Chadderton Historical Society

History of Local Government in Chadderton

 

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INTRODUCTION

[1] The Manor of Chadderton & Foxdenton

[2] Township of Chadderton and its officials

(3) Vestry, Workhouse, and Board of Guardians

(4) Highways and Lighting Districts

 

(5) Chadderton Local Board of Health 1873-1894

(6) Chadderton School Board and Education Com

(7) Chadderton Urban District Council 1894-1974

(8) Lancashire County Council 1888-1974

Until 31st March 1974, Chadderton was an independent unit of local government as it had been for over a thousand years. On 1st April 1974 it was one of the seven local townships which lost their individual councils and came together to form the new local authority, under the name Oldham Metropolitan Borough.

 

These townships, which still preserve their separate identities, are Chadderton, Crompton (also known as Shaw), Failsworth, Lees, Oldham, Royton, and Saddleworth. The first six are part of the historic County Palatine of Lancaster, whilst Saddleworth, which is really a collection of individual villages, is situated in Yorkshire.

 

In 1974 the metropolitan borough was placed in the newly-formed administrative area termed 'Greater Manchester', but the council of that division was abolished in 1984, no boundary signs now designate the area, and its function is undertaken by the ten metropolitan boroughs which are, in effect, unitary authorities. For a great many people 'Greater Manchester' has now become a rather meaningless concept.

 

This page gives a general account of the development of local government in Chadderton over the centuries prior to the changes of 1974.

 

 

(1) The Manor of Chadderton and Foxdenton

 Local government in Chadderton, during the Middle Ages, was controlled to a large degree by the 'Lord(s) of the Manor', with rights and duties for each class of inhabitant. This feudal system did not break down overnight but was to undergo gradual changes during subsequent centuries.
 [At Chadderton Hall]

 Geoffrey de Chadderton I c1235-c1302

 Geoffrey de Chadderton II c1302-1320

 William de Chadderton c1320-1332

 Geoffrey de Chadderton III 1332-c1367

 Margery de Chadderton m John de Radcliffe 1 c1367-1407

 John Radcliffe (died before succeeding)

 Sir John Radcliffe 1I 1407-1436 (knighted at Agincourt)

 Richard Radcliffe (killed in battle in 1436 before succeeding)

 Richard Radcliffe (died in infancy)

(His three sisters inherited jointly)

 

c1454 DIVISION of the MANOR (into three Lordships)

 (1) Joan Radcliffe m Edmund Assheton (lived at Chadderton Hall)

 (2) Margaret Radcliffe m Ralph Standish (not resident in Chadderton)

 (3) Elizabeth Radcliffe m Robert Radcliffe (built first Foxdenton Hall)

 

 [(1) at Chadderton Hall]

 

 

Joan Radcliffe m Edmund Assheton I d. 1489

 John Assheton (died before succeeding)

 Edmund Assheton II 1489-1542

 James Assheton I 1542-1549

 Edmund Assheton III 1549-1584

 James Assheton II 1584-1612

 Edmund Assheton III 1612-1650

 James Assheton III 1650-1651

 Rev. William Assheton 1651 [Sold estate in 1685]

 Joshua Horton 1685-1708

 Thomas Horton I 1708-1757

 Sir William Horton 1757-1774

 Sir Watts Horton 1774-1811

 Rev. Sir Thomas Horton II 1811-1821

 Harriet Susanna Anne Horton m Major Charles Rhys d. 1852

 [End of the Manor at Chadderton Hall]

  -0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0

  

[(3) at Foxdenton Hall]

 

 
Elizabeth Radcliffe m Robert Radcliffe c1468

 William Radcliffe I d.1507

 Thomas Radcliffe 1507-1567

William Radcliffe II 1567-1577 (forfeited the manor)

 John Radcliffe 1577-1587

 Margaret Radcliffe d. 1590 m Richard Radcliffe (of Newcroft) d. 1602

 William Radcliffe III 1590-1642

 Sir William Radcliffe IV 1642-1647 (The 'Foxdenton Redhead')

 Alexander Radcliffe I 1647-1652

  Susan and Mary Radcliffe 1652-1698

(bequeathed Foxdenton to their distant cousin of Ordsall)

 Alexander Radclyffe II 1698-1735

 Robert Radclyffe I 1735-1742

 Robert Radclyffe II 1742-1783

 Robert Radclyffe III 1783-1854

 Charles James Radclyffe I 1854-1882

 Charles James Radclyffe II 1882-1913

 Charles Robert Eustace Radclyffe 1913-1953

  [End of the Manor at Foxdenton Hall]

  

 

(2) Township of Chadderton and its Officials

 Also at the centre of local government was the ancient and historic 'township', the basic unit of local government,and within Chadderton a number of officers were to exercise their responsibilities and duties for many centuries. Larger than the township was the 'hundred' a sub-division of the 'county' or 'shire', and there were six in our countyof Lancashire. Chadderton was part of the Hundred of Salford, the other hundreds being West Derby, BlackburnLeyland, Amounderness, and Lonsdale - which lay on both sides of the sands of Morecambe Bay.

