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Brentford Councillors - Charles Braden


Janet McNamara has researched details of the men who served as Brentford Local Board Members and Councillors, see intro page for more details of early local government structure. Her research raised a number of questions, listed at the end.

Linda (from Australia) wrote in June 2013 to say 'He was my 3xGreat Grand Uncle and the whole Braden family at that time was very enterprising and all the siblings were involved in successful business ventures. Most of the family lived in the Holborn/Islington area, so I never understood why Charles lived in Brentford. Reading your web pages I now realise it was probably under his second wife’s influence. She was Elizabeth CROXFORD before marrying Charles and she continued to live at Holly House after Charles’ death. I found her in the 1911 Census, now remarried, as Elizabeth WILLIAMS and still living at Holly House. As you have shown, it seems Elizabeth had family in Brentford so it makes sense that she would want to live there. I have pictured in my mind that perhaps Charles would hop on a ferry down the Thames to his milling business in Bermondsey. Not sure if that is feasible or not.
[Holly House was on Boston Road, by the 1930s known as Boston Manor Road, and has a railway station nearby; this seems a more likely method for Charles to travel to Bermondsey.]

Linda provided much additional information about her family and also answers several answers raised by Janet:

Charles Braden

Mr Braden was on of the early Brentford Councillors and his name is on the dedication stone of the Sewage Pumping Station 1883.

He was born born 29 Jun 1829 in Grays Inn Lane, Holborn to parents Alexander and Frances Eleanor Braden. Frances was Alexander’s second wife. He had 3 boys to his first wife, but one died young. With Frances he had 4 more children: 1 girl and 3 boys, Charles was the third child. Linda's 3x Great GrandFather was the eldest of all 7 children, so in fact he and Charles were half-brothers. All 6 surviving children went on to live successful lives in some kind of business.

The 1841 census shows Charles Braden aged 11 in St John Street with Frances Braden (51), Frances (18), George (16) grocer’s apprentice, Joseph (10) and George ALLEN (18) a grocer’s apprentice. Linda adds 'Cannot find the father Alexander anywhere in the Census, not sure why'.

Frances Eleanor, Charles’ mother, died in the March qtr of 1846 in Holborn (vol 2 page 95). Alexander Snr married for a third time to Sarah in the June quarter 1847 in St Pancras (1 414) but there were no more children. The death of another Frances, 'Frances Amelia Braden', registered in the March quarter 1844 in Clerkenwell (3 100), found whilst seeking the death of Charles' wife, is likely to be Charles’ niece by his eldest brother Alexander Samuel Braden, Linda's 3x Great Grandfather.

The 1851 census shows the family at St John Street, Finsbury: Alexander Braden (61) a grocer employing 2 men and 1 boy, Sarah his wife (48), Charles 21 a commercial traveller (grocer) with a brother and sister. Linda: at this stage my guess is he is employed in his father’s grocery business, travelling around the country selling or buying goods for his father.

Charles’ marriage was recorded in the Morning Post 18 Jan 1856 in the marriage notices, “On the 15th inst., at St James’ Church, Piccadilly, Mr Charles Braden of Islington, to Jane Dixon (BOX), the fourth daughter of Mr. R. D. Box, of Regent Street.” One child was produced from this marriage, Charles Box Braden born Dec Qtr 1856.

Unfortunately, Jane died 2nd July 1857. Also, Charles’ father died 12th June 1856. According to his will, Charles’ father had a number of properties in the Holborn/Islington area which were to be sold and the proceeds split between his children. One property was left to his third wife Sarah. By the 1861 census Charles was a widower aged 33, a boarder at 2, Thorn Hill Terrace, St Mary’s Islington, Finsbury. He’s shown as ‘groat manufacturer’ which is believed to be someone who deals and/or mills grain products. Charles’ son is living with his maternal grandparents, Mr & Mrs Box, in this Census.

The parish register for St Paul’s, Old Brentford shows that on January 23rd 1870 as a widower aged 40 he married Elizabeth CROXFORD who was 25. He is shown as a Miller. His father, Alexander was a grocer manufacturer. Elizabeth’s father Henry NEWMAN was a publisher. The witnesses were Henry Newman Croxford (later to become a councillor), H Croxford jnr, Henry MEYERS (possibly related to John Meyers, councillor, and what looks like M BRADBERY (A Mr Bradbury nominated Charles Braden for a seat on the Local Board in 1884; this could be the grocer of 108 High Street, in 1871 and 1881; in the same pair of censuses the Band family, parchment makers, lived next door at 109 High Street).


How did Charles come to be in Brentford?
Linda writes 'Charles and Elizabeth first started married life in Camberwell as shown in the 1871 Census, which would have been close to Charles’ business in Bermondsey. So I feel that Elizabeth may have wanted to make the move to Brentford to be closer to her family. I wonder if Holly House belonged to a member of the Croxford family before Charles and Elizabeth moved there.

Business? As a miller was it a brewery connection?
Linda suggests: in a 1882 London Trade Directory, Charles Braden is listed under Groat Manufacturers and his business is situated in White’s grounds, Bermondsey SE & Black Swan yard, Bermondsey SE. I’ve never seen any evidence of a connection to the brewery industry.)

By the 1871 census Charles and Elizabeth were living in Lambeth (Camberwell) with an 11month old daughter, Maud, a servant and Frances, Charles’ 21 year old niece.
Linda adds: Frances’ father was Charles’ brother George. George was also in the milling/grain business. Not sure when he and his wife died, but they left 2 daughters. Frances came to live with Charles and Frances’ sister, Emily, went to America to live with Charles’s younger brother Joseph who went to the US in the early 1850s.

By 1881 they had moved to Brentford and were living at Holly House, Boston Road.

The household on census night was Charles (51) Merchant Corn, Charles B (24) son, Merchant Corn born Islington, daughters Maud A (10), Minnie (9) both scholars born in Camberwell, Eleanor E (5) scholar born Brentford and Lillian B (2) also born in Brentford, Frances E Braden (31) niece and a cook and a housemaid.

Elizabeth (37) was in Farnham that night. She is shown as Visitor - sister in law at the home of Robert D KINGHAM (26), Provision Merchant and his wife Mary M (22). Linda adds: from my research, I believe Mary is Elizabeth’s sister and also a Croxford. Mary has her first baby shortly after this Census was taken, so I think Elizabeth may have been there to help her sister with the birth.

(Link to the Kingham - business in Brentford?)
Linda notes any link is more likely to be between the Croxford and Kingham families as they are both living locally at that time. The website has more details of the Croxford family, including Henry Newman Croxford, whose name also appears with Charles Braden's on the Sewage Pumping Station plaque, 1883. The site also has information about the Kingham family and its grocery business.

This must be the period when Charles was elected to the Local Board.

The family are still at Holly House in 1891. This would have been 35, Boston Road.

NB there is a block of flats just north of Brentford Station called Holly House (interwar build?) which may be on the site of the house. It’s just south of the Great West Road/A4. Park Lodge (see below) was demolished for the A4 building.

The census shows the next house as Park Lodge (WW WALKER– brother of Stephen Walker another early Councillor) then Donnington, home of Frank WOODBRIDGE (Stephen Woodbridge, secretary to the Local Board and local solicitor, had a son named Frank born around 1861).

At Waverley (no 43?) in the same row of properties was Thomas C KINGHAM (30)

Back to the south, 29, Boston Road was Henry S BAND, Parchment maker; George Band, no doubt related, was a councillor in the 1890s.


Household in 1891 at Holly House:-
Charles (61) Miller, Elizabeth (49), Son, Charles (34) is Manager to Miller, daughter Elma (18) born Camberwell, Son Bernard (17) born Brentford, Clerk to Miller, Eleanor (15), Lilian (12), Ethel (8), Elizabeth Croxford (64) mother in law born Islington, Frances E Braden niece (41) and 2 servants.

Elma and Bernard haven’t been mentioned in the household previously and I can’t find their births in ancestry, family search or freebmd from 1872-1875.
LInda explains regarding Elma and Bernard: this is Minnie (whose first name is Elma) and Bernard (he was away at his aunt and uncle’s school in Bushey, near Watford, in the previous Census. Many of the Braden boys were taught at this school called Bourne Hall Academy, including my Great Great grandfather – Bernard’s cousin. Regarding the missing births/baptisms: Elma Minnie was born in June qtr 1872 in Camberwell district whilst Bernard was born Jun qtr 1873 in Brentford. I guess this pinpoints the move to Brentford and Charles must have been very quick to be appointed to the council. Perhaps, if they built the house, they were well-known before moving to the area through the Croxford family.

Charles Jnr would have been born in 1857 and therefore a son from his first marriage.

Charles died aged 71. His death was registered in the March quarter of 1901. Brentford 3a 84. I haven’t been able to find a report of this in the newspaper.

In the 1901 census Elizabeth (56) was a widow at a hotel at 12, Marine Parade in Folkstone with Frances (51) both living on their own means with Ethel aged 18. Linda adds: all the children, except Ethel are married by this time. I feel that perhaps Elizabeth is having a “holiday” after her husband’s death. Perhaps collecting her thoughts? Elizabeth and Frances must have become firm friends by this time, perhaps more like sisters than just aunt and niece-in-law as they were very close in age. I think if you look closely at the Census image, Elizabeth’s other daughter, Lillian (now RUSTON) and grand-daughter is also with them here.

What happened to the rest of the family?
Linda: Elizabeth remarries to John WILLIAMS in Jun qtr of 1905 but is still living at Holly House in the 1911 Census. Frances, Charles’ niece is still living with her, and her eldest daughter Maud is also there as she has been widowed.
Also in the 1911 Census, Charles Box Braden is living with wife Helen Hodgson Braden and daughter Geraldine Jeanneth Box Braden in Rochford, Essex. This is Charles’ son by his first marriage to Jane Dixon BOX. Found out from freebmd that his wife’s maiden name was GASKELL and they were married in Dec qtr 1898 when Charles (jnr) was 42! In 1911 they are listed as married for 12 years and the only daughter was only 5, so I wonder if they had other children? Charles jnr dies in Dec qtr of 1920 at age 63 in Rochford.
Maud Amelia Braden m Haydn NIXON in Sep qtr 1893 but Haydn died in 1906 on the Isle of Wight where I believe he was a vicar and it seems that Maud returns to live with her mother.
Elma Minnie m John CURTIS in Jun qtr 1897.
Sadly Bernard, Charles’ only other son, died Mar qtr 1899 at age 25 at Brentford.
Eleanor Elizabeth m Howard KINGHAM in Jun qtr 1895.
Lillian Beatrice m Alfred RUSTON in Sep 1898.
Ethel Stephanie m Albert ADUTT in Dec qtr 1905.
As for Charles’ business, I’m not sure yet what happened to it after he died. Perhaps his son Charles Box continued on with it for a while. I’ll have to do some more research in the papers and directories to answer that question.


Page published April 2011; updated August 2015