My Great Grandmother Frances Williams Bunting was a younger sister of Mary Georgiana Bunting who married Fred Keep in Newport Pagnell. The Keeps the Buntings and the Dunkleys appear to have had more links. Have you got any more information on the Keep family and businesses. It would be especially interesting if you had any references to Newport Pagnell (10 miles from my home), the Dunkleys and the Buntings.
Obituary to Mr F Keep from Birmingham Daily Post
We greatly regret to record the death of Mr Frederick Keep, which took place early yesterday at his residence, Beechfield, Ampton Road, Edgbaston, from pneumonia. He had recently been in a very delicate state of health. Early in 1898 the sudden development of a deep-seated malady, from which he had long suffered, compelled him to undergo an operation. While this was successful in saving Mr Keep's life, it left his health much impaired, and necessitated his complete retirement from business.
The deceased gentleman was born at Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire in 1831. He was educated first in London, and afterwards at the Birmingham and Edgbaston Proprietary School, then under the headmastership of Dr Ryall. His father Mr John Keep had removed from Newport to Birmingham in 1839, and carried on the business of a hardware factor in partnership with Mr William Hinkley (a gentleman even now probably remembered by some Midland Counties ironmongers under the name of Keep & Hinkley. On leaving school the deceased gentleman decided to follow the business of a corn miller and was apprenticed to the firm of John Perry and Son in Northampton with whome he remained ?? years. On the completion of his apprenticeship Mr Keep came to Birmingham and endeavoured to find a mill in which he might carry on business, but as nothing suitable was to be obtained he employed ??? if for some time at The Old Steam Mills in Snow ??? then, as now, carried on by Messrs Rayner and ???. At that time the colony of Victoria (Australia) was just opening out as a market for English goods, ??? Mr Keep's brother, Edward (who had gone into partnership with Mr W H M Blews) went to Melbourne to open business, Mr Blews remaining as ???nt partner in England. The trade of Blews and Keep rapidly increased, and further assistance being needed, Mr Keep transferred his services to the firm, and thus commenced his long connection with the hardware trade. His next move was to Stourbridge, where for some time he assisted his brother Alfred, who was partner in the well known firm of Keep & Watkins. In 1854 Mr John Keep's partnership with Mr Hinkley was dissolved (Mr Hinkley retiring from business), and in the same year Mr Keep took into partnership his son, Mr Joseph s Keep, the style of the firm being altered to Keep & Son.
Mr Frederick Keep was offered a position in the new firm, and on the death of his father in 1857 he joined his brother, Mr J S Keep, in partnership, the business henceforth being carried on under it's present title of Keep Brothers. Seven years later, in consequence of the very large expansion of their foreign connection, the firm disposed of the home trade branch of their business to Messrs Deeley, Wignall, and Wilson, resolving to confine themselves entirely to the export trade, in which they have been ever since engaged. In 1873 the business (from which Mr J S Keep had previously retired) was removed from Russell Street to large premises in Broad Street; and there Mr Keep continued engaged until his retirement.
In private, as in business life, Mr Keep's habits were equally energetic and industrious. Although never taking an active part in municipal or political affairs he early identified himself with religious, temperance and philanthropic work, and was a most generous subscriber at all times to both public and private charities. Commencing his work at Carr's Lane Chapel in the days ofthe Rev J Angell-James, he was one of the original founders of the Edgbaston Congregational Chapel in Francis Road where he laboured with unwearied devotion. For twenty five years he acted as treasurer to Spring Hill College until its removal to Oxford and was Chairman of the Birmingham Dispensary for about six years, whilst, as a deacon of Francis Road Chapel, as superintendant of the Sunday schools connected therewith for forty year, and as president of the Adult Bible Class assembling there, he will be gratefully remembered. In the district of Ladywood, where he was a constant visitor to the sick, poor, and afflicted, many will long treasure the recollection oh fis name.
Mr Keep married, in 1857, Miss Mary Bunting, of Northampton, who died in 1896, leaving a family of three sons and three daughters.
The funeral will take place at King's Norton on Wednesday at 3 pm.
Funeral of Mr F Keep April 1904
The funeral of Mr Frederick Keep, who died on Sunday at his residence, Beechfield, Ampton Road, Edgbaston, took place yesterday, at King's Norton. The first part of the burial service was conducted at the home of the deceased gentleman by the Rev W S Houghton the pastor of the Congregational Chapel, Francis Road, Edgbaston, and then the coffin was conveyed by road to King's Norton Churchyard. The hearse was followed by ten mourning coaches, the mourners being Mr & Mrs H F Keep, Miss Keep, Mr A W Keep, Nurse Grimes, Mr & Mrs A King-Smith, Mr & Mrs C King-Smith, Mr & Mrs C E Keep, Mr Walker, Mr Joseph Keep, Mr Samuel Keep, Mrs Brierley, Mr Milner, Mr Ronald Keep, Mr H Ayres Keep, Mr Bidmead, Mr & Mrs J H Lloyd, Mrs Houghton, Mr Rayner, Mr H Rayner, Mr Dunkley, Mr H Bunting, Mr C Wallis, Rev J H & Mrs Jowett, Mr G J Johnson, and the servants at Beechfield. A large number of friends and representatives of various institutions with which Mr Keep was associated assembled in the churchyard to pay a tribute of respect to the memory of the deceased. Francis Road Congregational Chapel was represented by several deacons including Messrs G Smith, H Rungs, W E Warden, N Hotchkiss and Edwin Wright; Alderman Edwards represented the Birmingham Association of Congregational churches and London Missionary Society; Mr Walter S Edwards represented the Trustees of the Spring Hill College Endowment; Alderman Edwards, Mr W S Edwards and Mr H J Manton represented Mansfield College, Oxford; Mr E W Forrest represented the Birmingham General Dispensary; Alderman Edwards, Councillor Bishop, Mr A E Butler and Mr & Mrs J T Wilson represented the Birmingham Police Mission and Institute; Dr H Bagster-Wilson represented the Birmingham Medical Mission, Mr G Davis the City Mission, and Mr H Whitwell the Young Men's Christian Association. There were also present Dr McCardie, Messrs E Williamd, F H Jordan, H Williams, Cuthbertson and eighteen members of staff of Messrs Keep Brothers, Great Charles Street, with which firm the deceased was identified for a great many years. The service in the chuchyard was also taken by the Rev W S Houghton, and the coffin, was laid in the family grave, where Mrs Keep was buried in 1896. The coffin which was of polished oak, and bore the inscription "Frederick Keep, died April 3rd, 1904 aged 72 years," was covered with beautiful wreaths contributed solely by relatives. The arrangements for the funeral were carried out by Messrs Bach & Barber.