At an unknown date after October 1853, Jacob Fletcher Fletcher, with his wife and daughter, embarked on a Grand Tour of Continental Europe, returning to England in 1855.
The Grand Tour was a traditional exploration of Europe, primarily associated with Britain, undertaken by young men belonging to the British nobility and wealthy gentry. Jacob Fletcher Fletcher's place in society was with
the wealthy gentry but what is, perhaps, unusual in this instance is that he went on tour with his wife and daughter.
The custom of the Grand Tour originated in c.1660 and it continued into the 1850s when it was curtailed by the advent of mass railway transport. The Grand Tour can best be described as an educational right of
passage to provide a cultural polish to young men and to reinforce high standards of taste. During a tour, a participant could fraternize with the high society of the Continent; improve his language skills and
possibly commission paintings or other works of art. Lessons in horse riding, fencing and dancing were also undertaken. A tour could last from several months to several years. The normal practice was to be accompanied by a
knowledgeable tutor/guide and servants. The itineraries followed were varied but typical places visited could include: Paris, Geneva, The Alps, Lausanne, Turin, Florence, Pisa, Padua, Bologna, Venice, Rome, Herculaneum, Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, Sicily, Berlin, Dresden, Vienna, Potsdam, Munich, Heidelberg, Holland and Flanders.
Jacob Fletcher Fletcher at Denton Colliery
The following is a transcript of how the event of Jacob Fletcher Fletcher's return to Denton Colliery after his Grand Tour was reported on Saturday, 13 October 1855:
In his reply, Jacob Fletcher Fletcher hinted that conditions at Denton Colliery were not completely to his satisfaction. It seems that some of his workmen might have boycotted the event, maybe
in protest at their poor wages that helped to finance his recent Grand Tour. Possibly, Mr Bain dealt with the matter by dismissing the workmen concerned.