Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hustler, John

HUSTLER, JOHN (1715–1790), philanthropist, was a native of Bradford, Yorkshire, where his family had been resident and engaged in the wool trade since the early years of the seventeenth century. His parents were members of the Society of Friends, and he appears to have been educated at the Friends' School at Bradford. He became a wool-stapler, and was an active worker and minister among the Friends. He deeply interested himself in the development of Bradford, promoting the building of a markethouse, shambles, and other conveniences, and projecting in 1782 a new street, connecting Ivegate and Kirkgate, since completed and called New Street. The action, however, of the lord of the manor, John Marsden of Hornby Castle, Lancashire, or, according to James's 'History of Bradford' (continuation), p.91, the interference of Mr. Leeds of Royd's Hall, lord of the manor of North Brierly, in 1782 postponed for a time the execution of these projects. Hustler was also instrumental in causing the erection of the woollen hall, which was opened in 1773, and gave a lasting impetus to the woollen trade of Bradford and the adjacent district, and he successfully projected the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, which, uniting the German Ocean and the Irish Sea, was opened 4 June 1777. A projected extension of the canal subsequently occupied his attention, and while in precarious health he visited London in 1790 for the purpose of promoting the passing of the bill with that object. He died at Undercliff, near Bradford, on 6 Nov. 1790, and was buried at the Friends' burial-ground at Bradford. Hustler took little part in politics, although in 1745 he actively supported the House of Hanover. He wrote a pamphlet, discussing the policy of the corn bounty, entitled 'The Occasion of the Dearness of Provisions,' &c., 1767, an impartial consideration of the reasons for and against the imposition of a corn bounty; several tracts in favour of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal scheme; and in 1782 and 1787 valuable pamphlets against the exportation of wool, which resulted in a bill for that object being presented to parliament in the latter year.

[Gent. Mag. 1790, p. 1055; Crosfield's Memoirs of Samuel Fothergill, 1843, p. 500; James's Hist. of Bradford (continuation), pp. 90, 91, 99; Smith's Cat. of Friends' Books, i. 1024, 1025.]

G. S. C.