John Byrom
(1692-1763)

Died aged c. 71

John Byrom or John Byrom of Kersal or John Byrom of Manchester FRS (29 February 1692 – 26 September 1763) was an English poet, the inventor of a revolutionary system of shorthand and later a significant landowner. He is most remembered as the writer of the lyrics of Anglican hymn Christians awake! Salute the happy morn, which was supposedly a Christmas gift for his daughter.

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Commemorated on 2 plaques

Nick Harrison on Flickr
Brian Cooper on Flickr

St. Ann's Square, originally called Acres Field on which every St. Michael's Day, a Fair was held from the days of Henry III in 1227. In 1709 Lady Ann Bland laid the foundation stone of this Church. In 1712 the Church was consecrated by the Right Rev Sir William Dawes, Bishop of Chester. In 1738 John Wesley preached here. In 1745 Charles Edward Stuart, the Pretender, rode into the Square. Here worshipped John Byrom, the author of Christians Awake.

St. Ann's Square, Manchester, United Kingdom where they worshipped

The Old Wellington existed in 1552, when Edward VI was on the throne, in what was then the Market Place and Shambles. It is now the oldest building in Manchester. In 1554 it was purchased by the Byrom family and was part residence and part drapers shop. The third storey was added in the mid 17th Century. In 1691 John Byrom who developed phonetic shorthand was born here. The building was licensed in 1830 and known as "The Vintners Arms" and later as "Kenyons Vaults". By 1865 the ground floor was known as "The Wellington Inn" whilst the upper floors served as "Mathematical and Optical Instrument Makers". The familiar large lantern already existed on the corner of the building, In 1897 the upper two storeys became "Ye Olde Fyshing Tackle Shoppe" and a large clock was added to the main gable. In 1974 a concrete raft was cast under the building and the whole structure raised 1.5 metres as part of the Arndale Centre development. A terrorist bomb caused considerable damage to The Old Wellington and the Arndale Centre in 1996. After restoration completed in 1997, the city centre rebuilding plan involved moving The Old Wellington some 300 metres towards the Cathedral. Over a period of more than two years the building was dismantled timber by timber and re-erected here in its new home, where it reopened in November 1999.

Shambles Square, Manchester, United Kingdom where they was born (1692)