Mr. E. Pyke, J.P. – Obituary 1911

from the Tablet,Page 26, 28th October 1911

The death of Mr. Edward Pyke, J.P., which we have already briefly announced, is a great loss to the town of Preston and to Catholics in the neighbourhood of Preston and Southport, at which latter place be resided. He was the head of the old firm of Joseph Pyke and Sons, corn merchants, of Preston and Liverpool. Born in 1834, Mr. Pyke was the elder son of the late Mr. Joseph Pyke, J.P. He received his education at St. Edward’s College, Liverpool, and at the close of his scholastic career joined his father’s business pursuing a commercial life with indefatigable energy and far-seeing enterprise. Although successfully engaged in business affairs, says The Preston Guardian, Mr. Pyke so completely identified himself with Preston and its welfare that no townsman enjoyed a larger measure of esteem. Mr. Pyke never entered into municipal life, which to many was a source of great regret, but in every other direction be was actively associated with religious and social work. Though of a somewhat retiring disposition, Mr. Pyke found himself occupying important offices, the whole of which he discharged with characteristic zeal, ability, and diligence. He was the doyen of the Preston borough justices, having been placed on the Commission of the Peace in September, 1869, while on August 8, 1906, he was created a county magistrate. No one discharged his magisterial duties more fearlessly or more kindly than the subject of this notice. His long and close experience of the Bench endeared him to everyone with whom he came in contact, and no firmer or more liberal friend to the police force of the town existed than Mr. Pyke. He exhibited deep concern in everything the constabulary did, and on more than one occasion has been publicly referred to as “the policeman’s friend “—a richly merited tribute. Another phase of Mr. Pyke’s busy life was his genuine regard for the little ones. He believed in saving the child, physically and morally, and the local branch of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children found in him a vice-chairman who took an abiding interest in the organisation and its great work. Neither creed nor party stayed his generous hand, for his life’s work was to aid all deserving movements. He was chairman of the Police Court Mission, and was connected with the Preston and Mid-Lancashire Discharged Prisoners’ Aid Society. He was at one time chairman of the Preston Burial Board, a commissioner of income-tax, a vice-president of the Royal Lancashire Agricultural Society, and on March 26, 1905, was elected a trustee of the Preston Savings Bank, and up to the time of his decease was connected with large colliery interests, being a director of two important and well-known companies in the Wigan district. Mr. Pyke was one of the original trustees of the estate of Mr. John Mercer, J. P., of Alston Hall, Grimsargh, and, along with his co-trustee, the late Mgr. Taylor, took an active interest in the famous Shire horse stud. Mr. Pyke also exhibited unflagging concern in educational matters, and at one period was a representative of the diocese of Liverpool in London in connexion with the administration of the Education Acts.  As a prominent Roman Catholic Mr. Pyke was held in the highest respect among his co-religionists throughout the County Palatine. When the Catholic Truth Conference was at Preston he took an active share in the proceedings, and all through his life was prominently identified with various committees connected with the Catholic community. A high honour was paid to him on the occasion of King Edward’s Coronation, Mr. Pyke being one of the chosen members of the deputation from the Catholic body, headed by the Duke of Norfolk, to personally congratulate his Majesty. His son, the Rev. Edward Pyke, formerly of the Church of Mount Carmel, Liverpool, is now rector of the Church of the English Martyrs, Garstang-road, of which Mr. Pyke’s late brother, the Very Rev. Canon Joseph A. Pyke, was for many years in charge. Mr. Pyke married on October 6, 1858, a sister of the Very Rev. Mgr. Carr, the death of Mrs. Pyke occurring some few years ago. Of the marriage there were four sons and three daughters. The eldest son, Mr. Joseph A. Pyke, is head of the Liverpool firm, Father Pyke is rector of the English Martyrs, Mr. Alfred Pyke farms a large area of land in Virginia (U.S.A ), and Mr. Cuthbert Pyke is in the Preston firm. After a Requiem celebrated at St. Marie’s, Southport, by the Very Rev. Father Cahill the body was conveyed to the Church of the English Martyrs, Preston, where it was received by Canon Cosgrave and Father E. Pyke and a dirge sung by the clergy of the town. Next morning a Pontifical High Mass of Requiem was sung by the Bishop of Liverpool, who was assisted at the throne by Canon Gordon and Canon Cosgrave. Mgr. Canon Carr was present in the sanctuary. The last prayers at the graveside in the cemetery were recited by the Bishop in presence of a great concourse of mourners, friends, and people. Among,t the mourners was the Lord Chancellor of Ireland (son-in-law). The service was attended by representatives of the Borough Bench, of which the deceased was the senior member, of philanthropic bodies, and commercial undertakings with which he was prominently identified. The borough magistrates included Alderman Margerison, who as Deputy Mayor represented the Corporation in the absence from town of the Mayor (Alderman Miller). R.I.P.

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