Children of Robert and Sarah Spence

01. Sarah Spence

1843-03-06 b. North Shields, Northumberland censuses; Annual Monitor; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigrees of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England. Privately printed
1851 scholar, living with her family and two house servants TNA: HO 107/2409 f571 p37
1858-03/1859-12 of North Shields; at the Mount School, York The Mount School, York. List of Teachers and Scholars 17841816, 18311906. 1906, York: Sessions
1861 of 4 Rosella Place, Preston, Tynemouth, Northumberland, living with her family, a cook, and a housemaid TNA: RG 9/3839 f76 p49
1864-04-17 of North Shields Mosscroft visitors' book
1869-02-18 m. Francis Thompson (1837–1923, tea broker, s. of Francis and Susan Thompson, of Croydon), at Stephenson Street fmh, North Shields Foster (1871); Old York Scholars' Association (1971); Bootham School Register. London: Oyez Press; Edward H. Milligan (2007) Biographical Dictionary of British Quakers in Commerce and Industry 1775–1920. York: Sessions Book Trust; Shields Daily Gazette, 1869-02-18

FASHIONABLE MARRIAGE AT NORTH SHIELDS.—This morning, not a little stir was caused in North Shields, on the occasion of the marriage of Sarah, only daughter of Mr Robert Spence, banker, Rosella Place, North Shields, to Mr Francis Thompson, jun., tea broker, eldest son of Francis Thompson, Esq., Croydon. The ceremony took place in the Friends' Meeting House, Stephenson Street, and many hundreds of people congregated to witness the wedding party and friends alighting from the carriages. The company having entered the chapel, the bride and bridegroom, after a short silence, took hold of each other's hand and declared their willingness to become man and wife. The wedding certificate was then signed by the newly-married couple and their friends. The bridesmaids were—Miss Alice Watson, Newcastle, Miss Jane Spence Brown, Miss Anna C. Spence, Miss May Spence, and Miss Cibborne, Liverpool. The bridesgroom-men were—Mr T. Riley, Liverpool, Mr D.J. Spence, Mr E. Cibborne, Mr T. Spence, Mr Forrester Spence and Mr Robt. Spence, jun. The chapel was crowded, amongst those present were—Mr and Mrs Jos. Ellis, Leicester, Mr Hagen, Carlisle, Mr and Mrs Alfred Brown, London, Mr and Mrs R. Forster, Newcastle, Mr and Mrs Corder, Sunderland, Mr and Mrs Jos. Spence, Mr and Mrs R.F. Spence, Mr Josiah Thompson, Mr Mounsey, Sunderland, Mr J.R. Procter, North Shields, Mr A.S. Stevenson, Tynemouth, &c.

Shields Daily Gazette, 1869-02-18

FRIENDS' WEDDING AT NORTH SHIELDS.

