Liverpool History Society Questions

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

Liverpool Pastor George Wise


I am looking for information relating to George Wise who preached in Liverpool in the 19th century.  There does not appear to be much information relating to the gentleman or his lifes work. Can you help.

John Hyde-Lloyd

26/11/2009 - Posted by | Liverpool Pastor George Wise


  1. Hello John,

    As a pastor in Liverpool, George Wise was to become one of the leading Protestant protagonists of the early 20th century. Sadly, little is known about him.

    Liverpool has been linked with Ireland for centuries. Back in the 13th century, Liverpool was first used as a harbour for sending supplies to Ireland.

    As early as 1798, it had been described as an Orange city, and in 1819 the Liverpool Mercury reported “an Orange Lodge procession planned for the 12th of July will be attacked by the Irish”. 2,000 Irish launched their assault, this was the first recorded street clash in the history of Liverpool.

    From 1822 onwards, major disturbances were the norm. In 1829 when an Act of Parliament which allowed Roman Catholics to be admitted to Westminster was passed this caused serious unrest in Liverpool and, in 1835, Rev. Hugh McNeile (whose bust can be found today on a plinth in the St. George's Hall) commenced the Liverpool Protestant Association for the purpose of distributing Protestant information and maintaining Protestant principles. On 8 November 1836, 5,000 people gathered at the 1st Annual General Meeting of the Association and 46 Ministers of Liverpool Churches were represented on the platform.

    In 1845, Ireland was hit by the great potato famine and within the next two years, over 100,000 refugees arrived in Liverpool. By the time George Wise first visited Liverpool at the age of 32 in 1888, the population had reached 685,000. In the north end of the city, where much of his ministry would be centred, the population in areas such as Everton, Kirkdale and Netherfield Road had grown dramatically. George Wise was born in Bermondsey in London on 4 November, 1855. Following his conversion, he became an earnest and enthusiastic worker at Spurgeon’s Metropolitan Tabernacle.

    George Wise was led into the Anglican Church where, after a period of time, he joined the staff of the Christian Evidence Society, addressing huge rallies and engaging in public debate all over the country. While lecturing for the Society. At the beginning of 1897, he returned to Liverpool. Wise later formed the Liverpool Protestant Party. Contesting four seats at the next Municipal Elections, three of the candidates were successful, one of whom was George Wise, and the fourth lost by only one vote.

    Liverpool Protestants were beginning to make themselves heard and the power that they wielded would be a force to be reckoned with in the city for many years to come. Indeed, the Liverpool Protestant Party continued until 1973, when the seats in the St. Domingo and Netherfield wards of the city were fought for the last time. George Wise was interested in the Irish Home Rule Question. Protestant Ulster was making it clear that she was opposing Home Rule for Ireland – and Protestant Ulster could depend on the full support of Pastor Wise in its campaign. Wise visited Ulster in 1914, preaching and lecturing in Belfast,

    On 29 November, 1917, aged 62, George Wise died. The funeral service, held at the Protestant Reformers' Memorial Church, was conducted by Pastor T.B. Wilmot and Rev. H.D. Longbottom where it was said “He was a mighty believer, a wonderful Protestant, a man of stainless character”; “he had the simple heart of a little child. Although he knew a great deal about science and philosophy, his religion was based on a simple faith and a simple trust in His Saviour”; “though he came to Liverpool unknown, and without any influential backing, he became one of the most powerful influences in the city, which no man moved so profoundly as he”.

    The funeral procession to Anfield Cemetery was headed by Orangemen followed by two carriages laden with wreaths. The hearse followed on with dense crowds gathered at every point along the route. Businesses and shops closed and house blinds were drawn as a mark of respect.


    Rob Ainsworth

    Programme Secretary & Web Administrator
    Liverpool History Society

    Comment by Liverpool History | 26/11/2009 | Reply

  2. my great uncle John Rogan often had one too many beers and would spend the night in a prison cell, so frequently was this that he had his own cell. On one occasion, someone else was in 'his cell' annoyed at this he had strong words for the occupant. They slowly became friends and the stranger gave uncle John cigarettes and a newspaper. The stranger was later released whilst John served 3 months during which time, the stranger not only visited him but also looked after John's devout Irish catholic family … and the stranger? yes, it was Pastor George Wise.

    Comment by fran donnelly | 14/01/2010 | Reply

  3. Thamks Fran,

    it all adds to the untold history of Liverpool.


    Rob Ainsworth
    Liverpool History Society

    Comment by Liverpool History | 14/01/2010 | Reply

  4. i am looking for the name of a jewellers that used to be in 29 church street liverpool i think it was about 1920
    i was called something and lloyd i would like to know when it opened and closed or is it still open

    Comment by Anonymous | 23/03/2010 | Reply

  5. Hello,

    I am looking for information on a Charles or Edward Taylor who was a Manager of Crawford Biscuits. He is my great Uncle and I'm trying to find relatives as my Dad is elderly and would love to meet some of his family.

    If you have any information, I would love to hear from you.


    Comment by Gumba | 27/05/2010 | Reply

  6. Hi

    I’m looking for any information on Joseph Pilkington, he was allegedly high up in the Orange Lodge – George Wise Church, he was given a full orange lodge funeral approx 1932!

    Comment by Liverpool History Society Questions | 23/10/2011 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: