Liverpool History Society Questions

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

Rushworth`s Request for information

Dear Sirs,

I am a direct descendant of William Rushworth who founded the family organ building business in Liverpool in 1828. A few years later the business expanded into retail musical instruments. The business developed over the years and was very much part of the cultural and artisic life of Liverpool for many years. My brothers ran the business as the fifth generation, but sadly it closed a few years ago.

It has an interesting history and I am collecting as much material as I can find, with a view to writing a book about the family company and those who ran it. I have a reasonable amount of material but am making inquiries to see if I can find more. Do you have any material which might be relevant or ideas where I might find historical papers or other information about the business in Liverpool?

Any ideas you have which might help me in my search would be very much appreciated.

Kind regards,

Jonathan Rushworth


04/01/2010 - Posted by | Rushworth`s



    Rushworth &, Dreaper Ltd., the Liverpool firm of musical instrument manufactures and dealers established in 1828 and they introduced a line of zither-banjos in 1910 using the brand name of “Apollo.” The instruments were not made by them but were constructed to their specifications (probably by Windsor or Matthews of Birmingham In the early 1920s, the dance band boom induced them to launch their “Ardetone”(R-D-tone) plectrum-banjos and tenor-banjos which were styled on the American “Paramount” instruments. With only slight modifications they are very good copies of the instruments from across the Atlantic.

    Comment by Liverpool History | 04/01/2010 | Reply

  2. kathy Donaldson said…

    There are records for this Company at Liverpool Record Office 4th Floor William Brown Street. You may also be interested to know that a relative of this family entered Liverpool's Oldest family competition to celebrate Liverpool's 800th Birthday

    Comment by Anonymous | 04/01/2010 | Reply

  3. The original Rushworths showrooms in Islington was a place of magic for a young schoolboy. I remember taking part in a mouth organ contest in what must have been a small theatre. That would be in the 1930s.In my view the firm never recovered from it’s compulsory removal to Whitechapel just to make way for the awful road system which desecrated that part of the city.

    Comment by Reginald D. Owen | 23/02/2011 | Reply

  4. I’m applying for a scholarship to write a history of Rushworth’s in Liverpool so I’m really interested in this at the moment. I’m fascinated by how influential the shop was for nearly 150 years. There are rumours that lots of the company records were shredded years ago but I’m hoping to find some really interesting stuff.

    Liverpool Record Office has moved to near Sandhills Station.
    Liverpool Library Satellite Service
    Unit 33 Wellington Employment Park South, Sandhills, Liverpool L5 9ZS
    0151 233 5817
    They’re open 9-6 Monday to Saturday.

    Comment by Jill Hampson | 09/04/2011 | Reply

  5. Can anyone please point me to a picture that I’ve seen on the internet but can’t find now. It is of the violin makers and repairers at Rushworth’s. It looks like it was taken 1900-1920 as all the men have fine moustaches. The wood is stacked and ready to go … it’s a great picture. I am starting my violin making business in Liverpool and it would be great to have this link to the past. Many thanks in anticipation. Mike Phoenix

    Comment by Mike Phoenix | 20/04/2011 | Reply

  6. To Jonathan Rushworth.
    Hi Jonathan, I have recently been in contact with an ex-employee of Rushworhs who is now living down-south. He has some good funny stories of his time there. If you are interested leave a comment and I will get back in touch.

    Comment by Mike Phoenix | 28/04/2011 | Reply

  7. I believe that I may have a family connection with Edwin Rushworth dating to around the mid-1800s and would be most grateful for contact with anyone involved in the genealogy of the Rushworth family.

    Comment by alan dixon | 07/04/2012 | Reply

    • Dear Alan Dixon,

      could you please contact me at

      Many thanks,


      Comment by Nicholas Wong | 11/04/2012 | Reply

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