Wigan and Leigh Archives Online

1901-1902, Richard Edward Kellett, Mayor of Wigan

Alderman Richard Edward Kellett JP – Mayor of Wigan 1901-1902

By Peter Walker

Richard Edward Kellett was born in 1848, in Leyland, son of Richard Kellet, a farmer, and a member of an old family from Lancaster and Leyland.

Educated at Leyland, Wigan and Whalley Grammar Schools he was apprenticed to his uncle, James Kellett, who was a chemist and druggist with premises at 44 Market Place, Wigan. When James died in 1874 Richard inherited his uncle’s business, which he continued to manage until his death in 1905.

In 1875 Richard married Mary Ann Bridget, daughter of John Moss Brandreth, a pawnbroker, of Preston. They had five children: James Brandreth 1877 and Margaret Ethel 1878 born in Market Place, Wigan. The family moved to Prospect Place, off Ormskirk Road, Pemberton where Richard Abbot 1879 and Elizabeth Emily 1882 were born. By the time their last child, Fanny Gertrude was born in 1885 the family were living at 4 Mesnes Park Terrace in Wigan. By April 1901 they had moved to Laburnum House on Wigan Lane. Sadly their two sons did not survive infancy, Richard died aged 9 months and James aged 5 years.

In 1885 he was elected as a Conservative representative for Swinley Ward on Wigan County Borough Council, being returned unopposed three years later. In 1890 the number of wards was increased from five to ten and Councillor Kellett was one of the members who had to stand for re-election. This time he had a hard fight for his see on All Saints Ward but won by a substantial majority, he was returned unopposed in 1894.

In 1896 a vacancy caused by the death of Alderman James Smith led to Richard being elected Alderman and in 1897 he was appointed a magistrate for the borough.

Elected Mayor in 1901 Richard oversaw the local festivities celebrating the coronation of King Edward VII. He served on the Town Council as Chairman of the Baths Committee. His interests included music, he was president of the Wigan & District Choral Society, was a staunch supporter of the Conservative party, and he was Chairman of Wigan Conservative Club. A keen churchman he was a member of All Saints Parish Church in Wigan where he served as a sidesman. In 1902, during restoration work in the church, the Mayor’s Gallery was panelled, paid for by the Mayor, Alderman Kellett and others. A section of the panelling was dedicated to Alderman Kellett’s two sons and other members of his family.

This Panelling was placed here to the Glory of God by RICHARD EDWARD KELLETT During his term of Office as Mayor of this Borough and IN MEMORY OF Henry Kellett of Leyland, James Abbott Kellett of Wigan Margaret Kellett of Leyland. Elizabeth Tarbuck of Leyland ALSO HIS TWO SONS James Brandreth Kellett and Richard Abbott Kellett of Wigan June 26th 1902.

In 1903, following a period of ill health, his wife went to stay at Conishead Priory in Ulverston for a period to rest and recuperate. Her health appeared to improve but sadly she suffered a relapse and passed away in May 1903, whilst staying at the Priory.

The death of his wife proved a severe shock for Richard and his friends were concerned at the physical change in his own health which became more marked as time went on and he passed away in January 1905. He was buried in the family grave in St Andrew’s Churchyard Leyland.




Lancashire Contemporary Biographies 920 p370

WO 16. 5. 1903 p8c Obituary of Mrs Kellett

WO 18 1 1905 p5d Death of Alderman Kellett J. P.

www.Findmypast.com/England Billion Graves Index

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