Children of Robert and Mary Spence

01. Mary Spence

1811-10-04 b. Howard Street, North Shields, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/628, /775
1811-10-23 of North Shields; d. PRO RG 6/226, /228
1811-10-24  bur. North Shields
 

On the 4th of the 10th mo. 1811 our first born a daughter blooming full of promise & beautifull gladdened our hearts, but alas after a transient tarrience of 19 days she fled to scenes of more enduring bliss & to our great grief was interred the day following in the graveyard at the head of the Town; we had called her Mary after her mother and grandmother Foster.

Journal of Robert Spence


Mary (Spence) Watson 02. Mary Spence

1813-01-16  b. North Shields, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /775, /1245
1824-07-22 with her sister Sarah, left home for school at Doncaster Journal of Robert Spence
1830-07-02 "in bed ill of the measles"
1835-02-11 present at Newcastle Monthly Meeting; notice given of her intent to marry James Watson minutes of Newcastle Monthly Meeting, Tyne & Wear Archives Service MF 169

2nd mo. 11th 1835. James Watson & my daughter Mary, Joseph Watson & my daughter Sarah laid their intentions of marriage before friends at the Monthly Meeting at Newcastle—May the blessing of heaven rest upon their intended unions! Daniel Oliver spoke very encouragingly to them and they all acquitted themselves with great propriety & gained much credit from their friends.

Journal of Robert Spence
1835-03-11 at Newcastle Monthly Meeting, freed to marry minutes of Newcastle Monthly Meeting, TWAS MF 169
1835-03-12 m. James Watson (1810–1861, draper of North Shields, son of William Watson, manufacturer of Hawick, Roxburgh, Scotland, and Margaret), at North Shields Friends' meeting house; both signed. Witnesses: William Brown, miller, North Shields; Edward Richardson, tanner, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Henry Brady, surgeon, Gateshead PRO RG 6/202, /527, /1245; Annual Monitor
"3rd mo. 12th 1835. Jas. & Mary & Joseph & Sarah married at Friends Meeting House, North Shields—it was a most interesting occasion—and excited quite a sensation in the town." Journal of Robert Spence
Children: William Lindsay (1836–1866), Margaret (1839–1858), Robert Foster (1840–1845), Emma (1842–1845), Edith (1844–1893), Alice (1846–1935), Anna (1847–1923), James (1850–1936), Ernest (1852–1894), Emma Lindsay (1855–1902) Annual Monitor; The British Friend; Edward H. Milligan (2007) Biographical Dictionary of British Quakers in Commerce and Industry 1775–1920. York: Sessions Book Trust; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England; Philip Spence (1939)
1836 of North Shields digest of Durham Quaker births: index
1837 & 1839 of Howard St, Tynemouth
1841 living with her husband and four children at Howard Street, Tynemouth, Northumberland HO 107/826/3 f8 p8
1850-01-03 present at a soirée to William Wells Brown, at the Music Hall, Newcastle Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury, 1850-01-05
1851 living at 6 Cumberland Row, Westgate, Newcastle, with her husband, three children, 2 general servants, and a visitor HO 107/2404 f223 p3
1852 son born at 6 Cumberland Row, Newcastle The British Friend; Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury, 1852-08-21
shortly after 1853-10-10 (last sibling’s 21st birthday) father’s estate finally wound up; presumably a beneficiary of 1/11th (a bit over £2000) father’s will, PRO PROB 11/2080
1856-12-17 presided at her table at the soirée of the Newcastle Ratepayers' Association Newcastle Courant, 1856-12-19
1861 living with her husband (mercer empg 4 men 15 women), four children (all b. Newcastle), visitor, nephew, and two servants at 6 Cumberland Row, Westgate, Newcastle RG 9/3812 f17 p81
1861-04-22 husband a draper of Newcastle, where he died National Probate Calendar
1861-08-26 co-executor of her husband's will, at Newcastle
1864-04-21 of 8 Hawthorne Terrace Mosscroft visitors' book
1865-05-20 of Hawthorne Terrace
1867-11-25 of Hawthorn Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne; made will; all real and personal estate left to Robert Spence and Robert Foster in trust for children and daughter-in-law; witnessed by Joseph Watson and his clerk will
1869-07-28 provided the wedding breakfast for her daughter Alice and husband Edmund Procter, at her home in Hawthorne Terrace Newcastle Daily Chronicle, 1869-07-29
1871 of Hawthorne Terrace, Elswick, Newcastle, living with three children (all b. Newcastle) and one servant RG 10/5076
1873-11-20 of 8 Hawthorne-terrace, Newcastle, widow of James Watson, draper; d. there very suddenly, of heart disease certified death certificate; will; National Probate Calendar; source misplaced
 

Just before my dear Mother's death, Robert's Aunt Mary Watson died very suddenly of heart disease. For her unmarried daughters especially, it was a crushing blow, & we all miss her genial, kindly ways.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's "Family Chronicles"
1873-12-31 will proved at Newcastle by brother Robert Spence and Robert Foster, executors; effects under £7000 National Probate Calendar; will and probate


Sarah (Spence) Watson 03. Sarah Spence


Elizabeth Foster (Spence) Brown 04. Elizabeth Foster Spence

1815-08-17 b. Howard Street, North Shields, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /775, /1245; The Friend
1830-07-02 "in bed ill of the measles" Journal of Robert Spence
1834-08-14

8 mo. 14. 1834. Jas. & Rachel Foster—Robert & Mary Spence—Elizabeth Foster Spence & Rachel Spence left for Edinbro. 8.16 by sea from Leith to Aberdeen. 18 General Meeting for Scotland, left for Urie Stonehaven. 19 Perth to Dunkeld. 20th Pass of Killicrankie, Taymouth & Killeen. 21st Trossachs, Loch Katrine, Callender to Stirling. 22 return to Edinbro & 23 home by Berwick a most delightful excursion.

1837-08-17 of Howard St, Tynemouth; m. Henry Brown (1813–1846, starch manufacturer of North Shields, eldest son of W. Brown), at North Shields fmh marriage digest; RG 6/1245; Annual Monitor; The Newcastle Journal, 1837-08-19
Children: William Henry (1839–1907), Mary Spence (1840–1923), Henrietta (1842–1849), Elizabeth (1844–1917) GRO index; Annual Monitor; censuses
1841 of Hutchinson Buildings, Tynemouth, living with her family and two female servants PRO HO 107/826/6 f10 p12
1851 annuitant, of Siskele St, Tynemouth, living with two daughters and a house servant HO 107/2410 f218 p81
shortly after 1853-10-10 (last sibling’s 21st birthday) father’s estate finally wound up; presumably a beneficiary of 1/11th (a bit over £2000) father’s will, PRO PROB 11/2080
1861 widowed chemist and druggist, living with daughter, servant, and two boarders at 83 Tyne Street, Tynemouth RG 9/3841 f36 p65
1864-03-09 of North Shields Mosscroft visitors' book
1868-05/1868-06 toured in North Italy and Switzerland, with her daughter Elizabeth, Birket and Fanny Foster, and William Orchardson Jan Reynolds (1984) Birket Foster. London: Batsford
1871 not found in census  
1871-06-19 of Twickenham Mosscroft visitors' book
1876-05-04 widow of Henry Brown, miller; d. Grove Villa, Belmont Road, Twickenham, of gall stones 5 years perforation peritonitis 6 hours certified, aged 60 death certificate; The Friend NS XVI.June:167; Shields Daily Gazette, 1876-05-05; London Evening Standard, 1876-05-08; National Probate Calendar
1876-05-09 bur. Twickenham Cemetery burials digest
1876-05-31 will proved at the Principal Registry by son William Henry Brown and brother Robert Spence; effects under £10,000 National Probate Calendar


Rachel (Spence) Corder 05. Rachel Spence

1816-09-25 b. North Shields, Northumberland PRO RG 6/1245
1830-07-02 "in bed ill of the measles" Journal of Robert Spence
1834-08-14

8 mo. 14. 1834. Jas. & Rachel Foster—Robert & Mary Spence—Elizabeth Foster Spence & Rachel Spence left for Edinbro. 8.16 by sea from Leith to Aberdeen. 18 General Meeting for Scotland, left for Urie Stonehaven. 19 Perth to Dunkeld. 20th Pass of Killicrankie, Taymouth & Killeen. 21st Trossachs, Loch Katrine, Callender to Stirling. 22 return to Edinbro & 23 home by Berwick a most delightful excursion.

1841 living with her family at Howard Street, Tynemouth, with two cousins and five servants PRO HO 107/826/3 f8 p8
1842-03-24 of Howard St, Tynemouth; m. Henry Shewell Corder (1814–1912, linen draper of Tavern St, Ipswich, Suffolk), at Tynemouth Friends' meeting house marriage digest; marriage certificate; Essex births digest; Newcastle Courant, 1842-03-25 Newcastle Journal, 1842-03-26; Edward H. Milligan (2007) Biographical Dictionary of British Quakers in Commerce and Industry 1775–1920. York: Sessions Book Trust
1842-06-02 with her husband, witness at brother’s wedding at Kensington Registry Office brother’s marriage certificate
Children: Thomas (1843–1849), Robert Spence (1844–1844) Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England
1844-07-19 of Ipswich; d. at Banas [Berners] Street, St Matthew, Ipswich, of puerperal fever, aged 28 death certificate; The Friend; The British Friend; Annual Monitor; FamilySearch Community Trees; National Probate Calendar
  "This event took place ten days after the birth of a son, who survived his mother little more than three months." Annual Monitor
  "She was of a remarkably sweet and amiable disposition, which endeared her to all who knew her, and her loss will be greatly felt by her numerous relatives and friends." The British Friend
1844-07-25 bur. Ipswich burials digest
1867-05-30 administration granted at the Principal Registry to Henry Shewell Corder; effects under £100 National Probate Calendar


Robert Spence 06. Robert Spence

1817-12-12 b. Howard Street, North Shields, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /775, /1245
1829/1832 at Lawrence Street school, York Bootham School Register (1971)
1832-10-12 "Robert is also at home in the shop and I hope likely to become useful in relieving his father before many years pass over from a part of those cares which a family large or small necessarily has attached to it" . . . letter from Robert Spence to William Rowntree, in possession of Peter Robson
1836 ms journal believed extant letter to me from Charles Spence, 1986-06-27
1840
1841 banker’s clerk, living with his family at Howard Street, Tynemouth, with two cousins and five servants PRO HO 107/826/3 f8 p8
1841/1846 ms journals believed extant letter to me from Charles Spence, 1986-06-27
1842-05-11 & -12 wrote to Robert Foster Robert Spence letters to Robert Foster, in my possession
1842-05-15 "Roberts house gets on very well, the large furniture is mostly in, & this week a good many additions will be made to it—they are kept actively employed in preparing it—" letter from Robert Spence sr to his nephew Robert Foster, in my possession
1842-06-02 clerk, of Howard Street, North Shields; m. Sarah Hagen (1820–1878), at Kensington Registry Office marriage certificate; The British Friend
Children: Sarah (1843–1875), Robert (1845–1853), Edward Hagen (1847–1848), Charles James (1848–1905), Rachel (1850–1863), unnamed child (1853–1853), Alfred Thomas (1854–1854) GRO index; Annual Monitor; Edward H. Milligan (2007) Biographical Dictionary of British Quakers in Commerce and Industry 1775–1920. York: Sessions Book Trust; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England; Philip Spence, ed. (1939) Robert and Mary Spence of North Shields. Newcastle, privately printed
1843-07/1849-07 agent in North Shields for the Friends’ Provident Institution The British Friend
1844-08-16 wrote to Robert Foster of North Shields, Post Office, Edinburgh Robert Spence letters to Robert Foster
1844-10/1852-08 agent in North Shields for the Friends’ Provident Institution The Friend
1845-03-13 joint trustee for the estate of Joseph Peart, of Tynemouth Newcastle Courant, 1845-03-14
1845-05-17 wrote to Robert Foster, c/o Myles B. Foster, Stranraer Place, Edgware Road, London Robert Spence letters to Robert Foster
1845-10-09 banker; co-executor and trustee of father’s will, proved at Durham father’s will, PRO PROB 11/2080
by 1845-11-15 hon. secretary to the Tyne Wrecked Mariners' Homes Newcastle Journal, 1845-11-15
1845-12-24 wrote to Robert Foster, Union Bank, No. Shields, Northumberland Robert Spence letters to Robert Foster
1846-01-08 wrote to Robert Foster from 8 Woodland Terrace, Falmouth
1846-07-28 13th report of the bank's directors recorded that "Mr. Robert Spence was immediately appointed to succeed his excellent Father, under whom he long acted in the most exemplary manner; and although his state of health rendered it necessary that he should spend some months in Madeira, the Directors are glad to say that he has returned home much restored, and is again discharging his official duties" . . . . Maberly Phillips: A history of banks, bankers, & banking in Northumberland, Durham, and North Yorkshire, illustrating the commercial development of the north of England, from 1755 to 1894, with numerous portraits, facsimiles of notes, signatures, documents, &c
after 1846-10-29 wrote to Robert Foster Robert Spence letters to Robert Foster
1846-11-11 wrote to Robert Foster from 8 Woodland Terrace, Falmouth
1846-11-26 wrote to Robert Foster from Falmouth
1846-12-10
1846-12-20 wrote to Robert Foster from Falmouth:

Now with respect to the Irish Subscription I shall state all my circumstances to thee & if thou then thinks I should pull out tell me so in thy next. Thou knows that before I was married I had saved between 800 & £1000 that when I married my income & expenditure, the last by no means extravagant ran side by side & that each year saw me in much the same position as the first. This year I have certainly had a large income between 400£ & 500£ but instead of having laid anything by as a provision for old age, or for my family if I die young, the little I had saved was decreased fully £300 by the heavy expenses of our journey & by my illness. Thou also knows that fully 300£ or £330 of what remained of my property is unproductive (that Gas affair)—Well thou well say but thou got £1300 only a little while ago but Bob if I should not love long this & all I have will be little enough to leave to those who have a far stronger claim upon it than any other object—I do think that seeing I have had to spend £300 at least from the savings of my early years to meet this years wants I must not subscribe—Our expenses for the coming year must of necessity be heavy. We have hesitated for some time whether it was right for us to have Mother over here during Sarah's confinet & this we have at last decided upon. Of course we shall pay the expense of it. There are many reasons to cause us to expect to live very nearly up to our income next year. I dont think we are extravagant & cannot in looking back tax myself with having spent much in luxuries or in such like things for ourselves—It may be a question whether we ought not to be able to spare more from our abundance for the wants of others but I think thou will acquit me of endeavouring to shirk the payt of £5 or £10 to save my pocket.—I am convinced that it is more than I should give. Art thou? Write me fully all thou thinks about it only, dont write me down stingy & never class me amongst the number of buttoned up pocked gentry who are never to be asked to give anything to anything. With regard to the objects of your subscriptions I hope you will take good care that your money is properly distributed & does not go to such worthies as purchase arms or swell the repeal rent with the money they get.

[. . .]

Though this is a question with me—it is not the question the question is—Is it my duty or is it not. Have I the means or have I not without forgetting other stronger claims.

