Francis James Pagett
Mayor of Wigan 1921/22
Born in June, 1882 son of John Pagett, wholesale grocer of Scholes, Wigan and Ellen Leyland.
Educated at St Patrick’s Day School he served an apprenticeship as an engineer at Walker Brothers Pagefield Ironworks. Later becoming a wholesale agent and representative with W. Morton & Sons, Ltd., for several years before going into his own business.
In 1902 Francis married Ellen Tonge and they had two children, John Norman born in 1902 and Ellen in 1910.
In 1910 he successfully won a seat on Wigan Council representing St Patrick’s Ward, which he would hold for almost 40 years.
He was elected Mayor of Wigan in 1921, during his term of office Wigan was granted the right to bear Arms and Supporters by the College of Arms, the County Borough’s Coat of Arms was created. He entertained 2000 deserving children form Wigan Schools and raised large sums for Wigan Infirmary and many other charities.
In 1925 he was made an Alderman and in 1936 the honour of Freeman of the Borough was bestowed in recognition of his outstanding public service.
On the Council he served as chairman of Markets and Parks Committee from 1915 until 1949, under his leadership the Market business flourished, part of the Market Square was laid out to form a bus station and the parks were transformed with large areas of land being laid out a open spaces for recreation.
In 1934 he became chairman of the Watch Committee and represented the Council as a member of the Police Committee of the Association of Municipal Corporations. He also served as a Traffic Commissioner for the North West.
Described as “a great public administrator, he devoted the greater part of his life to the service of his fellow men”. He was very well known and respected in Municipal life both regionally and nationally, his wise leadership having a profound influence on the public life of Wigan for over thirty years.
Despite ill health affecting his later years he still maintained a keen interest in local politics until his death in January 1949 at his home on Wigan Lane.
A prominent supporter of St Patrick’s Church he was a member of the Catholic Young Men’s Society and served as chairman of the Wigan Branch of the National Catholic Thrift and Benefit Society. Following a service at St Patrick’s Church he was interred in Wigan Cemetery.
In August 1949 a section of Mesnes Park was laid out as a formal rose garden in recognition of his long dedication and service to the people of Wigan.
WE 21 & 28 January 1949 Biographical Cuttings book 6 pp221, 222
WO 12 Nov 1921 p19
WO 5 August 1947 Biographical Cuttings Book 6 pp230, 231
Wigan Almanac 1922 7 1923 (Chronologies 1921 & 1922)
1 item was found within 1921-1922, Francis James Pagett Mayor of Wigan