3:  The Family at the End of the 19th Century

Ernest Easthope

The eldest son, Ernest, married Ann Williams on 28th December 1873 at St Patrick's RC Church, Wolverhampton. They had 8 children before leaving for Canada in 1889:

Edwin Frederick Easthope,  b. 26/12/1874, at High St, Willenhall
Ernest Williams Easthope, b. 25/3/1876, at High St, Willenhall
George Easthope, b. 20/9/1877, at St John St, Wolverhampton
Ethel Easthope, b. 18/7/1879, at St John St, Wolverhampton
Annie Easthope, b. 25/11/1880, at St John St, Wolverhampton
Vincent Easthope, b. 18/2/1882, at St John St, Wolverhampton
Arthur Easthope, b. 9/6/1883, at St John St, Wolverhampton
Percy Easthope, b. 14/8/1885, at 24 St John St, Wolverhampton

So it seems that Ernest and his family moved into the Old Grammar School complex soon after it was bought by Edwin senior.

Ernest's occupation, as listed on each of his children's birth certificate, was "Pawnbroker" (except on George's birth certificate where he is listed as "Cabinet Maker").  It is likely that he chose to work as a pawnbroker because that was the occupation of his father-in-law, Benjamin Frederick Williams (who was also a "japanner").

A Trade Directory relating to 1879-1880 lists:

Easthope, Ernest, pawnbroker, St John's street
Easthope, Mary, cabinet maker, St John's street.

By 1881 (census), those living at 24 St John St were:

Mary Easthope, Head, Widow, aged 63 yrs, occupation: Cabinet Maker employing 5 men & 2 boys
Edwin Easthope, Son, aged 23 yrs, unmarried, b. Wolverhampton, occupation: Cabinet Maker
Alfred Easthope, Son, aged 21 yrs, unmarried, b. Wolverhampton, occupation: Cabinet Maker
James Newman, Brother (of Mary), aged 61 yrs, unmarried, b. W'hampton occupation: Cabinet Maker
Edward Willcox, Apprentice, aged 14yrs, unmarried, b. Willenhall, occupation: Cabinet Maker
William Griffiths, Visitor, aged 33,yrs, married, b. Owestrey, occupation: Reporter
Sarah Griffiths, Visitor, aged 33 yrs, married, b. Wolverhampton

The 1883-84 Post Office Directory lists:

Easthope, Ernest, pawnbroker, 24 St John's street
Easthope, Mrs Mary, painter and decorator, 24 St John's street

Ernest Easthope and his family had sailed to Canada in 1889.

Ernest Easthope in Vancouver in December 1910.
In Canada, Ernest and Ann had one more daughter, Teresa.  Ernest initially worked for Armstrong-Morrison, an engineering business, then he started out on his own making bicycles.

His son, Vincent got interested in making gasoline engines and, before long (1900),  he and his father had started up a marine engine business. Vincent died aged 23 after complications following surgery. The oldest son, Ernie, joined his father after Vincent's death. However, the family firm was bought out by others and then failed in 1910.

Another son, George, also worked for Armstrong-Morrison but in 1914 joined with younger brother, Percy (Peck),  to rebuild the marine engine business, which thrived until the 1950s, making its last Easthope Engine in 1968.

Edwin Frederick (known as Frederick) became a photographer.  He died aged 92 on 24th December 1967.

For more information about the Canadian arm of the family and in particular, the Easthope Marine business, go to:

Maud Easthope

Maud married Paul Willcox on 6th July 1873. Paul was the son of William Day Willcox, Town Clerk. They had at least 4 children. In the 1881 census there is the following listing for Fern Cottage, Finchfield, Tettenhall, Staffs.

Paul Willcox, Head, 28, commercial clerk manufacturers,
b. Aston.

Maud Willcox, Wife, 26, b. Wolverhampton.
Florence M Willcox, Dau, 7, b. Wolverhampton.
Alfred P Willcox, Son, 5, b. Wolverhampton.
Horace E Willcox,  Son, 3, b. Wolverhampton.
Maud E Willcox, Dau, 1,  b. Compton, Staffs.
Elizabeth Ward, serv dom, 14,  b. Willenhall.

William H Hazelhurst, boarder, commercial clerk manufacturer,  b. Penkridge.

Paul Willcox died in 1933 aged 80, and Maud died in 1937 aged 82.

Paul & Maud Willcox in 1923.

Paul & Maud's house, Fern Cottage, still stands in Finchfield.

Edwin Easthope (junior)

Edwin (junior), married Florence Willcox on 20th February 1882 at St Peter's Church, Wolverhampton. 

Florence was a sister of Paul, who had married Edwin's sister Maud.

On Edwin and Florence's marriage certificate both were given as living at St John St.

At the time Edwin was 24 and Florence 25.

They had at least two children, Gertrude Albina Easthope, born 18th December 1882; and Alfred Edwin Easthope, born 22 February 1886. On Gertrude's birth certificate, Edwin's occupation is "upholsterer"; on Alfred's certificate, Edwin is listed as 'General Dealer'.

Gertrude married, at age 21yrs, Alfred John Davis, aged 26yrs, of Blakenhall.  The date of their marriage was 18th June 1904.  Her residence at the time was given as 'Art Gallery', and her Father's occupation as "Caretaker".

Edwin Easthope had got work, at an unknown date, as Caretaker at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery, which had opened in 1885.  The photo below, from an old postcard, shows the gallery at about the turn of the century, probably while Edwin was the caretaker.

He was able to live at the gallery.  Phillipa Tinsley, a member of the gallery staff, says that there is anecdotal evidence that the basement rooms, now used for storage, were once living quarters. Most of the windows are now blocked off but you can still see where the fireplaces were and one fireplace still exists. This would probably have made quite a cosy room and the accommodation was probably luxurious in comparison with the old half-timbered houses that used to line Lichfield Street.

Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

No photographs of Edwin are available. He died on 8th September 1924 at 'Rockstone', Penn Rd, Upper Penn. His occupation was given as 'Caretaker of Wolverhampton Art Gallery'.

Alfred Newman Easthope

Alfred as a young man.

Alfred (22) married Clara Albina Bigwood (22) on 22th June1882 at St. John's Church, Wolverhampton.

Clara was the youngest daughter of Joshua and Maria Bigwood.

The Bigwoods lived in Tempest Street, just a few streets away from St John's Street.

Alfred and Clara had 3 children:

Mabel Albina Easthope, b. 7/5/1883.

Lillian Maud Easthope, b. 30/7/1884.

Cyril Easthope,  b. 22/11/1887.

An advert linking the two families.

Mabel and Lillian in about 1886.
Mabel as a young woman - note the family resemblance.
Mabel and Lillian in later life.
Clara died 30th November 1887 at the age of 27, just 8 days after Cyril's birth.

This photograph of Clara was published at the time of her funeral.

Alfred married again, on 31st October 1889, to Helen May Robinson (19), at the Church of St. Mary, Tenbury.

They had 6 children:-

Neville Robert Easthope, b.14/3/1891,  d.16/5/1891 (Erysipelas).

Dorothy May Easthope, b. 7/6/1892,
d. 22/11/1893 (whooping cough).

Sylvia Helen Easthope b. 3/11/1894.

Phyllis Mary Easthope b. 24/11/1896.

Barbara Hebe Easthope b. 22/12/1902 d. 30/9/1904 (whooping cough).

Geoffrey Newman Easthope b. 30/10/1906.

Dorothy May Easthope.

Return to the
previous page
  Return to the
  Proceed to the
next page