the wall," and the Selby tomb be sent to 
the hammer. Sic transit} 

ITbomae anb 3obn Sbarp, 


From a Yorkshire family bearing the name of Sharp the Church of 
England has received a succession of dignitaries distinguished by 
great learning and exalted character. Their common ancestor was a 
tradesman of Bradford in the reign of Charles I. One of the sons 
of the Bradford worthy, John Sharp (born February 14th, 1644-45), 
trained for the ministry at Christ's College, Cambridge, entered into 
holy orders, and rose by gradual preferment to the deanery of 
Norwich, the deanery of Canterbury, and the Archbishopric of York. 
Sons and grandsons of his entered the Church, and made their mark 
in it ; others of his descendants distinguished themselves in various 
spheres of usefulness, among them being the famous abolitionist, 
Granville Sharp. 

Thomas Sharp, seventh son of the archbishop, born in 1693, 
entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1708, graduated B.A. in 
1 7 12, and M.A. in 17 16, and was elected Fellow of his college and 
admitted to the degree of D.D. a few years later. Archbishop Sir 
William Dawes, his father's successor in the See of York, made him 
one of his chaplains, and conferred upon him a prebend's stall in 
York Cathedral and the collegiate church of Southwell. At the age 
of twenty-nine he obtained the living of Rothbury. Taking up his 
residence in the old tower of Whitton, which from the fourteenth 
century had been the parsonage of his cure, he entered upon a long 

^ Abridged from a contribution to the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle by the late 
James Clephan, 



and honourable clerical career 'twixt 'i'yne and Tweed. On the 27th 
of February, 1722-23, he was collated to the Archdeaconry of North- 
umberland — one of the youngest (if not the youngest) clergyman who 
had ever held that important office; on the ist December, 1732, he 
was installed prebendary of Durham Cathedral; in 1737 received 
the appointment of a trustee of Bishop Crewe's charity at Bam- 
borough ; and in 1755 he succeeded Dr. Mangey in the officialty of 
the Dean and Chapter of Durham. In the enjoyment of these pre- 
ferments he died in 1758, aged sixty-five years. 


Archdeacon Thomas Sharp was an excellent Hebrew scholar, and 
wrote a series of discourses on the Hebrew language, amongst which 
are "Two Dissertations concerning the Words Elohim and Berith," 
1751 ; "Review and Defence of Two Dissertations on the words 
Elohim and Berith," in three parts, 1754 and 1755; "Discourses 
touching the Antiquity of the Hebrew Tongue and Character," 1755 ; 
"An Examination of Hutchinson's Exposition of Cherubim," 1755. 
These were mostly answers to the contention of a famous Hebraist, 


named John Hutchinson, founder of a sect known as Hutchin- 
sonians, who held that the Old Testament contains a complete 
system of natural history, theology, and philosophy, that all the rites 
and ceremonies of the Jewish dispensation were so many delinea- 
tions of Christ, and that the early Jews knew them to be types 
of his actions and sufferings, and, by performing them, were so far 
Christians, both in faith and practice. Dr. Sharp also wrote a 
life of his father, the Archbishop, and a book that is still obtain- 
able — 

" The Rubric in the Book of Common Prayer, and the Canons of the Church 
of England, so far as they relate to the Parochial Clergy ; Considered in a Course 
of Visitation Charges." London: 1753. A new edition of this work was pub- 
lished in London in 1787 with three added "Discourses on Preaching," and 
further editions in 1834 at Oxford, and in 1853, by J. H. Parker, London. 

A speech which the Archdeacon made to Bishop Trevor, at Fare- 
well Hall, on the 6th July, 1753, was published in Newcastle the 
same year. Several sermons bearing his name are to be found in 
collections, as, for example — 

"A Charity Sermon, for the Relief of Poor Widows and Children of Clergy- 
men, Within the Diocese of Durham, Preached Before the Sons of the Clergy at 
their Anniversary Meeting in St. Nicholas' Church in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 
Sept. 7, 1 72 1." York, 1721, 8vo, 44 pp. 

"A Sermon Preached at St. Nicholas' Church in Newcastle, Before the 
Governors of the Infirmary for the Counties of Durham, Newcastle, and North- 
umberland, on Thursday, May 23, 1751: Being the Day appointed for Opening 
the HosjDital for the Reception of Patients, and for returning Thanks to Almighty 
God for the singular Success He hath given to this charity ; and for imploring His 
Blessing upon it at all Times." Newcastle: L Thompson & Co.; sold by M, 
Bryson, W. Charnley, and J. Fleming. Price Sixpence. i2mo, 48 pp. 

"A Sermon Preached at the Opening of the New Chapel of Cornhill upon 
Tweed, on Sunday, July 12, 1752." Newcastle: Printed liy John White for 
Mess. Bryson & Charnley, and J. Fleming, Price Sixpence. i2mo, 32 pp. 

"A Sermon preached at All Saints' Church, Newcastle, in aid of the Charity 
School of that Parish." Newcastle, 1722. 

" Sermon on the Lord's Supper at York," 1727. 

"Sermons at St. Mary's, Cambridge," 1729. 

" Sermon preached at Bishop Butler's Primary Visitation," 1751- 

The Archdeacon's occupation of the living of Rothbury is com- 
memorated by a circular tower, or observatory, in the grounds of 
the Rectory, which he built, or rather ordered to be built, for the 
purpose of relieving the masons of the parish, and their starving 


families, during a long and hard winter. In ignorant derision, this 
monument of the good rector's generosity and Christian benevolence 
was designated "Sharp's Folly" — a name which it bears to the 
present day. 

By his marriage with Judith, daughter of the Rev. Sir George 
Wheler, Knight, the Archdeacon had a numerous family. One of 
his sons was Granville Sharp, the philanthropist, before named ; 
another, scarcely less famous, was Archdeacon John Sharp. 

John Sharp, eldest son of Archdeacon Thomas Sharp, l)orn in 
1723, received his education, with his younger brother Thomas, at 
Cambridge. Both John and Thomas Sharp held livings in North- 
umberland. Thomas had a London cure, but was better known as 
the parson of Bamborough, the curacy of which parish he held from 
April, 1757, till his death in November, 1772, when he was buried 
in the chancel of St. Nicholas' Church, Newcastle. John received 
his first preferment at Hartburn, the village immortalised in after 
years as the residence and burial-place of the Rev. John Hodgson, 
the Northumberland historian. He was inducted at Hartburn on 
New Year's Day, 1749. His subsequent preferments were these: — 
Trustee of Crewe's Charities, 1758; Archdeacon of Northumberland, 
April 21, 1762 ; Prebend of the Ninth Stall at Durham, August 11, 
1768 ; perpetual curate of Bamborough, in succession to his brother, 
1773; Prebend of the Eleventh Stall at Durham, September 10, 

It was in his capacity of trustee of Crewe's charities that Dr. John 
Sharp (for he had taken the degree of Doctor of Divinity) achieved 
fame and honour. These charities, founded by Nathaniel Lord 
Crewe, Bishop of Durham, and maintained out of the revenues of 
the Bamborough and Blanchland estates, had been in operation 
thirty-six years when Dr. Sharp became one of the five persons who, 
under the bishop's will, were entrusted with their management and 
distribution. Increasing in value as time went on, the estates had 
begun to yield a surplus, and the application of all surplus income 
had been left by the bishop in the discretion of the trustees, un- 
fettered by any positive regulations. Dr. Sharp had not been long 
in ofiice before he devised a plan of appropriating the surplus to 
works of practical benevolence. He proposed to apply it to the 
establishment at Bamborough, of a dispensary for the relief of the 
sick and lame poor ; the endowment and maintenance of schools for 
the district ; the introduction of appliances for the assistance of 


shipwrecked mariners, etc. To carry out these philanthropic de- 
signs it became necessary to provide a home for the trustees, and 
to fit up the old castle with accommodation for scholars, for a 
medical man, and for distressed seamen. The works of restoration 
which Dr. Sharp devised and in time carried out, comprised the 
adaptation of the castle keep to the purposes of an official residence ; 
the renewal and preservation of the square and circular towers, and 
other buildings which form the south-eastern front of the castle, 
along with the curtain walls, battlements, ramparts, and gate tower ; 
and the erection of a battery platform, towards the sea. Much of 
this work was done at Dr. Sharp's expense ; and to save the trustees 
from the cost of maintaining the residential part of the castle he 
conveyed to them various lands and tenements of his own, the 
income of which (supplemented at his death by a further sum) he 
directed to be applied to the reparation and support of the great 
tower and the furniture contained therein for ever. 

Pennant, the antiquary, visiting Bamborough in one of his Scottish 
tours, describes Dr. Sharp's undertakings in flattering terms : — " He 
has repaired and rendered habitable the great square tower ; the part 
reserved for himself and family is a large hall, and a few smaller 
apartments, but the rest of the spacious edifice is allotted for 
purposes which make the heart to glow with joy when thought of 
The upper part is an ample granary, from whence corn is dispensed 
to the poor without distinction, even at the dearest time, at the rate 
of four shillings a bushel ; and the distressed, for many miles round, 
often experience the conveniency of this benefaction. Other apart- 
ments are fitted up for shipwTecked sailors, and bedding is provided 
for thirty, should such a number happen to be cast on shore at the 
same time. A constant patrol is kept every stormy night along this 
tempestuous coast, for above eight miles, the length of the manor, 
by which means numbers of lives have been preserved. A cannon 
is fixed on the top of the tower, which is fired once if the accident 
(a wTeck) happens in such a quarter ; twice, if in another ; and 
thrice, if in such a place. By these signals the country people are 
directed to the spot they are to fly to ; and by this means frequently 
preserve not only the crew, but even the vessel. In a word, all the 
schemes of this worthy trustee have a humane and useful tendency; 
he seems as if selected from his brethren for the same purposes 
as Spenser tells us the first of his seven beadsmen in the house of 
holinesse was : — 


' The first of them that eldest was and l)est 
Of all the house had chari^e and government 
As guardian and steward of the rest : 
His office was to give cnlertainment 
And lodging unto all that came and wont ; 
Not unto such as could him feast againe 
And doubly quit for that he on them spent ; 
But such as want of harbour did constraine; 
These, for God's sake, his dewty was to entertaine. '" 

In addition to these material benefits, Dr. Sharp conferred upon 
the district the advantage of a good Hbrary, consisting mostly 
of books collected by his grandfather the Archbishop, his father 
the Archdeacon, and his brother the curate of Bamborough; among 
which were standard works on theology and ecclesiastical history, 
rare editions of classic authors and British historians, and a curious 
collection of historical, political, and controversial tracts and 
pamphlets. To these he added many valuable books of his own 
gathering, especially works on music. He adorned the walls of 
the castle with tapestry, and decorated them with portraits, and 
when he died he bequeathed the whole to his successors in the 
trusteeship for the benefit of future generations. 

And not alone at Bamborough did the practical benevolence of 
Dr. Sharp manifest itself The Rev. James Raine, in his "Memoir of 
the Rev. John Hodgson," tells us that the good doctor was a con- 
siderable benefactor to his successors in the vicarage of Hartburn. 
He planted a thick and thriving wood along the northern bank of 
the Hart, which formed the boundary of his glebe, made a walk 
through it, and cut a grotto of two rooms in the rock, with a covered 
way leading from it to the river, for the convenience of bathing. 
Further, "He built much to the glebehouse, especially two very 
large rooms, a dining and drawing-room, in which it was his delight 
to entertain his neighbours with musical performances, with the 
assistance of the Durham choir, many of whom he invited to visit 
him at stated periods. He himself was a musical performer of 
considerable attainments. His favourite instrument was the violon- 
cello; and in the ecstasy of enjoyment he would throw off his coat, 
and fiddle among baronets and squires, and their lady wives and 
daughters, in his shirt sleeves, till, as my informant, a singing man, 
who had often been present on such occasions, once told me, he 
was black in the face." 

" Dr. Sharp," continues Mr. Raine, " lived in a period of high 


punctilio and form. Upon one occasion at Bamborough, when 
he was about to preach, the beadle's staff was reported to be missing. 
The doctor, however, could not preach without the usual stately 
ceremonial of a dual procession, and he had recourse to an im- 
promptu and ingenious device to meet the difficulty. He made the 
sexton shoulder the vestry poker, and march before him in state to 
the door of the pulpit." 

