William Charles Hopgood was initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in September 1894 at its Horus Temple in Bradford.  He chose the Latin motto ‘Lupulus bonus’.

He gave the administrators of the Horus Temple an address in Redcar, though in the 1880s and again from the late 1890s GD he lived in Middlesbrough.  He was still a member of the GD in 1898 though he never reached the level where he would have been eligible for its inner, Second Order.


He may have been called ‘Charles’ not ‘William’.



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 lived in Edinburgh. 


Even after the update, this is still one of my short GD biographies.  They mostly cover GD members who lived in Bradford, Liverpool and Edinburgh.  I’ve done what I can with those people, using the web and sources in London.  I’m sure there’s far more information on them out there, but it will be in record offices, the local papers...I’d need to be on the spot to look at them, and I’ve had to admit that life’s too short! 

Sally Davis

16 May 2017


This is what I’ve found out about WILLIAM CHARLES HOPGOOD



William Charles could have found out about it through Alfred Ernest Scanlan, a GP working in Middlesbrough.  Scanlan was in the Theosophical Society and from 1893 if not before, he knew people who were in the TS’s Bradford Lodge.  Nearly all the members of the TS in Bradford were in the GD as well.  Scanlan was initiated into the GD during 1893.


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.




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 Yorkshire.  On 22 October 1877, he became a member of Cleveland Lodge 543.  Lodge 543 was based in Stokesley, a centre of handloom weaving a few miles south of Middlesbrough where William Charles had gone to work.  During his time as a member, it was meeting at the Golden Lion, Market Place.  See below for why I think he was asked to join it by Dr John Hepburn Handyside, who had worked as a surgeon and apothecary in Stokesley since moving there from Scotland.  In 1847 Handyside had been a founder member of the lodge.  He was its first Worshipful Master and served five more times in the role; and was also lodge secretary for 31 years. 


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 Middlesbrough: Ferrum Lodge 1848.  This was a new lodge, founded in 1879 and, naturally, anxious to attract new members.  William Charles was initiated in January 1881; he paid his yearly subscription for the next two years but then dropped out, and that seems to have been his last involvement in freemasonry.



This is very speculative but I think that William Charles knew future GD members James and Lucy Handyside when he was studying medicine at Edinburgh University in the mid-1870s; and that James may have given William Charles a letter of introduction to John Hepburn Handyside when William Charles was thinking of moving to Middlesbrough.  James Handyside was working in the offices of a GP in Edinburgh in the 1870s and perhaps that was how he and William Charles met; though I’m also suggesting that they had similar interests and might have encountered each other anyway. 


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 active in Bradford.  However, a name he gave his house in Middlesbrough in the 1900s suggests that he might have been interested in Ancient Egypt.  If I’m right about his knowing James and Lucy Handyside in the 1870s, he may have shared that interest in the mythology and religions of Egypt with them.  The TS lodge in Edinburgh wasn’t founded until the 1890s - too late for William Charles to join it - but James and Lucy were active members of it, perhaps on the strength of having read her Isis Unveiled, published in 1877. 


James and Lucy Handyside were initiated into the GD’s Amen-Ra temple in Edinburgh in September 1895.  Perhaps William Charles had suggested to them that they might like to give the GD a try; though they knew plenty of members of the GD in Edinburgh - almost all the members of the TS in the city joined the GD as well.  Although the GD had started out with all its rituals based on Rosicrucian ideas and symbolism, by the mid-1890s Egyptian elements also played an important role.   



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.


Cleveland Lodge 543 Centenary 1847-1947.  No author is credited on the title page, but the lodge history section is by Edwin Franks.  Printed Middlesbrough: Jordison and Co Ltd.  There’s no date of publication: p9, pp13-14; pp22-24; p42 et seq.


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. 


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 Edinburgh.  Robert Handyside’s father isn’t named; so I can’t prove beyond doubt that Robert and John Hepburn Handyside are brothers.

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 Edinburgh.



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 London for his further training; though he doesn’t seem to have done any university courses.  He was made MRCS and LSA - he will have had to qualify by examination - in 1867.  He worked for a time as house surgeon at Portsmouth, Portsea and Gosport Hospital, and resident surgeon at the Portsmouth Lock Hospital; and then moved to be house surgeon at the Great Northern Hospital in London, before returning to Oxfordshire to set up as a GP.  He moved to Stow-on-the-Wold, where his mother’s family came from, and by 1880 was a partner in the general practice of Haywood and Hopgood.  New opportunities for doctors were opening up in the institutions run by the Poor Law Unions, and Philip became Medical Officer at Stow-on-the-Wold workhouse.  There were also different new opportunities in local authorities as the range of their duties expanded; Philip Hopgood was Medical Officer to Stow-on-the-Wold urban district council. 


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 at the Royal Surrey County Hospital at Guildford or a time as house surgeon, before moving to Sunderland, to take advantage of a rather different set of new opportunities - those arising in the rapidly-growing cities of the industrial north of England. By 1880 he was senior house surgeon at Sunderland Infirmary, while also working at the Sunderland and North Durham Eye Infirmary, the orphan asylum, and Monkwearmouth and Southwick Dispensary.  Over the next few years he also found time to write a few short articles for medical magazines - of which there were more and more, as the profession expanded.


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 Edinburgh medical school.  He qualified as MRCS and LSA in 1875.  Unlike his brothers, however, he didn’t spend time working as house surgeon at a hospital.  He returned to Chipping Norton and joined his father’s general practice.  He worked there for a couple of years before following his brother Thomas Frederick to north-east England around 1877; not to Sunderland, however, to Middlesbrough.


