William George Adey

Date published: 11/12/2016
© Newbury Weekly News. Reading Mercury, Berkshire Chronicle, Cllr AnthonyPick and FNRC

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Mayor of Newbury 1874 abd 1875
©Picture kindly supplied by Newbury Town Council
Mayor of Newbury 1874 abd 1875







The news of the death of Alderman William George Adey, which was received in the town early on Friday morning, although not unexpected. Was nevertheless the cause of sincere sorrow and regret, which found public expression in the hoisting of the flag half-mast at the Town Hall and Conservative Club. For Alderman Adey was not only the senior member of a family which for generations had been honourably identified with the public life of the town, but he was one of those men who had won the respect and esteem of all classes of the townspeople, and was one whom any community could ill afford to lose.


It has been men of the type of Alderman Adey who by their public spirit have kept the civic life of England free from any suspicion of self-interest, or motives of personal ambition or private aggrandisement. Alderman Adey had placed his time and his talents at the service of his fellow-townsmen, who had returned the trust by placing every confidence in his desire to serve them, and had accorded him all the honours which lay in their power to confer.


For some time Alderman Adey had been suffering from an affection of the heart, and two years ago he consulted that eminent physician, Sir William Broadbent, who gave him little hope, in fact he said two months were practically the limit of his life, and advised the greatest care and freedom from any excitement. Mr. Adey at once retired from business and public life. For a few months he resided at Enbourn, and after a short visit to Weston-super-Mare, he settled down at Westridge, Highclere, where he was free to indulge in his favourite hobby, the cultivation of his garden and enjoy the quietude and beauty of the country. Free from the cares and responsibilities business and public life, and skilfully nursed by a devoted wife, the Alderman has lived a cheerful and happy life, extended by nearly two years beyond Sir William Broadbent’s prediction. The end was peaceful and painless. Mr. Adey had appeared in his usual health, and on Wednesday was much interested in a new conservatory which his son, Mr. Charles Adey, had just completed for him, and the furnishing of which with plants and flowers was being anticipated with a great deal of pleasure. But on Friday morning, shortly before seven o’clock, he expired in his sleep, the only indication of death being a slight noise which caused his wife to awake and administer the restoratives which were ready to hand in case of emergency. But death claimed the Alderman, and no one could desire a more happy death. The heart simply ceased to fulfil its functions, and the end came peacefully and painlessly.


The family of the deceased alderman can be traced back for a couple of centuries as connected with the town of Newbury. He was the son of Mr. George



Adey, who was mayor of the borough in 1846, elected alderman in 1853; churchwarden of the Parish Church from 1856 to 1862, and died in 1870 at the advanced age of 73, leaving to his son the example of a life well and honourably spent, by which he eminently profited. Mr. William George Adey was born in 1829, and was educated at Mr. Moss’s scholastic establishment, being one of the few remaining townsmen who gained their early knowledge at that academy. He finished his education at Egham, and after a short absence returned to Newbury to become associated with the building and timber business, which his father was conducting at West Mills. He early showed an aptitude and liking for public life, and in November 1867, he was elected a member of the Town Council, being chosen to fill an extraordinary vacancy caused by the retirement of Alderman Turner, and the elevation of Mr. Edward Wilson to the aldermanic rank. Mr. Adey was re-elected without a contest at the following election in 1868. He soon became a useful member of the Council. His sound common sense and practical knowledge of building matters standing him in good stead.


In 1874 he was elected Mayor of the borough, in succession to Alderman Hickman, who had enjoyed the unique honour of being Mayor four times. In was no sinecure then, as now, to undertake the duties of Mayor, and partisanship was even more marked then than in the present. Mr. Adey declared his intention of recognising no party distinctions, but serving all to the best of his ability. And that he succeeded was best testified by his re-election to the office for a second year, although the opinion was then beginning to be expressed that the mayoral office should be taken in rotation. The two years of Mr. Adey’s mayoralty were marked by several notable events in local history. The old borough police force was disbanded, and the guardianship of the burgesses and their properties handed over to the county constabulary, but not without many animated discussions and protests in the Council.


A new set of bye-laws were promulgated, and during the first year Mr. Adey initiating a scheme for improving the Town Hall and erecting Municipal-buildings, in which the professional knowledge of the Mayor was found of the greatest value. During his second year, Mr. Adey had the satisfaction, on August 30th 1876, of laying the foundations of the new buildings, but it was not until the following year that they were opened by the Earl of Carnarvon.


Another interesting event which happened in 1873 was of a more domestic character, the Mayoress presented her husband with a son, an incident which caused great satisfaction to the townspeople, although the traditional silver cradle was not forthcoming. Mr Adey’s two-year mayoralty was distinguished by a generous hospitality, a painstaking and faithful discharge of the magisterial and other civic duties, combined with a courtesy and impartiality to all parties. In the debates which took place in the Council over the important reforms in contemplation, there was naturally much heat and sometimes party animosity, but Mr. Adey held the balance


with fairness and conciliation. Although a man of strong views he was by no means

pugnacious, and in the interests of peace would prefer to sink his own personal opinion rather than provoke controversy. Mr. Adey was elected an alderman in 1878, in conjunction with Alderman Lucas, the two being elected for the North Ward under the provision of the Borough Extension Act. In May, 1879, in company with a number of other gentlemen, Mr. Adey was placed upon the Commission of the Peace for the borough an honour which he greatly valued and judicially exercised.


Mr Adey’s civic work, outside his mayoralty, was chiefly in connection with the chairmanship of the Estate Committee, an office which he held for many years, and which afforded an exercise for his professional skill. Many town improvements could be traced to his initiative, but the one of which he was most proud was the planting of the avenues of trees in the Marsh, which was one of the prominent features of Mr. Councillor Hopson’s mayoralty His views in this direction were rather of an advanced type, and his counsel might have been useful in recent deliberations. Mr. Adey always advocated the transference of the pasturage rights to Northcroft, and planting the Marsh with shrubs and converting it into a real People’s Park, a title which it has not earned. He was an active member of the Drainage Committee, and was one of the five members of the Council who constituted the Travelling Committee, which journeyed to a number of places to inspect the systems of drainage in operation. Mr. Adey, after he had convinced himself of the impracticality of the Shone system, was a staunch supporter of the Anstie [Anstey] scheme, and its successful accomplishment was a source of great satisfaction.


Like his father before him Mr. Adey was a zealous churchman, and prominently identified with the Parish Church. On the retirement of Messrs. F. F. Somerset and J. F. Jackson in 1883, Mr. Adey was elected parish warden, Dr. Watson at the same time being appointed rector’s warden. The latter retired after a few years, but in conjunction with Mr. Walter Money, Mr. Adey continued in office until 1893, when failing health compelled him to retire, much to the regret of the parishioners who placed upon record their high appreciation of the twelve years’ faithful service rendered in the capacity of parish warden. A large number of improvements were carried out during Messrs. Money and Adey’s joint church wardenship, including the rehanging of the bells, the restoration of the clock, the planting of the churchyard, the erection of a handsome re-table in the chancel, the decoration of the Lady Chapel. A memorial which will ever form a reminder of the long and loving connection of the Adey family with the parish church, is the beautiful oak screen which divides the Lady chapel from the south aisle, which was erected by Mr. Adey in 1893 in memory of members of his family who had been interred in the family vault at the south-west corner of the churchyard, under the shadow of the tower.


As a builder Mr. Adey carried out many important works in the town and neighbourhood, but chiefly was he connected with the movement of church restoration which has made the past forty years remarkable in local history. With a


reputation for good and skilful workmanship, and moreover a reverence for the

sacred edifices committed to his care, Mr. Adey invariably was selected to carry out the work of restoration. He executed all the woodwork in the memorable restoration of Newbury Parish Church, and the other churches with the renovation or enlargement of which Mr. Adey was associated are Aldermaston, Burghclere, Compton, Coombe, Hermitage, East Ilsley, Padworth, Peasemore, Shaw and Wasing, while two new churches, Ecchinswell and West Woodhay were built by him. The erection of the Parish Room at West-mills, St John’s Schools, and the Church Almshouses were also carried out by Mr. Adey, while he was the contractor for the enlargement of the Conservative Club and presented the members with a handsome mantel-piece for their club room, consisting of a beautifully carved profile of Queen Victoria, whose Jubilee the nation were then celebrating.


