Sunday, 8 August 2010

L&SWR - Election of a Director Notice for Shareholders - 1875

This is probably one of the most useful Documents for my PhD. I know it doesn't look like much, but it shows part of the process of election L&SWR directors engaged in before they actually became directors. From the literature, the general feeling about railway company boards in the 19th century was that they were self-perpetuating. So, for example, when a board member died or retired, the remaining directors would choose a replacement from those who applied for the vacancy. Yet, for the appointment to be completed prospective directors had to be confirmed by a meeting of the shareholders. As the documents shows, the new directors therefore had to engage in a degree of canvassing. Therefore, the subject of the above circular above, Arthur E. Guest, clearly was detailing his positive attributes for the shareholders to increase his chances of election.

Guest was confirmed as a board member and served as a L&SWR director until 1898. He, therefore, became one of the company's longest serving directors. He was born in 1841 and had been educated at Harrow and Trinity College Cambridge. Aside from his membership of the L&SWR board he was also a member of the board of the Taff Vale Railway company.

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