News from the Archive

Roll up, roll up!! We have another open day on Sunday 11th September and tickets are selling out fast. Due to this exciting event taking place shortly, I thought I would write a little teaser piece on one of the archives that will be on display, Miss Mabel Rich’s scrapbook.

This is no ordinary scrapbook, it contains a collection of letters, autographs and seals from leading figures of the Victorian period.  Miss Mabel Rich was born in Salford in 1856 to Mr Jabez Rich and Mrs Ann Rich, nee Musgrave. Mr Jabez Rich was the Postmaster of Liverpool and due to his position we think he had a hand in helping Mabel with her collection.

The scrapbook contains several pages of letters, seals and autographs. I have listed a few highlights below:

A letter from Sir Robert Peel.

Sir Robert Peel was Prime Minister, twice and is considered the founder of the modern British Police Force. In 1829 he set up the Metropolitan Police Force – it was so successful at cutting crime in London its introduction led to the creation of obligatory Police Forces in all UK cities.

Autograph of Florence Nightingale.

Florence Nightingale was a social reformer, statistician and the founder of modern nursing. Affectionately termed the ‘Lady with the Lamp’, referring to her nightly rounds tending to wounded soldiers during the Crimean War.

Passage by George Eliot.

George Eliot, aka Mary Anne Evans, an author and a contributor to the Realism movement.  In using a male pen name, she ensured her works received the attention they were due.  Notable works include Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss and Middlemarch.

Letter from Elizabeth Gaskell.

Elizabeth Gaskell was a writer famous for her novels North and South, Cranford and Ruth.  She also famously authored a controversially received biography of her friend, Charlotte Bronte.

Letter from Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was a poet and author and, along with Wordsworth, a major contributor to and ‘founding father’ of the Romantic movement in England.  His works include ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ and the ‘Kubla Khan’.

Autograph of Jefferson Davis.

Jefferson Davis was the President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. A proud advocate for slavery, he was a poor leader whose quick temper and obsession with detail is thought to have contributed to the downfall of the Confederacy.

The above is just a taste of the people held within the pages of the scrapbook.