Warrington People

Home History Timeline Downtown 1 Memory Lane Tour 1 Tour 2 Rainbow Shop! Nineteen Nineties Legh Street Baths At The Flicks Mr Smith's My Warrington Radio Warrington RAF Burtonwood On The Waterfront 1 On The Waterfront 2 Warrington Green 1 Warrington Green 2 Sankey Valley On The Buses Peter's Gallery Walk Through Time Making Tracks 1 Making Tracks 2 Making Tracks 3 Warrington People Entertaining People Sporting People Warrington Wolves Warrington Market Classic Motor Shows Events On Top of the World The Bewsian 19 Museum Street Hamilton Street Golden Square Feedback

Warrington - A Town of Many Industries

mywarrington - created by Gordon I Gandy



Rainbow_After_The_Storm_Logo.jpg (31881 bytes)

Rainbow After the Storm

Rainbow_After_The_Storm_Padre_and_Nicky.jpg (142319 bytes)

Where Mental Health Matters

Rainbow After the Storm is an award-winning mental health
support group and Community Interest Company.



Why do celebrities spend years trying to become famous and when it happens wear dark glasses so they can't be recognised?

people.jpg (55695 bytes)

This page last updated Wednesday, 11 Oct 2017
Everybody will be famous for fifteen minutes...

people.jpg (55695 bytes)

This page features profiles of famous people connected with Warrington.
They don't have to be born here for me to include them!

Actors, entertainers, etc are featured in Entertaining People.
Sporting Warringtonians are featured in Sporting People.
Warrington Wolves rugby players are featured on the Warrington Wolves page.

The profiles cover some aspects of their lives beyond the boundaries of Warrington.
They are presented in date of birth order, and listed alphabetically by surname in the table below.
If you think somebody should be included, let me know!

Featured on this page
Donald Adamson (Writer) Peter Brimelow (Journalist) James Gibbs (Architect) B. H. Roberts (Preacher)
Arthur Aikin (Chemist) Rebekah Brooks (Newspaper Editor) Sir Gilbert Greenall (Politician) Joan Ryan (Politician)
Charles R. Aikin (Doctor) Frances Broomfield (Artist) Gilbert Greenall (Businessman) Peter Rylands (Industrialist)
Edmund Aikin (Architect) Andy Burnham (Politician) Thomas Hazlehurst (businessman) Alfred Sephton (Navy Officer)
John Aikin (Scholar and Tutor) Liam Byrne (Politician) Maria Hill, Daughter of the Regiment Eddy Shah (Businessman)
Lucy Aiken (Writer) Paul Campbell (Politician) John Howard (Prison Reformer) Edmund Sharpe (Architect)
William Allcard (Railway Engineer) Philip P. Carpenter (Malacologist) Doug Hoyle (Politician) Richard Sherlock (Clergyman)
Bessie Ardern (Businesswoman) Ossie Clark (Fashion Designer) Robin Jarvis (Novelist) Edward J. Smith (Captain, Titanic)
Anna Laetitia Barbauld (Novelist) Thomas Claughton (Bishop) John Kay (Clockmaker/Inventor) Harold Smith (Politician)
David Banks (Newspaper Editor) Oliver Cromwell (Military Leader) William Kirtley (Railway Engineer) James Stanley (Politician)
Edward Barlow (Priest/Inventor) Sir Arthur Crosfield (Politician) Joseph Leicester (Businessman) Howard Ben Tre (Artist/Sculptor)
William Beamont (Solicitor and historian) Joseph Crosfield (Industrialist) William Lever (Industrialist) Terry Waite (Humanitarian/Author)
William John Beamont (Clergyman and Author) Nick Daunt (Archaeologist) Peter Litherland (Watchmaker) Helen Walsh (Writer)
James Bell (Priest) Den Dover (Politician) Mayor of Warrington Guy Wareing (Fighter Pilot)
John Bethune (Army Officer) Michael Driscoll (Economist) Keith Macklin (Broadcaster) Arthur Waugh (Politician)
Thomas B. Broadbent (Preacher) Tracey Elvik (Glamour Model) Garry Newlove (Murder Victim) John Webster (Bridge Engineer)
Anna Blackburne (Naturalist) Reginald Essenhigh (Politician) William Norman (Military Hero) John Wilson-Patten (Politician)
Thomas Blood (Colonel) Luke Fildes (Painter) Thomas Percival (Physician) Hamlet Winstanley (Engraver)
John Bridge (Bomb Disposal Expert) Johann Reinhold Forster (Naturalist) Joseph Priestley (Chemist) Joseph Williamson (Philanthropist)

Note: some of this material is from Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia. Please see the foot of the Feedback page 
for important copyright information. mywarrington is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Mayor of Warrington

The Mayor of Warrington, as the first person of the borough, chairs the meetings of Warrington Borough Council. Elected for one year, he/she is also a diplomat of the town who is responsible for officially welcoming people and inviting people to the town. As well as this he/she is charged with officially hosting civic events of the town. In this role, the mayor promotes the town of Warrington to attract more investment and visitors to the area.

The first mayor of Warrington was William Beamont in 1847.


James Bell (Priest) 1524-1584

James Bell (born 1524 in Warrington, died 20 April 1584 in Lancaster, age 60) was an English Catholic priest who was educated at Oxford University, where he was ordained priest in Queen Mary's reign. For some time he refused to conform to the changes in religion made by Queen Elizabeth, but afterwards, adopting the tenets of the Reformation, he exercised the functions of a minister of the church of England for twenty years, and was beneficed in several parts of the kingdom.

In 1581 he applied to a lady to solicit her good offices to procure for him a small readership, of which her husband was the patron. This lady, being a catholic, upbraided him with his cowardice, and exhorted him to lead a life in accordance with his sacred profession. Moved by her words he sought reconciliation with the catholic church, and laboured zealously as a priest for two years among the poorer class of Catholics.

In January 1583-4 he was apprehended by a pursuivant, and was brought to trial at the Lent assizes at Lancaster. He behaved with great courage, and on being convicted said to the judge: 'I beg your lordship would add to the sentence that my lips and the tops of my fingers may be cut off for having sworn and subscribed to the articles of heretics, contrary both to my conscience and to God’s truth.' He was executed at Lancaster on 20 April 1584. John Finch, a layman, suffered at the same time and place for being reconciled to the Catholic church, and denying the queen's spiritual supremacy.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Oliver Cromwell (Military Leader and Politician) 1599-1658

oliver-cromwell2.jpg (54727 bytes)
Oliver CromwellPublic license
image is in the public domain

Oliver Cromwell (born 25 April 1599 in Huntington, Cambridgeshire, died 3 September 1658 in London, age 59) was an English military leader, politician and dictator, and one of only two commoners ever to have been the English Head of State (from 1653-1658; the other being his son Richard Cromwell from 1658-1659). After being amongst the lower levels of the leadership of the war against the crown, Cromwell was in command at the outbreak of the Second English Civil War in 1648. At Preston he won a brilliant victory against the Scots allies of the King, when they moved south through Wigan and onto Warrington where they surrendered to Cromwell. It is said he imprisoned them in the area we now call Scotland Road. During his stay in Warrington, Cromwell lodged on Church Street. It was often said this was in the black and white building which currently houses The Cottage Restaurant, but he actually stayed at The Spotted Leopard next door, more recently known as The General Wolfe, until it was converted into private dwellings.
He eventually imposed his rule on England, Scotland and Ireland as Lord Protector, from 16 December 1653 until his death, which is believed to have been by malaria.  After the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 his body was exhumed and hung in chains at Tyburn.
cromwell_coin.jpg (23209 bytes)

Half-Crown coin of Oliver Cromwell, 1658. The inscription reads: OLIVAR.D.G.RP.ANG.SCO.ET.HIB&cPRO (OLIVARIUS DEI GRATIA REIPUBLICÆ ANGLIÆ SCOTIÆ ET HIBERNIÆ ET CETERA PROTECTOR), meaning "Oliver, by the Grace of God Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland et cetera". The "et cetera" refers to the residual claim of England to the throne of France; which even the republican Cromwell was not prepared to renounce.

cottage_restuarant.JPG (54414 bytes)
Public license Cromwell Coin.
Link to the file in Wikipedia.

The Cottage Restaurant  (Photo © G I Gandy, mywarrington).

Read more in Wikipedia.


James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby (Politician) 1607-1651

James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby KG (born 31 January 1607, died 15 October 1651 in Bolton, age 44) was a supporter of the Royalist cause in the English Civil War. He was born in Knowsley and was Member of Parliament for Liverpool in 1625 and created Knight of the Bath on the occasion of Charles I's coronation in 1626.

He was appointed lord-lieutenant of North Wales and on 7 March, 1628, was called up to the House of Lords as Baron Strange. He devoted himself to the King's cause when the English Civil War broke out in 1642. He was unable to get possession of Manchester, was defeated at Chowbent and Lowton Moor, and, in 1643, after gaining Preston, failed to take Bolton and Lancaster castles. After successfully beating off Sir William Brereton's attack on Warrington, he was defeated at Whalley and withdrew to York. Warrington in consequence surrendering to the enemy's forces.

He was chosen by Charles II to command the troops of Lancashire and Cheshire, and on the 15 August, 1651, he landed at Wyre Water in Lancashire in support of Charles's invasion, and met the King on the 17 August. Proceeding to Warrington, he failed to obtain the support of the Presbyterians through his refusal to take the Covenant, and on 25 August was totally defeated at the Battle of Wigan Lane, being severely wounded and escaping with difficulty.

Whilst at Warrington during the English Civil War he held his headquarters close to where the Marquis of Granby public house now stands in Church Street. See Tour 1 for more.

Read more in Wikipedia. This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.


Richard Sherlock (Clergyman) 1612-1689

Richard Sherlock (born 11 November 1612 in Oxton, Wirral Peninsula, lived in Winwick, Warrington, died 20 June 1689, age 76) was a clergyman who was baptised at Woodchurch. His father, William, a small yeoman, died while Richard was still young, but his mother gave him a learned education. He was first sent to Magdalen Hall, Oxford, whence he was removed, to save expense, to Trinity College, Dublin. There he graduated M.A. in 1633. Having entered holy orders, he became minister of several small united parishes in Ireland, where he remained till the breaking out of the rebellion of 1641.

In or about 1658 Sherlock was introduced by Sir R. Bindloss to Charles Stanley, 8th Earl of Derby, who appointed him his chaplain at Lathom. At the Restoration he was placed by the earl on a commission for the settlement of all matters ecclesiastical and civil in the Isle of Man. He fulfilled his part of this task 'to the entire satisfaction of the lord and people of that island', and returned to Latham. In 1660 he was nominated to the rich rectory of Winwick in Lancashire, now part of Warrington, but, through a dispute as to the patronage, he did not get full possession of it until 1662. Here he remained at St Oswald's Church for the rest of his life, serving the community for around 30 years.

Remaining unmarried, his rectory became a kind of training-school for young clergymen, among whom was his own nephew, Thomas Wilson, afterwards bishop of Sodor and Man. Sherlock, who proceeded D.D. (Doctor of Divinity) at Dublin in 1660, died at Winwick on 20 June 1689, and was buried in his parish church. In his will he left bequests to the poor of several of the parishes with which he had been connected.    Read more in Wikipedia


Thomas Blood (Colonel) 1618-1680

Thomas Blood (born 1618 in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, died 23 August 1680 in London, age 62) was an Irish-born colonel best known for attempting to steal the Crown Jewels of England from the Tower of London in 1671. Described as a "noted bravo and desperado", he was also implicated in one attempted kidnapping and one attempted murder of the Duke of Ormonde, had switched allegiances from Royalist to Roundhead during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and later, despite his notoriety, found favour at the court of King Charles II.

Blood was born the son of a successful blacksmith in County Meath in Ireland. His family was respectable and his grandfather a Member of Parliament and resident at Kilnaboy Castle. He was educated in England. At the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642, Blood returned to England and initially took up arms with the Royalist forces loyal to Charles I. However, as the conflict progressed he switched sides and became a lieutenant in Oliver Cromwell's Roundheads.

He married Maria Holcroft, daughter of Lt-Col John Holcroft from Golborne, an officer in Cromwell's army. They married, against her father's wishes, on 16 June, 1650 in Newchurch, Culcheth, Warrington and lived at Holcroft Hall, Culcheth, now a farm.

In 1653 at the cessation of hostilities Cromwell awarded Blood land grants as payment for his service and appointed him a justice of the peace. Following the Restoration (when Charles II returned to the throne) in 1660, Blood fled with his family to Ireland.

Blood fell ill in 1680 and died on 23 August at his home in Bowling Alley, Westminster. His body was buried in the churchyard of St. Margaret's Church (now Christchurch Gardens) near St. James's Park. It is alleged that Blood's body was exhumed by the authorities for confirmation—such was his reputation for trickery. It was suspected he might have faked his own death and funeral in order to avoid paying his debt to the Duke of Buckingham. Blood's epitaph read:

Here lies the man who boldy hath run through
More villanies than England ever knew;
And ne're to any friend he had was true.
Here let him then by all unpitied lie,
And let's rejoice his time was come to die.

Blood's son Holcroft Blood became a distinguished military engineer and commanded the Duke of Marlborough's artillery at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. A number of his descendants, including Bindon Blood, Maurice Petherick, and Brian Inglis, also went on to have distinguished careers in British and Irish society.

The Holcroft name lives on in Culcheth with Holcroft Hall and Holcroft Lane.

Read more in Wikipedia.


Edward Barlow (Priest and Inventor) 1639-1719

Edward Barlow, alias Booth (born 1639 in Warrington, died 1719, age 80), was an English priest and inventor.

Barlow was the son of Edward Booth of Warrington, where he was baptised on 15 December 1639. He took the name of Barlow from Ambrose Edward Barlow, the Benedictine monk, who suffered martyrdom on account of his priestly character. At the age of twenty he entered the English college at Lisbon (1659), and after being ordained as a priest he was sent on the English mission. He first resided with Lord Langdale in Yorkshire, and afterwards removed to Parkhall, in Lancashire, a seat belonging to Mr. Houghton, but his chief employment was attending the poor in the neighbourhood ‘to whom he conformed himself both in dress and diet.’

Dodd, the church historian, who was personally acquainted with Barlow, observes that ‘he was master of the Latin and Greek languages, and had a competent knowledge of the Hebrew before he went abroad, and 'tis thought the age he lived in could not show a person better qualified by nature for the mathematical sciences; tho' he read not many books of that kind, the whole system of natural causes seeming to be lodged within him from his first use of reason. He has often told me that at his first perusing of Euclid, that author was as easy to him as a newspaper. His name and fame are perpetuated for being the inventor of the pendulum watches; but according to the usual fate of most projectors, while others were great gainers by his ingenuity, Mr. Barlow had never been considered on that occasion, had not Mr. Tompion (accidentally made acquainted with the inventor's name) made him a present of £200.’


Barlow invented repeating clocks about the year 1676, and repeating watches towards the close of the reign of James II. By means of the mechanism of repetition, clocks were made to indicate, on a string being pulled, the hour or quarter which was last struck. This invention was afterwards applied to watches. We are informed by Derham that Barlow, who was supported in his efforts by the judge, Sir Richard Allibone, endeavoured to get a patent for his invention: ‘And in order to it he set Mr. Tompion, the famous artist, to work upon it, who accordingly made a piece according to his directions. Mr. Quare, a watchmaker in London, had, some years before, been thinking of the like invention, but, not bringing it to perfection, he laid by the thoughts of it till the talk of Mr. Barlow's patent revived his former thoughts; which he then brought to effect. This being known among the watchmakers, they all pressed him to endeavour to hinder Mr. Barlow's patent. And accordingly applications were made at court, and a watch of each invention produced before the king and council. The king, upon tryal of each of them, was pleased to give the preference to Mr. Quare's, of which notice was given soon after in the “Gazette.” The difference between these two inventions was, Mr. Barlow's was made to repeat by pushing in two pieces on each side of the watch-box, one of which repeated the hour, the other the quarter. Mr. Quare's was made to repeat by a pin that stuck out near the pendant; which being thrust in (as now 'tis done by thrusting in the pendant) did repeat both the hour and quarter with the same thrust.’    Read more in Wikipedia.


James Gibbs (Architect) 1682-1754

james_gibbs_andre_soldi_1750.jpg (43249 bytes) James Gibbs (born 23 December 1682 in Aberdeen, died 5 Aug 1754 in London, age 71) was one of Britain's most influential architects. Born in Scotland, he trained as an architect in Rome, and practised mainly in England. His most important works are St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, and the Radcliffe Camera at Oxford University (1739-1749). He is also the designer of Bank Hall in Warrington, built in 1750 and owned by the Patten family. It is now Warrington Town Hall.

James Gibbs, with a ghostly view of his Radcliffe Camera, ca 1750 by Andrea Soldi. Public license Link to the file in Wikipedia.

James was born in Aberdeen, a younger son of a Roman Catholic family, and studied at Marischal College there. He later travelled through Europe, visiting Flanders, France, Switzerland and Germany, before entering the Scots College in Rome, in 1703, to train for the Catholic priesthood. Gibbs left the following year, and entered the studio of the Baroque architect Carlo Fontana, where he trained until 1709. He came to London in 1710, having attracted the notice of the Earl of Mar while abroad.

His first important commission was the church of St Mary-le-Strand (1714-1717), in the City of Westminster. Other early designs include Cannons (1716-1720), Middlesex, a stately home for James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos, and the tower of Wren's St. Clement Danes (1719).

Gibbs worked at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Designs for the Senate House (1722-1730) at Cambridge were begun by Gibbs, but as executed the building is probably the work of James Burrough (1691-1764). The Fellows' Building at King's College (1724-1730) is, however, the work of James Gibbs. Gibbs was awarded an honorary degree of Master of Arts in recognition of his work.

Read more in Wikipedia.


Hamlet Winstanley (Painter and Engraver) 1698-1756

Hamlet Winstanley (born 1698 in Warrington, died 18 May 1756 in Warrington, age 58) was an English painter and engraver.

Hamlet Winstanley was the second son of William Winstanley, a tradesman in Warrington, Lancashire. In 1707 he was placed under the tuition of Samuel Shaw, rector of the parish and master of the Boteler free grammar school. John Finch, rector of Winwick and brother of the Earl of Nottingham, gave him access to his collection of paintings, and enabled him to study in London at the Academy of Painting, founded in 1711, in Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields. He remained in London for three years, having the personal attention of Sir Godfrey Kneller.

hamlet_winstanley.jpg (32687 bytes) Winstanley returned to Warrington in 1721 with a commission to paint the portrait of Sir Edward Stanley. Its success led to his introduction to James Stanley, 10th Earl of Derby, and the earl ordered him to come and paint for him at his seat at Knowsley Hall. During the next two years he painted landscapes and portraits, including one of the earl. He was in Rome from 1723 to 1725.

Public license Portrait of Hamlet Winstanley (1698–1756), English painter and engraver. Link to the file in Wikipedia.

He spent his later years at Warrington, where he built Stanley Street, and named it after his patrons at Knowsley (See Tour 2 for photos). He died in Warrington on 18 May 1756. His collections of copper-plates and prints are stated by Horace Walpole to have been sold by auction at Essex House on 18 March 1762.


There are sketches of Rome and studies of antique figures drawn by Winstanley. The British Museum purchased two fine examples of pen and wash drawings by Winstanley in 1870. He executed large copies of the Three Graces by Raphael, in the Farnesina Palace at Rome, and of the Triumph of Bacchus by Annibale Caracci, in the Farnese Palace. Etchings from pictures by old masters (including Ribera, Rembrandt, Vandyck, Carlo Dolci, Tintoretto, Titian, Rubens, Snyders, and Salvator Rosa), in the possession of the Earl of Derby were bound together in a portfolio known as the Knowsley Gallery.

Winstanley executed portraits of the Stanleys, of John Blackburne of Orford Hall, of Samuel Peploe and Jonathan Patten of Manchester. Several of his portraits were etched or engraved; that of the Earl of Derby was retouched by Gerard Van der Gucht and the portrait of Edward Waddington, painted in 1730, was engraved in mezzotint by John Faber the younger. Some of his landscape and other subjects were at Knowsley, and Winstanley also made etchings of Sir James Thornhill's paintings in the dome of St Paul's Cathedral.

Read more in Wikipedia.


