This Day With F W Boreham

NEW BOOK BY F W BOREHAM It is not known when the famous author Dr. Boreham commenced work on this book. The idea emerged of a book consisting of 365 editorials—one for every day of the year. Boreham had written a weekly editorial for two leading Australian newspapers for over forty-seven years. Many of his editorials were prompted by the significance of a particular day, this being aided by an almanac listing the births and deaths of famous people, and other notable anniversaries

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

22 November: Boreham on George Moore

A Merchant Prince
It was on November 21, 1876, that George Moore, "the Napoleon of Watling Street," met with his sudden and tragic death. Samuel Smiles, the most eminent biographer of the 19th century, always regarded Moore as the supreme example of all that a British merchant might become and might achieve. He is now numbered with the vast host of forgotten men; yet, in his own modest way, he is as much alive as in the days when his virile personality dominated the life of London.

No tomb in Westminster Abbey has been more honoured during the past century than the tomb of David Livingstone, yet how many of the visitors who bow their heads beside it, know that the famous black slab, with its exquisite inscription, was the gift of George Moore, who would, had he been allowed, have met all the expenses of the explorer's funeral? Tourists who file past the paintings at the Royal Academy are united in admiring Cope's magnificent representation of "The Council," portraying members of the hanging committee deliberating on the pictures submitted. But who gives a thought to the circumstance that it was George Moore who bought the celebrated canvas and presented it to the Academy? Scattered about Great Britain there are hospitals, schools, lifeboats, and institutions of all kinds that, originally founded by Moore, or as grateful tributes to his memory, still exercise their beneficent ministry, although no longer associated with his name. This is exactly as he would have wished it.

Greatness Linked With Greatness
Although, by sheer force of character, Moore made himself one of the most prosperous merchants in the City of London, which tried hard to invest him with a Sheriff's robes, would gladly have made him Lord Mayor, and would have delighted in having him as its representative in Parliament, his massive personality is associated most closely, not with the city, but with the beautiful Lake Country of the North. Here he was born; here he served his apprenticeship; and here, ensconced in one of the most palatial homes in Cumberland, he spent his later years.

A clever wrestler, and keen on every sport, his life-long passion was hunting. As a boy he knew John Peel, and, indeed, boarded with Nanny Graves, the mother of the writer of the famous song. Peel's pack, Moore used to say, was the most amazing collection of mongrels in the country, but he loved each dog as a friend and knew how to get the best from him.
Moore possessed a genius for linking his life with the lives of illustrious people. In his youth, the shadows of John Peel, Sir Walter Scott, and John Milton fell athwart his path; and, in the full flood of his career, he enjoyed intimate touch with living greatness. W. E. Gladstone, Charles Dickens, Cardinal Manning, and Lord Shaftesbury were among his most ardent admirers, sometimes soliciting his assistance and sometimes helping him in the countless causes that he so enthusiastically espoused.

Modesty Companion Of Munificence
He was, on six separate occasions, entreated to stand for Parliament. The citizens of the metropolis assured him that, beneath whichever party banner he cared to stand, they would secure him against opposition. But, to each such overture, he shook his huge head with a smile. A political life held no attractions for him. He liked to serve where he was most wanted. When, during the siege of Paris, he heard that the citizens were living on rats, mice, and such revolting fare, he instantly organised relief, vowed that he would be first into the French capital with food, and was as good as his word.

His princely munificence amazed everybody, himself included. Although he appeared to be spending all his time and thought and strength in rushing about the country serving all sorts of worthy but necessitous causes, his business prospered beyond all his dreams. He gave money in thousands and revelled in doing it. With a hearty laugh he used to say that he had no idea where it all came from, but, since it insisted on coming, he might as well make the most of it. It was in 1876 that, at the age of 70, a street accident brought his useful life to an abrupt close. A handsome man, with honest brown eyes and a fine shock of curly hair, everybody enjoyed his companionship. He packed a life into every moment and left the world immensely the better for his passage through it.

F W Boreham

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