Mayor – 1838 – 1839.

Second Term of Office – 1846 – 1847.

Third Term of Office – 1870 – 1871.

Fourth Term of Office 1871 – 1872.


Member of the Liberal Party.

A member of the established church – Church of England.

George served a seven years’ apprenticeship with his uncle, Mr. John Denny. On completion of his servitude, George became a Freeman of the Borough, enrolling on the 16th June 1826. He first sat at Council on the 1st January 1828. On his marriage to Susanna Bowman, George became a Liberal/Whig.

John Denny was a surgeon, and a Freeman, he had been Bailiff of Ipswich four times and was a Conservative of the most rigid, unmistakable calibre.


The Ipswich Journal – Tuesday, 30th June 1885 and Suffolk Mercury – Saturday, 27th June 1885:

When George first sought to enter the Town Council – he meant winning. Never a man liked a beating less. It was George’s proud boast that he had been present at, and taken a more or less prominent part in, every undertaking of importance in Ipswich for a period bordering upon a century. He had been allied with the public works and improvements, and watched with pride and pleasure as his native home grew in size and influence.

George was the very antithesis of a mild, meek, demure man who did not wish to give offence, but he also was a man with a mind of his own, and he did not hesitate to give expression to his views and feelings when he thought the occasion demanded it. Argument was not his forte, nor was eloquence, he could not understand why any of these things were important when the point commends itself so sharply to his sentiment. He could not wait or would not wait around for cautious men to make long, dry speeches, hedging around their propositions with qualifications and conditions.

To George if a point was as clear as daylight to him, he felt it sufficient that he should state and re-state his proposition!



George was elected an Alderman on the 22nd April 1850.

Born: 2nd March 1804, St. Mary at the Tower, Ipswich.


Father: John Sampson, born 1766, Swaffham, Norfolk. John was a wine merchant. On the 22nd July 1812, John Sampson purchased the King’s Head Inn, of King’s Street, Ipswich, at an auction of established inns, by Sparrow & Son, on behalf of Mr. John Fryett. The inn of 28 feet frontage inn, with 4 parlours, a kitchen, a double bar, 10-bed chambers, a dining room, 6 spacious cellars, a corn chamber, and a soldiers’ room was completely refurbished with new papering, painting, arrangement, and repair and furnished with modern and comfortable furniture. The King’s Head had stables for 12 horses, with hay chambers above, an open coach house for 4 carriages, a large stone paved yard, and a small coach office every convenience for stage coach and posting business. John Sampson re-opened the King’s Head Inn on the 29th September 1812, and offered market dinners, the best viands, wines and liquors. John Sampson could also take bookings for passengers and parcels on the Old Blue Coach, which started every morning at the King’s Head, at 9am for the journey to the Four Swans, Bishopsgate Street, London. John Sampson died 4th January 1850, Ipswich. Laid to rest at St. Matthew’s Churchyard, Ipswich.


Mother: Mary Elizabeth Sampson (nee Denny), born 1891. Mary Sampson died 7th January 1859, Ipswich. Laid to rest with her husband John Sampson, at St. Matthew’s Churchyard, Ipswich.


In February 1960, their headstone like many others were removed, and the human remains removed for re-interment on the 29th February 1960, at Ipswich Old Cemetery. When the County Borough of Ipswich, for St. Matthew’s Church – School site acquired a Compulsory Purchase Order, 1958, which was confirmed, with modifications, by the Minister of Housing and Local Government on the 13th January, 1959. The Corporation were then empowered to acquire 1.555 acres of land forming part of the Churchyard of St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich.

The removed grave slab that had marked John and Mary Elizabeth Sampson’s grave was in a good condition, so was placed flat to form a footpath in St. Matthew’s Churchyard.


Brother: Robert Sampson, born 1794/8. Robert Sampson died February 1854, at his home 2, Princes Street, St. Anne, Westminster. Laid to rest 20th February 1854, All Souls, Kensal Green.


In February 1827, George was admitted as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.

George was a skilled surgeon, and in the matter of delicate surgical operations, he had a great name in Ipswich and the county. Promptitude was his forte, a great virtue to have in the treatment of disease, and extremely valuable in surgery. He was known as a man of impetuous temperament, and if his instructions had not been strictly adhered to as they might have been with advantage to the patient, George showed anger in language and gesture! George’s intense desire was that the sick patient should have every advantage that skill and experience could dictate. He was an intensely kind and sympathetic man, and many a poor man, woman and child benefited and comforted by his attentions and his advice, given without hope of fee or reward. This earned him the unbounded admiration of the poor of the town. The Ipswich Journal – Tuesday, 30th June 1885


On the 28th September 1830, at Ipswich, George married Susanna Chesson Bowman, born 1807, Ipswich – daughter of Robert Bowman and Sarah Bowman, of St. Nicholas, Ipswich.

Father: Robert Bowman, born 1778, St. Nicholas, Ipswich. Robert was a brewer and a wine and a British and Foreign spirit merchant, at The Falcon Brewery, at 11, Falcon Street and Queen Street. As a landlord, he was complimented on his exertions in preserving good order and in clearing and shutting up the inn at a proper hour. Robert also owned dwelling houses to let around Suffolk. Robert was successful in obtaining a seat as a Liberal, as one of the first representatives chosen by the electors of the Bridge Ward, to represent them in the Council, and was honoured by being placed at the head of the poll in the first contest that took place on the 26th December 1835. He retained his seat on the Council for three years. Robert was re-elected again in 1838, and 1841. Robert Bowman died 3rd September 1844, at Whitton, Suffolk, late of the Falcon Inn, Ipswich. Laid to rest at St. Nicholas Churchyard, Ipswich. Members of the Council – in and since 1835 – Mr. B.P. Grimsey – July 1892.


Mother: Sarah Bowman (nee Batterbe), born 8th July 1784, Cromer, Norfolk. Sarah Bowman died 1820, Ipswich.

Stepmother: Mary Ann Bowman (nee Richardson), born 1780.




1841   St. Matthew’s Street, Ipswich.


George was 30 years old, a Surgeon. He was married and head of the household.

Susanna, 30.

1 medical pupil.

2 female servants.


1851   8, St. Matthew’s Street, Ipswich.


George was 46 years old, a Surgeon, a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons and a Licentiate of the Apothecaries’ Company. He was married and head of the household.

Susanna, 44.

1 surgeon’s assistant.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.


1861   8, St. Matthew’s Street, Ipswich.


George was 56 years old, a Surgeon M.R.C.S., London, L.A.C., and Alderman and Justice of the Peace for Ipswich. He was married and head of the household.

Susanna, 53, a Gentlewoman.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.


1871   8, St. Matthew’s Street, Ipswich.


George was 64 years old, the Mayor of Ipswich, and Surgeon M.R.C.S., L.A.C., and Justice of the Peace.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.


Susanna was away from home visiting her widowed sister-in-law, niece & nephew at their family home – 31, Scarsdale Villas, Kensington.

Pleasance Sampson (nee Case), 64, an Annuitant, born Fakenham, Norfolk.

Mary Sampson, 39, a Governess, born St. James, London.

Richard Sampson, 26, a Builder, born Westminster, London.

1 general domestic servant.


1881   8, St. Matthew’s Street, Ipswich.


George was 77 years old, a widow, an Alderman and Surgeon M.R.C.S. His niece was living at his home.

Mary Sampson, 49, a Dividend.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.


After 19 years as Medical Officer, for the Ipswich Union, George tendered his resignation for the district of St. Matthew’s, Ipswich, during a meeting of the Board of Guardians, on Saturday, 16th September 1854.


In June 1875, George Sampson resigned from his appointment as one of the staff-surgeons at the Ipswich and East Suffolk Hospital. George had given nearly 40 years’ service and only paramount necessity had induced him to take this step, but for justice to the patients, and to himself, he felt he had no alternative. George’s letter of resignation was received by the Reverend William Howorth, chairman of the Committee, and discussed at the annual general meeting of the governors of the Institution, which took place at the Board Room, at the Hospital, on Wednesday, 16th June 1875. It was agreed that the resignation should be accepted and that a resolution should be drawn up to express their gratitude for the gentleman’s long and valued services, and also that he be appointed an honorary consulting surgeon to the Institution. The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 19th June 1875


George’s wife, Susanna Chesson Sampson died 25th January 1879, Ipswich, after a brief illness, at residence 8, St. Matthew’s Street, Ipswich.


Probate to George Green Sampson – widower.



George liked to work a ten-hour day, and in his time had worked twelve, thirteen and fourteen hours a day, to say nothing of the nights. He felt better for all the work he had done. He was often asked how it was he managed, literally speaking, to keep his legs so well. Whatever he took in hand he carried through with all the energy of his impulsive nature, and throughout his busy life he continued the ability and habit to act quickly and without delay on his resolution.

