Henry Charles Mylne
DescriptionA native of Edinburgh, Henry, born on the 16th January 1853, was the son of James (1807-1879) and Emilia Elizabeth(b. 1853), nee Roberts and the youngest of four brothers and three sisters. James held the position of Writer to the Signet. (Solicitors in Scotland were previously known as writers. Writers to the Signet were the solicitors entitled to supervise use of the King's Signet, the private seal of the early Kings of Scots. Later they were specialized solicitors). The family must have been quite well off because, according to the census of 1871 they employed six servants.
Henry Charles embarked on a preliminary study of engineering at Edinburgh University in 1871. This was followed by an apprenticeship of six years with engineering companies in Leith and Glasgow after which, from 1878 to 1880, he worked in the mechanical department of Messrs. Baxter Brothers, Dundee.
In 1886 he married Edith Eleanor nee Baxter (1857-1923) from Dundee. She was the fourth daughter of the Right Honorable William Edward Baxter (1825-1890, a reformer who had opposed the corn laws, and Janet nee Scott (1825-1910).
Henry Charles became a member of the Mechanical Department of Baxter Brothers of Dundee, owned by his father-in law. When Henry moved to London to further his studies at the City of London College at the beginning of 1882 it is quite possible that Edith's father regarded this Scotsman from an affluent Edinburgh family as a possible suitor for his daughter and invited him to pay the Baxter family a visit at their apartment at Queen's Gate. A romance eventually developed and four years later - wedding bells in Scotland.
Henry and Edith came to Wokingham around 1887, the year that their daughter Emilia was born. The family at first resided in Field House in Gipsy Lane and later in Staverton at 25, Murdoch Road. By then he was a consulting engineer inspecting machine plant and materials.
In 1910 he decided to join Wokingham Town Council. He was elected Mayor ten times which is something of a record.
Outside civic duties he was churchwarden at All Saints' Church from 1909 to 1919 and was elected a governor of the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.
During the First World War he was Wokingham’s War Mayor, giving all his time to the maintenance of the war hospital; operations in aid of the sailors and soldiers; work in connection with the Military Tribunal; food control; organization of War Savings Associations and the establishment of War Relief Funds.
In addition to serving her husband as Mayoress, Edith Eleanor joined the war effort by turning Wokingham Town Hall into a venue for bazaars by which she obtained finances to purchase materials and a workshop for her helpers to use the materials to make comforts for the troops in various countries.
In the early part of September 1919, Henry went to Edinburgh for a much needed rest after his labours for town and council. But it was soon evident that he had been under greater strain than had been imagined and he there died on the 21st October.
On the day of his funeral in Edinburgh and, at the same hour, a memorial service was held at All Saints' Church in Wokingham. Mylne Square was named in his memory. Henry and Emilia are buried together in Dean 2a Cemetery, Edinburgh.
SourceFormer Mayors of Wokingham from 1885 - 1946, by J Bell.
“Henry Charles Mylne,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed August 14, 2020, https://wokingham-tc.gov.uk/museum/document/WTH0139.