The Worthies of Cumberland and Westmorland

  > The following is a "List of eminent men, natives of the county of Cumberland, or who have been nearly connected with it," and also includes figures of notoriety. Commentary from myself is in square brackets. Source indicated by (J) - Jollies Cumberland Guide & Directory 1811, (MW) - Mannix & Whellan, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland, 1847, (M) - Mannix & Co., History, Topography and Directory of Westmorland, 1851, (B) - T. Bulmer, History, Topography, and Directory of Cumberland, 1901. Other entries are Steve Bulman, unless indicated otherwise. There are frequent references to "the city", or similar; in every case this refers to Carlisle.

Addison - Armstrong, Bacon - Burn, Calvin - Dykes, Egglesfield - Grindal, Hall - Irton, Jackson - Lowther, Marlowe - Potter, Ray - Routh, Salkeld - Swift, Taylor - Troughton, Vipont - Wordsworth

Salkeld, John, B.D., born at Corby Castle, was a great traveller. While abroad he joined the Society of Jesuits; but on his return to his native country he was taken before King James I, who converted him to Protestantism, and amply provided for him. He was profoundly read in theology, and was stiled by King James, in his writings, the learned Salkeld. His works are a Treatise on Angels and a Treatise on Paradise. Died in 1659, aged 84. (J)

Saloman, Robert - see Salmon, Robert.

Salmon, Robert, eminent artist, largely, though not exclusively of marine subjects. Born Robert Saloman in Whitehaven in 1775, he lived and worked in Liverpool and London before emigrating to America. He returned to Britain when his eyesight started to fade. Died circa 1845. He has a large number of entries on the internet; see e.g. or

Sanderson, Thomas. Pauline Stanley has brought to my attention the following. There is in the Kirklinton burials register for 1829 the following - "Thomas Sanderson abode Shieldgreen buried on the 18th Jan age 70yrs Rector T Pattinson". Appended to this is "HE WAS A MAN OF CONSIDERABLE LEARNING AND HAD PUBLISHED SOME POEMS AND WAS GENERALLY RESPECTED". He had died in a fire, and details of the inquest can be found on Bridget Casson's site here. He is also mentioned in the Kirklinton parish description. Further research by Pauline has revealed that Carlisle library has two of his works - "Poetic Works of Robert Anderson" and "Original Poems". A native of Sebergham, which the parish description hints at, he also wrote at least one newspaper article (on the Rev. Jonathan Boucher, see above). Some further correspondence concerning Sanderson can be found in the archive of the Cumberland genealogy mailing list - subscribe here.

Sandys, or Sands, Edwin, Archbishop of York, see St. Bees and Hawkshead parishes.

Senhouse, Bishop, was of the Netherhall family. Senhouse has honourable notice taken of him by Echard, the historian. He was a very learned and pious prelate; was Dean of Gloucester, and allowed to be one of the most eloquent preachers of the age he lived in. He preached several sermons at Court, which are still extant. One, particularly alluded to by Echard, is of considerable length, and abounds with many quotations from Greek and Latin authors, of which Joseph Senhouse, Esq., has a copy. This discourse, in after times, was considered as prophetic, in consequence of the fatal event that succeeded. The following is a quotation from the historian alluded to, respecting this eminent character: "Two things were remarkable this day, which were thought to have something of presage. Senhouse, Bishop of Carlisle, who preached upon this occasion, had chose a text more proper for a funeral than a coronation, viz., 'And I will give the[e] a crown of life.' Which was rather thought to put the new king [Charles I] in mind of his death, than his duty in government, and to have been his funeral sermon when he was alive, as if he was to have none when he was buried. It was observed also, that his Majesty, on that day was arrayed in white, contrary to the custom of his predecessors, who usually wore purple; and this, not out of necessity, as some thought, but out of choice, to declare that virgin purity, with which he came to be espoused to his kingdom. And this was looked on as ill presage, that the king, laying aside the robe of Majesty, should deck himself in the robe of innocence; as if it was signified that he should divest himself of that Royal Majesty, which might have been his continual security, to rely wholly on the innocence of a virtuous life, which finally exposed him to ruin." (J), quoting Echard's History of England, 1720. [see also the Annals of the Bishops.]

Simpson, Joseph. Carlisle born painter, 1879 - 1939. War artist.

Simpson, Dr. Joseph and Simpson, Dr. Bolton, - see Isell parish.

Skelton, John, poet laureat to King Henry VIII was born at Armathwaite Castle, and "renowned amongst men for his poetry and philosophy. Taking holy orders he was made rector of Diss in Norfolk, where he was esteemed far fitter for the stage than the pulpit. For his buffoonery in the pulpit, and his satyrical ballads against the mendicants, we are told that he fell under the severe censure of the diocesan: at length daring to vent his ridicule on Cardinal Wolsey, he was obliged to take shelter in Westminster Abbey." Died in 1529. (J), quoting "Wood's Athenœ Ox."

