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John Meads 2013
Burton Latimer's First Parish Council

James Aspin Wallis Thomas Collings Charles Barlow
James Aspin Wallis topped the
poll with 126 votes. He was the
owner of Wallis's Mill, Station
Thomas Collings, Baptist
Pastor and editor of the
Evening Telegraph came
second with 108 votes.
Charles Barlow, shop-owner,
farmer and ironstone contractor
came third with 83 votes

1894 was a milesone in the history of local government in England when small communities all over the country were asked to form parish councils. The Northampton Mercury reported on the meetings that took place in Northamptonshire and this is a description of the events at Burton Latimer printed in its edition dated 7th December 1894.

The New Parish Councils - Burton Latimer

The meeting was held in St Crispin's Hall. It will be remembered that the working- men in the parish have been very active in the matter of putting forward representatives in their own interests, and at vestry meeting held nearly a fortnight ago it was decided, after a long discussion, to allow the representatives of the two political parties and the working-men representatives  to confer together  with a view to effecting a compromise. The persons nominated met a few days later and satisfactory terms were arrived at.  Since then, however, several new names have been sprung upon the parishioners, and the meeting on Tuesday was to select those who, in the opinion of the ratepayers, were the most suitable for the onerous task. The large room was quite filled with parishioners, and, although some lively scenes were expected, matters passed off in a very quiet and orderly manner. Mr. Sargeunt proposed the Rev. F.B. Newman take the chair, which was seconded by Mr. Attfield. An amendment was moved by someone at the back of the hall in favour of Mr R Wallis whereupon the rector at once withdrew. Mr Wallis briefly detailed the business of the meeting, and the nominations to the number of 46 were handed in. After due examination of the nomination papers, the chairman put the candidates to the meeting in alphabetical order, which were as follows, the number at the end of each name being the number of votes recorded in favour of the person nominated: – Thomas Ambler, coal merchant, High Street, 79; William Walter Attfield, farmer, Cranford Road, 73; Frederick George Ball, mason, 23; Charles Barlow, farmer and tradesmen, 83; Thomas Bird, manager of ironstone works, 32; Frederic Buckby, shoe riveter,  The Cross, 31; Thomas Collings, journalist, 108; John Cooper, Baker, 39; Alfred Downing, farmer, 18; Joseph Eady, labourer, Alexandra Street, 85; Frederick Taylor Freestone, book-keeper, Alexandra Street, 78; Joseph Gale, ironstone labourer, 63; William John Gross, farmer, 67; Henry Haddon, Shoemaker, 20; John Hale, gentleman, 13; William Hobbs, tailor, Meeting Lane, 34; Samuel Holley, shoemaker, Amblers Yard, 2; David James, draper, 75; James Osborne, farmer, 46; George Perkins, blacksmith, Alexandra Street, 84; Harold Priestland, clerk in holy orders, 85; Samuel Dyer Smith, blacksmith, 21; Charles Stokes, Carter, 66; Alfred Thomas Tailby, store keeper, Duke Street, 78 James Talbutt, baker, 51; Sydney Charles Fitzpatrick Vernon, gentleman, Finedon Road, 75; James Aspin Wallis, miller, The Mill, 126; Joseph Westley, shoe riveter, Finedon Road, 50; Harry Whitney, pressman, Finedon Street, 34.

The chairman then declared the following gentleman elected: Messrs. J A Wallis (Liberal), T Collings ( Liberal) ,C Barlow (Liberal), J Eady(Conservative), Rev H Priestland (Conservative), Messrs. Perkins (Liberal), Ambler(Liberal), Freestone (Conservative) , Tailby (Liberal), James ( Liberal), Vernon (Conservative), Attfield (Conservative) and Gross (Liberal).

The Constitution of the authority would therefore have been eight Liberals and five Conservatives. There was no answer to the chairman's enquiry as to whether any of the gentleman nominated wished to withdraw, and the chairman then asked if anyone wish to demand a poll. Several parishioners at once claimed a poll from various parts of the room, and considerable amusement was caused by the fact that the man Holley, who received two votes, was amongst the number claiming a poll. The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to the Chairman, proposed by Mr T Collings and the seconded by Mr W. Read, and to the tellers Messrs.  E.E. James and E.E. Bailey for their services.

To read the Northampton Mercury's assessment of the new council's first business meeting click here

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