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Philip Forshaw of Bath Springs Brewery seems to have been a very hard working and dedicated business man. He had built a small empire out of his investments in Brewing and distributing Ale to Inns, Public Houses and Beer houses across the County.
Not everything in Philips life followed the same pattern of success, by August 1862 he had been struggling with ill health, (he was partially paralysed after a stroke), he had been involved in several legal battles with clients, employees, tenants and his own family. No wonder that he tried to sell his Bath Springs Brewery that August. His plan might have been to retire to his newly built home on Lord Street and take things easier.
The tragic circumstances surrounding the sudden death of his eldest daughter Martha, just weeks after her second child was born, would have been a great blow to Philip. His legal fight to regain control of his business interests from his next of kin had most likely caused considerable animosity between his Family. After Martha’s death, within a week, Philip and his nephew John Forshaw had drawn up Philips last will and testament.
The will goes a long way to help see what kind of a man Philip Forshaw really was. Within the first few sentences he names his two illegitimate sons, John and Philip Baldwin, as his executors. These young men had been living with their mother in the cottage at the back of Forshaw’s Ship Inn since they were young boys. Their mother Catherine Baldwin had lived in Up Holland when she gave birth to her sons, John in early 1845 and Philip born 1st October 1848. A relative had the licence at the Bird ‘ith Hand beer house, Hall Green, Upholland and it is probable that Philip Forshaw had business interests at the Beer House.
It is not possible to say for sure whether when Catherine and her sons relocated to the Ship Inn Cottage in Ormskirk, any of Philip’s family knew Catherine and her sons were the other family in Philip’s life but quite possibly they did not move there until after both his daughters were married.
The first bequest Philip makes in his will is one for the sum of £1000.00 to be used for the sole purpose of building a parsonage for the vicar or incumbent of the Parish of St Mark’s Church Scarisbrick.
The second bequest is for the sum of £1000.00 to be invested by the Vicar of Ormskirk for benefit of the poor of the town, whereby £100.00 per year from the annuities should be used for consumables such as coal and bread for the needy however the Vicar sees fit. He also left £100.00 each to the Foreign Missionary Society and the Southport Strangers Charity.
There was a further legacy of £100.00 to be used to fund medical care for the poor of the town at the Dispensary, and the Rev. James Taylor Wareing of Wellfield House, Westhead in Lathom Parish, was charged with seeing to it that the money was used wisely.
There was however, the strangest of provisos added at the end of the first set of charitable donations. It appears that Philip Forshaw had misgivings about one or two members of the town’s legal fraternity. His words are as follows:
‘I Declare that the legacies or sums of money before given for the benefit of the Incumbent or pastor of the church at Scarisbrick aforesaid; For the poor of Ormskirk; To the Ormskirk dispensary And for the Southport Strangers Charity, shall be null and void in case William Welsby of Ormskirk aforesaid, Solicitor, Charles Hill of Ormskirk aforesaid, Solicitor now or later his clerk or any partner or partners of them or either of them shall be holding any appointment, office or employment, honorary or otherwise or be Trustee Manager Chairman or Clerk or otherwise connected so as to give them or either of them directly or indirectly a voice in the mode or manner of the distribution of such Legacies or any of them or concerned in any way as to the investing of the same or any of them.’
The above declaration is on page one of Philip’s eight page will, the will was made public within days of his death and the details of the charitable donations made the newspapers in several local towns that same week. Philip’s solicitor was his nephew John Forshaw of Preston.
Another declaration on page three reads, ‘The sum of £100.00 lent by me to the Reverend Joseph Bush, Vicar of Ormskirk aforesaid on a note of hand I forgive him and release him from the payment thereof and all interest due thereon.’ Rev Bush was the Vicar of Ormskirk from 1853 – 1870 and in 1909, a stained glass window was put in at the church to commemorate the work of Rev Bush and his wife Annabel Theodosia Bush.
Philip’s only surviving daughter Annie, who was married to bank manager William Henry Smith and lived in Southport, was included in the will along with her two half-brothers John Baldwin and Philip Baldwin and she was left one third of the estate. There was however another declaration :
“and in the case of the said Annie Smith for her separate use free from the control of any husband and without power of anticipation”
‘Any Husband’? Philip covered all his bases! By 1871, William Henry and Annie Smith had 8 children and lived at 132, Lord Street, Southport. Philip had died in 1865 and his estate was valued at under £25,000.
