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Ebenezer Elliott


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RichardB

Visit Weston Park, there's a statue, with the legend Elliott, ever wondered who he was ? or what he did ? Where did this statue used to live ? Anywhere special ? Where, in Sheffield, did this man live ?

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  • 2 months later...
Guest andyh2o

Visit Weston Park, there's a statue, with the legend Elliott, ever wondered who he was ? or what he did ? Where did this statue used to live ? Anywhere special ? Where, in Sheffield, did this man live ?

He lived in a house in Upperthorpe. The house is still there and has a blue plaque. Opposite the bottom of Blake Street, on Upperthorpe.

Andy

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dunsbyowl1867

He lived in a house in Upperthorpe. The house is still there and has a blue plaque. Opposite the bottom of Blake Street, on Upperthorpe.

Andy

Elliot lived here from 1834 to 1841.

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dunsbyowl1867

Visit Weston Park, there's a statue, with the legend Elliott, ever wondered who he was ? or what he did ? Where did this statue used to live ? Anywhere special ? Where, in Sheffield, did this man live ?

And here's a photo!

Born in Masborough moved to Sheffield where his business ias an iron & steel maufacturer in Burgess Street prospered. Appalled by the cruelty of the times, especially the Corn Laws, he was inspired to write his Corn Law Rhymes.

The bronze statue was by Burnard and was erected in 1854 in the Market Place (moved 1875).

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RichardB

Excellent, Thank you for the postings, the Elliott statue would have been situated where the hole in the road was, it caused an obstruction to the the entrance to the narrow High Street, the house was on Blakegrove Road, basically, drive down Blake Street at 40 miles per hour, forget the brakes and your through his back wall; I know this from experience, I didn't drive through his wall, I was born at 30 Birkendale, the next street along from Blake Street.

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RichardB

Belonging more to the "RichardB's Stupid Questions" thread, why was this house ridiculed when first built please ?

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dunsbyowl1867

Quoted in "A Popular History of Sheffield" by Vickers

"On Norwood's flowers the dew drops shine and shake;

Up sluggards,up! and drink the morning breeze.

The birds on cloud - left Osgathorpe awake;

And Wincobank is waving all its trees

O'er subject town and farms, and villages,

And gleaming streams, and woods and waterfalls."

I wonder how a 21st Century version would read?

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RichardB

Quoted in "A Popular History of Sheffield" by Vickers

"On Norwood's flowers the dew drops shine and shake;

Up sluggards,up! and drink the morning breeze.

The birds on cloud - left Osgathorpe awake;

And Wincobank is waving all its trees

O'er subject town and farms, and villages,

And gleaming streams, and woods and waterfalls."

I wonder how a 21st Century version would read?

Nice one, the answer I had (modified for 21st century) was .....

Them rooms are too small ....

Reply; they'll do for me, Pal :blink:

I need to revisit Vickers, obviously :blink:

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  • 2 months later...

http://www.tilthammer.com/bio/elliott.html

Extract :

Elliott was ahead of his time in forming the first society in the whole country calling for reform of the Corn Laws: this was the Sheffield Mechanics' Anti-Bread Tax Society founded in 1830.

Four years later, he was the prime mover in establishing the Sheffield Anti-Corn Law Society and he just about single-handedly set up the Sheffield Mechanics' Institute in Surrey Street.

He was very active, too, in the Sheffield Political Union campaigning hard for the 1832 Reform Bill. Until the Chartist Movement advocated the use of violence, Elliott was a big wheel in the Sheffield organisation. He was the Sheffield delegate to the Great Public Meeting in Westminster in 1838 and he chaired the meeting in Sheffield when the Charter was introduced to local people.

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  • 3 months later...

Deep, meaningful, sombre, gibberish ?

Say, shall we wander where, through warriors’ graves

The infant Yewden, mountain-cradled, trills

Her Doric notes ? or where the Loxley raves

Of broil and battle, and the rocks and caves

Dream yet of ancient days ? or where the sky

Darkens o’er Rivelin, the clear and cold,

That throws his blue length like a snake from high.

Elliot

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Guest codeyes

I posted this info in another thread last year:

Ebenezer

Elliott

1781 - 1849

In Sheffield's Weston Park, just across from the Children's Hospital, is a statue with the brief inscription

"E L L I O T T.".

When the statue was originally erected in Market Place, there was no need for a plaque explaining who this Elliott was, since he was a legend in Sheffield and beyond. In fact, the £600 cost of the statue was raised in tribute to Elliott by the working people of the town.

Elliott was born in an iron foundry at Masbrough, Rotherham in 1781. Twenty four years later, he was the owner of the foundry, but suffered the total disgrace of going bankrupt in 1816.

Sheffield soon drew Elliott and by 1821 he was living in Burgess Street where he had set up in business as an iron dealer. With a bankruptcy behind him, Elliott's approach was cautious enabling him to prosper, since he didn't overextend during good times; this helped him to ride the downturns in trade which sent others to the wall. In 1829 additional premises in Gibraltar Street were acquired, and trade directories now listed Elliott as an iron merchant and steel manufacturer.

