INSTITUTIONS, CHARITIES, AND SCHOOLS.
Considering the population, Southport is remarkable for the number of its benevolent institutions, and for the liberality with which the branch associations for religious purposes, in connection with their gigantic parents, are supported. Whether for the relief of the sick or distressed, to clothe the naked, to instruct the ignorant, to bury the dead, or to afford spiritual consolation to those who require it, for each and all of these works of mercy there is some provision provided. There are rewards for those who risk their personal safety in their benevolent wish to save the lives of the crews of the unfortunate vessels cast upon our coast; there are loyal and philanthropic institutions, the members of which meet and vie with each other in teaching and spreading the principles of brotherly love and truth, and mutually assisting each other; there are schools for the poor and the wealthy, for the infant and the adult. The propensities for evil must be very strong in the individuals who, with such advantages, and such few temptations, go astray; and it is pleasing to think that, although there are numbers of poor persons in the neighbourhood, it is only in the very worst of times that there is any actual want.
THE STRANGERS' CHARITY.
This noble and philanthropic institution, belongs rather to the county in general than to Southport, but it well deserves to be the first-named. It was established in 1806, a very early period in Southport history, at the suggestion of the benevolent Miss Leigh, one of the earliest residents in the town, assisted by the late Thomas Ridgway, Esq., of Walsuches, in this county. Its object is the relief of poor sick strangers, to whose recovery sea air or bathing may be conducive; and in order to prevent imposition, a patient is required to procure a recommendation from a subscriber, and also a certificate from a regular medical practitioner, stating the complaint, and his opinion as to whether the patient is likely to receive benefit from the above sources. If accepted by the committee, they are allowed the sum of seven shillings per week for their maintenance, with medical advice, medicines, warm and cold baths, for three weeks, which is the allotted time allowed by the rules; and if it is considered desirable that they should remain any longer it is required that they shall make application for the renewal of their recommendation, and again be subject to the decisions of the committee. Each subscriber can recommend one poor patient for every twenty-four shillings sterling of subscription, which sum is the average cost of a patient staying three weeks. The business of the charity is conducted by a committee, treasurer, secretary, and the medical gentlemen. It is supported by voluntary subscriptions and donations, to the amount of between six and seven hundred pounds annually, and the wealthy subscribers from the manufacturing districts who sojourn here cannot but view with the most intense pleasure the Samaritan-like labours of the officers to render the charity as efficient as possible. In the year 1809, forty-two patients were admitted, the income for that year being £78 1s. 6d.; but in the year 1846, the amount of subscriptions and donations had increased to £682 5s. 0d., and the number of patients to 570. The question, as to the propriety of disposing of the present building and erecting a more commodious one in Sea-bank-road, for the purpose of admitting in-patients, has been discussed, but no definite arrangement has been made. In concluding this sketch of the Strangers' Charity, we cannot refrain from expressing our opinion that an institution with such noble and generous patrons, such diligent and faithful officers, and, above all, such truly Christian objects, cannot fail to prosper.
THE LOCAL DISPENSARY.
A public meeting was held in the town in March, 1825, "for the purpose of considering the propriety of establishing a Local Dispensary for the benefit of the poor of North Meols and its vicinity," an object which the Strangers' Charity was not intended to comprehend. Resolutions in favour of the undertaking were passed, a committee appointed, and the Dispensary was opened on the 3rd of May following. The institution, which was found to be of great service, was in existence for a few years, but afterwards decayed for want of support; or, perhaps, for want of exertion being made to obtain subscriptions. The late Mr. Blundell, one of its medical officers, was very anxious to see it re-established, as, indeed, were many of its original supporters; and the absence of any relief for the sick poor rendered it actually necessary. In the Visiter of May 22nd, 1847, an advertisement was inserted calling a meeting of such persons as were favourable to the establishment of a Local Dispensary, on the 26th of the same month. The meeting took place in the Assembly Room, the Rev. C. Hesketh, rector of the parish, in the chair, and rules were proposed, and agreed to unanimously, for the institution's government. Four resident medical gentlemen who had kindly volunteered their services, were also appointed. An adjourned meeting was held on the 2nd of June, at which the Rev. C. Hesketh was appointed president; Thomas Hulme, Esq., treasurer; and Mr. Robert Johnson, secretary. Messrs. Garside, Walker, and Kershaw were appointed dispensing chemists to the institution to take the office six months in succession. An active canvass was made in the town, and near upon £100 was raised within a very few weeks. All poor persons residing in the parish of North Meols, and not admitted to parochial relief, are admissable as patients of the Dispensary, on producing a subscriber's recommendation, between the hours of nine and ten in the morning any day except Sunday. The management of the institution, including making, altering, and repealing the rules, the control of the funds, and the appointment of the medical and other officers, is vested in a committee, consisting of all subscribers of one guinea and upwards, all donors of ten guineas and upwards at one time, and the medical officers for the time being. The surgeons receive no remuneration for their services, except when it is necessary to make visits in Birkdale and other places at some distance from the town, in which case they receive half-a-crown for each visit. Every subscriber is entitled to have one patient constantly on the books for each guinea annually subscribed; and a donation of ten guineas entitles the donor to the same privileges as an annual subscriber of one guinea. A half-yearly subscription of half-a-guinea, paid at Midsummer or Christmas, entitles the subscriber to have one patient on the books for the half year immediately succeeding that on which such subscription has been paid. Clergymen and other persons making collections in churches, chapels, and elsewhere, and paying over the same to the treasurer of the institution, are entitled to the same privileges in recommending patients as an annual subscriber of the like amount. An annual public meeting takes place, at which a report of the proceedings, and the financial state of the institution, is read.