Yesterday morning, a crowded congregation assembled at the Friends' Meeting House, Stephenson Street, North Shields, to witness the marriage of Mr. Frances Thompson, jun., tea broker, Croydon, only son of Mr. Francis Thompson, sen., to Sarah, only daughter of Mr. Robert Spence, banker, Rosella Place, North Shields. The hour fixed for the commencement of the ceremony was half-past nine o'clock, previous to which time the wedding party had arrived in the vestry connected with the Meeting House. The bridesgroomsmen were Thomas Ridley (Liverpool), Mr. Charles J. Spence (brother of the bride), Mr. Edward Clibborn (Liverpool), Mr. T. Spence, Mr. Foster Spence, and Mr. Robert Spence, jun. The bridesmaids were Miss Alice Watson (Newcastle), Miss Jane Spence Brown, Miss Elizabeth Spence, Miss Anna Caroline Spence, Miss May Spence (cousins of the bride), and Miss Clibborn (Liverpool). The bride was attired in a splendid white glace silk dress, covered with lace, and wore a white tulle bonnet, trimmed with orange blossoms, over which was thrown a beautiful white lace veil. The bridesmaids were attired in white merino, trimmed with blue, and wore white tulle bonnets trimmed with jessamine flowers. The wedding party also included Mr. and Mrs. R. Spence, Mr. Francis Thompson, senior, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Watson, Newcastle; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Ellis, Leicester; Mr. Hagen, Carlisle; Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Brown, London; Mr. and Mrs. R. Foster, Newcastle; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Corder, Sunderland; Mr. Mounsey, Sunderland; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Spence, Tynemouth; Mr. J.F. Spence, Miss Spence, Mr. Josiah Thompson, Liverpool; Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Proctor, Mr. W. Brown, Mr. Edwin Proctor, Mr. T. Scott, Mr. Alex. S. Stevenson, &c. The wedding party entered the meeting house shortly after half-past nine o'clock, and after remaining seated and in silence for a short time, the bride and bridegroom rose, and having taken each other by the hand, the latter said—"Friends, in the fear of the Lord, and in the presence of this assembly, I take this, my friend, Sarah Spence, junior, to be my wife, promising through Divine assistance, to be unto her a loving and faithful husband, until it shall please the Lord by death to separate us." The bride made a similar declaration. They then resumed their seats, and after a further silence, an impressive and appropriate prayer was offered by the father of the bridegroom. A further pause having taken place, Mr. Ald. Jos. Spence rose and read the marriage certificate, which was signed by the bride and bridegroom, and the wedding party, and afterwards by a number of the persons present. The wedding certificate was neatly engrossed upon vellum. The legal certificate was duly signed and attested by the contracting parties, in the presence of Mr. Mounsey, of Sunderland, the Registrar to the Society of Friends. The interesting proceedings then terminated, and the wedding party left the Meeting House in carriages for the Royal Hotel, Tynemouth, where an elegant dejeuner was partaken of. In the afternoon, the happy pair left Tynemouth en route for the south, to spend their honeymoon.

Newcastle Daily Chronicle, 1869-02-19
1871 living with her husband and two servants at 1 Aranic Villas, St Peters Road, Croydon, Surrey RG 10/839 f97 p3
1875-10-23 of Croydon; d. there Annual Monitor; GRO index
1875-10-23 of S. Peter's Road, Croydon; bur. St Peter's, Croydon parish register


 02. Robert Spence

1845-04-26 b. North Shields, Northumberland censuses; Annual Monitor; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigrees of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England. Privately printed
1851 scholar at home, of Rosella Place, Preston, Tynemouth, Northumberland, living with her family and two house servants TNA: HO 107/2409 f571 p37
1853-05-26 of North Shields; d. Wakefield RD Annual Monitor


 03. Edward Hagen Spence

1847-01-18 b. Falmouth, Cornwall Annual Monitor; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigrees of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England. Privately printed
1848-01-29 of North Shields, Northumberland; d. Tynemouth RD Annual Monitor; GRO index


Charles James Spence04. Charles James Spence (Charlie)