Interestingly, William Henry and Annie Smith are not enumerated at their home address in 1871, all eight children are left at home in the care of servants. It took a while to find out where the Smiths had gone, then they turned up, as house guests at ‘The Firs’, Lathom, home of Charles Hill, solicitor of Ormskirk…..
The next episode will cover the property Philip left, the bequests to the ordinary people in the town and the tragedies of the 30 years beyond his passing.
Trouble Brewing – Part 3
Philip Forshaw had been trading as a saddler in the Golden Lion yard but at sometime between 1841 and 1844 he took over the lease of the Golden Lion. When the out buildings at the rear of the Old Ship Inn across the road came up for sale in October 1844, the auction was held at Forshaws’ Golden Lion. Thomas Williams was the highest bidder at the sale with his bid of £162.00.
The Old Ship Inn itself came up for sale in 1846 and Philip Forshaw took out a mortgage and moved into the Inn. Philip had lost his wife and baby son in 1842 and his two daughters, Martha and Ann went away to boarding school in Litherland after their mother died. Martha was born 1837 and Ann was born 1839. Whilst his daughters were away at school, Philip carried on adding to his business interests, taking over the Aughton Brewery in 1849. Joseph Richardson, from a well known Rainford brewing family, had built up the Aughton Brewery for some years and it also ran the White Bull and the Swan Inn, Burscough Street. When he died in July 1848, his executors put the brewery up for sale as separate lots, selling off some of the building land around it, where villas were built quite quickly.
Forshaw took over the brewery but it would seem that he was not happy with the efficiency of the layout or the production. To really make the success he wanted from brewing, he needed a purpose built modern brewery. In 1851, he sold on the Aughton Brewery to Joseph Pye (later to partner with his brother-in-law Captain Edward Sudbury) and moved into the newly built Forshaw Brewery at the Bath Springs site.
By the late 1850s Philip Forshaw and his Bath Springs Brewery had become the biggest brewery in the town and not only supplied ale to many many Houses, he also owned and sub-let dozens of Houses across the county from Preston to Wigan and Southport to Liverpool.
By the time his youngest daughter Annie married in March 1857, Philip Forshaw was a wealthy and successful businessman. Annie married William Henry Smith, who had been one of Philips Brewery Managers, but shortly after the marriage, William became a Bank Manager in Southport.
On 6th September 1859, Philip’s Eldest daughter Martha married Captain William John Chambers Martin of the 6th Royal Lancashire Militia, he had been born in Bengal, India and his father had also been in the Army.
It was in the summer of 1859 however that Philip Forshaw suffered a stroke, which left him paralysed and incapacitated. He had recently built some houses in Birkdale and he was unable to run his business or visit the premises around the county which he owned. His physician was so concerned with the grave state of his patients’ health, that the doctor felt it wise to inform Philip that this may be his last few months on earth.
Being the type of man he appears to have been, this set in motion a plan to oversee the transfer of all the business to the control of his offspring, which at that time were his two married daughters. Of course that really would have meant that the son-in-laws would be in control. By early 1861, a couple of changes took place. Philip made an unexpected recovery, although he was still paralysed. William J.C. Martin became Superintendant of the Police and moved into the Police Superintendant’s house on Derby Street with his wife Martha and their little boy William Arthur born Aug 1860.
Once he found that he had recovered enough to take back his empire however, Philip realised that he would have to fight to get control back through the courts. It is unlikely that his daughters would have stood against him, but they were both married to men who were used to being in charge and this forced Philip to apply to the Chancery Court to reclaim his property and businesses.
This set in motion a sequence of events which changed the business and the family.
Martha gave birth to a baby girl, Emma Charlotte, in the summer of 1862. Her father Philip, still unwell but in control of his business, seems to have been estranged from his family. In November 1862, his eldest daughter Martha died aged just 25. She left two small children and a great deal of turmoil. At the inquest on her death held at the Coroners Court in Ormskirk, adjacent to the police home where she died, the coroner, Mr C. E. Driffield, took the court before a jury, and the evidence from Martha’s Doctor revealed the cause of her untimely death. Her father was not in court, but his nephew, John Forshaw, who was also the family solicitor, was present.
Medical evidence put before the court revealed that some weeks prior to her death, Martha had received a blow to the temple by a blunt object and this caused a fracture of the skull. A further witness, Dr Ashton, who had attended Mrs Martin after the accident, repeated two conversations he had had with Superintendant Martin, Martha’s widower, after the original injury. Martin explained that during the night the little boy, William, had been restless and needed attention. Martha and her husband had argued over the care of the boy and Martin explained that the argument had escalated to objects being thrown across the bedroom after a brief physical struggle. As Martha was leaving the room she slipped, and hit her head on the door handle.
