2022 is the year of certain Hedon history anniversaries.
In 1562 – 460 years ago – George Painter left three cottages on Souttergate in his will for the use of ‘poor widows’ of Hedon. Painter was a priest at Holy Trinity Church in Hull and his links with Hedon are not clear although he made other bequeaths to the town upon his death.
The Painter’s cottages had been left in a semi-derelict condition in the last century and a community group was formed in the 1970s to restore the cottages to their original use of providing accommodation. The original three cottages have now been converted into two and managed as accommodation (‘provision and maintenance of two almshouses’) by the Painter’s Charity.
HEDON TOWN HALL:
In 1692 – 330 years ago – work began on building Hedon Town Hall. It was built in St. Augustine’s Gate by Henry Guy the MP for Hedon. It was given to Hedon Corporation by him in 1693. Guy was also Secretary to the Treasury in William III’s first government.
The Town Hall has Guy’s coat of arms over the door and on the top of the building is a replica weather vane inscribed with his initials “H.G. 1692”. The original weather vane is normally on display on the staircase in the Town Hall.
There is a giant painting of Henry Guy in the council chamber.
A ROTTEN BOROUGH:
In 1832 – 190 years ago – Hedon was declared a ‘Rotten Borough’ and lost its right to elect MPs to Parliament. Hedon was called a “rotten borough” due to the unsavoury practice of the town’s early MPs (Members of Parliament) bribing people to vote for them. When the existing parliamentary system was reformed in 1832 the practice was stamped out – and in the process, the town lost both of its MPs. The modern ‘Hedon Penny Throwing’ tradition run by Hedon Town Council on the appointment of a new town Mayor is a parody of the practice.
Is 2022 significant for any other Hedon histories? Let us know!
Note: One such more recent anniversary is the one 40 years ago of the presentation of tankards to Hedon residents involved in the Falklands War in 1982. Information is being sought about the tankards and their recipients.