John Cassidy, son of a farmer was born at Littlewood, Slane Co. Meath on January 1st 1860. He served his apprenticeship as a bar assistant in White Horse Hotel Drogheda. It was then said that he spent most of his spare time etching and drawing and painting. some of his paintings of 1880 vintage are to be found in Drogheda, most notably The Bathe House and a Street Scene in Drogheda 1880. Both of these pictures hang in Drogheda Corporation Offices. Aged 20 years John went to work in Dublin, where he attended night classes in Art School. He gained a scholarship to study in Milan. Two years later he settled in Manchester where he spent the rest of his life. He studied at the Manchester School of Art and established a studio at Lincoln Road. As his reputation grew he exhibited at the Royal Academy,the Hibernian Academy and in Manchester City Art Gallery. His public works can be found at various sites around Manchester and throughout Britain. Some of his most famous sculptors are the Edward Colston statue in Bristol, the Hygeia Monument in Aberdeen, the Ben Brierly statue in Queens Park Manchester and The Ship Canal Digger in Manchester City Art Gallery. Perhaps his greatest achievements are to be seen in the famous John Rylands Library in Manchester. Here John fashioned a group of statues entitled Theology Directing The Labours Of Science and Art to adorn this august building. He also created two matching statues in white marble of John Rylands and his wife Enriqueta which stand guard over the two ends of the Reading Room. His many war memorials are much admired. John's best known work in Ireland is a full lenght figure of Queen Victoria in Belfast. He died on July 19th 1939 and was buried in Southern Cemetary in Manchester. http://www.johncassidy.org.uk/heatonmoor.html http://www.johncassidy.org.uk/eccles.html http://www.johncassidy.org.uk/cassidy2f.html http://www.johncassidy.org.uk/cassidy2e.html http://www.johncassidy.org.uk/peover.html http://www.johncassidy.org.uk/skipton.html An entry was placed in the newspaper 'deaths' columns - His gravestone carries the epitaph 'His hands fashioned the beauty he saw.'