Mrs Alfred J. King

no-picture-square3Mrs Alfred J. King Julia Constance King née Oliver, 68, (1865-1955) was a milliner, a peace campaigner and the wife of Quaker Alfred John King, a cotton bleacher by profession, and Liberal MP for the Knutsford seat in 1906. Julia was the mother of Ida Whitworth, aka Mrs J. H. Whitworth, also at this table, and of two sons.

puzzle-piece2-50Have you a picture of Julia or of her daughter Ida?


The choice, as on many tables, is whether Julia was seated beside her daughter Ida. I suspect a more effective plan would have been for the sexes to be alternated so that Julia and her daughter Ida would have both been seated beside both men. As she may have been a milliner she may have had stories to exchange with the former draper Rev. J.T. Rhys. The only “flaw” in that would be that JTR and Gordon West would not have been able to swap Lloyd George tales together: but for a table of four the conversation was probably around the table anyway. And it would not have allowed Julia and her daughter to share discrete private asides if they had wanted to.


She probably just enjoyed the company, both at this Liberal table and more widely in the room.


Julia Constance Oliver was born on New Year’s Day, 1st January 1865, in Bollington, Cheshire, the daughter of Maria Creswick (c1830-1901) from a silver plating family, and her husband Thomas Oliver, (1823-1901), a cotton manufacturer. Julia was the eldest of five children, having two brothers and two sisters. In 1881, at 16, Julia was a boarder at a school for Ladies at Stonard House, Stamford Hill. Julia Oliver married Alfred J. King on 23rd August 1888 and was widowed on 16th March 1920. Her daughter Ida was born in Rainow, Cheshire on 11th October 1899, her eldest son John F. Constance in 1894 in Rainow, and the youngest child Philip Fell in 1897, in Bollington, Cheshire.

In 1915 along with fellow diner The Hon. Mrs Franklin, (and many others) she was on the General Committee of the British Committee of the Women’s International Congress, linked to the Women’s Power to Stop War, a movement of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) – a movement founded that year and continuing today.[1] On 15th October 1920 she arrived from Cape Town on the Kenilworth Castle, accompanied by her son Phillip F. King 23, a cotton manufacturer. She was a frequent traveller: often to Capetown as well as to New York.


In October 1934, a year after the dinner, Julia was living in Brockley Cottage, Edgware, Herts, at the time when her son Philip was married.[2] In 1949 she sailed to New York, for Baltimore.

Julia died on 1st February 1955, having recently turned 90, at Orrest Head, Windermere, Westmorland (Probate to her bank). She had outlived her four siblings.

puzzle-piece2-50Do you know more about her later years?


[1] Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) 1915

[2] Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 31.10.1934

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