Obituaries of two grandsons: Leonard J. Bidwell ,1916, and Wilfrid Cary-Elwes, 1917

Two Roper-Parkington grandsons died during the First War. Leonard’s  was an accident caused by a soldier’s rucksack leant against a train door, which managed to turn the door-handle so when he leant against it, the door opened and he fell from the moving train. Wilfrid died at the Battle of Bourlon Wood in France on the 27th of November 1917, thirty-four days after arriving in France. He has no known grave.


Midshipman Leonard Bidwell, whose death is announced, was accidentally killed on the 17th instant. He was the eldest son of Mrs. Bidwell, of 15, Upper Wimpole Street, and the late Leonard A. Bidwell, F.R.C.S., and grandson of Sir J. Roper Parkington. Mr. Bidwell was born in August, 1897, joined the Royal Naval College, Osborne, at the Easter term, 1910, and at the outbreak of war was in H.M.S. ” Cumberland ” and saw service in the Cameroons where he was severely wounded. At the time of his death he had not completely recovered, but was employed on special service by the Admiralty. A Requiem Mass was said at St. James’s, Spanish Place, and the burial took place at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Kensal Green. Amongst those present at the funeral service were :—Mrs. Bidwell (mother), the Misses Bidwell (sisters), Master T Bidwell (brother), Fleet Surgeon L. Bidwell, R.N , Miss Edith and Miss Agnes Bidwell, Mr. E. W. Farnall, C.B., Mrs. Farnall, Sir J. Roper Parkington, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cary-Elwes, Mr. Wilfrid & Miss Lilian Cary-Elwes, Mrs. Sherston Baker, Monsignor Bidwell, Mr. Harry Lawrence. Amongst the naval officers present was Captain Fuller, C.M.G., who was in command of H.M.S. “Cumberland ” during operations in the Cameroons. The Admiralty provided a firing party at the grave, the coffin being carried by men of the R.N.V.R.—R.I.P.

The above text was found on p.24, 29th July 1916  in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

Wilfrid Gervase Cary-Elwes,

Second-Lieut. Wilfrid Gervase Cary-Elwes, Irish Guards, officially reported ” missing, believed killed,” but of whose survival no hopes are entertained, was the eldest son of Mr. Charles Cary-Elwes, of Courtlands, Eltham, Kent, and grandson of Sir J. Roper Parkington. Born nineteen years ago, he was educated at Downside, where he was distinguished as an athlete. On receiving a nomination in the Irish Guards, he went to Sandhurst in 1916, and was gazetted in the August of that year. He was anxious to go to the front, and made repeated efforts to be sent there, but only received marching orders on the eve of his nineteenth birthday. He left for the front on October 25, and fell on November 27.

The above text was found on p.28,15th December 1917,  in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

Lady RP’s Appeal for Montenegrin Families 1912


SIR,—May I appeal through your columns for help on behalf of the families of the brave Montenegrins who are fighting in the present sad war? They are so very poor that all contributions will be welcome, either in the form of money or provisions, such as tinned food, &c. ; blankets or woollen clothing especially will be acceptable, their mountain climate being extremely severe in the winter.

I will undertake to forward any goods which your readers may be kind enough to send me. Cheques should be crossed ” Union of London and Smith’s Bank,” and large parcels should be addressed, carriage paid, to Lady Roper Parkington, Montenegrin Consulate, 24, Crutched Friars, E.C.

Yours faithfully,

MARIE LOUISE PARKINGTON. 58, Green Street, Park Lane, W.,

October 16, 1912.

The above text was found on p.28, 19th October 1912  in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

Would the real Lady RP please stand up?

Viewer feedback is the posts have been flagging. So a new one


Help are these all the same woman?

The first one is definately Lady Roper Parkington, the second is at the OB wedding in 1924,  and the third is from the Mayor’s garden party in 1914. Both of them are behind the Cardinal in the photo (also on the home page)

Lady JRP Large 1Lady RP?Garden party

Leonard Arthur Bidwell,1865 – 1912

Leonard Arthur Bidwell  1865 -1912. He was known professionally as Leonard, and Arthur in the family, as his father was also Leonard. He was a surgeon. 

Leonard Arthur Bidwell
Leonard Arthur Bidwell

He was the son of Leonard Bidwell, Chief Clerk in the General Post Office. Educated at Blackheath School, and entered St Thomas’s Hospital in 1882, where he was a House Surgeon. He then studied in Paris, was appointed Assistant Surgeon to the West London Hospital in 1891, and became Surgeon in 1906. There he distinguished himself in the surgery of the abdomen, and more especially as a teacher and administrator in the Post-Graduate College. The number of entries to the Post Graduate College during his term of office (1896 – 1912) exceeded 2500. He was also Surgeon to the Florence Nightingale Hospital, to the Blackheath and Charlton Hospital, and to the City Dispensary. He also served as Surgeon Major in the Buckinghamshire Yeomanry. His death occurred from acute appendicitis on Sept 2nd, 1912. He had married Dorothea, daughter of Sir J Roper Parkington, Bart, in 1896; she survived him together with three sons and two daughters. He practised at 15 Upper Wimpole Street.

There is a fuller biography online, and also an obituary below

from The Tablet Page 36, 7th September 1912


We regret to announce the death, at his London residence, 15, Upper Wimpole Street, W., of Mr. Leonard Arthur Bidwell, F.R.C.S. He had attained great eminence in his profession, and at the time of his death, which closes a brilliant and useful career at the early age of 47, was senior surgeon to the West London Hospital. Mr. Bidwell married Dorothea, eldest daughter of Sir J. Roper Parkington, and leaves five children.—R.I.P.

