Huddersfield Chronicle (13/Mar/1886) - Death of Mr. John Kirk

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.


Oar readers will learn with deep regret of the death, at the age of 68, of Mr. John Kirk, architect, of this town, which sad event occurred about three o'clock on the morning of Thursday last. Mr. Kirk was in delicate health some two and a half years ago, when he retired from the firm of Messrs. John Kirk and Sons, which he founded, and he has been a sufferer more or less ever since then from Brights' disease. He has been under the care of Mr. Norman Porritt, physician and surgeon, by whom every attention has been paid to the case, and in December last Dr. Clifford Allbutt, of Leeds, was called in for consultation. For the past 18 weeks Mr. Kirk was confined to the house, but was able to leave his bed almost up to the time of his death. Mr. Kirk was born on the 6th of April, 1817, his parents, John and Elizabeth Kirk, having come from York and settled in Huddersfield, where his father carried on the business of a joiner and builder. He was apprenticed to the former trade, and after the death of his father, which occurred somewhat early in his career, he carried on the business up to the year 1850, when he began practice as an architect in John William Street, and laid the foundation of the now well-known firm of John Kirk and Sons. In the month of December, 1839, he was married at the Huddersfield Parish Church to Lousia Sheard, second daughter of the late Mr. James Sheard, of Elland. He established a branch of the business at Dewsbury, in the year 1880, and shortly afterwards took his son Albert into partnership, and entrusted him with the management of the Dewsbury part of the business. In the year 1863 his son James was admitted to a partnership, and has since that time assisted his father in the management of the business at Huddersfield. As an architect, Mr. Kirk stood high in the profession, and at the time of his death was the oldest architect in the town. During the period he was connected with the firm a good many public buildings have been designed by them, and erected under their superintendence. Amongst them may be mentioned the workhouses of the Huddersfield Union at Crosland Moor and Deanhouse, the Union Offices in Ramsden Street, Wilshaw Church, Thornton Hough Church, Brunswick Street Chapel, the Congregational Chapel, Paddock, the new wing to the Huddersfield Infirmary, &c. They have also had charge of the restoration of Holy Trinity Church, Paddock Church, Scissett Church, St. Paul's Church, Golcar Church, and many other important works in the town and district. Although a member of the Free Wesleyan body Mr. Kirk was strongly Conservative in politics, but for many years he has taken no active part in public life. He represented the North Ward in the Huddersfield Town Council for one term, viz., from 1869 to 1872. He was also for many years a director of the Harrogate Hydropathic Establishment, an institution in which he took the deepest possible interest. He was an enthusiastic member of the Masonic body, to which he had belonged for almost 34 years, having joined the Lodge of Truth, 521, in the month of May, 1852. He was a Past Master of this lodge, and has also held offices in connection with the Provincial Grand Lodge. Mr. Kirk was of a most genial and kindly disposition, and was universally respected by all who came in contact with him, and his widow and children — four sons and two daughters — who are left to mourn his loss will have the heartfelt sympathy of a wide circle of friends in their sad bereavement. The funeral, which is to take place today (Saturday) at Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, will, by the wish of the family, be strictly private.