Slee, John, a native of Mungrisedale in Cumberland, was an eminent mathematician; he founded a mathematical academy at Tirril, in the parish of Barton in Westmorland, which, following his death in 1828, was continued by his son Thomas, until his death in 1849. (M)

Slee, Isaac, was born in 1753, at Studdah, parish of Graystock [Greystoke], where his parents lived upon their own estate. They had a large family, and gave Isaac a grammar education at the neighbouring schools; and before he was of proper age for orders, was admitted reader of Plumpton chapel. He was of a delicate constitution, and his studies much impaired his health; here he became a sincere convert to vital religion. In 1776 he was ordained at Rose Castle, by Dr. Law, late Bishop of Carlisle. He began to be uneasy in his mind about the laxity of the church, and the more he studied the new testament, the more he was confirmed in his mind, that all was not right in the establishment, but had few or no other books to direct him. In 1779 he resigned his clerical charge, which was on religious principles. We find him afterwards united with the baptist church at Hamsterly, Durham; he continued here one year studying the scriptures in the original. He was baptised, and visited his friends in Cumberland and other places, where his preaching was much resorted to; and he had many invitations from different baptist societies, both from the north and south, to become their pastor. In 1780 he accepted of the baptist church at Howarth, vacant by the death of Mr. T. Hartley, and was ordained August 9th, 1781. His ministry was well attended, and the congregation increased. In 1782 he married Miss Heaton, whose father was a man of a worthy character and considerable property in the place. Mr. Slee caught a severe cold in 1783, which terminated in his death, the succeeding year, aged 30. Mr. Slee published only one farewell sermon, on resigning the established church; but a great many valuable MS of his were lost, and a number of his letters to his friends were published at the end of his life, by the Rev. Thomas Whitefield, in 1801, at Halifax. (J)

Smirke, R. Esq., R.A., was educated at Carlisle, and became an excellent historical painter. (MW) - see also Wigton parish.

Smith, George, a most indefatigable antiquarian, was schoolmaster at Boothby, and afterwards at Wigton. About the middle of the last century he transmitted to the Gentleman's Magazine many valuable Roman inscriptions. He was a native of Scotland. (J)

Smith, John, landscape painter, is a native of Irthington. When a youth he obtained a taste for the art from the late Capt. Gilpin. He studied from nature amongst the beautiful and romantic lakes &c. in this county, and has published many fine prints from views taken by him of the most interesting scenery. He is highly patronised by the first characters in the kingdom. (J)

Southey, Dr. Robert, the eminent poet and miscellaneous writer, resided at Greta Hall, Keswick, for a period of 40 years. He was the son of a linen draper of the town of Bristol, where he was born in 1744. At the age of fourteen he was sent to the Westminster School, from which he was dismissed, after a residence of four years, for writing a scurrilous article on the mode of inflicting corporal punishment pursued at the school. Being intended by his parents for the Church, he was entered at Baliol College, Oxford; and here, he tells us, he learned two things during his stay - to row and to swim. He had no inclination to take Orders; indeed his frame of mind at this time totally unfitted him for the spiritual office. He had imbibed some of the principles of the French Revolution, and was a sceptic both in religion and politics. After leaving college he made the acquaintance of Coleridge, and the two kindred spirits married two sisters. Southey at this time supported himself by lecturing on history. His first poem of note was "Joan of Arc," which he sold to a Bristol publisher for 50 guineas. He spent six months in Spain and Portugal with his uncle, the Rev. Mr. Hill, chaplain of the English factory at Lisbon, and afterwards wrote his "Letters from Spain and Portugal." On his return to England he entered himself a student at Gray's Inn; but he soon found the study of the law was not compatible with his tastes, and relinquished it. He was appointed private secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for Ireland; but, unable to endure the fetters of service, he resigned the office in a few months. In 1804 he settled at Greta Hall, near Keswick, and the remaining portion of his life was devoted to the congenial pursuits of poetry and literature. "My actions," he says, writing to a friend, "are as regular as those of St. Dunstan's quarter-boys. Three pages of history after breakfast (equivalent to five in small quarto printing), then to translate and copy for the press, or to make my selections and biographies, or whatever else suits my humour, till dinner-time; from dinner-time till tea I read, write letters, see the newspaper, and very often indulge in a siesta. After tea I go to poetry, and correct, and re-write, and copy till I am tired, and then turn to anything else - to supper." We may see, from this slight sketch which he gives us, what an indefatigable worker he was. In 1807 he received a pension from the Government, which was afterwards increased by 300; and on the death of Pye he was appointed poet-laureate. After the death of his first wife he married Miss Caroline Bowles, the poetess. The bare enumeration of his works, upwards of 100 volumes in number, would require more space than we have at our disposal; we must content ourselves with naming those only on which his fame chiefly rests. These are "Joan of Arc", "Madoc", "Thalaba the Destroyer", and "The Curse of Kehama" among his poems; the lives of Nelson, Bunyan, and John Wesley; the history of the Peninsular War, of Brazil, and of Portugal; "Sir Thomas More; or Colloquies upon the Church"; and numerous essays, moral and political. He died at Greta Hall, March 21, 1843, and lies in the Crosthwaite churchyard. A beautiful marble monument to his memory was placed in the church by subscription. (B). See also Crosthwaite parish.

Sowerby, Joseph, born in 1721, at Murray, in Greystock [i.e., Murrah, Greystoke] an eminent mathematician. Having contrived, during short intervals from manual labours, to accumulate a little store of learning, he commenced schoolmaster, and in that capacity continued to improve himself. He then went to London, where he taught the mathematics in St. Paul's Church-yard, and was high in the estimation of his contemporaries; but was unfortunately cut off at the age of 28, - a genius that required only time to ripen into that of a second Newton. (J)

Spedding, Carlyle, - see Whitehaven.

Spedding, James, - see Whitehaven.

Stephenson, Joseph, R.A.. an eminent landscape painter, was a native of Carlisle, where he died, in 1792, aged 36 years. (MW)

Story, Thomas, - see Kirklinton parish.

Strong, Joseph, (blind from his infancy) was a tolerable musician. He constructed a well-toned organ, and was a good fancy weaver. He died a few years ago at a good old age. (J)

Swift, Jonathan, - see Whitehaven.



19 June 2015

Steve Bulman