William Charles Hopgood was initiated into
the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in September 1894 at its
He gave the administrators of the
He may have been called ‘Charles’ not ‘William’.
UPDATE MAY 2017
Thanks are due to an American descendant of William Charles’ Hopgood’s
elder brother Philip Downing Hopgood. A
few weeks ago she sent details from the membership database of the United Grand
Lodge of England, now available on Ancestry.
This prompted me to delve a little deeper into William Charles’ life as
a doctor and as a freemason; and my delving also led to the discovery of a
probable friendship between William Charles Hopgood and two GD members who
Even after the update, this is still one of my short GD
biographies. They mostly cover GD
members who lived in Bradford, Liverpool and
16 May 2017
This is what I’ve found out about WILLIAM CHARLES HOPGOOD
IN THE GD
William Charles could have found out about it through Alfred Ernest
Scanlan, a GP working in
With proof (May 2017) that William Charles was a member of freemasons’ lodges in north Yorkshire, it becomes more likely that he might have discovered the GD’s existence through acquaintances who were freemasons. I think I prefer the friends-in-the-TS-route, however.
There’s a letter dated 17 March 1898, from Thomas Pattinson of the Horus Temple Bradford to Frederick Leigh Gardiner, who was about to be appointed the Temple’s Cancellarius. Pattinson says that Gardiner would shortly be in a position to “assess Hopgood”. The letter doesn’t elaborate on what the assessment would be for, though normally speaking, an assessment would take place on study-work a GD member had done: their homework, as it were.
ANY OTHER ESOTERIC INTERESTS?
Thanks to my American emailer, I’m able to say that William Charles did join three freemasons’ lodges. They were all craft lodges and I haven’t found any evidence that he progressed further into freemasonry. He didn’t remain in any of the lodges for very long.
William Charles Hopgood grew up in Oxfordshire but his first initiation
into freemasony came as part of a move to north
The writing is very faint on the ‘subscriptions paid’ page of the UGLE membership list in which William Charles’ memberships are noted down; but I think he only paid his annual subscription to Cleveland Lodge 543 for two or three years - setting a pattern that he repeated in the two other lodges he became a member of. A lodge history, based on minutes of its meetings, confirms that he was never an active or prominent member of it.
Although in 1879 he was in the process of leaving Oxfordshire to work elsewhere, it was in Chipping Norton that he received his second lodge initiation, at The Bowyer Lodge 1036. A lodge history includes a full list of its members and shows that only one other man with the surname Hopgood joined it in the 19th century: William Charles’ eldest brother Richard Cooper Hopgood. Richard must have been recruited before 1873. William Charles’ recruitment was during a period when the lodge was trying to recover after several years of internal tensions which had resulted in many resignations, even of founding members. The lodge won’t have been expecting William Charles to be an active member, as he was moving away; he paid his dues for a year or two but then stopped.
The last lodge William Charles was initiated into was in
This is very speculative but I think that William Charles knew future GD
members James and Lucy Handyside when he was studying medicine at
I haven’t been able to prove it, but I think James Handyside, and John Hepburn Handyside, may have been nephew and uncle: James’ father was called Robert; and John Hepburn Handyside had an older brother called Robert; but I haven’t been able to find evidence that those two Robert Handysides are the same person and later census information suggests they aren’t.
Unlike Alfred Scanlan, William Charles was not a member of the
Theosophical Society; at least, not during the 1890s, though the TS was very
James and Lucy Handyside were initiated into the GD’s Amen-Ra temple in
Involvement in spiritualism is a tricky thing to investigate, as it was mostly carried out by informal groups in their own homes. There were one or two national organisations - the best-known is the British National Association of Spiritualists - but there’s no list of its members that can be consulted now.
Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke Collection. Concertina-file with catalogue number NS73: letters mostly to (but occasionally from) GD member Frederick Leigh Gardner.
UGLE members’ database seen at Ancestry.
THE BOWYER LODGE 1036.
The Bowyer Lodge 1864-2014 by Richard A Stevens. No printers details but the work is copyrighted, 2015: pp21-24 of a history that ranges wider than most lodge histories do, covering the growth of freemasonry in Oxfordshire in general; pp32-33. Lists of important members p101; pp105-07. Full list of members from its founding in 1864 begins p122; pp124-25.
