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dunsbyowl1867

Samuel Plimsoll

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A few notes mentioning Sheffield from "The Plimsoll Sensation" by N Jones p. 2006

Plimsoll's family moved to Regent Street on 22nd January 1838 when he was 14. He received education at Dr Samuel Eadon's school and later at the People's College(founded in 1842 by Robert Bayley, a Congregational minister). His 1st job for 2 years was as a lawyers clerk - for Henry Waterfall a Sheffield Solicitor and then worked for 10 years as a clerk in the brewery of Thomas Rawson and Co.

When he was 15 he had seen chartists march through Sheffield agitating for social reform and prtesting against low wages and unemployment and was shocked that him local church did not support them.

He showed potential at an early age as a public man and wrote speeches for the Mayor of Sheffield Thomas Birks and was a stalwart of the Local Liberal club.

In 1851 he was Secretary of Sheffield's Great Exhibition Committee and organised exhibits for the Sheffield Court in Hyde Park. The Court was the largest of any single town and was a notable success.

Long before he became known as the "sailors friend" he was know as a benefactor of the miners and wa known as a "miners friend" in 1852 he organised subscriptions for the relief of 24 widows and orphans after an explosion which killed 50 men at Warren Vale Colliery at Rawmarsh.

Declared a bankrupt in 1855 (at the age of 21) after a failed business venture seeking to transport coal from Yorkshire to London by rail instead of by sea, he was suspended from his membership of the Nether Congregational Church in Sheffield though later reinstated in 1856.

In his mid 30's he met Eliza Ann Railton, stepdaughter of John Chambers of Newton Chambers & Co and granddaughter of the original Mr Newton. Plimsoll approached Chambers to enlist him in his scheme to transport coal from local pits to London and he offered Plimsoll a job as a clerk. They marries on 1st October 1857 in Ecclesfield Church.

In 1864 he purchased Whitely Wood Hall as a 2nd home which had to be sold to cover legal fees in 1873. in 1865 he stood as a Liberal candidate for Parliament in Derby and was unpopular with the local satirical paper the Derby Ram who lampooned him as "Plumpsoul" and his country home as "WhiteLie Wood". He was not successful.

In 1866 as president of the Sheffield Reform League he chaired a meeting of 12,000 that condemned the government and police after an incident known as the Hyde Park riot in London.

He was elected as a Liberal MP in 1868 when the Electoral Reform Act widened the franchise.

He was characterised as a poor speaker but had taken inspiration from men such as the brewer Thomas Rawson who, soon after the battle of Waterloo, had demanded the vote for every adult citizen (in Paradise Square). His 1st speech was described by his fellow Sheffield MP - Antony Mundella as a bad job and he had talked "rot"

One of his 1st mention of his sea campaining work was at a speech in Fulwood Chapel in December 1868 he described his election as an opportunity to "help those in peril on the sea".

His role as a "miners friend became complicated in 1869 when 800 miners were locked out of Newton Chambers pits. Police and troops were involved and the stress led to the death of Chambers in June 1869.

In 1870 he moved the insertion of 3 clauses in the Merchant Shipping Bill that would provide an inspection of all ships, a maximum load line and prohibiting insurance of any ship to more than 2/3rds of its value.

He received much support from WC Leng in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph.

Plimsoll line became law in 1876.

He stood for Sheffield Central in 1885 and lost.

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Fascinating reading, Dunsbyowl, many thanks.

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There's a blue plaque on the wall of one of the University buildings on Regent Street opposite the site of his home there.

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A few notes mentioning Sheffield from "The Plimsoll Sensation" by N Jones p. 2006

Plimsoll's family moved to Regent Street on 22nd January 1838 when he was 14. He received education at Dr Samuel Eadon's school and later at the People's College(founded in 1842 by Robert Bayley, a Congregational minister). His 1st job for 2 years was as a lawyers clerk - for Henry Waterfall a Sheffield Solicitor and then worked for 10 years as a clerk in the brewery of Thomas Rawson and Co.

When he was 15 he had seen chartists march through Sheffield agitating for social reform and prtesting against low wages and unemployment and was shocked that him local church did not support them.

He showed potential at an early age as a public man and wrote speeches for the Mayor of Sheffield Thomas Birks and was a stalwart of the Local Liberal club.

In 1851 he was Secretary of Sheffield's Great Exhibition Committee and organised exhibits for the Sheffield Court in Hyde Park. The Court was the largest of any single town and was a notable success.

Long before he became known as the "sailors friend" he was know as a benefactor of the miners and wa known as a "miners friend" in 1852 he organised subscriptions for the relief of 24 widows and orphans after an explosion which killed 50 men at Warren Vale Colliery at Rawmarsh.

Declared a bankrupt in 1855 (at the age of 21) after a failed business venture seeking to transport coal from Yorkshire to London by rail instead of by sea, he was suspended from his membership of the Nether Congregational Church in Sheffield though later reinstated in 1856.

In his mid 30's he met Eliza Ann Railton, stepdaughter of John Chambers of Newton Chambers & Co and granddaughter of the original Mr Newton. Plimsoll approached Chambers to enlist him in his scheme to transport coal from local pits to London and he offered Plimsoll a job as a clerk. They marries on 1st October 1857 in Ecclesfield Church.

In 1864 he purchased Whitely Wood Hall as a 2nd home which had to be sold to cover legal fees in 1873. in 1865 he stood as a Liberal candidate for Parliament in Derby and was unpopular with the local satirical paper the Derby Ram who lampooned him as "Plumpsoul" and his country home as "WhiteLie Wood". He was not successful.

In 1866 as president of the Sheffield Reform League he chaired a meeting of 12,000 that condemned the government and police after an incident known as the Hyde Park riot in London.

He was elected as a Liberal MP in 1868 when the Electoral Reform Act widened the franchise.

He was characterised as a poor speaker but had taken inspiration from men such as the brewer Thomas Rawson who, soon after the battle of Waterloo, had demanded the vote for every adult citizen (in Paradise Square). His 1st speech was described by his fellow Sheffield MP - Antony Mundella as a bad job and he had talked "rot"

One of his 1st mention of his sea campaining work was at a speech in Fulwood Chapel in December 1868 he described his election as an opportunity to "help those in peril on the sea".

His role as a "miners friend became complicated in 1869 when 800 miners were locked out of Newton Chambers pits. Police and troops were involved and the stress led to the death of Chambers in June 1869.

In 1870 he moved the insertion of 3 clauses in the Merchant Shipping Bill that would provide an inspection of all ships, a maximum load line and prohibiting insurance of any ship to more than 2/3rds of its value.

He received much support from WC Leng in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph.

Plimsoll line became law in 1876.

He stood for Sheffield Central in 1885 and lost.

An extra snippet

At the age of 17 Samuel Plimsoll worked for Thomas Rawson & co at their Pond Street Brewery, he was a junior clerk earning £1.00 a week. He became famous as described above and Rawson's Brewery was bombed in the war and ceased trading. Taken from Bygone Breweries of Sheffield.

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There was a pub on Hyde Park Flats named after him.

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An extra snippet

At the age of 17 Samuel Plimsoll worked for Thomas Rawson & co at their Pond Street Brewery, he was a junior clerk earning £1.00 a week. He became famous as described above and Rawson's Brewery was bombed in the war and ceased trading. Taken from Bygone Breweries of Sheffield.

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A few snippets to fill in a few gaps in Plimsoll's early years in Sheffield.

Samuel's father Thomas was a customs and Excise officer and was moved from Penrith to Sheffield at the beginning of 1838, taking a house on the corner of Regent street. Thomas took over his new post from Mr Dalgeish on the 22nd January 1838.

In David Masters book about Samuel Plimsoll, Samuel started work running errands, filling inkwells, dusting, sticking stamps on letters and taking the post, he was more an office boy than a Junior clerk receiving a paltry sum of 3/6d a week.

In 1842 Samuel went to Rev. R S Bayley's People's College where pupils could attend from 6.30 in the mornings before attending their jobs or in the evenings after work.

He joined the firm of Thomas Rawson & Sons at the Old Bond Street Brewery as a junior clerk starting at £1 per week. His boss and partner in the company was Thomas Birks who was a city councillor and in 1850 became the Lord Mayor of Sheffield.

Samuel never at a loss for words became a great asset to Thomas Birks by helping him in preparing his speeches. It was through him that Samuel became familiar with political issues and the local politicians.

To help out with the family's finance Samuel's 2 sisters Priscilla & Ellen opened a Lady's School on Regent Street, first at number 46 and then at their own home at number 50.

In 1844 Thomas Plimsoll died leaving his wife Priscilla with 7 offspring to keep and at 20 years old Samuel had to take his father's place as head of the family.

Hope you found this interesting?

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