Liverpool History Society Questions

A selection of Liverpool history questions submitted to the Liverpool History Society

>Jane Alice Weightman (1864-1937)


Dear Sir or Madam,
I am an Assistant Curator for National Museums Liverpool and I am researching a Jane Alice Weightman (1864-1937) who left a large collection of Chinese ceramics to the Corporation of Liverpool upon her death in 1937. As any evidence of Miss Weightmans further interest in Chinese decorative arts has proven difficult to find I have conducted a wider search on her immediate family who were of some great significance.
Jane Alice’s Grandfather John Weightman for example was an Alderman and Head of the Finance Committee, overseeing the management of the building of the Walker, St Georges Hall and Municipal Buildings. The brothers William Arthur and Septimus Rigby were prominent Liverpool Lawyers (Weightman, Peddar and Co) and another brother Alfred Ernest was a well respected fleet surgeon. The youngest brother Percy Octavious was a member of the Historical Society for Lancashire and Cheshire.
Would it be possible to find out if the society has any information regarding this family, or Jane Alice Weightman in particular? From what I have been able to uncover of the family they took an active interest in history and the arts, and several members left collections to the Museum during the first half of the 20th century – if seems unlikely that I am the first person to research this family. I am following up a number of enquiries, but once all research has been gathered I would certainly be happy to submit my findings to the society should you wish to keep a record of the Weightman family for future use/research.
Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated,
Best wishes,
Francesca Aiken
Assistant Exhibition Curator

15/10/2009 - Posted by | Jane Alice Weightman (1864-1937)


  1. Percy Octavious was also a memeber of the Climber Club in 1896.

    Please see

    Rob Ainsworth
    Programme Secretary/ Web Administrator
    Liverpool History Society
    Web Site:

    Comment by Liverpool History | 15/10/2009 | Reply

  2. Hello

    Miss Jane Alice Weightman, Fern Lea, Seaforth, Liverpool was a member of the SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL ARCH/EOLOGY. [1897).

    Rob Ainsworth
    Programme Secretary/ Web Administrator
    Liverpool History Society

    Comment by Liverpool History | 15/10/2009 | Reply

  3. If Alice’s grandfather oversaw the construction of those buildings then this is the same John Weightman who was Corporation Surveyor. He DESIGNED the Municipal Buildings as well as many other buildings. He adapted the design of Thomas Allom for the Museum and Library. He took over the supervision of St George’s Hall in April 1848 after the Architect had died. The Corporation decide that they would not pay an architect to complete the work (eventually, in December 1851, they did employ Charles Robert Cockerell) so they bought Weightman a lot of books about Classical Architecture and told him to get on with it!

    Being a Corporation employee it seems unlikely he would have been allowed to be an Alderman because he would then effectively have been his own employer!

    Comment by Liverpool History Society Questions | 15/05/2011 | Reply

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