- John Kyrle
John Kyrle (22 May 1637 – 7 November 1724), known as "the Man of Ross", was an English philanthropist, born in the parish of Dymock, Gloucestershire but best remembered for his time in Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire.
Education & Legal Background
Kyrle was the son of Walter Kyrle, a barrister and MP. The family had lived at Ross for many generations. He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and studied Law, but did not qualify and having succeeded to the family property looking over the market square at Ross he lived there.
From his early twenties he adopted a frugal lifestyle and instead of utilising his wealth for himself, he sought to invest in the greater good of his locality and community that lived there.
In everything that concerned the welfare of the small town of Ross in which he lived he took a lively interest; in the education of the children and in improving and embellishing the town. He planted trees in and around the town, with two or three workmen to assist with the manual work. He delighted in mediating between those who had quarrelled and in preventing costly lawsuits between prominent townspeople. He was generous to the poor and spent all he had in good works.
He was behind the establishment of 'The Prospect' in Ross-on-Wye in 1700, a public garden on the hilltop just above Ross town centre where a viewpoint and walkways were set out and a public fountain provided clean water for town residents. The park is still there today, alongside the churchyard of St Mary's church, with ornate stone gates and mature trees interspersed with benches and a walk. The Prospect commands excellent views over the River Wye and the surrounding countryside.
He lived a great deal in the open air, working with the labourers on his farm. He died on 7 November 1724, living well into his eighties, and was buried in the chancel of Ross Church.
His name is commemorated throughout Ross-on-Wye, not only in The Prospect but in the 'Man of Ross' public house on Wye Street and his market square townhouse. The town's secondary school carries his name.
His memory was also preserved by the Kyrle Society, founded in 1876 by Miranda and Octavia Hill, to better the life of working people, by laying out parks, encouraging house decoration, window gardening and flower growing. The Society was one of the first civic amenity bodies and a progenitor of the National Trust.
Commemorated in Verse by Pope & Coleridge
Who taught that heav’n directed Spire to rise?
The Man of Ross, each lisping babe replies.
Behold the Market-place with poor o'erspread!
He feeds yon Alms-house, neat, but void of state,
Where Age and Want sit smiling at the gate;
Him portion’d maids, apprentic’d orphans blest,
The young who labour, and the old who rest.
Is any sick? the Man of Ross relieves,
Prescribes, attends, the med’cine makes, and gives,
Is there a variance? enter but his door,
Balk’d are the Courts, and contest is no more.
Despairing Quacks with curses fled the place,
And vile Attornies, now a useless race.
and by Coleridge in an early poem of 1794.
- Erskine-Hill, Howard (1975) 'Private Country Gentleman': John Kyrle Esq. in: The Social Milieu of Alexander Pope
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
John Kyrle High School — Infobox UK school name = The John Kyrle High School Sixth Form Centre size = latitude = 51.93556 longitude = 2.56667 dms = motto = Carpe Diem (Seize the Day) motto pl = established = 1953 approx = closed = c approx = type = Community /… … Wikipedia
John Ernle — There have been a number of men referred to as Sir John Ernle or Ernley over the centuries. All were members of the gentry family of Ernle of Sussex and Wiltshire.The earliest to play a nationally significant rôle in English history was Sir John… … Wikipedia
KYRLE, JOHN — philanthropist, born in Gloucestershire; celebrated by Pope as the Man of Ross, from the name of the place in Herefordshire where he lived; was distinguished for his benefactions; has given name to a society founded, among other things, for… … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
MAN OF ROSS — John Kyrle, a public spirited gentleman, immortalised by Pope from the name of his parish in Hereford. See KYRLE, JOHN … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
Ernle — was the surname of an English gentry or landed family descended from the lords of the manor of Earnley in Sussex who derived their surname from the place where their estates lay. Origins OnomasticOnomasticians say that the surname s origin, in… … Wikipedia
Roy Redgrave — Infobox actor name = Roy Redgrave imagesize = 230px caption = Roy Redgrave and Miss Tittell Brune appearing in Leah Kleschna circa 1907. birthname = George Edward Redgrave birthdate = April 26, 1873 birthplace = Kennington, Lambeth, South London … Wikipedia
Ross-on-Wye — infobox UK place country = England latitude= 51.9144 longitude= 2.5865 population= official name= Ross on Wye welsh name= Rhosan ar Wy unitary england= Herefordshire lieutenancy england= Herefordshire region= West Midlands constituency… … Wikipedia
Miranda Hill — Born 1836 Wisbech, Cambridgeshire Died 1910 (aged 73–74) Marylebone, London, England Occupation Author, Humanitarian Miranda Hill (Wisbech 1836–1910) was an English social reformer. She worked closel … Wikipedia
List of schools in the West Midlands — The following is a partial list of currently operating schools in the West Midlands region of England. You may also find of use to find a particular school. See also the List of the oldest schools in the United Kingdom.Listed by local education… … Wikipedia
Herefordshire — Not to be confused with Hertfordshire. For the UK Parliamentary constituency (abolished 1885), see Herefordshire (UK Parliament constituency). Herefordshire … Wikipedia