Sources: freebmd, census 1851-71, probate registry 1873.

I began my sweep through the Medical Directories at 1855.

Medical Directory 1855 London and Provincial list p233 in which only Thomas Hopgood was listed.

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, Cape Colony South Africa in January 1873. 


Familysearch England-ODM GS file number 95229: baptism of William Charles Hopgood 30 July 1854 at Chipping Norton.



Dr Thomas Hopgood died in Chipping Norton in October 1880.  By that time William Charles

was living at 101 Grange Road Middlesbrough.  I’m not sure whether this was the same house as 41 Grange Road West, which was where he was living on the day of the 1881 census.  On that day, he was still unmarried.  There were no servants living in the house, so perhaps he had a cook and skivvy coming in by the day.  He had some visitors, though, on census day: Mrs Isabella Scarf, aged 36, from Horsley in Northumberland, and her two daughters Marion (14) and Ruby (7) who had both been born in Yorkshire.  It’s possible, I think, that Mrs Scarf was not the visitor she claimed to be, but lived in the house permanently and was employed by William Charles as his housekeeper.  However, neither of them said so to the census official.


During his first few years in Middlesbrough, William Charles worked as surgeon to a number of local institutions set up to help men working in its heavy industries.  He’s likely to have seen a lot of industrial injuries.  In addition to being surgeon to the wire works and the boilermakers, he also did work for the Odd Fellows, the Free Gardeners, the Druids and the Lothian Club.  It’s likely, though, that this work was designed to earn money while getting his name known in the city, and that he never had any intention of making it a lifetime’s commitment.  After a few years he gave it up and went into private practice. 


By 1890 William Charles was a GP at 6 Acklam Terrace Newport Road, which I think is the same place as 66 Newport Road, in the Linthorpe district of Middlesbrough, where he was living on census day 1891.  This census day he was definitely employing a housekeeper who lived in, a Mrs Harriett Farman, aged 48, who was originally from Suffolk.  He - or more likely Mrs Farman - had a young visitor that day, Florence Pettit aged 14 and born in Yarmouth. 


In the late 1890s William Charles may have left Middlesbrough for a while.  His address in the 1895 issue of the Medical Directory is 37 Newcomen Street, in the Coatham district of Redcar; and in the 1899 issue his listing doesn’t have an address at all.  37 Newcomen Street Coatham was very near to where his future wife was living, with her parents; and that’s probably how they met.


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 Middlesbrough but without an address.

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. 

William Charles’ marriage to Ann: Findmypast, Teeside Archives reference PR CO 7 p184: marriages in Yorkshire.



By 1900 William Charles and Ann were living at 92 Park Road Middlesbrough, where they remained until the first World War.  By 1911 the house had acquired a very interesting name - when completing his 1911 census form, William Charles wrote that his home was called Athor House.  ‘Athor’ is an alternative spelling of the Egyptian hieroglyphs more usually transliterated as ‘Hathor’.  Perhaps Ann shared William Charles’ interest in Ancient Egypt, though she didn’t join the GD and as far as I know was never a TS member either.


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 Middlesbrough until 1913 or 1914.  Then they left it and were listed in the 1914 Medical Directory at Glencote, in Wendover Buckinghamshire.  This seems to have been a temporary address and by 1915, they had gone to 1 Bohemia Road, St Leonard’s-on-Sea, right down on the south coast.  William Charles continued to be listed in the Medical Directories until the late 1930s but I still think of the move as one into semi-retirement.  Even if it was not intended to be such a move, William Charles was likely to have had fewer patients and more leisure time.  Competition for patients in the St Leonard’s and Hastings area was fierce: in 1915 about 60 GP’s were practising in those two smallish towns.


Ann Stainsby 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 1 Priory Road Hastings where he was still in practice in his mid-70s.  After a decade of widowhood and presumably realising he would die quite soon, he married Lucy Martin early in 1937.   He died on 5 August 1937 at home at 1 Priory Road.  He had no children.


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.

The St Leonard’s-on-Sea entry then continues unchanged until:

Medical Directory 1929 volume 2 p771, p1238.

William Charles’ last listing is in Medical Directory 1937 volume 1 p813 still at 1 Priory Road Hastings.

Medical Directory 1938 volume 1 has no listing for him.  

Via www.durham-images.org to list of burials at Bishopwearmouth Cemetery: folio number 98, entry number 1947, box number 34.  William Charles Hopgood is not buried there.


BASIC SOURCES I USED for all Golden Dawn members.


Membership of the Golden Dawn: The Golden Dawn Companion by R A Gilbert.  Northampton: The Aquarian Press 1986.  Between pages 125 and 175, Gilbert lists the names, initiation dates and addresses of all those people who became members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn or its many daughter Orders between 1888 and 1914.  The list is based on the Golden Dawn’s administrative records and its Members’ Roll - the large piece of parchment on which all new members signed their name at their initiation.  All this information had been inherited by Gilbert but it’s now in the Freemasons’ Library at the United Grand Lodge of England building on Great Queen Street Covent Garden.  Please note, though, that the records of the Amen-Ra Temple in Edinburgh were destroyed in 1900/01.  I have recently (July 2014) discovered that some records of the Horus Temple at Bradford have survived, though most have not; however those that have survived are not yet accessible to the public.


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.


Famous-people sources: mostly about men, of course, but very useful even for the female members of GD.  Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.  Who Was Who. Times Digital Archive.

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.




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: