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									My Own Olympic Hero!
        Ray Hulley
                John Hulley
Born 19th February 1832 – Died 6th January 1875
Journal of Olympic History
       Winter 2001
  John Hulley – information from Don Anthony

• Born in Liverpool in 1832
• Taught skills of gymnastics by Louis
• Appointed first director of the Liverpool
  Gymnasium in 1865
• Joined with Brookes and Ravenstein to
  form the National Olympian Association in
• Died in 1875
                    John Hulley – His ancestors

      Jasper Hulley
•      1697 – 1778
•            |
•            |
•   James Hulley (+ 8 others)
•        1750 – 1799
•         Surgeon
•            |
•            |
•   Thomas Boydell Hulley (+ 3 others)
•       1784 - 1839
•        Surgeon
•           |
•           |
•   John Nevitt Hulley Robert Churchman Hulley James Ridley Hulley Thomas Hulley
•     1803 – 1840               1809 - 1862        1818 - 1837          1820 - 1857
•       Surgeon             Surgeon/Physician    Chemist & Druggist   Surgeon Apprentice
•             |
•            |
•      1832 - 1875
•     Gymnasiarch
      1841 census
Gloucester Street Liverpool
   Collegiate Institute Liverpool
where John Hulley studied 1844-1850
   1851 census entry
Brookhouse Farm Huyton
 1861 census entry
Woolfall Hall Huyton
       Theatre-Royal Liverpool
location of a Physical Display by the
   Liverpool Athletic Club in 1861
   John Hulley – quote from his address
             December 1861

“We should not be contented with a low standard
of physical elevation. We should make it our
religious aim, that every one of us, man, woman,
and child, should possess a large, powerful
frame, whose blooming health shall set
consumption and other diseases of debility, at
deliverance. Each man and woman should take
as much pride, in the cultivation of the bodily as
of their mental faculties ………”
     Bold Street Liverpool
      First location of the
Liverpool Athletic Club in 1862
    The Liverpool Athletic Club

       Motto of the L.A.C

   Mens Sana in Corpore Sano

A Healthy Mind in a Healthy
Charles P. Melly – President of
  the Liverpool Athletic Club
         Grand Olympic Festivals

    1862 Sat 14 June at the Mount Vernon Parade-
    ground, Liverpool
    Mr Melly - They were indebted for it to Mr John Hulley, the excellent honorary secretary
    of the club, and it was entirely owing to his indefatigable and praiseworthy exertions
    that the festival had been brought to such a successful and highly satisfactory issue.
    - Liverpool Mercury 16 June 1862

    1863 Sat 13 June at the Mount Vernon Parade-
    ground, Liverpool
    Mr Hulley, the indefatigable honorary secretary, and the committee, had used every
    excursion to render the affair a complete success, and the thousands who were present
    on Saturday, must admit that this second Olympic Festival was highly successful in every
•   - Liverpool Mercury 15 June 1863
      Break-up of Gymnasium partnership

      Newspaper announcement - December 1863
       Rotunda, gymnasium, Bold-Street
No annual subscriptions can be received for the year 1864
 Mr Hulley will cease to have any share in the Direction of
         the Establishment, from the 31st instant.
 The Liverpool Gymnasium in Myrtle Street

New company formed –

Mr C. P. Melly is the prime mover in it;
The Mayor is the President;
Mr Hulley, who is second to no man in Europe
as a practical and thoroughly skilled gymnastic
preceptor, is the Manager.
Liverpool Mercury 19 March 1864
       Grand Olympic Festival
1864 Sat 9 July at the Zoological Gardens, Liverpool

Mr Hulley, vice-president of the Athletic Society, director of the festival,
worked with his usual energy to make everything go off smoothly.

             The Athletic Society of Great Britain
Liverpool has the merit of being amongst the foremost in this salutary
movement, and that the society of which Mr. Hulley may feel proud of
being the founder holds a position of second to none in the kingdom.
Liverpool Mercury 11 July 1864
The Liverpool Gymnasium in Myrtle Street

          Foundation stone laid on 18 July 1864
               By the Mayor of Liverpool
The Liverpool Gymnasium in Myrtle Street

           View towards the front door
The Liverpool Gymnasium in Myrtle Street

            View from the front door
       Grand Olympic Festivals
1865 Sat 22 July at the Croquet Ground Llandudno
  This included a display of illuminated boats in the bay followed by
  dancing on the sands. The organiser of the games, Mr Hulley, of Liverpool,
  spared neither personal exertion, time, nor trouble, to perfect his
  - North Wales Chronicle 29 Jul 1865

1866 Sat 23 July at the Croquet Ground Llandudno
  The Athletic Society of Great Britain, established in 1860, had arranged to hold
   its first meeting called an Olympic Festival, at Llandudno on this occasion.
  The proceedings, which included a regatta, with a yacht- race from Liverpool, a
  variety of gymnastic performances, and a sort of Venetian carnival to crown the
  festivities, took place on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday last week. All
  passed off with entire success.
  - The Illustrated London News 7 Jul 1866
• 1866 Sat 31 July at the River Thames at Teddington
  and 1 Aug at the Crystal Palace for other events

  John Hulley appeared at the latter venue
  in costume to represent the East.
1867 Friday and Saturday 28 and 29 June in the
Sheil Park Athletic Grounds Liverpool

                    Organised by

There were over 220 entries and competitors came
from Paris, Marseilles, London, a large contingent
 came from Manchester, and most of the Northern
            counties were represented
              Publication of Book

• In 1867 "A Handbook of Gymnastics and

• Reference," written by John Hulley and

•   Mr. E.G. Ravenstein was published

• (copy still available at the British Library)
                             Liverpool –
                        the best Gymnasium
                            in the World!
It is very satisfactory indeed to the inhabitants of Liverpool, to be informed by an American –

of all the people in the world -

that they have in their town the most complete gymnasium
which has yet been built,
and Mr Hulley, the gymnasiarch, will no doubt be as much pleased as his pupils with the words

of Mr Avon C. Burnham, the proprietor of a gymnasium in Brookland, North America, who is at

present in town, and has wandered over England and the continent on an errand of examination

into the arrangements of various popular gymnasia in France, Germany, Belgium and other places.

Liverpool Mercury 21 Jul 1868
       The Introduction by John Hulley
of the Velocipide to Liverpool in January 1869
The On-Off-On Wedding!

     Toxteth Unitarian Chapel
        The On-Off-On Wedding!

The Date -
15 July 1869
The Groom -
John Hulley the Liverpool Gymnasiarch
The Bride –
Georgina Bolton daughter of a wealthy
Liverpool merchant and grand-daughter of
a former Mayor of Liverpool
      1871 census
91 Grove Street Liverpool
          Death Notice
     Liverpool Mercury – 8 Jan 1875


HULLEY – Jan.6, at 91 Grove-street,
   aged 42, John Hulley, Esq.
  Death certificate of John Hulley

Cause of Death – Emphysema of Lungs, Bronchitis
      Tribute to John Hulley

       SOME OLD LIVERPUDLIANS [by One of Them]

John Hulley, professor of gymnastics and
Gymnasiarch, is still a pleasant memory in
this native city. Hulley was born with a
mission, which he fulfilled; and, take him for
all and all, we may never see his like again.
Smithdown Road cemetery
Found - John Hulley’s grave
The renovated grave
             Future Plans

• To ensure that the memory of John Hulley
  is enshrined in British Olympic history;

• To create a lasting sporting memorial in
  his name;

• To have his achievements listed in the
  Dictionary of National Biography.
    John Hulley Website

           Please visit
   to discover the full story
           of his life

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