Thursday, 16 May 2019

A Mercantile Family's Correspondence 1743-1866

In September 2018, papers relating to the Terry family of Hull were deposited with Hull History Centre.

The papers consist of a large quantity of correspondence which has the potential to reveal a great deal about the religious development of the Hull area and beyond during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It could also be useful in telling us more about merchant family relationships in Hull as well as helping to shed light on the many battles for social reform and philanthropic causes that took place during this time, including William Wilberforce’s campaign to end slavery. The correspondence makes a fascinating read and has now been catalogued under the reference C DFTF. Additionally, the depositor created transcriptions of the correspondence, copies which are available in our search room [C SRL/T/46].

The Terry family were merchants. Richard Terry (c.1740-1804) was a Hull shipowner. His company ‘Richard Terry & Sons’, traded primarily with the Baltic and Russia importing timber. He was also an Evangelical Anglican. A Methodist sympathiser, he was a devotee of John Wesley, who visited Richard’s Hull home at Newland several times and once even preached in his garden. Richard married Anne Avison in in 1767.

One of Richard and Anne's sons was Avison Terry, another merchant and ship owner who served Hull twice as Mayor (1827, 1829) and once as Sheriff (1813). He was the person responsible for raising £1,110 by public subscription for the building of St. John's Church, Newland. The Church was consecrated by the Archbishop of York on 23rd September 1833.

Newland Parish Church, Hull [L RH/3/315]

Ann Terry’s brother was William Charles Avison (1746-1821), another Baltic trader who spent most of his working life in Baltic ports, mainly Narva (Russia) and Elsinore (Denmark). From the correspondence it is clear that he was in close business contact with Richard Terry. However there had been a short period when the suitability of Richard as a husband for Ann was in doubt. Some of the letters make astonishing reading and are certainly good examples of what women faced when they dared to marry someone whom their family and friends deemed unsuitable!

Other letters in the collection are from members of the Stillingfleet family. Rev. James Stillingfleet [1741-1826], a noted evangelical, attended Oxford University and became a Master of Arts and fellow of Merton College. He was ordained as a deacon in 1764 and as a priest in 1766. He became rector of Hotham in 1771, where he remained for nearly 56 years until his death. One of his closest friends was the Rev. Joseph Milner headmaster of Hull Grammar School, himself a prominent evangelical and historian.

Another contributor is John Thornton of Clapham, London (1720-1790). He was a merchant involved in the Baltic trades and Russia and an early patron of the evangelical movement in Britain. Some sources suggest that John Thornton was the second richest man in Europe. He traveled extensively and spent most of his fortune on promoting the Evangelical movement and buying up parish patronages so that they could install evangelical priests thus contributing to churches in many different parts of the country. Some correspondence is between John Thornton and Richard Terry and relates to the churches in and around Hull, including Cottingham. During this period the mainstream Church of England was in a parlous state with much corruption and absentee clergymen claiming their salaries.

John Thornton married Lucy Watson in 1753. Their sons; Henry, Samuel and Robert all became Members of Parliament and members of the Clapham Sect of evangelical reformers determined to reform the established church. The Clapham Sect was led by Rev. Henry Venn, curate at Holy Trinity, Clapham Common. The Thornton brothers, close friends and cousins of William Wilberforce, were also associated with the campaign for the abolition of the slave trade and many other campaigns for social reform and philanthropic causes, as were the Terry and the Stillingfleet families.

Portrait of William Wilberforce, 1836 [L DFWW/3/1]

This is a fantastic collection and we are really happy to be able to promote it as a valuable historical research resource. As a hitherto undiscovered collection, the research value is huge and would make a fantastic project for any student of history.

Anyone wishing to learn more about this collection can visit us at the History Centre. For visiting information please see our website. A full descriptive catalogue is available to view in paper format in the searchroom and will shortly be available through the online catalogue.

Elspeth Bower, Archivist Librarian (Hull City Archives)

Friday, 10 May 2019

Unlocking the Treasures Project


When processing the Methodist Sunday School Union Hymn Book [L.245], I was struck by the ornate front cover which was embossed with “Crowned E R June 26th 1902”. Pasted inside the book there is a printed certificate showing that it was presented by the Brunswick Wesleyan Sunday School, Hull to Olive Hawes as a memento of the Coronation of His Majesty King Edward VII, June 26th 1902 from the officers of the school. The 26th June is crossed through and “Aug 9” is written over it in pen.

Edward VII was 59 when he became King on 22 January 1901, on the death of his mother, Queen Victoria.  His coronation was set for 26 June 1902 [hence the embossed date on the front cover and printed certificate] but only two days before hand the King was forced to postpone it until 9th August of the same year owing to an attack of appendicitis which required an emergency operation. 

After all the loving care put into the front cover, I am pleased that the Sunday School Officers decided to go ahead and give out the hymnal as it was – although I suspect the cost of rebinding the cover was the overriding consideration since the printed certificate would indicate that a copy of the hymnal was presented to many [if not all] of the children in the Brunswick Wesleyan Sunday School.



It also serves as a timely reminder that not everything in print is accurate!

Caoimhe West, Reader Assistant, Unlocking the Treasures Project

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Volunteering for peace in the aftermath of the Second World War


The IVSP logo

One of the collections currently being catalogued here at the History Centre is the records of the International Voluntary Service, formerly the International Voluntary Service for Peace, which is the British branch of an organisation called Service Civil International. Above is the IVSP logo, a shovel over a background of a broken sword, with the slogan “Pick and shovel peacemaking” – a reference to the organisation’s founding idea that useful physical work carried out by volunteers from many countries could contribute to international peace.

One of the most interesting parts of the collection is a section about relief work the IVSP took part in from 1944 until 1949 before and after the end of the Second World War. This section contains minutes and reports, but also contains some personal letters and photos. Most of the reports relate to Units 1 and 2, which went to Greece and Crete, and Units 4, 5 and 7, which went to Germany and the Netherlands.

IVSP Unit 4, taken just before leaving London
 
IVSP Unit 4 left London for the Netherlands in April 1945, and they were there for about three months before being moved into Brunswick, Germany, just a few miles from the border with the Russian zone of occupation. 

A report by Unit 4, July 1945

After several months working with Polish displaced persons awaiting repatriation, in September 1946 the unit was moved to northern Schleswig Holstein, not far from Denmark. Here the volunteers assisted in the coordination of refugees from former eastern German territories which had been ceded to Poland. Ethnic Germans had been expelled from these areas in huge numbers. They were assigned to the occupied zones in Germany, with around 1.5 million being assigned to the British zone. They were ordered to be billeted on the local population, in an attempt to quickly assimilate them, which did not work as there were simply too many people to accommodate.

In December 1946, the conditions reported by the IVSP team were poor. Huge numbers of displaced Germans had arrived, but there was simply nowhere for them to go, so most were living in camps. In the better camps the large rooms had been partitioned to allow each family a small room of their own, but in the worse ones five or six families would be sharing a room. There was no electric lighting as, although there was electricity, there were no lightbulbs. The roofs almost universally leaked, as there was no tar or felt to be found.

The Unit’s area was the northern part of the province, and they reported that in their initial survey of the district they had seen over 200 camps containing a total population of some 40,000 refugees. They were trying to help the refugees help themselves and “avoid falling into apathy and despair”, as they reported: “This is our aim in establishing camp workshops, where the refugees can make themselves pots and pans from old food tins and from scrap metal which we have scrounged from dumps and aerodromes. Old tyres are good for shoe repairing, bits of wood are turned into beds… Toys made from driftwood are being kept for Christmas…”

A few months later, in March 1947, conditions had deteriorated further. The winter had been cold – it was still snowing – and there was almost no fuel for heating the camps.

Food was also in short supply and the unit was trying to supplement the camp rations, as they reported, “With supplies obtained from Red Cross stores and sent by friends in England, we have been able to extend our child feeding schemes which are now in full swing in 91 out of our total of 185 camps. Our stocks will still only run to feeding ten out of every hundred children and the local doctor has considerable difficulty in selecting those most in need of extra nourishment. A hot drink provided every other day consists either of thick soup containing dried vegetables and meat extract, or of cocoa and dried milk, with margarine or jam to spread on their own bread ration, and in addition half a bar of chocolate or a Horlicks tablet on the alternating days.”

Despite the conditions, the unit members were still committed to IVSP values. The unit leader wrote, “I do not think we should consider our presence in Germany entirely justified if our job consisted solely of ministering to the material needs of the refugees. It has become obvious at our fortnightly International Discussion Group meetings that young Germans are tired of talking and are wanting something practical to do… Discussion Group meetings, for which we have secured speakers on subjects such as “A Comparison of the German and English Social Insurance Legislation”, “The Ideals of Youth” and “English and German Manners and Customs” are always packed to overflowing and there is no shyness or hesitation at expressing frank opinions.”

