The following places Frederic in my direct line of ancestors, starting with my father :
John Howard, Percy, FREDERIC, John Henry, Benjamin, Thomas, Anthony, Henry
Life of Frederic
Frederic Bradley married Eliza Piggott (See separate chapters on the Piggotts and Tredwells) on August 29th, 1867 at St Lukes Church, Cannock. The witnesses on this occasion were Eliza`s father Francis, and her sister Mary Sophia. The family rumour that the surname ‘Piggott’ had been changed at some stage is verified on Eliza`s birth certificate as her surname was ‘Pigg’.
Frederic and Eliza produced 16 children in the space of 20 years! 14 survived to adulthood.
Frederic Charles (Charlie) , the eldest (born Wolverley 1869-1939) married Mary Page (Sissy) 1897. He was a Mechanical Draughtsman. Not much is known about his business career but he ran Eagle Engineering, Warwick. It is believed he and his younger brother Neville bought all the shares and the company prospered. (Neville and Sissy were directors) Amongst other things, they developed and patented the refuse vehicles which still collect household rubbish which is crushed as it is collected. Sissy had a very large income from her family trusts. When she died the capital reverted to her family. I have just discovered that extensive records of this company are held at Warwick Records Office, and that the company was incorporated in 1911. In the Kelly`s Directories for this area for 1912 and 1916 he is listed as living in Packwood, Warwick. He died 20th March 1939 at Kingswood, Uplyme Lyme Regis, Dorset. Probate to his widow Mary Page Bradley and effects £3322 1s 9d. She died 30th November 1961 at the same address. Probate to Midland Bank Executor and Trustee Co. Ltd. Effects £26,977 18s 3d.
Mary Ellen (Nell) (born Wolverley 1870-1959) was a boarder at a school in Hastings in 1881 aged 11. She married the Rev`d Ernest J Cullwick. He was vicar at Smethwick, Birmingham, Lyonshall, Kington and Westbury Salop. They had one daughter Grace (b.4 June 1894), who remained unmarried and died 25 October 1952. Mary Ellen died 5 February 1959, her address at the time was White Cottage, Hockering Gardens, Woking, Surrey. Probate Liverpool to John Howard Bradley. Effects £2898 19s 8d.
Francis John (Frank) (born Wolverley 1871-1925) was the naughty boy – (imprisoned for theft)! He was at school in Wolverley as a boarder when he was 9. From 24 April 1901 to 15 March 1902 he was a Lieutenant with the Cape Colony Cycle Corps, a colonial unit of the Boer War 1899-1902. The following are copies of newspaper cuttings relating to his escapades:
He married Kathleen Jones (Kate), a publican`s daughter 1909. She stood by him through all his troubles. She was licensee of a pub somewhere in Wiltshire and had very little money, but when Raymond (Percy`s son) was terminally ill, she sent Ray`s brother Howard an occasional £5 to help out. No children. In 1911 he and Kathleen are living in Newton, near Chester. Frank died 17 May 1925. He and Kathleen lived at The Old Thatch Cottage Japton Arundel, Sussex. He died at West Park Mental Hospital, Epsom, Surrey. Effects £232 1s 8d – to Kathleen.
MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS TUESDAY 28TH JULY 1902
INGENIOUS JEWELLERY FRAUD EX- ARMY OFFICER SENT TO PENAL SERVITUDE
A well dressed gentlemanly looking man 32 named Francis Bradley described as of no occupation but who was engaged as Lieutenant in the Cape Colony Cyclists Corps attached to the General French in the South African War, was charged at Liverpool Assizes today with having stolen a parcel of 18 articles of diamond jewellery from Messrs. Oldfields Ltd., Liverpool Jewellers. Bradley, through his counsel, Mr Rigby Smith, pleaded guilty and thereupon a second charge of forgery was withdrawn.
