Huddersfield Chronicle (13/Jun/1888) - Sir J.W. Ramsden's Jubilee Gift to Huddersfield

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors.

SIR J.W. RAMSDEN’S JUBILEE GIFT TO HUDDERSFIELD.

INAUGURATION OF THE MARKETPLACE FOUNTAIN.

In fine weather, and under the happiest auspices, the beautiful fountain, which has been erected In the Old Market Place, at the cost of Sir J. W. Ramsden, was formally opened on Tuesday. The site of the fountain is one which lends itself particularly to such adornment as it has now received, and the fountain itself will form a permanent ornament to the town. The scene at the Market-place about noon was a very gay one. Streamers were fluttering in the slight breeze, the ladles had turned out in charming toilettes, and the burgesses and their better halves assembled in such crowds as to cause much discomfort to those outside the barriers. With the slight exception that some of these uncomfortable people Insisted upon making their woes heard, the whole proceedings passed off without a hitch, and those upon whom fell the task of making the various arrangements are to be congratulated upon the forethought which provided for ail being so successfully carried out. Another improvement is now effected in the town which has seen such changes and advances in recent years, and a further step has been taken in the direction of beautifying what is already superior to most, and equalled by very few manufacturing centres. After the fountain had been opened it continued to be the centre of attraction for the remainder of the day, and many passers by felt a thirst which only a drink of the water from the new fountain could quench.

The members of the Council and a number of gentlemen assembled at the Town Hall, where a procession was formed to proceed up Ramsden Street, and along New Street to the scene of the fountain. Flags were plentifully displayed along the route of the procession, and from the Parish Church and several public buildings.

A number of the tradesmen, however, were more profuse in their decoration, and added gaiety to the scene by the judicious placing of shields and trophies of flags along the front of their business premises. Streamers of flags were also suspended across Westgate and Kirkgate, and in other ways the unusual nature of the occurrence was marked, the procession (which was marshalled by Mr J Ward, chief constable) was headed by a body of police, under Inspector Roberts, who were followed by Mr J Stanway, waterworks manager, Mr S C Potts, borough accountant, Mr G D Moxon, borough treasurer, Mr R S Dugdale, O.E., borough surveyor, and the following members of the Council:— Councillors J Sugden, J Wilson, W Schofield, T Chrispin, G W Hellawell, B Stocks, J Clark, J Cowgill, H Barley, E A Beaumont, W Radcliffe, J L Walker, J Brierly, G Moxon, E Mellor, J Goodwin, J H Batley, S Kendall, R H Inman, R Welsh, H Holland, John Scholes, H G Duggan, J Rayner, J Moorhouse, T Bland, P Macgregor, E H Walker, W Day, James Scholes, J H Stuttard, G Garton ; Aldermen A Haigh, B Hanson, G Sykes, E Heppenstall, James Crosland, C Glendinning, L Hopkinson, George Brook, J Varley and J F Brigg ; Mr James Firth, registrar of the cemetery; and Mr George Jarmain, F.O.S., borough analyst. The rear of the Corporate procession was brought up by the Mayor (wearing his chain of office). Alderman Brooke, who was supported by his mace-bearers, was also supported on his right by the Deputy Mayor (Alderman Wright Mellor, J.P., D L.) and on his left by Mr W Owen, Deputy Town Clerk (Mr Nalder, Town Clerk, being unable to be present in consequence of ill health), who where in turn flanked by two members of the Borough Police Force. The members and officials of the Corporation were succeeded by the following gentlemen:— Mr Joseph Crosland, J.P. Mr T Denham, J.P., Mr R Skilbeck, J.P., Mr G W Tomlinson, J.P., Mr Geo. Harper, Mr John Haigh, Mr Joshua Littlewood, Mr J W Robson, Mr Geo. Gaunt, Mr Henry Butterworth, Mr J T Smiles, Mr H B Kaye, and Mr J E Moseley. On arriving at the Market Place the procession filed into the space reserved round the fountain, where a large number of ladies and gentlemen had already assembled. The outer barrier was appropriately decorated, and seating accommodation had been provided for a certain number of ladies and gentlemen. Amongst those present were Mr W Brooke, J.P., Mr J A Brooke, J.P., Mr J N Sykes, J.P., Colonel C E Freeman, J.P.. Mr F W Beadon, Mr I Hordern, Mr Kertland, Mr W L W Marshall, Mr J E Sykes, Mr G Lewis Batley, Mr T Ruddock, Mr J E Wheatley, Mr A Spivey, Councillor W H Jeasop (of Messrs Graham and Nephew), the contractor, Councillor B Broadbent, Mr E A Wright, Mr W J Kaye, Mr Joseph Bottomley, Dr Cameron, Mr E F Brook, &c. Outside the barrier an immense crowd of people had assembled, and the press, until the proceedings had concluded, was very great. During the interval of waiting the architectural and structural merits of the fountain, which was about to be presented to the town for ever, were universally admired. Some description of it may not be out of place at this stage, and so we quote the following particulars from the description which appeared in the columns of the Chronicle on the 1st October last:—

