Personal information about William Robert Pettifer

Below is all the information we have about William Robert Pettifer. As far as we know, the information is correct. However, if you find any errors or have additional information, certificates or pictures, please contact us so that we can update this page. Thank you.

Burial Information

Name on burial register:
   William Robert Pettifer
Burial register image
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Age at death:
Date of burial:
   03 January 1939
Abode at death:
(according to burial register)
   42 Howard Road, Newbury
Burial register information:
Book number: 1917
Page number: 216
Record number: 11324
Official at burial:
   Cecil F Guy
Source of information:
  Burial Register

Memorial Details

No memorial information available at this time.



Obituaries and Newspaper announcements

William Robert Pettifer
Article source:    Newbury Weekly News
Date of source:    05 January 1939
Copyright:    © Newbury Weekly News





Mr. W.R. Pettifer, whose death is recorded this week, held public appointments in the town for 51 years. Only last week it was mentioned in the Justice of the Peace, in an article written by his eldest son, that Mr. Pettifer's reminiscences extended back so fa that he could clearly remember the days before the Justices' Clerks Act, 1877, was passed; when every justice could have, if he wished, a personal clerk of his own, and many did. These men sat in front of the magistrates, and on any point of difficulty each justice consulted his own clerk, with the consequent confusion and wrangling about fees. Sometimes this even resulted in a free fight amongst the clerks on the floor of the court.


Newbury Weekly News 5 January 1939


This obituary entry is awaiting verification.
William Robert Pettifer
Article source:    Newbury Weekly News
Date of source:    05 January 1939
Copyright:    © Newbury Weekly News





Former Deputy Town Clerk



Mr. William Robert Pettifer, who had a record of 51 years' service to the Newbury Borough magistrates, died at his home in Howard-road, Newbury, on Saturday morning, at the age of 82.  He had been in failing health for some time, and it was a great disappointment to him that in recent years his favourite hobbies of walking and reading had to be restricted.  Even up to date years he used to walk miles every day, but since last Easter he had to depend upon a bath-chair to get about.


Mr. Pettifer was a native of Leighton Buzzard and began his career at Buckinghamshire in 1872, going to Chorley, Lancs. In 1877 as assistant clerk to the Justices.  In 1883 he came to Newbury as managing clerk to Mr. Henry Burke Godwin, who practiced as a solicitor in the town and was also Town Clerk, and clerk to the –Borough Justices.   Mr. Pettifer took the position of Borough accountant and frequently acted as deputy clerk to the magistrates.


On the death of Mr. Godwin in 1895, Mr. Pettifer was appointed clerk to the Borough magistrates and served as deputy to Mr. F. Queckett Louch, the new Town Clerk.  While Mr. Louch took the position of professional legal adviser to the Corporation, Mr. Pettifer undertook the details of municipal work.  Mr. Louch died in 1922 and Mr. Pettifer - in addition to acting as temporary Town Clerk until Mr. Widdicombe was appointed - succeeded him as clerk to the -Newbury County magistrates.  On his retirement in June 1934.  Mr. Pettifer was the recipient of presentations from both Benches magistrates, and tributes were paid to his ability and the great care he always took to help the court to a reasonable judgment.  His long experience and knowledge made him the best of magistrates' clerks, and each succeeding Mayor was only too glad to recognise the help he gave. He had a vast understanding of the human as well as the legal side of Court work, and he was always anxious to ensure that a defendant or a prisoner who was un-represented should receive a fair hearing.


When he came to Newbury Mr. Pettifer was a member of the Church of England of the evangelical school.  He was a pronounced Protestant and was strongly opposed to ritualistic practices. This led to his joining the Wesleyan Methodist Church some years ago.





Mr. Pettifer was married at Bardsley, Lancs, two years before coming to Newbury, and in 1931 he and his wife celebrated their golden wedding.  Mrs. Pettifer died shortly afterwards.  He leaves six children, two a sons and four daughters.  The sons follow their father's calling, Mr. Ernest W. Pettifer being magistrates' clerk in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and Mr. Robert Pettifer being Clerk to the Justices at Dartford.  One daughter, Miss Janet Pettifer, has devoted some years to looking after her father and mother.


The Funeral


The funeral took place at the Newtown- road Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon, the service being conducted by the Rev. Cecil F. Guy, Newbury Methodist minister.  The family mourners were Mr. E. W. Pettifer,  Doncaster, and Mr. Robert Pettifer, Dartford (sons),  Miss J. Pettifer, Miss K. Pettifer, Mrs. J. Clark, Aylesbury, Mrs. A. M. Bailey, Harrogate (daughters), Mr. A. M. Bailey (son-in-law).


Among those present were the Mayor and Mayoress (Councillor and Mrs. G. G. Green), the Deputy Mayor (Councillor G...E. Slater), Major H. L. Archer Houblon, J.P. (representing Newbury County magistrates), Alderman A. C. Elliott, J.P., Councillor J. H. Thompson, J.P., Mr. E. P. Plenty, J.P., Mr. W. N. Hunter, J.P., Mr. A. T. Watson, J.P., Mrs. E. A. Hopson, J.P., Alderman F. D. Basett, Councillor W. H. Bentley, Councillor and Mrs. R. F. Jeffery, Councillor F. W. Taylor (representing the Reading and District Retired Police Officers Association), ex-Superintendent W. Simmons, Mr. W. J. Rosling, Mr. Ross H. Jeeves (Borough Treasurer), Mr. E. H. Hutton (Borough Surveyor), Mr. R. Swingler (Education Secretary), Mr. A. H. Mussell (Town Clerk's office), Mr. J. K. Woollacott (Magistrates' Clerk's office), Supt. R. T. Lambourn, Inspector W. H. Benstead, Miss S Connor (Probation Officer).


Mr. Hugh Turner, Capt. Stephen Knight, Mr. Charles Dalby, Mr. John Freeman, Mr. A Douglas Daniel, Mr. T. Denham, Mr. A. G. a Cox, Mr. J. S. Paine, Mr. W. G. Paine, Mr. L. W. Thorne, Mr. and Mrs. L. Tennant, Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Smith, Mr. J. Baverstock, Mr. W. Noakes, Mr. W. R. Lewis, Mr. J. Holmes, Mr. A. M. Hedge, Mr. R. Peachey, Nurse Loveridge, Miss Mason.


Mr. S. Widdiombe (Town Clerk and Clerk to the Newbury Borough and County a magistrates) was unable to attend owing to a chill, and for the same reason Mr. W. M. R. Lewis (Clerk to the City Justices, Bath) could not be present.


Wreaths were sent by: His children, Ernest and Mabel. Janet, Kathleen, Eleanor, Norah and Arnold, Robert and Lily; Nelly, Jim and Dick; Ruth; Dorie; all at Merlindale; W. R. Lewis and Mrs. Swaite; Dot. Geoff and Joan (High Wycombe); Mr. and Mrs. S. Widdicombe; the Misses Butcher A and Nurse; Mrs. Harding and Amy; Mr. S and Mrs. W. J. Mumford Bailey; Mr. and Mrs. Hawtin; T. and M. Denham; Mr. Douglas Daniel; Mrs. Crawshaw; a few friends at Daniels; Members and Friends at Stroud Green Methodist Church.


The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. A. S. Chivers.

 Also – Married Emily Bonner from Aston, Warwicks, in December 1881


            In his will he left £1,578 9s. 10d to Ernest William Pettifer and Janet Pettifer


 Mrs. P p. 185

b. 31/8/1856

d. 31/12/1938



























This obituary entry is awaiting verification.

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