Bromley House Library 1816 to 1916

Return to Main Index Page

Some major entries on this page:

Mr Rackham
On 4/4/1853 the Committee found that his complaint about the index was 'unsatisfactory' and referred the matter to Mr Willis.

Frederick Robert Radford
Lace manufacturer.
Address: Spencer House, Nuthall.
Subscriber: 7/4/1903 to 1916.
Share number: 161 (counterfoil dated 3/6/1903).

J. Radford
Assistant librarian.
On 6/9/1880 he was granted leave of absence.
Regular weekly payments of £1 1s 0d were made from 15/5/1880 to 30/10/1880.
There has been no other mention of him.

Thomas Radford
Subscriber: 6/1/1823 to 6/10/1823.
He bought an original share for £11 11s 0d.

Miss Agnes Mary Rainbow
She became Mrs Warren.
Address: First Avenue, Sherwood Rise.
Subscriber: April 1906 to 5/3/1907.
Share number: 183 (counterfoil dated 9/2/1901).

Miss E.G. Rainbow
Subscriber: 2/3/1885 to April 1906.
The share was transferred from J. Rainbow and was passed to Miss A.M. Rainbow.

John Rainbow
Subscriber: 7/5/1866 to 2/3/1885.
In 1867 he was one of the 23 subscribers asking that salaries and wages at the Library be reduced (2/3/1867).
On 2/2/1885 transfer of the share to Mr Hazledene was deferred and the final transfer was to Miss E.G. Rainbow.

D’Oyly Scott Ransom, Esq.
Address: Ransom & Hutton, 24 Low Pavement; 7 Cavendish Crescent, The Park.
Subscriber: 14/4/1896 to April 1901.
Share number: 184 (counterfoil dated 9/2/1901).

Minuted book request:
He bought a books from the Library for:
£1 12s 0d 12/12/1904
£1 0s 0d 23/12/1907
£2 1s 0d 10/1/1911
£1 2s 0d 14/2/1906
19s 0d 5/3/1909
£1 5s 0d 11/1/1912
£1 7s 0d 8/12/1906
£1 15s 0d 14/12/1909

He married Winifred, daughter of George Fowler, and sister of Edith Mary Ethel Ransom née Fowler, who was President of the Library from 1935 to 1938.
The share was passed to Mrs D.S. Ransom.

D’Oyly Scott Ransom

The picture is from the report in the Church Magazine
on the Church Congress held in Nottingham in 1897.


D’Oyly Scott Ransom died on 6 October 1932 aged 69.

 See –– N.D. Ransom.

Mrs D.S. Ransom
Subscriber: April 1901 to 1916.
The share was passed from D’Oyly S. Ransom.

N.D. Ransom
but could be
W.B. Ransom or W.H. Ransom
or even D.S. Ransom.

A suggestions slip found in a cleaner’s cupboard in 1998 reads:
4 Augt 3/92.

I desire to call the attention of the Com'ee to the very great frequency with which it happens that old books asked for Cannot be found.
[The librarian + to the fact that he does not know whether or no they are in Circulation or supposing them to be so who has them or whether indeed they are actually lost.
          N.D. Ransom (not sure of initials)

Dr William Bramwell Ransom (c.1861-1909), MA, MD, BSc, FRCP
Address: 26 Low Pavement.
Subscriber: 1/5/1899 to 1916.
Share number: 185 (counterfoil dated 9/2/1901).
The name also appears as Ransome.
This was one of the five shares sold illegally by William Moore, librarian.

Minuted book requests:

He bought a books from the Library for:
£1 16s 0d 13/11/1901
£1 10s 0d 8/12/1903
12s 0d 15/1/1907
£1 10s 0d 12/12/1902
6s 9d 2/12/1904

10s 0d 28/1/1903
10s 0d 3/3/1906

He was the son of William Henry Ransom and was educated at Cheltenham College and University College, London, before moving on to Cambridge to study physiology. The University sent him to do original work at Naples and in Brittany.
He then settled in Nottingham where he soon became the leading physician in the city.

He was the physician to the Nottingham General Hospital in succession to his father and physician to the Sherwood Forest Sanatorium for Consumption, which was called ‘The Ransom’ in his honour.

It was said of him that:
I never wish to meet a nicer or fairer man in consultation.

When Koch had announced the discovery of tuberculin Ransom went immediately to Berlin for a supply.
Sadly he contracted the disease he had done so much to relieve in others. He wrote many articles for the medical papers.
He was the devoted servant of the General Hospital and devoted much time to the Notts. Convalescent Homes.

He was a Governor of the Nottingham High School, and a member of the Council of the University College.

A marble medallion, like that of his father and also by F.W. Pomeroy, was placed in the entrance hall of the General Hospital, inscribed with the motto, He spent his life in the service of his fellow men. (Mellors, 1924)

He married Edith Mary Ethel Fowler, daughter of George Fowler. She was President of the Library from 1935 to 1938.

See –– N.D. Ransom.

Dr William Henry Ransom, MD (1824-1907)
Address: 17 Park Valley, The Park.; 26, Low Pavement.
Subscriber: 6/5/1850 to 4/3/1908.
He was a subscriber for more than 57 years.
Share number: 186 (counterfoil dated 9/2/1901).
The name also appears as Ransome.
Committee: 1852, 1853, 1855
Lighting sub-committee which oversaw the installation of Hammond’s Pendulum Globe Lighting (6/7/1868).

He signed the memorial in support of Count Marioni (librarian) in 1867.
In 1891 he complained about aspects of the operation of the Library and the Librarian was to formulate a system to obviate the problem which concerned rules 33 and 36 (3/2/1891).

Minuted book request:
His death was noted at the Committee meeting on 7/4/1908.

Born at Cromer he was apprenticed to a medical practitioner, and then went to University College, London.
He studied in Paris and Germany before coming to Nottingham and from 1854 to 1890 he was Physician to the General Hospital.
He served in the Robin Hoods and was active in connection with the Mechanics' Institution and University Extension lectures.
He was a governor of Nottingham University College.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1870 for his knowledge of physiology and ovology.

A marble medallion of him by F. W. Pomeroy, was presented to the General Hospital by the Ransom Memorial Committee.
It was fixed in the entrance hall of the hospital and was inscribed:
Eminent in his profession, distinguished for his scientific work, honoured for his public services, beloved for his fearless integrity, justice and kindness.
(Mellors, 1924)

Mr Rawlinson
Subscriber: 6/3/1843 to 7/8/1854.
The Standfast Ledger records 2 borrowings between 15/2/1847 and 24/7/1851.

Building work by S.S. Rawlinson in Nottinghamshire included:
  • Wesleyan Chapel, Broad Street, later the Co-operative Education Centre (1839);
  • chapel (demolished 1958), entrance gates and flanking almshouses, General Cemetery, Alfreton Road (1837-40).

Mr Rawlinson

On 1/11/1852 he became tenant of the rooms occupied by Mr Hawkesley at a rent of £50 per annum.
His office was to have a new fire grate on 6/6/1853.

