Vestry, 1890

Buckingham Advertiser, 29 March 1890

The annual vestry for the transaction of parish business was held on Friday last, March 21st., and was fairly attended.  After meeting in the church porch, when Mr. Bullock was appointed chairman, the meeting adjourned to the Yeates’ School, where there were present- Messrs. T. P. Willis, Jas. King, J. Hillier, T. Saving, J. Hathaway, H. Monk, A. Monk, W. S. Neal, J. Corkett, T. Curtis, A. J. Clear, Jas. East, J. Archard, T. Walker, &c.

  The first business was the Surveyors’ accounts.  These, the Chairman stated, according to the balance sheet produced by Mr. Jas. King, showed a balance against the surveyors of £16/1/4.
  Mr. Hillyer asked if it was signed.  The Surveyors’ names appeared to be all written by one man.
  Mr. King replied they were only the Surveyors’ names.  They did not profess to be signatures.
  Mr. Saving said the expenditure of £172/9/10 was a matter which concerned every one in the parish, and, while he thanked them for nominating him last year to the office of Surveyor, he could assure them it was entirely useless, because he had never been consulted, except that Mr. King once said “Do you know a suitable man to do the work of the roads?”  He had not been consulted in buying the materials, or in the labour, or in any way.  It was entirely useless for them to nominate three surveyors and then let one of the three entirely ignore and set aside the others as perfect dummies.  He saw down the Grandborough road a great work going on, of which he should have known nothing if he had not been passing, and seen the materials about and the labour going on.  For these reasons he objected to the passing of the accounts, as it was a matter which wanted seeing to.  He also noticed on the balance-sheet so much for labour.  He did not know if the number of weeks was down.
  Mr. King said “No.”  He kept them all in a book.
  Mr. Saving, continuing, said it had come to his ears that the surveyors had been employing parish men on their own work. It was not him.  [Mr. Monk: I am sure it’s not me.]  And it was only right the Surveyors should have an opportunity of clearing themselves.  It was evident that parish men had been employed on private work, but it was not certain whether they had been paid with parish money or not.  Then again it was said a kind of black-mail was being levied on people by the Surveyors, and that discount had been taken.  It was not by him, but he wanted to know who it was, and he objected to the accounts being passed.
  Mr. King said he had been referred to by Mr, Saving.  He should not say much in answer, but after last year’s vestry he asked Mr. Saving to pay him the money, and to take the management of the whole concern, but he said no.
  Mr. Saving- A likely thing that I was going to pay you £12 out of my pocket.
  Mr. King said that confirmed what he said.  Shortly afterwards a man was wanted for the roads, and he asked Mr. Monk and Mr. Saving to procure a man.  Neither of them could, and he had to do it himself.  He had gone in as usual, and the roads were very good.  He knew nothing whatever about blackmail and discount.
  Mr. Hillyer said as a ratepayer he objected to Mr. C. Colgrove [this was later found to be a mistake for J. Colgrove] or any other person taking over of the road, and he objected to the Surveyors, whether it was Mr. Saving, Mr. Monk, or Mr. King, employing men at 4 o’clock in the morning when there were plenty of people out of work, and who would be glad of a job.  Another thing they did not even clear the dirt away from the markets.  It was there even now, round his house and Mr. Stevens’.  He had heard it declared publicly that there was a discount given, and he contended that the stonework ought to be let publicly by contract, and one Surveyor had no right to act alone in the matter.  On these grounds to-day he should object to the accounts being passed.  There was a deficiency he noticed of about £16, and he thought the Surveyors had no business to have had it.  They were not required to pay it out of their own pockets.
  Mr. King- You are wrong.  It is not a deficiency but a balance (laughter).
  Mr. Hillyer- Balance against the Surveyor, it says.
  Mr. T. P. Willis- It should have been put down “balance in hand.”
  Mr. Neal said Mr. Saving and Mr. Hillyer had made great charges against the Surveyors, and they ought to name the gentlemen the discount was taken from.
  Mr. Saving said he did not say it was so, only that it was represented, and he thought the Surveyors ought to have an opportunity of clearing their reputation.
  After some words from Messrs. Hillyer, Saving, and Neal.
  Mr. Hillyer said he was not afraid to mention names.  Had Mr. Jas. King employed Frederick Roads?
  Mr. King said yes, he had.
  Mr. Hillyer- Will he publicly declare that he has had to give you 2/6.
  Mr. King- With regard to Roads he had never made out his amount himself, and I have made it out for him, and he has given me a shilling for doing it.  In my office is the account, but it’s all in blank.  I have kept all the weights for him.  I don’t think this is a case of black-mailing.
  Mr. Hillyer- I object to the Surveyors keeping the accounts for men and being paid for it.
  Mr. King- I am the only man who could keep the accounts for him.  He did not know how many loads he had drawn.
  Mr. Neal- You must have something more substantial than this to bring before a vestry.  When you accuse a man of taking black-mail it is a very serious offence.
  Mr. Hillyer- I do not use the work black-mail.  It’s discount I complain of.
  Mr. Neal- Well, then, discount, it’s the same thing.
  Messrs. Hillyer, Monk, and Saving then had some words after which
  Mr. Saving said- The question is “Has our man, the town man, been employed in doing private work for me, or Mr. King, or Mr. Monk?”  He has not worked for me.
  Mr. Monk- I’ll take my oath it’s not for me.
  A conversation then took place with regard to an item for cleaning up the Market Square after the Fat Stock Show, and it was explained that it did not refer to the last Show, but was an item brought forward and ordered to be paid at the last Vestry.
  Mr. King said Foskett had done two days’ work in his garden, but the parish had not paid for that.
  Mr. Saving said he ought not to do that when he was at work for the parish.
  Mr. King- It’s absurd to talk like that.  There’s not enough work for a man to make full time now the County Council have taken the main roads…

