high littleton holy trinity church

High Littleton & Hallatrow
History and Parish Records


Click to enlarge the photo

  William Carter - chairman of the council 1922-46

William Frederick CARTER, J.P.
Chairman of the Parish Council from 1922 until his death in 1946

Parish Council

In 1894 the Local Government Act was passed, under which Parish Councils were established to take over the management of parochial affairs from Vestries. Vestries had worked reasonably well for centuries but its members were not elected and membership was perpetuated by co-option. Whilst the public could attend Open Vestries, many of the bigger issues were dealt with behind closed doors by a smaller Select Vestry, which was usually comprised of the wealthier and more influential members. The formation of Parish Councils brought more democracy and thereafter the Vestry's role was reduced to managing the affairs of the church.

High Littleton’s first Parish Council election was held on 4th December 1894, when 10 men contested 6 seats.  354 people voted and the successful candidates were James COX (50 votes, Thomas EVANS (47), Henry CHIVERS (44), Enos FREE (41), Col. Barton SCOBELL (36) and Thomas BLANNING (34).

The Local Government Act enabled a parish council, should it so choose, to elect a chairman who was not one of the elected councillors. By this means the vicar, Rev. Ambrose FOSTER, was appointed first chairman of the council and he remained as chairman until 1901.

From the outset the minimum number of members comprising a rural parish council was fixed at five and they were to hold office for 1 year. High Littleton chose to elect six. It soon became apparent that annual parish council elections caused too much of an upheaval and the Parish Councillors Election Order of 1901 extended their period of office to 3 years. Women had been eligible to serve on parish councils from the beginning but it was not until 1952 that Marjorie WRIGHT became High Littleton’s first female councillor.

From 1958 councils were empowered to elect 13 members but High Littleton chose not to elect more than 9.  

The Contents of this Section have come from several sources:

1. Parish Council Minute Books from the date of the first meeting 13th December 1894 to 1962.

2. Parish Meeting Minute Book from 4th December 1894 to 1966.

3. Overseers' Minute Book from the date of the first meeting on 6th May 1898 to the final meeting on 20th April 1926.

4. Parish Council Accounts for 1944/5, 1946/7 and 1948/9 to 1958/9.

5. Allotment Rents 1951/2 to 1961/2.

6. Westminster Bank Statements 1946/7, 1947/8 and 1952/3 to 1960/1.

Because so many of the topics discussed at the meetings of the different bodies overlapped, it has been considered more useful to combine all three sets of minutes in chronological order rather than presenting them separately. The wording of the minutes has been copied faithfully with obvious errors and additions shown in italics and brackets.

After the transcription of the minutes there are summaries of all the councillors and parish appointees, who held office during the period covered by this section. At the end there are indexes of Names and Places & Topics. The Miscellaneous items (4 to 6 above) have not been indexed.

Click to view/download the documents (in pdf format)

HL Parish Council Minutes1894-1927 & Indexes

HL Parish Council Minutes 1927-62 & Indexes

HLParish Council Misc