Chapter 9

John Jones Ponting

John Jones Ponting was born on 10 April 1843 at Hengaston Farm, Breadstone. He was the son of Henry Ponting, farmer and Jane Jones (Reg Gen June Qtr 1843 Thornbury 11 456). His father Henry registered the birth. John Jones was baptised on 7 May 1843 at Stinchcombe, the son of Henry Ponting, farmer of Hengaston and his wife Jane (Chapter 4).

At the time that the 1851 census was taken John Jones Ponting, aged 8, scholar, was living with his widowed mother Jane and his siblings at Appleridge, Highfield, Gloucestershire (Chapter 4).

By 1861, John Ponting, aged 18, had moved to London and was living at 35 Stephenson Terrace, St Mary's, Islington. He is described as an assistant to the head of the household, Owen Evans, a 35 year old linen draper. Also at the address was Owen's wife Charlotte, 1 other drapers assistant and a general servant.

On 2 April 1871 John J Ponting, aged 26, was living at 123 Westbourne Grove with his widowed mother, Jane, brother Thomas and sister Mary. All the children state that their occupation as "draper employing 4 assistants" (Chapter 4).

On 1 August 1872, John Jones Ponting married Fanny Osborn Jefferson at Kensington Parish Church (Reg Gen Sept Qtr 1872 Lambeth 1d 451). John describes himself as a bachelor of full age, a draper, living in Kensington. His father is given as Henry Ponting, deceased. Fanny is described as a spinster of full age living at Foxley Road. Her father was Edward Jefferson, deceased. Both parties signed the marriage register. The witnesses were B Farrow and Ashfield Ann Ponting (Chapter 12). The certificate below is a certified copy from the General Register Office. 

Fanny Osborn Jefferson was born on 28 July 1851 in Sherington, Bucks, the daughter of Edward Jefferson, farmer and Sarah Osborn (Reg Gen. Sept Qtr 1851 Newport Pagnell 6 399). Fanny appears to be a late arrival for at the time the 1851 census was taken her father, Edward was 52 and her mother Sarah was 41 years old and it seems she was the product of both her parents second marriage. Edward is described as a farmer of 240 acres employing 14 labourers.

Edward Jefferson was born on 16 March 1778 and had been baptised on 21 March 1778 at Newport Pagnell (IGI). He had previously been married to Sarah Checkley. In 1841 they were living at Calves End, Sherington with nine children ranging in ages from 7 to 15. Sarah Jefferson died in 1849. By 1851 only three of their children remained at home, son Joseph, aged 20 and daughters Sarah, aged 16 and Ann aged 14. Sarah Osborn had been born on 13 November 1812 and baptised on 9 December 1812 at The Great Meeting Independent in Newport Pagnell. Her first husband had been John Pancoust Swannell. He had died in 1841. At the time the census was taken, Sarah is described as a farmer living at the same address in Tyringham is Thomas Osborn, also a farmer who I take to be her brother. Edward and Sarah had married on 12 December 1850 at Newport Pagnell.

Edward Jefferson died on 8 April 1854 (Reg Gen June Qtr 1854 Newport Pagnell 3a 279). In his will he instructs that all his assets are sold and his debts paid. £1,000 is to be invested and the interest and annual profits to be paid to his wife. The residue of his estate is to be divided equally between all his children (or if a child has died with issue their portion to be divided between their children). If any of his children (or their children if appropriate) are under 21 years old then their portion of the residue is invested and the interest and annual profits to be distributed for their benefit. No value of the estate is given. "The National Archives: Kew, England: Prerogative Court of Canterbury and related Probate Jurisdictions: Will Registers: Class: PROB 11:Piece: 2194" But as a result of Edwards death several auctions were held. The following items are just some listed

  • 17 May 1854 at Sherington - 472 sheep, 38 fat & store oxen, 30 acres of grass keeping which consisted of 15 acres of Griggs Meadow and 15 acres of Cow Pasture.
  • 19 May 1854 at Roxhill Farm, Marston, Nr Ampthill - 350 sheep & lambs, 57 store hogs, 28 acres of grass keeping which included Richardsons Field of 15 acres.
  • 7 June 1854 at Newport Pagnell
  • Dwelling house that includes a butchers shop at Tickford End, tenant John Bull, Fellers Yard, Nr Tickford Bridge
  • Private house at Tickford End, tenant Joseph Webb
  • Grocers shop at Tickford End, George Moore, yearly rent of £15.00
  • Pasture land at Tickford End, George Bull, yearly rent of £15.00
  • Stable building at Tickford End, Mrs Ayers, yearly rent of £5.00
  • School House at Tickford End, Mrs Van Hagen, yearly rent of £5.10s
  • Pastureland of 6 acres at North Crawley
  • 12 October 1854 at Sherrington - 10 draught house, 4 Herefords, 47 sheep, 7 broad-wheeled dung carts, 3 turnip machines, oil cake breakers and other implements.

In 1861 Fanny is living with her mother in High Street, Newport Pagnell. Her mother is described as a "proprietor of houses". Also at the address is domestic, Catherine Byway and a boarder George Hitchin, a bankers clerk. Sarah Jefferson died on 15 February 1870 aged 60 (Reg Gen March Qtr 1870 Newport Pagnell 3a 414).

In 1871 Fanny aged 19 was a pupil at Townley House, Ramsgate, a "young ladies boarding school". Less than 16 months later she was in Kensington and getting married to John Jones Ponting. How did that happen?

