Parish Meeting 1894
We have probably been aware of parish councils for most of our lives, but in fact they are not as old as you might think. They arose from the Local Government Act of 1894 and replaced Church organisations and vestries which previously managed local affairs.
In a notice dated 21 November 1894, two of Thrapston’s Overseers, Herbert M Amos and Thomas Smith, announced there would be a parish meeting in the National School on 4 December at 7 pm. Following the election of a chairman the meeting would proceed to elect 13 parish councillors.
John Grant, a local business man, was voted into the chair and took his place at 7.06 pm (time was important even in those days!)
Twenty three people were nominated; one was rejected for lack of a seconder and another withdrew. The remaining contestants were questioned by the meeting and then came a vote by show of hands. There was apparently no restriction on the number of votes each member of the audience could have.
Altogether 1430 votes were cast but John Baker demanded a poll and refused to withdraw. This resulted in amending the list which had already been entered in the minutes. Four candidates previously not elected changed places with four who had already been elected.
First Council Meeting
The first meeting of the new council was held on 31st December at the school and the members were:
- Francis Sharp Abbott (Auctioneer and Valuer)
- Thomas B Cresswell (Foreman Moulder)
- George Hall (probably Reporter on the ‘Journal’)
- Rev. Septimus Kingsford (Rector)
- Robert Corelli Pars (Chemist)
- Richard Sanderson (Grocer and Ironmonger,
- George Smith (Head of Smith and Grace)
- William Beal (Vetinary Surgeon) Obadiah Booth (Tinner and Brazier)
- Alfred Hensman (Builder)
- Edward Loaring (Clothier)
- Richard Lines Ridgeway (Miller)
- Alfred Smith (Cycle Dealer)
George Smith was elected Chairman and he remained in that office until his death in December 1917, aged 76.
Rev Kingsford Smith was Vice Chairman until his death in 1913.
Arthur G Brown was appointed Clerk from which post he resigned in November 1921 but was elected councillor in 1922.