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Brentford Councillors - Charles Braden
IntroductionJanet 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.
Linda provided much additional information about her family and also answers several answers raised by Janet:
Charles BradenMr 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).Top
How did Charles come to be in Brentford?
Business? As a miller was it a brewery connection?
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.
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?)
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.Top
Household in 1891 at Holly House:-
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.
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?
Page published April 2011; updated August 2015