John and Fanny were married for seven years and had four children

  • Henry Edward Ponting,
  • Patty Partridge Sarah Ponting,
  • Frank Osborne Ponting,
  • Frederick Hewett Ponting,

Henry Edward Ponting was born on 8 June 1873 (Reg Gen June Qtr 1873 Kensington 1a 218). Edward Henry Ponting was baptised on 13 July 1873 at St Stephens, Hammersmith.

Patty Partridge Sarah Ponting was born on 26 August 1874 at 24 Caves Terrace, Goldhawk Road, Hammersmith. John's occupation is given as a draper and he was the informant. (Reg Gen Sept Qtr 1874 Kensington 1a 216). Patty was baptised on 20 September 1874 at St Stephens, Hammersmith.

Frank Osborne Ponting was born on 8 February 1876 at 24 Caves Terrace, Shepherds Bush (Reg Gen March Qtr 1876 Fulham 1a 234). The address had originally been written as Hammersmith but this had been crossed out and Shepherds Bush written in it's place. John's occupation is given as a draper and it was he who registered the birth. Frank was baptised on 5 March 1876 at St Stephens, Hammersmith.

Frederick Hewett Ponting was born on 28 October 1877 at Shakespeare Road, Acton. (Reg Gen December Qtr 1877 Brentford 3a 114). Again John is described as a draper and it was he who registered the birth. Frederick Hewitt Ponting was baptised on 9 December 1877 at St Mary's, Acton.

According to his brother Sydney's will (Chapter 11) John Jones Ponting was (still) living a Hyde House, Shakespeare Road, Acton on 8 August 1879. It is not clear whether his wife Fanny would have been there at the time, for on 11 September 1879, Messrs Tippetts and Co filed a petition for divorce on behalf of John Jones Ponting before the High Court of Justice, Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division (Divorce) (National Archives 77/230/6448).

John Jones Ponting's petition reads

  1. "That I was on 1 of August 1872 lawfully married to Fanny Osborn Ponting then Fanny Osborn Jefferson , spinster at the parish church of Kensington in the county of Middlesex
  2. That after the said marriage I lived and cohabitated with my said wife at Hereford Road, Westbourne Grove, at Caves Terrace, Shepherds Bush and at Hyde House, Acton, Middlesex and that there has been issue of the said marriage, four children, with Henry Edward born 8 June 1873, Pattie Partridge born 26 August 1874, Frank Osborn, born 8 February 1876 and Frederick Hewett born 28 October 1877
  3. That I am informed and verify believe that on or about 26 and 27 June 1879 the said Fanny Osborn Ponting in the neighbourhood of Broad Street Station in the city of London committed adultery with some man whose name to me is unknown.
  4. That I am informed and verily believe that on diverse other days during the years 1878 and 1879 the said Fanny Osborn Ponting committed adultery at my house at Acton aforesaid and at diverse other places with diverse other men whose names are unknown.
  5. That I am informed and verily believe that on 1 August 1879 Fanny Osborn Ponting committed adultery at 70 St Georges Road in the borough of Southwark with a certain man whose name to me is unknown
  6. That no collusion or conveyance exists between me and my said wife"

When it is put before courts by Tippetts and Co the following is added:

" Your Petitioner humbly prays that your lordship will be pleased to decree

  1. A dissolution of the marriage
  2. That the petitioner may have the custody of the said children of the marriage
  3. And that the petitioner may have such further and other relief in the premises as your Lordship may seem meet" 

On 19 September 1879 Tippetts and Co file affidavits from E S Player and K Gray along with a case for motion. These affidavits are not held. On 22 September 1879 Tippetts and Co file the joint affidavit of the petitioner and of Jane Ponting, widow, sworn on 11 September 1879. Again this is not held.

On 4 November 1879 having read these affidavits the court decided that John Jones Ponting could proceed with his action without "making the alleged adulterers or either of them co-respondents"

At a further hearing on 25 November 1879, at which Fanny is not present, the courts decide that the evidence needed to be put before the court. Various other legal manoeuvrings follow, including the issue of two subpoena's by Tippetts on 30 December 1879.

The case of "Ponting against Ponting" finally comes before the High Court in March 1880. The Right Honourable James Hannen dissolves the marriage by reason of Fanny's adultery.

He further orders that custody of the children is given to John Jones Ponting but he directs that "such children should not be removed out of the jurisdiction of the court without its leave" .

The decree absolute was issued on 16 November 1880.

Seven years and four children and the marriage is over, seemingly because of Fanny's adultery. This was not the circumstances I had expected when I first discovered that John Jones and Fanny had divorced. What had tempted Fanny to stray? Who were the potential co-respondents given that John Jones Ponting seem quite keen that they should not be named.

On 27 January 1881, John Jones Ponting of 125-127 High Street, Kensington was admitted to the Guildhall and given the Freedomof the City of London. The photo below was provided by Susan Oldfield, the granddaughter of the sister of John Jones Ponting's third wife Florence Mabel Hastings (see below). 

John Jones Ponting was given the Freedom of the City by Redemption. Redemption (or purchase) was obtainable by any one of the following ways:

  • Presentation by an officer of the City of London Corporation or other person who had been granted the right of presenting a limited number of candidates in lieu of salary or as a reward for services or as a means of raising revenue by the City of London Corporation. The intending Freeman usually had to pay the officer for presenting him or her, in addition to the usual Freedom fees, although the City Freedom archives do not note this personal fee. This right was abolished in the mid-19th century;
  • Directly petitioning the Court of Aldermen, if becoming Free through the intervention of a City Livery Company;
  • Directly petitioning the Court of Common Council, if no Livery Company were involved (possible after 1835 only);
  • By being on the City Parliamentary Register of Electors (possible after 1856 only).


