William Robert Pettifer

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Date published: 25/08/2014
© Newbury Weekly News

WILLIAM ROBERT PETTIFER

 


Mr. William Robert Pettifer, who has been appointed Clerk to the Borough Magistrates and deputy Town Clerk, is a native of Leighton Buzzard, and commenced his career at Buckingham in 1872, proceeding in 1877 to Chorley, in Lancashire, as assistant clerk to the justices. In 1883 Mr. Pettifer came to Newbury as managing clerk to Mr. Henry Burke Godwin. During that period he has constantly acted as deputy clerk to the Court, and, indeed, in latter years has been in regular attendance at the sittings of the Borough Magistrates. His advice has always been tendered to the Bench in a respectful and unassuming manner, but the magistrates have had ample opportunity to test the soundness of his judgment, and to rely with confidence upon the same.

Each succeeding Mayor has been only too glad to acknowledge the valuable help which Mr. Pettifer has rendered in the discharge of the magisterial duties, by no means the most enviable of the civic responsibilities. Mr. Pettifer's courtesy – especially to the members of the Press- has been so marked and so genial that his appointment as clerk has afforded the greatest satisfaction to all concerned. Mr. Pettifer has also proved almost indispensable to the municipal body, and indeed was regarded by many as the future Town Clerk. But he loyally declined to stand under the circumstances, and his appointment as assistant is therefore the more gratifying.

There have been some sixteen Town Clerks of Newbury since Gabriel Cox in 1662, when the first mention of the office is to be found in the existing Corporation records. Among those whose who have held office have been Richard Pococke, Joseph Garrard, Edward Godwin, John Beale, senior and junior,, James Head, Richard Townsend, Thomas Townsend. All these were previous to the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act. Subsequent to this Mr. Robert Baker was appointed, but becoming involved in a dispute with the Corporation concerning a petition he presented to the Court of Chancery on behalf of the Trustees of the Municipal Charities, he being at the same time Town Clerk to the Corporation, who disapproved of the scheme proposed, he was removed from his office by an order of the Council, but after a period of four years, during which Mr. Mark Willis held the post, Mr. Baker was restored to office, and continued till he died in 1849.

Mr Henry Bunny, who succeeded, was Town Clerk for six years, and then Mr. Robert Fuller Graham was appointed in 1854. Mr. Graham died in 1876, when the late Mr. Henry Burke Godwin was appointed, and was thus Town clerk for nineteen years.

Newbury Weekly News 14 March 1895

Sources:Newbury Weekly News 14 March 1895

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