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Rushden Echo, 18th October 1907, transcribed by Gill Hollis.
The Affairs of Mr. George Denton

Serious Failure At Rushden

Receiving Order Made - Many Businesses Affected - Composition Scheme Hoped For

  The report published in last Friday’s “Rushden Echo” that Mr. Geo. Denton had resigned his seat on the Northamptonshire County Council, of which he has for many years been an honoured member, representing one of the Rushden wards, prepared the way for the further news that during the day a receiving order in bankruptcy was made against him, on his own petition. Mr. Denton’s failure has come upon the town as a terrible shock, and the deepest sympathy is felt throughout the district with him in his trouble.

  Mr. Denton traded as Messrs. Benjamin Denton and Son, boot and shoe manufacturers; as F. Noble, boot manufacturers, Moor-road; as Rushden Machine Joinery Works; and as the Lightstrung Cycle Co., Rushden. As our readers will remember, Mr. Denton is heavily involved in F. Noble and Co., Ltd., of London, now in liquidation.

Manager Appointed

  Mr. A.C. Palmer, chartered accountant, of Northampton, has been appointed manager to carry on the business.

The “Gazette” Notice

  The following notice appeared in Tuesday night’s “London Gazette” :-

  Receiving order : Denton, George (carrying on business under the style of B. Denton and Son, F. Noble, the Lightstrung Cycle Co., and the Rushden Machine Joinery Works), Rushden, Northamptonshire, boot and shoe manufacturer, cycle manufacturer, joiner.

  The receiving order was made in the Northampton Bankruptcy Court.

Circular To The Creditors

  The following notice, dated Oct. 12th, has been issued by Messrs. A. C. Palmer and Co., chartered accountants, Northampton :-

  “We regret to inform you that it has been found necessary for Mr. Denton to apply for a receiving order for the protection of his estate.  Our Mr. Palmer has been appointed special manager for the purpose of carrying on the businesses, pending the first meeting of creditors, which will be convened in due course by the Official Receiver, and of which you will receive notice.  The Official Receiver has authorised us to assist the debtor in the preparation of his statement of affairs, and we shall therefore feel obliged if you will send us in course of post full particulars of your claim, to ensure accuracy in the figures.”

Sympathy With Mr. Denton

  Throughout the town and district there exists but one feeling – a feeling of the most profound sympathy with Mr. Denton in the financial trouble which has overtaken him.  For years Mr. Denton has been one of the leading residents of Rushden, and the high respect in which he has so long been held by his fellow townsmen will be lessened not one jot by the present financial calamity, the frequently-expressed and universally-felt hope being that before long the heavy cloud hanging over him may be dispelled.

Public Work

  Mr. Denton, who, as everyone in the district knows, is a man of the soundest integrity, has for many years been at the very forefront of the life of Rushden, in its various phases. A member of the Rushden Urban Council from its commencement, he was speedily elevated to the chair – an office which he filled with conspicuous ability. When, last March, he refused to allow himself to be again nominated for the Urban Council, the greatest sorrow was expressed. As a County Councillor, too, he has done very useful work, and his resignation last Friday is the cause of widespread regret.  As chairman of the Higham Ferrers and Rushden Water Board, Mr. Denton successfully negotiated the joint water authority during the first few years of its existence.


Mr. Denton has been a consistent Liberal, and has for many years been a leading member of the Rushden Liberal Association.  As a member of the Independent Wesleyan Church, Mr. Denton has done an enormous amount of work, particularly as circuit steward in the Wellingborough circuit and as superintendent in the Queen-street Sunday school, Rushden.  In a very real sense, the trouble which has fallen upon Mr. Denton is felt by everyone in the town.  It is now over 30 years since Mr. Denton entered public life, and the efficient way in which he has carried out his duties can never be forgotten.

The Workmen

  Some of the workpeople have returned to work, but the factory is not yet in full working order again.

The Creditors

  The following are given as among the principal creditors, the amounts in all cases being approximate :-  Bloor, Son, and Vyse, London, £300;  Mowat and Sons, Stonehaven, £550;  Munt Brothers, London, £30; Morton and Sons, Leicester, £800;  Martin, Glasgow, £150; Nelson, W. and Co., Manchester, £1,500;  Nicholson, Son, and Daniels, London, £400;  Phipps and Co., Northampton, £620; Morris, G, and Son, London, £116.

Truth Stranger Than Fiction

  It is nearly four years – says “The Boot and Shoe Trade Journal” – since Frederick Matthews, of Hackney-road, was compelled to call his creditors together , but no one would have dared dream then that the downfall of that house would ultimately lead to the wreckages of one of the best houses in Northamptonshire. Truth is, however, often stranger than fiction, and so it is in this case. Matthews’ estate was bought at an apparently knock-out price, ostensibly by a firm trading as F. Noble, of Rushden, and afterwards converted into a limited liability company ; but it was in reality bought by Mr. George Denton, of the firm of B. Denton and Sons, for his elder son. Whether those who had charge of the sale of the broken business distinguished themselves by the

Glittering Stories

they told of its possibilities, or whether those who bought it did not dip down deeply enough into its details, or, again, were not capable of managing it, scarcely matters at this juncture.  Suffice it to say that it turned out a very bad bargain for Mr. Denton and the failure of Frederick Matthews’ successors has been the ruin of B. Denton and Sons, who have been compelled of file a petition in bankruptcy.

