Tuesday 17 October 2017

Matthew James Glenton

Matthew James Glenton was my 5x great uncle. He was born on 28 August 1789 in Liverpool, to Jonas Wilson Glenton (1763 – 1844) and his first wife Betty Becca Kelsall (1764 – 1822). He was Christened on 24 September 1789. He died, unmarried, and without issue, in Brighton, East Sussex, on 2 March 1868. Matthew was the founder of the Church of St Matthew and St James in Mossley Hill, Liverpool.

He was a private book keeper and accountant for his friend and employer, Mr Ewart, who owned Mossley Hill Hall, which had been built by his ancestors and passed down to him. It was nicknamed Carnatic Hall, after the wars with the French. Matthew was leaning over a gate looking across the farm towards Woolton, Speke, when he is reputed to have said to Mr Ewart, “What a wonderful site for a church this would make”.

The idea remained with him for the rest of his life. On his death, he left somewhere between £28,000 and £40,000 (up to £2 million in modern money) for the building of a church on that spot. The Bishop of Chester approved the church building.

Matthew’s bequest was that the church be named after him, hence it is called the Anglican Church of Saints Matthew and James. The church was build by 1871, and it was consecrated on 23 June 1875. A century later, in 1975, it was given Grade II* listed building status for its gothic Victorian design.

Some sources suggest this may be Glenton.

Liverpool Mercury 10 March 1870

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Richard Kelsall Glenton of 58 Falkner Street Liverpool

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