In the death of Mr. Maurice Skinner, who passed away at his residence at the Top end on Sunday night, Rushden loses one of its oldest and most highly respected inhabitants. He was seized with a stroke recently and death ensued on Sunday. On May 5th last Mr. Skinner attained his 87th birthday. He was born in Rushden, and Mr. Samuel Knight is one of the only surviving contemporaries of deceased.
Mr. Skinner leaves no family, and his wife predeceased him the greater part of half a century ago. He was well-known in Rushden, especially at the top end, where for a great number of years he carried on the business of grocer. He was a staunch Liberal and Progressive but never occupied any public office. He was a regular attendant at the Old Baptist chapel.
It was as a temperance man that Mr. Skinner was best known. He was one of the oldest members of the Rushden Temperance Society, and signed the
Teetotal Pledge In 1841
within a few months of the time when Mr. John Cave and others were the first in Rushden to sign the pledge. Deceased was a prominent figure at Temperance meetings in Rushden ever since he first joined the society, and in the earlier days of the movement he constantly went into the adjacent villages distributing tracts and helping to arrange meetings. He was no public speaker, but at that time the opposition of the advocacy of total abstinence was very strong and he used to render good service in backing up those who gave the addresses.
His activity up to a few weeks ago was really wonderful and, notwithstanding his advanced age, it was no uncommon thing for him to walk miles into the country. His memory was particularly good, and on the occasion of the stone-laying of the new Independent Wesleyan chapel a month ago he said to one of his friends, “I can remember the time when the Wesleyan Methodists used to meet in my father’s house near the Green, 80 years ago.”
took place at the cemetery on Wednesday, Mr. J. Bennett, one of the lay preachers in connection with the Baptist cause, officiating. There was a very large attendance, the representatives from the Temperance Society being the Rev. M. E. Parkin and Messrs. John Claridge, B. Vorley, W. Clarke, John Sargent, John Jaques, C. Bayes, D. Darnell, and J. T. Colson (his executor). In accordance with his expressed wish there were no flowers but, in agreement with his written desire, a sod of grass was placed on the coffin. Messrs. Walker and Everard were the undertakers.