IVSP personnel in Germany, 1947

The work of unit 4 continued in Schleswig throughout 1947, as conditions continued to be difficult and food shortages carried on into 1948. The IVSP units were now making more progress beyond just relief. In the summer of 1948 they had started a pen-friend scheme for 14-22-year-olds, and there were 66 Germans corresponding with British young people. They reported back to headquarters, “More directly we help the German branch of Service Civil International… We have two very keen groups meeting weekly… and a third meeting occasionally… The group programmes are mainly concerned with the deepening of international understanding through the discussion of mutual problems, hearing guest speakers from other countries when such opportunities occur, and through international workcamps.”

By late 1948 it was clear that IVSP’s role in providing civilian relief had come to an end. Their ongoing projects were passed over to the West German branch of Service Civil International, which the units had helped to get on its feet, and the last IVSP team left the country in early 1949.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Publishing, Printing and Authors

We are now two months in to the 2.5 year Unlocking the Treasures project, and at present almost one thousand books have been catalogued and are now available to search using the Hull Libraries online catalogue. Previous to this very few of these books were available to search using the libraries online catalogue. A large number of these books relate to local authors [Ref: L.001] together with books published or printed in Hull and the surrounding area, including Beverley or Hedon [Ref: L.003-L.009].

During the cataloguing process it was surprising to see the number of books published or printed in Hull especially as we think of London, Oxford and Cambridge at the centre of printing and the publishing of literature. Hull was not alone, however. Beverley and Hedon, and indeed other towns and cities around the United Kingdom were printing and publishing books.

Eleven Sermons, by Daniel Rowland – printed and
published by T. Briggs of Hull in 1788. Ref: L.003 BRI
The History Centre has some excellent examples of early Hull printing. These include T. Briggs, whose premises were on Church Lane and Innes & Gray with premises in Whitehorse Yard in the latter half of the 18th century. Printing, driven by the greater efficiency through industrialisation, expanded and with it printed material became cheaper and more widely available. 

The nineteenth century saw a dramatic increase in the number of printers in Hull. In 1851 at least 20 printers were present in Hull, but by end of the century this number had increased threefold to 80.


One of the earliest books in among our holdings is John Clarke’s An essay upon education shewing how Latin and Greek, published in 1711 [Ref: L.001 CLA]. Clarke became the Master of the Hull’s Grammar School, and it is possible that this book would be familiar to pupils at Hull’s Grammar School.

Captain Luke Foxe's account of his voyage to the 
North West Passage - printed in 1635. Ref: L.001 FOX
An even earlier book in the History Centre’s holding is that by Captain Luke Foxe of Kingston upon Hull [b.1586-d.1635]. As an explorer, Foxe sought to seek out the elusive North West Passage. 

Unfortunately Foxe never found the passage, and it was not until the early 20th century that this passage was eventually traversed. He did, however, leave his mark with the Foxe Basin and Peninsular named after him. 

You can, read the account of Captain Luke Foxe voyage at the History Centre [Ref: North-West or Fox from the North-west passage, L.001 FOX].





Portrait of William Andrews, from The F.O.S 
Portrait Gallery, publication unknown, 1903 
Of all the authors William Andrews has to be one of the most prolific. A native of Kirkby Woodhouse, William Andrews spent 30 years of his life in Hull. A distinguished antiquarian, he played a major role in all things connected with literary life in the city and beyond. He wrote articles and volumes, especially the bygone ecclesiastical customs and curiosities, (of which copies are available at the History Centre, Ref: L.001 AND). 

He was the founder and secretary of the Hull Literary Society, the originator of the East Riding Antiquarian Society and Vice-President of the Northern Counties Library Association. Added to this he was a member of the Yorkshire Dialect Society and founded the Hull Press, which had its office in Dock Street. It was here where a large number of books and antiquarian material was published and printed. 

He was later appointed as Librarian to the Hull Subscription Library where his knowledge of literature was of great assistance to the library. William Andrews died in 1908 but many of his local works can be found among the Local Studies books here at the Hull History Centre.

Don’t forget to keep checking the blog as the project progresses. And remember new books are added almost daily and can be searched using the Hull Libraries online catalogue. (the newly catalogued material will also appear on the History Centre online catalogue when the next update is processed). Searches can search by subject, author, or under the class number. You can even narrow your search to a specific publication date and library.

Happy searching!

