Dr. William M Coultate – History Summary
Born at Clitheroe, 1813
Attended Clitheroe Royal Grammar School
1821 family moved to Burnley
Attended Burnley Grammar School where he once had a “good licking!”
Served an apprenticeship as a medical practitioner with his father
Attended the Medical Schools in Dublin receiving his License of the Apothecaries Hall in 1836
Continued studies. 1838 became a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons and in 1858 a Fellow. (F.R.C.S.)
Partnership practise with his father
1842 appointed surgeon to Habergham Eaves.
1849 married Eliza Jane Thompson, daughter of William Thompson owner of Primrose Printing Works, Clitheroe.
1850 was elected town’s commissioner
1853 appointed surgeon to the 5th Royal Lancashire Militia
1855 father dies
1861 was elected Senior Alderman and Deputy Mayor.
1868 appointed chairman of the committee for securing the election of Radical candidate Mr. Richard Shaw who was the first elected MP for Burnley.
1869 Made county magistrate
1871 his wife dies
1882 Dies of heart attack
Positions held at the time of his death:-
Chairman of the Gas Committee
Vice Chairman of the Improvement Committee
Chairman of the Trustees of the Mechanics Institution
Governor of Burnley Grammar School
President of the Burnley Choral Society
Chairman of the Liberal Association
WMC devoted his life to the improvement of the working class. In his role as Alderman he took on the management of utility companies, particularly the gas works, and fought for keeping local taxation down but building for the future. As town commisioner he was instrumental in securing the Royal Charter for Burnley to become a Municipal Borough with its own Town Council.
While he never stood for parliament he was the influence behind the electing of Liberal members of Parliament. When Gladstone became the Liberal Prime Minister in 1880, Peter Rylands was MP for Burnley. Interestingly in 2010 the seat returned to the Liberals
Excerpt from WMCs speech at MPs annual address, Burnley, 1880