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 He was baptised at St Giles’ Church, Oxford.on 5 May. He eldest of the nine surviving children of Frederick Joseph Morrell (1811–1882) and Elizabeth Maria Parker.

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 (2 months). Ten years later his family were still in the house, but Frederick was boarding not far away at Mr Slatter’s school in Iffley.

Morrell was matriculated at the University of Oxford from 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 his mother’s family, the Parkers. On census night Frederick’s parents were at home 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. Frederick himself (now 22, and described as a fundholder) , spent census night at 5 Pittville Parade, Cheltenham with his cousin Hopewell B. Morrell, a “landed proprietor”.

In 1863 Morrell succeeded his father as Steward of St John’s College (a post he held 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 Morrell married Harriette Anne Wynter, the daughter of the President of St John’s, at St Giles’ Church, and they had the following children:

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

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

Morrell died at Black Hall in 1908, and his widow remained at the house until 1925.

In 1913 Morrell’s son Philip (the husband of the infamous Ottoline Morrell) transferred 1 St Giles’ Street to his brother-in-law John Douglas Peel (who had become a partner in 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: Not listed in Oxfordshire index
  • 1901 Census: Not listed in Oxfordshire or national index

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 25 March, 2018

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