John Kay (Clockmaker and Spinning Frame Inventor) 1700s

John Kay (born 1700s in Warrington, Lancashire) was a clockmaker. He is known by association with Richard Arkwright for the invention of the spinning frame in 1767, an important stage in the development of textile manufacturing in the Industrial Revolution.

Kay was originally a partner of Thomas Highs (who seems to have been the true inventor) but they ran out of funds. Arkwright took Kay and the idea of the spinning frame and exploited both, with Kay doing the construction and development work that led to the creation of the water frame which made Arkwright's fortune and reputation (almost to the exclusion of Kay and Highs).

Read more in Wikipedia.  See also:    Essay on Arkwright, showing the relationship with Kay        Essay on the two John Kays of the Industrial Revolution


John Aikin (Scholar and Tutor) 1713-1780

John Aikin (born 1713 in London, died 1780, age 67) was a Unitarian scholar and theological tutor, closely associated with Warrington Academy, a prominent dissenting academy

His father, a linen-draper, came originally from Kirkcudbright, in southern Scotland. He was placed for a short time as French clerk in a mercantile house, but entered Kibworth Academy, then run by Philip Doddridge, for whom Aikin was the first pupil. He then went to Aberdeen University, where the anti-Calvinist opinions of the tutors gradually led him to Low Arianism, as it was then called, which afterwards became the distinguishing feature of the Warrington Academy. Aberdeen subsequently conferred upon him the degree of D.D.

Returning from Aberdeen, he was ordained, and after a short period of work as Doddridge's assistant, he accepted a dissenting congregation at Market Harborough. Bad health made him take up teaching. He tutored Thomas Belsham at Kibworth, which lies between Market Harborough and Leicester. Other pupils of Aikin were Newcome Cappe (at an earlier period), Thomas Cogan, and Thomas Simpson.

At Warrington Academy he was one of the first three tutors in 1757, teaching classics. In 1761, Aikin became tutor in divinity, and was succeeded in his old duties by Joseph Priestley. Priestley says of the tutors: ‘We were all Arians, and the only subject of much consequence on which we differed respected the doctrine of Atonement, concerning which Dr. Aikin held some obscure notions.’

Aikin's health began to fail in 1778 and soon afterwards he resigned his tutorship, and died in 1780.    Read more in Wikipedia.


John Howard (Prison Reformer) 1726-1790

JohnHowardPrisonReformer.jpg (27937 bytes) John Howard (born 2 September 1726 in London, stayed in Warrington, died 20 January 1790 in the Ukraine, age 63) was a philanthropist and the first English prison reformer. He published his book on prison reform whilst staying at a silversmiths shop on Bridge Street, Warrington. The current building on the site is called Howard Building with a plaque to his memory. See Tour 2 for photos.

Public licenseJohn Howard, Prison Reformer. Link to the photo in Wikipedia.

He was born in Lower Clapton, London. His father was a wealthy upholsterer at Smithfield Market in the city. His mother died when he was five years old, and, described as a "sickly child", he was sent to live at Cardington, Bedfordshire, forty miles from London, where his father owned property. His father, a strict disciplinarian with strong religious beliefs, sent the young John to a school in Hertford and then to John Eames' Dissenting Academy in London.

After school, John was apprenticed to a wholesale grocer to learn business methods, but he was unhappy. In 1748, he left England to tour France and Italy. He later set out for Portugal following the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, travelling on the Hanover, which was captured by French privateers. He was imprisoned in Brest for six days before being transferred to another prison on the French coast. He was later exchanged for a French officer held by the British, and he quickly travelled to the Commissioners of Sick and Wounded Seamen in London to seek help on behalf of his fellow captives. It is widely reasonably regarded that this personal experience generated Howard's interest in prisons.

In 1758, Howard married Henrietta Leeds who died in 1765, a week after giving birth to a son, also named John, who was sent to boarding school at a very young age. The younger John was sent down from Cambridge for homosexual offences, was judged insane at the age of 21, and died in 1799 having spent thirteen years in an asylum.

High Sheriff of Bedfordshire

John Howard was appointed High Sheriff of Bedfordshire in 1773, initially for a one-year period. Such was his dedication, rather than delegating his duties to the under-sheriff as was customary, Howard inspected the county prison himself. He was shocked by what he found, and spurred into action to inspect prisons throughout England. Of particular concern to Howard were those prisoners who were held because they could not pay the jailer's fee - an amount paid to the owner or keeper of the prison for upkeep.

The Howard Building in 2003 when Boots occupied the site

howard_building_030509.JPG (98074 bytes)

He took this issue to parliament, and in 1774 Howard was called to give evidence on prison conditions to a House of Commons select committee. Members of that committee were so impressed that, unusually, Howard was called to the bar of the House of Commons and publicly thanked for his 'humanity and zeal'.  

Having visited several hundred prisons across England, Scotland, Wales and wider Europe, Howard published the first edition of The State of the Prisons in 1777. It included very detailed accounts of the prisons he had visited, including plans and maps, together with detailed instructions on the necessary improvements. The following account, of the Bridewell at Abingdon, Oxfordshire, is typical:

Two dirty day-rooms; and three offensive night-rooms: That for men eight feet square: one of the women's, nine by eight; the other four and a half feet square: the straw, worn to dust, swarmed with vermin: no court: no water accessible to prisoners. The petty offenders were in irons: at my last visit, eight were women.

His final journey took him into Eastern Europe, and into the Crimea, then Russia. Whilst at Kherson, in what is now Ukraine, Howard contracted typhus and died. He was buried on the shores of the Black Sea. Almost eighty years after his death, the Howard Association was formed in London, with the aim of "promotion of the most efficient means of penal treatment and crime prevention" and to promote "a reformatory and radically preventive treatment of offenders".    Read more in Wikipedia.


Anna Blackburne (Naturalist) 1726-1793

Anna Blackburne (born 1726 in Orford, Warrington, died 30 December 1793 in Warrington, age 67) was an English naturalist.

Anna Blackburne was born at Orford Hall, Warrington, the daughter of Jane (born Ashton) and John Blackburne. Her father was a wealthy Cheshire salt dealer, who studied natural history and had famous greenhouses admired by Thomas Pennant (1726–1798).

Inspired by her father, she devoted herself to study natural history in a more systematic way. To improve her understanding of the system developed by Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778), she learned Latin.

She corresponded with Carl Linnaeus and Johann Reinhold Forster (1729–1798), who encouraged her to publish her entomological observations and devote herself to the museum of Oxford Hall.

She enriched the collections of insects in particular thanks to specimens sent to her by Peter Simon Pallas (1741–1811). Her brother Ashton, who had gone to live in the United States of America, sent her many specimens, in particular birds, which were described by Pennant. She sent Linnaeus specimens of birds and insects which were not described in his Systema Naturae.

Johan Christian Fabricius (1745–1808), a pupil of Linnaeus, dedicated the beetle Geotrupes blackburnii to her in 1781. Dendroica fusca, the Blackburnian Warbler – described by Philipp Ludwig Statius Müller (1725–1776) – is also named in her honour.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Johann Reinhold Forster (Naturalist) 1729-1798

Johann Reinhold Forster (born 22 October 1729 in Poland, died 9 December 1798 in Germany, age 69) was a German Lutheran pastor and naturalist of partial Scottish descent who made contributions to the early ornithology of Europe and North America. He is best known as the naturalist on James Cook's second Pacific voyage, when he was accompanied by his son Georg Forster.  

johan_reinhold_forster_2.jpg (74321 bytes)

Forster's family originated in the Lords Forrester in Scotland from where his great-grandfather had emigrated after losing most of his property during the rule of Oliver Cromwell along with many other Scots. Forster himself was born in the city of Dirschau (Tczew) in the province of Royal Prussia, in the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland.

He studied languages and natural history at the Joachimsthal Gymnasium in Berlin, theology at the University of Halle, afterwards serving as a Lutheran pastor in Nassenhuben (Mokry Dwór).

Johann Reinhold Forster and Georg Forster in Tahiti, by John Francis Rigaud (1742–1810), 1780. Public license Link to the file in Wikipedia.
He married his cousin Elisabeth Nikolai and they had several children including a son, Georg Forster. In 1766 he travelled to England with Georg (the eldest of eight children, seven of which survived childhood). He spent three years teaching at Warrington Academy, succeeding Joseph Priestley. Forster then moved to London, where he became known as a natural historian. When Joseph Banks withdrew at the last moment as naturalist on Cook's second voyage, Forster and his son were appointed to fill the vacant position. In July 1772 they set sail on the Resolution, returning to England in July 1775. During a stop in Cape Town, Forster engaged Anders Sparrman to act as his assistant.
Both the Forsters kept detailed diaries of everything they saw on the voyage, and made extensive collections of both natural history specimens and artifacts. On his return Forster published Observations Made During a Voyage Round The World (1778).

However, the income from the book was insufficient to clear his debts, and the bulk of Georg's drawings from the voyage were sold to Joseph Banks. During the next few years Forster undertook a variety of writing work, including a German translation of Thomas Pennant's Arctic Zoology.

johan_reinhold_forster_1.jpg (174470 bytes)

Johann Reinhold Forster (1729–1798), German Lutheran pastor and naturalist Public license Link to the file in Wikipedia.

In November 1779 Forster was appointed Professor of Natural History and Mineralogy at the University of Halle, and director of the Botanische Garten der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, where he remained until his death. His Descriptiones Animalium, completed within a month of returning to England with Cook, was eventually edited by Hinrich Lichtenstein and published in 1844.

Forster's Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (1772–73) on zoology, ornithology, and ichthyology established him as one of the earliest authorities on North American zoology.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Joseph Priestley (Chemist and Educator) 1733-1804

Joseph Priestley (born 13 March 1733 in Birstall near Leeds, died 8 February 1804 in America, age 70) was an English chemist, philosopher, dissenting clergyman and educator. He is known for his investigations of carbon dioxide and the co-discovery of oxygen.

Subsequently he went to Warrington Academy where he associated with other liberal-minded tutors. A sympathetic printer, William Eyres, was willing to publish his work, including his grammar book in 1761 (a remarkably liberal grammar for its day) and other books on history and educational theory. He taught anatomy and astronomy, and led field trips for his students to collect fossils and botanical specimens. Both modern history and the sciences were subjects which had not been taught in any schools before Priestley.

He married Mary Wilkinson of Wrexham on 23 Jun, 1762, and by September 1767 the combination of his finances and her health caused him to relocate to Leeds.

Other publications from him include, Essay on the First Principles of Government (1768), The Present State of Liberty in Great Britain and her Colonies (1769), Impregnating Water with Fixed Air (1772), Observations on Civil Liberty and the Nature and Justice of the War with America (1772) and Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air (1775), his publication on his discovery of oxygen.

Priestley College in Warrington is a sixth form college (for 16–19 year olds) named in his honour. Priestley Street is named after him, as was Priestley House, which has now been renamed Bank Quay House.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Thomas Percival (Physician and Author) 1740-1804

Thomas Percival FRS FRSE FSA (born 1740 in Warrington, died 1804, age 74) was a physician and author, best known for crafting perhaps the first modern code of medical ethics. He drew up a pamphlet with the code in 1794 and wrote an expanded version in 1803, in which he reportedly coined the expression "medical ethics”. He was a pioneering campaigner for public health measures and factory regulation in Manchester.

He was born in Warrington, the son of Joseph and Margaret (née Orred) Percival. He lost both his parents when he was three years old, so his older sister was responsible for his early education. Once he was old enough, he was placed in a private academy in his home town. He also spent time in a free grammar-school. In 1757, he was enrolled as the first student at Warrington Academy. After achieving a good reputation in classical and theological studies, he transferred to Edinburgh in 1761 (as a Dissenter he could not attend an English University). He achieved his M.D. degree in 1765 and became a fellow to the Royal Society, through a recommendation by his friend and patron Lord Willoughby de Parham, the same year.

British health reformer and ethicist. Educated at Edinburgh and then a prominent member of the Manchester Industrial and Philosophical Society, he holds an important place in the history of epidemiology for his analysis of the Bills of Mortality from 1772–6, and for his Code of Medical Ethics in 1803. Percival had been asked by the Manchester Royal Infirmary to help with an internal dispute and became particularly concerned with the divisions that had arisen among the different branches of the profession — the physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries with their different backgrounds of training (university, hospital, and apprenticeship respectively). But he did not merely concern himself with professional relationships - he also laid down a code for conduct towards patients, whether rich or poor, and his ideas were rapidly taken up by the USA, Australia, and Canada.

Occupational health and medical ethics

Percival is also known for his early work in occupational health. He led a group of doctors to supervise textile mills, their report influenced Robert Peel to introduce the Health and Morals of Apprentices Act of 1802. The legislation stipulated that children could work only 12 hours per day, walls had to be washed, and visitors had to be admitted to factories so that they could make health-related suggestions.

Percival's Medical Ethics served as a key source for the American Medical Association (AMA) code, adopted in 1847, which used several passages taken directly from his book. Though hyperbolic in its recognition of Percival, the AMA itself states:

The most significant contribution to Western medical ethical history subsequent to Hippocrates was made by Thomas Percival, an English physician, philosopher, and writer. In 1803, he published his Code of Medical Ethics. His personality, his interest in sociological matters, and his close association with the Manchester Infirmary led to the preparation of a scheme of professional conduct relative to hospitals and other charities from which he drafted the code that bears his name.

As one expert writes, "The Percivalian code asserted the moral authority and independence of physicians in service to others, affirmed the profession's responsibility to care for the sick, and emphasized individual honour."    Read more in Wikipedia.


Anna Laetitia Barbauld (Novelist and Poet) 1743-1825

Anna Laetitia Barbauld (born 20 June 1743 in Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire, lived in Warrington, died 9 March 1825 in Stoke Newington, London, age 81) was a was a writer of poetry and prose.

She was born Anna Laetitia Aikin. Her father, the Reverend John Aikin, a Presbyterian minister and schoolmaster, kept an academy for boys, whose education she shared, and thus became acquainted with French, Italian, Latin and Greek. In 1758, Mr Aikin moved his family to Warrington to act as a theological tutor at Warrington Academy. In 1773, Anna published a volume of Poems, which was very successful, and collaborated with her brother, Dr John Aikin, in a volume of Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose.

Anna Laetitia Barbauld. Public license Image is in the public domain. 

In 1774 she married Rochemont Barbauld, a member of a French Protestant family settled in England. In 1785 they left for the continent, for the benefit of Mr Barbauld's health. On their return about two years later, he was appointed to a church at Hampstead. In 1802 they moved to Stoke Newington. Through her book of poems, Barbauld became well known in London literary circles.

In her lifetime Barbauld was most famous for her children's books — a series of four age-adapted reading primers entitled Lessons for Children (1778-9) and her Hymns in Prose for Children (1781). Barbauld became increasingly violent towards his wife, and eventually drowned himself in 1808. There is a memoir of Barbauld written by her niece Lucy Aikin.

Barbauld Street in Warrington is named after her. Read more about her in Tour 1.

Read more in Wikipedia. This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.




Peter Litherland (Watchmaker and Inventor) 1756-1805

Peter Litherland (born 1756 in Warrington, died 1805, age 48-49) was a watchmaker and inventor. He was born in Warrington and later moved to Liverpool, which was then the centre of the watchmaking trade. In 1791, he patented the rack lever escapement for watches, which was more accurate than the commonly-used verge escapement. One of his watches is in display in the World Museum Liverpool.

Read more in Wikipedia.

For more information on patents, click www.FreePatentsOnline.com. The site has more data and more features than any other free patent site, including free PDF downloading, and the ability to store, annotate, and share patents.


John Drinkwater Bethune (Army Officer/Historian) 1762-1844

Colonel John Drinkwater Bethune (born 9 June 1762 in Latchford, Warrington, died 16 January 1844 in Leatherhead, Surrey, age 81) was an English army officer and military historian. He was well-known for his journal kept during the Great Siege of Gibraltar. The son of an ex-navy surgeon, he joined the Royal Manchester volunteers at the age of fifteen and was almost immediately posted to Gibraltar. In 1787 Drinkwater travelled to Gibraltar a second time with the second battalion of the Royal Regiment of foot. He was publicly thanked by General Eliott for his book and was given sufficient funds to establish the Gibraltar Garrison Library. He subsequently accompanied his regiment to Toulon (where he acted as military secretary during the city's English occupation) and then to Corsica (where he served as deputy-judge-advocate to the English forces stationed there). His son, John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune was a pioneer in promoting women's education in 19th-century India and in 1849 founded an institution for women's education in Calcutta

A History of the Siege of Gibraltar

He first published his work in 1785, and a new edition of A History of the Siege of Gibraltar was published in 1905. The history of the four eventful years' siege is fully detailed also in the Memoir, attached to Green's Siege of Gibraltar (1784), of its defender George Augustus Elliot, afterwards Lord Heathfield. As a soldier, Drinkwater was more interested in the military than in the civil aspects, yet his account does give some glimpses of the sufferings of the civilians. The account was completed in 1783 and had with extreme rapidity established its reputation as a military classic.

Drinkwater enjoyed a second career following his military career. He was a director of the Regent's Canal Company and earned great respect in his role for his surefooted handling of the company's many financial crises during the period leading up to the opening of the canal in 1820.    Read more in Wikipedia


Joseph Williamson (Philanthropist) 1769-1840

joseph_williamson.jpg (140659 bytes)

Joseph Williamson (born 10 March 1769 near Barnsley, Yorkshire, lived in Warrington, died 1 May 1840 in Liverpool, age 71) was an eccentric, businessman, property owner, and a philanthropist who is best known for the tunnels which were constructed under his direction in the Edge Hill area of Liverpool. His philanthropy earned him the nickname The King of Edge Hill, whilst his tunnel-building activity earned him posthumous nicknames, including The Mole of Edge Hill and The Mad Mole. 
Joseph Williamson. Public license Link to the file in Wikipedia.

For many years it was thought that Joseph Williamson was born in Warrington. However, research by staff and volunteers of the Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre has shown that he was born in Yorkshire and that his father was a glassmaker in a small village near Barnsley. At an early age, his family moved to Warrington. In 1780, when he was aged 11, he left his family and went to Liverpool where he was employed in the tobacco and snuff business of Richard Tate. He gained promotion within the business and also developed his own merchant's business in partnership with Joseph Leigh. In 1787 Richard Tate died and control of the business passed to his son, Thomas Moss Tate. Williamson married Thomas' sister, Elizabeth, in St Thomas' Church, Liverpool in 1802.

The following year Williamson purchased the business from Thomas Moss Tate and from this, together with his other business enterprises, he amassed a considerable fortune. In 1805 Williamson bought an area known as the Long Broom Field on Mason Street, Edge Hill, Liverpool, which was a largely undeveloped outcrop of sandstone and around this time moved into a house on Mason Street. He then began to build more houses in Mason Street which were built without any plans and which were "of the strangest description". The land behind the houses dropped sharply for about 20 feet (6 m) and, as it was the fashion to have large gardens and orchards behind them, he built brick arches onto which the gardens could be extended. Following this, he continued to employ his workmen, and recruited more, to perform tasks, some of which appeared to be useless, such as moving materials from one place to another and then back again. He also used the men to build a labyrinth of underground halls and brick-arched tunnels. Labour was plentiful at the time and with the ending of the Napoleonic wars in 1816, there were even more unemployed men in Liverpool.

Williamson Tunnels

The tunnels are in the Edge Hill area of Liverpool, to the east of the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral in a rectangle bordered by Mason Street, Grinfield Street, Smithdown Lane and Paddington. The tunnels were built between the early 19th century and 1840 at depths between 10 feet (3m) and 50 feet (15m) and they stretched for several miles. Their full extent is not known and many of them are still blocked by rubble. They vary in size from the "banqueting hall", which is about 70 feet (21m) long, between 20 feet (6m) and 25 feet (8m) wide and 20 feet (6m) high, while the smaller tunnels are 4 feet (1m) wide and 6 feet (2m) high.

Williamson’s major project was to build a labyrinth of brick-arched tunnels in various directions and over various lengths within the sandstone. In August 1867 the Liverpool Porcupine described the tunnels as being "a great nuisance" because drains ran straight into them, in one place creating a cess pool full of offensive water 15 feet (5 m) deep, and they were being used for dumping refuse, including down chutes built into the buildings above for the purpose.


