Renshaw Street Chapel Memorial (1)
Roscoe Gardens, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L3

Picture by Jonathan P. Neill
 
Another view

Designer: Ronald P. Jones

Designed by Ronald P. Jones and built by Thomas Shelmerdine, this is a memorial to the chapel that previously stood here in 1905. Both William Roscoe (1753-1831) and Joseph Blanco White (d.1841) were buried in the chapel grounds and plaques mark the monument. William Roscoe was a rags to riches to rags polymath and famous Abolitionist. He wrote pamphlets and poetry supporting abolition and was briefly elected as an MP for Liverpool. Along with William Rathbone, Roscoe was unceasing in his call for an end to slavery and warning of a time of reckoning “Forget not Britain, higher still than thee, sits the great Judge of nations, who can weigh the wrong and can repay.” I note with wry amusement that he was recently voted the 21st greatest Liverpudlian of all time, sandwiched by Lily Savage and Ringo Starr at numbers 20 & 22. White (born José María Blanco Crespo), was a Spanish theologian and poet educated for the Catholic priesthood, but after ordination in 1800, religious doubts led him to escape from Spain to England. There he entered the Anglican Church & became Archbishop of Dublin in 1831. While in this position he embraced Unitarian views, and he found asylum amongst the Unitarians of Liverpool. Just to the east of the Memorial is a stone plaque set into the wall of the adjoining building. This marks the site of The Pleasant Street Schools.

Sources:
Pevsner Architectural Guides; Liverpool by Joseph Sharples
Wikipedia
bbc.co.uk

Alan Maycock © 2007

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