past and present

Families of Note

Lady Margaret Krebs

Joseph Leo Fieldhouse of Wickersley, Yorkshire, owned several shoe shops in Rotherham.

His daughter. Margaret Cicely Fieldhouse was born about 1913/14.

Kelly's Directory of West Riding of Yorkshire, dated 1881, lists a Thomas Fieldhouse as Proprietor of the Borough Boot Company, situated at 37 Church Street, Rotherham.

Mrs. Harriet Fieldhouse,living at 70 St. Anns Road, a Boot maker , of 23 Bridgegate, and 70 and 80 Broad Street, Parkgate, Rotherham, is listed in White's Directory of Sheffield & Rotherham, 1911 and so is Miss Gertrude Fieldhouse, a bootmaker of Talbot Lane, Westgate. It has not been proved that these are connected, but it looks likely

Margaret C. Fieldhouse(b.1813) married, on 22 March 1938, Sir Hans Adolf Krebs,(1900-1981), biochemist, who was born on 25 August 1900 at Hildesheim, Germany, the elder son and second of the three children of Dr. George Krebs, a doctor, and his wife, Alma Davidson, the daughter of a banker.

Sir Hans and Lady Margaret had two sons and one daughter :

The younger son, John Krebs, FRS., followed a career in the life sciences and was later knighted. Read more »

Sir Hans Adolf Krebs

In 1935, Krebs accepted a lectureship at Sheffield. It is not known if this is where he met Margaret.

Sheffield Archives hold details of his career, notably his successive moves to Warburg's laboratory, to Cambridge, Sheffield and Oxford are represented together with many other offers or applications for appointments.

Lady Margaret was responsible for making this material available, for collecting family letters and documents from several sources. The Personal Diaries are few in number. The first of these are exercise books used for diary entries extending over several years, and with some holiday notes by Margaret Krebs. The Jotters are a development of the personal diaries. There were travel diaries in which he would record in careful detail his journeys, meetings, discussions, purchases, reflections on general topics, research ideas, etc. In later years, Krebs's travel became so extensive that a considerable number of jotters would be used in a single year and Lady Krebs has said that he would have five or six in use at the same time.

Of the many honours he received, pride of place goes to the Nobel Prize and his own careful recording of the event, and the ceremonies and correspondence. In addition to Krebs's own life, there is extensive correspondence and papers from the 1930s and later relating to his family and friends and reflecting on the suffering of the Jews in Germany, their enforced emigration to Britain, Palestine and America, renewal of contacts after the Second World War and claims of restitution from the German state.

Details of his time at Sheffield University is relatively short, but it includes documents about the funding of his research by the Rockefeller Foundation, the setting-up of his Medical Research Council Unit and the problems of establishing and running a biochemistry department. It includes Krebs's Reflections on the history of the Sheffield department on the occasion of his resignation. The most important research discovery of the Sheffield period, 'the citric acid cycle' , is recorded in his research notebooks relating to the wartime research on nutrition and Krebs's ideas on carbon dioxide fixation.

He died in 1981, the same year that his autobiography Reminiscences and Reflections was published. A further account of his life and work by two long-term colleagues, H.L. Kornberg and D.H. Williamson, appeared in 1984 in Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society.

A symposium to mark the centenary of the birth of Sir Hans Krebs was held in St. Catherine's College, Oxford, UK, in September , 2000. The speakers were Krebs' friends and associates, dating from all stages of his career. The three children of Hans and Margaret Krebs, Helen, Paul, and John, were present. Sir John Krebs, F.R.S., Royal Society Research Professor of Zoology at Oxford, gave the welcoming address.


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