Emily Carpenter, daughter of a Bromley gamekeeper, met George Sparkes while working as his housekeeper. In 1865 she became his second wife. "He is said to have educated the lively and intelligent Emily to share his intellectual and philanthropic interests." Widowed in 1878 she erected the fountain to commemorate her husband 2 years later. She remarried to become Mrs Dowling, but less happily. Information from London Parks and Gardens Trust.