William Peake




William Peake

William Peake was probably born in Leicestershire, England in about 1800.  He married Sarah Lord in 1821.  She was born in 1797 in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England.

Although the family has not yet been located in Leicestershire, it appears probable that William and Sarah were born and began their married life there.  Leicestershire is a county in central England.  In about 1825, the family left Leicestershire to follow a business opportunity.  They relocated to the village of Nuneaton in the neighboring county of Warwickshire where they opened a bakery at 130 Abby Street.

Nuneaton was little more than a village with one long street, Abbey Street, until the end of the 18th century when, for some reason, a large increase in inhabitants occurred and the population probably rose by fifty percent within a few years.  Part of this increase included the Peake family.  The bakery that became “Peake’s” is recorded as having started in 1773.  The first proprietor is unknown but William Peake is listed there in 1828 and after his death he was followed by his son, William, then his widowed wife, Sarah, and later by their son Thomas. They formulated what became the Nuneaton Pork Pie and sausage and by 1900 Nuneaton was known as the home of the pork pie; as well as for its own recipe for pork sausages, made with secret ingredients, which were sold in hermetically sealed containers throughout England and to the colonies.  The sketch at the right was done at about the time of the shop’s sale in 1890.  The family lived above the shop.

Thomas Peake advertised in the Nuneaton Observer business directory for 1880: "PEAKE, Thomas, Confectioner, 130 Abbey-St. Refreshments, choice wines, chops and steaks, tea and coffee at any hour, pork pies, sausages. Madeira, Seed, Sultana and other cakes. Reading biscuits, pigeon, veal and ham pies. Public dinners, cold collations, and tea parties, served in the best style at moderate charges."

Another advertisement in the 'Cawthorne's Family Almanac' for 1889 reads:

"PEAKE's REFRESHMENT ROOMS, Pastry Cook and Confectioner, 130 Abbey Street. Pork pies, sausages, teacakes, dinner rolls and biscuits. Rich bride cakes, made to order at the shortest notice. Luncheon and school cakes; and all kinds of fancy Biscuits. Calves feet jellies, Blanc Manges, Creams etc.

TRY TRENT VALLEY SELF RAISING FLOUR. For making light and wholesome puddings, cakes and pastry, without barm, baking powder or eggs.

Pigeon, veal and ham pies, pork pies, sausages daily.

N.B. wholesale agents for Huntley & Palmers celebrated biscuits and Madeira cakes.

British and Foreign wines. Your patronage and support respectfully solicited.

A year later the business was sold to Walter J. Yoxall and the original recipes for William Peake’s pies were passed on to the new proprietor.  The name of the bakery was changed from Peake’s to Yoxall’s and it was a continuous business until it finally closed its doors in 1974.

Abby Street, Nuneaton about 1890

Children of William Peake and Sarah Lord were:

1.  Mary Peake was born about 1820.

2.  William Peake was born in 1821.  He took over the bakery in about 1835, when his father passed away.

3.  Hanna Peake was born in 1823 in Hinkley, Leicestershire, England.  She married John Thomas Jordon who was born in 1825 in Arley, Warwickshire, England.  On the 1861 census of England and Wales, they are listed as farming a 52 acre farm in Warwickshire.

4.  Joseph Peake was born in 1826 in Hinkley, Leicestershire, England and died in 1876 in Wesson, Copiah County, Mississippi.  He is the subject of the next generation.

5.  Lucy Peake was born in 1826 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England.

6.  Thomas Peake was born in 1833 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England.  He continued the family business at the death of his older brother, William.  Thomas married twice.  HIs first wife wa Emma Britten and their children were Thomas, Emma, Sara Ann, Mary (Polly) and Jane Elizabeth.  Thomas' second wife was Jane Harris and they had three daughters, Edith Ann, Hilda Mary and Mabel Ellen.  Thomas' oldest daughter, Emma, married Samuel Best and immigrated to Chicago in 1910.


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updated 14 August 2009

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