Eccles Shorrock: the Education of Eccles and Ralph
'Uncle Eccles' was the initial powerhouse behind the growth of the Shorrock Empire. He was without doubt, a respected businessman. In 1830, at the age of twenty six, Eccles Shorrock had saved enough money to buy Bowling Green Mill from the Carrs whose business had been destroyed by the mob destruction of their power looms in the 1826 riots. Earlier, in 1823 he bought Low Hill House from Samuel Crompton's son.
Eccles Shorrock would have been a boy of eleven years old at the time of Queen Victoria's Coronation Celebrations. His Uncle's patronage of this event, recorded in the newspapers may have made a lasting impression on the young boy and his brother Ralph.
'The Blackburn Standard', May 4, 1838 reported:
"Eccles Shorrock gave his workpeople a dinner to celebrate. There were 1400 workers and tenants to enjoy the Roast Beef, plum pudding, nut brown ale ...3,300lbs of food, 220 gallons of ale were consumed! The whole day was given over to jollification from 10am - 8pm."
The young Eccles would also have knowledge of his Uncle's other public duties. 1838, was the year Over Darwen Gas Company was formed. Gaslights were lit in the streets of Darwen for the first time on November 23 1839. As well as being on the Committee of the Over Darwen Gas Company, Eccles Shorrock Senior also formed a Fire Brigade, which was used for Town as well as Mill Fires. Eccles Shorrock Senior was also on the provisional committee (1843) to establish a new railway line from Blackburn to Bolton.
These examples serve as an insight into the inspiration within the Shorrock household. Eccles Senior was a man of drive and enthusiasm who was imbued with a deep sense of public spirited duty.
Eccles Shorrock undertook the expense of educating his two nephews. Eccles and Ralph were sent to Hoole's Academy in Blackburn during their formative years. Between leaving school and entering University College London they were tutored privately. 1844 found them embarking on their educational career at University College London, a non-denominational University, and both boys were brought up as Independents.
Eccles and Ralph returned to Darwen in 1848, and in 1849, Eccles formerly joined his Uncle's business, 'Eccles Shorrock & Co.' and started to learn about the Cotton Trade.
The education of Eccles and Ralph
Death and Marriage
Events during the 1860's
Decline in fortunes
The end of an era
Bibliography and Acknowledgments