Links in a Chain - the Mayors of Bolton
Links in a Chain - The Mayors of Bolton
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Thomas Lever Rushton

Mayor of Bolton: 1848-50 (Conservative)

Born: Churchgate, Bolton 5 September 1810

Died: Hôtel du Pavillon, Cannes, France 8 February 1883

Educated: Bolton Grammar School

Banker, solicitor, industrialist and landowner.

First Mayor to serve a second term in office.

Son of Thomas Rushton, solicitor and banker - a co-founder of Hardcastle, Cross & Co - Bolton's first commercial bank.

At 16 He was articled to his father's law firm, becoming a partner in 1831. He continued to practice as a solicitor through many different incarnations of the firm until his retirement in 1879.

He also went into partnership with James Eckersley to develop the iron forging business of Rushton & Eckersley, which later became the Bolton Iron & Steel Company. The ironworks covered the area now occupied by Moor Lane Bus Station directly behind Bolton Town Hall. Rushton himself retired from the company in 1859.

On the death of his father in 1838 he succeeded to a partnership in the banking firm of Hardcastle, Cross & Co.

He was also a Director of the Bolton & Preston Railway and in 1843 was part of the Negotiating Committee for its merger with the North Union Railway Company.

Represented Exchange Ward 1846-52 and 1868-74. Alderman for Exchange Ward 1874-83.

He was appointed Magistrate 1878 and County Magistrate 1880.

As Mayor he accepted the original Mayoral Chain and Seal - commissioned and purchased by a group of local gentry - from Thomas Ridgway Bridson and Mr R S Barlow on 14 August 1850.

He also instigated the construction of the (largely cast iron) municipal Market Hall during his Mayoralty, it being opened in his presence on 19 December 1855.

In 1850 he became Chairman of the Committee formed to organize Bolton's participation in the Great Exhibition of 1851 and was himself presented to Prince Albert at St James's Palace 18 March 1850.

On 12 April 1851 he was presented with a collection of silver plate bearing the arms of the town and his family by a deputation including the then Mayor, William Gray, inscribed:

"Presented to Thomas Lever Rushton, Esquire, by a large number of his fellow-townsmen, in grateful remembrance of his eminent and important services to the borough of Bolton during two years of his Mayoralty, commencing November 1848; also a token of their great esteem for his private character and unblemished integrity."

He was Chairman of Bolton Waterworks Committee and worked tirelessly for the improvement and expansion of the water supply as the town's population and industry grew, nursing through complex legislation and supervising the construction of reservoirs.

He was a member of the Board of Guardians and endeavoured to reform both its financial stability and the operation of the Workhouse.

He was Chairman of Bolton's first School Board in 1870 and laid the foundation stone of Pikes Lane Board School - the first school in Bolton to be built by the Board - on 19 November 1873.

He was an Honorary Secretary to the Committee that organized Bolton's coronation celebrations for Queen Victoria in June 1838.

Along with Canon James Slade and others he was one of the founding fathers of the Church of England Educational Institution - the Church Institute, later Canon Slade Grammar School - from the first meeting in 1846.

He was a Trustee of Marsden's Endowed School and of the Bolton Free Grammar School from 1850 and was a Governor of its successor, Bolton School from 1881 and also of Rivington and Blackrod New Grammar School.

He was Senior Honorary Treasurer of Bolton Infirmary and Dispensary and was involved with the construction of the New Infirmary of which he was a generous financial benefactor.

He was also a Trustee of the Blair Convalescent Hospital, Popplewell's, Ridgway's and Dr and Mrs Chadwick's Charities.

He was a Trustee of Bolton Savings Bank.

Commissioner of Income Tax from 1846 until his death.

President of Bolton Law Society 1879.

A founder member of Bolton Conservative Club he stood unsuccessfully as MP for Bolton in 1880.

He lived at West Bank, Chorley New Road, Bolton for many years before moving to Newport House on Newport Street. His final residence was Moor Platt at Horwich, which he enlarged and remodelled.

He left an estate of £102,606 19s 6d.

Anglican - he was Warden of Bolton Parish Church and Horwich Parish Church and also involved with several other Churches and Church organizations in the District. Laid the Memorial Stone for the Marsh Memorial Church (St George the Martyr's) in Daubhill on 28 September 1878. He was Vice-President of the Church of England Temperance Society, Manchester Diocese.

Thomas Lever RushtonRushton Family Tree • pdfClick for larger image

Thomas Lever Rushton's link on the Mayor of Bolton's Chain of Office.

Click for larger image

Or a lion passant sable, on a chief of the last a trefoil argent.


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