The Subscription Book links the name of Rawlinson with J. Sutton in connection with a payment of £25 0s 0d rent on 9/7/1853.

Inside the front cover of the Accounts Book [I3(a)] is the following note:
Mr Rawlinson last payment on Jan 8th 1856 £25 due Christmas 1855.

Francis George Rawson
Subscriber: 2/9/1861 to 7/9/1886.
He signed the memorial in support of Count Marioni (librarian) in 1867.

The share was transferred from George Rawson (deceased) and later transferred to Miss Sarah Ann Rawson.

George Rawson
Subscriber: 6/1/1834 to 2/9/1861.
Committee: 1842.
He was nominated as a new trustee on 28/2/1848.
The share was transferred to F.G. Rawson.

Miss Sarah Ann(e) Rawson
Address: The Firs, Holme Pierrepont.
Subscriber: 7/9/1886 to 7/4/1903.
Share number: 187 (counterfoil dated 9/2/1901).
The share was transferred from F.G. Rawson.

Thomas Rawson
He was a member of the ‘Town Class’ of the White Lion Book Society in 1788-89.
See –– William Moore.

William Bacon (W.B.) Rawson (d.1829)
Subscriber: 4/8/1828 to 4/4/1836.

It is likely that this was the son of William Ford Rawson.
W.B. Rawson lived in an apartment in Nottingham Castle and was a member of Joseph Gilbert’s congregation.

This entry was provided by  Robin Gilbert, whose great-grandfather’s elder brother was Josiah Gilbert, the son of Joseph Gilbert.

William Ford Rawson
Subscriber: 5/2/1816 to 5/12/1825.
Committee: 1818, 1819, 1821.
He signed the Library Rules (1816-1830).
On 21/8/1818 he acted as proxy for Dr Hall at a Committee meeting.

John Ray
Address: Lenton; then Heanor (1831).
Subscriber: 4/3/1816 to 5/1/1846.
He signed the Library Rules (1816-1830).
He was written to concerning fines on 7/3/1836.

Mr Raymond
See –– Rev R. W. Almond and Duke of Newcastle: Botanical specimens.

Mrs Rayner
Subscriber: 4/3/1816 to 4/4/1836.

Jane Rayner
She is mentioned in the transfer deed of 1681 for the land surrounding where Bromley House would later be built.
See –– John Nevill.

Mrs Raynor
She was the first supplier of newspapers to the Library (5/4/1816 & 14/6/1816).

Arthur Raynor
Builder, coal merchant and road contractor.
Address: Trent Boulevard [Wright, 1894-95].

He did the major drainage work at Bromley House in 1898-99
and received payments of
£100 0s 0d 6/12/1898
£117 16s 0d 7/2/1899
£7 7s. 7d 1/5/1899
Total paid: £225 3s. 7d

Miss Elizabeth Read
Subscriber: 4/3/1844 to 2/4/1849.

John Reckless
Subscriber: 7/8/1837 to 7/1/1878.
A share transfer was recorded for 7/5/1849 but he appears on the 1850 and later lists.
He signed the memorial in support of Count Marioni (librarian) in 1867.

The final transfer was recorded for both 3/12/1877 and 7/1/1878.

Arthur Walker Redgate
See –– Sylvanus Redgate.

Herbert Lindley Redgate
Lace curtain designer
Address: Bromley House.
He is listed in Kelly's Directory for 1891.

J. Redgate
(Henry Redgate & William Lewin)
Repairs. Iron founders, stove, range, triplex furnace bar, etc. maker.
Address: 21 Parliament Street. [Wright, 1894-95]

There is a number of small payments to a Redgate between 19/6/1875 and 19/8/1882 for unspecified goods or services.
It seems unlikely that this was to Sylvanus Redgate the photographer.]

Further payments recorded to J. Redgate were made:
Repairs £6 7s 9d 16/8/1890)
Repairs £12 0s 0d 10/9/1890
Mending fireplaces 3s 6d 20/3/1896
A boiler £1 8s 11d August 1899

Sylvanus Redgate (1827 - 1907)
Artist and photographer
Address: Bromley House, Angel Row, Market Place & 27 Park Row. [Post Office, 1876]; home: 227 Derby Road, New Lenton. [White, 1885]

A carte-de-visite photographic portrait
a Miss Foster
taken on 27 May 1872
by Sylvanus Redgate
Sylvanus Redgate

Sylvanus was the son of John Redgate, a Nottingham lace maker, and he worked as a portrait painter, hiring a room at Bromley House from December 1855 and sharing this with Alfred Wilson Cox. Redgate and Cox realised the commercial potential of photography and by the summer of 1856 they had opened a studio next to William R. Bewill’s butcher’s shop on Angel Row while emphasising that they had no connection with the photographer (Davis) at Bromley House. Their initial request for accommodation at the Library was rejected and by 1858 Cox and Redgate had parted.

On 16/8/1859 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph Walker, at the Baptist Chapel in Milton Street, describing his profession as ‘Artist painter in oil colours’. The Nottingham Directory of 1858 lists him as a ‘photographist’ (Wright, 1858).

The exact date when Redgate moved to the attic studios is unclear but the rent was lowered to £16 per year on 5/4/1859. On 3/6/1861 the Committee agreed that he be allowed to photograph the portrait of Kirke White in the presence of the librarian.

On 4/7/1864 he was allowed alterations to the room rented and use of the attic for some of his machinery for 5s 0d. In 1868 the water supply to the upper room was causing damage and so was discontinued (3/8/1868) and he received an allowance from his rent of £3 for disturbance associated with the fitting of the new lights (7/12/1868). He also asked for an allowance for the disturbance caused by the cleaning of the Library in 1870, but a decision on this was deferred from 7 November to 5 December when it was decided that he was to pay half the costs of the associated painting of the premises he rented. He ‘repaired Col. Elliott’ – that is the portrait – and was paid 12s 0d on 19/4/1869.

He paid for rent and gas and his payments were always somewhat erratic. The first monthly shown in the Accounts Book is for £4 8s 0d on 6/5/1869. On 30/12/1870 he paid his £4 0s 0d rent and 8s 3d for his gas for the quarter ending Midsummer 1870. Then for the quarter ending Michaelmas 1870 he owed £4 6s 11d but was allowed a rebate of £2 15s 7d for the cleaning of his rooms, and so he paid £1 11s 4d.

On 7/8/1876 he wished to rent the room to be vacated by the Law Library at £12 per year, but on 4/9/1876 he met with the Committee and settled for £22 per year for the room he already had plus the Law Library room. In respect of this he signed the Minute Book. At this time he was described as an artist at Bromley House, Angel Row, Market Place and 27 Park Row [Post Office Guide for Nottingham, 1876] and in 1881 he was given permission to put specimens of his work incases outside the Library on 7/11/1881.

From 1882 to 1896 he was paying £20 0s 0d per annum (plus his gas) and was allowed to pay half-yearly and occasionally quarterly.

