The Andrews Family


Part 3 - James Andrews


James was the only surviving son of William Chase Morrish Andrews and Lucy Welby Dorling. His elder brother, William, had died in 1837, aged one.

James was born in Epsom in on 21 June 1839 and was educated at the school of Mr William Monger at Ewell and the City of London School; he worked in his mother's printing and stationery business from an early age. He also became involved in a number of public duties. In due course he was chairman of the Epsom Local Board of Health a Governor of Pound Lane School and the local Registrar of births and deaths. Additionally he was printer and publisher of 'The Epsom Herald' newspaper.

James Andrews
Photograph of James Andrews
From his book 'Reminiscences of Epsom'

I do not need to write much of this article myself, as others have trodden the path before me, and without further ado I shall pass you over to the 'Epsom and District Business Guide'.
'There are no more conveniently situated premises in Epsom, or any establishment deserving of more liberal patronage than Messrs L W Andrews & Son ...Outwardly, the premises look inviting, but it is only upon entering that the comprehensive stock of a high-class Bookseller, Fancy Stationer and Fine Art Repository is seen to advantage. The business is an old-established one, and was founded by the late Mr William Dorling, father of Mrs Andrews, the principal of the firm. In addition to the active part taken in this business, it may be interesting to state that Mrs Andrews occupied the responsible position of Postmistress for a period of thirty-three years, this important work having devolved upon her at the death of her husband, who had received the appointment some sixteen years previously. At the time of writing, Mrs Andrews was approaching the completion of her eighty-fourth year, and, as may be expected, has practically retired from active participation in the management of the firm's affairs. Reverting to the business proper, we may say that the house has always held a prominent place among the trades of the town. The shop is handsomely fitted, and literally crowded with all kinds of goods pleasing to the eye, but useful withal. The stock is most varied and extensive, and of the best description. Every kind of stationery is supplied, including all the most fashionable kinds of letter and note paper, envelopes and correspondence cards, and the latest designs in inkstands, blotters, frames, paper knives, &c. There is also a choice assortment of photographs and local views of great artistic merit. All the operations of die-sinking1, embossing on notepaper, engraving, letterpress and lithographic printing and bookbinding are carried on, and the works are replete with every appliance which skill and ingenuity have devised for the furtherance of this important industry. As colour printers and illuminators, Messrs Andrews produce the highest example of their skill; and in emblazoning armorial bearings they are invariably correct and tasteful. We may mention that in the production of ball programmes, wedding, menu, guest and other cards the firm is noted for choice designs and beauty of execution. The library is full of all the latest publications, and standard works by favourite authors are always obtainable. 'The business is a prosperous one, and creditable to the energy by which it has been developed; and its reputation is maintained by the readiness with which Messrs Andrews & Son provide every requisite for their numerous patrons.'
Table of fees for Andrews Subscription Library
Table of fees for Andrews Subscription Library

In the late 19th Century James was a signatory to (and probably a motivating force behind) a petition with 35 signatures presented to Epsom magistrates opposing a licensing application. A Mr Clarke wanted a licence to sell 'ales, wines and spirituous liquors' at Epsom railway station. The signatories argued that there were already eleven neighbouring public houses and that the licence would 'encourage drunkenness among the officials and thereby render travelling unsafe, and be the cause of much trouble at race meetings'.

James was highly respected in Epsom, as the following letter demonstrates.

Testimonial To James Andrews
Testimonial To James Andrews

The 'Epsom and District Business Guide' continues,
'We may state that Mr James Andrews, upon whom devolves the active management of the concern, was a member of the Epsom Local Board for sixteen years, and so won the confidence and esteem of his colleagues that they elected him to the chairmanship of the Board, a position which he occupied for six years. How far he succeeded in the difficult task of pleasing all sections of the ratepayers and inhabitants during his term of office may be gathered from the following, which is inscribed in a beautiful album, which Mr Andrews prizes very highly:- "This album is presented to Mr James Andrews, together with a cheque to the value of £90, on his retirement from the chairmanship of the Epsom Local Board of Health, as a token of high esteem from his fellow townsmen, and in recognition of the public services rendered by him to the town and neighbourhood of Epsom. Dated 22nd January 1892."'
James's retirement from public activities in 1891 had been occasioned by a severe illness, which was probably a heart ailment.

An Advert for Andrews Bookbinding Service
An Advert for Andrews Bookbinding Service

In 1903 James was asked to give a public talk on Epsom, which he did with some reluctance: it was then published as the booklet 'Reminiscences of Epsom' by popular demand.

Apart from his many public activities, James was a Freemason and was Master of the Ebbisham Lodge in 1894 and the Wallington Lodge in 1895 and he had, in the past, won many prizes for shooting.

He was brought low by the death of his sister, Mary Ann, on 19 April 1915 but spent a few weeks in Harrogate and seemed better when he returned to Epsom.

In the autumn of 1915 he became ill and deteriorated rapidly over the course of just a few days, his decline being aggravated by heart trouble. He died on the morning of 8 November 1915 and was buried in Epsom Cemetery; he left personal estate of £9300 (about £0.75 million today). The business was taken over by Ernest Pullinger.

Grave of James Andrews in Epsom Cemetery.
Grave of James Andrews in Epsom Cemetery.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

Linda Jackson © November 2011


Links to previous and next part.


Footnotes

1. Die-sinking is the process of making a metal die or mould.

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W Bury
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