William Buckeridge

Date published: 27/11/2014
© Newbury Weekly News

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©taken from a memorial in Newtown Road Cemetery


WILLIAM BUCKERIDGE died 30th December 1889

Buckeridge, the late Town Crier, is dead, and with him disappears another link with the past, of which he was so typical a representative.  For the greater part of his life Buckeridge has been the very embodiment of municipal authority, whether as a member of the old borough police force, of which he is almost the sole survivor; or as one of the town sergeants bearing aloft his mace at many a civic ceremony; or in the more familiar character of town crier, when his stentorian lungs were at the service of all and sundry, and, in the words of the local poet, announced -

“Lost purses, concerts, straying dogs, fish fresh to sell,
New showmen come to town, - what news he had to tell!”

Buckeridge, who succeeded the well-known Beck, as crier, was a very obliging and courteous officer, with a civil word for all whom he met.

Some ten or eleven years ago the Corporation thought fit to dress Buckeridge in something of the costume of the ancient parish beadle, of which the three-cornered hat was a distinguishing characteristic. Buckeridge came in for a good deal of chaff when he first made his appearance in this unique attire, and the poet above quoted published in the columns of the Newbury Weekly News a poem on “The new civic head-piece.”  Here is a specimen verse:-

“Oh honoured then, thrice honoured, the three-cornered hat,
Which with new dignity surmounts the functionary that
In full-blown grandeur of municipal attire,
Scarce can we recognise our friend the old Town Crier.
Never in Newbury’s palmy days of yore, I ween,
Was head-piece so imposing in its fashion seen.”

But the three-cornered hat did not exist for long, and Buckeridge went back to the more sober top hat with gold lace. 

Of later years his natural force abated, and he was obliged to resign his office to a younger and more energetic man.  But the Corporation showed their appreciation of his services by giving him a pension, and he was also elected to an almshouse in which he peacefully ended his days at a ripe old age.’

Newbury Weekly News 2nd January 1890.

His death announcement says he died at Church Almshouses aged 67
Mrs. P quotes his age on his tombstone as 77


Sources:Newbury Weekly News 2nd January 1890

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