Dr. Sharp married Mary, daughter of Dr. Heneage Dering, Dean 
of Ripon. He died on the 28th of April, 1792, and was buried 
beside his father, Archdeacon Thomas Sharp, in the Galilee of Dur- 
ham Cathedral. Under the north-western tower of the Cathedral, 
not far from the Galilee entrance, is a marble mural monument, 
bearing the following inscription : — 

"Thomas Sharp, D.D., the seventh son of John, Archbishop of York, Pre- 
bendary of the Cathedrals of York and Durham, and of the Collegiate Church of 
Southwell, Archdeacon of Northumberland, and Rector of Rothbury; born, 1693; 
deceased, 1758. He was eminent for piety and integrity, with great learning and 
critical judgment. His treatise on the Rubric and Canons of the Church of England 
is highly esteemed, as are also his various controversial writings, and his Charges to 
the Clergy as Archdeacon of Northumberland. His printed works and MSS. are 
preserved in the Library of this Cathedral. He was the father of a numerous 

"John Sharp, D.D., Eldest Son of Dr. Thomas Sharp, Prebendary of Durham, 
Archdeacon of Northumberland, Vicar of Hartburn, and curate of Bamborough; 
born, 1723 ; deceased, 1792. Treading in the steps of his excellent father, he 
became his equal in piety, learning, and the vigilant performance of his clerical 
duties. As Senior Trustee of the Estates of Lord Crewe, bequeathed for charitable 
purposes, he established the noble asylum for distressed mariners, with other 
benevolent and useful institutions at Bamborough Castle, enriched them by his 
munificence, and perfected them by his humanity." 

In the church at Bamborough a marble monument, representing 
a female figure with a cross, one of the latest works of Chantrey, 
commemorates the two Archdeacons, the Rev. Thomas Sharp, of 
Bamborough, and the Rev. Anthony Boult, who took the name 
of Sharp on his marriage with Catherine, daughter of James Sharp, 
son of Thomas the curate. This lady, to whose filial affection the 
monuments, both at Durham and Bamborough, are due, describes 
the Bamborough one as erected in 1839, "in memory of her grand- 
father, her two uncles, and her husband, who were successively 
Trustees of Lord Crewe's Charities, and Incumbents of the Parish 
of Bamburgh," and herself as " Catherine, only child of James Sharp, 
Esq., of London, and sole survivor of the name." 

JOHN SNA W. 385 

3obn Sbaw, 


Among the local clergy who, for their fidelity to Church and Crown, 
suffered persecution during the Commonwealth, was John Shaw, 
rector of Whalton, and lecturer at St. John's, Newcastle. He is 
described by Anthony Wood as the son of a clergyman, and as 
having been born at Bedlington, a village which, forming part of the 
possessions of the See of Durham, was, at that time, and indeed 
until a comparatively recent period, included in the County Palatine, 
although topographically situated within the county of Northumber- 
land. It is conjectured that his father was the Rev. John Shaw, 
who had the cure of souls in St. John's parish, Newcastle, from 
about the year 16 14, till his death by the great visitation of plague 
in 1637. Although no record of a clergyman named Shaw occurs in 
the Church books of Bedlington, it is not impossible that the curate 
of St. John's ofiiciated at that place before he came to Newcastle, 
and if he were there in 161 2, the conjecture would be strengthened, 
for in that year John Shaw the younger was born. That Shaw the 
curate was married when he entered upon his duties at St. John's 
appears certain. The Registers of St. John's record the burial of 
" Mrs. Elizabeth Shawe, wife to Mr. John Shawe, preacher of the 
Word of God," on the 30th of April, 162 1, and the marriage of 
" Mr. John Shawe, preacher," to " Alice Wilkingson," on the 22nd 
September in the following year. The point is not, however, of 
great importance. 

John Shaw, "born at Bedlington" in 1612, was educated at the 
rectory of Stainton-le-Street, near Sedgefield, by Thomas Ingmethorp, 
a famous scholar, " eminent for the Hebrew tongue, and for his 
admirable methods in pedagogy." Proceeding from thence to 
Oxford, he was entered a student at Queen's College, but shortly 
afterwards, on the 2nd of April, 1629, he changed to Brasenose, 
where he was taken in as a " battler," i.e., a student that " battled," 
or " scored," for his diet. Obtaining at Brasenose his B.A. degree, 
he returned to Tyneside, and entering into holy orders, was ordained 
priest by Morton, Bishop of Durham, about the year 1637. His 

first preferment appears to have been to the vicarage of Alnham, to 
VOL. III. 25 


which he was presented by Algernon, tenth earl of Northumberland, 
whose university career at Oxford had been contemporary with his 
own. For some reason or other, he resigned this living in 1640. 
Three years later, in December, 1643, "Mr. John Shaw, preacher of 
God's word, being upon trial approved," was appointed afternoon 
lecturer at All Saints' Church, Newcastle. In 1645, he was presented 
to the rectory of Whalton, near Meldon ; but by this time the Civil 
War had broken out, and Parliament, finding that he was a pronounced 
Royalist, refused to sanction his appointment, ejected him from All 
Saints', and declined to admit him to any other preferment. Walker 
("Sufferings of the Clergy") states that " he was imprisoned no less 
than four years by the rebels," and Anthony Wood tells us that it 
was not until some time afterwards that, "with much ado, he 
obtained the church of Bolton in Craven, Yorkshire, which, being 
worth but ^50 per annum (supposed then enough to maintain a 
malignant minister), he was permitted to keep it during the sad 
affliction of the Church of England." Yet he must have been in 
Newcastle, and able to preach there, during at least some part of the 
Puritan reign. For, in 1652, he published a book entitled — 

" The Pourtraicture of the Primitive Saints in their Actings and Sufferings, 
According to Saint Paul's Canon and Catalogue. Heb. II. By J. S., Presb. 
Angl." Newcastle: Printed by S. B., 1652. 

Later on he enlarged this work to a quarto volume of 153 pages, 
"one part whereof, to verse 23," writes Anthony Wood, "was 
preached at Newcastle, 1652; the other, from verse 22 to the end, 
was preached at the same place, An. 1659." In the interval, he 
appears to have followed others of the loyal clergy into exile; for in 
the preface to a subsequent work, to be noticed presently, he states 
that he was " necessitated to seek shelter elsewhere, till the tyranny 
was overpast," and then return to his " own native country." 
Whither he went, and how the Church of Bolton-in-Craven fared 
during his absence, do not appear. 

The year after the Restoration, Mr. Shaw came back to 
Northumberland, and was reinstated in his rectory of Whalton. 
Shortly afterwards he was appointed morning and evening lecturer 
at St. John's, Newcastle, with a salary of ;£6o a year, and ;£io per 
annum for his turn in the Thursday's lecture at St. Nicholas'. 
Making Newcastle his home, he began to turn the tables upon his 
old opponents, the Puritans, with considerable vigour. In a letter 


to Archdeacon Basire, dated December, 1668, Vicar Naylor of 
Newcastle, impressed with a due sense of his responsibihties in 
helping to put down " illegal, riotous, and schismatical assemblies " 
of Puritans and Nonconformists, informs his correspondent that 
" Mr. Shaw, who is 'instar omnium,' is come to town, and in health, 
and he will second me " in the work of suppressing " these cater- 
pillars." These caterpillars were the four principal Puritan preachers 
— Gilpin, Pringle, Durant, and Leaver — and the members of their 
congregations. A few months after this letter was written occurred 
the series of memorable raids which Cuthbert Nicholson made 
upon conventicles in Newcastle. Mr. Shaw assisted at one of these 
demonstrations, and thus proved that Vicar Naylor had not underrated 
his zeal and devotion to his church and his king. 

But, vigilant as was the lecturer of St. John's against schismatics 
and conventiclers, he was, if possible, more vehement still against 
adherents of the older faith — the faith of Rome. He showed up 
their pretensions and wrote down their practices with so much 
vigour, that the Corporation of Newcastle printed one of his 
books on the subject at their own expense. It was probably 
the following: — 

" Origo Protestantium : Or an Answer to a Popish Manuscript (of N. N.'s): 
that would fain make the Protestant Catholick Religion Bear date at the very 
time when the Roman Popish commenced in the World. Wherein Protestancy 
is demonstrated to be elder than Popery. To which is added a Jesuits' Letter 
with the Answer thereunto annexed. By John Shaw, Rector of Whalton, in 
Northumberland, and Preacher at St. John's in New Castle-upon-Tine. London: 
Printed for H. Brome at the Gun, in St. Paul's Church-yard, 1677. To the 
Right Worshipful Sir Ralph Carr, Mayor, Sir Robert Shafto, Recorder, The 
Aldermen, Sheriff, and the rest of the Members of the Ancient Toun and County 
of Newcastle-upon-Tine, J. Shaw Humbly presenteth this ensuing Treatise." 

The design and style of this book of Mr. Shaw's, a small quarto 
of 134 pages, are disclosed in the preface, which, like the body 
of the work itself, is thickly studded with capitals and italics. Thus 
it reads: — 

" When it pleased God in his great goodness and mercy to this 
Persecuted Church and Harassed Kingdom, by a miraculous Provi- 
dence to restore his Sacred Majesty to his just Rights, and the 
Church to her Legal and Primitive Settlement, I also (who was 
before necessitated to seek shelter elsewhere till the Tyranny was 
overpast) returned to my own Native Countrey; where I found 
diverse (whom I left professed Sons of our Church) turned Rene- 


gades, having forsaken their own Mother in the day of Trial, and 
betaken themselves to that flattering Stepdame of Rome. ... I 
observed further that the Romanists in these parts grew every day 
more insolently active to bring more Grist to their own Mill, and 
List more men in the Pope's Service, not only by Printed Books, 
but also by private Letters and Manuscripts. The first whereof that 
came to my hands was the short Letter subjoyned to this Treatise, 
to which I have (upon my Friend's request) framed an Answer, 
and here annexed to the Letter. The next I met with was a 
Manuscript (that would fain usurp the Title of Origo Protestantium), 
sent me by a Gentleman for my opinion thereof, which after having 
perused and transcribed it, I returned to him again, and have here 
endeavoured to refute, and therein vindicate the English Refor- 
mation. ... As the design of the former was to seduce unstable 
Souls from our Church, by suggesting it to be no true Church, 
through the defect both of Moral and Personal Successions, so 
also the great business of this latter is to prove the Nullity 
of our Church for want of Personal Succession therein, chiefly 
upon the old Nag's Head Story, which might have passed for 
current Roman Coin perhaps (in 57) when Lilly's Almanack and 
Mother Shipton's Prophesy were in vogue. But they are much out 
in their Politicks who think such like Riffraff as fitly calculated for 
(75); the World is grown a little Older, and so much Wiser too, 
than to believe all is Gold that Glisters; and can discern between 
Legends and true History, however the insinuating Jesuit would 
fain become again a Pearl for a Lady. Other Scripts and Prints of 
this nature, and to this effect are since come to my sight, which 
perhaps I may (when I have nothing else to do) animadvert upon, 
holding myself obliged to lend my poor endeavours in scouring these 
Northern Coasts (especially) of those Popish Pirats, who count all 
Fish that comes to the Net, and will break all Laws to compass one 
unlawful Prize." 

Having thus, as he supposed, defended his Church from her 
ancient adversary, he turned his pen towards her more modern 
foes, and published, dedicated to Bishop Crewe, 

"No Reformation of the Established Reformation. London: Printed for 
Charles Brome, at the Gun in St. Paul's Church-yard, 1685." Sm. 8vo, 250 pp. 

In this treatise Mr. Shaw describes Nonconformists as attending 
church because the law compels them, yet entering the sacred edifice 


as countrymen do at fairs and markets, "some sooner, some later"; 
and with the same reverence that they enter their inn, " some not at 
the beginning, or not till sermon begin " ; others "go out in an hurly- 
burly after the sermon is ended," while many of them " dispute, 
scruple, deny, and undervalue the authority of the Church, rebel 
against its governours, associate, pack juries in a design to ruin the 
Church, and, as opportunity serves, take to a conventicle." More- 
over, " For a long time their talk was of Providence, and their 
successes. First their cause was God's cause, which he would 
prosper for their sakes, and for his promises, whereof they had a 
large stock in the Old Testament and the Revelations. This had a 
strong smack of prophaneness. Then God prospered their cause, 
therefore it was God's cause, a pure Mahometan conclusion. Now 
that it's at a loss, the note is (and mark it, I beseech you), ' God in 
the ways of his Providence towards us walks in the dark.' The 
good people must wait till the day appears, and the good hour 
comes. In the meantime let us make our appeals to God, as the 
Newcastle Conventicling Doctor Gilpin held forth, an. 1671, and be 
very carefull that our zeal to God be not interrupted by our duty to 
the King ; but above all be free to support your painful, precious 
preachers, that we want not tongues and hands for the old cause." 

Mr. Shaw was twice chosen a member of the Convocation of 
Yorkshire, and once, at least, served for the clergy of the Arch- 
deaconry of Northumberland. He died in Newcastle on the 22nd 
May, i68g, and on the 24th his remains were laid in front of the 
altar at St. John's Church. Soon afterwards, Anthony Wood informs 
us, "his ingenious son, John Shaw, belonging to the Cathedral 
Church of Norwich, bestowed an epitaph on his father's marble," 
which Bourne copied thus : — 


Quod Remanet 

Johannis Shaw 

Hujus Ecclesiffi Pastoris. 

