There is still time for you to vote for two figures from the Harborough district’s past to be honoured with an iconic Green Plaque

They are on a shortlist of 12 – and now it’s up to you to vote for the top six to receive a plaque

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 5:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 5:04 pm
Frances Deacon and Samuel Swinfen Burdett.
Frances Deacon and Samuel Swinfen Burdett.

Time is running out for you to vote for two outstanding figures from the Harborough district’s past to be honoured with an iconic Green Plaque.

You have until just before midnight on Sunday October 24 to support outstanding 19th century Harborough pioneer Frances Deacon and top politician and military leader Samuel Swinfen Burdett.

They are both in with a real chance of being recognised in the sixth round of Leicestershire County Council’s awards scheme.

Frances and Samuel are on a shortlist of 12 – and now it’s up to you to vote for the top six to receive a plaque.

Born in Kibworth in 1837, Frances became the first woman to pass formidably stringent qualifying tests to become a pharmacist.

The female trailblazer registered as a Chemist and Druggist on February 5, 1869 after taking the Pharmaceutical Society’s exam in her stride.

Frances paid her subscription and followed all the Society’s rules and regulations.

But as a woman in deep Victorian England she was not finally admitted as a member of the prestigious Pharmaceutical Society until a decade later in 1879.

Frances worked alongside her father, who was also a chemist, before later opening her own pharmacy in Fleckney.

She died in 1930 at the age of 92 – when she was hailed as the country’s oldest-registered chemist.

Frances has been put forward for the honour by Fleckney Parish Council.

Samuel Swinfen Burdett emigrated from Harborough to the USA when he was just 12-years-old.

But he was a huge supporter of Broughton Astley - where he was born and grew up – all his life.

Highly-gifted Samuel played a key part developing the policies, laws and traditions of his adopted country during the 19th century.

Samuel was elected as a senator to the US Congress and helped to lead Abraham Lincoln’s Union army as a general during the American Civil War of 1861-65.

It was during one of his visits back to his beloved home town of Broughton Astley that he became ill and died in the house where he was born on September 24, 1914, aged 78.

Samuel is being put forward for a Green Plaque by Broughton Astley Heritage Society.

Cllr Dan Harrison, the county council’s chairman, said: "This is the sixth round of Green Plaque Awards.

“They always get a fantastic response from the public, who have the opportunity to pay tribute to people and places who have made a mark on the history of their communities.”

He added: “It’s up to the people of Leicestershire to have their say by voting for their favourites – you can vote for up to six.

"The six who get the most votes will be honoured with a Green Plaque. “Don’t miss out on the chance to have your say - make sure you vote by Sunday 24 October.”

To find out more information about the nominees and to vote, visit www.leicestershire.gov.uk/greenplaquesA postal voting form is also available for anyone without internet access by calling 0116 305 4112.

The other nominees are:

Lt Col Eric Bent VC DSO, attended school in Ashby-de-la-Zouch. He was awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War

Sgt Herbert Ernest Black RAFVR, Second World War bomber pilot from Measham

George Fox, of Fenny Drayton, who founded the Quaker Movement

William Lilly, astrologer and author who was born in Diseworth

Regt Sgt Major Thomas Meredith DCM from Wigston Magna. He was a member of the Royal Leicestershire Regiment and WWII prisoner of war

Military Stables at the Defence Animal Training Unit, Melton

The Pound, an historic site in Countesthorpe where stray animals were kept

William Railton, architect who designed Nelson’s Column and many Leicestershire landmarks including Beaumanor Hall in Woodhouse

Theodora Salusbury, Arts & Crafts stained glass artist who designed stained glass windows in churches across Leicestershire

Count Louis Zborowski, racing driver and engineer who lived for a time in Melton Mowbray.