1848-11-20 b. North Shields, Northumberland censuses; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigrees of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England. Privately printed
1851 of Rosella Place, Preston, Tynemouth, Northumberland, living with her family and two house servants TNA: HO 107/2409 f571 p37
1861 scholar, of 4 Rosella Place, Preston, Tynemouth, living with her family, a cook, and a housemaid TNA: RG 9/3839 f76 p49
1861/1865 at Bootham School, York Old York Scholars' Association (1971) Bootham School Register. London: Oyez Press
  school diaries for 1863, 1864 and 1865 are still in the possession of his descendants letter to me from Charles Spence, 1986-06-27
1866-08-02 of No. Shields Mosscroft visitors' book
1868-12-26
1869-07-31/-08-01
1870-01-31 banker, of Newcastle-on-Tyne; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, & Co. Shields Daily Gazette, 1870-02-09
1870-03-06/-07 of N. Shields; stayed at Mosscroft Mosscroft visitors' book
1870-08-19 of No. Shields
1870-08-31 of North Shields; m. 1. Alice Clibborn (1844–1895, of Liverpool, d. of Barclay and Elizabeth Clibborn), at Birkenhead fmh, Cheshire censuses; Annual Monitor; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigrees of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England. Privately printed; Liverpool Daily Post, 1870-09-02
1870-12-28 of Tynemouth Mosscroft visitors' book
1871-01-31 banker; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, Spence and Co. Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury, 1871-02-18
1871 banker, living with wife and two servants in Percy Gardens, Tynemouth RG 10/5121  590 p47
Children: Robert (1871–1964), Philip (1873–1945), Gilbert (1875–1902), Sarah (1880–1969) censuses; GRO index; Annual Monitor; Edward H. Milligan (2007) Biographical Dictionary of British Quakers in Commerce and Industry 1775–1920. York: Sessions Book Trust
by 1872-12-21 had subscribed £2 for the fund for the relief and future support of the widow and children of Robert Arkley, of the Tynemouth Life Brigade Shields Daily Gazette
1877-01-31 banker; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, Spence and Co. Newcastle Courant, 1877-02-16
by 1878-02-01 Thomas Hodgkin, John William Peace, Robert Spence, Robert Gurney Hoare, Newton Charles Ogle, and Charles James Spence, Newcastle, bankers, under the style or firm of Hodgkin, Barnett, and Co.—partnership dissolved, so far as regards Newton Charles Ogle Newcastle Courant, 1878-02-01
1879-01-31 banker; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, Spence and Co. Newcastle Courant, 1879-02-14
1881-01-31 banker, of North Shields; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, Spence and Co. Shields Daily News, 1881-02-09
1881 banker, of South Preston Lodge, Preston, Tynemouth, living with his family, a cook, a nurse, and a housemaid RG 11/5077 f64 p1
1882-02-02 banker, of North Shields; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, Spence and Co. Shields Daily News, 1882-02-15
1882-06-01 of North Shields Bensham Grove visitors' books
1883-02-01 banker, of North Shields; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, Spence and Co. Shields Daily News, 1883-02-10
1883-12-29 of North Shields Bensham Grove visitors' books
1884-02-01 banker, of North Shields; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, Spence and Co. Shields Daily News, 1884-02-07
1885-02-02 Shields Daily News, 1885-02-13
1885-05-27 presided at the monthly meeting of the Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle Newcastle Courant, 1885-05-29
1886-04-01 illustrated the programme for the conversazione of the Students' and Lecture Association, at the Aquarium, Tynemouth Shields Daily News, 1886-03-25

The programme was neatly illustrated from drawings by Mr Charles James Spence, shewing the old Priory and lighthouse in the Castleyard, and, at the harbour's mouth, the fish quay, high and low lighthouses, the Castor, &c., together with the coronal arms of the borough. A large picture of the Priory was also exhibited by Mr Spence, as well as a harmonograph and sand grain transfers, and some microscopic objects. [ . . . ] Mr Tulloch's exhibition shewed the lithographing of sand grain transfers from snow-drift sketches, the latter being after Mr C.J. Spence.

Shields Daily News, 1886-04-02
1886-11-26 at the annual meeting of the Tynemouth Life Brigade, at Brigade House, Tynemouth, "Mr Charles James Spence also illustrated in an admirable manner the programme of proceedings." Shields Daily Gazette, 1886-11-27
1887-05-11 at the Royal Exhibition at Newcastle, on the stand for the Tynemouth Life Brigade, exhibited his model of rocket, cart, and apparatus complete Shields Daily Gazette, 1887-05-16
1887-07-23 on the committee of the Cullercoats Regatta Shields Daily Gazette, 1887-07-23
1887 one of two curators for the Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle Archaeologia aeliana
1888-01-13 present at a Liberal meeting in North Shields addressed by Charles Bradlaugh MP Shields Daily Gazette, 1888-01-14
by 1888-02-02 had donated £50 to the Tynemouth Infirmary Building Fund Shields Daily News
1889-05-31 with others from the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries, visited Witton Gilbert, Langley Old Hall, and Lanchester Newcastle Journal, 1889-06-01
1890-02-03 banker, North Shields; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, Spence and Co. Newcastle Courant, 1890-02-22
1890-04-23 at the conversazione of the Tynemouth University Extension Society, exhibited "old dials, &c." Shields Daily Gazette, 1890-04-24
1890-07-31 at a meeting of the Chester-le-Street guardians:

THE UNION TREASURER.

