Streets And Houses, 1877

Although the names of streets are constantly in our minds and current on our lips, yet whenever street nomenclature forms the special subject of conversation, some ridiculous incongruity or some startling departure from every day propriety, is sure to be brought forward to illustrate the discussion, and so the subject becomes invested with an air of absurdity which does not properly appertain to it. One notable instance of the first will be alluded to in the following paper, where a locality, formerly so remarkable for its beauty and so charming to every sense as to deserve and obtain the name of Mount Pleasant, is now become repulsive instead of attractive—a place to be avoided rather than visited. But in truth, such examples illustrate the exception and not the rule, and street nomenclature is especially valuable in investigating the history of our large towns. It shows who was the popular hero of the hour, and conveys a compliment far more lasting then a mere monument (oere perennius). It indicates to us the impression made by some great event, or it informs us who were the ancient lords of the soil, in all cases giving a clue to the date of erection. Examples of every kind may be found in Whitehaven, and the modern origin of the town enables us to trace them, without much difficulty, to their respective sources. The history of Whitehaven has been so intertwined with that of the Lowther family, that it will be necessary to give a brief account of one of its offshoots, and its early connection with the district, prefatory to the immediate subject of this paper.

I find from an old admittance, dated October 22, 1631, that Sir John Lowther, of Lowther, was then lord of the manor of Saint Bees, which he must have bestowed upon his son soon after ; for Christopher, his second son, admits George Brisco to a tenement June 13, 1632. Christopher is therein styled of Lowther, where he probably continued to reside until the death of his father, September 15, 1637. In the absence, at present, of positive information, I conclude from a careful analysis of other dates, that subsequently to this event he married Frances, one of the four co-heiresses of Christopher Lancaster, of Sockbridge. They had only three children, two sons and a daughter, who was probably the eldest child, for the two sons were born at Whitehaven : Christopher, the eldest, being baptised at Saint Bees, May 26, 1641 ; and John, November 20, 1642. The father was buried there, April 27, 1644, having been predeceased by his son of the same name, May, 1641.

The death of Sir Christopher, who had been created a baronet, June II, 1642, was not, in a pecuniary sense, injurious to his son and successor; for Sir John was then little more than eighteen months old ; and it saved the Whitehaven branch of the great Lowther family from taking part in the unhappy struggle between King and Parliament, and from the consequent necessity of compounding for their estates in very heavy fines, as the parent and kindred houses were compelled to do, for having embraced the Royal cause.

His cousin Sir John, of Lowther, had to pay a fine of £1500, and his uncle William, of Swillington, one of £200. But these sacrifices secured Sir John, of Whitehaven, equally with themselves, a share in the Royal favour, which was bestowed upon them with no grudging hand after the Restoration.

Sir John attained his majority in 1663, having, together with his sister Frances, been under the guardianship of Henry Mill, as I learn from letters of administration granted to him in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, March 19, 1654, Sir John's Grandmother Eleanor (née Fleming) having renounced the administration. Probably the marriage of his mother to John Lamplugh, of Lamplugh, was held to have excluded her ; nay, the children may have been taken from her on that very account. Who Henry Mill was I cannot tell.

Sir John appears to have set himself to work zealously to develop his property, and to secure the influx of inhabitants endowed with talent and energy equal to his own.

Though sympathizing heartily with the Restoration and enjoying the smiles of Court favour, he took a decided part in connection with his relative and namesake, Sir John Lowther, subsequently the first Viscount Lonsdale, in bringing about the Revolution. He was, beyond all doubt, a Lord of the Admiralty from that period to 1694, but I believe, and think it may be inferred from certain statements made by Pepys, that he was in some way connected with that department at an earlier period. In other ways the family had relations with it, for the head of the Marske branch, Anthony Lowther, whose son became of Holker, married Peg Penn, as Pepys familiarly calls the daughter of the admiral of that name and the sister of the famous founder of Pennsylvania. It was, no doubt, through their connections with that department of the State, of which James, Duke of York, subsequently James II., was the head, that the grants of 166o and 1678 were obtained, or, at least, facilitated. Sir John's decision of character was painfully manifested in the disherison of his eldest son, Christopher, who had become a reckless spendthrift, and had rendered it manifest to his afflicted father that no hopes were left of his reformation. His marriage, which was contracted in opposition to his father's wishes, left no fruits, and the baronetcy ultimately reverted to the younger son, James, to whom Sir John left all his estate, and who possessed it from 1705 to 1755.

His character was curiously opposed to that of his elder brother, for his parsimony earned him the title by which he is best remembered, (to distinguish him from another Sir James,) of Farthing Jemmy. Upon his death Sir William, of Holker, enjoyed the estate for a brief twelvemonth, and after his decease it passed, under the entail created by the preceding Sir James, to another of the same name who had succeeded to the family estate at Lowther; since which time Whitehaven has lost the great advantage it, up to that period, enjoyed, of being the regular dwelling place of those principally interested in the estate.

A drawing taken in the year 1642, synchronises closely with the advent of the Lowthers, and gives us a very correct notion of the place as it existed under the Wyberghs, the Challoners, and, perhaps, as it was before the suppression. The mole, however, owes its origin to Sir Christopher, and still exists, though with considerable additions and some alterations, in the old wall.

The town consists of about 40 or 50 houses, and an ancient chapel. The original nucleus of the town was that portion extending alongside of the road leading from the foot of Rosemary Lane, by the present Swingpump Lane and Quay Street, to the haven.

A market was granted by Charles II. in 166o, when Sir John was only eighteen years of age ; but I learn from. documentary evidence that Sir John was engaged, and well qualified to engage, in the management of his affairs when still little more than a boy in years. It seems to me that he must have alienated, to the Gales' and other families, much of the land which he possessed lying between the Market Place on the south, the haven on the north, Quay Street on the west, and the beck on the east ; who thereupon, after no long interval, built houses, calling the intervening lanes after their own names ; and thus we come to have in this part Gale Court, Gale Lane, Gale Backlane, Nicholson Alley, Hamilton Lane ; all names of families connected with the town, some from a very early period.