  Mr. Hathaway proposed the passing of the accounts.  There had been good work done, and only a 4d rate, and he was surprised at the charges made against Mr. King, but thought it was by people who knew nothing about it.  It was a very difficult matter to keep the accounts as Mr. King had done, and he thought he deserved their thanks for it.
  Mr. Hillyer objected to ratepayers being found fault with because they came prepared to ask questions which they had a perfect right to do, even if they only paid rated for 12 months.  He could tell them a great deal more than had been said, and he hoped the new surveyors would keep a much sharper look out.
  A conversation then ensued with regard to the moving of road dirt.
  Mr. Monk said he had sent men to move it, and the next morning he got a severe letter from the County Surveyor…
  The accounts were then passed, the Chairman remarking that although it was right to ventilate the accounts, yet, considering the low rate and the state of the roads, there was not much to complain about.

  The allowance to the rate collector of £5 for the highway rate; £5 for the lighting rate; £5 for a sanitary rate (if required); and £1 for Shipton highway rate were confirmed.
  Mr. King said they might as well nominate the two last year’s guardians, as they had done their duty so well.
  Messrs. Monk and East were accordingly nominated.

  Mr. Neal said he should like to propose once again that some steps should be taken to procure a weighing bridge for Winslow.  He thought there ought to be one, and he believed his friend Mr. Saving would agree with him.  [Mr. Saving-“Yes.”]  The question was that steps should be taken ?  There was one in existence, could it be purchased by the parish ?
  Mr. Willis said the best way would be to ask the auditor if it could be put in the highway accounts.  It could not be put in the overseer’s accounts.  He did not think the auditor would allow it.
  Mr. Monk- Better find out what it would cost, and raise it by voluntary subscriptions.
  Mr. Neal said it was compulsory in a great many places, why not in Winslow ?
  Mr. Willis said that was where there was a market with tolls.  If Mr. Wigley had tolls it would be compulsory, but it did not apply where the sales were by commission.  If the squire had taken tolls he would have had to provide one.