Deo, Ecclesise, 

Patriae, Regi, 

Pie Fidelis, 

Obijt Maij 22, A.D. 1689. 

iEtatis SucC, 77." 


Milliain Sbiclb, 


One of the most eminent composers that England has produced was 
WilUam Shield. Recent research has set at rest the doubts that 
previously prevailed as to the date and place of his birth. The 
parish register in Whickham Church contains the following entry : — 

"William Shield, son of William and Mary Shield, born at Swalwell, March 
5th, 1748." 

While only six years old, young Shield was taught by his father, a 
singing-master, to modulate his voice, which was remarkably full- 
toned, and to practise the violin and harpsichord. It was decided 
that he should follow the profession of music ; but the premature 
death of his father prevented this design from being carried out. 
The circumstances in which his mother was placed laid her under 
the necessity of getting him taught some handicraft, by which he 
might immediately earn a few shillings a week. So having had the 
choice of three trades offered him, he fixed on that of a boat- 
builder; and accordingly he was apprenticed at South Shields to 
Edward Davison. His master, a kind-hearted, indulgent man, 
rather encouraged than checked him in the pursuit of music, and 
not unfrequently permitted him to perform on the violin at the 
concerts in the town and neighbourhood. 

After having completed the term of his apprenticeship, he gave up 
boat-building to follow the natural bent of his mind. He had obtained 
from Charles Avison, it is said, a few lessons in thorough-bass 
while a boy, and now that he was a man, he went to that able master 
for instruction in harmony. In 1769 he gave proof of his proficiency 
in the divine art by composing an anthem for a consecration service 
at Sunderland, and this anthem, performed by the choir of Durham 
Cathedral, gained him considerable repute in musical circles round 
about. In particular, it led to his being invited to the tables of the 
Church dignitaries at Durham, an introduction which placed him 
on the high road to preferment. While in Newcastle he played 
at the theatre, at Avison's concerts, and at the entertainments in 
Spring Gardens, at the far end of Gallowgate, which at that time 
were a favourite summer resort of the townspeople. 



The fame of the Tyneside musician in due time reached Scar- 
borough, then, as now, a fashionable watering-place. Invited 
thither, he undertook the management of the Assembly Rooms 
concerts and the lead of the theatre orchestra. John Cunningham, 
the poet-player, was a member of the Scarborough company, and 
between him and Shield a friendship, begun in Newcastle, was 
renewed and strengthened. Some of Cunningham's sweetest songs 
were set to music by Shield, and woven into collections of songs 
and melodies which he afterwards published. While at Scarborough 

he was offered a seat in the orchestra of the Italian Opera House, 
London. This gratifying offer he accepted, and he had not been 
long in London before Giardini, the best solo-player of his day, 
engaged him as second violinist. In the following season, he was 
appointed first viola by Cramer, who had succeeded Giardini as 
leader. This position he held for eighteen years, in the course of 
which time he composed upwards of twenty operas for the Hay- 
market and Covent Garden Theatres. Of the latter he became the 
musical director, and was appointed one of the musicians-in-ordinary 
to George III. 


In the summer of 1791 Shield paid a visit to his native village, 
and sought, in the company of his aged mother, who still resided at 
Swalwell, to revive the association of his early years. He ministered 
liberally to her wants, and displayed towards her the fondest affec- 
tion. He took advantage of the occasion to collect several of the 
airs that are still traditionally sung in the counties of Northumber- 
land, Durham, and Cumberland, which in his infancy he had been 
taught to sing and play, and of which he says: — "These hitherto 
neglected flights of fancy may serve to augment the collector's stock 
of printed rarities, and may perhaps prove conspicuous figures in the 
group of national melodies." 

Shield had long been on terms of intimacy with the eccentric 
critic and collector, Joseph Ritson, who invited him, in the autumn 
of 1 79 1, to accompany him to Paris. During his stay abroad, he 
made the acquaintance of several eminent musicians in the French 
capital, as well as of others who were countrymen of his own, 
drawn thither by a desire to increase their musical knowledge; 
and, extending his tour to Italy, he abode some time in Rome, 
for the purpose of perfecting his studies in the classic land of 

Sir William Parsons, the Master of the Musicians-in-Ordinary to 
the King, having died in 181 7, Shield was appointed his successor, 
and when he attended at Brighton Pavilion to express his gratitude 
for the appointment, the Prince Regent, it is said, addressed him 
thus: — "My dear Shield, the place is your due; your merits, inde- 
pendently of my regard, entitled you to it." 

The great composer died at his house in Berners Street, London, 
on the 25th of January, 1829, and his remains were deposited in 
Westminster Abbey. He left a widow, whose character was thus 
given in one of his letters : — " I ought to be the happiest of mortals 
at home, as Mrs. Shield is one of the best women in the world, and 
it is by her good management that I have been able to assist my 
mother, who laboured hard after the death of my father to give her 
four children a decent education. This power of contributing to 
her support I consider as one of the greatest blessings that heaven 
has bestowed upon me." 

Peter Pindar (Dr. Wolcot), who lampooned all sorts of persons 
from George III. down to the liverymen of London, bestowed upon 
Shield the following crambo lines, on the occasion of the bust of the 
God of Music falling into the orchestra during a rehearsal : — 



*' One day, on Shield's crown, 

Apollo leaped down, 
And lo ! like a bullock he felled him ! 

Now, was not this odd ? 

Not at all, for the god * 

Was mad that a mortal excelled him I" 

In October, 1S91, through the exertions of Mr. John Robinson, 
restorer of the tombstones of Avison and Cunningham, a monu- 
mental cross to Shield's memory was unveiled in Whickham 
Churchyard by Dr. Thomas Hodgkin, after an eloquent address 
had been read from the pen of Mr. Joseph Cowen. The pedestal 
bears the inscription : — 

" In memory of William Shield, musician and composer, born at Swalwell, 
March 5th, 1748, died in London, January 25th, 1829, buried in Westminster 
Abbey. Erected by public subscription, 1891." 

" Shield was one of the most famous of English ballad composers, 
and shares with Storace, Arne, Linley, and Jackson the honour of 
giving a form and character to the English song as bequeathed by 
Purcell and the older composers. His concerted music is melodious 
and pretty, and most of his music is composed in a quiet and beautiful 
pastoral vein. His dramatic works are now forgotten, save for the 
songs they contain. His theoretical works are well written, and 
though now disused served a valuable purpose in their day." 

The following is a list of his principal operas, compositions, etc. : — 

The Crusade, 1790. 

The Flitch of Bacon, 177S. 

Lord Mayor's Day, 1782. 

Rosina, 1783. 

The Poor Soldier, 17S3. 

Harlequin Friar Bacon, 1783. 

Robin Hood, 1784. 

The Noble Peasant, 1784. 

Fontainebleau, 1784. 

The Magic Cavern, 1784. 

The Nunnery, 1785. 

Love in a Camp, 1785. 

The Choleric Fathers, 1785. 

Omai, 1785. 

Richard Cceur de Lion, 1786. 

The Enchanted Castle, 17S6. 

Marian, 1788. 

The Prophet, 1788. 

The Highland Reel, 1788. 

Aladdin, 1788. 

The Picture of Paris, 1790. 
Oscar and Malvina, 1791. 
The Woodman, 1792. 
Hartford Bridge, 1792. 
Harlequin's Museum, 1793. 
The Deaf Lover, 1793. 
Midnight Wanderers, 1793. 
Sprigs of Laurel, 1793. 
Travellers in Switzerland, 1794. 
Arrived at Portsmouth, 1794. 
Netley Abbey, 1794. 
Mysteries of the Castle, 1795. 
Lock and Key, 1796. 
Abroad and at Home, 1796. 
Italian Villagers, 1797. 
The Farmer, 1798. 
Two Faces under a Hood, 1807. 
The Wicklow Mountains, n.d. 


A Cento, consisting of Ballads, Rounds, Glees, and a Roundelay, Cavatinas, 
Canzonettas, etc. 1809. 

A Collection of Songs sung at Vauxhall, to which is added "Johnny and Mary," 
and " Oxfordshire Nancy." n.d. 

A Collection of Six Canzonets and an Elegy, n. d. 

A Collection of Favourite Songs, with a duet for two Violins, n.d. 

Six Trios for Violin, Tenor, and Violoncello, n.d. 

Six Duos for Two Violins, n.d. 

An Introduction to Harmony. Dedicated to Lady Charlotte Bertie. 1800, 4to, 
128 pp. 2nd edition, 1817. 

Rudiments of Thorough Bass for Young Harmonists, and Precepts for their 
Progressive Advancement. 1815, 4to, viii.-go pp. 

Numerous songs, of which the best known are " The Wolf," " The Thorn," 
" Old Towler," " The Heaving of the Lead," " The Post Captain," " The Plough- 
boy," " The Death of Tom Moody," " The Arethusa," " Last Whistle," " Lovely 
Jane," " My Own Native Village," " The Bud of the Rose," " Sailor's Epitaph," 
"On by the Spur of Valour Goaded," and "Violet nurs'd in Woodlands 

(Bcoroc Stlvcrtop, 


" How blessed is he who leads a country life, 
Unvexed with anxious cares, and void of strife !" 

— Dryden. 

High up among the hills and moorlands which overhang the little 
river Derwent, as it comes down from beyond Blanchland to join the 
ever-absorbing Tyne, stands the stately mansion of Minsteracres, the 
home of the Northumbrian family of Silvertop. About the Silvertops 
and their doings local history has little to relate. No trace of their 
name can be found in North-Country annals earlier than the middle 
of the seventeenth century. At that time, according to a pedigree 
in Surtees's " History of Durham," one William Silvertop resided at 
Stella, but who he was, or whence he came, whether he was native 
born or a stranger connected with the Tempests at Stella Hall, 
cannot be ascertained. He married a lady named Galley, and, in 
the absence of earlier evidence, may be set down as the common 
ancestor of the family. To him was born a son, Albert Silvertop, 
who wedded a Blaydon lady — Mary, daughter of Joseph Dunn of 
that place — and died in 1738, leaving, among other issue, a son 
named George. George Silvertop, son of Albert, went for a wife to 



the family of Whittingham, of \V'hittingham, in Lancashire, as did 
also his brother Joseph. These marriages may have brought money 
into the Silvertop connection; but, whether they did or no, George 
Silvertop, son of Albert, acquired wealth, and laid the foundation 
of the family fortune. It was he who purchased the estate of 
Minsteracres, built the mansion, laid out the grounds, formed the 
plantations, and, being a Catholic, like his father and grandfather, 
established a mission upon his estate for the benefit of his family, 


Geoj^ge- ^ILVEiyOp. 

his tenants, and the followers of the old faith among his friends 
and neighbours. He was an early patron of Thomas Bewick, the 
engraver, to whom, as recorded in Bewick's " Autobiography," he 
lent " Edwards's Natural History." He bought, also, the lands of 
the Erringtons at Ponteland, so that when, in 1789, he died at 
Stella, aged eighty-four years, he left his heir, John Silvertop, whose 
wife was a daughter of Sir Henry Lawson of Brough Hall, near 
Catterick, an ample fortune. John Silvertop handed down the 
property unimpaired to his eldest son, George Silvertop, and George 


Silvertop, the most prominent man of his race, and, indeed, the 
only member of his family who took an active part in the public life 
of Tyneside, forms the subject of the present narrative. 

Born at Benwell House, near Newcastle, on the 6th of January, 
1775) George Silvertop obtained his early education in the prepara- 
tory school attached to the great Catholic College of Douay, pursued 
his studies in the college itself till the French Revolution closed the 
establishment, and completed his course at the Rev. John Potier's 
lay school. Old Hall Green, Hertfordshire. He returned to the 
paternal roof at a time when threats of invasion from the French, 
under Napoleon Bonaparte, alarmed all England, and set on fire 
the youth of every seaboard county within the realm. Corps of 
volunteers sprang into existence all over the North of England 
(Northumberland had seventeen or eighteen of them), and over one 
of these corps, organised in the county of Durham, and known far 
and near as the Derwent Rangers, young Mr. Silvertop was appointed 
captain commandant. Later on, in what was known as the second 
French War, he occupied the same position at the head of the 
Bywell Troop of Volunteer Yeomanry Cavalry. In both commands 
he exhibited that military spirit and soldierly feeling which the rank 
and file admire in an officer. At the conclusion of peace in 1814, 
when the corps had fulfilled its mission. Captain Silvertop received 
from his ofiicers and men a sword of honour, of the value of a 
hundred guineas. 

