Samuel Greg (junior)
6 September 1804 - 14 May 1876
The son of Samuel Greg of Quarry
Bank Mill fame,
Samuel junior came to Bollington in 1832 to take over the Philip
Antrobus built cotton mill at Lowerhouse.
With the mill came a small workforce and 53 cottages for them
to live in, including Long Row.
Samuel was well educated and had been on the Grand Tour of Europe. He married Mary Priscilla Needham in 1838 and they had two sons and six daughters.
When they first came to Bollington the Gregs lived in Turner Heath
House on Bollington Road (opposite
Princess Drive today).
From 1838 they lived in the house built by Philip Antrobus
for himself in Bench Lane (Flash
Lane today) known today as The
Mount, but he called it Mount. The site had been carefully
chosen so that the owner could look down and over his estate
and mill at Lowerhouse. The position also provided a fine view
across the valley in the other direction, over Bollington to
the hills in the east, as pictured by his daughter Amy in
her watercolours in the late
They were a Godly family, Unitarians, and Samuel wrote a hymn inspired by Mount and the view ...
Stay, Master, stay upon this heavenly hill;
A little longer, let us linger still;
With all the mighty ones of old beside,
Near to the aweful Presence still abide;
Before the throne of light we trembling stand,
And catch a glimpse into the spirit-land.
Stay, Master, stay! We breathe a purer air;
This life is not the life that waits us there;
Thoughts, feelings, flashes, glimpses come and go;
We cannot speak them—nay, we do not know;
Wrapt in this cloud of light we seem to be
The thing we fain would grow—eternally.
No, saith the Lord, the hour is past, we go;
Our home, our life, our duties lie below.
While here we kneel upon the mount of prayer,
The plough lies waiting in the furrow there.
Here we sought God that we might know His Will;
There we must do it, serve him, seek him still.
Samuel Greg was very much a humanitarian, an asset inherited from
his Unitarian mother, Hannah Lightbody, and he recognised that
his business could only thrive if his workers were well housed,
adequately fed, in good health and properly educated. There was
housing already at Lowerhouse and he built more together with a
school and library in Moss Lane, encouraging children and adults
to make use of them. He provided land for allotments and ensured
that the families knew how to cultivate and grow vegetables. Some
of these allotments remain in use today, though regrettably
others have disappeared under tarmac and housing. He also built
a bath house and laid out a playing field and childrens playground.
Samuel Greg's own description of all this was published in the
1830's and you can find his letters
It was Samuel Greg who gave Lowerhouse the name of Goldenthal, German for Happy Valley. See origins.
However, disillusionment set in when in 1846 the workers went on strike after Greg installed new machinery in the mill. He was so shocked at them turning against him that he went home to Mount, had a nervous breakdown, and, it is said, never set foot in the mill again. The business continued, being managed by other members of the Greg family and later by his nephew Francis.
He spent his time on literary and philosophical matters, he was
a magistrate and patron of the Macclesfield Mechanics' Institute.
He was a visitor and speaker at the Society for Acquiring Useful
Knowledge in Macclesfield.
An occasional visitor to Mount was the writer Elizabeth Gaskell - Mrs Gaskell. Her novels Mary Barton and North and South are said to have been influenced by her visits to Bollington with story lines taken from the industrial experiences of the Greg family.
Samuel and Mary Greg's daughter - see
Francis was a son of John Greg of Caton, Lancashire, a nephew
of Samuel Greg. Francis gave Gnathole to
the town in 1901 for use as a recreation
ground. He also built the Greg
Fountain at Bollington Cross as
a memorial to his family. He moved to Bollington in 1876 on the
death of his uncle Samuel Greg.
Inherited The Mount on 1st February 1900 on the death of Amy (see his letter to his gardener, Isaac Turner).
Letters believed to have been
written by Samuel Greg junior were
published in the 1830s. These describe activities at Lowerhouse
My thanks go to those who researched and discovered the history
that is presented in these pages. Please
read the full acknowledgement of their remarkable achievement.
Your Historic Documents
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out why here.