When the census was taken on 3 April 1881, 40 year old John Jones Ponting was living at 92 Talbot Road, Paddington. He is described as a retired draper. He was boarding with Robert Hewett and Ann Cox. Robert is a retired farmer and he was John Jones's second cousin (Appendix F). Both John Jones and Robert were great grandson's of William Ponting and Mary Pearce. Also boarding with them was farmers daughter 20 year old Nellie Wetmore, a farmer daughter born in Hill and 20 year old Charles Wiles who gives his occupation as a "gentleman (private secretary)". Could Nellie have been Ellen, the daughter of Robert Hewett Wetmore and Ellen Hewett and Robert and Ann's niece? (Appendix F). I also wonder whether Charles was employed by John Jones?

No trace has been found of John Jones's by then ex-wife Fanny in the 1881 census. Their son Henry (Harry E per census) was a 9 year old scholar boarding with Margaret Gregson at 8 Burlington Road, Kensington. Their daughter, Patty, aged 7, was living with her uncle William (Chapter 10). Their sons Frank, aged 5, and Frederick aged 3 are "visiting" at 3 St James Terrace, Kensington, the home of Edwin Barnes, aged 38, square keeper and his son Les. Also visiting were John and Elizabeth Burridge, born Somerset. The connection between the Barnes', the Burridges' and the Pontings' is unknown.

Fanny Osborn Ponting died on 27 November 1885 aged just 35 years old. She died at 6 Brook Green Place, Hammersmith which I assume was her address at the time. The cause of death was "sudden rupture of blood vessel" . In place of informant it states "certificate received from Thomas Bramah Diplock. Coroner for Middlesex". Inquest heard December 1st 1885" (Reg Gen Dec Qtr 1885 Fulham 1a 156). I have been told that she died of a tuberculosis lesion which haemorrhaged. I am unlikely to find any papers relating to the inquest and I have been unable to find a will for Fanny. 

At the time of Fanny's death, John Jones Ponting had not long remarried. He married Elizabeth Merryweather on 15 January 1885 at St Stephens Church, Paddington. He is described as a 41 year old draper, 'divorced by law', the son of Henry Ponting, farmer. He was still living at 92 Talbot Road. Elizabeth was a 23 year old spinster. No occupation is shown. In the copy obtained from the General Registrar's Office, the space for entering 'rank or profession', 'father's name' and fathers 'rank or profession' have been struck through. Her residence at the time is given as 'Parish of All Saints', Upper Norwood (see below). The wedding service was conducted by E G Wood, curate of Kensington. The witnesses were Thomas Dale and Sarah Kate Moffatt, neither of whom were family members (Reg Gen March Qtr 1885 Paddington 1a 75).

However a copy of the actual register from London Metropolitan Archives does show Frederick Fitz Henry as Elizabeth's father, but this is then crossed out. 

Elizabeth Merryweather was born on 1 February 1861 at 9 Union Street, Union Square, Islington (Reg Gen March Qtr 1861 Islington 1b 307). Her birth certificate names her father as Frederick Fitz Henry Fisher, independent. Her mother, Elizabeth Merryweather registered the birth.

The 1861 census was taken on 7 April 1861. As yet I cannot trace either Elizabeth or her mother in that census. It looks like her father Frederick F Fisher, a 36 year old widower could have been residing at 25, St Paul's Grove, Islington. He is described as a "proprietor of houses" born Pentonville. Living with him at the time was his son Edmund, aged 6, brother-in law Benjamin H Cokman, aged 42, compositor and 2 servants, Caroline Reynolds and Hannah Canham. Frederick Fitz Henry Fisher remarried in 1862 (Reg Gen March Qtr 1862 Islington 1b 219), not to Elizabeth Merryweather, but to Margaret Hephzibah Pickering.

Again I have been unable to trace Elizabeth Merryweather in the 1871 census, but her father, Frederick F H Fisher, aged 47, income derived from property and foreign stock was living at Wedmore House, Holloway Road, Islington with his wife Margaret, aged 28, sons William, aged 19, an undergraduate and Edmund, aged 16 "engaged in warehouse", and daughters, Margaret, aged 7, scholar and Ada aged 1 along with Emma Smith, domestic servant, Sarah Gibson, nursemaid and Marion Bullen, cook. This seems to be a story in its own right.

Later records suggest that Elizabeth was known as "Ethel" and at the time of the 1881 census, an "Ethel Merryworth" a 20 year old drapers assistant was working for Ponting Brothers and living at 125-127 High Street, Kensington. Ethel had been born in Islington and was around the right age to be John's second wife.

John and Elizabeth had two children,

  • Arthur Gilbert Ponting, born on 13 June 1886 (Reg Gen June Qtr 1886 Fulham 1a 315) and baptised on 1 August 1886 at St Andrews. Kensington. Elizabeth is referred to as Ethel in the parish register. At the time the family were living at 17 Perham Road and John Jones is described as a draper.
  • Gladys Merryweather Ponting, born on 25 February 1888 (Reg Gen March Qtr 1888 Fulham 1a 315) . Baptised 27 May 1888 at St Andrews, Kensington. Elizabeth is again referred to as Ethel. The family were living at Talgarth Road and John Jones is described as a draper.

