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Brentford Families - Duckworth

The Original Enquiry

Laurence van Kleek wrote in July 2011:

Hepsley C Duckworth features at 118/119 High Street in 1915. I am interested in a man of that name who was a theatrical producer and actor c1893 – 95 because my great grandmother appeared for him in 1895.

A Hepsley appears in the censuses of 1871, 1881 and 1891 as an articled clerk, then solicitor. He may be the guy who ventured into the theatre no doubt to make some money but perhaps was an amateur so did not last long?

However in 1901 there is a man of the same name, apparently different wife with 2 sons but who is a bookmakers clerk!? Not sure about this. That wife then appears in 1911 as a widow!

I have found a record of the death of a Hepsley C Duckworth in Brentford in 1926 – and surely this is the solicitor of 118/119.

The question is – is he the same guy as above and how can these discrepancies be explained?

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Census and Trade Directory findings

I took a quick look at the censuses in ancestry.co.uk. They suggest there was just one person with the name, if the age is consistent throughout then this would support the 'one person' theory.

I have checked some trade directories for him:

  • 1911 (not recorded in Brentford at 118 High Street)
  • 1913, 1914, 1920 (recorded at 118 High Street)
  • 1926, 1928, 1931 (recorded at 121 High Street - a few doors away)(NB death registered 1926)
  • 1933 (not recorded at 121 High Street)

Yorkshire Duckworths

Laurence replied: There is much confusion over his wives and perhaps children. He seems to be well and simply recorded up to 1891 but it all then goes to pot! One record does indeed seem to be his family shows a baptism in Leeds in 1906 [ child born 1895 ] in which he is noted as deceased! Freebmd shows the death of an HCD in Brentford in 1926 aged 63 which is surely him!? Perhaps his practice was then run by another person until at least 1931?

Hepsley’s father was Heber Duckworth. There was a bapt at St Matthew, Leeds 11 April 1906 of Charles Heber John Duckworth, born 3 July 1895 [ GRO shows Caistor, another record Cleethorpes ] – father shown as Hepsley Charles Duckworth deceased. Pretty clear!?

My great grandmother appeared for 2 weeks at the [ unnamed ] Theatre in Brentford in November 1890 with Gus Creamer. I don’t suppose you can identify the theatre, building and if it is still standing?

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Brentford Theatres

The following extract is from British History Online website: 'An amphitheatre at Brentford was advertised in 1826. A hall in Walnut Tree Road was leased in 1886 by T. W. Beach and soon known as Brentford theatre, later being used as a cinema and surviving until 1930. (fn. 20) The Q theatre was opened in 1924 by Jack De Leon in the former Prince's hall and was the scene of early works by several well known playwrights before its closure in 1956. (fn. 21) (http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=22576)'

Page published November 2011