On her deathbed, Martha, who was struggling to speak and was very weak, was unable to answer questions put to her by two physicians as to the exact cause of the injury to her skull. Due to any evidence to the contrary, a verdict of accidental death was recorded.
William John Chambers Martin moved to West Derby as the Superintendant of Police there. His son William Arthur grew up and went to medical school, Emma Charlotte married a Scottish businessman.
Philip Forshaw was left with just one daughter to carry on his business but her family was growing and her life was with her bank manager husband in Southport.
Philip relied on John Baldwin,a young man who was running the brewery and who had been living at the Ship Inn for a number of years with his younger brother Philip Baldwin. Both boys were the illegitimate sons of Catherine Baldwin of Up Holland, who had brought the boys to Ormskirk in the 1850s to live at the Ship Inn. It would not be until Philips death in 1865 and the acknowledgement in his will of his two illegitimate sons, John and Philip Baldwin,that the real Forshaw wars started.
Part 4 of the Forshaw Saga to follow.
On Saturday night into Sunday morning of May 5th/ 6th 1956, sisters Margaret Jane (69) and Mary Ormesher (67) were viciously killed in their own home, ‘Ivy Dene’, 8 Asmall Lane, Ormskirk. The house was the former Brickmakers Arms, a ten room house with a court yard behind, which contained several small dwellings, all accessed via a passage way between number 6 and number 8.
The spinster sisters lived a quiet life with their black spaniel dog ‘Trixie’, being regarded as a reliable alert dog,Trixie was known to greet people noisily. The dog was in the kitchen of the house where the two ladies were found and Trixie had received a considerably heavy blow to the head, she was in a poor state when the house was entered by a neighbour and followed the neighbour out of the back door.
Minutes later P.C. Mellor arrived, there being police houses at that time just 100 yards up the road. At the September inquest, P.C. Mellor states that apart from the victims and various items he noticed, a small mongrel dog came out from under the kitchen table as he stood surveying the awful scene. The sisters did only have the one dog, known to be a black spaniel.
At the inquest several people made statements to the court about hearing a variety of noises, groans, breaking glass, bin lids clattering, voices, both male and female. These noises appeared to have been heard from around 11.15 and 11.30 pm.
The area behind the Brickmaker’s Arms was a small compact yard overlooked by no’s 1 & 2 cottage to one side and No’s 3 to 7 cottage along the back, residents at no 2 and no 3 all heard the noises later reported in depositions, however, on the night they were dismissed as ‘someone having a bit of bother’ or ‘someone drunk’ and everyone went to bed again.
Mary Ormesher had arrived home from her shop alone between 10-10 and 10.25 pm, she was carrying the brown attaché case she always used for the shop takings in her right hand and something else in her left hand, but the neighbour who saw Mary from the window did not see what else Mary was carrying.
At around 10.18pm, another neighbour who had been out and was returning to his cottage in Brickmakers Yard, saw a man he did not recognise across the road from the Yard. Sometime later, another neighbour left his house by the front door to take some golf clubs across the road to a neighbour, returning at 11.20 but he did not mention seeing or hearing anyone in the area.
Despite a witness coming forward in the days that followed the murders saying they also saw a man with a similar description in the same area, that man does not seem to have been identified in the days/weeks following.
The police searched the house and found that the brown attaché case was on the kitchen table and contained a small amount of silver but the two khaki cloth money bags which Mary used for the takings were missing. After a thorough search of the house, small quantities of money, wrapped in paper, were recovered from various rooms. Despite local rumour that said the sisters were hoarding cash, only a modest amount was recovered and the house had not been ransacked at the time of the murders. Mary had not left a will but the letters of administration granted on June 12th declared an estate of £1722.14s.4d. Margaret had not left a will either and in the letters of administration granted on June 20th her estate was £249.13s .4d.
The town came to a standstill for the joint funeral of Margaret and Mary, it was a poor day and rained constantly but hundreds of people lined the streets to pay their respects as the funeral cortege passed through the town from the hospital to the Parish Church. The sisters were laid to rest together in the Parish Church and for many years their grave was tended by Stanley Draper C.B. E. Church Sexton.
Five weeks after the murders, and after searches using police dogs at Ruff Wood, Edge Hill College and the Burscough Brick Works, the investigation was not progressing and although 1000 fingerprints had been taken and eliminated, the decision was made at a special court on June 14th to begin to fingerprint every male in the district aged over 16 who was living in the district on the weekend of the murders. This was to be done by plain clothed detectives visiting people in their own homes and it was expected to take up to a month to complete the exercise.