Apart from civic and ecclesiastical duties Mr. Adey took his full share of public life. He was one of the original members of the Horticultural Committee, and eleven years acted as hon. secretary, his retirement in 1860 being marked by the presentation of a handsome timepiece. He was a governor of the Grammar School and a trustee of Cowslade’s Charity, and as churchwarden connected with the administration of the Church Estates and Charities. He was a director of the Newbury Building Society, also the Land and Building and Shaw Kilns Companies. Mr. Adey was one of the promoters of the Lambourn Valley Railway, and was elected a director, but considerations of health necessitated his retirement. His chief hobby was his garden, and among the many testimonials of esteem which come to public men from the discharge of their duty, none were more valued than the prizes gained by him at the annual show of the Horticultural Society.


Mr. Adey was twice married. His first wife, who was Miss Emily Seymour, daughter of the late Mr. Henry Seymour, of Marlborough, died in 1878. the second wife, who was the widow of the late Mr. William Henry Carnell, of Glastonbury, survives him, and there are eight children to mourn the loss of a loving and wise father. The eldest son, Mr. Charles Adey, who is a leading member of the Horticultural Society and other town institutions, has, since his father’s retirement, had the sole management of the building business.


A distressing incident occurred in connection with the death of Mr. Adey. At the express wish of her father, Miss Adey had just gone on a visit to her married sister, who is residing in the Shetland Isles. Almost the first news she received from home was that of the death of her father, and she returned to Newbury on Tuesday, after a very fatiguing journey.


Newbury Weekly News 1 April 1897

Not in Mrs P. !

Missing years, but seen in A/C book.

Buried 31 March 1897








The Rector of Newbury (Rev. E. I. Gardiner) towards the conclusion of his sermon on Sunday evening, quoted a verse of the hymn-

“One family we dwell in Him,

One church above, beneath:

Though now divided by the stream,

The narrow stream of death.”

Yes, my brethren, said the Rector, and how narrow that stream of death is we have all been reminded during the week that has just passed, in the death of our old friend and fellow-townsman, William George Adey. His name and family have been so long connected with the history and traditions of this ancient borough, and his familiar presence has been so recently amongst, that I need not recall to you to-night the many offices of honour which he has filled, and how many services he has rendered both to this church and to this town. Nor would it be fitting for me tonight, in this House of God, where he was so constant and devout a worshipper; it would not be fitting that I should dwell at any length upon the character and personal qualities of the man. My brethren, in the presence of death, that awful fact, we take refuge in silence. It is instinctive that words of praise or blame are all unmeaning and out of place at such a moment. He of whom we are thinking has passed into that presence chamber where our judgment cannot follow him-

“Where like tears of earth are dried,

Where the work of life is tried,

By a juster judge than here.”

This at least we may be allowed to say, as once more we think of him to-night, and remember him as an honourable man in business, a worthy citizen, a loyal and consistent churchman, he has earned for himself a good report, and has left behind him as a precious heritage to his family and children and friends, a name and character which will be long remembered in this town with affection and esteem. Requiescat in pace. May his soul rest in peace until the great resurrection morning, when we, with him and all those who are sleeping in Christ, may God Almighty of His mercy grant us, have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in His eternal kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, Amen.

At the conclusion of the service, the congregation stood while Mr. Liddle played most impressively the pathetically solemn “Dead March” in Saul, which was succeeded by the solemn grandeur of Beethoven’s “Funeral March.”


Newbury Weekly News 1 April 1897








Saturday 27 March 1897 
Newspaper: Berkshire Chronicle 


Death of Alderman W, G. Adey. 


A telegram from Dr Thomson, of East Woodhay, early yesterday (Friday) morning, conveyed the sad intelligence to Mr Charles Adey,that his father, the above well-known and estimable townsman, died a few hours’ previously. The lamented news soon spread throughout the town, and much regret was expressed at the bereavement, which after all has somewhat suddenly visited the family. The deceased gentleman’s health has been a precarious state for a considerable time, and for the space of about two years he had ceased necessarily to attend to any public duties, or to give personal attention to his extensive business, which is one of the oldest and the best building trades in the county, having been established for generations. 


