Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Frederick Parker Morrell (1839–1908)

Mayor of Oxford 1899/1900

Frederick Parker Morrell was born in Oxford in 1839 and baptised at St Giles’ Church on 5 May. He was the eldest of the eleven children of Frederick Joseph Morrell (who was the son of Baker Morrell and was baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 14 May 1811) and Elizabeth Maria Parker, who were married at St Giles' Church on 23 December 1834.

His next eight siblings were baptised at St Giles' Church on the dates shown: James Chapman Morrell (3 May 1840, buried 10 August 1843), Baker Morrell (2 April 1841), Maria Morrell (27 August 1842, buried the next day), Anna Maria Morrell (28 May 1845), Louisa Anne Morrell (25 July 1846), Edward Chapman Morrell (20 November 1850), George Lewes Hayes Morrell (18 February 1852), and Arthur Morrell (30 January 1853). His last two siblings were baptised privately by the church: Helen Morrell (30 September 1855) and Henrietta Morrell (17 April 1857, buried 21 April).

The 1841 census shows Frederick at the age of two living with his parents at 15 St Giles’ Street. He already had two younger siblings: James (1) and Baker (two months).

Ten years later in 1851 his family were still in the same house, but Frederick himself was boarding not far away at Mr Slatter’s school in Iffley.

Frederick Parker Morrell was matriculated at the University of Oxford by St John’s College on 29 June 1857 and obtained a Fourth in Natural Sciences in 1861.

By 1861 Frederick’s family had moved to Black Hall at 21 St Giles, formerly the home of the Parkers, his mother’s family. Frederick (22), described as a fundholder, spent census night that year at 5 Pittville Parade, Cheltenham with his cousin Hopewell B. Morrell, who was described as a landed proprietor. Meanwhile his parents were at home at Black Hall with six of his younger siblings, namely Mary Sophia (17), Anne (15), Louisa (14), Edward (10), Arthur (8), and Helen (5), plus six servants: a footman, cook, housemaid, nursemaid, under-housemaid, and kitchenmaid.

In 1863 Morrell succeeded his father as Steward of St John’s College (a post he was to hold until 1882), and from 1867 he is listed in directories as a solicitor with his father at 1 St Giles’ Street (which his grandfather, Baker Morrell, had rebuilt in about 1820).

On 26 February 1867 at St Giles’ Church, Frederick Parker Morrell married Harriette Anne Wynter, the daughter of Philip Wynter, the President of St John’s College, and they had the following children:

  • Margaret Cecil Louisa Morrell (born at Black Hall and baptised at St Giles’ Church on 8 February 1868)
  • Frederica Harriett Morrell (born at Black Hall and baptised at St Giles' Church on 14 May 1869)
  • Philip Edward Morrell (born at Black Hall on 4 June 1870 and baptised at St Giles' Church on 20 May)
  • Hugh St John Morrell (born at Black Hall and baptised at St Giles’ Church on 20 August 1872).

By the time of the 1871 census, Morrell’s parents had moved away to Broughton in north Oxfordshire and Frederick was the head of the household at Black Hall. The family had a cook and four general servants.

In 1880 Morrell was appointed University Coroner and Registrar to the Vice-Chancellor’s Court, and succeeded his father as Solicitor to the University and Clerk to the Local Board and School Board.

At the time of the 1881 census Morrell and his wife were listed at Black Hall with three of their children: Margaret (13), Frederica (12), and Hugh (8), plus a governess, cook, nurse, and three general servants. Their fourth child, Philip (10) was away at the Manor House School in Thorpe Mandeville in Northamptonshire.

On 13 January 1883 Frederick's father Frederick Joseph Morrell (late of Broughton Grange in Oxfordshire) died at 85 Linden Gardens in Kensington at the age of 71. He was buried at Broughton on 18 January, and his personal estate came to £43,531 7s.

In 1891 Frederick Parker Morrell (52), described as a solicitor, was alone at Black Hall with his six servants (a cook, parlourmaid, housemaid, two lady's maids, and a kitchenmaid.

Frederick's mother Elizabeth Maria Morrell of 26 Elm Park Gardens, London died at the age of 77 and was buried at Broughton on 3 July 1894.

His eldest daughter Margaret was married in 1894:

  • On 6 October 1894 at St Barnabas' Church in Oxford, Margaret Cecil Louisa Morrell (26), described as being of 16 Worcester Terrace and of Black Hall, married the architect Edward Prioleau Warren (37) of Westminster.

On 14 March 1898 Frederick Morrell's younger son Hugh St John Morrell (25) of the Cheshire Regiment, described as being of Black Hall, died at sea on board SS Lagos. His effects came to £656 5s.

In 1899 Frederick Morrell was elected Mayor of Oxford (for 1899/1900), the first graduate of the University of Oxford to hold this office.

In 1901 Frederick Morrell and his wife were away, but their surviving children were in residence at Black Hall: Margaret (33), now Mrs Warren) with her husband and their three surviving children; Frederica (31); and Philip (30), who was a solicitor. Six servants also lived in the house.

Two more of his children were married soon after that census:

  • In February 1902 in London, Philip Edward Morrell of St Giles' parish married
    Lady Ottoline Violet Anne Cavendish Bentinck
    of Eton Square, London
  • In April 1905 in Oxford, Frederica Harriette Morrell married
    John Douglas Peel
    , a solicitor of St Barnabas' parish.

† Frederick Parker Morrell died at Brown's Hotel in Albemarle Street, Middlesex at the age of 68 on 22 March 1908. He was described as being of Black Hall, Oxford and Broughton Grange, Oxfordshire. His effects came to £35,646 6s. 4d., and his executors were his wife Harriette, his son Philip (who was now an M.P.), and his son-in-law and business partner John Douglas Peel.

His widow Harriette Anne Morrell remained at Black Hall until her death there at the age of 81 on 9 November 1924. Her effects came to £16,621 12s. 4d.

In 1913 Morrell’s son Philip Morrell transferred his father's office at 1 St Giles’ Street to his brother-in-law John Douglas Peel, who had been a partner since 1902.

See also:

  • Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 28 March 1908, p. 5a (obituary)
  • Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 23 May 1908, p. 5b (will)
  • Brigid Allen, Morrells of Oxford. The Family and their Brewery 1743–1993 (Oxfordshire Books, 1994)
  • The Times, 14 November 1913, p. 12f: Letter to the Editor: “A University Mayor of Oxford”
  • 1841 Census: Oxford (St Giles), 891/05/6
  • 1851 Census: Oxford (Iffley), 1127/277
  • 1861 Census: Oxford (St Giles), 892/55 (rest of Morrell’s family)
  • 1871 Census: Oxford (St Paul), 1436/79
  • 1881 Census: Oxford (St Giles), 1499/124
  • 1891 Census: Oxford (St Giles)
  • 1901 Census: Not listed in Oxfordshire or national index

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 18 January, 2021

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