The History of Lincoln Waites

Mr Sayles - 1857


The name of Mr Sayles does not appear in the Council minutes until 1857 (ref: L1/1/1/10) as being connected with the Waits. It is unlikely he was a Wait himself but more probable that he may have been connected with William Howe.

In fact, seven years earlier, on 4 November 1857, Frederick Alban Sayles took the Oath and was sworn in as Councillor for the lower Ward (Declarations of Officers 1835-1857, L1/5/7/1-4).

We know that Selby Dickinson and William Howe were Waits in 1857, because the Council minutes (ref: L1/1/1/10) inform us that they were being paid as such.

On the 27 March 1857, Y B Waring, the Superintendant of the General Museum of Art, wrote to Lincoln City Council asking if they could send artefacts to an important Art exhibition in Manchester (ref: L1/1/1/10). The Art Treasures Exhibition was to include "a large and most interesting display of costly City Plate and of Civic and Municipal Insignia", including exhibits from nine other major English towns and cities.

In their efforts to find suitable exhibits, on 7 April 1857, the Council decided they would try to track down the Waits Badges to send to Manchester. The Minutes of 7 April 1857 (ref: L1/1/1/10) say that the Council asked Mr Mason [Richard Mason had previously been Town Clerk] to apply "to Mr Sayles and Mr Dickinson for the Badges of Office of the Waits which they have in their possession".

The Council then, believed Mr Sayles and Mr Dickinson to each have a badge, and asked Mr Mason to trace the two others. As Mr Sayles was in possession of a Waits Badge, was he then a Wait? Or was he some relative or appointee for William Howe? He may even have been the landlord that William Howe had given his badge to in 1840 (to cover a debt of unpaid rent). Although the minutes direct Mr Mason "to trace the other two [Badges and Chains]", we already know that these had been given up for lost back in 1852. If the Council of 1857 thought they could recover the two lost badges, perhaps they also thought they could recover a badge from William Howe, despite the explanation he gave in 1852?

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