Leeds Mercury (21/Jun/1862) - The Incorporation Question at Huddersfield

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors.

The Incorporation Question at Huddersfield.

Pursuant to arrangements made at the last meeting of the Huddersfield, Incorporation Committee, a general meeting of "influential ratepayers" was held on Monday afternoon, in the Magistrates' Court Room, Huddersfield, to take into consideration the propriety of adopting the memorial passed in committee, praying Her Majesty in Privy Council to grant a charter of incorporation for the township of Huddersfield. Among those present were W. Moore, Esq., ex-postmaster, (in the chair), T.P. Crosland, Esq., J.P.; W. Keighley, Esq., chairman of Improvement Commissioners; J.W. Haigh, Esq., J.P.; Jere Kaye, Esq.; F.W. Clough, Esq., law clerk to the Improvement Commissioners; Mr. N. Learoyd, secretary of committee; Mr. J. Hobson, J. Boothroyd, W.H. Broadbent, B. Robinson, J. Crawshaw, J. Turner, &c. &c. A letter of apology for absence was read from Bentley Shaw, Esq. After a few remarks by the chairman, a long discussion ensued as to the constitution of the meeting and the previous action of the committee, which was pronounced by several speakers to be irrevelant to the subject in hand. Mr. J. Hobson then moved the following resolution:—

"That before this meeting again consider any memorial for the incorporation of any area to form a municipal corporation from the district of Huddersfield, the Committee, after it has decided upon the area desirable to be included, should be prepared to lay before the inhabitants the scheme they propose for such incorporation, setting forth practical boundaries and. wards, and the number of representatives they propose for such wards respectively; and that when they have so prepared their scheme, deputations from such committee should wait upon the inhabitants of any out-township or out-hamlet proposed to he included, to confer with them, and, if possible, to secure their cooperation, and that when this course has been pursued, the whole matter be submitted to a general meeting, for it to be then and there determined whether the memorial now read or any other, praying for a charter of incorporation, be or be not adopted."

Mr. J.W. Walker seconded the resolution, Mr. T.H. Broadbent then moved,

"That the memorial now held as read be adopted, and that the committee subsequently send deputations to endeavour to obtain their cooperation, and their inclusion in the proposed boundary."

This was not seconded, and fell to the ground.

T.P. Crosland, Esq., then proposed, in very emphatic terms—

"That in the opinion of this meeting, it is not desirable ab present to apply for any Act of Incorporation for the township of Huddersfield alone."

He contended they ought to frame their municipal boundary with a view to the Parliamentary necessities of the district, and the possibility of an extended enfranchisement under a new Reform Bill. He also maintained that the social and commercial importance of the district would not be properly represented to the world by the population and area included in the township of Huddersfield.

Jere Kaye, Esq., seconded the resolution.

Mr. Hobson then withdrew his resolution, leaving Mr. Crosland's alone in the field.

Mr. Johnson, of Deighton, and Mr. Prince, of Fartown, having supported Mr. Crosland's motion, Mr. W. Crosland moved as an amendment—

"That a public meeting be held for the purpose of incorporating Huddersfield and other districts within a certain area — such area to be considered by a committee appointed at such meeting."

Mr. T.W. Clough seconded the amendment.

Mr. R. Jackson moved as a second amendment—

"That a public meeting of the inhabitants of the township and Parliamentary boundary of Huddersfield be held for the purpose of eliciting a full, free, and unbiased opinion as to the desirableness or otherwise of seeking by a memorial a charter of incorporation,"

This having been seconded by Mr. J. Boothroyd, Mr. W. Crosland withdrew his amendment. Mr. J. Boothroyd, in seconding Mr. Jackson's amendment, hoped that the meeting would see it to be their duty to carry it. He urged them not to settle the question for Huddersfield by adopting Major Crosland's resolution. This was the third attempt to get Huddersfield incorporated. 'The first was successful so far as the ratepayers were concerned, and was only frustrated by a change in the Government. The second was abandoned in the prospect of a new Reform Bill, under which it was expected an extended Parliamentary borough would be constituted, which they could afterwards use for municipal purposes. Now was the third attempt; and it struck him that if they accepted Major Crosland's resolution, the scheme would fail as before, and it would be their last chance so far as the present generation was concerned. He urged the necessity of Huddersfield being incorporated, pointing out the advantages to be thereby secured, and hoped, as there was nothing to fear from a public meeting, that they would consent to a meeting of the inhabitants being convened, and to the question being discussed on its merits, which it had not been yet.

Mr. Jackson, the mover of the amendment, did not think it came within the province of the meeting, constituted as it was, to decide the general question for Huddersfield. He was decidedly of opinion that there ought to be a public opinion. This was a matter that concerned the ratepayers as a body, and they ought therefore to be consulted. He should be glad personally to see Lindley, Lockwood, Almondbury, and Dalton in the corporation; at the same time, he would rather see the township alone incorporated than that there should be mo corporation at all, ho therefore hoped that Major Crosland's resolution would be rejected.

After a great deal of turbulent discussion, the Chairman was requested from all parts of the room to put the amendment and resolution to the vote. The Chairman, with animation, refused, declaring he would not put the resolution, and thereby be made a fool of, seeing that he had actually suppressed a requisition to the Constable to call a public meeting, at the request of the parties who were now promoting that resolution, which would have the effect of entirely squashing the whole movement.

W. Keighley, Esq., was then called to the chair, and, after a few conciliatory remarks, put the resolution and amendment.

Mr. Crosland's resolution was carried by a large majority; and after a vote of thanks to the chairman, the meeting broke up.

Complaint was made in the meeting and out of it, that there was by far too large a proportion of ratepayers from the out-hamlets, in consequence of which the meeting was alleged to have been swamped.

Leeds Mercury (21/Jun/1862) - The Incorporation Question at Huddersfield


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