In accordance with notice give on the previous Board day, Mr JOHN KIRKUP proposed, and Mr HAY seconded, that Mr Charles James Spence be appointed treasurer to the Chester-le-Street Union in the place of his father, who had held the position for 35 years.—Carried unanimously.

Durham County Advertiser, 1890-08-08
1890-08-26 at a meeting of the Willington Quay Local Board, appointed treasurer, succeeding his father Jarrow Express, 1890-08-29
1890-08-27 returning with Edmund Procter from an ascent of Scawfell Pike, witness a circular double rainbow, with shadows of themselves right across the double rainbow circle Pall Mall Gazette, 1890-09-01
1890-09-02 at a meeting of the Walker Local Board, appointed as treasurer, succeeding his father, at a salary of £10 per annum Jarrow Express, 1890-09-5
1891-01-17 banker, of South Preston Lodge, North Shields; co-executor of his father's will; apart from a legacy of £1000 to Francis Thompson of Croydon, inherited the entire real and personal estate National Probate Calendar; Shields Daily Gazette, 1891-02-09
1891-02-03 elected treasurer of the Newcastle Lit. & Phil. for the forthcoming year Newcastle Courant, 1891-02-07
1891-04-03 became an annual subscriber of £10 10s. to the Tynemouth Dispensary, and was appointed vice-president, in place of his father Shields Daily Gazette, 1891-04-04
1891 banker, employer, of South Preston Lodge, Preston, Tynemouth, living with his family, a cook, and two housemaids RG 12/4225 f122 p59
1891-09-24 borough treasurer for Tynemouth Shields Daily Gazette, 1891-09-25
1892-01-27 on the council of the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries Newcastle Courant, 1892-01-30
1893-02-16 banker, of North Shields; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, Spence and Co. Shields Daily News
1893-03 with family and Mabel Spence Watson in Italy and Sicily Elizabeth Spence Watson's "Family Chronicles"
1893-08-06 of North Shields; has been appointed a JP for the county Shields Daily Gazette
1894-07/-08 with family, holidayed in Norway with the Spence Watson family Elizabeth Spence Watson's "Family Chronicles"
1894 & 1897 on the committee of the Northumbrian Small Pipes Society NSPS Transactions, 1894; NSPS Annual Meeting, 1897
1895-01-07 appointed treasurer of Lamesley parish council Newcastle Courant, 1895-01-12
1895-06-15 of North Shields Bensham Grove visitors' books
1895-07-11 took the chair at a Liberal meeting at St Oswin's Hall, Tynemouth:

The Chairman at the outset referred to a matter which concerned not party, but the civilisation of the town. He referred to the amount of scandalous horse play that had been introduced into the contest. He said that on Tuesday night, Mrs Eustace Smith was struck in the face with mud, and Mr Blake was hit on the head, while their distinguished visitor, Sir Edward Grey, was covered with flour. Every man failed in his duty who did not do all in his power to put a stop to such tomfoolery, and he strongly protested against the preposterous attempt to throw the blame on the Liberal party. (Hear, hear.)

Shields Daily Gazette, 1895-07-12
1895-08-20 wife d. at South Preston Lodge, North Shields Newcastle Courant, 1895-08-24
1895-08-22 with his sons, in the first carriage at his wife's funeral at Preston Cemetery, North Shields Shields Daily News, 1895-08-23
1896-04-30 elected as one of three vice-presidents of the Tynemouth Amateur Swimming Club Shields Daily Gazette, 1896-05-01
1897 of South Preston Lodge, North Shields; subscriber to Robert Spence Watson's History of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne Lit&Phil
1897-09-26 of North Shields Bensham Grove visitors' books
1898-02-03 president of the Tynemouth Liberal Association; chaired a meeting addressed by Lord Battersea Shields Daily News, 1898-02-02
1899-06-26 m.2. Alice Mary Georgette Weiss (1868–1914, b. Germany), Hampstead RD GRO index; RG 13/4801 f162 p72; OYSA (1971); National Probate Calendar

SPENCE—WEISS.—At Hampstead, on the 26th ins., Charles James Spence, of South Preston Lodge, to Alice Mary Georgette Weiss, of Birch Bank, Hampstead.