The fountain is of a very beautiful and elegant design, this portion of the work having been entrusted to Mr R W Edis, F.S.A., 14. Fitzroy Square. London, W. The duties of carrying out the design, and reproducing in stone, &c., the excellent drawings on paper were given by Sir J W Ramsden to Messrs Graham and Nephew, contractors, Moldgreen, the firm who built the fine Estate Offices, the Kirkgate Buildings, Longley Hall, &c. The fountain stands 22 feet above the street level, is 8½ feet square at the base, and is approached by three polished York stone steps. On the top of these stand a moulded base with four dog troughs, above which is a moulded plinth, and upon this rest four marble basins richly moulded and carved, with electroplated drinking cups for the use of those who desire to take advantage of the supply offered by the fountain to all passers along the thoroughfare. In the centre is a large basin with a bronze, ornamental, standard fountain jet, supplied by Huddersfield Corporation water. At each corner stand four double columns, 9½ inches diameter, with moulded bases, and stout bronze-enriched hands and amulets, the upper part of the shafts fluted, and the caps moulded with carved pateroe. These columns support a spherical domed circular top, which is full of moulded panels in the interior, and have four neatly moulded arches on the external faces. In the spandrills are pierced openings tor glass facets, and above them a very neatly moulded cornice and fluted frieze with carved gargoyles at each corner. Over all these rests what may be termed the roof, which rises about 6½ feet. Above, the cornice is finished with very delicate moulded ribs with carved crockets, filled in with very richly carved tracery in the centre. On each side are carved shields — four in all — on one of which Sir J W Ramsden’s coat of arms is inscribed ; on the second the arms of the Huddersfield Corporation ; and on the remaining two the following inscriptions, viz.;— “In grateful memory of 50 years of the reign of our Sovereign Lady Queen Victoria;” and “The gift of Sir John William Ramsden, Bart., to Huddersfield, 1886.” Each corner is surmounted with double pedestals, moulded and pannelled with carved shields at the angles, and finished with carved terminals, the top being completed with a moulded, fluted finial, carved with Sir J W Ramsden’s crest, and gilded. The architect expressed himself as so pleased with the manner in which Messrs Graham and Nephew had executed the work entrusted to them that he desired their name to be inscribed somewhere upon the fountain, and ‘Robert E Edis, architect,’ is cut out on the base, under the mouldings of the marble basin.

Whilst the company were assembling Mr Joshua Marshall’s String Band performed appropriate selections of music with much taste. Sir John and Lady Ramsden, when they arrived, were received by those within the enclosure upstanding. They were presented to the Mayoress and her daughter (Miss Brooke), the latter of whom presented Lady Ramsden with a beautiful floral offering before the commencement of the proceedings. Dr Walsham How, the new Bishop of Wakefield, who arrived shortly afterwards with the Vicar of Huddersfield, was also hear lily received.

Prayer was offered by the Bishop, who after saying the well-known collect beginning with the words ‘Prevent us, O Lord,’ offered op the following special petition, concluding with the Lord’s Prayer:—

“O heavenly Father, whose dearly beloved Son stood and cried, ‘If any man thirst let him come unto Me and drink;’ accept, we humbly pray Thee, this gift, and grant that as from this fountain there shall flow forth water for the health and refreshment of our bodies, so our souls may evermore be cleansed and refreshed by the living water ‘springing up into everlasting life;’ grant this, O Father, through the merits and mediation of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigned with Thee, the Holy Spirit, our God for evermore. Amen.”

Sir John W Ramsden (who was well received) then ascended the steps of the fountain, and said:— Mr Mayor, my Lord Bishop, ladies, and gentlemen: I am sure that I should do injustice to the feelings of this great assembly If I did not make the very first words which I utter words of welcome to the honoured presence of our new Bishop. (Applause,) It is a great satisfaction I am sure to us all to welcome this, his first, public appearance in this town, and I am sure that that welcome will be shared in quite as much by those who do not belong to his own communion as by those who do. (Applause.) Whatever differences there may be as to questions of Church government, there can be no difference whatever as to the honour, which we, as Christian men, desire to pay to one who has given as a noble Christian example — (applause) — to one who brings with him so noble a record of work done for that religion which we lived in honour, and I am sure that If we wanted any other gauge by which to measure the advantage the West-Riding derives from his coming among us, we should find it in the expressions of sorrow which arise from those whom he is leaving to come to us. (Applause.) Mr Mayor, the occasion on which we are met to-day marks the completion of a work which for many years I have had very greatly at heart. Those of my friends who are as old as I am, may remember that many years ago, when first the want of a covered market was felt in this town, it was proposed that I should cover over this Market Place, and so build it on this very confined site. That, gentlemen, was a proposal which always seemed to me a very incomplete one — (hear, hear) — and therefore it was never carried out, and the matter slept until the town became incorporated. It was then felt, and I think very rightly felt, that the control of the markets ought to be vested in the governing body of the town. (Hear, hear.) The old market rights, which I possessed by charter, were in many respects unfitted to the wants of the present day, and therefore it was agreed, with my hearty concurrence, that the Corporation should acquire, by purchase, those rights, and so place themselves in a position to go to Parliament for all the power required for the establishment of markets, suited to the requirements of the present day. That was done and the market has been built on the site of what was known as the new market. It remained then to be decided what was to be done with the site of the old market. It seemed to me that it was too small for any building, and I determined that it could not be applied to any other purpose as well as by dedicating it to be kept for ever as an open space. (Applause.) That accordingly I did. But though it was for ever to be kept open it did not follow that it was always to remain bare and underrated. Then the question arose: what was to be the decoration placed upon it? A site so central as it is, was one on which everybody fixed their eyes. Various proposals were made, but I felt it to be my duty to discourage them until a really adequate occasion arose on which the site could be properly filled. I laid down for myself two principles, two conditions, which I considered must be fulfilled in any settlement of this site. One was that the building, to be placed upon it, should be one which would be architecturally worthy of the site, which would be a permanent ornament to the town; and the other was that it should commemorate some occasion of which every man, woman, and child of this community could always heartily approve. I waited for many years, but at last I found the occasion, which appeared to me to fulfil these conditions, when there broke from the people of this country that great shout of loyalty and love which welcomed the completion of the fiftieth year of the reign of our gracious Sovereign. (Applause.) As to whether this building Is good enough for the site on which it is placed, that is for you and not for me to judge, but that the occasion is one which is worthy of any honour which it Is In our power to bestow, is a question on which I think there cannot possibly be two opinions, and when I saw the heartiness with which that celebration was taken up, the munificent contributions which were made throughout this district for public works last year, I determined that my humble share In that commemoration should be to set up on this site a monument which should recall to those who are yet to come the love and loyalty with which the people of this country welcomed the jubilee of their Queen. (Applause.) To you, Mr Mayor, or rather to your honoured predecessor. Mr Wright Mellor — (applause) — I communicated my wish, and I have to express to him, and to every member of the Corporation, my cordial thanks for the hearty manner in which that offer was received — the manner In which they welcomed that offer and joined with me in smoothing away every difficulty, and enabled me to carry out my wish. Thanks to their co-operation the work has been accomplished, and the occasion has now come that I beg leave to hand it over to the town. (Applause.) I beg you, Mr Mayor, as the chief magistrate of this borough, as the head of the Corporation, and a most worthy representative of that great community from whom the Corporation derive their powers, I tea you to accept this &b a token of my hearty good-will; I beg you to receive it and to allow it to stand here as a small memorial of the love which we, as subjects of the Queen, bear to our Sovereign — (applause) — and to the gratitude which we desire to express to the Higher Power for granting to our Sovereign prosperity and length of days. (Applause.) And In offering St, I desire humbly to offer a prayer that that prosperity and that length of days may be long continued. (Applause.) Long may our Sovereign be spared to reign la prosperity and peace over a united people—(applause)—and long may she continue to reign in the hearts of those of her subjects who look up to her with a love, which grows greater, and a reverence which grows deeper with every successive year. (Applause.)

The Mayor, who was cheered on coming forward, said — Sir John Ramsden, on behalf of the town of Huddersfield I gratefully accept your generous gift of this beautiful memorial fountain, and assure you that it will be highly prized and carefully preserved from harm. In giving this splendid structure you have accomplished a two fold object — that of conferring lasting benefit on the inhabitants of this borough, and erecting a worthy memorial of the great and glorious reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. (Applause.) As a work of art it would be scarcely possible to surpass this structure in propriety, beauty, and elegance of design. (Applause.) Two distinct classes of architecture are boldly and happily blended with great felicity and harmony, and it stands here as an ornament to the town, a pleasing feature amongst our public buildings, and its utility will be appreciated by the whole of the population, (Applause.) I thank you for this great gift, and I would especially mention that the Town Council will hail with great satisfaction another attractive feature to the public buildings of this town; for while their first care is for the health of the inhabitants, and then for their comfort and convenience, they are constantly endeavouring to beautify and improve the aspect of the town in which we live. They have done a great deal in this direction already, and I hope that this fine specimen of good taste will ever remain in our midst, and will prove an incentive to still greater efforts to elevate and ennoble the town of which we are all so proud. (Applause.) I once again thank you, Sir John, for this choice and beautiful gift. It will serve to draw you and us still nearer in regard and good-will. I trust you may live long to receive the manifest tokens of our grateful recollections of the event of this day. — Turning to Lady Ramsden, his Worship added: Lady Ramsden. I entertain the confident assurance that your sympathies are entirely with Sir John In providing this charming fountain. I venture to ask you ladyship to start the fountain, in the belief that it will yield its pure beverage freely and abundantly for the use of all. (Applause.)

A photograph of the scene at this point having been taken for one of the illustrated papers, Lady Ramsden turned on a tap which had been specially fixed for the occasion, and the fountain immediately began to play.

Sir John Ramsden said — I have obtained the kind permission of the Mayor to say one word more. I think our proceedings would be very incomplete if I did not express my hearty acknowledgments to Councillor Jessop, the contractor who has carried out this work. (Applause.) The architect, Mr Edis, unfortunately is not with us, but Councillor Jessop is, and I desire heartily to thank him for having entered so thoroughly into my wishes, and for having exerted himself so actively, not only in carrying out his contract, but for doing it as a labour of love — (applause) — and for doing it with such rapidity that we have been enabled to have the celebration to-day. (Applause.) I believe he has executed it under very great difficulties, that the weather was very much against him; and it is only by his own zeal which he has inspired into the workmen, that he has been able to get it ready for the opening to-day. I trust that it will long remain as a monument to his good workmanship; that his name will be associated with it in years to come; and that it will be banded down to posterity to show that whatever may be done elsewhere, here, at least, in Huddersfield, contractors can do their work honestly and well. (Loud applause.)