His eldest son, Arthur Walker Redgate, was also a talented landscape painter gave Bromley House as his professional address for a short time in the early 1880s. A letter from Sylvanus concerning another tenant, Mr Small, was read at the Committee on 2/7/1883. Among his clients as a portrait painter were William Enfield, Samuel Morley, William Felkin, Richard Birkin, John Burton and others. His portrait of Samuel Newham, for which the Library paid £12 12s 0d in August 1895, is still at Bromley House, as is one of Thomas Wakefield which is thought to be oil over a photographic base. Redgate was an active member of the Nottingham Society of Artists which had been founded in 1880.

His rent was confirmed at £20 per annum (3/11/1892). However, all cannot have been well with either his health or his business as he received a warning on 12/3/1895 that his premises should be put into satisfactory order or else he would be asked to quit.

However, on 11/6/1895 the Committee were prepared to purchase his portrait of Samuel Newham if the price was less than £12 12s 0d and it was obtained for this sum (18/6/1895). He asked the Committee for permission to hang a portrait at the bottom of the stairs (7/1/1896) and reported a problem with a tap on the staircase. He was to give up a room (3/3/1896) and committee members John Russell and Alfred Jones were to investigate his tenancy. A month later he was released from the tenancy of the former Law Library room and his rent became £11 per annum. R.C. Sutton was to take the room vacated at £11 per annum but it must have needed attention as the Committee asked that it be put into good order (6/6/1896). By 6/9/1898 Redgate’s rent was in arrears and he was threatened with eviction.

Redgate must have had many problems at the turn of the century but his landlords, the Library Committee, were initially very helpful and sympathetic although of course the Library would benefit from having a tenant who did pay properly. Joseph Page was asked to communicate with him (9/10/1900) regarding the tenancy and its termination. Arrears of rent were to be forgiven and he was to get £10 to help with his removals. This was confirmed at a special meeting of the Committee on 15/10/1900 and he was to leave by 15/11/1900. he was allowed to store his pictures at Bromley House up to 25/3/1901 but with the key to the store in the charge of Lineker (librarian) and furthermore he was to be allowed to exhibit his work at the Library and his glass case outside at the entrance was to remain until further notice.

Despite this consideration the Committee had no response and the meeting of 13/11/1900 heard that he had not confirmed his agreement to their proposed terms. A month later (11/12/1900) Redgate was threatened with the removal of his goods in seven days time. His access to the key was denied (8/1/1901) and if his goods were not removed within 7 days of 9/1/1901 ‘the Committee will take their own course”. The Library Rent Book records 'Tenancy transpired March 1901'.

On 12/2/1900 the Committee decided to offer Redgate’s studio at £20 per annum and two months later his sign and glass case were removed (2/4/1901) but he was paid the £10 in the original offer made to ease his removal from Bromley House. He in turn (2/4/1901) gave an oil portrait of Thomas Wakefield. He had been a tenant at Bromley House for some forty-five years and by 11/11/1902 Wallace Edgar Middleton, another photographer, had occupied the studio. The Library paid him for services in 1875, 1882 and 1890.

Redgate's photographs of Joseph Turney Wood and Philip James Bailey (1816-1902) (q.v.) taken in 1902 are in the Thoroton Room (2006).

His portrait of John Brown (1869) is in the Thoroton Room (2006) as is that of Mary Brown (1869) who is presumably the wife of John Brown.

It has on the back:
John Brown b. Broadmarsh Nottingham June 1819. d. 1900. Lithographic printer, High Pavement

His portrait of Thomas Wakefield [oil; 13.5 x 17.5 inches] is in the Thoroton Room (2006).

It is endorsed:
Thomas Wakefield, member of the Library Committee and benefactor. Painted by Sylvanus Redgate, tenant of Bromley House as artist/photographer 1855-1900.

Among many others he also painted (or photographed) is the landscape painter Henry Dawson (1812-1878) and this image is labelled
Mr Redgate of Bromley House, Nottingham

Paintings by Sylvanus Redgate
Thomas Wakefield

Oil; size: 13.5 x 17.5 inches. It is in the Thoroton Room (2006)
and is endorsed:
Thomas Wakefield (q.v.), member of the Library Committee and benefactor.
Painted by Sylvanus Redgate, tenant of Bromley House as artist/photographer 1855-1900.
John Brown
Lithographic printer.
Dated 1869 is endorsed:
John Brown b. Broadmarsh Nottingham June 1819. d. 1900).
Lithographic printer, High Pavement.
It hangs in the Thoroton Room (2007) along with that of Mary Brown née Pearson of Beverley, who was presumably his wife.
Mr. Wood and  Mrs. Wood
A pair.
Oil on Canvas. Size: 16 x 13.2 in. (40.8 x 33.5 cm)
Sale: Sotheby's London: Wednesday, February 25, 1998 [Lot 464]
Henry Kirke White
After Thomas Barber
Oil on millboard, circa 1805.
(NPG 3248)
Ashmores, late Pickering, Long Row, Nottingham.

With Arthur W. Redgate (1860-1906)
Signed. 24.5in x 29.5in framed.
This accomplished Nottingham scene shows Ashmores Bakery, Long Row, later the site of the Mikado Cafe and presently part of Debenhams department store development.
The figures are believed to be Mr. Ashmore and the three Quaker owners of the property.
Neales (2001)

Harriett Sewell (née Redgate)

This portrait is of Sylvanus Redgate's cousin Harriett and may well have been painted by him.

Sylvanus's father was John Redgate (1799-1851), son of Sylvanus Redgate (b.1766).

His brother was Sylvanus Redgate (b.1796), son of Sylvanus Redgate (b.1766).

Harriett (b.1835) was the daughter of Sylvanus (b.1796).

This information came from: Perry Barber.
Harriett Sewell
The Redgate family of Nottingham can be traced back to a William Redgate born in 1590 in Trowell.
The immediate family of Sylvanus the photographer and painter of Bromley House is shown below:

Sylvanus Redgate (b.1766) m.(14 Jan 1789) Mary Evans
I Mary Redgate (b.1791)
II Elizabeth Redgate (b.1795)
III Sylvanus Redgate (b.1796) m.  Harriet Beck (b.1799)
A Mary Evans Redgate (b.1833
B Harriet Redgate (b.1835) m. ???? Sewell
C Mary Redgate (b.1836)
D Sylvanus Griffin Redgate (b.1839)
IV Harriet Redgate (b.1799)
V John Redgate (b.1799; d. 1851) m.(1827 in St Mary's, Arnold) Mary Ann Draper (b.1800)
A William Redgate (b.2 Jan 1833 in Arnold; d.12 Feb 1893) m.(27 Sep 1875 in St Nicholas) Hannah Ester or Hester (b.1837 in Arnold)
1 Issue
B Sylvanus Redgate (b.1827; d.1907) m. Elizabeth Walker (b.1833) He was the painter and photographer.
1 Arthur W. Redgate (b.1860 He was a painter.
2 John Redgate (b.1855)
3 Herbert Redgate (b.1864)
4 Annie Redgate (b.1865)
5 Janie Redgate (b.1874)
C Elizabeth Redgate (b.1831)
D Ellen Redgate (b.1829)
E Henry Redgate (b.1845) m. Eliza Aulsebrook (b.1840)
1 Issue
F Mary Ann Redgate (b.1845)
VI Sarah Redgate (b.1802)
VII Ann Redgate (b.1804)

Rev Martin Reed
Vicar of St Thomas'.
Address: St Thomas' Vicarage.
Subscriber: 6/2/1894 to 3/12/1907.
Share number: 188 (counterfoil dated 9/2/1901).
He and others, not named, were in arrears with subscriptions (5/11/1907).
A registration fee of 2s 6d was received on 7/3/1909 in respect of a share transfer for Davis.

