On Friday the 30th Ult at 2 o’clock P.M. the Queen was proclaimed in the Town with every demonstration of loyalty. Wm Hirst
Esq[‘Esq’ is deleted in pencil, and ‘Mr’ written above ‘Wm’] (in the stead of the Borough Bailiff who was indisposed) accompanied by the Sheriff’s Officer, read the Proclamation in the Square in the presence of a large concourse of people. The children of the National & Infant Schools formed a largecircle & were regaled with negus and Biscuits, and the populace had several Barrels of ale distributed amongst them. The Proclamation was received with hearty BritishEnglish cheers, after which the procession being formed & headed by two Bands of music moved to other parts of Town where the Proclamation was read with similar expressions of loyalty - after which a large party of Gent. adjourned to the Crown Inn, where the health of the young Queen with many [other?] patriotic toasts was drunk with due honors and the remainder of the afternoon spent in the greatest good humour. The Procession was accompanied by a great number of ladies who contributed in no small degree to enliven the scene.”
He was of a local family – one uncle was Thomas Dew, borough bailiff and a partner in the Boroughbridge Bank with Thomas Stubbs and others; another uncle was Henry Hirst, a Northallerton solicitor.
Hirst’s career bridges the old and the new. He was the agent for the Duke of Newcastle, who owned the rotten boroughs of Boroughbridge and Aldborough in the last days before Parliamentary Reform. And he was Boroughbridge's first Postmaster. He must have had a finger in every pie in Boroughbridge during his years in practice!