Links in a Chain - the Mayors of Bolton
Links in a Chain - The Mayors of Bolton
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John Miles

Mayor of Bolton: 1901-03 (Conservative)

Born: Blackburn, Lancashire 19 November 1841

Died: Lyndene, Chorley New Road, Bolton 5 July 1917

Educated: The National School, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire; Private School, Tyldesley, Lancashire

Steam packing manufacturer and India rubber merchant - John Miles & Co, Albert Works, Shiffnall Street, Bolton.

He succeeded his father, William Miles, as manager of Clitheroe Gas Works until 1869.

He came to Bolton in 1870 as partner in of an India rubber and steam packing manufacturer, James Marsh who was in failing health and died a month after their partnership began. He married Marsh's widow, Nancy in 1871.

Represented Rumworth Ward from 1874 and was Alderman from 1880 until his death in 1917.

Appointed Magistrate in 1888.

He was Chairman of the Gas Committee in 1887 and Chairman of the Tramways Committee for 14 years.

Chairman of the Municipal Tramways Association. Opened the new Tramway Offices in Bolton on 21 December 1907.

In 1890 as Chairman of the Gas Committee, he encouraged the use of gas among the poorest in the district when the penny-in-the-slot meter was introduced. This proved very popular and 5000 were in use by 1898.

He laid the foundation stone of the Electricity Works in Spa Road on 13 December 1893 and on 31 October 1894 he had the honour of switching on the electric current in Bolton for the first time.

He opened the bridge over the River Croal at the bottom of St Edmund's Street as Mayor in 1902.

He was very proud of the fact that he was Coronation Mayor when King Edward VII was crowned in 1902 (Edward VII, as Prince of Wales had opened the Town Hall in 1873). He was Chairman of a large Committee representing all classes which kept itself in touch with popular feeling. Garlands of electric lights festooned the columns and hung from the top of the clock tower on the Town Hall to celebrate the event.

On 2 August 1902 he represented the County Borough of Bolton as Mayor at the Coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey.

In early 1906 he was heavily involved in mediation when there was deadlock in a strike between weavers at Sunnyside Mill in Rumworth Ward and their employers, Tootal Broadhurst Lee and Company Ltd. Unfortunately his efforts were unsuccessful and the dispute was only finally resolved when Bolton Quilt Manufacturers Association mediated. The strike had lasted for nine months.

He was a Governor of Bolton Grammar School and President of Bolton Amateur Operatic Society.

Chairman of the Directors of Meters Ltd, Manchester and London and also of Bolton Theatre and Entertainments Co Ltd, the Standard Lamp Company Ltd and President of Bolton Guardian Society.

Anglican - he worshipped at Deane Parish Church where from 1864 he was organist and Choirmaster. He was obviously a popular man as on the Sunday evening after he was installed as Mayor he attended Deane Church, where he was organist, and was given such a hearty welcome that hundreds were unable to gain admission.

He was a Freemason and was Past Master of St George's Lodge 1723. He was elected Provincial Grand Organist in 1896.

His wife, Nancy, was Mayoress.


Click for larger image Formal portrait of John Miles as Mayor of Bolton.

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Click for larger image Formal portrait of John Miles as Mayor of Bolton.

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Click for larger image Bolton Town Hall decorated for the Coronation of Edward VII on 2 August 1902.

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Click for larger image Commemorative medal issued by Bolton Corporation to mark the Coronation of Edward VII. The medal shows the planned Coronation date of 26 June 1902 but the event was delayed until 2 August 1902 while the King recovered from illness.

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John MilesMiles Family Tree • pdfClick for larger image

John Miles' link on the Mayor of Bolton's Chain of Office.

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Crest = On a wreath argent and gules a lion rampant issuant or holding an anchor argent.

Motto = MEMOR (Remember)

This seems to be taken straight from the book of crests.


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