  The rest of the business was the election of surveyors.
  Mr. Hathaway proposed Mr. King.
  Mr. Neal proposed Mr. Hillyer in the room of Mr. Saving as being a more active man, and one that would drive them along like a tandem.
  Mr. Saving said he had no particular wish to serve again, and he certainly never would with Mr. King.
  Mr. Hillyer said he hoped who ever was on they would consult each other, and if he took office he should expect to be consulted (applause).
  Mr. King said he had had enough of it, having been surveyor for 10 or 11 years, and he should not serve.
  Mr. Monk, Mr. Geo. Wigley, and Mr. Hillyer were then chosen.

  The Shipton highway accounts were produced by Mr. A. Monk.

  Mr. Archard asked if the tenders for the stones should be thrown open, as it would remove all chance of temptation.  They said Mr. King had been taking discounts, and this would stop it.
  The Chairman- That’s been discussed and Mr. King cleared.
  Mr. East- If a man had his bill made out for a shilling, and then goes and talks about it in this way, he ought to be ashamed of it (applause).
  Mr. F. Dancer and Mr. Monk were appointed surveyors for Shipton.  Messrs. R. Dickens, John Varney, jun., F. Dancer, R. Coxill, A. J. Clear, and W. H. Stevens were nominated overseers.  Mr. Jennings was re-appointed constable.
  This concluded the business.

  Mr. Hathaway then proposed a vote of thanks to the retiring surveyor (Mr. King)  It was a very arduous duty to keep the accounts in the manner he had done, and after the way in which charges had been brought against him, which had proved entirely futile, he thought they could do no less than pass a vote of thanks to him.
 Mr. A. Monk seconded this.

Buckingham Advertiser, 12 April 1890

The Easter Vestry was held on Wednesday, 9th April, in the vestry of the Parish Church.

  Mr. Hathaway produced the copy of the accounts of the Winslow Charities [click here for the accounts], which he had prepared for the Charity Commissioners.- Mr. Saving objected, and said that this account ought to have been produced at the Lady-day vestry.  He said that he and the Nonconformists generally did not desire to attend the Easter vestry, which they recognised as being mainly for the transaction of the business of the church with which they did not desire to interfere.- Mr. Hathaway replied that the accounts, which he now produced, had been prepared and signed in anticipation of the Lady-day vestry, and he  had it in his pocket there with the intention of producing it, but the previous business was so lengthy, and of such an exciting character, that it quite slipped his memory.  If Mr. Saving had asked for the account at the previous vestry it would have been produced.

  The Vicar produced the accounts of the Yeates’ Charity.

  In presenting the Churchwardens’ accounts, Mr. Bullock stated that they regretted that the statement showed that since last Easter the expenditure had been in excess of the receipts; he added that this might cause some surprise to those who might have noticed that throughout the winter the amount of the offertories had been fully maintained, there had been no falling off.  This being so, they might think that the expenditure must have been abnormal.  That, however, was not the case, with the exception of the bill for gas, which once more showed a considerable increase; in fact the increase over last year was larger than the amount of the balance (£6/14/11) shown on the debtor side of the statement, the expenditure generally compared favourably with that of late years.  It was simply due to the fact that the Churchwardens’ accounts were kept from Easter to Easter- the term of their office, and that while all the heaviest items of expenditure were salaries and the like, which were due and paid for twelve months, the year’s offertories were several Sundays less than last year, owing to Easter being then very late and this year very early.

  The vicar produced the special offertory accounts, and it was proposed and carried that they be added to the Churchwardens’ accounts and printed as usual.

  The vicar nominated Mr. Herbert Bullock as his Churchwarden for the coming year.  Mr. J. C. Hawley was elected Parish Churchwarden.  The Vicar nominated Messrs. T. F. Vaisey, Geo. Ingram, John Varney, and Dr. Newham, for Sidesmen, and Messrs G. George, G. A. Monk, J. Hathaway, and M. Selby-Lowndes, were also elected.

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Copyright 12 June, 2021