Shields Daily News, 1899-06-28
1899-10-27/-28 stayed at Bensham Grove Bensham Grove visitors' books
1900-02-24 of North Shields
1900-03-08 son Philip won the Grand National Tobogganing Race on the Cresta Run at St Moritz, with the fastest time on record Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette, 1900-03-20
1900-05-06 one of the vice-presidents of the Tynemouth Swimming Club Shields Daily Gazette, 1900-05-07
1900-10-05 of South Preston Lodge Shields Daily News, 1900-10-06
1901-03-13 is president of the Tynemouth Liberal Association Shields Daily Gazette, 1901-03-14
1901 banker, employer, of South Preston Lodge, Preston, Tynemouth, living with his wife, his youngest son, a house keeper, a cook, a housemaid, and a kitchenmaid RG 13/4801 f162 p72
  Chairman, Tynemouth Public Library; Chairman Newcastle School of Art; Vice-President, Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle; member, Council of Armstrong Coll.; member, Numismatic Society; member, several antiquarian societies; hobbies—etching, sketching, swimming, skating, winter sports Edgar B. Collinson, ed. (1935) Bootham School Register
1901-10-03 presided at the annual conference of the Northern Union of Mechanics' Institutions, in the Presbyterian Hall, North Shields Shields Daily Gazette, 1901-10-04
1901-11-09 appointed treasurer to the new Wallsend Town Council Shields Daily Gazette, 1901-11-11
1902-03-19 son Gilbert committed suicide, with a gunshot through the roof of his mouth Sunderland Echo and Shipping Gazette, 1903-03-24
1902-03-22 gave evidence at the inquest, held at South Preston Lodge, North Shields Shields Daily Gazette, 1902-03-24
1902-04-10 of North Shields; son Robert had been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers Shields Daily News
1902-08-24 of North Shields Bensham Grove visitors' books
1903-01-01 of South Preston Lodge, North Shields; partner in Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, Spence, and Co., amalgamated with Lloyds Bank, Ltd, the amalgamated bank to continue in the name of Lloyds Sunderland Echo and Shipping Gazette, 1903-01-02
1903-03-02 chaired a public meeting at Stephenson Street fmh, at which Dr E. Vipont Brown delivered an address on 'Christianity and War' Shields Daily News, 1903-02-27
by 1903-03-31 had presented a number of local works to the Tynemouth Public Library; chairman of the committee; has taken special interest in the provision of books printed in or relating to the borough Shields Daily Gazette, 1903-06-13
1904 of South Preston Lodge, North Shields; gave Frank and Mary Pollard a silver hot water jug, for their wedding present Mary S.W. Pollard, list of wedding presents
1905-02-16 chaired the annual meeting of the Tynemouth Floral and Horticultural Society, in the Town Hall Buildings, Saville Street, North Shields Shields Daily News, 1905-02-17
1905-10-08 banker, of South Preston Lodge, Preston, Tynemouth; d. Craig-house, Edinburgh National Probate Calendar; OYSA (1971); Milligan (2007)

The obituary column to-day notes the passing of more than one well-known Shields-man, whose names have been "familiar in our mouths as household words." Without in any way desiring to make any invidious distinction, I cannot but note the loss which the Borough has sustained by the death, which occurred last night, of Mr Charles James Spence, the honoured bearer of an honoured name. For years past the name of Spence has been synonymous with all that made for the best interests of the community, and the Quakers' corner of our God's Acre bears testimony to the esteem in which this town has held the name of Spence. Mr Charles James Spence was perhaps less prominent than others of the name, because of disposition that was retiring and modest to a degree, but he was none the less a potent factor and a generous giver in all good work, being a quiet, unostentatious gentleman who "did good by stealth and blushed to find it fame." Reticent to a degree, yet generous almost to a fault, the deceased gentleman commanded the respect of all political parties, and the love of very man who knew by experience the kindness of his loving heart. The Liberal party has lost a stalwart—not that he was ever aggressive in his platform appearances, for he won by persuasion rather than by power. His very presence at a political gathering was an antidote to anything like rough play, and it was marvellous to notice the command which he could assume without seeming at all to use it. But, above all, the conspicuous trait in his character was that of the sympathetic Christian gentleman, who ever sought to help without being seen or known. Very many in this town and neighbourhood will mourn the loss of one of whom it may well be said, as it was said of others of his esteemed family, he "loved his fellow-men." The loving heart is now stilled, but in the years to come his name will be green in our memories, and our children's children will point out the spot where he rests from his labours.

Shields Daily News, 1905-10-09

THE LATE MR. CHARLES JAMES SPENCE.

A correspondent, writing with reference to the death of Mr. Charles James Spence, which was reported in our columns yesterday, says:—

The death of Mr. Spence comes with a staggering suddenness. He will be greatly missed in the art circles of the North, for, although in indifferent health for some little time, the end of his purposeful life was not anticipated at large. His connection with the arts was in part due to his early associations—his father was a liberal patron to many North-country artists—and partly to inheritance, for he was related to Birket Foster, and to that eminent wood engraver Edmund Evans.

Mr. Spence himself displayed great ability as an etcher, and also as a painter in water-colours; his great forte was the gift of colour. His treatment of such subjects as introduced the magnificent stretches of sand on the Northumbrian Coast had all the freshness and vivacity of the Northern Air.

His great grasp and power of local colour was shown in many sketches made in Sicily and Algiers when taking a holiday abroad. His beautiful etchings of Bamborough and the Farne Islands, and the better known illustrations to Dr. Bruce's "Roman Wall," were done in moments snatched from the strenuous life of an active partner in an important bank. Sedulously avoiding public life, Mr. Spence was only induced to enter it when it took him into the congenial atmosphere of literature or art. As Chairman of the Tynemouth Public Library Committee his literary knowledge and his sympathy towards the reproductive arts were invaluable. The great interest he took in arranging the Edington Bequest of Engravings for the use of the public has never been fully realised, and it is much to be regretted that he was not permitted to see the completion of his self-imposed task. He will be buried this afternoon in Preston Cemetery, North Shields, in that portion reserved for members of the Society of Friends, with the quaint ceremonial rites of the sect.

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 1905-10-11
1905-10-11 bur. Preston Cemetery, North Shields Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 1905-10-11
1905-12-11 will proved at Newcastle by sons Robert and Philip Spence; effects £209,240 16s. 10d. National Probate Calendar

[ . . . ] The testator gives the original manuscript of George Fox's Journal to his son Robert; his collection of coins and autographs to his son Philip and his daughter Sarah; £500 to his gardener, Samuel Dix; and £100 per annum to Elizabeth Clibborn. The residue of his property he leaves upon various trusts for his wife and children.

Illustrated London News, 1906-01-06
 

Mr. Spence, who was born on the 20th of November, 1848, was the son of Robert Spence, banker, who was himself a man of strong literary and antiquarian tastes and an indefatigable collector of rare books, coins and autographs. From boyhood upwards the son entered with zest and enthusiasm into his father's pursuits, and, in fact, the relation between them through life was more like that of brothers than of father and son. The writer of this notice well remembers the unfailing accuracy with which C.J. Spence, while still a small boy, would pick out the coins of the Roman Emperors in his father's collection, identifying them by their profiles, with the necessity of looking at the inscription.

About 1861 he went to the Friends' School at Bootham, York, and remained there for four years. This school has had a remarkable influence in developing the faculty of the scholars for independent study on their own lines and, in various ways, Mr. Spence exhibited in after life the qualities which such an education was fitted to foster.

