Wiliam Ransom

His father had settled here in business as a printer about 1819. b1822 Hastings. He went to private elementary school then was self-taught, joining the Mechanics' Institution aged fourteen and eventually becoming its president. In 1840 he became a Wesleyan and was for over fifty years a preacher; he was also an advocate of temperance. In 1848 he founded the Hastings News, the first paper in the town. He was the first person to publish the writings of Barbara Bodichon and Bessie Rayner Parkes. He served on the committees of the British Schools, then on the School Board from 1871 to 1880 and 1889-95. He was elected to the council in 1895 by the largest majority ever secured in Hastings. However, he declined to stand for re-election in 1897, preferring to concentrate on his work on the School Board, of which he became chairman in 1898. He was a friend of Mrs Cobden Unwin. In the April 1891 census he was visiting Mme Bodichon, who died that June. Mme B's housekeeper since 1880 was Eliza Arabella Sanderson, and he married her at the Congregational Church in Clive Vale, in August 1891. He was sixty-eight and Eliza, a 'zealous Progressionist' and feminist, was forty-four. They lived at 13 Githa Road. He died in 1906.
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