2:  The Move to the Old Grammar School

Edwin Easthope

Edwin, christened at St Peters, Wolverhampton on 26th December 1820, was the youngest son of George and Anne Easthope.

In the 1851 Neville & Co Trade Directory, there is a listing:

Easthope, Edwin, Cabinet maker, Upholsterer, Paperhanger Cock St.

The 1851 census records:

No 40 Cock St: Edwin Easthope Head Single 30 Cabinet Maker & Upholsterer, employing 4 men and 1 woman.
George Easthope Father Widower 66 Retired upholsterer

George died in 1859

Edwin married Mary Newman on 28th August 1858 at St Martin's Church, Birmingham. They had 4 children, Ernest, Maud, Edwin and Alfred Newman. The first three children were born before the marriage!

In the 1861 census, the family was living at St John's St.  Those present at census time were:

Edwin Easthope, 40, head, Cabinet maker
Mary Easthope, 44, wife
Ernest Easthope, 8, son, scholar
Maud Easthope, 6, daughter, scholar
Edwin Easthope 3, son
Alfred Easthope 1, son
May Hughes, 18, servant, house servant
Emma Titley, 10, niece, scholar

The 1861 Trade Directory shows:

Easthope, Edwin, cabinet maker, upholsterer, and paper hanging warehouse, 25 Cock St.

The Wolverhampton Street Directory 1869, lists under St John's St:

No 23 Easthope, Edwin (cabinet maker)
No 24 Grammar School; Thos. Beach Esq. M.A., head master.

In those days numbering was sequential on each side of the street, so the family lived right next door to the Grammar School.

The 1873 Wolverhampton Directory lists:

Easthope, Edwin, cabinet maker, upholsterer, painter and paper hanger, 55 Victoria St; h 23 St John's St.

An advert from 1884.

On 1st May 1877, Edwin (senior) completed the purchase of the Old Grammar School, at 24 St John St.  He paid £2,600, equivalent to approx £117,600 in 2001. 

According to Gerald Mander's "History of the Wolverhampton School" (published 1913), the premises were "put up for sale in April 1875, but were not sold until January 1877 to Mr. Edwin Easthope, Decorator of Victoria St."  Mander states "In altering the edifice to the needs of a shop, considerable changes were made to the structure, and many of its former characteristics have been effaced."

This photograph of the Old Grammar School in St John's St is undated but was probably taken before any alterations were made by Edwin Easthope.
This is a later photo showing some of the exterior changes.

A shop front has been inserted in each wing and the centre windows brought down to ground level, presumably to provide for window displays.

The school coat of arms has been removed from above the central door.

A map of the St John's Street area. Victoria Street (Cock Street) runs from top to bottom on the left, with St. John's Street leading off it.

The Grammar School is shown on St. John's Street with an open courtyard leading back to Bell Street.  Note how close to each other all the Easthope premises were.  

This portrait of Edwin is undated but was probably taken in the 1870s.

Unfortunately, Edwin senior died on 6th February 1878, aged 58, of haematemesis, secondary to long-standing liver disease.


An advert from about 1890.    

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