Councillor Jessop (who was received with applause), said: Mr Mayor, my Lord Bishop, Sir John and Lady Ramsden, ladies and gentlemen: To-day I must confess that I am in a very awkward position. I felt sure that when I had completed this work I should get the ordinary cheque, but when I get the praises of Sir John Ramsden, couched in such flattering terms, I feel more than doubly repaid for any trouble I have taken in the erection of this fountain. But I must not accept the flattering words of Sir John Ramsden entirely on my own behalf. I must acknowledge them on behalf of my workmen. (Applause.) Each one has done his little best to bring this work to a successful completion, and if you, Sir John, are satisfied, I am deeply gratified. I again thank you for those words of praise. (Applause.)

All present joined in singing the National Anthem, after which Lady Ramsden was the first to taste of the water from the fountain, and her example was followed by a large number of those present. The formal proceedings then closed.

MAYORAL LUNCHEON AT THE TOWN HALL.

At the close of the proceedings at the fountain, the Mayor (Alderman Joseph Brooke) entertained to luncheon In the Reception room at the Town Hall the members of the Corporation, and a number of representative gentlemen of the town. When the guests were seated at the table, the Mayor, accompanied by Lady Ramsden, Sir John conducting the Mayoress, and the Bishop of Wakefield with Miss Brooke, entered the room and took up their places at the cross table. The following gentlemen were present:— Alderman J F Brigg, G Brook,

J Crosland, C Glendinning, A Haigh, B Hanson, E Heppenstall, L Hopkinson, W Mellor, G Sykes, and J Varley; Councillors J H Batley, E A Beaumont, T Bland, J Briefly, B Broadbent, J J Brook, H Burley, T Chrispin, J Clark, J Cowgill, J Gulley, W Day, J W Denham, H G Duggan, G Garton, J Goodwin, G W Hellawell, R Holland, R H Inman, W H Jessop, S Kendall, T Littlewood, P Macgregor, E Mellor, J Moorhouse, G Moxon, W Radcliffe, J Rayner, W Schofield, James Scholes, John Scholas, J Smith. B Stocks, J H Stuttard, J Sugdan, E H Walker, J L Walker, R Welsh, and J Wilson; Mr J Crosland, J.P., Mr J A Brooke, J.P., Mr R Skilbeck, J.P., Mr J A Wrlgley. J.P., Mr T Denham, J.P., Mr J N Sykes, J.P., Mr J E Willans, J.P., Mr J H Sykes, J.P., Col. Freeman, J.P, Mr G W Tomlinson, J.P., the Revs J W Bardsley, M.A., R Bruce, D.D., F J Beniktn, Messrs J W Robson, G Thomson, Geo Harper, Chas Mills, H Butterworth, W Owen, R S Dugdale, S O Potts, J Stanway, J Ward, G D Moxon, and F A Brooke. The luncheon was an excellent one in all respects, and the waiting very expeditions.

The Mayor proposed the toast of ‘Her Majesty the Queen,’ remarking that in all assemblies of Englishmen, whether on land or on sea, at home or abroad, there was a union and an agreement In loyalty to the Throne. (Applause.)

The Mayor submitted the toast of ‘Their Royal Highnesses, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and the rest of the Royal Family.’ There was one member of the Royal Family who had aroused the interest of the whole civilised world. When they turned to the Empress of Germany — (hear, hear) — and the heroic figure of her husband they saw an example which he considered to be beneficial to the whole world. (Hear, hear.) The Prince of Wales and the other members of the Royal Family were all very active in the duties of their high situation. They all believed that when in the course of time the Prince of Wales came to rule over us he would follow in the footsteps of his mother and act constitutionally. (Hear, hear.)

