Speke Church

Home Up Roads and cottages Jamaica Speke Maps Farming at Speke Farms Speke School Lodges Speke Hall Police Links Miss Watt's letters Hunting On THe Estate


Extract from letter from 18/3/1872 from Geo Whitley

The Church

            I enclose a sketch of the proposed site which I have examined and think a very suitable one; it would however raise the question of sewerage or rather draining though that would be very advantageous to the neighbourhood

Extract from letter from 8/7/1872 from Geo Whitley

Speke  Church

            I have heard nothing from Mr. Pearson but have been furnished with samples of stone and should like him to see one which is a very hard nature & what I think a very nice colour, a white of what I may call a grave aspect, the party who sent them to me says “the quarries this stone comes from are worked out but similar stone can be procured from the Neighbourhood of Huddersfield, the prices on the truck vary very much but it will run about 1/6 p.foot cube” I shall send the sample to Mr. P.


Extract from letter from 13/7/1872 from Geo Whitley

Speke Church

            I yesterday forwarded to Mr. Pearson a sample of Huddersfield stone. I hear very high character of Mr. Robinson who has executed many works of importance here and as Mr. Pearson is in communication with him I had probably better not interfere. I enclose an account of a Church building in Cheshire which may interest you at present, I think no better or cheaper stone could be procured in this neighbourhood, if the colour be not objected to, than that at Woolton.

Extract from letter from 13/7/1872 from Geo Whitley

Speke Church

            I have felt some difficulty in interfering with this matter as it is in the hands of Mr. Pearson who is much more capable of affording you advice than I am, but I think I ought to tell you that in the course of a casual conversation I had with Mr. Shelmerdine a few days since as to the great floods we have had at Speke and especially in the neighbourhood of the Greyhound he observed that the drainage there was so imperfect and the land there at times so full of water he feared the drain which it was proposed to make from the new Church to connect itself with that lately made at Pinnington’s farm would have to be sunk a considerable depth with larger pipes than those at the latter, which being only 6 inches (agricultural), would not suffice to carry off an additional flow of water. This should be looked to and I shall be glad to give any directions you may think proper. The drain will be rather a long one.

Extract from letter from 13/8/1872 from Geo Whitley

Speke Church

            I received your letter of the 12th instant at 12.15 to day. Our train at Speke station this morning was half an hour late and as Mr. Pearson had not then arrived I suppose he must have altered his plans. I am however going out by the 2.40 train & I hope to find him somewhere and talk over the drainage which is most important. Mr. Shelmerdine has all the levels and is decidedly of opinion  that the drain should be carried through Stockton’s wood on to the Shore and not in the direction to which you have alluded.


                                                                            14 August 1872

Dear Sir,

Speke Church

            Mr. Pearson did not turn up yesterday but called on me this morning a little before 9 having left Liverpool by the 6.35 and as he was going on by the 9.5 train I had not much time for conversation, he had spent as much time as he wished on the proposed site & had explained to the Clerk of the works his plans &c.

            I was much surprized on going to the place yesterday to find the start already made which I was not aware of and the Contractors seem determined to push on as quickly as possible, they have just called upon me to see of they could arrange to get rubble stone for the foundations out of the quarry at Speke and I explained to them it was of such great depth that it would be next to impossible to drag the stone out & they suggested that by taking 3 or 4 yards from one of Mawdsley’s fields they might be able to procure as much stone as they wanted, they will however consider and let me know.

Now comes the most material question – the drainage. Mr. Shelmerdine, as you will probably recollect, took the proper levels for the drainage of this part of the estate when the general drainage was contemplated but the cost would have been so large that the idea was abandoned. I have gone through the whole question with him this morning and he says, “The open water course to be lowered through Stockton’s wood and a brick sewer or large drain pipe say 21 inches in diameter, constructed & to run from there to the lane leading to Jenkinson’s farm (at a point eastward of the Smithy about 35 yards) by this means with branches thereto from the Church and the Greyhound both premises would be efficiently drained & the main water course from Jenkinson’s land could be lowered at least 4½ feet”

            It is quite clear that Pennington’s present drain would not take a larger accession of water. I will send you the plans, or better still could you come over & give directions? Mr. Shelmerdine will be from home till Monday next

                                                                           Yrs. faithfully

                                                                                    Geo. Whitley

Extract from letter 6/9/1872 from Geo Whitley

New Church, Speke – The Quarry

I send Copy Letter from the Contractor. I think you might, under the circumstances, give them the liberty to procure what stone they want out of the Quarry on paying a small royalty for it as there seems a difficulty with the Woolton Quarry men. On Tuesday morning last as I was just turning out I met Mr. Pearson and got ten minutes conversation with him and we settled as the drain which will only be required to be 3 feet from the surface of the land consequently as your drain will be very considerably lower the difficulty as to the Church drain is at an end.

Proposed new drain

            By book post I send you Mr. Shelmerdine’s levels with the approximate cost (really only a rough calculation) as follows:

                                                                        No.1                            1084.17.3.
                                                                       No 2                              687. 9. 6.                                                                                                                     £397. 7. 7. shewing £397.7.7. in favour of the first, which is certainly the most direct line.

                                                                      Bevington Bush, Liverpool

                                                                                    5 Sep 1872

George Whitley Esqre.

Dear Sir,

            We find that the quarry masters in Woolton are unable to supply stone for the erection of the Church at Speke in anything like the quantity and quality we require to make satisfactory progress with the work and we have communicated this fact to the Architect who visited the works yesterday. We submitted to him a sample of the Stone from your quarry at Speke and believe he agrees with us that the quality of that Stone is in every respect equal & similar to the best Woolton Stone.

            Under these circumstances may we ask your permission, including that of Mr. Sprot, to get what stone we can out of the bottom of your quarry at Speke to supplement the supply we may be able to get from Woolton and we will (if you desire it) pay you a small royalty upon any stone we may get. We do not ask this concession with a view to profit (as the cost of clearing, getting out and fixing tackle would be considerable) but with the view of making a good finish to the work & progressing rapidly with it.

            Waiting the favour of your answer.

