Personal information about Robert Long

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Burial Information

Name on burial register:
   Robert Long
Burial register image
Click image to enlarge
Age at death:
Date of burial:
   06 September 1911
Abode at death:
(according to burial register)
   138 Bartholomew Street,, Newbury.
Burial register information:
Book number: 1899
Page number: 213
Record number: 8902
Official at burial:
   The Rev'd. L R Maquire, Rector.
Source of information:
  Burial Register

Memorial Details

  Robert LONG
  01 September 1911
  Right hand cross
  Sandstone Engraved
  Cross: East face: IHS // Headstone: East face: In / Loving Memory / of / Robert Long / born November 29 + 1843 / died September 1 + 1911 / "At Rest" / Mary / wife of above / died August 3 + + 1926, / aged 85 years. / R.I.P. //
  Good, a little weathering; letters intact.
    Robert - see website, Ironmonger, Alderman, Mayor.
  01 November 2017
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Other people list on this memorial




Obituaries and Newspaper announcements

Article source:    Newbury Weekly News
Date of source:   
Copyright:    © Newbury Weekly News



Quite a gloom was cast over the town on Saturday morning when the news became generally known that Mr Robert Long had passed away the previous night, for the deceased gentleman was one of Newbury's foremost townsmen, and had spent the best years of his life in the public service. There was a tragic suddenness about the occurrence which made the loss all the more severe, for although he had not been in his usual robust health during the past twelve months, and had been troubled with a racking cough, no great anxiety was felt by his friends and relatives on this account.

In fact, on the evening of his death he attended a meeting of the Education Committee, and it was remarked by more than one of the members that "the alderman seemed in very much better form than he had been for some time past." After the meeting he came home to supper, and was just finishing this meal when he was seized by one of his attacks of coughing, during which his head fell forward upon the table. Mrs Long at once went to him and found he was unconscious.

She obtained the assistance of Mr Tom Dewe, a neighbour, and put him in a reclining position, and Dr Hickman was sent for. Upon his arrival he at once saw the seriousness of the case and held out no hopes for the deceased alderman's recovery stating that he had broken a blood vessel upon the surface of the brain. Without regaining consciousness he passed away a few minutes after eleven o'clock.

The blow to the town is a heavy one, as only those who were associated with Mr Long in his public life can fully realise. What then must be the feelings of the bereaved widow and children who have lost, with a suddenness so paralysing, the kindest of husbands and the best of fathers?

The sympathy of the whole town goes out to them in the great grief which has over taken them. So sudden was the seizure that, with the exception of Mrs Long none of the family were at home. His son Keith, who as a vocalist is always in demand, had gone to a dinner to help with the musical programme, and when his father was stricken down he was singing the verse of "The Trumpeter" which runs I the words of the song follow]

Robert Long was the son of the late Mr Tom Long, who came to Newbury from Basingstoke and when quite a young man established the business of ironmonger and cutler which his son carried on until the time of his death. The deceased alderman's father took an energetic interest in all town matters and political contests, but persistently refused to enter the Town Council, though it was said his influence was sufficient to turn the scale in several elections. His son was educated at Newbury Grammar School and in 1881, three years after his father's death he entered the Town Council, being successful at his first effort.

In those days the Town Council elections were run on political lines, and in the South Ward there was a big fight in which Mr Charles Lucas, Mr John Flint and Mr Robert Long ran against each other as the Liberal candidates, against the late Mr Stephen Long and Mr John Bance, who represented the Conservatives, and the three Liberals were successful. A reference tn2 the "Newbury Weekly News" of that date shows that party feeling ran high and the Queens Hotel was used as the committee room for the Liberals, whilst the "White Hart" was made use of by the Conservatives, and after the declaration of the poll the Woodspeen Band paraded the streets and visited the residences of the successful candidates, whilst torches were ignited, tar barrels fired and bundles of straw burnt in the Market Place.

