Heaton Lodge – Not an Ancestral home – Interlude – For Weddings or a Funeral?

The thing about researching this is you chance on something and no matter what it is you cant get an explanation, so it will be perhaps forever shrouded in mystery.

If we go back to Roger Rowson Lingard and the Marslands who seem to pop up all over the place, they popped up on the 31 March 1851 at the Albion Hotel in Chester. At first I thought it may be a wedding, but I cant find any Lingards or Marslands being married in Chester, it’s unlikely to be a funeral, they were too short notice, and people have travelled great distances. Baptisms would have not been the rowdy affairs they deteriorate in today.

The only thing I can think of is a trial or a conference. Did they have conferences in those days? There are a few solicitor types in the adjoining houses, so it has something to do with solicitors I think. However, beyond that I am flummoxed, and it will have to stay a mystery The Druggist probably just happened to be there.

The Albion Hotel was on lower Bridge Street in Chester, Parry’s Railway companion of 1848 said it was a “respectable hotel”, whilst the 1856 Stranger’s Guide to Chester and environs effused:

…that first class establishment, the ALBION HOTEL. This house has no superior in the city; for while of handsome external proportions its interior arrangements have all been conceived with especial regard to the comford and convenience of visitors. The Assembly room is the largest in the city ; the other rooms are light and lofty ; in short under the zealous superintendence of Mr and Mrs Chambers, none who once make acquaintance with the ALBION will ever sigh for better or more comfortable quarters. Behind the hotel are extensive pleasure grounds , as well as a verdant and spacious Bowling green, to which there is a carriage entrance from Park Street.

I guess that’s a five star review then. Dont rush, the Albion that is in Chester now may or may not be the same one.


Anyway, what were they doing. Here is the guest list



Mystery solved. Jill Trumble of Stockport Heritage group tells me they were probably there for the Chester assizes. These I didn’t know about, they were quarterly court sessions where the most serious crimes were tried. Richard Boughey Monk was prosecuting a burglary at Simonswood where the miscreants had shot a farmer in his mouth when he opened his door. He suffered horrific disfigurement but survived.

The Birkenhead riots were also tried here. Locals were demonstrating against navvies being brought in from Ireland and several outbreaks of violence occurred between 1850 and 1851, resulting in armed police being brought in.

Thomas Marsland was there in his role of high sherrif for the assizes.

It explains the preponderance of silk around the hotel and adjoining streets and is a useful insight into the day to day work of the Lingard and Marsland families.

It is also a human touch to see that some brought along their wives and relatives, the ladies I guess wanted to shop in upmarket Chester, to get the latest fashions.

It would have been a difficult journey, the railway did not connect Stockport and Chester until around 5 years later. It was probably made by horse or Stagecoach. But as they were there for the duration they clearly made it into a family occasion.

It was certainly good business for the hoteliers and the newspapers as this advertisement says.

My pun in the title then was wrong. Perhaps Court in the act or given the riots in Liverpool Scallies of Justice. I’ll get my coat.

Copyright Allan Russell 2019

Author: allanprussell

Big houses in the Heatons and others that take my interest.

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