Mrs Hannah Reeve
Wife of Edward Reeve.
Address: 19 Park Valley, The Park.
Subscriber: 13/3/1905 to 1916.
Share number: 115 (counterfoil dated 12/6/1905).

E. Reeve & Co. and Robert E. Reeve & Co
Coal merchants.
Address: Bromley House & 60a Canal Street & Great Northern Railway Wharf, Sneinton Hermitage Thorneywood Station, Marmion Road. [Wright, 1915]
They supplied coal to the Library from January 1914 to 1916.
See –– Barber Walker & Co.

Mr Reeves
A registration fee of 2s 6d was received from A.E. Blake on 20/3/1904 in respect of a share transfer from Hubbart.

Frederick Reinback
Newsroom subscriber: 1833.

Remington Typewriter Co. Ltd.

Address: 5 Kings Walk (Henry E. Marriott: manager) (Wright, 1915-16)
They provided typewriter supplies between January 1905 and May 1914.

On 17/4/1914 purchase of a new typewriter was agreed at a cost of £23 10s 0d less 5% and £4. 6s 6d for the old machine; that is £18.

See also –– Wychoff, Seamans & Benedict.

Miss M.A. Renals
Subscriber: 3/3/1896 to 5/1/1897.

Miss Maria Elizabeth Renals

Subscriber: 1/1/1877 to 7/6/1880.

Mr Renshaw

The name appears on the Bill for legal work in association with the purchase of Bromley House (1822).
This could be George, Richard or Samuel Renshaw.

Bernard Renshaw
See –– Edgar Becket Truman.

George Renshaw
Subscriber: 31/1/1817 to April 1848.
Newsroom subscriber: 1831, 1832, 1833.
He signed the Library Rules (1816-1831)

The share was passed to Mrs Renshaw.
The distinction between Mr and Mrs is unclear before 1848.

Mrs George Renshaw
Subscriber: April 1848 to 7/11/1853.
The share was passed from George Renshaw.
The distinction between Mr and Mrs is unclear before 1848.

Richard Renshaw
Address: Sneinton.
Subscriber: 19/9/1817 to April 1837.
Newsroom subscriber: 1831, 1832, 1833.
Committee: 1825, 1826.
He signed the Library Rules (1816-1831)

Richard Renshaw
Subscriber: 7/8/1837 to 3/11/1845.

Rupert Renshaw

Subscriber: 30/1/1818 to 2/4/1832.
Committee: 1827, 1828.

Samuel Renshaw
Address: Sneinton.
Subscriber: 21/11/1817 to 2/4/1844.
He signed the Library Rules (1816-1830).
The Standfast Ledger records one borrowing on 21/10/1834.

Thomas Renshaw

See –– Jonas Bettison.

Mr Rhodes
On 7/10/1844 he was to be asked to estimate for lead on the stairs, and his price was £9 5s 0d (4/11/1844).
This was accepted and work began immediately.

Miss Rhodes
Library Assistant from 1/12/1914 to 2/3/1915.
She replaced E.J. Coggins, who had joined the army, and a few months later she was replaced by Miss Beeston.
She was paid £2 11s 9d per month.

Miss Richards
Address: High Street.
See –– Thomas Powell.

Arthur Richards
Poor rate collector.
Address: 24 Edgar Rise. [Wright, 1894-95]
Richards collected Poor Rate from the Library between December 1876 and March 1886.
The amounts recorded varied from £6 13s 6d (4/12/1876) down to £2 3s 6d (1/10/1877).

Samuel Richards
He is mentioned in the transfer deed of 1681 for the land surrounding where Bromley House would later be built.
See –– John Nevill.

Mr S. Richards
Sanitary Inspector
On 1/11/1875 he visited concerning alterations to the cesspits.

William S. Richards

Bill S. Richards collected Poor Rate from the Library between December 1876 and July 1881.

Mr Richardson
In 1823 he gave the proboscis of a swordfish.

He was appointed as bookseller to the Library for 1829.

H.G. Richardson
Subscriber: 5/2/1816 to 2/4/1816.
The record was crossed through.

W.G. Richardson
Newsroom subscriber: 28/6/1816 to April 1817.

William Richardson
Porter and librarian. Employed: 6/2/1843 to 4/11/1861.

His association with the library was erratic in the extreme.
He was appointed on 6/2/1843 for three months to clean, dust and make fires.
His hours were 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with 8 to 9 a.m. free for breakfast, 1 to 2 p.m. free for dinner and 5 to 5.30 p.m. free for tea.
His wage was 12s 0d per week. On 2/6/1847 his good conduct was rewarded with an increase of 1s 0d to his wage.

However, on 1/1/1849 he received a month’s notice to leave, and on 5/3/1849 he was reprimanded for misconduct and but then allowed to stay on for a three month trial period.

His work on the revised catalogue must have been more than satisfactory as on 7/2/1853 he received an extra payment of £2 2s 0d.
This high was followed by a low and he was criticised on 1/8/1853 as the Library was ‘not in proper order at 10 o’clock’.
Two years later on 5/11/1855 payment to him was increased from 15s to 20s per week from 1/11/1855 and he was living free of charge at Bromley House and did the cleaning.

After the sudden death of John Walton, librarian, which was reported on 19/10/1857 it was proposed that Richardson be appointed as librarian, but the motion was then withdrawn.
He was subsequently one of the 39 candidates (7/12/1857) but eventually lost to Count Ubaldo Marioni in a ballot held on 11/12/1857.
However, his pay as assistant librarian was £1 per week (5/12/1859).
He was allowed to join the Rifle Corps provided that drill did not interfere with his duties as a Librarian.

The Share Interest Book shows that a W. Richardson held two Bromley House Debenture Shares from January 1859 to January 1862.

Sadly on 4/11/1861 Richardson was given a month’s notice on grounds of insanity and his case was referred to the Relieving Officer at the Union.

The conditions and duties of his replacement were formalised and recorded on 11/11/1861.
Richardson’s wages due were to be paid to his mother along with a half-year’s interest on two debenture notes 3/1/1862.

Duke of Richmond

The portrait that hangs over the main staircase at Bromley House is reputedly by Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723)

and is of:

Charles FitzRoy, later Lennox (1672-1723),
1st Duke of Richmond
1st Duke of Lennox,

illegitimate son of
Charles II
Louise Renée De Penancöet de Kéroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth and
Duchess d’Aubigny.


