Much of Liverpool’s 18th Century wealth came from the slave trade and the City Council have said that is reflected in street names and building designs. But now the mayor has said that there is no evidence to support this and the street got its name for a different reason when a Twitter user asked him to “do the right thing” and rename it. The press picked it up, the news went worldwide. Like Smithdown Road it connects to, it could be one of the oldest streets in the whole of Liverpool. It will not be accepted here. It is possible that the Webster family had built Grove house in the late 18th century. I hope this puts an end to that. At that time it was occupied by William Anthony Esq. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Rathbone_IV, Being within Toxteth Park, Greenbank had been the property of the Earl of Sefton. Sometime before 1840, two other properties appeared at the bottom of the lane, these were part of the Rathbone’s Greenbank estate. It is a shame that the same level of research was not taken before it was suggested that Penny Lane was linked to James Penny! This is open for debate. In this neighbourhood, at the junction of Penny Lane and Smithdown Road, are two fields, which, on Lord Sefton’s map,… ” academic.oup.com. The Woolton councillor has told colleagues: “I want the city council to resolve that all streets, squares and public places named after those involved in promoting or profiteering from the slave trade be renamed. The only positive outcome is that thousands of people have now decided to educate themselves on Britain’s shameful role in Slavery and it’s now being debated like never before. In around 2014/15 he ‘confessed’ the origin of the story on the museum’s own website. Penny Lane has been the victim of poor journalism like that since 2006. In 1828 Webster & Forshaw made a chair made of solid brass weighing 148lbs. As I know you are an expert on the history of the Toxteth Park area, it’s great to have your feedback! We are also open to change. Yes, there maybe some things I missed out (like the full copy of his 14 page Will that does not refer to any land anywhere near Penny Lane) but on the whole I think I went over the top with evidence. Proceedings of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Liverpool, Volume 65, page 171. Toxteth Park in 1765. I’ll be updating the post with it soon. If Penny Lane was indeed named after James Penny we would expect to see his name on plans of Wavertree/Toxteth Park at the time he lived there, no such evidence exists. ( Log Out / https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/stories/reflecting-reviewing-and-responding, www.liverpoolecho.co.uk New Penny Lane zone to bring thousands of Beatles tourists to Liverpool, http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Liverpool/Childwall/allsaints/baptisms_1742-1753.html, ‘Naturally wet very acid sandy and loamy soils’, Memoirs of the Life of George Frederick Cooke, https://twitter.com/TourGuideLiverp/status/1271375454948253696, Robert Griffiths: The History of the Royal & Ancient Park of Toxteth, Robert Griffiths’ Toxteth Park: A possible Roman road leading from Grassendale to Otterspool, The Actual Penny Lane in Liverpool, England - Buyoya, GUEST BLOG: Liverpool, Slavery and the world’s most famous Lane – The Guide Liverpool – England Football, http://historyofliverpool.com/liverpool-slave-trade/, Black Lives Matter and Penny Lane – St Peter's Church, Woolton: History and Heritage, https://books.google.ca/books?id=xatoAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA171&dq=%22penny+lane%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjMmtLWjv3pAhXFGjQIHWQSD0oQ6AEINzAC#v=onepage&q=%22penny%20lane%22&f=false, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/19/put-infamous-names-in-historical-context, https://email@example.com,-0.9227468,3a,75y,250.25h,81.15t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sVm0QC-TagjIGnVKVPj6wBA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656, https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-2.6445583,3a,75y,262.22h,93.82t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sGSWi4Z–VYVOxScCjgevVQ!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo3.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DGSWi4Z–VYVOxScCjgevVQ%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D331.3756%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656, https://email@example.com,-2.6647392,3a,75y,51.83h,84.81t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sdAfi2fTe98IuE17eIedcBg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656, https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-2.903856,3a,75y,239.19h,78.64t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sggCq3f4xc1yAFjuoXMcuTg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/2146632339, https://maps.app.goo.gl/PPrnZfzG69oKxJMi6, British cities face a long overdue reckoning with racist monuments - City Monitor - City Monitor, Robert Griffiths’ Toxteth Park: The Aigburth Toll Gate, An 18th century barn dance at Jericho Strawberry Gardens, Robert Griffiths’ Toxteth Park: Elm House, Chapelville and Cooper’s Folly, Toxteth Park: St. Michael’s Hamlet. At least one still the apostrophe even today – Peter’s Lane: ‘Taffy’ on the forum stated: I’ve never actually seen any evidence that this street was named after James Penny. Thanks Peter, I need to look up Grocer’s apostrophe, I’ve never heard of that before, thanks. Both Grove House and it neighbouring cottage appear on early maps of Toxteth Park from the 18th century and these remained in isolation for at least 70 years until the 1840s. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Liverpool Echo. After a rather sluggish decade in finally started only to find you’d pipped me to it. Thanks Paul, I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking it was true. Penny Lane was not named after James Penny. We need history to be robustly and publicly documented, not dependent on individual employees. Liverpool forum discussion put forward an idea that the name may have had something to do with a nearby house called Penketh Hall (that used to stand to the right of where the Brookhouse is now). In England alone there are over 30 Penny Lanes and well over 300 streets or lanes that contain the word Penny. this Penny’s Lane. Whether they could tell the full story is another matter. I too would like to commend you on this piece of work – however, tinged with a slight degree of regret. “Marky’ found that the earliest mention is the 1841 where it is recorded as Pennis (Pennies) Lane. Compare the 1754 plan of Toxteth Park to this section of the 1785 plan of Liverpool below: A story invented by a museum employee – a confession It came from a museum, it was on Wikipedia, Beatle’s fan sites and in every major newspaper and TV channel since 2006. Halmote Court of West Derby held on 18th December 1615 The museum has agreed to remove their Penny Lane exhibit if no evidence is found The display at the slavery museum gives international tourists the unique opportunity to see the same street sign in two completely different locations and contexts on the same day! In fact Liverpool has done much more than most to acknowledge it’s role in the Slave Trade. No-one called Penny has been found with links to the area. The significance that it does not mention James Penny had been overlooked. Penny Lane is a road in the south Liverpool suburb of Mossley Hill. You can read the full debate here: www.yoliverpool.com Slavery Streets. That, presumably, is the Penny Bridge just west of Newby Bridge – and it clearly *was* named after James Penny. In 2006 there was a move – later withdrawn – to rename Liverpool streets named after people linked to the slave trade. In 1876 an academic paper looked into the origin of place names including Penny Lane – James Penny is not mentioned, instead it gives the etymology as an ancient form of Penketh. If you see the update you’ll notice I managed to get a reply from the person who started it when he was the museum’s press officer. You can help address how we remember Britain’s (and more specifically Liverpool’s) shameful role in slavery – by erecting a new public monument, here. Kurtz took over reluctantly – having to turn his back on legal career to do so. It makes revelatory reading….. & thanks too to all our keen historians for their valuable contributions. Not by guesswork but by searching every possible archive to get to the truth, and checking it before we publish. My thanks to Richard MacDonald @TourGuideLiverp and Darren White Liverpool Fragments. 1814, just 15 years after the death of James Penny, a newspaper advertisement for the letting of Grove house appeared, at this time it is merely called ‘the lane leading from Wavertree to Greenbank. Until recently, the James Penny myth went almost unchallenged. Penny’s eldest daughter Ann married James Penny Machell of Penny Bridge, he was the son of John Penny Machell who had added Penny to his name on his marriage to Isabel Penny, the daughter of James Penny Esq. It was a muddy country lane through countryside well into the 19th century. Since 9th June 2020 when the museum had announced that they would be reviewing the evidence of the claim, I have been assisting the museum in that endeavor. He gave the chair in recognition of the post-abolition palm oil trade with Africa. I hope she never sits on a jury. There is over 300 streets in Britain that contain the name Penny – Halfpenny Close is close to where I live in Garston, Liverpool. My idea that it was a spelling mistake came from looking at the same enumerator’s entries on the census pages before and after the Penny Lane entry. Information is the key to keep the history but with the full truth included. It is most unfortunate that this will do little or nothing to stop the myth or to repair what has been printed before. I had emailed him yesterday requesting to see the research he carried out before making the claim. Rather than being laid out in the late 18th century, it is possible that Penny Lane pre-dated the Norman Conquest and was part of the hunting grounds of Toxteth Park that is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Liverpool and the Southwest, Richard Pollard, Nikolaus Pevsner, Joseph Sharples, You can read more about Kurtz here: www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk. Many streets in Liverpool have names linked to merchants who became wealthy from the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Cheers! If the lane was named after him it would have certainly been mentioned here. Penny never owned any land in the area of Penny Lane. Co. Lanc: Marriner, aged and infirme, dated 21 Nov: 1715. I am pleased that the International Slavery Museum will be able to amend its displays to take account of this important research. Penny Lane is a vibrant community which is very diverse and we are not racists. Image: bbcmerseyside. Janet Dugdale, Penny was born in 1741 in Arrad, near Ulverston, his father was also James. Though it is worth noting that one of those silver plates has a later (1877 – the year after the Proceedings were written) inscription referencing Penny’s grandson John Penny Machel of Penny Bridge, County Lancaster (Tibbles, 2005, pp69 & 174). www.liverpoolecho.co.uk. The council motion, by mayor Joe Anderson, does not call for the changing of any road names, something some campaigners have called for in the past.
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