Williamson retired from his business in 1818 but continued to be a landlord, one of his tenants being the Unitarian philosopher, James Martineau. Williamson's wife died in 1822 and he then became increasingly eccentric, devoting almost all of his time to supervising his excavations and tunnel-building. In the 1830s he came into contact with George Stephenson who was building the extension of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway from Edge Hill to Lime Street Station and whose own excavations passed through those of Williamson.

There is much evidence of Williamson's eccentricity in addition to his tunnel-building activity. His own house and the other houses built under his direction were unorthodox and often impractical in design. On the day of his wedding, following the ceremony he went hunting, still dressed in his wedding clothes. On one occasion he invited guests for dinner but served them only a simple meal of porridge and hard biscuits. Many of the visitors then left. He described those who remained as his real friends and invited them to stay for a more lavish feast. Relationships with his wife were not always amicable and he said himself that they led a "cat and dog" life. On one occasion Williamson set free all the birds in his wife's aviary, declaring that it was a pity that men did not also have wings to enable them to enjoy liberty. His manner varied from being "rough and uncouth" to "kind and considerate". His clothes were patched and untidy but his underclothes were clean and fine. He was a religious man and held a pew at St Thomas' church.

Williamson died in 1840 aged 71 at his home in Mason Street, the cause of death being "water on the chest". He was buried in the Tate family vault at St Thomas' Church and left an estate of £39,000, but left no immediate descendant. The tunnelling ceased with his death.

In 1911 St Thomas' church was demolished. Many of the graves were removed but the Tate vault remained. In 1920 the site became a car park. During the Paradise Street redevelopment in 2005 Williamson’s grave was discovered in an archaeological dig. Click here for photos of the dig. The developers of the site, Grosvenor Henderson, built a memorial garden to Williamson when the development was complete.


The reasons for him building the tunnels have been widely discussed. According to Stonehouse, he was secretive about his motives. This has led to speculation that he was a member of an extremist religious sect fearing that the end of the world was near and that the tunnels were built to provide refuge from himself and his friends. However the most likely explanation is Williamson's own, that his workers "all received a weekly wage and were thus enabled to enjoy the blessing of charity without the attendant curse of stifled self respect", his prime motive being "the employment of the poor".

Investigations and archaeology

In the early 20th century soldiers from the West Lancashire Territorial Forces Association explored the tunnels. Their drill hall in Mason Street stood on top of one of the tunnels. In 1907 the Association produced a map of the tunnels, which was incomplete because many of them were filled with rubble.

The tunnels remained derelict and filled with rubble and refuse until 1995, when a geology student from Liverpool University carried out a micro-gravity survey of the site. Some of his findings were ambiguous because of the rubble filling the tunnels and not all of his findings corresponded with those of the Forces Association. Later that year a professional firm, Parkman, carried out a survey on behalf of the Joseph Williamson Society. Since then further investigations and excavations have taken place and part of the labyrinth of tunnels has been opened to the public as a heritage centre.

The Joseph Williamson Society and Heritage centre

The Joseph Williamson Society was founded in 1989. It was incorporated as a private limited company in 1996 and acquired charitable status in 1997. Its aim is to promote interest in the life and philanthropic achievements of Joseph Williamson and takes the form of talks, tours, publications and educational visits. In autumn 2002, after much excavation, removal of rubble and renovation, one of the three sections of the site, the Stable Yard section, was opened to the public as the Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre under the trusteeship of the Joseph Williamson Society. Visitors are taken on a guided tour which includes the south tunnel and the double tunnel and various artefacts are on view, including some of the items which have been uncovered in the excavations. A programme of events and entertainments is organised on the site. The entry to the heritage centre was formerly part of the Lord Mayor's Stable Yard which closed in 1993. The stable became the home for a horse again when Pop arrived in 2003.

The Friends of Williamson's Tunnels

The Friends of Williamson's Tunnels was formed in 1996 and are a group of enthusiasts distinct from the Heritage Centre whose aim is 'To advance the education of the general public in all matters relating to Joseph Williamson, in particular to preserve... the works and any associated structures either above or below ground that can be accessed from the tunnel entrance at Williamson Student Village, No 1 Paddington, Edge Hill'. It received charitable status in 2001. They do not directly fund the Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre.

Information compiled from two Wikipedia files: Joseph Williamson biography and Williamson Tunnels.

See also the Friends of Williamson's Tunnels website www.williamsontunnels.com. My thanks to Fred for suggesting Joseph Williamson for mywarrington.

See also the Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre website www.williamsontunnels.co.uk.


Arthur Aikin (Chemist) 1773-1854

Arthur Aikin (born 19 May 1773 in Warrington, died 15 April 1854 in London, age 80), English chemist, mineralogist and scientific writer, was born in Warrington, Lancashire.

arthur_aikin.jpg (66446 bytes)

He was the son of Dr. John Aikin. He studied chemistry under Joseph Priestley and gave attention to the practical applications of the science. From 1803 to 1808 he was editor of Annual Review. He was one of the founders of the Geological Society of London in 1807, and was its honorary secretary in 1812-1817.

He contributed papers on the Wrekin and the Shropshire coalfield, among others, to the transactions of that society. Later he became secretary of the Royal Society of Arts, and in 1841 treasurer of the Chemical Society. In early life he had been a Unitarian minister for a short time. He was highly esteemed as a man of sound judgment and wide knowledge. He died in London. His sister Lucy is featured below.

Arthur Aikin. Public license image is in the public domain. Read more in Wikipedia.


Charles Rochemont Aikin (Doctor and Chemist) 1775-1847

Charles Rochemont Aikin (born 1775 in Warrington, died 1847, age 72) was an English doctor and chemist.

He was the second son of John Aikin, M.D. He was adopted by his aunt, Mrs. Barbauld and educated by her husband at his school at Palgrave in Suffolk. He is the ‘little Charles’ of Mrs. Barbauld's ‘Early Lessons.’ From an early age he devoted himself to science, and aided his eldest brother, Arthur Aikin, in his first published works and public lectures. Subsequently he applied himself to medicine, became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, and was chosen secretary of the London Medical and Chirurgical Society. He married Anne, daughter of the Rev. Gilbert Wakefield, and died at his house in Bloomsbury Square on 20 March, 1847. His works were: ‘Concise View of all the most important Facts that have hitherto appeared respecting the Cow Pox,’ (1800), Dictionary of Chemistry and Mineralogy (1807–1814), which he wrote in conjunction with his eldest brother.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Thomas Hazlehurst (businessman) 1779-1882

Thomas Hazlehurst (born 27 February 1779 in Warrington, died 18 February 1842 in Runcorn, age 62) was a businessman who founded the soap and alkali manufacturing company of Hazlehurst & Sons in Runcorn, Cheshire. He was also a devoted Methodist and he played a large part in the civic matters of the town.

He was born in Winwick, Lancashire, but his family soon moved to Cheshire and eventually settled in Runcorn. Thomas was involved in various business enterprises before establishing a soapery (soap manufacturing factory) on the north bank of the Bridgewater Canal on land between the canal and High Street in 1816. Originally the alkali necessary for making soap would have been obtained from vegetable sources, probably kelp. However, by 1830 he was making his own alkali by the Leblanc process. His venture became very successful and in 1832 his business was in the top 20 soap manufacturing factories in Great Britain. In order to disperse the pollution resulting from the Leblanc process he built an enormous chimney over 300 feet (91m) in height which was one of the highest chimneys in the country at that time. Thomas had four sons, William, John, Thomas junior and Charles, who all took part in running the business which came to be called Hazlehurst & Sons.

In 1806 Thomas had a daughter, Eliza, who died in infancy. As a result of this Thomas was converted to Methodism and he played a great part in the development of the denomination in the town. At the beginning of the 19th century there were very few Methodists in the town, but by 1827 the movement was sufficiently prosperous to be able to build a substantial two-storey chapel and schoolroom, Brunswick Chapel. Thomas was extremely pious, praying in the morning, at noon and in the evening and not allowing this to be interrupted by his business or by visitors.

He was also active in civic affairs being at one time or another a member of the select vestry, the Committee on Bridewell, Offices and Petty Sessions, the Board of Health, a Director of Runcorn Gas Company and an Inspector of the Lighting and Watching Act.

After his death the business was continued by his sons. He was buried in the churchyard of All Saints, Runcorn.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Edmund Aikin (Architect) 1780-1820

Edmund Aikin (born 2 October 1780 in Warrington, died 11 March 1820 in London, age 39) was an architect.

He was the youngest son of John Aikin, M.D. He was assistant to General Sir Samuel Bentham, the architect of the Millbank Penitentiary, and published some designs in concert with him. About 1814 his business took him to Liverpool. He settled there, and furnished designs for various buildings in that city. He wrote articles upon architecture in Rees's Cyclopaedia, an account of St. Paul's Cathedral, and other treatises. Between 1804 and 1814 he exhibited some designs at the Royal Academy. He died at Stoke Newington whilst on a visit to his father.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Lucy Aikin (Writer) 1781-1864

Lucy Aikin (born 6 November 1781 in Warrington, died 29 January 1864, age 82) born into a distinguished literary family of prominent Unitarians, was a historical writer.

Lucy Aikin's aunt was Anna Laetitia Barbauld (profiled earlier), a woman of letters who wrote poetry and essays as well as early children's literature. Lucy's father, Dr. John Aikin, was a medical doctor, historian, and author. Her grandfather, also called John Aikin (1713–1780), was a Unitarian scholar and theological tutor, closely associated with Warrington Academy. Lucy's brother was Arthur Aikin (1773–1854), chemist, mineralogist and scientific writer, featured above.

Lucy was educated by her father and her aunt, an early critic of the education system. She "read widely in English, French, Italian, and Latin literature and history", and began writing for magazines at the age of seventeen, and at an early age assisted her father as an editor in his writings as well.

Aikin was interested in early education, and as such published several works to assist young readers: Poetry for Children: Consisting of Short Pieces to be Committed to Memory (1801), Juvenile Correspondence or Letters, Designed as Examples of the Epistolary Style, for Children of Both Sexes (1811), An English Lesson Book, for the Junior Classes (1828), and The Acts of Life: of Providing Food, of Providing Clothing, of Providing Shelter (1858).

Aikin also translated the French texts: Louis Francois Jauffret’s The Travels of Rolando (publication appears to be around 1804), and Jean Gaspard Hess’s The Life of Ulrich Zwingli (1812), a life of the leader of the Reformation in Switzerland. She was also responsible for two creative works: Epistles on Women, Exemplifying their Character and Condition in Various Ages and Nations, with Miscellaneous Poems (1810), and her only work of fiction, Lorimer, a Tale (1814). She produced biographical works: Memoir of John Aikin, MD (1823), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1825), The Life of Anne Boleyn (1827), and The Life of Joseph Addison (1843).

However, as memoirs and obituaries are quick to point out, she was probably most famous for her historical works: Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth (1818), Memoirs of the Court of James I (1822), and Memoirs of the Court of Charles I (1833).

Under the pseudonym Mary Godolphin, Lucy Aikin is also attributed for producing versions of: Pilgrim's Progress, Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson, Aesop's Fables, Evenings at Home, and Sandford and Merton, "in Words of One Syllable".

She was remarkable for her conversational powers, and was also an admirable letter-writer. She died at Hampstead, London in 1864, where she had lived for forty years.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Maria Hill, Daughter of the Regiment 1791-1881

Maria Hill nee Woods (born 1791 in Winwick, Warrington, died 11 Sept 1881 in Richmond, Ontario, Canada, age 90) a contemporary of Laura Secord, was a heroine of two battles in the Anglo-American War of 1812: the Battle of Lundy's Lane and the Battle of Chippawa.

Early years

Maria's father died between 1791 and 1799. Her mother remarried to Mr. Greenhall, a recruiter for the British Army. In 1799, her mother then died in Tuam, Ireland. Mr. Greenhall brought Maria to Canada in 1803. She was referred to as a "Daughter of the Regiment" because of her stepfathers' service to the British Army.

Arrival in Canada and the War of 1812

After arriving in Canada, Maria was living in Amherstberg, Ontario (likely at Fort Malden). On 5 May, 1811, at the age of 20, she was married to Sergeant Major Andrew Hill of the 100th Regiment of Foot by curate Richard Pollard at St. John's Anglican Church, Sandwich in the presence of Edna Lee Croft and George Ironside (store keeper). Shortly after, hostilities broke out at the Detroit/Sandwich border and the 100th Regiment of Foot was called to arms. Some say that Maria disguised herself as a man and followed her husband into battle, with her identity as a woman only being discovered after she was run over by an ammunitions cart. It is now known, however, that there were some women (mostly wives and children) who were allowed to travel with the Regiment so she likely served under her own identity. Maria served the 100th Regiment in the Battles of Lundy's Lane and Chippawa as a surgeon's assistant.

Post war years

maria_hill_plot.jpg (223439 bytes)

After the war, in 1818, Maria and her husband, Andrew Hill, were reportedly boarding a ship to return to England when they were offered land and a years' provisions to create a settlement for veterns of the 100th Regiment of Foot. Sgt. Andrew Hill supervised the cutting of a road (later named Richmond Road, Ontario one of the oldest roads in Ottawa) from Richmond Landing to settle Richmond, Ontario. They later opened a tavern and smoke house for the 100 Regiment in Richmond, Ontario at 3607 McBean St, where it still stands. It was there that Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond and Governor General of Canada, spent his last night before dying of rabies from a fox bite two months previously.

After passing away at the house of Dr. Collis, a former surgeon to the regiment, the Duke's body was brought back to the tavern where Maria prepared the Duke for his final trip to Quebec City for burial using the Duke's own quilted bed covering as a shroud. After the visit, the Hill's tavern name was changed from the 'Masonic Arms' to the 'Duke of Richmond Arms' in honour of the visit.

Grave marker of Maria Taylor. Public license

Link to the file

Andrew and Maria Hill had two children, Jessie and Margaret Lindsey Hill. Andrew Hill died in 1830. Maria remarried Andrew Taylor, a Sergeant from the 100th Foot. They lived the remainder of their lives in Richmond, Ontario. Andrew Taylor died 29 March, 1879, aged 79 years and Maria died 11 September, 1881, aged 90 years. She left her estate to the St. John's Anglican Church in Richmond for a new church spire. Maria and both husbands were eventually buried at the National Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa in the family plot of Edward Malloch II, her son-in-law.


Although most of Maria's life in Canada is well documented, how she ended up in Canada is largely unknown. It's thought that she was born in Winwick, Warrington, to John Woods, a surgeon in the British Navy. But his given name and profession cannot be proven. Her mother's given name is also unknown but thought to be Mary. Finally the spelling of the surname of the soldier who brought her to Canada is thought to be Greenhall or Greenhaugh, likely from the Colour Guard but this still needs to be confirmed in Regimental Records with Archives Canada.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Joseph Crosfield (Industrialist) 1792-1844

Joseph Crosfield (born 5 October 1792 in Warrington, died 16 February 1844, age 51) was a businessman who established a soap and chemical manufacturing business in Warrington, Lancashire. This business was to become the firm of Joseph Crosfield & Sons, Limited.

Joseph Crosfield was born in Warrington, the fourth son of George Crosfield and his wife Ann née Key. The Crosfield family had been Quakers since the time of George Fox and this tradition was maintained by George and subsequently by Joseph. George Crosfield was a wholesale grocer in Warrington who also had interests in a sugar-refining business in Liverpool. The family moved to Lancaster in 1799 for George to develop a sugar-refining business there, while still keeping an interest in his grocery business in Warrington under the care of his assistant, Joseph Fell. Nothing is known of Joseph’s early life in Lancaster. From September 1807, a time close to his 15th birthday, he was apprenticed for 6 years to Anthony Clapham, a druggist and chemist in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. By 1811 Anthony Clapham was also a soap manufacturer.

Soap and alkali manufacture

In 1814, Joseph’s apprenticeship having finished, at the age of 21 he decided to establish his own soap making business in Warrington. At this time soap manufacturing was growing rapidly in the Mersey valley. This was largely because of the recently developed canals and river navigations in the area, which allowed for easier transport of the raw materials into the factories and for the distribution of the finished products. A number of new large soap businesses had recently been established in the nearby towns of St Helens, Runcorn and Liverpool.

Joseph Crosfield’s soap company was established on the north bank of a loop of the River Mersey in the area known as Bank Quay. The premises occupied that of a failed wire mill and the business started with a capital of £1,500. It struggled at first, partly due to the trade depression at the time, but by 1818 it was making a profit.

In 1820 Joseph was joined in the business by his younger brother William (1805-1881). Later that year his father George died, leaving a legacy of £1,500 to Joseph. Around this time Joseph Fell also became a partner in the business and Joseph Crosfield bought the machinery from a nearby corn mill.

In addition to making soap, like many other soap makers Joseph Crosfield was involved in making candles. By the mid-1830s Crosfield’s was producing around 900 tons of soap annually. In 1832 they were the 25th largest business in the list of 296 soap makers in England and Scotland that year. Joseph carried out most of the clerical work himself in the business, employing only one clerk.

By the 1830s Joseph Crosfield was manufacturing his own alkali by the Leblanc process, rather than using alkali from vegetable sources. Rather than manufacturing it in his Bank Quay site, he took over a bankrupt alum works in St Helens with his older brother James (1787–1852) and Josias Christopher Gamble. Here he continued to make alum and also manufactured alkali by the Leblanc process. Joseph’s younger brother Simon (1803–1864) later became a partner in this business.

Other investments

During this time Joseph’s soap-making business was making large profits but, rather than investing them into this business, he put the money into other enterprises, most of which lost money. He had an interest in glass-making, buying shares in the Manchester & Liverpool Plate Glass Company in 1836. He took out a patent for an improvement in the manufacture of plate glass, but the company failed. He also lost a considerable amount of money in a partnership in the Wharf Meadow cotton-mill. He did better with his investments into joint-stock banks, his first investment being into the Manchester Joint-Stock Banking Company. In 1831 a branch of the Manchester & Liverpool District Banking Company opened in Warrington and in time Joseph became a large shareholder and local director of this bank.

In common with many other businessmen of the time, Joseph became involved with the newly opening railways. His major interest was in the St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway. After investing in this enterprise in 1830 he became a director in 1836.

Political, civic and religious life

Joseph Crosfield was also deeply involved in the political, civic and religious life of Warrington. In addition to his continuing Quaker activities, he was a Radical in politics, often campaigning on issues relating to both of these movements. He was a life governor and permanent committee member of the Dispensary and Infirmary in the town. He served on the Warrington Board of Health, which was set up in 1832 at the time of the cholera epidemic. He was involved with education, not only in setting up Quaker schools in Penketh and Warrington, but also with the founding of the Warrington Educational Society in 1838 for educating the working classes. He took an interest in the Warrington Mechanics’ Institution and the Warrington Circulating Library.

Personal life

In 1819 Joseph Crosfield married Elizabeth Goad from the village of Baycliffe in the Furness area of Lancashire. Joseph and his family lived close to his works. After his marriage his first house was Mersey Bank, a fairly large house standing in its own grounds to the west of the factory. In 1826 he leased a plot of land nearby at White Cross on which he built a new house and in which he lived for the rest of his life. His wife produced for him 10 children, 5 boys and 5 girls. Joseph died in 1844 after a short illness when he was aged 51. He was buried in the burial ground of the Friends’ Meeting House in Buttermarket Street, Warrington.

Crosfields after Joseph

The firm of Joseph Crosfield & Sons, Ltd. continued to thrive and grow after his death, producing a variety of chemicals. In 1911 it was purchased by Brunner, Mond & Company and 1919 it was absorbed into Lever Brothers. From 1929 Crosfield was a subsidiary of Unilever.

In 1997 it was acquired by ICI and in 2001, Ineos Capital purchased the company. The name Crosfield was finally lost as it was renamed Ineos Silicas, but the building on Liverpool Road still bears the name Joseph Crosfields & Sons Ltd in the brickwork (see right).

crosfields_060910_gigiandy.JPG (72028 bytes)
Read more in Wikipedia.


Thomas Biggin Broadbent (Preacher) 1793-1817

Thomas Biggin Broadbent (born 17 March 1793 in Warrington, died 9 November 1817, age 24) was the only child of William Broadbent. He entered Glasgow College in November 1809. After graduating in April 1813 he became classical tutor in the Unitarian academy at Hackney, an office he filled until 1816, preaching latterly at Prince's Street Chapel, Westminster, during a vacancy. His pulpit powers were remarkable. Resigning his London work, he returned to Warrington to pursue his ministerial training as his father's assistant.

