Edward Bance was born in Southampton in 1842 and in his early life worked for the Ordnance Survey. In 1866 he began practicing as an auctioneer, valuer and estate agent, eventually becoming a senior partner in the firm Bance, Hunt and Giller. He was first elected to the town council for St Mary’s ward in 1874 and played a leading role in the town’s affairs until his retirement in 1911. He was three times mayor and was awarded the Freedom of the Borough in 1911. He was instrumental in persuading the council to buy the renovated Tudor House, which was eventually to become the town’s first museum in 1912. He held a variety of posts and directorships, including the chairmanship of the Liberal weekly newspaper The Southampton Times. He attained the rank of Colonel in the Hampshire Volunteer Artillery in which he served for about 30 years, having joined as a gunner in 1863. He was also the prime mover in the building of the Drill Hall in St Mary Street (now St Mary's Sports Hall). For many years, he lived at Rose Mount Lodge in Winn Road. He died in 1925. A 1906 portrait of Bance by Herbert Colbourne Oakley is in Southampton Art Gallery.
Newspaper clippings (online or available at the Local Studies Library):
- Edward Bance, Esq. - (The Southern Reformer, 17/07/1880)
- The late Col. Bance - (HA 10/07/1925)
- "Edward Bance" - (Southern Evening Echo, 24/10/1984). Article describes Bance's role in the building of Central Bridge as well as in the drill hall in St Mary's Street and the acquisition of Tudor House.
Hampshire at the Opening of the Twentieth Century, p209 (H/s)
Southern Reformer, No 8, 17th July 1880. (HS/y)
Obituary from the Hampshire Independent, 10th July 1925. (Clippings File)
The Saving of Tudor House, by A. G. K. Leonard, p17-23. (HS/k)
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