Links in a Chain - the Mayors of Bolton
Links in a Chain - The Mayors of Bolton
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Alfred Barnes

Chairman of Farnworth Local Board: 1863-1867, 1878-80 (Liberal)

Born: Gladstone Road, Farnworth 11 December 1831

Died: Greenbank, Glynne Street, Farnworth 3 September 1893

Educated: Glasgow University; University College, London

Railway share and security holder.

First Chairman of Farnworth Local Board.

Nephew of Thomas Barnes, MP for Bolton 1852-1857 (Liberal).

Brother-in-law to Alfred Topp by his second marriage to Georgiana Topp.

After University he was employed by Thomas Barnes & Co Ltd but did not work there long and never took an active part in the business. Instead, he took an active interest in public affairs and lived near Barnes Mills in the centre of Farnworth at Greenbank.

He was an ex officio member of the Board of Guardians, a Magistrate for 31 years and, at the time of his death, was acting Senior Magistrate for Bolton Division. He took part in every movement which would benefit Farnworth and did a great deal of work to ensure the gift of Farnworth Park by his uncle, Thomas Barnes.

He was a Lancashire County Alderman.

Chairman of the Sick Visiting Committee for Prestwich County Asylum.

He was an active worker for the Congregational Church being a Sunday school teacher at the Market Street Church and superintendent of the Francis Street School, where the foundation stone was laid by his young son Harold in 1868. Later he was joint superintendent of the Market Street School with David Crossley. He was a Deacon at the church for 30 years and was Chairman of the Gathering of the Lancashire Congregational Union held at Preston in 1878. He was Chairman of the Bolton and District Congregational Sunday School Union and Chairman of the Farnworth Committee on the occasion of the Centenary of Sunday Schools in 1880.

He loved music, serving as choirmaster at Market Street Congregational Church for 40 years and also directed singing at Francis Street.

His son Harold wrote a history of Farnworth Congregationalism called 'The Story of Halshaw Moor Chapel, A History of a Century of Work.'

On the day of his funeral the four mills of Thomas Barnes closed for the day and Topp and Hindley Mills closed for an hour at noon. Thomas Barnes Mills were represented by Thomas Ivers and Charles Young.


The Barnes Family and Farnworth

Alfred's grandfather was James Rothwell Barnes, who along with Thomas Bonsor Crompton, is known as the founder of Farnworth.

James Rothwell Barnes had three sons, George, James and Thomas. Alfred was the son of George Barnes. The Barnes family were very influential and were linked with the growth of Farnworth in many ways so it was appropriate that a member of the Barnes family, Alfred, should be the first Chairman of the Local Board.

James Rothwell Barnes built Farnworth's first steam weaving mill and in 1832 introduced cotton spinning. His son Thomas, three times elected a Member of Parliament for Bolton, established Thomas Barnes & Co Ltd and it was he who carried the business to greater success. He gave part of his estate for Farnworth Park. Alfred's son Harold gave the family home Greenbank to the town for use as a nursery in 1929 when they went to live permanently at their house in Chirk.


Alfred BarnesBarnes Family Tree • pdf


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