Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1890 & 99

Septimus Whaite (1807 - 1892)

Septimus Whaite was a Scenic Artist and a member of his elder brother's famous firm, Henry Whaite and Company, banner makers of Deansgate, Manchester.

He was born on 19th November 1807 in Manchester. His parents were John and Mary (nee Clayton) Whaite, whose children were Samuel (b.1792), Thomas (b.1796), George (b.1798 and died 19th June 1801 aged 2 years and 9 months), twins William and John (b.1799) who died very young, John (b.1801), Henry (b.1803), Samuel (b.1805), Septimus (b,1808), Mary (b.1810), Elizabeth (b.1812) and Frances (b.1814).

On 28th November 1833, Septimus married Mary Ann Woodhead (born 1814 in Wakefield, Yorks) at Manchester Cathedral. Their children were Elizabeth (b.1836), Mary (b.1837), John (b.1838), Henry (b.1841), Mary Emma (b.1843), Frederick (b.1846) and James William (b.1854). Sadly Septimus's wife Mary Ann died on 22nd August 1861 aged 47 and was buried at Weaste Cemetery, B1 1667.

The 1851 census shows the family lived at Boundary Lane, Chorlton-upon-Medlock, Manchester. In 1871 they lived at 7 Cornbrook Road, Hulme, Manchester; and in 1891 Septimus lived alone at Cornbrook Road, where he died on 17th January 1892.

We are indebted to the North West Labour History Society for a paper entitled "The Manchester Banner Makers." It says that the Manchester group of banner makers undoubtedly revolved around Henry Whaite and Company, corner of Blackfriars Street and Deansgate, Manchester. It was Thomas Whaite, the eldest of the seven sons of John Whaite Snr, of Ancoats, Manchester, who first introduced the Waite family to banner making. The three older brothers were all promising artists, but it was Henry who set up the business. Later, the seventh son Septimus joined the firm. John Whaite Snr was an accomplished landscape painter, his eldest son Thomas was regarded as the best portrait painter in Manchester. John Whaite jnr was an accomplished artist and so too was Septimus, who also became a well known scenery painter.

The whole Whaite family attended Christ Church, (Bible Christian) at Ancoats, which was known as Dr Schofield's Chapel, where many of the Chartists attended and delivered Chartist lectures. This connection with the radical movement resulted in many orders for their banners.

Their spectacular banners appeared at Peterloo on 16th August 1819 and later at Chartist and trade union events depicting the horrific events of the massacre there. Their high quality banners were provided for the Durham Miners Association, Houghton Colliery, Cannock Chase District Association of Miners, Pendleton, Pendlebury, Clifton and Kersley, Ashton, Haydock and Bolton Miners Lodges. Also the Northwich and District Amalgamated Society of Salt Workers, Rock Salt Miners, Alkali Workers, Mechanics and General Labourers, and the Manchester, Salford and Bolton Wood Packing-case Makers. Many newspapers reported on the excellent quality of the artwork seen on processions.