 

 

The constable was an essential officer in any township. Indeed, by definition a township was a place which had its own constable(s). From an early date Chadderton nominated three constables to serve the township and these were answerable to the Court Leet at Tottington, where they were sworn in. Chadderton formed the south-eastern boundary of the Fee or Estate of Tottington, whose great overlord was the Baron of Clitheroe Castle. The earliest constables of whom we have any record were Geoffrey Whitacre, and Richard Assheton, who occupied the office in 1507.

 The three constables were expected to patrol the township, and generally maintain law and order, but apart from that aspect of their work they were not like their modern counterparts. They were not full-time officers, nor were they paid for their services, although they could reclaim any expanses incurred during their year of office.

 They were also responsible for summoning the Militia or part-time soldiers, if the need arose, whilst their other duties included the inspection of local armour and the supervision of the other officers of the township.

 The Overseer of the Poor had the duty to see that the provisions of the Poor Laws were carried out in the township, and much of his authority was derived from the Poor Relief Act of 1662. He had to levy a Poor Rate on the more affluent inhabitants of Chadderton, and this money was then used to assist the local poor.

 The earliest recorded Overseer in Chadderton was Edward Ogden in 1681. In that year 119 people contributed £15 9s. 9d. (£15.49) for a six-month period, and this fund helped some 19 impotent poor with amounts ranging from one (old) penny to one shilling (5p).

 The Churchwarden looked after the secular affairs of the parish. Chadderton was one of the ten townships which formed the Parish of Prestwich-cum-Oldham. This large parish was cut in two by the Parish of Middleton. In the Oldham section, or chapelry, were Alkrington, Chadderton, Crompton, Oldham, Royton, and Tonge.

 The earliest Churchwarden named for Chadderton was William Scholes, who held the position in 1552. When the township was assessed for repairs to the medieval church in Oldham in 1682, 119 people were required to pay altogether £6 14s. 4d. (£6.72).

 

 

(3) Vestry, Workhouse, and Board of Guardians

 The ecclesiastical parish gradually gave way to the civil parish and the vestry system. The Vestry was an elected body but the privilege of voting was confined to those with substantial property, and it was this system which had evolved in Chadderton at the beginning of the 19th century. However, it was also this century which saw a rapid increase in population, an increase with which the old system of local government was unable to cope. Major changes became necessary as the century progressed.

 In 1834 the workhouse system was re-organised. Chadderton workhouse, which was formally the responsibility of the township itself, was grouped with others in the surrounding townships and placed under the supervision of a Board of Guardians. Oldham Board of Guardians had control of the workhouses in Chadderton, Crompton, Oldham, Royton, Tonge, and the joint workhouse of Middleton and Thornham.

 The Board of Guardians survived later changes in local government and was only abolished in 1929, when its duties so far as they affected Chadderton were transferred to the Lancashire County Council. Although the Vestry lost some of its powers to the Board of Guardians, it remained the basis of local government in Chadderton until the last quarter of the 19th century.

 

 

(4) Highways and Lighting Districts

 In the mid-19th century a number of other public bodies were at work within Chadderton. The Nuisance Board was concerned with many matters which were also the responsibility of the Vestry, and as its name implies was concerned with issues which inhabitants deemed unacceptable such as stopping up pathways, etc.

 At this period the roads, such as they could be styled as such, were organised into three highways divisions, Block Lane, Denton Lane, and Burnley Lane. Although there were no more than twelve miles of proper roads, each division had its own committee whose work was made difficult by the overlapping of the districts, and the lack of knowledge as to which division a particular road, or part of road, belonged.

 At a meeting in 1862, at the Cemetery Inn (now the Harlequin), on Middleton Road it was agreed to amalgamate the three divisions. A Board of Surveyors was formed with the power to pave, sewer and keep in decent repair all the roads in the township. In 1871 the Highways Board was constituted and this concerned itself with a variety of matters, not necessarily appertaining to roads.

 Also in 1862, the East Chadderton Lighting District was formed at a meeting held at the now-demolished Five Ways Hotel on Lansdowne Road. The need for street lighting had become more apparent because of the increasing number of people going to the mills in dark weather. A Lighting Committee was set up and Chadderton's first eighteen gas lamps were erected in the central area bordered by Middleton Road, Lansdowne Road, Cowhill, Stock Lane, and Melbourne Street.