By the time of the 1891 census the family were living at The Hollies, Barnes, Surrey. The entry reads

  • John J Ponting, head, aged 47, draper, born Berkeley
  • Elizabeth Ponting, wife, aged 29, born Islington, Middx
  • Henry E Ponting, son , aged 17, drapers assistant, born Shepherds Bush
  • Arthur G Ponting, son, aged 4, born West Kensington
  • Gladys M Ponting, daughter, aged 3, born West Kensington
  • Amy Machin, aged 21, nurse
  • Sarah Barker, aged 21, general servant

Frank Osborne Ponting and Frederick Hewett Ponting were both at boarding school at the time. Frank, aged 14, was a scholar at Nelson College, 21 and 23 Newstead Road, Lee, London and Frederick, aged 13 was a scholar boarding at Emanuel School, West Battersea. The only child who cannot be located is Patty, who would have been around 16 at the time.

In 1898 John Jones Ponting disposed of the majority of his interest in the business Pontings. At the time he was living at 'Appleridge'. St John's Road, Putney, the property seemingly named after the former family home in Berkeley.

John Jones Ponting was resident at 'Fairview', London Road, Tunbridge in Kent at the time that the 1901 census was taken. The entry reads

  • John J Ponting, head, aged 58, living on own means, born Berkeley, Gloucestershire
  • Ethel Ponting, wife, aged 38, born Islington, London
  • Gilbert Ponting, son, aged 14, born West Kensington
  • George Burt, visitor, aged 36, Billiard Ball Manufacturer, born Massachusetts, USA
  • Etta Burt, visitor, aged 39 (George's wife), born Massachusetts, USA
  • Maud Wright, aged 26, domestic cook
  • Florence Law, aged 28, house servant.

As suggested above Elizabeth does seem to have been known as Ethel. Gilbert would appear to be Arthur Gilbert.

George Henry Burt was the inventor of Crystalate, an early plastic, a formulation of nitrocellulose, camphor, and alcohol which he patented in the late 19th century. In July 1901 he applied for a trademark on the word 'Crystalate' for all their plastic products. In August 1901 the Crystalate Company was founded at Golden Green (not Golders Green), Haddow, near Tunbridge in Kent, by a partnership of a London and an American firm. The British company had begun by introducing colours into minerals and making imitation ivory. The American company which had made billiard balls and poker chips started making gramophone records from shellac. There is no evidence that John Jones Ponting was involved with the Crystalate Company, but he appears to have been acquainted with one of its owners.

In 1901 Gladys M Ponting, aged 13, was a boarder at school at 1 Walsingham Mansions, Aldrington, Sussex.

John Jones Ponting and Elizabeth Merryweather are pictured below. This photograph was sent to me by Richard and Jill Norton. Richard is John Jones Ponting and Florence Mabel Hasting's grandson (see below).  

John Jones Ponting was widowed in 1903. Elizabeth Ponting died on 22 May 1903 aged 42 at 11 Warminster Road, South Norwood. The cause of death is given as "phthisis" which can be used to describe any progressive wasting disease especially pulmonary tuberculosis. Elizabeth is described as the wife of John Jones Ponting of independent means. (Reg Gen June Qtr 1903 Croydon 2a 169)

John remained a shareholder in Pontings Brothers (albeit significantly reducing his holding) until the company went into liquidation in 1906. The records of the company confirm that in 1903 he was living in Warminster Road, South Norwood. He is described as a gentleman.

By 1906 John had moved again and was living at 'Engadine', Hutton. On 29 January 1906 John Jones Ponting had married Florence Mabel Hastings at Hutton Parish Church (Reg Gen March Qtr 1906 Billericay 4a 555). Florence was described as a 23 year old spinster from Hutton, daughter of George Hastings, grocer. John is described a 63 year old widower from Hutton, son of Henry Ponting deceased. The witnesses included Gladys Merryweather Ponting, John's daughter from his second marriage and Amy Blanch Hastings, Florence's sister.

Susan Oldfield tells me that Florence had been in service for a surgeon and met John Jones Ponting when she went to nurse his second wife. 

Florence Mabel Hastings had been born in 1883 in Croydon (Reg Gen Dec Qtr 1883 Croydon 2a 222). In 1891, then aged 7, Florence was living with her parents George John Hastings, aged 38, a masons labourer and Ellen Sophie Hastings (nee Pink), aged 31, a laundress, her sisters Nelly Hastings, aged 11, Lydia Hastings, 9 and Amy Hastings, aged 4 and her brother Thomas Hastings, 11 at 8 Love Lane, Croydon. 

By 1901 Florence M Hastings was a 19 year old cook, a servant to Alex C Air, a 55 year old medical practitioner working from home at 223 Selhurst Road, Croydon, his wife, Mary and their three sons and three daughters. Her parents, George and Ellen had moved to 183 Harrington Cottages and a further son has been born. George is now described as a bricklayers labourer.   

Susan tells me that her great grandfather George John Hastings was a bricklayer and mason, and it was his wife Ellen Sophia, nee Pink, who was the grocer and confectioner, running her own shop on the corner of Love Lane and Harrington Road.  When they lived in Love Lane, Ellen's widowed father, Alfred Pink, also a brick maker lived next door. The family moved on to a new shop at 84, Churchfields Road, Beckenham (not far as the crow flies) by the 1911 census. George died in 1912 and Ellen Sophia in 1918 and it was Susan's grandmother who kept the shop going until she had to give it up to care for a younger brother who died of TB in about 1924. Susan has kindly provided me with the photograph of Florence Mabel Hastings, below.   

John and Florence had two children:

  • Sidney John Frederick Ponting was born on 9 September 1906 at 'Engadine', Hutton, the son of John Jones Ponting, of 'independent means', and Florence Mabel Ponting formerly Hastings. John registered the birth (Reg Gen Sept Qtr 1906 Billericay 4a 675)
  • Ida Mary Jane Ponting was born on 8 December 1908 at Great Garlands, Stanford Le Hope (Reg Gen March Qtr 1909 Orsett 4a 653). The certificate indicates that she was the daughter of John Jones Ponting. 'master draper' and Florence Mabel Ponting formerly Hastings. It was Florence who registered the birth. This makes John Jones around 65 when he fathered his last child.

