Saturday 25th October 2014 saw members of the our Society & Millgate Conservation Society gather together outside ‘The Whitehouse’, Millgate, the home of Mr James Wilkinson, to witness the Mayor Cllr. Tom Bickley unveil our 19th Plaque.
Thomas Earp (1830 – 17 February 1910) was the son of William Earp of Derby and his wife Sarah Taylor, daughter of James Taylor of Muskham. He was educated at the Diocesan School in Derby. He came to Newark in 1845 to work at Harveys Wine and Spirit merchants and malsters. He married Martha Weightman, daughter of T Weightman of Langford Nottinghamshire, in1855.
He was chosen as a candidate for the Liberal party in 1873.
He became a partner in the firms of Harveys Richardson Earp and Slater, brewers and Gilstrap, Earp & Co. maltsters. He was a town councillor (Alderman) for Newark on Trent and was Mayor of the borough from 1869 to 1870.
At the 1874 General Election Earp was elected as MP for the Borough of Newark, and was re-elected in 1880, and held the seat until the Parliamentary Constituency was abolished at the 1885 election, when he stood unsuccessfully in the new single-seat Newark Division of Nottinghamshire.
Earp was chairman of the governors of the Magnus Grammar School. He was instrumental in ensuring that it remained a grammar school faithful to the wishes of the founder, Thomas Magnus, rather than the alternative, which was to become a minor public school as some in the town wished.
He provided the school with a playing field off Bowbridge road and when the buildings in town were declared unfit for purpose, he built the new premises on, what became known as Earp Avenue. The cost to himself was in excess of £10,000. (£6,000,000 today) Which is probably a greater amount than the original Magnus Gift.
Earp died at the age of 79 in 1910. Just a few years before his school building project was complete.
The Chairman, Mike Cox, thanked Mr James Wilkinson owner of the property, Margaret Gaughan who is our Plaque Organiser, and Millgate Conservation Society for the co-operation and contribution.
After the unveiling, Mr Wilkinson and family invited us all inside for refreshments.