Westward of Quay Street we have Littledale Lane and Bardywell Lane, both names to be found in our register from the commencement, and probably those of owners of property here previous to the advent of the Lowthers. A well existed on the property of the Bardys, access to which was of the utmost consequence to the inhabitants. Many and many a time threats are made to inflict pains and penalties on those who befouled this valuable fountain. I quote one of October 14, 1715 : — " We find several orders relating to the repairing of Bardy's Well not duly complied with, and do therefore desire Mr. Clement Nicholson, Mr. Anthony Whiteside, and Mr. Anthony Addison, to agree with some proper workmen to deepen ye said well, and amend the said well as they think proper, and to be paid out of the publick money resting in Mr. Henry Johnson's hands, if so much remains." The well actually remained until our own day, when a well-known character, Mrs. Peggy Scott, of the Manx Boat public house, was allowed to build over it, and immortalize her second husband, Mr. James, by calling the group of houses James' Place.

Ribton Lane owes its name to another of our ancient families who had property on its site. Rosemary Lane is so called after a plant which, no doubt, grew there ; it was regarded as emblematic of recollection, and, as such, lovers were wont to pledge their affections by presenting each other with sprigs of rosemary. We may imagine the youths and maidens of those days strolling into the country that way, but scarcely those of our own. The hapless Ophelia, when soliloquizing over her flowers, says, " there's rosemary, that's for remembrance." Leaving Old Town, at one time, no doubt, a group of houses standing apart from those in Quay Street, and crossing the beck, we come to New Town, a name given as the town was spreading. Pipehouse Lane marks the site of a manufactory, which we might well expect to find a flourishing one in a town which was, at one time, only third in the kingdom for its importation of tobacco. Preston Street is of considerably later origin, and shows the original boundary of Preston Quarter. Pow Street indicates the course of the beck of that name, and James Street would be called after James, when Duke of York. The part of Whitehaven of which I have been speaking presents no trace of plan, but has been built according to the sweet will of each owner of property. It affords the strongest possible contrast to that portion of the town east of the beck, which shows unmistakable evidence of the ruling and organizing mind of Sir John. I am not aware that there is any town of the said period in England that is laid out with such precision, and considering that Sir John must have been well acquainted with Sir Christopher Wren, who had very advanced ideas regarding the laying out of towns, (which, however, he was not allowed to put into practice after the great fire of London, though it would have been better if he had,) I cannot divest myself of the idea that Whitehaven may owe something to his genius.

King Street owes its name to Charles II., whose grants of lands to Sir John were of far greater importance than their mere intrinsic value. It was long occupied by the leading merchants, whose respective residences opened into it, and was originally formed to be, as it still is, the main line of road leading through the town ; many of the traders had their warehouses at the back of their residences, facing the East Strand ; indeed, I am told that in the cellar of one may still be seen a mooring-ring, considerably below the present level of the street. Gradually the opposite side of the Strand got built upon, and so the street of that name was formed. King Street it was, therefore, that gave the line to all the streets running parallel to it.

Chapel Street would be formed on the east side of King Street ; it took its name from the chapel which, with the small burial ground attached, covered the site of the premises belonging to Mr. Musgrave, also that of the present " Pack Horse," and extended across Lowther Street to, if not including, the Savings Bank, and over Chapel Street to the back of the printing offices of The Whitehaven News. I ought to state that no burial ground appears to have existed when the view of 1642 was taken, but there is proof that in the interim a walled-in ground had been formed, and it is a matter of notoriety that human remains and a tombstone have been discovered. But this old chapel interfered greatly with Sir John's matured plans after he had become the owner of The Flatt, and he was very desirous to lay out a street from his private gate, down which the harbour might be visible, crossing King Street at right angles. Moreover, the ancient fabric was wretchedly insufficient to accommodate the increased number of worshippers, and so, after much negotiation and not without great difficulty, which can well be imagined, for in nothing is human nature more tenacious and less amenable to reason than in matters relating to places of worship and of sepulture, he succeeded, by the gift of a large piece of land and a considerable donation of money, in winning the consent of the inhabitants to the removal of the original and the erection of the present chapel, known as St. Nicholas' or the Old Church in contradistinction to those subsequently built.

The assiduity which Sir John bestowed upon this street is manifested by certain clauses to be found in some, if not all, the grants. I quote from one, " The house to be three stories high, not less than twenty-eight feet from the level of the street to the square of the side walls, the windows of the first and second stories to be transomed, and the same, together with the doors, to be of hewn stone." A sketch in my possession with which I have been favoured by a zealous collector of old lore, to whom I am indebted for some valuable information, represents the houses which occupied the site of the present Savings Bank, and well illustrates, even in their decayed state, the conditions I have quoted. The result of all this care was the construction of a very handsome street —in which the narrowness of King Street was avoided-- which will compare very favourably with any other of its time, and is not unworthy of the present day. Church Street, the origin of which name is self-evident, followed as a matter of course ; and Queen Street, the lower portion of which is the original street, and owes its name to Catherine of Braganza, the ill-used wife of the debauched Charles, was twisted round into due parallelism. The materials of the old chapel were used by Sir John in the erection of a new school house, which gave its name to Schoolhouse Lane.

Plumblands Lane was so designated because a portion of it was built on a field known as Plumblands Close, but the origin of that name I have not yet clearly ascertained. College Street, or College Lane, preserves a curious record of an establishment founded by John, first Viscount Lonsdale, at Lowther, of which his friend and relative Sir John, of Whitehaven, with whom he maintained the most cordial relations, was one of the trustees. The establishment was intended for the education of the higher classes in the northern counties, but within forty years of its foundation the charity funds and building were first diverted to the establishment of a carpet manufactory, of whose excellence some curious specimens still remain, and it was then suppressed.

Addison's Alley owes its name to one of the great Spectator's relations.

New Street would be contemporary with those I have just named, and owes its other and popular name of Brick Street to a few of the houses in it being built of that material, of which Sir John Lowther about that period had established a manufactory.

Duke Street was called after James II. when Duke of York. It preserves the old line of road to Hensingham, by the side of which ran a beck emptying itself into the haven near the present Bulwark, and I find the following note in an old manuscript respecting it: "We find the pavement of the bridge at the head of King Street to be broke, and the way to the south end of Tangier Row not paved, as also the bridge broken down, and it belongs to the publick. We do order the overseers of the highway to repair the same."

Tangier Street, Senhouse Street, and Hick's Lane, all took their names from Tangier House and its owners, respecting whom I shall speak at large presently.