The war being over, cultured Englishmen were able, in the 
summer of 18 14, to resume their travels on the Continent. Mr. 
Silvertop was one of those who went over. He went through 
France and Italy, and, being a young man of high intelligence and 
polished manners, and an English Catholic of wealth and influence, 
he was admitted into the best society. Among other places that he 
visited was Elba, the island to which Bonaparte had been banished, 
and over which, by the treaty of Fontainebleau, he exercised imperial 
sovereignty. Mr. Silvertop had a long conversation with the fallen 
hero — a conversation which produced grave consequences. For, in 
the course of their chat, the question of the pension guaranteed to 
the exile out of the revenues of France was mentioned, and Mr. 
Silvertop was able to inform his host that, only a few days earlier, 
the Duke of Fleury, with whom he had dined in Paris, had scoffed 
at the idea that the French Government would observe the financial 
part of the treaty, and expressed a confident opinion that they were 


not such fools. This conversation made a deep impression upon 
Bonaparte. It was one of the reasons, as he afterwards told O'Meara, 
that induced him to quit Elba, and make that abortive effort to regain 
power in France which ended at St. Helena. When Bonaparte left 
Elba, Mr. Silvertop was in Italy, and he remained there in some peril. 
Murat, King of Naples, hearing of Napoleon's landing in France, 
flew to arms against Austria, and for a time Mr. Silvertop and other 
Englishmen of position were placed in a critical, if not a dangerous, 
position between the two armies. The campaign was brief and 
disastrous, and the Englishmen were soon able to resume their 
travels in peace. 

Upon his return to England, Mr. Silvertop was selected by Lord 
Liverpool to undertake a private and unofficial mission on behalf of 
the British Government to his Holiness the Pope. The negotiations 
came to nothing, for the views of the Pope and the Premier could 
not be brought into harmony, even by so astute a courtier and so 
intelligent a diplomatist as Mr. Silvertop. By both parties he was 
congratulated upon the address and the ability with which he had 
discharged the delicate and difficult trust committed to him, and 
there the mission ended. 

Like many of the leading Catholics of his time, Mr. Silvertop 
allied himself in politics with the Whig party, and was a frequent 
and effective speaker on their side. During the great Parliamentary 
election of 1826, he supported Lord Howick, son of Earl Grey, 
and Mr. Thomas Wentworth Beaumont. Responding to the toast 
of " Civil and Religious Liberty all over the World," at a banquet 
given to Lord Howick in the Assembly Rooms, Newcastle, while the 
contest was raging, and referring to a speech by a previous speaker 
(Dr. Fenwick), Mr. Silvertop gave utterance to the generous senti- 
ments which follow : — • 

" My learned friend on my right hand (Dr. Fenwick) was born of 
Catholic parents, baptised and educated a Catholic, and when of 
mature age, in the sincerity of his heart, renounced the Church of 
Rome. I am descended, Hke him, from Catholic parents, was 
baptised and educated a Catholic, and I most sincerely believe in 
the pure principles of the Catholic Church, though I do, also, most 
sincerely wish for a thorough radical reform in the discipline of that 
church. Now, sir, do I believe that this man has not as good a 
chance of obtaining the happiness of heaven as myself? I should 
think I committed an act of blasphemy against my Maker if I 


entertained any such opinion. I think that human reason is the 
best gift of Heaven. My learned friend has employed his great 
talents and acquirements in an impartial search into the doctrines 
of the Catholic Church, and has rejected them. I, I trust, with 
equal impartiality, have applied my very inferior powers to the same 
inquiry, but with a different result. Though we have so done, I 
entertain not a particle of doubt but that with good works the gates 
of Heaven will be equally open to us both." 

In April, 1829, the long-fought question of Catholic Emancipation 
was settled by the passing of the Relief Bill. The following year 
Mr. Silvertop was appointed High Sheriff for his native county — 
the first Roman Catholic squire who had filled that ofifice, it is said, 
since the reign of William and Mary. During the agitation for 
Parliamentary Reform, which entered an acute stage before his 
Shrievalty expired, faithful to the principles which he had maintained 
in the struggle for Catholic Emancipation, he rendered hearty 
support to Earl Grey and the Whig Government. His amiable 
nature kept him out of heated political controversy, but he was 
at all times a sincere and consistent advocate of moderate reforms 
within the limits of the Constitution. His last public appearance 
was upon a pohtical platform — the hustings at Darlington, from 
which place he nominated Lord Harry Vane, the Liberal candidate 
for the representation of South Durham. 

Mr. Silvertop's sympathy with genius in humble life finds illustration 
in our sketches of Bishop Bewick and John Graham Lough. The 
Bishop was born upon Mr. Silvertop's estate, the sculptor in an 
adjoining hamlet; and both of them owed their start in life, 
and much of their after-success, to his generous heart and liberal 

In the various pursuits and improvements of agriculture Mr. 
Silvertop was an adept and an exemplar. In a speech which he 
made at the first anniversary meeting of the Newcastle Farmers' 
Club in March, 1847, he stated that to his care had been committed 
at various times executorships and trusteeships of estates of many 
hundreds of thousands of pounds in value, involving responsibilities 
that were not to be lightly undertaken, but which had been of real 
service to him by bringing him into contact with a wide circle of 
agricultural tenantry. A practical farmer himself, he described the 
ignorance which prevailed among tillers of the soil forty years before, 
when he presided at one of the earliest agricultural meetings held in 


the Tyne valley, congratulated his hearers upon the progress that 
had been made in the interval, commended the application of 
science to cultivation, and advised young farmers to study agricul- 
tural chemistry, and so make themselves masters of their profession. 

Mr. Silvertop died on the 20th of February, 1849, and was buried 
at Ryton. He had lived a bachelor, and his estates went to his 
grandnephew, Henry Charles Englefield, who, under the provisions 
of his will, took the name of Silvertop. Mr. H. C. E. Silvertop 
married, first, the Hon. Eliza Stoner, third daughter of Lord Camoys, 
and secondly Caroline, daughter of E. J. Weld, of Ludworth, in 
Dorsetshire. He erected the beautiful Catholic Church which 
adjoins the family mansion at Minsteracres, and died on the 7th 
of March, 18S7. 

Our portrait is copied from one in the possession of Mr. T. 
Swallow, Bell Terrace, Newcastle, a son of Mr. George Silvertop's 
chief land steward. 

peter, IRobert, anb 3obn Smart, 


In the early days of the reign of Charles the First, when Dr. Cosin, 
prebendary of the tenth stall, and afterwards bishop, was intro- 
ducing into the services at Durham Cathedral some of the high 
church practices which, a few years later, were associated with the 
name of Archbishop Laud, there was a stern-faced and hard-headed 
old prebendary in the fourth stall who viewed the proceedings with 
undisguised aversion. His name was Peter Smart, and he was a 
member of a family of Smarts that at one time resided upon the 
estate of Harton, near South Shields. Bishop James, his college 
friend and patron, had bestowed upon him a number of preferments 
— the prebend in 1609, the mastership of Gateshead Hospital in 
161 2, and the rectory of Boldon in 1614; besides which he held a 
high commissionership for the province of York. He was, therefore, 
a person of importance, by whose utterances the clergy and gentry 
of the diocese were likely to be considerably influenced. In the 
summer of 1628, on the 27th of July, Prebendary Smart was 
appointed to preach in the Cathedral, and he took the opportunity 
of expressing with unwonted freedom his views upon the " Super- 


stitious innovations " by which he was surrounded. This venerable 
cleric launched forth a series of invectives, of the fiercest and 
coarsest character, against high church bishops and their imitators, 
their teachings and their practices. Warming up as he proceeded, 
he stigmatised them as " the whore of Babylon's bastardly brood," 
who, "doating upon their mother's beauty, that painted harlot of the 
Church of Rome, have laboured to restore her all her robes and 
jewels again, especially her looking-glass the mass, in which she may 
behold her bravery." Then, " the mass coming in, brings with it an 
inundation of ceremonies, crosses, and crucifixes, chalices and images, 
copes and candlesticks, tapers and basons, and a thousand such 
trinkets, which we have seen in this church since the communion 
table was turned into an altar. I assure you," he continued, "the 
altar is an idol, a damnable idol as it is used." Further, " the 
sacrament itself is well-nigh turned into a theatrical stage play, that 
when men's minds should be occupied about heavenly meditations 
of Christ's bitter death and passion, of their own sin, of faith and 
repentance, their eyes are fed with pompous spectacles of glistering 
pictures, and histrionical gestures; the hallowed priest daunces about 
the altar, making pretty sport and fine pastime, with trippings, and 
turnings, and crossings, and crouchings, while choristers and singing 
men shout and cry, and make most sweet Apollonian harmony. Did 
Christ minister the sacrament in such manner to his disciples at 
his last supper? Was there an altar in the chamber where he 
supped ? Did Christ put on a cope laden with images, or did he 
change his garments ? " and so on. 

For preaching this "seditious" sermon Peter Smart was cited 
before the spiritual courts, but instead of expressing contrition, 
he proceeded to even greater lengths of insubordination; he indicted 
Dr. Cosin and the church authorities, at Durham Assizes, for 
practising superstitious and unlawful ceremonies, contrary to the Act 
of Uniformity. In the end the Church triumphed. Peter Smart, 
scornfully refusing to recant, was excommunicated, dispossessed of 
his preferments, and fined ^^500. The fine he, with equal obstinacy, 
refused to pay, and, in consequence, he was committed to the King's 
Bench Prison. Some Puritan friends subscribed about ;^4oo a year 
for him during his imprisonment, but not a farthing of this sum 
would he allow to be paid in liquidation of his penalty. He lay in 
gaol eleven years, and then received from his triumphant friends, the 
Puritans, a restoration of his former possessions. Thus rehabilitated 


and re-established, he came back to Durham, and died there (or in 
the neighbourhood) in the year 1652. 

From the family of this iconoclastic prebendary came Christopher 
Smart, poet (friend of Pope, Johnson, and Garrick), who "wrote a 
poem with charcoal on the walls of his cell in a madhouse,"' and died 
within the precincts of the King's Bench Prison in 1771. Through 
them, in like manner, descended the Smarts of Snotterton in the 
Bishopric, and afterwards of Trewhitt in Central Northumberland. 

Following the Trewhitt line, we find, at the beginning of the eigh- 
teenth century, John Smart of that place marrying Eleanor, daughter 
of William Alder of Horncliffe Hall, and Belford, and leaving at his 
death, in 1734, among other issue, two sons named William and 
Robert. William, his heir, became the squire of Trewhitt ; Robert, 
the younger son, attained considerable notoriety in various depart- 
ments of ingenuity and enterprise. Of this Robert Smart, and his 
doings, Tate, the historian of Alnwick, writes copiously. Born in 
1 7 15, he succeeded, at his father's death, to the estate of Hobberlaw 
(a hamlet about a mile and a half to the south-west of Alnwick 
market-place), which had been the marriage portion of his mother, 
Eleanor Alder. He married Frances, daughter of William Burrell, 
of Broome Park, and settling down upon his property, farmed his 
own land and other broad acres the while he indulged himself with 
numerous hobbies in geometry, mechanics, music, and natural philo- 
sophy. " His estate he divided into fields having geometrical forms, 
and enclosed them with double hedges; he made an organ for Bel- 
ford Church ; he invented a thrashing machine." Believing that 
men could fly like birds, if they were only provided with suitable 
appliances, " he constructed a pair of wings made of leather and 
feathers, and attached them to his arms with some mechanism to aid 
their movement." Summoning his friends and servants to witness 
his first flight through the air, he ascended the granary stairs at 
Hobberlaw, " waved for a while his wings, and then sprang from the 
stair head " ; but " alas 1 all the efforts he made with his apparatus 
could not overcome the laws of gravity, and down he ignominiously 
fell into a gooseberry bush ! " His thrashing machine was equally 
a failure ; for it was constructed to act by rubbing instead of beating, 
and, besides doing but very little work in a given time, it bruised, and 
therefore injured the grain. " One of his daughters, who lived in 
Alnwick, related that after successfully trying the machine, he gave 
it up, fearing that its adoption would injure the agricultural labourers, 

VOL. III. 26 


but that, after his decease, it was patented by his servant, Rastrick, 
whose machine, it is reported in Rees's Cyclopaedia, had novelties of 
construction, and was seen to thrash forty-three sheaves in ten minutes, 
and to dress them at the same time." Like his ancestor, the pre- 
bendary, Robert, was a troublesome neighbour to the local authori- 
ties. Although an overseer of the poor for the parish of Alnwick, 
" he made aggressions on Alnwick Moor; he fought the Four-and- 
Twenty for a road across that moor, and obtained it ; he claimed 
exemption from Church rates, but was not successful ; and thus he 
involved both the corporation and the parish in law-suits." Outside 
of his agricultural pursuits he is described as a " mathematician, an 
astronomer, with, it is said, the ' Principia ' at his finger ends, a 
mechanist and a musician." He died at Hobberlaw on the 19th of 
December, 1787, aged 71. 

