From the Advertiser archives - May 4, 2017 edition

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In the news 100, 50 and 25 years ago

May 5, 1917 (see below)

It is with deepest regret that we have to record the death, at Coton House on Monday night, of Mr Arthur James, who has been for so many years such a prominent figure in the public life of the district and who has supported with such lavish generosity so many worthy causes. Mr Arthur James was apparently making a good recovery from his recent indisposition and had resumed some of his public duties, but evidently contracted another chill and passed away from the effects of pneumonia and pleurisy. His age was 64 years.

Having been looking up archives for Memory Lane since the Titanic sank in 1912 (enabling me to pinpoint that I took over in 2012!) the name of Arthur James has regularly appeared in all sorts of aspects of Rugby life in our 100 years ago Advertisers. So his death in 1917 must have been a huge loss to the town. When he was taken ill a cardiac specialist from London, Sir James MacKenzie (who was THE doctor of the time, with an interesting CV) was called, but was unable to save him.

This is just a short extract from the Advertiser’s very detailed obituary: “..Flags at the parish church, Rugby School and Conservative Club were hoisted at half-mast and sincere expressions of sorrow and regret were manifested by all classes of the community.

Not only was Mr James a well-known society man but he was also for many years a prominent figure on the Turf and hunting field. Of most generous instincts he was ever ready to support freely any worthy object, and to Rugby and neighbourhood he was a great benefactor. A staunch adherent to the cause of Unionism, he built the Conservative Club in Rugby. Prominence in public or political life, however, never appears to have attracted him for he could have been a candidate for Parliamentary honours on several occasions.

A Deputy-Lieutenant, a Magistrate for Warwickshire and a County Councillor, he last year filled the office of High Sheriff.

Of an extremely genial and affable disposition, he enjoyed widespread popularity and was a personal friend of King Edward, who honoured him by visiting him at Coton House in July 1909 when he came to Rugby to open the new Speech Room at Rugby School. After that visit Mr James was made MVO by King Edward.

On a previous occasion Princess Christian and Prince Arthur of Connaught visited Coton House and Cabinet Ministers and distinguished politicians of both shades of opinion were often among the house parties entertained there. He was also honoured by the friendship of King George. His generosity was a marked characteristic, and no institution in the neighbourhood was more frequently helped than the Hospital of St Cross, of which he was President . The cost of the Operating Theatre and X-ray apparatus at the Hospital were defrayed by him...”

May 5, 1967

Mr WG Price, MP for Rugby, wants to hold a personal referendum in Rugby into the Cabinet’s far-reaching decision to apply for entry into the Common Market. He believes this is the most important peace-time issue of the century. He wants views of the electors to be made known and several constituents have written asking him to press the Government to consider a referendum. He doubts whether the Government would consent to this, but points out there is no reason why he should not hold his own census of opinion.

April 30, 1992

On May 16 Marcus Beresford will stand before a full symphony orchestra, baton in hand. The 83-year-old former Rugby School master will realise a long-held dream - to conduct his own piece of music, To Ocean, a cantata he began writing in the 1930s. Music for the celebratory concert, to be held at the Temple Speech Rooms, will tell tales of the sea in all its moods and anyone who loves the ocean should not miss the concert.