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Louisa MORFILL (c. 1851- )


Spouse: John Robert PENFOLD, 1899, age 42, John Robert Penfold [cross on hand]

1 Louisa MORFILL (c. 1851- ) [88].

Born 1851 (cal), Marylebone, Middlesex, England.1 Marr John Robert PENFOLD 6 Jun 1906, Hanover Square, London, England.

Sp. John Robert PENFOLD2 (1857-1924) [86], son of William PENFOLD (1826-1873) [11] and Mary Ann Charlotte GUNN (1831-1886) [12].


"John Robert was born on 12th April 1857 and was baptised in Hartfield on 24th May 1857. The family attended the Methodist Chapel there with weekly sermons by the Reverend John Lemon. It seems that John's father, William arranged with the local cordwainer to have him trained in the making and repair of footwear.

It is not known whether this was formal apprenticeship, or merely a friendly arrangement. The 1871 Census lists him at the age of 13 in Hartfield as Labourer.

John married at the age of 21 to Mary Jane Wilmshurst aged 22.

Her father was a farmer at Milsham Farm, Heathfield. They married at the Independent Chapel, Heathfield, and the Reverend John Lemon conducted the ceremony. Frederick Charles Pinniger and Ellen Wilmshurst were witnesses to the marriage. Apparently John would walk from Hartfield, approximately 20 miles to Heathfield each Sunday to meet Mary.

They moved to Field Gate, Mitcham, Surrey, the same year their first son, Frederick William, was born there on 8th December 1879.

They then took over a shop in Queen's Road, Chelsea. Their second son Arthur was born on 24th November 1883, in a house, several doors from their shop. It is not known why he was not born at the home address.

The shop was the centre of the family life. John took orders for boots and shoes and made them himself whilst repairs were done by an assistant.

A third son Charles Edward was born on 1st December 1885. At the beginning of 1886 John Robert's mother died. It is assumed that she was living with John and the family as the Registration of the Death was in Chelsea.

She had obviously come up from Hartfield at some stage either because she was unwell or to help look after the children.

A daughter, Mary Jane, was born on 16th March 1888 and another daughter Mabel was born on 11th November 1890. The 1891 Census lists them at 25 Queens Road and Mabel is 4 months old. Sarah Wilmshurst, John Robert's mother in law was living with them too at this time.

All five children in turn went to the Christ Church National School, Chelsea. It was unfortunate that Fred, who had been selected for further education at the United Westminster Schools, had to leave within a few months to assist his mother with the business, as John Robert had a severe attack of rheumatic fever and several weeks elapsed before he was able to get about again. The doctor's opinion was that he should give up the business after a serious breakdown, and should seek a gradual return to full health in some open-air means of employment. Hence the shop was sold and the family moved. John Robert bought an insurance round, which brought in a small income and Fred found a job in Victoria Street, which brought in a little more money. This all occurred in 1895/6. John Robert set up a shed and bench in the yard of the house in West Chelsea, where he could perform light work.

Charles and the girls were taken in as new pupils at Ashburnham Road School, but after 18 months another move was made to 48 Rosenau Road, Battersea, but only for a short while.

John Robert had been elected as one of the six Labour members returned for the St. John Ward to Westminster City Council on Monday 9th November 1903 and he served for three years until November 1906.

During the 1900s, John's wife Mary Jane's health began to deteriorate, and she died on 29th January 1905 at the London County Asylum, Dartford, Kent.

By now the family had left the Battersea home and had become the first tenants of a flat on the fourth floor of 52 Hogarth Building, Millbank Estate.

John Robert had been running the footwear department of the Co-operative Brotherhood Trust, a store in Clerkenwell, but he now felt well enough to resume shopwork and a few printed cards announcing the opening of the shop advertised it to many on the estate. The shop was just around the corner in Chapter Street and was very convenient.

John married for the second time, Louisa Morfill, a widow, on the June 1906 at The Register Office, St. George Hanover Square. May Eliza Morfill, a daughter from Louisa's first marriage, and Frederick William Penfold were witnesses. Louisa ran a Sweet Shop in Rampayne Street, Westminster, but they lived in Lupus Street.

John Robert died on 15th March 1924 of Endocarditis and Multiple Emboli aged 66 years at Charing Cross Hospital. He was buried at Mitcham Old Churchyard where Lord Snell conducted a short meeting in the chapel prior to the interment. He is buried in unconsecrated ground with his sister, Jane and his daughter, Mabel."

(From Diana Smith)



To demand the amendment and passing of the Unemployed Bill.


Derby Daily Telegraph: 14th December 1916



At Bow-street to-day, ex-Inspector John Syme, secretry of the National Union of Police and the Prison Officials' Union and William George Mead, printer of Putney, wee charged under the Defence of the Realm Regulations, with spreading reports and makding statements likely to prejudice the discipline of the Metropolitian Police Force, and John Robert Penfold, a bootmaker, and treasurer of the Union of Westminster, was charged with aiding and abetting them. There was also charge against Syme and Mead of being concerned in publishing statements in newspaper called "The Police and Prison Officers' Journal," likely to prejudice the discipline of the police.

Mr Bodkin, for the Public Prosecutor said proceedings had been taken in respect of speeches made by Syme and Penfold in Hyde Park on Sundays, and in respect of matters appearing in "The Police and Prison Officials' Journal" of which Syme was editor and proprietor, and W.G.Mead and Co. the printers. It would be as well to state that newsagents who sold copies of the paper containing the matter prohibited by the regulations would find themselves in an awkward position. In consequence of the past history of the Police Union and the increasing mischief which it was doing, an order was made prohibiting any member of the force from attending any meeting held under its auspicis. The journal had made numerous references to this order, all of them being in the direction of inciting to disobedience to it. Some members of the force had already been dismissed for joining the Union. With regard to the journal, its sole object was the underming of authority. It extolled the speeches of Syme without reprinting, and printed letters from Union members urging rebellion against the authorities. Those attacks, added Mr. Bodkin, on the part of Syme, a completely discredited person and a dismissed policeman, had been made from motives of revenge and with complete unscrupulness. The defendants were remanded in custody.


