Edward Stocks Massey (c.1850 – 1909) was a local brewer who bequeathed over £100,000 to the town for the advancement of music, arts and education.
When the last resident, Lady O’Hagan, left Towneley Hall there was little left to show the public, so the museum purchased the first historic piece of furniture using the bequest in 1924.
During the 1920s and 1930s other pieces were added and now Towneley Hall has one of the finest collections of 17th Century Lancashire and Yorkshire oak furniture in the country.
Fairly simple wooden furniture like this panel-backed oak chair was the staple furnishing of modest homes throughout the 17th Century.
They were personalised and localised by the use of characteristic geometric motifs or inscriptions.
Designed to be conveniently portable, furniture was moved around the home more often, and rendered more comfortable and luxurious by the use of cushions.