He prepared for the press, in 1816, portions of Thomas Belsham's Epistles of Paul the Apostle (1 and 2 Corinthians, 1 Timothy, and Titus), published in four volumes in 1822. He also edited the fourth edition (1817) of the "Improved Version" of the New Testament, originally published in 1808 under Belsham's superintendence. Two of his sermons, published posthumously in 1817, reached a second edition. He died of apoplexy.    Read more in Wikipedia.


William Beamont (Solicitor and Philanthropist) 1797-1889

William Beamont (1797–1889) was a Victorian solicitor and local philanthropist, living in the town of Warrington. He was the first mayor of Warrington after its incorporation as a municipal borough in 1847. At this time 27 councillors from the then much smaller borough were appointed to the small town hall in the centre of modern Warrington (Ask restaurant is housed in the replica building in Golden Square shopping centre today). As the town increased in size the council was moved to Bank Hall, the former home of Lord Winmarleigh for £9,700; this still serves as the Town Hall, and its "golden gates" are one of the town's attractions. As mayor, he founded its municipal library, one of the first rate-aided libraries in the UK, in 1848*. He travelled extensively, including in the Holy Land, where he met artist William Holman Hunt. His diaries, stored in the library, are a valuable source of social history. A high school, a junior school and an infants school in the town are named after him. His grave lies in the churchyard of Christ Church, Padgate, one of several Church of England churches that he helped found.    Some information from Wikipedia.

*Chetham's Library in Greater Manchester was founded in 1653, and is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world.


William Allcard (Railway Engineer) 1801-1861

William Allcard, born 1801, lived at Bank House on Sankey Street by the Town Hall between 1839 and 1854, and built carriages in a factory behind the house. He was heavily involved in the Grand Junction Railway, and was the chief engineer on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, where he drove the "Comet" at the opening in 1830. He was given the task of building the Sankey Viaduct on the Liverpool and Manchester, and created a nine-arch construction spanning 50 feet out of brick and stone. A minimum clearance of 60 feet was required for the boats to pass by underneath. The actual clearance was 70 feet, and the whole structure cost £45,000. He went into partnership with William Buddicom in the manufacture of railway engines. He served as the second mayor of Warrington between 1848 and 1849, and again for a second term of office between 1851 and 1852. He retired to his native Derbyshire where he died on 5 August 1861.


John Wilson-Patten, 1st Baron Winmarleigh (Politician) 1802-1892

John Wilson-Patten, 1st Baron Winmarleigh, PC (born 26 April 1802, died 11 July 1892, age 90) was a Conservative Party politician. He was the second son of Thomas Wilson (formerly Patten) of Warrington, Lancashire, and Elizabeth Hyde, daughter of Nathan Hyde of Ardwick, Manchester. His father had in 1800 assumed the surname of Wilson in lieu of Patten in accordance with the will of Thomas Wilson, son of Thomas Wilson, Bishop of Sodor and Man from 1697 to 1755, to whose estates Patten succeeded. However, a few years later the family assumed the surname of Wilson-Patten.

He was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford. While at Oxford, he became friendly with, amongst others, Edward Stanley, later Lord Stanley and 14th Earl of Derby. In 1830 he was elected Member of Parliament for Lancashire, but stood down the following year. However, in 1832 he returned to Parliament as representative for the newly created constituency of North Lancashire, a seat he would hold for the next 42 years. In the House of Commons he became known as a supporter of industrial and labour reform, and took an active part in helping to relieve the Lancashire cotton famine of 1861 to 1865. However, Wilson-Patten did not hold ministerial office until 1867, when, aged 65, he was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the last administration of his old friend Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby. He was admitted to the Privy Council the same year. He remained in this post until the following year, and then served briefly under Benjamin Disraeli as Chief Secretary for Ireland from September to December 1868. The latter year he also became a member of the Irish Privy Council. In 1874, on his retirement from the House of Commons, he was raised to the peerage as Baron Winmarleigh, of Winmarleigh in the County Palatine of Lancaster. However, he was seldom active in the House of Lords.

In 1828 Wilson-Patten married Anna Maria Patten-Bold, daughter of his paternal uncle Peter Patten-Bold. They had six children, two sons and four daughters. However, Lord Winmarleigh survived both of his two sons, Captain John Wilson-Patten (d. 1873) and Arthur Wilson-Patten (1841-1866), as well as his grandson John Alfred Wilson-Patten (d. 1889), the only son of John. Consequently, on his death at the age of ninety in 1892 the Barony became extinct.

Wilson Patten Street and Winmarleigh Street in Warrington town centre are named after him.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Sir Gilbert Greenall, 1st Baronet (Businessman/Politician) 1806-1894

Sir Gilbert Greenall, 1st Baronet DL (Deputy Lieutenant) (born 11 May 1806 in Warrington, died 10 July 1894, age 88) was a British businessman and Conservative politician.

Greenall was the sixth and youngest son of Edward Greenall of Walton Hall, Cheshire. His grandfather was Thomas Greenall, who had established a brewery in St Helen's in 1762, on which the family wealth was based. Greenall assumed control of the family brewery business and also had interests in the St Helens Canal and Railway Company and in Parr, Lyons and Greenall Bank, based in Warrington. He was and a J.P. for Lancashire and Cheshire.

In 1847 Greenall was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Warrington, a seat he held until 1868, when he was unseated through an error of the Mayor's poll-clerk. In 1873 he was appointed High Sheriff of Cheshire and in 1874, he was re-elected MP for Warrington. In 1876, he was created a Baronet, of Walton Hall in the County of Chester. He lost his seat at Warrington in 1880, but was re-elected in 1885 and remained until he retired at the 1892 general election.

Greenall married Mary, daughter of David Claughton, in 1836. After her death in 1861 he married Susannah, daughter of John Lovis Rapp. He died in July 1894, aged 88, and was succeeded in the baronetcy by his only son from his first marriage, Gilbert, who was created Baron Daresbury in 1927. Susannah, Lady Greenall, died in 1896. His son is featured later.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Thomas Claughton (Bishop) 1808-1892

Thomas Legh Claughton (born 6 November 1808 in Warrington, died 25 July 1892 near Chelmsford, age 83) was an academic, poet and clergyman. He was professor of poetry at Oxford University from 1852 to 1857, Bishop of Rochester, and the first Bishop of St Albans.

Claughton was born at Haydock Lodge in Winwick. He was the son of Lancashire MP Thomas Claughton and his wife, Maria. Educated at The King's School, Chester and Rugby School, he was admitted to Trinity College, Oxford in 1826, where he took a first in Literae Humaniores in 1831. Remaining at Oxford, he held the post of select preacher to the University four times between 1841 and 1868 and from 1852 to 1857 he held the office of Professor of Poetry.

Ordained in 1834, Claughton was assigned no cure until 1841, when he was appointed vicar of Kidderminster. This post he held for 26 years and was widely acclaimed for his work. In April 1867, Claughton was nominated Bishop of Rochester on the recommendation of Lord Derby, for whose installation as Chancellor of Oxford Claughton had written an ode.

In 1877, the Diocese of St Albans was created. Essentially land north of the Thames in the counties of Essex and Hertfordshire, previously ministered under Claughton's see, the Diocese of Rochester, formed the new diocese. Possibly as he already resided in the newly created Diocese, Claughton chose to become the first Bishop of St Albans, a post which he held until 1890.

Claughton married the Honourable Julia Susannah Ward, eldest daughter of the 10th Lord Ward and had two sons (Sir Gilbert Claughton, Bt and Rev. Thomas) and two daughters (Amelia and Katharine).

From his enthronement as 98th Bishop of Rochester to his resignation from the bishopric of St Albans in 1890, Claughton resided at Danbury Palace (near Chelmsford), where he died. It was a distinguished occupancy as his elder daughter, Amelia, married (for her second time) the Duke of Argyll at a ceremony at the Palace. He is buried in St Albans Cathedral.     Read more in Wikipedia.


Edmund Sharpe (Architect) 1809-1877

walton_hall_040531_gigandy.JPG (76177 bytes) Edmund Sharpe (born 31 October 1809 in Knutsford, died 8 May 1877, age 67) was an architect and engineer. His connection with Warrington was as the designer of Walton Hall, left, the family home of the Greenall family of brewers in the south of town. He started his career as an architect, initially on his own, then in partnership with Edward Paley, designing mainly churches but also some secular buildings. In 1851 he resigned from his architects' practice and spent the rest of his life as an engineer, being involved mainly with the building of railways.

He was the only son of Francis and Martha Sharpe. He was educated at Greenwich, Sedbergh School and St John's College, Cambridge graduating B.A. in 1833 and M.A. in 1836. He gained a travelling scholarship in 1832 and visited France and Germany studying Romanesque and early Gothic architecture. He settled in Lancaster, Lancashire in 1835 where he practiced as an architect for 15 years. In 1843 he married Elizabeth Fletcher and with her had five children.

One of his students was Edward Graham Paley, who joined him as a partner in 1845. Together, as Sharpe and Paley, they designed nearly 40 new churches, including two all-terracotta churches, and some secular buildings, included Capernwray Hall, the remodelling of Hornby Castle and Ince Hall, Cheshire. He took part in civic life in Lancaster, serving as a councillor from 1841 and as mayor in 1848–49. During this time he became involved in sanitation and played an important part in implementing the first Public Health Act in Lancaster.

In 1850 he purchased the Phoenix foundry in Lancaster and the following year ceased work as an architect. He had been involved in the promotion of railways since the 1830s and in 1856 he moved to live near Betws-y-Coed, Caernarvonshire. There he organised the building of the Conway-Llanrwst railway. He was appointed J.P. for Lancashire and for Denbighshire in 1859. From 1863 to 1866 Sharpe lived abroad, where he constructed a horse-drawn tramway in Geneva and the Perpignan-Prades railway in France. He acquired property and iron mines on the continent but moved back to Lancaster in 1867.

During his life Sharpe published a number of works on medieval architecture. He had become a fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1848 and was given their gold medal in 1875. He was also a member of the Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. While gathering material on the continent for further writings he died in Milan and was buried at Lancaster cemetery. A memorial to his memory is in St Paul's Church, Scotforth, which he designed in 1874, 23 years after retiring from his architectural practice.  Read more in Wikipedia.


Philip Pearsall Carpenter (Malacologist, Minister) 1819-1877

Philip Pearsall Carpenter Rev. Dr. (born 4 November 1819 in Bristol, died 24 May 1877 in Montreal, Canada, age 57) was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in England in 1841 and received a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in 1860. His field work as a malacologist (the branch of zoology concerned with molluscs) is still well regarded today. A man of many talents, he wrote, published, taught, and was a volunteer explaining the growing study of shells in North America.

Philip P. Carpenter was born in Bristol, England on 4 November, 1819. His father was Lant Carpenter. His mother was Anna or Hannah Penn, daughter of John and Mary Penn. P. P. Carpenter, as he was called, began his education in Bristol, and later studied at Manchester College, York. He gained a B.A. from the University of London in 1841, the year of his ordination as a minister.

In the late 1840s he shunned the idea that working class men should not be literate by setting up an Industrial School to teach the unemployed male factory workers to read and write and to give them the skills required for future working life. He was a campaigner for public health in the 1850s. He also set up ‘swimming academy’ in the Warrington canals, namely the Old Quay Canal and the Sankey Canal. He was an opponent of slavery.

He longed to visit the United States and his dream was realised in 1858 when he set sail on the steamship Kangaroo with over 6,500 of his shells. The following year he visited Montreal in Canada. In 1860 he was awarded a doctorate for his work by the State University of New York at Albany.

He married Minna Meyer in 1860. Minna was born about 1830 in Hamburg, Germany. Between 1860 and 1865 he served as curator of Warrington Museum and was the minister at Cairo Street Chapel. He emigrated to Canada in 1865.

P. P. Carpenter died on 24 May, 1877 in St Antoine Ward, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, of typhoid complicated by rheumatism.

carpenter_fountain-101218.JPG (110347 bytes) His collection of shells can be viewed at the Natural History Museum in London, as well as in Bolton Museum, The World Museum Liverpool, the Hancock Museum in Newcastle, the Wood End Museum in Scarborough and at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery.

A fountain dedicated to his memory stands in the grounds of Bank Park in Warrington, behind the Town Hall.

The Carpenter fountain behind the Town Hall in Warrington.

Notable siblings

Mary Carpenter was born on 3 April 1807 in Kidderminster, Worcester, England. She died on 14 June, 1877 and was buried in Arnos Vale, Bristol, England. Mentioned in brother William's insert in the Dictionary of Scientific Biography by Charles Coulton Gillispie, she was a social reformer.

William Benjamin Carpenter was born on 29 October 1813 in Exeter, Devonshire, England. He died on 19 November 1885 in London and was buried in Highgate Cemetery, London.

Russell Lant Carpenter was born in 1816 in Kidderminster, Worcester, England, and was christened in Devonshire. He died in 1892.

Some information from Wikipedia.  


Peter Rylands (Industrialist and Politician) 1820-1887

Peter Rylands (born 18 January 1820 in Warrington, died 8 February 1887, age 67) was a wire-manufacturer in Lancashire and a Liberal politician who was active in local government and sat in the House of Commons for two periods between 1868 and 1887.
peter_rylands_vanity_fair_1879.jpg (52091 bytes) Rylands was the son of John Rylands and his wife Martha Glazebrook, daughter of the Rev. James Glazebrook, vicar of Belton. He was educated at Boteler Grammar School, Warrington. As early as 1843 he was corresponding with Richard Cobden on political matters. He was Mayor of Warrington from 1853 to 1854. He had directorships of four companies: the Manchester and Liverpool Banking Co., the Bridgewater Navigation Co., Pearson and Knowles Coal and Iron Co. Limited and Rylands Brothers, Limited, iron masters and wire manufacturers. He was a J.P. for Cheshire and Lancashire. 
Statesman No.294: Caricature of Mr Peter Rylands MP. Caption reads: "Foreign Policy"  Public license Link to the file (source: Vanity Fair) in Wikipedia.

At the 1868 general election Rylands was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Warrington. He was a member of the Royal Commission on Contagious Diseases in 1872. He lost his Warrington seat at the 1874 general election, when he also stood unsuccessfully in the South-Eastern Division of Lancashire. In 1876 he won a parliamentary by-election in Burnley, where he was re-elected in 1880 and 1885. When the Liberals split over the First Home Rule Bill, Rylands joined the breakaway Liberal Unionists, and was returned to the House of Commons at the 1886 general election as a Liberal Unionist. He held the seat until his death on 8 February 1887 at the age of 67.

Rylands lived at Massey Hall, Thelwall which he left to the local authority for educational purposes. Rylands married twice. He had three sons by his second wife Caroline Reynolds, whom he married in 1861.

Read more in Wikipedia.


Joseph Leicester (Businessman and Politician) 1825-1903

Joseph Lynn Leicester (born 24 December 1825 in Warrington, died 13 October 1903, age 77) was a glass-blower and Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1885 to 1886.

He was the son of Thomas Leicester, a glass-blower, and at the age of nine he was apprenticed to his father's trade. In 1850 he moved to Lambeth in London, and was employed for 35 years as a glass-blower by James Powell and Sons of Whitefriars, London. Soon after his arrival in the capital he was appointed secretary of the Glassmakers Trade Society, a position he held for more than forty years. He was sent by the Society of Arts to report upon glass at the Paris Exhibitions in 1867 and 1868. The Society awarded him three first-class prizes for art and in 1870 the Glass Blowers' Society of Great Britain and Ireland presented him with £100 in recognition of his services to the trade. He was a strong temperance advocate, and was in favour of Sunday closing of public houses.

In the 1885 general election, Leicester was elected Member of Parliament for West Ham South but was defeated by the Conservative candidate in the 1886 general election. He made four contributions during his year in parliament. At the 1892 general election he was again chosen to contest the West Ham South seat for the Liberals. However, the party withdrew from the constituency, in favour of Keir Hardie of the Independent Labour Party, who went on to win the seat.

Leicester died at the age of 77 and was buried in Nunhead Cemetery. His gravestone noted:

"From a poor working lad he became an eloquent advocate of temperance, a master craftsman in the art of glass making, and all his life took a foremost part in the social elevation of his fellow workmen, who did honour to themselves and him, by returning him as a Member of Parliament"

"Write him down as one who loved his fellow man"

Read more in Wikipedia.

William John Beamont (Clergyman and Author) 1828-1868

Beamont was born at Warrington, Lancashire, 16 January 1828, being the only son of William Beamont, solicitor and author of Annals of the Lords of Warrington, and other works. After attending the Warrington grammar school for five years he was, in 1842, removed to Eton College, where he remained till 1846, bearing off Prince Albert's prize for modern languages, and the Newcastle medal and other prizes. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1846, took high honours, gained the chancellor's medal, and was awarded a fellowship in 1852. He graduated B.A. in 1850, and M.A. in 1853.

After his election as fellow of Trinity he commenced a tour in Egypt and Palestine, and on being ordained in 1854 he spent some time at Jerusalem, where he engaged earnestly in the education of intending missionaries to Abyssinia, in Sunday school work, and in preaching not only to the English residents but to the Arabs in their own tongue. He afterwards acted as chaplain in the camp hospitals of the British army before Sevastopol during the Crimean War. In 1855 Beamont returned home, and became curate of St. John's, Broad Street, Drury Lane, London, in which parish he worked with great zeal until 1858, when he accepted the vicarage of St. Michael's, Cambridge.

He died at Cambridge, 6 Aug. 1868, at the age of forty, his death being hastened by a fever caught in the East. He was buried in Trinity College Chapel. Beaumont's life was one of unremitting self-denying usefulness, and in addition to his successful parochial labours and his pioneer efforts for church extension in Barnwell and Chesterton, he was the main instrument of founding the Cambridge School of Art (1858) and the Church Defence Association (1859). He was also the originator of the Church Congress (1861), in the foundation of which he was aided 'by his friend, Mr. R. Reynolds Rowe, F.S.A.


Catherine, the Egyptian Slave, 1852

Concise Grammar of the Arabic Language, 1861

Cairo to Sinai and Sinai to Cairo, in November and December 1860, 1861.


This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Charles William Sutton (1885–1900). "Beamont, William John". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

Read more in Wikipedia.

 William Norman (Military Hero) 1832-1896

William Norman VC (born 1832 in Warrington, died 13 March 1896, age 63-64) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was about 22 years old, and a private in the 7th Regiment (later The Royal Fusiliers) during the Crimean War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 19 December 1854 at Sebastopol, in the Crimea, Private Norman was placed on single sentry duty some distance in front of the advanced sentries of an outlying picquet in the White Horse Ravine, a post of much danger and requiring great vigilance. The Russian picquet was posted about 300 yards in front of him, and three Russians came under cover of the brushwood. Private Norman single-handed, took two of them prisoner without alarming the picquet.

He later served in the Umbeyla Campaign and achieved the rank of corporal. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Fusiliers Museum (Tower of London, England).    Read more in Wikipedia.


William Kirtley (Railway Engineer) 1840-1919

William Kirtley (born 1840 in Warrington, died 7 October 1919, age 78-79) was the Locomotive Superintendent of the London Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR) from 1874 until the merger to form the South Eastern and Chatham Railway at the end of 1898.

William was born in Warrington, the son of the locomotive engineer Thomas Kirtley (1810-1847). He was educated by his uncle Matthew Kirtley, Locomotive Superintendent of the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway and later of the Midland Railway, following his father's premature death. He served as a pupil at Derby Works from 1854-1860, and from 1861 to 1864 he was running foreman for the Midland Railway for the London District. In 1864 he was appointed superintendent of Derby Works. He also served as consultant to the Hull and Barnsley Railway between 1883 and 1885, prior to the opening of the line. He retired in 1898.   Read more in Wikipedia.


Luke Fildes (Painter and Illustrator) 1843-1927

Sir Samuel Luke Fildes, KCVO, R. A. (born in Liverpool 1843 – died 1927, aged 83) was a painter and illustrator. He studied in the South Kensington and Royal Academy schools.

At the age of seventeen Luke Fildes became a student at the Warrington School of Art. Fildes moved to South Kensington Art School where he met Hubert von Herkomer and Frank Holl. All three men became influenced by the work of Frederick Walker, the leader of the Social Realism movement in Britain.

