I have not been able to find a biography of Rev. Cartwright but lots of references, especially through the local press of the time. So all I have done here is to give a list of ‘headlines’ to give some idea of the wide range of activities he was involved in, some of a curious nature – such as “smoking concerts”. He died in June 1903.
In his early church career he was the curate of St Augustine’s Mission, Stepney, London and wrote about his experiences there:
Sermons on Subjects: Being Certain Discourses Delivered in the Church of St. Paul, Bow Common (1866). The Charitable Administration of an East End Mission District. By A. W. H. C. [i.e. Anson W. H. Cartwright.] Second Edition – Anson William Henry CARTWRIGHT. Charity Organisation Society, 1872
He organised ‘The Great Chess Game at Brimley House’:
Played at his home, Brimley House on Friday. The scene was one which will not be easily forgotten by those present, and the Rev. Anson-Cartwright fully deserved the vote of thanks proposed on the occasion. It was indeed a novel and picturesque sight, especially when ….. (Western Times Devon, England. 9 Sept 1884)
He presided over the Liberal Committee:
The newly-formed Working Men’s Liberal Committee took place at the Teignmouth Liberal Association on Friday night, tbe Rev Anson Cartwright presiding. (Western Times Devon, England. 22 Jun 1885)
He chaired the Teignmouth School of Art
Teignmouth is fortunate in the possession of a flourishing School of Art, founded, in September, 1884, in connection with the Government School at South Kensington. Under the auspices of its chairman (the Rev. Anson Cartwright) and other gentlemen, a collection of more than 500 paintings, in oil and in water-colours, belonging almost exclusively to residents in the town, or the work of local students, was exhibited in March and April last, in a large house recently acquired for the purposes of the school. (Report and Transactions – The Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature and Art, July 1886)
He lectured at the Exeter Radical Association:
Last evening the Rev. Anson-Cartwright, Chairman of the Mid-Devon Liberal Association, delivered the lecture before the members of the Exeter Radical Association at the Atheneum on ‘The Political Duty of Liberal Working Men’. (Western Times Devon, England, 10 Nov 1886)
He wrote to Gladstone about the Irish Question:
CLERICAL ADDRESS TO MR. GLADSTONE IN FAVOUR OF HOME RULE. We have printed the letter addressed to Mr. Gladstone from some clergymen of the Church of England respecting Home Rule. They express (it will be remembered) a deep conviction that Home Rule is the only Irish policy before the country consistent with the principles of equal justice and charity. At some length they protest earnestly against the alternative policy of coercion and they assure Mr. Gladstone of their confident belief that the restoration of an Irish Parliament and an Irish Ministry to the Irish people is not only not a policy of separation, but is the best security for real union. (Anson W. H. Cartwright, Brimley House, Teignmouth)
He was Chairman of the Newton Board of Guardians:
The weekly meeting of this Board was held on Wednesday, the Rev. Anson Cartwright presiding. Pauper Report – The Visiting Committee reported that there were 260 inmates in the House. The Master reported that five persons had ….. (Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 6 May 1892).
He presided over ‘smoking concerts’!
The first of a series of smoking concerts was given at the Liberal Club at which the Rev. Anson Cartwright presided. There was good attendance of member and the capital programme was thoroughly enjoyed …… (Western Times Devon, England. 31 Oct 1890)
(Note: Smoking concerts were live performances, usually of music, before an audience of men only; popular during the Victorian era. These social occasions were instrumental in introducing new musical forms to the public. At these functions men would smoke and speak of politics while listening to live music)
He was there for the advent of electric lighting in Teignmouth
The Teignmouth Local Board finding that the increasing demand for gas is likely to necessitate extensive alterations at their works, are considering the desirability of introducing electric light, and have asked Mr. H. D. Massingham, the well-known electrical engineer, who has had considerable experience of public lighting by electricity, for an estimate of the cost of an installation. The matter was considered at a special meeting on Saturday, Rev. Anson Cartwright presiding, when the Board had a consultation with Mr. Massingham. The estimate was discussed at length, but no definite details of the scheme can yet be given. It is thought fairly certain, however, that electric lighting will be adopted. (The Electrical Engineer (A Monthly(?) Journal of Electrical Science(?) with Which is Incorporated Electric Light – January 1, 1892, to June 24, 1892)
He was Chairman of the District Board (Council):
Presentation to the Rev. Anson Cartwright. Rev Anson Cartwright was presented last evening at the town banquet at Teignmouth, with illuminated address and a cheque for a hundred guineas recognition of his public services to the town, especially Chairman of the Board. (Western Times Devon, England, 30 Mar 1894)
He was president of the Teignmouth Town Improvement Association
The annual meeting of the Town Improvement Association was held at the Town Hall with Anson Cartwright, C.A. (President), in the chair ….. (Western Times Devon, England. 18 Mar 1901)
He was a Director of the Teignmouth Quay Company
….. additional lettings have been made for the coming year, and enquiries have been made of others. The retiring directors were Rev. Anson Cartwright. Messrs. J. and I. Player, who were re-elected.—The Chairman alluded to the slump in their business ….. (Western Times Devon, England. 25 Apr 1902)
He was on the Urban District Council and a JP.
He was an alderman on Devon County Council:
In September 1903 Mr Soltau-Symons was elected an Alderman on Devon County Council in succession to the Reverend Anson W H Cartwright.