Reuben Hirst (1829-1910)

Reuben Hirst was a cotton spinner who served as the Mayor of Huddersfield between 1891 and 1893.


He was born in August 1829, the son of William Hirst and his wife Sarah (née Kaye), and was baptised on 20 February 1837.

His brother was William Hirst (1831-1909), who established the cotton spinning firm Messrs. William Hirst & Son of Turnbridge, Huddersfield.

He married Elizabeth Crabtree in 1853 and the couple had 11 known children.

By 1891, he was residing at Rockfield, Lockwood.

Reuben Hirst died on 9 May 1910, leaving an estate valued at £21,065 18s. 4d.


Leeds Mercury (10/May/1910):

At the age of about 80 years, and after about seven years' illness, most of the time confined to bed, Mr. Reuben Hirst passed away last evening at his residence, Rockfield, near Beaumont Park, Lockwood, Huddersfield.

A cotton spinner, well known in the Manchester market at one time, he was formerly in partnership with his brother, the late Mr. Wm. Hirst, at Turnbridge, Huddersfield. They dissolved partnership, and Mr. W. Hirst continued the business, while Mr. Reuben Hirst commenced a new business with his sons in Firth Street, but returned on the breaking down of his health.

Elected a Councillor soon after the formation of Huddersfield Town Council in 1868, Mr. Reuben Hirst continued in office till 1874, when he was made Alderman and retained that position, with the exception of a short interval in 1887, until 1903, when ill-health caused him to resign. He served as Mayor from November, 1891, until November, 1893. A staunch Baptist, he was connected with the Lockwood Chapel all his life, and held server important offices. He was an advanced Liberal.

A fearless horseman, he was an ardent follower of the local harriers.

Yorkshire Post (10/May/1910):

Yesterday evening Mr. Reuben Hirst died at his residence, Rockfield, Lockwood, Huddersfield, aged about 80 years, after an illness of seven years' duration. He was formerly a cotton spinner, in business at Turnbridge, Huddersfield, in partnership with his late brother, Mr. William Hirst. The brothers dissolved partnership many years ago, Mr. W. Hirst continuing at Turnbridge, and Mr. Reuben Hirst establishing a new business with his sons in First Street, Huddersfield, from which he retired when his health gave way. Elected a member of the Huddersfield Town Council shortly after its formation in 1868, Mr. Reuben Hirst continued a councillor until 1874, when he was promoted alderman, a position which he filled until 1887. He returned, and was re-elected in the same year, and served until 1903, when he retired on account of ill-health. He was elected Mayor of Huddersfield in 1891, and re-elected in 1892. On the 19 th of December 1892, he was placed on the commission of the peace for the borough of Huddersfield. Mr. Hirst was prominently connected with Lockwood Baptist Chapel practically all his life, and as a young man was a zealous supporter of Lockwood Mechanics' Institution. He was Radical in politics. Fond of horses, he was formerly a fearless rider, and a familiar figure hunting with the local packs of harriers.