Robert Smart's elder brother William, born in 1705, lived for a 
time, between his father's death in 1734 and his marriage in 1757, 
upon some property of the Alders at Belford. He was there in 
1745, and as the principal resident received the Duke of Cumberland, 
marching through Northumberland to the victory of Culloden, x-^t 
his death the estate of Trewhitt descended to his eldest son, John 
Smart, J. P., who figures in the pages of local history as an eminent 
antiquary. In his " Memoir of the Rev. John Hodgson," historian 
of Northumberland, the Rev. James Raine notes Mr. Smart's anti- 
quarian acquirements in the following pleasant bit of banter : — 

"In this same year, 1819, a new name was added to the list of 
Mr. Hodgson's topographical correspondents. John Smart, Esq., of 
Trewhitt, kindly offered his services in investigating the British and 
Roman camps and roads in the northern parts of the county, and 
communicated a sketch of old Rothbury, etc., promising further 
assistance. It must be admitted that in his quest of antiquities of 
this description Mr. Smart occasionally made a happy discovery; 
and, further, that he took a sincere pleasure in making his friends 
acquainted with the result of his labours. Occasionally, however, 
he was fanciful. He was apt to mistake the fosse of a Border tower 
for the ditch of a Roman camp, or the mounds thrown up as sheep- 
folds, or night-lairs as they were called, for British fortifications. An 
outline of one of his discoveries may be seen in the second volume 
of Mackenzie's patchwork History of Northumberland, p. 19, illustra- 
tive of what he considered to be the remains of a Roman camp at 
Crawley Tower. This cut, however, had 'a double debt to pay.' 


At no greater distance than that of two leaves from the page on 
which it first makes its appearance, the editor adroitly introduces the 
very same illustration (if I am not mistaken), in an altered position, 
and makes it do duty as a British camp between Linhope and 

Turning to Mackenzie's volume, we find the cut accompanying, 
on page 19, a description by Mr. Smart of an old encampment 
at Crawley Tower, which he considered to be the " Alauna Amnis " 
of the fourth Iter of Richard of Cirencester, placed by Dr. Stukeley 
at Alnwick. On page 22 is another engraving illustrating a fortified 
British town, which Mr. Smart states that he had discovered between 
Linhope and Hartside, at the foot of Greenlaw Hill, the lowest to 
the east of the range of the Cheviots. The two blocks are not, 
however, identical, and in suggesting that they were so Mr. Raine 
was, for once, mistaken. They are both evidently the production 
of Mr. Smart, " whose skill and ardour in antiquarian pursuits," 
writes Mackenzie, "are well known," and whose "warm interes( 
in advancing the purposes of this work, merits the best obligations 
of the publishers." On page 80 of the same volume is another 
sketch contributed by him — a plan of Burgh Hill, Tosson. 

Mr, Smart became a member of the Newcastle Society of 
Antiquaries a few months after its formation in 181 3, and took 
an active interest in its proceedings. He contributed to the first 
volume of the " Arch^ologia," "An Account of a Roman Station 
near Glanton, Northumberland " (the Crawley Tower encampment 
of Mackenzie's book), and to the second volume of the series he 
sent " An Account of a Roman Road in Northumberland," which, 
as he describes it, begins at Rochester, in Redesdale, passes by 
Yardhope to Holystone, and through Burradon, Trewhitt, Lorbottle, 
and Callaley, joins the eastern branch of Watling Street, near 

On the 30th of October, 1828, aged sixty-nine years, Mr. Smart 
died. By his marriage with Dorothy, daughter and co-heir of Robert 
Lynn, he had four sons and four daughters. Of the former, William 
Lynn Smart, the eldest, succeeded to the estates; John, the second 
son, settled at Bridgen Hall, Enfield; Robert entered the navy and 
became Admiral Sir Robert Smart, K.C.B., K.H., of Mainsforth, 
Durham; while Newton, the fourth son, went into the church, 
and was for many years Rector of Burghfield in Berkshire, and a 
Prebendary of Salisbury. 


^boma0 Smitb, 


" In Memory of Thomas Smith of St. Lawrence, Esq., for 30 years one of 
the Aldermen of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and twice Mayor of that town, who 
died March 6th, A.D. 1836, in the 80th year of his age. And also of Mary his 
wife who having survived her husband a few months died on the 15th of 
October, in the same year, in the 76th year of her age. Their earthly remains 
are laid together in this church. This Monument is erected by their two sons, 
gratefully mindful of departed worth, and affectionately cherishing the memory of 
their deceased parents." — Epitaph in St. Nicholas' Church, Newcastle. 

About the middle of the seventeenth century, William Smith, a 
freeholder in Amble, married Alice, daughter of John Patterson, 
a landowner in the township of Togston, near Warkworth. From 
that marriage came the Smiths of Togston, a well-known North- 
umbrian family. Thomas Smith, of Togston, a great-grandson of 
William Smith the founder, marrying Frances, daughter of John 
Cook, another landowner in the township, had, among other issue, 
two sons. The elder of these two sons, baptised by the ancestral 
name of ^Villiam, succeeded to the family property, and became the 
squire of Togston; the other, named after his father, Thomas Smith, 
was apprenticed to Anthony Pearson, of St. Lawrence, near New- 
castle, roper, and marrying his master's daughter, Mary Pearson, 
founded the family of Smith of St. Lawrence and Gosforth. 

Thomas Smith, the roper, makes his first appearance in local 
history upon the pages of the Poll-Book of the Newcastle election in 
1780, when, as a member of the Ropemakers' Company, he divided 
his vote between Sir Matthew White Ridley, and the adventurer — 
Andrew Robinson Bowes. A couple of years later he occurs as a 
married man carrying on his father-in-law's business at St. Lawrence. 
He lived then, and for many years afterwards, at St. Lawrence 
House, the stout old mansion, with bay windows, that still forms 
a prominent feature in the riverside prospect, a few yards west of the 
Mushroom landing-place; and he made his cordage in the premises 
adjoining, which, with many alterations and extensions, is the rope 
manufactory of his descendants at the present day. At St. Lawrence 
House, his two sons, Thomas and William Smith, were born. 

When Thomas Smith had been ten or a dozen years in business, 


he began to interest himself in the municipal affairs of Newcastle, 
and, in 1796, he was appointed one of the Common Council. The 
following year, Anthony Hood being Mayor, he was chosen to be 
Sheriff, and in June, 1S03, through the death of Alderman Robert 
Shafto Hedley, he received the gown of an alderman, and a seat on 
the bench of magistrates. At Michaelmas following, he obtained 
the highest honour, short of a seat in Parliament, that his fellow- 
burgesses could confer upon him — he was elected Mayor. 

Alderman Smith's Mayoralty came at that critical time to which 
reference has been frequently made in this series, when all England 
was arming against Napoleon. Only a few weeks before his election, 
he had been appointed a captain, and his son Thomas a second lieu- 
tenant, of the Newcastle Loyal Associated Volunteer Infantry, com- 
manded by Colonel Sir Matthew White Ridley. Only a few weeks 
after his election, the grain warehouses in the New Road, known as 
" Egypt," were converted into barracks for the reception of soldiery. 
A little later came the terrible excitement created by " the false 
alarm." Some unfortunate wight, on the evening of the last day in 
January, 1804, fired the whins on the Lammermuir hills, and the glare 
being mistaken on the Borders for a signal, the Northumbrian 
beacons were lighted, and from the Tweed to the Tyne, and far 
away into the bishopric, everybody was alarmed, and everything 
thrown into confusion. When the terror had subsided. Mayor Smith 
issued a proclamation, explaining the signals that would be employed 
if necessity arose for their use, and for the rest of his term the town 
was tranquil. 

After an interval of ten years, during which he had started and 
joined his second son William in the business of a shipbuilder at St. 
Peter's, Alderman Smith was elected Mayor for the second time, 
with his eldest son, Thomas, as Sheriff. It was his good fortune, on 
this occasion, to celebrate what was supposed to be the final defeat 
of the disturber against whom the " false alarm " in his first mayoralty 
had been directed. On the loth of May, 1S14, amid the firing 
of guns, the ringing of bells, and the cheers of the populace, he 
and his colleagues went in procession to the Westgate, and there 
solemnised the conclusion of peace in Europe, and the restoration 
of harmony among themselves, by laying the foundation-stone of the 
" Peace and Unity Hospital." Among other incidents of his second 
term of office were the launching and participation in the Mayor's 
" Barge Day " procession of the first steamboat built on the Tyne, 


and the arrival in Shields Harbour of the first steamship that had 
navigated the North Sea. Thus, Alderman Smith, a shipbuilder 
himself, was privileged to preside, so to speak, at the birth of local 
steam navigation. 

In his old age Alderman Smith removed from St. Lawrence House 
to Heaton Hall, and there, as recorded in his epitaph, he died on 
the 6th of March, 1836, aged seventy-nine. 

Thomas anb OTiUlam Sntitb, 


Thomas Smith (2), eldest son of the alderman, was born at St. 
Lawrence, November 27th, 1783; William, his brother, was born at 
the same place on the 15th of July, 1787. Thomas served with his 
father as a ropemaker; William was apprenticed to William Row, 
shipbuilder, at St. Peter's. Mr. Row carried on an extensive busi- 
ness, and attained the distinction of building the largest ships that 
up to his time had been launched into the waters of the Tyne. 
Local annalists record with pride the ease and grace with which, on 
the 3rd of November, 1808, "his Majesty's ship Bucephalus^ 970 
tons measurement, rated at 32, but pierced for 52 guns," glided from 
the ways at Mr. Row's yard, followed, a fortnight later, by " a very 
handsome small ship of war called the Wood/ark." William Smith 
was just out of his time when the Bucephalus floated away from St. 
Peter's. Within a couple of years afterwards, he and his father and 
brother had acquired Mr. Row's interest in St. Peter's Dock, and 
formed themselves into a firm of shipbuilders under the title of 
William Smith & Company. Thus, by the end of the year 18 10, 
the business of the Smiths was expanded into two firms — Thomas 
Smith, roper, St. Lawrence, and William Smith & Co., shipbuilders, 
St. Peter's — with a joint office in the Broad Chare, Newcastle. 

For a time the vessels constructed by the new firm at St. Peter's 
were of the ordinary type, but in 1828, having meanwhile extended 
their operations by the acquisition of a graving dock at North 
Shields, they began to build ships for the East India trade. Before 
long they had formed a line of passenger vessels, which ran under 
their management between London and the Cape of Good Hope, 



Madras, and Calcutta, and successfully competed with that of the 
Blackwall shipowners, Messrs. Green & Wigram. For many years 
these two firms held possession of the East India passenger trade. 
Under their respective flags the development of the wooden sailing 
ship was carried to a high degree of perfection. Commanded by 
officers whose names were " household words " in maritime com- 
merce, Smith's East India liners and the competing vessels of Green 

& Wigram became, in point of speed, form, and equipment the 
admiration of naval men, and the pride of the mercantile com- 

The first East Indiaman built at St. Peter's was the Duke of 
Roxburgh., a ship of 417 tons. From the date of her construction 
the firm went on increasing the size and excellence of their vessels, 
until, in 1846-48, they reached the highest point in the Marlborough^ 
1,387 tons, and the Blenheim^ i>392 tons. These two ships were 


submitted to a special Government survey, and reported as frigates 
fit for carrying armaments. Thenceforward, the size of the East 
Indiamen declined, and the last of them — the St. Lazvrence — was of 
the measurement of i,i88 tons. Besides these great merchant ships, 
Messrs. Smith turned out of their yard at St. Peter's several war 
vessels — notably the Carlo Alberto, in 1852-53, and eleven gunboats 
for the Government during the Crimean War. 

It was in 18 14, four years after taking over the business of Mr. 
Row, that Messrs. W. Smith & Co. extended their operations to 
North Shields. They obtained a lease of Laing's dock at that place, 
acquired a quay for the deposit of ballast, opened a raff yard, and began 
the building and repairing of ships, as at St. Peter's. Eventually 
Laing's dock became too small for their operations, and, in 1850, 
upon land adjoining, they opened a new one of their own construc- 
tion — then much the largest in the river. A couple of years later 
they commenced iron-shipbuilding there, with ten lighters for the 
Viceroy of Egypt. The first steamship built by the firm (launched 
at North Shields in 1854) was the Zingari, for Mr. Ralph Ward 
Jackson, of West Hartlepool. Their third steamer, the Chasseur, 
was bought by Government for service in the Crimea. Fitted 
up as a floating factory, with engineering shop, foundry, saw-mill, 
etc., and a full complement of artisans, she was sent direct from the 
shipyard to Balaclava, and became a useful auxiliary to our army at 

Upon the death of Alderman Smith in 1836, the firm changed its 
name to that of " Thomas & William Smith," and by that title it 
has ever since been known. Under the management of the two 
brothers it acquired fame and fortune. Besides the East Indiamen 
the firm owned a fleet of colliers that ran between the Tyne and the 
Thames, and in connection with that and their other maritime under- 
takings, they had coal hulks at Gravesend, a sail-making loft at 
Blackwall, and a warehouse at the East India Docks. They also 
established themselves as shipowners and brokers in London, and 
carried on an extensive business in the sailing and chartering of 
ships there; while upon the Tyne the shipyards and ropery were 
employed to the fullest extent of their resources. 