The person or persons who committed these murders has never been officially named and identified, rumours would emerge over the years as to the identity and fate of the killer. The case will never be closed.
Memories recently shared by a cousin of the family, paint a picture of a hard working woman in Mary and a gentle caring person in Margaret Jane.
“Maggie and Polly were such gentle souls – there wasn’t an ounce of animosity in them. Mother and I visited quite a lot and were always made very welcome. Polly was the bread winner and Maggie the homemaker who also looked after their mother Emma – she died aged 84 in 1951. Auntie Maggie always ‘read our tealeaves’. Polly opened the shop every day –including Sundays- she was so very well known in the town, she always had a roaring fire burning, like everyone else they had evacuees during the war, there was a young boy and later a mother and son.
Their murder was a dreadful shock for everyone, not least the family – it was unbelievable.
If only the one witness- Trixie their little dog, could have talked.
Although the house was quite big they only seemed to use the one room-it always felt very homely, Maggie made delicious pies!”
The shop in Church Street had been the subject of a demolition order due to the condition of the old building since the early 1950s and following the deaths, the order was carried out and the shop demolished and re-built.
Ormskirk Bygone Times has copies of the reports of the events following the murders and the details on the coroner’s enquiry.
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Sixty Years On: Part 1
On May 6th this year, it will be 60 years since the town was rocked with the tragic news of the brutal double murder of the Misses Margaret Jane and Mary Ormesher.
The sisters were the daughters of the late Edward and Emma Ormesher, who had brought their family up on Asmall Lane, close to “Ivydene”, the house which was to become the scene of their deaths.
There were five daughters born to Edward and Emma, of which Margaret was the eldest, Mary the second child and then three more daughters, Emily, Ellen, who sadly died aged just 2 years old in 1897, and May. When May was born in 1900, Margaret was 12 years old.
Edward worked as a carter for a Mineral Water Company, he had moved the family to Chapel Street for a short time in the early 1900s where they ran a small beerhouse known as the John Bull at the corner of Chapel Street and St Helens Road, but they moved back to Asmall Lane where Edward took the licence for the Brickmakers Arms. Margaret Jane left home to become a live in domestic servant for a newly married couple Albert Kelsall and Hilda Clarice his wife, at ‘Highfield’, 31,Greetby Hill.
Younger sister Emily was married in 1917 to a soldier who was serving in the war, her younger sister May was a witness, the husband John William Allen was from Halsall Lane, Emily’s father Edward (Ned) Ormesher set up his own business after the Brickmakers Arms licence was made redundant selling small hardware like brushes and oil lamps from a horse and cart, he travelled around the district and was well known in the area. He had a brother Robert from Westhead and 2 married sisters, Mrs Lydia Light and Mrs Annie Lownsbrough, there were therefore several cousins of the sisters in the Ormskirk, Westhead, Lathom and Skelmersdale areas.
Mary Ormesher took a lease on a small shop at 24 Church Street and ran a sweet and tobacco business for a number of years. She became well known in the town and very well liked and respected as was her sister Margaret.
Whether it was because of local rumours that suggested the sisters were money lenders and were hoarding large sums of money, (rumours proved false by the C.I.D. team after the murders) or whether it was an opportunist robbery gone badly and devastatingly wrong, one or more people committed the murder at the Asmall Lane Cottage overnight from the 5th to the 6th May 1956. There had been intelligence sources relayed to the local police 18 months before the murders suggesting that the shop was going to be a target for a robbery and the sisters were advised to be vigilant.
The sisters apparently put up a desperate fight to fend off their attacker, police statements at the time were clear that whoever did enter the cottage, will have left with some serious wounds which would need medical attention.
Specific items of jewellery were taken, of which there were very precise descriptions, an 18ct gold patterned ring, similar to a man’s signet ring but with a large blue sapphire and two smaller sapphire stones on it. A lady’s oblong faced platinum bracelet watch made by Russell, with diamond chipping surround and sapphires at each corner, quite distinctive. Bought in 1942 for £95.00, which is almost £45.000.00 in today’s money, although the piece sounds so unusual it could well be worth more because of its quality.
The beloved family dog, a black spaniel called ‘Trixie’ was also killed on that night, which explains the lack of barking which might have alerted the neighbours more than they already had been that night, when breaking glass and ‘groaning’ and a man’s voice were discounted as anything serious.