Alderman Wright Mellor, who was much applauded on rising to propose the toast of ‘The Bishop of the Diocese, and ministers of religion of all denominations,’ said he thought it best and straightforward, and therefore he might tell them that since rising that morning he had been suffering from much physical and mental weakness, and though he would endeavour to do his best they must excuse any short-comings. He had proposed the toast before in that room, indeed it was a very frequent one at social gatherings such as that, but he did not know that in the course of his life, whenever he had proposed that toast, that they ever had a Bishop to respond to it. (Hear, hear.) He was getting old, and, therefore, he was not likely to see many such occasions, but he was glad that, although he was getting old, he had lived to see a Bishop amongst them. (Applause.) And he was glad they had such a Bishop. (Applause.) He could not see why Huddersfield, which was the town with the largest population in the new diocese, should not have had the Bishop for themselves. (Applause.) They would then have had a Bishop of Huddersfield, and, as the town had a prospect of being made a county, they would have had to celebrate a double event. (Hear, hear.) It would have been very delightful, though it might perhaps have been a little too much for them, but nevertheless they would have struggled with that. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) And now they would have to struggle without it. (Laughter.) He had sometimes heard it said that ‘company in distress makes trouble less.’ He noticed that one of his friends at Halifax the other day expressed great disappointment that the Bishopric had not been given to Halifax. They thus saw that Huddersfield was not suffering in this respect alone. They would have to be satisfied, and he believed that whatever efforts they might have made in the proper quarter at the time, Huddersfield would not have succeeded in being made the seat of the Bishopric. The toast was an exceedingly interesting one, became they had a Bishop in whom they had confidence. He thought it better to cell his lordship that he (the speaker) was a Nonconformist, but nevertheless he rejoiced more than he could express to the Bishop at the event which took place the other day at Wakefield, when the Nonconformist ministers of the town presented to his Lordship an address of welcome. (Cheers.) It was a great satisfaction to him to know that the address was thus presented, but his satisfaction was still more deep when he read the reply which was given to that address. (Applause.) The reply was not the reply of a Bishop, but the reply of a Christian man. (Applause.) He hailed that as a harbinger of better days between Churchmen and Dissenters. He rejoiced at the position of the Church in this diocese, he rejoiced to know that its prosperous condition was such that it required to have another Bishop, (Hear, hear.) He should have rejoiced had the Congregationalists been in a position to have reported a similar result in consequence of their flourishing state; he should have rejoiced if the Primitive Methodists could have told the same story; he should have rejoiced if the Wesleyans could have said that in consequence of great increase of numbers they required extension; again, he said, he should have rejoiced at each and all of these statements having been made, because he should have felt that the forces of evil were giving way, and the powers of God and the powers of goodness were taking its place. (Applause.) If they could only have less of names and more of things they would all be very much nearer the mark. (Hear, hear.) All would learn in time, no doubt, that it was not what a man professed, but what a man was, which was to be valued. He was not going to preach a sermon; but would express his earnest hope that the Bishop would be as successful in his new position as he had proved successful in the position he had left. (Hear, hear.) His lordship did not come before them like a young man as to whose views they might have to speculate, but as an experienced man who had made a name and had won esteem and regard for himself. They might congratulate themselves that in this division of Yorkshire they had a Bishop of such a character. (Hear, bear.) His friend Dr Bruce would also speak to the toast, and though he was not a Bishop, he happened this year to be the chairman of the Congregational Union. They had thus two distinguished men with them, and as he was not distinguished he was quite willing to be extinguished. (Laughter and applause.)

The Bishop of Wakefield, who was well received, said he was told by many friends who kindly wrote to him from Yorkshire, before became here — he called them friends because they wrote in such a friendly spirit, and they were really strangers who wrote to him — he was told by each one separately that they were going to give him a hearty Yorkshire welcome. (Hear, hear.) Well he had not been very long in Yorkshire, but he had been visiting a few of the places in the diocese, and be could only say this : that as be bad been going from place to place be had been learning more and more what was the meaning of that expression ‘A hearty Yorkshire welcome.’ (Hear, hear.) He thanked them sincerely for their share in that welcome. (Hear, hear.) He had come amongst them with vary mingled feelings — feelings, in some measure, of great regret in leaving a work of intense and absorbing interest, in which he had been engaged for the last nine years in East London. (Hear, hear.) Mr Wright Mellor had said that he came as one who had had experience. He supposed it was tome advantage that the work was not entirely new to him, and he was sure it was a great advantage that he had worked under snob men as he had worked under in London. The late Bishop of London (Bishop Jackson) was a man who, when once known, won the affections of those brought in control with him, in a marvellous manner. He was a quiet man, not one given to much outward demonstration, but one of the most true hearted and affectionate men whom he had ever met. He learnt at least one thing from him, and that was always to answer every letter by return of post, and so far as he was able to emulate him in that particular he hoped to do so. He had worked under another Bishop of London, the present Bishop (Bishop Temple), and he thought any man might be proud to have served under inch a man as Bishop Temple. He was a strong, earnest, energetic man, unsparing of labour, a man of unusual decision of charioteer, a man who knew his own mind and was never afraid to speak it out, a man who would meet another fearlessly, honestly, and openly. He hoped he might have learned something from him. Well amongst the welcomes he had received, he was quite ready to confess, and glad on that occasion to do so, that none had pleased him more than the one to which reference had been made, and which took place at Wakefield the other day. It was very gratifying to him to receive that address of welcome from the Nonconformist ministers of the town of Wakefield — it was a town yet, it had not become a city, though he supposed it would shortly do so. He would like to say one word with regard to what had been said about the claims of Huddersfield for the Bishopric. He had all his life long — at least as long as he thought about such things — believed that a Bishop ought not to retire to some palace secluded in some park, miles away from the many hives of industry in his diocese; but he had thought for a long time that a Bishop's place was in the centre of life and Industry. (Applause.) When in London he lived pretty well in the centre of work — (hear, hear) — and he had hoped to do so when he came northward. He was hardly prepared to find Wakefield such a quiet little town. There was one great advantage about Wakefield, it was a good starting point. The Archbishop of York had told him to take care. If he lived in the town, to remember that he was not merely Bishop of the town of Wakefield, but Bishop of the Diocese of Wakefield, and not to do that which the parochial clergy could do for themselves. The Archbishop said that if he lived In Wakefield they might want him to do many little things, when his time and labour would be wanted in other parts of the diocese, and that he should never forget that all parte had equal claims upon his time and attention. He did not know whether the Wakefield people would be angry when they read it in the newspapers, but he must say that he would rather live near one of the big towns of the diocese. But Wakefield had been decided for them — Wakefield had its claims too, and they mast bow to circumstances. He could only say this much, that as larger bodies by the law of gravitation drew smaller ones to them, so he expected to be frequently attracted to the town of Huddersfield. (Applause.) He had already made a good many engagements during the few days he had been here. The clergy had been down upon him, getting him to make promises for all sorts of things, and these promises he should try and carry out. He thought he ought, in thanking them, and especially the proposer of the toast, also to thank Sir John Ramsden, who spoke so kindly of him by the side of that beautiful fountain. (Hear, hear.) But, by the way, it struck him that with so many Brooke’s about — (laughter) — it was rather strange of them to want a fountain at all. (Laughter.) The fountain would certainly be a great ornament to their town. He thanked Sir John for the kindly words he spoke about him at the commencement of his eloquent speech at the Market Place, and he had only to thank them once more for their kindly reception of him. He hoped that all they in that diocese would be friends, and work together, if God spared them, for the common good of mankind, for the promotion of the Saviour's kingdom, and for the benefit of the people in the diocese. (Applause.)