Despite large age gap John outlived Florence who died on 31 May 1909 aged 26 (Reg Gen. June Qtr 1909 Orsett 4a 276) leaving John with two children under the age of 5. The cause of death is given as pulmonary consumption (tuberculosis) and cardiac failure. The informant was J J Ponting, widower of the deceased who was present at the death at Great Garlands, Stanford Le Hope, the couple's home at the time.

Great Garlands, Stanford Le Hope is pictured below:

John Jones Ponting died on 20 September 1910, aged 68 at Great Garlands, Stanford Le Hope, Essex (Reg Gen Sept. Qtr 1910 Orsett 4a 217). The cause of death was carcinoma (cancer) of the stomach and cardiac failure. The informant was J Ponting, daughter in law (possibly Frank's wife) who was present at the death.

John Jones Ponting was buried at St Margaret's Church Cemetery, Stanford Le Hope. He shares a burial plot with his third wife Florence Mabel Ponting

In his will made on 15 March 1906 he

  • Appoints William James Berriman Tippetts and Percy William Berriman Tippetts, solicitors of 11 Maiden Lane, City of London as executors
  • Leaves all his household effects, including plates, linen, china, glass, books, pictures, prints, wines, liquors, etc to his present wife Florence Mabel Ponting, along with a life assurance policy for £500.00
  • Leaves the remainder of his estate to be divided equally between the children of his second marriage, Arthur Gilbert Ponting and Gladys Merryweather Ponting
  • Appoints his executors as guardians of his infant children

However there is a codicil to the will dated 14 August 1910 which states

  • His wife Florence Mabel Ponting has died
  • His two children by her, Sidney John Frederick Ponting and Ida Mary Ponting shall inherit the legacies he received from her and those he had previously left to her equally. The proceeds are to be invested by the executors and both the income and capital to be employed for the maintenance and education of the children through their infancy.

The total value of the estate is stated at £1,425 17s 2d (the equivalent of about £99K in 2006)

John Jones fails to make any provision for the children of his first marriage. Thomas excludes them from a possible legacy under his will on the basis that they had 'already been provided for' (Chapter 6) . Sydney had left the residue of his estate to all John Jones Ponting children following the death of his wife (Chapter 11). Mary Jane Finemore makes provision Frank Osbourne Ponting and Patty Partridge Sarah Ponting (Chapter 7).

Richard and Jill Norton tell me that John Jones Ponting's first wife, Florence Osborn Jefferson had bought considerable wealth to the marriage (as indicated by her late fathers estate) and that this remained with John Jones Ponting's after their divorce. This was later distributed to her children, which accounts for John Jones Ponting, and other's failure to make provision for them in their wills.   

Henry Edward Ponting

Henry Edward Ponting, son of John Jones Ponting married Fanny Louisa Gerrish on 14 June 1895 at The Free Church of Scotland, Wellesley Square, Calcutta, Bengal (Bengal marriage index Vol. 243 Folio 33). Fanny had been born in 1876, the daughter of Isaac Gerrish.

Ethel Ada Ponting daughter of Harry Edward Ponting and Fanny Louisa Ponting was born on 8 November 1896 and was baptised on 16 December 1896 at St Thomas's Cathedral, Bombay. Harry's occupation is given as assistant to Messrs Whiteaway, Laidlaw & Co.

Whiteaway, Laidlaw & Co was founded by Robert Laidlaw (Born 10 January 1856) whose early career was in wholesale textile in London. In 1877 he went to India and began a long residence in Calcutta (about 20 years). In 1882 in Calcutta he started Whiteaway, Laidlaw & Co. Soon he opened branches in about 20 cities, in India and the Strait Settlements including Singapore, Penang, Kuala Lampur, Ipoh, Tajping, etc. The business were tailors, but also imported and sold household goods. Robert was also the proprietor of tea estates in Darjeeling and of rubber estates in the Federated Malay States.

Ethel Ada Pointing, daughter of Henry Pointing died on 17 July 1897 aged O and was buried on the same day at Sawree, Bombay, India,

Henry Edward Ponting may have been back in England and was able to attend his uncle William's funeral in 1898 (Chapter 10).

Henry and Fanny's eldest son Edward Alick Ponting was born on 8 September 1900 and was baptised on 9 November 1900 at St John's Church, Calcutta. Henry's occupation is a tailor.

Sidney John Ponting , son of Henry Edward Ponting and Fanny Louisa Ponting was born on 2 November 1902 and baptised on 30 January 1903 at St Johns, Calcutta.

Henry Edward Ponting, aged 38 years 8 months and 8 days, an out of employ salesman died on 16 January 1912 of heart disease and was buried on 17 January 1912 at the Lower Circular Road Cemetery, Calcutta, Bengal, India (India death and burials FHS 463380) .

Fannie Louisa Ponting, a widow aged 37 remarried on 5 March 1913 at Calcutta. Her father is recorded as I Ponting (clearly incorrect, but her father's name was Isaac). Her new husband was Arthur Henry Rebello, aged 27, the son of Ch E Rebello (India marriages 1792-1948 FHS 528146).

It is possible that Arthur and Fannie returned to the UK at some point, for on 5 June 1923 Mr and Mrs A H Rebello sailed from Liverpool to Calcutta on 'The City of London".

