Austonley Scientific Society

The Austonley Scientific Society was reportedly formed circa 1842.[1]

In 1848, the society had 75 members and the library contained 421 volumes. Classes were held in writing, reading, arithmetic, English grammar, music, and discussion.[2]

No lectures took place in 1851, but classes were taught in writing, reading, arithmetic, and grammar. The annual report for 1851 stated that 37 members and the library contained 768 volumes. The income was £30 11s. 5d. against an expenditure of £25 9s. 9d., leaving a balance of £4 1s. 8d.[3]

The 1852 report saw a slight increase in members to 39 with the library containing 787 volumes. The society's balance was £7 16s. 7d.[4] However, it was noted that the calamitous flood of February 1852 had affected many of the members of the society, "either in a direct or indirect manner". A new reading room had been opened above the post office at Holmbridge where members could read Chamber's Journal, Dickens' Household Words, Evening Mail, Halifax Guardian, Huddersfield & Holmfirth Examiner, Huddersfield Chronicle, Leeds Mercury, and Punch.[5]

The society was wound up at the end of 1853, with the Huddersfield Chronicle reporting that they intended to sell the "valuable library of 800 volumes of books" and that members would transfer to the Hinchliffe Mill Improvement Society.

Notes and References

  1. When the society was wound up in 1853, it was reported to have been in existence for around 20 years. However, the tenth anniversary festival took place in January 1852.
  2. "Holmfirth" in Leeds Times (15/Jan/1848).
  3. "Holmfirth: Annual Festival of the Austonley Scientific Society" in Huddersfield Chronicle (10/Jan/1852).
  4. "Holmfirth: Annual Festival of the Austonley Scientific Society" in Huddersfield Chronicle (08/Jan/1853).
  5. "Holmfirth" in Huddersfield & Holmfirth Examiner (15/Jan/1853).