Sir William Treloar


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Sir William Purdie Treloar would be our most famous of all Treloar’s.


Listed below are contributions about Sir William.

I thank all who passed this information to me for use on this page.

Quotation from the Treloar Genealogy book by Orson Lee Treloar

SIR William Purdie TRELOAR, son of Thomas TRELOAR and Elizabeth ROBERTSON was born 13 January 1843, at 7 Holland St., Blackfriars, Southwark, London; He died 6 September. 1923 and is buried at Norwood Cemetery, Shirley, Surrey, Eng.; He married 20 March 1869 St. Margarets, Westminster, London, Annie BLAKE, dau. of George BLAKE of Mount St., Grosvenor Square, London, she was seven months older than Sir William; she died 29 July 1909.

Sir William Purdie Treloar and Annie Blake left no children but adopted two, Florence TRELOAR (Florence Kilner), a niece of Mrs. Thomas TRELOAR (Sir William’s mother), d. 17 Apr. 1953 at Wykedene, Eng., age 84 yrs.; and Royson TRELOAR, son of Thomas TRELOAR, a nephew of Sir William.

After discontinuing school at the age of 15 Sir William was associated with his father in the coconut fibre and carpet business and acquired the firm when his father died. It was to gain some improvements in the business district where ‘Treloar’s Carpet Co. was located that led Sir William into politics (he ran for City Councilman) and resulted in his later being Lord Mayor of London (1907).

He was known as “The Children’s Lord Mayor.” He was greatly interested in poor children, especially poor crippled children. In 1893 he started in earnest to improve their condition. He sent hampers of food to their homes for Christmas and entertained twelve hundred children at a banquet in Guildhall.

His interest in children reached its climax with his decision to run for Lord Mayor and build a hospital for crippled children. He accomplished his goal and the result, The Lord Mayor Treloar Cripples’ Hospital and College, Alton, Hants., Eng. is still in operation now under the name of Lord Mayor Treloar Orthopaedic Hospital.

Sir William was knighted in 1900; made Baronet 1907. He made three visits to the U. S. His publications include: Prince of Palms, Wilkes and the City 1917, and Lord Mayor’s Diary, 1920.

Contributed by Roger Nichols in Sioux City, Iowa, USA

His own book is very instructive regarding his participation in the government of the City of London

[William Purdie Treloar, A Lord Mayor’s Diary, 1906-07, (London: John Murray, 1920)].

On 21 December 1881, he bacame a Common Councilman for the Ward of Farringdon Without with the intention ofcompleting the improvement of Ludgate Hill. He served for 11 years. On 3 June 1892, he then became an Alderman for the same ward, and separately Chairman of the Commissioners of Sewers. On 24 June 1899, he was elected Sheriff and gave up the position 28 September 1900. Six years later he was elected Lord Mayor of London.

The book also quotes a letter of 28 March 1900:

“Home Office March 28th, 1900, Sir, The Queen will confer the honour of knighthood upon you at Windsor to-morrow, March 29th. You should travel by the train leaving Paddington at l.50, and should wear ordinary morning dress (frock coat). Luncheon will be served at the Castle . . .” He then writes, “I went to Paddington in accordance with this letter . . . .After lunch we were taken to the Queen . . . . I had been duly instructed, and a cushion was properly placed for me to kneel upon . . . . the Equerry gave Her Majesty her sword, with when she lightly touched me on each shoulder, and said, . . .’Sir William Treloar.” I then rose, and backed out as well as I could . . .”

A bust of Sir William in ceremonial robes is mounted on a pillar before the upper and lower schools and hospital founded by him for physically handicapped children at Alton, north of Portsmouth and about 30 miles from Winchester (official name: The Lord Mayor Treloar Cripples” Hospital and College, Genealogy, p. 23).

Contributed by Peter Treloar – Canberra, Australia

Below is a transcript of a newspaper article printed in 1907 about Sir William’s visit to Cornwall. It was in broadsheet, almost a full page.

1907, a visit from Sir William Treloar, Lord Mayor of London, native of Helston.
From the Trengrouse Family Album



The long-talked-of visit of the Lord Mayor of London (Sir William Treloar) to Cornwall, the county which gave birth to his immediate ancestors, has now passed the stage of anticipation, and come within the realm of realisation – of enjoyable realisation, it may be added. The present week is one which will long be remembered by the inhabitants of the western-most county; to the children who have seen, and who will yet see the face of “England’s bonniest great man,” it has meant much, while those who occupy prominent positions in the public life of the county, as well as the generality of the public, have recognised and appreciated the honour conferred on the Duchy by the visit of the chief citizen of the metropolis. But the gratification does not end here, for the Lord Mayor himself soon made it known on coming into the county that the visit was one to which he had long looked forward. He went further and said he should look upon his journey through the Duchy as one of the events of his life.


Rain was falling somewhat heavily at Lostwithiel when the train conveying the Lord Mayor and party arrived at 11.50am on Monday morning. The Mayor of Lostwithiel (Alderman J H Dingle), Mr R Barclay-Allardice (ex-Mayor), Aldermen G Hext and J Santo, Councillors J A Beswarick, W H Brewer, E R Brown, F A Green, J H Jeffery, G T Levers, W P Lewis, R Pease, J M Rowe, and W Pease (Town Clerk), and several hundred persons lined the approaches to the station, and the platform (which had been tastefully decorated) was crowded. As the Lord Mayor stepped on to the platform he was lustily cheered, and after introductions had taken place, the Town Clerk read the following address: –

To the Right Hon. The Lord Mayor of London,

Sir William Treloar, Bart.

We, the Mayor, Aldermen, and burgesses of the borough of Lostwithiel, desire to offer a hearty welcome to your lordship on the occasion of your first official visit to your native county.

We beg to congratulate you as a distinguished Cornishman on having attained to the high position of Lord Mayor of the Metropolis of the British Empire.

We hope that your visit will give you much pleasure, and feel assured that you will receive the heartiest of welcomes from one and all.

(Signed) J H DINGLE, Mayor.

