Stambourne’s first Parish Council in 1894
This information was passed on from Ted Woodgate, and records Stambourne’s first Parish Council.
According to The Halstead Times they were:
- H.R. Bedford – innkeeper
- J.J. Smee – grocer
- J.T. Bonner – innkeeper
- J. Matson – farmer
- Joseph Fitch – agricultural labourer
The reporter said that there was “a general reluctance on the part of both farmers and labourers to become candidates” and he put this down to “unpreparedness to venture upon untrodden ground“. It would appear likely that Fitch was persuaded to stand to give the overall sense of class balance (this occured frequently) and, particularly as the village had few connections to unionism, it would be unlikely that he was regarded as a radical.
Interesting, however, that no clergymen were involved and two innkeepers in such a small village. I have a note that the chairman was a non elected man , J.C.Jarvis who was another grocer! This information was taken from the P.C. minute books for the parish which are housed at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford. Elections were supposed to be held every April but as these first ones were in December 1894 it wasn’t until April 1896 that the next series of elections were held. The record I have for Stambourne for 1896 I think comes from The Essex Weekly News. This time only names are given; Robert Bedford (presumably the same as H.R above), John Bonner and John Smee were all re-elected. Matson and Fitch disappear and are replaced by George Pyman and Josh Unwin, both of whom are identified as farmers in Kelly’s 1895 Directory.