The Rev Dr Bruce remarked that the toast of what he called the Christian religion and its ministers had been so well spoken to by the Bishop of the diocese, that it was not necessary for him to add a single word to his except in the broader aspect as a representative of the Nonconformists. He happened to be the oldest minister of that description in the borough, and for the present year was president of the Congregational Union. (Hear, hear.) He was very pleased Indeed to make the acquaintance of the new Bishop of the diocese, and If there was not on that occasion a formal welcome from his Nonconformist brethren, he could assure his lordship that if any opportunity was given to them, or if they could find one, his brother ministers in the town would most heartily concur in any each movement. There was no man whom they would more gladly welcome to work with and amongst them in the Church of Christ than Bishop How. (Applause.) Although he had not made the Bishop’s acquaintance before, be had often sung his beautiful hymns as they were used in their churches and Sunday schools, and they all knew something of the great and noble work that he had done in the East of London. (Applause.) They all prayed that God might give him long life and great prosperity in the populous diocese to which he had come. In regard to the occasion which brought them together, he wished, with the Lord Bishop, to speak of the kindness of Sir John in making this present to the town. It was adding a new Institution to the man} institutions which already existed in the town. We were gradually graduating to a state of perfection, and when the borough was made a county then he supposed we should be complete. We had our Town Hall and courts, fountains of law, justice, and order; we had our churches and our chapels, fountains of Christian life sod truth; we bed our schools, Board and Denominational, fountains of learning; and now we had this fountain, which was a fountain of living, pure water. (Hear, bear.) And is that we had a symbol of the union between clergy and laity, between Christianity and citizenship. Water was God’s good gift, and the fountain was Sir John’s, and the two worked together. The fountain would have been no use If God had not given us the rain, and if the Corporation had not collected the little brooks away up on the moors, and there formed waterworks. They had to thank Sir John that he had given them the opportunity of displaying that beautiful water. He thought on such an occasion as that they should not forget those, who in the beginning of the Corporation, did so much to provide us with what was so necessary — good water. They were all glad to see their excellent and beloved friend, Mr Wright Mellor, chairman of the Waterworks Committee, still amongst them — (hear, bear) — but they could not forget also their first Mayor, Mr Jones, and their first Town Clerk, Mr Batley, and others, who did so much to secure those benefits for that young Corporation, which they and their descendants hoped long to enjoy. He was much obliged, on behalf of the ministers of all denominations, for the honour they had done them in drinking their health. (Applause.)

The Rev F. J. Benskin, who also responded, said it was a great pleasure to him to be present on that Interesting occasion, and to unite with them in thanking Sir John Ramsden for the munificent gilt he had bestowed upon the town. He was sure that Sir John had given them a gift which they would ever appreciate, and which would perpetuate his memory to coming generations. He heartily reciprocated the kind sentiments expressed towards the ministers of the Nonconformist section, to which he belonged. They all wanted to serve one Master, they all had one end in view, and he was very glad, on any occasion, to see that unanimity existed between different sections. After all, they each had one common purpose, which was to serve and glorify God. It was with very great pleasure that he saw the Lord Bishop of Wakefield present with them. He was highly gratified to notice the courteous and Christian manner in which his lordship received the deputation of Nonconformist ministers which waited upon him at Wakefield. He hoped Bishop How’s advent amongst them would give a fresh impetus to that unanimity which should prevail amongst all who named the name of Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth. (Applause.)

Alderman Brigg submitted the toast of Sir John William Ramsden, Bart., to which he would take the liberty of adding the name of Lady Gwendolen. (Applause.) They were very much favoured in having the presence of Lady Ramsden amongst them that day. Some people wondered why Sir John Ramsden did not come and live in our midst, and he had heard people say that Sir John could if he liked make himself a god in Huddersfield, (Hear, hear.) He was sure that it was the desire of the Corporation that Sir John Ramsden should often come amongst us. Sir John had done a great deal for Huddersfield. He had developed the town, pulled down old buildings, and erected palatial ones in their places. Whether that was for the good of Huddersfield he would leave for them to judge. In his opinion it was a very great benefit to the town. The gift which Sir John had presented to Huddersfield that day was a very beautiful one, and should be so cared for as to be a permanent ornament to the town. He thought it would be a great shame if that beautiful memorial was exposed to treatment which the fountain at Peel Park had received and so become a disgrace to the town.