W PEASE, Town Clerk.

The Mayor, in asking the Lord Mayor to accept the address as a memento of his visit, expressed the pleasure of the inhabitants of Lostwithiel that in his lordship’s journey throughout the Duchy he had made the first stop at Lostwithiel.

The Lord Mayor, replying amid cheers, said: – Mr. Mayor, and gentlemen of the Town Council of Lostwithiel, – It gives me very great pleasure to be here to-day, and I am delighted that you have thought fitting to come here in this rather unfavourable weather to present me with an address. (Applause.) I am very proud of being the Lord Mayor of the great City of London, but I am still more proud of being a Cornishman. (Loud cheers.) I very much appreciate this mark of your respect and esteem, and I look forward to it as a happy augury of my journey through the Duchy, which I am sure, will be one of the events in my life. (Cheers.) I look forward to the honour that is to be conferred upon me by Cornishmen during this week as one of the greatest events of my mayoralty, and although I have many great events in London, where I receive Royalties and other distinguished people, there is nothing which will give to my term of office greater pleasure and greater satisfaction than the honour which has this day been conferred upon me, and the honours which I am to receive later on from other portions of this dear old Duchy. (Cheers.) I thank you one and all for this very nice, touching, and graceful compliment. (Cheers.)

The train again stopped at Golant, a small station on the Fowey branch line, where the school children had been formed up, and the St Sampson’s handbell ringers entertained Sir William and his party to a pretty selection. The Lord Mayor repeatedly acknowledged the cheers of the people.


The special train arrived at Fowey at 12.10. Rain was falling as it steamed into the station, but this did not in any way mar the enthusiasm of an immense crowd, who lustily cheered as the Lord Mayor and those travelling by the special train stepped on to the platform. Among the group on the platform were the Mayors of Penryn (Mr. J Powell) and Mrs. Powell, the Mayors of Penzance, (Mr. A K Barnett), Bodmin (Mr. T Hore), Liskeard (Mr. S Bone), Canon Boles (St. Winnow); the following members of the Fowey Parish Council :- Messrs F J Denison (chairman), W Smitham (vice-chairman), R Vincent, W H Hooper, W Cornish, F H Knight, J W Denison, J H Hannan, G Varcoe, Jun, and R T Heller (clerk); the following governors of the Fowey Grammar School :- Canon Purcell (vicar of Fowey), Messrs. E Atkinson, Caleb Thomas, F J Denison, S Gale, and J P Carter; Messrs. H Hodge, A Carkeek, W J Graham, and T E Wakefield, County Councillors; J Teare Harry (president of the Cornish Association of the National Union of Teachers), W J Mock (county accountant), F R Pascoe (county education secretary), J Strong (secretary to Liskeard District Education Committee).

After the Lord Mayor had been introduced by the High Sheriff of Cornwall to the Cornish Mayors assembled, and to members of the Parish Council, the party made their way to a stage erected outside the station building, the boys of the Naval Crusaders forming a guard of honour, where an address was presented to his lordship by Mr. F J Denison on behalf of the Parish Council and the inhabitants of Fowey. The rain now ceased, and as the sun endeavoured to make its presence felt the scene was quite a brilliant one, with the bright colours of the mayoral robes relieving the dark clothes of others taking part in the ceremony.

Mr F J Denison, as chairman of the Parish Council, then read the following address, which was illuminated, and subsequently presented to Sir William :-

We, the chairman and members of the Fowey Parish Council, desire to take this opportunity to bid you a very hearty welcome to our ancient town.

We feel it to be a great kindness on your part that you have so graciously responded to the invitation given to you to come into our midst, and most warmly congratulate ourselves that Fowey has been given the distinguished honour of being first to welcome you during your present visit to Cornwall.

My Lord Mayor, whilst regarding with fullest admiration the vast and glorious commercial splendour of the great metropolis of which you are the presiding magistrate, we feel that you, as a true son of Cornwall, will share with us the pardonable pride of remembering that Fowey also has a great historic past. When in the year (AD) 1347 King Edward III called for ships and men to blockade Calais, 770 “gallants” of Fowey sailed forth in their 47 ships to do his Royal bidding, forming a part of the fleet of 700 sail, then flying the George for England, that appeared off the French port. To that fleet, my Lord Mayor, the port of London sent 662 mariners and 25 ships.

On behalf of this ancient town and its people whom we represent, we offer to you, my Lord Mayor and sheriffs, our very heartiest greetings.

Loud cheers rang out as the Lord Mayor received the address. In replying, he said it gave him very great pleasure indeed to be there, and to receive from them that generous address. He was very proud of being the Lord Mayor of the city of London. (Hear, hear.) He was still more proud of being a Cornishman. (Cheers.) At a meeting the other day in London a gentleman from East Anglia boasted that they had sent 30 or 40 men to be Lord Mayors of the City of London during the last 400 or 500 years. He pointed out to that gentleman that a live donkey was better than a dead lion – (laughter) – and that Cornwall was, therefore, better than East Anglia, inasmuch as Cornwall had at the present moment a live Lord Mayor. (Laughter.) And he believed that the City of London, having tasted and known what it was to have a Cornishman to be their Lord Mayor, would soon look out for another one. (Laughter.) They only wanted to know what sort of men they were to realise that they were the best they could get, and he had every reason to believe that the year after next they would have the honour of having another Cornishman Lord Mayor of the City of London. (Cheers.) And so it would go on they would find. (Laughter.) They would be searching Cornwall over to get the best men and call them up to the City of London to come and preside over that great city. (Cheers.) He was very proud of what they were doing for him that day, and he was proud that his fellow-countrymen in the Duchy desired to pay him the great compliment of giving him the freedom of two of their boroughs – or one borough and one city. He was delighted to think that old town of Fowey was so generous as to present him with such a delightful address. He thanked them “One and All,” and as Cornishmen he told them he looked forward to that week as one of the proudest weeks of his life. (Cheers.) He had many great functions to perform in the City, but there was nothing which would live longer in his memory than the reception which he was about to receive, and was receiving, in that dear old Duchy. He thanked them all. (Cheers.)