Neil Chadwick
Project Officer, Unlocking the Treasures

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

What I Wish I Knew Before I Started!

I’ve been working as a trainee archivist for 3 and a half months as part of the Bridging the Digital Gap programme.  In that time, I’ve been introduced to traditional archives work, including record retrieval, depositing records, accessions and cataloguing. I’m now progressing into the digital world of archives work, including ingest and cataloguing, though I’m still new to the sector. When I started, I didn’t know about the wider aspects of operating within an archive, or some of the long term issues been worked on nationally and internationally.


I attended the recent DPC event “What I Wish I Knew Before I Started” down in London, hosted by Sharon McMeekin, Adrian Brown, Edith Halvarsson, Matthew Addis, and Glenn Cumiskey. It was aimed at students and recent graduates, but myself and a fellow trainee attended. It was the first proper conference I’ve attended, but the presentations and atmosphere were very easy going, and the speakers were really informative. They touched on subjects I hadn’t yet come across; such as the three legged stool model, problems with intangible assets, ethical implications of what archives hold, and many other ideas and concepts I hadn’t thought about before.

This event gave me an opportunity to see archives on a national scale. Until attending the event, my only experience of archives was through my work place and from limited visits to other repositories. The event gave me a sense of the inter-connectivity, the network behind individual archives. The end of the conference was rounded out by an open table, giving students a chance to ask the speakers questions. Loads of points were brought up, from short term career goals (how to get into archives and move around the sector) to developmental challenges overseas (how do you start and maintain an archive in an impoverished country). In the short amount of time I’ve spent at Hull History Centre, I’ve come to realise the positive impact archives can have to local communities and educational institutions. I’m only now considering the international community that surrounds the archival sector.


And that was my main take away from the event. The amount of communication advocating for digital preservation was fascinating to see; it was brought up several times throughout the event but really came to ahead with the open questions. On an international scale people are talking and progressing the idea of digital preservation. “What can we do for the future?” was asked several times by the speakers, and this was the first time I had thought about the long term implications of my career.

What is obvious is that I’ve entered the sector at a very interesting time. Things are changing, the digital side of archiving is becoming more prevalent, and my skillset is becoming more useful as the idea of digital preservation continues. I am excited for the future, and looking forward to continuing my development.
Jack Quinlan, Bridging the Digital Gap Trainee

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Trains, Ships and Public Celebrations – The Opening of the Hull, Barnsley and West Riding Junction Railway 1885

When looking for something for Facebook to mark the 134th Anniversary of the opening of the Hull, Barnsley and West Riding Junction Railway, I came across an interesting little scrapbook [RefNo. C TMS/28]. I was so taken with it that I thought it would make a good blog subject.

Cover of C TMS/28

Whilst construction on the railway was completed on the 27 February, the official opening ceremony didn't take place until later in the year. The volume is a leather-bound and engraved album containing press cuttings and photographs relating to the joint opening of the Hull Barnsley & West Riding Junction Railway on the 28 May 1885 and Alexandra Dock a couple of weeks later on the 16 July 1885. The volume was presented to the Mayor and Aldermen of the Hull Corporation, an earlier incarnation of the City Council, as a memento of the historic occasion.

Dedication page at the front of the volume

The project had been undertaken to increase the capacity of the town to engage in maritime trade. The existing ‘Old Dock’ was working at capacity and new opportunities were ripe to be exploited. Two men, Mr Smith and Mr Fisher spearheaded the campaign, overseeing the formation of the Hull Barnsley and West Riding Railway and Dock Company to manage the project through to completion. It was a huge undertaking, more than just a commercial venture for a single business, but instead of utmost importance to the economic prosperity of the whole town. The press cuttings and photographs in the scrapbook serve to illustrate this point, showing just how involved the whole town felt in the project. 

The Hull Barnsley and West Riding Junction Railway was opened to great pomp and ceremony. A press-cutting taken from the Eastern Morning News on the 29 May 1885 reported:
‘Yesterday, by invitation of the directors of the Hull and Barnsley Railway and Dock Company, the members of the Hull Corporation paid a visit to the Company’s works, and subsequently travelled by the railway to the point where it crosses the River Ouse. At a luncheon, which was served in one of the transit sheds, Colonel Smith (chairman of the company) presided, and several congratulatory speeches were delivered.’

The paper goes on to describe the atmosphere of the event:
‘It seemed as if spring had been kept back for the occasion…. Such a glorious display of sunshine, bringing out into the boldest relief every feature and outline of the works, seemed like an effort of nature to celebrate the completion of by far the finest dock which Hull now possesses.’