George had a humane disposition of mind and character and a thorough knowledge of animals. He also had great horsemanship skills and would always have a good horse. He would drive through the crowded streets at a pace often in the opinion of some too fast for a gentleman who sometimes as the magistrate had to adjudicate upon charges of furious driving. As a gentleman in his 80’s George could still get in and out of his high gig with the same agility as a man in his 30’s. He had with care maintained his erect figure into old age and kept the skill with which to drive his horse, he never relied on his faithful servant David, to take the reins. He continued in his professional capacity as a surgeon and with the same energy, he fulfilled his duties as a magistrate and as a member of the Ipswich Town Council. Described as a remarkable evergreen character of a man. The Ipswich Journal – Tuesday, 30th June 1885.


The author of “Public Men of Ipswich and East Suffolk” – March 1875, gave a good insight into George’s character:

In a week in Ipswich I could collect more good anecdotes of Dr. Sampson than I could gather together in a month relating to a famous Abernethy.”



In January 1884, George ventured out on a bitter night in dense hail and rain to visit a patient at Westbourne. He became drenched to the skin which resulted in a most severe cold, attended with rheumatism. His niece, Miss Mary Sampson was at her uncle’s side with continuous care, strength, and kindness. By the 8th May George felt recuperated enough to return to the Magisterial Bench. Sadly, this period of relatively good health would not last and by the end of summer 1884, he was again prostrated. George was compelled to hand over to others the treatment and care of his patients. He was heartbroken to have to part with his beloved horses. Even with his physical power and desire for life, he knew he was within a measurable distance of the end.


George Sampson died Saturday, 27th June 1885, at his residence 8, St. Matthew’s Street, Ipswich. The flags at the Town Hall and the Public Arboretum were hoisted half-mast high during Saturday and Sunday.

The funeral service was held on Tuesday, 30th June, at St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich. The cortege composed of the funeral car and broughams, preceded by the Town Crier and Mace Sergeants carrying the mace draped in black. The Mayor of Ipswich, Sterling Westhorp, Esq., with draped chain, and the Deputy Mayor Mr. John May, Esq., plus members of the Town Council and Corporation officials, who had earlier assembled at the Town Hall. The funeral service was conducted by the Reverend Francis Haslewood, Rector of the parish, and the lesson was read by the Reverend Arthur Herbert Hayes, the Curate. The mourners left the church to a dumb peal by the ringers of the church. The procession proceeded through the centre of the town, where almost every business establishment on the route to the cemetery was partially or completely closed, numerous flags floated at half mast and the large bell of St. Mary Tower Church was tolled. At the graveside at Section J, of Ipswich Old Cemetery the closing portion of the service was read by the Reverend Haslewood. The polished oak coffin with brass plate and handles was almost concealed by floral displays of crosses and wreaths.

The funeral arrangements were under the able management of Mr. George Mudd, on behalf of Messrs. Footman, Pretty, and Nicolson.


Probate to George Sampson Elliston – nephew, of 2, Museum Street, Ipswich and Henry Mason Jackaman, Solicitor, of 37, Silent Street, Ipswich.



On Friday, 9th November 1838, a General Meeting of the Council was held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall, for the purpose of electing a Mayor for the ensuing year. Alderman Benjamin Brame begged to propose Mr. George Green Sampson, to fill the Office of Mayor, he felt assured, if elected he would perform the duties of the situation with satisfaction to himself and to the inhabitants of Ipswich. Alderman Frederick Seekamp seconded the nomination. The Mayor, Mr. Peter Long put the question of the appointment to the Council, which was put and carried. Mr. George Green Sampson was unanimously elected to serve the office of Mayor of Ipswich for the ensuing year.


On Friday, 9th November 1838, a General Meeting of the Council was held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall, for the purpose of electing a Mayor for the ensuing year. Alderman Benjamin Brame begged to propose Mr. George Green Sampson, to fill the Office of Mayor, he felt assured, if elected he would perform the duties of the situation with satisfaction to himself and to the inhabitants of Ipswich. Alderman Frederick Seekamp seconded the nomination. The Mayor, Mr. Peter Long put the question of the appointment to the Council, which was put and carried. Mr. George Green Sampson was unanimously elected to serve the office of Mayor of Ipswich for the ensuing year.


On the 13th December 1838, George Sampson as Mayor of Ipswich announced in the local newspaper that on Tuesday, 25th December, being Christmas Day, no market will be held in the town of Ipswich, but the usual markets of that day will be held on Monday, the 24th December.


By permission of the Mayor, George Sampson, a large meeting of the Working Classes, was held at the Town Hall during the evening of Wednesday, 6th March 1839. Mr. William Gill, a member of the National Convention, and Delegate to that body from Sheffield; and Mr. John Deegan, also a member of the National Convention, and Delegate for the districts of Hyde, Stalybridge, Glossop, and New Mills, gave addresses on the principles of the People’s Charter drawn up in 1838. The Charter had six demands:

All men to have the vote (universal manhood suffrage)

Voting should take place by secret ballot

Parliamentary elections every year, not once every five years

Constituencies should be of equal size

Members of Parliament should be paid

The property qualification for becoming a Member of Parliament should be abolished

 UK Parliament –

By 10 o’clock, the meeting began to draw to an end after a long and animated speech by Mr. John Deegan, who thanked the Mayor of Ipswich, George Sampson for the grant of the Town Hall for the purpose and objects of the meeting. He too thanked those mild, Tory – well-behaved “gentlemen,” who had gathered during the meeting at the lower part of the Hall and had brought the most disgusting means into play, by trying to interrupt the peaceable and orderly proceedings of the evening, with the object of throwing the speakers into confusion. A collection was made at the door in aid of the People’s Charter.


Many of the inhabitants of Ipswich presented to the Town Council a memorial, requesting that the Fair, called St. George’s Fair, usually held of the fourth day of May, might be in future held on the first Tuesday of May. After consideration, the Council agreed and resolved that such alteration was highly desirable. A Notice written and submitted to the newspapers on the 3rd April 1839 by George Sampson, Mayor of Ipswich – That the said St. George’s Day Fair will, in future, be held on the first Tuesday in May, in every year; and the Fair will accordingly be held on Tuesday, 7th May 1839. Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 20th April 1839.


On Wednesday, 26th June 1839, at 3 o’clock, the first stone of the entrance dock was laid by the Mayor of Ipswich, George Sampson, in the presence of 12,000 people.

The new Lock laid on the Stoke side of the Orwell, nearly opposite the Ballast Wharf, and close against the Mill Pool. Ninety yards of the Lock Channel and a portion of the Lock Gate Chamber had already been completed. For convenient standing-room stages for spectators to view the ceremony, more of the chamber had recently been cleared. A large awning had also been erected, under which a large plan of the Dock was placed for inspection, plus seats for the accommodation of those engaged in the ceremony. A convenient approach and standing place for carriages and horses had also been built.

At 2 o’clock the Commissioners started from the Town Hall on their way to the Dock down St. Nicholas Street, and over Stoke Bridge to the site of the new Lock. The procession was headed by the fine band of the 9th Lancers, by kind permission of Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell. They were followed by the Harbour Master, the Water Bailiff carrying the badge of his office – a silver oar; and three Town Sergeants, the centre man bearing the Mace of the Ipswich Corporation. Immediately after came the Mayor, George Sampson, attired in his robe of office, and attended by the Reverend John Lucas Worship in full Canonicals. The Aldermen, Councillors and Dock Commissioners then followed. On arrival at the entrance of the Lock the cortege was met by the Engineer, Mr. Henry Robinson Palmer and the Contractor, Mr. David Thornbory, and conducted over the excavations to the wide platform under the awning, the whole area was decorated with flags. The stone hung suspended from a crane, it was extremely ponderous, weighing nearly 4 tons. On its upper surface appeared a plate of bronzed iron with the inscription:

The First Stone of this Lock was laid on the 26th day of June,
A.D. 1839,
By George Green Sampson, Esq., Mayor.
Dykes Alexander, Esq., Treasurer of the Commission.
Peter Bartholomew Long, Esq., Clerk.
Engineer – Henry R. Palmer, Esq., F.R.S., and Vice-President of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Contractor – David Thornbory, Esq.
Nostros in Commoda Publica Conatus, tu Domine, Secunda.

As Mayor George Sampson took his station, a battery of guns on the ballast wharf, well served by Captain Smith and his men, was answered by the guns on board the craft belonging to the members of the Orwell Yacht Club. The band struck up the National Anthem and Mr. William Rodwell mounted the stone, amidst loud cheers and gave a speech of thanks and congratulations and told the people of Ipswich that their “quays will be of the most complete description – access will at all times be afforded to the public for the enjoyment heretofore unknown, of the splendid scenes presented by our beautiful river – your dock will be one of the most extensive and commodious in the whole kingdom; and if it be philosophically true that effect follows cause, so shall we find it to be equally true, that increase of business will ensue from the increased facilities given to the trading and commercial interests of the port.” Mr. John Chevallier Cobbold next presented himself and was received with loud cheers. He gave a speech to express his gratification, good wishes, and prosperity to all classes of the people assembled. Every head was uncovered for prayers and the most respectful silence pervaded as the Reverend John Lucas Worship implored the favour of Heaven upon the work, at the same time offered up a supplication on behalf of the Queen. The Mayor, George Sampson stepped forward to give his speech. He paid a tribute of respect to Mr. W. Lane, Esq., Collector of the Customs, to whom the plan of the great work undoubtedly originated, a work that would undoubtedly contribute to the prosperity of the town and port of Ipswich. He also paid tribute to the men engaged upon the works that their limbs and lives be watched over and preserved. As the Mayor concluded the stone was raised higher on the crane, a bed of mortar was spread beneath it, the Mayor used a trowel himself in the operation – the line and square were applied – the position adjusted, and the ponderous mass was lowered into its bed. George Sampson then struck the stone with three mystic knocks upon the surface and said, “Success to the Ipswich Wet Dock.” The canon boomed from the opposite shores and from the yachts and the band struck up “God save the Queen.” Cheers were then given – three times three for the Queen. Three times three for the Mayor, and three times three, and one cheer more for the Ladies. The Mayor left a purse of money on the stone for the refreshment of the Workmen.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, George and the invited gentlemen made an inspection of the works. During the inspection, George Sampson cradled in his arms his three month old nephew (the son of his sister-in-law Amelia Elliston (nee Bowman) and brother-in-law William Elliston, M.R.C.S., a well-known and highly respected surgeon). At the newly laid stone, George gently laid little Robert Bowman Elliston, upon the stone.



Shortly after five o’clock the Dock Commissioners, and their friends, sat down to an excellent dinner in the New Assembly Room, Northgate Street, provided by Mr. Waller, of the Coach and Horses Inn, Brook Street. Tickets include dessert and wine 9s. each. About 60 gentlemen dined on the delicacies of the season whether meat, fish, or vegetable. The wines were also of fine quality. The Mayor, George Sampson occupied the chair. The first toast was given to Her Majesty the Queen, followed by the Queen Dowager, and the rest of the Royal Family. Mr. Peter Bartholomew Long, Esq., proposed a toast to the health of George Green Sampson, Esq., the Mayor, with three times three. The closing toast of the evening was given by Mr. William Rodwell, to the Success to Agriculture. The Dinner then came to an end.

Suffolk Chronicle and Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 29th June 1839 and Evening Star – Monday, 8th June 1906.



Mr. Thomas Milner Gibson was returned as a Conservative member of Parliament representing the town of Ipswich, on the 27th July 1837. Two years later Thomas Gibson had adopted Liberal views and on the 2nd July 1839 he resigned.

On the 5th July 1839, George Sampson, as Mayor of Ipswich, gave notice that he would proceed with an election of a Burgess to serve in Parliament for the said Borough of Ipswich, in the place of Thomas Milner Gibson, Esquire, at the Town Hall of Ipswich, on Friday, 12th July 1839, at eleven o’clock in the forenoon.


The nomination took place on the Cornhill, on Friday, 12th July 1839, when three waggons had been provided in front of the Town Hall, by the Mayor and the Town Clerk plus an area for the press. By ten o’clock, the Cornhill was crowded with people. The blues mustered in great numbers in front of the Old Assembly Rooms and marching with their band playing “Hurrah for the Bonnets of Blue,” were the first to take possession of the hustings. When Sir Thomas John Cochrane appeared on the hustings, he was received with the most enthusiastic cheering. Mr. Thomas Milner Gibson and his party mustered in the street in front of the Suffolk Hotel, and at eleven o’clock marched to their hustings. When Mr. Gibson appeared on the hustings he was assailed with shouts from the Blues of “No turncoats, you kangaroo.” Mr. Gibson also had to endure a man in a coat of blue on the inside and yellow on the outside and another man hoisting a large pole with a cap and a hangman’s halter in front of the pale Mr. Gibson’s face. Stale eggs were thrown from both the Blues and the Yellows and from the crowd. The gentlemen on both hustings were hit by the stale egg missiles, including the Mayor! Mr. Gibson being literally covered with the odour from the smelly eggs. Silence could not be had as the Precept and the Bribery Act were read and as each gentleman came forward to speak all that could really be heard were hisses and groans, cheering and applause, laughter and the calling out of insults….and more showers of eggs.

The Mayor, George Sampson fixed the following morning at eight o’clock for the poll to open, and to close finally at four o’clock. The two parties then moved off the Cornhill in the order in which they had arrived.

The votes for the Freemen were recorded as usual at the Town Hall, where the Mayor presided. The poll for the new Constituency was taken in six districts, wide apart from each other. The declaration of the numbers, by the Mayor, George Sampson will take place on Monday next, at half past ten o’clock.


Both parties assembled in great numbers at the Town Hall, on Monday morning, at nine o’clock, and the poll books having been cast up, the Mayor, George Sampson declared the numbers to be

For Sir Thomas John Cochrane – Conservative – 621

For Mr. Thomas Milner Gibson – Liberal – 615.

Majority for Sir Thomas Cochrane – 6.

Sir Thomas Cochrane returned his heartfelt thanks for the honour he had received at the hands of the electors and assured them that he would in every way endeavour to prove himself worthy of their confidence. Mr. Thomas Gibson then presented himself, but the uproar was so tremendous, that not a word could be heard. George Sampson decided that he had enough and was desirous of breathing some fresh air, he, therefore, declared the meeting dissolved. Mr. Arthur Bott Cook seconded the motion to loud cheers.

Mayor George Sampson had never uttered one syllable during the contest. It had been his endeavour to act with the strictest impartiality.


Many of the inhabitants of Ipswich presented to the Town Council, on Wednesday, 31st July a memorial, requesting that the day for holding the Corn, Cattle, and Provision Markets may again be altered to Saturday. A Notice written and submitted to the newspapers on the 1st August 1839 by George Sampson, Mayor of Ipswich to convene a Public Meeting of the Bankers, Merchants, Tradesmen, and other Inhabitants of this town, for the purpose of taking into consideration the subject of the said memorial, on Friday, 30th August 1839. Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 24th August 1839.


The Mayor, George Green Sampson, Mr. E. Lawrence and Mr. John Eddowes Sparrowe, assessors for revising the Burgess Lists, gave notice on the 27th September 1839 that they would hold the Court for Revising the Burgess Lists of the Borough of Ipswich, on Friday, 4th October 1839, at 10 o’clock in the Forenoon, in the Council Chamber at the Town Hall. All Overseers of the Poor, Collectors of the Poor Rates, and Relieving Officers for any Parish, situated wholly or in part within the said Borough, and all persons who have been objected to as not being entitled to be retained on the said Lists, and all persons claiming to have their names inserted thereon, were required to attend.



The annual meeting of the Council was held at a very crowded Council Chamber of the Town Hall, on Monday, 9th November 1846, for the purpose of electing a Mayor for the ensuing year. Mr. Jeremiah Head said it would have afforded him great pleasure, to have nominated Mr. Thomas Burroughes to the office of Mayor for the ensuing year. Mr. Burroughes had performed the duties of the office in such a manner that would warrant the Council to place him again in the so honourable and so responsible a position. But Mr. Burroughes had declined to serve for a second year. He, therefore, begged to propose Mr. George Green Sampson, Esquire, as Mayor for the ensuing year. Mr. William Alexander seconded the nomination. The Mayor, Thomas D’Eye Burroughes put the question and declared Mr. George Sampson duly elected.



In the evening of Monday, 9th November, a splendid banquet was given to Mr. Thomas D’Eye Burroughes, at the Great White Horse Tavern, as a mark of the zealous and efficient manner in which he had discharged the duties of Mayor during his year of office. About 60 gentlemen attended with the Mayor of Ipswich, George Sampson occupying the chair. A company of singers enlivened the evening with some glees and songs. Tickets, 15s. Dinner at five o’clock. The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 14th November 1846.


On a snowy, Monday, 30th November 1846, the first mercantile trains passed over the new line. Two engines had left Ipswich Station each with 20 trucks or wagons attached and loaded with merchandise for the tradesmen, including bricks and about 70 tons of coal. At Bury St. Edmund’s, a large concourse of people had assembled to witness the arrival of the train. There had been some fears as to the stability of the line across the boggy ground at Stowmarket, but the passage of this heavy train dispelled all fears. On each following day, a weight of 200 tons which included large quantities of coals was successfully carried on the new line. The effect of this importation of coals was to reduce the price at the Lark Navigation 3s. per ton, and the carriage to the town from 2s. to 1s. 6d.; the new railway line proved decidedly advantageous to Bury St. Edmund’s, by reason of its cheap connection to Ipswich.

There was no day arranged for the commencement of passenger traffic; but on the following Monday, 7th, December the Directors of the Eastern Union Railway had arranged a private opening of the new Ipswich to Bury St. Edmund’s line and had invited numerous guests to give every possible éclat to the event. The Mayor of Ipswich, George Sampson was one of the invited guests.

Early in the morning on Monday, 7th December 1846, a special train left Shoreditch Station. The platforms at Ipswich Station were crowded when the train arrived at a quarter past 12 o’clock. Every arrangement was made for the comfort of the invited passengers, consisting of from 300 to 400 people. A noble train consisting of two engines, an open truck, and seventeen first-class, and two second-class carriages had been shunted onto the new Bury line. The engines and truck had been decorated with green and red and white flags. Humfress’ excellent brass band played “See the Conquering Hero Comes!” as the train started at 13 minutes to 1 o’clock, amidst cheers of the passengers and spectators. In 90 seconds, the train emerged from the tunnel to be welcomed by more people assembled on the edges of the cuttings. The progress of the train to Bury St. Edmunds was greeted at various points along the line with the warmest gratulations, many of the spectators waiting on embankments and bridges to greet the train as it rushed under the arches. Bramford Station was reached at 2 minutes to 1, Blakenham Station at 4 minutes past 1, and Needham Market Station at 12 minutes past 1. The train arrived at Stowmarket Station at 28 minutes past, Haughley Station was reached at 14 minutes to 2, Elmswell Station at 3 minutes to 2, and Thurston Station at 16 minutes past 2. At each station the train was greeted by the enthusiasm of the people assembled, triumphal arches had been erected, laurel decorated the stations, flags were flown, some with mottoes, church bells rang, and at Thurston the discharge of guns! Galleries had been erected for ladies to enjoy the event and wave their white handkerchiefs. The train stopped at precisely at 25 minutes past 2 at Bury St. Edmunds Station, a loud shout of welcome was raised by the assembled thousands, A triumphal arch had been erected at the termination of the line displayed the motto “Prosperity to the Bury and Ipswich Railway.” The whole journey of 1 hour and 38 minutes had been triumphant. The Mayor of Bury St. Edmunds and other gentlemen welcomed the Chairman of the Company, John Chevallier Cobbold, Esq., the Directors, the Mayor of Ipswich, George Sampson and the Civil Engineer, Peter Bruff, Esq., and the various other invited guests. A procession of the united towns was formed and with the maces and insignia of office, and many principal townsmen passed through the streets amidst greeting from the crowds.

A grand banquet had been prepared at the Concert Room of the Angel Inn, by Mr. Bridgman, and about 280 gentlemen partook of the entertainment, including iced champagne, claret, and wine. During the evening Humfress’ brass band performed. Chairman John Chevallier Cobbold, Esq., said the first speech. During the evening George Sampson was able to give thanks as Chief Magistrate of Ipswich. He was happy to say that Ipswich was growing more and more distinguished by its progress in railway enterprises. He hoped that new sources of prosperity were open to both towns in not only an agricultural but a commercial view now that Ipswich and Bury St. Edmund’s were within an hour of each other.

The company broke up at nine o’clock and the guests returned to the station. The long train of carriages were illuminated with lamps. The crowds cheered and the music played as the Directors and their guests entered the carriages. At half-past nine the train moved off to a discharge of fireworks. At Stowmarket and Needham Market more fireworks were discharged. Upon entering the Stoke Tunnel blue lights were burned creating a novel effect, and the brass band played “See the Conquering Hero Comes!” The train arrived at Ipswich Station at 25 minutes past 11, when passengers alighted amidst mutual congratulations. The Ipswich Journal – 12th December 1846



On the evening of Monday, 30th November 1846, a meeting of subscribers to the project of establishing a Museum at Ipswich, for the purpose of collecting and exhibiting natural productions of curious and scientific interest was held at the Council Chamber of the Town Hall. George Sampson, as Mayor of Ipswich accepted the invitation to preside over the meeting with great pleasure. He felt the establishment of a museum in the town of Ipswich, would be most useful and beneficial. He had no doubt that the studies to which such institutions naturally led were of the most ennobling character; inducing research and contemplation, they elevated the mind and lifted the heart to God. He trusted that by the continued co-operation of all classes, repeating – OF ALL CLASSES – these exertions would be crowned with abundant success. He heartily congratulated the gentlemen who had taken the initiative and the way in which their desire to promote the subject had been introduced to promote intellectual improvement. The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 5th December 1846



On Thursday, 28th January 1847, pursuant to the requisition to the Mayor, George Green Sampson, a public meeting was held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall, to consider the propriety of raising a general subscription towards ameliorating the distress in Ireland occasioned by the almost total failure of the potato crop. The Mayor, George Sampson was requested to chair the meeting which was numerously attended. George opened the meeting by telling of the appalling facts that the result of the failed potato was that in many districts more than one-twentieth of the whole population had been swept away by famine. The potato crop had been to Ireland what the wheat and oat crops were to England – the chief sustenance of the people. He felt it his duty to allude to these important matters, in order to put the meeting in possession of the amount of misery and privation which England was called upon to relieve, and he trusted that the people of Ipswich, of all classes, would, to the utmost of their means, contribute to relieving the distresses. We must neither shut our eyes nor close our ears. The Reverend Henry Thomas Lumsden described to the meeting that the parish of St. Peter, in Ipswich, had already made a plan. They had selected a district in Ireland, and to that district, the parish of St. Peter had already sent its weekly contributions, with the hope of being enabled for the next three months to send £15 per week. The Reverend John William Reeve moved that it was the duty of all Christians to do the utmost in their power, by pecuniary aid, in affording the relief so generally wanted. In the parish of Trinity, of Ipswich, great sympathy had been shown by the people. Mr. Thomas Baldock Ross, and other kind friends, had taken the matter up with great warmth and had already collected a sum nearly approaching to £80. In that parish, the Reverend John William Reeve told the meeting that he had seen less destitution this winter than before in the Trinity parish, which he attributed to the influential firm of Messrs. Ransom, who contributed so much to the benefit of the working classes throughout the town.

It was moved that, Dykes Alexander, Esq., and Edward Bacon, Esq., to be Treasurers and the Reverend George Peloquin Graham Cosserat and William Dillwyn Sims be honorary secretaries.

The resolution of raising a general subscription was put and carried. Mayor, George Sampson was thanked for his conduct in the chair and the brisk alacrity with which he had complied with the requisition. Before the meeting ended it was announced that Mrs. Henstridge Cobbold had subscribed £100; George Green Sampson, subscribed £10; and other gentlemen at the meeting also subscribed – making a total of £145. The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 30th January 1847



During 1847 many books and specimens were gifted to the new Museum. In April 1847 George Green Sampson presented the Ipswich Museum with a beautiful specimen of the Pied Peacock and case, stuffed by Mr. Haward, of Bramford, Suffolk.



During 1847, the Mayor, George Green Sampson was President of the Whitton Floral Society.  On Wednesday, 9th June 1847, at 2 o’clock, George Sampson and the Hon. Secretary, Mr. John Lott Ensor, attended the annual exhibition held at The Crown Inn, Whitton Road – landlord and nurseryman, Mr. William Lovely. A Dinner was served at 3 o’clock – with tickets, 3s. each.


FOUNDED A.D. 1825.

On Sunday, 27th June 1847, at 10 o’clock members and subscribers of the Ipswich Society for Shipwrecked Seaman, on their twenty-second anniversary attended a Divine Service at St. Mary Tower Church, where a sermon was delivered by the Reverend Erskine Neale, Rector of Kirton, Suffolk, and Chaplain to the Right Honourable Earl Spencer. The collection for the Society’s funds amounted to £15. 16s. 4d.

On Monday, 28th June 1847, the Mayor, George Green Sampson, took the chair at the twenty-second anniversary of the Ipswich Society for Shipwrecked Seamen, at the White Elm Inn, St. Clement’s, Ipswich. A spacious booth had been erected at the back of the inn and decorated with Union Jacks and Royal Standards and banners bearing mottoes. At 3 o’clock, nearly 300 members and friends partook of a most substantial dinner of Old English fare, provided by the landlord, Mr. Frederick Richardson. A band of music played to entertain those present. The Reverend Erskine Neale having said grace, the loyal and patriotic toasts were proposed by the Mayor and drank with enthusiasm. During his speech, George Sampson offered his hearty congratulations on their twenty-second anniversary, he had always taken a warm interest in the Society’s welfare, a society which he felt had progressed in usefulness and importance, and which had conferred lusting benefits upon the sea-faring population. George Sampson concluded by proposing, increased prosperity and permanency to the Ipswich Shipwrecked Seaman’s Society.

Mr. John Chevallier Cobbold, as one of the trustees, then proceeded to lay before the meeting the state of the Society’s funds. The account he was happy to say, was still an improving balance sheet. Mr. Cobbold also felt it was his duty to state that £265. 19s. 10d. of relief had been paid out to Ipswich claimants – parents, widows, orphans, regular weekly allowances, passages, provisions, cash, clothing, and lodgings during the past year. After speeches from the Stewards and Committee members, the company broke up, much gratified with the proceedings highly conducive to the best interest of the association.

The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 3rd July 1847.



The Commission of Assize for the County of Suffolk was opened on Tuesday, 27th July 1847. The learned Judges,  Sir Edward Hall Alderson, and Sir John Patteson, were met at the first mile-stone on Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, by the High Sheriff, Mr. Henry James Oakes, accompanied by his Chaplain, the Reverend Edward Gould, Rector of Sproughton, Suffolk and the Under Sheriff, Mr. James Sparke. The gentlemen and their cortege proceeded to the Shire Hall, Ipswich, amidst crowds of people. Later when their Lordships, retired to their lodgings at the New Assembly Room, George Green Sampson made an official visit as the Mayor of Ipswich, in his robe of office, the Town Sergeants bearing before him the Corporate insignia. In the evening the learned Judges dined at Shrubland Hall as guests of Sir William F.F. Middleton, Bart., who had also invited a large party of distinguished guests.

On the following morning, at 10 o’clock, their Lordships attended Divine Service at St. Mary-le-Tower Church. The Mayor, George Sampson and members of the Town Council also attended. Prayers were read by the Reverend William Nassau St. Leger, the Incumbent, and the sermon was preached by the Reverend Edward Gould. The Ipswich Journal – 31st July 1847.


On Wednesday, 27th October 1847, the re-opening of the organ at the St. Mary-le-Tower Church was celebrated with two full services, in cathedral style and ritual, after undergoing extensive repairs by the eminent organ builder, Mr. Holdich, of London. A morning service at half-past 11, and in the evening at 3 o’clock. The Right Reverend The Lord Bishop of the Diocese graciously preached a sermon during the morning service. The Reverend Samuel Rickards, Rector of Stowlangtoft, preached a sermon during the evening service. With the kind permission of the Very Reverend the Dean of Norwich, the organist and choir of Norwich Cathedral were engaged for both services. The Mayor, George Sampson and the Corporation were present in a crowded respectable and attentive church congregation. Mr. Thurtell presided at the organ, and under his auspices, the full power and tone of the instrument were displayed to perfection. All collections from the two services would go towards liquidating the expenses, with any surplus going to the East Suffolk Hospital. The Ipswich Journal – 30th October 1847



The annual meeting of the Ipswich Town Council was held on Wednesday, 9th November, at the Town Hall. The Mayor, Mr. Edward Grimwade said to the Council that the first duty of the day was to elect a gentleman who shall occupy the chair that it has been my privilege to occupy during the past year. Alderman Samuel Harrison Cowell said that it was his great pleasure in proposing Mr. George Green Sampson. Mr. John Patteson Cobbold seconded the motion. The Mayor, Mr. Grimwade put this resolution to the Council, and in doing so reminded the Council that it had been 32 years since Mr. Sampson first had the honour of Mayor of Ipswich. The motion was then unanimously agreed to amidst much applause.

George Sampson, the Mayor-Elect after prolonged applause spoke to say that it had been only in the last hour that he became aware that he was about to be honoured with the Council’s confidence in this way. He felt that it was a distinguished honour, he felt unworthy of it but would endeavour to discharge the duties of the office of Mayor to keep up the dignity to the best of his ability.

George stated that he intended to attend the Tower Church with the Corporation on Sundays. The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 12th November 1870



On Friday, 25th November 1870, The Ipswich Science Gossip Society hosted a conversazione at the Town Hall. The Mayor, George Sampson, kindly granted the use of the Library and the Council Chamber, and sent, from his own greenhouse, plants and ferns to adorn the vestibule.

Mr. William Vick provided the active business of the evening with the processes of taking the Mayor’s portrait, by magnesium light, and the exhibition of the same by means of a transparency, also taken there and afterwards shown by means of the oxyhydrogen lime-light lantern. It was a remarkably good portrait and represented the worthy Mayor sitting with his hand to his forehead, somewhat in the manner seen in the portraits of the novelist and Anglican cleric Laurence Sterne. William Vick continued by exhibiting some very fine entomological specimens by the same apparatus. Dr. Henry Pilkington Drummond assisted and named the various interesting creatures as they came out on the slides which included a mosquito, a sheep tick, a drop of water…. and a spider freshly caught by Dr. Drummond from the Town Hall….and rather lively!

To close the evening Mr. Daniel Ford Goddard’s exhibition of Professor John Henry Pepper’s curious illusion of the decapitated speaking head was very carefully and ably placed before the audience. The members with all scientific tastes, of The Ipswich Science Gossip Society, were extremely pleased at the success of this their first time at hosting an event for the public. On Saturday, William Vick returned to the Town Hall and took a photograph of the room, as a memento of the occasion. The Ipswich Journal – Tuesday, 29th November 1870


On Wednesday, 30th November 1870, a Grand Gymnastic and Musical Entertainment was held at the Corn Exchange, Ipswich, by members of the Ipswich and Suffolk Gymnastic and Athletic Association. George Samson, Mayor of Ipswich was a Patron. Reserved seats, 2s.; Front seats, 1s.; Promenade, 6d.


On the 26th December 1870, through the liberality of the Mayor of Ipswich, George Sampson, the prisoners in the Borough Gaol enjoyed a Christmas dinner consisting of roast beef, potatoes, and plum pudding, with the additional indulgence of porter. Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 31st December 1870



On Wednesday, 1st February 1871, the 9th Annual Soiree of the Ipswich Working Men’s College was held in the Public Hall. The Mayor of Ipswich, George Sampson had the honour to occupy the chair, however, because of his professional engagements he was unable to attend for the shared tea, his place was filled by Dr. Edward Christian.

George arrived at the commencement of the entertainment. During the interval, Mr. Edward Grimwade rose to congratulate the Working Men’s College on the occasion of their 9th Soiree, these gatherings had increased in interest as well as improved in quality. Edward also proposed a vote of thanks to the Mayor, George Sampson, who had attended after all his professional engagements. The programme then continued. At 11 0’clock the singing of “God save the Queen,” concluded the evening.

On the following day, Thursday, 2nd, a treat was given to about 600 children – 300 from the Ragged Schools, the remainder being composed of the children from the Union Workhouse and Tanner’s Lane Schools, plus a few from Mrs. Ogilvie’s Orphans’ Home in St. Margaret’s. The children enjoyed a first-class tea, which was followed by a similar programme of entertainment performed the previous evening. The Mayor, George Sampson was the first to address the children followed by Mr. Edward Grimwade, Mr. James Allen Ransome, Dr. Edward Christian, and Sir Stephen Lakeman who proposed to treat the children to the Cooke’s Royal Circus on Wednesday next at his own expense; but Mr. Oliver Prentice, on behalf of the teachers of the Ragged School, objected owning to the evils of the Theatre, and he also considered that horsemanships had been brought to nearly as low a level as the Theatre itself. Sir Stephen promised the children an equivalent. Present were distributed to the children before leaving having enjoyed themselves judging by the noise they made! The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 4th February 1871



On Wednesday, 29th March 1871, George Sampson as Mayor, represented the town of Ipswich at the opening of the Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences, Kensington. He was accompanied by several other invited members of the Corporation.


A quarterly meeting of the Ipswich Town Council was held on Wednesday, 26th April 1871, in the Council Chamber, at the Town Hall. As Mayor of Ipswich, George Sampson brought before the Council his desirability of having a chain for the borough, a subject which George had brought forward to the Council before but had always been unsuccessful. George told the Council that at the opening of the Royal Albert Hall he observed that the mayors of other towns wore chains, and his right-hand neighbour at the ceremony, the Lord mayor of Hull Mr Robert Jameson, expressed his surprise that he, the Mayor of Ipswich had no chain. George was convinced that a chain could be worn by the mayor with or without a robe on occasions of state, as sometimes the robe was a most cumbrous thing to wear and how uncomfortable it was to dine at the Mansion House clad in a robe. George Sampson told the Council that he was willing to head a subscription for a chain for the town of Ipswich with ten guineas.

(Image courtesy of the Civic Office, Hull City Council)


Alderman James Allen Ransome said the dignity of the office of mayor was so much more greatly consulted by the manner in which it was carried out than by the amount of ornament the mayor wore. The present mayor and his predecessors for several years had needed nothing in the shape of chains to enhance their beauty!

Concerns were raised that the cost of a chain should not come out of the borough rates and public money. George Sampson agreed and proposed once again that the chain should be purchased by subscription among the members of the Council, etc.

The Deputy Mayor, Alderman Edward Grimwade, agreed that on some occasions it would have been a very pleasant thing to have had a chain. The mayors of most important towns at home and on the Continent wore such a sign of office. Edward Grimwade also added that the matter had been before certain members of the Council repeatedly and several gentlemen had promised a subscription of £5.

The matter of the chain was then once again dropped.  Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 29th April 1871



George Sampson, as the Mayor of Ipswich received communication from Her Majesty’s Commissioners for the Exhibition of 1851 on the subject of the Annual International Exhibitions of Selected Works of Fine and Industrial Art and Scientific Inventions. On the 21st June 1871, he announced in the local newspapers his intention to convene a Public Meeting of the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood, to be held at the Public Hall, Westgate Street, on Friday, 30th June 1871, at 8 o’clock in the evening. The attendance of Ladies was requested, and seats would be reserved for them. John Charles Buckmaster, Esq., will attend on behalf of the Royal Commissioners to deliver an address, explaining the objects of the Exhibition, and to give public information on the subject. Plans and Drawings of the Exhibition Buildings and Royal Albert Hall will be exhibited at the meeting. Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 24th June 1871



On Monday, 26th June 1871, George Sampson, Mayor attended the annual dinner of the Ipswich Shipwrecked Seamen’s Society, their 46th anniversary, at the White Elm Inn, under the presidency of John Patteson Cobbold, Esq.



The Mayor, George Sampson and Mrs. Susanna Sampson attended an evening meeting organised by the Ipswich and Suffolk Gymnastic and Athletic Association, on Thursday, 27th July 1871, at the Gymnasium. They watched as skill, strength and perfection were reached by means of parallel and horizontal bars, ropes, scaffold poles, ladders, rings, trapeze, and good vaulting. At the conclusion of the meeting was a grand gymnastic display by the most proficient gymnasts. Master R. Minter, who had had a successful evening, won the event and was presented with a silver cup from the Mayor. George then spoke to all the gymnasts present to remind them that their joints and limbs were covered with membranous fibres which easily became inflamed and out of order, and he cautioned them, after such contortions as had been witnesses that evening, to take heed, instead of injuring themselves in this way by inflaming the fibres by a sudden change of the atmosphere, to give the weakened member perfect rest, and not on any account to irritate it before it got perfectly well.

A vote of thanks was proposed to the Mayor, George Sampson and three cheers for Mrs. Susanna Sampson. The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 29th July 1871


The first holiday in August under the new act appointed by Her Majesty by a royal proclamation, passed on the 25th May 1871 (34 Vict., c. 17), took place on Monday7th August 1871. The Ipswich Holiday Association resolved to treat the day as a holiday, and requested the Mayor of Ipswich, George Sampson, to help them. The gentleman, ever ready to help recommended to Ipswich tradesmen and businesses the observance of the day as a holiday.

The Bank Holiday was a gloriously sunny August day, in Ipswich the great event of the day was the fete at Stoke Park, in aid of the Widows and Orphans’ Fund of the Ipswich Shipwrecked Seamen’s Society. The fete was held in the park by permission of the tenant, Sir Stephen Lakeman, and the proprietor, Lord Gwydyr. Sir Stephen Lakeman also gave liberal contributions towards the prizes to be offered during the fete. George Sampson, as Mayor of the Borough had the great pleasure to present the prizes at the “Cottagers’ Flower Show,” held in a large tent, and managed to perfection by Mr. Daniel Long and Mr. William Groom of the Ipswich Horticultural Society. The show was contributed by some 35 exhibitors and consisted of the usual productions with the addition of a fine show of wildflowers, meadow grasses, and bouquets. One of the largest prize-takers was Mr. Joseph Turner, of Westerfield, a veteran of 81 years. The Mayor, George Sampson warmly congratulated Joseph on his success and kindly expressed a hope that the money won for the best-cultivated garden might be the means of giving Joseph some enjoyment.

George then spoke to those assembled and felt they could all add just one more sixpence to the Widows and Orphans’ Fund. George Sampson, as Mayor then presented the prizes at the conclusion of the Singing Contest. The choir of the Union Children, under Mr. John Crispin, the master of the Union, acting as conductor performed a simple and pretty part song with a good deal of natural grace. The children received a sovereign between. Mayor Sampson had heard the glee of the children singing added 10s. to their prize. The Ipswich Journal – Tuesday, 8th August 1871.


In October 1871, the Ipswich Shipwrecked Seamen’s Society announced that after settling the accounts relating to the fete there was a balance of £66. 6s. 11d. to be added to their funds.


On the afternoon of Friday, 11th August 1871, just after the 180-work force of men, women and children of the Prentice Guncotton Factory, at Stowmarket, Suffolk, had just returned to work after their lunch, when three consecutive explosions took place from three magazines, shaking the whole town – shop, church and house windows were shattered and blown out, doors were wrenched from their hinges, roofs swept away, and trees uprooted. the streets were strewn with glass and debris.

With the factory in flames, Edward Henry Prentice, and William Ridley Prentice with a few employees, attempted to move from packing sheds undamaged boxes that contained guncotton away from the fire. Just after 3 o’clock there was a second explosion in a packing shed, followed by a third explosion from a second shed.

Several people were blown into the River Gipping, many bodies were tossed considerable distances, were found dismembered and beyond identification. As soon as was possible, telegraphic messages were despatched to Ipswich and Needham Market and other places. George Green Sampson, the Mayor of Ipswich, Dr. Alexander Henry Bartlet, sen., Dr. John Henry Bartlet, jun., Dr. Henry Pilkington Drummond, and Mr. Harry Gage Moore, of Ipswich, responded to the call immediately. They helped the poor people as they were dragged from the burning buildings, of pulled from the river, or had been hit by flying debris. Eastern Daily Press – Monday, 14th August 1871

Stowmarket Guncotton explosion.

In August 1872, Captain Vivian Dering Majendie, of the Royal Artillery (Inspector of Explosives, Home Office. veteran of the Crimea war and the capture of Lucknow.) published his report. He concluded that the explosions were due to the spontaneous explosion, under the accelerating influence of very hot weather, of some impure guncotton, the impurity consisting in the presence in the cotton of a large quantity of sulphuric acid, or mixed sulphuric and nitric acids, which acid was wilfully added by some person or persons unknown after the cotton had passed through the regular processes of manufacture and testing. There are no grounds for supposing that whoever added the acid to the cotton was aware of the terrible consequences that such an act would entail; the balance of probability is, indeed, all the other way. Manchester Evening News – Saturday, 3rd August 1872.

In 1881 the company became The Explosives Company Limited. By 1885 it was again renamed as The New Explosives Company, Limted (NEC). The company expanded and introduced the manufacturing of Cordite and smokeless powder. 1907 the company was taken over by Nobel explosives. At the end of WW1 the factory concentrated on the production of chemicals. Part of the site is now owned by ICI. Imperial Chemical Industries with the manufacture of paint.



The Mayor, George Green Sampson, Mr. Simon Batley Jackaman and Mr.W. Daniel, assessors for revising the Burgess Lists, gave notice on the 21st September 1871 that they would hold the Court for Revising the Burgess Lists of the Borough of Ipswich, on Monday, 2nd October 1871, at 10 o’clock in the Forenoon, at the Town Hall. All Overseers of the Poor, Collectors of the Poor Rates, and Relieving Officers for any Parish, situated wholly or in part within the said Borough, and all persons who have been objected to as not being entitles to be retained on the said Lists, and all persons claiming to have their names inserted thereon, were required to attend.



On Wednesday, 11th October 1871, a special meeting of the Ipswich Council was held at the Town Hall. George Sampson, as Mayor of Ipswich presided. George begged the Council to allow him to introduce a matter which was not on the agenda for the day, after receiving a note from Mr. Ross Christopherson. It was in respect to a presentation to the Corporation. From Mr. Christopherson:-

To the Worshipful the Mayor of Ipswich.

Dear Mr. Mayor, On behalf of my friend, William Gardiner Sprigg, a native of this town, but now a resident in Melbourne, Victoria, I beg to offer for the acceptance of the Corporation an oil painting which I have sent to the Town Hall. The picture was painted in the Colony, and represents part of One Mile Creek, Talbot, and Mr. Sprigg writes me that it is a faithful sketch of the bush scenery of Australia.

I am, dear Mr. Mayor, your’s faithfully,

Ross Christopherson,

Ipswich, 4th October 1871.

George had the new painting displayed in the room for the Corporation and a few invited artists to inspect it. They all considered it good work. Mr. Samuel Harrison Cowell begged to move that the thanks of the Council be given to Mr. William Sprigg, with the acknowledgement of the acceptance of his gift. He went on to say that he had known William’s father, the Reverend James Sprigg very well for many years. He was universally respected in the town, not only by his own congregation but by those outside it. Mr. Ebenezer Goddard gave his pleasure in seconding the motion. The motion was then carried, and the Town Clerk, Mr. Stephen Abbott Notcutt was directed to forward their acknowledgement and acceptance of the painting. The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 14th October 1871


The Ipswich Journal – Tuesday, 31st October 1871


When George Green Sampson goes out of office, he will have done one thing for the borough to cause his name to be remembered in the town, if he does no more. He will leave behind a chain and badge, things heretofore unknown in our municipal regalia. It may be remembered that Mr. Sampson, shortly after his accession to office, had to attend the opening of the Albert Hall, and as many other Provincial Mayors were present, the absence of the usual chain of office in his own case was very striking. With his usual straightforward energy, Mr. Sampson placed the matter before the Council on his return and declared his intention of making an effort to obtain a chain and badge for the Mayor of Ipswich. The members of the Corporate body subscribed funds for a chain, and the task of producing it was entrusted to Messrs. Schulen and Boby, who have produced a very beautiful and effective work of art. The chain consists of alternate round and oval links, with plain, burnished surfaces. The badge is oval form, with the armorial bearings of the town raised upon it. The supporters are two sea horses, with silver heads, and gold bodies enamelled a sea green, and they have a very brilliant effect. The head of Neptune is introduced with a long sweeping beard, and various nautical emblems are also introduced. The whole spirit of the design is, in fact, nautical to the last degree, and it tells us on what base the prosperity of the borough rests as clearly as would a piece of letter-press history. 


Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 4th November 1871.

The Mayoralty of Mr. George Sampson will be memorable for securing to the corporation a rich and massive gold chain for its mayors – a chain in all respects becoming the dignity of the office and the importance of the borough. The magistrates and several of the members of the corporation contributed to its purchase, the order was entrusted to Messrs. Schulen and Boby, of the Cornhill; and a splendid chain it is. The style is that known as the Renaissance. The principal links are oblong and are connected by alternate round and oval links, whose plain surfaces agreeably diversify the effect. The initial form of the shield, to which the chain may be said to run, is a graceful oval, emblazoned with the arms of the borough in proper colours, and raised in gold upon it are the armorial bearings. It narrows towards the top to a slender neck for the ribbon, and again widens to form a support for the borough crest, the demi-lion holding in his paws the ancient three-masted gallery. The supporters of the shield are two sea horses, with silver heads and gold bodies, enamelled in the veritable sea green, which indicates their origin, and the disposition of these horses, in their rampant mood, is both fanciful and effective, whilst their bright colours and glittering scales add much to the brilliancy of the composition. Underneath the shield is the venerable head of Neptune, the god of the deeps, appearing in front of the setting orb, with his long sweeping beard from which fishes are seen emerging. In the composition of his marine crown hulls of vessels and sea shells are introduced, whilst various emblems of the sea fill up a very happy design. The general form of the badge itself is that of a section of a ship, and it has been carried out harmoniously with the naval spirit of the heraldic symbols. The chain throughout is a fine specimen of the goldsmith’s art, and in these days when it is fashion to decry modern jewellery as being far behind the productions of the old masters in metalwork, it is pleasant to see a decoration of this kind, which, in its happy conception and artistic execution, goes far to refute the accusation. We feel sure the corporation and people of Ipswich will ratify the opinion we have formed and be also gratified at seeing their chief magistrate wearing insignia becoming the dignity of his position. The chain will be on view at Messrs. Schulen and Boby’s during the week.



The annual meeting of the Town Council was held in a crowded Council Chamber at the Town Hall, on Thursday, 9th November 1871. As the Mayor, George Sampson entered the room, he was greeted with applause from the public gallery.

Alderman Samuel Harrison Cowell said the Council was assembled to discharge the most important of its duties – to appoint a gentleman to fill the office of mayor during the coming year. He was happy to announce that the gentleman who had filled the chair during the past year was willing to take the office for the coming year. Alderman Cowell had great satisfaction in moving that George Green Sampson, Esq., be re-elected, mayor. It was most appropriate that he who had just presented that very handsome gold chain to the corporation should be the first to wear it! He congratulated his worship and assured him that he was very pleased to be one to help cordially in receiving that valuable present which through the public spirit of the Mayor had now become the property of the corporation.

Mr. John Patteson Cobbold was most happy to second the nomination. He expressed the thanks of the town to George Sampson for the activity and energy he had displayed during the past year, he felt George was a credit and an honour to the town of Ipswich.

The motion was put by Mr. John Cobbold, and carried unanimously, amid cheering both from the Council and the public.

The Mayor, George Sampson rose to thank the Council he was pleased that they had appreciated his services during the past year. He had endeavoured, as far as possible, to uphold the dignity, privileges, and honour of the office, It was a very difficult thing at times to perform all the arduous duties of the office, and even more difficult to please all parties. He thanked his brother magistrates, the Clerk to the Magistrates, Mr. John Orford, jun., and the Town Clerk, Mr. Stephen Abbot Notcutt, jun. At the conclusion of his speech, he expressed how indebted he was to his wife, Susanna Sampson (who was seated in the upper part of the room with the other ladies), but for her, he would not have been able to take the office.



On the table before the Mayor, George Sampson lay the handsome gold chain and badge.

George begged the Council to pardon him if he mentioned one matter, which he hoped would be of interest to the Council generally. He almost feared many would think it presumptuous on his part that he should have endeavoured to obtain a gold chain to form part of the regalia of the Ipswich Corporation, to be worn by the mayor with or without the robe under various circumstances.

George thanked the gentlemen connected to the Council who had backed him up, and some he had to thank who were not members of the Council – the High Steward, Mr. Charles Austin, Mr. John Chevalier Cobbold, Mr. Robert Woodward, of Akenham, Suffolk, and Mr. Samuel Belcher Chapman.

George also pointed out that there was sufficient space left for the additions of new links by future mayors should they think it right during their year of office to add to it, and he would be most happy to add a link himself. The chain would be a credit to the town which it represented, and to which they all wished commercial prosperity, and also that it might flourish socially and morally.

Alderman George Josselyn, as one of who had cheerfully subscribed for the purchase of the chain, moved that the presentation should be formally entered on the minutes, and hoped he would be permitted to place the chain over the Mayor’s shoulders. Alderman Josselyn hoped they would all agree that it would have been wrong on their part to have allowed the Mayor, George Sampson to vacate his seat without having invested him with the chain.

The worthy Alderman Josselyn then placed the chain around the neck of his worship amid much applause.

George Green Sampson, Mayor of Ipswich said all he would say was that be he whom he might who might wear that chain in future years, he hoped he would administer justice to all parties which should be as pure as the metal of which the chain was made.


In December 1871, the Mayor, George Sampson provided and put up in the Magistrates’ Room a poor box, which he hoped, would be the means of collecting a trifle towards the relief of the deserving poor of the town during the winter.



On the 15th December 1871, George Sampson, as Mayor, announced in the local newspapers that Tuesday, the 26th December, being a Holiday under the Bank Holiday Act (34 & 35 Vict c 17), the Market will be postponed from that day to Wednesday, 27th. George also gave notice that all persons are requested to suspend as far as practicable their business on the 26th December, so that the day may be kept as a general holiday.


A meeting to inaugurate the formation of the Ipswich and East Suffolk Auxiliary to the Church Defence Institution was held at the Council Chamber, at the Town Hall, on Wednesday, 24th January 1872, at 7:30 p.m., George Green Sampson, Esq., Mayor of Ipswich presided. The admission was by ticket only.


On Wednesday, 7th February 1872, the Mayor, George Sampson and Susanna Sampson attended the 10th annual soiree of the Ipswich Working Men’s College, held at the Public Hall. George presided in the chair. A substantial tea was provided before an entertaining programme of bands, singers, and sketches. George spoke of his pleasure in presiding at the 10th annual soiree, he wished, if he had more time to be among them more than he had previously done, he would certainly do so in order to recommend, advise, and encourage young men to avail themselves of the opportunities and advantages of attending the College. Dr. Edward Christian also said a few words during the interval on the prosperous and useful condition of the College, and that the classes were attended by nearly double the number of students there were during the previous year. He then proposed thanks to the Committee and to the Mayor who had been with them many times before, and he hoped to see him again many more times in the future. The programme then concluded with musical entertainment.

On the following day, Thursday, 8th February, Mrs. Susanna Sampson was present as 650 children from the Boy’s Home, California, the Industrial School, Tanner’s Lane School, and the Workhouse Schools were entertained in the Public Hall. The children enjoyed a substantial tea, as the Gas Works Band played. The children each received a gift before leaving. The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 10th February 1872


In autumn 1871, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales contracted Typhoid Fever. Throughout the winter there was national concern, till at last the nation breathed freely once more as the Prince of Wales overcame the deadly infection. A service of thanksgiving for the recovery of the Prince of Wales was arranged at St. Paul’s Cathedral.


The Mayor, George Green Sampson, Esq., received an invitation to attend the thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral on the 27th February 1872: –


Lord Chamberlain’s Office, St. James’s Palace, S.W.,

5th February 1872.

Sir, I am desired by the Lord Chamberlain to inform you that it is her Majesty’s intention, on Tuesday, the 27th instant, to proceed to St. Paul’s Cathedral to offer Thanksgiving for the Recovery of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and that it is wished that the attendance of her Majesty’s subjects on this occasion should assume, as far as possible, a National and Representative character.

With this view, I am to state that his Lordship will reserve a seat for you personally in the Cathedral, on receiving an intimation of your desire to be present on the occasion.

I am to add that the Lord Chamberlain will be glad to receive an answer at your earliest convenience.

I am, Sir, your most obedient servant,


The Mayor of Ipswich.



On Tuesday, 27th February 1872, George Green Sampson, Mayor of Ipswich, was present at the thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. He was in his official robes, wearing his new gold chain and cocked hat. The vast interior had been fitted with seats and pews for seating 13,000 people and decorated at a cost of £13,000. Mayors of provincial towns had been invited, and the Houses of Parliament, Peeresses, wives of Commoners, representatives of the Army, the Navy, and of the metropolitan public bodies were present. The Prince of Wales and the long-secluded Queen attended to return thanks to Almighty God.

  Rev. William Lake Onslow

Just as George was leaving St. Paul’s his professional services were suddenly needed when a gentleman close to George was taken ill. The sufferer was the Reverend William Lake Onslow, Rector of Sandringham, the Private and Domestic Chaplain to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. Under the directions of George, the Reverend Onslow was helped away from the building by the police and others and conveyed to one of the Prince’s private carriages and then taken to Marlborough House, in which the Reverend was staying. The incident had created some sensation in the vicinity of the spot in St. Paul’s. The following day, George called at Marlborough House and was informed that Reverend Onslow had now recovered from his attack of illness and was feeling much better. Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 2nd March 1872, Image courtesy of the Royal Portrait Gallery. 

In Ipswich an evening choral service was held at St. Mary Tower Church, the sermon was preached by the Vicar, the Reverend James Robert Turnock, with the offertory made for the restoration of St. Paul’s Cathedral. The service concluded with the organ playing “God Bless the Prince of Wales” and the National Anthem. The Nonconformists held a united service at the Tacket Street Meeting House in the evening, which was very numerously attended.

In the streets there was but a slight display with a few flags hung out of the windows of principal houses on Tavern Street, the Butter Market and Tacket Street. Mr. Charles John Meadows, of Tavern Street, illuminated the front of his house with a beautiful transparency in the central window. The triple feather cognisance of the Prince of Wales, surmounted the motto, which was, “Long Life to the Heir of the Throne.” Mr. Edward Cuthbert, of Carr Street, the yacht decorator to the Prince of Wales, made the most effective display to be seen in Ipswich with the Prince of Wales’s feathers and the motto “Long live the Prince of Wales.” At Messrs, Levi and Cohen’s there was a Brunswick and two smaller stars illuminated with gas, and an inscription in Hebrew characters, “He health the wounds of Kings.” Crowds of people perambulated the streets during the evening only to find disappointment in how meagre was the provision for their enjoyment. Mr. Creasey turned out with his men – the Rifle Band and enlivened the streets. On the whole, however, the proceedings in Ipswich were dull and flat.   The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 2nd March 1872




The society gave its annual entertainment in the specially decorated carpet room of the “Waterloo” on Thursday, 22nd February 1872. As Mayor of Ipswich, George attended and expressed his pleasure that he had to be present. From his own knowledge, he felt sure there was a good feeling between members of the firm and their assistants. The evening followed a long program of dialogue, recitation, poetry and readings and ended with “God save the Queen.” The Mayor congratulated the firm on having so talented a staff of assistants and once again expressed the pleasure he had felt in being present. Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 24th February 1872


On the 25th March 1872, a requisition with 41 signatures from local businessmen was sent to the Mayor of the Borough, George Sampson, to respectfully solicit his recommendation that Easter Monday, 1st April, being a Bank Holiday, be observed, as far as possible, as a General Holiday in Ipswich.

George submitted his reply in the local newspaper – In compliance with the requisition, I beg to recommend that Business should, as far as practicable, be suspended on Monday, 1st April, in order that the day be observed as a Public Holiday.  The Ipswich Journal – 30th March 1872


On Tuesday, 26th March the Mayor, George Sampson presided at the fourth annual soiree of the St. Nicholas Lodge, Ancient Order of Foresters, No. 2,604, celebrated in the Public Hall, Ipswich. The room was adjourned with emblems and flags for the occasion, and about 600 foresters, their wives and friends sat down to a tea provided by brother Cocks. After tea the Mayor addressed the guests on how the institution of Foresters was originally founded for the purpose of assisting each other at all times in woe and sorrow and acting towards each other in a friendly and Christian like spirit, in alleviating the sickness or adversity which comes on unexpectedly on the poor and rich. George strongly urged the advisability of the working classes to become members. The programme of choirs, bands and solo singers was then gone through. Mr. John Hart Staddon returned thanks on behalf of the Committee to all those present. He then proposed three cheers for the Mayor for presiding. The second part of the programme was then concluded as the Orwell Works Band played The National Anthem as the finale. The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 30th March 1872


On the 16th May 1872, George Sampson, Mayor, submitted a public notice in the local newspaper – In compliance with the general wish of the Merchants, Tradesmen, and other Inhabitants of the Borough I beg to recommend that business should, as far as practicable, be suspended on Monday, 20th May, Whit-Monday, in order that the day be observed as a Public Holiday. Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 18th May 1872


At the beginning of June 1872, Mr. James Williams, sculptor of Ipswich, completed a Carrara marble bust of the Mayor of Ipswich, George Sampson. The Mayor appears in his evening dress, the bosom of his shirt and studs being visible under the robe. The drapery work shows great minuteness and exactness. So perfect is the likeness of the important insignia of office, the “Mayor’s chain” is an exact representation of the chain, gilded and coloured. The bust stands on a pedestal of polished granite was first on display at James Williams’ atelier, at California, Ipswich and was hoped its ultimate destination would be the Town Hall, a most appropriate place for the esteemed gentleman. The Ipswich Journal – Tuesday, 4th June 1872



The Mayor, George Green Sampson and the Town Clerk, Stephen Abbot Notcutt, sat at the Town Hall, on Saturday, 27th July 1872, as a Court, for the admission of Freeman. Mr. Henry Gallant Bristo represented the Conservatives, and Mr. Charles Cooper Mulley, for the Liberals. Thirteen candidates presented themselves and were admitted – nine Conservatives and four Liberals. The Ipswich Journal – Tuesday, 30th July 1872



On Tuesday, 22nd October 1872, the Mayor, George Sampson, chaired an evening lecture at the Mechanics’ Institute. George introduced the lecturer Lord John Hervey, who delivered the lecture on the Aldeburgh born poet George Crabbe. At the conclusion of the evening, George thanked his lordship for the lecture. The Ipswich Journal – Tuesday, 29th October 1872


On Wednesday, 9th October 1872, a meeting was held at the Town Hall, for the inhabitants and neighbourhood “To consider the projected Tramway from Ipswich to Felixstowe, and to pass resolutions in support of the same.” The Mayor of Ipswich, George Sampson was asked to preside over the meeting. There was an influential attendance, including several farmers resident in the neighbourhood of Felixstowe. The Mayor opened the proceedings by saying that the project had his entire confidence, that socially and commercially, the tramway would be of the greatest possible advantage to the town. He had often thought that if some means could be devised for connecting Felixstowe more closely with Ipswich it would be of the greatest possible advantage to Ipswich, enabling as it would, the inhabitants to get to the seaside in a short space of time, and in a comfortable manner. The invalids, or persons in a convalescent state, the boon would be great.

Colonel George M.P., had much pleasure in proposing the resolution drawn up by the Mayor. He once entertained the hope that there would be a railway from Ipswich to Felixstowe, but the scheme fell through, and now recourse had to be made to another project, that a tramway, which could be made much cheaper.

Mr. George Josselyn felt that the resolution spoke for itself and would be very acceptable to the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood. The state of the road was such that one’s heart almost bled for the poor animals driven upon it. He told the meeting that the gentleman that presided over the meeting much valued a good horse, and it was quite certain that he (George Sampson) would not like to drive a horse of his along that road more frequently than he could help it. George Josselyn knew there were many people felt strongly on the health-giving properties of Felixstowe was certainly one strong argument in favour of every facility being afforded for reaching the place.

Mayor, George Sampson, put the resolution and declared it unanimously carried. The Mayor alluded to the importance of the project to the town, and he added that he quite agreed with all that had been said as to the necessity of convalescent patients being sent to a place like Felixstowe, which possessed such an invigorating and life-giving atmosphere. The meeting then broke up. The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 12th October 1872


On Tuesday, 9th November 1847, the quarterly meeting of the Town Council was held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall. Mr. George Sampson rose to inform the Council that an individual had recently completed the bust of Thomas Clarkson, the price of which was something like 20 Guineas. George was happy to subscribe 2 Guineas towards its purchase so that it might ultimately become the property of the Corporation. The name Clarkson he felt would be known, not only for ages but to the end of time, as the Apostle of Liberty and Peace. The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 13th November 1847.

SPEARHEAD – November 1847

During the same meeting in November 1847 – Mr. George Sampson reminded the Council, that Captain Ethersey had presented to the Corporation some very valuable trophies taken during the war with China. George was happy to tell the Meeting that within the last few days he had received from Captain Ethersey the original spearhead belonging to the flag which they had seen suspended in the Council Chamber. He, therefore, felt that it was no more than incumbent on them, not only to move a vote of thanks to Captain Ethersey, but to request that the Town Clerk should forward the thanks of the Council to him. Mr. Nathaniel Whimper seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously. The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 13th November 1847.







Image courtesy of Mr. A. Gilbert – Ipswich Borough Council.   used for census returns, births, marriages, deaths, probates, military records and other historical online records.

Members of the Council – in and since 1835 – Mr. B.P. Grimsey – July 1892.

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