In 1834 Elliott left his Burgess Street home and workshop to concentrate on his Gibraltar Street works and to set up home in a handsome villa in rural Upperthorpe.

Although Elliott was a steel maker and refiner, he was never a member of the Cutlers' Company - that wasn't his style. Elliott's sympathies lay not with the capitalist owners but with the working man, since he was one of them himself. When he was bankrupt, he had been homeless and out of work; he had faced starvation and contemplated suicide. He knew what it was like to be impoverished and desperate and, as a result, he always identified with the poor people of Sheffield.

As a steel maker with a conscience, Elliott was very unusual. He was interested in poetry and politics, believing that the Corn Laws had been responsible for his bankruptcy and campaigning forthrightly against them. He became well known in Sheffield for his strident views demanding changes which would improve conditions both for the manufacturer and the poor worker.

Elliott was ahead of his time in forming the first society in the whole country calling for reform of the Corn Laws: this was the Sheffield Mechanics' Anti-Bread Tax Society founded in 1830. Four years later, he was the prime mover in establishing the Sheffield Anti-Corn Law Society and he just about single-handedly set up the Sheffield Mechanics' Institute in Surrey Street. He was very active, too, in the Sheffield Political Union campaigning hard for the 1832 Reform Bill. Until the Chartist Movement advocated the use of violence, Elliott was a big wheel in the Sheffield organisation. He was the Sheffield delegate to the Great Public Meeting in Westminster in 1838 and he chaired the meeting in Sheffield when the Charter was introduced to local people.

Elliott had dabbled with poetry since he was sixteen and had even written to Robert Southey, the famous poet, for advice on composing poetry. Southey was willing to help out since he recognised that Elliott had a crude talent for writing verse. The correspondence was to last for many years.

In the 1830s Elliott made a breakthrough with his demands for changes in society: he published a volume of poems called the " Corn Law Rhymes " which brought him national fame and earned him the handle " the Corn Law Rhymer ". The poems thundered against the landowners in the government who stifled competition and kept high the price of bread; the poems were aggressive and sarcastic, attacking the status quo and demanding repeal of the Corn Laws. They also drew attention to the dreadful conditions endured by working people such as grinders and ruthlessly contrasted their lot with the sleek and complacent gentry.

The "Corn Law Rhymes" were initially thought to be written by an uneducated Sheffield mechanic who had rejected conventional Romantic ideals for a new style of working class poetry aimed at changing the system. Elliott was described as "a red son of the furnace " and called " the Yorkshire Burns" or " the Burns of the manufacturing city ". Thomas Carlyle, the eminent critic, was impressed by the poems which were also enthusiastically quoted by John Bright, the reformer, while William Wordsworth admitted:

" None of us have done better than he has in his best ".

James Montgomery, the Sheffield poet and hymn writer, claimed that in originality, power and beauty Elliott drew comparison with Byron, Crabbe and Coleridge " while in intensive sympathy with the poor ... he excelled them all ". Elliott was increasingly dubbed " The Poet Of The Poor ".

Not everyone appreciated Elliott's work - he faced much ridicule and hostility from the influential landowners he so boldly attacked. Some of them saw him (wrongly) as a ferocious revolutionary and asked the government to take steps against him. Even his literary friend, Robert Southey, described him as " the demon of anarchy " and found his tone " repulsive and even hateful ".

The Corn Law Rhymer retired from business in 1841 and shocked his admirers by moving to a remote home near Great Houghton in the Barnsley area. He died in 1849 and was buried in Darfield churchyard.

The significance of Elliott was that he dared to challenge the government; here was a humble working man who refused to accept the injustices of society and who clamoured for change through his political activities and through his original, vibrant poetry. He did much to awaken working class political confidence and he did much to end the Corn Laws. According to Professor Sparrow, Elliott's radical ideas helped pave the way to the formation of the Labour Party.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 month later...
madannie77

The man himself.

Don't know if this has already been referred to anywhere else, as there seem to be lots of bits about Ebenezer Elliott, but there is a detailed site here:

http://www.judandk.force9.co.uk/elly.htm

Thanks to all for bringing Ebenezer Elliott to my attention - having seen pictures of the statue I now recall being puzzled (briefly) by the rather uninformative inscription when I was young. Now I know the answer.

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  • 4 years later...
SteveHB

And here's a photo!

attachicon.gifeestatue.jpg

Born in Masborough moved to Sheffield where his business ias an iron & steel maufacturer in Burgess Street prospered. Appalled by the cruelty of the times, especially the Corn Laws, he was inspired to write his Corn Law Rhymes.

The bronze statue was by Burnard and was erected in 1854 in the Market Place (moved 1875).

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  • 3 years later...
On 23/10/2017 at 21:44, LeadFarmer said:

So what exactly were the Corn Laws?

As far as I remember from my A Levels it was a protectionist measure taxing foreign corn to protect home grown crops. Therefore having the effect of keeping food prices high.

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Ebenezers grave in Darfield cemetery is easily accessible and is identified by being one of the few graves who's iron railings survived the war.

There is lots of information about his life on the website link below:- 

http://www.judandk.force9.co.uk/Graves.html

click on the anvil at the bottom of the page to access further pages.

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