                                    We remain, Your obedt. Servants,

                                                            Roberts & Robinson

Bevington Bush


                                                                                    9 Sept. 1872

L. Pearson Esq.

46, Harley (OR Hanley?) Street

Dear Sir,

            Inclosed is a copy of a letter sent to Mr. Whitley in reference to the stone question at Speke. I was sent before your favour came to hand but after your visit to Speke. We believe Mr. Whitley has written to Mr. Sprot and we shall probably hear something soon.

            Since your visit to Speke our Mr. Roberts has carefully examined the stone in the quarry at Speke and it is geologically identical with that at Woolton, and the quality is in every respect (hardness inclusive) equal to the best stone of that locality.

            The saving in money to us by using the Speke stone is no object as the quantity required is too small for such consideration, besides, when the cost of clearing several feet of rubbish off the surface, and the cost of erecting tackle to lift the stone out of the quarry and added to the cost getting; the saving (if any) will be only a trifle, unless a large quantity was required.

            Our only object in desiring the change is that we may be enabled to proceed with the work; for the Woolton Quarry proprietors are over stocked with orders which they cannot supply. We have sent them orders three weeks ago but have not yet received one stone, and therefore, no progress can be made with the work

            We are sorry to trouble you, but the exceptional circumstances of this case must be our apology.

                                                Yours very faithfully

                                                            Roberts & Robinson

Extract from letter 18/9/1872 from Geo Whitley

The Church

            I have had an interview with the Contractors as to the supply of stone, they say they cannot depend upon a continuous supply from Woolton and much wish to have the Speke Quarry to fall back upon in case of need. I agree in the correctness of their argument and I am inclined to concede to them their proposed remedy, namely, let the contract stand as it does without alteration and give them the liberty of getting what stone they want out of the Speke Quarry paying a royalty for it on the same terms as the Lessees of the Woolton quarries. When Mr. Pearson was last down he told them he considered the stone from both Quarries of equal quality. His letter which you say you enclosed to me did not arrive. I went to the site of the Church last Sunday and found that no delay had taken place. Much of the grouting on which the foundation is to be laid is already in its place and there are several very large blocks of stone on the ground preparing for that purpose. You shall have timely information when they will be ready for the foundation stone to be laid.

Extract from letter 5/10/1872 from Geo Whitley

The Church

            Seems to be progressing fairly and the Clerk of the Works told me he thought they should be ready for laying the first stone in about 3 weeks (say 1 month) from Monday last. Any arrangements which you may wish to make it will afford me much pleasure in rendering my best assistance.

Extract from letter 23/10/1872 from Geo Whitley

Speke Church

            On receipt of your letter of the 21st inst. I communicated with Mr. Hewson on the subject of it thinking that as his Curate would have to be employed it would be more respectful to him to allow him to make the arrangements. He fell quite into your ideas and we took the liberty to make a few suggestions to the inscription proposed to be inserted in the bottle and return it for your approbation. I find it is usual on such occasions to have a religious ceremony and Mr. Hewson brought me a printed form used at a new Church erecting at Gateacre near Speke which you can read & let me have back again by return of post. We both think it might be considerably curtailed with advantage with the prospect of a wet day. The Bishop has published a shorter form which Mr. H has written to his Lordship for and asked him to send a copy of.

            Mr. Roberts called on me this morning and brought me a glass bottle which I think is exactly what you want, he has raised a difficulty with regard to the coins which he is right in saying ought to be of the date 1872, now there are no 5/- or 2/6 pieces coined so we must content ourselves 2/-, 1/-, 6d, & 3d in silver and 20/- & 10/- in gold which I will procure. Mrs. Byron very properly suggests that notice should be given to all parties who have subscribed towards the trowel when the stone is to be laid to give them the opportunity of attending which shall be done. Mr. Roberts informed me that for the last two days the land round the Church has been completely flooded and the building stood out from the water like an island, some of the roads are impassable.

            Mr. Hewson agreed with your argument as to the fear of infection from the Rectory causing alarm though all is going on well there and there is in reality no danger.

Extract from letter 18/12/1872 from Geo Whitley

The Church

            I saw Roberts & Robinson this morning & they say the building ought to have been ready for covering in this week but the weather (again in fault) has so retarded them that the walls are only half way up and that their own roads which they have made by the Church have been so much cut through that they are almost impassable for carts. The foundations are kept sufficiently dry by pumping.

Extract from letter from 8/3/1873 from Geo Whitley

The Church

            I examined the work on Thursday last and the Contractors foreman who pointed out to me the alterations which have been made in the dressing of the stone work now nearly completed and I must acknowledge I like the original design of workmanship much better than the present one of chiselled stone, but you must take this opinion for what it is worth.

Extract from letter from 1/4/1873 from Geo Whitley

The Church

            Mr. Pearson on his last visit told the foreman that he was quite satisfied with the progress already made & it is now plain to be seen. I was told that the object of altering the style of the stone dressing was for the purpose of more fully throwing out the mouldings which it will no doubt effect.

Extract from letter from 23/4/1873 from Geo Whitley

The Church

appears to me to be making good progress and the half finished tower is now visible from many parts of the Estate.

Extract from letter from 14/8/1873 from J Bubb

                                    According to your order I have seen Ball & he as promised to do the repairs named in the enclosed list and I will see that he does them I think his charge for slating is exorbitant but since he as promised me to do the whole of things named twelve pounds ten shillings is not out of the way he is proceeding with the job But very slow

I have seen Lunt although there was no alternative but to accept his tender for the main part of the work he estimated for is done He as however promised to include the making good of several other things I suggested inside the house

Extract from letter from 16/8/1873 from Geo Whitley

The steeple of the Church is built 68ft above the floor

The tracery of West window & of transept window is worked but not fixed we cannot get a carpenters this keeps the job back very much (number of men employed at it)
            14 Masons                   )
            2 Carpenters               )
            1 Waller                       )           56 hours each
            4 Labourers                 )
            1 Smith                        )
            1 Quarryman   )           Total 23 men 1288 hours

The following are the dimensions of glazing you requested me to send I have measured them full there will be a few feet less in the whole
The three side windows of chancel contain about                  61ft sup
The two windows of the nave south side contain about         50 ft sup
The four windows of North aisle contain about                     35ft sup
Will you please let me know those you intend to be stained glass as I shall soon have to set those out for glazier which are to be done according to specy.

