PEEK, Francis 1834-1899. Tea importer and philanthropist. Lived at Roby, Crescent Wood Road. A partner in the firm of Peek Brothers and Winch, tea importers, in 1895, the largest wholesale dealer in tea and coffee in the world. Francis Peek was a great philanthropist and social reformer. He was chairman of the Howard Association, now the Howard League for Penal Reform. He was also a member of the London School Board and gave £1,000 in one year to provide shoes for poor children. In response to the Bishop of Rochester’s appeal for funds to build ten new churches in the diocese, Francis Peek agreed that he would meet the costs of building a new church if the target of the original Ten Churches Appeal was met. As a consequence, he provided the funds for the building of St Clement’s Church, Friern Road and further funds to assist with the building of St Saviour’s, Copleston Road and Emmanuel Church, West Dulwich. He wrote numerous articles on the treatment of the poor and was the author of ‘Social wreckage: a review of the laws of England as they affect the poor’, (1883).

Brian Green