Most of the part I have been mentioning, occupying the central portion of the valley, had been used by the public as common, " upon which the coal leaders turned out their horses, the inhabitants dried their clothes, and the fishermen their nets," and was known as Sandy Hills, being of that irregular nature of surface always found where sand is subjected to the action of the wind. The name, though considerably limited in its area, is still preserved in Sandhills Lane. This district was subjected to baser uses than those I have mentioned, for under the date May 2, 1707, I find, "whereas it was recommended that some convenient place or places were appointed by us for all laying of all filth, ashes, or rubbish. We therefore order that all the inhabitants of Whitehaven, do, from time to time, and at all times hereafter, carry and lay all filth, ashes, and rubbish to two several places, one being between the new school-house, Mr. Christian's new house (which I may now state was at the north-west corner of Lowther Street and Scotch Street) on the sand-hills, and the back side of Duke Street."

Irish Street was formed, and consequently named, at an early period, but it did not increase rapidly. I suppose the name was given to it because the port largely traded with Ireland and there were many Irish settlers, certainly not because the dwellers in the street belonged to that nationality, for I cannot detect that any of them did.

Cross Street tells its own origin, for it crosses from Lower Queen Street to Irish Street.

Scotch Street is perhaps rather later in date than most, if not all, of those I have named. I suppose since there was an Irish Street there must be a Scotch Street. Roper Lane had been a rope-walk at its foot, and at a later period, about or just subsequent to 1713, when Trinity Church was erected, the upper and wider part, east of Queen Street, was laid out.

The whole of the streets I have mentioned owe their origin, I believe, to Sir John Lowther, though very few houses, perhaps, were in existence in some of them for many years after his death. He was interred at St. Bees, January 17, 1705-6. They may all be traced in Matthias Reed's bird's-eye view of the town, published in 1738. About the year 175o, I come upon the names of Charles, Peter, and Catherine Streets. As to the first I will indulge in conjecture, for I have nothing to offer but supposition. It might be so-called from a grateful recollection of all Charles had done for the family ; or it might be called with reference to Charles Street, Berkeley Square, in which the town residence of James, the first Earl of Lonsdale, was situated, to whom it probably descended from the Whitehaven Lowthers.

Peter Street baffles me entirely.

Catherine Street may be so named in honour of various Catherines, two of whom, the most likely to have been its sponsors, may be particularly mentioned. Catherine Pennington became the wife of Robert Lowther, of Maulds Meaburn, for a time Governor of Barbados, and was mother of James who succeeded to the Whitehaven estates in 1756. She was the sister of Sir John Pennington, the co-member with Sir James in the representation of Cumberland from 1748 to the death of the latter. Her mother was the daughter of John, first Viscount Lonsdale. Another, and a contemporary Catherine, was the wife of Sir William Lowther, of Swillington, the last baronet of the first creation. She also, by her mother Elizabeth, wife of Sir John Ramsden, was a granddaughter of the first Viscount Lonsdale ; so that these two Catherines were cousins. Ewan Clark wrote an elegy on the death of the latter in the Corydon and Damon style of last century, celebrating her virtues under the name of Dorinda. If Clark had written nothing better than the follow stanza, which is a fair specimen of the piece, his name would deserve to be forgotten: —

"The stone that shall stand at her head, Shall speak this indelible strain, Here lies, for Dorinda is dead, The glory, the pride of the plain."

George Street, from the date of its commencement, would be called after George II., and indicates that attachment to the Hanoverian dynasty which the Lowther family felt, exhibited, and suffered for in the " Forty-five." High Street and Hilton Terrace are comparatively late erections, and indicate, by their names, the elevated position of the first, and the builder of the second. The Ginns occupies the ground where some coal-mines were worked by these machines, which have become obsolete since steam has been utilized as the great working power.

The Newhouses, a long line of cottages built late in the last century, certainly present a striking object in any view of the town; but a closer acquaintance with them is not desirable.

The plot of ground situated south of the market-house, bounded by Pow Street on the east, and Swingpump Lane on the west (the latter being quite a modern name for the old road running from St. Bees to the harbour by way of Quay Street or Old Street), was principally occupied by the Old Hall, its court fronting to the ancient road, and its back to the beck; together with its stable, barn, tithe-barn, and horse miln; whilst the gardens were on the western side of the road, and stretched up to the foot of the hill. This was certainly the abode of the Wyberghs; and probably of Sir Christopher Lowther, until the new house which he erected near the foot of Quay Street, at the southwestern angle of the harbour, was ready for his reception. This property was granted or sold at various times to the two John Gales, father and son; the earliest grant being in the year 1665, when Sir John Lowther was only twenty three years of age; but the language of the grant in 1686 is worthy of notice - for Sir John states that it is made "for and in consideration of the good and faithful service of the said John Gale."

John Gale, sen., probably came to Whitehaven about the year first-named ; the family tradition states that he came from Newcastle-on-Tyne, in which place he had located himself for a while after retreating from Tralee, in Ireland, owing to the troubles there. It is to be noted that a number of the principal families who settled in Whitehaven about this period came from that town, and were mostly Presbyterians or Independents.

I am disposed to think that Sir John discountenanced persecution, and we know from the life of Ambrose Barnes that Dissenters had a very uneasy time at Newcastle, as they had elsewhere generally, during the period from the Restoration to the Revolution. This alone would show the liberality as well as wisdom of Sir John's plans, which is evidenced also by the fact that he granted land on liberal terms for the erection of a chapel, one of the earliest of those built subsequent to the passing of the Toleration Act in 1689. The grant bears date February 14, 1694, and it is stated in the foundation deeds that the same is for Protestants dissenting from the Church of England, whether Presbyterians or Congregational.

The original grant is made to Elisha Gale, one of the three sons of John the original immigrant ; the others being John the eldest, already named, and Ebenezer, the second son. It is very noticeable in our history generally, how soon after the withdrawal of persecution many members of those families who had been the most zealous in the cause of dissent conformed ; and Whitehaven was in this respect a microcosm of the kingdom at large, for of the three sons I have named, John and Ebenezer became regular attendants at St. Nicholas' Church. The latter, indeed, was much interested and very zealous in the building of the present old church. The three brothers all occupied houses built on the site of the old hall and its various outbuildings.

They allied themselves with the principal families of the town and country, and one branch of the family, under the adopted name of Braddyll, attained considerable local eminence ; but the companionship of the " finest gentleman " in Europe, and outrageous expenditure in other ways, brought them from their high estate ; and the manor of Cleator, Catgill Hall, and all their Whitehaven property, have passed into other hands ; and Gale Court, on the site of the gardens belonging to the Old Hall, and Gale Lane in another part of the old town, are all that remain to remind us of a family once so closely connected with the locality.

