His life and works
A portrait of James Heald (1796–1873) was painted by Charles Allen Du Val and exhibited in 1843. Its present whereabouts is unknown.
He was “a prominent Tory Wesleyan” (1) and lived at Parrs Wood, Didsbury near Manchester.
James Heald was the second son of James Heald, a merchant of Brinnington and Disley in Cheshire. He was educated at Rochdale, and entered into partnership with his father. In 1825 he moved to Parrs Wood, where he lived for the rest of his life. He was elected an MP for Stockport in 1847 alongside Richard Cobden, but lost his seat in 1852 after declaring himself in favour of free trade. He was a great philanthropist, particularly to Wesleyan Methodist institutions and overseas missions, and was a major benefactor of Stockport Infirmary.
He was unmarried. His estate at Parrs Wood was sold to Manchester Corporation, on the understanding that it was to be used for educational purposes.
(1) Medicine and Industrial Society by J V Pickstone 1985 page 69.
(2) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004).