Ashton-under-Lyne's Inaugural Corporation 1847

Under the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 it became possible for towns to petition the Queen for a Charter of Incorporation. This evoked a strong desire in many of the growing industrial towns to apply for borough status. However, in Ashton-under-Lyne the Town Commisioners were forced to proceed with caution. Ashton was a notorious hotbed of unrest. The 'New Poor Law' and their Board of Guardians were so loathed by the people that they couldn't implement the full force of the Act for a full 17 years, together with unrest at the very poor living and working conditions, the Corn Laws and the 'People's Charter', conditions were not ripe for the institution of another raft of Government. However after the repeal of the 'Corn Laws' in 1846 and the resultant reduction in the price of bread hopes were raised that a period of peace and order would follow.

Early in 1847 the following leading men of the town gathered under the leadership of Jonathan Andrew, the people's mayor, to announce a public meeting to be held on February 23rd 1847 to discuss petitioning the Queen to apply for Borough Status for Ashton-under-Lyne. The meeting was held in the new Town Hall, where the proposal was accepted and the petition drawn up and despatched. It was then published in the 'London Gazette' and went before the Privy Council on May 31st, who put it to Queen Victoria with advice that it should be granted on September 29th 1847.

List of Petitioners

Samuel Adams
William Aitken
Thomas Ashton
Isaac Bardsley
Joseph Bardsley
Robert Bardsley
William Bardsley
Thomas Bentley
Thomas Bird
John Blackshaw
Michael Blomeley
William Booth
James Boothman
James Bottomley
C Bradbury
John Bradley
Henry Bramhall
Samuel Brelsford
Tim Broadbent
William Broadbent
Joseph Broomhead
John Bruckshaw
Nathaniel Buckley
Samuel Buckley
John Burns
George Butler
Joshua Butterworth
John Casey
Chris Chadwick
Thomas Chadwick
R H Chambers
John Charlesworth
Ellis Chorlton
George Clay
J J Cleminson
Edwin Clough
George Coldwell
Frederick Cooke
James Cooke
James Corry Snr
William Cotterill
Samuel Cowley
Charles Cox
John Cox
Ralph Cropper
Hugh Cross
Eli Cryer
James Dalgleish
Michael Dannoch
Edward Davies
John Dean
Ellis Dernerley
Robert Dickenson
George Downs
John Driver
Richard Ely
James Farrand
Robert Farrand
John Fawcett
John Fletcher
George Foster
John France
John France
John Galt
John Garlick
Edward Garside
James C Gee
John Geldthorp
John Glover
Ezekiah Goddard
James Green
Peter Grimshaw
John Grundy
Thomas Grundy
Josh. Hall
Wright Hall
George Harding
George Harding
George Heginbottom
William Heginbottom
John Hibbert
John Hilton
Joseph Hilton
I F Hindley
Thomas Hines
Abraham Hintchliffe
Edward Hobson
Eli Hollingworth
James Howarth
Thomas Hurst
William Hurst
John Jackson
George Johnson
John Johnson
James Judson
James Keon
Henry Kirkham
Isaac Knott
James Knott
John Knott
John Knott
Joseph Leach
Samuel Leach
William Leach
William Leech
John Lees
Samuel Lees
Thomas Legh
Peter Leigh
Joseph Lingard
John Long
Thomas Lord
John Lowe
Joseph Marples
Booth Mason
Hugh Mason
W McDonald
Edward Mercer
John Metcalfe
W. Micklethwaite
Isaac Miller
John Moody
Nathaniel Moore
Edmund Moorhouse
William Morley
Henry Naden
Abraham Newton
James Newton
Henry Ogden
James Ogden
William Ogden
James Oliver
John Oliver
William Orme
William Ousey
William Ousey
William Pollitt
James Pomfret
William Prestwick
Orlando Ratcliffe
John Rayner
Edward Redfern
William Redfern
John Repworth
Robert Ripley
John Robinson
Joseph Ryder
James Saxon
John Saxon
Thomas Saxon
James Schofield
Thomas Schofield
William Schofield
Samuel Seel
Thomas Seel
Joseph Sharpe
Henry Shaw
James Shaw
James Shaw
Thomas Shaw
James Shepherd
John Siddall
Mark Simms
Thomas W Slater
Benjamin Smith
J D Smith
Edmund Spencer
Michael Stafford
William Stanfield
J S Stanley
John Stansfield
William Sunderland
W H Sutcliffe
L. Swallow
Abel Swann
Joseph Swindells
Benjamin Swire
William Swire
W L Symes
Edward Taylor
James Taylor
John Taylor
John Taylor
Samuel Taylor
Joseph Thacker
Samuel Thacker
John Thompson
John Thomson
Samuel Timperley
George Turner
John Tweedale
William Tweedale
Mark Uttley
James Vaughan
John Walmsley
Nelson Warren
W H Waterhouse
Benjamin Whitehead
James Whitehead
James Whitehead
John Whiteley
Thomas Whittaker
William Whittaker
John Wilde
Edwin Williamson
John Williamson
John Williamson
Edward Winstanley
James Wood
John Wood
Joshua Wood
George Wood Shaw
R Worthington
William Wright
Samuel Wroe

The Queen granted a Charter of Incorporation to the town, by which all ratepayers, of the area to be included in the new Municipal Borough, where thenceforward constituted burgesses of Ashton-under-Lyne - who should be called upon to elect their Mayor and Corporation on November 22nd 1847.

The Town was divided into four wards; "Market Ward", "St Michael's Ward", "Portland Place Ward" and St Peter's Ward", each to elect six councillors. Below are the names of councillors elected to serve on the inaugural council.

Person Elected
Trade or Profession
Votes Received
George MercerCloggerGeorge Street378
James WalkerInnkeeperGeorge Street371
John MetcalfeGrocerChester Place363
William Henry WaterhouseChemist and DruggistGeorge Street353
William TweedaleGrocerStamford Street349
John WildeBuilderTurner Lane337
Person Elected
Trade or Profession
Votes Received
Thomas LeighDraperStamford Street123
James MillsManagerQueen Street122
William SunderlandSchoolmasterStamford Street115
John ChadwickCotton SpinnerDunham Terrace114
John Strongi'th'arm StanleyCotton SpinnerPark Parade111
James SchofieldInnkeeperStamford Street109
Person Elected
Trade or Profession
Votes Received
William LeechButcherOldham Road213
Abel BuckleyEsquireRyecroft202
John GrundyInnkeeperStamford Street202
Edwin MoorhouseReed MakerStamford Street195
Booth MasonCotton ManufacturerHenry Square173
Thomas WrightCotton ManufacturerCatherine Terrace167
Person Elected
Trade or Profession
Votes Received
James NewtonAuctioneerStamford Street202
Samuel BrierleySurgeonStamford Street199
Edward WinstanleyManagerBollington Street194
George HeginbottomCotton ManufacturerChester Place157
William HeginbottomCotton ManufacturerDelamere Place156
George BancroftGrocerStamford Street153

Source: Winefred Bowman's "England in Ashton-under-Lyne".

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