James Frederick Brasier Hopwood (1865 Ė 1939)

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James Frederick Brasier Hopwood was born in October 1865 at Commercial Road, Mile End, London.  James was the eldest of the eight children of William Edwin Hopwood and Eliza Brasier Hopwood (nee Van Wyck).  James was christened on October 7, 1866 at St Mary's Whitechapel, Stepney, London.  His father's ancestors were butchers who lived in London since the 18th century and possibly during earlier centuries.  His maternal grandfather Frederick Van Wyck was of Dutch origin and worked as a clerk on the London docks.  Little is known of the early years of Jamesís life.  He joined his father's shop and progressed through an apprenticeship and eventually reached the status of "Master Butcher".


The 1881 British Census lists James living at Perseverance Terrace, Goldsmith Road, Leyton, Essex, with his father William and his mother's sister Petronella Sophia Brasier Lindsey and his seven brothers and sisters, Sophia, William, Frederick, Thomas, Minnie, Henry and John.  His mother Eliza appears to have left the family and was employed as the housekeeper for another family several miles away.  We do not know why!  Petronella and her two daughters, Sissy and Flora, remained with his father William and the family.  We do not know, at this time, what had happened to Petronellaís husband Henry Dobinson Charles Lindsey.   Petronella is listed twenty years later, in the 1901 census, as Mrs. Hopwood; evidently continuing to reside with Jamesís father William, even though Eliza and William remained married, but apparently led separated lives. 

 James married his cousin Flora Louise Brasier Lindsey (Petronellaís daughter) at St. Mary's Walthamstow on October 19, 1887.  Unfortunately, his wife Flora died less than a year later on the 25th of July 1888 shortly after the birth of their daughter Petronella Flora Hopwood on the July 14, 1888.  Little is known of the child's life at this time other than it is likely that Petronella, the child's grandmother, helped to raise the child.  The daughterís future remains unknown.

 James re-married in1889 to Emily Laura Edwards and later moved from the shop in Tottenham Road to 101 Grove Road in Bow when his father William needed help.  101 Grove Road was to become the center of four family owned shops around London.  James and Laura's children were Edith Maude Emile (1898), George Henry (1902), James (1890), and John William Archibald (1900).  He continued to carry on the meat selling business at 101 Grove Road after his father Williamís death in 1904.  James also presided as the guardian and mentor of his mother Eliza as she aged and until her death in 1924.  As the eldest son, James appears to have taken on the larger role as the family patriarch or senior mentor.  He was very much respected and his sister Sophia, who had emigrated first to Canada and then to Montana, U.S.A. in the 1880ís, considered him the ďgentlemanĒ among the brothers.  Although it does seem that one of the reasons his brother Tom emigrated to Canada in 1908 was over conflict with James and other brothers, and of course, these comments are strictly family anecdotal remarks which cannot be easily verified.


Daughter Edie married George Holyome in 1916.  They had two sons Leslie and William.  From about 1928 his son James and Edie ran a butcher shop at 46 Kepler Road in Clapham which was called Thomasís.  Edie continued there through 1945 some years after her father James had died (1939).   Son James moved to Tottenham near his wifeís family and operated a butcher shop.  .  Later James lived with his son John in Bow east London.   Son George born in 1902, married Catherine Allvey in 1927 and operated a butcher shop at 75 Golborne Road, London W10.  Son John born in 1900 operated the butcher shop at 101 Grove Road in Bow and remained there, except for a short period during WW II.  All in all, it appears from the notes in his Will, that James by 1935 owned and operated four "shops" operated his family, principally in east, west and north London!  Far more important, he left behind a legacy of fine sons and daughters.


James Frederick Brasier Hopwood, a man of integrity, gifted with business acumen and with a strong love of family died on March 19, 1939 in the north London area called Edmonton.



James far left - Son John & Bride Emily - plus other family members - 1925

                        John and Emily - on Cruise Holiday - 1935