 

1847-01-18 wrote to Robert Foster from Falmouth
1847-01-21
1847-01-28
1847-01-30
1847-02-21
1847-03-16 wrote to Robert Foster from Falmouth:

John Chapman says that I am "on no account" to return at present & I feel convinced that on account of my health it will be wise for me to remain a few weeks longer. I find that 6 mos of 4 weeks each will be up on the 22nd of next month & I hope soon after then to return. If any pressing need arise, I am still ready to come at once but if this is not the case I believe the hope of benefit to my health is greater from the few weeks we have to remain that it has been hitherto—the only time I have suffered from cold has been during the last month & it has left me some little lost ground to regain which in the mild weather coming on now I have ground for hoping that I may do.

c. 1847-03 wrote to Robert Foster:

As to reports one need not wonder—for my own part I have always thought the Directors were kept shamefully in the dark as to the real state of affairs—even poor father never knew what their position was at Newcastle "re Scarth &c" He at all events used to say so & to express frequent anxiety about it & I think the way in which the shareholders who enquired about Scarth &c were snubbed at the Genl Meetg was shameful The Chapmans have always behaved towards the Shareholders as though they had no money at stake in the concern—I consider the carrying on of that Iron business a shameful speculation—totally unjustifiable even by the way in which they say it is likely to turn out for our good. It might have been very different & whether it was so or not it is an improper sphere for Bankers—we should keep to Banking & not go into Trade.

  also two other letters to Robert Foster, about this time
1847

In the commercial panic of 1847 the Union Bank became involved by the unwise management of William Chapman and suspended payment, but the North Shields business was at the time in so sound a condition under the management of Robert Spence, junior, that the shareholders interested reconstituted the bank under Robert Spence again as manager, and the old Shields business was mostly recovered.

Spence (1939), p. 52
1847-04-10 wrote to Robert Foster Robert Spence letters to Robert Foster
1847-04-17 wrote to Robert Foster from Falmouth
1848-01-26 wrote to Robert Foster
by 1848-03-11 had offered to contribute "curiosities from Madeira" to the Newcastle Polytechnic Exhibition Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury, 1848-03-11
1848-08-08 at an adjourned general meeting of the bank, Mr Woods as Chairman announced that the North Shields branch would be re-opened forthwith, and that "it was due to Mr. Spence to state that if the affairs throughout had been conducted with the same ability as at North Shields, the shareholders would not have been assembled there that day in the
unfortunate circumstances in which they were placed."
Maberly Phillips: A history of banks, bankers, & banking in Northumberland, Durham, and North Yorkshire, illustrating the commercial development of the north of England, from 1755 to 1894, with numerous portraits, facsimiles of notes, signatures, documents, &c
1848-08-15 co-executor and trustee of father’s will, proved at London father’s will, PRO PROB 11/2080
1849-01-27 treasurer of the North Shields Master Mariners' Asylum Newcastle Journal, 1849-01-27
1849-02-16 bank manager, of North Shields; shareholder in the Newcastle, Shields, and Sunderland Union Joint Stock Banking Company Newcastle Courant
1850/1880 in regular correspondence with Myles Birket Foster, much of it quoted at length in Jan Reynolds (1984) Birket Foster. London: Batsford  
1850-12 has become an annual subscriber of £5 to the Royal Victoria Asylum for the Blind Newcastle Courant, 1850-12-27
1851 bank manager, of Rosella Place, Preston, Tynemouth, living with his wife, four children (all b. North Shields) and two house servants HO 107/2409 f571 p37
1851-09-18 wrote to Robert Foster, from Armagh (and again, about this time) Robert Spence letters to Robert Foster
1852 bank manager, of North Shields title deed in Teesside Archives, catalogued at www.a2a.org.uk
1852 for a rate of 4s. 6d. claimed from Robert Spence, junior, a double-chest of drawers and four chairs value £5 0s. 0d. were taken, the chairs being returned after the sale Great Book of Sufferings Vol. 44; Spence (1939), p. 49
1852-08-25 wrote to Robert Foster from Wakefield Robert Spence letters to Robert Foster
1852-08-28 wrote to Robert Foster
1852-08-31 wrote to Robert Foster from Llanberis, North Wales (and again, around this time.)
1853-02 one of the trustees of the Tynemouth Master Mariners' Asylum Newcastle Journal, 1853-02-19
1853-03 a signatory to an appeal to the Mayor of Newcastle to call a public meeting in order to express sympathy to Francesco and Rosa Madini, imprisoned in Florence for reading the Scriptures Newcastle Courant, 1853-03-11
1853-04-02 bank manager, of North Shields; gave evidence to the enquiry at Rosehill, into the cause of a recent derailment at Willington Bridge, on the Newcastle and North Shields Line, by which the engineman had been killed; he had been in the train when the accident occurred Newcastle Journal, 1853-04-02
1853-09-28 wrote to Robert Foster from Rothbury (and two/three notes, about this time) Robert Spence letters to Robert Foster
shortly after 1853-10-10 (last sibling’s 21st birthday) father’s estate finally wound up; presumably a beneficiary of 1/11th (a bit over £2000) father’s will, PROB 11/2080
1855-03-28 in receipt of £5 a year for his services as borough Treasurer Newcastle Courant, 1855-03-30
1855-11 contributed £0.5.0 to the Highland Destitution Fund The Friend XIII
1856-11/12 banker, of Tynemouth; kept a thermometer on which he recorded highest and lowest temperatures daily, for Mr Glaisher of the Royal Observatory Newcastle Courant, 1856-12-05
1859-02-28

TESTIMONIAL TO MR. ROBT. SPENCE.—The late colleagues of Mr. Robert Spence, Manager of the Union Bank, in this town, deputed Mr. Joseph Mather, his successor, to present him a few days ago with a silver inkstand, as a mark of their respect and esteem, which the whole establishment of the Bank entertain for Mr. Spence, who is about to become a partner in a new local bank. This handsome piece of plate bore the following inscription:—"To Mr. Robert Spence, on the occasion of his leaving the Union Bank, after a connection of 26 years, to enter as partner a new private Bank in this town, this Inkstand was presented by his late colleagues, in testimony of the great courtesy and kindness which in their several capacities they have received from him. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 28th February, 1859." The public, who have experienced the obliging and efficient assistance of Mr. Spence in the conduct of their banking business, will no doubt participate in the feelings which prompted this presentation.

Newcastle Journal, 1859-03-05
1859-10-01 wrote to Robert Foster from Windermere Robert Spence letters to Robert Foster
1859 the interest of the shareholders was purchased by Messrs Woods & Co. and in 1859 Robert became managing partner in the new private bank of Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease & Spence Spence (1939), p. 49; Newcastle Courant, 1859-02-25, 1861-01-25
by 1860-03-24 had subscribed £2 2s. to the fund for the relief of the families who had suffered by the recent explosion at Burradon colliery Newcastle Journal, 1860-03-24
1861 banker employing 10 clerks, of 4 Rosella Place, Preston, Tynemouth, living with his wife, three children (all b. Tynemouth), cook and housemaid RG 9/3839 f76 p49
1861-10-14 on or near the platform at the presentation of an address to Earl Russell, in the Music Hall, Nelson Street Newcastle Journal, 1861-10-15
1862-01-02 sworn on the Grand Jury for the Newcastle Epiphany Sessions Newcastle Courant, 1862-01-03
1863-01-07 proposed as a member, at the monthly meeting of the Society of Antiquaries, in the Old Castle Newcastle Journal, 1863-01-08
1863-12-15 of North Shields Mosscroft visitors' book
1864-01-30 banker, of North Shields; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease and Spence Newcastle Daily Chronicle, 1864-02-11
1864-12 of 4 Rosella Place, North Shields; member of the Numismatic Society of London The Numismatic Chronicle
1866-03-02 had presented a child's invalid's couch to the Newcastle Infirmary Newcastle Courant, 1866-03-02
1866-05-10 as a creditor of William Lindsay Watson, granted administration of his estate National Probate Calendar
1866-07-05 of the firm of Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease and Spence; appointed treasurer to the Walker Local Board Newcastle Daily Chronicle, 1866-07-06
1867-01-27 banker, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease and Spence Newcastle Journal, 1867-02-14
1869-02-18 banker, of Rosella Place, North Shields; daughter's wedding at Stephenson Street fmh Shields Daily Gazette
1870-01-31 banker, of Newcastle-on-Tyne; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, & Co. Shields Daily Gazette, 1870-02-09
1871 banker of Rosella Place, Preston, Tynemouth, living with his wife, cook, and housemaid RG 10/5115 f88 p4
  banker (Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease and Spence) of North Shields Bootham School Register
1873-12-31 banker, of Rosella-place, North Shields; co-executor of the will of his sister Mary Watson National Probate Calendar
1876-05-31 banker, of North Shields; co-executor of the will of his sister Elizabeth Foster Brown National Probate Calendar
1877-02-15 banker, of Newcastle-on-Tyne; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, Spence, & Co. Newcastle Courant
1878-12-06 contributed £2 2s. to the Victoria Soup Kitchen, North Shields Shields Daily Gazette, 1878-12-07
1879-01-31   Newcastle Courant, 1879-02-14
1879-04 has subscribed £5.0.0 to the Ackworth School Centenary fund The Friend NS XIX.Apr ads, The British Friend Mar ads 13
1880-01-31

A letter was received from Mr Robert Spence, banker, North Shields, borough treasurer, enclosing a cheque for £100, being his 20 years' salary at £5 per annum, which he wished to present to the Corporation to be applied for the purpose of improving Preston Cemetery by the planting of trees, &c. He also declined to accept any remuneration for his services as borough treasurer in future. The committee recommended that the gift of Mr Spence be received and applied in the manner desired.

Newcastle Courant, 1880-02-06
1880-01/1890-07 agent in North Shields for the Friends’ Provident Institution The Friend; The British Friend
1881 living with two servants at 4 Rosella Place, Preston, Tynemouth RG 11/5077 f65 p3
1882-02-02 banker, of North Shields; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, Spence, & Co. Shields Daily News, 1882-02-15
1883-05-30 had promised £50 for the fund for the restoration of the Black Gate, Newcastle Newcastle Courant, 1883-06-01
1883-08-09 At a meeting of the Tyne Improvement Commissioners, "On the motion of the Chairman, seconded by Mr Shtton, a vote of thanks was passed to Mr Robert Spence, banker, North Shields, for presenting to the Commissioners a fac-simile copy of the map of the river Tyne, published by Ralph Gardners in 1656." Newcastle Courant, 1883-08-10
1884-02-01 banker, of Rosella Place, North Shields; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, & Co. Shields Daily News, 1884-02-07
1885-02-02 banker, of North Shields; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, Spence, & Co. Shields Daily News, 1885-02-13
1886-02-02 Shields Daily News, 1886-02-18
1887-02-02 Durham County Advertiser, 1887-02-18
1890-02-03 Durham County Advertiser, 1890-02-21
1890-08-09 d. at 5 Rosella Place, North Shields Milligan (2007); 1891 Annual Monitor
1890-08-09 banker, of 4 Rosella-place, North Shields; d. there National Probate Calendar

DEATH OF MR R. SPENCE, NORTH SHIELDS.

We deeply regret to have to record the death of Mr Robert Spence, banker, which took place at his residence, Rosella Place, North Shields, on Saturday afternoon. Although not a public man, the deceased's venerable figure was well known in business and banking circles throughout the district, and will be greatly missed. After the death of his wife in 1878, Mr Spence enjoyed only moderate health, and six months ago his system broke down completely. No serious apprehensions were entertained, however, until a few days ago, when he took a marked change for the worse and passed peacefully away at the time mentioned.

The deceased was born in December, 1817, so that at the time of his decease he was in his 73rd year. He was of honourable descent. His father, Mr Robert Spence, who came to North Shields from Yorkshire in the early part of the present century, was of good old Quaker stock. His mother was Mary Foster, daughter of Robert Foster, of Ebblethwaite Hall, Sedburgh, Yorkshire, the Fosters being a well known and esteemed family in the district. There were eighteen children of the marriage, fourteen of whom were daughters and four sons, the only one now surviving being Ald John Foster Spence, one of the leading and most honoured of public men in the borough of Tynemouth. The deceased, in common with his brothers, received his early training at the school of the Society of Friends, in Yorkshire, which has acquired some distinction from the fact that the late Mr John Bright was educated there. In 1831 he commenced business as a clerk in the bank of Messrs Chapman and Co., North Shields. In 1836 the concern was converted into the Union Joint Stock Company, in which a large number of his family and friends took shares. In 1846, after succeeding his father in the management of the North Shields office, his health broke down, and he was ordered away to Maderia, but returned to his native town after two years, his health being fairly re-established, though he was never afterwards very strong. In 1847, during the disastrous panic which resulted in the collapse of several railways and the failure of many banking concerns, the Union Joint Stock Company sustained a severe run and was unable to meets its liabilities. This failure, however, almost exclusively concerned the Newcastle and Sunderland business of the company. The North Shields office was so perfectly sound that the company was re-established shortly afterwards by a committee of the shareholders, and eventually branches were opened in Newcastle, Sunderland, and South Shields. The deceased continued manager of the company until 1859, when the business was transferred to other hands, at which time the whole of the shareholders of the old Union had been recouped for a considerable portion of their loss out of the profits of the new business. Mr Spence then entered into partnership with Messrs Hodgkin, Barnett, and Pease in the establishment of a new private bank, which under his experienced management has developed into a most flourishing concern, and is the well-known banking firm of the present day. Before his death Mr Spence saw three generations introduced into the successful banking business which his fine business capabilities and wide experience had so materially assisted in creating. His only surviving son, Charles James Spence, joined the firm in 1870, and his grandson is at present receiving a business education of the same kind at North Shields. He married, in 1842, Sarah Hagan, of Stanwell, Middlesex, his first cousin, to whom he was devotedly attached, and whose death, which took place twelve years ago, he deeply mourned up till the time of his demise. The fine and inestimable qualities which characterized the lives of the parents of the recently-deceased gentleman were marked throughout the honoured career of the latter. He led a simple and unostentatious life. He instinctively shrank from the holding of public office. He persistently declined to have public honour of any kind thrust upon him, and in this respect he affords a remarkable contrast to his brothers, Ald. John Foster Spence, and the late Mr Joseph Spence, whose lives have been devoted to the service of their native town. The deceased cultivated a large circle of personal friends, by whom his memory will be long cherished. In business he was always kind, courteous, and candid, a man of strict integrity and conscientiousness. He will be affectionately remembered by those who were his most intimate friends for his many charitable actions, his manliness, and his kind and lovable disposition. He was a well-known antiquary, and a most indefatigable collector of coins, engravings, and manuscripts. Among the most notable of the latter is the original manuscript of George Fox, the found of the Society of Friends, of which body the deceased was always a staunch, noble, and conscientious adherent. He was also a great lover of books, and leaves behind him a valuable and remarkable library.

