John Noble – Obituary

At this stage I am unable to determine the exact relationship of John Noble to the Family Tree.  But,  The mother of Edward Noble Price, of Villa Frere in his files he had the full newspaper obituary which would indicate that John Noble was somehow related.

was  Emma Noble 1809 – 1869. 


The Henley Newspaper November 1, 1890

Obituary of John Noble

Considerable consternation and grief was felt in Henley, on Wednesday morning, by the rumour [which unfortunately proved true], that are highly esteemed and valued neighbor, Mr. John Noble of Park Place, had suddenly died in London, on his way from Henley to Cannes, where he had arranged to spend the winter. The loss of such a man will be most seriously felt by many in the town and neighbourhood.  When the deceased gentleman purchased Park Place, it was in the bad condition.  The house was old and inconvenient and the grounds were neglected.  He instantly set about rebuilding the house, which now stands in the front rank as regards convenience, health, comfort and artistic beauty. His great knowledge, skill and taste were not only brought to bear upon this work, but he employed a very large staff of permanent men on the Estate, to arrange and maintain the grounds and gardens, in that state of perfection in which they are at the very present time.

Very few men had a finer taste, or a more extensive general knowledge. A great reader and thinker, he delighted to investigate thoroughly and in the most practical manner, all modern inventions, and in conversation it was difficult to find any subject which he was not able to discuss in the most intelligent and practical manner.

He was also greatly interested in all movements for the good of his fellow men and these received his general support, and when necessary his financial aid.

He was an earnest supporter of three great questions of the day, viz.:- Temperance, Education, and Free Public Libraries and Reading Rooms. His generous help was given to National, Diocesan and local temperance societies and to educational work outside, as well as inside his own parish. He celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee by giving  £10,000 to provide a Free Library for Lambeth in which parish, stands the large Varnish Works, employing a large number of men, of which he was the head, and for many years the leading spirit.

Locally, he was well known to be a just, kind and a generous man, ready to help with his purse any calls, or cases, which after careful enquiry he found to be deserving. When appealed to for assistance he invariably followed the wise rule of ascertaining what the applicant had done, or tried to do for himself, and if he found the person seeking help, or for whom help was asked, had endeavoured to help themselves, then his assistance was never asked in vain. His motto was to help those who tried to help themselves. The same rule he applied to local institutions. Before he gave a subscription he always liked to see the names of those more nearly concerned with the particular cause, whatever it might be on the list, no matter how small the amounts might be. He took this as proof that it was a genuine effort, and when this was done, his kindness and generosity could always be relied upon.

Probably one of his last acts of generosity was, to give a very handsome donation towards the enlargement of Trinity Church.

A very able and accomplished man, yet he had no ambition for what is called a public life. He preferred working and doing good in his own quiet way, and although connected with many public and local institutions he was rarely, if ever seen upon a public platform. In politics a Conservative, he was in practical life a true Liberal, and never allowed political or religious differences to interfere with the business connections, and his employees had perfect freedom to vote as they liked at election times. A safe seat in Parliament was once offered him, for Lambeth, in which place he was well known and his many services appreciated, but the offer was respectfully declined.

Much more might be written of the good work done by John Noble. He was undoubtedly one of natures noblemen, good, kind, just,

“Justice and mercy formed his code. 

He put his trust in heaven,

His prayer was, if the heart meant well, 

All else might be forgiven”

His removal will leave a blank, difficult to fill, and his family will have the sincere sympathy of thousands who knew him, in this, the hour of trial. They will however have the consolation of knowing that “he is not dead but gone before. 

“Dust thou art, to dust returns

Was not spoken of the soul.”

His life will be an and example, and a stimulus to those who have to follow him, and cannot possibly be without his good influence upon all those with whom he had been brought in contact, and this after all is one of the best objects of life, and we hope and believe this will be the result of the life of one who is “passing away” is now mourned  by relatives, friends and neighbours.


Park Place – Henley on Thames – The home of John Noble.

Park Place

In 1869 the estate was bought by John Noble (Noble’s Paints & Varnishes). The Noble family owned the estate until 1947 when John Noble’s son Wilson Noble auctioned the property and land off in a number of lots.[1] The house was bought by the Middlesex County Council and in 1965 ownership was transferred to Hillingdon Council.[1] The house was used as a boarding school for children 11 to 16 with health or emotional problems until 1988 when it was sold to private owners.[1]

The house was purchased by a consortium which looked to develop it into a country club, but failed to gain planning permission from Wokingham Council. Parts of the grounds appear in the 2007 film St Trinian’s.[7]

In June 2007 the house was sold to Michael Spink, a founder and owner of SPINK, for £42 million, which made it the most expensive house sale in the United Kingdom outside London at that time.[8]

Spink spent two years restoring the gardens and the main house. Park Place was sold to Russian businessman Andrey Borodin, for a further record of £140 million, making it the most expensive house sale in the United Kingdom, in 2012.[9] Spink retained 300 acres (120 ha) for further development.[10]

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.