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William Fletcher (1831-1900)
1900 Obituary 
WILLIAM FLETCHER, of Brigham Hill, Cockermouth, whose death occurred on August 6, 1900, was a prominent man in Cumberland. Born in 1831, he was the third son of Mr. J. W. Fletcher, of Tarn Bank, a member of the Society of Friends, and representative of an old Cumberland family.
When quite a young man he took part in local public affairs, and being interested in the coal trade, he saw the importance of improving the railway facilities of the district. He was an active promoter of the Cockermouth, Keswick, and Penrith Railway, of which he was one of the first directors, and of the Cleator and Workington Junction Railway, of which he was chairman; and he helped forward the transfer of the Cockermouth and Workington Railway to the London and North-Western Company.
He had great influence in the coal trade, and as chairman of the Cumberland Conciliation Board he often helped to preserve peace when strikes were threatened. The local community had the benefit of his services in various departments of local government. He was an advanced Liberal in politics, and on the death of his elder brother, Mr. Isaac Fletcher, in 1879, he succeeded him as M.P. for the borough of Cockermouth, but he only held the seat until the following year, when a general election occurred, and for personal reasons he retired in favour of his friend, Mr. Edward Waugh. He continued, however, to take an active part in local politics.
He was an original member of the Iron and Steel Institute.