A procession was formed, and marched to the Fowey Grammar School. It was headed by Sergt.-Major Hicks and Sergt. Penrose (mounted marshals); a number of the Fowey coast-guard, under Station Officer Stark, then followed the fire brigade and their fire engine. Members of the “Treffry” Court of Foresters, in their regalia and carrying their banner, came next and immediately behind came Troy Town band (Bandmaster Cleave), and the boys of Fowey Church Co. of Naval Crusaders (Capt. Hannan and Commander Rev S V Purcell). After the governors of the Grammar School, county officials, members of the Parish Council, scholars of the Grammar School, the Cornish Mayors, and at the end the Lord Mayor and Sheriff Dunn. In addition to those already mentioned as being at the station to receive the Lord Mayor, there were at the schools Mr. W B S Hawkins (head-master), Mr. A T Quiller-Couch, Dr. Boger, Mr. S Bowe, and Mrs. J de Cressy Treffry (governors), Mr. J de Cressy Treffry and Mr. G Lory (hon. Secretary of the London Cornish Association). As the Lord Mayor descended from his carriage members of the Plymouth Royal Marine Band played a fanfare, and this was followed by loud cheering.

Mr. O Thomas then read an address in Latin, welcoming the Lord Mayor, and it was presented to his lordship. At the invitation of Canon Purcell, Sir William opened the door of the new school. As he did so the scholars sang a verse of the “Old Hundredth,” after which his lordship entered the building with Canon Purcell (chairman of the governors), and after a moment’s conversation in the hall he emerged again. Cheers for the Lord Mayor were called for and heartily given, as well as a cheer for the Lady Mayoress. The singing by the scholars of the song “Gaudeamus” concluded the proceedings, and Sir William drove away to the luncheon tent at the other side of the school buildings.

About 220 were present at the luncheon. The tables were beautifully laid out, and the Royal Marine String Band rendered a delightful programme of music. Canon Purcell presided, supported by the Lord Mayor, Sheriff Dunn, the Bishop of Truro (Dr. Stubbs), the Bishop of St.Germans (Dr. Cornish), Mr Freeman-Thomas, MP, Miss C A Hanson, Mrs. Purcell, Mrs. Stubbs, the Mayors of Plymouth, Devonport, Bodmin, Launceston, Liskeard, Penzance, Truro, Lostwithiel, Falmouth, and Penryn, the High Sheriff of Cornwall, Mr. W Hawk (Callington), Mr. F Buller Howell, Mr. A T Quiller-Couch, Mr. E Atkinson, Mr. W B S Hawkins, BA, and Mr. C T W Phillips.

After the loyal toasts had been honoured, the Chairman, in proposing “The Lord Mayor and Sheriff of the City of London,” said many letters regretting inability to be present had been received from prominent Cornishmen, including the Earl of Mount Edgeumbe and Lord Courtney of Penwith. When a few months ago the governors talked of opening their new Grammar School their wildest imaginations never soared to the height of having the Lord Mayor and the Sheriff as their guests. (Applause.) It was, therefore, all the more delightful to them to welcome a distinguished Cornishman in the Lord Mayor that day, and to ask him to open the new buildings. He must say, however, that the Lord Mayor and the Sheriff would not have been present, but for the indefatigable exertions of the Sheriff of Cornwall. (Applause.)

Sir William Treloar said that he was at a City banquet the other night, and heard the toastmaster whisper in the ear of the chairman, “Who is going to do the Lord Mayor tonight.” (Laughter.) Well, the Cornishmen were going to do the Lord Mayor this week – (laughter) – and he believed that Cornwall was going to do the Lord Mayor very well. (Laughter.) He was very pleased to be there that day, and very pleased to be called upon for the fourth, or the fourteenth time – (laughter) – to make a speech since he had been in Cornwall. (Laughter.) He was proud to come into the Duchy, and he was proud to believe that Cornish men and Cornish women were glad to see him. He was proud to believe that they believed him worthy of the position which he occupied, and if he was about right in that belief they could understand what a happy man he was that day. (Applause.) But it was a fact that there was no man in Cornwall to-day more happy and more grateful to his brother Cornishmen and brother Cornishwomen than the Lord Mayor of London. (Loud applause.) His heart was full of gratitude and joy, and he thanked the chairman and all the ladies and gentlemen, especially the Mayors of Cornwall who had been kind enough to come there that day in his honour. To all of them he returned his sincere and grateful thanks. (Applause.)

Sheriff Dunn, in response, said that on behalf of his brother Sheriff and himself he would like to say how much they appreciated the kindness of the good people of Cornwall, and, personally, how gratified he was at the reception the Lord Mayor had received at their hands. (Applause.) He had been taunted by the Lord Mayor because he was not a Cornishman, nor born in Cornwall, and the Lord Mayor had told him it was not necessary for him to come on that visit. He had, however, that he respected his office too much to stay away. (Laughter.)

In submitting “Success to the Fowey Grammar School,” the Bishop of Truro said that a certain Lord Mayor had said that Sheriffs are speechless, but they had certainly had brilliant and happy repartee from Sheriff Dunn. (Applause.) No one could, however, make that accusation against a bishop. (Laughter.) The idea of a bishop being speechless was almost an uncertainty; they could hardly conceive it. (Laughter.) When he was appointed a bishop he laid down a maxim for himself that he would lose no favourable opportunity of not making a speech – (laughter) – but he found it was impossible to live up to that excellent maxim. (Laughter.) They hoped that the traditions of that school as years went by – traditions which he was told could go back some centuries – would be the best of the great public schools of the county; traditions of sound knowledge and learning; and, not the least, of that educational discipline, truth, and simplicity of life, and frank comradeship which should be the chief characteristic of every English school. His quotation should be “What better than to see the old prosper.” (Hear, hear.) They wished it good luck in the name of the Lord. (Applause.)