Nowadays we do things rather more sedately. In his address of thanks to the electors Mr Long assured them "that his aims would be to study in every way the interests of the ratepayers" and in the 30 years which he sat on the Town Council it may be truly said that he kept to his resolve. By the keen interest which he took in the public affairs of the town and the clear thinking which he brought to bear upon all matters, it was soon apparent that the young councillor would prove a most useful addition to the Corporate Body.

Even in those days the drainage of the town was a burning question. From the outset Mr Long may be said to have made a special study of the best methods of draining the town, and in later years as Chairman of the Main Drainage Committee he was chiefly responsible in carrying the present scheme to a successful culmination. This was indeed his Magnum Opus and the thanks of the townspeople are due to him for safely steering the Corporation craft through troublesome waters beset with many a shoal.

He took a strong view that the outfall works should be away from the town, and carried the Council with him on this matter, and judging from the complaints which are now received from the residents of Thatcham along the Bath-road, this contention was a wise one from the point of view of the town.

It was in 1889 that Mr Councillor Long, as he was then, was first appointed Mayor, and he more than fulfilled the expectations of his friends, and earned the goodwill of the whole townspeople for the way in which he carried out the duties of the office. When in 1896, the Council came to elect a gentleman who would fill the office of Chief Magistrate during the Diamond Jubilee year, their choice unanimously fell upon the deceased gentleman. He carried out the public celebrations of that memorable year to the satisfaction of the whole borough.

His fine presence was a notable figure in the many functions, and as the local poet put it:- The stately figure, so erect and grand, Shows off the robes with dignity and grace, The whole surmounted by a pleasant face. The late Alderman's pleasant face, genial manner and bonhomie always served him in good stead, particularly in debates upon the Council. He was a strong man in debate, so much so that a question which secured his advocacy was generally carried to a successful issue, and many of the victories and points he gained may be traced to his suave manner, which so often had the effect of disarming the criticism of those opposed to him.

At the close of his Diamond Jubilee Mayoralty his name was deservedly added to the Commissioner of the Peace for the Borough, and in this respect it may be said that during the two periods he filled the chair as Chief Magistrate and when he has sat on the Bench since, he has always tempered justice with mercy. Having been so prominently connected with the governing body of the town for such a lengthened period, it is impossible to mention more than the outstanding features of his stewardship.

It should not be forgotten, however, that he was instrumental in preparing a set of standing orders which have proved so useful in maintaining the order of debates. Indeed in all matters concerning civic etiquette he was an acknowledged authority. Upon the death of the late Mr William Hall he was appointed an Alderman, and in 1906 he was chosen as Visitor to Moulsford Asylum in succession to the late Mr Alderman Jackson. Then in recent years he has served with great usefulness upon the Education Committee, being elected Chairman of the Finance, Schools Management and General Purposes sub-committee and as Chairman of the School Visitors.

He was an exceptionally good administrator, owing to the fact that anything he took up he always realised the importance of mastering the details. He also served the Borough with zeal and good judgment upon the Berkshire County Council, being elected a member of that body in 1898, upon the retirement of Mr Walter Money, a position which he filled till the time of his death.

He was a true type of public servant, sinking his own interests to those of the public weal. He gave the best years of his life for the good government and administration of his native town, and it is due to the labours of such men as he that make England the best governed country in the world. The deceased's gentleman's duties in connection with the governing bodies of the borough and the county were so numerous that it did not give him much time to devote to public work, but he was prominently connected with a Flower Show in its early days.

He was a strong Churchman and for 30 years was a member of the Parish Church Choir. Three of his sons were in the choir with him, and his son Keith was taking the treble solos, whilst he was bass soloist.

He married Miss Cooper of West Woodhay, who was companion to the wife of General Sir Keith Falconer. He leaves a widow, five sons and two daughters to mourn their loss.

