Peter Rothwell Arrowsmith
Mayor of Bolton: 1853-55 (Liberal)
Born: Darcy Lever, Bolton 1816
Died: Ellerslea, Dalston, Carlisle, Cumberland 24 August 1890
Cotton spinner and broker.
Worked for his father, James Arrowsmith, Mayor of Bolton 1840-41, a cotton spinner and manufacturer at Rose Hill. He set up business at Gilnow Mill, near Gilnow Bleachworks in 1854. In 1871 he became a cotton broker in Liverpool and was a member of the Liverpool Cotton Association.
He was on the committee to collect subscriptions to petition Parliament for a Charter of Incorporation in 1838.
Represented Church Ward 1840-46, Derby Ward 1850-56 and West Ward 1864-65. County magistrate for 35 years.
He was Chairman of the Town Hall Committee and a member of the committee to establish a Volunteer Rifle Company.
When he became Mayor he said that he was becoming Mayor at a time when trade prospects were clouded, food was dear, employment scarce and disaffection and ill will existed between masters and employed. He said that an improved water supply was essential and that the Local Improvement Bill which was then being promoted by the Town Council would enable them to provide a better water supply, clear the atmosphere of polluting smoke and improve streets and housing.
His main concern was to improve the condition of the people and he was an advocate of working men's clubs, the reclamation of 'fallen women' and the opening of the park on Sundays.
Important works during his term were the securing of land for the Borough Cemetery at Tonge, progress in the erection of the Market Hall, street and sanitary improvements and the near completion of Heaton Reservoir.
Other improvements were the creation of a business quarter, Knowsley Street, Corporation Street and other thoroughfares.
He helped to establish the Public Library and the Industrial Ragged School, of which he was the first President and he was largely responsible for the foundation of the Bolton and County of Lancaster Certified Industrial School at Lostock in 1854.
He was a member of the Cotton Supply Association, the Bolton Mechanics Institution and the Local Relief Committee established during the Cotton Famine.
Freemason - member of Anchor and Hope Lodge.