In 1866 the Mayor of Nottingham was allowed to send the Kneller painting to the Kensington Gallery for exhibition (5/2/1866).
Thomas Ball was Lord Mayor of Nottingham for 1865-66.
The painting was to be cleaned in London by Holden (5/3/1866) and was then sent to Christie & Manson for sale by auction with a reserve bid of £100 (2/3/1868).
It seems that it did not reach this price and was returned to Nottingham.

The value of the portrait
In May 1907 it was agreed that the then Duke of Richmond be written to regarding the history and genuineness of the portrait of a Duke of Richmond at Bromley House (7/5/1907).
So John Russell wrote to the Duke of Richmond and Gordon regarding the Kneller portrait on 11/7/1907.

This Duke was Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox (1870-1935), 8th Duke of Richmond, 8th Duke of Lennox, 3rd Duke of Gordon and 8th Duke d’Aubigny.

On 14/7/1907 the Duke replied offering to attempt to identify the portrait of the former duke from a photograph.
The Committee received this on 6/8/1907.

A photograph, most probably taken by Arthur Lineker, was sent and the Duke replied promptly on 24/7/1907 stating:
No doubt it is a likeness of the 1st Duke of Richmond.
As to its being a genuine Kneller I am not able to give an opinion, but if a good example it could be worth £200 to £250.

However, the Committee decided to make enquiries about the restoration of the picture and on 14/8/1907 John Russell wrote to Haines & Sons asking about the cost of possible restoration of the portrait. On the following day (15/8/1907) Haines & Sons replied that their estimate was between £8 and £15.

Further discussion and correspondence with Haines & Son ensued (3/9/1907 & 1/10/1907) and eventually they suggested G.H. Wallis, curator of the Nottingham City Museum and Art Gallery, and it was established that his advice would cost £2 2s 0d (5/11/1907).
The portrait was sent to Haines & Sons by way of Wallis (3/12/1907) whose reply was considered by the Committee on 7/1/1908.
There are letters to Wallis dated 16/12/1907, 20/1/1908 and 6/2/1908.

    On 14/1/1908 Wallis wrote to John Russell and stated that Haines & Sons had reported:
As regards to two portraits from the Bromley House Library, they are both in a bad state, he full-length being loaded with old decayed varnish, etc. and repaint - the half-length portrait is also in a very bad state being much decayed and repainted on. The full-length should have all the varnish removed, the repaint etc., be repaired and re-varnished.

This would cost about £15.0.0.

The half-length portrait of a gentleman in red coat should be lined, varnish and repaint removed, be repaired and re-varnished.

This would cost £10 to put in thorough order.

Another letter from Wallis survives dated 24/1/1908 in which he says that he found it impossible to give an opinion on the larger portrait being by Kneller.

In this letter he again, but not identically, quotes Haines & Sons as follows:
As regards the Bromley House portraits, they are in such a bad state and have so much repaint on them that it is quite impossible to say whom they are painted by, and we do not know whose portrait the smaller one is.
They are not worth the cost of restoration unless the Library values them.

Wallis was later paid the £2 2s 0d (4/2/1908).

Wallis had the pictures returned to T.R. Smith of Nottingham for further examination (4/2/1908 and 4/3/1908).
The frames were regilded (7/4/1908) and Smith was paid £6 10s 0d on 2/6/1908.

In about 1959 the portrait was hanging in the south wing of Bromley House, now used as a shop.
It is now on the main staircase (2007)

See –– A.J. Sulley and Mr. Keep.

Elizabeth Rickards
Thomas Rickards
See –– Jonas Bettison.

Isaac Ricketts
Newsroom subscriber: 1833.

A. Rideout
Subscriber: April 1837 to 5/6/1848.
Newsroom subscriber: 1831, 1832, 1833.
The final transfer was by H.G. Rideout.

William Ridsdale
Subscriber: 1/3/1841 to 1/11/1847.

Joseph J. Ward Rigley
Subscriber: 6/12/1819 to 6/4/1840.
Newsroom subscriber: 1831.

He was a frequent purchaser of newspapers from the Library:
4/7/1825 Courier £4 4s 0
2/7/1827 Courier £3 15s 0d
21/6/1832 Standard £4 0s 0d
New Times £2 5s 0
Morning Herald £1 16s 0d
21/6/1832 Morning Post £2 2s 0d
Sun £2 15s 0
Standard £2 2s 0

Derby Mercury 5s 3d
10/2/1832 Courier £3 6s 0d

Leicester Journal 6s 6d
Standard £2 15s 0d

Stamford Mercury 10s 0d

(Newsroom Subscription Book 1831-1834)

He was the Treasurer of the Nottingham Florist and Horticultural Society which had a number of exhibitions at Bromley House (White, 1832) and on 31/3/1834 he was £5 5s 0d in arrears with rent for the Florist Society.

Mrs Riley
A slip pasted inside the Minute Book for 1847 refers to her as a widow and that the status of the share was ‘as they are’.

Mr Riley
Address: Papplewick.
Subscriber: 3/12/1832 to 1/12/1845.

The share was transferred as from ‘Mr & Mrs Riley’ (or Rigley) and ‘late Mr. Stebens’.

The Share Interest Book shows that Mr Riley of Papplewick held two Bromley House Building Shares from 1845 to 1852.
He obtained these shares from Richard Hopper.
The Committee minutes record that his building share was paid off on 7/6/1852.

He submitted a tender of £22 10s. 0d for painting the outside of the Library.
Acceptance of this was proposed but the motion was defeated (11/10/1904).

James Riley
Subscriber: 9/5/1817 to 16/1/1818.

Mrs Margaretta Riley
Address: Papplewick.
Subscriber: April 1846 to 4/11/1899.

She was a subscriber for more than 53 years which was thus the longest period for a lady from the inception of the Library in 1816 to 1916 when this survey finishes.

Mr Roberts
Window cleaner.
He was paid 10s 0d on 17/8/1893.

Henry Roberts
Subscriber: 1/10/1849 to 5/9/1864.

Thomas Roberts
Subscriber: 5/2/1816 to 1/8/1836.
The final transfer of the share was by Mrs Roberts.

Thomas Roberts
Subscriber: 2/3/1835 to 5/2/1844.
he was known as ‘Junior’.

D. Robertson

Major George Coke Robertson
Address: Widmerpool Hall, Widmerpool.
Subscriber: 7/3/1916 to 1916.
Share number: 211 (counterfoil dated 18/4/1916).

Rev J.C. Robertson
Subscriber: 2/7/1855 to 1/10/1855.

Dr W.T. Robertson
Subscriber: 2/7/1855 to 6/6/1864.
Committee: 1859, 1860.

Mr Robinson
On 2/9/1844 Dr Pigot obtained permission for him to use books at the Library.

E.B. Robinson
Subscriber: 3/4/1820 to 2/6/1821.

E.B. Robinson
He was appointed as bookseller to the Library for 1821, 1825 (replaced on 2/1/1826), 1831 and 1838.

