Birth: 1766 - Circa

Place or Registered Place of Birth: Birmingham, Warwickshire

Baptism: 17 January 1766

Place of Baptism: St. Phillips, Birmingham, Warwickshire

Death: 31 March 1820 - Aged 59

Place or Registered Place of Death: Charlotte Street, Bloomsbury, London

Father: John Parkes

Mother: Elizabeth Lees

Spouse(s): Frances Byerley

Date of Marriage: 21 June 1811

Place or Registered Place of Marriage: St. Mary, Warwick, Warwickshire


Frances Anne Parkes (1814-1884)
Edmund Alexander Parkes (1819-1876)


Fanny Byerley, had married William Parkes of a prominent Unitarian family of Warwick in 1811. They were married by Dr Samuel Parr, who was curate of nearby Hatton but also notorious for being a Whig and a staunch friend of dissenters. He attended the Unitarian ordination of William Field at Warwick in 1790, when Belsham gave the charge to the new minister, formerly a fellow student at Daventry of William Stevenson. Priestley preached the sermon." Forced by a business failure in 1818 to sell their house in Warwick ('combining the advantages of a Town Residence with the beauties of a country retirement'), William and Fanny Parkes moved first to Bloxham and then to Solihull near Birmingham in 1820. They were now, a son reports, `very poor, and had a limited supply of servants'. Priestley's granddaughter Elizabeth, 'a woman of great charm, with genial and kindly manners and a gift of vivacious narrative', was to marry the Birmingham politician Joseph Parkes, nephew of William Parkes and son of his brother John, in 1824.

Woollen manufacture on a smaller scale began in 1789: William Parkes, in partnership with his brother, Joseph, a cotton factor, set up workshops and warehouses in Barrack Street. In 1795 they went into partnership with Joseph Brookhouse, cotton spinner, and Samuel Crompton, and in the following year built their factory in the Saltisford for worsted spinning. By 1815 it employed about 500 hands, and the chiefmarkets were Leicester, Hinckley, and Nottingham for worsted and Kidderminster for yarn. In 1797 Messrs.Parker, cotton weavers, opened a factory in Oil Mill Lane (now Priory Road), employing 200 hands in 1815and depending for raw materials and sales entirely on Manchester.By 1815 Messrs. Lamb, hat manufacturers of Market Place, Tomes and Handley's Navigation Mill (1805),Nunn, Brown and Freeman's lace factory (1810), and Thomas Roberts's iron foundry (1810) were all inactive production.This boom was short lived: Parkes, Brookhouse, and Crompton failed in 1819.

The Law Advertiser, Volume 9 - 1831
Parkes William, the elder, formerly of Ashted-wharf, Lawley-street, near Birmingham, coal and lime-dealer, afterwards of Ashted-wharf, carrying on business in partnership with William Parkes the younger, as coal and lime-dealers, under the firm of Parkes and Son, and late of Ashted-wharf, coal and lime-dealer on his own account.

The Gentleman's Magazine - 1820
March 31 - In Charlotte-street, Bloomsbury, aged 59, William Parkes, esq.

William Parkes