HANCOCK John (1808 – 1890)


Situated in the Consecrated/West Section of Jesmond Old Cemetery.

John Hancock.

At the death of naturalist Albany Hancock, in 1873, his brother John proposed the building of a fine Natural History Museum in his memory because the existing museum, tucked behind the Literary and Philosophical Society in Westgate Road for nearly 40 years, was proving too cramped and inconvenient.

Six years later a suitable site became available just to the north of Barras Bridge where the property at St James Place was up for sale – Colonel Joicey bought the land, John Hancock set about raising the necessary finance, and John Wardle was engaged as architect. In 1884 the new building, in the classical style, having cost about £500,000 was opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales. John Hancock died a few years later and as a tribute to both brothers the building became the Hancock Museum.