Wednesday, 23 January 2013
Francis Mewburn. (Solicitor for the Stockton and Darlington Railway / Author
Fit emblem of his rectitude of mind.
His hair, now bleach’d as white as winter’s snow,
After a life of honest industry,
Reminds us that his days are nearly done 5
On earth; yet will his influence survive
When he is dust, and many wish to tread
In his sure footsteps; for a well-spent life
Is never lived in vain.”
‘Peter Proletarius’ (George Markham Tweddell)
[Bards & Authors, p. 105]
This was written as a poetic introduction to a chapter in Tweddell's Bards and Authors of Cleveland and South Durham 1972 on Francis Mewburn.
You can download the original book free on this page of the Tweddell Hub. You'll find the chapter on Francis Mewburn in the book. http://georgemarkhamtweddell.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/bards-and-authors-of-cleveland-and.html
Tweddell also writes about him in his book The History of the Stockton and Darlington Railway and its various Branches. - which you can download free on this page of the Tweddell Hub
Francis Mewburn (bio) from http://www.bermac.co.uk/the_peases.html
As stated, Mewburn became chief Bailiff of Darlington being the Bishop of Durham’s, representative. In 1846 Mewburn died of Bright’s disease, (kidney disease). The position of Bailiff ceased when Darlington became a Borough in 1868. Mewburn performed many duties one being the laying of the foundation stone for Skerne Bridge, in 1824 (on the back of a £5 note). He also started the Blackwell Bridge, in 1832. Mewburn was best known however for the legalities of the S&D Railways, and it was October 27th 1829 that he presided at a dinner at the Croft Spa Hotel, to celebrate the opening of the Croft branch.
He predicted that Darlington people would be able to leave Darlington any morning attend an opera at London in the evening and be home again by breakfast time, but breakfast should have read tea time.The well-attended inaugural meeting concluded, and the people, having full confidence in these respectable people, appointed a 40 strong management committee, made up from those prepared to subscribe £500 to the project." Read more here - http://www.bermac.co.uk/the_peases.html