John How, J.P. [Obituary]

Trans. Devon Assoc., 1880, Vol XII, pp. 57-58.


Rev. W. Harpley, M.A.

Prepared by Michael Steer

The obituary was presented at the Association’s July 1880 Totnes meeting. Records (accounts and papers) of John Howe & Co, General Merchants of Bideford, for the period 1900-2000 are held in the North Devon Record Office collection. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

John How, J.P., of Woodville, near Bideford, was for many years head of the well-known firm of timber, coal, and manure merchants, trading under the style of "J. How and Co."

He took an active part in public affairs; he was twice mayor, and the chairman of the first School Board at Bideford. He was also a guardian of the poor, which office he held up to his decease. A few years before his death his health began to decline, and he was compelled to sever his connection with the Corporation and the School Board.

Mr. How joined the Association in 1871, and was elected one of the Vice-Presidents for that year, when, as Mayor of the borough, he gave a hearty reception to the members of the Association, and largely aided in securing the success of the meeting at Bideford.

In religion Mr. How was a Wesleyan. He died on Saturday, February 21st, 1880, at the comparatively early age of 57 years. The funeral was of a public character, and the procession was of great length, all his employés and servants, many of the tradesmen and other residents of the town, and farmers of the neighbourhood, being present. The bells of St Mary's Church were tolled at intervals during the day, at the request of the rector, as a mark of esteem.