The personal history of the two brothers, by whose energy and 
foresight the firm of T. & W. Smith was raised to the highest rank 
among the great commercial houses of the kingdom, presents few 
features of public interest. Strictly men of business, they found 



their time fully absorbed in the ever-widening circle of industrial 
progress, and rarely stepped beyond it. The elder brother, as we 
have seen, occupied the post of Sheriff during his father's second 
Mayoralty; the younger brother filled the same ofifice in 1830. With 
these appointments, their participation in public life began and 

At the sale of the Brandling estates, in 1852, High Gosforth 

LflAK DMlt-H 

House, and 2,100 acres of land, were purchased by Mr. Thomas 
Smith for ;^7 1,260. He had occupied the mansion for several 
years previously, and there he continued to reside till his death, on 
the 29th of April, 1856. United late in life to Margaret Collingwood, 
daughter of Mr. Percival Fenwick, he left no issue, and the property 
and business passed into the hands of his brother. Mr. William 
Smith removed from Benton Lodge to Gosforth House soon after 


his brother's decease, and died there on the 13th of October, i860, 
leaving by his marriage with Margaret, daughter of Major Werge, a 
son — Mr, Thomas Eustace Smith, some time M.P. for the borough 
of Tynemouth. 

After both brothers had passed away, the operations of the firm 
were carried on for several years by Mr. Thomas Eustace Smith and 
two partners. One of the partners, Mr. James Southern, managed 
the London department, while the works upon Tyneside were con- 
ducted by the other partner, Mr. George Luckley. The historical 
firm of T. & W. Smith still flourishes under the management of 
Alderman Smith's great-grandson, Mr. Eustace Smith the younger. 

^bomas Sopwttb, 


The publication, in 1891, of a memoir of Thomas Sopwith by Dr. 
Benjamin Ward Richardson, makes it comparatively easy to trace 
the remarkable career of a gifted Northumbrian, who, in the past 
generation, stood in the front rank of mechanical engineers and 
scientific investigators. 

Thomas Sopwith, son of Jacob Sopwith, cabinet-maker and joiner, 
by Isabella, daughter of Matthew Lowes, was born at his father's 
house and place of business in Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, on the 3rd 
of January, 1803. The little schooling which he obtained was given 
to him by Henry Atkinson the mathematician ; it ceased at an early 
age, and most of that which he knew in after-life was self-acquired. 
In due time he was apprenticed to his father, and acquired a com- 
petent knowledge of the business, but developing unusual talent for 
drawing and planning, and a decided taste for practical mechanics, 
he shaped his course away from the workshop into the higher sphere 
of land surveying and mechanical engineering. Before he was 
twenty he had undertaken surveying on his own account, and had 
been employed by, among others, the Corporation of Newcastle. 
While so engaged, in July, 1822, advertisements were issued inviting 
plans for the erection of a new gaol for the borough, and he, young 
as he was, entered into the competition. The plans which he sub- 
mitted were selected with those of two men of standing and 


experience — Thomas Oliver and John Dobson — for further con- 
sideration, and although ultimately Mr. Dobson's plans were 
adopted, young Sopwith's received high commendation, and their 
designer a substantial recompense. 

Arrived at the age of manhood, Mr. Sopwith became an assistant 
with Mr. Joseph Dickinson, of Alston, in surveying the lead-mines 
of that district belonging to the Greenwich Hospital Commissioners. 
The following year he was taken into partnership by his employer, 
and entered upon the professional career which he had marked out 
for himself. The firm had important engagements in measuring 
royalties and defining boundaries, mapping and planning for land- 
owners and mining agents, and surveying for projected railways. 
Mr. Sopwith found leisure to study geology, to practise engraving, 
to collect statistics, and to indulge in antiquarian research. In con- 
nection with his antiquarian hobby he first ventured into print, 
commencing the long series of publications which bear his name 
with a " History of All Saints' Church, Newcastle." 

On the death of his father, in 1829, Mr. Sopwith returned to New- 
castle to superintend the family business and practise his chosen 
calling of an engineer. He opened offices in the Royal Arcade, and 
soon gathered round him a respectable number of clients in land 
surveying, railroad design, and road-making. The cabinet works, 
too, received a new impulse, and entered into fresh developments. 
Among other ingenious contrivances that he devised was a writing- 
desk systematically arranged for the storage of office papers and 
documents, and known in after-years as "Sopwith's Monocleid 
Cabinet" — so named because all the drawers were locked at one 
operation by turning a single key. In the intervals of business he 
entered upon a systematic study of isometric perspective, and read a 
paper on the subject to the Newcastle Natural History Society, a paper 
which expanded into a volume, went through a second edition, and 
became a popular text-book. To facilitate isometric drawing he 
invented a set of projecting and parallel rulers, and to render survey- 
ing more easy and certain, he designed a new levelling stave. 

Among his professional engagements at this time were the survey 
ing of a new road up the Derwent, and, in conjunction with the great 
mining engineer, John Buddie, the planning of a railway from 
Durham to Shields. These were followed by an engagement to 
survey for the Government the mines in the Forest of Dean — an 
engagement which occupied him for some time, and led to his being 



appointed, later on, a Commissioner for the Crown under the Forest 
of Dean Mining Act. 

In August, 1838, when the British Association for the Advance- 
ment of Science met in Newcastle, Mr. Sopwith, who had in the 
meantime been elected a member of the Institution of Civil 
Engineers, read a paper " On the National Importance of Pre- 
serving Mining Records." The subject was not new, but Mr. 
Sopwith's advocacy made an impression upon the Association, 
and induced them to form a committee of leading members to 
promote the movement. The committee drew up a memorial to the 


Government, which, supported by the personal influence of the 
Marquis of Northampton and Sir Henry de la Beche, led to the 
establishment of the Mining Record Office in connection with the 
Museum of Practical Geology. 

Mr. Sopwith's practice as an engineer and surveyor increased 
rapidly during the next few years. Railway development brought 
him engagements from all parts of England; mining exploration 
opened out to him still wider fields of activity, extending to the 
Continent. In 1843 he was employed to report upon the mineral 
capabilities of the districts lying between the Sambre and the Meuse, 
and the prospects of railway enterprise in opening up those districts 


to commercial and manufacturing industry. During his visits to 
Belgium, consulted by King Leopold upon further developments of 
the mineral riches of his kingdom, he explained to his Majesty the 
principles upon which such developments should be based, and 
recommended the practical application of geology as the solid found- 
ation of national enterprise. Some time before the Belgian engage- 
ment began he had been elected a member of the Geological Society 
of London, and had received from the Society of Civil Engineers 
the Telford Silver Medal for a paper on Geological Models in which 
he explained a new method of illustrating the nature of stratification, 
the succession of coal seams, the results of denudation, the effects 
produced by faults and other geological phenomena. Models of 
this kind, constructed by him, are now in the Museum of Practical 
Geology, London, and in the Oxford and Cambridge Museums. 

While thus engaged in wide-spreading professional work Mr. Sop- 
with received, in the spring of 1845, an offer of the chief agency 
of Mr. T. W. Beaumont's mines in Northumberland and Durham. 
The change meant removal to AUenheads, disconnection from his 
large circle of clients in engineering and mining, and occupation for 
three-fourths of his time. After much consideration he decided to 
accept it, and later in life gave his reasons for so doing in the 
following autobiographical narrative : — 

" At the time the proposition was made to me I had gained what 
I may fairly call a good position in my profession. I had conducted 
very extensive surveys both on the surface and underground at 
Alston, and over a large portion of land in the centre of Northum- 
berland. I had in 1S29 successfully competed with McAdam, then 
in the zenith of his fame as a road engineer; and my line, after being 
approved by a majority of forty to one by the local trustees, received 
the assent of Parliament in 1830. In 1832 I made the greatly 
valued acquisition of the friendship of Surtees in addition to that of 
Hodgson and Hedley — names ever to be treasured among my richest 
memories. The generous friendship of William Ord, Esq., of Whit- 
field, and the equally warm and kind friendship of Sir John Swin- 
burne, added much to my happiness. In 1832 I was elected a 
member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, on the special volun- 
teer offer of proposal by Telford, and in that year I was much 
employed and consulted by the Commissioners of Woods and 
Forests. ... In 1S33 I laid out and surveyed a line of colliery 
railway from Jesmond to St. Lawrence, and in 1835 made surveys of 


part of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway from near Corbridge to 
Haydon Bridge. I had been much employed in surveying and 
setting out lines of railway in England and on the Continent, and 
had a very fair share of success in that very lucrative department of 
civil engineering. I had entirely accomplished a most important 
mineral survey of the Forest of Dean; and my large models of that 
and other districts had not only been much admired at the British 
Association's meeting at Newcastle, but had won the honour of a 
Telford medal. ... In 1844 the Coal Trade Committee of the 
North of England appointed a special committee to settle all 
disputes relating to the coal trade; and they further appointed a 
'tribunal of appeal' with the absolute power of final decision, viz., 
Messrs. John Grey, John Clayton, and myself. In railway engineer- 
ing I was among the very first who were largely employed in 
extensive and profitable surveys; and in lead mining, the position of 
chief agent of all the three districts of mines in Coalcleugh, Allen- 
dale and Weardale, was undoubtedly the first position open to a 
professional man." 

Settled down in a new house built from his own designs at 
Allenheads Mr. Sopwith's life ran in easier grooves, free from 
much of the rapid movement and excitement to which he had 
been accustomed. He had more time to devote to the scientific 
pursuits which had been his recreation while in business; more 
time for travel, which was one of his greatest delights; more 
time for social intercourse with the eminent engineers and men 
of science among whom he had been privileged to move. It is 
not possible, within reasonable limits, to describe the activities 
(including the establishment of a newspaper, the Hexham Couratif) 
in which he participated during the twenty-six years of his agency of 
the W.B. lead mines. These must be sought in Dr. Richardson's 
book, founded, as it is, upon a diary of a hundred and seventy- 
one volumes, in which Mr. Sopwith entered the details of his daily 
life with marvellous neatness and precision. The position that he 
occupied in the world of science and literature may, however, be 
gleaned from the names of the societies which admitted him to 
membership, and from the titles of the books that he published. 
The former are grouped by his biographer as follows : — " Fellow 
of the Royal Society; Fellow of the Geological Societies of England 
and France, and a member of the Athenaeum Club, the Geological 
Club, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Royal Institution, the 


Royal Geographical Society, the Palaeontological Society, the British 
Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society of Arts, 
the Meteorological Society of England and Scotland, the Statistical 
Society of London, the Archaeological Institute, and the Archaeo- 
logical Association. By these bonds of fellowship (adds Dr. 
Richardson) he was connected with general science and literature; 
geological, mining, engineering, and useful arts; geography, meteor- 
ology, and natural history; and statistics, antiquities, and the fine 
arts. In addition he belonged to many local societies, and in total 
was connected with no less than twenty-six learned institutions." 
He was also an honorary M.A. of the University of Durham. 
Some of Mr. Sopwith's published works are these : — 

" A Historical and Descriptive Account of All Saints' Church in Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne, with Plans, Views, and Architectural Details." Eleven Copperplate 
Engravings. 1826. 

"Geological Sections of Mines in Alston Moor and Teesdale, shewing the 
various Strata and Subterranean Operations, with Letter-press Description." 
Three Copperplates. 1828. 

" Plan of the Vale of Derwent, near Newcastle, Shewing the New Line of 
Road, with a Letter-press Description." 1S32. 

"Eight Views of Fountains Abbey, Illustrating the Architectural and Pictur- 
esque Beauties of that celebrated Ruin ; With a Historical and Architectural 
Description." 1832. 

"An Account of the Mining Districts of Alston Moor, Weardale, and Teesdale, 
comprising Descriptive Sketches of the Scenery, Antiquities, Geology, and Mining 
Operations in the Upper Dales of the Rivers Tyne, Wear, and Tees." 1833. 

"A Treatise on Isometrical Drawing, as Applicable to Geological and Mining 
Plans, Picturesque Delineations of Ornamental Grounds, Perspective Views and 
Working Plans of Buildings and Machinery, and to General Purposes of Engineer- 
ing, with Details of Improved Alethods of preserving Plans and Records of Sub- 
terranean Operations in Mining Districts." Thirty-five Copperplate Engravings. 
1834. Second Edition, 1S38. 

