George Hutton Poynter

‘he was of a lovable disposition and widely respected’.

Recently one of George’s descendants, Carol Bennett, contacted us seeking information on his grave. She has kindly shared this photo of the family to accompany his story:

George was born in 1835 in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire. Growing up, his whole family were engaged in the business of shoemaking. A widower at age 23, he married as his second wife Fergus [Ellen] O’Connor Love in 1859. She was the daughter of a fellow cordwainer (shoemaker).

In later years George proudly recounted that he took part in the 1866 Hyde Park demonstration and other social and political reform movements of the era. By 1871 the family had grown to include children Lucy, George and Thomas and they were living in Northampton. At that point was George recorded on the census as being deaf.

The family came to New Zealand in 1873 where sons Harry and William were born. William died at 5 days old.  George set up shop on Tinakori Road on the corner with St Mary Street and lived in Thorndon the rest of his life.

In 1883 Mr Milner Stephen ‘a gentleman possessed of marvellous power of curing all diseases’ visited Wellington and performed at the Athenaeum Hall. He asked all those in pain to come forward, but to keep a distance of at least 14 feet otherwise his power became disseminated! George was his 11th patient, having been ‘quite deaf for 20 years’. After breathing in to George’s ears, Milner said there appeared to be little improvement. ‘The power however had gone in, and further improvement would follow’. None has been recorded.

In 1885 George exhibited at the Industrial Exhibition:

‘Mr G H Poynter, Tinakori Road, Wellington has a very neat case of shoes and boots, the work in which appears to be a very superior kind.’

In the same year he applied for a patent for ‘an improved lawn tennis and cricket shoe’.

In 1886, the following was published in Lloyd’s Weekly’s long lost relatives column:

‘George Poynter with his wife and three children, left Northampton and sailed for Wellington, New Zealand some years ago. He was last known to be living at Tenigora Road. His father, 85 years old, would like to hear from him or his grand children’.

He then went into business with his son Thomas, the sign over the door then read ‘G H Poynter & Son’.

Ellen died in 1901 at 152 Tinakori Road after a painfull illness. His daughter Lucy (married to Edward Barnett) died in 1903. Edward is buried with their infant son at Bolton Street.

George Hutton Poynter died in 1905.

Ellen, Lucy and George are all buried in Public/Q/8.

By Julia Kennedy

Poynter family. Photo supplied.
George Hutton’s shop. Photo supplied.