Local members of Parliament, mayors and dignitaries
It is recorded that, from 1265, each town in Lancashire was entitled to send two burgesses to represent them in Parliament, but it is only from 1295 that the first representatives for Preston are specifically mentioned. With regard to the mayors of the town, they must have existed before 1327, when Aubry, son of Robert, heads the list. The date of their year in office coincides, in many cases, with the building of the streets that bear their names, although there are a few that honoured them, posthumously.
In the early 18th century, streets were being projected to link the Avenham District with the town centre. One of these was Chaddock Street. At this time, Robert Chaddock, son of Daniel, was mayor. Another was Starkie Street, one of the early upper-class residential streets, which takes its name from the Starkie family of Preston. The Starkies have a long tradition as parliamentary and municipal officials. Thomas Starkie was mayor in 1746 and 1754, Nicholas Starkie was Attorney General for Lancashire. His son, Edmund, was elected Member of Parliament for the town in 1754. An earlier Member of Parliament was Sir John Stanhope, who represented Preston in the late 16th century, and was created Baron Stanhope of Harrington in 1605. Harrington Street is off Moor Lane and Stanhope Street is off Brook Street. Hugh de Langton was mayor in 1431, followed by Roger Langton in 1605, 1616, and 1639. The Langtons had their residence at Broughton Tower until the male line ran out and the estate passed to the Rawsthornes through the marriage of Jane to Lawrence Rawsthorne in 1735. Tower Lane, Fulwood, incorporates part of the original driveway to the Tower, and Langton Street off Christ Church Street is named after the family.
In the Ribbleton Lane district are several streets with names connected to local dignitaries. Hermon Street is named for Richard Hermon, described as a country gentleman, who had an estate and held land in Ribbleton, His son, Edward, was Member of Parliament from 1868 until his death in 1881. Edward received a good education before being engaged in the London Warehouse of Horrocks Miller & Co., of Preston. At the age of 24 he was principal clerk, and in 1861 became a partner in the company. Nearby is Raikes Road, named from Cecil Raikes who was Member of Parliament in 1882. Morgan Street, Andrew Street, and Crook Street, all off Ribbleton Lane, pertain to clergy. Richard Morgan was priest at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Chapel and later, for 30 years, priest at St. Wilfrid’s. He died in 1814, aged 69. Andrew Street is probably named after the Rev. Randal Andrew, who was Vicar of Preston for almost forty years prior to his death in 1782. The Crook family were ardent Roman Catholics; John Crook (alternatively spelt Croke) was mayor in 1612 and again in 1619. The family was connected with Bank Hall in Broughton, in which secret masses were held, or, to quote the official wording of 1716: “Bank Hall was given to superstitious uses”. In the Crook’s Charity of 1688, the Will of Thomas Crook bequeathed: ‘the sum of £4 to be paid on Shrove Tuesday, or thereabouts, to be paid to the poor of Preston’.
Also off Ribbleton Lane is Thornton Street, John Thornton was mayor in 1723. Birchall Street, also off the Lane, refers to Thomas Birchall, mayor in 1847. Joseph Isherwood was the son of a grocer in Preston. He became a mill owner, and was mayor of the town in 1864. Isherwood Street is off Skeffington Road.
Near to the junction of Deepdale Road with Ribbleton Lane was Hornby Street, now incorporated into Driscoll Street. Edmund Hornby was Member of Parliament for Preston between 1818 and 1820. Also off Deepdale Road is Burrow Road, James was mayor for three consecutive years, 1887-8889.
Threlfall Street is named after Richard Threlfall, who was mayor in 1855. Newsham Street, from Richard Newsham, mayor in 1814, who has his name inscribed on one of the bells in the Parish Church. A memorial to his wife was incorporated into the tower of St. James’ Church. Dewhurst Street, also off Fylde Road, refers to Hugh Dewhurst, mayor in 1819 and 1827. Nearby Fleetwood Street is named for Peter Hesketh Fleetwood, Member of Parliament for Preston from 1833 to 1841.
Flanking the Harris Museum are Harris Street and Jacson Street. Edmund Robert Harris, a wealthy local solicitor, financed the building of the Museum and Library that bear his name. Charles Roger Jacson was mayor in 1865. He was also a solicitor, Lord of the Manor of Barton, and connected with the cotton industry. He made several gifts to the town, to the Parish Church of Preston and St. Lawrence’s Church, Barton.
Nicholas Grimshaw was mayor of Preston seven times, twice as Guild Mayor. He became a town councillor in 1790 and was Town Clerk in 1793. He was instrumental in the founding of the Royal Preston Volunteers, of which he was Lt. Colonel. The Corps was disbanded ‘in 1802 and when the Amounderness Local Militia was formed, he was again appointed Lt. Colonel, a position which he held until 1818. A tablet in the Parish Church records the deaths of his two sons, Nicholas Charles aged 20 and George Henry aged 17, brought about by drowning in the River Ribble. He resided at Cadley Cottage until his death on the 17th of January 1838, aged 80. Grimshaw Street is the only street that bears his name. Thomas German was mayor in 1845, and James German in 1849; the last named was major in the 3rd Royal Lancashire Militia. There was a German Street off St. Mary’s Street, but it has been renamed Owen Street. German’s Court was off Tithebarn Street.
The Claytons were a family prominent in the town’s affairs and named Clayton Street and Clayton’s Gate. William was appointed headmaster of Preston Grammar School in 1562; his son, Alexander, was described at that time as a draper. John Clayton was mayor from 1724 to 1733. Joseph Clayton was well-known as an engineer and iron-founder and resided at Greyfriars on Walker Lane, Fulwood. His first foundry was off Marsh Lane and later he built the Soho Foundry in Greenbank Street. William Gelibrand, now spelt Gillibrand, was headmaster of the Grammar School from about 1590 until 1607. He is named in Gillibrand Court, which was off nearby Vauxhall Road: Gillibrand Terrace is on New Hall Lane.
Off Marsh Lane are Hunt Street and Gradwell Street. Henry Hunt was Member of Parliament for Preston from 1830 until 1832; he died in 1835. William Gradwell was mayor in 1711 and again in 1720.
The Rev. John Bird officiated at St. Wilfrid’s from 1830 to 1834 and, after a short break, returned to stay until 1842. Bird Street is off Broadgate. Streets near Ashton Lane Ends honour local Members of Parliament: Tomlinson Road after William G. M. Tomlinson, who was elected Member for Preston after the death of Henry Cecil Raikes in 1882; Ecroyd Road from William Farrer Ecroyd, Member of Parliament in 1881; and Hanbury Street after Robert William Hanbury, who represented Preston at Westminster in 1883-85-86, and again in 1895.
The Victoria Warehouse on Strand Road adjoined Victoria Quay on the River Ribble. The quay was the loading and unloading place for boats before the Albert Edward Dock was built, and the warehouse was a bonded store for the incoming wine, spirits, and tobacco. The foundation stone was laid down by John Addison, the mayor, whose family were wine importers. The opening ceremony was performed by John Paley one year later, in 1844. Paley Street is nearby. John Paley Senior also served as mayor in 1838. Addison Road is now part of Blackpool Road, Addison’s Yard adjoins the Addison’s Wine Lodge in the town centre.
William Taylor preceded John Addison as mayor: Taylor Street runs off the lower end of Fishergate Hill. Blelock and Dickson Street, in the Manchester Road area, refer to John Blelock, mayor in 1804 and 1810, and to James Dickson who was mayor in 1831. There is also a Dickson Court off nearby Silver Street. Dickson Road, off Miller Road, and Dickson Avenue, Ribbleton, may also refer to him (although there is some doubt about the last-named).
Among the numerous charities left to the town in the wills of wealthy land-owners and business people are the Ingham and Dawson Charities. Ingham Street refers to the former charity: Silvester Ingham, by his will dated 23rd May 1669, bequeathed 40s to the poor in Preston. John Dawson left [?]100 to the trustees who were to pay one half of the first year’s interest to the Overseers of the Poor in Preston. Interest accruing afterwards was to be used for the “binding of a poor fatherless apprentice”. The Dawson Street area of North Road has now been redeveloped – the name is retained as Dawson Walk.
Several streets off North Road are named after Roman Catholic priests who were mainly connected with the Ladywell Chapel at Fernyhalgh: namely Lund Street, Gardner Street and Melling Street. It was chie fly through the efforts of Father Anthony Lund that the new chapel was built and endowed; he was rector there until his death in 1811. The Rev. Edward Melling was the priest there until 1837, and the Rev. James Gardner was an itinerant priest who officiated at secret masses around the area and later served at Lea Chapel. Off Walker Street, and across the lower end of Lund Street was Lady Street, referring to the Ladywell Chapel at Fernyhalgh. On the opposite side of North Road is Penny Street: James Penny M.A. was the Vicar of Preston from 1809 until 1817.
Walker Street, one of the older streets of Preston, was named from the Walker family: William Walker was headmaster of the Grammar School about 1642, although he was also described as a horse dealer. At this time, the Walker’s main residence was in Broughton in what is now called Walker Lane, more correctly Walker’s Lane. They were related to the Boyes who had an estate at the Cadley end of the lane that is now Boyes Lane. Walker Place off Grimshaw Street gets its name through Dorothea Grimshaw, daughter of John Grimshaw who, like his father, Thomas, and his uncle, Nicholas, was a solicitor and several times mayor. Dorothea married Charles Walker in the early 19th century. There is also a Walker Court in Friargate, adjacent to St. Mary’s Chapel, which has the date 1832 over its entrance.
Crossing Walker Street is Lawson Street which, I am told, relates to John Lawson who, with 19 others, was arrested and temporarily detained for holding a meeting of Quakers. In spite of being harassed, the Quakers continued to meet in the house of John Marsden, shoemaker, whose name was on the Guild Roll of 1682. They subsequently met in a house situated between Everton Gardens and Spring Gardens and, in 1784, they had an official Meeting House .in Friargate. This was rebuilt in 1847.
On Patten Street, also off Walker Street, was Pearson’s Row. John Pearson was the mayor in 1898.
Haydock Street, off Moor Lane, housed the printing and publishing office of Thomas Haydock (1772-1859), a relation of the Haydocks of Cottam Hall. He lived at Tag House, the dower house of the Haydocks, which gives its name to Tag Lane, Ingol. He printed and published both a complete history of the Haydock family under the title ‘The Haydock Papers’ and ‘Anotations of the Bible’ written by his brother, the Rev. George Leo Haydock.
Derby Road and Derby Villas off Lytham Road run alongside the Home for-the Blind. The Countess of Derby laid its foundation stone in 1893 and the Home was declared open by Lord and Lady Derby in 1895. There is also a Derby Terrace on Lytham Road.
The Gorst family have had a long association with the town and especially with the Parish Church and St. George’s Church. Edward Chaddock Gorst was the father of Sir John Eldo Gorst who took the name Lowndes on succeeding to the family estate in 1853. He married in New Zealand where he befriended the Maori Chief, Tamihana, and acted as an intermediary between the Maoris and the Government. He returned to England to become Member of Parliament for Cambridge, and became Queen’s Counsel in 1875. He contested Preston as a Liberal in 1910 but failed to be elected. Gorst Street off Avenham Lane was named after earlier members of the family, and Lowndes Street off Ripon Street from the related Lowndes of Lea. Otway Street is also off Ripon Street: Sir John Otway was Vice Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Member of Parliament for Preston in 1679 and 1680-81.
Maynard Street runs from the upper end of Bold Street to Parker Street; it is named from Alderman M.S. Maynard who was mayor in 1876. A later mayor, Major W.E. 0rd, whose name is perpetuated with the 0rd Cup which was presented yearly to the winners of the schools’ football championship, and 0rd Road in Tulketh. Not far from here, and on the east side of Tulketh Mill, is a council estate built between the wars, in which there is a Howarth Road. This was named after Alfred Howarth who was Preston’s Town Clerk for many years.