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F. King and Co.
Frank King, trading as: Heel Manufacturer, Rushden

Rushden Echo, 24th March 1916

Fire in Rushden Factory
Prompt Action of Neighbours
Firemen’s Smart Work

A fire broke out on Monday night shortly after 10 o’clock at Messrs. F. King and Co’s heel-lift factory in Victoria-road. Mr. William Taylor, of East Grove, first saw the outbreak, and he immediately informed Mr. Lance Britchford, a member of the Rushden Fire Brigade. Mr. Britchford accordingly gave the alarm, and the Fire Brigade, under Capt. F. Knight, J.P., proceeded quickly to the factory with the hose-cart, and were fortunately able to get the fire under control.

Before they arrived several neighbouring people did material help by throwing buckets of water on the burning property.

The damage done was not substantial, but the firm’s books were burned, and the lower part of the building was badly charred. It is not known how the outbreak started. The property, which belongs to Mr. J. Jones, coal merchant, was formerly the printing-office of the “Rushden Echo.”

Rushden Echo, 8th September 1916, transcribed by Gill Hollis

STRIKE – On Monday morning the girls employed by Messrs. F. King and Co., lift makers, Park-Place, Rushden, struck work demanding an increase of 17½ per cent of their wages as war bonus.  The girls are all members of the Boot and Shoe Operatives’ Union, and a deputation placed the matter of dispute before the president (Councillor C. Bates) who advised them to resume work pending negotiations with the firm.  This advice was acted upon, and the girls are continuing at work, but up to yesterday, we understand, no settlement had been come to.

The Shoe and Leather and Allied Trades – News, 26th October, 1916.

The first meeting of creditors under these bankruptcy proceedings was held at the offices of the Official Receiver on Friday, the 20th inst. Mr. A. C. Palmer was appointed trustee, with the following committee of inspection:—Mr. W. E. Everitt, (Morton and Son, Ld.), Leicester; Mr. L. Steinberg (Charles Tait and Co.), Northampton; and Mr. W. E. Whitehead (J. Whitehead and Co., Ld.), Leicester. On Tuesday, the 24th inst., the public examination was held before the Registrar (M. T. M. Percival) at the Northampton Bankruptcy Court. The debtor's name was called three times within the precincts of the court, but no answer was returned.

The Official Receiver: When I saw the debtor last he informed me he had been before the tribunal, and was exempt until October 31st. He said his wife was about to be confined, and he need not go until after she had got over her trouble. He was not obliged to join up, but appeared to have done so, as he was not present at the first meeting of creditors. The debtor's wife, with whom I have been in communication, wrote saying he had gone for a soldier, but she expected him home on Tuesday to attend the Court. The solicitors, to whom I have also written, inform me they are unable to give me the debtor's address or regiment, but they believe he is in the Motor Transport Section of the Army Service Corps, and is at present at Grove Park. The bankrupt has already given much trouble, and ought to be compelled to attend his public examination. He was ready to go into a whole lot of matters, and the examination had been hurried up to get on with the enquiry. The question was: What course would the Court adopt, as they were being played fast and loose with?

The Rushden Echo, 3rd November, 1916, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Rushden Trader’s Failure
Attributed to Being Called Up by the Military Authorities
Mystery of £900

At Northampton Bankruptcy Court of Friday, before the Registrar (Mr. Percival), the public examination took place of Frank King, trading as F. King and Co., heel manufacturers, Park-place, Rushden.

The gross liabilities, as estimated by the debtor, amounted to £1,984, of which £1,965 was expected to rank for dividend. The assets were estimated to produce £940, leaving a deficiency of £1,024.

The debtor, who has joined the colours, failed to attend the Court on October 24th, and the Official Receiver had intended to apply for a warrant to compel his attendance, but this course was rendered unnecessary as King now put in an appearance.

In answer to the Official Receiver, debtor said he had been trading as F. King and Co., heel manufacturers, Rushden and all his debts had been contracted during the last four years. His capital at the start was £70, which he had saved. He personally superintended the business, but was away travelling three days a week, when he left his father in charge. He had kept certain books of accounts, but not for the whole of the time he had been in business, and he had never kept a proper cash book, and had never made out a balance-sheet. He had made out approximate statements of income and expenditure about 12 and 18 months ago. He had the assistance of Mr. F. R. Eady, confidential clerk to Mr. Hyde, boot manufacturer, of Rushden. The first balance-sheet in 1915 showed a balance to the good of £100. The statement was burnt when there was a fire at his former factory. Eight or nine months afterwards another statement was drawn up, and that showed a balance of about £200 to the good. If the deficiency account had been dated October 7, 1915, it would have shown an excess of assets over liabilities of over £200. He never told some of his creditors he was worth between £700 and £800, but he had forgotten two or three bills which had not been entered up.

The first time he was sued was in August last, when he paid out the judgment from money that was coming in. He attributed his insolvency to his being called up, which led to wholesale pressure on the part of his creditors. He joined up a week last Monday, but did not think he should have to stay, and that was the reason he did not appear at his public examination. He had overdrawn nearly £300 at the bank, and they never asked for any security. When he finished up he was about £5 in hand. After the news of his having to join up got about he had a cheque for £70 returned, and was told he was not to be allowed any overdraft in future. He also had an increased number of rejections.

In answer to Mr. A. C. Palmer, the trustee, he said he did not know how it came about that he had lost £900 during the last 12 months, but it had been lost in the business. He did not know where the money had gone, and could give the Court no idea of what had happened to it. He had disposed of some unmanufactured goods, but all the transactions had gone through his books. Roughly the amount of leather sold was about £50 worth. His father did a little bit of leather dealing when he was working for witness, but none had been bought from F. King and Co.

By the Official Receiver: Supposing £200 or £300 worth of leather had been taken from his factory during his absence, he would not have been able to check the loss.

Debtor said he was expecting to leave the country almost immediately.

The examination was adjourned until November 21, debtor agreeing to let the Court know if it was impossible for him to attend on that day.

The Rushden Echo, 24th November, 1916

Rushden Bankruptcy Case
Mystery of Motor Cars
Heelbuilder’s Failure

At the Northampton Bankruptcy Court on Tuesday, before the Registrar (Mr. Percival), the adjourned case of Frank King, heelbuilder, Park-place, Rushden, trading as F. King & Co., came on. The debtor did not appear.

The Official Receiver (Mr. Ewen) said he supposed the only course for himself and the Trustee (Mr. Palmer) was to formally apply for an adjournment. After the last examination the necessary notices were sent to debtor for appearance to-day, and their receipt had been acknowledged by debtor’s wife. Debtor was at present with his Regiment, and he (the Official Receiver) had heard nothing from him. Both the Trustee and he felt they must communicate with the Colonel of debtor’s regiment, emphasising the propriety of debtor attending the next Court. Since the last examination the Trustee had proceeded with his investigation, and as a result some extremely serious questions would have to be put to debtor. They had heard at the last examination of two motor cars, and now two more had been heard of. One was bought and paid for in July last for £151, and they had not been able to trace it. On another one debtor appeared to have paid a deposit of £60 which was returned to him, and they had not been able to trace that £60. There were also some matters as to personal drawings.

It was agreed to adjourn the case to December 19th.

The Rushden Echo, 22nd December, 1916, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Rushden Trader’s Failure
Heel Manufacturer’s Examination in the Bankruptcy Court
“Fooling About”

At the Northampton Bankruptcy Court on Tuesday, before the Registrar (Mr. Percival), the resumed examination took place of Frank King, formerly trading as F. King and Co., heel manufacturers, Park-place, Rushden, and now serving with the Motor Transport Corps.

In answer to the Official Receiver, debtor said he sold a car which he bought on Sept. 8 to Mr. Ward, of Rushden, for the same price, receiving £60 and two bills for a motor cycle. He sold the motor cycle to Mr. Flavell, of Rushden, for £22 10s., which he paid into the bank.

Asked to point out the amount in his statement, he said it “must be somewhere.” He did not know where the cheque had gone to.

The Official Receiver: That is not a satisfactory explanation, and I shall report the matter to the Judge when necessary unless you can give me a better one.

In reply to further questions, debtor said that the sum of £56, a deposit returned to him in respect of a transaction with the St. Edmund Motor Co., on Sept 29, had been spent in living, in the paying of small debts, and in betting. That was three days before he filed his petition, and at that time he did not care what he did. The bet was made with a Northampton bookmaker whose name he did not want to disclose.

The Official Receiver: How much were you to win if it had come off?

Debtor: About £115.

In answer to questions whether he could give particulars of some small debts, he said he had had so much worry that he had forgotten nearly everything. He did not tell anybody that; and as he was going away and his wife would want looking after, he had given her £200. He paid a lot of little items after the sheriff’s officer was in. He gave his wife £3 per week, but he could not say how much of the £56 he gave her – probably it was £9 or £15; it certainly was not £25.

He spent a part of the £56 in “fooling about.” This was not the money which he told the Trustee had been paid in wages; it was Parker and Cooper’s cheque that was spent in wages, and he thought the Trustee was referring to that. He considered he had given a satisfactory explanation of the £56 received from the St. Edmund Motor Co.

The Official Receiver: Well, I do not consider it is satisfactory.

With regard to the cheque from Messrs. Parker and Cooper for £59 5s. 8d., the debtor said he did not pay that into the bank, but drew the money on Sept. 22 and paid it in wages. He also paid in wages £20 which he drew out of the bank from his own account on the same date. He could not say how much of this money he had for himself, but he had some for purposes of pleasure.

The debtor agreed that the sum of £137 15s. 8d. cash received by him practically on the eve of his bankruptcy he had given no account beyond the answers to questions that morning. He also admitted several inaccuracies in his statement, which he said had been made up in a hurry, and was only approximate. The furniture was bought by his wife with money which her father gave her before her marriage.

At the suggestion of the Official Receiver, the examination was further adjourned until November 1917, with liberty to the Trustee, the Official Receiver, or the debtor to apply for an earlier hearing.

Mr. Ewens said he hoped the war would be over by then, and that it would not be essential to ask the debtor any further questions.

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