Howdenshire History

Aire & Calder Agent: James Hewitt Hodson of Goole

Goole History > Goole People & Families > James Hewitt Hodson


From the Goole and Marshland Gazette, 1st January 1855:

DEATH: Dec. 10th (1854) at Dock Side, aged 70 years, James Hewitt Hodson, Esq., for 28 years the Resident Agent to the Aire and Calder Navigation at this port.

Mr J. H. Hodson was born at Manchester, May 28th 1784, and when about six months old left there with his parents to reside at Dalston, near Carlisle. His youth was passed under the tutorship of the Rev. John Fawcett, of St Cuthbert's, Carlisle.

In 1800 he went to London and started life in Barnett and Co.'s bank in Lombard Street, where he remained five years. During this time he volunteered into the Honourable Artillery Company of the City of London, under the immediate command of Captain Bacon, whence he was drafted into the Light Infantry under the command of Captain J. W. Freshfield. His period of service extended from June 1803 to January 1806, and he attended with his regiment the funerals of Col. Le Mesurier [Havilland Le Mesurier (1783-1813), who served with Wellington] and Lord Nelson. Leaving London he entered the Royal Cumberland Militia as Ensign in July 1807, and was successively promoted to Lieutenant in 1808, Captain in May 1813, Adjutant in November of the same year, and Brevet Captain in the Whitehaven Local Militia Artillery in January 1814, during which time he served in Ireland, and was for four years stationed in Hull and other parts of England. At the peace, his regiment being disbanded, he retired upon his pension.

He entered the Aire and Calder Company's service in January 1820. From that time he has unweariedly and faithfully served the Company, and we are glad to insert in another part of our paper a copy of the Board of Directors' opinion of his truly valuable services. As fellow-townsmen we must record our sense of the bereavement we have suffered, as he was first and foremost in every good work, and in aiding the permanent establishment of everything likely to conduce to the welfare of the town and its inhabitants.

It is to his unwearied exertions that we owe the beautiful church [St John's] we now possess, and as the first chairman of the Board of Guardians of this Union, he is favourably known to many of our readers for business capacity. His remains were interred at Goole on the 16th, and the universal closing of the shops throughout the town testify to the esteem in which he had been held.




At a Meeting of the Directors of the Aire and Calder Navigation, held at Navigation House, Leeds, on Thursday, the 21st day of December 1854, it was moved by W. H. Maude, Esq., seconded by John Cooper, Esq., and carried unanimously:

"That the death of Mr John Hewitt Hodson, the Resident Agent at Goole, after 34 years service in important offices connected with the Navigation, is sufficient to excite the sincerest sympathy in every person on whose behalf those services have been rendered, and that it is due alike to the memory of the late Mr Hodson and to the feelings of his bereaved family that this public acknowledgement be made, and that his family be informed that the Trustees, Directors and Proprietors of the Aire and Calder Navigation have always esteemed him in every respect entitled to confidence and regard."

"That a marble tablet, with a suitable inscription, be erected to his memory in Goole Church."




Goole Savings Bank: A special Meeting of the officers was held on the 29th December, when the following resolution was unanimously carried:

"That this Meeting deplores the loss of their late Treasurer, Mr Hodson, who has fulfilled his duties of that office with unwearied zeal and attention since the first establishment of the Bank in the year 1833."




From the Goole and Marshland Gazette, 1st August 1855:

A plain white marble tablet has recently been erected on the pillar immediately above the pulpit in Goole Church, with the inscription:

Erected to the memory of / James Hewitt Hodson Esq. / who died the 10th December 1854 / aged 70 years, / by the directors of the / Aire & Calder Navigation Company, / in remembrance of his / faithful services / as their agent / during the period of 34 years.

This tablet can now be found on the west wall of the north transept.




The 1851 census shows James H. Hodson (66) living at Navigation House, Goole, with his wife, Rachael (60). He is described as Captain and Adjutant, Local Militia (Half Pay), and Canal and Dock Agent. At the same address is his son, Marmaduke (25), born at Leeds, and described as Dock Agent's Clerk.

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