Historical Plaque Properties


George Larkworthy - Merchant/Butcher/First Town Constable
81 Cobourg Street
Stratford, ON

George Larkworthy was born about 1806 in Shebbear, Devon, England. He married Orange Ingersoll White about 1827 and their first son, William, was born a year later. Isaac was born about 1832, their only daughter, Elizabeth, was born in 1834 and George Junior in 1840.


In the 1841 Shebbear census, where George’s employment was noted as “Carrier”, the youngest three children were living with the parents while the oldest, William, was working as a farm labourer in nearby Buckland, Filleigh.


According to later documents, the family emigrated in 1849. They were not, however, enumerated in the 1851 Canada census.


The first record of George Larkworthy occurs when Stratford was incorporated as a town in 1854 and he was appointed the first town constable for a salary of £80 a year. His duties as constable on the one man police force included rounding up stray livestock and traffic control.

By the time the 1861 census was taken, George had acquired a number of properties and had completed the family home at 81 Cobourg Street. His son George had joined him in his business as a butcher.


William married Jane Brown around 1853 and when the 1861 census was taken, they were living in Mitchell where William was employed as an inn keeper. Isaac, who was 19 at the time and working as a carpenter, was living with him. Later, William would go into his father’s trade as a butcher in Mitchell and Isaac would do the same in Dereham Township. William’s son would eventually be the fourth George Larkworthy to become a butcher. He, unlike the other Georges, resided in Mitchell.

Elizabeth married William Down around 1855. He was a carpenter, as noted in the 1861 census, and they lived on William Street. Elizabeth and William lived on the same street for the rest of their lives. William later became a city commissioner.


Unfortunately, George (1) died in 1865 at the age of 59. Orange lived in the house for another few years before moving to live with her daughter and son-in-law. She was living with them when the 1881 census was taken.


George (2) never lived at 81 Cobourg after his marriage to Mary Jordan in 1864. George and Mary raised their family at 196 Ontario Street and later built the house at 244 Ontario Street. At one time their butcher shop was also at 196 Ontario Street. Their son, another George, would follow his father and grandfather into the family business.
It was this George Larkworthy (3), the third generation of Stratford butchers, who purchased 81 Cobourg from his father at the time of his marriage to Catherine Heron in 1899. He enlarged the house to the style it is today and changed the brick colour from ginger to yellow. After his father’s death, he moved to 244 Ontario Street.
Orange White Larkworthy, the matriarch of the family, died in 1888 at the age of 84.