Extract from letter from 22/9/1873 from J Bubb

the work here is going on very satisfactory

The Church

            The scaffold is taken down to the bottom of spire lights All the spars are fixed on the nave & aisle roofs & I hope to commence tileing the roofs next week

The last stone for the tracery of East Window is being worked there are 12 Masons 2 Wallers & 4 Carpenters 1 Smith & 5 Labourers working here making 56 hours each per week.

Extract from letter 25/9/1873 from Geo Whitley

The Church

looked exceedingly well, having had 2 or 3 fine days the stone work had dried and the colour very nice, the rafters are nearly all on, the Cock was quite brilliant.

Extract from letter from 18/10/1873 from Geo Whitley

                        At the Church all the windows are fixed all the copings are fixed on the Gables The cross over Chancel Arch is fixed all the wood work of roofs are fixed & we have just commenced tileing will you please advise me which windows you have decided shall be stained glass & which shall be done as specified as they should be put in Hand soon I have sent A plan & section of Bell chamber to Taylor & Co of Loughborough for them to make their Bell frame by I Beg to remain

Extract from letter from 3/11/1873 from J Bubb

The Church I hope to have it covered in by the end of next week all the Masons work is done except cleaning down & fixing steps.

I am obliged to go to Liverpool this afternoon to examine the glazing they are proceeding with & see the builder about seats &c so I shall walk through Garston to there & call on Mr. Lunt about mangers at John Suttons

Extract from letter from 18/12/1873 from Geo Whitley


            All seems going on right. Mr. Pearson was over on Friday last but owing to his having missed an early train from Liverpool we crossed each other on the road and I did not see him as he left Speke by the afternoon train.

Extract from letter from 2/5/1874 from Geo Whitley

With regard to the Church

            It is fortunate the Ecclesiastical Commissioners will take so much trouble off our hands and being then entirely under their control it may smooth down some difficulties which might otherwise arise. You will of course wait until next March to secure the promised portion of the endowment. We should get a valuation of the land and I think now matters have proceeded so far it would be well before a formal notice is sent by the Commissioners to Mr. Hewson to acquaint him with our proceedings so that he may not be taken by surprize.

Speke Church

Copy opinion of Mr. Whitcombe

1                    I think that as Miss Watt is a minor the land cannot be given but must be sold. The sale may be made either under the power of Sale in the will or under Sec. 36 of the Act. Geo 3rd c 45. The former would seem to be the simplest plan. The conveyance would be made to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (who now represent the Church Building Commrs (see 19 & 20 Vict. C 55) and they would be treated as the purchasers, the purchase money being provided by Mr. Sprot. For this purpose the proper value of the land should be ascertained.

2                    The arrangement would be made under the Church building acts generally and in particular 58 Geo 3rd c 45, 6 & 7 Vict c 37, 7 & 8 Vict c 94, 19 & 20 Vict c 104

3                    The endowment must be made as to amount and otherwise to the satisfaction of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and I understand that they will required to have transferred to them or to Trustees nominated by them Stock in the funds or other good Security producing an annual income of £150. On this being done the Ecclesiastical Commissioners may assign a district for the new Church and assign the right of nomination by Mr. Sprot’s direction so as to vest it in Miss Watt or other the person or persons for the time being entitled to the Speke Estate under Mr. Watt’s Will (see 6 & 7 Vict c 97. see 9, 19th & 20th Vict c 104 sec 1 – 14 & 15 Vict c 97. sec 7,8,9.) But a notice will first be sent by the Commissioners to

            Mr. Hewson the present incumbent of Garston so as to give him an opportunity of stating objections (if any exist) to the arrangement. (Sec 11) The whole arrangement will have to be carried out by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners through their Solicitor & therefore the simplified plan to pursue will be for Mr. Sprot’s Solr to send to the Commissioners a statement in writing of what is proposed or wished to be done, leaving them to carry it out in the best way.

                                                      J. Whitcombe

                                                                  Sin Jun

                                                                        1st May 1874

Extract from letter from 9/5/1874 from Geo Whitley

Speke Church

            In furtherance of the recommendation of Mr. Pringle to make the application at once I have directed Mr. Joynson to make a survey of the land and give us a valuation of it, the latter being rather a difficult calculation as we have no case in point as to previous sales and you will perceive by Mr. Whitcombe’s opn. that the land must be sold to the Commissioners.

Extract from letter from 11/5/1874 from Geo Whitley

Speke Church

            I yesterday had the opportunity of communication with Mr. Hewson on a walk from the school to the Church and explained to him how matters now stand. He would not wish an entire separation from his duties at Speke as they have formed the pleasantest part of his connection with the living of Garston and if he was cut off from it he would give up any future advantage which might arise from his present position. The result arrived at was “Do not let me occupy a worse position than I now hold and do not allow my connection with Speke to be severed”. We however agreed to take no further action until we had an opportunity of seeing you personally & having mutual explanations.

Extract from letter from 29/5/1874 from Geo Whitley

Speke Church

            I have this morning received a communication from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of which I annex you a copy. Endowment, rule 3 referred to “A benefice in private patronage is eligible to receive a grant from the Commissioners only upon condition that a benefaction of equivalent amount be forthcoming from non ecclesiastical sources” the decision you will receive in February next. Information asked for in Page 3 of the application I cannot furnish & must apply for the assistance of Mr. Hewson. Map referred to on Page 2 will I think be sufficient by a copy of the Speke

Estate plan being furnished.

            I have no direct answer from the Commissioners whether they        “will consent to allow so large a district as 2500 acres Statute measure to be assigned to All Saints”

Ecclesiastical Commissioners

                                                                        10 Whitehall place

                                                                                                London S W

                                                                                                            28 May 1874


File No 49506

Speke – All Saint’s proposed district

            I have the honour on behalf of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England to acknowledge the rect. of your communication of the 20th instant & to state that the offer therein referred to of a benefaction of £100 per ann. in aid of the endowment of the above proposed District has been recorded for consideration by the Board in accordance with part 111 of the enclosed rules. The decision of the Commissioners upon the application will probably be arrived at in the month of February next & will then be duly communicated to you.   I return to you herewith the formal application for the constitution of the District in order that the information which is intended to elicit may be supplied as far as possible. Under the circumstances mentioned in the note on page 2, I have no doubt that a map shewing only the area of the intended ? and its abuttals will meet the requirements of the Commissioners.