The buildings on the site of the Old Hall and its outbuildings were sold on the death of John Gale, who died 26th April, 1768, and were conveyed, in 177o and 1771, to various parties ; John Douglas, potter, being one, and John Bragg, butcher, another. The property has been much altered of late years, but a staircase of the last decade of the seventeenth century still exists, and perhaps some other remnants.

The next point to which I desire to direct attention, is the engine-house used for pumping the sewage to its outlet in Saltom Bay. This marks the site of the second house occupied by Sir Christopher Lowther, and in which, if my conjecture be correct, he died. Probably Sir John might occupy it for a few years after attaining his majority, before he removed to his new house of the Flatt. I find that it was possessed by Mr. Henry Addison in 1689, but how long he had previously held it I am at present unable to determine. The exact relationship between this gentleman and the great author of the Spectator I cannot fix. I don't think they were quite so near as first cousins, but the relationship was recognized.

Henry Addison died in 1689, or the following year, and his widow survived him no less than 47 years, during the whole of which period she continued to reside at this mansion, whose grounds, stretching up to the hill on the west, were so beautiful that it became known as Mount Pleasant. This house is mentioned in the Act, 7th Queen Anne, as one of the points indicating the boundary of the harbour. Jane, the only daughter and heiress of Henry Addison (I learn from the Saint Bees register), married October 29th, 1699, Hugh Simpson, an attorney, and Clerk of the Peace for the County, and by him had at least two sons. The eldest, Lancelot Simpson, succeeded his father at Musgrave Hall, Penrith, and heired this property. He is mentioned as owner of it in the Act, 2nd George III., for the enlargement of the harbour of Whitehaven, and the improvement of the roads leading thereto. He died unmarried, and it passed to his niece Elizabeth (daughter of his brother Thomas, also an attorney of great eminence), who became the wife of James Wallace, Attorney General, of Carlton Hall, near Penrith. She sold the same, in 1773, to Robert Fisher and Henry Bragg, and from them it passed to James Hogarth, merchant, in 1781 ; subsequent to which period the beautiful gardens were covered with buildings occupied by the poorest and most wretched classes ; so that the name which formerly correctly described the site seems now only to be applied in mockery and derision.

Passing to the next Lowther dwelling, I find that " The Flatts " was the property of a William Fletcher in 1599, and I believe it had belonged to the same family for at least fifty years previously—perhaps for many years before. One of this name was steward to Sir Thomas Chaloner, and I hope to be able, at some period, to ascertain the correctness of my supposition that he was a member of the family of Fletcher, whose offshoots became, respectively, of Moresby, of Tallentire, and of Hutton ; in which case it would almost certainly follow that the great wealth which that family acquired was made by commerce at Whitehaven. On the 7th August, 1622, I find, by our parish register, that Michael Johnson married Dorothy, the daughter of the said William Fletcher, who (Dorothy) had been baptized at Saint Bees, October 6th, 1602. Her mother, Ann, was buried February 13th, 1652. This pair had several children born at the Flatt, the latest being " 1628, vi. die Aprilis, Georgius filius Michali Johnson, de Flatt, bapt." Many years after, in a dispute concerning the right of presentation of a minister to Saint Nicholas' Chapel, it was stated and not denied, that Sir John was liable for a sum of £20, which had been bequeathed for certain charitable purposes, and as I understand, secured on this very property, and if so, it proves the Johnson ownership. We just catch a glimpse of the corner of this mansion in the view of Whitehaven in 1642 ; the troop of pack-horses are coming from the direction of Hensingham by the ancient road which formerly ran at the back of The Flatt, and hence, by way of Love Lane, to the head of Duke Street. Sir John Lowther purchased this property some time before, and rebuilt the mansion previous to 1694, for in that year Ralph Thoresby visited Whitehaven, and he particularly alludes to " Sir John's stately house of The Flat." This structure, with its gardens and pleasure grounds, is well exhibited in Matthias Read's bird's-eye view of Whitehaven in 1738, and the old road still ran close to the northwest corner at that period.

The last change that it underwent was some time after the succession of that Sir James Lowther, subsequently created Earl of Lonsdale, who came to the property in 1756. Probably it was after the grand contest for the representation of Cumberland between himself and the Portland family, which took place in 1768, for it had been remarked that he had become embarrassed, owing to the heavy pecuniary calls which resulted from this political contest. By way of answer Sir James determined to rebuild the Flatt, and he engaged no less noted an architect than Sir William Chambers, to whom we owe one of the noblest of our national buildings, Somerset House. I have this statement, which is not generally known, and which I own was surprising to myself, from a source which, I believe, places it beyond cavil. Though Sir William cannot be said to have been so successful in Cumberland as he was in London, the Castle, as we now call it, is not without some fine features. Perhaps it was about this period, but at any rate subsequent to Sir James' day, that the road was diverted from its old course and taken, by way of Lowther Street and through the Flatt walks, to the point just below the back of Corkickle where the old road continued its original course.

This is not an unfitting place to draw attention to the number and beauty of the old pavements which once were so prominent a feature, opposite to, and in the courts of, our old houses, and of which many of us have a recollection. There is one well worth notice in the inner court of the Castle, representing a hunting scene ; the cobbles found on the seashore, formed by the various igneous rocks of the district, (prominent amongst them being those of the syenite of Red Pike), supplying the various colours requisite for pictorial representation. A small pattern may still be seen in the court opposite Tangier House, and a few, but sadly diminished number of anchors, &c., exist here and there.

The next, and perhaps in some respects the most interesting, of our old houses to which I shall draw your attention, is the house with a court before it in Quay Street, originally called Old Street, but popularly known by another and now usually looked upon as inexpressible name. Up to a late period the original transoms of the windows were in existence. This house, most probably erected late in the seventeenth or early in the eighteenth century, occupies the site of an ancient firehouse, as it is called in a document bearing date June 23, 1595, in which Anthony Sanderson, of London, sells the same to Thomas Robinson, of Wapping, mariner. I am somewhat puzzled by this name of firehouse ; had it occurred at a later period it would have seemed to be an allusion to that most unpopular of all taxes, the hearth-tax. But that imposition was only voted in Parliament, 15th Charles II. The following lines indicate how obnoxious it was : —

"The good old dames whenever they the chimney man espied Unto their works they haste away, the pots and pipkins hide; There is not one old dame in ten, search all the nation through, But if you talk of chimney men will spare a curse or two."

