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Sir James Reckitt: A Life of Legacy

18th March 2024

We have a very special year ahead as we celebrate the life of Sir James Reckitt in the centenary of his death (b:1833 / d:1924)

Sir James Reckitt remains one of Hull’s most influential citizens.

He was a driving force behind Reckitt and Sons, an industrialist, a philanthropist and city leader.

He was also a powerful advocate for public libraries and founded the first free public library in Hull in 1889.


We all owe so much to his philanthropic dedication, and we give thanks for the establishment of the James Reckitt Library Trust that manages an endowment fund established by Sir James Reckitt to support public library provision throughout the city.

We are grateful to this remarkable man for helping us to continue to develop projects and activities designed to stimulate a love of reading and learning, and achieve so much for the residents of Hull today.

James died on March 18 1924, aged 91. We'll mark the centenary of his death and celebrate the life of this remarkable man with a series of special events throughout the year, starting with the launch of a new exhibition 'Sir James Reckitt: A Life of Legacy' at Hull Central Library from 18 March - 18 May 2024.