Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page

Vestry Meeting 1878

Wellingborough News, 9th November 1878, transcribed by Kay Collins


On Thursday evening a vestry meeting was held under the presidency of Mr. Foskett, in the Vestry Hall, for the purpose of rating new property, in conformity with the resolution passed at the Lady Day vestry meeting. The practice hitherto adopted has been to rate the new property in the parish once a year at the Lady Day meeting, but, owing to the rapid extension of the house property, it was decided at the last yearly meeting that all new property should in future be rated every six months. The method adopted in the parish, and which has been acted upon for many years, is for the overseers to put a value on all new property, and then submit their valuation to the vestry as a sort of local assessment committee. The vestry meeting was largely attended, among those present being Messrs. Thompson, Wyldes. and Samuel Knight (overseers), W. Wilkins, R. Rhodes, D. Dickens, G. Denton, P. Cave, J. Cave, Bailey, Robert Mortimer, W. Colson, C. Bayes, W. Claridge, J. Margetts, C. Sanders, C. Denton, H. Packwood, W. Green, C. Hewitt, F. Knight, S. Skinner, J. Sargent, J. Bayes, G. Perkins, and W. Packwood. After the new property in the parish had been rated, Mr. H. Packwood inquired how it was that the property rated at last Lady Day vestry meeting had not paid rates since. There must have been neglect in some quarter.

Mr. Denton stated that people had been in possession of the property rated at the last Lady Day Vestry some six months previously, so that they had not paid rates for about twelve months, and that, he thought, was a great injustice upon the other ratepayers. If any explanation were forthcoming this vestry ought to be made acquainted with it.

The Chairman said it appeared that the overseers had received instructions from the assessment committee with regard to the matter, and this meeting ought to know what those instructions were.

Mr. Denton said the responsibility rested with the assessment committee or with the overseers to place the whole particulars of the matter before this meeting.

The Chairman read the following letter, addressed to the overseers of the parish of Rushden, by the clerk to the Assessment Committee. The letter was dated June 24th, 1878:—

Gentlemen,—I am directed by the Assessment Committee to inform you that they have ordered that an entirely new valuation list should be made out for your parish, and that such list contain the assessments which appear in the accompanying statement, and the committee desire that the farmhouses and buildings, with the gardens thereto, should in all cases be assessed separately from the arable and pasture land occupied therewith. I send you herewith the requisite quantity of paper for the new list, and shall be glad if you will bring the new list complete to my office within fourteen days from this date —Yours faithfully,


A messenger had to be despatched, whilst the meeting was sitting, to Mr. Butcher (Rector's churchwarden) for the above letter, and when it arrived the "accompanying statement" was found to be missing. The meeting was then kept waiting a considerable time whilst Mr. Knight went away to find the statement, and he returned stating that he could not find it.

Mr. Wilkins said the idea of a new list being made in a fortnight was simply preposterous.

Mr. Denton proposed that a committee should be appointed to assist the overseers in making out the new valuation list which they had been ordered to make by the assessment committee, and that they should take as a basis of their valuation 20 per cent, less than the rack rental for the gross annual value.

Mr. D. Dickens seconded the proposition.

Mr. Wilkins thought the overseers would be glad to have the assistance which a committee would render them, and farmers and householders should be equally represented on the committee.

Mr. Knight said he should be quite willing for his part to carry out the wishes of this vestry.

Mr. Denton's proposition was then put to the meeting and carried, after which a committee was appointed, and the meeting terminated.

Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the History index
Click here to e-mail us