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LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY.
ANNUAL MEETING-FIFTY-FOURTH SESSION.
ROYAL INSTITUTION, OCTOBER 3rd, 1864.
J. A. PICTON, Esq., President, in the Chair.
The minutes having been read and signed, the Chairman congratulated the members upon their once again meeting for business, and called upon the HONORARY SECRETARY to read the following
The Council of the Literary and Philosophical Society have to report a continued steady improvement in the position and prospects of the Society. Whether as regards the increase of its numbers, or of the interest taken in its proceedings, there is ample evidence that the Society is in an excellent working condition. During the past Session there has been no falling off in the attendence at its meetings, nor in the character of the papers presented and read, while the discussions which they have elicited have been no less animated and interesting than heretofore. The condition of the Society, indeed, must appear to those who carefully watch its progress
to be highly satisfaetort'; and they would urge upon individual members, who.håve its welfare at heart, the desirability of separate, as well ås of united effort, to continue the work of improvemont.
The list of the Society, though steadily increasingly, has not yet reached that development which we might hope to see in so populous a town. Notwithstanding, however, the removal from the roll, at the commencement of the present Session, of a number of names (by the operation of the laws), the present total shews an advance upon previous years. The list printed in the last volume of proceedings included 175 names of ordinary members, of whom 28 were life members. By resignation (9), removal (3), or death (2), we have lost of these 14; against which we have to place 25 members elected during the past Session, making a total of 186, from which, if we deduct 28 life members, we have a balance of 158 members, whose subscriptions form the income of the Society. 36 honorary members and 7 associates increase the total list to 229.
The funds of the Society show a corresponding increase, and whereas four years since they were gradually but surely depreciating, the year's expenses leaving a balance due to the Treasurer, at the present time the Society's income is not only sufficient for the ordinary expenditure without stint, but extraordinary expenses have been undertaken. The Treasurer has in hand a reserved fund of £200 (invested in dock bonds), which produces an interest varying from £8 to £10 per annum, and this, added to the income arising from subscriptions and entrance fees, and amounting to about £185, leaves him a considerable balance after the year's expenses are paid, and which will be added to the reserved fund.
During the past year we have lost by death two ordinary and two honorary members. Of the first was Mr. Thomas
Rigge, solicitor, who died January 17th, 1864. He had been ten years a member of the Society. The other was Mr. John Faram, who died in May last. He had been a member since December, 1847, and although latterly not often seen at the Society's meetings, he had formerly taken an active part in them, and read several papers.
Of the honorary members, both deserve a notice in this place. The first was Mr. John Ashton Yates, one of the original members of the Society, but who, since 1835, has been upon the Society's honorary or corresponding list. Mr. J. A. Yates was the second son of the late Rev. John Yates, who spent his life from youth to age as the able, eloquent, and highly-esteemed minister of the Presbyterian congregation in Paradise Street, Liverpool. He was put to school under the Rev. W. Shepherd, of Gateacre. He was apprenticed to the great North American firm of which William Rathbone was founder and chief. Among his co-apprentices and co-equals in age, were Thomas Thornely, afterwards M.P. for Wolverhampton, and Thomas Bolton, who, soon after the passing of the municipal reform bill, was chosen Mayor of Liverpool. In commercial, public, and private life these three were attached friends to the end of their days ; and they were all removed from this earthly scene within a very short space of time. Mr. A. Yates' active habits as a Liverpool broker were varied, and relieved by the study of literature and the fine arts, in which he met with abundant encouragement and assistance, not only under the paternal roof, but in the society of some of his neighbours, and especially of the eminent William Roscoe. He made a very valuable collection of engravings, and of paintings by old masters, which still attest his knowledge and taste, forming one of the finest private minor collections in the metropolis. Mr. A. Yates also devoted great attention to political economy, making himself master of the subject both
by reading and by conversation with the chief promoters of the science. In this line he published "A Letter on the Distresses of the Country," 1817; “ Colonial Slavery," 1824; “Essays on Currency and Circulation,” 1827; “A Letter on the present Depression of Trade and Manufactures, addressed to the Landowners and Farmers of the county of Carlow," 1841. At the time of their first appearance these pamphlets received warm approbation from Mr. Huskisson and many other well-informed politicians. On the passing of the Reform Bill Mr. Yates was naturally looked to as a man well fitted to work out and secure its advantages. He stood for Bolton, in his native county, but lost his election. At the next general election Mr. Yates was a candidate with Mr. Vigors for the county of Carlow, and they were returned together. Mr. Yates' activity of mind and capacity for social enjoyment continued to within two years of his death. He then became a patient sufferer, losing his memory, but always gentle, kind, and grateful to all around him. He died on Sunday, November 1st, 1863, æt. 82, at the Park, near Manchester, the residence of his son-in-law, (Robert N. Philips, Esq.), and his death is the severance of another link of the Society with its founders in 1812, of whom only two now remain, viz., Mr. William Rathbone and Mr. James Houlbrook Smith, if, indeed, we can except Mr. John Andrew, of Rivington, not now a member.
The other honorary member whom we have lost during the past year was Sir William Brown, Bart. (born May 4, 1784, died March 3, 1864), elected an honorary member of this and of several other literary and scientific societies on the occasion of the opening of the Free Public Library, in October, 1860. This distinction was given to the deceased baronet more particularly upon the ground of his liberal foundation of the Gallery of Inventions and Science at the Free Public Museum. Finding that the Museum was so arranged that no space was