Wigan and Leigh Archives Online

1901-1902, Thomas Rigby Greenough, Mayor of Leigh

1901-1902, Thomas Rigby Greenough, Mayor of Leigh

Thomas was born at the Rope & Anchor Hotel, Leigh in June 1850 and was later educated at the old Elliott School at Leigh Bridge. The school is said to have been once considered a formidable rival to Leigh Grammar School. On leaving school, Richard assisted his father in his business of auctioneer and valuer. The firm was known locally as Richard Greenough & Son.  After the death of his father, Richard was elected to take his father’s place as a representative for Pennington Ward which he held until 1887. He was elected to represent the St. Thomas Ward at the first municipal election on the 1 November 1899.

In November 1901 he was unanimously elected third Mayor of Leigh fitting the position it was said ‘with distinction’. As part of his duties, Thomas attended the Coronation of King Edward VII, the Preston Guild and the laying of the foundation stone St Thomas Church, Bedford.. Thomas would be presented to royalty once again during the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Leigh in 1913.

It has been suggested that Richard was responsible for proposing the Railway Road Technical School and Public Library. Thomas along with George Shaw and John Fairclough started the donation list for the erection. Thomas had been an early member of the Leigh Literary Society.

As a young man Thomas had been an amateur fireman but during his political career he played an important role in obtaining steam fire engines for Leigh.

Thomas was a director of Mather Lane Mills, Astley and Tyldesley Collieries, George Shaw Brewery, Harrison McGregor, and Sutcliffe Speakman Brick Making Works. Thomas and a number of other formed a syndicate to purchase the estate of Astley Hall for £90,000 and he became chairman of the company.

He married Miss Annie Knowles on the 13  December 1882  and  they lived at “Beechwood”  Leigh  He was a member of the Leigh branch of Freemasons  and rose to Worshipful  Master  in the Lilford Lodge,  He was also a member of the local Society  of  Oddfellows  and in his younger days was a playing member of Leigh Cricket Club playing his first match in 1866 against St. Helens.  In 1907 he  was elected  their president.

His funeral took place at Leigh Cemetery. It was said he was a ‘fair minded man’ and it would be very hard to replace the like of him.

Written by Evelyn Walls


Biographical Cuttings – Thomas Rigby Greenough, available at Leigh Local Studies.

2 items were found within 1901-1902, Thomas Rigby Greenough, Mayor of Leigh