THE MARINE FUND.
The object of the Marine Fund is to reward those persons who save, or attempt to save, lives and property in cases of shipwreck, and give assistance to vessels in distress. It is thus distributed. A reward of two pounds ten shillings is given to the crew of the first boat that reaches a vessel in distress, or gives effectual assistance a reward of two pounds is given to the second boat, and one guinea to the third. In addition to the sum each boat may be entitled to, a further reward is given for every life saved from the wreck. The committee reserves to itself, in every instance, the power of increasing or diminishing, or even entirely withholding, premiums, according to the circumstances of the case. The Rev. G. Ford, the former rector of the parish, was the originator of this excellent institution, about the year 1816. Three or four years previous to that time, a life-boat was built by subscription, but proved to be unfit for the purpose, she was therefore used as a pleasure boat during the summer months. Mr. Ford, feeling anxious that some means should be adopted to prevent, as far as possible, that destruction of life and property which so frequently took place upon this dangerous coast, recommended the disposal of the boat, and the establishment of a fund, the interest of which would be sufficient to defray any claims which might be made, without encroaching upon the principal sum. The subscribers, nothing loath, agreed, and, including subscriptions, a considerable amount of money was raised, sufficient to carry into effect the benevolent intentions of the founder, for the interest has in general been amply sufficient for the expenses of the year. A life-boat, properly constructed, has also been established for several years; so that it will be seen that all the means that humanity could suggest have been provided for the assistance of those luckless mariners who by the storm or tempest, or ignorance of the coast, are in danger of perishing. The Rev. W. Docker has for some years been both treasurer and secretary of the fund, and we have reason to believe that its distribution is in most excellent hands.
THE LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTION.
Ten or eleven years ago, a number of young men in the town, determined to establish a "Mechanics' Institution, for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. The first meetings were held in a kitchen, to which the librarian brought all the library in a basket for distribution amongst the members. The members and books increased pretty rapidly, and in the course of three or four years the committee felt themselves justified in renting a convenient and commodious room in Lords'-street, opposite to the Bold Arms Hotel, and the advantages of membership were considerably increased, as much as ten-and-a-half guineas having been given for a course of lectures. The number of members at this time was about sixty. A dispute amongst the committee led to the dissolution of the institution, and the library, which had then become of some value, remained out of use for four or five years. Some of the seceding members formed themselves into a society called the "Southport Reading and Discussion Society," which afterwards merged into a mere reading society, and was eventually dissolved. The Rev. J. E. Millson, soon after his appointment as pastor of the Independent congregation in the town, having been previously connected with a Literary Institute, suggested to the inhabitants, through the columns of the Visiter, the desirableness of forming the present Literary and Scientific Institution. Convinced, by the reverend gentleman's hints, of the usefulness of such an institution, a number of respectable inhabitants requested him to deliver a lecture more fully explanatory of his views upon the subject. To this request he, without hesitation, acceded, and his lecture upon "Mental Culture" made a decided impression upon the numerous audience who heard it. The chair was taken by the Rev. J. Jackson, and the objects proposed were supported, in a series of resolutions, by persons of almost every grade of religious belief. The foundation of the institution may be dated from the delivery of this lecture, which took place on the 14th of October, 1847. A meeting of the subscribers, officers, and members of the late Mechanics' Institution was called by its secretary a few days afterwards, at which it was unanimously agreed that the library and all other property of that institution should be transferred to the newly-formed one. A number of resident gentlemen offered their services to canvass the inhabitants for subscriptions to increase the library, and for the general support of the new institution, and they were remarkably successful in their applications. Upwards of one hundred members were entered upon the books the first quarter, including youths and adults of all ages. The terms are one shilling and threepence per quarter, and an additional threepence is charged to those members attending the reading, writing, arithmetic, and grammar classes, in order to defray the expense of lighting, without encroaching upon the funds. There is also a class for vocal music, the members of which pay an increased subscription. Each of the classes have most efficient teachers, who generously give their services. The library consists of about four hundred volumes, including works in various departments of literature, the arts and sciences, voyages and travels, &c. Lectures upon scientific and other useful subjects are given at suitable times, and are well appreciated by the members. The institution has already done much good in the town, affording, as it does, an opportunity to the working classes of attaining the useful, and many of the superior branches of education, on the latest and most approved systems, at a cost within the reach of all.
