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An Introduction to the Rowntree Family 
 One Branch in the First World War Era

Contents - Index page

The Family in Context

For clarity it is necessary to start with John Rowntree,
born in 1757, the Grocer at Scarborough who married Elizabeth Lotherington, born in 1764 and who was a descendant from the Rowntrees of Risborough. Details of which are available on the history website.

John Rowntree had seven children one of which was Joseph Rowntree who moved to York and who was with his son Joseph the founder of the cocoa empire. Another was William Rowntree who according to the book "Rowntrees of Risborough" worked as a corn miller in Gateshead and married Rachel Watson.

William Rowntree had 8 children including Hannah who married Charles Brightwen, Joseph and Joseph who both died within a couple of years of birth and John Rowntree who seemed to have returned to his roots in Scarborough and developed the Grocer Draper shop there.

John Rowntree born 1821 married Ann Webster and produced 6 children, remarrying after Ann’s death to Eliza Walker Brady (nee Walker) and having another son Alfred.

Alfred Rowntree born in 1900 was a Farmer and Creamery Proprietor in Middleham Wensleydale until 1943.

Among John Rowntree’s offspring there are a number that are referred to in the documents behind this article. In Summary:

John Watson Rowntree, Grocer and Mayor of Scarborough who married Eliza Stansfield Gravely and had 3 Children Harold, Gravely and Kathleen

George Rowntree Grocer Scarborough who wrote his reminiscences, available on the website, in which he describes The Schreiner Riots in Scarborough 1900, that occurred during the Boer war, and which seriously effected the business and the family. Full article about these riots is available on the website. His son was Malcolm Rowntree, Hotel proprietor Scarborough

Ellen Rowntree who married Alfred Henry Taylor

Frederick Rowntree who married Mary Anna Gray and whose son Colin this booklet surrounds and includes his siblings Douglas and Judith Mary, known as Molly

Arthur Rowntree the Headmaster of Bootham who married Ellen Hurndall. His daughter Joan Hurndall worked as secretary to Field Marshall Smuts before marrying a furniture maker in Johannesburg.


The story really starts with Frederick who was born in Scarborough, educated at Bootham , trained as an architect in Scarborough and then worked in London, Leicester and Scarborough. In 1890 he entered partnership with Malcolm Stark in Glasgow but it should be noted that he had already, in 1886 met and married his wife, Mary Anna Gray who was the daughter of William Gray who started Gray Dunn biscuits in Glasgow.

In 1900 Frederick moved to Hammersmith.