Alfred STOWELLAlfred STOWELL(154) was born on 19 Jul 1862 at Bradford, Yorkshire1. He was the first child of the Rev. Thomas Alfred STOWELL (68), then Perpetual Curate of St. Stephen's, Bowling, Bradford2 and Emma TATHAM(69). He was presumably christened at Bradford, but I do not know the details at present.

Alfred died on 9 Jul 1937 at 20 Park Road, Southport, Lancashire3, presumably visiting one of his brothers. Southport seems to have been the common retirement destination for the family at that time. He is described as of Lowsfields, Burton-in- Lonsdale, which he had inherited from his uncle Leonard TATHAM(137), when the latter died in Nov 1928. Probate was granted at Manchester on 11 Sep 1937 to Percy STOWELL retired merchant, and Leonard STOWELL, chartered accountant, two of his brothers. His effects were £27,812 5s. 3d., later resworn £29,647 1s. 1d.

At the time of the 1871 census 4 Alfred was 8 and the family had moved to Salford, where his father had been appointed Rector of Christ Church on the death in 1865 of Alfred's grandfather Hugh STOWELL, for whom the church had originally been built. Alfred was attending school. His obituary5 says that he attended Manchester Grammar School, but I have no further details of this.

At the 1881 census6, aged 18, he was described as an apprentice in a warehouse, and was living at home with his parents at 46 The Crescent, Salford. By the 1891 census7 he was still in Salford, but in Pendleton at 9 Brentwood Road, and is described as head of household comprising just himself. He was occupying two rooms at that address. His occupation was given as agent, whetever that may mean.

In the 1901 census8 aged 38, he was at 38 Park Road, Pendleton, head of household, and describing himself as a buyer for Easken (should this be Eastern?) Merchants. He had a boarder, Francis L.B. SMITH, 33, a Captain in the Army, and two servants, Florence LEEK, aged 30, a waitress, and Mary McGUFFIE, 45, his housekeeper. All four of them were single. Probably he was now the owner of the house.

I have not found him in the 1911 census, so perhaps he was overseas at the time. However, some time around that year, he was in a family photograph with all of his siblings and in-laws, together with his parents. It is from this group photgraph, where he is seated next to his mother, that the portrait at the head of this page has been extracted.

According to his obituary9 he was a well-known Manchester businessman who was largely concerned with the cotton trade with India. There is a record of one arrival at London from Calcutta via Bombay on the SS Neualia in Mar 1920, though Alfred disembarked at Plymouth10 . In business he began with John Munn & Co., a Manchester grey cloth firm11. He then moved to Greg Brothers, and later to Reiss Brothers, where he worked in the India department for about 30 years, travelling to India several times. Reiss Brothers was founded by two of a number of brothers, who were Frankfurt protestants (converts from Jewry). The two brothers who came to Manchester in 1818, Leopold and Jacques, started small, but within 30 years had a trading capital of £100,000. Leopold became head of the firm 12,13.

Alfred retired in about 1929 and went to live at Lowfields, in Burton-in-Lonsdale (the Tatham home which had been left to him by his uncle Leonard TATHAM). He was not married, and his obituary says took no part in public or political life. In his early days he was interested in athletics, but in later years went in mainly for fishing and shooting.


1) His date of birthis given in the pedigree chart drawn up by J. A. Stowell, chart B-S831, Oct 1993. His birth was registered at Bradford, Sep quarter of 1862, vol.9b, p.41.
2) Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1908.
3) England and Wales National Probate Calendar, 1861-1941, calendar for 1937, p.619, through His death was registered at Southport, Sep quarter of 1937, vol.8b, p.669.
4) 1871 England census, Salford, RG10, piece 4023, folio 19, p.34, through
5) Obituary, Manchester Guardian, 16 Jul 1937.
6) 1881 England census, Salford, RG11, piece 3966, folio 37, p.11, through
7) 1891 England census, Pendleton, Salford, RG12, piece 3204, folio 54, p.3, through
8) 1901 England census, Pendleton, Salford, RG13, piece 3715, folio 80, p.15, through
9) See note 5 above.
10) UK incoming passenger lists, 1878-1960,
11) This firm had been founded in 1819 by John Munn, mainly operating as agents and merchants, buying and warehousing on their own acount, though they did for a while have manufacturing premises in Bacup and Newchurch. See Manchester Old and New,Vol. 2, by William Arthur Shaw, published by Cassell and Co., available online at
12) Stanley Chapman, Merchant Enterprise in Britain: From the Industrial Revolution to World War I, extract by Google Books.
13) Ernst von Bressensdorf, A Forgotton Grave: The unwritten chapters of an extraordinary Family History, Starnberg, 1960, translated by Dr Bernard Standring.

© John Stowell 2012             This file last edited on 03 February 2012.

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