Tag Archives: York

1914 Register – moths, skating and football

In 1914 the first edition of the Bootham School Register was published. It included (as far as was known) the names, dates and biographies of all the boys that attended the school up to that date. 1988 names were included in all. As well as being a useful way of finding out about Old Scholars, it provides a useful insight into the period, for example what occupations people had, and how they spent their free time. It also includes a number of memories of schooldays. A number of the entries make reference to the character of the individual.

1914 Register

Below are some examples of extracts from the Register (hopefully the first in a series of posts).

Thomas Henry Allis (Lawrence St 1830-31) Osbaldwick, York, Commercial Traveller … Apprenticed to Jarvis Brady, Leeds, Grocer : later was with Godfrey Woodhead, Manchester : Latterly in shop, and then travelled for Tuke & Co., Tea Merchants, Castlegate, York : Taste – T.H.A. inherited much of his father’s taste as a naturalist – His sister, the late Elizabeth Pumphrey, wrote: “T.H.A. took to his Father’s Collection of Lepidoptera [group including butterflies and moths] and amalgamated them with his own, which was ultimately, I believe, second to but one out of London. This collection was, after T.H.A.’s death, presented to the York Museum. T.H.A. was accustomed to go into the woods with a dark lantern to sugar the trees and fences, and on returning the following evening to capture such moths, etc., as were caught : On one occasion he was accosted as a poacher by a keeper near Heslington. One summer he thought that the Convolvulus Sphinx moth ought to be found about a bed of Petunias that he saw in James Backhouse’s Nurseries in Fishergate, and he persisted in going to the gardens night after night until he was rewarded by finding numbers of what was thought to be almost extinct in the neighbourhood….”

William Henry Broadhead (Bootham 1855-58) An enthusiastic archaeologist and naturalist ; Spent much time in photographing and recording the Templar Marks on old houses in Leeds, most of which are now pulled down : embodied results of researches in paper read before Thoresby Society : Also interested in Egyptology, especially in connection with Pyramids : Hobbies – Photography, lock-mending.

Samuel Southall Burlingham (Bootham 1870-72) Hobbies – A devotee of fen skating and touring on the ice (when there is any in England). In 1881 traversed on ice almost the whole distance from the mouth of the River Nene to the Trent, near Gainsborough, via Spalding, Boston and Lincoln. In 1903 skated nearly 100 miles in one day.

Jackson Ebenezer Day (Lawrence St 1839) Within 5 minutes of his arrival at Lawrence Street he produced from his playbox a football, which he kicked across the playground. Up went a window, and J. Ford called out “Ebenezer Day, we do not allow such rough games as football here.” Many years after [in1862] J. Ford introduced the game himself, giving the ball the first kick.

James Backhouse and West Bank Park

It’s really good to hear about the West Bank Park Heritage Project (http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/NEWS/11029965.Heritage_centre_and_community_cafe_plan_for_York_park/?ref=rss), particularly as the Backhouse family had Bootham connections. The James Backhouse who first set up the nursery sent his son, also called James Backhouse, to York Friends Boys School in Lawrence Street between 1834 and 1841 (the school in Lawrence Street moved to Bootham in 1846, and later became known as Bootham School). The younger James Backhouse sent his sons, James and William, to Bootham (James between 1874 and 1878, and William between 1876 and 1880).

James Backhouse

 

Photograph: James Backhouse, born 1825, at York Friends Boys School 1834-41.

 

The youngest James Backhouse (grandson of the first James Backhouse) wrote an obituary for his father, James Backhouse (son of the first James Backhouse) in ‘Bootham’ magazine in May 1903, and it talks about everything from York’s first station to an underground cavern! Here are some extracts…

“On the introduction of a railway into York in 1839 the business premises were transferred to Fishergate, and later still to their present position at Holgate, one mile away. The original Passenger Station building, which may be spoken of as little more than a wooden shed, outside the City walls, was, in a very brief time rebuilt within the walls upon the old garden site. This new erection, when in the course of time a further new and enlarged station was required, became the North Eastern Railway offices. It is said that when the first station was opened, one porter attended to all the luggage and issued all the tickets. Today about 450 officials and porters are required to cope with the traffic of the seven different railway companies which run their trains to York.”

“About 1859 the careful observations made during his previous botanical excursions bore fruit in another way. He constructed in the Nurseries his well-known imitation Mountain Tarn and surrounding crags, on purpose to shew how Alpine plants might be artificially cultivated. His success in the cultivation of these plants was largely due to a scientific knowledge of soil requirements and other local conditions necessary to the growth of each species. As pioneer of a new departure in Horticulture the fame of his work soon spread, and hundreds visited York to witness the novel sight of this Alpine model, correct in every detail, and no mere accumulation of material.”

“Another monument to his memory at York Nurseries is an underground cavern, so arranged and artificially lighted that filmy ferns, which are by no means easy subjects to deal with, flourish there in great perfection; though denizens of various parts of the globe.”

Good luck to the West Bank Park Heritage Project!

  1. James Backhouse’s obituary is contained in ‘Bootham’ magazine, Vol I, p280-284.
  2. The photograph is taken from an album presented in Silvanus Thompson in 1874, held in Bootham School Archives.