 

 

(5) Chadderton Local Board of Health 1873-1894

 The adoption of Local Boards of Health was the result of legislation in Parliament, but Chadderton was rather reluctant to conform, and the decision to form a Local Board was only agreed upon in 1872.

 This new body was an elected one, but multiple votes were possible depending on the rateable value of the elector's house. Voting papers were delivered to each elector's home for marking, and were later collected and counted. Altogether 2300 voting papers were delivered but only 1200 were returned correctly!

 The Chadderton Local Board was to have 15 members, and these were elected on 5th March 1873. The first twelve were Liberals, the rest Conservatives.

 George Hamilton, corn miller ......................1168

Levi Lambert, forge manager .......................1161

James Heginbottom, cotton spinner ............. 1145

John Riley, cotton spinner............................ 1144

Alfred Butterworth, cotton manufacturer...... 1140

John Marland, colliery proprietor................. 1131

Benjamin Kenyon, grocer............................ 1131

Lees Walton, cotton spinner........................ 1130

William Taylor, cotton spinner..................... 1122

Mark Garfit, cotton spinner......................... 1119

Henry Buckley, cotton spinner ....................1117

Arthur McDougall, manufacturing chemist ...1117

Thomas Milnes, ironfounder .......................1044

Jakeh Travis, gentleman............................... 972

Robert Simpson, property owner................ 680

 

 

 CHAIRMEN of CHADDERTON LOCAL BOARD

 

1873-74 ........John Riley

1874- ............John Riley [2nd term]

1875-............ John Riley [3rd term]

1876-........... George Hamilton

1877-........... George Hamilton [2nd term]

1878-............ Henry Buckley

1879-............ Levi Lambert

1880-........... James Chadwick

1881- ...........John Murgatroyd

1882-........... William Taylor

1883-........... Ralph Bagley

1884- ...........Miles Crompton

1885- ..........William Haslam

1886-.......... William Haslam [2nd term]

1887-........... James Chadwick [2nd term]

1888-........... Thomas Hague

1889- ...........John Murgatroyd [2nd term]

1890-.......... John Seville

1891-.......... John Seville [2nd term]

1892-.......... John Greenhalgh

1893-94...... James Chadwick [3rd term]

  

 

(6) Chadderton School Board and Education Committee

Further Acts of Parliament towards the end of the 19th century gave Chadderton the power to form a School Board. This body had the duty to provide schools in parts of the township where those provided by the churches were insufficient. Its first such school was Eustace Street. A School Attendance Committee also came into being at the same time.

 Since Chadderton had a population in excess of 20,000, the 1902 Education Act gave the Urban District Council (see below) the power to set up an Education Committee to replace the School Board. It became a 'Part III' Education Authority with full powers over all elementary education in Chadderton, and able to assist with secondary education, especially education at evening classes.

 A further Act in 1944 transferred all aspects of education to the Lancashire County Council (see 9 below). The county was then divided into Education Divisions, each providing education within clusters of local authorities. Chadderton became the administrative centre for Lancashire Education Division 23, which also took in Failsworth, Royton, Crompton, and Lees. Powers over all stages of education were thus delegated from the L.C.C.

 

 

(7) Chadderton Urban District Council 1894-1974

 Under the Local Government Act of 1894, the Local Board of Health was replaced by the Urban District Council. Among its many powers were the provision of libraries, baths, parks, streets, and street lighting, housing, sanitation and other local aspects of health care. The township was divided into three wards - North, Central, and South, each electing six councillors, two per year over a three year period, to give a Council of 18 members. The former system of plurality of votes was abolished and replaced by a single vote cast secretly in a polling booth. The first Council for the new Urban District of Chadderton consisted of the following members:

 

North Ward

James Dyson (Lib)................................ 573

James Fitton (Lib)................................. 567

Frederick Brook (Lib).......................... 521

Albert Mills (Lib)................................. 513

James Chadwick (Lib)......................... 509

William Binns (Lib) ..............................509

Central Ward

Benjamin Crapper (Lib)...................... 620

Samuel Lees (Con) .............................585

Edward Tetlow (Con)......................... 581

Thomas Jackson (Con)....................... 580

Christopher Moore (Lib).....................573

John Greenhalgh (Lib).........................562

 South Ward

John Fielding (Lib)............................. 468

William Chadwick (Lib)..................... 453

James Donnelly (Lib)......................... 439

Joseph Halford (Lib)......................... 432

Arthur Dawson (Lib)........................ 431

William Heywood (Con) ..................405

 