Evening Telegraph And Post: 19th December 1916


As Witness In Bow Street Court Case.

The adjourned hearing of the charge against ex-Inspector John Syme, William George Mead, and John Robert Penfold took place at Bow Street to-day. The first two men were charged with spreading reports likely to prejudice the discipline of the Metropolitan Police Force, and Penfold with aiding and abetting. Syme was further charged with publishing in the newspaper called The Police and Prison Officers' Journal statements likely to have the same predudicial effect.

Syme said in defence he wished to call witnesses, including Mr Herbert Samuel, as to regulations issued by the Home Office.

The Magistrate said there was no need to call Mr Samuel. Syme said the whole prosecution was a plot of the Government to persecute him. Defendant read a statement setting forth the object of the National Union of Police and Prison Officials, which he said were to defend the police force against tyranny in the interests of the men themselves and the public.

Evidence was given that Mead was not associated with the other defendants and only printed their paper as a business matter. Taking his good character into account, the Magistrate fined Mead £25. The proceedings against Syme and Penfold were adjourned.


The Manchester Evening News: Tuesday, December 19, 1916


Charged Under the Defence of the Realm Act.

At Bowstreet, London, to-day, ex-Inspector John Syme was again charged under the Defence of the Realm Regulations with having made statements of a prohibitive character in speeches which he delivered in hyde Park and Regent's Park on November 26, December 3, and December 19. John Robert Penfold was charged with aiding him and William George Mead, the printer of "The Police and Prison Officials' Journal" of which Symes is the editor also took his place in the dock.

The proceedings were taken under the recent regulations forbidding anyone by word of mouth, or in writing, or in any newspaper, to spread reports or make statements intended or likely to prejudice the discipline of any police force.

Mr Bodkin, for the Treasury, had alleged that the prisoners thought that the present was the proper time to attack persistently in a most malicious manner many of the most respectable officers of the Metropolitan police force.

A policeman produced a police order of November 13 circulated among the Metropolitan Police intimating that any one joining the Federation rendered himself liable to dismissal. Every member was prohibited from attending meetings where language was used inciting to insubordination. Witness had attended meetings in many parts of London, and had noticed Penfold at most of them. Penfold had been referred to as treasurer of the union.

Cross-examined by Syme, he agreed that he had never heard any speaker incite the police to strike. He had heard them councel the police not the strike. He had heard Syme refer to what he called scandals of the force.

In the course of further cross-examination witness said he had heard Syme complain that the police were unable to do their duty in the matter of the supervision of public houses and other places owing to the friendship of people with superior police officers.


Syme: Have you heard me say that the blackmail of Germans who should be interned was a danger to the realm? Yes. Witness said that Syme had made allegations against high officials of receiving money.


Syme, in his defence, complained that he had been persecuted for some years. "It is a case of hushing up the trruth all the way through" he said. having called the Right Hon. Herbert Samuel as witness, and no reply being forthcoming, Syme asked for a remand. On this being refused defendant protested, and in the course of his address to the magistrate said, "It is known that you are under orders to convict me, your Worship - a contemptible act on the part of the British Governament"

It was stated that Mead's connection with the case was that he merely printed the journale as a matter of business.

The magistrate fined Mead £25 and costs. The case against Syme was further adjourned.


Western Daily Press: 23rd December 1916


Ex-Inspector John Syme, secretary of the National Union of Police and Prison Officers, and John Robert Penfold, treasurer of the Union, again appeared at Bow Street, yesterday, the first named being charged with spreading reports and making statements likely to predudice the discipline of the Metropolitan Police Force, and Penfold with aiding and abetting. Syme was sentenced to six months' in prisonment, and Penfold was ordered to find a surety in £100 to be of good behaviour for twelve months. Penfold having given assurance that he would comply with this order, a surety came forward, and he was released. Syme said he intended to appeal.


Westminster and Pimlico News: 24th March 1924

We much regret to have to announce the death of Mr. John Robert Penfold, a well known local Labour leader and worker in Westminster for the past 30 years. Mr. Penfold passed away on Saturday last after a very brief illness. He was at one time a member of the Westminster City Council, representing the St. John's ward, in which he lived and worked as a shoemaker. There was no mistaking Mr. Penfold's zeal for the betterment of the working-classes; nor was it possible to question his rigid honesty and desire to "play the game." He had read widely, and was an interesting conversationalist. Ever ready to give a political opponent credit for the best of motives, he would plunge eagerly into an argument at any moment, and he was so original - often quaintly - that it was always delightful to listen to him. The writer had a talk with him a few weeks back, and he was profoundly thankful that he had lived long enough to see a Labour Government. And he was full of ambitious schemes for the future welfare of Westminster - from his own party point of view.

(From the Westminster and Pimlico News, March 21, 1924 supplied by Diana Smith).



1"Census 1911 Westminster, London, England RG14 Piece: 475 Reference: RG14PN475 RG78PN16 RD5 SD3 ED10 SN163" (RG14 Piece: 475 Reference: RG14PN475 RG78PN16 RD5 SD3 ED10 SN163).

Source: Census 1911 Westminster, London, England RG14 Piece: 475 Reference: RG14PN475 RG78PN16 RD5 SD3 ED10 SN163, 1911Census-john robert penfold-st george

2"Poster: John Robert Penfold - Tree001:W05".

Source: Poster: John Robert Penfold - Tree001:W05, John Robert Penfold - Poster