Sir George Sherston Baker b. 1846

BAKER, [His Honour Judge] Sir George
Sherston, Bart. — Cr. 1793.

Eldest son of Henry Sherston Baker, Esq., who d. 1875, by Maria Martha, who d.1897, dau. of the late John Burke, Esq. (The Mac-Walter);

b. 1846 ; s. his cousin the Rev. Sir Henry Williams Baker 3rd Bart., 1877; m. 1st 1873 Jane Mary, who d. 1909, younger dau. of the late Frederick James Fegen, Esq.. R.N., CB., of Ballinlonty, Co. Tipperary; 2ndly 1912 Mary Josephine, younger dau. of the late Henry Bacchus, Esq., of Lillington Manor, Warwickshire, and Cote House, Staffordshire.

Sir George Baker, who was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn 1871, and ad eundem at th Middle Temple 1874, is a Magistrate for Lincolnshire, Barnstaple, Bideford, Great Grimsby, Boston, and City of Lincoln ; was Recorder of Helston 1886-9, and
Editor of the ‘Law Magazine and Review’ 1895-8 elected Associate of the Institut du Droit International 1879, and appointed Recorder of Barnstaple and of Bideford 1889, and County Court Judge of Circuit No. 17, 1901. — Castle Moat House, Lincoln ; Devonshire Club, s.w.

Heir, his son Dodington George Richard Sherston, M.E.O.S. L.R.C.P. : Major Indian Medical Service ; b. 1877 ; m. 1901 Irene Mary Roper, youngest dau. of Sir John Roper Parkington, and has, with other issue, a son, Humphrey Codington Benedict Sherston, b. 1907.

CONSUL FOR MONTENEGRO. The Bendigo Advertiser Monday December 30 1912

The Bendigo Advertiser Monday December 30 1912


Sir John Roper Parkington, whose name is often in the papers just now, is Consul General for Montenegro. He was the first representative of that State to be appointed in London, and speaking of this fact recently, he said a. friend who congratulated him upon the appointment made the remark, “Another £3000 or £4000 a year for you, Parkington. However, up to the present, Sir John has not seen anything of the extra thousands. The position is an honorary one, and. the Consul-General humorously complains that he is expected to pay the passage home of stranded Montenegrins. On one occasion one of them, finding the consul out announced his intention of waiting for him outside “If he does not come,” he remarked genially, “I shall shoot everyone in the house.” .He got his passage money all right, and the Consul-General’s family were very much relieved, when he departed. Sir John, who was born in 1845, is well-known in the City of London, for which, he is one of his Majesty’s Lieutenants.

Lady Roper Parkington 1849 -1925

Lady RP

from The Tablet 27th June 1925


We regret to state that Marie Louise, Lady Parkington, widow of Colonel Sir John Roper Parkington, formerly Consul-General for Montenegro, died suddenly on Thursday of last week at her residence at Wimbledon. Lady Parkington, who married Sir Roper in 1873, was a daughter of the late Mr. Sims Silvester, of the Stock Exchange. She possessed, as honours, the gold medal of the Order of Merite Civile (first class) and the Red Cross of Montenegro.

The requiem was celebrated on Monday, at Farm Street, followed by the interment at Mortlake.—R.I.P.

from The Tablet 28th November 1925


Dame Marie Louise Parkington, who died on June 15 last, widow of Sir John Roper Parkington, left estate of the gross value of £23,371, with net personalty £22,980. She bequeathed £1,000 to the Sister Superior of the Sisters of Charity, 109, Wigmore Street, W., towards the benefit and succour of poor children ; £1,000 to the Rev. Father O’Gorman, or other the priest in charge of St. Austin’s Church, Wimbledon Park, towards the erection, decoration, and upkeep of that church “in the knowledge that Masses will be said there in perpetuity for the repose of the souls of my dear husband and myself “; £1,000 to the rector of the church of the Jesuit Fathers, Farm Street, W., with a similar expression; £25 each for Masses to the rector of the College at Edgehill, Wimbledon, and Father Rankin (or other the priest in charge) of St. Winifred’s Church, Wimbledon. Bequests of jewellery and other property are made to her maid and butler; her motor-car and accessories are left to a chauffeur if still in her service ; and after mentioning a number of individual legacies the testatrix left the residue of her property to her grandchildren in equal shares.

from the Brisbane Courier  Sat 23 Jan 1926 –

“It is my most earnest and heartfelt desire that my children and their families shall live in harmony with- each other, and with all my love and understanding I pray them ever to keep in mind that this was my last wish. So, too, I adjure them and their families in no way to meddle or interfere with my servants, who have rendered my dear husband and myself such loyal service throughout so many years.” These unusual instructions are contained in the will of Dame Marie Louise Parkington, of Broadwater Lodge, Wimbledon, London, S.W., widow of Sir John Roper Parkington, formerly Consul-General in the United Kingdom for Montenegro, who left £23,371, with net personalty £22,980. Among numerous bequests to servants she left to her chauffeur, if still in her service, her motor car and accessories. All her wearing apparel she left to her housekeeper, and her late husband’s personal effects to her “faithful butler.” ” |

Brisbane Courier  Sat 23 Jan 1926 – 

The Tablet Page 31, 27th May 1911

Lady Roper Parkington presented her daughter, Mrs. Sherston Baker, wife of Capt. Dodington Sherston Baker, at their Majesties’ Court on Wednesday. Sir Roper Parkington accompanied them.