Shields Daily Gazette, 1890-08-11
1890-08-12 bur. Preston cemetery, North Shields information from Peter Burns
 

DEATH OF MR ROBERT SPENCE

We deeply regret to have to record the death of Mr Robert Spence, banker, which took place at his residence, Rosella-place, North Shields, on Saturday afternoon. Although not a public man, the deceased's venerable figure was well-known in business and banking circles throughout the district, and will be greatly missed. The deceased was born in December, 1817, so that at the time of his decease he was in his 73rd year. His father, Mr Robert Spence, who came to North Shields from Yorkshire in the early part of the present century, was of good old Quaker stock. His mother was Mary Foster, daughter of Robert Foster, of Ebblethwaite Hall, Sedburgh, Yorkshire, the Fosters being a well-known and esteemed family in the district. There were eighteen children of the marriage, fourteen of whom were daughters and four sons, the only one now surviving being Ald. John Foster Spence, one of the leading and most honoured of public men in the borough of Tynemouth. In 1831 Mr Spence commenced business as a clerk in the bank of Messrs Chapman & Co., North Shields. In 1836 the concern was converted into the Union Joint Stock Company, in which a large number of his family and friends took shares. In 1846, after succeeding his father in the management of the North Shields office, his health broke down, and he was ordered away to Madeira, but returned to his native town after two years, his health being fairly re-established, though he was never afterwards very strong. In 1847, during the disastrous panic which resulted in the collapse of several railways and the failure of many banking concerns, the Union Joint Stock Company sustained a severe run and was unable to meet its liabilities. This failure, however, almost exclusively concerned the Newcastle and Sunderland business of the company. The North Shields office was so perfectly sound that the company was re-established afterwards by a committee of the shareholders, and eventually branches were opened in Newcastle, Sunderland, and South Shields. The deceased continued manager of the company until 1859, when the business was transferred to other hands, at which time the whole of the shareholders of the old union had been recouped for a considerable portion of their loss out of the profits of the new business. Mr Spence then entered into partnership with Messrs Hodgkin, Barnett, and Pease in the establishment of a new private bank, which under his experienced management has developed into a most flourishing concern, and is the well-known banking firm of the present day. Before his death Mr Spence saw three generations introduced into the successful banking business which his fine business capabilities and wide experience had so materially assisted in creating. The deceased cultivated a large circle of personal friends, by whim his memory will be long cherished. In business he was always kind, courteous, and candid, a man of strict integrity and conscientiousness. He will be affectionately remembered by those who were his most intimate friends for his many charitable actions, his manliness, and his kind and lovable disposition. He was a well-known antiquary, and most indefatigable collector of coins, engravings, and manuscripts. Among the most notable of the latter is the original manuscript of George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends, of which body the deceased was always a staunch, noble, and conscientious adherent. He was also a great lover of books, and leaves behind him a valuable and remarkable library.

Northern Echo, 1890-08-12

THE LATE MR ROBERT SPENCE.

A correspondent write to the Newcastle Journal:—In the late Mr Robert Spence, of North Shields, and banker in the firm of Messrs Hodgkin, Barnett, and Co., of this city, there has passed away one who was greatly endeared to all who knew him personally, and one who was, moreover, typical of the old-fashioned Quakerism which has slowly but surely disappeared. In these days when publicity, advertisement, and interview tend to excite the lower instincts of mankind, it is instructive to catch a glimpse of one who cared not at all for what is called "public life," but dwelt apart from the world and lived a life which was perfect in its surroundings. "Les affections de l'homme," says Balzac truly, "se satisfont dans le plus petit cercle aussi pleinement que dans un immense circonference." To know him was to love him, and his, indeed, is "the better sort of fame," which consists, as Mr R.L. Stevenson rightly says, "in being known not widely, but intimately." He was, indeed, a kindly, courteous, and considerate gentleman, and in his business capacity as a banker, while showing wisdom and skill which were doubtless greatly instrumental in helping the firm of Messrs Hodgkin, Barnett, and Co. to attain their prominent position and reputation, he won not merely the esteem, but also the affection of all who consulted him. As a collector of coins, Bibles, &c., he was well known far and near, and his house has been with some justice styled a museum. Perhaps what made him so deservedly popular amongst so many and such different individuals, in addition to his unfailing courtesy, generosity, and kindliness of disposition, was his wonderful gift of humour, which always enable him—after the fashion of some of Shakespeare's most charming characters—to divert his own thoughts from the bodily pain and suffering which continually beset him during the last years of his life, and to make merry and delight his hearers. This fund of humour never ran dry—sometimes it would bubble up in some laughable quotation or misquotation as it might chance to be, or again be visible in quaint mimicry or droll imaginary gestures appropriate to his narrative; while, if in any of his stories the point turned against himself, he was the first to lead the laughter his relation invariably aroused. The remembrance of his kindly face, of his gentle manner, of his delightful humour, will never fade from the memories of those who have been privileged to become his friends.

Shields Daily News, 1890-08-16
 

Having made arrangements with Messrs. Hodgkin, Barnett, and Pease, he commenced business with them as a private banker on the 14th of March, 1859. Branches were shortly opened at North and South Shields, and eventually in most of the towns of Northumberland and Tyneside. In the new firm thus constituted, (Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, and Spence) Mr. Spence, in right of his long and valuable experience, naturally took the lead, and till shortly before his death he continued one of the most active partners. He has seen four generations of his family engaged in practical banking, his son having entered the bank in 1866, and his grandson in 1889.

After his serious illness in early life, he was unable to take any active part in public affairs, and his close attention to business would alone have rendered this impossible. His holidays were always spent in exploring some new district of his native country, and his leisure at home in the study of his various bibliographical and antiquarian collections. After the death of his wife, twelve years ago, his health steadily declined, and for some months preceding his death, he was unable to attend to business. We may say a word or two, in conclusion, as to the business character of one who, of late years, might fitly be styled the Nestor of banking in the North of England. His diagnosis of an account (if a medical simile may be pardoned), was unusually clear and correct. When he was in his vigour, few men could equal him in the instinct with which he scented out accommodation transactions, or in his perception of the fact that a customer was no longer deserving of the banker's confidence. Naturally of a somewhat impetuous disposition, he was on principle gentle and courteous to his customers, even when their applications had to be most steadily refused. 'Take things by their smooth handle,' was a proverb which he often quoted, and continually exemplified in practice.

Towards his clerks, and all in any way dependent upon him, he was the most generous and considerate of employers. The trouble which he himself had gone through from broken health and the shipwreck of the Union Bank, had given him a vivid sympathy with the difficulties of persons of slender means; and the acquisition of wealth did not, as is sometimes the case, deaden this sympathy, but rather seemed to quicken and intensify it. It may seem like the utterance of a conventional commonplace, but it is in an unusual degree true of him, that by his death all who were brought into intimate relation with him, as partners, clerks, or customers, feel that they have lost a friend, and one whose loss will not be easily replaced.

The Bankers Magazine, 1890-10, as quoted in Pennyghael
1891-01-17 will proved at Newcastle by son Charles James Spence and daughter-in-law Alice Spence, executors; personal estate £70,232 5s. 7d. National Probate Calendar
  bequeathed £1000 to Francis Thompson, of Croydon, and everything else to his only surviving son Shields Daily Gazette, 1891-02-09
  Robert Spence's journals for 1835, 1840, and 1841–1846, are still in the possession of his descendants letter to me from Charles Spence, 1986-06-27


John Foster Spence 07. John Foster Spence

1818-11-08  b. Howard Street, North Shields, Northumberland. TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /775, /1245
1829/1833 at Lawrence Street school, York Bootham School Register (1971); Shields Daily News 1901-07-24
1839-03-23 inmate, of Howard Street, North Shields; informant of brother’s death death certificate
1839-07-16 "7/16. Jno. Foster Spence, Charles & Richardson Brown set out on a tour to the Continent." Journal of Robert Spence; Philip Spence,  (1939) Robert and Mary Spence of North Shields. Newcastle, privately printed, p. 48
1841 woollen draper, living with his family at Howard Street, Tynemouth, with two cousins and five servants PRO HO 107/826/3 f8 p8
1843-09-28 draper, of Howard St, N. Shields; m. Elizabeth Corder (1817–1886, of Writtle, Essex; daughter of Thomas Corder) at Chelmsford fmh, Essex marriage digest; Essex births digest; Edward H. Milligan (2007) Biographical Dictionary of British Quakers in Commerce and Industry 1775–1920. York: Sessions Book Trust; 1887 Annual Monitor; Essex Standard, 1843-10-06; Shields Daily News 1901-07-22
Children: John Foster (1844–1917), Thomas (1846–1936), Elizabeth (1847–1914), Henry Corder (1849–1939), Edward (1851–1851), Alfred (1853–1855), Robert Foster (1855–1932), Mary Emma (1857 – after 1911) Annual Monitor; The Friend; censuses; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England; Bootham School Register; information from Peter Burns; Spence  (1939); PRO RG14PN30736 RG78PN1758 RD559 SD2 ED4 SN240
1845-10-09  banker; co-executor and trustee of father’s will, proved at Durham father’s will, PRO PROB 11/2080
  with Joseph Spence, inherited father’s drapery business Shields Daily News 1889-12-18
1848 took active part in movement to establish Customs House in North Shields; also prominent in the formation of the River Tyne Commission, of which he was many years a life member Shields Daily News 1901-07-24
1848-08-15 co-executor and trustee of father’s will, proved at London father’s will, PRO PROB 11/2080
1850-08-13 witnessed sister Ann’s wedding at Earsdon, Northumberland sister’s marriage certificate
1850-08-16 an overseer for the Tynemouth Poor Law Union PRO MH 12/9158/275
1851 general draper and tailor employing 23 men and boys, living with his wife and two sons at Howard Street East, Tynemouth, with two journeymen draper's assistants, two draper's apprentices, a cook, and two house maids HO 107/2410 f165 p55
1852-11-25 for a rate of £1 3s. 2d. claimed from J.F. and J. Spence for place of business and dwelling house, new cloth to the value of £14 15s. 7d. was seized and £2 9s 4½d. returned, as well as cloth worth £1 15 9d. Great Book of Sufferings, Vol. 44; Spence (1939), p. 49
1853-02-24 son born at Chirton Cottage, near North Shields The Friend IX.123:57, Mar 1853
shortly after 1853-10-10 (last sibling’s 21st birthday) father’s estate finally wound up; presumably a beneficiary of 1/11th (a bit over £2000) father’s will, PRO PROB 11/2080
1854 elected to Council Shields Daily News 1901-07-24
1854-03-23 present at sister Emma’s wedding, Christ Church, North Shields information from Peter Burns, citing Emma Spence’s marriage certificate
1854-03-23 present at sister Emma’s wedding, Tynemouth parish church sister’s marriage certificate
1855 elected to the Tynemouth Board of Guardians North & South Shields Gazette and Northumberland and Durham Advertiser, 1855-04-20
1855-06-03 of Chirton; present at sister Emma’s death; registered death two days later sister’s death certificate
1855-11 contributed £2.0.0 to the Highland Destitution Fund The Friend XIII
from 1856 on Committee of the Tyne Sailors’ Homes Shields Daily News 1901-07-24
1857-09-01 "J.F. & J. Spence will shortly have a vacancy for an Assistant to the General Drapery Trade. North Shields, 9th Month. 1st, 1857." The British Friend XV.IX:247
1857-10-23

TO THE

BURGESSES OF TYNEMOUTH WARD.

GENTLEMEN,—The time for which you elected me to Represent you in the Town Council has nearly expired.

Should you think fit to re-appoint me, I will endeavour to the best of my ability to discharge the duties of the Office.

I am, yours respectfully,

JOHN FOSTER SPENCE.

Shields Daily Gazette
1858-08 "J.F. & J. Spence will shortly have a vacancy for an Assistant to the General Drapery Trade. North Shields, 9th Month. 1st, 1857." The Friend XV
1859-04-04

APPOINTMENT OF CHIRTON OVERSEERS.—This being the day for the confirmation of the appointment of overseers, Mr J.F. Spence addressed the following letter to the Clerk to the Tynemouth County Magistrates, Mr John Fenwick, with respect to the appointment of the Chirton overseers, Messrs Walker and Scott:—"Chirton, April 2nd, 1859.—Dear Sir,—Will you be kind enough to hand the enclosed list to the County Magistrates at the proper time. My reason for taking this rather unusual course is, that I understand the two retiring overseers, and they only, are nominated. Had I been aware that a township meeting was called, I should have submitted this list for the approval of the ratepayers. I think that overseers, who have served the office for three years in succession, ought not again to be elected, especially when they make a private rate, and decline to state to a meeting of the ratepayers how much money was raised from the rate, and how it was expended. I am, yours respectfully, JOHN FOSTER SPENCE. To John Fenwick, Esq." [list follows . . . ] Mr Spence was in attendance at the court, and complained that the township meeting at which the overseers had been nominated, had not been advertised in the newspapers, according to a resolution come to at a previous meeting of the ratepayers. Notice had been merely put on the church doors. Mr Walker (one of the overseers) said that it had been an oversight not to advertise the meeting. Mr Hugh Taylor said the overseers were deserving of great praise for their exertions in reference to the rating of the Northumberland Docks. The Bench suggested the appointment of Mr Spence as a third overseer, to assist Messrs Walker and Scott. Mr Spence declined accepting office [ . . . . ]

Shields Daily Gazette
1859-07-20 draper of North Shields; witnessed niece’s wedding niece’s marriage certificate
1860-03-22 appointed magistrate Shields Daily News 1901-07-24; Shields Daily Gazette, 1901-07-22
1861 magistrate for borough of Tynemouth—town councillor for do—draper tailor and carpet warehouseman; living with his wife, four children (1845 and 1850 b. Tynemouth, 1855 and 1857 b. Chirton) and two servants at Chirton Cottage, Chirton, Tynemouth RG 9/3838 f32 p2
1861 Mayor of Tynemouth Bootham School Register; Shields Daily News 1901-07-24
by 1862-03-01 subscribed £2 2s. towards defraying the expenses of clearing the shaft at New Hartley Colliery Newcastle Journal, 1862-03-01
1862-04 Alderman Shields Daily News, 1901-07-24
1862 elected member of the Tynemouth Board of Guardians; later vice-chairman and chairman
1862-10-08 as Mayor, was host to W.E. Gladstone, Chancellor of the Exchequer Newcastle Journal, 1862-10-09
1862-10-01/1863-10-01 attended 14 out of 15 council meetings, 24/31 public health committee meetings, 24/28 watch committees, 23/30 finance committees, 9/11 trade and commerce committees; altogether 94 out of a possible 115 meetings Shields Daily Gazette, 1863-10-08
1864-04 elected as a Guardian for Tynemouth Newcastle Journal, 1864-04-18
1864-07-17 of Chirton Cottage Mosscroft visitors' book
1864 co-founder of the Borough of Tynemouth Life Brigade; had seen the steamer Stanley sink off Tynemouth Rocks in 1864, spectators being powerless to help - this inspired him to set to work Shields Daily News, 1901-07-24; Evening Telegraph, 1901-07-24
1865-05-05 carte portrait advertised for sale @ 1/- Shields Daily News
1865-06-05 laid foundation stone of the New Hall, Saville-street, West, North Shields (Loyal British Flag Lodge of Oddfellows, M.U.) Shields Daily News, 1865-06-01
1866-04 J.F. & J. Spence of North Shields advertising for an assistant in the general drapery business, also an apprentice The British Friend XXIV.4:99
1867-03-07 appointed a trustee of the Tyne Sailors' Home Newcastle Journal, 1867-03-07
1867-03-12 had attended 19 meetings of the Tynemouth Board of Guardians in the previous eleven months Newcastle Courant, 1867-03-15
1867-10-31 resigned as member of Town Council, principally on account of his wife's ill-health Shields Daily News, 1867-10-31
1867-11-29 manager of the North Shields Kettlewell Endowed British School information from Peter Burns
1868-05-24 of Chirton Mosscroft visitors' book
1868-11-10/-13 of Chirton; stayed at Mosscroft
1869-07-08 Honorary Secretary of the Borough of Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade Shields Daily Gazette
  for years secretary of the Royal Jubilee School; trustee or governor of Kettlewell’s Endowed Schools, and of the Union British Schools Shields Daily News 1901-07-24
1870 re-elected to Council; councillor till death
1871-01-16 elected to the new Tynemouth School Board London Standard, 1871-01-17
1871 magistrate, draper, of Chirton Cottages, Chirton, Tynemouth, living with his wife, son (b. cal 1847 Shields), companion, and domestic servant RG 10/5114 f68 p7
1872-11-07 at a Council meeting, "Alderman John Foster Spence proposes a Park for the inhabitants of Shields and reports of public wanting a 'People's Park'" information from Richard Heard, citing Mike N. Coates (2012) The Story of Northumberland Park: North Shields, Spital Dene and the Pow Burn. Summerhill Books
1872-12-18 an extract from a letter from John Foster Spence to "a gentleman connected with the Board of Trade", concerning "The Late Calamity at Shields" (two shipwrecks), published in the Pall Mall Gazette Pall Mall Gazette, 1872-12-20
1873-03 ‘Wanted, by J.F. & J. Spence, Drapers and Carpet Warehousemen, &c., North Shields, a Youth of 15 to 17 years of age, as Apprentice.’ The British Friend XXXI.Mar:72
1873-04 subscribed 10s. to E.J. Saleebey’s Schools at Lebanon The British Friend XXXI.Apr:81
1873-07-05

Assaulting a Magistrate.—At the North Shields Police Court, yesterday, James Osborn, pitman, Harton Colliery, South Shields, was charged with assaulting Mr. John Foster Spence, one of the borough magistrates, and also his son, Mr. R.F. Spence. On Saturday night, a disturbance took place at Chirton, where Mr. Spence resides, caused by the defendant and some others. A fight ensued, and on Mr. Spence and his son interfering the defendant struck them severely with a stick over the head and face. The magistrates committed Osborn to Morpeth Gaol for one month.

Northern Echo, 1873-07-08
1873-12-14 of Chirton Mosscroft visitors' book
1874-04-29 at an inquiry regarding net fishing in the Tyne, opened the case on behalf of the fishermen York Herald, 1874-04-29
1875-07 Hon. Sec. of the Tynemouth Rowing Club Shields Daily Gazette, 1875-07-26
1876-12-27 after 6 years’ service on the Tynemouth School Board, stood for election again Shields Daily News, 1876-12-28
1877-05-31 Hon. Sec. of the Borough of Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade Shields Daily News
1878-04-09

NEW CARPETS AND FURNITURE

JOHN F. & JOSEPH SPENCE

Are now showing the Largest and Choicest

Stock of

FURNISHING GOODS,

WHICH THEY HAVE EVER OFFERED

FOR SALE.

An Immense Variety of

NEW BRUSSELS AND TAPESTRY

CARPETS

From the looms of the most eminent manu-

facturers, and at the lowest prices ever known in the trade.

FLOORCLOTHS AND LINOLEUM

OF THE NEWEST DESIGNS

NEW BEDROOM SUITS

In Ash, Birch, Mahogany, Plain and Decorated Pine, &c., and a great variety of FURNITURE and Furnishing Requisites of every kind

BRASS AND IRON BEDSTEADS

Every description of Upholstery Work promptly

Executed, and Estimates given for

Materials and Work.

Shields Daily Gazette, 1878-04-09
1878-04-10

JOHN F. & JOSEPH SPENCE

HOWARD STREET & TYNE STREET

NORTH SHIELDS

Having Completed their arrange-ments for the Spring Trade, beg to invite an inspection of their large and choice

STOCK OF

NEW GOODS,

IN EVERY DEPARTMENT

NEW and FASHIONABLE DRESS FABRICS,

NEW SILKS, POPLINS, CASHMERES, & BEGES,

COSTUMES and MANTLES, of the Latest Styles,

NEW SKIRTS and PETTICOATS,

NEW SHAWLS, HANDKERCHIEFS, and TIES,

NEW SILK and LACE SCARFS,

NEW RIBBONS, LACES, and MUSLIN WORK,

NEW GLOVES and HOSIERY,

NEW TRIMMINGS, FRINGES, and BUTTONS,

NEW UMBRELLAS and SUNSHADES.

JOHN F. & JOSEPH SPENCE

HOWARD STREET & TYNE STREET

NORTH SHIELDS

 

Shields Daily Gazette, 1878-04-10
1879-01-31 appointed as a member of the River Tyne Port Sanitary Authority Shields Daily Gazette, 1879-02-01
1879-04-04 Vice-President of the Tynemouth Liberal Association Shields Daily Gazette, 1879-04-05
1880-06-12 the John Foster Spence lifeboat, for the safety of bathers at Tynemouth, was named and launched at the Long Sands, by the wife of Captain Webb, the Channel swimmer Shields Daily News, 1880-06-14
1881 of Chirton Cottage, 5 Chirton, Tynemouth; magistrate, Alderman and draper emp. 24 men, 10 women, 5 boys at North Shields, living with his family, wife's companion, a cook, and a housemaid RG 11/5076 f48 p1
1881-07-13 presented with a silver mounted horn drinking cup, for his excellent services to the Tynemouth Rowing Club as secretary and treasurer Shields Daily Gazette, 1881-12-28
1882-01-04 of Chirton Cottage; appointed a member of the Board of Conservators for the Tyne Salmon Fishery District Newcastle Courant, 1882-01-06
1883-07-04 of North Shields The Friend XXIII.Oct:267, The British Friend XLI.Oct:264
1884-01-23 secretary of the Tynemouth Floral Society Shields Daily Gazette, 1884-01-24
1884-07-08 Honorary Secretary of the Borough of Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade Shields Daily Gazette, 1884-07-08
1885-08-11 chairman of the Sanitary Committee; gave the vote of thanks to the duke of Northumberland, at the opening of Northumberland Park, North Shields information from Richard Heard, citing Coates (2012)
  served six years on the School Board Shields Daily News, 1901-07-24
1886/1888 chairman of the School Board
1886 an ardent Liberal in politics, but when the split occurred attached himself to the Unionist Party Shields Daily Gazette, 1901-07-22
  represented Tynemouth on the Northumberland County Council Shields Daily News, 1901-07-24
  staunch Liberal; joined the Unionists after the split
1887-03-31 after a lecture at the Albion Assemby Rooms, North Shields, by Dr J. Collingwood Bruce, on 'Northumbrian Minstrelsy':

Perhaps the most interest feature of the evening was a song which was sung by Ald John Foster Spence, entitled "Sair Failed Hinney," the rendering of which was heartily re-demanded by the audience. Mr Spence sang the piece through in a musical and sweet voice, which age has well mellowed, and the effect—especially as the words are peculiarly adapted for an aged songster—was really enjoyable. Mr Spence could render at least with more true feeling than any young, although perhaps more talented, singer, such as verse as

"When aw was young and lusty,

Aw coud loup a dyke;

Now at five and sixty—

Canna do the like."

Shields Daily News, 1887-04-01
1888-01-20 read the annual report, at the annual meeting of the Invalid Kitchen, in the town hall in North Shields Shields Daily News, 1888-01-21
1889 retired as draper Edgar B. Collinson, ed. (1935) Bootham School Register
1889-02-02 seeking election as Alderman

. . . it is to be hoped that an old public man like Mr Spence will not be cast aside, as happened in the late School Board election. No man in the borough is more entitled to the confidence and support of the ratepayers. Amongst a section of the people Mr Spence's only fault is that he has been consistent. Politically, he has stood to his Liberalism instead of running blindfold after Gladstone and Home Rule. This has not suited the Radical partisans, who therefore shut their eyes to everything else in his favour, and endeavour to crush him out of public life.

Newcastle Courant, 1889-02-02
1890 portrait by J.F. Ogilvie, Royal Academy Collinson, ed. (1935)
1890-10-04 unveiling of portraits of John Foster Spence and Joseph Spence, at the Brigade House of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade, Spanish Battery, Tynemouth Shields Daily News, 1890-10-06 (with engravings of photographs of the portraits taken by John Frew)
1891/1894 Mayor of Tynemouth Bootham School Register; Shields Daily News 1901-07-24; Newcastle Weekly Courant, 1894-10-24
1891 a total abstainer Belfast News-Letter, 1891-11-10
1891-03-20 co-chair of the Board of Trade Inquiry into the stranding of the screw-steamer Robinia Newcastle Courant, 1891-03-21
1891 retired draper, of Chirton Cottage, Chirton, Northumberland, living with his son, a cook, and a house maid RG 12/4224 f116 p52
1891 the subject of a portrait by Frank Ogilvie, hung in the Academy this season, later presented to the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade Manchester Times, 1891-06-12; Shields Daily News 1901-07-22
1892-02-26 gentleman, of Chirton Cottage; nominated for election to Northumberland County Council, from Tynemouth No. 7 Division Shields Daily Gazette, 1892-02-26
1893-04-17 of Chirton Cottage, North Shields; chairman of the directors of the Tyne Sailors' Home Shields Daily News
1894-10-10 presented with the freedom of the borough of Tynemouth, as well as an oil portrait of himself Newcastle Courant, 1894-10-13; Shields Daily News, 1901-07-24
  also present at the presentation to the town of a portrait by himself by George Crossland Robinson, which adorned the Municipal Chamber Shields Daily News, 1901-07-22
  chairman of the Sanitary Committee Shields Daily News, 1901-07-24
  claimed to be connected with from seventy to eighty committees
  prominently connected with the Dorcas Society, the Indigent Sick Society, the Bible Society, the Dispensary, the Religious Tract Society, the Northern Society for the Blind. Ardent supporter of Tyne Lifeboat Institution; connected with St John Ambulance Association. Leading member of the Lit. & Phil. Keen on Technical Education Movement. Supported schemed to remove the Albion Hotel and make Saville Street and Charlotte Street one distinct thoroughfare.
  Sec., North Shields Nat. Hist. Society; Chairman, Sanitary Committee; member and Vice-Chairman of Tynemouth School Board; secretary to the Jubilee, Kettlewell and Union Schools; instrumental in building Sailors' Home, and a member of Committee from the beginning; started the St John Ambulance Association in North Shields; member, Lit. and Phil. Society; Hon. Sec. Technical Education Movement in Shields; hobbies—carpentry, botany, Nat. Hist., had a large collection of shells, butterflies, minerals, fossils and curious beasts in bottles, or alive, obtained from sailors entering the port of Shields Collinson, ed. (1935)
1894-12-17 elected as a Guardian for the Tynemouth Union Newcastle Weekly Courant, 1894-12-22
1895-01-03 elected as chair of the Tynemouth Guardians Shields Daily Gazette, 1895-01-04
1896-04-09 of Chirton Cottage, North Shields; present at niece Mabel Spence Watson’s wedding at Pilgrim Street Friends' meeting house; signed marriage certificate; Alderman Spence of Tynemouth RSW Cuttings; Bensham Grove visitors' books
1897-01-30 of North Shields Bensham Grove visitors' books
1897-02-13

Uncle John Spence sent me an invitation to go to the Rocket practice, so I got Theresa to go too, and we took "Tommy" also. It began at 3 p.m. and punctually the brigade came out, dressed in uniform, Uncle John last as he is Captain. He did look so nice. The rocket was fired from the Spanish battery to the pier, at Tynemouth. All the fixing of the apparatus, and the proceedings generally, were most interesting. Then a man came across from the pier in the breeches buoy with his legs dangling down, and looking most extraordinary. With rather fear, I asked if I might go across, and amid much laughter from the spectators, squashed myself into the breeches buoy sitting like a Turk. Once off the feeling was most delightful, and I went across to the pier and back again. Once or twice I got very near the water. The muddy water from the ropes dripped over my face and clothes, and I arrived back again looking dreadful I expect. Uncle John introduced me to Major -----, and then I ran off to get dry in the house where shipwrecked people are sheltered. Tommy was much excited and pleased to see me back again. The brigade men all came in to the house to answer to their names, and Uncle John introduced us to several. They seemed to think I was very plucky, which is quite a mistake, as it was a most simple thing to do. We saw over the house which was very interesting, berths for shipwrecked sailors, baths, etc etc, and then went to North Shields to have tea at Chirton. Here we saw more interesting things. Uncle John is a really wonderful old man, so energetic and delightful. Tommy was both fascinated by and terrified of the alligator, and stood and barked at it getting nearer and nearer, till it opened its jaws with a snap, when he promptly retired, but began to approach it again.

Both Theresa and I much enjoyed ourselves, and it was so nice having her with me.

 

Mary Spence Watson's diary
1898-08-15 had pledged £1 1s. to the National Guarantee Fund to carry an appeal in the Tynemouth licensing case to the House of Lords Shields Daily News
1899-03-12 a prominent figure in the Northumberland County Council; "a fine, active octogenarian" Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, 1899-03-12
1899-08 had read a paper on Poor-law boys to the Poor Law Conference at Gilsland North-Eastern Daily Gazette, 1899-08-19
1900-04-19 . . . "bearing his weight of years wonderfully well"; present at the annual meeting of the Society for the Relief of Widows and Orphans of Shipwrecked Mariners Shields Daily News, 1900-04-20
  "the best known gentleman on Tyneside" Shields Daily News 1901-07-24
  "a most picturesque personality"’; established volunteer Brigades for the saving of life from shipwreck
1901 retired woollen draper, living on own means, of Chirton Cottage, Chirton, living with two children, two granddaughters, a cook, a housemaid, and a visitor; deaf in one ear caused by small pox RG 13/4801 f5 p1
1901-07-22, shortly before noon d. at Chirton Cottage, North Shields, after nearly two months' illness; had recently returned from Grange-over-Sands, where he had been ordered by his medical advisers for a change of air Shields Daily Gazette, 1901-07-22; Milligan (2007); Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette; 1901-07-23
1901-07-24

FUNERAL OF ALD J.F. SPENCE.