"Projecting and Parallel Rulers, invented by T. Sopwith, for constructing 
Plans and Drawings in Isometrical and other Modes of Projection, with Descrip- 
tive Letter-press, etc." 1S34. 

" Description and Use of an Improved Levelling Stave." 1834. 

" Plans of the Coal and Iron Mine Districts in Her Majesty's Forest of Dean." 
Sixteen Sheets, with Explanatory Sections, etc. 1835. 

" On a Proposed Road from Shotley Bridge to Middleton in Teesdale." 1838. 

" Descriptive Essay on the Monocleid Writing Cabinet." 1838. 

"The Stranger's Pocket Guide to Newcastle upon Tyne and its Environs." 

"The Award of the Dean Forest Mining Commissioners as to the Coal and 
Iron Mines in Her Majesty's Forest cf Dean, and the Rules and Regulations for 
Working the same." Sixteen Engraved Plans. 1841. 


" An Account of the Museum of Economic Geology." 1843. 

" The National Importance of Preserving Mining Records." 1844. 

" Observations Addressed to the Miners and other Workmen employed in Mr. 
Beaumont's Lead Mines in East and West Allendale and Weardale." 1846. 

"Substance of an Address to the Members of the St. John's Chapel Friendly 
Society, on the occasion of their Annual Meeting at Newhouse, St. John's Wear- 
dale." 1847. 

" Lecture on Egypt and the Mediterranean, delivered in the Miner's Room at 
AUenheads." 1857. 

"Notes on a Visit to Egypt by Paris, Lyons, Marseilles, and Toulon." Four 
Plates. 1857. 

" Three Weeks in Central Europe, including the Cities of Treves, Nuremberg, 
Leipzig, Dresden, Freiburg, and Berlin." Sixteen Plates. 1869. 

"A Tour through Normandy and Brittany." 1876. 

Mr. Sopwith was thrice married. His first wife, Mary, eldest 
daughter of Thomas Dickinson, of Spencycroft, Alston, to whom he 
was united in September, 1829, died within a year of the nuptials ; 
his second wife, Jane Scott, of Ross, married in 1831, passed away 
in 1855; his third wife, Anne Potter, of Heaton Hall, Newcastle, 
survived him. By his second wife he left two sons, Thomas 
Sopwith, engineer, and A. Sopwith, mining engineer; and five 
daughters, Mrs. David Chadwick ; Mrs. James Hall, Tynemouth ; 
Mrs. W. Shelford, London ; Mrs. W. Luce, Malmesbury ; and a 
younger daughter, unmarried at the time of his death. 

^bomas Spar?ie, 


Thomas Sparke, a native of Northumberland, held, at the Reforma- 
tion, the high offices of Prior of Holy Island, Suffragan Bishop of 
Berwick, and Chamberlain of the Convent of Durham, and, after 
that great ecclesiastical revolution, a prebend's stall in Durham 
Cathedral, the Mastership of Greatham Hospital, and the Rectory 
of Wolsingham. 

From his will, and the inventory of his effects, it would seem 
that Bishop Sparke was born in Allendale. "To the poor in Allen- 
dale parish " he bequeathed a sum of money, and among his debtors 
were several persons in Allendale bearing his name. He had 
relatives in Hexham and Newcastle also. It is possible that he 
matriculated at Durham College, Oxford, where he took his degree 


of B.D., March nth, 1528-29. The following year he returned to 
Durham, and was appointed Prior of Holy Island. The cell of 
Holy Island was dissolved in 1536, when, as compensation for 
the loss of his office and its emoluments, the Prior and Convent 
of Durham gave him "a lease of the whole cell and rectorie of 
the Holie Islande, for his maintenance duringe his life, without any 
rent payinge, of free almes." This lease was confirmed to him by 
the king in 1543, and he retained it till his death. 

The year after the dissolution of Holy Island an Act was passed 
for the appointment of twenty-six suffragan bishops, and as soon as it 
had received the Royal assent, Tunstall, Bishop of Durham, ap- 
pointed ex-Prior Sparke to be his coadjutor, with the title of Bishop 
of Berwick. To this office he was consecrated by Edward Lee, 
Archbishop of York, in June, 1537. 

Taking up his residence in the Priory of Durham, Bishop Sparke 
received further honours and emoluments. He was appointed in the 
first place to the office of chamberlain of the monastery. In that 
capacity he had his exchequer near the Abbey Gate, and there, 
among other things, he supervised the clothing of the monks, 
providing linsey-woolsey for their shirts and sheets, and woollen 
cloth for their hose, and keeping the convent tailor, who worked 
beneath the exchequer and slept above it, regularly employed. In 
May, 1 54 1, when the Cathedral establishment was re-organised. 
Bishop Sparke obtained the appointment of first prebendary of 
the third stall. In September following the bishop presented him 
to the mastership of the Hospital of Greatham; and on the 14th 
of June, 1547, collated him to the rectory of Wolsingham. 

But few references to Bishop Sparke and his life at Durham are to 
be found in local history. He was present at the opening of St. 
Cuthbert's shrine, in 1537, when, according to contemporary wTiters, 
the body of the saint, dead for 840 years, was discovered inviolate 
and incorrupt, and the vestments in which it was clothed were found 
to be entire, and clear of all stain and decay. In the " History of 
North Durham," Mr. Raine, on the authority of Wharton's "Anglia 
Sacra," tells the following story of him: — "In the upper part of 
Gilligate, Durham, in a place called the Maid's Arbour, there had 
long stood a marble cross of great fame. This cross was begged of 
Ormiston, Lord of the Manor, by William Wright, a Durham mer- 
chant, with a view of erecting it in the Market Place. During its 
removal for the purpose, at each of the four corners of its pedestal, 
VOL. III. 27 


sunk into the ground from pressure and length of time, there 
were discovered three images of the Apostles, carved in the stone, 
and sumptuously gilt. Bishop Sparke no sooner heard of the 
discovery than he stepped forward, and at the cost of ;^8, paid 
out of his own purse, caused the whole to be removed, and re- 
erected in the Toll-booth, where it remained for a long time 

Pat. Sanderson, publishing, in 1767, "The Antiquities of the 
Abbey or Cathedral Church of Durham," and describing the bells of 
the church as hanging unrung after the suppression, records another 
instance of Bishop Sparke's pious interposition — " In Queen Eliza- 
beth's Reign, Dean Whittingham perceiving them (the bells) to have 
been useless long before his Time, intended to have them taken 
down and broken ; when Thomas Sparke, the Bishop's Suffragan, 
residing at Durham, and keeping House there at that Time, having 
Notice of the Dean's Purpose, sent directly into Yorkshire for a 
Workman, and caused three of the Bells to be taken down, and 
hung up in the New Work, called the Lanthorn, where he made a 
fine Set of Chimes, which cost him thirty or forty Pounds ; which 
Chimes continue to this Day." 

Bishop Sparke died in 157 1. He had selected the place of his 
burial in Durham Cathedral, " upon the pavemente byfore where my 
laite alter did stande " (in pre-Reformation days), and had prepared 
a marble slab to cover his remains. But his executor, George 
Wynter, who had been his chaplain and steward, sold the gravestone 
to William Stephenson, B.D., prebendary of the ninth stall, and 
interred his lord and master in front of the altar in the hospital 
church at Greatham, in the grave of William de Estfield, rector of 
Sedgefield, a previous master. 

The will of Bishop Sparke contains many interesting items, and 
the inventory of his effects a great many more. He bequeathed 
tokens of affectionate remembrance to all his colleagues and the 
officers at Durham, down to the verger and bellringer, to the bedes- 
men at Greatham, and to every one of his serving men and serving 
women. To the Bishop of Durham he gave a turquoise ring ; to 
Henry Earl of Westmorland an emerald ring ; to John Sparke, of 
Newcastle, two silver pieces "with a B in the bottom"; to Thomas 
Sparke, of Newcastle, a piece of silver "of the same mark of B"; to 
every other of his brother's children 20s. a piece, and to their children 
1 2d. each ; to the poor of Allendale, St. Margaret's, Durham, Holy 


Island, Billingham, Stranton, Hart, Hartlepool, Elwick, and ^\'ol- 
singham, various sums. Among his effects were his mitre, "sett 
with stones and perles, silver and gilt," valued at £,\i 6s. 8d. ; a 
basin and ewer, "parcell gilt," weighing 60 ounces, worth £,\(i; 
bowls, pots, goblets, spoons, etc., all in silver plate, valued altogether 
at j[,(>\ 1 6s. id. 

IRalpb Spearman, 


" Dear Ralph — of Eachwick honoured Lord, 
Sound head — true tongue — warm heart. 
Of ancient honour, present worth 
The type in every part! 
When I forget thee, friendly Ralph, 
And all thy storied lore. 
Then shall I lose the better half 
Of memory's treasured store." 

— Robert Surtees, Historian of Durham. 

A NOTABLE man in his way was Ralph Spearman, of Eachwick Hall, 
near Stamfordham — "his way" being that of the genealogist and 
antiquary, and a collector of all sorts of gossip about the origin and 
connections, the virtues and the failings, of North-Country families. 
As became a genealogist, he claimed for himself a most illustrious 
descent Linking together the Spearmans of Preston, near Tyne- 
mouth, with the Spearmans of Thornley and other places in the 
county of Durham, he traced the united families to a common 
ancestor in a younger branch of the Spearmans of Dunnington, 
Salop, whose pedigree runs back through the ages till it loses itself 
among "the ancient lords or counts of Aspramonte" — a place 
generously defined as lying " betwixt the Maas and the Moselle, on 
the confines of Lorrain and Bar.'"' This, however, was the descent 
on the father's side only ; through his mother Mr. Spearman traced 
his ancestry to Sir Thomas Percy, a rebel leader in the Pilgrimage of 
Grace. As Sir Thomas was a son of the fifth, and brother of the 
sixth. Earl of Northumberland, it follows that by this descent Each- 
wick's " honoured lord " could claim among his ancestors the noble 
and illustrious Percies and their progenitors, including, of course, the 
Emperor Charlemagne. 


Putting aside all this vainglorious rubbish, it is right to state that 
Ralph Spearman was a descendant of the Spearmans of Preston, who, 
as Surtees asserts, " whencesoever they sprang, came into North- 
umberland as gentlemen in the reign of Henry VIIL, and have ever 
since maintained their rank as such." His father, George Spearman, 
son of Philip Spearman of Birtley, near Chester-le-Street, and grand- 
son of Edward Spearman of Preston, was twice married — first, to 
Eleanor, daughter of Edward Anderson, merchant, Newcastle, by 
whom he had three children ; and, secondly, to Elizabeth, daughter 
of Edward Bell, of Eachwick, and widow of William Potter of Hawk- 
well. By his second marriage, George Spearman had two children 
— Ralph, the subject of this sketch, born in Newcastle, September 
4th, 1749, and Mary, born May i8th, 1751. 

When Ralph Spearman was four years old, his father died, and 
was buried at St. John's, Newcastle. At the proper age Ralph 
was sent to the Grammar School to be educated by the Rev. Hugh 
Moises, with the three future lords — Stowell, Collingwood, and 
Eldon. Of his youthful career nothing is recorded. He probably 
resided with his mother in Newcastle and at Eachwick, and looked 
after the property to which she was heiress. At her death, on the 
14th April, 1792, he came into possession of the Eachwick Hall 
estate, and there he built the curious modern-antique mansion in 
which he lived and died. Long before his mother's decease — 
imitating his distant kinsmen, John and Gilbert Spearman, of the 
adjoining county — he had developed a taste for antiquarian research, 
and the elucidation of local family history. Being a country gentle- 
man of independent means, with no family ties, for he lived and 
died a bachelor, he indulged his fancy till it became the ruling 
passion of his life. At the formation of the Newcastle Society of 
Antiquaries, he became a member, and gave the Society half-a-dozen 
valuable books, and an old Harwich token; but did not other- 
wise contribute to its collections or its proceedings. He was a 
Justice of the Peace, too, but the only record of his doings in that 
capacity exhibits him engaged in the repression of the great strike 
among the miners in 1810, when the local gaols being filled to over- 
flowing, stables and other temporary houses of detention were 
improvised for the safe custody of rioters. His chief aim in life 
was to be considered a walking encyclopaedia of family history, and 
the cultured representative of an ancient race, and he had no heart 
for any other pursuit. He voted once at a parliamentary election, 


the county election of 1774, when Lord Algernon Percy and Sir John 
Hussey Delaval ran together against Sir William Middleton and 
William Fenwick. On that occasion he did not vote for the Percy 
family, from whom he claimed to be descended, but for the two 
"independents," Middleton and Fenwick. He died on the 13th of 
July, 1823, and was buried in a vault "hewn out of the rock, under 
the vestry of Heddon-on-the-Wall Church." 

