©  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 17, 2019
Webpage updated: January 02, 2020




John Frederick Winnicott was born in Plymouth and christened on Thursday November 15th 1855 at the Ebenezer Wesleyan Methodist Chapel.

He was the second son of Mr Richard Weeks Winnicott, ironmonger, and his wife Caroline, née Bond, who had married at Saint Andrew's Church on Thursday September 9th 1852.  His older brother, also Mr Richard Weeks Winnicott, was born on Tuesday August 9th 1853.  Their home was at 13 George Street, Plymouth, where his father had his business.

Mr Winnicott married Miss Elizabeth Martha Woods at Saint Andrew's Church, Plymouth, on Wednesday January 26th 1887.

By the time of the 1891 census, they had two daughters, Violet, aged 1, and Doris, just one month old, and were living at number 17 Gordon Terrace, Mutley.  Also in the household were two domestic servants, Miss Emma S Perriman and Miss Beatrice A Borlace, and a 49-years-old nurse by the name of Mrs Emma E Hawke, from Stonehouse.

He was a partner in the firm of Messrs Winnicott Brothers, hardware merchants and manufacturers, of Frankfort Street, Plymouth, and first entered public service as a co-opted member of the Borough Free Library Committee.  In November 1906 he was elected to succeed his brother, Alderman R W Winnicott, as Mayor of Plymouth.

It was during this first term as Mayor that he was responsible for welcoming the Prince and Princess of Wales, later King (George V and Queen Mary), when they visited the Town on their way to open the Royal Dockyard Extension at Devonport.

During his lifetime he was chairman of the Plymouth Mercantile Association, the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and the Mount Edgcumbe Training Ship; a trustee of the Plymouth Savings Bank and a member of the managers of the South Devon and East Cornwall Hospital.  He was also vice-president of the Plymouth Conservative Association and a Justice of the Peace.

Following a second term as Mayor in 1921-22, during which he welcomed HRH the Prince of Wales, later Duke of Windsor, upon his return to this country from his historic visit to India, Japan and the Far East, he received his knighthood in the New Year's Honours List 1924.  He placed a stained glass window in the Borough Free  Library in September 1927 as a memorial to his wife.  He took an active part in the establishment of the Didworthy Sanatorium for Consumptives and at the start of the Second World War he donated a shock-proof X-ray machine to the South Devon and East Cornwall Hospital.

In November 1934 he received the Freedom of the City of Plymouth and as a "Thank You" for the honour he paid for the canopy to be placed over the Mayflower Memorial stone on the Barbican.

Sir John Frederick Winnicott died on December 31st 1948 at his home, "Rockville", Seymour Road, Mannamead, Plymouth.  He was 93 years of age.  He was survived by one son and two daughters.