Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 15, 2019
Webpage updated: September 15, 2019




Plymouth's third Superintendent Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages was Mr Ernest Frank Anthony.

Ernest Frank Anthony was born in Plymouth on January 23rd 1869, the second son of the Reverend Frederick Evans Anthony (1832-1908), the Principal of the Western College and promoter of education in Plymouth, and his wife, Mrs Elizabeth Cobley Anthony.

He was educated at Plymouth College and then articled to Mr John Shelly, solicitor. He gained his qualifications and commenced practising on his own in 1893.  He subsequently entered in to partnership with Messrs Reginald Watts and Eric Ward, solicitors, in Princess Square, Plymouth.  It is said that he never appeared in any local court, that being left to Mr Ward, but had a flourishing legal business none the less.

On Friday September 1st 1905 he married Miss Margaret Adams at Sherwell Congregational Chapel in Plymouth.  The marriage ended when his wife, who had just given birth to their second child, developed peritonitis and passed away on Tuesday August 18th 1908, at the age of just 26 years.  His second wife was Miss Amy Rogers, whom he married at Helston on October 24th 1912.

Mr Anthony became the third Superintendent Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for Plymouth in 1906 following the retirement of Mr John Williams Matthews and remained in that post, and at number 4 Princess Square, until he retired on June 30th 1937, when the Devonport and East Stonehouse Registration Districts were amalgamated in to the Plymouth Registration District.  He was responsible for setting up Plymouth's first local authority controlled Register Office at 40 Whimple Street.  He was succeeded by Mr Walter Naylor.

During his lifetime he was a keen supporter of Sherwell Congregational Chapel and represented the voters of the Greenbank Ward on the Plymouth Town Council.  He was instrumental in starting the first Boys' Brigade in Plymouth in 1888, just a year after the commencement of the movement nationally.  Mr Anthony joined the 2nd (Prince of Wales) Volunteer Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment as a lieutenant and served for ten years, retiring in 1903 with the rank of captain.  He was a Freemason, an Oddfellow and a Forester.

His name also appears as one of the original authors of the standard legal work "Anthony and Berryman's Magistrates' Court Guide".

Mr Ernest Frank Anthony died at his home in Penlee Way, Stoke, Devonport, on Tuesday December 16th 1941.