In 1605 Thomas Robinson sells the property to Robert Fletcher, of Whitehaven, merchant ; William Fletcher being also named in the deeds ; and, I believe, both were members of the family to which I have already drawn attention in my account of The Flatt. John Nicholson became the owner in 1631, and the Clement Nicholson, who is appointed one of the Trustees under the Act of Queen Anne, was certainly of this family.

On the 19th of September, 1737, Ann Bigland became connected with the property. I cannot give her husband a place in the pedigree of the Biglands, of Biglands, near Ulverstone, but as they were connected with the Gales, and held property in the Old Town very near this house, I think he must have been a cadet of that ancient family. On July 24th, 1810, I find the well and favourably known Dr. Joshua Dixon disposing of the house. He was baptized at the Old Church, 12th August, 1744, and died 7th January, 1825. One of the many good acts of his wellspent life was the establishment of the infirmary. He derived the property from his mother, whose maiden name was Eskridge, to which family it had descended from Ann Bigland, but who must have been connected with the Nicholsons, for Clement Nicholson is mentioned on Joshua Dixon's tombstone in the Old Churchyard.

The said Joshua conveyed the property to Isaac Long and John Hale, coopers, in whose hands it remained until November 18th, 1820, and it was during their ownership that the court, whose entrance is on the south side, obtained the name of Cooper's Court.

There is an old painting, almost erased, of Egremont Castle on a panel over the fireplace, on the left-hand side of the entrance ; no doubt, one of the many works of that kind executed by Matthias Read.

Tangier House (which gave its name to the row of houses built in a line with its court front, and subsequently, when both sides were built, to the present street,) owes that name to the African settlement which was the white elephant in the dowry of Catherine of Braganza.

How vast an amount of money was wasted on it by England we do not exactly know ; how much anxiety it cost poor Pepys, the readers of his diary may form some idea of ; but one Englishman seems to have made money there, for Captain Richard Senhouse, grandson of Peter Senhouse, Esq., of Netherhall, returned thence, and buying a large piece of ground here, April 11th, 1685, supplemented by a smaller grant in 1688, built this mansion and warehouses, and laid out gardens on the same. He was residing there up to 169o, but, in the following year I find a Mr. Richard, in place of Captain Richard, occupying the house, which he continued to do up to, and perhaps later than, 1701. They might be one and the same, but I note the difference.

The mansion became the property of Humphrey Senhouse, Esq., of Netherhall, subsequent to that date. It was occupied during the year 1715 by Alfrid Lawson, who, in 1749, succeeded his brother in the baronetcy and the estates of Isell, Brayton, Hensingham, &c. Then, from 1716 to 172o, by Henry Blencowe, who married the daughter of Ferdinando Latus, Esq., of both of whom I may, at some future time, speak in connection with other Whitehaven houses belonging to them, for here they were only tenants.

In October, 1722, Gustavus Thomson, Esq., of Arkleby Hall, became the owner of this property, and in that year sold off a portion to one Christopher Thomson ; perhaps it was part of the dowry of his wife Joanna, one of the two daughters of the Humphrey Senhouse already mentioned. Bridget, the other, married John Christian, at Crosscanonby, May 14th, 1718. (It was in recollection of his maternal ancestry, and probably also with another allusion, for it is said to have been the place of his somewhat sudden birth, that Lord Chief Justice Law, her grandson, selected the title of Ellenborough when he was elevated to the peerage.)

I may be allowed to enlarge a little upon Gustavus Thomson and his family, for their story has not been told, and is well worth the telling. Soon after the glorious Restoration, for such jolly doings would scarcely have taken place in the days of Puritanism, or else would have been kept more sub rosâ, Mr. Potter, of Weary Hall, in the parish of Bolton, attended the races at York, and was unfortunate in his betting transactions ; money was wanted to pay his debts of honour, and then and there he sold his advowsons of Bolton and Plumbland to Mr. Richard Thompson, of Kilham in Yorkshire, for £100 down. It is sad to think that for a few years Mr. Thompson received no interest on his capital, but in 1686 fortune smiled, for the Rev. Daniel Hechtetter, of the Hechstetters of Keswick, Rector of Bolton, died ; and in the very same year the Rev. Joseph Nicolson, father of William Nicolson, Bishop of Carlisle, was laid beneath the Communion table at Plumbland. Mr. Richard Thompson was at last in a position to recoup himself, and well he availed himself of the opportunity. He presented both rectories to the Rev. Michael Robinson, with an agreement in the background that he—the patron—was to receive £60 per annum for fourteen years, after which the rector was to have both livings clear for the rest of his life; but alas! for poor Michael, he died in the very terminal year of 1700. Mr. Richard Thompson was not quite prepared for this stroke of good luck, for his sons were all laymen, and Gustavus, who was the one pitched upon to succeed to this ecclesiastical prize, was in the army ; but there were no penny papers in those days ; a Mr. Green, usher at Cockermouth school, kept the two livings going for a twelvemonth, during which period Captain Gustavus Thompson dyed his red coat into a black gown, and all went on serenely. He held both livings until his death in 1710. In addition to being owner of these two livings Mr. Thompson was squire of Arkleby Hall, which the Penruddock's, sorely impoverished by their support of Charles, had been obliged to alienate. Mr. Thompson had three sons ; his successor at Arkleby, Gustavus ; Richard, ancestor of the present Sir Thomas Raikes Thompson, Baronet, of Hartsbourne, Hertfordshire; and another to whom was given his mother's maiden name of Godbold, baptized at Plumbland, February 8th, 1703-4. Gustavus it was who, May 4th, 1721, as the Crosscanonby register tells me, married Johanna Senhouse. Apparently he went to reside at Whitehaven during the period when Arkleby Hall was being rebuilt, for 1725 is the date over the front door there.

On September 9th, 1725, Gustavus sold Tangier House to Mr. Gilpin, having previously granted a three years' lease of the same to Ferdinando Latus, Esq. The grandfather of Gustavus seems, in his own person, to have exhausted the family good fortune ; for when this third successor tried to better himself by gambling in South Sea stock, he was a holder when the great crash took place, and was sorely smitten. He was obliged to sell the two rectories to Sir Wilfred Lawson for £500, and ultimately Arkleby fell into the same hands. His son, Gustavus, became vicar of Penrith in 1748, and on the 13th of April, 1749, I find the following entry in the Plumbland register : — " Gustavus Thomson, Vicar of Penrith and Chaplain to Richard, Lord Bishop of Carlisle, who died at Penrith, and was buried in Mr. Senhouse's vault in Cannonby Church." This is the last trace of the family of Thomson that I can find in Cumberland.

