James Nowell

Rothwell Times, Friday 13 February, 1893. 

Is with unfeigned sorrow we chronicle the somewhat sudden decease of one of our prominent townsmen. Only last week, we received the letter from Dr Nowell, intimating his intention not to become a candidate at the forthcoming Woodlesford School Board election. And this week we have mournfully to murmur “he is gone.”

It is now many years since Dr Nowell came to Rothwell, his residence being at Springhead, as the successor of Dr Craven. He afterwards moved to Woodlesford, still retaining a branch establishment in this town, eventually returning to Rothwell, some 12 years ago, at the same time retaining a hold of his Oulton, Woodlesford and Swillington practice.

For many years the deceased gentlemen has taken an active interest in local and imperial politics, being an advanced and energetic liberal, a strong nonconformist, and an earnest teetotaller.

He was a member of the first school board for Oulton and Woodlesford, and has remained so ever since, being chairman at the time of his death. He took an active and intelligent interest in furthering the board’s work, and was always favourable to thoroughness and efficiency.

For six years Dr Nowell was a member of the Rothwell Local Board, and although sometimes almost alone, he stoutly maintained such reforms as he believed were necessary and right.

He has held the appointment of medical officer to the Hunslet Rural Sanitary Authority since its formation in 1872, and devoted his best energies to the promotion of genuine sanitation and good local government.

Many a time has his voice been heard in support of measures of temperance and religious enterprise, and his loss will be severely felt by the temperance societies of the district, by the Oulton Free Church, and by the Rothwell Wesleyan Church.

He was present at the meeting of the school board on the 21st, and also at the last meeting of the sanitary authority, a fortnight last Wednesday. He has, however, been much troubled with bronchial attacks, for several winters, and was out for the last time a fortnight ago.

From taking his bed, he seems to have anticipated the end, and becoming gradually worse, he passed away, surrounded by most of his family, on Tuesday morning about 10 o’clock, in his 64th year.

The interment took place this morning in the quietest manner possible, the doctor’s opinions on funeral reform being strictly carried out by his sorrowing children. A short service was held in the death chamber, by the Rev W. Stewart, Wesleyan minister, and the funeral cortege consisted only of the male relatives and a few friends.

On arriving at the churchyard, the remains were carried to the grave, being met by the members of the Woodlesford School Board, Hunslet Sanitary Authority, Temperance Society, Oulton Free Church, Rothwell Wesleyan Church, and other friends, who reverently witnessed the last religious rights, and took the last look at the coffin in which light all that remained of the “old doctor,” as he was familiarly called.

The funeral arrangements were conducted by Mr T. Lambert of Rothwell. Dr Nowell leaves seven grown up children, three sons and four daughters, with whom many of our readers will join us in expressing sincere sympathy and regret.