On 4/8/1845 he was warned that individuals lodging at his house were not permitted to attend the institution.

Edward Briggs Robinson
Subscriber: 3/4/1821 to 1/3/1847.
He bought an original share.
The Standfast Ledger records two borrowings on 12/1/1843.

Frederick Robinson
Subscriber: April 1817 to 1/5/1820.
Committee: 1819.
He signed the Library Rules (1816-1830).

Frederick Robinson
Subscriber: 4/9/1848 to 4/1/1864.

George Robinson
He was a member of the ‘North Class’ of the White Lion Book Society in 1788-89.
See –– William Moore.

Dr George Antoine Robinson, MD
Address: 20 Park Row, The Park; and Southfield, Wollaton Street.
Subscriber: 1/11/1910 to 1916.
Share number: 169 (counterfoil dated 28/4/1911).

He was born in Penzance on 11/12/1869 and educated at Teague College and then at Dublin University and King's College Hospital in London.
He became resident surgeon at the Nottinghamshire General Dispensary and lecturer on materia medica at University College, Nottingham.
His sporting activity included rifle shooting, football and rowing.

George Antoine Robinson

Sir John Robinson, JP (b.1839)
Address: Worksop Manor, Worksop.
Subscriber: 4/6/1889 to 11/9/1906.
Share number: 189 (counterfoil dated 2/4/1902).

He was born in Arnold and educated at Chestnut House Academy in Arnold and at Packer's Academy in The Park.

He was knighted in 1906.
Sir John’s generosity serves as a memorial to his only son, John Sandford Robinson (1868-1898).
In 1889, while he was Sheriff of Nottingham, twelve rent free almshouses were built at Sherwood, each occupant receiving 5s 0d a week.

In 1899 a further twelve almshouses and a house for a caretaker, were built at Daybrook.
In 1911 £l,000 went towards the Children's' wing at Worksop Victoria Hospital, and St. Anne's Church, Worksop, was built for 600 worshippers and endowed in memory of his wife and son.

In 1917 £l,000 endowed a bed in Worksop Hospital and in 1921 £10,000 was given to the Nottingham General Hospital.
Four houses for disabled soldiers, wounded in the First World War, were built in 1923 and the keys were presented to the occupants by the Prince of Wales as he went to Welbeck Abbey.

He, with Archdeacon Hacking, established a fund for increasing the incomes of the poor clergy in the Archdeaconry of Newark. (Mellors, 1924)

Sir John Robinson

P.F. Robinson
He was not a subscriber.


Thomas W. Robinson
Subscriber: 2/2/1857 to 6/11/1888.
In 1867 he was one of the 23 subscribers asking that salaries and wages at the Library be reduced (2/3/1867).

William Robinson
On 6/3/1843 a William Robinson was to be given a notice of forfeiture of his share under Rule 36.
There was no member of this name listed at the time.

William Robinson
Address: Sneinton
Subscriber: 6/10/1845 to 4/6/1849.

Rock & Co.
See –– Frederick Pearson

Miss A.M. Roe
Subscriber: April 1865 to 3/1/1888.
A share was listed for Miss Roe from 1865.
The share was transferred from M. Roe on 2/8/1869.

Francis Roe
He was a member of the ‘Town Class’ of the White Lion Book Society in 1788-89.
See –– William Moore.

Herbert Charles Roe
Hosiery manufacturer.
Address: 5 Magdala Road.
Subscriber: 4/8/1914 to 1916.
Share number: 124 (counterfoil dated 6/4/1915).
A registration fee of 2s 6d for share transfer was received on 21/7/1914.

He was a subscriber to Russell’s History (1916).

James Roe
Subscriber: 5/6/1848 to 3/4/1855.

Martin Roe
Subscriber: 3/4/1821 to April 1865.
Newsroom subscriber: 1831, 1832, 1833.
His name is missing from the 1833 list of subscribers.
Committee: 1822, 1823, 1828, 1829.
He was named as a Trustee of Bromley House in the minute and document of 1/4/1822.
The Standfast Ledger records 13 borrowings between 26/11/1834 and 17/1/1850.

The share was transferred to Miss A.M. Roe on 2/8/1869.

W. Roe
Address: Granby.
Subscriber: 3/4/1826 to 1/5/1837.

Miss Annie M. Roebuck
Subscriber: 6/5/1878 to 8/8/1881.

John D. Rogers
Subscriber: 1/8/1825 to 5/12/1831.
Newsroom subscriber: 1831, 1832.
Committee: 1831.
The share transfer was also minuted on 5/12/1825.

On 7/11/1831, due to his death, his place on the Committee was taken by Rev John Wolley of Beeston.
There is some confusion here as both John Rogers and John D. Rogers are listed in the Newsroom Subscription Book 1831-1833, and it seems that John D. Rogers was listed as a subscriber for 1832-3 after his death in November of the previous year.
Similarly reference to J.D. Rogers at about this time could be to John D. or to Jeremiah D. Rogers.

Jerimiah D. Rogers
Subscriber: 2/4/1822 to 1/3/1824.
Committee: 1822, 1823, 1826, 1827.
He signed the Library Rules (1816-1830).
The name sometimes appears as Rodgers.
Auditor: 1826.
See –– John D. Rogers.

John Rogers
Subscriber: 3/11/1845 to April 1846.
Newsroom subscriber: 1831, 1832.
See –– John D. Rogers.

Roland & James or Rowland & James

They did some building work for the Library:
£3 6s 0d 9/6/1879
£1 4s 0d 5/8/11879
16s 6d 28/1/1880

Rolandi’s Subscription Library
Peter Rolandi

Foreign bookseller.
Address: 20 Berners Street, Oxford Street, London, W. [Post Office London Directory, 1882]
The Rolandi Subscription Library was used by the Library for recent foreign literature.

Late in 1877 the Library took out a subscription for one year (3/12/1877), and in May of the following year this was renewed as an annual subscription (6/5/1878).
From 1878 to 1916 with the subscription fluctuated between £2 and £10 per year.

On 8/1/1901 it was proposed that the subscription be discontinued and the number of books taken from Mudie’s increased in proportion.

Lady Charlotte Emma Maud Rolleston
Address: Watnall Hall, Watnall.
Subscriber: 3/7/1906 to 2/12/1913.
Share number: 9 (counterfoil dated 9/4/1907).

On 3/12/1908 she was sent a letter reminding her that her subscription was unpaid.
On 8/6/1909 she was still in arrears and a stern letter was sent about this and informing her that the unofficial transfer of her share was not allowed.
A copy of rules 21 and 22 was enclosed.
She replied on 28/6/1909 sending a cheque but the position about the share transfer remained unaltered (13/7/1909).
This matter of subscription arrears and share transfer persisted for some years with letters and cheques being exchanged at intervals (13/12/1910, 13/9/1911, 21/9/1911, 8/12/1911, 19/12/1911).

Her executors were given three months notice of the sale of her share to recoup her arrears of subscription (12/9/1911 & 4/12/1911) and the arrears were paid (2/1/1912).