Mr. W B S Hawkins (head-master) stated that in the year 1692 the Corporation of Fowey which then existed founded the Grammar Schools. To-day they had help from the County Council, who gave them a sum of money, and with that help and an endowment they had been able to build a school. The buildings embodied the enthusiasm and the sustained interest of more than two centuries. The schools had a reputation which he was sure was safe in the hands of the present governors.

Mr. A T Quiller-Couch, in reply, said for the past fifty years, owing to the competition of technical education on one side and the rise of elementary schools on the other, it had been a stormy time for grammar schools. They were extremely fortunate at Fowey with the grammar school, which had somehow or other kept its doors open, whilst grammar schools in some other towns had closed theirs. Some day he hoped justice would be done to those old grammar schools. They had done a wonderful work in their time. For 500 years they had kept alive a liberal education. In various parts of England they created good, sound Englishmen. Schools nowadays had to be adapted to the needs of the times. The governors there had been generously met by the County Committee, and they had been extremely fortunate in their two helpers – the architect (Mr. Northcote) and the builder (Mr. Blamey). They had built in faith, as everybody must who built for the young. He hoped that for many years that happy town would contain happy children taught to serve their country, to follow learning, and love the truth.

Mr. Freeman-Thomas, MP, in proposing “The Cornwall County Council,” remarked that whatever the merits and demerits of legislative efficiency in the Imperial Parliament, they would all agree that the legislative efficiency of their local parliament in Cornwall was of a high class and character, and consisted of untiring members, who conscientiously devoted their duties to the good of the community. The County Council had done a great work for education during the past few years. They had a keen sense of the importance of education, elementary, secondary, and technical, and had every desire of sending the children out into the world fully equipped in the battle of life. He was informed that the County Council for the past few years had not only given 800 pounds to that Fowey Grammar School, but had also founded schools at Helston, Truro, Penzance, Camborne, Liskeard, St. Austell, and Callington, and had also taken over a school at Camelford. That was a record that Cornishmen should be proud of.

Mr. W Hawk, vice-chairman of the County Council, in reply, said that in Cornwall they had plenty of beauty and attractions for visitors, and it was hoped that one of the results of the Lord Mayor’s visit would be to bring it prominently before the public. – Mr. F Buller Howell also responded.

The High Sheriff of Cornwall proposed “The Visitors,” and expressed the thanks of the people of Fowey to the Lord Mayor for his presence, and honouring the county with a visit. – The Bishop of St. Germans replied, and this concluded the toast list.

The Lord Mayor and company then proceeded to the Grammar School for the distribution of prizes. Over this gathering Canon Purcell presided, and on his right and left respectively were Sir William Treloar and Mr. Sheriff Dunn, and those also on the platform were the Bishop of St. Germans, the High Sheriff of Cornwall, the Mayor of Plymouth, and the governors of the school. The Cornish Mayors occupied the front seats in the body of the hall. The pupils having rendered the songs “Come lassies and lads,” and “Where the bee sucks,” the head-master presented an interesting report, and at the request of the Chairman, the Lord Mayor presented the certificates and prizes as under :-

London Matriculation – H S Graham, Jean G Boxhall, John D Boxhall, M R Cumberledge.

Oxford Senior – A Adams.

Prizes – Form V – English, M J Canning; mathematics and science, C A Widlake. Form IV – English, O Thomas; languages, Edith Thomas; mathematics and science, O Thomas. Form III – English, Hilda Thomas; general progress, Dorothy Polglaze and Winnie Daniel; languages, F Thomas. Form II – English, A C Hones; general progress, Florence Isbell and C Hone; mathematics and science, A C Hones. Form I – Form prize, G Tod; sewing, Dorothy Polglaze. Manual work – P Carnall.

Mr. Quiller-Couch moved a vote of thanks to the Lord Mayor, – Mr. S Rowe seconded, and it was unanimously carried.

The Lord Mayor, responding, said it had been a most interesting little function, and he was very proud and delighted that they had liked him to make the presentation. It was a very good thing for boys and girls to do their work in the schools and get prizes. It was a very great and proper ambition, but he should like to impress upon them that there was something more in this life wanted from them than the mere getting of a prize. What they had to do was not only to win prizes, but to discipline themselves to grow up to be good men and women. (Applause.) The mere getting of prizes would not do everything. They had to think they were going to be men and women in that great country. When they, the old grey-beards, had left, they were going to be the people to carry on the work of that great Empire, and they must try in every way to fit themselves for that, and they must try and discipline their minds to good. (Applause.) He was afraid all of them, if they did not try very hard, were apt to do the wrong thing, or to leave the right thing undone. It was a great and glorious chance for boys and girls to listen to the words of those who were so much older than they were, people who had experienced what life was and who could look back with many regrets and wish they had done differently in many ways, the great and glorious chance for all children to think of it early, to make up their minds not only to win prizes, but to be thoroughly good men and women. God bless them all. (Applause.) He was glad to have been there, and he was glad they were pleased he had come there. It had been a very pleasant afternoon for him, and he was quite certain that there was much for them to think of in what had taken place that day. He sincerely hoped they would take to heart even the few words he had said, and do their best to be good men and women. (Applause.) He did not know if the boys and girls would like it – perhaps, it was presumptive of him to offer it – but he should be pleased to write his name as Lord Mayor of London and the date on any of the prizes they have received that day, if they would come to Mr. Hanson’s house in the morning. (Cheers.)

The donors of the prizes were thanked, and the proceedings concluded with a verse of the National Anthem and cheers; after which the head-master and Mrs. Hawkins were “at home” to many of those attending the distribution ceremony. At this gathering a little girl appeared to be considerably embarrassed at the presence of the Lord Mayor, who doffed his hat and bent down and kissed her.