Nearly 150 letters and telegrams of condolence were received by the family. Lord Carnarvon, the High Steward of the Borough. Wired from North Berwick in the following terms: "Very grieved to hear my old friend Mr Long has passed away; will you please accept my sincere condolences. Carnarvon." Others were received from the Mayor and Mayoress, Mr Mount, M.P., Mr F.C. Mackarness, the Bishop of Reading, the Deputy Mayor and Mrs Turner, Mr. F.Q. Louch, Mr E. Parfitt, C.C., Mr. J. F. Hawkins (on behalf of the staff of the Berkshire County Council), Mr E. C. Miller, the Rev. O. Clinton, Co. J. A. Younger, the Rev. Clifford Frend, the Rev. A. H. Newbold, the Chief Constable of Berks., Lady Trendall, and members of the Newbury Corporation, etc. etc.

The funeral of the late Alderman Long took place on Wednesday afternoon and was the occasion of a great manifestation of civic and public mourning which seldom takes place in the town of Newbury. The civic party assembled in the Council Chamber and, preceded by the mace bearers, with the Corporation maces wrapped in crepe, walked to Bartholomew, where they waited for the funeral procession. The Mayor (Mr Councillor Camp) wore his chain of office veiled in black, and was accompanied by the Deputy Mayor, Mr Councillor Turner. There were also present Alderman Smith, Alderman Ravenor, Alderman Jackson, Alderman Lucas, Councillors J. Elliott, E. Harris, J. Rankin, F.C. Hopson, J. Stradling, T.H. Pratt, S. Knight, E. Gould, C.A. Hawkins, Dr A. Thompson, W. Edwards, C.E. Paice, and F.R. Andrews.

[there follows a long list of County Council and County Magistrates who attended.]

The body was conveyed on a hand bier, the coffin covered with wreaths and flowers, while arranged thereon were his alderman's robes with his much prized Diamond Jubilee gold medal. The mourners followed in carriages. (there follows a long list of mourners]

The body was met at the west door of the church by the Rector, the Rev. L.R. Majendie and the procession proceeded to the seats reserved for them.... [description of the service]

The funeral procession was then reformed and proceeded to the Cemetery where the last sad rites were performed by the Rector. The coffin, which was interred in the family grave by the side of the deceased's father was inscribed

died Sept. 1st 1911
Aged 67

There follows a long list of the members of the congregation and the floral offerings.


Article source:    Newbury Weekly News
Date of source:    07 September 1911
Copyright:    © Newbury Weekly News



The death of Alderman Robert Long is a distinct loss in the public life of the community. He had rendered many years of valuable service in his native borough as councillor, alderman, county councillor, and Mayor and he has died at an age when the experience gained by long service would have proved of still greater value.

Alderman Long was an admirable type of public man, devoting himself by thoroughness to any particular work he took in hand. He preferred specialisation, and as alderman of the Main Drainage Committee piloted it through the scheme to successful achievement after being a vexatious controversy for many years. His Diamond Jubilee Mayoralty was a great success, and he represented the borough on ceremonial occasions with dignified deportment and genial manner.

The Alderman was an acknowledged authority on civic etiquette, and each successive Mayor found in him a Mentor whom they consulted on all and every occasion. He was a great upholder of the mayoral precedence on all and every occasion. He made many friends among his colleagues on the County Council, and was always a keen advocate for the rights of the Borough. Alderman Long was one of those who realised that the Press plays an important part in public life, and “Tatler” has on many occasions had reason to be grateful for consideration shown and facilities afforded. The Alderman well and truly served his day and generation, and the public life of Newbury is the poorer for his death.



Pictures and photographs

Click to enlarge
Robert Long
Mayor of Newbury 1889 and 1896
©from “Regalia of the Town of Newbury, Berkshire” Compiled by Roderick Thomason, and reproduced with his kind permission.
Robert Long
Click to enlarge
Robert Long
Commemorative Mug
Robert Long
Click to enlarge
Robert Long
Commemorative Mug
Robert Long


Biographies & History

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