THE SAVINGS' BANK.
The North Meols Savings' Bank has been established since the year 1838. The entire cost of founding the Bank was £25 13s. 0d., which was subscribed for by the public, as no portion of the funds could be appropriated to that purpose. The prosperous state of the Bank may be judged by the following statement: On the 20th of November, 1838, the deposits amounted to £1101 0s. 10d.; and on the 20th of November, 1847, the deposits had increased to £7972 19s. 3d. This latter sum is thus divided: 157 depositors whose respective balances, including interest, did not exceed £20 each; 80 were above £20, and not exceeding £50 each; 25 were above 50, and not exceeding £100 each; 8 were above £100, and not exceeding £150 each; 7 were above £150, and not exceeding £200 each; making the total number of depositors 277, the remainder being the funds of five charitable institutions and four friendly societies. The actual amount received from depositors in 1840 was £819 9s. 8d.; whilst in the year 1847 the sum was no less than £2176 17s. 2d., and that in a period of great commercial distress. The Bank is open from three to four o'clock every Friday for the payment and receipt of cash to or from the depositors. The business is managed gratuitously, and thus the highest rate allowed by Act of Parliament is given to the depositor.
THE PROVIDENT SOCIETY.
As its name implies, the Provident Society was instituted for the purpose of encouraging the labouring poor to provide for the future; and this was accomplished by holding out the strongest inducements for them to save money. The most trifling sums were received, and a bonus was allowed for these deposits which if considered as interest was enormous. The gifts of the wealthy enabled these bonuses to be paid, and there is no doubt but that the society was productive of much good. The society has not been in active operation for some length of time; not from the want of funds, but from one of the worst of wants, want of inclination.
THE PROVIDENT CLOTHING SOCIETY.
In connexion with the school and district of Trinity Church, there is a society for encouraging the poor to provide themselves and their children with decent apparel, so that they may attend divine worship in a fit and becoming manner. Small deposits are received, to which a bonus is added, and the depositors afterwards select useful and substantial clothing and bedding at any of the shops in the town to the amount of their respective claims, the society discharging the tradesmen's bills. Those parents who have children attending the school have greater advantages than those who have not. Subscriptions are, of course, necessary to enable the society to continue its operations. There are other similar societies in the parish, well deserving of support.
THE INDEPENDENT ORDER OF ODD-FELLOWS.
The Southport District of this most extensive and universal benevolent institution includes two lodges, containing about one hundred and fifty members. The Loyal Fleetwood Lodge was opened on the 6th of November, 1839, at the house of Mr. Salthouse, The Hesketh Arms Hotel, by the officers of the Ormskirk District, to which it was attached for two or three years, when its importance led to its being created into a separate district, including the lodge at Churchtown. A subscription equal to about one pound per annum entitles the members to be relieved during sickness at the rate of ten shillings per week, with medicines and medical attendance; and at their decease the widows or representatives of the deceased members are entitled to the sum of ten pounds to defray the expenses of interment. The members are also entitled to the sum of five pounds at the decease of their wives. A provision is also made for the widows and orphans of deceased members, by means of a fund which is maintained for that purpose. The society is termed a secret, and is, therefore, according to law, an illegal society; but this secrecy is the grand feature in its construction, for it is thus that they are enabled to detect imposition and to preserve good order at their meetings; and the secret is the talisman by which the bond of brotherhood is maintained amongst the members. What is the secret? Friendship! Love!! Truth!!! Within the lodge all are equal: all are hailed as brothel's: religious and political animosities cease to exist, and the hand of fellowship is extended, without respect to social distinctions. Much ceremony is observed during the progress of business, which is punctually opened and closed at certain stated times. There are several ranks of offices, to which the humblest member may aspire ; the abilities and merits of the man outweighing position in society. The titles which are borne by those who have creditably served the various offices are as proudly owned as are the appendages to the names of the savans of "the world without." Lectures upon the highest principles of morality, are delivered at regular intervals; and upon the admission of new members, their duty as members of society and loyal subjects is solemnly impressed upon their memories, and is but in few instances forgotten.
