JOSEPH BELL TOPHAM

It seems only right to devote some words to the main benefactor of St. Joseph's Parish in its earliest years. The only information that can be found is provided from an obituary notice published in the Birkenhead News at the time of his death on 21st August 1910.

''The death took place at home Heathley, Abbey Road Llandudno on Sunday afternoon of Mr. Joseph Bell Topham who formerly resided respectively at ‘Heathley’ Woodchurch Road, Birkenhead for many years and subsequently at Beckenheam and the Glen, Blundellsands. He was descended from one of the oldest and best known catholic families in Cheshire and sufficient is known of his princely religious benefactions in the Birkenhead district, to defeat the donors desire to keep such actions from public notice.

It was he who gave the ground for St. Joseph’s Church and for the church of Holy Name, while the house ‘Overdale’ which adjoins the latter edifice was also a gift to the diocese by the same gentleman. Mr. Topham has for many years taken an intimate interest in the Catholic Church in Birkenhead. His clandestine gifts have helped in no small measure to keep alive the several beneficent institutions which have been established in this and other parts of the diocese.
 
Mr. Topham was fond of sportsmanship, his interest in Aintree Racecourse is familiar to all who are in-touch with the turf. He was a man of military build and commanding personality. Latterly Mr. Topham had enjoyed but declining health and for some time prior to his death he lay in a critical condition which baffled the hopefulness of his physician. He was in about his 65th year.
 
A widow and six children, Mr. Edward, Mr. Ronald, Mr. Willie and the Misses Hilda, Edith and Freda are left to mourn his loss. Two of the young ladies are nuns.''


 
Back to top of page
Eyrewaves Web Design