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Jewellery Quarter Research Trust

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Enquiries to enquiries@jqrt.org

The JQRT is proud to be a partner in the Everything To Everybody project which unites the Shakespeare archive with the George Dawson Collection (GDC) - a wealth of documents relating to the nonconformist preacher, lecturer and activist, who founded the Library as part of a pioneering ‘Civic Gospel’ which helped make 19th-century Birmingham the world’s most progressive modern city.


“When a man has his comfort, his health, his security, the mind and the spirit have needs of their own too, and those need to be satisfied. This means that the city which really is a city must have parks as well as prisons, an art gallery as well as an asylum, books and libraries as well as baths and washhouses, schools as well as sewers. It must think of beauty and dignity no less than of order and of health.”

Free Reference Library Inaugural address given by George Dawson 1866



Who we are

Jewellery Quarter Research Trust is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 2009 out of the passion to discover and share Birmingham's rich heritage. Our aim is to research the history and times of people and places in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and share this with the public. We provide families, researchers, academics and students with biographical and cultural information as well as tours and activities. We collaborate with many other organisations including trusts, councils, universities, libraries and museums. Our events programme celebrates the exciting and important stories of our beloved JQ and invites you to be a part of them.


We specialise in the history and records of the two Jewellery Quarter cemeteries: Key Hill and Warstone Lane.     The Grade II* and Grade II cemeteries are an important part of Birmingham's history and heritage. Opened  by non-conformist businessmen in 1836, Key Hill was Birmingham's first nondenominational cemetery and seeing its financial success, another group of businessmen subscribed to the opening of a Church of England cemetery at Warstone Lane 11 years later. 


The cemeteries are the last resting place of nine Birmingham mayors, of alderman, councillors, M.P.s, industrialists, ministers, politicians, a holder of the Victoria Cross and many heroes of war and of reform, a British royal ancestor and the son of an aboriginal king, and of tens of thousands of people who, by their skills and determination helped make Birmingham the great city it is today. Find out more on our ' Research and Records' page. 


 









In the Church of the Saviour, George Dawson developed the concept of the Civic Gospel. He called upon his congregation to join him in the struggle "to improve conditions in the town and the quality of life enjoyed by its citizens". His sermons electrified the Birmingham public and influential members of his Church included. Some are listed here.