In 1869 he joined the staff of The Graphic newspaper, an illustrated weekly edited by the social reformer, William Luson Thomas. An engraving in the first edition, entitled Houseless and Hungry, was brought to the attention of Charles Dickens, who was so impressed he immediately commissioned Fildes to illustrate The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

By 1870 he had given up working from the Graphic and had turned his full attention to oil painting. Works include The Casual Ward (1874), The Widower (1876), The Village Wedding (1883), An Al-fresco Toilette (1889) and The Doctor (1891), now in the National Gallery of British Art. Other works include the coronation portraits of King Edward VII  and Queen Alexandra. He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1879, and academician in 1887. He was knighted in 1906. His son, Sir Paul Fildes, was an eminent scientist.

Read more in Wikipedia. This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.


John Webster (Bridge Engineer) 1845-1914

John James Webster (born 1845 in Warrington, died 1914, age 68-69) was an English civil engineer who specialised in designing bridges. Webster trained with Bellhouse & Co of Manchester, where he designed the landing stage at Liverpool docks, before concentrating on bridges. Some of his more notable structures included:

The reconstruction of the Conway Suspension Bridge
Portsmouth bascule bridge
Littlehampton swing bridge
Widnes-Runcorn Transporter Bridge (See photos in On the Waterfront 1).
warrington_bridge_090710_gigandy.JPG (60085 bytes) His last work was Warrington Bridge at Bridge Foot, which was one of the earliest examples of a reinforced concrete bridge. Other structures included the Shepherds Bush Stadium for the Olympic Games of 1908, the Big Wheel at Earl's Court, and piers at Dover, Bangor, Minehead, Llandudno, Penmaenmawr, Menai Bridge, and Egremont.

Warrington Bridge after a repaint in July 2009.

He died at 81 Mount Nod Road, in Streatham on 30 October, 1914 and was buried at West Norwood Cemetery.    Read more in Wikipedia.


B. H. Roberts (Preacher) 1857-1933

Brigham Henry Roberts (born 13 March 1857 in Warrington, died 27 September 1933 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, age 76) was a Mormon Church leader, historian, and politician who published a six-volume history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS church) and was denied a seat as a member of United States Congress because of his practice of plural marriage.

Early Life  

brigham_henry_roberts.jpg (121649 bytes) Roberts was the son of Benjamin Roberts, an alcoholic blacksmith and ship plater, and Ann Everington, a seamstress. In the year of his birth both parents converted to the Mormon church. Benjamin Roberts then abandoned his family. Roberts later wrote, "My childhood was a nightmare; my boyhood a tragedy."

Assisted by the Perpetual Emigrating Fund, B. H. Roberts and a sister left England in April 1866. The following year Roberts was baptized into the LDS Church by Seth Dustin, who two years later became his stepfather.

Brigham Henry Roberts.  Public license  Link to the file in Wikipedia.


Roberts became a miner and participated in the gambling and drinking typical of that time and place. He later became more interested in the Book of Mormon and other Mormon religious texts. In 1878 He married Sarah Louisa Smith (they eventually had seven children), and in the same year he graduated first in his class from University of Deseret, the normal school precursor of the University of Utah.

Church service

After graduation (and the birth of his first child) Roberts was ordained a Seventy in his local church branch and taught school to support his family. The LDS Church sent him on a mission to Iowa and Nebraska, "but because the cold weather was hard on his health, he was transferred to Tennessee in December of 1880."  

During a brief return to Utah, he took a second wife, Celia Dibble, by whom he had eight children. In December 1886, while serving as associate editor of the Salt Lake Herald, Roberts was arrested on the charge of unlawful cohabitation. He posted a bond to appear in court the next day and that night left on a mission to England.

Returning to Salt Lake City in 1888, as full-time editor of The Contributor, he was chosen as one of the seven presidents of the First Council of the Seventy, the third highest governing body in the LDS Church.

celia_dibble.jpg (18651 bytes)

Celia Dibble, plural wife of B. H. Roberts, c. 1884 Public license Link to the file in Wikipedia.

Political and military career

After 1890 Roberts became a fervent Democrat and was elected Davis County Delegate to the Utah State Constitutional Convention in 1894. In 1895, Roberts was the losing Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1898 Roberts was elected as a Democrat to the 56th Congress, but the House of Representatives refused to seat him because of his practice of polygamy.

The governor of Utah had appointed Roberts a chaplain in the Utah National Guard, and in 1917, when the United States declared war on Germany, Roberts volunteered to serve as a US Army chaplain.

Career as a writer

Before his death Roberts completed two biographies, eight historical narratives and compilations, and another dozen books about Mormon theology. In the late 1890s, he also helped establish the Improvement Era and became the de facto editor of this official periodical of the LDS Church. Roberts served as Assistant Church Historian from 1902 until his death in 1933.

Read a fuller account in Wikipedia.


Edward John Smith (Captain of the Titanic) 1850-1912

Captain Edward John Smith, RD, RNR (born 27 January 1850 in Stoke-on-Trent, died 15 April 1912 off America, age 62) was the captain of the RMS Titanic when it sank in 1912. He was the son of Edward and Catherine Smith and he attended Etruria British School. In 1867 he signed on as 'Boy' aboard the Senator Weber, owned by the Liverpool  shippers, Andrew Gibson & Co. He was given his first command, the 1,040-ton sailing ship Lizzie Fennell, in 1876. He married Sarah Eleanor Pennington on 13 January 1887 at St. Oswald's Church, Winwick. After his marriage he lived at Spar Cottage in Winwick. They had a daughter named Helen Melville Smith.

Edward J. Smith, captain of the Titanic Public license Link to the file in Wikipedia.

Ship Captain

He joined the White Star Shipping Line in March 1880 as the Fourth Officer of the Celtic. In 1887, he received his first White Star command, the Republic. In 1888, Smith earned his Extra Master's Certificate and joined the Royal Naval reserve (thus entitling him to append his name with "RNR"), qualifying as a full Lieutenant. This meant that in a time of war, he could be called upon to serve in the Royal Navy. Later, as he was a commander in the Royal Naval Reserve, Smith's ship had the distinction of being able to wear the Blue ensign of the RNR; British merchant vessels generally wore the Red Ensign (also known as a Red Duster).

Bigger Commands

Smith was Majestic's captain for nine years commencing in 1895. Smith and the Majestic were called upon to transport troops to Cape Colony when the Boer War started in 1899. He served aboard the company's liners to Australia and to New York City, where he quickly rose in status.

Smith made two trips to South Africa, both without incident, and for his service King Edward VII awarded him the Transport Medal, showing the "South Africa" clasp, in 1903. Smith was regarded as a "safe captain". As he rose in seniority, he gained a reputation amongst passengers and crew for quiet flamboyance. Some passengers would sail the Atlantic only in a ship he captained. He became known as the "Millionaires' Captain" because England's upper class usually chose to sail on ships that he commanded.

In 1904, he was given command of one of the largest ships in the world at the time, White Star's new Baltic. Her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York, sailing 29 June 1904, went without incident. After three years with Baltic, Smith was given his second new "big ship," the Adriatic. Once again, the maiden voyage went without incident. During his command of Adriatic, Smith received the Royal Naval Reserve's long service decoration, along with a promotion to Commander. By virtue of his receiving the long service decoration, he would now be referred to as "Captain Edward John Smith, RD, RNR", with RD standing for "Reserve Decoration".

Olympic Class Command

As one of the world's most experienced sea captains, Smith was called upon to take first command of the lead ship in a new class of ocean liners, the Olympic - again, the largest vessel in the world at that time. The maiden voyage from Southampton to New York was concluded on 21 June 1911, but as the ship was docking in New York harbour, a small incident took place. Docking at Pier 59 under the command of Captain Smith with the assistance of a harbour pilot, Olympic was being assisted by twelve tugs when one got caught in the backwash of Olympic, spun around, collided with the bigger ship, and for a moment was trapped under Olympic's stern, finally managing to work free and limp to the docks.

The Hawke Incident

On 20 September 1911, Olympic's first major mishap occurred during a collision with a British warship, HMS Hawke, in which the warship lost her prow. Although the collision left two of Olympic's compartments filled and one of her propeller shafts twisted, she was able to limp back to Southampton. At the inquiry, the Royal Navy blamed Olympic for the incident, alleging that her massive size generated a suction that pulled Hawke into her side. Captain Smith had been on the bridge during the events.

The Hawke incident was a financial disaster for White Star, and the out-of-service time for the big liner made matters worse. Olympic returned to Belfast and, to speed up the repairs, Harland and Wolff was forced to delay Titanic's completion, in order to use one of her propeller shafts and other parts for Olympic. Back at sea in February 1912, Olympic lost a propeller blade and once again returned to her builder for emergency repairs. To get her back to service immediately, Harland and Wolff again had to pull resources from Titanic, delaying her maiden voyage from 20 March to 10 April.

RMS Titanic

Despite the past trouble, Smith was again appointed to command the newest ship in the Olympic class when the RMS Titanic left Southampton for her maiden voyage. Although some sources state that he had decided to retire after completing Titanic's maiden voyage, an article in the Halifax Morning Chronicle on 9 April 1912 stated that Smith would remain in charge of Titanic "until the Company (White Star Line) completed a larger and finer steamer."

On 10 April 1912, Smith, wearing a bowler hat and a long overcoat, took a taxi from his home to Southampton docks. He came aboard Titanic at 7 am to prepare for the Board of Trade muster at 8:00 am. He immediately went to his cabin to get the sailing report from Chief Officer Henry Wilde. After departure at noon, the huge amount of water displaced by Titanic as she passed caused the laid-up New York to break from her moorings and swing towards Titanic. Quick action from Smith helped to avert a premature end to the maiden voyage.

The first four days of the voyage passed without incident, but shortly after 11:40 pm on 14 April Smith was informed by First Officer William Murdoch that the ship had just collided with an iceberg. It was soon apparent that the ship was seriously damaged; designer Thomas Andrews reported that five of her watertight compartments had been breached and that Titanic would sink in under two hours. During the evacuation, Captain Smith failed to manage and coordinate the evacuation effort, and gave ambiguous and impractical orders (an hour after the collision, Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall was still unaware that the ship would sink). Smith perished that night along with around 1,500 others, and his body was never recovered. At 2:10 am, ten minutes before the final sinking, Second Officer Charles Lightoller saw Smith quietly walking towards the bridge, before it was engulfed by the sea. This was the last reliable sighting of Smith. Just seconds later Trimmer Samuel Hemming found the bridge apparently empty.

There are conflicting accounts of Smith's death. Some survivors said Smith shut himself inside the ship's wheelhouse, and died there when the wheelhouse windows broke due to the pressure. Robert Williams Daniel, a first class passenger who jumped from the stern immediately before the ship sank, told the New York Herald in its April 19, 1912 edition how he had witnessed Captain Smith drown in the ship's wheelhouse. "I saw Captain Smith on the bridge. My eyes seemingly clung to him. The deck from which I had leapt was immersed. The water had risen slowly, and was now to the floor of the bridge. Then it was to Captain Smith's waist. I saw him no more. He died a hero.'  These accounts are considered the most likely scenario of Smith's death by Titanic historians and Robert Ballard's book, The Discovery of the Titanic, and has remained the iconic image which has remained of Smith.

You can read more in the Wikipedia article.


William Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme (Industrialist) 1851-1925

William Hesketh Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme (born 19 September 1851 in Bolton, died 7 May 1925 in Hampstead, London, age 73) was an industrialist, philanthropist, and politician.
william_lever.jpg (50865 bytes)

Lever started work at his father's grocery business in Bolton, but as a businessman he is noted for founding the soap and cleaning product firm, Lever Brothers, with his younger brother James in 1885. He began manufacturing Sunlight Soap and built a business empire with many well-known brands, such as Lux and Lifebuoy. In politics, Lever sat as a Liberal MP for Wirral and then as a Peer (as Lord Leverhulme). He was an advocate for expansion of the British Empire, particularly in Africa and Asia, which supplied palm oil, a key ingredient in Lever's product line. Public license image is in the public domain.


William Hesketh Lever was born on 19 September, 1851 at 6 Wood Street, Bolton, Lancashire. He was the eldest son and the seventh child born to James Lever (1809–1897), a grocer, and Eliza Hesketh, daughter of a cotton mill manager. He was educated at Bolton Church Institute between 1864 and 1867 and worked in the family grocery business from 1867 until he was given junior partnership in 1872.

viscount_leverhulme.jpg (44494 bytes)

Lever was a member of the Congregationalist Church and applied its ideals in his business life. On 17 April, 1874 he married Elizabeth Ellen Hulme, daughter of a draper and neighbour from Wood Street, at the Church of St Andrew and St George (then Congregational, now United Reformed) in Bolton. William, their only surviving child, was born at Thornton Hough in 1888. Lever moved to Thornton Hough on the Wirral Peninsula in 1888 and bought Thornton Manor in 1893.  He subsequently bought the village which he developed as a model village.

A plaque of the First Viscount Leverhulme outside No 9 Palmyra Square South, Warrington, one of his residences. You can pass by it as part of Tour 2. Another photograph of the factory at Bank Quay, Warrington, in the 1970s, can be found in Peter's Gallery.

unilever_050303.jpg (72325 bytes)
The Unilever factory
at Bank Quay.

Image © GI Gandy, mywarrington, 2006.

Image © GI Gandy, mywarrington, 2006

His London home was The Hill at Hampstead, bought in 1904. He bought and demolished neighbouring Heath Lodge in 1911 to extend the garden. The Hill was his main home from 1919. In 1899 he bought Rockhaven in Horwich and the Rivington estate in early 1900. He built a wooden bungalow on the slopes of Rivington Pike in 1902 which was burned down in an arson attack in 1913 by suffragette, Edith Rigby. Its stone replacement was his summer home until his death.

Lever began collecting artworks in 1893 when he bought a painting by Edmund Leighton. In his later years, Leverhulme became deaf and had a klaxon horn by his bed to wake him at 5 am. He took up ballroom dancing late in life. Throughout his life he thought the only healthy way to sleep was outdoors in the wind and the rain.

Leverhulme was involved with freemasonry and by 1902 was first initiated to a lodge bearing his name, William Hesketh Lever Lodge No. 2916. He later formed Leverhulme Lodge 4438. He saw freemasonry as a tool to reinforce the hierarchy within Lever Brothers. He was Provincial Senior Grand Warden of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Cheshire.


After working for his father's wholesale grocery business, in 1886 he established a soap manufacturing company, Lever Brothers, with his brother James. It is now part of Unilever. It was one of the first companies to manufacture soap from vegetable oils, and with Lever's business acumen and marketing practices, produced a great fortune.

Port Sunlight

In 1887, Lever looking to expand his business, bought 56 acres (230,000 m2) of land on the Wirral in Cheshire between the River Mersey and the railway line at Bebington. This site became Port Sunlight where he built his works and a model village to house its employees. From 1888, Port Sunlight village offered decent living conditions in the belief that good housing would ensure a healthy and happy workforce. The community was designed to house and support the workers.

port_sunlight_soap_works_100206.jpg (139439 bytes) port_sunlight_war_memorial_100206.jpg (139289 bytes) port_sunlight_victoria_bridge_memorial_100206.jpg (137615 bytes) port_sunlight_hillsborough_memorial_100206_1.JPG (119888 bytes) port_sunlight_hillsborough_memorial_100206_2.JPG (124859 bytes)
The Lever soap factory,
opened in 1888
The War Memorial,
erected in 1921
The memorial stone for
the Victoria Bridge of 1897
The memorial to the 96 victims of the Hillsborough
football stadium disaster on 15 April 1989.
Life in Port Sunlight included intrusive rules and implied mandatory participation in activities. The tied cottages meant that a worker losing his or her job could be almost simultaneously evicted. Even workers' social lives were policed from head office. W.H. Lever stated “a good workman may have a wife of objectionable habits, or may have objectionable habits himself, which make it undesirable for us to have him in the village.”
port_sunlight_houses_100206.JPG (135029 bytes) port_sunlight_grounds_100206_2.jpg (212661 bytes) port_sunlight_grounds_100206_1.jpg (180220 bytes) port_sunlight_lady_lever_art_gallery_100206_1.JPG (154221 bytes) port_sunlight_lady_lever_art_gallery_100206_2.jpg (121258 bytes)
Above, left we see one of the many styles of houses in the village. 
There is also lots of open space for recreation and relaxation.
If you have never visit the village, I recommend a day out there.
The Lady Lever Art Gallery opened on 16 December 1922
and displays some of Lever's personal art collection.
Link to the Liverpool museums website for more.
William Lever personally supervised planning the village, and employed nearly thirty different architects. Between 1899 and 1914, over 800 houses were built to house a population of 3,500. The garden village had allotments and public buildings including the Lady Lever Art Gallery, a cottage hospital, schools, a concert hall, open air swimming pool, church and a temperance hotel. Lever introduced welfare schemes, and provided for the education and entertainment of his workforce, encouraging recreation and organisations which promoted art, literature, science or music.
port_sunlight_village_sign_100206.JPG (129401 bytes) port_sunlight_natwest_bank_100206.JPG (161374 bytes) port-sunlight_tea-rooms_100206.JPG (166983 bytes) port_sunlight_hulme_hall_100206.jpg (174358 bytes) port_sunlight_gladstone_theatre_100206.JPG (179682 bytes)
NatWest bank The Tea Rooms Hulme Hall Gladstone Theatre.
Link to it here
Port Sunlight contains 900 Grade II listed buildings, and was declared a Conservation Area in 1978. Hulme Hall was the venue for drummer Ringo Starr's official debut as a member of The Beatles on 18 August 1962. It was also the place where 1980s singer Pete Burns (Dead or Alive) was born. The village also has its own railway station on the Wirral Line of the Merseyrail network.
port_sunlight_greendale_road_fountain_100206.jpg (100573 bytes)

Lever's aims were "to socialise and Christianise business relations and get back to that close family brotherhood that existed in the good old days of hand labour." He claimed that Port Sunlight was an exercise in profit sharing, but rather than share profits directly, he invested them in the village. He said, "It would not do you much good if you send it down your throats in the form of bottles of whisky, bags of sweets, or fat geese at Christmas. On the other hand, if you leave the money with me, I shall use it to provide for you everything that makes life pleasant – nice houses, comfortable homes, and healthy recreation."

port_sunlight_grounds_100206_3.JPG (208963 bytes)
Fountain on
Greendale Road
A decorative arch in
the centre of the village

Until the 1980s, all residents (of which there 1,450 at the 2001 Census) were employees of Unilever and their families. During this decade the houses were first sold privately. The former village school is now a working men's club. I fully recommend a visit to this charming village. For more information, link to the official website, and also this Wikipedia article.


Lever's rival in the soap industry was A & F Pears. Andrew Pears had taken the lead in using art for marketing by buying paintings such as "Bubbles" by John Everett Millais to promote its products, which Lever also wanted to do, in 1886. Three years later Lever bought ‘The New York Frock’ by William Powell Frith to promote his firm's product Sunlight soap.

Soap monopoly  

In 1906 Lever, together with Joseph Watson of Leeds and several other large soap manufacturers, established a monopoly soap trust, in imitation of similar combinations established in the USA following John D. Rockefeller's organisation of the Standard Oil Co. as a trust in 1882.

Lever believed such an organisation would bring benefits to the consumer as well as the manufacturer, through economies of scale in purchasing and advertising.

port_sunlight_heritage_centre_100206.JPG (181710 bytes)

Port Sunlight Museum. Located in the original Girl's Club building on King George's Drive, Port Sunlight Museum opened its doors to the public in August 2006 replacing the long-serving Heritage Centre on Greendale Road. My photo was taken on the day of my second visit, 6 February, 2010.

The scheme was launched when President Roosevelt had just launched his trust-busting policy in America. The British press, in particular the Daily Mail, of which he had been one of the largest advertising customers, was virulently opposed to the scheme, and aroused popular hostility urging a boycott of trust brands and making what were later proved in court to be libellous assertions as to the constituent ingredients of the soaps concerned. All participants in the trust suffered severe losses to profits and reputations; Lever estimated his loss at "considerably over half a million" combined with a reduction by a third in the value of his shareholding. The scheme was abandoned before the end of 1906.