Lancelot Rollestone
Address: Watnall.
Subscriber: 4/3/1816 to 4/4/1836
Committee: 1817.
He signed the Library Rules (1816-1830).
He attended only one committee meeting. He was appointed as a Trustee of the Library in 1858.
He was in arrears when he left.

Roper & Co.
Address: 40 Castlegate. Telephone number: 1460 [Wright, 1915]
The Library was using them in 1915.

See –– Heber & Rosier.

H. Rosier
He supplied books to the value of £1 19s 0d in March 1907 but seems not to be based in Nottingham.

Rothera & Sons
Registration fees of 2s 6d for share transfers were received on 28/4/1910, 29/8/1910.

G.B. Rothera
Subscriber: 4/6/1866 to 1/11/1892.
Committee: 1879, 1880.
In 1874 he was one of 27 nominated as a Trustee of the Library, but he was not one of the 14 elected (17/3/1874).
Book Committee: 1879.
Catalogue Committee: 1880.

On 4/8/1879 he was allowed to take out a deed relating to Bromley House dated 3/4/1822.
It was returned on 15/8/1879.

John Rothwell
Subscriber: 5/2/1816 to 5/2/1819.
He signed the Library Rules (1816-1830).

Samuel Routh
Subscriber: 5/4/1825 to 9/3/1829.
He signed the Library Rules (1816-1831).

T.J. Rowe
Subscriber: 10/4/1888 to 1/4/1890.
He bought an original share and £1 0s 0d was received on 7/5/1887 as commission on this.

Rev L.D. Roworth
Address: Newstead Grove.
The Standfast Ledger records four borrowings between 3/6/1875 and 1/7/1876.

Samuel Rowth
See  –– Samuel Routh.

Royal Insurance
See –– Insurance and Frederick Pearson.

Royal Midland Institute for the Blind
Address: Chaucer Street & 65 Long Row West
The Institute made baskets and brushes, no doubt amongst other things.

Miss M.A. Luxton was the house superintendent and matron and H.W.P. Pine was secretary and trade manager.
They had a depot for the sale of goods at 16 Chapel Row with Miss Jane Rowland as manager.

The records show that the Library bought mats worth £1 9s 0d in September 1888 and brushes and other cleaning items between 1904 and 1916. (Kelly, 1891, Wright, 1894-95, 1915]

Prince Rupert
See –– George Smith.

Rev W.O. Ruspine
Address: St James (Minister).
The Standfast Ledger records two borrowings on 27/1/1843.

Cornelius Russell, Esq.
Lace manufacturer.
Address: 19 Magdala Road.
Subscriber: 1/3/1892 to 6/4/1909.
Share number: 190 (counterfoil dated 9/2/1901).

He was born on 22/12/1828 and educated at the Nottingham Free Grammar School.
He died on 24/5/1904.
Deceased. The transfer of the share to John Russell was deferred until 8/6/1909.

Cornelius Russell
[4149 &4150]

James, Josh. or Joseph Russell
Subscriber: 16/10/1818 to 22/6/1820.
On 2/8/1819 he bought the Library copies of The Courier for £3 10s. 0d.

John Russell, Esq., MA
Schoolmaster. Principal of Roclaveston School.
Address: Roclaveston Hall, The Forest; 17 Zulla Road (1910 to 1916); 328 Mansfield Road.
Subscriber: 4/6/1883 to 1916.
Share number: 191 (counterfoil dated 9/2/1901).
President: 17/4/1914 to 1917.
Honorary Secretary: 8/4/1902 to 17/4/1914.
Committee: 1895, 1896, 1898, 1899, 1901 to 1907, 1909 to 1913, 1915 (apologies), 1916 (apologies).
The minute of 7/4/1903 indicates that the President and the Honorary Secretary were to be ex officio members of both the Book Committee and the Finance Committee.
Book Committee: 1895, 1898, 1901, 1902, 1905, 1907, 1909, 1910 (ex officio), 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914.
Finance Committee: 1902, 1906, 1907, 1913, 1914.
Local rates sub-committee: 3/11/1896.
Income from rents and shops sub-committee: 10/6/1902.
Screen sub-committee (preventing draughts on Librarian): 9/12/1902.
Letting sub-committee: 1/5/1906.
Stairs redecoration sub-committee (5/5/1908).
Insurance sub-committee: 2/11/1909
Charwomen sub-committee: 1/4/1910.
Scrutator: 1896, 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900.
He was appointed as a Trustee of the Library in 1912.
He was present at General Meetings: 1894, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, and 1913. He offered his apologies for not attending the General meetings in 1915 and 196..

See –– Michael Browne: sub-committee on local rates exemption - 1896.

Born on 28/6/1850 and educated at Balliol College, Oxford where he took a BA, he married Edith, daughter of George Brooks Bell of Kenilworth. (Phillimore, 1910)

He reported at length with William Fry about Guide Books in the Library (2/7/1895).
On 10/7/1895 he bought books from the Library for 3s 0d, and with Alfred Jones he was asked to investigate Redgate’s tenancy (3/3/1896).
He was appointed as Honorary Secretary on 8/4/1902.

Arthur Lineker, as Librarian, wrote to the Nottingham Daily Guardian on 24/1/1903 to ask that their report on Henry Roby Thorpe’s funeral state that Bromley House had been represented by H.E. Hubbart, President, and John Russell, M.A., Honorary Secretary.

Russell was ill in early 1904 and M.I. Preston deputised for him in the Committee meeting (9/2/1904).
He missed the 1908 General Meeting through illness and his duties of Honorary Secretary were performed by C.E. Townroe.

He was nominated (4/4/1911) and subsequently elected (28/4/1911) as a Trustee.

On 22/10/1913 he wrote to the Committee and resigned (4/11/1913).
With Parker Woodward he wrote to the Book Committee (27/10/1914) regarding the London Library subscription.

John Russell made frequent suggestions to the Book Committee regarding possible book purchases and these included:
However, Russell was against the purchase of Loeb's Classics; 25/8/1914 (Book Committee minutes)

He was a subscriber to Russell’s (his own) History (1916).

John Russell’s letters - 1913
John Russell attended a Committee meeting on 1/7/1913 as Honorary Secretary.
At the following meeting on 5/8/1913 his absence due to illness was noted and his duties performed by Joseph Page.
A letter dated 18/6/1912 and starting with ‘Dear Madam’, but almost certainly to Miss Clifford, a tenant at Bromley House, regretted that her health was poor and covers the ending of her tenancy.
John Russell also mentions his own illness in this letter.   

On 22/10/1913 he wrote to the Committee to resign his position and his letter was considered at their meeting held on 4/4/1913.

This, and subsequent correspondence, was transcribed into the Minute Book and is reproduced here.
22 October 1913.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

    It is with great regret that I ask you to accept my resignation as Honorary Secretary of the Library to take effect immediately. You may well imagine that to do this is a cause of disappointment and distress to me.

    I had hoped to continue my office until the expiration of the year in April, but though I am very much better from the serious illness from which I have been suffering, the doctors are unanimously of the opinion that I must give up all active work requiring enforced attention and attendance.