William Gilpin and his family commenced their occupancy of the house subsequent to 1730, on the termination of the lease granted by Ferdinando Latus, and there is no family except the Lowthers to whom Whitehaven is so much indebted ; but I prefer to tell their story, which is really a very interesting one, more at large than any others and for that reason, and because this was not their earliest dwelling in the town, I postpone saying anything regarding them until another occasion.

On the 3rd of July, 1745, William Hicks became the purchaser of this property from the Gilpin family for £800. I suppose him to be the son of another William Hicks, a witness to one of the Old Hall deeds, dated 22nd March, 1687. He married, April 1728, Sarah, the second of the four co-heiresses of Enoch Hudson, of Newcastle-upon- Tyne, a rigid Presbyterian ; the third married Richard Gilpin, elder brother of the William whom I have just mentioned ; and the fourth daughter, Hannah, married Mr. Robert Ellison, of Whitehaven, of whom I shall also seek to speak at a future time. William Hicks was sheriff of Cumberland in 1736. He was appointed a trustee of the James Street chapel, of which he was a member, March 5th, 1732. He is named as one of the trustees of the Whitehaven roads in the Act of 1740. He was buried in the churchyard of Saint Nicholas, July 1st, 1758. His son of the same name was sheriff of the county in 1772, and by his wife Priscilla had a family. Elizabeth, one of the daughters, married Arnoldus Skelton, who took certain property belonging to her father at Papcastle. Another, Ann, married in August, 1782, Roger Fleming, of Whitehaven, to whom she bore Daniel, the fifth baronet. This William died in 1788, and the property, having been long encumbered, was sold by his widow Priscilla, then of Flimby, with the concurrence of the rest of the family, June 1797, to Anthony Adamson for Li ',Do, by whose assignees after the failure of the bank, the business of which was conducted on these premises, and in which he was a leading partner, it was conveyed, January 4th, 1826, to George Harrison and others.

The house in Lowther Street lately purchased by the Cumberland Union Banking Company, has not the least interesting history of any of the Whitehaven houses. The land was bought by Richard Senhouse, apothecary.

Mr. Senhouse, it is to be feared, outbuilt himself, for no sooner had he finished his mansion, nay, it may be previous to its completion, on the 7th of May, 1705, he mortgaged the premises to Thomas Carleton, of Appleby Castle, an offshoot of the Canetons, of Carleton Hall, near Penrith. No interest being paid the debt rapidly accumulated; and on the 8th of March, 1710, Thomas Lutwidge became the purchaser. Richard Senhouse was the second son of Peter, fourth son of John Senhouse, Esq., of Netherhall.

He was apparently twice married, for I find an entry in the Old Church register that Anne the wife of Richard Senhouse, was buried, February 20th, 1704. On the 24th February, 1708, he was certainly married to Miss Mary Greggs, who must have survived him, for she is buried as relict of Dr. Richard Senhouse, January, 1728-9. Subsequently, on the 16th May, 1732, Peter, son of Dr. Richard Senhouse, was christened when he must have been several years old.

A John Senhouse, tide waiter, an elder brother of Richard, is named several times in the Old Church register, and there are several other entries relating to members of the Senhouse family, besides the other John to whom I shall subsequently allude.

The offices of tide waiter and landing waiter in the Customs must at that period have been more dignified than they are at present, for they were held by different members of good families in the neighbourhood. Daniel Fleming, grandson of one baronet of Rydal and grandfather of another, occupied one of these posts in the Customs. The fact was that the Lowther family virtually had the appointment of these positions, and naturally gave them to cadets of kindred families ; thus at once providing for their friends and extending their own interest.

The Lutwidge family, of which Thomas was one of the representatives in Whitehaven, is said to have come from one of the two principal sources of Whitehaven immigration ; Ireland in this case, and in others Newcastle, as I have stated. They were amongst the strongest supporters of Presbyterianism. Thomas was one of the witnesses to the agreement of October 4th, 1694, for the purchase of the site of the chapel in James Street, and subsequently one of its trustees. He married for his second wife Lucy, daughter of Mr. Charles Hoghton, whose father, Sir Richard, was one of the strongest pillars of the Puritan cause in Lancashire. Most, if not all, of their children are registered as members of this chapel. But the fires of persecution having been extinguished, it was found that the line of demarcation of opinion between the orthodox and the heterodox was perhaps not so wide as that between different schools of thought in the former body, and they seem to have conformed ; for subsequently to about 1730, all the family entries are to be found in St. Nicholas' Church, apparently as members of the congregation worshipping there.

This property was held by the family until May 24th, 1801, when it was sold by Charles, grandson of Thomas the first owner, with the concurrence of Admiral Skeffington Lutwidge the last heir of entail, for £1260, to Sir Joseph Senhouse, then residing at Arkleby Hall. This Sir Joseph Senhouse was third son of Humphrey, of Netherhall ; he had prosecuted a successful career in the service of the East India Company, and had married the co-heiress of John Ashley, Esq., of Ashley St. Legers, Northamptonshire. He was, I believe, one of the knights created by George III. at the time of his escape from the attack made upon him by an insane woman called Margaret Nicholson ; but as the populace were rather incredulous about the reality of an attack, and disposed to throw ridicule over the whole matter, the batch created on that occasion were very disrespectfully called Peg Nicholson's Knights. Sir Joseph held the property until June 4th, 1821, when it was sold to George Harrison for £1800.

The mansion we all remember standing at the corner of Lowther Street and Scotch Street, was built upon a site granted by James, subsequently Sir James Lowther, November 24th, 1716. It extended seventy-five yards back to the plot of land then belonging to William Ferryes, the builder and owner of the mansion commonly known as the " Cupola." The front into Lowther Street had a length of 44½ yards. The purchaser, Walter Lutwidge, was, I believe, a brother of Thomas, the gentleman to whom I have alluded, although he is not named in the pedigrees, which are also silent respecting James Lutwidge, probably a third brother, a retired sailor, who died from an attack of apoplexy in the month of August, 1737, aged about fifty years. Walter Lutwidge occupied a leading position in the town, and was High Sheriff of the county in 1748. His son, Thomas, had a son of the same name and several daughters. One of these, Elizabeth, married John Cookson, of Newcastle-on-Tyne ; whose uncle William, a mercer in Penrith, by his wife Dorothy Crackenthorpe became, through his son Christopher, the grandfather of the present William Crackenthorpe, Esq., of Newbiggin Hall, Westmorland ; and by his daughter Anne, who married John Wordsworth, he was also the grandfather of William Wordsworth, whose name, though not without lustre, is actually omitted in the Cookson Pedigree ; as is the fact that the said William Cookson was a mercer ; a statement, however, which is not shrunk from in the life of the great poet.

