Who was Sir Francis Lycett?

The foundation stone of Lansdowne Crescent church was laid on 1 August 1865 by Mr. Francis Lycett (as he was at the time) and it was he who contributed the sum of £400 for the purchase of the land.  He was also the first Trust Treasurer of the church.

Francis Lycett, born in Worcester in 1803, the son of Philip Francis and Mary Lycett, was a well-known businessman and philanthropist.  Following education in Worcester he entered employment in the family firm of Dent, Allcroft & Co., a large glove-making business based in Worcester.

In 1832 he became their London manager, and following his move to the capital he became a member of the city corporation.

In 1837 he married Amelia Sarah Emily Vanderpant of Utrecht in the Netherlands.

He became a partner in Dent, Allcroft & Co. in 1847, continuing involvement with the company until 1865.

A report appears in the ‘Worcester Herald’ in August 1865 – the same month that he had laid our foundation stone – of a dinner which he laid on at the Link Hotel, Malvern, for the male workpeople of Dent, Allcroft on his retirement:

‘A special train, with about 300 of Mr. Lycett’s guests left the Foregate Street station at 2.15 pm and soon arrived at the Link.  A move was immediately made to the grounds of the hotel where a spacious marquee was erected.  A hot dinner was in readiness and with sharpened appetites the guests partook of the good things provided.  The Rhine band played during dinner, and there was nothing forgotten that could add in the least degree to the enjoyment of the company.’

Knighted in 1867, he had already become one of the two Sheriffs of London and Middlesex, and in 1869 was appointed JP for Middlesex and Deputy Lieutenant for the City of London.

As a Liberal, he made unsuccessful attempts to enter Parliament, including at Liskeard in 1869, St. Ives in 1874 and Worcester in 1878.

He died in October 1880 at his home at Highbury, Islington, leaving an estate of more than a quarter of a million pounds, much of which he willed to Methodist charities.