John William Parker Field

September 8, 2014

John William Parker Field 1814–1879

The firm of Parker Field and Sons was formed by John Field and his two eldest sons, John and William in 1841. It was created as the result of the death of John’s step-father, William Parker who was a well known gun maker since the late eighteenth century.

John William Parker was born on 30 June 1814 to John and Mary Field. By the 1841 census he was shown as a ‘gun maker’ and by 1851 ‘master gun maker’. In three successive census returns, 1851-1871 he is shown as residing at High Holborn. For 1851 and 1871 the number is 233, however, in 1861 the address is shown as 234. While it is recorded the family were involved at 232 this is the only reference to 234 and may be an enumerator error. On the 13 April 1858 John was granted the Freedom of the City of London by redemption in the Company of Gunmakers. An entry in the Edinburgh Gazette dated 7 February 1860 gives the following information: ‘Whitehall, 3 February 1860, Artillery Company of London, Lieutenant John William Parker Field, Instructor of Musketry, to have rank of Captain.’

The portrait associated with this article hangs at Armoury House, the home of the Honourable Artillery Company. It was painted in 1873 by T. H. Maguire when John was aged 59 years and is labelled as follows:

Captain J. W. Parker Field, H.A.C. 1850-1879. Captain, English Rifle XX, 1866-1879. First Instructor of Musketry to H.A.C.

Following his death in 1879 the official probate entry stated his addresses were formerly 233 High Holborn, but late of Leman Street, Whitechapel and of Stratford House, Walpole Road, Wimbledon. He died at Stratford House on 29 June 1879. The sole executor was his wife Frances and his personal estate was under £12,000.

John was a key player in the running of a business associated with some of the finest production truncheons of the nineteenth century.

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