Thomas Lutwidge, grandson of Walter, by his will dated March 25th, 1794, bequeathed all his property to his sister, Mary Arbackle, for her life after paying sundry legacies, amongst which was one of £100 to the Rev. James Kirkpatrick, minister of the Dissenting Chapel; indicating that he still adhered to the early tenets of his family, as indeed is proved by the fact that he was a trustee of the chapel just named at the time of his death. The reversion he left to his nephew, Isaac Cookson the elder.

The same Isaac seems to have sold the mansion and grounds in lots ; the largest purchaser on the 2nd December, 1799, being Mr. Peter Dixon, who and his family were known for many years as successful manufacturers in Carlisle. On the 12th March, 1840, the central portion of the original mansion was sold to Edward Carr Knubley, Esq., and was bought about three years ago by the Wesleyan body, who have erected thereon a place of worship of considerable architectural pretensions.

Another portion of the property which had been severed from the original plot in 1840, was secured by the Independents for their new chapel, and if the claim which I understand they put forward be correct, that they really ought to have been allowed to hold the original Dissenting place of worship in James Street, they are not inappropriately housed on the old homestead of one of their fellow worshippers.

The original doorcase of the' mansion and a chimney piece, also of the date of erection, most fitly found their way to Holmrook for '25 ; the iron paling of the court and the gates, which were also contemporary, and probably came from the Bloomeries of Surrey, were purchased by Mr. Humphreys-Owen, of Glan-Severn Montgomeryshire, for £40.

The receivers of the leaden down spouts bore the arms of the Lutwidges, three caps of maintenance, and the date in one case was 1735, and in two others 1728. The crest of the family, a lion rampant, was stamped on many of the joints. These, I regret to say, were melted down. The house belonging to Mr. Towerson, and standing at the corner of Roper Street and Scotch Street, can scarcely be classed amongst the old houses of Whitehaven, but it nevertheless awakens some interesting reminiscences of one of our principal families ; a family to whom the town is also much indebted, which survives in two branches, and the old ability of which is well represented by James Spedding Esq., one of the Mirehouse stem, who,— and what higher literary praise can be bestowed? —has edited the works of Francis Bacon, "large-browed Verulam," in a manner worthy of his author.

On the 12th November, 1730, Thomas Coats sold to Joseph Deane, gentleman, a piece of land, 22 yards in front to Roper Lane, as it was then entitled, and 30 yards along Scotch Street to Carter Lane. A portion of this garden was sold by Joseph Deane, February 23rd, 1743, to Mr. James Spedding, and subsequent purchases were made to which I need not do more than allude.

Mr. James Spedding was a member of a family of which I find the first detailed mention in the will of Sir John Lowther, dated October 8th, 1705, wherein he says, " I bequeath to John Spedding and William Cuppage, each of them, two years' wages, and for that they are fully apprised of all the particulars of my estate, especially my collieries. I recommend them both in a particular manner to my son, James Lowther, to be employed in controlling the steward's accounts, or otherwise, as he shall think fit." He was one of the trustees mentioned in the agreement for the erection of Trinity Church, dated the 12th February, 1713, and also one of the first two churchwardens ; and he was a contributor to the building fund of £20. I can scarcely believe that this was the same John, who, in connection with his younger brother Carlisle, was appointed trustee of the will of Sir James Lowther, September 14th, 1754, who therein says, " I give unto John Spedding, my steward, £l000 for his long and faithful services ; and for the like account I give to his brother, Carlisle Spedding, £500." The firm, amongst other engagements, carried on a large business as timber merchants at home and abroad. One of their transactions, as it possesses at once a local interest and gives some idea of their dealings, I may mention when the Greenwich Hospital Commissioners, in that frightful utilitarian spirit which has not yet been banished from amongst us, determined to fell and sell the magnificent woods of oak, birch, ash, and yew, which towered along the shores and on the islands of Derwentwater, James Spedding & Co. became the purchasers of the timber, December 29th, 1748, for £5,300, no mean sum in those days.

Carlisle, the younger brother of whom I have spoken, was the gentleman who, under the pseudonym of " Dan," went to Newcastle and engaged himself as a common labourer in the pits to learn the best methods of mining practised there, and was only discovered when, becoming the victim of an accident, he was inquired after with an anxiety that betrayed his importance. He was the inventor of an ingenious machine for obtaining light when the mines were in a dangerous state from the presence of fire damp. A boy was employed to turn by a handle a disk of steel with great velocity against a block of flint, thus producing a constant shower of sparks which it was supposed were incapable of igniting the gas, but this did not prevent him losing his life from an explosion of that dangerous gas. A monument to his memory and that of his wife, Sarah, née Towerson, was erected by his son under the tower of Trinity Church.

He was succeeded by his son James, who built this house ; and I would draw your attention to the entrance, and to a charming architectural device in connection with the same. The door is surmounted by a pediment, supported on two fluted Ionic columns, slightly engaged, standing on pedestals ; the pediment is not carried to a point, as is usual, but each side terminates in a volute, leaving an opening at the apex ; a console is placed on the centre of the cornice, and on this stands an acorn, whose point projects through the opening in the pediment. The architect, who might perhaps be James himself, was clearly not a mere draughtsman but possessed true artistic insight, for the shield of the Speddings bears three acorns, a fact also not without significance when we recollect they were extensive timber merchants.

James Spedding married for his first wife, Mary, the daughter of Mr. Henry Todd, the head of a family which had been settled at St. Bees for a century at least, and of which the late Rev. Henry John Todd, the well-known and eminent literary man, was a member.

By this wife he had a daughter, Elizabeth. She, by her marriage with Peter John Heywood, of the Nunnery, Isle of Man, had several children ; one of whom was Peter Heywood, whose persecution by Captain Bligh, who persisted in considering him as one of the mutineers of the Bounty, in which vessel he was a midshipman, elicited so much public commiseration, especially in this town. James Spedding died 22nd August, 1788, and a monument to his memory was erected in Trinity Church. A well-deserved eulogium may be found in Hutchinson's History of Cumberland. By his second wife, Elizabeth, a member of an offshoot of the Harringtons, he had a numerous family whose descendants still reside in the neighbourhood. An elder brother of James, the Rev. Thomas Spedding, was the first minister of St. James's Church, the incumbency of which he held from 1752 to 1783. The house remained the property of the family who had built it, until July 30th, 1868, when it was conveyed to its present owner.

