Heaton Lodge – Not an Ancestral home – Part 5 – Charles Lings

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Heaton Lodge on the 1895 OS Map – it is to the right of Highfield, just at the end of what is now Mauldeth Road. In today’s terms just in the gardens of 18-24 Lodge Court and beyond.

I have Barry Collinson of the Heaton Mersey History Group to thank for this post. He kindly supplied some newspaper articles on Heaton Lodge, and in them was an obituary for Charles Lings of Heaton Lodge. I had seen it before, but assumed it was a stray Lingard and a misprint. However, then I noticed the date, which didnt make sense for Lingards and started searching. As he had not lived at the lodge over the census return periods, I looked for other Lings in the area, and started piecing together a fuller picture.

Charles Lings was born to George Lings (1785-1851) and Sarah Browning in January 1818 in Manchester. As with the Barrs we are looking at a family of non conformists, but whilst not poor it looks like a family that hauled itself up the social scale.

Sarah Lings (1784-1853) ended her days as an Annuitant, so it would seem that George did make a fortune. In 1851 Charles is living in Ducie Street, Manchester, and is described as a Bookkeeper. He married Mary Ann Scott in Huyton in 1845 and in 1851 they are living in Milton Street in Broughton. He is now a Cotton Spinners Cashier and Accountant, and it is this noble and shamefully underrated profession that gives him his eventual wealth.

Twenty years later, he has come into contact with William Houldsworth of Reddish, owner of the Mill. He becomes his right hand man and go to business and commercial expert, earning enough money to set up house at Shawbrook Villa, Burnage

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Shawbrook Villa, Burnage Library Services

William Houldsworth described Charles at a bazaar in Reddish in 1893 It was about thirty years since he paid his first visit to Reddish Green, accompanied by his late valued partner, Mr. Charles Lings. This suggests his partnership started in the early 1860s, he was of such value to Houldsworth that he set up a second mill in Reddish next to the Houldsworth Mill in partnership with Charles, and his son, George Scott Lings in 1870. By the 1890s they were looking to the USA and George Scott Lings made several trips to New York, setting up a cotton business there and eventually marrying and naturalising as an American citizen.

Charles Lings moved to Heaton Lodge around 1886. This leaves a gap of at least six years where we know it was not inhabited by Julia Barr. She was living at Seymour villa in 1881, and may have moved sooner.

However, Charles only had a couple of years at Heaton Lodge, he died in 1888 at Heaton Lodge at it was once more put up for sale.

“Heaton Mersey – To be let of Sold, that most desirable residence known as Heaton Lodge, for many years in the occupation of the late Mr Charles Lings. The house which is beautifully situated and comands extensive views is within eight minutes walk of the Heaton Mersey Station, and contains dining , drawing and morning rooms, and an exceptionally fine billiard room, nine bedrooms, dressing room, cloak room , vestibule,lavatories & servants hall, two staircases, laundry and all the usual offices, heating apparatus to warm hall and billiard room, with capital cellars; beautifully laid out grounds, planted with well grown shrubs and trees,; excellent entrance lodge, good kitchen garden, well stocked conservatory, hothouses, puts, potting house and extensive vineries. The outbuildings are most convenient, consisting of stabling for four horses loose box coach house &c, together with capital cottage for coachman. For cards to view and further particulars, apply to Mr Arthur Lings, 24 Kennedy Street , Manchester

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser 11 August 1888

I can vouch for the vineries, they were still there, albeit dilapidated , in the early 1970s. Heaton Mersey is the new station, but I would argue with an eight minute walk, especially as we shall see in a future post that the Lodge entrance was at the St Winifred’s end.

That the advert says it had been for many years in the occupation of Charles Lings may indicate that he was in residence there beforehand, which would make sense, however, he only appears on the electoral roll in 1886 at Heaton Lodge.

Arthur Lings was Thomas Lings son, Charles’ brother.

Charles’ family was a big one, George and Sarah Lings had 12 children. Two did not survive infancy and one died aged 21

Thomas Lings (1820-1899) married Maria Davis and then Elizabeth and had two children, one of whom Arthur was the above solicitor. They lived at Beech House in Northenden, he worked as a rates comptroller at Manchester council

Joseph Richard (1824-1898) married Ann Plant, and became a mill overseer, he lived at Osborne Villa on Barlow Moor Road.

James Lings (1829-1911) was a successful director of a cotton manufacturer, Sir E Armitage and sons, and lived also on Barlow Moor Road at number 150. He married Ellen.

Mary Lings (1810-1875) married William Goodier and lived in Liverpool.

William Lings (1815-1893) became a Calico Printer’s agent, and lived on Yew Tree Lane, a couple of doors along from his brother Thomas.

Charles Lings’ children were as successful as their father. As we have seen George Scott Lings (1848-1935) ran the American side of the business, marrying Louise Mary Hughes Hicks in Manhattan in 1911, they lived in Rockland , New York, and after her death in 1830 he moved to Summit Union in New Jersey, before returning to England and passing away in Bucklow at the end of 1935.

Charles Scott Lings (1849-1899) ran the UK and European side of the business, expanding into France.

Charles Scott was educated privately and then at Cambridge before working alongside his father at Houldsworth mill, and in 1882 became Managing Director of the mill.

In 1897 he founded the Fine Spinners and Doublers Association which was an umbrella for the Manchester Cotton Mills, it was a mammoth undertaking in terms of finance and organisation to bring all these companies together, and he took sole responsibility for the flotation – raising £4m – the equivalent of over £500m in todays money. It enabled the Manchester companies to act in union in production and sales. This became an FT 30 company , only disappearing when it was taken over by Courtaulds in the 1950s

In his private life he was a member of Reddish council, and president of the Reddish Working Mens Conservative Association, and a JP for Lancaster. He travelled extensively and held a master mariners certificate.

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Charles Scott Lings

In the next part we will learn of James North Lane, and how he helped remove the risk of fire in the mills.

Copyright Allan Russell 2019

Author: allanprussell

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

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