James Heywood
Born28 May 1810
Died17 October 1897
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
SpouseAnne Kennedy Escher
Children1 daughter
Parent(s)Nathaniel Heywood
Ann Percival
RelativesThomas Percival (grandfather)
Benjamin Heywood (brother)

James Heywood (28 May 1810 – 17 October 1897) was a British MP, philanthropist and social reformer.

Early life

James Heywood was born on 28 May 1810 in Manchester, Lancashire. He was the son of banker Nathaniel and Ann (née Percival) Heywood, and was the brother of Benjamin Heywood and Thomas Heywood and grandson of Thomas Percival. He matriculated from Trinity College, Cambridge and was admitted to the Inner Temple.


Heywood was a member of the Portico Library and the Manchester Statistical Society, of which he was president between 1853–55,[citation needed] and published a study of the population of Miles Platting in Manchester.[1] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and served as their President from 1875 to 1877.[2] He was also interested in geology and in 1840 donated some hundred specimens to help form the mineral collection of Manchester Museum.[3] In 1835, he became the first president of the Manchester Athenaeum and he was also involved with the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society.[4]

Heywood was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in February 1839. His candidature citation read: "James Heywood, Esq of Trinity College, Cambridge, residing at 17 Cork Street, London, Barrister of the Inner Temple, author of a Report on the Geology of the Coal District of South Lancashire, published in the Transactions of the British Association, & also of a Report on the state of the population in Miles Platting, Manchester, published in the Journal of the Statistical Society of London; a gentleman much attached to science, being desirous of becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society, we the undersigned, do, from our personal knowledge, recommend him as deserving of that honor, & as likely to be a useful & valuable member"[1]

Heywood was Liberal MP for North Lancashire from 1847 to 1857. He campaigned for free libraries, museums and art galleries, university entrance for dissenters and university degrees for women. He was President of the Sunday Society which campaigned for leisure activities to be available on Sundays.

Heywood opened the first free library in Kensington at Notting Hill Gate in the 1870s, a decade prior to the 1889 dedication of the Kensington Central Library in the Kensington Vestry Hall.[5]

Personal life and death

Heywood married on 11 June 1853 Anne (née Kennedy) Escher, the daughter of John Kennedy and widow of Albert Escher; they had a daughter Anne Sophia. They lived in London.[6]

Heywood died on 17 October 1897.


  1. ^ a b "Library and Archive catalogue". The Royal Society. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  2. ^ "Royal Statistical Society List of Past Presidents". Royal Statistical Society. Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  3. ^ "The Manchester Museum - Rocks and Minerals". Manchester University. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  4. ^ White, Alan (1990). "Class, culture and control: the Sheffield Athenaeum movement and the middle class 1847-64". In Wolff, Janet; Seed, John (eds.). The Culture of Capital: Art, Power and the Nineteenth-Century Middle Class. Manchester University Press. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-71902-461-0.
  5. ^ Denny, Barbara; Starren, Carolyn (1998). Kensington Past. London, U.K.: Historical Publications. p. 152. ISBN 9780948667503. OCLC 42308455.
  6. ^ "James Heywood". thePeerage.com. Retrieved 5 August 2010.[unreliable source]

Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs

Media related to James Heywood (philanthropist) at Wikimedia Commons

Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byJohn Wilson-PattenJohn Talbot Clifton Member of Parliament for North Lancashire 18471857 With: John Wilson-Patten Succeeded byJohn Wilson-PattenLord Cavendish of Keighley Professional and academic associations Preceded byRobert Needham Philips President of the Manchester Statistical Society 1853–55 Succeeded byWilliam Metcalf