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The House on Salthouse Lane

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1818 – 1827

After Elizabeth’s death confusion broke out over legal ownership of the house and the other properties. The Register of Deeds records several transfers but without clarifying what was happening. The house seems to have passed to George Acklam of Sculcoates and the Rev. Charles Constable of Wassand, and in June 1819 they sold to Thomas Thompson, a partner in the Custom House Bank. A year later John Maud of Armin was selling the properties to William Acklam of Beverley. Two court cases followed; a trial of ejectment at the York Lent Assizes, 1820, which recovered possession of the property; and another at the York Summer Assizes of 1822 which gave final judgment. William Acklam was judged to be the rightful owner. He was a Lieutenant in the East York Regiment of Militia, and owned other property in Hull.

Only one occupant of the house can be traced during this period. In1820 its tenant was John Wade. He was the son of Richard Wade, a timber merchant and founder of the still existing firm, who had lived on Salthouse Lane himself in the 1790’s. John and his brother, Abraham, took over the firm. By 1826 John was living on Great Union Street. He died unmarried in Hornsea in 1850.

William Acklam died in 1827 and his estate was put into the hands of agents Hendry & Hyde for sale at auction. Copies of the sale catalogue survive. It describes a “capital Mansion House, Situate on the South Side of Salthouse Lane, in the Town of Kingston-upon-Hull, with the Garden, Coach House, Stable, and Out-Offices adjoining; the whole comprising a Ground Plot of nearly 1000 Square Yards. ” Among the mod cons in its favour was a Water Closet on the first floor landing. The Mechanics’ Institute was interested. It had been founded in 1825 and in two years had grown rich and important enough to be looking for its own premises. At a committee meeting on June 13th 1827 two possible properties were considered; one was a plot of ground on Waltham Street, priced at 16/- a square yard; the other was the house on Salthouse Lane. Mr. Francis Tadman, a builder, viewed the house for the Institute and reported back. Twelve day slater the committee had decided to buy it. It was resolved “that the Building Fund Committee be empowered to purchase the House and Grounds in SaltHouse Lane, lately belonging to Miss Harrison” and that “ the Building Fund Committee shall not purchase it at a price exceeding Eighteen Hundred Pounds.”

Tadman managed to buy the property for £1, 700; but the Mechanics’Institute never used it. The Bank of England was looking for premises in the town, and offered £2, 000 for the house. A committee meeting on 20th May 1828 resolved to accept the offer and put the profit towards the building fund.

A Branch of the Bank of England

The sale went through in July 1828, and the house became a branch of the Bank of England. Not everybody was happy. The Mayor of Hull and others had written to the Bank in London as early as September 1827 saying that a branch of the Bank was not wanted. Perhaps this opposition stemmed from fear of the effects of competition on the local banks. The sale went ahead, however.

When it was seen that the Directors were determined to open a Branch in Hull, letters from the Mayor and from the “Principal Merchants and Tradesmen” were sent to the Bank asking that “it may be understood by the Directors that the Branch bank about to be opened is not established at their request or for their accommodation.”Ironically, the Mayor at the time was George Coulson, brother of the house’s earlier resident.

The branch of the Bank of England opened for business on January 2nd1829, with George Schonswar as agent and Benjamin Stocks as Sub-agent. It was a success, apparently, since after 23 years bigger premises were needed. In 1852 the Bank bought the site of the old workhouse, Charity Hall on Whitefriargate, and the house stood empty for a few years.

The House on Salthouse Lane by Ann Godden - Page 4

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Copyright © 2005 Ann Godden


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