Mr Maxwell, who prosecuted, said the theft was one showing considerable ingenuity, and had been carried out with great skill. The prisoner became acquainted some time last year with a well known South African merchant, Mr Laing Miller, who he met in Cape Town. Mr Laing Miller told prisoner he was acquainted with Mrs. Brocklebank, of Gateacre, Liverpool, and on returning to England prisoner entered on this fraud. It was assumed that he came to Liverpool to find out particulars in regard to the Brocklebanks, and he sent a telegram from Hotel Cecil, London to their house saying he would call on Saturday or the Monday following. This was early in December, and on the 8th he sent a telegram to Messrs. Oldfield asking them to send Mrs Brocklebank, of The Hollies, Gateacre, diamond ornaments worth £50 to £100 each on approval. Easy victims, the Firm sent the orders the same evening and the prisoner followed up his telegram by coming up to Liverpool and taking rooms at an hotel. From the hotel he telephoned to Brocklebanks knowing the family were away, and asked, ‘Is Mrs Brocklebank at home?’ and received a negative reply. Then he said , ‘I am Mr Laing Miller; I have sent up a parcel to Mrs Brocklebank and I will call tomorrow morning and take it up to London to Mrs Brocklebank’. Next morning, shortly after a parcel of jewellery had been delivered by registered post, the prisoner called at the house and said ‘I am Mr Laing Miller and I would be glad if you would give me the parcel to take to Mrs Brocklebank’. The parcel, which contained jewellery worth £1000 was handed over to him and he proceeded to London, where he immediately raised sums of £20, £15 and £10.
HOW THE PROPERTY WAS REALISED
The prisoner afterwards went to Southampton, and under the assumed name of Elliott he got rid of further goods, receiving £50 for them. He also entered into negotiation with large firms of jewellers in London and elsewhere, from one of which he received £70 in one instance. Suspicion was aroused over a diamond pendant, but prisoner declared it was the property of his intended wife. However, in April this year prisoner, who was living at Gladstone House, Winchester, was noticed by the Head Constable in the Royal Hotel and an officer having gone home in the meantime to look up his records challenged Bradley as to his identity. Bradley then confessed, and it must be said in his favour that he had given every assistance he could to recover the stolen property. The prosecution had recovered about £500 worth of the property, though the settings of some of the most valuable ornaments had been destroyed in order that loose stones could be sold at various places by the prisoner, who had been for about 4 or 5 months eluding the police.
A PLEA FOR LENIENCY
Mr Rigby Swift, appealing for a light sentence in order that the prisoner might have a chance to redeem his past life, said he had a letter from General French`s Chief of Staff, expressing the hope that the good work done by the prisoner in the late war might be considered. There were also letters from other officers showing that the prisoner had distinguished himself in Cape Colony. Mr Swift explained that on returning from Southampton Bradley was taken ill, and had to be removed from his home to the Royal Hotel, Winchester. There he lay in a dangerous condition for some time. On recovering he found his hotel bill and run up tremendously, and in a moment of desperation he conceived the plan of raising money in the way indicated. Prisoner at first hoped to make restitution, but he was again taken ill and had to part with more jewellery as his difficulties increased. He now stated that during the time he was eluding the police, life was a perfect burden to him. The horror of what he had done was always with him.
Mr Justice Bingham, addressing the prisoner, said Bradley had admitted offences against honesty on more than one occasion. He had had light sentences, and in that sense had been given the chance to reform. Light sentences having proved no good, he must now go to penal servitude for five years.
THE STOLEN PROPERTY
Bradley, who stood erect, with tears in his eyes, hurried out of the dock to hide his emotions, and an argument was opened as to the disposal of the stolen property which had been recovered. His Lordship said he was not disposed to do much for Messrs Oldfield, who ought to be more careful in parting with jewellery on the strength of telegrams. It was mentioned, however, to his Lordship that the Pawnbrokers had been 3 times warned about the property which was privately marked, and eventually the judge ordered that the jewellery which had been pledged should be returned on payment of two thirds of the amount advanced.
