Heaton Lodge – Not an Ancestral home – Part 6 – James North Lane

Around this time a portrait was made of the Lodge by William Alexander Ansted (1859-1948) of the Suffolk school. It is still extant as far as I know and in private hands, being sold at auction in the mid noughties.

James North Lane is the next person coming to live in Heaton Lodge. He was the son of James Lane and Elizabeth North who were hoteliers. In 1841 they were running the Globe Inn by the Cathedral in Exeter, and in 1861 the White Lion on the High Street in Bath, James and Elizabeth made their fortune and retired to live in Wraenie Villa in Colwyn Bay.

The Globe Inn, and White Lion Inn (Exeter and Bath Museum Services)

For once we have solid middle class stock coming to live at the house. James North Lane was born in Exeter at the Globe.By 1861 he is an Insurance surveyor, but in 1859 later he is Secretary of the Royal Insurance company, living in Nailsea, near Bristol

He has a particular USP which is needed by the millowners of Manchester and Stockport, he has seen the beneficial effect of water sprinklers in the USA on quenching mill fires before they get out of control and by 1881 he has come to Manchester living at High Bank in Didsbury as General Manager of the Manchester and General Mutual Fire Insurance Corporation. Insurance premiums were greatly reduced if sprinklers were installed, and James insisted that they were. This gave benefits all round, fewer fires and more business for the Manchester General

He has married Fanny Ellen Pocock in 1863 in Somerset, and by December 1890 they are at Heaton Lodge (one of James’ sons , Philip Hardwick Lane, is reported lost at sea on the Talookdar in the South Atlantic). They appear there on the 1891 census. Although the family is visiting in London in the 1901 census, the electoral roll still shows James and Fanny living at Heaton Lodge.


James North Lane – The International Insurance Encyclopedia 1910

The Manchester and General have by now merged with the Commercial Union and James is the manager of the accident department. However, by 1903 the family have moved to London as Mayor Harrop is penning letters to the newspapers from Heaton Lodge. It is therefore possible that they were in the middle of such a move in 1901 (indeed the Manchester Guardian of 29 June 1901 advertises Heaton Lodge for sale, stating it has a frontage to the Didsbury Road of 185 yards (169m) ) and James and Fanny are last recorded living at 32 Alleyn Park, Dulwich. James death is reported there in the London Morning Post of 27 March 1906.

James and Fanny had 12 children between 1865 and 1886. Six of them are shown as living at Heaton Lodge in the 1891 census: Edith Mary, Arthur Vere, Florence Maud Mary, Hugh Septimus, Lilian Mary, and Constance Vere , along with Fanny’s sister who is reported as being sick. Although befitting the gardens we have seen described, a gardener and his family are living in the Lodge in 1891, by 1901, the business man needs an Insurance Messenger on hand, and Mr Hacking has that role, living in the Lodge.

Florence Maud lane married David McLure of West Bank House at St John Heaton Mersey in 1898 and on 20 August 1890 Mabel Francis married Charles Edwin Albrecht of Hamburg also at St John. Edith Mary married Arthur James Murgatroyd on 6 September 1894 and went to live at Oak Lea on Chester Road in Hazel Grove.

Copyright 2019 Allan Russell

Author: allanprussell

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

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