Liverpool History Society Questions

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

S and T Francey’s ( could be Francis’s) marble works

Does anyone know where S and T Francey’s ( could be Francis’s) marble works was on Brownlow Hill ? It was there in 1790 and still there in 1911.
Any pictures would be great.
John Hussey

15/11/2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized |


  1. I had a quick look in Gore’s directory for 1900, and could not see a marble works on Brownlow Hill.

    Was it actually on this road, or one of the roads off Brownlow?

    Do you have any further information?


    Comment by Richie39 | 17/11/2011 | Reply

    • Hi Richie/ Rob
      I am researching the life of John Gibson sculptor and he was apprenticed
      at Francis’ or Francy’s marble works on Brownlow Hill from 1809 to 1817 but the Marble works was
      still there at least until 1911. I have seen several sculptures in marble around the city with the
      name S and T Francy’s chiselled on them –they keep changing the spelling themselves as they did on those days.

      It is possible that the works were in a side-street but the information given is correct.

      Thanks for the interest –any help appreciated

      Comment by John Hussey | 20/11/2011 | Reply

      • Dear John,

        I read this message whilst doing some online research on John Gibson.
        I’ve got a drawing by him in my collection and was wondering if you might know if he actually made the relief depicted in the drawing.
        It is a large preparatory drawing of ‘Antigone Discovered over the Dead Body of her Brother’.

        I could email you a photograph if you’d like.

        Best Regards,
        Tobias Desmet

        Comment by Tobias Desmet | 22/02/2012 | Reply

  2. Spence’s Marble Works stood on the south side of Brownlow Hill, opposite the end of Ainsworth Street and at the end of a small street, parallel to Brownlow Hill, called Franceys Street. (Ordnance Survey 1849)

    A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain, 1660-1851

    Samuel & Thomas Franceys
    The brothers ran the leading firm of monumental masons in Liverpool between c1802 and 1819. Little is known of their background but they may have been related to the Samuel Franceys who was employed on decorative stucco-work at Melbourne Hall, Derbys, in 1760 (Archives, Marquis of Lothian, in Gunnis 1968, 156). According to one account they established themselves as builders and plasterers in Pleasant Street, Liverpool c1802 and ‘having a taste for art, they entered into the manufacture of a sort of composition of oil stucco, then much in vogue for chimney pieces and ceilings’ which ‘led to the execution of works in marble’ (Picton II, 1875, 214-5). By 1812 a wide range of products could be viewed at the firm’s premises in Brownlow Hill. These included ‘a great variety of marble chimneypieces … in the Egyptian, Grecian, Gothic and modern taste, and in various species of the most beautiful Italian, Egyptian, and British marbles. Marble tables for halls, sideboards, &c monuments, plain, or sculptured after elegant designs … various figures in marble, bronze and artificial stone to support dials and lamps; statues, busts &c., of excellent execution’, (Stranger in Liverpool 1812, 139).
    Their monuments could be quite elaborate. That to Joseph Brandreth, physician to the Duke of Gloucester and Lord Derby and founder of the Liverpool Dispensary, has a relief of the Good Samaritan caring for the unfortunate traveller, while the Cumming dramatically depicts a tomb, riven apart on the Day of Judgement and the mother and daughter ascending from it (27, 26). The figure of Faith embracing a cross on the memorial to Ursula Lloyd at Llanbedr was first used on the memorial to John Ford in Chester Cathedral (15, 7).
    The German sculptor F A Legé was employed by the firm and John Gibson, William Spence and Thomas Duckett all began their careers in the Franceys workshops. When Samuel Franceys left the business and the partnership was dissolved in 1819 (Euro Mag, 1819, 282) Spence took his place. The reconstructed firm of Franceys and Spence continued in operation until about 1844, though Samuel Franceys died much earlier, on 20 May 1829. He was buried in the graveyard of the Wesleyan Chapel in Brunswick Street, Liverpool. Another family member was Mary Franceys, ‘Sculptor’ who is listed at 25 Pleasant Street in the Liverpool Directory for 1823-24.
    Literary References: Gunnis 1968, 156-7; Physick 1969, 41-2, 180; Yarrington 1988, 119; Curtis 1989, passim

    Comment by Dave Bridson | 08/12/2011 | Reply

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