Prisoner was sent to penal servitude for five years
Henry Howard (Harry) (born Wolverley 1872) was a boarder at Needwood House School, Kidderminster aged 9 in 1881. He went to Australia and married Marjorie Phillips. They had one daughter Eliza Maud. Harry returned to England with Eliza after Marjorie died. Eliza was brought up at Thornton Hall and Northwick, and eventually lived at Oakfield House, Ombersley with her Uncle Bobbie and Aunt Maud. Eliza remained unmarried. Harry took various jobs of a semi-labouring nature. He stayed with Percy at Chorlton for some time, working at Liverpool Warehousing Co.
Alice Otley Cricket Team c.1920
Maud (born Wolverley 1873-1954) never married and lived with her brother Raymond (Bobbie) in the family homes, and eventually at Oakfield House, Ombersley, with Eliza.
Ernest (born Wolverley 1874-1932). He was apprenticed at Wilson`s, Birkenhead as an engineer. He spent some time in India helping build a bridge over the Ganges. After three years he caught malaria very badly, but recovered, returned home and was put in charge of the Caldwell Foundry (later Bradley & Turton), where at various times he was helped out by brothers Bobbie and Arthur. Many thanks to Keith Beddoes a former employee, who is responsible for the information in the link.
Ernest married Annie Maud Owen (Maudo) in 1902 and they had 3 children, Peter, Evelyn and James. Their homes included a house in Franche Road, nearly opposite the old rectory (one year), then to Goldness until 1911 and then to Ashfield, Torton, a house which had been built in 1895. Peter was a famous motor-cyclist and captained the English 7 day international trials team for a number of years, and Ernest travelled in the sidecar as navigator. Peter married Rita Gibson. Daughter Evelyn ran a school at their family home in Kidderminster. She was unmarried. She was very involved with the Girl Guides and received an OBE for her services. She was also a JP. The youngest son James (Jim) died about 17 years of age. He had frequent operations with a tubercular bowel and was always an invalid. Ernest died in 1932. He was found dead from gunshot wounds, the verdict being accidental death. His son Peter took over the business.
Info re Peter Bradley.
Again, valued information from Keith Beddoes ex employee of Bradley & Turton –
‘From the early 1930’s Peter competed in various motorcycle trials with a
sidecar. These were over various terrains and basically was a young mans
sport. He did in fact ride for Sunbeam Motorcycles works trials team,
which was made up of Norman Houghton, Frank Williams, Peter Bradley and
Bert Tetshall. It was in fact Bert Tetshall who was Peters’ sidecar
passenger and mechanic.
In 1934 especially, Peter had many wins in competitions including a Gold
Medal in the International 6 days trial. The Westonian Shield in the
Colmore trial, the Teddington Cup, in the Bemrose trial and Meredith Cup
in the Traders cup trial. The 1934 International 6 days trial was held in
Germany around Partenkirchen when the GB team won what they call, ‘The
Vase’. The 1936 ISDT 6 days trial was again held in Germany and the
British B Team won against all the odds
Bert Tetshall also raced Sunbeams’ in the Isle of Man and also worked for
Bradley & Turtons as a maintenance man, at least when I was there. He had
a little workshop and the walls were adorned with photographs of him
racing. I, along with lots of other lads at the time, were also keen
motorcyclists and of course we were all friendly with Bert, especially
myself as I regularly made spare parts for motorcycles that he was
refurbishing, spares being obsolete. The 6 days trials ceased temporarily
at the outbreak of the 39 war, in fact, the 1939 trial, again held in
Germany was not recognised by the motorcycle federation because some of
the competitors from Germany, were drawn from the German Army. Peter
competed in this, I understand, and there is a story, uncorroborated, that
the English team had some difficulty in leaving Germany due to the then
circumstances leading up to the 2nd world war.’
Jane (born Wolverley 1875) married the Rev`d James (Jim) Kempson who was vicar at Penkridge and later a Prebendary at Lichfield Cathedral. No children.
Lewis (born Wolverley 1877-1889) died aged 12.
Neville (born Wolverley 1878) was a pupil at Repton School and qualified as a doctor from Liverpool. He married Margaret (Daisy) Cadbury (a quaker and part of the Cadbury family) and spent most of his life as a medical missionary in China. They had 6 children (5 boys and 1 girl). Marguerite the eldest married James Gibbons and had one daughter. Fred, the eldest boy was a finalist in the Diamond Sculls at Henley. He married Barbara Moon and had two children. James married Yvonne and had one daughter. Neville John (Jack) married Patricia Ann Deal, and they had an adopted son. The second to youngest, is living (2007). The youngest Patrick married Erica Appleton and had two sons. The two boys Jack and Malcolm were both Cambridge rowing blues. Neville died 7 August 1956 at Nether Wallop, Hampshire. Effects £4777 3s 2d to his widow Margaret.
Percy (born Wolverley 1879-1946). My grandfather whom I never knew. See Percy`s page.
Arthur Frederic (born Wolverley 1880-1971) married Vivian Middleton, who came from a wealthy Yorkshire stockbroking family. For some time Arthur helped out his brother Ernest. He eventually went into the Church and he and Vivian spent about a year in China with Neville and Daisy, and Hubert and Amy. Unfortunately through ill-health they had to return to England. They had four children Ronald, John (married with 2 children and 6 grandchildren), Ilma who remained unmarried, and youngest son David. He was vicar of a number of parishes and finally Braunton, Devon.
Alfred (born Southport 1882) survived only 2 weeks after birth.
Amy Constance (Jinksie?) (born Southport 1884 – died 26 April 1960) felt the call to become a missionary herself but the only way her parents would allow her to do so, was if she joined her brother Neville in China. There she met and married Dr Hubert Gordon Thompson a medical missionary in 1912 in Pakhoi. Dr Thompson was a great traveller and I am very grateful to his grandson, my second cousin, for the following link. He has produced an amazing website detailing the wonderful and adventurous trek his grandfather made through China with Brig. Gen. George Pereira in 1923. The witnesses at the wedding were Arthur (Amy`s older brother) and Vivien Bradley, also missionaries. Amy and Hubert spent most of their lives in China. They had 4 children, John, Arthur, Greta and Peter. John, a doctor, married Margaret Earle and had 4 children and 7 grandchildren. Arthur died quite young while a pupil at St Lawrence College. Greta, also a doctor, married the Reverend Eric Hague and they had 3 sons and 6 grandchildren. Greta and Eric were also missionaries in China. Peter`s first wife was Bridget Winsor and they had 2 children and 4 grandchildren, and with his second wife Ilsa, had Daniel. Hubert died 13 February 1953.
Raymond Lindsay (Bobbie) (born Southport 1885-1953) was a bachelor. He always remained in the family homes with his widowed Mother together with Maud and young Eliza and from time to time other unmarried members of the family. After his Mother died, he moved with Maud and Eliza to Ombersley. He died 9 October 1953. Probate to Eliza. Effects £18,008 3s 3d.
Ethel May (May) (born Cannock 1887) remained unmarried and was a nursing sister in Liverpool. She appears to have become a little eccentric. There is a story of suitcases lining the walls from floor to ceiling in her home, all carefully labelled or numbered containing her worldly goods. Some are of the opinion she starved herself to death.
Marjorie the youngest of the 16 (born Southport 1889) also remained unmarried. She was a teacher of the blind and learnt braille. Tragically she herself became blind.
It is interesting that the first 9 children were all born at the same house, Rock Mount, Wolverley (now Rock Hill). The house is still occupied, and I did visit with my father and my uncle, where the present owners were pleased to show us round, and even found documents mentioning Frederic Bradley. The house in Southport is no longer there, having made way for more modern architecture. Thornton Hall is now a motel/pub/restaurant. Northwick House, Worcester, is flourishing and I have also visited here with my father where the present owners were interested to see family photos of how the house used to look in the early 1900s.
It is perhaps a point of interest that Cannock, where May was born, was where their Grandfather (Eliza`s father, Francis Piggott) was living.
Frederic was an Iron Founder and an Engineer. In 1860 his father John Henry acquired Clensmore Foundry, Kidderminster for him and it became part of John Bradley & Co., later F. Bradley & Co. For a while, the axle boxes used to mount Springbrook axles (see information on Frederic`s brother Samuel) were cast there. Around 1865 Frederic appears to have broken the business connections with his father and brother (Samuel) and to have formed his own company. In about 1910 he merged his business with that of George Turton, to form Bradley & Turton Limited situated by the canal on Stourport Road and now the site of the Watermill pub. 2 foundries were worked – Clensmore and Caldwell both in Kidderminster. Later this firm became well known for its hydraulic presses and injection-moulding equipment, until it closed in the 1970`s with heavy losses. (This information obtained from Mr Peter Legat and also copies of Churchill & Blakedown Historical Society Notes.) Bradley & Turton was eventually taken over by Frederic`s sons Ernest and Bobbie and then to Ernest`s son Peter. The firm`s big contracts included work on the Severn Tunnel lining, London Underground, Birkenhead and Portsmouth Docks, Ryde and Margate Piers. A former employee has furnished me with some information and commented that it was always a pleasant place to work with a good spirit amongst the work force.
Frederic and his family lived at ‘Rockmount’, (now Rock Hill) Wolverley, Worcs. He was Chairman of the Governors of Sebright School, an old foundation from 1620 on Blakeshall Lane. Apparently three sons were pupils here. In the 1871 census Frederic, wife Eliza and children Charles (2), Nell (1) and Frank (2mths) were in residence along with 2 servants, a nurse and Eliza`s younger sister Mary Piggott who was probably helping with the baby. Victorian women were expected to rest after childbirth. In 1881 6 sons were at home and one daughter, Maud was staying at Cannock with her maternal uncle John Piggott. 3 children were at boarding school: Nell (11) in Hastings; Harry (9) at Eastwood House, Kidderminster; Frank (10) at Bury Hall boarding house of Wolverley Grammar School. The younger children had a governess at home. Frederic was also a church warden.
The family then moved to Southport (‘Wolverley’ 11 Morley Road) in 1882 for a few years, and in the 1891 census his occupation is a ‘Steam Crane Maker’ and his interests were in J H Wilson & Co. of Liverpool Ltd. and Seacombe, and the North Wales Steam Packet Co. By now there were 11 children and Eliza became pregnant with Alfred who sadly only lived 2 weeks. This was the only child to die in infancy.
Around this time, according to photos in a family album, which I will insert below shortly, it appears that Frederic and Eliza were friendly with Edmund and Mary Evans. Edmund was an Engraver and Painter (neighbours with Birkett Foster in Godalming). There are photos of both the exterior and interior of the Evans home, and also their residence in Ventnor, IOW.
They then moved on to the Wirral to the rather grand looking abode of Thornton Hall, Childer Thornton. They were certainly there in 1899. Frederic died in 1906 aged 63 having spent only a few years at Thornton Hall and is buried in Eastham Parish Church along with his wife Eliza, and daughters May and Marjorie. Also buried there is his daughter-in-law Dora, Percy`s wife. He had been a successful business man and had passed on his engineering abilities to a few of his sons. I like to think he was an affectionate family man as normally the Victorians loved children. Hopefully he gave Eliza his full support during her many pregnancies (16 in 20 years!). Eliza herself appears to have come through life with a firm resolve and I`m sure must have been very proud of her family.
On Frederic`s death Eliza then moved to Northwick House, in Worcester which is where the wonderful photograph was taken of all the family outside the front door.
Many more photographs appear in the albums of life at Northwick. Eliza died in 1918. Raymond, Maud and Marjorie continued to live there until they sold in 1926. Raymond, Maud and young Eliza (Harry`s daughter) moved to Ombersley. I have the Wills for both Frederic and Elilza (her effects £26,760.16.6d).