            Accordingly I shall be glad to receive a map of this character & a verbal description of the boundaries of the proposed district & at the same time the formal application amended as above suggested should be sent back to me.

                                                I am Sir,

                                                            Your very Obed. Servant

                                                                        Fraser Piggot

                                                                        for the Secretary

Extract from letter from 5/6/1874 from Geo Whitley

Speke Church

            I intended to have written to you tomorrow merely to say that the Speke rents were punctually paid last Monday. I however anticipate doing so in consequence of the receipt of a letter yesterday afternoon from Mr. Hewson a copy of which I take the earliest opportunity of enclosing.

            You will I am sure give me the credit of never having intruded my opinion on any of the transactions regarding the new Church which being merely a family matter I should have not felt justified in doing, indeed until the 20th April last when you were over here and we considered it necessary to have Mr. Whitcombe’s opinion on several points I did not know the facts of the case or even by whom the Church was actually erecting or to whom the Patronage was to be offered the latter fact being even now not within my knowledge.

            This will be an answer to Mr. Hewson’s observation that when Mr. Sprot commenced the erection of a Church no intimation was made either by him “or you” (that is myself) of any such intention as that now contemplated.

            I have merely acknowledged the receipt of Mr. Hewson’s letter and said I had no doubt you would reply to his remarks.

June 22 1874

                        I have received your letter of the 17th inst. & regret to find you are so anxious to sever the township of Speke from my present parish. I thought it quite natural that you should wish to provide better accommodation for the service that I established some years ago in Speke & I should gladly meet your wishes by arranging for holding two full services every Sunday as soon as the church is completed; but this object can be obtained & that at much less expense by keeping Speke as a Chapel of Ease to Garston as is the case in the parish of Childwall in the 2 churches lately consecrated than by cutting off three quarters of my present parish & severing against my consent the family tie with my parish which alone induced me to accept the living of Garston.

You speak of wishing to have the new church as a private chapel under the proprietor of Speke of course if it were really a chapel of Ease attached to the house it could be (said?) by the private chaplain of the owner of the house but if it is to be as you suggest an independent living the church can be no more under the proprietor of Speke than the whole parish already is. I do not regret the building of the new church there but many of the parishioners have felt it hard that the patrons of the living, the population of which has multiplied fourfold in the last 20 years should have declined on the ground of legal inability to contribute anything to the cost of the new church which the growing population at Garston is forcing us to provide & should yet have felt able to build an entirely new Church in that part of the parish where the population instead of increasing is decreasing by what I understand you to propose the living of Garston would suffer considerable loss in the Pew rents & fees & be left with a district entirely built over & occupied mainly by cottagers while no better provision would be made for the Speke district than that which I have offered & which would be secured by the erection of a Chapel of Ease. It would give me great pleasure to act with you in the establishment of the new church provided only that it may not be severed with the best part of this parish from Garston & I hope your reply to this will assure me that I may do so in the manner I have pointed out as the best for the parish at large as well as the most acceptable to any Vicar of Garston. I have come up to Town for a few days to visit friends & see pictures but expect to return home soon will you therefore please direct any reply

to this to the Vicarage, Aigburth (--?--)

                        I remain

                                    Dr Mr. Sprot

                        Yrs (?)

                                    J. F. Hewson

Extract from letter from 1/7/1874 from Geo Whitley

The Church

            is now making a shew of progress, the whole of the tiling is laid with the exception of the Chancel and the cause of the delay here has been in consequence of an order for change of the pattern of the Tiles, the wood work of the interior is all ready and in the Church and the Joiners have commenced putting it up. I saw the Surveyor to the Highway Board there and he pointed out a great improvement it would be if curb stones were put to the foot path as far as the Church wall extends and I perfectly agree with him, but the expense is the draw back (estimated at about £21,) I durst not say get it done, the rounding off the corner of Ireland’s garden on the opposite side would be a manifest improvement.

Extract from letter from 2/7/1874 from Geo Whitley


            I have not had any further communication from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

            The old tiles which were taken off the roof have been sold to Col. Blackburne for the repairs of one of his farm houses.

Extract from letter from 22/7/1874 from Geo Whitley

Speke Church – bells rang 1st time beginning of April 1874

Extract from letter from 1/8/1874 from Geo Whitley

            I have received your letter of the 31st ult. Mr. Bubb has shewn me your letter to him as to gravelling the Church walks and I merely write to say that as Mrs. Sprot and Miss Watt both disapprove of Asphalt that the shore gravel at Speke, which I know from experience in my own garden, will not bind though it looks very well and will in wet weather form a dirty approach to the Church. Proper gravel for such purpose, Mr. B says, can only be procured in the neighbourhood of London.

                                                          Liverpool, 4. Aug 1874

Dear Sir,

Speke Church

            Mr. Sprot is now down here & as the Church is fast approaching completion and as certain preliminaries are necessary previous to consecration I am requested to ask you whether as Vicar of Garston you have any objections to the formation of the entire Township of Speke into a separate district for Ecclesiastical purposes independent of Garston it being the wish of Miss Watt that the two Townships should be entirely distinct. This information I require previously to drawing up the necessary documents.

                                                                        I am, Dear Sir,

                                                                            Yrs faithfully,

                                                                                    Geo. Whitley.

The Revd. J. F. Hewson,

The Vicarage, Garston



                                                                        Garston Vicarage

                                                                                    Aug 5 1874

Dear Sir,

            I have received your letter of the 4th of Aug.

            I wrote to Mr. Sprot on the 22nd June explaining at length my decided objection to his proposal to cut off from my parish three quarters of its area. I am much surprized that you should introduce Miss Watt’s name in your letter in the way you do seeing that nearly four years of her minority are still unexpired. It would of course be out of the question for me to attempt at the present time to dissuade her from any course Mr. Sprot may recommend but I have no doubt when she is in a position to act for herself she will not give any sanction to the unreasonable proposal now made. I shall be glad indeed to see the Church that has been built brought at once into use & I have already explained to Mr. Sprot and yourself how this can be done & my willingness to assist therein.