The occasion was captured on film:
This first photograph shows attendees sat around tables in the shed where the luncheon was served. Colonel Smith can be seen stood in the centre giving a speech as Chairman of the Company.

Photograph taken 28 May 1885, 'The Luncheon, in the shed at Alexandra Dock'

A second photograph shows a steam engine with plate ‘Loco No.14’, the engine crew are present and a group of men stand on the tracks nearby talking about the day’s events.

Photograph taken 28 May 1885, 'The First Train on the Hull & Barnsley Railway'
A third photograph shows a large crowd of people stood on the dock walls. To the left of the picture it is possible to make out the first train to run on the line in position ready to take passengers to the Ouse Bridge. 

Photograph taken 28 May 1885, 'First Train Day on the Hull & Barnsley Railway'

A final photograph shows a large group of people stood on the tracks at Ouse Bridge, the terminal point for this seminal first journey on the Hull and Barnsley Railway.

Photograph taken 28 May 1885, 'The first passengers at the Ouse Bridge'

The official opening of Alexandra Dock took place a few weeks later on the 16 July 1885. The Hull Daily Express reported the following morning that the opening day had been made a public holiday, such was the importance of this new dock to the town of Hull. Hull Friendly and Trade Societies organised a procession through the town to mark the occasion. Participants marched in full regalia and were accompanied by regimental and company bands. People lined up at the dock waiting to see the first ships enter.

At 10:00am the ‘Orlando’ steamer, commanded by Captain Watson, left Minerva Pier with the Mayor, Corporation, the directors and their guests. Messrs T. Wilson and Co. had put the ship at the disposal of the directors for the event. She was to be the first vessel to enter the dock. She was accompanied a few moments later by the Trinity House yacht ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ and another Wilson Co. steamer, the ‘Angelo’, captained by Captain Johnson and carrying 250 guests of Messrs T. Wilson and Co. Both steamers were decorated for the occasion in streamers and flags. Behind these three vessels came a procession of smaller ships including the ‘Warrior’, the ‘Zero’, the ‘Manchester’, the ‘Lady Elizabeth’ and the ‘May’.

A white ribbon had been stretched across the entrance inside the inner gates of the dock, and the breaking of the ribbon signalled the official opening had taken place. The ‘Orlando’ passed the first gates at 10:45am and entered the dock at 11:40am. The cavalcade was greeted by bands playing ‘See the Conquering Hero Comes’ on ship and shore. After a short trip around the dock, the ‘Orlando’ landed her passengers at the southern shed, which was decorated with flags and carpet. The Yorkshire Hussar Band played on a specially constructed platform inside the shed, and speeches were given by the Mayor and various important figures from the Dock Company. The proceedings were then followed by a luncheon in the west transit shed, which was also decorated for the occasion.

Again, the occasion was documented on film:
This first photograph shows the ‘Orlando’ approaching the lock pit, surrounded by ships and yachts including the Defiance, the True Briton and the May.

Photograph taken 16 July 1885, 'The Orlando approaching Dock lock pit'

A second photograph shows the Orlando steamer with rigging decorated in flags in the lock pit, huge crowds are gathered around the ship on the lock walls.

Photograph taken 16 July 1885, 'The Orlando in lock pit'

The final photograph shows the ‘Orlando’ steamer with decorated rigging at the head of a procession in the dock, huge crowds can be seen on the dock walls.

Photograph taken 16 July 1885, 'The Orlando in Alexandra Dock'

To read more, why not come and have a look at the volume yourself in our searchroom, or use the newspaper collection on microfilm to look up other reports of these events? We look forward to seeing you.

Claire Weatherall, Assistant Archivist (HUA)

Friday, 8 February 2019

Three Crowns on the Crest


Hull has in its three gold crowns on a blue background, a very handsome coat of arms. It’s instantly recognisable and very popular; many readers will remember that upwards of twenty years ago the City was re-branded with a ‘cog’ logo which was widely criticised as lacking the antiquity of our coat of arms. After all, our ‘Three Crowns’ date from the fifteenth century.

The crest of the City of Hull

(By the way, while technically the golden regal headgear is described as ‘three ducal coronets’, they represent crowns).

However, unlike many cities, Hull doesn’t have a crest (the arrangement on a helmet above the shield), supporters (figures flanking it), or a motto (generally an apt phrase in Latin on a scroll beneath the shield). It doesn’t appear that we either assumed them or petitioned to be granted them by the Heralds. Their absence has been commented on in the past – Hull’s Edwardian historian JR Boyle was of the opinion that that “the importance of the city of Hull might justly be regarded as entitling it to additions to its arms in the form of supporters, crest and motto.” Sculptors and artists have felt the absence of supporters in the past, and have invented supporters for various representations of the arms. For instance, Roman gods Neptune and Ceres recline on either side of the coat of arms on Brook Chambers at the top of Prospect Street; mermaids act as supporters at the College of Art (now the Northern Academy of Dramatic Art) on Anlaby Road; and lions serve on the former Northern Library.

Concerned by this lack of heraldic frills, at least one heraldry enthusiast has had a stab at designing extras for our coat of arms in the past. A letter of 24 November 1946 to the Town Clerk accompanied this splendid illustration [C TMA/13]. In it, a Mr H Ellis Tomlinson of Thornton le Fylde, Lancashire pointed out that Hull was the only one of the ten principal cities that did not have crest, motto, or supporters. He goes on to offer his services in negotiating between the City and the College of Arms, (apparently he had arranged the grant of arms to the East Riding County Council in 1945) and explains his illustration.

The crest, a medieval ship, known heraldically as a lymphad, is taken from the image on the medieval seal of the Admiral of the Humber which shows a similar ship with the three crowns on its single sail. The supporters are royal lions of England, as appropriate for the King’s Town upon Hull, and are distinguished with black collars bearing the white roses of Yorkshire. The motto, Mare Copia, means ‘Abundance from the Sea’.

The Town Clerk was not convinced unfortunately.

“Dear Sir” he wrote on 5 March 1946 “I have consulted the appropriate authority and have received instructions to inform you and whilst your offer is appreciated the Corporation cannot, at the present time, avail themselves of it.”

And there the matter continues to rest.

Martin Taylor, City Archivist

Friday, 18 January 2019

Dry January and the Temperance Movement

For many it’s the time of year to take on Dry January the UKs one-month booze free challenge. There are many benefits to abstaining from alcohol and the challenge often goes hand-in-hand with a desire to begin the year with a health-kick. However, 20th January is said to be the day that most people give up their pledge to go dry for January and fall off the ‘New Year New Me’ band wagon!

Cutting out alcohol from your life is, of course, not a new phenomenon. During the 19th Century and early 20th Century the Temperance Movement was a social movement against the consumption of alcohol. Members of the movement typically criticised alcohol intoxication, demanded new laws against the selling of alcohol and promoted complete abstinence (teetotalism).


[L DIBF, Certificate of membership of the UK Alliance, 1879]
Bertram Fox played a pivotal role in the Temperance Movement in Hull. A Temperance lecturer, general secretary of the Citizens’ Committee to conduct a campaign in support of the Government Licensing Bill, District Superintendent of the United Kingdom Alliance and Honourable Convenor of the Hull United Temperance Board, he helped to promote and encourage self-restraint from alcohol consumption. His papers held at collection reference L DIBF include numerous leaflets, pamphlets, correspondence, photographs and postcards.

[L DIBF, Effect of Licensing Bill postcard, c.1908]
Other records found amongst our collections relating to the consumption of alcohol include an essay discussing the evils of strong liquor, how abstinence is key if you want to be the best in sport, and states that ‘prisons, hospitals, and the divorce court are in no small degree tenanted by people with the “alcohol habit”’ [ref. C DFX/41/5]. In addition, statistics relating to the Licensing Bill and regarding the difference in alcohol consumption between the classes can be seen below.


[C DPLT/3, The Drinks Bill statistics, 1912]
The Licensing Bill of 1908, introduced by Herbert Asquith’s Liberal government sought to radically reduce the number of licensed premises in the UK, which provoked vigorous opposition from brewers, publicans and all suppliers associated with the industry.  

1908 was a significant year as it saw individuals in the trade who were traditionally divided by sectionalism and regionalism come together to amalgamate their power in order to protect the trades’ interests they had so long enjoyed and profited from.

So when you’re struggling to stay dry for January it may be useful to remember the history of the Temperance Movement in its warning of the evils of liquor as well as the efforts made by the trade to keep the alcohol industry thriving, and go easy on yourself in this time of conflict but remember, in the words of Oscar Wilde, “everything in moderation, including moderation.”


Laura Wilson
Archivist/Librarian