CHAIRMEN of CHADDERTON URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL

 1894-95 .................................................James Chadwick

1895-...................................................... James Chadwick

1896- .....................................................William Chadwick

1897-..................................................... James Dyson

1898-.................................................... John Fielding

1899-........................................... ....... John Greenhalgh

1900-................................................... Benjamin Crapper

1901- ...................................................James Fitton

1902- ...................................................William Binns

1903- ...................................................Ernest Kempsey

1904-................................................... Ernest Kempsey [2nd term]

1905-................................................... Ernest Kempsey [3rd term]

1906-................................................... Thomas Scholes

1907-................................................... James Smith

1908- ..................................................James Ogden

1909- ..................................................Oldham Clayton

1910-.................................................. John Mayall

1911-.................................................. Ernest Kempsey [4th term]

1912-.................................................. Joseph Hilton (Senior)

1913-................................................. Herbert Wolstencroft

1914-................................................. Herbert Wolstencroft [2nd term]

1915-................................................. James Carter

1916- .................................................William Owen

1917-................................................. William Crossley

1918-................................................. John Wolfenden

1919-................................................ William Owen [2nd term]

1920- ................................................William Crossley [2nd term]

1921-................................................ James Fitton [2nd term]

1922-............................................... Walter Brierley

1923-............................................... Patrick Lawless

1924-.............................................. Thomas Walmsley

1925-.............................................. Robert Liddle

1926-............................................. Joseph Hilton (Junior)

1927-............................................ Owen Field

1928-............................................ James Ashton

1929-........................................... Fred Wolstencroft

1930-........................................... John Taylor

1931-.......................................... Herbert Brabin

1932-.......................................... Herbert Brabin [2nd term]

1933-......................................... Joseph Denham

1934-........................................ George Ogden

1935-........................................ Harry Greenwood

1936-....................................... Sydney Dawson

1937- .......................................Thomas Hilton

1938- ......................................Spencer Johnson

1939- ......................................Thomas Esker

1940-...................................... Arthur Tongue

1941-...................................... James Taylor

1942- .....................................Harold Newton

1943-..................................... James Brierley

1944-..................................... Fred Halkyard

1945-..................................... George Renshaw

1946-..................................... Edwin Buckley

1947-..................................... John Schofield

1948-.................................... George Ogden [2nd term]

1949-.................................... Geoffrey Jackson

1950-.................................... James Taylor [2nd term]

1951-.................................... Fred Halkyard [2nd term]

1952-.................................... Frederick Buxton

1953-.................................... Arthur Tongue [2nd term]

1954-.................................... George Howard

1955-.................................... Ralph Semple

1956-.................................... Roland Hill

1957-................................... Clifford Kirkman

1958-................................... John Schofield [2nd term]

1959- ..................................Richard hodgson

1960-................................. Arthur Tongue

1961-................................. Thomas Ogden

1962-................................. Harold Shanley

1963-................................. Sidney Jacobs

1964-................................. Ralph Semple [2nd term]

1965- .................................Roland Hill [2nd term]

1966-................................. Ernest Sharp

1967-................................. John Paterson

1968-................................ Christopher Shepherd

1969-................................ Harold winterburn

1970-................................ Ralph Semple [3rd term]

1971- ................................Thomas Ogden [2nd term]

1972-................................ Denis Graham

1973-74........................... William Fish

 

 

(8) Lancashire County Council 1888-1974

 In 1888, the historic counties of England were given an enhanced role in local government when elected county councils were set up. That for Lancashire met at Preston.

 Each county authority i.e. municipal boroughs, urban districts, and rural districts were represented at Preston by county councillors. Chadderton originally elected one such councillor, but in 1935 the town was divided into Chadderton North and Chadderton South, and the representation increased to two members.

 The county council was responsible for main highways, fire prevention, major aspects of health, secondary education, overall planning, and several other functions not delegated to Chadderton itself.

 Although not a responsibility of the county as such, policing in Chadderton from Victorian times until 1974, was carried out by the Lancashire Constabulary.

 The Lancashire County Council survived the changes of 1974, but now operates in a much reduced area of the historic county. It no longer has any authority within Chadderton.

 


 

Index Page
School Local History Projects
Members of Parliament Chadderton
Long-serving Councillors
Sponsors Christmas Lights
Sir Philip Sidney Stott
Chadderton Organisations
Constitution
Chadderton Town Crier
Chadderton Hall
The Town and its People
Foxdenton Hall
Chadderton Cotton Industry
Programmes of Events 2000-to date
Heritage Centre
Membership/CHS Publications.

Favourite Links
Henry Taylor
Peterloo Massacre
Lydia Becker,Suffragist
Geoff Tootill;Baby Computer
Current Newsletter
Secretary's Report
Avro History
Chadderton Listed Buildings
News of the Year
Visitor's Guide to Chadderton
Worship & Education

 Last Modified: 8/05/10 Copyright Chadderton Historical Society 1999-2010