Opinions are divided upon the merits of Mr. Spearman's genea- 
logical researches, and the accuracy of his local gossip. Surtees 
evidently believed in him, for, besides writing the lines which head 
this article, he more than once, in his " History of Durham," ac- 
knowledges himself " deeply indebted " to him for " a variety of 
useful materials." So also W. A. Mitchell, in the Newcastle Maga- 
zine for December, 1823, following Surtees's cue, introduces Spearman 
as " one of the most accomplished local antiquaries in the North of 
England." But Mackenzie (" History of Northumberland "), while 
admitting that the Lord of Eachwick was " gifted with an excellent 
memory," states that his MSS. were " not distinguished for discrimina- 
tion or accuracy," though " numerous and valuable." Lastly, Mr. 
Cadwallader J. Bates, in a paper on " Heddon on the \\a\\ : The 
Church and Parish," published in the eleventh volume of the " Arch- 
ffiologia ^liana," gives the following not very flattering account of 
Surtees's "friendly Ralph," and Mitchell's " most accomplished" 
antiquary : — 

" Ralph Spearman, of Eachwick, acted the part of a great anti- 
quary, so much so that he was erroneously believed to have been the 
prototype of Sir Walter Scott's 'Jonathan Oldbuck.' It is doubtful, 
however, whether his learning was even so sound as that of the Laird 
of Monkbarns. His new hall at Eachwick was built entirely for 
show; being three stories high, with gingerbread battlements, and of 
great length, though only one room thick. At the time of the window 
tax this led to its being rated at a very large sum. Seen from a 
distance it quite deceives a stranger by its palatial appearance. Mr. 
Spearman was so far successful that the neighbourhood still believe 
that Eachwick belonged to his family for generations. A letter 
accidently preserved in the church books at Heddon [dated March 
27th, 1813], is a capital illustration of his combined pedantry, 
liberality, and pride : — 

" Mr. Spearman sends enclosed five Shillings, being the Assessed 
Value of the Movement of the Winnowing part of a Threshing 


Machine, found by the Coroner and Inquest a Deodand forfeit to 
him on the death of Mary Lawson, as Lord of the Manour of Each- 
wick Hall Lands, by Grant from James first. King of Great Brittain 
in the year of our Lord, i6io, and requires the Vicar and Church- 
Wardens of the Parish of Heddon on the Wall to distribute it to the 
Poor at Discretion." 

In his will he stated that he was determined to follow " the ex- 
ample of Abraham, and to consider his Eleazar as heir to all his 
house," and consequently entailed his property at Eachwick on his 
steward, Mr. Hunter, and his elder sons, on condition of their taking 
the name of Spearman, with remainder in favour of his very distant 
kinsmen, the Spearmans of Thornley, county Durham, In equity 
the estate should have gone to Sarah Bell, grand-daughter of his 
great-uncle, Charles Bell, and wife of Robert Clayton, Esq., of 
Newcastle. His aged sister survived for about four years, and left 
written testimony of her gratitude to Mr. Hunter Spearman for the 
way in which she was treated after her brother's death. 

3o6cpb Spencc, 


Joseph Spence, of Tynemouth, who, during a long life, was an 
earnest worker and leader in the public affairs of his native borough, 
was the third son of eighteen children born to Robert Spence, of 
North Shields (of whom more may be read in the succeeding bio- 
graphy). Born on the 28th December, 18 19, Joseph was sent in his 
eighth year, with his brothers Robert and John Foster Spence, to the 
Friends' School adjoining Walmgate Bar, in the city of York, the 
management of which, two years later, was taken over by the York 
Quarterly Meeting of the Society of Friends, and is still first among 
the many educational institutions of that religious society. After serv- 
ing an apprenticeship at Stockton he rejoined his father at North 
Shields, and eventually, entering into partnership with his brother, 
John Foster Spence, carried on the business of draper there, and so 
continued until his retirement a short time before his death. 

Mr. Spence's fore-elders were Yorkshire dalesmen, who suffered in 
the cause of religious freedom. The short-lived amnesty granted by 
Charles II. in 1672, when five hundred members of the Society of 



Friends were liberated from prison, was, as is stated in Besse's 
" Sufferings of the People called Quakers," thought an " undue 
Extent of the Regal Prerogative," and was soon revoked "and their 
Persons and Estates again exposed to the returning Storm, and to 
the exorbitant Plunder and Rapine of avaricious and merciless 
Informers." Objection to the taking of any oath and the refusal to 
pay tithe or Church rate were the principal points of collision with 
the law, and the consequent imprisonment with felons in the already 
overcrowded common gaols (the loathsome unhealthiness of which 

IllcL^rnagTi JoSfpK Sjunce. 

later members of the Society of Friends have done so much to 
mitigate), was the cause of the death of three or four hundred of their 
predecessors, and among these was one of the family from which 
Joseph Spence descended. The practice of distraint for non-pay- 
ment of Church rates was continued to our own time, and the 
household of Joseph Spence was a frequent sufferer. It was 
customary to seize the most valuable piece of furniture that could 
be removed, to sell it to one of the party for the few shillings to 
which the rate amounted, and to divide the excess in value among 
the persons who carried out the seizure. The principle of non- 


resistance enjoined by the Society of Friends rendered them peculiarly 
liable to this class of extortion. 

Joseph Spence was for a time one of the clerks to the yearly 
meeting, whose duties combine the offices of chairman and recorder 
at the great annual gathering of the Society at Devonshire House in 
Bishopsgate Without, London. He was also one of the committee 
charged with the revision of the " Book of Discipline," which is 
a digest of the counsels that, in the absence of creed or liturgy, have 
been addressed by the central authority — the yearly meeting — to its 
subsidiary meetings throughout the country from the year 1657 to 
the present day. He and his father before him were constant 
attenders at the business meetings of the Society, and from their 
considerable height and white hair each of them was in his turn 
a conspicuous figure in the public assembly. 

Joseph Spence succeeded his father as treasurer to the local 
branch of the Bible Society, and he was also one of its life- 
governors. In the year 1861 he became a member of the Tyne- 
mouth Town Council, and two years later was elected Mayor and 
Alderman. In 1869 he was again elected Mayor, but after a few 
more years of service as an Alderman, finding that his other public 
duties were a sufficient tax upon his energies, he retired from the 
Corporation. He had been, some time before — in 1865 — appointed 
to the Borough bench, and up to the time of his death he was 
always a popular magistrate, and honourably fulfilled the duties 
of that position. 

Deeply interested in educational matters, Mr. Spence for many 
years was a valued and active member of the School Board and 
one of the governors of Kettlewells School. In political matters 
he was perhaps still more active, and for many years he and his 
brother, John Foster Spence, were among the most earnest workers 
in securing the return of Mr. T. Eustace Smith, the Liberal member 
for Tynemouth. 

Upon Mr. Smith's retirement from the representation of the 
borough in 1885, Joseph Spence, then president of the local Liberal 
Association, was asked to allow himself to be nominated. Although 
the seat seemed at that time to be a safe one, he was strongly averse 
to the proposal, and it was only after the most weighty and protracted 
pressure that he consented to come forward, though to the last he 
refused to take any personal part in the canvass. He was far from 
strong at the time, and the strain and annoyance of an unsuccessful 


parliamentary contest in his native town broke down his health and 
undoubtedly shortened his life. 

Mr. Spence was one of the most active of the sympathisers who 
organised relief for the victims of the terrible catastrophe at Hartley 
Colliery in 1S62, but among the many humane enterprises in which 
he assisted none had so large a share of his attention as the Tyne- 
mouth Volunteer Life Brigade. John Foster Spence, Joseph Spence, 
Horatio A. Adamson (the Town-Clerk), and John Morrison were the 
foremost among the committee who, after the lamentable loss of life 
in the wreck of the passenger steamship Stanley^ in 1864, met in 
North Shields to discuss the possibility of providing a better means 
of saving life from such disasters. The establishment of the brigade 
which resulted from that meeting was followed by the enrolment 
of a number of similar brigades and companies round the British 
coasts, more especially in our own district, among which the Tyne- 
mouth Brigade has always maintained the leading position to which 
its priority of date entitles it. John Foster Spence and Joseph Spence 
undertook the duties of secretary and treasurer to the brigade, and 
one or the other always presided at its meetings. 

In time of storm and shipwreck Joseph Spence was invariably one 
of the earliest to attend, duly attired in pilot cloth and sou'wester, 
and with the distinguishing white badges of a captain in the brigade. 
His old comrades can look back to many a stormy night spent with 
him in the little committee-room of the watch-house on the Spanish 
Battery, waiting their turn at the look-out, passing the time with 
histories of former shipwrecks, and in the compilation of the log of 
the brigade, much of which was written by him in these night 
w'atches. Draughts and chess served to pass the time until a late 
hour, when he would call for coffee to be served, and those who 
could sleep sought a precarious rest on the wooden benches and 
tables of the watch-house. 

Joseph Spence died on the 17th of December, 1889, aged sixty- 
nine, leaving by his marriage in 1845 to Caroline, daughter of Joseph 
Shewell of Colchester, a son, Joseph Shewell Spence, manager of the 
bank of Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, Spence & Co., in North Shields, 
and one daughter. Miss Anna Caroline Spence. 


IRobcrt Spcnce, 


Robert Spence was the eldest son in the family of eighteen 
children born to Robert and Mary Spence of North Shields. His 
father, who caoie at twenty years of age (in 1804) to North Shields 
from Nidderdale in Yorkshire, and joined his cousin Joseph Procter 
in the drapery business, was for years one of the most respected 
residents in his adopted town, ably filling many of its public offices. 
His presence, rendered conspicuous by his height, his long white 
hair, and the somewhat dignified garb enjoined by the Quakerism 
of that day, is still remembered by some of the older natives of the 
harbour towns. He was a man of considerable literary taste and 
culture, and the valuable collections of books and MSB. which were 
made by his son owed their origin to him. His wife, Mary Spence, 
was a daughter of Robert Foster of Hebblethwaite, near Sedbergh, 
and afterwards of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, of whom there is an 
interesting account in the writings of Adam Sedgwick. He was a 
man of some classical and literary attainment, who in very early life, 
when acting in Barbadoes as agent for his uncle, James Birkett, of 
Lancaster, had volunteered during the French wars, and had seen 
much active service, first as master and then as lieutenant. Owing to 
the extreme distress with which his calling was viewed by his relatives 
he early left the sea, and with a disregard for appearances which 
characterises some of his descendants, he attended his first Friends' 
meeting, after his return to England, in the garments proper to a 
Quaker, but with a cocked hat in place of the broad brim. 

Robert Spence the elder was the first treasurer under the Shields 
Town Improvement Act, and Borough Treasurer for Tynemouth 
after the incorporation ; his son and grandson have in turn succeeded 
him in this office. From an early date he had carried on a private 
banking business, and in the year 1819 he joined Edward Chapman 
and William Chapman, members of a Quaker family in Whitby, in 
the establishment of a private bank in Shields. His son, Robert 
Spence, entered the banking office on leaving the Friends' School at 
York at the age of fourteen, and for sixty years he was actively 
engaged in the business. The firm of Chapmans & Co. prospered 


and extended its operations to Newcastle, where a branch was opened 
under the management of WilUam Chapman. Up to this time Robert 
Spence the elder had been the only active partner, and he retained 
the direction of the head office at North Shields until his death. 

Business in 1831 was carried on in a somewhat leisurely manner 
with no special respect for early closing. Young Robert Spence, 
who was very apt at figures, had to bear at an early age much of the 
weight of the active little business at North Shields, which was then 
the headquarters of the shipping interest in the port of Tyne. In 
1836 Messrs. Chapman & Co., amalgamating with Sir William 
Chaytor & Co., bankers of Sunderland, formed the Newcastle, 
Shields, and Sunderland Union Joint Stock Banking Company. 
William Chapman became general director, and the North Shields 
office still continued to be worked almost as an independent bank. 

In the financial pressure of the great panic of 1847, the Union 
Bank, having become involved by the unwise management of William 
Chapman, suspended payment. Two years before that time Robert 
Spence, on the death of his father, had succeeded to the manage- 
ment of the North Shields Bank. In the following year his health 
was completely broken down by overwork, and his recovery was 
considered hopeless. A winter in Madeira, however, enabled him 
to return to the bank, but the extreme care which was needed to 
guard against a return of illness prevented him ever afterwards from 
taking any active part in public work. 

The business of the North Shields Bank at the time of the suspen- 
sion of the Union was in so sound a condition that a committee of 
the shareholders who were interested in its reconstruction placed the 
management in the hands of Mr. Spence. Only a fraction of the 
small capital which he considered requisite was forthcoming at the 
outset, but his skilful management, and the confidence which his 
character inspired, enabled him ve