Liverpool History Society Questions

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

William Chadburn, Home at Clifton Villa Wallasey, Wirral

Clifton Villa Wallasey, Wirral

Clifton Villa is situated on the west side of ‘Walmer Villa’ as far back as 1853 a Mr Charles Beamish was living there. 20 years later the occupant was William Chadburn, then described as an optician but better known since as the founder of Chadburn’s Ship Telegraph Co. Ltd whose products must have traveled the seven seas many times.

30/11/2009 Posted by | Home at Clifton Villa, William Chadburn | Leave a comment

>William Chadburn (28 Feb. 1844 – 3 Apl. 1927)


att.: the Secretary
Hello – I have done a lot of research into the ship’s telegraphs and the founding family behind the development of this revolutionary device.  Today the telegraphs are collectors items; furthermore, they  are exhibited in more than 50 maritime museums worldwide, incl. the Albert Dock complex.
It was the inventor William Chadburn (28 Feb. 1844 – 3 Apl. 1927)  who was the dynamic force in the business. Due to public demand for info  I set up a website in 2003, and have written and contributed  articles over the last 12 years. 
I have discussed with staff at the museum the need for better recognition of this invention; now largely forgotten.  In fact ‘Chadburn’  has become a generic term for telegraphs regardless of make!  If you care to log on to  you will be able to gain better understanding what the trade-mark means especially in shipping circles.   The Society’s web site also incorporates other local instrument makers, such as: A Robinson of Bootle,  and  J.W. Ray & Co.  – the latter firm still exists in Knowsley.  Most of the famous liners and cargo vessels built from 1870 onwards had manoeuvering equipment supplied by  Chadburn, and its later fellow/competing  manufacturers. Their monopoly position was only broken in the 1930s.
We would like to honour the pioneering efforts of the Chadburn organisation with a memorial preferably to be located in or near the city centre, and wonder if you can offer advice how to proceed with such a project? 
With best regards
Dick Midhage                                                            York,  30 No. 2009.          (tel. 01904 637712.) 

30/11/2009 Posted by | William Chadburn | Leave a comment

144a Brownlow Hill Liverpool Workhouse?


I am researching my family history, and have discovered that one of my family members was born at 144a Brownlow Hill in Liverpool. This was not the family address at that time, and the father was listed as living at the family address. Was this place a maternity hospital? or perhaps some other form of institution? The birth was completely Legitimate,  The couple having married the previous year.

Thank you


30/11/2009 Posted by | 144a Brownlow Hill Liverpool Workhouse? | 17 Comments

St James Cemetary Tunnel

Hi Rob,

I enjoy the Liverpool History Society Questions Blog because of the diverse range of questions you get and often provide the answer I note.  You recently gave an answer to a question on the Oratory, but I would like to know what the bricked up tunnel in the cemetary was use for.

Best wishes


Public Access Tunnel
Quarrymen`s Tunnel
Hearse Tunnel

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30/11/2009 Posted by | St James Cemetary Tunnel | 2 Comments

>The Oratory at Liverpool Cathedral



on a recent visit to Liverpool I enjoyed a tour of Liverpool Cathedral and noticed a classical building near the entrance.  I think it is call “The Oratory”.  I would like to know more about this building, but could not find it in my guide book.  Can you please help?



Huskisson Memorial

Tracey Emin Sculpture
 “Roman Standard bird”

30/11/2009 Posted by | The Oratory at Liverpool Cathedral | 2 Comments

>Islington Row

>Dear Sir,

I am researching my family hitory and have found my great Grand Parents originated from Liverpool.  They are listed as living in Islington Row, Liverpool around 1856.  I cannot find the street on any old maps of the city and hope you are able to help.


Cynthia Cowell
Long Beach.

27/11/2009 Posted by | Islington Row | 1 Comment

>William Champs



I am reearchng the life of Mr Champs do you know if he has any connections with Liverpool?


27/11/2009 Posted by | William Champs | 1 Comment

>Martins Bank

>Dear Sir,

Do you know where Martins Bank in Liverpool City centre is?  I have searched local maps but I am unable to locate the building and suspect it may no longer be around.


Peter Faulk


During the Second World War, a large part of Britain’s gold reserve was stored in the Liverpool branch of Martins Bank. 

27/11/2009 Posted by | Martins Bank | 1 Comment

>Everton Beacon


do you know if the Everton Beacon was a stucture or building.

John Temple

Everton Beacon (c1220) consisted of a rectangular tower of three storeys.
It was blown down in a storm in 1803. The site is now occupied by St George’s Church.

27/11/2009 Posted by | Everton Beacon | 2 Comments

>Botanic Gardens Wavertree

>Hello Liverpool History Society,

I am trying to locate the site of Liverpool Botanic Gardens in Wavertree, can you please provide any information on the location.

Best wishes



27/11/2009 Posted by | Botanic Gardens Wavertree | 2 Comments