The alderman was a Justice of the Peace for the borough and one the senior members of the corporate body. His steady and well balanced judgment was relied on his colleagues. He served the office of mayor for two years, 1874 and 1875 (and his father before him also occupied the civic chair in 1846). The deceased alderman was a staunch Churchman, and held the office of parishioners’ warden for many years, in conjunction with his colleagues, Watson and Mr W. Money, and whilst in office, on the festival of All Saints’, 1893, he erected the beautifully carved oak screen—which divides the Lady Chapel from the south aisle—at the parish church, as a memorial of deceased members of the family. He resigned his churchwardenship in 1895. 


In politics Adey was a thorough Conservative, One of his home delights was horticulture, and he was one of the early pioneers of the Newbury Horticultural Society, and for a long period officiated as Hon. Secretary to the Society.


The Union Jack was hoisted half-mast at the Municipal buildings yesterday morning. Adey died at Westridge Cottage, Highclere, where he has resided some time. He leaves a widow—who is his second wife—and a large grown up family, for whom every sympathy is manifested on their sad loss. The family vault is at the south-west corner of the parish churchyard*. The funeral is fixed for Wednesday next. The deceased was in his 68th year. 


 *  But the interment  took place "in the family grave, within a few yards of the Cemetery Chapel, where the deceased's first wife was buried.”  See below.




Saturday 27 March 1897 
Newspaper: Reading Mercury




 We much regret to record the death of Alderman William George Adey, by which Newbury loses one of its most esteemed and useful inhabitants. The deceased was member of one of the oldest families in the town, and his late father was a member of the Corporate body and filled an Aldermanic chair. Mr. W. G. Adey succeeded his father as builder and timber merchant at West Mills, and successfully carried out a considerable amount of Church work and other descriptions of building in this district. 


 For many years he held a seat in the Town Council, where he rendered good service, especially in the capacity of Chairman of the Estate Committee, where his practical knowledge was impartially used for town improvements. 


He was man of good, sound common sense, of courteous bearing, and with kind and genial disposition. His opinions on business matters were valued both inside and outside the Council, and his career was honourable and unblemished. He was unanimously chosen Chief Magistrate in 1874, and he discharged the duties of the mayoralty with befitting dignity and hospitality, proof of which the Council elected him for second year, during which—on August 30th, 1876—he had the honour of laying the foundation stone of the new Municipal Buildings, of which his old friend, Mr. James H. Money, was the architect. A record of this interesting event is engraved upon the stone just within the main entrance to the Town Hall. Mr. Adey was afterwards elected an Alderman, and also appointed a Justice of the Peace for the borough. 


Apart from his municipal life, Mr. Adey was ever active in promoting anything for the good of his native town. He was zealous Churchman, and for some years filled the position of warden of Newbury Parish Church, which through his generosity was beautified few years since by the erection of a beautiful oaken screen for the Lady Chapel. Mr. Adey was one of the oldest members of the committee the Newbury Horticultural Society, in the affairs of which he took a keen interest for many years. 


He was a trustee of Cowslade’s Charity, and identified with several of the institutions of the town. He was also for some time a Director of the Lambourn Valley Railway Company, but unfortunately his health became somewhat seriously affected two or three years since, and he found himself compelled to withdraw from the more active work, and retire to the quietude of the country. Consequently he took up his residence at Highclere, where he passed peacefully away on Thursday night, to the great grief of his widow and family, and numerous relatives and friends in the town and neighbourhood. 


 In politics the deceased was staunch Conservative, and manifested much interest in the success of the Working Men's Conservative Club, to which in the Queen's Jubilee year —1887—he presented a handsome mantel-front for the large room at this institution, a beautifully carved profile of her Majesty forming an appropriate centre to the mantelpiece. The club premises were also re-modeled by him in a most satisfactory manner some years since.


 Altogether the Alderman's death is a distinct loss to the borough. He was large-minded man of liberal spirit and views, oontrasting strongly with the narrow-mindedness which is now unfortunately too apparent in some men who hold public positions such as Mr. Adey filled with credit to himself and advantage to the town.  


He was 67 years of age. The funeral will take place on Wednesday.  As a token of respect for the memory of the departed Alderman and Magistrate, the flags at the Municipal Buildings and the Working Men’s Conservative Club were hoisted half-mast high yesterday (Friday).