Sir John Ramsden (who was well received) begged to return, on his own and his wife’s behalf, their most grateful thanks for the kind manner in which they had been pleased to receive that toast. He also had to thank his old friend, Mr Brigg, for the too flattering terms in which he had proposed the toast. It was quite true that Mr Brigg had been good enough to express regret that he had not been able to visit the town more often than he had done. He never came to Huddersfield without deeply regretting that himself, but he might lay that on the present occasion he was looking forward to coming here again. In the course of about six weeks he hoped to be once more in Huddersfield, and that occasion be hoped would be a very auspicious one for the town. He was very glad to be told, at he had been told by the Mayor, of the hearty Interest which the whole population of this district were taking in the visit of the Yorkshire Agricultural Show, which was to be held in Huddersfield in the early part of August, (Applause.) It was a matter upon which he himself had taken a very deep Interest. He believed they all knew how very much they were indebted to their friend Mr Beadon for obtaining the visit for them, (Applause.) It was a new departure for the Society to take, for the Yorkshire Agricultural Society to come Into the centre of commerce and manufactures, and he was very glad to hear that they had determined that the society should be heartily resolved, and that as far as rested with them everything should be done to make the society's visit a success. He spoke very feelingly on this subject, because, as some of them might know, when it was decided to come to Huddersfield the society did him the honour to elect him as their president for the year. (Applause.) He accepted that position because he thought it might be in his power to make the presence of the society in Huddersfield a very pleasant one. He took it up as an Inhabitant of Huddersfield, and in order to welcome the society to the town, but now that they had made him their president he felt that he had also a duty towards them, and, therefore, he was very glad to plead the society’s cause with the Huddersfield people, just as much as he was anxious to plead the cause of the inhabitants of Huddersfield with the society. He hoped they would do everything they possibly could to make the show a success. He was glad to hear that the ground they had been able to offer them was considered by the society to be a very good one. (Hear, hear.) It was close to the town, and, as they all knew, it was of considerable extent, and he believed that on the whole the society was very well satisfied with it. (Hear, hear.) He did trust that, being so convenient to the Railway Station, and Huddersfield being such a centre of population, that the attendance at the show would be very large, and that the society would find their first visit to Huddersfield one of the most successful in the annals of its history. As to the proceedings of that day, he must say that when they were so good as to receive the gift which he had offered with such hearty kindness, he only regretted that it was not better worthy of their acceptance. He believed that as an architectural work it was suitable to the place. It was as suitable as he had been able to make it. Whatever shortcomings it might have had, had been entirely lost sight of — he might say entirely smothered in the kind and cordial way in which they had received it. It had been a great pleasure to him to be present there that day, and to meet so many of them, and especially his old friend Mr Wright Mellor. (Applause.) He was very glad to see Mr Wright Mellor in the character of proposing the health of the Bishop of this new diocese. (Hear, hear.) Mr Mellor told them that Halifax regretted, as well as Huddersfield, that they could not have the new Bishop. This reminded him of the saying of the late Sidney Smith in the days when Colonial Bishops were first established. Sidney Smith said that if the wished of the different colonies were complied with — just as they now said If tb6 wishes of the different town of the West Riding were complied with — there would not be a piece of land, or a rook in the ocean upon which a cormorant could perch which would not have its own Bishop. So they said now that all the great towns in the West Riding — he hoped we had better things than cormorants to perch on them — if the wishes of the inhabitants of all these great towns were consulted there would not be a great town without its own Bishop. Well now, mark what a happy state of things this was. Of course those wishes could not all be complied with, but let them mark what an immense change that showed in the spirit of Christianity in this part of the country. Thirty or 40 years ago that could not have been said with truth. It can be said now. He was sure that those who had listened to the speech of their friend Dr Brace, and the genial wisdom which had fallen from Mr Wright Mellor, could not help seeing what an Immense advance they had made in the true Christian spirit in these last 30 years. He hoped that this great advance which had taken place in their recollection might go on strengthened and increased from year to year, and that their descendants when they met on some occasion 30 years hence might be able to mark as great an advance in the spirit of their time over the spirit of ours, as we could mark in the spirit of our time over that of our predecessors. (Hear, hear.) Once more he begged to return them on his own and his wife's behalf their most grateful thanks for all their kindness not only that day, but for the hearty welcome which they ever extended to them when they were able to come amongst them. (Applause.)

Alderman Varley proposed the health of ‘The Mayor.’ He spoke of the numerous duties devolving upon the Mayor, and said that those duties could not be discharged without the sacrifice of much time and labour. He dwelt upon the important works which were undertaken and carried out by the Corporation, and considered that the Town Council even did more for the people than Parliament. Their Mayor had proved that day that he was the right man in the right place. They were all glad to welcome Sir John, Lady Ramsden, and the new Bishop amongst them. (Applause.) As to the new Bishop, be felt that as a Churchman he might be pardoned — in fact, he did not want pardoning — but he might be excused if be said that personally he felt proud of their new Bishop. (Hear, hear.) Bishop How had not lived an idle life, but had passed his in working for Christ and his fellow men, (Applause.) Such were the sort of men who should be extolled, and be was glad that he had been extolled. They were all proud of him. (Applause.) He thanked Sir John for coming amongst them that day, and for putting up the beautiful fountain as a monument of the Queen’s Jubilee. He hoped Sir John would in the future make it as convenient as ha could to spend as much time as possible with them, for he said that landlord and tenantry were like master and work-people in a mill — their Interests were joint Interests, and it was to the mutual benefit of both to know each other well. (Applause.)

