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Hullwebs History of Hull


Bulmer's Gazetteer 1892 - part 5


William and Mary

After the proclamation of William and Mary, Lord Langdale was displaced, and Sir John Hotham (a descendant of the governor who refused to admit Charles I.) was appointed Governor of Hull in his stead; but the knight dying soon after, be was succeeded by the Duke of Leeds. Lord Dover (being a Catholic), refusing to take the oath required by the Test Act, the (fourth) Duke of Kingston was appointed High Steward, and the latter was succeeded in 1691 by the Marquis of Carmarthen, who held the office until his death in 1712, and no successor was appointed for a period of 54 years.

From this time no public event of any magnitude or importance occurred at Hull - except the formation of the Hull Dock Co., which is noticed later on - until towards the close of the 18th century. In 1766 the Marquis of Rockingham was appointed High Sheriff of Hull, in which office he rendered great service to the town. He took charge, in the House of Lords, of the Bill under which docks were established at Hull, and, as the advocate of the place, he secured from the Crown a grant of the site of the ancient walls of the town for dock purposes. In 1778, on the threatened invasion of England by the united powers of France and Spain, he visited Hull, and offered, at his own expense, to erect a battery for the defence of the town; but the corporation, having entered into a subscription for a similar purpose, declined his offer. He died whilst filling the office of Prime Minister, in 1782, and was succeeded as High Steward of Hull by the fifth Duke of Leeds (then Marquis of Carmarthen) in 1786.

1778 - The last execution of a criminal.

In 1778, the last execution of a criminal took place in Hull, when John Rogerson was hanged for coining, on the 19th of August. Ten years later, the centenary of the landing of the Prince of Orange - of whom the fine equestrian statue in the market-place had been erected by public subscription in 1734 - was celebrated with striking demonstrations of joy; and in the following year, when the king (George III.) recovered from an alarming illness, no town testified more joy and loyalty than this. In 1794, assizes were held in Hull for the last time, arrangements being afterwards made for the trial of prisoners at York. During the exhausting wars which followed the French Revolution, the system of impressing sailors for the Royal Navy gave Hull people much trouble, and led to serious riots here. On the 4th November, 1794, Prince William (afterwards Duke) of Gloucester visited Hull. On the following day he reviewed the volunteer companies, Surrey Militia, and Hanoverian Horse, after which he reviewed the invalids at the Citadel. He accepted the freedom of the corporation, and was made a brother of the Trinity House. H.R.H. was the first member of the royal family who visited the town since its gates were shut against Charles I.
Tickell published his "History of Hull" in 1796, and at p. 660 he observes "that this once-famous fortress, considered, formerly, as the strength and safeguard of the north (the walls and fortifications of which, joined to the flatness of the situation and great command of the river above it, have rendered it a place considered as almost impregnable ever since the time of Edward II.), is now an open town. To promote the convenience of the inhabitants as a commercial port, the ditches have been filled up, the walls and ramparts levelled, so that the next generation, and even many of the present one, will probably be at a loss to point out to the inquisitive enquirers the place on which these strong and formidable bulwarks stood, of which the pick and spade has not left so much as a wreck behind."

1796 - The first steam-packet.

In this year, 1796, the first steam-packet constructed in England was built on the river Hull, up a yard in Wincolmlee, under the direction of Mr. Furness, of Beverley, and Mr. Ashton, physician, to whom a patent was subsequently granted. This vessel was bought by the Prince Regent, who had it fitted up as a pleasure yacht. The prince was so pleased with the invention that he granted the patentees a pension for life of £70 a year each. It was not, however, until October, 1814, that the first steamboat began to ply on the Humber as a regular trader. This was the "Caledonian," and ran between Hull and Selby. Four years later the "Kingston" and "Yorkshireman " - the first steamers that went seawards from Hull - began to trade between this port and London.
In 1779 Earl Fitzwilliam was appointed High Steward of Hull, on the death of the Duke of Leeds, and he continued to hold the office until his death, in 1833.

In 1813 great rejoicings were made here over the success at the battle of Leipsic, which were repeated in the following year at the end of the "Campaign for the Liberties of Europe." The proceedings, on both occasions, were marked by the ringing of bells, the firing of salutes, bonfires, and other marks of popular demonstration.

About the middle of the year 1831, the celebrated agitator, James Ackland, came to reside at Hull, and soon distinguished himself; and for three years kept the townspeople in a state of turmoil. He attacked every individual member of the corporation. The bakers were charged with adulteration. The Court of Requests, the Barton Ferry, the Trinity House, and all the other local charities were severely handled, and he subsequently commenced a crusade against the market tolls. To such an extent did this man's agitations extend, that no less than 800 special constables were sworn in to keep the peace. He was the hero of "a hundred fights" in the Law Courts, and was frequently in prison for libel. On one occasion he was met by 20,000 persons, who paraded the town with bands and banners. After varying fortunes he left the town. His stormy life was ended in 1876, at the age of 72. In his time he played many parts, his rolés including those of player, author, editor, methodist preacher, reporter, election agent, prisoner, and it is even said beggar.

On October 15th, 1833, Sir John Ross and his companions arrived in Hull after his second voyage in search of the North-West Passage. Sir John and his gallant crew were given up for lost, when they were discovered by the Hull whaler "Isabella " - a vessel he had himself commanded some years previously. On the death, in 1833, of Earl Fitzwilliam, the corporation nominated the celebrated Duke of Wellington as High Steward of Hull, but great excitement prevailing in the town on the subject of municipal reform, the burgesses presented a petition to the king against the appointment of the duke, and in favour of the Earl of Durham, in consequence of which the duke declined to take the office, and no appointment was made until 1836, when the Earl of Durham was appointed, and held the office until 1840. In April, 1836, the celebrated Daniel O'Connell visited Hull, his entry into the town being marked with much ceremony, and a grand banquet was given in his honour at the Public Rooms. In the following year, an awful catastrophe occurred here. A steam-packet, called the "Union," lying at the South End Pier, was blown up. The vessel was crowded with passengers, and 13 lives were lost, whilst a large number of persons were seriously injured.

In this year (1837), the majority of H.R.H. the Princess Victoria, and her subsequent proclamation as queen, was celebrated with great eclat, which was, however, surpassed by the festivities in honour of her coronation in the following year.

Anglo Norman - Middle Ages - Tudors - Stewarts - Georgians - Victorians

Genuki LogoTranscribed from
Bulmer's East Yorkshire, 1892.
checking and correction by Peter Johnson ©2001
scanning, OCR and formatting software by Colin Hinson.

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