The late Dr. Birbeck, the chief founder of the Mechanics' Institutes,and who, at his own cost, both in time and money, largely contri- buted to the spreading of education amongst English mechanics, died, we regret to say, impoverished, and leaving his widow without provision. A communication of the bereaved lady's position was made to the Prime Minister, and a memorial, most numerously and respectably signed, prayed that some stipend from the Civil List should be allowed to her. In reply to this memorial, an offer was communicated from Lord Derby of a pension (charged on the civil list) of 50 a-year. This pension, however, was bj, the special advice of Mrs. Birbeck's friends, instantly declined. mdash; [Littell's Living Age. [We believe Dr. Birbeck commenced his career as a lecturer to mechanics, in Glasgow, Scotland, where the first Mechanics' Institute was erected. He afterwards moved to Lon-doD, where he died.
This article was originally published with the title "The Founder of Mechanics' Institutes" in Scientific American 8, 19, 152 (January 1853)