Arthur is a "riveting foreman" and both state the country of their last permanent residence to be "British Possessions". They give their address in England as 60 Par Green, Par, Cornwall. Arthur's age is correct at 37, Fanny appears to have understated her age at 42, as she would have been closer to 48.

Nothing more is known about Arthur and Fanny Rebello.

Edward Alick Ponting married Marguerite Kathleen McHugh in Calcutta in 1940. Edward was 40 years old and Marguerite was 28 years old (Parish Register transcripts from Presidency of Bengal 1713 - 1948 20 14). On 14 April 1951 Mrs Marguerite Kathleen Ponting, a 46 year housewife sailed from Southampton to Bombay on the "Chusan". She gave her address in the UK as 19, Warner Avenue, North Cheam and states she had previously been resident in the UK, but was intending to reside in India. Edward is not listed. If this is Edward's wife then clearly her age is incorrect on some records. Edward is listed on the electoral rolls at 23 Wallace Street, Ponsoby, Auckland, New Zealand in 1954. He is listed by himself and his marital status is not mentioned. He was a 'clerk'. In 1957 he and his wife Kathleen are listed at 23 Wallace Street, Ponsoby. Edward is a clerk. In 1963 they are both again listed at 23 Wallace Street. Edward is still a clerk. Kathleen is a stenographer. Edward Alick Ponting of 23 Wallace Street, Herne Bay, Auckland died and was cremated on 23 December 1971.

Nothing more is known about Sidney John Ponting.

Patty Partridge Sarah Ponting

In 1881, Pattie P L Ponting, a 7 year old scholar was living with her Uncle William (Chapter 10) at 123 Kensington High Street, Kensington.  

No trace has been found of Patty Ponting in 1891 or 1901 census. Richard and Jill Norton tell me, that in her teens, Pattie was sent to a convent in Belguim, which could be why I cannot find her, in at least the 1891 census. 

In 1911 Pattie, aged 38, was living with her brother Frank Osborn Ponting at 1 Bengal Road, Ilford, Essex. She is described as ''living on private means".

In 1939 she was still living with her brother Frank and his wife Jane at 41, Mill Lane, Blyth, Suffolk.

Pattie Ponting may have died on 13 August 1946 at Red House, Bulchamp-Cum-Blythburgh, Suffolk. However her death certificate suggests she was 66 years old, which means that she would have been born in 1880, some 7 years later than our Pattie. Pattie, of Well Lane, Brumsford Blyth, is described as a "drapers assistant, daughter of ______ Ponting, occupation unknown". The informant was E J H Brunning, occupant of The Red House. Her brother Frank had died is Suffolk some 6 months previously (see below)

The Red House, originally a workhouse, had become a hospital for the chronically ill, possibly the reason why the informant knew little about Pattie.

Frank Osborne Ponting

In 1901 Frank Osborne Ponting, aged 24 was a hosier living at 607-609 Old Kent Road with 8 other employees. Frank appears to have been employed by either William Defeur, a hosier/ haberdasher who lived with his wife, two daughters and two sons at 603-605 Old Kent Road, or William and Charles Farrish, partners in a drapers, who lived at 611 to 613 Old Kent Road.

By 1901 Frank had been a minority shareholder in Pontings Brothers Ltd for about three years. When he first appears as a shareholder on 11 August 1898 (aged 22) he was living at 18 Crondace Road, Parsons Green, but from at least 1901 to 1905 when he sold his shares, he was living at 607-609 Old Kent Road.

Frank Osborne Ponting was married on 28 March 1910 to Jane Johnson Chapman at the parish church of Stanford Le Hope (Reg Gen March Qtr 1910 Orett 4a 727). Frank is described as a 34 year old bachelor, a hosier. His father is given as John Jones Ponting, gentleman. Jane Johnson Chapman was a 38 year old spinster, the daughter of Stephen Chapman, a deceased cashier. Both are shown as being from Stanford Le Hope. The witnesses were Urbane Chapman and Louisa Chapman.

It seems that Frank Osborne Ponting and his wife took responsibility for John Jones Ponting's youngest children, following his father's death. In 1911 the family were living at 1 Bengal Road, Ilford, Essex and the family were listed as follows:

  • Frank Osborn Ponting, head, aged 36, Hosier shop assistant, born Acton Middlesex
  • Jane Johnson Ponting, wife, aged 39, born Norfolk
  • Pattie Ponting, sister, aged 38, living on private means, born Acton, Middlesex
  • Sidney Ponting, brother, aged 4, born Hutton, Essex
  • Mary Ponting (Ida Mary), sister, aged 2, born Stanford Le Hope, Essex

Both Sidney and Mary are described as orphans on the census.

In 1930, Frank witnessed his sister Ida's wedding in Brightlingsea (see below). 

In 1939 he was a draper living with his wife Jane and sister Pattie at 41 Mill Lane, Blyth, Suffolk.

Frank Osborne Ponting died on 2 February 1946 in Blyth, Suffolk aged 69 years old (Reg Gen March Qtr 1946 Blyth 4a 1503). Probate shows that he was living at Butler Cottage, Mill Lane, Bruisyard, Saxmundham, Suffolk at the time of his death. Probate was granted to Robert Gordon Thorp, solicitor. His effects were worth £30.00.

Frederick Hewitt Ponting

There is no trace of Frederick Hewitt Ponting in the 1901 census, possibly he was overseas for in 1902 he gained a certificate of competency as a "second mate" on a foreign going ship.

