Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Aspinall, James

ASPINALL, JAMES (d. 1861), miscellaneous writer and popular preacher, had first under his care a church in Cheshire, about fifteen miles from Manchester. He then became curate of Rochdale, where he remained for five years. He afterwards resided at Liverpool, and in 1831 was the incumbent of St. Luke's, where he preached a remarkable sermon called 'The Crisis, or the Signs of the Times with regard to the Church of England.' He then went to live in Lincolnshire, on the banks of the Trent, and in 1844 he was rector of Althorpe, a place which he held till his death. On 26 Jan. of that year he delivered an address at the great free-trade meeting, held at Hull, at which Bright and Cobden both spoke. In 1853, after the celebrated Roscoe centenary at Liverpool, he published 'Roscoe's Library, or Old Books and Old Times,' dedicated to the Earl of Carlisle, 'the representative of the intelligence of the aristocracy and of the aristocracy of intelligence.' In this little work he holds up Roscoe as an example to the youth of the Mechanics' and Literary Institutes throughout the country, in whom he felt a profound interest. Aspinall had great sympathy with the free-trade party, and generally with the educational movements of his time. This is perhaps due in a great measure to the acquaintance he made with the working-class operatives at Rochdale at the commencement of his clerical career. He was domestic chaplain for a period of over thirty years to the Right Hon. Lord Clonbrock. On 17 Jan. 1861, when J.P. for Lindsey, he married, at West Butterwick, Annie, widow of W. Hunter, Esq., of the Ings, E. Butterwick. On 15 Feb. of the same year he died. His works, besides those already mentioned, consist of various sermons, parish, doctrinal, and practical.

[C. W. Sutton's Lancashire Authors, p. 5 ; The Hull Rockingham, 27 Jan. 1844; Catal. Brit. Mus. ; Gent. Mag., third series, vol. x. pp. 202, 467.]

J. M.