    It has been a great pleasure to me to be concerned for so many years with the management of the Library and I desire to thank you for the forbearance and kindness you have always shewn to me, and to thank Mr Page for his kindness in taking my place for the last few meetings.

    I hope that my successor, whoever he may be, will find as much pleasure in serving the old library as I have found and now I must wish you, as an official, a respectful farewell,

    I am, Ladies and gentlemen,

        Faithfully yours,

            John Russell.
The Minute Book then reads:
The Committee having heard Mr Russell’s letter of resignation desires to express their sincere sympathy with him in his illness and their earnest hope that he may be restored to health. And it was resolved unanimously that Mr Russell be requested to continue as Honorary Secretary for the remainder of his term of office, on the understanding that he be not expected to do any work in connection with that office.
The letter dated 8/11/1913 was signed by J.W. Windley and it was noted that Russell was to go to Buxton.

John Russell replied.
    328 Mansfield Road.
    Nov. 20 1913

Dear Mr President,
 I am very much obliged to you for your letter which contained the resolution passed by the Committee. I find it difficult to express in adequate terms the gratitude I feel for the sympathy, kindness and appreciation shown to me.
As the Committee desires me to continue in office till the end of my year I am only too pleased to do so and any services I can render in the way of advice and correspondence I will gladly undertake to the best of my power. My thanks are especially due, and perhaps you will kindly give them, to Mr Page for taking up the burden of my office.
With kind regards and thanks,

    I am, dear Mr President,

        Yours faithfully,

            John Russell.

At the 1914 General Meeting held on 17/4/1914 John Russell took over from John William Windley as President, and Joseph Page officially took over Russell’s position as Honorary Secretary. Another letter from Russell was presented:


April 14. 1914

Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I am indebted to the courtesy of my predecessor in office, for this opportunity of conveying to you my cordial thanks for appointing me to the honourable position of your President. I highly appreciate your kindness more especially as I am just at present unable to give due service in return.

    In using the term honourable I am not using any merely conventional or complimentary language, For nearly one hundred years this Library has supplied mental food, stimulus and recreation to many of our best and worthiest citizens. Its influence then upon the higher life of the town and upon the foundation of sound and wholesome opinion must have been very considerable. How honourable then to be called upon to take part in the deliberations of its Committee! How still more honourable to be asked to preside over them! I only hope that no shortcoming of mine may in any way tend to diminish the prestige of the office, which by your goodness I am permitted to hold.

    Again thanking you,

        I am, Ladies and Gentlemen,

            Your obedient servant,

                John Russell.

The general meeting then passed a vote of thanks to him.

His absence from Committee meetings continued throughout 1914-15 and on 4/8/1914 he was asked by the Committee to write a letter of thanks to Rev H.C. Windley for a gift of books.

He was unable to attend the 1915 General Meeting but sent a long letter which was copied into the Minute Book.
328 Mansfield Road, Nottm.

        April 16, 1916.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

    It is a cause of great disappointment and regret to me that I am unable to be present with you at your meeting this morning.
    When, a year ago, I accepted the presidential office to which your general kindness appointed me, I had every reason to suppose, from what my medical advisers said that in a month or two I should be able to resume some, at least of my normal activities.
    This expectation, however, has unfortunately been only partially realised, and I am obliged to ask one of my colleagues on the Committee to represent me this morning.
    However useful and suggestive to the mind any remarks of mine might be, I am afraid at the present time they would be anything but mellifluous and pleasant to the outward ear.
    I believe the affairs of the Library are in a satisfactory state. You will observe from the Report that the credit balance has been increased. The increase would have been greater but for one or two items of extraordinary expenditure.
    In the matter of the London Libraries, I have suggested that our subscription to them should be increased, and that the supply of books for our permanent library should be slightly diminished. I do not think the Library in this way will suffer at all. I think an average of £5 a month, if spent judiciously should be sufficient to supply us with all that is necessary for placing on the shelves.
    Many books of today may be regarded as mere pot boilers réchauffés-magaziné articles and the like.
    The late Mr Hubbart and myself had many talks on the subject of reference books and we agreed that our income was not sufficiently large to enable us to supply an adequate amount of ephemeral literature and at the same time maintain an efficient special reference library. And this latter has been made less necessary now that our excellent Free Libraries cater for the wants of students in their reference departments.
    The war has taken its toll of the Library by the withdrawal of our Assistant Librarian, and I feel I should be wanting in my duty if I did not refer with gratitude - in which I am sure the subscribers will share - to the efforts of the Librarian, Honorary secretary and ex-President, to maintain the efficiency of the Library service and satisfy the wants of subscribers.
    The Library is now entering its hundredth year. May I express fervent hope that, when the next Annual Meeting takes place, the present painful and disastrous war and the din or arms will have ceased, so that our centenary joy may commingle with the chorus of satisfaction from the nation’s rejoicing in a world of peace.

    I am, Ladies and Gentlemen,

        Your obedient servant,

            John Russell.

He was one of the four in whose name the Library held £200 of 4.5 War Loan (6/7/1915).

Despite his illness John Russell was writing his book entitled A History of the Nottingham Subscription Library more generally known as Bromley House Library for publication in 1916 to mark the centenary of the Library.
Derry & Sons were to print 350 copies for £58 10s 0d (3s 0d each) and they were to be sold at 3s 6d (5/10/1915).
A list of subscribers for 146 copies appears in the book.
A further 200 copies were printed for £28 10s. 0d (2s 10d per copy) (11/1/1916).

He, and five others, signed share certificates such as that issued to John Holland Walker on 9/4/1907.


John Russell
[3966, 4231 & 4057]

The front cover and title page
John Russell's History of the Library
published to mark its centenery in 1916.

The book measures 7 x 8.5 inches (17.5 x 21.5 cm).

John Russell
Address: 17 Zulla Road.
Subscriber: 8/6/1909 to 1916.
Share number 190 (counterfoil dated 12/4/1910).
The share was transferred from Cornelius Russell (deceased) having been deferred from 6/4/1909.

It seems that this could have been a John Russell separate from the John Russell who was Secretary and President of the Library.

John Russell, R.A. (1745-1806)

His pastel portrait of George Washington is in the Front Reading Room (2006).

It is endorsed:
This portrait in pastel of George Washington exhibited in the Grosvenor Gallery Jan. 1889 was painted by John Russell, R.A., born 1744, died 1806; size 9 ins x 7 ins. Lent by J. Whitchurch, this is a duplicate in the Bromley House Lby., Nottingham.

Mr Ryan
Thoroton’s Nottinghamshire was to be procured from a Mr Ryan on 5/7/1816 (Russell, 1916)

Isabella Ryley
Roger Ryley     Chandler. Nottingham.
Samuel Ryley
Roger Ryley, his wife Isabella and his son Samuel are mentioned in the transfer deed of 1681 for the land surrounding where Bromley House would later be built.
See –– John Nevill.

Retrun to Top of the Page

This page was last updated on

  7 October 2009

Neal Priestland