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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:03 am 
Willfinder General
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:51 pm
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada

Cotton Manufacturer and Mayor.

Thomas Burrows was another of those "Haggaters" who made it good, Thomas was born in July 1839. His father was Henry Burrows a hand-loom weaver in the village. Like many others of the day, what schooling Thomas had was meagre in the extreme, and at an early age he was marched off to the factory to supplement the family income. Young Burrows had at this time moved to Burnley where employment was more plentiful. Thomas acquired what knowledge he could of cotton manufacture, and in 1856, went back to Haggate. Here he became the manager at a small cotton factory. Before long, Thomas and his brother decided to venture out on their own, to this end they acquired some space at Stoneyholme shed. They started in a small way, with just 128 looms, later Robert Emmott and his son joined the Burrows at the mill. Soon afterwards they moved to Calder Vale, where they increased the number of looms to 206, and later still to 316. To follow this up, the partners took on another mill at Gannow. In 1886, the partnership was dissolved, and Thomas Burrows turned his attention to the Calder Vale Shed, which in time was running almost 900 looms.

In early 1906, they purchased Belle View Shed on Westgate, formerly run by Mr West, which brought up the number of looms to 1,350. In time the business was handed over to his two sons, William Henry, and John Thomas, though it was not unknown for Thomas to pay an unexpected visit to the mills every now and then. Thomas could now concentrate on public duties, and with a vacancy in the Council for the St Andrew's Ward he came forward. In 1887, he was made chairman of the Sewerage Committee, this was a time in question of better sewerage system being demanded, and Thomas had three places to attend, The Duck Pits, Wood End and Altham. It was in 1889, that Thomas Burrows was made Alderman, and in 1900 was elected Mayor of Burnley and served for a term of two years. Mr Burrows was married no less than three times, first to Miss Margaret Nuttall, and then to Miss Elizabeth Altham sister to the then late Alderman Altham. During his term of Mayor, he married the daughter of John Cronkshaw, the original proprietor of "Cronkshaws". This was the affectionate name for Commercial Hotel, that stood on the corner Grimshaw street and Nicholas street, it was where all the townsmen of note frequented. It came as something of a shock to the town, when on Wednesday 27, June 1906, Thomas Burrows, the man who went from weaver to mayor had passed away following a short illness. He was buried at Haggate Baptist chapel from his home Osborne Grove off Colne road.


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