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Biographical Obituary

WMC devoted his life to the improvement of the working class. In his role as Alderman he took on the management of utility companies, particularly the gas works, and fought for keeping local taxation down but building for the future. As town commisioner he was instrumental in securing the Royal Charter for Burnley to become a Municipal Borough with its own Town Council.

While he never stood for parliament he was the influence behind the electing of Liberal members of Parliament. When Gladstone became the Liberal Prime Minister in 1880, Peter Rylands was MP for Burnley. Interestingly in 2010 the seat returned to the Liberals

Excerpt from WMCs speech at MPs annual address, Burnley, 1880

Dr. William M Coultate – History Summary


Born at Clitheroe, 1813

Attended Clitheroe Royal Grammar School

1821 family moved to Burnley

Attended Burnley Grammar School where he once had a “good licking!”

Served an apprenticeship as a medical practitioner with his father

Attended the Medical Schools in Dublin receiving his License of the Apothecaries Hall in 1836

Continued studies. 1838 became a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons and in 1858 a Fellow. (F.R.C.S.)

Partnership practise with his father

1842 appointed surgeon to Habergham Eaves.

1849 married Eliza Jane Thompson, daughter of William Thompson owner of Primrose Printing Works, Clitheroe.

1850 was elected town’s commissioner

1853 appointed surgeon to the 5th Royal Lancashire Militia

1855 father dies

1861 was elected Senior Alderman and Deputy Mayor.

1868 appointed chairman of the committee for securing the election of Radical candidate Mr. Richard Shaw who was the first elected MP for Burnley.

1869 Made county magistrate

1871 his wife dies

1882 Dies of heart attack

Positions held at the time of his death:-


Borough Magistrate

Chairman of the Gas Committee

Vice Chairman of the Improvement Committee

Chairman of the Trustees of the Mechanics Institution

Governor of Burnley Grammar School

President of the Burnley Choral Society

Chairman of the Liberal Association

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William Miller Coultate.jpg
Bull Hotel

Doctor Coultate's History

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Rebels Lane

Adventures of the Mind

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