FERRUM LODGE 1848
I found the two lodge histories given above at the Freemasons’ Library. The FML doesn’t have a history of Ferrum Lodge 1848 so I think none has been written.
John Hepburn Handyside and James Handyside:
Familysearch Scotland-VR GS film number 1067756: baptism record of John Hepburn Handyside, born 13 April 1815 at Inveresk w Musselburgh. Parents John, and Isabella née Hepburn.
His older brother Robert: Familysearch Scotland-VR GS film number 1066761: baptism record from St Cuthbert’s Edinburgh of Robert Handyside born 9 January 1807; parents John and Isabella.
SOMEONE called Robert Handyside is GD member James’ father: Familysearch
Scotland-VR GS film number 1066692: marriage of Robert Handyside to Catherine
Cruickshanks 29 April 1842 in the parish of
Birth of William Charles’ friend James Handyside: Familysearch
Scotland-VR GS film number 1066695: baptism record of James Handyside, son of
Robert and Catherine. Born 16 October
1845 in parish of
Theosophical Society Membership Registers 1888 to 1901.
Theosophical Society Membership Register September 1891-January 1893 p214 entries for James Handyside and Lucy Handyside. They both joined in March 1893, and were members of Edinburgh Lodge, at least to start with.
William Charles Hopgood was born into a family of doctors in Chipping Norton Oxfordshire. His father, was Thomas Hopgood, who ran a general practice and a pharmacy in the town in the mid-19th century and began the medical training of three of his sons. I say ‘began’ but the two generations of Hopgood doctors illustrate how medicine in the 19th century was moving rapidly away from a training as an apprentice to an older practitioner, to a training requiring qualifications gained at a university.
Thomas Hopgood was elected a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) in 1846 and was Licensed to practice medicine by the Society of Apothecaries (LSA) in 1858. Both of these sets of letters-to-the-name came late in his life and his entries in the Medical Directories - first published in the 1850s, the need for such a publication an indication in itself of how the profession was changing - do not list any university qualifications for him. He was able to begin training his three doctor sons but then all three of them were sent away to finish their training, with the youngest two spending a year or two at university medical schools.
Thomas Hopgood married Hannah Cooper of Bledington in Gloucestershire in October 1841. They lived on the High Street in Chipping Norton, probably above the chemist’s shop and the rooms where Thomas Hopgood saw his patients. They had four sons. The eldest, Richard, trained as a pharmacist and by 1871 was also practising as a dentist, another skill he might have learned from his father before medicine and dentistry became separate professions with separate training. The three younger sons were the doctors, with William Charles the youngest, born in the summer of 1854.
Philip Downing Hopgood, Thomas and Hannah’s second son, was sent to St
Bartholomew’s Hospital in
The next doctor brother, Thomas Frederick Hopgood, was probably the most
brilliant of the three. After being the
first Hopgood to study at university - at University College London, where he
won the Fellowes gold medal - he became MRCS and LSA in 1867 and was also the
first Hopgood to become a Member of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP)
which was taking over the licensing role previously played by the Society of
Apothecaries. After graduation he worked
I think that William Charles Hopgood was the least committed to medicine
of the three doctor brothers. However,
he did follow the elder two into the profession. On the day of the 1871 census, still living
at home in Chipping Norton, he was listed as a surgeon’s pupil: that is, he was
beginning his medical training by working as his father’s assistant, as his
elder brothers had both done. Then, like
Thomas Frederick, he was sent to university, firstly to University College
London and then to
Sources: freebmd, census 1851-71, probate registry 1873.
I began my sweep through the Medical Directories at 1855.
Medical Directory 1855
Then I went on to:
Medical Directory 1870. Provincial List p439 which had Thomas, Philip Downing, and Thomas Frederick Hopgood listed.
I jumped forward then to:
Medical Directory 1880. Provincial List.
Familysearch England-ODM GS film number 856928: marriage of Thomas Hopgood and Hannah Cooper 21 October 1841 in Bledington Glos.
Richard Cooper Hopgood: census 1871 when he was living in Over Norton,
with wife Louise and daughter Mabel.
Probate Registry entry indicates he died in Cradock,
Familysearch England-ODM GS file number 95229: baptism of William Charles Hopgood 30 July 1854 at Chipping Norton.