In a quiet, picturesque corner of Preston Cemetery the remains of Ald John Foster Spence, J.P., were laid to rest yesterday afternoon. There was an entire absence of ceremony, the funeral being conducted in accordance with the religious observances of the Society of Friends. Still it was impressive, and it was probably the largest ever seen in the district. The cortege was timed to leave the deceased gentleman's residence, Chirton Cottage, North Shields, at 8 o'clock, and as that hour approached crowds began to congregate in the vicinity until the roadway was completely blocked. In response to the wishes of the family all, with few exceptions, walked to the cemetery, and the sight was most imposing. These exceptions were elderly or inform gentlemen who could not otherwise have taken part in the obsequies. There was no hearse, the coffin, covered with several floral tributes, including one from Mr and Mrs F. Leverton Harris, being placed upon the carriage used by the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade for the carrying of the rocket apparatus. This came after a large contingent of Wellelsey boys, who headed the procession, and was drawn by twenty brigadesmen, who also provided six pall bearers. Following came a strong muster of the boats' crews of the Tyne Lifeboat Institution attired in their red caps and cork jackets. The chief mourners were: Mr Foster Spence and Miss May Spence, Mrs B. Clarke, Mr and Mrs H.C. Spence and Jack Spence, Mr and Mrs R.C. Clephan, Elsa and Lil Garvie, Mrs Garvie, Mr and Mrs R.F. Spence, Mr J. Clephan, Miss Clephan, Miss Violet Spence, Miss K. Clephan, Alwyn Spence, Elaine Clephan, Cuthbert Spence, Effie Clephan, Guy Glephan, Mr and Mrs C.J. Spence, Mr and Mrs James Watson, Mr and Mrs J.S. Spence, Mr Alexander Corder, Mr Frank Corder, Miss Fayle, Miss Bell, Dr and Mrs R. Spence Watson, Mrs Gwatkin, Mr and Mrs J.J. Gurney, Mr J.H. Taylor Miss A. Watson, Mr and Mrs Percy Corder, Mr and Mrs Walter Corder, Mr Robert Corder, Mr and Mrs Fred Corder, Mr and Mrs Herbert Corder and Philip Corder, Mr and Mrs Mounsey, Robert Philip, and Gilbert Spence, Miss Sadie Spence, Mr Kenneth Watson, Miss Mary Watson, Miss Winnie Watson, Mr Bryan Watson, Miss Mary Spence, Mr Herbert Spence, Miss Edith Spence, Mr Frank Spence, Miss Mea Spence, Dr Hodgkin, and Dr E. Brumwell. About 60 member of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade were present, under the command of Capt. Anderson, Capt. W. Fry, Capt. F.W. Hudson, and Capt. R. Reed. The Tynemouth Coastguard was represented by Chief Officer Craven and several of his men; Mr S. Malcolm, secretary; and Captains Jas. Page and Geo. Ogilvie represented the South Shields Life Brigade; and Capt. Wilkins, Capt. Herring, and Capt. and General Secretary J.W. Broderick attended on behalf of the Sunderland Brigade.

[a very long list of attendees follows . . . ]

The route to the cemetery held a dense mass of people, who were deeply moved by the solemn occasion, and the burial ground was also thronged. The coffin was at once borne to the grave, and the usual simple ceremony of the Society of Friends was performed by Dr Hodgkin, Mr Chas. Dymond, and Mr Thomas Pumphrey, leading members of the body.

Mr W. Lambert, Tyne Street, North Shields, carried out the funeral arrangements.

Shields Daily News, 1901-07-25
  2-column obituary, with engraved portrait:

DEATH OF ALD. J.F. SPENCE.

A REMARKABLE CAREER.

Ald. John Foster Spence, J.P., one of the best known men on Tyneside, died at his residence at Preston, North Shields, this morning, after a somewhat protracted illness. A short time ago he came home from Grange-over-Sands, where he had been ordered by his medical advisers for a change of air, but on his return he gradually sank. The news of his death will cause widespread regret.

In the deceased alderman the Northern Harbour Borough has lost one of its greatest men, whose marvellous career will live in the annals of the borough, and whose memory will ever be revered. A man of exceptional capabilities he identified himself with the religious, social, and political life of the town. He was indeed the "Grand Old Man of North Shields." Although so far advanced in years he was as active and as energetic as he was twenty years ago. He could read the smallest print without the aid of spectacles, but in his old age his bearing became defective. Beyond this, his faculties were unimpaired almost up to the time of his death.

Ald. Spence came of a famous family of Quakers. His father was Mr Robert Spence, a draper and banker, who came to live in North Shields in the early part of last century and who was the founder, along with Mr Joseph Proctor, of the extensive drapery business which afterwards passed into the hands of the deceased alderman and his late brother, Mr Joseph Spence. Ald. Spence was born in Tynemouth on November 8th, 1818. His mother was Mary Foster, of Hebblethwaite Hall, Sedbergh, Yorkshire. He was the seventh and the last survivor of a family of eighteen children, of whom fourteen were girls. His mother died at the age of 62 years. Ald. Spence was educated at York, in the school of the Society of Friends, where the illustrious John Bright had been a scholar. On the 28th September, 1843, he was married to Elizabeth, daughter of the late Thomas Corder, of Chelmsford, by whom he had four sons and two daughters. His wife died on Dec 18th, 1885.

It will, perhaps, be interesting to state that one of the sisters of the deceased gentleman married the famous artist, Mr Birket Foster, while another was wedded to Mr Joseph Watson, of Newcastle, the father of Dr Spence Watson, President of the National Liberal Federation. The deceased alderman's six children are all living. The elder daughter Elizabeth is Mrs Clepham, of Tynemouth, while the other, Miss May Spence, is living at home. The sons, like their father, have taken a deep interest in public affairs. The eldest is Mr John Foster Spence. The others are Thomas, who is now in America, Henry Corder, and Robert Foster. The latter is a Justice of the Peace for the county of Northumberland. He also represents the parish of Backworth on the Tynemouth Board of Guardians, and is chairman of the Earsdon Rural District Council.

Deceased was quite a young man when he began to take an active interest in the public affairs of the town. It was not, however, until 1854, that he sought municipal honours, and from that time onward he gave himself up to public work, not only in his native town, but in the district generally, and how well that work has been appreciated is abundantly manifest. Before entering the Council he had laboured, in conjunction with other gentlemen interested in the town's welfare, in effecting the incorporation of the borough. Seven years after he was elected on the Town Council he became Mayor. In April of the following year he was raised to the Aldermanic Bench in succession to his friend, the late Ald. John Tinley, and old master of the present Town Clerk (Mr H.A. Adamson). In 1867 some difficulty arose between him and his colleagues as a result of which he retired from the Council, but although he did so he continued to take an active part in the welfare of the town. Three years later, however, he again offered himself for election and was successful. From this time up to his death he was a member of the Corporation. He was re-elected to the Aldermanic Bench on Sept. 16th, 1874. He was for the second time elected Mayor in 1891 and occupied the honourable position for three successive years. Thus for four years he held the civic chair, a unique feature in the history of Tynemouth. When his brother Joseph retired from the Council many years ago, Ald. John Foster was given his position as chairman of the Sanitary Committee, which position he occupied up to the time of his death.

Ald. Spence was the oldest member of the Tynemouth Board of Guardians, and during the forty-seven years he sat on the Board he looked after the interests of the poor with unrelenting ardour. He was first elected on the Board in April, 1854, and was appointed chairman in 1894, immediately after the Board had been re-elected under the new conditions imposed by the Local Government Act of that year, and he held the position till the time of his death. He was a familiar figure at the Workhouse on a Christmas Day, and for very many years he ate his Christmas dinner along with the old people at the House. At the last annual meeting of the Board he was unavoidably absent owing to a prior important engagement, and in a letter he wrote excusing himself, he pointed out that that was the first annual meeting he had missed for forty-five years.

Ald. Spence, amongst other public services, took a very prominent part in the agitation which ultimately lead to the establishment of a separate Custom House in North Shields, a year previous to the incorporation of the borough. He took an active part in the agitation which led to the creation of the River Tyne Commission, and was appointed a life member on January 16th, 1884. He was a member of the North Shields Improvement Commissioners before the incorporation of the borough. In 1879 the Tyne Port Sanitary Authority was formed, and he, along with Ald. Green, were elected the representatives of the Tynemouth Corporation on the Authority. The latter gentlemen together with Ald. W.D. Stephens, Ald. J.M. Winter, Ald. Owen and others did much to further the work of the authority, and in 1876 or thereabouts an hospital was established to which infected cases were sent. Ald. Spence has been chairman of the authority since 1885.

He was elected on the first School Board in 1871, which was the only election conducted under the old system of open voting, and retired in 1889. He was vice-chairman for three years and chairman for a similar period. He was succeeded in the chair by Canon Stark, who was re-elected chairman of the Board at their last triennial meeting. When the Local Government Act came into operation and the borough failed to be recognised as a county borough, Ald. Spence was appointed one of nine representatives of the Tynemouth Corporation on the Northumberland County Council of which he was one of the original members. The deceased gentleman also took a deep interest in the welfare of the seafaring class, and was the first and only chairman of the Tyne Sailors' Home at North Shields, which was opened 45 years ago. He, together with Mr Bartleman, Mr Charles Laing, Mr Soloman Meas, and other well-known old Shieldsmen who have long since passed away, took an active part in the formation of the Home. Ald. Spence also took a great interest in the cooking classes held under the auspices of the Technical Education Department of the Northumberland County Council for the purpose of instructing seagoing cooks. It was owing mainly to his exertions that these classes were formed, and up to the time of his death he fought against great difficulties in connection with the classes, caused by the irregular attendance, etc., of the seamen, many of whom were ashore only a few days at a time. However, excellent results have accrued under his guidance, for he was a man who surmounted every obstacle, and fought his way doggedly to success.

His connection with the Volunteer Life Brigade movement will live in history. His efforts, in conjunction with the late Mr John Morrison, who was the originator of the scheme, and his brother, Mr Joseph Spence, are well known. When the Tynemouth V.L.B. was formed, in December 1864, just after the wreck of the Stanley, Ald. Spence was appointed secretary, which position he held up to the time of his death. On a winter night when the storm raged at its height he could be seen at the Battery Point clad in his oilskins, and as eager for the fray as the youngest member. Many times he has been drenched, with the ice-cold water, but thanks to his splendid constitution he suffered no ill effects despite his old age. He was not only instrumental in directing attention to the usefulness of such institutions, but was the means of influencing the Board of Trade to print in England and foreign languages on iron tablets, a code of instructions as to the use of the rocket apparatus, to be placed on board of vessels of all nationalities. He also succeeded in securing the present commodious and comfortable Brigade House. Shortly after the Tynemouth Brigade sprang into being, a brigade was formed in South Shields, and since then they have sprung up all over the world. About eleven years ago portraits of the three founders of the Tynemouth Brigade, John Morrison, John Foster Spence, and Joseph Spence, were unveiled in the Brigade House. The paintings were by Mr Frank Ogilvie, and were presented to the brigade by an admiring public. They still hang in the Brigade House, and will perpetuate the memory of those three pioneers who have been the means of saving so many valuable lives. Ald. Spence was always present at the annual supper of the brigade and the evening's harmony was never complete until he had sung "The Gallant Life Brigade," being descriptive of an incident which occurred many years ago, when a member of the Tynemouth Brigade was washed from the pier and drowned. In connection with this it may be interesting to state that the three founders of the institution started a fund for the purpose of helping to support the widow and family of the heroic member, who were allowed one guinea weekly until the family were able to provide for the mother. At the annual supper the deceased alderman would never allow the proceedings to continue after ten o'clock, and at that hour the members had to disperse.

Ald. Spence was place on the Commission of the Peace for the Borough of Tynemouth on the 22nd March, 1860, his colleagues on the bench at that time were the late Dr Bourne, the late Mr E.D. Potter and Mr J.M. Redmayne. He was prominently identified with most of the undenominational and philanthropic societies in the borough. He has been a Governor of North Shields and Tynemouth Dispensary since 1852, was elected vice-president in 1865 and has occupied the position of chairman since 1889. The Tyne Lifeboat Institution claimed his as one of their oldest and most energetic supporters. He was also connected with the Tynemouth Ladies' Dorcas Society, the Indigent Sick Society, the Bible Society, the Religious Tract Society, and many other societies of a philanthropic nature. He was a prominent member of the Newcastle Natural History Society, and was a member of the committee which carried on the University Extension movement in North Shields for many years. The alderman also took a deep interest in the work of the Royal Humane Society, and was their local representative. He was also one of the founders of the Northumberland Coast Club, and read several very interesting papers to the members. These papers were generally given at length in the local press, for they contained valuable historic facts relating to the locality, and were always treasured by local historians. The alderman liked nothing better than to give these reminiscences of his youth, and the many interesting narratives he has told would in themselves fill a volume. The Northern Counties Blind Asylum at North Shields had no more enthusiastic worker, and he was for many years secretary of the institution. He was always present at the annual meetings and did much to further the work of the asylum. Of the Tynemouth Royal Jubilee Schools, founded on the Jubilee year of George III, he was for many years secretary. The schools were subsequently taken over by the School Board. He was also a member of the committee who had charge of Kettlewell's Endowed School and on the death of Mr J. Proctor he was elected to the secretaryship. He was an ardent supporter of the St. John Ambulance Association and was the means of securing for the Association a footing in North Shields, where at the present time it is in a flourishing condition. Ald. Spence was also an ardent worker in connection with the Literary and Philosophical Society, which had its headquarters in the old Mechanics' Institute. It is safe to say that the deceased gentleman was identified directly, or indirectly, with almost every brand of religious, social, philanthropic and educational work in the town. Many years ago he gave his earnest support to the scheme for the removal of the Albion Hotel, which made Saville Street and Charlotte Street one continuous thoroughfare, and thus assisted in carrying out a very important street improvement.

On October 10th, 1894, when the deceased gentleman was Mayor of the Borough, he, together with Ald. Green was presented with the Freedom of the Borough as a token of public appreciation for eminent services rendered. At a meeting held some months previous to the presentation of the Freedom, the following resolution was moved by Mr A. Whitehorn (then Ald. Whitehorn):—"That in response to a wish, widely expressed throughout the borough, this meeting resolves that a presentation be made to J.F. Spence, Esq., in recognition of his lifelong services in connection with the public institutions in the borough, his exertions in the advancement of education, and on behalf of various charities, and for the untiring part he has taken in the work of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade, and also in connection with every work calculated to promote the well-being of the inhabitants and the prosperity of the borough." Ald. Whitehorn, who was then Deputy-Mayor, presented the Freedom of the borough, and after the ceremony had been concluded, Mr R.S. Donkin, who was then Member of Parliament for Tynemouth, asked Ald. Whitehorn to accept on behalf of the Council, a life sized portrait of Ald. Spence, painted in oil, to be hung in the council chamber. He then presented Ald. Spence with a similar picture painted by Mr F.S. Ogilvie of North Shields, to adorn the walls of his own house, also a silver salver and other articles, and a piano for the mayoress (Miss May Spence). In making the presentations, Mr Donkin paid a fine tribute to the work of the deceased alderman. His work in the borough had been devoted to them, said Mr Donkin, for the last half century, and the duties he had performed throughout that long period, had scarcely been excelled by any mayor in the United Kingdom. If he had not fulfilled a single official capacity, he considered that the fact of his having held the captaincy of the Tynemouth V.L.B. since the time of its inception some 30 years ago, they would have had ample justification for the proceedings that day."