It may be received as additional evidence of the high sanitary condition of the town, that in the Southport lodge, which numbers about one hundred members, of ages varying from twenty to fifty years, and including their wives, at least half as many more, there have been only four claims for the funeral donation within eight years and the claims for the sick relief have been comparatively small.
Few persons are aware of the extent of this society. Late returns show that the number of members throughout the kingdom are about 260,000; the number of lodges, 4200; and the number of districts, near 400. The contributions of this immense body of men amount annually to £320,000, of which about £200,000 is expended in sick and funeral donations and other necessary expenses. The entire capital of the various lodges amounts to no less than £600,000; and it is computed that a population of 1,000,000 souls are dependent upon this fund in their various necessities. Amongst the number of members there are several members of parliament, many hundred divines, and also magistrates and other civil officers. There is scarcely a city, borough, town, or village throughout the kingdom that does not contain a branch of this most praiseworthy institution, and its influence and principles have extended to other and distant lands.
THE ANCIENT ORDER OF FORESTERS.
A branch of the Ancient Order of Foresters, another of those societies so general in this country, has been established since September, 1843. The principles of the society, as far as we have been able to ascertain, are similar to those of the Odd-fellows, Contributions of about the same amount insure to the members of the Court of Foresters similar advantages to the members of the Lodges of Odd-fellows. The odd ceremonies observed at the Foresters' Court partake of the character of those performed at the meetings of the former society. Like the Odd-fellows, the Foresters are at home in almost every part of the kingdom, but their numbers and influence is not so extensive as the former society.
Here we have a third secret society. Plots and conspiracies say some! Not a bit of it. It is merely a number of well-conducted, industrious men, who meet privately,—secretly, to discuss, not the downfall of monarchy, but the noblest and most generous subjects that can possibly be conceived, to relieve and succour the distressed, to visit and support the sick, and to bury the dead. Why these strange names, and these singular ceremonies? Why not discuss with open doors, and in ordinary garb, such familiar matters as these ? Because these curious, odd, and strange names excite curiosity and cause inquiry into the more general and important matters connected with these societies. The exclusion of strangers prevents the business from being interrupted, and the ceremonies and customs add dignity to the proceedings. So it is in all the relations of society, from the court to the cottage, from the peer to the peasant,—nothing is done without ceremony. In the palace, the parliament, the courts of justice, the temples of religion, the places of amusement, and even in the every day business of life, forms and ceremonies must be complied with. And why not? The civilities and compliments passed between friends and acquaintances gradually ripen friendship into an enduring love; the ceremonies of religion excite awe and devotion ; a knowledge of the etiquette of polite society is held to be the standard of gentility; and at the court of majesty as well as her Majesty's courts the forms prescribed are held to be of the utmost importance, and are never neglected.
THK SOUTHPORT BURIAL SOCIETY.
The useful society, called the Southport Burial Society, was established in the year 1830. The manner in which a fund is raised, when required, for the burial of any person having a claim upon the society is the most just that can well be imagined. The society consists of an unlimited number of members, and upon the death of one, or any of their unmarried children, their relatives or representatives become entitled to a sum varying from two to five pounds, to obtain which a collection is made throughout the society, amounting to about sixpence, or, occasionally, when there have been two deaths, to one shilling, per member. By this equitable mode of collection a sum of money is always at hand when required: should the rate of mortality be excessive, the claims are in proportion; and when there are few deaths, the members are relieved from their payments in like manner. A general fund could not insure greater punctuality in the payment of claims, or a more fair division of the liabilities. It is, in every sense of the term, a mutual benefit society.
