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The Whittam Family of Farnworth

Researched by Sister Dominic Savio [Dr E. Hamer]
CO Mount St Joseph Convent, Willows Lane, BL3 4HF

On 2 November 1873 William B. Whittam JP signed an application for a Government Building Grant for a new St Gregory's School, with the parish priest, Father John Galbois Boulaye. [I owe this information to Dr David Lannon, parish priest of St Mary's, Burnley and Archivist in the Diocese of Salford.]

Bolton Evening News: Friday, 26 July 1867, p.3, column C: Local and General, Address to Joseph Whittam (Farnworth)

Farnworth Observer: Saturday, 17 April 1869, Local News: The proposed erection of a new Catholic Chapel: On Monday evening a meeting was held in St Gregory's Catholic Schoolroom for the purpose of promoting the erection of a new chapel. Numerous attendance. Fr M. Byrne, Captain Whittam, H M McCormick, William Barton, Edward Guthrie etc. Discussed how they could increase their funds. Appointed collectors for districts of the parish. Had £1,5000. Wanted to raise £600 or £800 more by next spring, in order to begin building. Contemplated spending £3,000 on the church. It would be made of stone but the style of architecture was still to be decided.

Farnworth Observer: 25 September 1869: On Wednesday evening next Father M. Byrne is to give a lecture, in the Moor hall in Church Street, on the Cross and the Crescent -- the Crusades. Captain Whittam will be in the chair.

Bolton Evening News: Saturday, 26 February 1870, p.3, col.1: Lecture at Farnworth. On Thursday evening at St Gregory's Catholic School Father Michael Byrne delivered a very interesting lecture on Ancient Greece. Readings of poetry too. Chapel choir also sang. In the absence of Captain Whittam JP the chair was taken by Father Denis Byrne of Bolton.

Bolton Evening News: Tuesday, 1 March 1870, p.3, col. 1: The Catholic Charity Ball: Last night a grand ball took place at the Baths' Assembly Room, under the auspices of the Catholics of Bolton and under the distinguished patronage of three Lancashire baronets, represented by the names of Gerrard, de Trafford and Tempest; Mr Barnes, our respected late Liberal member; Captain Whittam and Dr Dorrian. About 600 tickets were sold. For a charitable fund (not specified). ... The many tradesmen of the town who attended with their wives and families, in sympathy with the object, all appeared thoroughly to enjoy themselves. Mrs Hamer, of Bradshawgate, supplied the refreshments with her accustomed taste and Mr T C Carr's band discoursed most excellent music.

Bolton Evening News: Friday, 15 July 1870: Rome and the General Councils: Last night in St Gregory's Schoolroom, Farnworth, Father Michael Byrne delivered an interesting lecture on ‘Rome and the General Councils'. Considering that the efforts of Father Byrne were put forth to raise funds for the laudable purpose of clearing the week-day schools from debt, it was greatly to the credit of the congregation of St Gregory's that they mustered in such force to succeed the efforts of their esteemed pastor. Chair occupied by Joseph Whittam Esq. Raised £10.

Farnworth Observer: 16 July 1870: On Thursday evening Fr M. Byrne gave a lecture in St Gregory's School on Rome and the General Council. Joseph Whittam Esq. was in the chair. Admission one shilling but the room was packed. Proceeds to be devoted to educating the young of the district.

Bolton Evening News: Tuesday, 23 May 1871, p.3, col. 3: Confirmation at St Gregory's, Farnworth. Bishop Turner, assisted by Father M. Byrne of St Gregory's and Fr D. Byrne of St Patrick's Confirmed nearly 200 persons at 3 p.m. Last Sunday. Sponsors: Mr James Whittam and Mrs Bradley of Preston. As the day was delightfully fine, long before the commencement of the service a vast concourse of persons of different denominations, many from a distance, had assembled on the grounds adjoining the Catholic chapel, Presto Street, to see His Lordship, as he arrived in the carriage with Major Whittam JP and to witness the procession of the children ... The service concluded with Solemn Benediction, the choir of St Gregory's giving the choral portions. We understand that Dr Turner was entertained during his stay by Joseph Whittam Esq., T C, Moses Gate.

Bolton Evening News: Tuesday, 28 November 1871, p. 3, col. 2, Farnworth Catholic Tea-party: Last night in the Moor Hall, Farnworth, a very largely attended tea-party was held, there being 900 tickets sold. 1200 people at the entertainment that followed. Chair was occupied by Canon Carter of Bolton. On platform with him were Rev. Denis Byrne, St Patrick's; Rev. W. Taylor, St Marie's; Rev. Mr Brown, St Edmund's; Joseph Whittam Esq., James Whittam Esq., Mr Healy and several ladies.

Farnworth Observer: 2 December 1871: St Gregory's Tea-Party and Entertainment. A tea-party and entertainment in aid of the fund of the school in connection with St Gregory's Catholic Church were held in the Moor Hall on Monday evening last. More than 1,000 people were present, including Canon Carter, Fr D. Byrne, Fr W. Taylor, Fr Brown, Joseph Whittam, W B Whittam, Joseph Whittam junior, James Whittam, ...

Bolton Evening News: Monday, 19 May 1873, p.3, col.2: St Gregory's Church, Farnworth: On Saturday last the first sod was cut of the new church. Father Boulaye, resident priest, Canon Carter, Father Taylor, Messrs Joseph Whittam, W B Whittam, Mrs Whittam, Joseph Whittam, junior, Alfred Waterhouse, William Barton and other active members of the congregation. After the procession of schoolchildren, headed by the Farnworth Brass Band, through the enclosure on which it is intended to build the new structure, Father J G Boulaye addressed those present. Mr Whittam was to cut the first sod because he and his family were always the first to assist with anything conducive to the spread of education and religion. Hoped the church would be completed in the next twelve months. Was a committee to raise money.

Farnworth Weekly Journal: Saturday, 6 September 1873: Father Boulaye and W B Whittam Esq., JP joined the Salford Diocesan Pilgrimage to Paray-le-Monial in France.