In the early 1900s, Lever was using palm oil produced in the British West African colonies. When he found difficulties in obtaining more palm plantation concessions, he started looking elsewhere in other colonies. In 1911, Lever visited the Belgian Congo to take advantage of cheap labour and palm oil concessions in that country. Lever's attitudes towards the Congolese were paternalistic and by today's standards, racist, and his negotiations with the Belgian coloniser to enforce the system known as travail forcé (forced labour) are well documented in the book Lord Leverhulme's Ghosts: Colonial Exploitation in the Congo by Adam Hochschild and Jules Marchal, in which the author states "Leverhulme set up a private kingdom reliant on the horrific Belgian system of forced labour, a program that reduced the population of Congo by half and accounted for more deaths than the Nazi holocaust.". As such, he participated in this system of formalised labour. The archives show a record of Belgian administrators, missionaries and doctors protesting against the practices at the Lever plantations. Formal parliamentary investigations were called for by members of the Belgian Socialist Party, but despite their work, the practice of forced labour continued until independence in 1960.

Lewis & Harris

In 1917 in semi-retirement, Lever bought the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, with the intention of reviving the fishing industry, by making Stornoway an industrial town with a fish cannery. The product would have been distributed and sold by 400+ shops belonging to Mac Fisheries, the fish mongers he bought from 1918 onwards. His plans were initially popular, but he was opposed to land re-settlement, and this led to land raids (described under Coll, their main setting). The government promised land to returning demobilised First World War veterans, and they sided against Lever who abandoned his plans for Lewis. After offering to give Lewis to its people in 1923, he was turned down and sold it to absentee landlords. He concentrated his efforts on Harris, where the town Leverburgh took his name. Lever bought an estate in Harris in 1919 for £56,000 but this plan foundered after his death, and his executors sold an estimated £500,000 investment for £5,300.


william_hesketh_lever.jpg (94793 bytes)

Lever was a lifelong supporter of William Ewart Gladstone and Liberalism. He was invited to contest elections for the Liberal Party. He served as Member of Parliament for the Wirral constituency between 1906 and 1909 and used his maiden speech to the House of Commons to urge Henry Campbell-Bannerman's government to introduce a national old age pension, such as the one he provided for his workers. On the recommendation of the Liberal Party, he was created a baronet in 1911 and raised to the peerage as Baron Leverhulme on 21 June 1917, the "hulme" element of his title being in honour of his wife, Elizabeth Ellen Hulme.

William Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme, portraited by William Strang, 1918. Public license Link to the file in Wikipedia.

In November 1918 Lord Leverhulme was invited to become Mayor of Bolton though he was not a councillor because the council wanted to honour a "Notable son of the Town" as a mark of the high regard the citizens of Bolton had for him. He was High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1917. He was elevated to the viscountcy on 27 November, 1922.


Lever was a major benefactor to his native town, Bolton, where he was made a Freeman of the County Borough in 1902. He bought Hall i' th' Wood, one-time home of Samuel Crompton and restored it as a museum for the town. He donated 360 acres (1.5 km2) of land and landscaped Lever Park in Rivington in 1902. Lever was responsible for the formation of Bolton School after re-endowing Bolton Grammar School and Bolton High School for Girls in 1913. He donated the land for Bolton's largest park, Leverhulme Park in 1914.

Leverhulme endowed a school of tropical medicine at Liverpool University, gifted Lancaster House in London to the British nation and endowed the Leverhulme Trust set up to provide funding for publications of education and research. The garden of his former London residence 'The Hill' in Hampstead, designed by Thomas Mawson is open to the public and has been renamed Inverforth House.

He built many houses in Thornton Hough which became a model village comparable to Port Sunlight and in 1906 built St. George's United Reformed Church. The Lady Lever Art Gallery, opened in 1922, is in the Port Sunlight conservation area.  In 1915 Lever acquired a painting entitled "Suspense" by Charles Burton Barber (an artist who came to resent 'manufacturing pictures for the market'). The painting was previously owned by his competitor, A & F Pears, who used paintings such as "Bubbles" by John Everett Millais to promote its products.

port_sunlight_christ_church_united_reformed_100206.JPG (142683 bytes)

Much of Leverhulme's art collection is displayed in the gallery which houses one of the finest formed by an industrialist in England.  

A.N. Wilson from the Mail Online, January 2010, remarked, "The altruism of Leverhulme or the Cadbury family are in sad contrast to the antisocial attitude of modern business magnates, who think only of profit and the shareholder.”

Lord Leverhulme died aged 74 of pneumonia at his home in Hampstead on 7 May, 1925. His funeral was attended by 30,000 people.

port_sunlight_lever_tomb_100206.JPG (149142 bytes)
 Christ Church United
Reformed Church
on Church Drive
The final resting place
of Viscount Leverhulme
and Lady Lever


William Lever made the quote about advertising, "I know half my advertising isn't working, I just don't know which half.”  



Mr William Lever 1851–1911
Sir William Lever, Bt 1911–1917
The Rt. Hon. The Lord Leverhulme 1917–1922

The Rt. Hon. The Viscount Leverhulme 1922–1925

Lever Baronetcy, of Thornton Manor (1911)
Baron Leverhulme, of Bolton-le-Moors in the County Palatine of Lancaster (1917)
Viscount Leverhulme, of The Western Isles in the Counties of Inverness and Ross and Cromarty (1922)
High Sheriff of Lancashire, 1917
Read more in Wikipedia.


Sir Arthur Crosfield, 1st Baronet (Politician) 1865-1938

Sir Arthur Henry Crosfield, 1st Baronet (born 5 April 1865, died 22 September 1938, age 73), was a Liberal Member of Parliament for Warrington from 1906 to December 1910.

From his father, he inherited the business of Joseph Crosfield and Sons, soap and candle manufacturers. He sold the company in 1911 and built Witanhurst on the proceeds, being the largest house in London besides Buckingham Palace. He was elected during the 1906 Liberal landslide gaining Warrington from the Conservative Robert Pierpont. He was re-elected in January 1910 but defeated by the Conservative Harold Smith in December 1910. He was created a Baronet, of Highgate in the County of Middlesex, in 1915.

Crosfield was also Chairman of National Playing Fields Association and served as a School Governor for Highgate School from 1929-1930. He was interested in the Balkans, and wrote The Settlement of the Near East, published in 1922. His wife, Domini, Lady Crosfield, née Elliadi, from a respected Anglo-Hellenic family, stood as a Liberal Party candidate for parliament in 1929 at Islington North and in 1931 at Finsbury.

He was a keen golfer and won many championships. His wife was a championship tennis player, and at Witanhurst they hosted their own charity tennis competition immediately after the Wimbledon fortnight, with many of the championship players staying on in London for the event.

Read more in Wikipedia.


Gilbert Greenall Jnr, 1st Baron Daresbury (Businessman)1867-1938

Gilbert Greenall, 1st Baron Daresbury DL (born 30 March 1867, died 24 October 1938, age 71), known as Sir Gilbert Greenall, 2nd Baronet, from 1894 to 1927, was a British businessman.

Greenall was the son of Sir Gilbert Greenall, 1st Baronet, profiled earlier. The family's wealth was based on the brewing business established by Greenall's great-grandfather Thomas Greenall in 1762 (which later became the Greenall's Group PLC). His father also had large interests in canals and banking. Greenall succeeded his father in the baronetcy in 1894 and notably served as High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1907, being appointed a deputy lieutenant the same year. In 1927 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Daresbury, of Walton in the County of Chester.

Lord Daresbury married Frances Eliza, daughter of Captain Edward Wynne Griffith, in 1900. He died in October 1938, aged 71, and was succeeded in his titles by his son Edward. Lady Daresbury died in 1953.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Harold Smith (Politician) 1876-1924

Sir Harold Smith (born 18 April 1876, died 10 September 1924, age 48) was a British Conservative Party politician.

Smith unsuccessfully contested the West Yorkshire constituency of Huddersfield at the January 1910 general election, but at the December 1910 general election, Smith was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Warrington in Lancashire. His victory over the sitting Liberal Party MP Arthur Crosfield was a narrow one, but at the post-war general election in December 1918, Smith received the coalition coupon and was re-elected with a large majority. He was knighted in the 1921 New Year Honours.

At the 1922 general election, he did not stand again in Warrington, where he was succeeded as MP by another Conservative, Alec Cunningham-Reid who had been a flying ace in World War I. Smith stood instead in Liverpool Wavertree, a safe Conservative seat which returned him to the House of Commons with a large majority. However, at the December 1923 general election, he lost the seat with a massive swing to the Liberal Party candidate Hugh Rathbone. Smith died the following year, on 10 September 1924, aged 48.

His son Harold Anthony Smith (1er Bn. The Scots Guards) fell in Italy during the Second World War (4 August 1944) and is buried in Florence War Cemetery.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Reginald Essenhigh (Politician) 1890-1955

Reginald Clare Essenhigh (born 7 September 1890 in Warrington, died 1 November 1955, age 65) was a Conservative Party MP from 1931 to 1935 and a judge from 1936 to 1955.

He was born in Warrington, the younger son of Henry Streeter Essenhigh and Elizabeth Clare. On the outbreak of World War I, he joined the University of London Officer Training Corps before being commissioned as an officer in the 3rd Battalion, The Manchester Regiment. He rose to the rank of captain before losing his leg in action during a coastal assault at Nieuport on the Belgian coast.

While recuperating in hospital, he studied law. He was called to the bar by Gray's Inn in 1922. He practised on the Northern Circuit. In 1924 he married Dr Helen Hogg, and they had four children. He stood as a Conservative candidate in the 1929 general election. He contested the Newton constituency of Lancashire, but lost by over 6,000 votes to the sitting Labour MP Frederick Lee. As Labour's vote collapsed at the 1931 general election, Essenhigh stood again and took the seat with a majority of only 381 votes.

Lee regained the seat at the 1935 general election, and Essenhigh did not seek election again. In 1936 Essenhigh was appointed a county judge for Circuit No.13, which included parts of Derbyshire and Yorkshire and included the city of Sheffield. He retained this position until his death, aged 65, in 1955.  Read more in Wikipedia.


Guy Wareing (Fighter Pilot) 1899-1918

Lieutenant Guy Wilbraham Wareing (born 23 July 1899 in Warrington, died 27 October 1918 in Belgium, age 19) was a World War I flying ace credited with nine aerial victories.

Wareing joined the Royal Flying Corps in August 1917. He was assigned to 29 Squadron to pilot a Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5a in June 1918. On 12 August, 1918 he began his victory roll by destroying a German Pfalz D.III fighter over Ploegsteert, Belgium. After destroying two reconnaissance planes and driving another down out of control, Wareing became both an ace and a balloon buster by ruining an observation balloon on 7 September, 1918. He burned a Fokker D.VII and destroyed three more balloons, two of those being his last triumphs on two separate sorties on 29 September, 1918. On 7 October, 1918 he was promoted to Temporary Captain, with the notice appearing in the London Gazette 11 October, 1918. Wareing was shot down and killed by Lieutenant Josef Raesch of Jasta 43 on 27 October 1918.

Honours and awards

Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)

Lieut. Guy Wilbraham Wareing. (FRANCE)

A bold and courageous airman who has destroyed four enemy aeroplanes and shot down in flames a hostile balloon. He is conspicuous for zeal and devotion to duty. Supplement to the London Gazette, 3 December, 1918.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Bessie Ardern (Businesswoman) 1907-2008

Bessie Ardern (born 1907 in Glossop, died 20 September 2008 in Warrington, age 101) was the proprietor of Bessie Arderns Bakery at 26-28 Willis Street off Manchester Road. Bessie set up the Warrington bakery in 1932. She was married to Jack Wood in 1934 and lived above the bakery for over 50 years. Bessie was still involved in the bakery business well into her 80s until her eyesight began to fail and she handed the reins to her family, who had worked alongside her in the business for many years. She was involved in many community activities and became treasurer of St Elphin's Church at the age of 74. The great-grandmother passed away peacefully in her sleep on 20 September 2008, age 101.


Arthur James Waugh (Politician) 1909-1955

Arthur James Waugh (born 1909 in Warrington, died 1995, age 85-86) was an English politician, and the son of a railwayman.

His left-wing political beliefs were forged early in his life when, as an apprentice fitter in Rugby, he was sacked during the 1926 General Strike at 17 years of age. That experience was never forgotten and was the basis for the many years of Trade Union membership and Union activism.

He married Edith Muriel Collins (Lila) in 1935 and fathered two daughters and five sons. He left the railways in 1940 and moved to Coventry only to see the family home and all possessions destroyed in the wartime bombing within months of settling. His Union activities and membership of the local Labour Party was to propel him to being elected to the Coventry City Council in 1945.

Elected Lord Mayor in 1962, he presided at the Consecration of the Coventry Cathedral and made an Honorary Freeman of the City in later years, retiring from active politics in 1990 after 45 years as a Councillor. A man of great political skills whose motto was "The rent of life is service."

Waugh died in 1995 less than a year after losing his wife.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Alfred Edward Sephton (Royal Navy Petty Officer) 1911-1941

Alfred Edward Sephton VC (born 19 April 1911 in Warrington, died 19 May 1941, age 30) was a recipient of the Victoria Cross. He was 30 years old, and a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC. On 18 May 1941 in the Mediterranean, south of Crete, Petty Officer Sephton was a director layer on HMS Coventry when she went to the assistance of a hospital ship, which was being attacked by German dive-bombers. When the enemy engaged Coventry, raking her with machine-gun fire, Petty Officer Sephton was mortally wounded, a bullet actually passing through his body and injuring an able seaman beside him. Although in great pain and partially blinded, nevertheless he stuck to his instruments and carried out his duties until the attack was over. He died of his injuries next day.    Read more in Wikipedia.




John Bridge (Bomb Disposal Expert) 1915-2006

Lieutenant Commander John Bridge GC, GM & Bar (born 5 February 1915 in Warrington, died 14 December 2006, age 91) was a bomb disposal expert with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War, and recipient of the George Cross. John Bridge was born in Culcheth and attended Leigh Grammar School and the University of London to read Physics.

Bridge received the George Medal for his leadership of a squad which defused a bomb with a delayed action fuse in September 1940. In March 1941, during which he defused 15 bombs, he received King's Commendation for Brave Conduct for making safe a bomb which had fallen in the Naval dockyard at HMNB Devonport. In May 1942 he was awarded a bar to his George Medal after defusing a bomb in the docks in Falmouth. He was the first naval officer to be honoured in this fashion.

He served as a naval bomb safety officer during the Normandy Landings of June 1944, defusing many bombs, mines and shells, before clearing mines in the River Scheldt and harbour basins in September of that year. He was then posted back to England and promoted to Lieutenant Commander.

Bridge was awarded the George Cross for clearing enemy depth charges from Messina harbour in Sicily, preparing the way for the Allied invasion of Italy. He made 28 dives to defuse groups of booby trapped depth charges and rendered safe another 207 mines and depth charges, tethered at or below the waterline. His longest dive during the action lasted twenty hours.

The citation for his George Cross read: "For the most conspicuous and prolonged bravery and contempt of death in clearing Messina Harbour of depth charges. The recommending officer stated that he had never before had the fortune to be associated with such cool and sustained bravery as Lieutenant Bridge displayed during the 10 days of the operation." Bridge received the medal from King George VI at Buckingham Palace on March 16 1945.

After his military service Bridge returned to his previous profession of teaching in 1946. He became director of education for Sunderland Borough Council in 1963 and retired in 1976. He wrote a volume of wartime memoirs entitled "Trip to Nijmegen".

John Bridge died on 14 December, 2006, aged 91.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Doug Hoyle, Baron Hoyle of Warrington (Politician) 1930-

(Eric) Douglas Harvey Hoyle, Baron Hoyle of Warrington, known as Doug Hoyle (born 17 February 1930 in Warrington) is a British Labour politician and former Member of Parliament for Nelson and Colne (1974-79), Warrington (1981-83) and Warrington North (1983-97). First elected in 1974 for Nelson and Colne, he narrowly lost his seat at the 1979 General Election, but returned to Parliament in 1981 when he saw off a strong challenge from Roy Jenkins in a normally safe Labour seat, in a notable by-election in Warrington when enthusiasm for the newly-created SDP was at its peak. Constituency boundaries were redrawn for the 1983 general election.

Lord Hoyle, already a Freeman of the City of Gibraltar, was awarded the Gibraltar Medallion of Honour in March 2010 for being a 'supporter of Gibraltar and its people'. In November 2010 he received a Doctor of Letters from Chester University for the outstanding contribution made to the borough of Warrington for nearly three decades and the service afforded to its residents. He is the current chairman of Warrington Wolves rugby league club and a non executive director of the major local employer Debt Free Direct.

His son Lindsay Hoyle has served as the Labour Member of Parliament for Chorley.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Keith Macklin (Journalist and Broadcaster) 1931-2009

Keith Macklin, journalist and broadcaster (born 19 January 1931, died 1 August 2009, age 78) started his career at the Warrington Guardian in 1951 after serving in the RAF.

He had a varied career, but rugby league was his main passion, and he was still commenting on the game on the radio right up to his death. He had reported on every Wembley Challenge Cup Final since 1955. He became a presenter on BBCs Look North local news programme in 1960, remaining in the post for six years. He also introduced Rugby League Extra on a Saturday night, a show presented by rugby league legend Eddie Waring and BBC Manchester’s Stuart Hall in the north of England. In 1978 he became the rugby league correspondent on The Times newspaper, remaining there until 1992. Other sporting programmes include Pot Black (snooker) and Rugby Special. He also provide commentary on football matches for ITV.

He was a Methodist lay preacher and was involved in BBCs religious programme Songs of Praise. In a different move he became head of public relations for Warrington New Town Development Corporation. In 1982 he was part of the launch team on Preston’s Red Rose Radio (now Rock FM) station, where he was head of programmes.

He published his autobiography, A Two Horse Town, in 2007.


Donald Adamson (Writer and Historian) 1939-

Donald Adamson (born 30 March 1939 in Warrington) is a historian, biographer, literary critic, and translator of French literature. His books include "Blaise Pascal: Mathematician, Physicist, and Thinker about God", and more recently "The Curriers' Company: A Modern History".

Born in Culcheth, Adamson was brought up in Lymm, the son of a farmer. From 1949 to 1956, he attended Manchester Grammar School, before becoming a Scholar of Magdalen College, Oxford, where he graduated as a B.A. in 1959, and gained an M.A. in 1963. He was Zaharoff Travelling Scholar of the University of Oxford in 1959-1960. In 1962 he took the degree of B.Litt. Prior to obtaining the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), he had the privilege of studying under Pierre-Georges Castex at the University of Paris. His thesis, entitled "Balzac and the Visual Arts", was supervised by Jean Seznec of All Souls College, Oxford.

Adamson spent most of his career teaching at university level, although he taught at Manchester Grammar School from 1962 to 1964 and then the Lycée Louis-le-Grand from 1964 to 1965. After a brief time at J. Walter Thompson, the advertising firm, from 1968 he taught at St. George's School, in Gravesend, Kent.

In 1969 Adamson joined Goldsmiths' College in the University of London, where he lectured for the next twenty years, doing much to enhance London's standing in French academic circles. In 1971 he became a Recognized Teacher in the Faculty of the Arts of the University of London, and in 1972 a member of its Faculty of Education, holding both appointments until 1989. He served as Chairman of the Board of Examiners from 1983 until 1986.

In 1989 Adamson became a Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. His personal interests include philosophy, the history of religion and genealogy. He is also a passionate art-collector, mainly of English, French and Italian paintings and drawings of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Fellowships and honours

Over the course of his distinguished career, Adamson has received a number of honours and been elected as a fellow of several prominent societies, including:

Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists
Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London
Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes académiques
Knight of Justice of the Order of St John of Jerusalem
Justice of the Peace of the City of London, later Cornwall.

Read more in Wikipedia.


Den Dover (Politician) 1938-

Densmore Ronald Dover, known as Den Dover, (born 4 April 1938 in Stockton Heath, Warrington) is a politician. He was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the North West England region from 1999 to 2009.

Elected as a Conservative, he was forced to resign the position of Chief Whip, before being expelled from the party over investigation into his expenses. Dover stood down from the European Parliament at the 2009 European Elections.

Dover was educated at King George V School, Southport until transferring to Manchester Grammar School where he won the bowling prize at cricket. Dover gained a First Class Honours degree in Civil Engineering at Manchester University.


