Wright, John Skirrow

SOCIAL REFORMER (ENGLAND)
BORN 2 Feb 1822, London - DIED 15 Apr 1880, Birmingham: Council House
GRAVE LOCATION Birmingham, West Midlands: Key Hill Cemetery, Icknield Street, Hockley (Plot 218.E)

John Skirrow Wright came to Birmingham in 1838 and was employed at Smith and Kemp, a button manufactury. He became a partner there in 1850. He was a non-conformist and opposed to factory legislation.

As president of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce he came up with the concept of Postal Orders to enable poor people, who had no bank accounts, to buy goods by post. After initial opposition by bankers his idea was accepted.

He acted as chairman of the Birmingham Liberal Association and he stood for parliament for the liberals in Nottingham in 1880. After he won the vote he suddenly died during a dinner that was held in his honour.

He was buried on April 19th in Key Hill Cemetery in Birmingham. It was a hot day and 300 police officers were active on this day. In 1883 a statue in his honour was unveiled in front of the Council House. After the death of Edward VII it was moved to Chamberlain Place to make room for the memorial to Edward VII. In 1951 the statue was removed to a storage depot.

Sources
John Skirrow Wright - Wikipedia

Images

The grave of John Skirrow Wright at Key Hill Cemetery, Birmingham.
Picture by Androom (11 Aug 2011)

 


Wunderlich, Fritz

Published: 27 Apr 2015
Last update: 25 Jun 2017