Literary Institutions : Other libraries

Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead. Originally published by Mackenzie and Dent, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827.

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Eneas Mackenzie, 'Literary Institutions : Other libraries', in Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead( Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827), British History Online [accessed 20 July 2024].

Eneas Mackenzie, 'Literary Institutions : Other libraries', in Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead( Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827), British History Online, accessed July 20, 2024,

Eneas Mackenzie. "Literary Institutions : Other libraries". Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead. (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827), , British History Online. Web. 20 July 2024.


The Trinity-house Library is kept in the secretary's room, and contains many valuable works, including the Statutes at Large. It is gradually increasing by the addition of the best new works on nautical science and discovery. The books, under certain regulations, are permitted to be taken out by the master and brethren. The Vestry Library of Hanover Square Chapel contains several hundreds of the best works on the evidences and principles of natural and revealed religion, of sermons, and other practical treatises of ecclesiastical histories and expositions of scripture. Occasional additions are made to it by presents, and from the produce of an optional contribution of half-a-crown annually. It is not only open to the free use of any member of the congregation, but also of any other person for whom a member will be answerable that the books be returned in good condition. The Friends' Meetinghouse Library is under similar liberal regulations. It contains upwards of 280 books on Christian faith and practice. A catalogue was printed in 1826, with an index, compiled with great labour, and which points out the volume and page where every particular subject is noticed. The Wesleyan Methodists' Library is kept in a house adjoining to Brunswick Chapel, where the librarian attends every Monday and Thursday evening from 8 to 10 o'clock, and on Saturday from 12 to 1 o'clock. This library, which consists of above 1000 volumes on Divinity, Biography, Travels, Voyages, the Sciences, &c. was commenced in 1808, and is supported by a contribution of 6s. a year, paid by the readers. The Vestry Library of the Groat Market Meeting-house consists of a collection of books on Divinity, presented to the congregation by their former pastor, the Rev. W. Arthur; but no additions are made to it. The Clavering Place Chapel Library, which is supported by a small annual subscription, is in a flourishing state. There is also a Congregational Library attached to the New Court Chapel; and some other of the meeting-houses contain small collections of books.

At a meeting of the attorneys and solicitors in Newcastle and Gateshead, held on the 1st of December, 1826, an association was formed, entitled, "The Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead Law Society," the principal objects of which are, "to preserve the privileges and support the credit of attorneys and solicitors, to promote fair and liberal practice, and prevent abuses in the profession; and to adopt such measures as may appear best calculated to effect these ends, and most likely to secure respect to the professors, and to be of advantage to their employers." On the 5th (being the first Tuesday in December, which is in future to be the anniversary), the members dined together at the George Inn, in Pilgrim Street, when the project of forming a Law Library, as a distinct institution, was received with general approbation; and as there are sixty-six attorneys and solicitors in Newcastle and Gateshead, there is no doubt but that their united exertions might soon produce a very valuable collection of books, peculiarly serviceable to their clerks and the younger members of the profession. Had the building committee of the Literary and Philosophical Society provided apartments in their new erection for a Theological, Medical, and Law Library, a liberal return for the cash expended might be anticipated, and all the various sources of information would have been conveniently concentrated. (fn. 1)

Circulating Libraries.—One of the oldest and best establishments of this kind in England, which belonged to Mr. Robert Sands, (fn. 2) in the Bigg Market, has been given up, and the books sold. Mr. John Marshall's collection, in the Old Flesh Market, is well chosen, and the most extensive in Newcastle. It contains upwards of 8000 volumes, in every department of science and literature. Mr. Oviston's library, in Collingwood Street, consists chiefly of novels and other works of amusement. Mr. Loraine has also commenced a circulating library in the same street. Mr. Edgar's library, in Pilgrim Street, is advertised to contain nearly 5000 volumes. These different collections amply supply the general demand for new works of interest and genius, in the lighter branches of literature.


  • 1. In 1819, a Typographical Society was formed in Newcastle, for the purpose of collecting and preserving all the productions of the local press. Their meetings were held, and their property deposited in a room below the library of the Literary and Philosophical Society, in the Groat Market; but after some progress had been made in the object of this association, their collection of books was stolen, which discouraging circumstance occasioned the dissolution of the society.
  • 2. James Sands, brother of the above, died in the High Bridge, Newcastle, on November 22, 1815, at the age of 40 years. He was confined to his room above 30 years, in consequence of a paralytic affection in early life. Through the strength of his genius, he surmounted every difficulty his peculiar situation opposed to the acquisition of knowledge, having, without instruction, made an extraordinary proficiency in the ancient and modern languages, and acquired considerable skill in various branches of the sciences. He was the author of the following novels, which were very favourably received by the public, viz. "Monckton, or the Fate of Eleanor," 3 vols.; "Count de Novini, or the Confederate Carthusians," 3 vols.; "The Eventful Marriage," 4 vols.; and "Dangerous Secrets," 2 vols. He also wrote "The Oath," a play, which was performed in the Newcastle Theatre. He likewise contributed a great number of ingenious poetical pieces, essays, letters, &c. to the different periodical publications of the times. By those acquainted with his superior attainments he was highly respected, and very much esteemed by his chosen circle of friends, being of a lively, cheerful, and communicative disposition.