Dover worked in the construction industry across Europe, working for John Laing plc, George Wimpey, and as Chief Executive for the National Building Agency. Dover was latterly Director of Housing Construction with the Greater London Council, before entering politics on a full time basis when he became an MP.

Political career

Dover served on the London Borough of Barnet Council, and was a Member of its Education, Finance and Public Works Committees. He served as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Chorley, from 1979 to 1997. He was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999 as a representative for North West England and was re-elected in 2004.


Dover resigned as Conservative Chief Whip in the European Parliament on 6 June 2008. The revelation that forced the resignation was that over nine years he had paid his wife and daughter £750,000 from public funds. (This came after the Conservatives' Leader in Europe, Giles Chichester, resigned because he put large sums of money for secretarial and office work through the account of a company of which he was a paid director). Dover was forced to resign by acting Conservative MEP leader, Philip Bushill-Matthews who was appointed only a day prior. Dover was replaced as Conservative Chief Whip by Richard Ashworth MEP.

An inquiry by the European Parliament found him guilty of a conflict of interest, and he was ordered to repay £500,000 of the expenses. The Parliament's ruling led to Dover being expelled from the Conservative Party. Dover's case has been passed to the European Anti-Fraud Office for investigation.

Dover stood down from the European Parliament at the 2009 European Elections.    Read more Wikipedia.


Terry Waite (Humanitarian and Author) 1939-

Terry Waite CBE (born 31 May 1939 in Bollington, Cheshire) is a humanitarian and author.
terry_waite_april_1993.jpg (38381 bytes) Waite was the Assistant for Anglican Communion Affairs for the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, in the 1980s. As an envoy for the Church of England, he travelled to Lebanon to try to secure the release of four hostages, including the journalist John McCarthy. He was himself held captive between 1987 and 1991.

He is also president of the charity Y Care International (the YMCA's international development and relief agency) and patron of AbleChildAfrica and Habitat for Humanity Great Britain. He is also president of Emmaus UK, a charity for formerly homeless people, and patron of the Romany Society.

Terry Waite at April 1993 Allentown College speech. Public license Link to the file in Wikipedia.

Early life

The son of a village policeman, Waite was educated at Stockton Heath County Secondary School where he became head boy. Although his parents were only nominally religious, he showed a commitment to Christianity from an early age.

Early career

Waite joined the Grenadier Guards at Caterham Barracks, but an allergy to a dye in the uniform obliged him to depart after a few months. He then considered a monastic life, but instead joined the Church Army, the evangelistic arm of the Anglican Church, undergoing training and studies in London. While he was held captive in the 1980s, many Church Army officers wore a simple badge with the letter H on it, to remind people that one of their members was still a hostage, and was being supported in prayer daily by them and many others.

In 1963, Waite was appointed Education Advisor to the Anglican Bishop of Bristol, Oliver Tomkins, and assisted with Tomkins's implementation of the SALT (Stewardship and Laity Training) programme in the diocese, along with the Rev. Canon Basil Moss. This position required Waite to master psychological T-group methods, with the aim of promoting increased active involvement from the laity of the Church. During this time, he married Helen Frances Watters. As a student, Waite was greatly influenced by the teachings of the Rev. Ralph Baldry.

In 1969, he moved to Uganda where he worked as Provincial Training Advisor to Eric Sabiti, the first African Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, and, in that capacity, travelled extensively throughout East Africa. Together with his wife, Frances, and their four children, Waite witnessed the Idi Amin coup in Uganda, he and his wife narrowly escaping death on several occasions. From his office in Kampala, Waite founded the Southern Sudan Project and was responsible for developing aid and development programmes for this war-torn region.

His next post was in Rome, where, from 1972, he worked as an International Consultant to the Medical Mission Sisters, a Roman Catholic order seeking to adapt to the leadership reforms of Vatican II. From this base, he travelled extensively throughout Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe, conducting and advising on programmes concerned with institutional change and development, inter-cultural relations, group and inter-group dynamics, and a broad range of development issues connected with health and education.

Archbishop's Special Envoy

Terry Waite returned to the UK in 1978, where he took a job with the British Council of Churches. In 1980, then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie, appointed him Archbishop of Canterbury's Assistant for Anglican Communion Affairs, on the recommendation of Tomkins and Bishop John Howe. Based at Lambeth Palace, Waite again travelled extensively throughout the world, and had a responsibility for the archbishop’s diplomatic and ecclesiastical exchanges. He arranged and travelled with the archbishop on the first-ever visit of an archbishop of Canterbury to China and had responsibility for travels to Australia, New Zealand, Burma, the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and South Africa.

Hostage negotiator

In 1980, Waite successfully negotiated the release of several hostages in Iran: the Rev. Iraj Mottahedeh (Anglican priest in Esfahan), Dimitri Bellos (diocesan officer), the Rev. Nosrat Sharifian (Anglican priest in Kerman), Fazeli (church member), Jean Waddell (who was secretary to the Iranian Anglican bishop Hassan Dehqani-Tafti), John Coleman, and Coleman's wife. On 10 Nov 1984, he negotiated with Colonel Gaddafi for the release of the four remaining British hostages held in the Libyan Hostage Situation, Michael Berdinner, Alan Russell, Malcolm Anderson and Robin Plummer and was again successful.

From 1985, Waite became involved in hostage negotiation in Lebanon, and he assisted in successful negotiations which secured the release of Lawrence Jenco and David Jacobsen. His use of an American helicopter to travel secretly between Cyprus and Lebanon and his appearance with Lt. Colonel Oliver North, however, meant that he was compromised when the Irangate scandal broke. Against advice, Waite felt a need to demonstrate his continuing trust and integrity, and his commitment to the remaining hostages. He arrived in Beirut on 12 January, 1987 with the intention of negotiating with the Islamic Jihad Organization, which was holding the men. On 20 January, 1987, he agreed to meet with the captors of the hostages as he was promised safe conduct to visit the hostages, who, he was told, were ill. The group broke trust and took him hostage on 20 January, 1987. Waite remained in captivity for 1,763 days, the first four years of which were spent in total solitary confinement, and it was not until 18 November, 1991 that he was released.

Release and after

Following his release he was elected a Fellow Commoner at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, England, where he wrote his first book, Taken on Trust. This quickly became an international best-seller, and headed the lists in the UK and elsewhere. He also decided to make a career change, and determined to devote himself to study, writing, lecturing, and humanitarian activities. His second book, Footfalls in Memory, was published in the UK in 1995, and was also a best-seller. His latest book, published in October 2000, Travels with a Primate, is a humorous account of his journeys with his former boss, Robert Runcie.

Waite has also contributed articles to many journals and periodicals, ranging from Reader's Digest to the Kipling Journal, and has also supplied articles and forewords to many books. In 1992, Durham University awarded him an honorary degree. He currently holds the position of Visiting Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford.

In January 1996, he became patron of the Warrington Male Voice Choir in recognition of the humanitarian role adopted by the choir following the Warrington bomb attacks. Since then, he has appeared with the choir for performances in prisons in England and Ireland to assist rehabilitation programmes. Prison concerts have become a regular feature of the choir’s Christmas activities.

On 31 March 2007, Waite offered to travel to Iran to negotiate with those holding British sailors and marines seized by Iran in disputed waters on 23 March, 2007.

Faith perspective

Waite has a particular regard for Eastern Orthodoxy and the writings of C.G. Jung. In 2008, he joined the Religious Society of Friends.

In popular culture

Waite was the subject of a song by the British post-punk group, The Fall, in 1986, entitled Terry Waite Sez.
Before he was taken hostage, the satirical programme, Spitting Image, featured a puppet of Waite returning from his foreign trips laden with duty-free goods which he would bring surreptitiously to an eagerly waiting Robert Runcie.
The term Terry is synonymous with the method of cutting a straight line into the back of someone’s hair on the nape of the neck. This is due to the rhyming slang Terry Waite - Straight.
Robin Soans used an interview with Waite as a character for his verbatim-style play Talking to Terrorists. The interview is used as the dialogue for the character, Archbishop's Envoy.
Chris Ryan's book, Strike Back, centred the first part of the book's plot around an SAS raid on a site where Terry Waite was being held in an attempt to free him and the two other hostages.

 Some information from Wikipedia.


Ossie Clark (Fashion Designer) 1942-1996

Raymond "Ossie" Clark (born 9 June 1942 in Liverpool, died 6 August 1996, age 53) was an English fashion designer, who was a major player of the swinging 60s scene in London and the fashion industry in that era. Born in Liverpool during a bombing raid, his parents moved to Oswaldtwistle during the war – hence his nickname. He spent his formative years in Warrington.

Showing an interest in clothes design at a young age, he enrolled at the Regional College of Art in Manchester in 1958. Here, he met the painter David Hockney, and his future wife, the textile designer Celia Birtwell. From 1962 to 1965 he attended the Royal College of Art and secured a first-class degree. First featured in Vogue magazine in August 1965. His fashion show at Chelsea Town Hall in 1967 was filmed for Pathé News

The period 1965-1974 is regarded as his zenith. His many clients included rock star Mick Jagger, as well as his wife Bianca Jagger. He made her wedding dress. The models Twiggy, Penelope Tree, Jean Shrimpton and Veruschka all wore Ossie Clark dresses as did actresses Brigitte Bardot, Elizabeth Taylor and Faye Dunaway. Marianne Faithfull, Patti Boyd, Anita Pallenburg and Jimi Hendrix were associated with Ossie.

He divorced Celia Birtwell in 1974. His company went bankrupt in 1981; he was made bankrupt in 1983. In the late 1980s and early 1990s when fears of an AIDS epidemic in the London gay community emerged, close friends who knew of his exploits on Hampstead Heath feared that Clark may contract AIDS. In 1996, he was stabbed to death by his lover, Diego Cogolato, who was later convicted of murder. Clark is compared with the fashion greats of the 1960s, Mary Quant and Biba. In 2003-2004 there was a major exhibition of his work at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

In 2006, Warrington Museum featured his work as part of their Warrington People exhibition, the conclusion of the Gateway Through Time project.

Read more in Wikipedia.    See also Victoria and Albert Museum - biography, image gallery of his works, etc.


Eddy Shah (Businessman) 1944-

Selim Jehan Shah (born 20 January 1944 in Cambridge), commonly known as Eddy Shah or Eddie Shah, is a Manchester-based businessman, the founder of the then technologically-advanced UK newspaper Today in 1986, and of the extremely short-lived tabloid The Post, and current owner of the Messenger Group.

Shah was born in Cambridge of an English mother with Spanish and Irish blood, and a father of Persian origin, but brought up in India. Shah was educated at a Scottish co-educational independent boarding school, Gordonstoun, and at both Haywards Heath Grammar School and Haywards Heath Secondary Modern School, in Sussex. He then attended a Brighton crammer, where he obtained seven GCE 'O' Levels.

He confronted the trade unions at his Warrington print works and Manchester news offices in 1983. As the owner of six local newspapers, he defeated the print unions after national strikes that went on for seven months - despite receiving death threats. He was the first person to invoke Margaret Thatcher's Anti-Union Laws to force the unions to the bargaining table. The Wapping dispute followed three years later.

Shah is also the author of several novels including The Lucy Ghosts (1991), Ring of Red Roses (1992), Manchester Blue (1993), and Fallen Angels (1994). After a break from writing, he returned in 2008 with a thriller entitled Second World.

He now owns and runs golf courses, leisure centres and hotels, including the Wiltshire Golf and Country Club, Wootton Bassett. He is building 44 holiday homes with his wife, actress Jennifer White Shah, at the Wiltshire club.

Read more in Wikipedia.

Nick Daunt (Archaeologist) 1945-

Nick Daunt (born 30 April 1945 in Warrington) is an archaeologist. Daunt is famously known for his previous guest appearances on the Channel 4 television show Time Team (2002). Most recently, Daunt retired from Priestley College, Warrington, where he had served as a full-time teacher for over a decade. In addition to this, Daunt continues to hold lectures at Manchester University.

Whilst teaching at Priestley College, Daunt taught well-renowned enthusiasts Thomas Screeton, Amy Davies, and Olivia Ward. Thomas Screeton is known in such areas as Lymm and Warrington for his impressive and large involvement with local archaeology. He has also taught notable figures and various others who have gone on to achieve success.

Daunt currently holds a degree in Archaeology and French. He is fluent in both French and Latin. He is well known for his unique passions that were featured in guest appearances on Time Team. His extensive knowledge of Roman coinage brought him admiration from archaeologists and pupils alike.    Read more in Wikipedia.


Peter Brimelow (Financial Journalist) 1947-

Peter Brimelow (born 1947 in Warrington) is a British-American financial journalist, author, and founder of VDARE. Brimelow is a paleoconservative and maintains that America's culture and way of life are threatened by immigration. His nonprofit organization VDare Foundation and online journal VDARE.com carries immigration-restrictionist articles and related topics.  

Brimelow has been the editor of many publications, including Forbes, the Financial Post, and National Review. Outside financial circles, he is best known for his writings on immigration policy and hosting the anti-illegal alien website Vdare.com. Brimelow founded the Center for American Unity in 1999 and served as its first president, though he is no longer affiliated with the organization.

He studied at the University of Sussex (BA, 1970) and received an MBA from Stanford University in 1972. Brimelow subsequently emigrated to Canada. After a brief stint as a securities analyst, he settled down in Toronto and became a business writer and editor at the Financial Post and MacLean's magazine. From 1978 to 1980, he was an aide to senator Orrin Hatch in Washington D.C. In 1980 he moved to New York, working mainly for Barron's and Fortune. Brimelow was senior editor of Forbes Magazine from 1986 to 2002. He was married to Maggy Laws Brimelow (1953-2004), a Canadian, until her death after an eight-year battle with breast cancer. He and his late wife have two children, a son and a daughter. He married again in 2007.

Brimelow's books include the national best-seller Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster, The Wall Street Gurus: How You Can Profit from Investment Newsletters, The Worm In The Apple: How The Teacher Unions Are Destroying American Education and The Patriot Game. Alien Nation deals with immigration policy and the influx of illegal aliens as well as legal immigrants. The Worm in the Apple discusses the adverse effects of public education and teachers' unions on American youth.

Read more in Wikipedia.

David Banks (Newspaper Editor) 1948-

David Banks (born 13 February 1948 in Warrington) is a former British newspaper editor. He attended Boteler Grammar School in Warrington.

Banks worked in journalism through the 1970s, and developed a friendship with Kelvin Mackenzie. By 1979, Banks was assistant chief sub-editor at the Daily Mirror, then went to work with MacKenzie at the New York Post. In 1981, Mackenzie returned to the UK, and Banks became managing editor of the Post, but in 1983 followed MacKenzie back to work at The Sun as Assistant Editor. He led strikebreakers during the Wapping dispute.

In 1986, Banks returned to New York as editor of the Daily News but, the following year, he moved on to become Deputy Editor of The Australian, then in 1988 Editor of the Sydney Daily Telegraph. In 1992, he returned to the UK to become Editor of the Mirror, then in 1994 became Editorial Director of the Mirror Group, Consultant Editor of the Sunday Mirror.

Later in the 1990s, Banks presented breakfast shows on LBC and then Talk Radio UK. In the 2000s, he wrote a regular column for the Press Gazette. He married in 1975 in Wales and has a son and a daughter.

Read more in Wikipedia.  


Howard Ben Tré (Artist and Sculptor) 1949-

Howard Ben Tré (born 13 May 1949 in America) is an artist and sculptor known for his large-scale cast glass sculptures. He has become increasingly known lately for his public space artwork.

Howard Ben Tré's work is in museum and public collections worldwide. These include the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Corning Museum of Glass in New York; and The National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, Japan, among others.

In 1990, the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. presented a ten-year retrospective of his work that travelled nationally. In 1994, his sculptures, drawings, and works on paper were exhibited by the Musee d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain in Nice.  

skittles_050304_gigandy.JPG (76249 bytes) Sculptures and works on paper created between 1991 and 1995 were the subject of the recent travelling exhibition organized by the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art and the University of Richmond.

Public artwork in plazas and streetscapes are part of his recent work, in places as diverse as Minneapolis and Warrington, England. Locals call his sculpture at Market Gate “The Skittles”.

The Market Gate "Skittles" in the centre of Warrington.                 Read more in Wikipedia.


Michael Driscoll (Economist) 1950-

Professor Michael John Driscoll (born 27 October 1950 in Warrington) is an economist, Chair of the Coalition of Modern Universities in the UK, member of the board of Universities UK, and Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University in London. He attended Boteler Grammar School in Warrington. From Trent Polytechnic, he obtained a BA in Economics in 1973.

He lectured Economics at the University of Birmingham from 1977-89. From 1989-91 he was Head of Economics at Middlesex University. Driscoll rose from a humble background to become one of the youngest Vice-Chancellors of the UK since 1996. He is a prominent exponent of equal opportunities and widening access to education. He was Chairman of the Coalition of Modern Universities from 2003-7 (became Million+ in 2004).    Retrieved from Wikipedia.


Frances Broomfield (Artist and Illustrator) 1951-

Frances Broomfield (born 1951 in Warrington) is an artist and illustrator. She attended St.Oswald's Primary School in Padgate, and watched George Formby's funeral go past her Grandma's house on Manchester Road. She studied at Warrington Art School and later at Newport Art College, before living in London for several years. She has taken part in many exhibitions in the UK and USA and her work is in collections, private and public, around the world, including Warrington Museum & Art Gallery where she had a solo exhibition. Since 1980 she has exhibited with Portal Gallery London and featured in their book "A Singular Vision - 50 Years of British Painting". Her work has been seen on TV, MTV, and in magazines and books, including Colin Dann's "Animals of Farthing Wood", the Oxford University Press "Alice in Wonderland" series, and most recently in "The Real Alice in Wonderland" by C M Rubin (2010). Type Frances Broomfield in your search engine for more about her work, including saatchionline.com and www.bridgemanart.com where you can view some of her creations. (Information supplied)


Paul Campbell (Politician) 1953-

Paul T Campbell (born 13 June 1953) was the 2010 Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Warrington North.

Paul Campbell is a retired police officer and  is described as "a life long football fan who enjoys the odd round of golf provided the weather is good and the course is flat. He enjoys reading, especially Biographies and History".

Political career

As a member of the Conservative Party Campbell has held a variety of positions including election agent, Parish Councillor and County Councillor. He was elected Councillor in the Warrington Borough Council for Penketh & Cuerdley on Thursday 1 May,  2008 and was appointed the executive member for finance in December 2009.

Work in Warrington North

He has been involved in the following local issues:

Toll charges for the Mersey Gateway which is a proposed new road bridge across the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal.
Opposing the expansion of the Risley Tip
Opposing the building of a rail depot at Parkside
Opposing a Titan Prison being built in Warrington

Paul Campbell started a heated debate by writing a letter to the Warrington Guardian on 22 October, 2009 criticizing police protection from criminals.

Read more in Wikipedia.

Joan Ryan (Politician) 1955-

Joan Marie Ryan (born 8 September 1955 in Warrington) is a politician. She was Member of Parliament for Enfield North between 1997 and 2010, and is a member of the Labour Party. She had previously been deputy leader of Barnet Council.

Ryan went to St Joseph Secondary School and Notre Dame High School in the Warrington area. At the City of Liverpool College of Higher Education she gained a BA in history and sociology in 1979. In 1981, she gained an MSc in sociology from the Polytechnic of the South Bank. She worked as a teacher of Sociology and European Politics in Hammersmith. She worked as a freelance oral history interviewer for the Imperial War Museum for a period of three years in the mid-1980s.

Parliamentary career

Ryan was parliamentary private secretary to Andrew Smith, as well as a senior whip. From 5 May, 2006 to 29 June, 2007, Ryan was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for nationality, citizenship and immigration at the Home Office, succeeding Andy Burnham. She had particular responsibility for ID cards and passports, the Forensic Science Service, refugee integration, E-borders, extradition and judicial cooperation, the Criminal Records Bureau, Home Office research and science, improving regulation, and design and green issues.

In the 2005 election she retained her seat with a slightly reduced majority. Ryan's voting record includes support for the Iraq war and the introduction of ID cards. Ryan supported Hazel Blears in the Labour Party's 2007 deputy leadership election; Blears came sixth in the election. On 29 June, it was announced that the Prime Minister had appointed Ryan as Special Representative to Cyprus and as a Privy Counsellor.

