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Friday, January 8th, 1892.
HE monthly meeting was held in Chetham College,
ΤΗ Mr. C. W. Sutton presiding.
Yates, the honorary secretary, read a letter from the Mayor of Chester stating that the explorations in the north wall of the city were going on, though in a less vigorous degree, but he hoped that if additional funds were forthcoming operations might begin in the Infirmary field, where as long ago as 1858 Roman graves were discovered in situ. Mr. Yates announced that their Society had contributed ten guineas, and that individual members had contributed £11. 5s. 6d., making a total of £21. 15s. 6d.
Mr. Yates exhibited a Roman statuette in bronze, found at Ribchester; some beautiful leather work from Kimbolton, either Roman or mediæval; a Lifu stone hatchet mounted, and a curious collection of coin weights.
Mr. J. J. Alexander exhibited a pewter plate in an excellent state of preservation, measuring twelve inches by seven inches, found in St. Mary's Church tower, near the top of the corkscrew staircase. The inscription is as follows:
This spire was built by the voluntary subscriptions of ye inhabitants of Manchester in ye year 1762, the first stone laid by Edward Bryom, Esq., then Bourroughreave; the Rev. Mr. Downes, rector; T. Lightoler, archt.
On the reverse is engraved
Mr. Alexander said: This shows, what is not generally known, that the church was not completed at the time of the opening. The foundation stone was laid on July 16th, 1753; the church was consecrated on the feast of SS. Michael and All Angels, 1756. The spire steeple, one hundred and eighty-six feet high, universally and deservedly admired for its elegance and fine proportions, was designed by Gibbs. The lantern was composed of eight Ionic columns which supported the tower (the highest in the town), surmounted by a large globe. Upon this was placed a massive cross which, as well as the globe, was gilt. The cross and globe were of sheet copper, the former two feet in diameter and sixty pounds in weight, the latter six feet by five feet eight inches, and about one hundred and sixty pounds in weight. The portion of the bar between the globe and cross was from two to three yards in length. On December 6th, 1822, the ball and cross were blown into a horizontal position, and remained so till May 6th, 1823, when their removal was effected by the ingenuity and courage of Francis Wooton, of Nottingham. In 1859 the spire was taken down on account of its insecure state, as during high gales it was often seen to shake, and eventually it assumed a leaning position similar to the spire of Chesterfield Church. It was taken down under the superintendence of Mr. J. P. Holden. Mr. Alexander presented a rubbing of the plate for the Society's scrap-book.
Mr. H. T. Crofton read a paper on "Manchester Gilds, and the Records of the Lichfield Corvisors." (See page 1.) The reading of the paper was followed by a discussion, in which Messrs. Sutton, Harrison, and Newton joined.
Friday, January 29th, 1892.
The Annual Meeting was held at Chetham College, Mr. W. E. A. Axon presiding.
In the unavoidable absence of the Honorary Secretary, the report of the Council was read by Mr. William Harrison. (See vol. ix., page 225.)
Mr. T. Letherbrow, Treasurer, submitted a statement of the accounts, which, together with the report, was passed.
Mr. C. T. Tallent-Bateman exhibited an original lease, dated 1560, to Richard Bullock, of a smithy at Torkenton (whence the name of Bullock's smithy). Remarks upon it were made by Messrs. J. D. Andrew, A. Nicholson, and W. Harrison.
Mr. Robert Peel exhibited a volume of rare tracts. The ballot for President and Council then took place, with the following result :
Friday, February 5th, 1892.
The monthly meeting of the Society was held in the library at Chetham College, and was well attended. Mr. J. P. Earwaker, vice-president, occupied the chair.
Before the ordinary business commenced, a vote of condolence was passed and ordered to be sent to Mr. George C. Yates, on the death of his wife.
There were several interesting exhibits, amongst them being a collection of siliceous implements found in India, and one from this district, used probably for artistic purposes. These were exhibited and described by Dr. Colley March. He read interesting letters in reference thereto from Canon Greenwell, of Durham, Mr. Archibald Carlisle, and one from Mr. Seidler, who enclosed a number of beautiful sketches of these minute implements, which were discovered in France, Belgium, and Egypt.
Mr. Yates sent a collection of seventeen Roman coins, of the Lower and Western Empire; also a rare book on Roman coins, published at Rome in 1740.
The paper of the evening was read by Mr. George Esdaile, on "Celestial Alphabets as found on Coins.” which he illustrated by a number of interesting diagrams. A discussion followed, in which Messrs. Pearson, J. H. Nicholson, D. F. Howorth, Sandbach, Dr. March, and the chairman took part.
Dr. Ferguson, of Stockport Road, and Mr. George Taylor, of Fallowfield, were elected members of the Society.
Friday, March 4th, 1892.
The monthly meeting of the Society was held in the reading room, Chetham College, Mr. J. Holme Nicholson presiding.
Mr. William Harrison laid on the table for inspection a manuscript list which he had prepared of the turnpike roads in Lancashire and Cheshire as an accompaniment to the paper on the subject and map which appeared in the Transactions for 1886. Since that time the turnpike system had come to an end, the last trust in Lancashire or Cheshire having expired in November, 1890. So completely indeed had the system become a thing of the past that Parliament had now enacted that all Acts relating to turnpikes might be omitted from future editions of the statutes. The list accordingly gave not merely the date of commencement but also the date of expiration of each trust. (See Appendix II.)
Colonel Fishwick read a paper on Tonge Hall. (See page 25.)
Mr. C. T. Tallent-Bateman read a paper on the "Alexander Family of Manchester," a family which he said had been represented in Manchester, both as ordinary citizens and landowners, for nearly a century and a half, and had furnished a boroughreeve and more than one town constable, and had given a name (though now superseded) to one of the most important streets of the town; and, having intermarried with one of the oldest and gentlest families of the town (the Radcliffe family), had continued that family's representation by inheritance in the female line. The first of the family or of the name to settle in Manchester was John Alexander, a mercer, who first appears in local records as an inhabitant of the town at the end of Charles the First's reign, and who was first married, at Middleton, in December, 1650, to Johanna Symonds, daughter of the Rev. Robert Symonds, rector of Middleton. His name is first found in the Court Leet Records under the date of 1651, when he was appointed to one of the minor offices of the town.