The last house that I shall introduce to your notice is one of special interest to ourselves, for it is the one in which we are at present met. Part of the ground on which it is built was granted, June ist, 1736, by Sir James Lowther to John Hayton, joiner, of Whitehaven, who already possessed some here. I presume that he was specially alive to, and desired to supply with due profit to himself, what he conceived was a public want. Certain it is that on the 28th April, 1758, he mortgaged the premises he had built on the site to William Ponsonby, who had married Catherine, daughter and heiress of John Senhouse, by whom he had a daughter and heiress, Isabella, who married Major Humphrey Senhouse, all of Whitehaven ; showing how very intimately the Senhouse family continued to be connected with the town. In the mortgage deed the premises are described as " commonly known as the Assembly Rooms ; " that they had been built with this object in view I can scarcely doubt ; that they had been used for this purpose a number of years is proved.

John made his will May 7th, 1770, and died January 29th, 1775. In his will he describes himself as lime burner, and bequeaths to his wife his premises in Howgill Street, " commonly known as the Old and New Assembly Rooms." John was a member of the Church of England we may be certain, for Thomas Sewell, minister of Trinity Chapel, was one of the witnesses to his will.

On the 4th of June, 1785, the mortgage, which continued to be of its original and very peculiar amount of £222, was transferred by Catherine, widow of William Ponsonby, Humphrey Senhouse and Isabella his wife, and Elizabeth Ponsonby, spinster, who died unmarried, to John Lewthwaite, a member of another family which was closely connected with the town for several generations, which connection I am desirous to trace more minutely on a fitting occasion ; suffice it for the present to say that this John was the grandson of James Lewthwaite, of Broadgate, and his wife Agnes, daughter of William Dickson.

On November 2nd, 1798, Mary Hayton, who must have been very far advanced in years, and William Lewthwaite joined in a conveyance of the property, the former for £303, and the latter for £222, the amount of his mortgage to Joseph Williamson, of Parton, merchant. This gentleman subsequently founded a school at Parton, and endowed it with an estate in Arlecdon parish. The property was not long held by Mr. Williamson, for May 20th, 1809, he sold it to Thomas Hastie for £900, retaining £600 mortgage on it, which remained until the 18th June, 1811, when it was bought by Christopher Brockbank on behalf of John Littledale, collector of customs, for £970. He married Miss Hannah Whiteley, and by her had two sons, Harold and Edward, who founded a business in Liverpool of great magnitude. After the death of Mr. Littledale's widow, Mr. T. C. Dixon became the purchaser and occupier. From him it passed to Mr. Alsop, who sold it to the Scientific Society. Esto perpetua.

During the time it belonged to John Hayton and his widow it was the scene of all the great public balls in the town—the " Almack's " of Whitehaven. The Cumberland Pacquet, from its origin in 1774 to the period I have named, 1798, contains very frequent notices of the festive and fashionable gatherings that took place under its roof. The very first allusion is to be found in the number for November 3rd, 1774, from which it appears that on the occasion of the election for Cumberland, which had just taken place, in which Sir James Lowther and Sir Henry Fletcher were returned, Sir James gave a grand entertainment, during which two oxen and three sheep were slaughtered and roasted whole ; and at night there was a ball at Mr. Hayton's Assembly Rooms, for those whose tastes were too refined to feast at a banquet where the respective occupations of butcher and cook were brought into such close proximity. The Pacquet also tells us that on the 8th of December the assembly was extremely brilliant—Sir Robert Grierson and his brother, and Sir William Douglas and his lady, then of Arkleby Hall ; he was subsequently Marquis of Queensberry. The first minuet was danced by Henry Ellison, Esq. and Lady Margaret Dalzell.

In 1787 there was a more than usually attractive ball on the occasion of the Whitehaven Hunt, when Wilson Braddyll, Esq., and Lamplugh Irton, Esq., were the stewards. The company (so says The Pacquet) " was brilliant and numerous, and conducted with the greatest propriety. The contra dances (by thirty-four couples) continued till two o'clock the next morning. The whole number in the room was forty-three ladies and forty-two gentlemen." One of those present on that evening was Jane, the daughter and heiress of Matthias Gale, of Catgill Hall, or, as it ought to be, Catgill Howe. She had been eleven years the wife of her cousin, Wilson Gale, whom we have already mentioned as taking the name of Braddyll. Sir Joshua Reynolds has immortalised her beautiful face in one of his charming portraits. I wish Romney had been allowed a trial as well, but Romney was born at Dalton, where he is buried, and Conishead Priory, the seat of the Braddylls, is within half-a-dozen miles, and no man is a prophet in his own country.

"Ainsi va le monde!"

Where the stately minuet was performed with a precision and a dignity which characterised that grand old dance; where the lively cotillon was executed with all the elegance and grace which indicated its French origin; and where, as the blood warmed, the contra dance was indulged in with a fervour and energy which our fastidious day has voted to be vulgar and plebeian; here, this evening, the Whitehaven Scientific Society entertains the Archaeological Society of Cumberland and Westmorland, neither of which, I hope, is too dignified to look back a century, at the scenes which have been enacted, I believe, in this very room, at any rate, on this very ground.

I had just completed the foregoing paper when I was favoured with the sight of a plan of Whitehaven which, by the kind permission of the Earl of Lonsdale, in whose possession the original was discovered, I have had lithographed.

It does not bear any date, but that may be very closely fixed by the fact that the Old Church was built, or at any rate being built, whilst the site of the Presbyterian Chapel, the ground for which was granted 14th, February, 1694, is still a blank.

Some parts of the plan it will be perceived were changed, some never executed.

William Jackson, F.S.A. Read at Whitehaven, December 11th, 1877.


Whitehaven had been small harbour and fishing village from 13th century or earlier. Expansion began in mid-17th century with building of piers by Lowthers 1632-4 and 1679-81 and granting of market charter 1660. By the 1680s it had grown rapidly, expanding from village of c.30 households in early 17th century to a town of over 1,000 inhabitants by 1685, which more than doubled to 2,281 by 1696. Sir John Lowther had laid out grid of streets by 1680s, making Whitehaven the earliest planned new town in post-medieval Britain.

Total Views: