Newspaper articles at the time of the Suffragist Pilgimage and the speech made by the suffragist Miss Frances Sterling outside Corsham Town Hall mention Dr. Crisp giving a vote of thanks at the end of the proceedings, seconded by Mr. N. Fido who thought the best solution of the women’s franchise problem was adult suffrage. The Wiltshire Times called him “that good old Radical Mr. N. Fido”.
So, who was Mr. N. Fido?
He was Nathaniel Fido, a quarryman, son of John Fido. John was born in Croydon, Surrey, but at the time of his marriage to Susan (Susannah) Norris he was living in Moor Green. Susan was from Pound Pill. In the 1851 census, the first Nathaniel appears in, his father is shown as a stone quarry labourer. It is interesting that all of John and Susan’s children were born in Corshamside except George, who was born at Monkton Farleigh in 1850. Perhaps the family had to move there in order for John to get work in the quarry industry. In the 1861 census, aged 16, Nathaniel was a quarry labourer, living with his parents at Goblins Pit, Neston. Nathaniel married Sarah Jane, later just known as Jane, Hancock on April 23rd 1868 at St Batholomew’s church.
By 1881 Nathaniel, a stone miner at this stage, and Jane were living in Rose Cottage, Hastings Road with three children. By the 1901 census he was still a quarryman, but was shown as an employer.
Nathaniel was very much involved in town life. One of the first Corsham parish councillors voted in at the initial Parish Council meeting on 4th December 1894, he was an active member of the lighting committee from the beginning. On 12th June 1895, after comparing the price per lamp paid by other areas including
Melksham, Wootton Bassett, Bruton and Marlborough, the directors of the Gas Company agreed to a reduction from £2.3.0 to £2 per lamp per annum.
Nathaniel and Councillor John Bull were the originators of the suggestion that there should be a public memorial to C.T.Mayo who had died the previous year. This was agreed at a Special Parish Meeting in June 1896.
Nathaniel was also a member of the Footpaths committee and was a very active participant. In 1912 he was given a vote of thanks for superintending the work for the repair of the footpath from Monks to Whitley. At the council meeting on 18th August 1913 Nathaniel said repairs were needed to Velley Footpath. The rest of the sub-committee agreed. He also reported damage by an engine to the footpath between Alexander Terrace and Priory Street. At this time he was also on the Town Hall committee.
I could see no mention in the Council minutes regarding the suffragists.
It appears Nathaniel was a councillor right up until his death. He died in October 1919 aged 74 and is buried in Corsham churchyard . His wife died in 1924 aged 77. His son Jesse John carried on the tradition as a councillor for Corsham.