Saturday 03 April 1897 
Newspaper: Reading Mercury






At the close cf his sermon on Sunday evening, at the Parish Church, Newbury, he Rector (Rev. E. I. Gardner) made special reference to the death of Alderman Adey. He observed that all had been reminded during the week that had just passed of the narrowness of the stream of death by the removal of their old friend and fellow-townsman William George Adey. His name and family had been so long connected with the history and traditions of the ancient Borough, and he himself, that familiar presence, had been so recently among them, that he need not recall to them that night the many offices of honour he had filled, and the many services he had rendered both to the Church and the town. Nor would it, he thought, be fitting in that House of God, where Mr. Adey was so constant and devout a worshipper, to dwell upon his character and personal qualities. 


 Mere words of human praise or blame were felt to be altogether unmeaning and out of place at such a moment.  He had passed into that presence-chamber of God where their judgment could not follow him -


 There the tears of earth are dried, 


There the hidden things are clear, 


There the work of life is tried 


By a juster Judge than here. 


But this, at least, without irreverence, they might be allowed to say—that as an honourable man of business, as a worthy citizen, a loyal and consistent Churchman, he had earned for himself a good report, had left behind him, as a precious heritage to family, children, and friends, a name and character that would long be remembered in the town with affection and esteem. " Requiescat in pace." Might his soul rest in peace until the great Resurrection morning, when they with him, and all who were asleep in Christ might have (God grant it) their perfect consummation and bliss both in body and soul in His eternal kingdom. 


The organist (Mr. J. S. Liddle, Mus. Bac.) played Handel's "Dead March” as a token of respect, while the congregation remained standing. 






The high esteem in which the deceased Magistrate and Alderman was held by his fellow-townsmen found public expression by the influential and numerous attendance at the funeral service on Wednesday afternoon. In the morning shutters were put up and blinds drawn at many of the business and private houses. The funeral knell was heard, and the flags at the Parish Church, the Municipal Buildings, and the Working Men's Conservative Club were hoisted half-mast. As usual on Wednesday, nearly the whole of the shops were closed at two o'clock, which was the hour appointed for the obsequies, and as muffled peals were subsequently rung, a peculiar gloom seemed to hang over the town. 


The Borough Magistrates, the Mayor and Corporation, and the principal town officials having assembled in the Council Cliamber, walked in procession from the Municipal Buildings to the Parish Church, attended by the macebearers (Messrs. Munday and Andrews), the civic insignia, like the Mayor's chain, and the crosses on the Churchwardens' wands, being covered with crape. The officiating clergy were the Rev. E. I. Gardiner (Rector Newbury) and the Rev. E. H. Rycroft (Rector of Highclere), who, with the surpliced choir, and the Churchwardens (Councillor Stephen Knight ard Mr. Henry Davis), assembled at the great west door, and met the corpse, which had been brought from Highclere in an open funeral car, being enclosed in panelled coffin of polished oak with brass fittings, the simple inscription being—William George Adey, died March 26th, 1897; aged 67 years. 


The coffin was literally covered with a number of most beautiful floral tributes of affection and respect from the bereaved widow and family, the Mayor and Corporation, the Horticultural Society, the Working Men's Conservative Club, the Churchwardens of St. Nicolas, the deceased's employees, Mr. Charles Adey and family, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Adey, Mr. Rupert Adey, the Rev. J. H. and Mrs. Robinson, Mr., Mrs., and Miss Arman, Mrs. Beall and family, Mr. and Miss Aston, Mr. Davis and family, Mrs. E. Harrison and family, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Church, Mr. and Mrs. Parker, Mr. and Miss Count, Miss Simmons, Mr. and Mrs. William Hickman (Bridgewater), Misses A. and F. Low, Mrs. Roake, Mrs. Rolfe, Elizabeth Hopkins, John Preston, and others. 


 The mourners included: Mrs. Adey (the widow), Mr. C. W. Atley, (eldest son), and his brothers, William George. R lytnond, and Henry; Miss Adey, Mrs. Beall, and ss Margaret Adey (daughters), Mr. Charles (brothers), Miss Carnell (step-daughter), Mr. George Beall (son-in-law), Mrs. C. W. Adey (daughter-in-law), Messrs. Joseph and Rupert Adey (cousins), Messrs. D. R. Jones, John Parker, H. Wilder (deceased's old and faithful foreman), Mr. Walter Money, Dr. Watson, etc. 