WILLIAM CHARLES HOPGOOD IN
Dr Thomas Hopgood died in Chipping Norton in October 1880. By that time William Charles
was living at
During his first few years in
By 1890 William Charles was a GP at
In the late 1890s William Charles may have left
Ann Stainsby Gardiner was the only child of Thomas Wheatley Gardiner and Ann Parker, who had married in Houghton-le-Spring in 1852. Ann was born in 1856. Thomas Gardiner ran a grocer’s shop in Willington county Durham, but probably retired from it after 1886, when he and another man were indicted for stealing Ann Wilson’s cow and calf and receiving the stolen goods. On the day of the 1891 census, Thomas Gardiner - now describing himself as a retired seller of spirits - was living with his wife and daughter at 46 Newcomen Terrace Coatham. He died on 4 March 1893 and on 20 March 1893, Ann Stainsby Gardiner and William Charles Hopgood were married.
Medical Directory 1881 Provincial list p543; and obituaries p1343.
Medical Directory 1882 Provincial list p550; p880, p901.
Medical Directory 1888 p1547 Provincial list.
A different source for his whereabouts in 1890: www.genuki.org.uk has Bulmer’s Directory of Middlesbrough issue of 1890. An online transcription with no page numbers.
Then I went on to
Medical Directory 1895 Provincial list p789.
The next change in William Charles Hopgood’s entry was:
Medical Directory 1899 volume 1
Provincial directory p838: back in
Ann Stainsby Gardiner: freebmd, census 1861, 1891, probate registry 1893.
Freebmd has what I think is the same marriage registered twice: Thomas Gardiner to Ann Parker April-June 1852; and Thomas Gardner to Ann Parker July-September 1852. Both registrations were at Houghton-le-Spring.
At //archivesunlocked.northyorks.gov.uk: North Riding Quarter Sessions cases Michaelmas 1886.
I also saw the case referred to via genesreunited but I couldn’t see its outcome.
marriage to Ann: Findmypast, Teeside Archives reference PR CO 7 p184: marriages
By 1900 William
Charles and Ann were living at
Ann Hopgood’s mother Ann Gardiner was living with them on census day 1901; I assume she had done so since the marriage and continued to do so until her death in 1904. On census day 1901 the household had no live-in servants, but by 1911, William Charles and Ann were employing one general servant who lived in. The extra expense could be afforded because William Charles had taken on his only role in public health medicine: he had become a public vaccinator, work which was paid for by the local authority.
William Charles and
Ann lived in
Hopgood died in March 1925 and was buried back in the north-east, in
Monkwearmouth, perhaps in a family plot.
By 1929 William Charles had moved to
Sources: freebmd, census 1901, 1911, probate registry 1937.
Medical Directory 1900 Provincial list p857.
Hopgood’s entry from 1900 remains the same until:
Medical Directory 1914 part 1 Provincial list p744.
Medical Directory 1915 Provincial list p753.
Medical Directory 1929 volume 2 p771, p1238.
last listing is in Medical Directory 1937 volume 1 p813 still at
Medical Directory 1938 volume 1 has no listing for him.
Via www.durham-images.org to list of
BASIC SOURCES I USED for all Golden Dawn members.
Membership of the
Golden Dawn: The Golden Dawn Companion by R A Gilbert.
For the history of the GD during the 1890s I usually use Ellic Howe’s The Magicians of the Golden Dawn: A Documentary History of a Magical Order 1887-1923. Published Routledge and Kegan Paul 1972. Foreword by Gerald Yorke. Howe is a historian of printing rather than of magic; he also makes no claims to be a magician himself, or even an occultist. He has no axe to grind.
Family history: freebmd; ancestry.co.uk (census and probate); findmypast.co.uk; familysearch; Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage; Burke’s Landed Gentry; Armorial Families; thepeerage.com; and a wide variety of family trees on the web.
sources: mostly about men, of course, but very useful even for the female
members of GD.
Useful source for business and legal information: London Gazette and its Scottish counterpart Edinburgh Gazette. Now easy to find (with the right search information) on the web.
Catalogues: British Library; Freemasons’ Library.
Wikipedia; Google; Google Books - my three best resources. I also used other web pages, but with some caution, as - from the historian’s point of view - they vary in quality a great deal.
Copyright SALLY DAVIS
17 May 2017
Find the web pages of Roger Wright and Sally Davis, including my list of people initiated into the Order of the Golden Dawn between 1888 and 1901, at: