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The Oke family came from Sherborne, Dorset, where the family history extends back many centuries. Three cousins from Dorset, Edward Langdon Oke (1775-1840), William Oke (ca. 1788-1857), and Dr. William Samways Oke (1784-1866) moved to Southampton around the early 19th century. All three cousins became Town Councillors and played a role in the town's development.

William Oke's son, Robert Rouby Oke, a non-practicing physician, businessman and philanthropist, lived at Cumberland House where he died in 1890. (Post Office Directory 1865, London Gazette, 10 October 1890, Southampton Times & Hampshire Express, 6 September 1890).

The census returns for Southampton give R. R. Oke's addresses as follows: 1841 Grosvenor Place; 1851 Not at family home (Grosvenor House, Grosvenor Square); 1861 12 Anglesea Place; 1871 Cumberland Place, Cumberland House; 1881 Cumberland Place, Cumberland House; died 1890.

Robert's son, Alfred William Oke (1859-1944) a prominent solicitor and businessman in Southampton lived at Cumberland House as a child, as did his sister Catherine Mary Oke (1858-1931).

Edward Langdon Oke's brother, John Langdon Oke (1776-1815) became a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy.

William Oke's brother, John Oke (ca.1878-1831), became a Lieut.-Col. in the 61st Regiment during the Peninsular War and retired to Southampton.

The will of a second John Oke (1813-1861) lists some of the land he owned:

"I also GIVE and DEVISE unto the said Emily Meddey Andrews all those several freehold messuages (sic) or tenements with the yards outhouses and gardens and appurtenances thereunto belonging situate on Charlotte Street and on the north and south sides of China Place respectively in the Parish of Saint Mary and Town and County of Southampton which I have lately purchased of the devisies (sic) in trust and Executors of the will of the late Mr. John Baker" (Hampshire History Centre, 5M62/4, page 536).


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