MAYOR JOHN WILLIAMS & KINGSTON’S FAIRFIELD…

Abstract

MAYOR JOHN WILLIAMS & KINGSTON’S FAIRFIELD. A TRIBUTE TO JUNE SAMPSON, LOCAL HISTORIAN & JOURNALIST.

John Williams, Mayor of Kingston in 1858, 1859 and 1864, was an energetic, public-spirited, self-educated man who had poor and humble beginnings.  He came to Kingston in 1851 to take over the ailing Griffin Hotel which he developed into a flourishing enterprise that was highly regarded. He was instrumental in securing the Fairfield as a recreation ground for the townsfolk and played a part in improving the Promenade on the River Thames. While he acquired enemies, notably Alderman Frederick Gould, his civic funeral in 1872 and obituary tributes indicated that overall he was a greatly respected and valued man. Local historian June Sampson’s view that John Williams deserved greater recognition in Kingston was justified and a memorial in the Fairfield would seem appropriate for this

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The Author

David A. Kennedy, PhD

About 20 years ago, I accompanied my late wife to some talks on the use of computers in historical research and began to help her with her genealogical studies. Later, I took part in a project, organised by the Centre for Local History Studies at Kingston University, to digitise the Enumerators’ Books for the Kingston Census of 1851-1891. This rekindled my interest in history, especially that of Kingston upon Thames, where I live. This website has been set up so that I can share my research findings, some based on digitised material, with others who may be interested in them.

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