OLD DEVONPORT . UK
www.olddevonport.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: March 30, 2016.
Webpage updated: March 30, 2016

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WHO WAS WHO IN OLD DEVONPORT

EDWARD BLACKALL (1850-1925)

Three times on Sundays and often a couple of times during the week, Mr Edward Blackall would trudge from his home in Stoke to Ford Wesleyan Methodist Chapel to attend services.  He was a very devout man, of whom it was said that he gave a proportion of his income to charitable causes rather than use it for worldly pleasure or social display.

Mr Blackall was born in New Brighton Cheshire, in 1850 and appears to have been baptized by his parents, Roger and Martha Blackall, at Wrenbury Church on June 30th of that year.  He next appeared in Battersea, London, as a cheesemonger in 1871, married to Emma and with a baby son, Frederick Alfred Clarence Blackall.  They soon had a daughter, Amy Florence M Blackall, after which Emma must have passed away as Edward re-married, to a Miss Jane Tompkins, at Luton, in Bedfordshire, in 1874.

From what appears to have been a very poor and mysterious background, Edward was a solicitor's managing clerk when the census was taken at 15 Clyde Street, Devonport, in 1881.  The two children were with them and they accommodated a boarder.  Mr Blackall soon transferred to accountancy and took an active interest in the running of Board of Poor Law Commissioners, the Devonport School Board and the Devonport Blind Institution, not to mention the Belmont and Devonport Wesleyan Methodist circuits.  During his life he was instrumental in the founding of the Devonport Permanent Benefit Building Society, of which he was the managing director, and was at one time president of the Liberal Association.  He became the local manager for the North British and Mercantile Insurance Company Ltd and a trustee of the Union Savings Bank.

Edward Blackall entered the Devonport Corporation in 1888 and represented Ford and Stoke wards at different periods.  He was chosen to be an Alderman in 1904 having been the Mayor of the Borough during 1903-04.  He was re-elected Mayor again in 1904 and in 1912-13.  In 1914 he became the very last Mayor of Devonport.  Although he had always strongly opposed the amalgamation of the Three Towns, in the new Greater Plymouth he became the Deputy Mayor.

At around 9.45pm on the evening of Tuesday June 16th 1925 Mr Blackall passed away after suffering a short period of failing health.  He was 75.  The funeral service took place at Belmont Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on Friday June 19th 1925.  The oak coffin lined with violet velvet was laid to rest in Weston Mill Cemetery.  His second wife had pre-deceased him but he was survived by his son, Frederick A C Blackall, and his daughter, now Mrs Greaves, the wife of the Reverend J G Greaves, who led the service.