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The Funeral of Herbert Ingram

The Early History of The Illustrated London News

THE FUNERAL OF MR. HERBERT INGRAM, M.P. FOR BOSTON.
And founder of The Illustrated London News (October 13th 1860)

The mortal remains of this lamented gentleman were interred yesterday week in the new Cemetery at Boston, Lincolnshire, whose inhabitants testified their deep respect for the deceased by entirely refraining from business during the day, and accompanying the body of their honoured townsman to its final resting-place “ among the people whom he had loved so well.” We copy from the Manchester Examiner and Times the following account of the removal of Mr. Ingram’s remains from Chicago to this country, and of their interment in his native place:—
‘‘A fortnight only has passed since the first news reached this country of the terrible accident on Lake Michigan, by which this gentleman and his eldest son, with some hundreds of other persons, lost their lives. At that time, it appears, his remains were already on board the steamer which conveyed them to England, under the charge of Mr. W. B. Stansell, the business agent of the ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS. Of that journal it is almost needless to remind our readers Mr. Ingram was the proprietor. Mr. Ingram and his son were travelling on a pleasure trip, and were quite unattended at the time the disaster befell the steamer in which they were passengers. No person at all connected with them was aware that they were then in the neighbourhood of Lake Michigan, and their visit to it was a sudden and unexpected divergence from the route Mr. Ingram had previously fixed upon. The first intimation of their loss received by any of Mr. Ingram’s friends was contained in the ordinary newspaper telegrams which were published in Toronto on the 10th. Toronto is at a distance of about 700 miles, or a railway ride of twenty five hours’ duration, from Chicago, whence the sad tidings proceeded. Mr. Stansell happened to be in Toronto at the time, and was, in fact, on the point of starting to meet Mr. Ingram at Niagara, by that gentleman’s own appointment. He immediately set out on his long journey to ascertain the truth of what he read. He reached Chicago on time Tuesday evening, and any lingering hope that Mr. Ingram and his son might have escaped was at once dispelled. The body of Mr. Ingram was lying at the Briggs House Hotel in Chicago. As soon as possible after the remains had been landed, every care was taken to retain them in a condition to be identified.

“The inhabitants of Chicago had been deeply affected by the dreadful occurrence, through which so great a number of human beings had perished, and were impressed in particular by the melancholy fate of Mr. Ingram and his son, so far away from their home and from all their connections. Among those to whom the friends of the deceased are under especial obligation for friendly services we may mention Mr. French, the manager of the Briggs House Hotel; Mr. Wilkins, the British Consul at Chicago; and Mr. Hayward, a resident Englishman.
“After waiting there three days, in vain hopes that the body of Mr. Ingram’s son might be recovered, Mr. Stansell left Chicago with the body on his way to England on the evening of Friday, the 14th of September. Mr. Ingram’s remains were escorted from the hotel to the station of the Great Western Railway by a procession of more than 800 of the British residents in the neigbourhood, preceded by a band of music playing ‘The Dead March in Saul.’ The whole of the members of the St. George’s Society of Chicago were in attendance, and Mr. Stansell received from them a written message of sympathy to Mr. Ingram’s afflicted relatives in England. We have been favoured with a copy of the document, which is as follows :-

Chicago, Illinois, U.S., Sept. 14, 1860.


Dear Sir,

In departing from our city upon your melancholy journey, the members of the St. George’s Benevolent Association of Chicago desire that you should carry with you to the bereaved family of our deceased countryman our kindest sympathy for them in the affliction with which it has pleased Almighty God to visit them; and, although it is not in our power either to mitigate, mitigate their misfortunes in the irreparable lot they have sustained, or to alleviate the grief which must be the inevitable consequence of this great calamity, yet we can and do, earnestly and devoutly, pray the Great Disposer, of all events to pour the balm of consolation upon their wounded spirits; and may He who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb be to them a husband and a father, until they shall be again united in that upper and better world, where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary shall find rest.
On behalf of the St. George’s Benevolent Association,

FRANCIS HUDSON, President.