He never went to college, but on leaving school, entered immediately his father's business, in the firm of Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease & Spence, with which he was connected for the remaining forty years of his life. Though a steady and industrious worker at the bank, he always kept up his interests in the pursuits of his school-days. He was an artist of no mean power; he etched and was skilful in all kinds of handiwork; besides being an extensive reader, chiefly of history. In 1866 he joined the Society of Antiquaries, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and was a frequent attender at its meetings. Though he contributed few papers to the Transactions, his pencil was often employed in illustrating the papers of his fellow-members, and the second and third editions of Dr. Bruce's Handbook to the Roman Wall owe the series of fine etchings to his skill. He was always a generous contributor to the cause of antiquarian research and was one of the main supporters of the Excavation Fund. The handsome mahogany table cases in the Roman room at the Blackgate museum were his own design and gift to the society. He also made many other presents to the museum of which he was for many years a curator.

The free library at North Shields was the public institution in which he seemed to take the keenest interest, and he filled the office of chairman for 13 years with unfailing courtesy, making the most of a rather slender endowment for the improvement of the library.

From 1890 till his death he was treasurer of the Literary and Philosophical Society, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

He was also much interested in the prosperity of the School of Art, which has been for many years affiliated to the College of Science at Newcastle, and since the death of Mr. Charles William Mitchell in 1903, he has acted as its chairman.

His health suddenly failed during a visit to the Cumberland lakes last July, and the end came with startling rapidity. He died on the 8th of October, 1905. He leaves two sons and a daughter surviving him. Both of the former inherit his artistic talent and have exhibited pictures in the Paris Salon and in the Royal Academy.

In reviewing his life, we feel that besides the personal loss of the many friends whom he had made by his bright and cheerful temper and his loving heart, the cause both of antiquarian research and of artistic culture in the North of England is a heavy loser by his premature decease.

He contributed to Archaeologia Aeliana (XIII., 285) a valuable paper on Gardner's England's Grievance Discovered of 1655, illustrated with etchings by himself. In addition to bearing the cost of the illustrations, he contributed the two plans attached to the paper. In the Proceedings (IV., 212) there is a short note by him with an illustration of a pocket dial. He contributed illustrations to the following papers:—The writer's on the Pfahlgruben (Arch. Ael. IX.), and on the battle of Flodden (Ibid., XVI.), the Rev. E.H. Adamson's on The Delavals (Ibid., XII., 215), to Mr. H.A. Adamson's Tynemouth Castle (Ibid., XVIII., 82), besides many other drawings in Archaeologia Aeliana and in the Proceedings of the society.

obituary notice by Thomas Hodgkin, in Archaeologia Aeliana, 3rd series Vol. II, 1906: 179-182
  Charles James Spence was born at North Shields, the son of a banker Robert Spence, and later became a partner in his father's firm. Much of his time was taken up with public responsibilities associated with his birth place, including the post of Borough Treasurer of Tynemouth. Spence was keenly interested in antiquarian matters, and in addition to his public commitments served as one of the curators of the Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle. He was also Chairman of the School of Art, Armstrong College (now Newcastle University), and established a considerable reputation locally for his watercolour paintings and etchings. He was a regular exhibitor of the Arts Association and later the Bewick Club. Auction Net, accessed 2010-05-03
 

From the Tynemouth Parish volume of the Northumberland County History:

By the death of Mr. Charles James Spence the Committee have lost an active and sympathetic friend to their undertaking. In the planning out of the present volume he not only gave wise counsel to the editor, but placed his drawings, manuscripts and rare printed books at his service. Some of his own beautiful drawings and etchings have been reproduced, and his family, in accordance with what they thought would have been his wish, have given a handsome contribution towards the cost of illustrating the volume.

information from Richard Heard
 

The stranger possessed of an enquiring mind who studies the arrangement of school life at Bootham is struck with the vigour with which the boys pursue their various hobbies during out of school hours. Forty years ago the late Sir Joshua Fitch commented on the prominence given to the pursuit of science and natural history, and it is common knowledge that the school's Natural History Society is the oldest of its kind in existence. The wise policy of hobby-making never bore worthier fruit than in the work of the late Charles James Spence, who for four and a half years was a scholar in John Ford's time, and whose skill in water-colour painting received the encouragement and assistance of Edwin Moore, of whom he always spoke in terms of warm regard.

