Mayor 1844 – 1845.


Member of the Conservative Party.

A member of the established church – Church of England.

William moved to Ipswich in 1814. He entered the Council in November 1842 as one of the representatives of the Westgate Ward.


Born: 5th November1792, Ampton Hall, Little Livermere, Suffolk.

Baptised: 3rd December 1792, Sudbury, Suffolk.


Father: Josiah Rodwell, born 17th April 1747, Wattisfield, Suffolk. At the age of 25, Josiah began to lease a farm of 1400 acres, 700 acres of which was heath. Josiah used clay and marle to break up and improve the soil of the heath. In November 1799, he was awarded a gold medal from the Board of Agriculture, for an article he wrote on the improvement of his land using clay and marle over many years. He explained that after many years, he could now have a rotation of turnips, barley, clover, rye grass and trefoil, peas and wheat, plus 40 – 48 score of sheep.

Josiah died in the morning, of the 21st September 1802, he had the previous evening attended the Woolpit Fair. He was laid to rest 23rd September 1802, at Livermere Parva. Josiah Rodwell’s most impressive surviving monument today is the avenue of Lime trees at Heath Farm, Spinney Lane, Livermere.


Mother: Elizabeth Rodwell (nee Meadows), born 2nd March 1751, of Henley Hall, Suffolk – died 18th February 1838, Claydon, Suffolk.

Elizabeth and Josiah Rodwell had 12 children – 5 survived to adulthood.


On the 10th March 1814, at Hadleigh, Suffolk, William married Elizabeth Ann Hunter, born 21st November 1785, baptised: 15th January 1786, St. George the Martyr, Queen Square, Camden, of Devonshire Street.


Father: Benjamin Hunter, born 1752, London, of Glencarse, Perthshire, Scotland – died 6th December 1785. A Barrister-at-Law, formerly Trinity College, Cambridge, afterwards of Queen Square, London.


Mother: Elizabeth Hunter (nee Hasell), born 25th April 1747, London, of Hadleigh, Suffolk – died 31st December 1818, at the house of her daughter, Mrs. Rodwell, Brook Street, Ipswich, after an affliction of upwards of 2 1/2 years. Laid to rest at St. Matthew’s Churchyard, Ipswich.



1841   Westgate Street, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich.


William was 45 years old, a Banker & Solicitor. He was married and head of the household.

Elizabeth, 50.

Edgar, 18.

Mira, 16.

Hasell, 15.

Annie, 13.

grandson – Charles William O’Malley, 8 months, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich – died 14th June 1843, 63, Ebury Street, Belgravia, City of Westminster – 2 years & 10 months.

1 teacher.

5 female servants (including Mary Wilson).

1 male servant.


1851   Holbrook, Suffolk.


William was 58 years old, a Banker & Solicitor. He was widowed and head of the household.

Mira, 26.

Emily O’Malley (nee Rodwell), 30.

Emilius St. Clair O’Malley, 2, born St. George Hanover Square, London.

Frederic Gray O’Malley, 2 months, born St. George Hanover Square, London – died February 1853, 11, Chester Square, Belgravia, City of Westminster – 2 years.

1 footman.

1 gardener.

1 housekeeper – Mary Wilson.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.

1 house servant.

1 nursemaid.

1 groom.


1861   ‘Woodlands’ Holbrook, Suffolk.

Justice of the Peace, Ipswich Session Court, at the Town Hall.

William was 68 years old, a Justice of Peace for Suffolk & Banker. He was widowed and head of the household.

Annie, 33.

Edgar, 38.

daughter-in-law – Elizabeth, 38.

grandson – Henry Edgar Rodwell, 7, born Kensington, London.

grandson – Edward Hannington Rodwell, 5, born Esher, Middlesex.

grandson – Charles Raymond Rodwell, 4, born Kensington.

grandaughter – Marie Emily Winifred Rodwell, 2, born Kensington.

grandson – Emilius St. Clair O’Malley, 12.

1 housekeeper – Mary Wilson.

1 cook.

1 kitchen maid.

1 house maid.

1 under maid.

1 upper maid.

1 coachman.


1871   34, Marlborough Buildings, Walcot, Somerset.


William was 78 years old, a Banker & Land Proprietor. He was widowed and head of the household.

Mira, 46.

Annie, 43.

1 parlour maid – Mary Wilson.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.


On Friday 1st August 1845, excavations started on the summit of Stoke hill in preparation on a shaft for the new tunnel. The interested parties gathered for a “Dejeuner a la fourchette” and ceremony dig, organized by Mr Peter Bruff Eqr., (Engineer). The party assembled at one o’clock, loading soil from the side of the hill into a procession of wheelbarrows headed by the Mayor of Ipswich William Rodell Esq. followed by Mr. John Chevallier Cobbold Eqr. (Chairman of the board of directors.) George Josselynn, R. Portersen, John Footman, J. Ransome, W. May, R.D. Alexandra, W.T. Cobbold, Peter Long, E. Ayres (Company Secretary) and Peter Bruff.

The soil was then deposited on the extremity of the slope, with the Sub-contractor Mr. Hawley presenting the laborers with a mug of beer as they returned to the tent for the dejeuner a la fourchette luncheon. Mr. John Chevallier Cobbold taking the chair and Mr Peter Bruff officiated at the over end of the table as the celebrations of the new tunnel and train line commences. Mr Bruff being one of the founders of the Easton Union Railway was congratulated for the new work and toasts were drunk for the prosperity to which the rail line will bring to the town. It was remarked that the work should be completed by October 1846, with a bonus if completed by August. A new Station and bridge was also planned on land which was currently a turnip field.

Essex Herald – Tuesday 5th August 1845


Image courtesy of Mr. A. Gilbert – Ipswich Borough Council.

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