                                                                        I remain

                                                                                    Yrs. faithfully

                                                                                                J. F. Hewson

Extract from letter from 8/8/1874 from Geo Whitley

Speke Church

            I am in receipt of your letter of the 5th instant and regret that you should consider that I have introduced Miss Watt’s name in my communication to you in the way I do, assuming of course that I have improperly done so. My letter will bear no such interpretation & I beg to disclaim it. I have acted simply in the matter professionally never having interfered in any other character.

            I have shewn you letter to Mr. Sprot & he desires me to say Miss Watt is perfectly “in a position to act for herself” without his control.

(Copy)                                                 (X) mistake is original – should be Miss

                                                                 Garston Vicarage

                                                                                    Aug 10th 8am

Dear Mr. Whitley,

            I have received your letter of the 8th I was surprised at the introduction of Mrs (X) Watt’s name in your letter but I accept entirely your disclaimer of having done so except, - professionally and in accordance with instructions I am sure you would equally refrain from endorsing the statement that you say Mr. Sprot desires you to make, that Miss Watt is perfectly in a position to act for herself, seeing that the Law prevents her doing this till the end of her minority a time which I sincerely wish had arrived. I assure you Dear Sir, I should be very sorry to say anything to give you offence as, since my connection with this parish, I have found you always most kind & courteous. I was sorry to miss you from our service last afternoon I am glad to say we had a full congregation & hearty service. Whether my connection be long or short with Speke I shall always look back with pleasure to the same which I established as I am certain under God it has been the means of advancing the good of His Church. You will be sorry to hear our eldest boy has been seriously ill since the school treat but the lad is better the last day or two but Mr. Cagger says he must leave this neighbourhood.

                                                                        Yours faithfully

                                                                                    J. F. Hewson

Geo Whitley Esqre.

Several loads of gravel have been delivered, it is very nice, of a warm colour, & Mr. Woodyer thinks will bind

            5, Clayton Square, Liverpool,


                                                                                    28, August 1874.

Dear Sir,

Speke Church

            I yesterday went to see what was going on, there is really very little to complete in the interior the reading desk is not yet up. I had a long talk with Mr. Thompson as to the fault found with the stained glass windows, not being critically inclined, I think there is little to complain of with the exception of the inscription the lower line of which is not legible being hidden by the stone work but this being lowered about half an inch the defect will be cured without destroying the shape of the window. Mr. Thompson informs me that it will be a difficult & dangerous operation to attempt to remove for alteration, as you suggested, any of the stained glass as it is so firmly fixed in both inwardly and outwardly that a breakage would most probably occur.

            I could not proceed further owing to extremely heavy rain.

Extract from letter from 28/9/1874 from Geo Whitley

          I was surprized last night at home, too late to write by post, by a visit from a foreman from Messrs. Clayton & Bell who had come over to see the state of the stained glass window and endeavour to rectify it, he had been referred to the Clergyman but of course as he was not to be seen Mr. Thompson had sent him to me for instructions which you may suppose I was unable to give him. I have however arranged with him to remain in Liverpool, where he has some other business, until Friday & by telegram to day have apprized you how the matter stands and shall be glad of your direction in the mean time. He says it is next to impossible, without the greatest danger of breakage, to take out any of the panes of glass as suggested by yourself as they are fixed in firmly with cement which must be chipped out and a fracture could scarcely be avoided, the second line of the inscription may be made visible by cutting down the window sill for about half an inch without disfiguring the window and the cross bar may be amended so as not to shew the mistake.

Extract from letter from 4/9/1874 from Geo Whitley

I have this morning received your letter of the 3rd inst. and also your telegram and regret you should have had so much annoyance about the window which has been a stupid blunder throughout.

            Clayton’s Foreman called on me this morning and not having received any further instructions from his employers was obliged to obey former orders from them and has accordingly left Liverpool for Cumberland & will not return for 4 days and in the mean time I can have no communication with him so the matter must rest for the present & I do not know what arrangements you can make as to coming over but fancy that Tuesday next might be fixed for a meeting with yourself, if any thing occurs you shall hear further.

            Woodyer tells me the appearance of the gravel on the Church walks is much approved and he thinks will be very suitable, the tiles for the Lych house arrived this morning.

Extract from letter from 8/9/1874 from Geo Whitley

Speke Church

            I have seen Clayton & Bell’s foreman this morning and read him Mr. Pearson’s letter which is explanatory enough & on asking him why he had not carried out the instructions of his employers he said it was in consequence of my instructions, if you will refer to my letters of the 2nd and 4th inst you will see my only recommendation to him was to stay here until Friday for further directions as he objected to the danger of removing the panes of glass, as to my giving any orders whatever is a perfect absurdity. In consequence of the blundering which has occurred I thought it best to tell him to attend strictly to what his employers had ordered him to do and did not mention what you suggested in your letter of the 7th inst that he should not touch the North window until it was seen what renovation he made on the East one as it might have raised a question of interference with Clayton & Bell, so I hope all will be set right at last, but not probably in a week. I had not the opportunity of making further enquiries as he cut his visit very short.

Extract from letter from 29/9/1874 from Geo Whitley

The Church

            Is locked up and the key is in the custody of Mr. Woodyer. It looks exceedingly well even without the large stained glass window which is not yet come back, the smaller side window has not been altered though I suppose you intend it shall be, the lower references are imperfect not being legible. I quite agree with you in the stupidity of making the cupboard in the vestry of its present size and form when a vacancy large enough for one fit for every purpose apparently waiting to be utilised. The tiles for the Lych house have not yet arrived.

Extract from letter from 14/10/1874 from Geo Whitley

On Sunday morning at 11.o I received a letter of which the following is a copy:

                                    311. Regent St. W London, Oct 10th 1874

            Dear Sir,

                                    We  propose sending to refix the East window in Speke Church on Monday next & shall therefore be greatly obliged if you will kindly give instructions to some local builder to erect a scaffolding on the outside of the window, the first thing on Monday morning, trusting you will pardon our troubling you – We are &c

                                                                                    Clayton & Bell

To Mr. G. Whitley.