The singularly choice collection of water-colour drawings and etchings selected from the vast quantity of fine work he left behind him, arranged by his eldest son, Robert Spence, and shown in the Academy of Arts, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, came as a glad surprise even to many of those who were privileged to know him intimately: for he was a man who shrank from publicity, though he never failed in the performance of what he felt to be his duty, even if, as sometimes was the case, it jarred on his highly strung and sensitive nature.

In looking around the walls on the exquisite collection of 119 water-colour sketches and 57 etchings, one regretted that all old York Scholars had not the same privilege. It seemed a fitting tribute to his favourite leisure pursuit, and enabled one to realize how deep the pleasure of his art must have been from boyhood in the making of such delightful transcripts of nature. Norway, Switzerland, Ireland, some of the choicest of Italian scenes, and above all the North Country—on all he levied toll, and with unvarying success. One noticed with pleasure three etchings of Bootham, which were reproduced in the sketch of the history of the School written by John Stephenson Rowntree, and read at the Jubilee Commemoration Meeting, January 30th, 1879. Another group of etchings was of special local interest, being the beautiful series of scenes on the line of the Roman Wall, published in the handbook written by the late Dr. John Collingwood Bruce, F.S.A.

Charles James Spence was a man with many-sided gifts. As a banker, he held a high place in the esteem of the commercial community of the busy city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in which his business hours were spent. As an Antiquary, his labours as one of the curators of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne were keenly appreciated by those who knew the wide and accurate range of his knowledge. As chairman of the Free Library Committee in his native town of North Shields, and as Honorary Treasurer of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he rendered valuable aid, for he was a keen lover of interesting books and manuscripts. He was the owner, among other treasures, of George Fox's Journal, which his eldest son, Robert Spence, has lent on certain conditions to the Devonshire House Library of the Society of Friends. For the breezy conflicts of political life he had no liking, but his life-long attachment to Liberal institutions and principles induced him to perform most effective, if sometimes unseen, service for the party.

To those who knew him intimately it was a delightful nature that was revealed: a keen sense of humour, a fine sympathy with and consideration for others, a deeply rooted dislike of anything mean or pretentious. All these characteristics and many others earned, and will preserve for him, the "grand old name of gentleman."

Percy Corder: 'Charles James Spence', in Bootham, Vol. III No. 2, September 1906
1927-04-22 huge fire in North Shields:

The gutted building was the massive three-storey erection in Albion Road, which stood within its own grounds, and which was formerly the residence of the late Mr Charles J. Spence, banker. The building was lately known as the Grange Dancing Academy.

[ . . . ] South Preston Lodge was once known as Chirton Barracks, and was taken on lease by the Government in 1811–1815, to provide extra accommodation for troops during the Napoleonic wars. The block was at one time four separate houses, and these were occupied by J. Wm. Fenwick, Col. F.W. Pilter, Thomas Harrison, and John Hedley. Mr Charles J. Spence bought the two houses owned by Messrs Fenwick and Pilter, and knocked them into one. This was the one that was burned down last night.

The building was recently purchased by the Roman Catholic Church.

Shields Daily News, 1927-04-23


 05. Rachel Spence

1850-09-25 b. North Shields, Northumberland censuses; Annual Monitor; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigrees of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England. Privately printed
1851 of Rosella Place, Preston, Tynemouth, Northumberland, living with her family and two house servants TNA: HO 107/2409 f571 p37
1861 scholar, of 4 Rosella Place, Preston, Tynemouth, living with her family, a cook, and a housemaid TNA: RG 9/3839 f76 p49
1863-08-03 of North Shields; d. Rosella Place, North Shields Annual Monitor; Foster (1871); information from Peter Burns
1863-08-06 bur. Preston cemetery, Walton Avenue, North Shields Billion Graves


06. daughter Spence

1853 Q1 b. Tynemouth RD GRO index
1853 Q1 d. Tynemouth RD


 07. Alfred Thomas Spence

1854-06-05 b. North Shields, Northumberland FreeBMD; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigrees of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England. Privately printed
1854-08-21 d. Tynemouth RD GRO index; source for exact date misplaced - probably Foster (1871)


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