THE CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
The Southport Branch of the Church Missionary Association was established about the year 1840, previous to which time meetings were held and business transacted in connection with the Ormskirk Branch. The principles of the society are universally known, and its operations without bound. The amount contributed in the town and neighbourhood is considered to be pretty liberal: the latest report showed that the entire collections after the services in the various churches and the public meeting, amounted to about £50; and in addition to the sum obtained from this and other means, the ladies, ever foremost in any good work, contribute to its increase by the proceeds of the "missionary basket," a depository for their "work." The total income, from every source, in the year 1847, was not less than £150. The Rev. C. Hesketh, rector of the parish, is both president and treasurer; and the Rev. J. Jackson, incumbent of Trinity Church, secretary.
THE LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
Long before any other missionary efforts had been made, a branch of the London Missionary Society was in operation in the town and neighbourhood. The progress of the society will be understood by the following items in the accounts. In 1832, the entire receipts from Southport and Churchtown amounted to £32; in 1840, Southport branch up to June, 1847, was 3728; and 1206 copies had been sent to the Churchtown branch. The Rev. Charles Hesketh holds the offices of president and treasurer; the Misses France and Gadsby, joint secretaries; and the general management is entrusted to a committee of ladies.
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY.
A depot for the sale of the extensive and useful assortment of publications issued by the Religious Tract Society has long existed in the town. Cheap as are the society's works, a deduction of one-fourth of the published price is made to subscribers.
THE READING SOCIETY.
The Reading Society enables the members, who are limited to twenty in number, to peruse the newest and most popular works of the day at an extremely moderate cost. The members are admitted by ballot, and three negatives exclude. The subscription is one guinea per annum, payable half-yearly in advance. The members, in rotation, have the privilege of proposing books, which are, however, subject to be rejected by the majority; but in no case are members allowed to order books to a greater amount than thirty shillings, unless they pay the excess themselves. The books are, of course, forwarded from one member to another, and the secretary limits the time for reading in accordance with the size of the works. The books are sold once a year, and the proposers of the various works insure half their cost to the society: the proceeds are placed at the disposal of the society. The late John M'Keand, Esq., was the secretary and manager of the society for many years, and the office is now hold by Mr. Robert Johnson.
In addition to the above, there are several other local and branch institutions, amongst which may be named the Catholic Mission Fund, and the Wesleyan Young Men's Association.
CHRIST CHUBCH DAY AND SUNDAY SCHOOLS.
On the 27th of April, 1825, a meeting was held in the town, the late Ralph Peters, Esq., in the chair, "for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of converting the Sunday School then established into a National School for the education of the children of the poor in the principles of the Established Church." It was intimated to the meeting that in the township of Birkdale, and the district of South Hawes, in which the church was situated, there were more than two hundred children who stood in need of cheap or gratuitous instruction, there being no school for the poorer classes in Southport or the immediate neighbourhood. Resolutions in favour of the undertaking were unanimously passed, a committee formed, and a subscription made, which was liberally supported by Sir Hesketh Fleetwood, Bart., and Sir H. Bold Hoghton, Bart., then lords of the manor, who heartily approved of the views of the meeting. In 1826 there were 73 boys, and 68 girls receiving daily instruction; and 34 boys and 40 girls who attended on Sundays. The report for 1846 showed that the total receipts for the support of the schools for that year were upwards of £70. There were then upon the roll, in the daily schools, 83 boys and 117 girls in the Sunday school, 80 boys and 86 girls; and in the infants' schools, 67 boys and girls. One hundred children, an equal number of both sexes, are instructed gratuitously, and supplied with books; the other scholars are also supplied with books gratis, but a trifling charge per week is made for those scholars whose patients are in tolerable circumstances. Mr. John Nixon was for many years the master of the boys' school, but he has been for some time succeeded by Mr. W. Ball; Mrs. Todd is the mistress of the girls' school, and Mr. T. Rimmer is the master of the infants' school. Mr. Richard Wright, land agent, is the treasurer, and the Rev. W. Docker, the secretary.
TRINITY CHURCH DAY AND SUNDAY SCHOOLS.
Day and Sunday Schools, in connection with Trinity Church, were opened in a building called "Hall's Chapel," Hawes-side, shortly after the opening of the church, in 1837. After the opening of the Catholic Church in 1840, the temporary chapel made use of by that body in Lords'- street, was rented for a school; and in 1843, the new and commodious schools, near to the church, erected at the sole expense of one resident individual, were taken possession of. The annual subscription for the support of tho schools, including a collection at the church, amounts to between sixty and seventy pounds. The number of children in the schools, of both sexes, at the close of the year 1847 was 172, who are gratuitously supplied with books and slates. A small charge weekly is made for each pupil, varying from one penny to threepence per week. Subscribers have tho privilege of sending one pupil free of charge for every ten shillings which they may contribute to the funds. Mr. John Dixon was the master for some years ; he was succeeded by Mr. Smith; and he, again, has been succeeded by Mr. Povah. The Rev. J. Jackson, incumbent of the church, is the president Mr. Singleton Cooper, treasurer; and Mr. Robert Johnson, secretary.