  Mr. George Denton senr., was, as our readers know, security for many of F. Noble and Co.’s (Ltd.) debts, and, having many other businesses and money locked up in them, and having, in addition, lost probably £10,000 to £15,000 in the

Ill-Starred Venture

above referred to, he was unable to meet his guarantees when called upon to do so.  Every security Mr. Denton had went to his bankers, who financed him until they would go no further, and Mr. Denton, once a wealthy man, now stands bereft of all he once possessed.  It is a regrettable story, and no one can help feeling sorry for Mr. Denton, against whose honour nothing can be imputed, and the only criticism that can be raised is that he had too many irons in the fire to keep them all warm together.  At one time he held a considerable share in the firm of Wilkins and Denton, Ltd., London wall, of which firm he was until last week a director;  when he, in view of his

Embarrassed Condition,

resigned his position, the elder son of Mr. Wilkins was appointed in his stead.  His shares in this concern, which are one of the best assets of his own estate, are also held by the bank.

  It is too early yet to speak of the position of the estate of B. Denton and sons.  We are given to understand that there are a few creditors; but, as the bank holds substantially all the outside investments of Mr. Denton, the outlook for the creditors can hardly be said to be a rosy one.

The Trade Papers

  The Northampton correspondent of “The Shoe and Leather Record” writes :-

  Rushden is in the throes of another sensation.  Since the recent suspension of Messrs. Noble and Co., Ltd., London, rumours have been prevalent in trade circles with regard to the position of the firm of Messrs. B. Denton and Son, or rather of Mr. George Denton who, succeeding his father in the business nearly 35 years ago, has traded under this name and style. It was sincerely hoped that a suspension would have been in this instance obviated, but it became known on Friday, and immediately created great interest in the district, that, on his own petition, a receiving order had that day been made against him. At the present no figures that would even approximately indicate the liabilities or assets are available, but it is believed that the failure is an extensive one, debtor having not only traded as a boot manufacturer, but as the Lightstrung Cycle Co., Rushden and the Steam Joinery Works, Rushden; and these are said not to exhaust the list. One hears on every hand the utmost sympathy for Mr. Denton, who has been a prominent figure in the public life of the district for over 30 years. He had represented Rushden on the County Council from its establishment, and resigned his seat as recently as Thursday of last week.

  The “Leather Trades Review” says :-

  The sensation of the week has been the intimation that a receiving order against Mr. George Denton, boot manufacturer, of Rushden, had been made on Friday on his own petition. It will be remembered that Mr. Denton was heavily involved in the liquidation of F. Noble and Co., Ltd., leather merchants, Hackney.  Much sympathy is felt for Mr. Denton in Rushden, where he has been well known as a public man, and held in the highest esteem for over thirty years.  A few years since Mr. Denton was considered to be worth £50,000, but now it is thought his deficiency will in all probability be a heavy one.

  In its financial columns “The Shoe and Leather Record” has the following :-

  The news of Mr. Denton’s failure created a sensation in Rushden and district.  He has been one of the most prominent men connected with local and county government, and in turn has occupied nearly every public office in his native town, as well as holding other responsible offices.  The business of B. Denton and Sons is a very old one.  It was started by Mr. G. Denton’s father, now deceased, and for the past thirty-five yeas the management has devolved upon Mr. Denton.  The factory and other works are in the centre of the town, and the employees number a hundred.  During the last two decades Mr. Denton has added to his responsibilities in various ways.  One of his first ventures was a cycle manufacturing husiness, known as the Lightstrung Cycle Co., which has several branches in the district.  He was also interested in an old established grocery business in Rushden, but within a recent period he parted with his share in this.  The Rushden Steam Joinery Works also claimed a share of his attentions, but perhaps the largest venture outside his own family business was in connection with F. Noble and Co., Ltd., Hackney-road, London, a meeting of whose creditors was held recently.

  Messrs. A. C. Palmer and Co. are actively engaged in taking the stocks, with a view to the preparation of the necessary accounts, which will in due course be submitted at the first meeting of the creditors.  The latter gathering will probably be held at the London Bankruptcy Court.  It is expected that an endeavour will be made to carry through

A Composition Scheme

No reliable figures as to the liabilities and assets are likely to be available for two or three weeks.

  We are requested to state that, with the exception of the fact that they are secured creditors of the firm of B. Denton and Sons, Messrs. Wilkins and Denton Ltd., are in no way affected by the failure of Messrs. B. Denton and Son. Mr. B. Denton was partner in the firm of Wilkins and Denton prior to that firm being converted into a limited liability company, and he held a portion of the share capital of that company, which it has been necessary for him to hypothecate. This fact, however, does not in any way affect the position and obligations of Messrs. Wilkins and Denton, Ltd. The latter business has been managed for many years by Mr. H.T. Wilkins, and his son, Mr. H.G. Wilkins, is now to be associated with him in the management. Messrs. Wilkins and Denton, Ltd., desire this to be known, as the fact that Mr. Denton was a partner in the form until the business was formed into a company has naturally led to some misapprehension.

  “Footwear” says :-

  When the figures are published, the case will represent one of very great magnitude, as Mr. Denton is at the head of several important concerns.  While we are not in a position to deal specially with figures, it is quite certain that, whatever they may be, Mr. Denton will be assured of a deal of kindly forbearance.  Sympathy is freely expressed in trade circles.

  The Northampton Correspondent of “Footwear” writes :-

  The position Mr. George Denton finds himself in came as no surprise to some, although it was disconcerting news to many to hear that he had filed his petition, a receiving order having been made on Friday last.  Mr. Denton had been in business a great number of years, and owes his downfall in great measure to the fact that he had too many irons in the fire.  The immediate cause of the trouble was the liquidation of F. Noble and Co. Ltd.  I may say that he has the sympathy of a large number of residents of Rushden, and many of those in the trade.  Efforts to avoid the bankruptcy court were made but without avail, and Mr. A. C. Palmer of Northampton, has been appointed manager to carry on the business.  It is stated that the deficiency will be a heavy one.

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