“Mr. Ingram’s remains were taken to Detroit by the Great Western Railway, and thence by the Grand Trunk line to Toronto. They reached Quebec on the 20th, and were conveyed on board the for England on the following day.
The Bohemian steamer, containing the body, arrived at Liverpool on the night of the 2nd instant. The body was landed and delivered to the friends of the deceased, who were in waiting at Liverpool, at half-past two o’clock am, on Wednesday week. Among the gentlemen who there to receive it were Mr. Nathaniel Wedd, of Boston, an uncle of Mr. Ingram; Mr. E. Watkin, of Manchester, an old and confidential friend; Mr. J. Parry, of Sleaford; and Mr. G. C. Leighton (manager), Mr. S. Read (artist), Mr. Plummer, and Mr. Clapham, of the ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS. The body, having been identified, was finally placed in the coffin for interment, and on Thursday morning was removed to Boston.
It was conveyed in a hearse-carriage attached in the first instance to the train of the Great Northern and Sheffield Companies, leaving the Lime-street station at 8.45 a.m. for Manchester, and thence formed part of a special train which left London-road station at ten o’clock, and arrived at Boston at 1.50 p.m., the precise time specified in the arrangements. The route was by the Sheffield line to Retford, thence by the Great Northern to Barkstone Junction, and from that place over the Boston and Sleaford Railway, of which undertaking Mr. Ingram was the largest proprietor, and had been the chairman from its commencement.
“Besides the gentlemen who accompanied the funeral-carriage from Liverpool to Boston, it was met at Manchester by Mr. George Wilson, Mr. S. P. Robinson, and Mr. Bradford, of Newall’s-buildings; and for a part of the distance the escort also included Mr. S. Lees and Mr. T. Roberts, of Manchester. The Sleaford station was hung with mourning, and the train was met there by a large concourse of people. Including the Vicar (the Rev. J. Yarburgh) and many influential inhabitants of that place. At the Boston station many hundreds of persons were assembled, who accompanied through the streets of the town the mourning-carriage which conveyed the body to the residence of Mr. Wedd. Amongst all classes of the population of Boston, and without any distinction arising from opposition of political views, there has been an unequivocal acknowledgement of a serious public loss sustained in the death of Mr. Ingram. His fellow townsmen and constituents were therefore desirous to share to the utmost in paying the last mournful honours to a gentleman whose benevolence of disposition and attachment to the place of his birth they have repeated occasions to appreciate. Without attempting to enumerate the important benefits conferred on it by Mr. Ingram we may mention that the town owes to his enterprise and generosity the present abundant supply of water, and also the establishment of gasworks. So general was the local feeling of pride in the possession of Mr. Ingram as a representative man that it almost sufficed of itself to secure his return to Parliament, when at length he solicited the honour; and it was mainly this sentiment of personal regard and esteem for him which rendered all opposition to his election abortive.
“ A meeting of the Town Council of Boston was held on Monday, at which Mr. J. C. Little, the Mayor, presided, when a resolution to the following effect was unanimously adopted, on the motion of Mr. Clegg, seconded by Mr. Alderman Gask :-
That this meeting, as representatives and on behalf of the members of the Town Council, and in order to testify their respect to the memory of their late representative, Herbert Ingram, Esq., M.P., would wish to attend his funeral, which is expected to take place at the Cemetery in Skirbeck on Thursday next ; and the clerk is directed to forward a copy of the resolution to Mr. Nathaniel Wedd.
“It is, perhaps, needless to say that the natural feelings of the people of Boston, as set forth by the members of its Corporation could meet with no discouraging recognition from those most nearly connected with the deceased; and the ceremony of interment was, therefore, attended with circumstances appropriately expressive of the public sympathy
“A very imposing and lengthy procession was organized to accompany the remains of Mr. Ingram to their final resting-place, which is a vault in the new cemetery at Skirbeck. This is about a mile from the centre of the town, whence the procession started in the following order:-

1st Lincolnshire Artillery Volunteers.
4th Lincolnshire Rifle Volunteers.
The Mayor, Magistrates, and Corporation.
Freemasons.
Oddfellows.
Foresters.
The Artisans of Boston and the Neighbourhood.
The Clergy and the other Ministers of Religion.
Carriages
THE BODY
Carriages.
Mourners
Friends.

The Artillery and Rifle Volunteers formed in the Market-place at twelve o’clock, followed by the Freemasons, Oddfellows, Foresters, and Artisans. In this order the precession marched four abreast over the bridge, down Bridge-Street, round Liquorpond-street, and headed the funeral from the house of Mr. Nathanial Webb. At the Assembly Rooms the Artillery and Rifles opened out to admit the Town Council and Magistrates between them and the rest of the procession. Other friends of Mr. Ingram, and those who wished to pay this mark of respect to his memory, followed the mourners. On arrival at the Cemetery Chapel the procession halted and opened its ranks in order to allow the mourners, the clergy and ministers of religion, and the Town Council and Magistrates, to enter the chapel, after which the rest of the procession, under the direction of the Artillery and Rifle Corps, formed in three sides of a hollow square around the grave.

“During the progress of the funeral all the shops and places of business were closed, some of them (including the extensive ironworks of Mr. Taxford) for the entire day. The streets were lined with thousands of people, who followed the procession up to the gates of the Cemetery. The carriages in the procession were seventeen in number. About fifty of the staff of the ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS were present. Among the clergymen were the Rev. Mr. Blenkin, Vicar of Boston, who officiated at the Cemetery; the Rev. Mr. Oldrid, the Rev. Mr. Pettedden, and the Rev. Mr. Barker, of Rickmansworth.

“At the conclusion of the service at the Cemetery the procession formed again for return in the same order as it came, except that the carriages now took the lead. The remainder of the cortege accompanied them back to Mr. Wedd’s residence, after which it marched round Liquorpond street, up West-street and Bridge-street, to the Market-place, where it dispersed.
“It is calculated that there were upwards of ten thousand persons in the streets to witness the procession and funeral, and that more than two thousand persons marched in procession. All the vessels in port, including a French ship, kept their colours half-mast high from the time Mr. Ingram’s remains arrived in Boston until the funeral was over.”