A report of a funeral in Newcastle on Tyne has filled in a few gaps about a family from that area that I’ve been researching .
The text is rather distorted so I’ll give the key information here
Funeral of the late Mr William Heenan Jun
The funeral of the late Mr. William Heenan, jun, of the reporting staff of the Newcastle Daily Chronicle, took place on Saturday afternoon at Elswick Cemetery.
There was a large gathering of friends and colleagues of the deceased. Amongst those present were Mr William Heenan, sen, Mr. Samuel Heenan, Mr. Joseph; Mr. E. Tomsett, Mr. I. Lawson, Councillor, Mr. J. Collins, Dr. Geo. Foggia. B.A., Mr. Peter Beasley, [list of names continues]
and of a large number of ladies from St. Michael’s congregation of which deceased was a member.
Representatives of the various newspapers in the city were present.
On the funeral cortege leaving the residence 94 Westmorland Road, the blinds of the greater number of the dwellings in the immediate neighbourhood were drawn as a token of the high regard and esteem in which the young journalist was held.
The coffin was of polished pine, with brass mountings, bearing an inscription of the name. age, and date of death of the deceased.
The service at the grave was of a deeply impressive nature and was conducted by the Rev Charles, by the Rev W Rickaby
The beautiful hymn God of mercy was sung over the grave.
William Heenan’s family
The William Heenan who was buried in Elswick, Newcastle on Tyne was born in the city in 1877, and registered at birth under the name of William Joseph Heenan. He was the second child of William Heenan and Elizabeth Tomsett who had married at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Newcastle on Tyne on 8 June1874.
William Heenan junior was very much following in the family tradition in newspapers. This might indicate why there was such a large presence of newspaper representatives at the funeral.
His father was recorded In the 1861 census as newsagent (which might have a different connotation to its current usage as a seller of newspapers). In Kelly’s Directory of 1886 he is listed as a reporter and in the 1911 census as a journalist.
His grandfather Joseph (Henery) Heenan was also involved in newspapers. Born in Maryborough, Ireland, by the age of 26 he was living in Newcastle upon Tyne where he married Elizabeth Hogg in 1854. The 1861 census records his occupation as ‘newsagent’. The next census gives more specific information, indicating he was working as “agent for Newcastle Chronicle.” By 1891 when he is a widower and living with his son and daughter in law, this has been simplified to ‘agent’. In later life he seems to have changed occupation because probate records describe him as ‘manufacturer’s clerk’ at the time of his death in May 1892.
William Heenan junior also had an uncle employed as a journalist. Samuel Robert Heenan started out in life as an accountants clerk but by 1891 he is described in the census for Elswick, Newcastle on Tyne as “journalist author”. By 1901 he had moved to Lancashire though still kept the same occupation.
By 1911 he had changed careers again and is described in the census for Toxteth Park, Liverpool, as secretary for Netamerance Syndicate – the handwriting is unclear but this may have been the Intemperance Syndicate which claimed in the early 1900s to have found a cure for alcoholism.
It would be interesting to find some of the reports written by these Heenan men but it was not the practice in the 19th or early 20th centuries to include ‘by-lines’ of the reporters names.
For details of this Heenan family, including census, birth, marraige and death records take a look here on the Heenan Footsteps website.