 The Borough Justices present included Aldermen Jackson and Absalom, Councillors Joseph Elliott and Joseph Hopson, and Mr. John Rankin, the members of the Corporation, in addition to those already mentioned as attending, being the Mayor (Councillor Long), Alderman Lucas, and Councillors Harris (Ex-Mayor), C. Lucas, R. Ravenor, A. Jackson, A. C. Bazett, Colonel W. H. Cunliffe, W. Hall, E. Gould, and W. Edmonds. 


Among the Borough officials were noticed Mr. Louch (Town Clerk), Mr. Pettifer (Assistant Town Clerk), Mr. J. Mason (Auditor), and Messrs. Stickland, Pratt, Guyer, Bravant, etc. The Working Men's Conservative Club was represented by Mr. Joseph Smith (the Secretary), Mr. Povey (the Treasurer), and several of the members (the Chairman of the Club, Mr. Henry Wilder, being among the mourners, as already mentioned). The congregation also included the Rev. J. Atkins (Head Master of the Grammar School), Mrs. Joseph Adey, Miss Adey, Mrs. H. Seymour, Miss Westmacott, Miss Simmons, Mrs. and Miss Harrison, K. Long, Miss A. Boyer, Mr. L. Martin, Miss Draper, Mrs. J. Parker, Mrs. F. Davis, Mrs. Mathews, Mr. G. J. Cosburn and Miss B. Cosburn, Messrs. James H. Money, J. Flint, G. Boyer, J. E. Westcombe, F. J. Coldicutt, R. Hickman, H. Count, H. J. Godding, W. Edwards, G. Miles, T. H. Twissell, Albert Bailey, W. Church, C. W. Burns, E. James, A. Cox, G. Purdue, F. H. Stillman, A. W. Barrett, G. Paulin, S. Green, D. Geater, J. Pyke, C. Pearce, G. Bolton, L. Cleeves, E. Stilwell, S. Burton, W. Boyer, W. Digby, W. Mills, C. Boyer, C. Higgs, C. Hattatt, Edgar Stillman, T. Thorn, A. Lipscombe, W. Ryall, F. Fullbrook, C. Baylis, Pocock, H. Wilder, junr., etc. 


The coffin was borne by men in the employ of the deceased representing the various departments of the business—George Mills, William Titchener, Joseph Lewis (carpenters), Wm. Wilder, Charles New (bricklayers), and James Harrison (plumber), and was deposited upon a bier in the nave, the mace-bearers taking up their positions at the head and foot during the service, which was of a solemn and impressive character. The opening sentences were read by the Rector Newbury, after which hymn 481 was sung, followed by the chanting of the 90th Psalm. The Rector of Highclere read the Lesson, which was succeeded by the singing of hymn 499. The clergy and choir then moved down the aisle, chanting the "Nunc Dimittis," and at its conclusion Mr. Hawker, who presided the organ in the unavoidable absence of Mr Liddle, performed the " Dead March," during which the corpse was carried from the church, and drawn to the Cemetery, most of those mentioned above following in procession. 


 The interment took place in the family grave, within a few yards of the Cemetery Chapel, when the deceased's first wife was buried. The obsequies drew a good many spectators into the line of the route, and there was a numerous assemblage around the grave. The funeral cortege from the Parish Church to the Cemetery was preceded by a detachment of the Berks Constabulary, under Supt. Robotham. The funeral arrangements were entrusted to Councillor Harman S. Hanington, an old friend of the deceased Alderman, by whom they were admirably carried out. 