On 29 May 1907, aged 29, he married Hermine Hanning at Bedwelty Parish Church in Monmouth. At the time he is described as a "second mate" and his father as a gentleman. Hermine was a 25 year old spinster, daughter of Herman Hanning an army officer. (Reg Gen June Qtr 1907 Bedwelty, Monmouthshire 11a 160).

Hermine Hanning had been born on 17 August 1881 and was baptised on 4 September 1881 at Hanover. She was the daughter of Carl Herman Wilhelm Hanning and Rosine Juliane Pinne

Although there is no trace of Frederick Hewitt Ponting in the 1911 census, his wife Hermine was boarding with Emily Trenchard at 57 Lansdowne Road, Cardiff. The census confirms that Hermine had been born in Germany. It is assumed that Frederick was away at sea. The couple had a daughter named Helmina who was 2 ½ years old when the census was taken.

Hermine Gladys Ponting had been born on 3 June 1908 at 35 Forrest Road, West Cardiff. Her father is described as a "mate merchant service" (Reg Gen Sept Qtr 1908 Cardiff 11a 438). She was baptised on 5 September 1910 in Hanover.  

On 28 December 1910 Frederick Hewitt Ponting gained his certificate of competency as a "First mate" on a "foreign going steamship".

Fred and Hermine had a second daughter, Iris Lillian Ponting who was born on 27 June 1911 at 13 Anglesea Street, West Cardiff. Frederick is again described as a "mate merchant service". Hermine registered the birth and gave her full name as "Hermine Elise Charlotte Dora Ponting formerly Hanning" (Reg Gen Sept Qtr 1911 Cardiff 11a 909). Iris Lillian Ponting was baptised on 31 July 1912 in Hannover. 

On 25 September 1912 Frederick Hewitt Ponting gains his certificate of competency as a master for foreign going steamships in the merchant service. 

On 15 December 1916 Fred writes to Hermine from overseas. On headed notepaper from "Universal  Steam Navigation Company Ltd - P Samuel & Co Ltd" he writes to "My own darling wife" and says that they are on their way "round" but it is likely to take a long time. In case they do not arrive home by Saturday 23rd, he instructs her to go to the bank on Friday afternoon and withdraw £30.00. He finishes "Hope you and the little ones are well, kiss them for me, also hope you arrived  safe home. I am in a whole lot of trouble alright but  don't worry and wait patiently for me to come. Millions of kisses for you and the little ones and heaps of love". 

Also enclosed is a letter from Fred to the bank requesting £30.00 be made available to his wife. 

These letters (which were kindly sent to me by Jerry Smith) were written at the height of the 1st World War (, a war which would ultimately claim Fred's life. 

Master Frederick Hewitt Ponting died on 5 August 1917 at sea. He was the master of "Kathleen" and drowned as a result of an attack by an enemy submarine. He was just 39 years old. The Cargo Ship was torpedoed and sank in the Atlantic Ocean, 90 nautical miles (170 km) west of the Skellig Islands, County Kerry by SM U-100 (Imperial German Navy) with the loss on one crew member, the master ( 

Frederick is commemorated in the Tower Hill Memorial which remembers men and women of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who died in both World Wars and who have no known grave. It stands on the south side of the garden of Trinity Square, London, close to The Tower of London. In the First World War, the civilian navy's duty was to be the supply service of the Royal Navy, to transport troops and supplies to the armies, to transport raw materials to overseas munitions factories and munitions from those factories, to maintain, on a reduced scale, the ordinary import and export trade, to supply food to the home country and - in spite of greatly enlarged risks and responsibilities - to provide both personnel and ships to supplement the existing resources of the Royal Navy. Losses of vessels were high from the outset, but had peaked in 1917 when in January the German government announced the adoption of "unrestricted submarine warfare". The subsequent preventative measures introduced by the Ministry of Shipping - including the setting up of the convoy system where warships were used to escort merchant vessels - led to a decrease in losses but by the end of the war, 3,305 merchant ships had been lost with a total of 17,000 lives 

Probate was granted to his wife Hermine Ponting. 

Captain Fred Hewitt Ponting was post humorously awarded the Mercantile Medal and the British Medal on 3 April 1922. These were given to his widow Mrs H Ponting who was still living at 3 Purbeck Street, Cardiff.

In 1939 Hermine E Ponting, widow is living with her her daughter Gladys H Ponting at 33 St Michaels Road, Llandaff. Gladys is described as a "comptometer operator, A R P Service".

Hermine Eloise Charlotte Dora Ponting of Trewartha, 33 St Michaels Road, Llandaff, widow, died on 1 March 1949 at Middlesex Hospital, St Marylebone. Probate was granted to Roydon Dickinson Lean, solicitor. Her effects were worth £2,832. 1s. 2d.  

As indicated above on 20 April 1957, Iris Lilian Ponting writes to her sister "Miss G H Ponting" from Tunbridge Wells. The card is sent to Trewartha, 33 St Michaels Road, Llandaff. The card reads

"My dear Mina. Hope you enjoy Easter. This morning we had a lovely tramp over Surrey Crest, picked a nice mixed bunch of flowers. The bluebells were a lovely sight. Billy is out for the count. Hope Macs better. Have a nice time. Freda. 

It is not clear who Freda is, but then Iris writes:

"Dear Mina. Hope you manage to get all your chores done. We are trying to make the most of the four days. How does the statue look in Llanduff Cathedral? How's Mum's grave looking? Hope ..............Cheerio Iris"

This postcard has kindly been sent to me by Aoife Sherwin.  

