Open main menu

HARGROVE, WILLIAM (1788–1862), historian of York, born at Knaresborough, Yorkshire, on 16 Oct. 1788, was the youngest of the four children of Ely Hargrove [q. v.], by his second wife. Being intended for the church he was placed under the care of his godfather, Robert Wyrell, at that time curate of Knaresborough, who recommended that his pupil should be trained as a journalist. He was accordingly apprenticed to Mr. Smart of Huddersfield. After the expiration of his articles he returned to Knaresborough, but in 1813 he purchased, in conjunction with two partners, the 'York Herald,' then a weekly newspaper. He removed to York on 1 July in that year, and the first number of the 'York Herald' under his management was published on the following 13 July. For the next thirty-five years he edited the paper with great energy. He added to the staff a verbatim and descriptive reporter, and engaged a special correspondent in nearly every town in the shire. Hargrove subsequently bought the shares in the business possessed by his two sleeping partners. In 1818 he published a 'History and Description of the ancient City of York; comprising all the most interesting information already published in Drake's "Eboracum," with much new matter and illustrations,' 2 vols. 8vo, York. He first proposed to reprint Drake's 'Eboracum' in its entirety, but did not receive sufficient patronage. In October 1818 Hargrove entered the corporation as a common councilman for Bootham ward. He defended Queen Caroline in the 'York Herald,' and announced her acquittal in 1820 by torchlight from the steps of the Mansion House. In 1827 he successfully promoted, along with Charles Wellbeloved [q. v.], a scheme for the erection of a Mechanics' Institute, of which he became the first secretary and treasurer. In 1831 he was elected a sheriff of York. Much of his leisure was devoted to collecting the Roman and mediaeval remains excavated in and around York. Some ten years before his death he transferred the entire collection to the museum of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society. He died at York on 29 Aug. 1862. By his marriage on 2 Sept. 1823 to Mary Sarah, daughter of William Frobisher, banker, of Halifax, he had a numerous family. During the latter years of his life he resigned the management of his newspaper to his eldest sons, Alfred Ely and William Wallace Hargrove. The 'York Herald' made its first appearance as a daily paper 1 Jan. 1874. Hargrove also published the 'York Poetical Miscellany; being selections from the best Authors,' 8vo, York, 1835. He was himself a frequent contributor to the poets' corner of the 'York Herald' and the 'York Courant,' and to the magazines. He also issued 'A New Guide for Strangers and Residents in the City of York. . . . Hargrove's pocket edition, illustrated,' 12mo, York, 1842.

[Information from W. W. Hargrove, esq.; Gent. Mag. 1862, pt. ii. p. 784; Boyne's Yorkshire Library, p. 49.]

G. G.