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 didn’t live in Bradford.  He gave an address in Redcar, but if I have identified him correctly, he lived was one of a few GD members who lived in Middlesbrough.  He was still a member in 1898 though he never reached the level where he would have been eligible for its inner, Second Order.




This is 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

March 2016



This is what I’ve found out about WILLIAM CHARLES HOPGOOD, who may have been called ‘Charles’ rather than ‘William’.



It’s likely that William Charles Hopgood found out about the GD through Alfred Ernest Scanlan, another 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.


There’s a letter dated 17 March 1898, from Thomas Pattinson of Bradford (friend of William Wynn Westcott one of the founders of the Horus Temple) to Frederick Leigh Gardiner, who was about to be appointed its Cancellarius.  Pattinson says that Gardiner would shortly be in a position to “assess Hopgood”; though it doesn’t say what the assessment would be for, though normally speaking, an assessment would take place on study-work a GD member had one: their homework, as it were.


Source for William Charles in the GD:

Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke Collection.  Concertina-file with catalogue number NS73: letters mostly to (but occasionally from) GD member Frederick Leigh Gardner.



Not that I’ve found.  There’s nothing at the Freemasons’ Library; so if he was a freemason, he kept his involvement very local.  Unlike Alfred Scanlan, he was never a member of the Theosophical Society.



No.  He is not in Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, suggesting he was not one of the ‘great and good’ of surgery during his lifetime.



Born in Chipping Norton Oxfordshire, summer of 1854.  Son of Thomas Hopgood and wife Hannah.  Had three elder brothers: Richard; Philip; and Thomas. Thomas Hopgood was a GP.  The family lived in a house on Chipping Norton’s High Street.



Baptism seen at Familysearch.   England-ODM GS file number 95229.

Census 1861, 1871 where he is listed as “Wm Charles”.



Surgeon.  Initial training as an apprentice, working for his father.  By 1881 had passed exams to be MRCS and MRCS and was Licensed by the Society of Apothecaries to practice as a doctor, surgeon and midwife.


He was not registered with the General Medical Council.  If all you wanted to do was work in private practice you didn’t need to be.  Most records describe him as a surgeon NOT as a doctor.


Had retired by 1925.


Sources: census.  I searched the Lancet volumes issued in 1879 and 1880 to see if I could find him in the lists of those recently made MRCP or MRCS and those recently licenced to practice by the Society of Apothecaries.  I couldn’t find him so he must have qualified earlier.



Not that I’ve found.


ANY PUBLIC LIFE/EVIDENCE FOR LEISURE TIME?   Bearing in mind, of course, that most leisure time leaves virtually no historical traces.


I couldn’t find any.



By 1881 William Charles Hopgood had moved to Middlesbrough and set up as a surgeon.


1881 at 41 Grange Road West.  1890 at 6 Acklam Terrace Newport Road.  1901 66 Newport Road Linthorpe which may be the same house as the 1890 source.  1901 at 92 Park Road St Barnabas.  1911 at Athor House, Park Road North; one live-in servant, the first on any of his census entries.  All the addresses are in the same district of Middlesbrough.  By 1911 he and Ann could afford a house facing Albert Park.


In 1925 he and Ann were living at 1 Bohemia Road, St Leonards-on-Sea Sussex. 


In 1937 he was living in Hastings, probably at 1 Priory Road.


Sources: census 1881, 1891 with visitors each time.  1901 with wife and mother-in-law Ann Gardiner aged 70, born Darlington.  Via www.genuki.org.uk to transcription of Bulmer’s Directory of Middlesbrough issue of 1890: trades list.



William Charles Hopgood was married twice. 


First wife was Ann Stainsby Gardiner, born Houghton-le-Spring Durham 1856.  They were married in 1893.  Ann Stainsby Hopgood died on 16 March 1925 and was buried at Bishopwearmouth Cemetery in county Durham.


Second wife was Lucy Martin.  They were married early in 1937.


Sources: freebmd; probate registry entries.  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.



5 August 1937 at 1 Priory Road Hastings.


Source: probate registry entry.  Lancet 1937: no death notice, no obituary.



None as far as I can see.  No children are listed on any of the census entries after he was married.

Sources: census 1901, 1911; probate registry entry.



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.






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: