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George Scholey Lord Mayor of London
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George Scholey, Lord Mayor of London 1813


Once again I must offer my thanks to Mr Reg Waites a Scholey descendant who was born in the Old Hall at Ackworth and live until his sad death in the village for much of the following information

The birthplace of George Scholey is in Sandal Magna close to Wakefield at the junction of Manygate Lane and Castle Road. When he was born there in 1758 the building was a lively and thriving Inn the " Cock and Bottle" and was a halt for coaches running between Leeds , Sheffield and London . George was the son of John Scholey the Innkeeper. The building has now been replaced by a group of attractive cottages.

Manygates Lane was originally known as Cock & Bottle Lane, in the 1800s murder trials were held within the Inn itself . An Inn on the site is mentioned in records of both the Royalist v Cromwell civil war but also in the much earlier civil war: the War of the Roses although it was only given the name The Cock & Bottle in the 1500s. What is left of the building dates though from the 1600s and not the 1400s so it was clearly rebuilt at some point

 The lofts contain  wonderful oak "A" frames which effectively tie the front & rear walls  together.

 Manygates Lane was the main Leeds to London Road  pre @ 1730 when Barnsley Road was originally constructed. There is evidence  that there is every chance the Inn was actually operating as a "coaching inn" as when a neighbour renovated the end cottage (No. 56) they found the original stable boy's fire place set high in the boundary  wall which now forms part of the kitchen to that property.

As  Manygates Lane was the main approach to Sandal Castle during the Wars of the Roses and the fact that Richard Plantagenet  3rd Duke of  York (and father of Edward IV and Richard III) was killed locally  during the Battle of Wakefield in December 1460  the memorial to  his death ( Grade II listed building 5388 1865 13/190) is situated  some 250m from the Cock & Bottle outside Manygates School.

Some  consider that the nursery rhyme "The Grand Old Duke of York, He  had 10,000 men" etc could have its origins from Richard and his army  leaving Sandal Castle on the 30th December  no one really knows.

 More specifically - No's 56 to 64 (evens) Manygates Lane, 
Sandal (i.e. The cock & Bottle Inn) are registered at Wakefield MDC 
ref. no. 3390 1840 as being of local historical interest (although 
they do not have a Grade listing).

George attended the school (10 boys) which had been endowed in 1686 by a local man Richard Taylor.

He was an intelligent boy and as a youth went to work in the old bank at Leeds and from there moved to London and obtained a post with a firm of hop merchants. He worked hard and prospered .

In 1785 (27 years old) he went into partnership with Alderman Sawbridge and in the same year married the daughter of a member of the Corporation of London. At the start of the Volunteer System he was one of the first to step forward not only in offering his own personal service but by clothing and engaging every young person of his mercantile concern who was capable of bearing arms .

He became interested in politics and later represented Dowgatein the Court of Aldermen for 34 years. He became Sheriff in 1804 and Lord Mayor of London in 1812 when he was described as a distiller. For those who do not know, the following is a description of a recent investiture of a Lord Mayor and will give some idea of the prestige that goes with the role

November is the month when with all the historic pomp and ceremony the City of London bestows upon an elected citizen the high honour of Lord Mayor. We can join the crowds who watch the procession the highlight of which is the Lord Mayor himself in hs gilded coach and through the television screen we have glimpses of the banquet , the Mansion House and the Guildhall amd can imagine what the forthcoming year will mwan to the new Lord Mayor of London.

On George's Investiture he invited friends from Wakefield to join in the banquet.

Alderman Scholey was greatly respected being honest and frugal ----except when called upon to help others --- and had a high sense of duty. To quote the European Magazine and the London Review of October 1813 " It was to his merit that, regardless of the resentment of the wealthy he superintended the average price of grain striking a correct balance between corn and bread to the advantage of the working classes"

According to a report in the Wakefield & Halifax Journal of July 1812 " The price of labour had not kept pace with the price of bread " As the average earnings in 1786 was 3 shillings ( 15pence ) per day this would have purchased quarter loaves. In 1812 at his highest level labour did not return more than 6 shillings per day ( 30 pence) but that only bought 4 quarter loaves . The rise in the cost of loaves was as follows :

1786 6d ( 2.5 pence) 1792 7.25 d ( 3 pence) 1798 8d ( 3.2pence)

1804 13.25d ( 5.1 pence) 1810 15.5d (7.6pence) 1812 19.75d ( 9pence)

One wonders if George had his home in mind for at the time Wakefield was undergoing difficulties. The city was known as the granary of the west Riding which came by canal even from abroad The huge Corn Market on a Wednesday was the largest in the north of England and second only to London, however in 1810 because of the Napoleonic wars prices were running high and there was a scarcity of food for the poor. This was one of the reasons for the Luddite risings . In August 1812 a riotous assembly mostly of exasperated women gathered outside the Wakefield corn market and prevented the farmers and merchants from dealing. The Constable was sent for to protect the Cornfactor. Incidents like these were becoming more and more common.

There is a caricature of 1813 Showing Alderman Scholey weighing corn and bread out

When he retired George lived in a house on Clapham Common for many years till his death in 1839. His friends were surprised at his will as they thought his estate would be much larger. It seems he had lost money in the bank failures of 1826 but he still left 120,000

10,000 had been left to Sandal, half for the benefit of the poor and half for the school.

Here are a few contemporary news items referring (inter alia) to George

Leeds Mercury, Leeds, Saturday, 28th March, 1812
Yorkshire Society
On Wednesday the 14th Instant, the first anniversary of the above society was held at the London Tavern, Bishopgate Street, where about 130 Gentlemen from this county, of the first respectability, principally resident in the city, sat down to a very excellent dinner, which consisted of every delicacy of the season, and wines of the first flavour and quality; after the cloth was drawn Non Nobis Domine was sung in grand style by Messrs Taylor, Leet, Elliot etc. who also delighted the company with many beautiful Glees, Catches and Songs; as also did Blanchard and Saynor, with several truly laughable and harmonic songs in true Yorkshire Style, especially written for the occasion. The Chair was very ably filled by John Hall Esq., who gave many loyal and constitutional toasts which were drank with enthusiasm, and greatly applauded, and the evening spent with the utmost conviviality, harmony, and good friendship. After the Chairman had quitted the Chair, Samuel Wright Esq. was unanimously called to supply the vacancy, which he did, with his usual wit, ability, and good humour; and the company only separated at a very late hour, highly gratified with their evening's entertainment. Amongst the company were several Noblemen, Members from different parts of the county, Aldermen, Gentlemen, and Merchants, of the first respectability, whose names are too numerous to mention. Amongst the rest was George Scholey Esq., the Lord Mayor Elect, who was unanimously, appointed Chairman for the year ensuing, which is fixed for the last Wednesday in March. We cannot better conclude this paragraph than in the words of the Chairman, who, in rising to give thanks for the honour done to him on his health being drank, congratulated the company on being surrounded by so truly, and highly respectable a meeting, which bade fair, like its county, to become the first in the world.
Note: Alderman George was a steward in 1814 & attended most years until his death

The Morning Chronicle, London, Tuesday, 20th April, 1813
The Mansion House was fitted up in the most splendid and costly manner, no pains or expense being spared. On entering the Company retired to the Chinese and Ottoman parlours, and other sitting rooms, off the stone hall. At six o'clock the large folding doors of the Egyptian Hall were thrown open, dinner having been announced, the band struck up "O the Roast Beef of England" The Grand Baron of beef, weighing upwards of two hundredweight, and a half, was then brought in on a barrow between two men, followed by the carver, with a white apron on, and bearing a huge carving knife and fork. The Lord and Lady Mayoress, the Sword and Mace Bearers, followed by a numerous train of Noblemen, the Aldermen, and Sheriffs in their robes, etc, etc, and an immense number of ladies, entered and took their seats. The Hall was ornamented and illuminated in a style of unexampled splendour. Four tables were laid out for dinner, beautifully ornamented with temples, colonnades, naval and military trophies, etc, exquisitely carved and ---, and loaded with every delicacy, served up in the most elegant style, in 200 silver covers; the company amounting to about 350 persons. The entrance hall, and all the other apartments, lobbies and staircases were superbly ornamented with wreaths of flowers and variegated lights, and the number of large mirrors, reflecting the company, had a most beautiful effect.
At the further end of the table was a Crown, G.R. and a brilliant star; below which stood a beautiful bust of the Gallant Marquis of Wellington, surrounded by an arch of small lamps, which had a very good effect. At the opposite end of the Hall was G.P.R. with a ----, the pillars likewise beautifully illuminated.
----- tables were arranged in four long ones, --- ---- at the top, at which sat the Lord Mayor, the Lady Mayoress, and the principle Nobility, in the centre of which was a large and beautiful Temple, ---- on each side, ornamented with medallion ciphers of the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs and ---- , the ground work was diversified with a Russian General in full uniform, on horseback, and two ----- fighting with the French. On the other several elegant temples, supported by six gilt pillars, about eight feet high, the top of which represented a crown, with other pillars arched, and ornamented with military trophies entirely new.
After the ladies withdrew, the Lord Mayor gave the following toasts;
The King
The Prince of Wales
The Princess of Wales
The Emperor of Russia and Our Allies
The Turkish Ambassador and Captain Bock sat at the same table with the Lord Mayor and were highly entertained. The Ball commenced precisely at a Quarter past Ten o'clock. The Assemblage had a very sombre appearance, from the entire of the company being in mourning. The company were very numerous, although there were not so many persons of distinction present as we have noticed on former occasions. Amongst those present we noticed:- Turkish and Russian Ambassadors, and Captain Bock, Lady Milman, the Recorder, the Chamberlain, Aldermen Sir R.C. Glyn, Sir Jas, Shaw, Sir M. Bloxam, Sir W. Leighton, Sir C. Flower, Sir C.J. Hunter, Messrs Ansley, Thomas Smith, etc, etc.
The Ball was opened by the Russian Ambassador and Miss Caroline Scholey, the Lord Mayor's second daughter. The Ball room was so much crowded, that country dances were, with much difficulty, commenced.

Jackson's Oxford Journal, Oxford, Saturday, 26th October, 1839
The late Alderman Scholey commenced life as the junior clerk in the bank of Messrs Becket, Blaydes & Co of this town. He acquitted himself with ability and fidelity with them for several years, and from thence was enabled to obtain a confidential situation in the house of Messrs Stephenson & Co, hop merchants, London, by whom he was subsequently taken into partnership. Mr Scholey's respectability of conduct led to his elevation to the first civic honours. His career through life affords a striking example of what may be accomplished by diligence and propriety of conduct. The late Alderman was a native of Sandal, near Wakefield, in which he has several relations now residing (Leeds Intelligencer)

Liverpool Mercury, Liverpool, Friday, 22nd November, 1839
Munificent Legacy:
The late Mr Alderman Scholey of London, has left by his will, the munificent legacy of 10,000, three percent consoles, (after the decease of his daughter, Mrs Bellamy), to the vicar of Sandal Magna, near Wakefield, and the trustees of the Endowed School of that place; one moiety of the interest thereof to 50 poor parishioners who attend the parish church; and the other moiety of the interest to be applied to the purposes and objects of the school. Some time ago the worthy alderman was written to by a gentleman of Sandal, stating a fact of a subscription having been commenced for the purpose of promoting education in the village, and respectfully soliciting his aid. The reply had reference, in all probability, to the legacy of 10,000, as it intimated, that it would be found, in the event of his death, that he had not, in his lifetime, "forgotten his native village"

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George Scholey weighing out corn

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