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Rushden Echo, 13th April 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins
Death of Mr John Spencer
Native of Higham Ferrers
Rushden Lady Bereaved

In the death of Mr. John Spencer, of the Manor House, Irthlingborough, for many years a prominent boot manufacturer and Army contractor, the town of Irthlingborough loses one of its foremost citizens. Deceased, who was 85 years of age, leaves a widow and two daughters, Mrs. Robb, wife of Dr. W. W. Robb, J.P., of Irthlingborough, and Mrs. Bellamy, of Newton-road, Rushden.

A native of Higham Ferrers, where he was born on March 29th 1832, being the son of the late Mr. Chas. Spencer, he attended the Chichele School in the borough. Then he went to Wellingborough Grammar School when Dr. Sanderson was its head, his final education being received at Brighton.

On leaving school in 1849 Mr. Spencer went into the boot and shoe manufacturing business carried on at Higham Ferrers by his father, who had begun the business in 1820. In 1836, owing to the impossibility of obtaining land for building purposes, the business was transferred to Irthlingborough.

Mr. Spencer bought the Manor House, Irthlingborough in 1897, and lived there up to the time of his death. In 1863 he married Miss Nichols, daughter of Mr. Wm Nichols, of Raunds, a well-known Army contractor. He had received Government contracts since 1864, when a first order was given for 20,000 pairs. Eight years ago the business was converted into a private company deceased being managing director.

Mr. Spencer was the first chairman of the Irthlingborough School Board, Irthlingborough Urban Council and Rushden Gas Company, and a County Councillor for Irthlingborough for some years.

He was one of the initiators of the firm of Freeman, Hardy, and Willis, and was a director for 14 years. [part of a longer article]

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