The Ormskirk Advertiser immediately posted a reward of £50 to anyone providing information which would lead to the culprit.
There are so many aspects of the case which in modern times would most likely lead to an almost immediate arrest of a suspect, unfortunately it happened at a time when crime scene investigation was not supported by the technology and science available now.
Ormskirk Bygone Times have a large collection of information surrounding the sad loss of these two well known and well liked residents of Ormskirk. Part 2 of this article will follow soon
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Jane Halwood was baptised at Ormskirk Parish Church on 25 January 1829. Her father, Burscough born Shoemaker, Adam Halewood, was already a successful shoemaker with a small shop just below the Snigs Foot in Church Street when his daughter was born. He had been born in Burscough and baptised at Ormskirk in 1803 and had married Elizabeth, (Beth) Morecroft at St John’s Liverpool in July 1826, Adam had finished his apprenticeship as a cordwainer (leatherworker) and was able to set up his own shop and marry.
Adam died aged 50 in 1853, his daughter Jane had been working as a dressmaker for some years and her two younger brothers, George and Adam, had both completed their apprenticeship with their father and by the time of his death, they were both working from home as shoemakers and Jane was carrying on her trade as a dressmaker and milliner.
Sometime after their father died, the family all moved together to No 52 Moor Street, around the corner from Dr Lax, just two doors up in fact . The Working Men’s Institute was newly built directly opposite their new home, it must have been a busy area. Quite a pleasant place to live probably, as the Large Lamp from The Cross was relocated to just up from their front door in 1876 when the clock tower was built, the large double drinking well at the base must have been something to see, animals using the lower troughs and humans the upper fountain.
In 1884, the fountain was moved again to accommodate the statue of Lord Beaconsfield and Jane and her family must have been lucky to live so close to those celebrations, with the Earl of Derby himself performing the ceremony and the grand dignitaries of the county gathering opposite their house for a celebration banquet.
Jane’s mother Elizabeth opened a shop at the house in the 1880s and she also adopted a young boy, John Bimpson Balshaw, who grew up as part of the Halewood family.
The two brothers, Adam and George, married and moved to start their own shoe shops, Adam in Scarisbrick and George in Chorley.
Jane remained at home and did not marry. She looked after her mother and the shop, the shop was very popular, and many years after her death, grown men who had used the shop in their boyhood recalled as adults the ‘home made treacle toffee, parched peas and pop’.
Jane outlived all her siblings as well as her mother, dying in June 1900 aged 71 and is buried at the Parish Church. Her adopted brother, John Bimpson Balshaw briefly remained in the family home with his new wife but he died in 1903. His wife Hannah carried on the shop at Number 52 .
Jane’s life seems to have been quite ordinary, some of us can say we recall the Institute, unlikely any of us can recall the original Big Lamp and fountain at the cross, some of us can recall the Disraeli statue being in the old spot on Moor Street. To think that Jane watched all those things come and go and go and become iconic parts of the town is amazing. Such an interesting ordinary life.
Ormskirk Bygone Times will hopefully bring together people to share their memories of the changing town over time. It is the intention to take advantage of the facilities in the newly reopened Civic Hall and organise informal meetings on one evening a month in the upper front room of the hall. Details will be announced via our social media group at https://www.facebook.com/Ormskirkbygonetimes and also here on our website.
Ottawa To Ormskirk
Sir Arthur Stanley (1869 – 1947) was elected MP for Ormskirk Division in 1898 , The constituency, officially designated as South-West Lancashire, Ormskirk Division consisted of the town of Ormskirk and a number of surrounding parishes, namely, Aintree, Aughton, Bickerstaffe, Croxteth Park, Dalton, Downholland, Halsall, Kirkby, Knowsley, Lathom, Litherland, Lunt, Lydiate, Maghull, Melling, Netherton, Ormskirk, Orrell and Ford, Prescot, Scarisbrick, Sefton, Simonswood, Skelmersdale & Upholland.
Sir Arthur held the seat for twenty years, although there was a close challenge in 1910 from William Lever, the Bolton born Industrialist and creator of Port Sunlight and Rivington Park.
Before Arthur Stanley became the Ormskirk MP however, he had been living with his family in Canada from 1888 until 1893, where his father, the Hon Frederick Arthur Stanley, (later to become the 16th Earl of Derby,) was the 6th Governor General of Canada. The whole family became great fans of the sport of Ice Hockey whilst living in the Official Residence in Ottawa and two of the sons and a daughter all played in the amateur Ice Hockey league, the first women’s amateur final was played on March 8th 1889 and one of the players was Isobel Stanley, Arthur’s sister, who was to influence her father more than anyone to create the famous Stanley Cup. In 1892, her father gave Canada the treasured national icon, (the Stanley Cup). He originally donated the trophy as a challenge cup for Canada’s best amateur hockey club, but in 1909, it became contested by professional teams exclusively. Since 1926, only teams of the National Hockey League have competed for the trophy. This now famous cup bears Derby’s name as tribute to his enthusiasm and encouragement for the development of the sport. In 1945, as further recognition of Lord Derby’s work, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the “Honoured Builders” category‘. This was the same Lord Derby who donated the land to build the Coronation Park in Ormskirk for the enjoyment of the town’s young people. After her marriage, Lady Isobel Stanley Gathorne-Hardy’s role as a pioneer of women’s ice hockey in Canada was acknowledged with the Isobel Gathorne-Hardy Award. The award is given to an active player (at any level) whose values, leadership and personal traits are representative of all female athletes.
Arthur and his brother William played at amateur level at the The Rideau Rink, named after the Governors Residence Rideau Hall, which was opened in 1889, playing for the Rideau Rebels, a team made up of Government staff and parliamentarians.
On his return to England Arthur lived at Knowsley Hall with his father and family, working as an MP for Ormskirk Division.
Arthur Stanley was knighted in 1917, he was the Chairman of the British Red Cross Society throughout the years of the Great War, and his last contribution to Parliamentary debate as the Ormskirk Division MP was in 1918, when MPs debated the Lotteries Bill in relation to fundraising for the war effort and the donations made by ‘rich ladies’ of their jewellery for raffle prizes to raise funds, Sir Arthur is recorded as commenting…..’ I take my own Constituency in Lancashire, and I say that at practically every one of these bazaars I have been asked to take part in at least a dozen raffles. Does not every Hon. Member when he goes to bazaars provide himself with a pocket full of silver in order that he may take tickets or raffles when asked? I say this does not introduce the spirit of gambling. Is morality in any way harmed by this very harmless amusement of raffling, and if no harm has been caused when it has been practised in pre-war times, is harm going to be done because it happens to be on a rather bigger scale?’
He went on to add: …… I would point out that many of these ladies are very far from rich. They gave that which to each of them was most precious, and they gave it in order to help what they felt was even more precious. They felt that they were giving these pearls for the relief of suffering, which they themselves would willingly have laid down their lives to avoid. Out of these pearls have been formed a necklace. Some Members have spoken of that necklace as though it had a price, but it has no price. It is a necklace formed of pearls given by women in this great War, and it is something which cannot be priced; it is something above all price. That is not all. When you have an object like that in your possession, an object which was placed in the possession of the Red Cross to be used for a most sacred purpose, how are you to dispose of it in the best way? Is it the best way to sell it to a jeweller or to sell it to a rich man? May it not possibly be the best way to sell it in such a manner that even a man who can only afford to give a shilling may have an opportunity of securing that necklace? I only ask the question. I do not expect hon. Members opposite to agree with me, but I do ask them to put to themselves the question which we have put to ourselves, what, when you have a great trust like this confided to your care, in order to help those who are suffering for their country, is the best way to realise it? I own myself I should think that that necklace had been more properly and more worthily bought by the poor man who managed to pay the shilling than by anyone who could afford to buy it.
Sir Arthur Stanley died on the 4th November 1947 in Eastbourne, having never married nor had issue and his estate valued at £133,000 was administered by his brother Frederick Arthur Stanley.
Arthur’s father Lord Derby, along with the Countess, attended a bazaar held in the Drill Hall in 1904 to raise funds for the rebuilding of St Paul’s Church, Skelmersdale.
The Court Is In Session
The new Law Court and Police Station opened in Derby Street in the 1850s to great anticipation. It was hoped that the growth of the town and the business community in the town would benefit from the new asset and service.
The Police Court, the Monthly Sessions, the Brewster Sessions as well as the Magistrates Courts, brought all kinds of cases and people to the town. The Coroners Court was also held there and for many many years the South West Lancs Coroner was Sir Samuel Brighouse, a man raised in the town who knew the area and the people well. Born at Lathom August 1st 1849, he went to the Grammar School and then law school and became a solicitor, founding the law firm of Brighouse, Brighouse and Jones in 1871. Winning the election to county coroner in 1884, he held the post for 56 years , reputedly carrying out around 25,000 inquests, he was also a steward for Lord Derby viagra vente canada.
Early in his career he oversaw the inquest into the death of James Maybrick, at one time the main suspect in the Jack the Ripper case. His determination to see the work of not just coroners, but mortuaries and police surgeons held in the highest esteem by everyone is what seems to have driven his career, not caring for the tutting and head shakes of the elected authorities. Knighted in 1934 he died 15th January 1940. If he felt strongly about a subject, no matter how mundane, he felt it worth fighting for.
These are his own words, sent in a letter to the Advertiser on 29th May 1922:.
Dear old Derby Street, if it could only speak. Its utterances would surely be a new edition of the ‘Book of Lamentations’. Paved with setts, the old-fashioned carts of the farmer ground out cries from it that worried the scholars in the United Charity Schools, the lawyers in their offices, the justices on their judicial bench, and the police. And ultimately the setts were removed, and a span new macadam Derby Street was made and was duly christened on the day it was opened by a heavy unwieldly tractor engine, which left sore places that never seemed to heal. Aspirants for the Local Board came along, and swore by all their Gods that they alone could save the town, and incidentally Derby Street, from ruin and disgrace.
They were elected, and Derby Street wept at their apostasy.
Latterly in the moonlight Derby Street has looked like No Man’s Land in the Great War – all holes and craters.
Quite recently – it only seems a few days ago – the Urban District Council, with monies squeezed out of the long-suffering ratepayers of this long-suffering town, or with monies secured from the County Council of Lancashire – I care not which – gave Derby Street a new coat of something, and the inhabitants on each side thereof slept in peace. And now with the last week, after patching the poor dear in places, they have poured tar on it and scattered chippings on it, and they have left it for the traffic to do the rest. Every good housewife in Derby Street has just finished her spring cleaning and now her good man walks over her spring cleaned carpet and leaves tar and chippings behind.
Was there ever such a subject for mirth as Derby Street?
Overwhelmed with official and domestic cares, I seek no solace other than a glance at my dear street. A retrospective thought of all it had undergone convinces me that no human being could undergo what it has gone through and survive.
Poor dear Derby Street! I recollect you a street of green fields, where boys played with pipe stumps instead of marbles, and motor cars were unknown.
And if you could only speak, poor thing? What would you say about those who have pulled you to pieces, clothed you in new garments, put patches on you, overhauled you, mauled you, messed you about and have left you, as you now are, an object of scorn and derision, and an example of what a street should NOT be.
S . Brighouse.
Ormskirk Bygone Times has several records and documents relating to Sir Samuel’s early years as a boy in the town and they have been added to our mobile display. If any school, group or organisation would like us to put on an exhibition for them, please contact us through our social media group at https://www.facebook.com/Ormskirkbygonetimes or through our website here.
Ormskirk Gala Day was held during August each year for many years. The organising committee made advance preparations throughout the summer months with several committees set up to ensure the smooth running of this very popular event.
Mr J.J. Balmforth, the ironmonger of Aughton Street, presided over the General committee, an Entertainment Committee made sure that a circus was booked and all necessary plane were put in place to accommodate the whole Circus in the Gala Parade and provide the venue on the Victoria Pleasure Grounds.
The Procession and Turnouts Committee set about organising the order of the parade to include Tradesman’s and Farmer’s Turnouts, that is, a wagon or cart pulled by a team of Heavy or Working Horses, with the wagons and carts decorated to various themes. These were judged in a series of classes and an entry fee of between 1s and £1 with monetary prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places of between £1 and £5 depending on the class.
Entries were limited to Master Tradesmen living within a 1 mile radius of the Market Cross and all other entries could be from within a 6 mile radius of the Market Cross. This was to allow entries from tenants from surrounding farms to enter their own turnouts or decorate a cart for the Tableau procession.
Apart from the monetary prizes, special prizes were to be awarded by the following committee members and town businesses: Mr J.J. Balmforth, a pair of carvers valued at 21s for the winner of the Tradesman’s Master Class for Heavy Horse Turnouts; Mr James Arnold Williams, provision dealer of 31 Burscough Street promised a prize valued at 21s for the winner of the Single Heavy Horse Turnout; William Gilbert, Draper, of 10 Moor Street also promised a 21s prize to the winner of the most humorous float or tableau.
There was also a fancy dress on a quadruped category for both adults and children and a bicycle fancy dress parade with a baby show held in the Corn Exchange.
This would have been an amazing parade with the whole town and all business premises along the main streets being elaborately decorated for the event.
The winner of the children’s fancy dress on a quadruped was a young man named Thomas Hough (1895 – 1985) who is shown in the picture dressed as Charge of The Light Brigade survivor Sgt Major James Ikin Nunnerley, who had a Gents outfitters shop at 27 Moor Street. The photo is taken at the rear of the Queens Head Hotel, Moor Street on the day of the Gala. Thomas is wearing a miniature uniform of the 17th Lancers. Thomas is also wearing Nunnerley’s medals. The photos belong to Thomas Hough’s son-in-law Bob Hanley.
Doctor In The House Pt. 1
Ormskirk had no less than 8 ‘surgeons’ listed in the Baines Directory of 1824/25. Father and son William Snr and William Bibby Jnr. practised from different surgeries, the former in Burscough Street and the latter in Church Street. Burscough street seemed to have a busy practise as there were doctors Anderton, Ellis, Hancock, Houghton and Yates listed there in that same directory. William Bibby Snr and Thomas Hancock did move to a new surgery on Lydiate Lane before 1830. (Lydiate Lane became Derby Street).
The doctors had served their apprenticeships with senior partners and after taking an exam at the end of their apprenticeship they joined the practise or opened their own surgery.
By the 1830s, a new Doctor had settled in the town, Yorkshire born Doctor Lax, who initially joined the practise of William Bibby Snr. William Lax graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons London in 1827. In 1850, Doctor Lax bought a ‘close’ of land in Lydiate Lane, (Derby Street) to build a surgery , at the same time land was acquired by the town from the Earl of Derby and Lord Stanley for the building of a Police Station and A Trustee Savings Bank in the same street. By 1861, Dr Lax had had a grand residence built at the junction of Moor Street and St Helens Road .William’s first wife, Ormskirk born Anne Jane nee Wareing, died within months of their daughter Anne Jane (1833 – 1924) being born. His second wife, Mary Maria Sourbuts, (1821 – 1898) was 15 years William’s junior and they had four children, only 2 surviving to childhood.
Doctor Lax’s eldest daughter Anne Jane born 1833 never married and she was the Superintendant of the Parish Church Sunday School for over 50 years . After the death of her father, Anne moved from St Helens Road to a large 12 room property at 52 Derby Street which she re-named Beaconsfield, to reflect the home she had grown up in at Beaconsfield Corner. Her neighbour, in the house called Abbotsford, was another local Doctor, Hugh Heald, and next door to the Heald household was another large dwelling, Walmsley House, home of Anne’s half sister Lucy Sophia Parker nee Lax, who had married Thomas Percy Parker, son of the Aughton Brewer Thomas Sumner Parker, in 1890. Thomas Sumner Parker had bought the Aughton Street (Sudbury Star) Brewery from the Sudbury Brothers sometime between 1875 and 1881. Interestingly, Thomas Sumner Parker lived out his last days at Town End living next door to George Lea, the renowned local journalist and Author.
The story will continue soon with Dr Brandreth, Dr Knowles, The Mansion House, Dr Suffern’s House and Ormskirk Hall, all Doctors Residences.
Captain Edward Sudbury (1820-1870)
Sudbury ‘s Star Brewery , situated at the start of Prescot Road, and therefore within the Aughton Parish, was a successful business which Edward Sudbury joined as a partner along with his brother-in-law, Joseph Hewitt Pye (1817-1862). Nottinghamshire born Edward was a surveyor by occupation and worked not only for the ordnance survey but also the Ormskirk & Southport Building Society. He had trained as a land surveyor and had considerable experience in drainage and enclosure which he brought to the county. His first few years in Ormskirk saw him marry a young lady from Rainford, Hannah Pye, whose family not only owned the Star Brewery but also the brickworks at Martin Lane Burscough.
Edward Sudbury was a Captain in the 54th Lancashire Rifle Volunteers (54th LRV) from the 1860s succeeding Lieutenant John Dickinson.
Edward Sudbury died at home, at the Brewery, Aughton in 1870. His funeral was a large affair and the town’s business closed their shops and offices at 12 noon as a mark of respect. People of the town lined the streets to bow their heads as the funeral procession passed on it’s way to Ormskirk Parish Church led by the band and troop of the 54th.
Amongst the mourners there was a carriage containing the town’s prominent citizens as Edward had been a Brother of a local lodge and had held office.
The 54th Rifles fired three volleys over the grave and the Masons performed their traditional funeral ceremony at the grave side with J. B. Lambert giving a moving testimony.
After his death, the Star Brewery continued for a number of years under the management of his four sons.