Saturday 03 April 1897 
Newspaper: Berkshire Chronicle 


We alluded at length in our last issue to the death of this gentleman and the public offices which he held so worthily. The rector and rural dean, the Rev E. I. Gardiner, made allusion to the sad event at the close of his sermon on Sunday evening last, but, prefacing his remarks, may here state that the Alderman was parishioners’ warden from 1883 to 1895. The rector, who for his Lenten course of sermons is preaching on the verses of the 51st Psalm, touched on the question of death. Quoting the well-known words“ Though now divided by the stream, The narrow stream of death,” He went on to say how narrow that stream was they had all been reminded in the latter days of the week just passed, in the death of their old friend and fellow townsman, William George Adey. His name and family had been so long connected with the history and traditions of their ancient borough, and his familiar presence had been so recently amongst them, that he would not recall the many offices of honour which he had filled, or the many services which he had rendered both to the church and the town. Nor would it, he thought, be a fitting time that night, in that house of God, where be was so constant and devout a worshipper, that he should dwell at any length upon the character and personal qualities of the man. In the presence of death, that awful fact, they took refuge in silence. It was instinctive that words of praise or blame were all unmeaning and out of place at such moment. He, of whom they were thinking, had passed into the presence chamber where their judgment could not follow him -

 "Where the tears of earth are dried, 

Where the work of life is tried 

By a juster Judge than here.” 

But this at least they might be allowed to say, as once more they thought of him and remembered him—as honourable man in business, a worthy citizen, a loyal and consistent Churchman, he bad earned for himself a good report, and had left behind him, as a precious heritage to his family and children and friends, name and a character which would long be remembered in the town with affection and esteem. RequeUcat in pace. May his soul rest in peace until the jfreat resurrection morning when they, with him, and all those who were sleeping in Christ, might God Almighty of His great mercy grant them their perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in His eternal kingdom, through Jesus Christ their Lord and Saviour. He would ask them as a mark of respect, after the blessing, to stand while the Dead March in Saul was played.—This was rendered in a masterful manner by the organist, Mr J. S. Liddle, M. 8., and it was followed Beethoven’s Funeral March. 


 The funeral, which was quite of a public character, took place on Wednesday afternoon at two o’clock. His Worship the Mayor (Mr Robert Long) met his colleagues of the Corporation at the Council Chamber shortly before that hour. The cortigt arrived the West door of tho parish church punctually and was met by the churchwardens, clergy and choir. The coffin was borne in an open hearse and was perfectly hidden with its coverlet of floral tributes from friends and relatives. The officiating clergy were the Rector and Rural Dean, the Rev. E. I. Gardiner, and the Rev. C. H. Rycroft, rector of Highclere. The Rural Dean commenced the opening sentences of the burial service and the solemn procession moved slowly up the aisle, the coffin being borne by the employees of the deceased. 

Next followed the chief mourners, who were Mrs Adey (widow), Mr Chas. W. Adey, Mr Wm. G. Adey, Mr Raymond Adey and Mr Henry Adey (sons), Mrs Beall, Miss Adey, Miss Margaret Adey (daughters), Miss Cornell (step-daughter), Mr G. Beall (son-in-law), Mrs Chas. W. Adey (daughter-in-law), Mr Jos. Adey, Mr Rupert Adey (cousins), and Dr Henry Watson. 

 Next came the local detachment of the Berks Constabulary, headed by Superintendent Robotham and Inspector Weeks. Behind these followed the mace bearers in official uniform carrying the borough insignia draped in crape. His Worship the Mayor wore the chain of office which was also covered in crape. Among the Corporation who attended were the ex-Mayor, Mr Councillor Harris, Aldermen J. P. Jackson, Jas. Absalom, J. H. Lucas, and Councillors H. S. Hanington, J. Hopson, C. Lucas, R. Ravenor, W. Hall, A. Jackson, Jos. Elliott, W. H. Cunliffe, A. C. Bazett, E. Gould, Edmonds ; also Mr F. Q. Louch (Town Clerk), Mr W. R. Pettifer (assistant), Messrs Henry Davis and S. Knight (churchwardens). 

Next followed large number of personal friends, including Mr W. Money, F.S.A., Mr D. R. Jones, Mr John Parker, Mr H. Wilder (foreman to the firm), Mr J. Rankin, J.P., Mr E. A. Stickland (borough surveyor), Mr J. H. Money (architect), Mr John Flint, Mr F. J. Harrold, Mr G. Boyer, Rev J. Atkins (Grammar School), and numerous other friends. There was a large congregation present. 

