Bound Testimonial

Object number

LDVAL 2004.39.1




A bound testimonial book presented to William Bewers upon his retirment from Barking Local Board.

Physical description

Bound illuminated testimonial, with burgandy leather covers with gold tooled decoration and green, red and navy blue sections. 1st page shows image of "Public Offices (Magistrates Court) & Fires station, Barking", and badge of "Barking School Board" plus "Barking Town Urban District Council" around an image of the Curfew Tower. Also "The Burial Board for the Parish of St Margarets Barking in the County of Essex". 2nd page shows image of "Eastbury House" above illuminated text. 3rd page shows "North Street School" above illuminated text. 4th page shows "The Mill" at Barking Town Quay, above illuminated text. 5th Page shows the "Curfew Tower" and "Cemetary Chapel" above a "List of Subscribers". The last 3 pages contain the signatures of those who have dedicated this book to William Bewers.




William Bewers was born in Chelmsford in 1843. He moved to Barking in 1870 to take up the position as Chief Clerk at Abbey Mills on the Town Quay. In 1871 he married Anna Skinner, and they had two children, William (born 1876) and Edith (1878). Sometime between 1881 and 1885, the Bewers family moved to Highfield House on Longbridge Road (now the Dagenham Motors Showroom). William took an active part in many aspects of civic life in Barking. Among others, he was a member of the Local Board from 1882 until his retirement in 1897 and in 1893 he sat on the committee to raise funds for the repair of the Curfew Tower. He was also a member of the Education Board and was one of the founders of the Ragged School. This Testimonial book was presented to William upon his retirement, after which he moved to Maltese Road in Chelmsford, where he was still living in 1914. The Artist - The artwork in the book was produced by William Brown Pratt. Born in 1853 in Berkshire, he specialised in painting scenic views, and the commission to paint this book may have been of personal interest as his father, Jonathan, had been born in Ilford.


Testimonal Book


Whole length: 349mm
width: 285mm
Depth: 40mm


Binding: Leather
Pages: Card

Collection type

Social history


Inscription Painted On inner pages: To / Mr. William Bewers /of / Highfield, Barking / in the County of Essex. / We, the undersigned, your / fellow townsmen and friends / desire to express our esteem for your character / and our high appreciation of the services / you have rendered to the community / during the long period of / Thirty years. / This testimonial / has been subscribed for by persons of all / shades of opinion because, during your / residence among us, instead of being / restricted to any sect or party, your efforts / have been freely bestowed upon every / movement which has proved to be of / public advantage. / We have noticed the interest you have / taken in the cause of Local Government, / the zeal you have shown in the promotion of / Technical and Secondary education, / and your benevolent work in connection / with the Ragged School; and those / who have known you well remember / with pleasure and gratitude that, while / you have been forward in the service of / Religion and humanity, you have / been equally anxious to promote / healthy amusements for the people. / We ask your acceptance of the / Clock and Tazzas / which accompany the album, as a / small mark of our esteem and affection / and our good wishes for your / future welfare.
Inscription Gold Tooled On front cover: PRESENTED TO / Mr. William Bewers / BY THE / INHABITANTS / OF / BARKNG

Alternative reference

Entry Number 1607

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