She called for a leadership election to replace Gordon Brown as Labour Party leader. For this she was fired as Vice Chair of the Labour Party and Prime Minister's envoy to Cyprus on 14 September 2008. In February 2010 she received the Friend of Ireland Award from the Labour Party Irish Society, for her working in supporting the Irish community in Britain.

In May 2009, it was reported that Ryan had claimed more than £4,500 under the Additional Costs Allowance for work on a house she had designated as her second home. In February 2010, based on an audit report, Ryan was asked to repay £5,121 mortgage interest.

In 2012, The Independent reported that "[a]t least 10 attempts have been made from computers in Parliament to remove information about [Ryan's] expenses claims and a further 20 efforts to delete the information, some from her constituency of Enfield, have also been recorded in Wikipedia's logs. The sustained effort has proved successful and there is now no mention of Ms Ryan's Parliamentary expenses on her Wikipedia page.”

Ryan was defeated by Conservative candidate Nick de Bois by 1,692 votes in the May 2010 General Election poll. After losing her seat, Ryan was appointed Chief Executive of the Global Tamil Forum, and later became deputy director of the successful NOtoAV campaign.

Read more in Wikipedia.


Garry Newlove (Murder Victim) 1959-2007

Garry Newlove (born 5 November 1959 in Warrington, died 12 August 2007 in Warrington, age 47) was attacked as he tried to prevent youths damaging his car outside his home in Fearnhead and died two days later in hospital. His widow Helen Newlove has since become a community reform campaigner and has also taken her seat in the House of Lords.

Soon after the atrocity, police questioned seven youths and four were charged with his murder: an 18 year old, two 15-year-olds and one 16-year-old. Three others were released without charge. The post-mortem result confirmed that Mr Newlove's death was caused by "trauma to the head". A heartbreaking letter from his daughter appeared in the national and local press soon after the tragedy.

Mr Newlove’s funeral took place in Padgate on 3 September, 2007. The trial for his alleged murder began in November 2007. On 16 January, 2008, three youths were found guilty of murder. Two other teenagers were cleared of the crime. The three teenagers accused were jailed for life on 11 February, 2008. In May, 2008 two of the convicted killers were given leave to appeal their sentences.

Helen Newlove launched the Newlove Warrington campaign (New Warrington, Love Warrington) on 25 September, 2008 in association with the Warrington Wolves Foundation, to improve the future of the town. Newlove Warrington aims to make the town a safer and better place for people to live and to improve facilities and opportunities for the children through education and life skills for the better of communities. The three goals for the campaign are:

to inspire people to lead a more purposeful life;
motivating people to enrich their lives;
providing opportunities for positive interaction with communities.

On 8 November, 2008 the Halliwell Jones Stadium hosted a gala dinner for the Newlove Warrington campaign. Bolton comedian Peter Kay acted as MC, and 1980s singer Rick Astley led the entertainment. The event raised £64,000.

On 13 November, 2008, two of the teenagers convicted of murdering Garry Newlove in Fearnhead in 2007 appealed against their sentences. One successfully had his reduced, but the ringleader did not. The third person convicted of the murder did not appeal his sentence.

Helen Newlove appeared on the Noel Edmonds Sky One TV show Noel's HQ on 17 January, 2009 and was presented with £40,000 worth of equipment for a community radio station. In May, 2009 it was announced that the legal aid bill for the three murderers of Garry Newlove in August 2007 totalled more than £500,000.

Newlove FM, the community radio station set up Helen Newlove, began broadcasts to Warrington on 28 June, 2009 from a unit in Golden Square shopping centre. It presented a variety of programmes, with contributions from professional radio presenters and featured an interview with Conservative leader and later Prime Minister David Cameron. The station was on air until 12 July 2009.

Just over a year later on 15 July, 2010, Helen Newlove announced she will become the ‘voice of the people’ as she took up her seat in the House of Lords to become Baroness Newlove of Warrington in the County of Cheshire. She has campaigned tirelessly against alcohol-related violence since the murder of her husband in August 2007.  She wrote a guest column in The Sun newspaper on 21 July, 2010. Mrs Newlove was given a peerage in the 2010 Dissolution Honours list and sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative.

After the announcement was made Helen Newlove commented that "I am just an ordinary woman, propelled into high profile by a set of horrifying circumstances which I wish with all my heart had never occurred.”

mywarrington will never name the people who committed this crime.

The charity is no longer listed on the Charity Commission website and is not available to view online, so I have removed the link to it on the Community page. The information here about the charity on this page is therefore for historical reference only. If the charity is still operating, I will be happy to add new links, etc to this page and/or the Community page. Update 9.7.2013.


Robin Jarvis (Novelist) 1963-

Robin Jarvis (born 8 May 1963 in Liverpool) is a British children's novelist who writes fantasy novels, often about anthropomorphic (having human characteristics) small mammals - especially mice - and Tudor times. A lot of his works are based in London, in and around Deptford and Greenwich where he used to live, or in Whitby. His first novel - The Dark Portal, featuring the popular Deptford Mice - was the runner-up for the Smarties book prize in 1989. 

Jarvis was born in Liverpool, the youngest of four children, but grew up in Warrington, attending Penketh High School. His favourite subjects at school were art and English and he went on to study Graphic Design at Newcastle Polytechnic. After college, he moved to London and worked in the television and advertising industries as a model-maker. He lives in Greenwich, South London.
See his official website.   Information from Wikipedia.


Rebekah Brooks (Journalist and Newspaper Editor) 1968-

Rebekah Mary Brooks (née Wade; born 27 May 1968 in Warrington) is a journalist and former newspaper editor. She was Chief Executive Officer of News International from 2009 to 2011, having previously served as the youngest editor of a British national newspaper as editor of the News of the World - from 2000 to 2003 - and the first female editor of The Sun - from 2003 to 2009. Brooks married actor Ross Kemp in 2002. They divorced in 2009 and she married former racehorse trainer and author Charlie Brooks.

Brooks is a prominent figure in the News International phone hacking scandal, having been the editor of the News of the World when illegal phone hacking was allegedly carried out by the newspaper. On 15 July 2011, Brooks resigned as chief executive of News International, following widespread criticism of her role in the controversy. On 17 July 2011, she was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and on suspicion of corruption - making corrupt payments to public officials. On 13 March, 2012, she was again arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. On 15 May, 2012, Brooks was charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. On 11 May, 2012, Rebekah Brooks appeared as a witness in the Leveson Inquiry.

Early life

Brooks was born Rebekah Mary Wade in Warrington, Lancashire, to a father variously described as a tugboat deckhand and gardener. She grew up in Daresbury, and decided she wanted to be a journalist from the age of fourteen. She attended Appleton Hall High School – a state comprehensive school that had previously been a grammar school. A childhood friend, Louise Weir, described her as "more emotionally intelligent than academic, charming and always able to get what she wanted out of people”.


After school she worked for the French magazine L'architecture d'aujourd'hui in Paris, before returning to Britain to work for Eddy Shah's Messenger Group. Graham Ball, the then features editor at The Post newspaper, recalled that she was a notably astute and intelligent staff member. When The Post was disbanded, Brooks then moved to the News of the World in 1989 as a secretary, before working as a feature writer for its Sunday magazine where she worked on "The A to Z of Soaps" with TV soap opera expert Chris Stacey, and eventually becoming the paper's deputy editor.

While at the News of the World, Brooks oversaw its campaign of "naming and shaming" individuals suspected to be convicted child sex offenders— a campaign launched in the wake of the murder of Sarah Payne. The paper's decision led to angry mobs terrorising those they suspected of being child sex offenders, which included several cases of mistaken identity and one instance where a paediatrician had her house vandalised, apparently by people who thought her occupation meant she was a paedophile.

The Sun

In January 2003, she returned to The Sun, replacing her former boss David Yelland, to become its first female editor. Soon after becoming editor, Brooks ran the headline "Bonkers Bruno Locked Up" concerning the mental health problems of former heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno. The next day The Sun ran a 600-word reply from the head of the mental health charity Sane, and since then has adopted a style guide on covering mental health stories prepared by the same charity. Brooks and her husband spent a day with the head of Sane and made donations to the charity.

News International

In June 2009, it was announced that she would leave The Sun in September 2009, to become chief executive of the newspaper's parent company, News International. Dominic Mohan was named her successor as editor of The Sun.

Phone hacking scandal

A police enquiry revealed that the News of the World had a routine practice of intercepting mobile phone messages of celebrities, politicians and other public figures. The newspaper's reporter, Clive Goodman, and Glenn Mulcaire, a hired investigator, were convicted and jailed for intercepting the phone messages of members of the royal family in 2006.

Milly Dowler

In 2011, The Guardian and a solicitor alleged that in 2002, when Brooks was editor, the paper had also hacked the voicemail of missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler (later found to be murdered), to access messages left by her parents. It was also alleged that messages had been deleted when the mailbox was getting full, to allow new messages to be left and illicitly listened to; this caused the missing girl's family to think that she was still alive and monitoring her messages. The New York Times London reporter Sarah Lyall wrote that, if the allegations were true, "it would mean either that Ms. Brooks had no idea how the paper she edited was obtaining information about the Dowler family for its articles, or that she knew about the hacking and allowed it." In an email to her staff Brooks said it was "inconceivable" that she had known what was happening over Milly Dowler's voicemail.


In July 2011, Labour Party leader Ed Miliband said Brooks should "consider her position" after the Milly Dowler allegations. Prime Minister David Cameron said that if Brooks had offered her resignation to him, he would have accepted it. Milly Dowler's parents also called for Brooks' resignation.

When Brooks told News of the World staff that the newspaper was being closed down, some reportedly said that all of their jobs had been sacrificed in order to save hers. Andreas Whittam Smith suggested that Brooks' decision not to resign was symptomatic of "the self-serving, conceited thesis that 'only I, who was at the helm during the disaster, can steer us to safety.’”

On 14 July, News Corporation's second largest shareholder, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Alsaud, called for her resignation in a BBC interview.

Having previously had an offer of resignation rejected, Brooks resigned from News International on 15 July 2011.

Read a longer version in Wikipedia.

Tracey Elvik (Glamour Model) 1969-

Tracey Elvik (also Tracey Rice) (born 1969 in Manchester, raised in Warrington) is a former glamour model of the 1980's and 1990's, appearing in publications like The Sun and Daily Star.

She started her modelling career aged 17 when she appeared in the Daily Mirror on Grand National Day 1986. She appeared on Page Three of the UK's tabloid papers 108 times and in 100 calendars in her career for the likes of Mintex, Marboro, GKN Chep, Forodo, and Howsen Algraphy.

She retired from modelling in 1993 after the birth of her son, then went on to study television and video production and gained two diplomas in the field. She is married and commutes between Egypt, where she lives with her husband, and London.

Read more in Wikipedia.


Andy Burnham (Politician) 1970-

Andrew Murray Burnham (born 7 January 1970 in Liverpool, raised in Culcheth, Warrington) is a Labour politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Leigh since 2001. He served in the Cabinet under Gordon Brown from 2007 to 2010 as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Culture Secretary and Health Secretary.

Early life

Burnham was born Old Roan, Aintree, the son of a telephone engineer father and a receptionist mother, and brought up in Culcheth, Warrington where his family moved to when his father was promoted to a job in Manchester. He was educated at St. Lewis' Primary School and St Aelred's Roman Catholic High School (now St Aelred's Catholic Technology College) in Newton-le-Willows, before moving on to study English at London Metropolitan University.

Joining the Labour Party

He joined the Labour Party aged 14 in 1984, during the miners' strike, and was a researcher to Tessa Jowell from 1994 until the 1997 election. He joined the Transport and General Workers' Union in 1995. After the 1997 election, he was briefly a Parliamentary Officer for the NHS Confederation from August to December 1997, before taking up the post as an administrator with the Football Task Force for a year. In 1998, he became a Special Adviser to the then-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Chris Smith, a position he remained in until his election to Parliament in 2001.

Member of Parliament

After the retirement of Lawrence Cunliffe, Burnham applied to be the Parliamentary Candidate for the safe Labour seat of Leigh. At the 2001 election, he was elected with a majority of 16,362, and gave his maiden speech on 4 July 2001.

In Government

Following his election to Parliament, he became a member of the Health Select Committee from 2001 until 2003, when he was appointed the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Home Secretary David Blunkett. He went on to become the PPS to Education Secretary Ruth Kelly. He was promoted to serve in the Government after the 2005 election as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, with responsibility for implementing the Identity Cards Act 2006. In the government reshuffle of 5 May, 2006 Burnham was promoted from the Home Office to a Minister of State at the Department of Health.

In Cabinet

In Gordon Brown's first Cabinet, announced 28 June, 2007, Burnham was appointed as the new Chief Secretary to the Treasury, a position he held until 2008. In a re-shuffle in January 2008, he was appointed as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, replacing James Purnell.

In Opposition

Following the election of Ed Miliband as Leader, Burnham stood and was elected to the Shadow Cabinet. He was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Education. In this role, he organised Labour's opposition to raising tuition fees to £9,000. Burnham had previously voted to introduce top up fees in 2004. After a year, Burnham was moved back to Shadow Health Secretary in a reshuffle.

Expenses claims

The Daily Telegraph's revelation of expenses claims by Members of Parliament showed that Burnham requested the Commons Fees Office for the £16,644 cost of renovations and work on a London flat he was buying. The claims, which included a new kitchen were at first rejected, but eventually accepted. The Fees Office refused to pay a June 2006 claim for mortgage interest which covered both the Lambeth flat and Burnham's constituency home, and also a mortgage claim which included capital repayment. The rules allowed reimbursement of mortgage interest only and on one home at a time. Burnham also attempted to claim £19.99 for a bathrobe from IKEA, which was rejected by officials; Burnham said it was a "genuine oversight".

2010 Labour Party leadership election

Following the resignation of Gordon Brown as Leader of the Labour Party after the 2010 general election, Andy Burnham declared his intention to stand in the subsequent Labour leadership contest. The leadership contest was eventually won by Ed Miliband. Burnham finished fourth.

Until after the Shadow Cabinet election, Burnham continued in his role as Shadow Health Secretary, and at the end of September 2010 he openly criticised new Prime Minister David Cameron for the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition Government's public spending cuts and health reforms to the NHS.

In the new Shadow Cabinet under Ed Miliband, Burnham was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Election Co-ordinator for the Labour Party.

Read more in Wikipedia.

Liam Byrne (Politician) 1970-

Liam Dominic Byrne (born 2 October 1970 in Warrington) is a Labour politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham Hodge Hill since 2004, and was the Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2009 to 2010 before being appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on 20 January 2011.

Early life

Born in Warrington, Byrne was educated at Burnt Mill School in Harlow and completed his A-levels at The Hertfordshire and Essex High School in Bishop's Stortford. He went on to study at the University of Manchester, where he obtained a First class honours in Politics and Modern History and was elected the Communications Officer of the University of Manchester Students' Union. He also holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School where he was a Fulbright Scholar.

Before working in Parliament, he worked for the multi-national consulting firm, Accenture, and merchant bankers, N M Rothschild & Sons, before co-founding a venture backed technology company, e-Government Solutions Group, in 2000. Between 1996 and 1997 he advised the Labour Party on the re-organisation of its Millbank headquarters, and helped lead Labour's business campaign under the 'New Labour' scheme.

Parliamentary career

He was selected to contest the Birmingham Hodge Hill by-election following the resignation of the veteran Labour MP Terry Davis to become the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. After a very close contest, on 15 July, 2004, the same day as Labour lost Leicester South in another by-election, Byrne held on with a majority of just 460. He made his maiden speech on 22 July, 2004.

Following his re-election with an increased majority on 5 May 2005, he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Health, an unusually fast promotion to ministerial rank. He was re-elected at the May 2010 general election.

Home Office

Following the 2006 local elections, he was promoted to Minister of State for policing, security and community safety at the Home Office, replacing Hazel Blears, one of the highest-profile roles in the government outside the cabinet. However, just a fortnight later Home Secretary John Reid moved him to the immigration role, switching portfolios with Tony McNulty. McNulty had been connected with the foreign prisoners scandal that caused Tony Blair to sack Charles Clarke in May 2006.

Immigration/taxi driver controversy

In November 2006 Byrne was responsible for a change to Britain's immigration rules preventing migrants who had entered under Britain's Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) having their permission to remain in Britain extended unless they could show both that they had been earning at least £32,000 pa while in Britain and that they had a good knowledge of English. This change was controversial because it applies retrospectively to immigrants who had entered Britain under the old rules, meaning the British Government had "moved the goalposts" - a degree is effectively now an essential requirement, regardless of the skills or economic contribution that an individual can demonstrate.

Byrne is in favour of legislation for a Migration Act similar to the 1958 immigration law in Australia which is administered by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

In 2007, Byrne was criticised by London's cab drivers for his remarks that they were "low-skilled". This ignored the fact that the cabbies study the details of London's streets ("The Knowledge") for an average of eighteen months before becoming licensed.

"British Day"

In June 2008, Byrne suggested the "August bank holiday" to be made a weekend of national celebration (the so-called "British Day") in a speech to a New Labour think tank. However, Scotland's August bank holiday is held on a different date from that in Wales and England. He later retracted this - after pressure from the Scottish National Party - saying he was merely trying to "get the debate started".

Cabinet Office

In a cabinet reshuffle on 3 October 2008 he was promoted, becoming Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He was later made Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 5 June 2009.

Departure from the Treasury

On leaving his position as Chief Secretary to the Treasury following the change of British government in May 2010, Byrne left a note to his successor David Laws saying "Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid to tell you there's no money left. Kind regards – and good luck! Liam.” Byrne later claimed that it was just typical humour between politicians, but regretted it since the new government used it to justify the wave of cuts that were introduced.

Road safety

Byrne has been a vocal campaigner for road safety and handed in a petition in to Parliament in 2005 demanding tougher punishments for dangerous drivers. He sat on the parliamentary committee that shaped the 2006 Road Safety Act, which increased fixed penalty fines for driving while using a mobile. On 2 November, 2007 he was fined £100 and received three points on his driving licence for using his mobile telephone while driving.

Read more in Wikipedia.


Helen Walsh (Writer) 1977-

Helen Walsh (born 1977 in Warrington) is a writer. At the age of 16, she moved to Barcelona, Spain. Her first novel entitled Brass won a Betty Trask Award. Her second novel, Once Upon a Time In England, was published in 2008 and won a Somerset Maugham Award.
Check out her official website. Read more in Wikipedia.

Have you have ever wondered why I don't have a profile on Lewis Carroll (aka Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland fame, for which there is a heritage exhibition in Walton Hall Gardens, a granite statue in Golden Square, a shopping arcade in Horsemarket Street and a public house in Whitecross? It is simply because he wasn't born in the town (he was born in Daresbury, which is in Halton district) and as far as I can make out, never lived in the town. He only visited the town on various occasions: Walton Hall (where it is suggested he played as a youngster), returning in 1860 to photograph the hall; to visit a museum exhibition with his father in the Old Market Place in 1840; to attend a trade exhibition in Warrington in the 1800s; and it is suggested he got the inspiration for the Cheshire Cat from the carved stone cat on St Wilfrid's Church in Grappenhall and the white rabbit from Bewsey Old Hall. If you do wish to find out information about him, try the Lewis Carroll Society website.

Warrington - A Town of Many Industries

mywarrington - created by Gordon I Gandy
Rainbow_After_The_Storm_Logo.jpg (31881 bytes)

Rainbow After the Storm

Rainbow_After_The_Storm_Padre_and_Nicky.jpg (142319 bytes)

Where Mental Health Matters

Rainbow After the Storm is an award-winning mental health
support group and Community Interest Company.



Home History Timeline Downtown 1 Memory Lane Tour 1 Tour 2 Rainbow Shop! Nineteen Nineties Legh Street Baths At The Flicks Mr Smith's My Warrington Radio Warrington RAF Burtonwood On The Waterfront 1 On The Waterfront 2 Warrington Green 1 Warrington Green 2 Sankey Valley On The Buses Peter's Gallery Walk Through Time Making Tracks 1 Making Tracks 2 Making Tracks 3 Warrington People Entertaining People Sporting People Warrington Wolves Warrington Market Classic Motor Shows Events On Top of the World The Bewsian 19 Museum Street Hamilton Street Golden Square Feedback