The Lord Mayor and the Sheriff subsequently went to the main entrance of the school, and there watched the elementary school children march past. Each scholar carried a garland of flowers, and curtseyed in passing Sir William Treloar being evidently highly delighted at this honour. Before he could return to the “at home” the Lord Mayor shook hands with many persons, those particularly desirous of doing so being members of the gentler sex. Subsequently the Lord Mayor, with the Sheriff and the High Sheriff of Cornwall and Canon Purcell, walked through the crowded streets to the elementary schools, where the youngsters had been assembled for tea. En route he was cheered heartily, and shook many persons by the hand. At the school he addressed a number who was partaking of tea, saying it was a great pleasure to see such nice-looking children – so happy and good. In the school-yard a crowd gathered around the Lord Mayor and his Sheriff, all eager to shake hands with one or the other, or, if possible, both, and Sir William created a great deal of amusement by stooping and kissing a lady of mature age who was in close proximity to his lordship. Not only were the crowd amused, but they cheered the action lustily. The lady, in spite of her years, blushed deeply, but withal her features appeared to express gratification. This familiar greeting seemed to create considerable favour with the many other ladies present, and they pressed around the Lord Mayor during the further progress through the yard, but he merely shook hands with about a couple of dozen, and bestowed no further kiss. Once outside the school premises the Lord Mayor and those with him made their way on foot still further up the hill to Fowey Hall, the mansion of the High Sheriff of the county.

A dinner party was given in his mansion in the evening by the High Sheriff of Cornwall. Those present included the Lord Mayor and Mr. Sheriff Dunn, Sir Colman and Lady Rashleigh, Canon and Mrs. Purcell, Mr. Edwin Hanson (Montreal), Major, Mrs., and Miss Edwards, Mr. And Mrs. Charles Treffry, Capt. and Mrs Poole, Capt. Hanson, Miss Johnstone, Mr. and Mrs. Quiller-Couch, and Miss Young-Jamieson.

At the conclusion of the dinner an “At home” was attended by members of the leading county families, the Mayor and Mayoress of Plymouth, the Mayor and Mayoress of Devonport, and the Mayor of Launceston. An excellent musical programme was provided. Miss Edith J Mildred, a Canadian contralto, delightfully sang several songs, the accompanist being Mr. F B Kiddle. Those present were enthusiastic in their praise of the efforts of Miss Kathleen Purcell as a harpist. This gifted lady is a niece of Canon Purcell, and has played before Royal persons. The town was prettily illuminated, and the whole of the day’s proceedings passed off in a highly satisfactory manner, thanks to the splendid efforts of the local committee.

In accordance with his promise, the Lord Mayor received a number of scholars at Fowey Hall on Tuesday morning, and signed his autograph in their prize books. Later in the day his lordship drove through the streets in his robes of office and inspected the decorations, which were looking at their best in the bright sunshine which prevailed. Sir William’s keen interest in crippled children was demonstrated by a kindly and gracious act which he performed before he left Fowey. During the morning it was made known to the Lord Mayor that a crippled child named Ethel Harris, age 14, daughter of John Harris (specially employed in connection with the clay traffic), was lying ill at the house of her parents, Station-road near Bodinnick ferry. The girl had heard of Sir William’s unbounded sympathy for crippled children, and she expressed a wish that she should be able to see him. She is a complete invalid, confined to bed, and has undergone several operations for her complaint. Sir William eagerly listened to the particulars told him with reference to the girl, and expressed his intention of personally visiting her before he left Fowey. He carried out his promise whilst on his way to Par Station, alighting from his carriage and going into the house in his robes. It is unnecessary to add that the visit of the Lord Mayor to the little sufferer and the kind words he said to her gave her great delight.

The Lord Mayor entrained at Par, a special saloon being connected with the 1.35 train from Plymouth. A huge crowd assembled on the platform, and gave his lordship a hearty send-off. At Truro the saloon was detached from the train, and placed into a siding, commanding a splendid view of the city of Truro. The Lord Mayor and those accompanying him were thoroughly interested in the view over the city, with the fine Cathedral in its midst, and the river flowing southward. The 2.44 limited express from Plymouth reached Truro at 4.10pm, when the saloon was attached and the journey continued to Gwinear-road.


The arrival of Sir William Treloar at Helston took place under most auspicious circumstances. The train, which was the ordinary one with a special saloon added, steamed into the station punctually at 5.15pm, and the Lord Mayor’s leaving the carriage was the signal for hearty cheers, to which he bowed his acknowledgement. There had assembled on the platform to receive him the Mayor of Helston (Mr. H Toy), Sir A Pendarves Vivian, the vicar of Helston (the Rev. W H M Milner), Dr, Taylor (Medical Officer of Health), the Mayor and Mayoress of Penryn (Mr. and Mrs. James Powell, Aldermen T Taylor and John James, Councillors J Toy, H Thomas, A R Thomas, F W Jeffery, and P R Perring, Messrs. T Jennings, E P Kendall, A H Michell (St. Helens, Lancashire), and J Shaw (Mr. Michell’s friend), J W Tyacke, H M Rogers, S Harris, H A L Rowe, A E Ratcliffe, T H Richards, J M Trezise, and Capt. Richards. The Lord Mayor was accompanied by the Sheriff of London (Mr. W H Dunn), and the High Sheriff of Cornwall. The station had been decorated with flags, and a portion of the platform laid with carpet. The spectators included a large contingent from the Truro Diocesan Home for Boys at Helston. On emerging from the railway station and leaving behind the cheering crowd, a pleasing scene presented itself. The weather was ideal – clear, and bright with sunshine – and from the somewhat high level of the decline which leads to the highway could be seen the old town spreading down the hillside. Fields slightly wooded extended on either hand; and in the extreme distance was noticeable a faint blue stretch of sea. From the grey tower of the ancient Parish Church a merry peal was ringing out. The moment the turn on to the highway was taken, the first of the decorations came in view, and as the centre of the borough was approached, it was apparent that the inhabitants, with the artistic instinct, and favoured by the ease with which a profusion of decorative foliage can be procured in the district, had in very many cases risen to the occasion. The premier decorations were several beautiful triumphal arches, each with an appropriate motto. In every case the materials were the same – Venetian masts, an abundance of evergreens, artificial flowers, and a large gold fringed and tasselled banner bearing the inscription. The first of those read :- “Wendron greets her son, Helston her youngest free-man.” In the heart of the town the decorations were more plentiful. Another triumphal arch bore the phrase, “Helston children unite with the Lord Mayor in helping the cripple children,” and the peculiar appropriateness of that inscription lay in the fact that it was near the platform upon which, yesterday, the Lord Mayor received at the hands of local children purses of money on behalf of the cripple children of the Metropolis. The fronts of many private residences had been very tastefully decorated. The scheme of decoration adopted in the case of the residence of the Mayor of Helston was of the simplest, and yet was very effective. Its main feature was an inscription in red on a white ground, “Welcome to the Lord Mayor.” The arrival of the open carriage containing the Lord Mayor, the Mayor, the Sheriff of London, and the High Sheriff of Cornwall at the Angel Hotel, where the Lord Mayor was staying, was witnessed by a large and enthusiastic crowd. The influx of visitors from a distance, which commenced early on Tuesday increased towards evening, and the streets of the neat and clean little hillside town showed an unwonted activity.

In the evening the Lord Mayor paid a visit to the fair, located in the cattle market, and delighted the youngsters congregated there by placing the roundabout at their disposal for a time.


The Helston Flora Day, which was yesterday kept up in an auspicious manner, has survived through many centuries, and still bears quaint traces of its remote origin. In common with many other old English festivals, its origin must be sought in the twilight age of tradition. Indeed, the Furry Dance, which is the main feature of the day’ events, has entwined in it a three-fold thread of tradition. One version of the origin of the dance represents it as originally an expression of joy on the part of the inhabitants of the town at their being left unharmed by a fiery dragon which passed over the place on one occasion. A second tradition ascribes the dance to the public rejoicings following the defeat of a marauding band of Saxons, who had landed on the neighbouring coast. The third theory is to the effect that the festival was originally one in honour of the goddess Flora on the return of spring. Formerly very early in the morning a number of young men and women used to go out into the country to breakfast. On their return they danced the Furry Dance along the streets and in and out of the houses of friends, to the lively accompaniment of the well-known tune. Later there used to be sung a song entitled the “Hal-an-tow,” the words of which give a curious mixture of Robin Hood, Spaniards, and “the knights of Christendom,” and also one “Aunty Mary Moyses,” the identity of whom it is difficult to imagine. And at noon, as now, the chief inhabitants and their friends enjoyed the Furry Dance, other enjoyable gatherings following.

Flora Day dawned with ominous skies, a lower temperature, and a stiff breeze tugging at the decorations. Shortly before seven am. the early morning dance started from the Guildhall, about a dozen couples going through the graceful and rapid evolutions of the Furry Dance to the music of the local Volunteers band. The dancers and bandsmen breakfasted at the Seven Stars Hotel, Bandmaster Harris presiding. The breakfast was given by the stewards.


About 10.15 am. a procession was formed and proceeded to the Angel Hotel, from whence they escorted the Lord Mayor to the Guildhall, which was to be the scene of the chief event of the day – the presentation of the freedom. The hall was soon well filled, the assembly including many prominent personages, among whom were, in addition to Sir William Treloar, the City Marshal (Col. Kearns), the Sheriff of London, the High Sheriff of Cornwall, and the Mayors of Helston, Truro, Bodmin, Penzance, Launceston, and Penryn.


The Mayor Helston, prefacing his remarks with the official terms of address, said they were assembled to-day on a very unique occasion. They had gathered to give a civic welcome the chief magistrate of the largest city in the world – (applause) – and they were quite conscious of the honour and distinction the Lord Mayor of London had conferred upon them in thus coming to be associated with their corporate life from that day. He was certain there was in the mind of every burgess in the borough an ardent wish that the time his lordship might spend among them might be to him a time of much happiness. (Applause.)

There were three outstanding reasons why they were glad the Lord Mayor was becoming associated with their corporate life.

In the first place they remembered he was one of themselves. (Applause.) He was one of the band of Cornishmen who had honoured the county in the striking sequence of their career, and the old county was always glad to give back cordial welcome to her sons, conscious of the fact that in their distinction they gave her a reflected glory, and that day in Helston they were quite conscious of that fact.

A second reason why they were glad to be associated in that ceremony was that the Lord Mayor came to them as the Lord Mayor of the crippled children. (Applause.) They were delighted that he had lent the influence of his great position, and his great ability, to give expression to a sentiment of sympathy on behalf of those who suffer.

But the third reason, perhaps was to them the most impressive. He came to them as chief magistrate and civic head of the great metropolis, and they discerned in that not only the honour of a visit, but the forging of a link of civic intimacy between their town and the City of London. (Applause.)

It was then for these considerations they were proud to admit the Right Hon. Sir William Treloar – (applause) – as a honourable freedom of the borough. They had some striking names on their freemen roll. In 1785, Sir John St. Aubyn; in 1791, the Duke of Leeds; in 1825, Sir Richard Rawlinson Vyvvan – (loud applause) – and there were local names on that roll representing families of Rogers, Grylls, Robinson, Trevenning, Penberthy, and others he would not mention that day. They had, no doubt in admitting Sir William Treloar to that honourable freedom that he would sustain the traditions of the office, and they had no fear at all, but that he would do his best in the interest of their ancient and loyal borough. It remained simply for him to ask his acceptance of that casket. It was the unanimous expression of their Corporation – (applause) – and might he now venture to express the hope that this might remain in his family, and that in Sir William’s own life when the shadows came about him, might that be to him a reminder that those who dwelt in the land of his forefathers had gathered on that historic occasion to honour him in that way, glad to express their appreciation of his character, and their admiration of his career. (Cheers.)

The Town Clerk then read the text of the scroll. The freedom of the borough was inscribed on a beautifully illuminated scroll of vellum. Surmounting the text was an elaborate design of a crown with the Royal letters ER, one on each side, the borough arms, the ribbon inscription “Borough of Helston,” the county arms, relieved by a draped Union Jack, and the motto “One and All.” That is followed by the text – “At a meeting of the Town Council of the Borough of Helston held in the Council Chamber on Wednesday, the 19th day of December, 1906, it was unanimously resolved “That the Right Honourable Sir William Purdie Treloar, Knight, Lord Mayor of London, be admitted to the honorary freedom of this ancient borough, in recognition of the eminent position he occupies as Chief Magistrate of the City of London, and as a mark of the esteem in which he is held by the Corporation and burgesses of the borough.”

This is to certify that the Right Honourable Sir William Purdie Treloar, Knight, has this day been admitted to the honorary freedom of the Borough of Helston pursuant to the above resolution

(Signed) HENRY TOY, Mayor

J WALKER TYACKE, Town Clerk, May 8th, 1907.

The scroll was enclosed in a tube the ends of which were embossed with the borough and county arms in silver. The tube and its contents were placed in a handsome casket, which, on the suggestion of the Lord Mayor, symbolised the leading industry of the county by being composed of copper and tin of the Duchy, and very appropriately rested on a handsome plinth of Cornish granite. Upon the base were a couple of copper brackets carrying horizontally a hammered tin tube ornamented with a copper ribbon roll bearing the inscription – “Presented, with the freedom of the borough of Helston, to the Right Hon. The Lord Mayor London, Sir W P Treloar, Flora Day, May 8th, 1907. – Henry Toy, Mayor.” The casket is a gift of the Mayor of Helston and the work was executed in a very artistic manner by Mr. G Beringer, while the granite base was the gift of Messrs. John Freeman, Sons, and Co., of Penryn, who are extensively associated with the granite industry of Cornwall.

The Lord Mayor then subscribed to the following oath:-

I, Sir William Purdie Treloar, Knight, do solemnly declare that I will be good and true to our Sovereign Lord King Edward VII: that I will be obedient to the Lord Mayor of this borough: that I will maintain the franchises and customs thereof, and will keep this borough harmless in that which in me is: that I will also keep the King’s peace in my own person: that I will know no gatherings nor conspiracies made against the King’s peace, but I will warn the Mayor thereof, or hinder it to my power; and that all these points and articles I will well and truly keep according to laws and customs of the borough to my power.”

Sir William spoke as follows:-

Mr. Mayor, gentlemen of this honourable Council, Mr. High Sheriff, your Worships, ladies and gentlemen, I think if there is any occasion when a man might be excused for feeling proud, this surely is one of them. Imagination may help you to think what my feelings are, but I am not able in words thoroughly to explain those feelings. My reception in the Duchy, the enthusiasm in this dear old borough of Helston – (applause) – the gathering of so many Cornish men and women unman me to a great extent, and render me unfit to say all I should like to say. I assure you Mr. Mayor that I feel most deeply the honour that this Council has conferred upon me by making me one of your fellow citizens. (Applause.) There is no honour, there can be no honour which may come to me during my mayoralty which I can prize as I do this. (Applause.) I set greater store in my heart upon the honour you have done me to-day than upon anything that has occurred to me in my long and busy life or in anything that can occur to me in the future years I have to pass here. (Applause.) I prize this casket, sir, which you in your generosity are giving me, and I prize still more this scroll. I shall set great store by it, and I hope that those who follow me will view it with the same reverence and affection that I now view it to-day, and I hope it will be a heirloom in my family. (Applause.) The Mayor, in his beautiful address to you to-day, has referred to the fact that we who work and spend our lives in the municipal work of this country are trying to do the best for our fellow citizens. It is not for everyone to receive as I am receiving to-day such a recompense I take from you with heartfelt thanks. I am not able to say more to you. I am here receiving this honour from you to-day. I am to join you later in the old dance – the Furry Dance – (applause) – a custom which, as far as I know, no man has yet been able to find the beginning of. I have endeavoured to ascertain when the dance first took place in Helston, but I cannot find out. I know that it was and is a symbol of the community of hearts of the people of this town. It means that, on this day at all events, we are all one in feeling – we are not divided by questions of creed or politics; we are all one, and we go into one another’s houses to lead us to believe that we are to share everything with one another. (Laughter and applause.) I cannot say more to you; I appreciate so much what you have done for me that I am unable to put it properly into words; but you must feel that I am sincerely touched by what has just occurred; you must feel, although it is said that “When the heart is full the mouth speaketh,” that there are times when the heart is full to overflowing and the mouth refuses to speak of it. I thank you Mr. Mayor and gentlemen for your kindness. (Loud applause.)

Mr. W J Winn (borough surveyor) called for three cheers for the Lord Mayor, and the suggestion was instantly acted upon in a very enthusiastic manner.

This concluded the proceedings in connection with the presentation.


Though in a degree lacking the civic dignity of the presentation of the freedom and the attractions of music and action associated with the Furry Dance, the event that took place immediately in front of the fine monument that forms the main entrance to the Bowling Green was of a very interesting character.

Sir William Treloar had handed to him, by Councillor John Toy, on behalf of the inhabitants of the town and district of Helston, the sum of 50 pounds for his cripple children fund, and on behalf of the givers the hope was expressed that he would be successful in raising the 60,000 pounds which he was aiming at. A touching feature was the gift of 15 shillings from the boys of the Truro Diocesan Boys’ Home (Helston), which consisted of the weekly pence of the boys during Lent, set aside for that purpose. Two of the boys presented to the Lord Mayor a simply-worded, but very appropriate and touching address, in which it was explained that the gift was an offering of the boys and from their friends in the Helston Workhouse, to be taken to London and used for the benefit of their little friends there.


The Lord Mayor, whose heart was evidently touched by the gift and the terms of the address, returned thanks, and in the course of his remarks gave some details respecting his cripple children’s fund. He said that when he inaugurated the fund, some 15 years ago he raised 250 pounds, and ever since the fund had steadily augmented, until it was now, he was glad to say, possible to send each Christmas a hamper to each of the cripple children of London, notwithstanding the fact that they numbered over 7,000, in addition to those in hospitals and other institutions. During those earlier years his wife and himself decided that if he was ever made Lord Mayor he would endeavour to raise a fund which should be of permanent benefit to the cripples. (Applause.) He felt confident that he would be able to raise the amount he had set his heart upon before the termination his year of office. He felt sure that the fact that Helston had honoured him so much, and that they had handed him that cheque would influence a large number of the charitably disposed people in London and elsewhere to send him contributions. (Applause.)