 The processionists being duly seated, the service began with the hymn 481 (A. and M.), after which Psalm 90 was sung to Turle’s beautiful double chant. The Rector of Highclere read the lesson, after which the strains of the Easter hymn, the resurrection morning,” (499 A. and M.), lifted the sad scene to one of hopeful joy, singing, 

 "On that happy Easter morning, 

 All the graves their dead restore, 

Father, sister, child, and mother, 

Meet once more.” 

 The Nunc. Dimittis was also sung, and as the organ pealed out the Gloria the choir and clergy passed down the aisle again and lined the tower, while the coffin was carried out, with the procession in its rear. The police headed the hearse and carriages, and the long procession followed behind to the Cemetery. All along the route business houses were closed, blinds were drawn, and some hundreds of well-dressed people followed to the graveside (just to the south of the chapel). Here the service was continued by the rector and rural dean, and the Bendiction closed the final earthly duty over one of Newbury’s modern worthies. 

 As we have before stated, the coffin was covered with floral tributes of affection, and these were received from the following: —The widow, the children, the Mayor and Corporation, the Newbury Horticultural Society, the employees, the Working Men’s Conservative Club, the Churchwardens of St. Nicholas, Mr Charles Adey and family, Mr and Mrs J. Adey, Mr R. Adey, Rev J. H. and Mrs Robinson, Mr, Mrs, and Miss Arman. Mrs Beall and family, Mr and Miss Aston, Mr and Mrs Parker, Mrs E. Harrison and family, Mrs F. Davis and family, Mr and Mrs Albert Church, Mr and Miss Count, Misses A. and F. Low, Miss Simmons, Mr and Mrs Hickman, Mrs Roake, Mrs Rolfe and Elizabeth Hopkins, and Mr John Preston. 

 After the funeral a half-muffled peal was rung. 


Extract from 'The Mayors of Newbury' by Cllr. Anthony Pick
and reproduced with his kind permission.
MAYOR 1874, 1875

William George Adey (1831-97). Conservative. Son of George Adey, Mayor in 1846. Builder and timber supplier at West Mills, inheriting his father’s business.  Elected to the Council 1867. Alderman 1878. Borough Magistrate 1879. Chairman of the Estate Committee. Promoted the idea of the present Town Hall and in 1876 laid the foundation stone, the Town Hall being opened in 1878 (His initals “W.G.A.” are on the limestone block to the right of the main entrance.)

 Promoted the idea that the Marsh (now Victoria Park) should be a people’s park, an objective not realised until later. 

St Nicolas Parish warden 1883-95. Promoted the Lambourn Valley Railway, eventually completed in 1898. Erected in 1893 the oak screen between St Nicolas Lady Chapel and the South Aisle as a memorial to his family (which had a vault at St Nicolas), and restored the church’s woodwork (Newbury Weekly News 1/4/1897. The screen is inscribed with his name).

He also constructed Newbury Church Almshouses and Porchester Villas in Newtown Road. 

William George Adey's second wife was Anna (nee Carnell) of Wookey, Somerset, but she does not appear to be buried in the Cemetery.  In 1911 she lived at Pyle Hill, Greenham Road with her daughter from her first marriage, and a servant - she died at this address in 1915
(Oct - Dec). 


William George Adey (1829-1897) - buildings
William George Adey, builder (son of George Adey, who d. 1870).  Born 1829.  Elected to Newbury Town Council Nov. 1867.  Mayor of Newbury 1874 and 1875.  
Chancel to Shaw Church (1875-8).  Architect, William Butterfield.
Church & Childs Almshouses, Newtown Road, 1879; architect, James H. Money.
Combe Church restoration. 1881.
West Woodhay Church, (built) 1882-3.
St Nicolas Parish Room, West Mills, 1884; architect, James H. Money.
Ecchinswell Church, (built) 1886.
Newbury Working Men’s Conservative Club, Northbrook St., rebuilt 1887; architect, James H. Money.
Other church restorations in which he was involved include: Aldermaston, Burghclere, Compton, Hermitage, East Ilsley, Padworth, Peasemore, Shaw and Wasing.
Source: David Peacock : March 2018 

 see also: https://newbury.gov.uk/pdf/mayors-of-newbury.pdf

Sources:Newbury Weekly News 1 April 1897, Reading Mercury 27th March 1897 and 3rd April 1897, BerkshireChronicle 3rd April 1897

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