The Mayor, who was applauded, thanked those present very sincerely for the warm manner in which they had drunk the toast of hit health. Since he had been elected Mayor he had received much kindness, both from his colleagues in the Council and from men of business in the town. He had had a great deal more kindness thrust upon him, he was sure, than he deserved. (‘No, no.’) That day was a red letter day in their history. They were indebted to the munificence of Sir John Ramsden for one of the most handsome ornaments that a town could possibly possess. It was also one of great utility. He did not think he had ever seen a more excellent design in any place. One fact he omitted to state at the fountain, and that was that Sir John dug for the stone in Huddersfield. It was native stone, and of native manufacture, so that Huddersfield people would have good reason for being proud of the fountain. He wished also to congratulate them on the advent amongst them of the Lord Bishop of Wakefield. (Applause.) He was delighted to hear the words of wisdom which fell from the Ups of the Deputy-mayor. Alderman Wright Mellor, the Bishop of Wakefield, Dr Bruce, and his chaplain, the Rev F. J. Benskin. It was a pleasure to listen to so much cordiality, and he trusted that in the future they would have it acted out in all the relations of life, not only amongst the ministers, but also amongst the laymen of all churches. They ought to know no differences. (Applause.)

The Mayor announced that he had received a note from Mr Alfred Walker, who was to have proposed the next toast, to the effect that he was detained at the County Police Court and could not be with them.

Mr J. A. Brooke submitted the toast of ‘The town and trade of Huddersfield,’ it would require very few words from him to induce them to drink prosperity to the town and trade of Huddersfield, because it simply meant their own prosperity. He did not know a single person present who could fairly be excepted. Certainly he could not except the Bishop, for no Bishop could be long amongst them without his hands hitching to get some of their money. It was also an open and honourable secret that their Nonconformist friends were equally interested. That being the case he felt certain that one and all, the Bishop and the ministers, the ground landlord, the merchants, manufacturers, and builders, were all interested in working together to promote the prosperity of the town and trade of Huddersfield. (Hear, hear.) He was sure he was expressing the hopes of almost everyone present, without any exception, when he said that he trusted that prosperity would increase in the future, and that it would not merely tend to the wealth of the few, but also to the increase of the happiness and prosperity of the many. (Applause.) A more equal distribution of wealth was one of the most serious problems of the present day — a more equal distribution of the necessities of life amongst all ranks and conditions. (Hear, hear.) In these terms, and with those feelings, to which he was ante they would respond, he gave them the toast of ‘The town and trade of Huddersfield.’

Mr Joseph Crosland responded. He thought the toast, like the sermon the Bishop gave them Sunday night, might be divided into several heads. First there was the town of Huddersfield — he did not know how they were to divide that — and then there was the trade of Huddersfield. (Hear, hear.) Those who could remember the town years ago knew that it occupied a very different position to-day to what it did then. Before his time — but he had been told about it — the whole of the trade in cloth in Huddersfield used to be conducted on the wall of the churchyard. Cloth was thrown over the churchyard wall, and in that way exposed for sale. Well they had greatly improved upon that. One of Sir John's predecessors built a Cloth Hall, and there for a generation or two cloth was alone sold. But we had gone on in a progressive manner, and now saw around us suitable buildings in which the cloth trade of Huddersfield was carried on. The town had also improved in many other respects, and when they looked round and saw the large number of places of worship, not merely in the town, but also in the outer districts, the progress in this one particular seemed to him to be marvellous. All these things showed how the town was advancing, and he believed it would continue to advance in the future quite as fast as it had done in the past- They had been blest in Huddersfield with a number of spirited Inhabitants, and he included amongst them these who composed the Town Council and the local bodies which existed before the Council. It was the result of their exertions, combined with the energy shown by their ground landlord, that the town had been laid out in such a geometrical pattern as they saw it at present — (hear, hear) — so as to make it one of the nicest and most handsome — although he said it himself — of any of the towns to be seen anywhere- As to the trade of Huddersfield, he took it that the trade was the very thing that had made the town. They could not have got on as they had done if they had not worked hard for it, and if their forefathers had not worked for them to lay the foundation upon which they had built. They should be very grateful to those who had gone before them for the powers of mind and of energy which had descended to them, and by the use of which they had been able to raise the town and trade of Huddersfield to its present high position. What remained for the present generation to do was to carry on in the future what they had received from the past. And that, he believed, was the Intention of the younger members of the community, who were being carefully trained up for this purpose. He was of opinion that we had in Huddersfield young man with as fine talent as could be found anywhere in the neighbourhood, with their Technical School and other institutions working in their midst, they should be able in the future to maintain the prosperity of Huddersfield as they had done in the past. (Applause.)

The conclusion of the toast list finished the proceedings at the luncheon.

Later on in the afternoon Sir John and Lady Ramsden gave a garden party at Longley Hall, to which a considerable number were Invited.

Huddersfield Chronicle (13/Jun/1888) - Sir J.W. Ramsden's Jubilee Gift to Huddersfield

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