For many years Ald. Spence was an ardent Liberal in politics and supported Mr—afterwards Sir—G. Trevelyan, when he was candidate for Tynemouth in 1865. He was also a follower of the late Mr T. Eustace Smith, who represented the Liberals for many years. When the split over the Home Rule question occurred in the Liberal Party in 1886, the Alderman attached himself to the Unionist Party, and supported the candidature of Mr F.S. Donkin and Mr F. Leverton Harris. At the last General Election Mr Harris had no more ardent supporter, and on his behalf the deceased Alderman made several stirring political speeches at both open-air and indoor meetings.

Shields Daily Gazette, 1901-07-22
1901-08-11 "animated pictures" of the late Alderman Foster Spence and the Life Brigade shown at Victoria Hall, Sunderland, as part of a Sunday recital Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette; 1901-08-05
 

[. . .] At nine years of age John was put on the top of the coach at Newcastle on a cold winter day and sent off alone to York, where his brother Robert was already settled in at school, and many times he has told me what a little castaway he felt.

Their Master, "Billy" Simpson as he always called him was evidently a most unsuitable instructor of youth, and was preparing for a new career as a brewer. He brewed quantities of beer, and to test it, the boys had to drink mugsful at every meal, whether they liked it or no. Once, Myles Foster, John's mother's brother, called, and finding W. Simpson flogging a boy, told him that if he ever so treated any relation of a Foster or Spence, every one would be removed from the school, so none of them ever benefited by the proverbial rod.

Under John Ford matters went very differently, and J.F.S. always spoke of him in terms of love and respect.

J.F. Spence was devoted to Natural History in all its branches, and he had large collections of shells, butterflies, minerals, fossils, and curious beasts in bottles, or alive, when he could get them from the sailors entering the port of Shields, and Chirton Cottage, where he lived, was quite a home for destitute reptiles, beasts, and birds.

Botany was also a very pet hobby and his garden was full of rare plants and gave him great pleasure and interest.

He was also a very clever joiner and the toys he made for his children would compare well with those of the present day.

How he managed to take keen interest in all these subjects, in addition to business and his public life, was wonderful, but "Where there's a will there's a way" was always his motto, and he had the power, as he once told me, of putting aside at once any subject no matter how engrossing or upsetting it might be, and throwing himself into the next work with his mind quite free.

He was intensely single-minded, what was right was the main thing. Intense simplicity characterised his whole life in every particular, the greatest abstemiousness in food and drink, constant work till late at night, and up early in the morning, and yet there was not a more truly happy man in the world, nor one who kept his youth more thoroughly. His intense enjoyment of any pleasure, such as a day in the country, or a family gathering, was charming to see, and even at the time of his death at nearly eighty-three years of age, his childlike clear, merry blue eyes told of his healthy, happy life.

No work was a trouble to him, and indeed if anyone suggested "Will it trouble you too much, Mr. Spence," his answer was "I do not know the meaning of that word."

He must have been a mischievous lad, for he used to tell tales of practical jokes with the greatest delight. One of an old grey hen, decorated with sealing wax, etc., described as a wonderfully rare bird from Japan, the "Volucrus Hong Kong" by name, and purporting to be sent by a distinguished savant to a budding astronomer, as a token of respect. The bird was hailed with delight, stuffed, and presented amid applause, to the Natural History Society, of North Shields. It still reposes in its case, cocking its eye as if it saw the joke. Another, of a squib tied on to the tail of an objectionable poodle, whose mistress thought the devil had gone under her bed as the squib exploded, was very funny.

He left school at about fourteen years of age, and very few years after was appointed Secretary of the Natural History Society, then a very flourishing body in North Shields. In 1839, when twenty-one years old, he went abroad for some weeks, visiting the Rhine and Switzerland, and left an interesting diary. En route for Hull, he says: "Arrived at York and had to wait for Hull coach, so ran along to see the old school, play ground very much altered, considerably larger and looking very pleasant, as the poplars planted when I was there have grown considerably."

In 1843, he married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas and Mary Corder, of Reeds, near Chelmsford, and had six sons and two daughters. The four sons who lived were all sent to Bootham, and it was a pleasure to him when the third generation also went there.

When the writer and her brothers were at school in York, every autumn a message was sent to the "Mount" & "Bootham," asking all Spences and relations of Spences to join him at the hotel for half-past seven breakfast. Then what a day we had! Attended by as many as ten boys and girls, with his coat tail pockets filled with good things, he went in search of the old cabman with a very capacious vehicle, who always whipped up when we hove in sight, and we all packed in, fruit and food under the seats, girls and J.F.S. inside, and boys by the driver and on the roof, and off to Strensal for the day. Plant tins, collecting boxes, and butterfly nets all came out, and he was as young and eager as any of the party; telling us tales of what they used to do "When I was at school," and how much better the country side was then for Natural History. Back to tea at the hotel, and then to see him off by train, with such pleasant memories to cheer us, and his kindly "Take care of yourselves" ringing in our ears.

His father died in 1845, and he took over many of his responsibilities and appointments.

He laboured hard to effect the incorporation of the Borough of Tynemouth, and in 1854 was elected a Councillor, and an Alderman in 1862. He was Mayor of the Borough in 1861, and again in 1891, when he held the position for three consecutive years; and received the Freedom of the Borough, a portrait, hung in the Council Chamber, and many other tokens of love and respect, not only from his fellow townsmen, but from the whole County of Northumberland.

He was Chairman of the Sanitary Committee and of the Board of Guardians, served for six years on the School Board, and was Vice-Chairman of that Body, and when the Local Government Act came into operation, was elected a County Councillor for Northumberland.

He was foremost in the establishment of a Custom House for the Borough, and also in the formation of the River Tyne Commission, of which he was a life member. He was also on the Salmon Conservancy Board.

He was prominently connected with the Dorcas, Indigent Sick, Bible and Tract Societies, the Dispensary, and the Blind Society.

For many years he was Secretary to the Jubilee, Kettlewell and Union Schools, and was appointed a Magistrate in 1860.

He took the deepest interest in sailors, and was instrumental in the building of the Sailors' Home, and on the Committee from the beginning.

The Tyne Lifeboat Institution, too, claimed him as one of its most ardent workers, and the Sailors' Widows' and Orphans' Society owed much to his help.

He started the St. John's Ambulance Association in North Shields, and was one of the first to take a certificate. He was a prominent member of the Literary and Philosophical Society, and the Technical Education Movement in Shields, of which he was Honorary Secretary, owed much to his exertions. He also took deep interest in the Boys' Aid Society, and, in fact, at the time of his death was associated with between sixty and seventy Movements and Committees.

The chief work of his life was the Volunteer Life Brigade for saving life from shipwreck, and with it his name will always be associated. His brother Joseph, Mr. John Morrison, and himself founded the first Brigade at Tynemouth in 1864, just after the wreck of the steamship "Stanley," on the Black Middens at Tynemouth, when many lives were lost owing to the lack of trained men to help the coastguard. He was Honorary Secretary from the first, and as the Board of Trade consulted him, and all new Brigades asked his advice, the work was enormous. He only laid down the duties with his life, as the last act that morning was to send out notices for a drill.

The men met indeed on the day named, but it was to carry him to his last resting place, followed and mourned by thousands of those whom he had helped and worked for during his long and useful life.

E. Clephan (1903) 'John Foster Spence', Bootham 3.1:236-239


Joseph Spence 08. Joseph Spence

1819-12-28 b. Howard Street, North Shields, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /775, /1245
1829/1834 at Lawrence Street school, York Bootham School Register (1971); Shields Daily News 1889-12-18
  apprenticed to the drapery trade at Stockton Shields Daily News 1889-12-18
1835-09-15 "9 mo. 15th 1835. My son Joseph Spence bound apprentice to A. Sanders & Cuthbert Wigham at Stockton." Journal of Robert Spence
1841 linen and woollen draper, living with his family at Howard Street, Tynemouth, with two cousins and five servants PRO HO 107/826/3 f8 p8
1841-11-12 eleven shares in the North Shields Freehold Subscription Library conveyed from Robert Spence and Richard Barker to James Watson, linen and woollen draper, and Joseph Spence, woollen draper, all of North Shields Northumberland Collections catalogue
1845-02-26 m. Caroline Shewell (1817–1897, eldest daughter of Joseph Shewell, of Colchester), at Colchester Friends' Meeting House, Essex marriage digest; The Friend; The British Friend; Newcastle Courant, 1845-03-07
1845-10-09 draper; co-executor and trustee of father’s will, proved at Durham father’s will, PRO PROB 11/2080
Children: Mary (1847–1858), Anna Caroline (1849–1927), Joseph Shewell (1852–1917), Lucy Mary (1861–1868) The British Friend; Annual Monitor; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England; information from Peter Burns
by 1847-01-15 had become an annual subscriber of one guinea to the Seamen's Loyal Standard Association, North Shields Newcastle Courant, 1847-01-15
1847-05-13 daughter b. Howard Street Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury, 1847-05-22
1848-08-15 co-executor and trustee of father’s will, proved at London father’s will, PRO PROB 11/2080
  with John Foster Spence, inherited father’s drapery business Shields Daily News 1889-12-18
by 1850-01-12 subscribed £2 2s. for the relief of the families of the pilots killed in the overturning of the lifeboat at the mouth of the River Tyne Newcastle Journal, 1850-01-12
1851 tailor and general draper employing 23 men and boys, of Howard Street (east side), Tynemouth, Northumberland; living with his wife, two daughters, 3 draper’s assistants, house servant, nurse maid, and cook HO 107/2410 f168 p60
1852 for a rate of £1 3s. 2d. claimed from I.F. and J. Spence for place of business and dwelling house, new cloth to the value of £14 15s. 7d. was seized and £2 9s 4½d. returned Spence (1939), p. 49
shortly after 1853-10-10 (last sibling’s 21st birthday) father’s estate finally wound up; presumably a beneficiary of 1/11th (a bit over £2000) father’s will, PRO PROB 11/2080
1855-03-03 at Northumberland Quarter Sessions:

ELIZABETH HOUSTON, 42, spinster, unlawfully obtained 5⅛ yards of black henrietta, 7 yards of black alpaca, 2 silk dresses, and 1 print dress, the property of John Forster Spence and Joseph Spence, at the Township of Tynemouth on the 16th of January, 1855, 4 calendar months hard labour, 1 week in each month to be in solitude.

Morpeth Herald
1854-03-25 present at the election hustings in front of the town hall at North Shields, among the party supporting Mr Lindsay Newcastle Journal, 1854-04-01
1855-11 contributed £2.0.0 to the Highland Destitution Fund The Friend XIII
1857-02-19 had subscribed 10s. to the Cullercoats Soup Kitchen North & South Shields Gazette and Northumberland and Durham Advertiser
1857-09-01 "J.F. & J. Spence will shortly have a vacancy for an Assistant to the General Drapery Trade. North Shields, 9th Month. 1st, 1857." The British Friend XV.IX:247
1858-02 had increased his subscription to the Royal Victoria Blind Asylum from 10s. 6d. to £1 1s. Newcastle Courant, 1858-02-26
1858-03-13 of North Shields The British Friend XVI.IV:108
1858-08 "J.F. & J. Spence will shortly have a vacancy for an Assistant to the General Drapery Trade. North Shields, 9th Month. 1st, 1857." The Friend XV
1859-07-20 draper of North Shields; witnessed niece’s wedding niece’s marriage certificate
1860-01-04 took the chair at the annual meeting of the Tynemouth Tradesmen and Mechanics' Institution, in the library room, Howard-street, North Shields Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury, 1860-01-07
1860-04-05

SUSANNAH HUNTER (16) pleaded guilty to having, on the first March, by means of false pretences, obtained from Walter Appleton eight yards of Coburg, and one yard of Holland, the property of John Foster Spence, and Joseph Spence, of North Shields. She also pleaded guilty to having, on the 22nd February, obtained sixteen yards of cotton print, and fourteen yards of carmelite, the property of George Samuel Garthorne, and Wm. Dickinson, of Tynemouth.—Three months' imprisonment for the first; and three months' hard labour for the second offence.

Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury, 1860-04-07
1861 draper employing 15 men 6 boys and 3 women, living with his wife, two children, and two house servants in Prior Terrace, Tynemouth RG 9/3842 f86 p10
1861 first elected to the Council Shields Daily News 1889-12-18
1861-05-28 assistant clerk at a large Quaker committee at Yearly Meeting The Friend N.S. 1.6, 1861-06-07
1861-07-27 had subscribed 2s. 6d. towards the building of the Sabbath school at the Trow Rocks Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury, 1861-07-27
1861-06-01 re conference on revision of the Book of Discipline: JS one of four members of conference to be appointed to report back to YM The British Friend p. 135
1861-09-08 daughter Lucy Mary b. at Tynemouth The British Friend 1861-10-01 p. 254
by 1862-01-29 subscribed £5 for the relief of the families of the victims of the Hartley Colliery accident Newcastle Journal, 1862-01-29
by 1862-03-01 subscribed £2 2s. towards defraying the expenses of clearing the shaft at New Hartley Colliery Newcastle Journal, 1862-03-01
1862-08-01 one of five Arbitrators to the Friends’ Provident Association ad in The Friend p. 208
1862-10 Mayor of Tynemouth Newcastle Courant, 1862-10-10
1863-01-01 of Tynemouth; among those appointed by YM to visit Yorkshire QM The Friend p.10
1863 Alderman and Mayor Shields Daily News 1889-12-18; Newcastle Courant, 1863-11-13
1863-11-13 elected to a committee to administer that portion of the surplus of the Hartley Colliery Accident Relief Fund which may be allotted to the North Durham, Northumberland, and Cumberland mining districts Newcastle Courant, 1863-11-20
1864-04 elected as a Guardian for Tynemouth Newcastle Journal, 1864-04-18
by 1864-04-15 contributed one sovereign towards the funds for presenting each of Garibaldi's two sons with an Italian copy of the Bible and a purse of gold Newcastle Courant, 1864-04-15
1864-06-03 of Tynemouth Mosscroft visitors' book
by 1864-11-09 became an annual subscriber of £1 1s. to the Tyne Sailors' Home Newcastle Journal, 1864-11-09
1864-12-06 co-chair of the Board of Trade inquiry into the loss of the s.s. Stanley Newcastle Courant, 1864-12-09
1865 appointed a Borough Magistrate Shields Daily News 1889-12-18
1865-05-24 one of the assistant clerks at London Yearly Meeting The British Friend 1865-06-08 p. 140
1865-06-05

LOYAL BRITISH FLAG LODGE OF ODDFELLOWS, M.U.

JOSEPH SPENCE, J.P., has kindly consented to LAY the FOUNDATION STONE of the New Hall, Saville-street, West, North Shields, on Whit-Monday, June 5th, 1865, at Three o'Clock p.m. A number of Clergymen and Gentlemen of the Town and Neighbourhood will take part in the Ceremony.

The DINNER at the Albion Hotel will take place at Four o'Clock. Tickets, 3s. each, can be had at the Bar of the Inn, or Brothers. J. Coulson, Bedford-street; J. Ray, Bird-street.

G. KEWNEY, Esq., in the Chair.

THE MEMBERS of the Loyal British Flag Lodge of Oddfellows are to meet in the Hall, Rudyerd-street, North Shields, on Whit-Monday, June 5th, 1865, at Half-past One o'Clock precisely.—Full Regalia with White Gloves.

Shields Daily News, 1865-06-01
1865-07 had subscribed £25 for the proposed National Schools in Tynemouth Newcastle Courant, 1865-07-14
1866-04 J.F. & J. Spence of North Shields advertising for an assistant in the general drapery business, also an apprentice The British Friend XXIV.4:99
1867-03-12 had attended 18 meetings of the Tynemouth Board of Guardians in the previous eleven months Newcastle Courant, 1867-03-15
1867-05-22 an assistant clerk to LYM, as in 1866 The British Friend XXV.6:134
1867-06-04 on the Building Committee of the Prudhoe Memorial Convalescent Home Newcastle Courant, 1867-06-07
1867-12-05 one of the Tyne River Commissioners Newcastle Journal, 1867-12-05
1868-01-17 appointed to the committee of the Diana Training Ship for Destitute and Homeless Boys Newcastle Courant, 1868-01-24
1869 elected Mayor for a second time Shields Daily News, 1889-12-18
1870-02-08 the Life Brigade very busy in the gales; in support of a schooner ashore to the north of the North Pier:

The brigade behaved gallantly in rescuing the crew—the Mayor of Tynemouth (Joseph Spence, Esq.), exerting himself in a praiseworthy manner.

Shields Daily News, 1870-02-09
1871 Justice of the Peace, alderman and draper, living with his wife and two children (both b. North Shields) at 2 Priors Terrace, Tynemouth, with two domestic servants RG 10/5121 f55 p24
1871 elected a member of the first School Board Shields Daily News 1889-12-18
1872-09-02 presiding Alderman of the Tynemouth Ward at the municipal election Shields Daily Gazette
1873-03 "Wanted, by J.F. & J. Spence, Drapers and Carpet Warehousemen, &c., North Shields, a Youth of 15 to 17 years of age, as Apprentice." The British Friend XXXI.Mar:72
1873-04 subscribed 10s. to E.J. Saleebey’s Schools at Lebanon The British Friend XXXI.Apr:81
1876-08-22 treasurer of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade Newcastle Courant, 1876-08-25
1876-12-27 of Tynemouth; wrote to the Shields Daily News, promoting his candidacy for the school board Shields Daily News, 1876-12-28
1877-05-23 spoke at London Yearly Meeting The British Friend. XXXV.June:131
1878-04-09

NEW CARPETS AND FURNITURE

JOHN F. & JOSEPH SPENCE

Are now showing the Largest and Choicest

Stock of

FURNISHING GOODS,

WHICH THEY HAVE EVER OFFERED

FOR SALE.

An Immense Variety of

NEW BRUSSELS AND TAPESTRY

CARPETS

From the looms of the most eminent manu-

facturers, and at the lowest prices ever known in the trade.

FLOORCLOTHS AND LINOLEUM

OF THE NEWEST DESIGNS

NEW BEDROOM SUITS

In Ash, Birch, Mahogany, Plain and Decorated Pine, &c., and a great variety of FURNITURE and Furnishing Requisites of every kind

BRASS AND IRON BEDSTEADS

Every description of Upholstery Work promptly

Executed, and Estimates given for

Materials and Work.

Shields Daily Gazette, 1878-04-09
1878-04-10

JOHN F. & JOSEPH SPENCE

HOWARD STREET & TYNE STREET

NORTH SHIELDS

Having Completed their arrange-ments for the Spring Trade, beg to invite an inspection of their large and choice

STOCK OF

NEW GOODS,

IN EVERY DEPARTMENT

NEW and FASHIONABLE DRESS FABRICS,

NEW SILKS, POPLINS, CASHMERES, & BEGES,

COSTUMES and MANTLES, of the Latest Styles,

NEW SKIRTS and PETTICOATS,

NEW SHAWLS, HANDKERCHIEFS, and TIES,

NEW SILK and LACE SCARFS,

NEW RIBBONS, LACES, and MUSLIN WORK,

NEW GLOVES and HOSIERY,

NEW TRIMMINGS, FRINGES, and BUTTONS,

NEW UMBRELLAS and SUNSHADES.

JOHN F. & JOSEPH SPENCE

HOWARD STREET & TYNE STREET

NORTH SHIELDS

 

Shields Daily Gazette, 1878-04-10
1879-04-23 chairman, Borough of Tynemouth Liberal Association Shields Daily Gazette, 1879-04-23
1880-02 presided at the first annual meeting of the Borough of Tynemouth Liberal Association Newcastle Courant, 1880-02-27
1880-04-03 during rioting in North Shields at the time of the general election, was struck on the head by a half brick, and seriously injured Shields Daily Gazette, 1880-04-03
1880-05-27 spoke at London Yearly Meeting The Friend XX.June:160
1880-07-21 present at the Sunday School Centenary celebration. "Mr Joseph Spence, who seems almost inseparable from these children at holiday times, was again in their midst, and watched their little interests right and left." Shields Daily Gazette, 1880-07-22
1881 draper, JP for the Borough of Tynemouth, of 2 Prior Terrace, Tynemouth, Northumberland, living with his wife, son's family, a cook, and a housemaid RG 11/5082 f39 p26
1881-05-18 spoke at London Yearly Meeting The Friend XXI.June:141
1881-05-23 The Friend XXI.June:155–6
1881-05-24 The Friend XXI.June:160
1881-05-27 The Friend XXI.June:165
1881-05 The British Friend XXXIX.June:143
1882-11-29 elected Treasurer of the North Shields Bible Society, for the forthcoming year Shields Daily Gazette, 1882-11-30
1883-05-23 spoke at London Yearly Meeting The British Friend June:127
1883-05-25 The British Friend June:137
1883-05-28 The Friend XXIII.June:148
 

The manhood of his life, extending up to a twelve month since, was given to public work, and for a great number of years his name was so interwoven with the affairs of the borough as to make it difficult to find his like again. Combined with his indomitable energy and perseverance his strict integrity of character, and his many social and intellectual attainments, were his utter unselfishness, his absolute disregard for personal distinction, and his sincere unostentation in every phase of his public career. Never anxious about his fame, the honours which his townsmen conferred upon him were invariably accepted with reluctance, and only from a real sense of duty.

Shields Daily News 1889-12-18
1883-11-07 of Tynemouth Bensham Grove visitors' books
1884-03-04 elected to the committee of the North Shields Town Mission Shields Daily News, 1884-03-05
1885-09 Tynemouth Liberal Association resolved to invite Joseph Spence to contest the borough Shields Daily Gazette, 1885-09-25
  President for many years of the Tynemouth Liberal Association; contested the seat Shields Daily News, 1889-12-18
1885 unsuccessfully contested Tynemouth Collinson, ed. (1935)
1885-12-30 had spent a total of £582 10s. 6d. in election expenses, which included £0 0s. 0d. for candidate's personal expenses Shields Daily News, 1886-01-06
1886-02-04 present at a meeting of the Tynemouth School Board Shields Daily News, 1886-02-05
1887-04-14 among the subscribers present at the annual meeting at the North Shields and Tynemouth Dispensary Shields Daily News, 1887-04-15
1888-01-20 had donated 5s. to the soup kitchen Shields Daily News
1889 of Tynemouth; elder 1891 Annual Monitor
1889-12-17 19:45

late of Priors'-terrace, Tynemouth, gentleman; d. at his residence, 2 Priors Terrace; a severe cold developed serious symptoms and rendered him prostrate

Shields Daily News; The British Friend; 1891 Annual Monitor; National Probate Calendar

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.

Mr Joseph Spence, was born on the 28th December, 1819. He came of the good old Quaker stock which has still many representatives in Darlington, Kendal, and the dales beyond Harrogate. His father was Mr Robert Spence, who came from the last named district, and his mother was Miss Mary, daughter of Mr Robert Foster, of Ebblethwaite Hall, Sedburgh, Yorkshire, the representative of a family of honourable descent and long pedigree. Mr Spence, the elder, settled in North Shields in the early part of the present century, and became a partner of Mr Joseph Proctor, draper, and the father of a large family, his name becoming a "household word." This "numerous house, " to use the words of the Poet Laureate, consisted of

EIGHTEEN CHILDREN,

fourteen of whom were girls. Of Mr Joseph Spence's sisters, ten of them reached womanhood, and of his brothers, Robert, of the firm of Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, and Spence, and John Foster, who, until recently, was a partner in the drapery business founded by their father. The elder Mr Spence had his place of business in what is now called the Low Street, near the foot of Bedford Street, or what is locally known as the Wooden Bridge Bank. Afterwards the business was transferred to Tyne Street, a very doubtful experiment, it was thought by tradesmen at the time, Bell Street, Clive Street, and the Bull Ring being then and for long afterwards the

PRINCIPAL THOROUGHFARES.

Mr Spence's father, besides engaging in the drapery business, became a partner in a banking concern which has now ceased to exist. Mr Joseph Spence was educated in the school of the Society of Friends at York, which school the late John Bright had just left at the time. Leaving this school, which had high reputation in that day, Mr Joseph Spence, then a bright and promising lad, went to Stockton, where he served an apprenticeship to the drapery business, and, on returning to North Shields, he joined his brother in the firm of Messrs J.F. and J. Spence. The business prospered greatly, and the brothers in all their dealings were esteemed no less for their

UPRIGHTNESS IN TRADE

than for their public virtues. The partnership continued until the early part of the year 1889, when the premises were closed, Mr Joseph Spence retiring to his residence, Prior's Terrace, Tynemouth, where he lived quietly until the end, and Mr John Foster Spence spending most of his time at Chirton Cottage, where he has resided for some years. At no time during the manhood of Mr Joseph Spence has there been any occasion for legitimate philanthropy in which he has not been to the fore. At the time of the Hartley Colliery disaster he won most enviable distinction by the part which he played in assisting the

SORROW-STRICKEN

widows and orphans of the victims. But the most valuable of all the services rendered by Mr Joseph Spence to his fellow-men was the work done by him in conjunction with his brother, Mr John Foster Spence, on the occasion of the loss of the Stanley on the Black Middens, one of the most mournful wrecks that ever happened on the North-east coast. The result of the work was the commencement of a movement which will hand on the names of Mr Joseph and Mr John Foster Spence to generations yet unborn, not only in the land of their birth, but the world over, and give to them the most enviable kind of immortality. The brothers Spence not only gave to the survivors of the ill-fated

SHIP STANLEY

a large-hearted sympathy and much practical help, but they originated the Life Brigades which are now the guardians of our coasts, and which have been the means of saving thousands of lives that would otherwise have been lost in the merciless seas. Nor did Mr Joseph Spence cease his connection with the Brigade after its establishment. He remained a member until the last, and until the last two or three years was not merely a patron, but an active worker, turning out whenever the Brigade responded to the call of duty, ready to lead, to lend a hand, to risk his life in saving the castaways on our coast. Mr Joseph Spence has

NOT BEEN ABLE

of late to take so active a part in the work of the Brigade, but his brother has continued his labours, being principally the means of the erection of the new Brigade House opened a year or two ago. But Mr Joseph Spence is not forgotten by the Brigadesmen, who at their annual meetings never fail to speak of their leaders. But great as was the attention paid by Mr Joseph Spence to this organisation, it only occupied a portion of his time. He was connected with almost every one of the philanthropic institutions of his native town. He took great interest in the education of the young and in such movements generally. Like his father before him, he was connected with the old Library and Mechanics' Institute, was associated

WITH HIS BROTHER

in the management of the Jubilee and Kettlewell schools, was a member of the Dispensary Committee, and treasurer of the local auxiliary of the British and Foreign Bible Society. Indeed there was no institution for the bettering of the condition of the people of Tynemouth that had not the benefit of his energy, his influence, and his purse. Mr Spence filled a multitude of public posts. He was for some years a member of the Tynemouth Town Council, being elected

AN ALDERMAN

and serving as chairman of the Sanitary Committee. He was elected a member of the Tynemouth School Board at its commencement, and continued so until the triennial election in 1889, when he was replaced by some other candidate. He was also a member of the Tynemouth Board of Guardians, on which he remained to the end, and for some time he was a member of the River Tyne Commission. As is well-known, Mr Joseph Spence was a Liberal in politics, and it was as such that he was asked to become a candidate for Parliamentary honours at a critical period of the history of the Borough of Tynemouth. When this service was required of him, the question he put to his friends was: "But

WILL IT BE RIGHT?

and, believing that it was, he fought the fight on behalf of Liberalism in Tynemouth. What was the result is too well known to need comment here. He failed, but he lost not the respect of the people of the borough, who, whatever their political beliefs might be, held him in the highest esteem. In addition to the numerous offices already referred to, Mr Joseph Spence was a magistrate of the borough of Tynemouth, and as such secured and retained till the end the goodwill of all classes of the inhabitants. Although Mr Joseph Spence was naturally of a retiring disposition and led a simple and unostentatious life, he occupied quite an exceptional position as a public man. He was one of those who

GIVE THEIR LIVES

to a district, who naturally fall into the control of its affairs, who are just as naturally looked up to as leaders upon all occasions, but who invariably require to have their honours thrust upon them. During his long life Mr Joseph Spence witnessed many changes in his native town, many of which have not been for its benefit, or at least for that portion of it known as North Shields. He saw many industries that formerly flourished by the riverside die out one by one, watched the shifting of the centre of trade from the lower part of the town to the higher, and lived to see the street in which he and his brother so long conducted their business, almost deserted. The magnificent business premises erected by them

NOW STAND EMPTY,

surrounded on all sides by shops in a similar condition. The building in which the brothers Spence until recently conducted their business, including the site cost, £10,000, and is now standing idle. It was offered to the post-office authorities on very favourable conditions, but they thought it better to erect a new post-office in another part of the town. Whether they acted wisely in so doing is a question upon which opinions differ. However that may be, the premises lately occupied by the Messrs Spence are likely to remain unused unless they are secured by some large firm, or purchased by the corporation for conversion into some public building, such as a Free Library, which is much needed, the present public

LIBRARY BUILDINGS

being unsuited for the purposes they are used for, and for which Messrs Spence's premises are well adapted, being in as good a condition as the day they were finished. Mr Joseph Spence has been a supporter of every movement that was likely to improve the town or the condition of its inhabitants. He might, too, from the position he was placed in at the commencement of his career, have amassed much wealth. But he thought of others as much as of himself. "Will it be right?" was the key-note of his life, which was marked by the sternest loyalty to truth, justice, and fairplay, and made lovely by innumerable acts of kindness and mercy.

Shields Daily Gazette, 1889-12-17

DEATH OF A WELL-KNOWN NORTH COUNTRY LIBERAL.

A widely-known and highly-respected north country Liberal, Mr. Joseph Spence, J.P., of Tynemouth, who had during a long life rendered inestimable service in his own locality in the cause of social, educational, and political reform, and who at the last general election unsuccessfully sought to wrest the seat for Tynemouth from Mr. R.S. Dockin, died at his home, in his seventieth year, yesterday. In conjunction with his father, Ald. J.F. Spence, the deceased was one of the founders of the first volunteer life brigade formed in the country—the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade, which was established after the memorable wreck of the steamer Stanley on the Black Middens, on which occasion he exerted himself to the utmost in saving life. He continued a member of the brigade, of which he was the treasurer, until the time of his death.

