William Barton Whittam
Chairman of Farnworth Local Board: 1870-72, 1880-81
Born: Bury, Lancashire 20 May 1833
Died: Birch House, Farnworth 21 May 1888
Educated: Ushaw College, Durham
Master Cotton Spinner.
Leading Roman Catholic philanthropist.
His father was Joseph Whittam, Solicitor, of Bury who was also Superintendent of Births and Deaths for the district. His mother was the eldest daughter of William Barton of Dixon Green.
He was first apprenticed to Thomas Kitts, mill owner, of Blackhorse Street, Bolton and learned cotton spinning manufacture. He then managed Mossfield Mills which were opened by his father in 1852 and 1859. These mills burned down and he later managed a print works at Bury.
He was a founder member of Farnworth Local Board in 1863.
Bolton County Magistrate 1867.
He served as an officer in the 27th Lancashire Volunteer Rifles.
In 1873 he purchased Birch House, Farnworth as the family home.
His wife, Jane, was herself a generous benefactor of St Gregory's RC Church and of the poor.
He died of blood poisoning that set in after slipping on platform 7 of Victoria Station, Manchester, in February 1888 and injuring his toe and knee.
"He did not speak often or for long but was regular in attendance."