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
Click image to enlarge
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

  William Robert Pettifer
  31 December 1938
  Kerbstones and corner posts
  West kerbstone: In Loving Memory/ South kerbstone: Emily the beloved wife of William E. Pettifer, at rest Jan. 3rd 1932 aged 76. North kerbstone: Also of William Robert Pettifer, born Aug. 31st 1856, died Dec 31st 1938.
  Weather stained, inlaid letters
  01 July 2014
Click here for more information on this memorial.

Other people list on this memorial

Emily Pettifer



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.

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

Mr. W. R. Pettifer 77 To-day
Article source:    Newbury Weekly News
Date of source:    30 August 1938
Copyright:    © Newbury Weekly News



CONGRATULATIONS to Mr. William R. Pettifer, Clerk to the Newbury Borough and County Magistrates, who attains his 77th birthday to-day (Thursday). He recently completed fifty years of association with the town, for he came to Newbury from Chorley, Lancs, in July, 1883. He keeps fit by taking town and country walks. When stopped in Northbrook-street on Tuesday, he recalled the great changes that had taken place in business establishments in that street alone, during the half-century. "And I can remember when the old Borough two-ton roller drawn by three horses used to roll the gravel in on this road", he said, “at least it rolled it, and the traffic did the rest”.

This obituary entry is awaiting verification.
Article source:    Newbury Weekly News
Date of source:    14 March 1895
Copyright:    © Newbury Weekly News



Mr. William Robert Pettifer, who has been appointed Clerk to the Borough Magistrates and deputy Town Clerk, is a native of Leighton Buzzard, and commenced his career at Buckingham in 1872, proceeding in 1877 to Chorley, in Lancashire, as assistant clerk to the justices. In 1883 Mr. Pettifer came to Newbury as managing clerk to Mr. Henry Burke Godwin. During that period he has constantly acted as deputy clerk to the Court, and, indeed, in latter years has been in regular attendance at the sittings of the Borough Magistrates. His advice has always been tendered to the Bench in a respectful and unassuming manner, but the magistrates have had ample opportunity to test the soundness of his judgment, and to rely with confidence upon the same.

Each succeeding Mayor has been only too glad to acknowledge the valuable help which Mr. Pettifer has rendered in the discharge of the magisterial duties, by no means the most enviable of the civic responsibilities. Mr. Pettifer's courtesy – especially to the members of the Press- has been so marked and so genial that his appointment as clerk has afforded the greatest satisfaction to all concerned. Mr. Pettifer has also proved almost indispensable to the municipal body, and indeed was regarded by many as the future Town Clerk. But he loyally declined to stand under the circumstances, and his appointment as assistant is therefore the more gratifying.

There have been some sixteen Town Clerks of Newbury since Gabriel Cox in 1662, when the first mention of the office is to be found in the existing Corporation records. Among those whose who have held office have been Richard Pococke, Joseph Garrard, Edward Godwin, John Beale, senior and junior,, James Head, Richard Townsend, Thomas Townsend. All these were previous to the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act. Subsequent to this Mr. Robert Baker was appointed, but becoming involved in a dispute with the Corporation concerning a petition he presented to the Court of Chancery on behalf of the Trustees of the Municipal Charities, he being at the same time Town Clerk to the Corporation, who disapproved of the scheme proposed, he was removed from his office by an order of the Council, but after a period of four years, during which Mr. Mark Willis held the post, Mr. Baker was restored to office, and continued till he died in 1849.

Mr Henry Bunny, who succeeded, was Town Clerk for six years, and then Mr. Robert Fuller Graham was appointed in 1854. Mr. Graham died in 1876, when the late Mr. Henry Burke Godwin was appointed, and was thus Town clerk for nineteen years.

This obituary entry is awaiting verification.

Biographies & History

No documents available at this time.

Related Links



*The FNRC believe that the certificates published on this page have been added in compliance with the rules laid down by the General Register Office (GRO).Click here for more information.
If you believe that we may have inadvertently breached the privacy of a living person by publishing any document, pleasecontact usso we can immediately remove the certificate and investigate further.
Thank you

Website designed and maintained by Paul Thompson on behalf of the Friends of Newtown Road Cemetery.

Administrator Login