            This was rather a poser being Sunday morning & having no local builder at hand but thinking it probable that Lunt would be at Mr. Ralph Leigh’s on Monday morning I went down there & on enquiry found he was expected and left instructions for him to erect the scaffolding. I heard nothing more but as Mr. Joynson was going over to Speke this morning I desired him to report, he says Lunt was obliged to get up some of the timber proposed to be used at Boyes’ farm and made the necessary erections, the workmen took out the three small windows at the East end and three squares of glass in the side window and sent them off to London, the large East window has not yet arrived and the Church is now shut up again and the workmen have departed. I cannot call this reporting progress.

Extract from letter from 26/10/1874 from Geo Whitley

Speke Church

            It gives me pleasure to drop the doleful ditty and to say the stained windows are all now in their proper places and will be finished off to night and the workmen dispatched home. I have told Woodyer to have fires lighted in the Church for a few days as the weather here is very damp. The inscriptions are now perfectly legible. Mr. Hewson told me a few days since the Church might now be opened if wished under the licence of the Bishop.

Extract from letter from 7/11/1874 from Geo Whitley

The Church

            Is now in itself complete, the windows at length are I think perfect and the inscriptions are all legible. Mr. Thompson informed me he could plainly see an alteration in the East window some of the shades being darker, particularly the reds and blues which has given it a warmer appearance. The vestry is a very nice room but it is spoiled by the odious cupboard which is only an incumbrance being much too large and the only way to get rid of it is to take it entirely to pieces and use up the wood work for a new one to fit in the space originally intended for one and the expense Mr. Thompson thinks will not exceed £5, it will otherwise always be an eyesore. The tiles for the Lych house have arrived and will be placed on it in the course of Monday and Tuesday some of them are of a peculiar make.

Church Clock

The Railway Clock at the Lime Street station is made by a man of the name of Joyce of Whitchurch, Shropshire who is highly spoken of in the Station Masters office and he does all their heavy work the lighter business being in other hands, he must I think be in good repute or he could not otherwise carry on as Whitchurch is only a small country town with little connection. I enclose a small note which please burn.

Extract from letter from 17/11/1874 from Geo Whitley

Speke Church closet

            I have spoken to Lunt about this and he says there will be no difficulty in remaking it on a smaller scale according to the original design & most of the wood will work up again.

Tiles for Church

            The colour and material is the same as those on the Church & are similar, several of them however are angular and are of different shapes and consequently required to be made specially for the purpose.

Extract from letter from 22/12/1874 from Geo Whitley

Speke Church

            You will be glad to find by the correspondence a copy of which I annex that the Commissioners are bestirring themselves in this matter. I rather fear they will object to assign so large a district to so small a population of between 500 and 600.

                                                            Ecclesiastical Commission

                                                                          10 Whitehall place

                                                                             London SW

                                                                        18th Dec. 1874


File No 49506

Speke – All Saints proposed District

          Adverting to your communications of the 20th May & 30th June last relative to the above proposed district I now write on behalf of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England to request that you will be good enough to state approximately what amount of population it is contemplated that the new district will comprise.

                                                                        I am Sir

                                                                                    Your very obedt Servant

                                                                                                George Pringle

Geo Whitley Esqre.

5, Clayton Square, Liverpool

                                                                        5, Clayton Square, Liverpool

                                                                                    21 December 1874


File No 49506

Speke All Saints proposed District

            In answer to your communication of the 18th inst. I beg to state that I have no means of ascertaining the present population of the Township of Speke but in the Digest of the Census return of 1871 published under sanction of the Registrar General it was then stated to be 509 and has not much increased since that period.

                                                                        I am Sir

                                                            Your Most obedient Servt.

                                                                        Geo. Whitley

To The Secretary

Ecclesiastical Commissioners

10 Whitehall Place

London SW 

Chas. Woodyer                                                Speke, 11th March 1875

James Sprot Esqre.


                        I recd. your letter & beg to say that I have got a part of the Holly hedge planted, but I shall stop for the present, some of the Hollies are large, but for one year I think it better to let them remain as they are.

            I never put up a wire Fence & have got no tools for the purpose, still I have an idea how it should be done.

            We have finished varnishing the Church &c & it looks well. Roberts has done nothing to the gate 2 men came yesterday to finish the porch roof, but the corner tiles are a misfit again, the worst fit of any, too strait & not wide enough, so I cannot say when it will be finished. We will soon require the grass seeds for the Church yard. Lyons will make the gates at 15/6 each.

            Mrs. Wyke wishes me to inform you that she has heard from her Brother & he will come as soon as the Organ is put up, & teach his sister to play on it at 1½ guineas per quarter. If you wish to have a Choir trained, he would be glad to teach them also, & would be able to teach them in one quarter, he does not state his terms for teaching Choir & so I asked Mrs. Wyke to write to him and enquire.

            Mrs. Sutton wishes to know if Mrs. Sprot has any needlework for the children to do at School.

            Mrs. Rigby will attend to the Church and keep it clean for £9 a year.

                                                I am Sir,

                                                Your obedient servant

                                                Chas. Woodyer

          A copy of your letter to Mr. Whitley, 5 Clayton Square, Liverpool, has been forwarded to me here. I must say I am very much disappointed at the delay that has taken place as regards ‘All Saints Church, Speke’. Having conceded every request made to me by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners I understood you to say last May, when I saw you in London, that there would be no difficulty in making All Saints a district Church quite independent of Garston, provided I would endow it for £100 a year which I was quite willing to do, and I therefore expected that when the Ecclesiastical Commissioners met in February, they would have done this. The Vicar of Garston, although a connection of the family, does not wish it and I understand is doing everything he can in opposition. I should like to know with whom the power rests of doing this, and how and when the matter is to be decided, as I certainly never shall consent to All Saints being under the Vicar of Garston. If it cannot be made a perfectly separate district the Church shall remain as it is, and the people will be no worse off than before it was built. The Endowment I proposed was £2000 Great Western Debentures, which would yield £100 a year, this will cost me about £2500 but as the Great Western is a private Company I must say I am surprised that the Commissioners prefer that to Government security which I offered.

                        Believe me,

                        Yours truly,

                                    (signed) James Sprot

To the
Secretary of the
 Ecclesiastical Commissioners
10 Whitehall Place
 London SW

Liverpool, 5 April 1875

Dear Sir,

All Saints, Speke

            After Church yesterday I had the opportunity of a long conversation with Mr. Hewson, on the present state of affairs, which I do not think offer a very pleasing aspect. The ending of it was –

“Neither the Bishop or myself have

had any communication from

the Ecclesiastical Commissioners

and we cannot proceed without

it and I should much wish

matters to remain as they are until

Miss Watt comes of age, when all

difficulties can be arranged” –

This of course assumes that Speke shall for the present be considered

as a Chapel of Ease to Garston but I said you had a most decided objection to agreeing to it as you told me from the first the object was in an Ecclesiastical view, entirely to separate Speke from Garston. I therefore fear we are not yet much nearer our journeys’ end.

            The Commissioners, in their letter to me of 31st March last of which you have had a copy say

“If it is not practicable to settle

the Patronage of the new Church by

agreement, it will be necessary

to proceed with the formation of the

intended district under the “new

Parish Acts 1843&1856 [6 & 7 Vic:

C.37 and 19th & 20th Vic: C104]” that

is to say, before the Consecration of the Church”. This may involve some questions as to notices &c but I hope Mr. Pringle has guarded against any objection on this point as he promised you. Mr. Hewson says the separation will be a considerable loss to him, as he will lose his small Tithes and Pew rents from the Speke Tenants. The former only amount to £5 p. ann. & the latter will I should think, cease when the new Church is built.

                                                I am, Dear Sir,

                                                Yours faithfully,

                                                   Geo. Whitley

To James Sprot Esqre.

                                                          Ecclesiastical Commission

                                                                        10, Whitehall Place SW

No                                                                                May 31 1875


                                                                                                Speke All Saints

Dear Sir,                                                                                  Proposed District

            You may remember that when you called at this office on the 1st inst. upon the subject of the above proposed District, it was explained to you that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England were averse to put into a Scheme of theirs words purporting to create what is termed “an allowance appendant” and that in order to avoid this in the present case, you agreed to submit certain amended proposals as to the disposition of the Patronage of this District.

            The further progress of the case awaits the receipt of information from you upon this point.

            If I remember rightly you had 2 ideas upon this subject, one being to have the Patronage placed in the hands of yourself and yr heirs and assigns – the other to vest it in the Trustees of Miss Watt’s Estate, and their successors in the trust.

                                                I am, Dear Sir, Yrs. faithfully

                                                (Signed) George Pringle

To James Sprot Esq.

                                                            Spott House, Dunbar

                                                                        June 1 1875

To The Secretary, Ecclesiastical


Dear Sir,

            I beg to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 31st ulto.

I fear the delay about ‘All Saints,’ Speke, has arisen from a misunderstanding, and that I have not explained myself sufficiently. When you told me that the Eccl. Comrs would be averse to making ‘All Saints’ an ‘Advowson appendant’ it was suggested either by yourself or your Secretary, that I could retain the Patronage myself and then give it over to Miss Watt. This is what I thought was settled upon and I am sorry if it was not understood. If it is not to be ‘an advowson appendant’ I suppose it will be an advowson in (?) which when separated from the property of the Manor by legal conveyance can be vested in myself. Now what I want to know is can I as Patron, not only give it to Miss Watt, but can she, when she has got it, make it an ‘advowson  appendant’ i.e. entail it along with the Manor, or would either the Eccl Commr or the Bp interfere and prevent her doing so? I am sorry to give you so much trouble but shall be glad to hear from you on this subject. Believe me, Yours truly,

                        (signed) James Sprot.

10030                                                              Ecclesiastical Commissioners

                                                                        10, Whitehall Place

File No. 49506                                                 London SW

                                                                        3 June 1875

Dear Sir,

Speke. All Saints, Proposed District

            In answer to your letter of the 1st inst. in this matter, I beg to state that when either you or Miss Watt shall have become possessed of the Advowson of the above proposed District in fee simple in possession, it will I apprehend, be competent to either of you being such owner of the Advowson, to settle it, and entail it, just like any other property.

                                                            I am, Dear Sir,

                                                                        Yours faithfully

                                                                        George Pringle

J. Sprot Esqre.

                                                                      Liverpool, June 26 1875

Dear Sir,

All Saints, Speke

            I received your letter of the 24th inst. and Draft Scheme of the Commissioners as to the District and Patronage of All Saints and also at the same time a copy of it from the Commissioners themselves, and this morning I have a letter from the Bishops’ Secretaries as follows:-


                                                                            June 25 1875


Garston Church


                                    The erection of this new Church and

                                    the taking down of the old one is authorized

                                    by a Faculty dated June 18 1874. The consent

                                    of the Patron to the grant of this Faculty was

                                    not necessary, and none of his rights are in

                                    any way affected by it. He will have the

                                    Patronage of the new Church in the same manner

                                    in every respect, as he possessed that of the old.

                                                Your obedient servants

                                                (Signed) Parry & Gamon

                                    Secs. To the Lord Bishop of Chester



We are therefore now, I think, after much tribulation in the high road to completion.


            11403                                                  Ecclesiastical Commissioners

Text Box: All Communications for this
Board should be addressed to
          “The Secretary,”
  and the postage prepaid

              10, Whitehall Place,                            London, S.W.


                                                23rd June 1875


File No. 49506

Please quote this number in any further Communications hereon

Speke All Saints

Proposed District

                   I have the honor to transmit to you

              herewith a Statuary Notice of a Scheme

              which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for

              England propose to submit to Her Majesty

              in Council for effecting the constitution and

              assignment of the patronage of the above

              proposed district

                        I am,


                             Your very obedt. Servant

                                                                                    George Pringle

Miss Adelaide Watt,


          Nr, Liverpool


            11443                                                  Ecclesiastical Commissioners

Text Box: All Communications for this
Board should be addressed to
          “The Secretary,”
  and the postage prepaid

              10, Whitehall Place,                            London, S.W.


