Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hulbert, Charles

HULBERT, CHARLES (1778–1857), miscellaneous writer, son of Thomas Hulbert of Hulbert Green, near Cheadle, Cheshire, was born at Manchester on 18 Feb. 1778, and educated at the grammar school of Halton, Cheshire. After learning cotton-weaving he became manager, at the age of twenty-two, of large print works at Middleton, near Manchester, and subsequently began business with his elder brother at Swinton, also near Manchester. In 1803 he removed to Shrewsbury, and in conjunction with others leased some large factories at Coleham near that town. In 1805 he married Anna, daughter of Thomas Wood, proprietor of the 'Shrewsbury Chronicle.' He entered ardently into Sunday school and religious work, carrying on classes and services at the factory. He even applied, but unsuccessfully, for ordination in the church. At the request of W. Wilberforce and the Hon. H. G. Bennet in 1808 he drew up a report on the management of factories, as an answer to a charge made in parliament that manufactories were hotbeds of vice. Soon afterwards he declined a tempting offer to remove to St. Petersburg, made to him, it is said, by an agent of the emperor of Russia. In 1813, his business as a cotton manufacturer having fallen off, he opened a bookshop and printing-office at Shrewsbury, where he published the 'Salopian Magazine' (1815-17), and printed many small books, most of them written by himself. In 1827 he built a house at Hadnall, near Shrewsbury, which he called 'Providence Grove,' and here he continued to print and publish his writings. His house was burnt down, and his large library destroyed, on 7 Jan. 1839; but he was enabled, by a public subscription and a grant from the Royal Literary Fund, to rebuild his residence and to purchase an annuity. He died there on 7 Oct. 1857.

His principal works are: 1. 'Candid Strictures ... on Thoughts on the Protestant Ascendency,' Shrewsbury, 1807, 8vo. 2. 'Memoir of General Lord Hill,' 1816, 8vo. 3. 'African Traveller,' 1817, 8vo. 4. 'Museum of the World,' 1822-6, 4 vols. 12mo. 5. 'Christian Memoirs,' 1832, 8vo. 6. 'Religions of Britain.' 7. 'History of Salop,' 1837, 4to. 8. 'Cheshire Antiquities,' 1838, 4to. 9. 'Manual of Shropshire Biography,' &c., 1839, 4to. 10. 'The Sunday Reader and Preacher,' 1839-42, 4to. 11. 'Biographical Sketches,' 1842. 12. 'Memoirs of Seventy Years of an Eventful Life,' 1848-52, 4to. Of this discursive but amusing and useful autobiography he published an abridgment entitled 'The Book of Providences and the Book of Joys,' 1857, 8vo.

Hulbert, Charles Augustus (1804-1888), his eldest son, born at Coleham, near Shrewsbury, on 31 Dec. 1804, was educated at Shrewsbury School and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. He graduated B.A. in 1834, and M.A. in 1837; was curate of St. Mary's, Islington, 1834 to 1839, perpetual curate of Slaithwaite, Yorkshire, 1839 to 1867, and vicar of Almondbury, near Huddersfield, from 1867 to 1888. He was mainly instrumental in the restoration of Almondbury Church. In 1866 he was collated honorary canon of Ripon. He died in March 1888. Among other works he published: 1. 'Poetical Recreations,' Shrewsbury, 1828. 2. 'Theotokos, or the Song of the Virgin,' 1842. 3. 'The Gospel revealed to Job, 1853. 4. 'Annals of the Church in Slaithwaite,' 1864. 5. 'Extracts from the Diary of the Rev. Robert Meeke,' 1875. 6. 'Annals of the Church and Parish of Almondbury, Yorkshire,' 1882, 8vo. 7. 'Supplementary Annals,' 1885.

[Memoirs mentioned above; Obituary of C. Hulbert, by C. A. Hulbert, 2nd edit. 1860; Manchester Guardian, 7 March 1888; Brit. Mus. Cat,]

C. W. S.