ST. MARIE'S CHURCH SCHOOLS.
Almost simultaneous with the opening of the church, in 1840, schools were opened for the education of the children of the Catholics of the town and neighbourhood. The benevolent Miss Mather, and the pastor of the congregation, Mr. Newsham, exerted themselves in the most praiseworthy manner towards obtaining the funds for erecting the schools and their maintenance afterwards. The schools are pretty well attended and receive tolerable support. Miss Jordan is the schoolmistress, and the parents of the children under her care speak highly of her attention to their progress in education, as well as their manners and morals.
THE INDEPENDENT CHAPEL SCHOOLS.
These schools have been established more than twenty years, and have been at various times used as Day and Sunday Schools, and at others as Sunday Schools alone, which is at present the case. The schools are very convenient and commodious, and capable of accommodating a considerable number of scholars: at the commencement 1848 there were 150 on the books.
THE WBSLEYAN SCHOOLS.
Convenient to the New Wesleyan Chapel in Hoghton street are the new and excellent schools for the children of that denomination. The Rev. B. Slack, who has been recently appointed superintendent of the Southport and Ormskirk circuit, takes great interest in these schools, and is endeavouring to establish others in the various towns and villages within his jurisdiction. The number of scholars on the books in the early part of 1848 was 112, which is considered to be a very fair proportion of the children of members of the congregation.
BOARDING AND DAY SCHOOLS.
There are a remarkable number of Boarding and Day Schools in the town and its vicinity, both for young ladies and young gentlemen, although the former predominate. The salubrity of the air has a most beneficial effect upon the constitutions of the young folks ; and to this important advantage may be attributed the great number of these establishments. Almost coeval with the foundation of the town itself,—or, at least, as soon as the town had gained any considerable notoriety,—there were several of these schools established, and although from the usual natural causes some of them have, from time to time, been discontinued, the number has steadily increased, and each successive year there are new candidates for favour.
Of Ladies' Boarding Schools we have those of Mrs. Eveleigh, Cassino House; Miss Gadsby, Gothic Cottage; the Misses Hangnail, Beaufort Villa; Miss Phillips, Turville House; Mrs. and the Misses Williams, Eastbank House; Mrs. Thomas, Longsight House; the Misses Nicholson, Bedford House; and the Misses Bothwell, London House.
The Boarding Schools for young gentlemen in the town and neighbourhood are those of Mr. Tyrer (late Mr. Walker's), Row-lane Academy; Mr. Beaumont, Heaton Mount; Mr. Gurney, West Hill; and Mr. Bamford, Hoghton street.
The Preparatory and other Day Schools of the town, in addition to those connected with the various places of worship, may be enumerated as follows: —the Misses Seddon's, Mrs. Newton's, Mrs. Wilson's, Miss Rigby's, Miss Forbes's, Mr. Millson’s, and Mr. Hodgkinson's; many of the boarding schools, also, receive day pupils.
There are several private teachers, and numerous professors of music, the languages, and other accomplishments.
THE POST OFFICE.
The Post Office has been subject to a great variety of changes, consequent upon the rapid rise in the prosperity of the town. A regular foot post between Ormskirk and Southport was the first arrangement made in this respect. Letters and newspapers were then subjected to an extra charge beyond the postage both on receiving and forwarding them. The vehicles, times, and routes have all been repeatedly altered. For a number of years a superior mail coach arrived and departed daily between Liverpool and Southport; but in the year of grace 1847, for the greater convenience of the increased population of the town, a mail cart was substituted, and the place of its destination changed from Liverpool to Wigan ! Another and almost final change is at hand,—the rail. In the year 1847 Southport first received the privilege of obtaining money orders in a direct manner, as it was, previous to that time, necessary to send to Ormskirk for them, causing much delay and extra expense. The mail now arrives at ten o'clock in the morning, and is despatched at four o'clock in the afternoon. The box is open until half-past three o'clock, after which time an extra penny is charged. The office of postmaster has been respectively held by Mr. T. Sawyer, Mr. R. Tyrer, and the late Mr. E. Wignall; and the widow of this latter person is at present the postmistress.