                                                23rd June 1875


File No. 49506

Please quote this number in any further Communications hereon

                   In accordance with the provision

              Contained in the “New Parishes Acts 1843

              & 1856” I have the honor to transmit herewith

              to you as the Patron of the Vicarage of the

               New Parish of Garston the draft of a scheme

              which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for

              England propose to lay before Her Majesty

              in Council for constituting a separate district

              for spiritual purposes, to be called the

              “The District of All Saints, Speke” and to

              be taken partly out of the above named


                   The Commissioners request to be

              informed as early as may be convenient

              to you, whether you have any observations

              or objections to offer upon or to the


     Miss Adelaide Watt,


              Nr, Liverpool

Page 2

              constituting of the intended district, and,

              if you have not any, the Commissioners

              will be glad an intimation

              to that effect.

                   I am,


                        Your very obedt. Servant

                                                                                    George Pringle

File No 49506

Spott House, Dunbar, N.B.

                                                                        June 25 1875


Speke, All Saints

Proposed District

            I beg to acknowledge the receipt of you communication of the 23rd inst. with its enclosure, and in reply to state that as Patron of the Vicarage of the new Parish of Garston, I have no observations or objections to offer to the scheme proposed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England for constituting the separate District of All Saints, Speke, to be partly taken out of the Cure of Garston.

            I am, Sir

                Your obedient servant

                                    Adelaide Watt

                                       Adelaide Watt


The Secretary

Ecclesiastical Commission

Extract from letter from 30/6/1875 from Geo Whitley

All Saints – Speke

            I met the Vicar of Hale in the train this morning and he stated that he had received from the Commissioners a communication as to the proposed District but was in [?] ignorance of any of the circumstances and the connection (if any) between the Townships of Hale & Speke had never been of the least advantage to him.

            On my arrival here I found a letter from Mr. Hewson a copy of which I send herewith. I must confess I do not know what his legal claims, which are the only ones which the Commissioners will recognize, consist of, nor the amount of them as against Speke totally independent of Garston. What your “views and intentions” are can form no part of the present question. Let me hear from you shortly.

                                                                               Garston Vicarage

                                                                                                June 29 1875

Dear Sir,

            I have received from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners the communication I have been some time expecting, with reference to the proposed severance of Speke from Garston.

            The Secretary says “The Commissioners request to be informed as early as may be convenient to you whether you have any observations or objections to offer upon or to the constituting of the proposed District” I shall be glad to know before replying what are Mr. Sprots’ views and intentions towards me, as regards compensation by the contemplated change, without calculating the loss of the best part of my parish which to me is irreparable

            Please therefore at your earliest convenience place this letter before him, and when I receive your reply, I will at once communicate with Mr. Pringle.

                                                I am, Yours truly,

                                    Signed John F. Hewson

                                                            Vicar of Garston

Ecclesiastical Commissioners

                                                                                    10 Whitehall Place

                                                                                                London SW

                                                                                    July 9 1875

Dear Sir,

File No49506

Speke All Saints, Proposed District

            On behalf of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England, I beg to enquire when the Debenture Stock of the Great Western Railway Company, which is to be secured as an endowment for the above proposed District will be transferred into the name of the Commissioners.

4909                The transfer will have to be made in the manner explained in                      my letter to you of the 15th of March last, of which I enclose                    a copy.

                                                            I am,

                                                                        Dear Sir,

                                                                            Yours faithfully

                                                                               George Pringle

To James Sprot Esq.                                       10 Whitehall Place

Spott House                                                                             March 15 1875



Dear Sir

File No 49506

Speke All Saints – Proposed District

                                                out of Garston V.

            In answer to your letter of the 10th instant, I write to say that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England, do not accept terminable Debentures as an Endowment for a Cure or Church, but they would, if so desired, accept £2000 £5 per cent. Great Western Railway Company Debenture Stock as representing the endowment of £100 per annum to be provided in this case.

            The Commissioners, however, would require that the Stock in question, should be transferred to ‘The Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England in the matter of the District of “All Saints, Speke”’ and that it should be arranged with the Company that the Dividends on the Stock, should be paid direct to the person who may from time to time be nominated to them by the Commissioners Sic: as the legal recipient of the same. I am

                        Dear Sir, Yours faithfully,

                                                     George Pringle

London House, 370. Euston Road

                                                                                    Fitzroy Square NW

Organ Manufactory

18 Colquitt Street

Liverpool – Sepr. 6 1875

Specification and Estimate

of an organ for the New Church,


                        To have 2 manuals from

            CC to G 56 notes and a Pedal

            Organ from CCC to C 25 notes

            to contain in all 14 stops &c &c

Complete for the sum of


(Two Hundred & Sixty Pounds)

                                                (Signed) Gray & Davison

                                                            46, Harley Street,

                                                                                    London W

                                                                           Sep. 19 1875

My Dear Sir,

            I reply to your enquiries about the position of the Organ player – he should sit with his back to the choir.

            I should like to see what Davison has proposed for the Organ case for this as much as any other feature in the Church should accord with it.

            Believe me

            Yours vy faithfully,

                        John O’Canon?

Speke                           65 Hercules Buildings

Church                                        July 14th 1874

To Thos. Nicholls


                        Caen stone font for Speke

                        Church, with carved bowl

                        & caps. Lined with lead.

                        With brass plug and chain

                        complete by order of J. L.

                        Pearson and agreed


Examd. JLP


X   Speke Church                                                        173, High Holborn W.C.

                                                                        London. July 20th 1874

Dr. to A. Robinson,                  Ecclesiastical & Architecture Carver &c

Pulpits, Lecterns, Prayer Desks, Altars, Chancel fittings and every other description of Wood work for Ecclesiastical & Domestic purposes executed with accuracy & dispatch – Designs & Estimate Submitted

                                                                                                                        £    s    d

                                                            Oak Robe Press                                  13.10. 0

                                                            Oak Lectern                                        10.  0. 0


Examd. JLP

P H HUGH BLEASE organist and choir master at All Saints 1929-1940