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Byrom Fan

mid 18th Century

Fan and box decorated in Byrom short hand.

Belonged to Frances Henshaw who appealed to John Byrom for religious guidance as a child. He composed a poem for her and wrote it in short hand on the fan.

John Byrom (1692-1763) invented a form of short hand in 1742, which he taught to many of the leading figures of the day including John Wesley. He was also a poet and wrote the Hymn ‘Christains Awake’. He resided (some say he was born) at Kersal Cell, Lower Kersal which is now in Salford.

Part of a collection of 70 fans bequested to Salford Museum and Art Gallery by Mrs. M. Marriott from Devon. 45 of these fans originally belonged to Eleanora Atherton of Kersal Cell including some belonging to the Byrom family. Eleanora Atherton (d.1889), great-grandaughter of John Byrom, was the last of the Byrom line and inheritor of the Byrom estates.