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Gravestone of Sir Charles Wright Macara

A Grade II Listed Building in Lytham St Anne's, Lancashire

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Latitude: 53.7565 / 53°45'23"N

Longitude: -3.023 / 3°1'22"W

OS Eastings: 332647

OS Northings: 429387

OS Grid: SD326293

Mapcode National: GBR 7TB0.B4

Mapcode Global: WH85G.JVP2

Entry Name: Gravestone of Sir Charles Wright Macara

Listing Date: 24 April 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1423954

Location: Saint Anne's on the Sea, Fylde, Lancashire, FY8

County: Lancashire

District: Fylde

Civil Parish: Saint Anne's on the Sea

Built-Up Area: Lytham St Anne's

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: St Annes on Sea St Anne (Heyhouses)

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

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Saint Annes on the Sea


A gravestone for Sir Charles Wright Macara, sculptor unknown.


A gravestone for Sir Charles Wright Macara sculpted of white stone located in St Annes Parish churchyard, sculptor unknown.

Charles Macara's gravestone is sculpted of white stone and consists of a cross inserted into a stepped plinth stood on a base. Sculpted ivy is draped along the south side of the base and climbs the plinth before entwining the cross. An Inscription on the east face of the lower part of the plinth reads 'SIR CHARLES WRIGHT MACARA BART. / JP FOR THE COUNTY OF LANCASTER / BORN STRATHMIGLO FIFESHIRE JAN 11TH 1845 / DIED HALE CHESHIRE JAN 2ND 1929. The plinth above is inscribed ' CHARLES DOUGLAS MACARA / BORN AUGUST 10TH 1885, / DIED JANUARY 29TH 1891. Inscriptions on the north facing plinths read 'IN LOVING MEMORY OF LILIAN EMILY MACARA BORN OCTOBER 8TH 1880 DIED JANUARY 17TH 1949', and 'LADY MARION MACARA BORN JANUARY 17TH 1848 DIED JUNE 12TH 1938'. An inscription on the upper west-facing plinth reads 'IN LOVING MEMORY OF ALICE MAUD MACARA BORN MAY 16TH 1882 DIED JULY 4TH 1952'.


Charles Wright Macara was born at Strathmiglo, Fife, and educated in his native village and at a school in Edinburgh. He began work in 1862 with a Scottish merchant in Manchester and in 1875 married Marion (1848-1938), cousin of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman of the firm Henry Bannerman & Sons, cotton spinners and merchants of Manchester. In 1880 Macara was made managing partner in this firm. Industrial disputes in the cotton industry during 1892-3 were ended by the signing of the Brooklands Agreement. Macara was a major architect of this agreement and it was used to provide rules for the settlement of future disputes by conciliatory methods not only in the cotton industry but throughout wider industry. In 1894 Macara was elected president of the Federation of Master Cotton Spinners Associations and in the same year he played a leading roles in the inauguration of the Manchester Cotton Association, which had for its object the direct importation of raw cotton to Manchester by the ship canal, and of the British Cotton Growing Association. In 1899 Macara took a leading part in the establishment of the Manchester Cotton Employers' Parliamentary Association and three years later he headed a delegation, representing both employers and workers, to the China Shipping Conference, where he secured a reduction in freights estimated to have saved the Lancashire cotton industry about £100,000 a year. In 1904 Macara founded the International Federation of Master Cotton Spinners' and Manufacturers' Associations, of which he was chairman from 1904-15, and which he regarded as one of the most important movements in the history of international cooperation. He also did much to assist the establishment of the International Institute of Agriculture.

By the Edwardian era Macara was the most influential figure in the Lancashire cotton industry. His opposition to tariff reform and his 1911 proposals for ending industrial conflict by establishing an industrial council consisting of leading employers and trade unionists, including himself, won support from the Liberal government and Sir George Askwith emerged as the government's main industrial arbitrator and conciliator. Macara resigned as president of the Federation of Master Cotton Spinners' Associations during the First World War, but continued to comment on the fortunes of the cotton industry as well as on more general economic and social issues. He was created a baronet in 1911 and received many foreign decorations.

During his later years he published numerous articles on labour questions, the organisation of trade, philanthropic movements, and lifeboat work, the latter reflecting the involvement of himself and his wife as residents of St Annes on Sea at the time of the 'Mexico disaster' when the town's lifeboat, the Laura Janet, was lost with all hands in 1886 during an attempt to rescue the crew of the German vessel, Mexico, adrift in the Ribble estuary during a storm. Macara developed the idea of charity street collections to raise money for the relatives of the deceased. As a result of the Laura Janet disaster Macara later developed 'Lifeboat Saturdays', charity street collections begun in Manchester and Salford in 1891 to fund the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, this fundraising endeavour later became nationally adopted as the RNLI Flag Day.

Sir Charles Wright Macara was the last great spokesman produced by the Lancashire cotton industry. No one was to enjoy such wide support after 1914 or again speak with such authority on the industry's problems. He set out to create a stable and peaceful industrial environment of benefit to both employers and employees alike and believed that industrial progress could only emerge from social harmony between capital and labour. Macara was buried in St Annes Parish Churchyard in 1929 close to the Laura Janet Memorial, the erection of which he had organised the raising of funds for. The first occupant of the grave was Charles Douglas Macara in 1891 as evidenced by the Burial Register.

Reasons for Listing

The gravestone for Sir Charles Wright Macara located in St Anne's Parish Churchyard is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: it marks the burial place of a leading figure in the Lancashire cotton industry and the founder of what became the RNLI National Flag days.
* Relationship with other buildings/setting: it is located In St Anne's churchyard adjacent to the Laura Janet Memorial, itself listed at Grade II, which Macara helped raise funds for.

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