Peacock, Sir Peter

Successful businessman and promoter of Peacock's Stores. He was born on 13 April 1872 at Clophill, near Bedford into a working-class family which moved to Warrington in 1875. The family business flourished in his hands. He became a Liberal councillor in 1913 and was elected mayor of Warrington in 1913 for the first of six times. In 1918 he was knighted and was given the freedom of the town, but failed to get elected to Parliament. He also became Master of his Masonic Lodge.

Despite his prominence in business and public life and in the local Methodist community, from about 1917 he had formed a relationship with Rose Tynan, a Baptist of Irish extraction, and in 1921 he abandoned his wife and family and set up home with her in Birmingham, while continuing to support his wife and family and to revisit Warrington on a weekly basis to carry out his business and civic duties. The offspring of this liaison was the drama critic and author Kenneth Tynan (1927-1980).

He died on 22 July 1948.


'Rose Tynan was a devout member of a Methodist church in Birmingham. In the fifties she became devoted to its new minister, Frank Thewlis, and his family, and when they moved to a parish [sic] in Keighley in Yorkshire, Rose would visit them. On one occasion she set out to visit them and, acording to the Reverend Thewlis, who telephoned Ken, was picked up by the Keighley police, who had found her wandering the streets lost and confused before managing to discover her destination… 'In November of '61, her doctor contacted Ken to tell him his mother was terminally ill. Ken visited her on November 12 and returned deeply shaken. She had stopped eating and was emaciated. She did not recognize him, but he'd sat on her bed holding her hand and together they'd sung hymns. It was a flash of his early childhood days, hitherto unknown to me.'

Elaine Dundy, Life Itself (2001) p.253

  • Kathleen Tynan, Kenneth Tynan (corrected edition, 1988) pp.13-18
  • Elaine Dundy, Life Itself (2001) pp.108-9, 252-4
  • Oxford DNB


Entry written by: PWW
Category: Person
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