Pall Mall Gazette, 1889-12-19
1889-12-21 buried in Preston Cemetery, North Shields, with a simple Quaker service Newcastle Courant, 1889-12-28
1890-02-08 will proved at Newcastle-upon-Tyne by son Joseph Shewell Spence, one of the executors; personal estate £365 17s. 6d. National Probate Calendar
1890-10-04 unveiling of portraits of John Foster Spence and Joseph Spence, at the Brigade House of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade, Spanish Battery, Tynemouth Shields Daily News, 1890-10-06 (with engravings of photographs of the portraits taken by John Frew)


silhouette of Thomas Spence 09. Thomas Spence

1821-06-17 b. Howard Street, North Shields, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /775, /1245
1830/1836 at Lawrence Street school, York Bootham School Register (1971)
1839 surgeon, of North Shields PRO RG 6/1245
1839-03-22 apprentice to a surgeon, of Howard Street, Tynemouth; d. of continued fever death certificate
1839-03-24 bur. Stephenson Street Friends burial ground, North Shields RG 6/1245


Jane (Spence) Brown 10. Jane Spence

1823-02-23 b. Howard Street, North Shields, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /775, /1245
1830-07-02 "in bed ill of the measles" Journal of Robert Spence
1834-08 of Shields; began at Mount School, York The Mount School, York. List of Teachers and Scholars 17841816, 18311906 (1906) York: Sessions
1837-07 of Shields; left Mount School The Mount School, York. List of Teachers and Scholars 17841816, 18311906 (1906)
1841 living with her family at Howard Street, Tynemouth, with two cousins and five servants PRO HO 107/826/3 f8 p8
c. 1841 Charles Brown "had become attached to one, who, though very young, was of a kindred spirit to his own; and when about twenty-five years old, he obtained her consent to a union with him in marriage.' . . . 'the marriage was deferred for some time on account of age" . . . . Annual Monitor
1843-02-09 of Howard St, Tynemouth; m. Charles Brown (1816–1864, miller of North Shields), at North Shields marriage digest; Edward H. Milligan (2007) Biographical Dictionary of British Quakers in Commerce and Industry 1775–1920. York: Sessions Book Trust
Child: Jane Spence (1845–1926) Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England; Philip Spence, ed. (1939) Robert and Mary Spence of North Shields. Newcastle, privately printed
1845-12-26 d. at Spring Terrace, Preston, Tynemouth, of puerperal peritonitis 4 days certified; husband a miller; informant sister Margaret, present at the death, of Howard Street death certificate; 1847 and 1865 Annual Monitor; The Friend IV.37:20, Jan 1846;
1846-01-01 bur. Stephenson St, N. Shields burials digest


11. Ann Spence

1824-01-22 b. Howard Street, North Shields, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/228, /775, /778
1824-01-22 d. aged about 15 hours RG 6/228, /778, /1245
1824-01-23 bur. Stephenson St Friends' burial ground, North Shields


12. Margaret Spence

1824-01-22 b. Howard Street, North Shields, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/775, /1245
1824-10-31 d. North Shields PRO RG 6/228, /778, /1245
1824-11-02 bur. Stephenson St Friends' burial ground, North Shields


Ann (Spence) Foster 13. Ann Spence

1825-08-13 b. Howard Street, North Shields, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /775
1830-07-02 "in bed ill of the measles" Journal of Robert Spence
1836-08 of Shields; began at Mount School, York The Mount School, York. List of Teachers and Scholars 1784–1816, 1831–1906 (1906) York: Sessions
1840-12 of Shields; left Mount School
1841 living with her family at Howard Street, Tynemouth, Northumberland, with two cousins and five servants PRO HO 107/826/3 f8 p8
1848-04-27 wrote to Robert Foster from 4 Stranraer Place Robert Spence letters to Robert Foster, in my possession
1848-07-17 wrote to Robert Foster from Ipswich
1848-09-17 probably wrote to Robert Foster, c/o MB Foster, 4 Stranraer Place, Maida Vale, London
1849-01-27 shareholder in the Newcastle, Shields, and Sunderland Union Joint Stock Banking Company Newcastle Courant, 1849-02-16
1850-08-13 of Tynemouth; m. Myles Birket Foster (1825–1899, artist, of Seaton Sluice, son of Myles Birket Foster, gentleman), at Earsdon parish church, Northumberland, by licence; witnesses John Foster Spence, Robert Foster marriage certificate; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
1850-12 with her husband, went to see the Exhibition works in Hyde Park, and after seeing the Glass Palace went to Kew Gardens Reynolds (1984)
1851 living at Marsden Villas, Clifton Road, St Marylebone, Middlesex, with her husband and servant HO 107/1491 f397 p 41
Children: Myles Birket (1851–1922), William Frederick (1853–1924), Henry (1854–1928), Margaret Ann (1856–1923), Ellen (1857–1946) GRO index; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England; information from Sarah Batchelor; Philip Spence, ed. (1939) Robert and Mary Spence of North Shields. Newcastle, privately printed; Reynolds (1984)
shortly after 1853-10-10 (last sibling’s 21st birthday) father’s estate finally wound up; presumably a beneficiary of 1/11th (a bit over £2000) father’s will, PRO PROB 11/2080
1854 with Birket and their nephew Robert Spence Watson (acting as interpreter), travelled for six or seven weeks through Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, gathering material for The Rhine and its Picturesque Scenery (published in 1856) Reynolds (1984)
1856-01-27 daughter b. at 45 Clifton Road, St John's Wood, London Dundee, Perth, and Cupar Advertiser, 1856-02-01
early 1857 moved to 12 Carlton Hill East, St John's Wood  
1859-02-05

. . . your Aunt Anne is quite laid on the shelf with a bad arm. It is a gathering under the arm and till it has come to a head will make her feel weakly and poorly. She gets about however & reads a good deal but being her right arm she cannot do anything else.

[letter from Birket Foster to Polly Brown]

1859

She died at Littlehampton. I was with her when she was taken ill upon the sea beach and when she died.

Robert Spence Watson (1969) Reminiscences of the late Rt Hon. Robert Spence Watson. York, privately printed, p. 13
  had tuberculosis, and had been prescribed a change of air Reynolds (1984)
1859-07-03 d. Littlehampton, Sussex, of gastric fever certified; wife of Birket Foster artist; informant Ann Stringer, in attendance, Littlehampton; gastric fever was "a somewhat vague term often used by local doctors to conceal the fact that the horrific state of the drains and general lack of sanitation in the area was the frequent cause of death from typhoid, cholera and similar diseases" death certificate; Reynolds (1984)


silhouette of Margaret Spence 14. Margaret Spence (Meggy)

1825-08-13 b. Howard Street, North Shields, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /775
1830-07-02 "in bed ill of the measles" Journal of Robert Spence
1836-08 of Shields; began at Mount School, York The Mount School, York. List of Teachers and Scholars 1784–1816, 1831–1906 (1906) York: Sessions
1840-12 of Shields; left Mount School
1841 living with her family at Howard Street, Tynemouth, with two cousins and five servants PRO HO 107/826/3 f8 p8
1845-21-26 present at death of sister Jane, Spring Terrace, Preston, Tynemouth sister’s death certificate
1848-07-17 wrote to Robert Foster from Ipswich Robert Spence letters to Robert Foster, in my possession
1849-01-27 shareholder in the Newcastle, Shields, and Sunderland Union Joint Stock Banking Company Newcastle Courant, 1849-02-16
1850-12-01

Anne is writing to John to propose a change for dear Meggy. She is very nicely and a friend of ours a medical man—very clever in consumptive cases—who has taken a great interest in her case and often comes to see her in a friendly way—says he things it is of the utmost importance that she should get to the Isle of Wight. He says that instead of getting weaker as Dr Watson expected she is getting stronger and that she is at the turning point. If this be done at once he has great hopes of her recovery. He is a most kind man—a retired gentleman most desirous of benefitting any of his friends in that way afflicted so really we think it would be wrong not to give it the chance of doing her good—he says it is a very peculiar case and change of air at this time is everything.

[letter from Birket Foster to Robert Spence]

Reynolds (1984)
1851-03-08 independent lady; d. of influenza 4 days certified, at 3 White Rock Place, St Mary Magdalen, Hastings, Sussex death certificate; Annual Monitor; burials digest
1851-03-14 bur. Stephenson Street, North Shields burials digest


Hannah Maria (Spence) Taylor 15. Hannah Maria Spence

1827-07-13 b. Howard Street, North Shields, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /775, /1245
1830-07-02 "in bed ill of the measles" Journal of Robert Spence
1839-08 of North Shields; began at Mount School, York The Mount School, York. List of Teachers and Scholars 1784–1816, 1831–1906 (1906) York: Sessions
1841 pupil, of Castlegate, St Mary Castlegate, Yorkshire PRO HO 107/1355/3 f10 p12
1843-06 of North Shields; left Mount School The Mount School, York. List of Teachers and Scholars 1784–1816, 1831–1906 (1906)
1851 annuitant, living with her siblings and cousins in household of cousin Robert Foster at Howard Street East, Tynemouth, with a nurse and two house servants HO 107/2410 f165 p55
1852-07-15 m. William Taylor (1818–1897, coal and coke exporter, of Middlesbrough, later steamship manager and ship broker), at North Shields Friends' meeting house censuses; Annual Monitor; Durham County Advertiser, 1852-07-23;  Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England; Edward H. Milligan (2007) Biographical Dictionary of British Quakers in Commerce and Industry 1775–1920. York: Sessions Book Trust
Children: Robert William (1853–1877), Joseph Henry (1855–1939) Bootham School Register (1971); Milligan (2007)
shortly after 1853-10-10 (last sibling’s 21st birthday) father’s estate finally wound up; presumably a beneficiary of 1/11th (a bit over £2000) father’s will, PRO PROB 11/2080
1856-10-09 d. 1 Commercial Street, Linthorpe, Yarm, Durham and York, of consumption certified; wife of William Taylor a merchant; informant Isabella Taylor, present at the death, Dacre street, Middlesbrough death certificate


16. Frances Spence

1829-06-25 b. Howard St, North Shields, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /1149, /1245
1829-07-24 d. North Shields PRO RG 6/228, /778, /1245
1829-08-26 bur. Stephenson St Friends' burial ground, North Shields


Emma (Spence) Corder 17. Emma Spence

1830-11-19 b. Howard Street, North Shields, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/775, /1149
1830-12-30  . . . "our little Emma seems a blooming hopeful blossom" . . . letter from Robert Spence to William Rowntree, in possession of Peter Robson
1836-01-23

A fearful gale from the West South West blew down the bank chimney through the roof of our back room, & Emma had a very narrow escape with her life, being enveloped by the dust & mortar of the falling ruins just as she left the room.

Journal of Robert Spence
1841 living with her family at Howard Street, Tynemouth, Northumberland, with two cousins and five servants PRO HO 107/826/3 f8 p8
1842-08 of North Shields; began at Mount School, York The Mount School, York. List of Teachers and Scholars 1784–1816, 1831–1906 (1906) York: Sessions
c. 1840s

Emma who has got the mumps slightly, is with our grandson Willy comparatively well. They have not been to school to-day, nor has it been suitable for them to go to Tynemouth, it has been so showery, but they have had the company of their Cousins Mary, Elizabeth and Ann Clapham.

Spence  (1939) , p. 47
1846-06 of North Shields; left Mount School The Mount School, York. List of Teachers and Scholars 1784–1816, 1831–1906 (1906)
1851 annuitant, living with her siblings and cousins in household of cousin Robert Foster at Howard Street East, Tynemouth, with a nurse and two house servants HO 107/2410 f165 p55
shortly after 1853-10-10 (last sibling’s 21st birthday) father’s estate finally wound up; presumably a beneficiary of 1/11th (a bit over £2000) father’s will, PRO PROB 11/2080
1854-03-23 m. Octavius Corder (1829–1910, chemist of Tynemouth, son of Thomas Corder, farmer) at Tynemouth parish church, by licence; witnesses John Foster Spence, Robert Foster marriage certificate; digest of births (Essex); Durham Chronicle, 1854-03-31 Edward H. Milligan (2007) Biographical Dictionary of British Quakers in Commerce and Industry 1775–1920. York: Sessions Book Trust
1855-06-03 d. Tynemouth village, Tynemouth, Northumberland, of phthisis pulmonalis seven years, nephritic disease 3 months certified; husband a chemist & druggist; informant brother John Forster Spence, present at the death, Chirton death certificate; The Friend XIII.150:116

NORTH SHIELDS.—At Tynemouth-place, on the 3rd inst., aged 24, Emma, wife of Mr Octavius Corder, chemist.

North & South Shields Gazette and Northumberland and Durham Advertiser, Newcastle Chronicle, and Newcastle Journal,  1855-06-15
1867-05-30 [sic] administration granted to Octavius Corder of Fyfield, Essex, farmer; effects under £100 National Probate Calendar


Lucy Fisher (Spence) Spence 18. Lucy Fisher Spence

1832-10-10 b. 7 o’clock, Wednesday, Howard Street, North Shields, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /775, /1245; 1832-10-12 letter from Robert Spence to William Rowntree in possession of Peter Robson
1832-10-12  . . . "a very bonny blooming daughter who is yet nameless" . . . letter from Robert Spence to William Rowntree
1832-12-31 . . . "the infant (Lucy Fisher) who has also been ill, is again well" . . . letter from Robert Spence to William Rowntree in possession of Peter Robson
1841 living with her family at Howard Street, Tynemouth, with two cousins and five servants PRO HO 107/826/3 f8 p8
1844-08 of North Shields; began at Mount School, York The Mount School, York. List of Teachers and Scholars 1784–1816, 1831–1906 (1906) York: Sessions
1846-11 of North Shields; left Mount School
1851 annuitant, living with her siblings and cousins in household of cousin Robert Foster at Howard Street East, Tynemouth, with a nurse and two house servants HO 107/2410 f165 p55
shortly after 1853-10-10 (last sibling’s 21st birthday) father’s estate finally wound up; presumably a beneficiary of 1/11th (a bit over £2000) father’s will, PRO PROB 11/2080
1855-02-22 of Howard St, North Shields; m. Josephus Spence (1827–1903, draper of North St, Middlesboro’), at North Shields Friends' meeting house marriage digest; Annual Monitor; North & South Shields Gazette, 1855-02-23; Edward H. Milligan (2007) Biographical Dictionary of British Quakers in Commerce and Industry 1775–1920. York: Sessions Book Trust
1858-07-25 of Middlesbrough; d. 3 Sussex Street, Middlesbrough, of phthisis certified; wife of Josephus Spence a merchant tailor; informant William Taylor present at the death, of 1 Commercial Street, Linthorpe death certificate; The Friend XV; York Herald, 1858-07-31; National Probate Calendar
  bur. Quaker Municipal Cemetery, Linthorpe Gravestone Photographic Resource
1858-12-06 will proved at York by Josephus Spence, under certain limitations; effects under £20 National Probate Calendar
1867-05 administration of the rest of the goods passed at York


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