Interestingly the front of the postcard reads "Frohe Ostern" which is "Happy Easter" in German. Quite why Ivy would be sending this card from Tunbridge Wells is not known, but it indicates that the girls had not lost touch with their German roots. Both girls had been baptised in Hanover and their mother Hermine had, seemingly, been born there and was of German descent.  

Hermina Ponting is listed at 33 St Michaels Road in both 1958 and 1978 phone directories. 

Gladys Hermina Ponting died on 5 May 1999 aged 90 at 33 St Michaels Road, Llandaff, Cardiff. The informant was Iris Lillian Ponting who would have been 88 years old at the time of her sisters death. It appeared neither sister ever married (Reg Gen May 1999 Cardiff B17B 8901B 131).

Iris Lillian Ponting died at Pelham House Residential Home, 5-6 Pelham Gardens, Folkestone, Kent CT20 2LF on 15 June 2008. The death was listed in the London Gazette on Tuesday 14 October 2008. Lillian is described as a nursing officer (retired). The nurses register shows that she registered as a mental nurse on 24 June 1938. Her address was 33 St Michaels Road and her qualification "Brentwood Mental Hospital 1935 - 1938. By examination". 

Gladys and Iris were my second cousins twice removed. 

Arthur Gilbert Ponting

In 1911, John Jones Ponting's son Arthur Gilbert was living at 30 Grosvenor Gardens, Newcastle Upon Tyne. The 24 year old was an electrical engineer. He had married Mary Morton Wilson who was 8 years his senior in 1910 (Reg Gen June 1910 Newcastle Upon Tyne 10b 23). They had a son Arthur John Ponting who had been born on 29 July 1910 and was now 8 months old (Reg Gen Sept Qtr 1910 Newcastle upon Tyne 10b 72).

Arthur Gilbert Ponting died on 2 May 1914 at 12 Victoria Street, Elswick, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. He is described as a 28 year old electric engineer (Reg Gen June 1914 Newcastle T 10b 99). Probate was granted to his widow, Mary Ponting. 

Arthur and Mary's son Arthur John Ponting married Jane W Harmer in 1934 in Newcastle (Reg Gen Sept 1934 Newcastle upon Tyne 10b 274). He may have later married Marion Stephenson in Northumberland (Reg Gen June 1957 Northumberland South 1b 536). Arthur died in 1981 (Reg Gen June 1981 Tyne & Wear 2 1135). 

Gladys Merryweather Ponting

In 1911 John Jones Ponting's daughter Gladys Merryweather Ponting, aged 23 was a nurse employed by Henry Horton, agricultural valuer and farmer and his wife May for their 3 year old son Ronald. She was living with them at Stanton Lacy, Broomfield, Salop, Shropshire.

According to electoral registers, in 1929 Gladys M Ponting was living at Pondside, Abbey Road, Chertsey with Lloyd Heber Chase, Grace Chase and Jocelyn Leathley Heber Chase. In 1930 and 1939 she is still living with the same family, but now at Southwood, Chertsey. Lloyd Heber Chase was a Civil Engineer M. Inst. C.E. (retired). She is still there in 1945 although it appears Lloyd Heber Chase had died and I assume she is now employed by his widow Grace.

Gladys died on 10 February 1970 at 43 The Broadway, Knaphill, Woking aged 81 years. She is described as a retired housekeeper. (Reg Gen 1970 Surrey North Western 5g 851).

Sidney John Frederick Ponting

Sidney John F Ponting married Kathleen Rose Blake in October 1928 in Suffolk.

They had two children.

  • Frederick John Morris Ponting who was born on 25 April 1929 (Reg Gen June Qtr 1929 Sailsbury 5a 236) and baptised on 22 December 1929 in Woodford, Wiltshire. He died in August 1991 (Reg Gen August 1991 Dover 16 1027)
  • Anthony Jones Ponting who was born 28 May 1931 and baptised 21 June 1931 at Woodford. He died on 3 June 1979 in Dover, Kent.

In December 1949 Sidney married Joan E N Bliss (Reg Gen Dec 1949 Surrey North West 5g 1189).

Sidney John Frederick Ponting died in 1977 (Reg Gen 1977 Chichester 18 1293).

I have been in contact with Adrian Jones Ponting, a descendent of Sidney John Frederick Ponting. 

Ida Mary Jane Norton nee Ponting

On 6 August 1930 Ida Mary Jane Ponting, aged 21 married Douglas Harry Norton, aged 24 at All Saints Church, Brightlingsea. Douglas was a certified school teacher, son of Harry Norton, provision merchant. No occupation is given for Ida, the daughter of John Jones Ponting (deceased), gentleman. Both parties gave 49 Chapel Road, Brightlingsea as their address. The witnesses were Frank Osborne Ponting and Harry Norton. (Reg Gen Sept Qtr 1930 Tendring 4a 2238) 

At the time that the 1939 register was taken Douglas and Ida were living at 49 John Street, Brightlingsea. Douglas was a schoolmaster and Plotting clerk for Brightlingsea at the Report and Central Centre.

Douglas Harry Norton of 49 John Street, Brightlingsea died on 10 April 1993 in Colchester, Essex.

It is understood that Ida Mary Norton died in 2009 aged 100. 

As indicated above, I have been in contact with Richard Norton, John Jones Ponting and Florence Mabel Hasting's grandson, and his wife Jill (and more latterly Richard's brother Peter) who have provided me with the photographs indicated above as well as some great insight into the family.

Click here to go to "Chapter 10 -  William Ponting and Emily Maria Snell"

To find out more about the Pontings store click here to go to "Chapter 5 - Ponting Brothers Ltd"

Click here to go back to "Chapter 4 - Henry Ponting and Jane Jones"