Great interest was taken by the public in the Furry Dance, which started from the Guildhall about 12.30pm, and the streets were thronged by people in holiday attire, who by rail and road had come from all parts to witness the interesting gathering. Those taking part in the dance were marshalled in the large hall on the ground floor, and then, the Volunteer Band leading, they danced along Meneage-street , where according to the programme the shop of Mr. E Dunstan, the residences of Dr. Anderson and Mr. R G Rapson, the shops of Mr. Hedley Thomas and Mr. Josiah Roberts were danced through. Then across the street through Mr. S R Harris’s business premises and Mr. H A L Rowe’s house and through Mr. John James’ shop and garden into Wendron-street. The party next went down Wendron-street, through Messrs. Read and Roberts’ premises and into Church-street, through the Truro Diocesan Home For Boys, Dr. Taylor’s house, the Mayor’s house, the house and grounds of the Rev. W M H Milner, and the house and grounds of Mr. C Wakeham. Coinage Hall-street was then reached and the dancers proceeded through the houses of Mr. E P Kendall and Mrs. Barnes, and into the garden of Mr. T Heynes, where the party were photographed. Later, the perambulation concluded at the Corn Exchange with a country dance. Notwithstanding the ominous look of the weather in the early portion of the morning, the day was fine – although not so sunny and mild as Tuesday. Mr. E P Kendall acted as MC, and assisted in marshalling the dancers. There was a little delay in setting out, but otherwise the arrangements worked with the utmost smoothness, and a clearer way was preserved along the centre of the road for the dancers than was the case last year.

The Lord Mayor took part in the dance, and all the comment one heard in the crowd were favourable.

Sir William Purdie Treloar (centre background, with beard) taking part in the Furry Dance 1907

The dancers were : Mr. H M Rogers and Miss Kathleen Tyracke, Mr. A E Ratcliffe and Miss Wearne, the Lord Mayor and Mrs. H M Rogers, the High Sheriff and Mrs. Ratcliffe, Dr. Taylor and Mrs. Pike, Mr. L Rogers and Miss Raffles Flint (Ladock), Mr. Arthur Ford (Pengreep), and Miss Rogers (Penrose), Mr. C N Tyack and Miss G. Batten (Penzance), Mr. J de Cressy Treffry and Miss H Batten, Col. Mansell (Falmouth) and Mrs. Treffry, Mr. Rowe, RA, and Miss Krieger, Capt. Hall and Miss Leaky, the Hon. Percy Battye and Miss B Rogers, Mr. Saunders and Miss Busk (Falmouth), Capt. Kennedy and Miss Saunders (Falmouth), Mr. M Watson and Miss Pears (Falmouth), Mr. Hornsby and Miss Baker (Falmouth), Mr. W a’Beckett and Miss Frances Barry O’Brien (Porkellis), Mr. E Pascoe and Miss M Lanyon (Truro), Mr. H Blee and Miss M Richards (Camborne), Mr. T Rogers and Miss N Rogers (Helston), Mr. Broad and Miss Buckle (London), Mr. P Archer (Falmouth) and Miss Eveline Broad (Falmouth), Mr. P Broad and Miss Granger, Mr. J Mudge (Marazion), Miss C Wearne (Helston), Mr. Barcley Fox and Miss Fox (Falmouth), Mr. G Lory (London), and Mrs. Pengelly (Weymouth), Mr. A Pengelly (Weymouth), and Mrs. H N Wakeham (Helston), Mr. A N F Goodman (Devonport) and Miss R N Willey (Plymouth), Dr. Leverton-Spry, jun., and Miss Drury (Cambridge), Mrs. Watts (Falmouth) and Miss Arundell (Perranarworthal), Mr. P Lillingstone and Miss Lillingstone (Newlyn), Mr Lillingstone, and Miss Langton (Penzance), Lieut.-Col. Cornish and Miss Bull (Falmouth).


Although the weather, especially in the morning was dull and threatening, apparently more people attended the Flora Day celebrations this year than on any previous occasion. While the dance itself was in progress the main thoroughfares were literally thronged, but a good course was kept for the dancers. The Lord Mayor and all others who took part in it seemed to enjoy thoroughly the quaint and attractive dance. In the evening the outgoing trains were packed, and along all roads from the town there was a constant stream of traps, bicycles, and motor cars, and Helston did not reach its normal quietude until a very late hour.


The Lord Mayor spent the early part of the day at St. Keverne, where he has promised to take part in the inauguration of a new peal of bells, to witness a lifeboat launch, and attend a luncheon.

As far as is known, Sir William should arrive at Truro by motor this afternoon shortly after 4.30 o’clock, entering the city by way of Lemon-street. He will immediately proceed to the Municipal Buildings, where he will be welcomed by the Mayor, who is giving an “at home” here from 4.30 to six o’clock. At 5 o’clock a break will be made in order that the freedom may be conferred on the Lord Mayor. This interesting ceremony, which will be open to the public, will take place in the Town Hall, and will last about half-an-hour. Subsequently, at seven o’clock, a banquet will vbe served in the Council Chambers, to which a limited number of the public will be admitted, the tickets being five shillings each, exclusive of wines. Sir William will be compelled to leave at about 9.30 o’clock, in order to catch the 10 o’clock train to London.

The 2nd Truro Company of the Boys’ Brigade, who will accompany the Lord Mayor to the station in full uniform, will fall in at the Drill Hall at 8.30 this evening.

The information produced on this website has been reproduced with the kind permission of Patricia Taggart, Editor of “Cornish News” in New Zealand and Curator of the TRELOAR FAMILY Website.