The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Brecht One Name Study

Hard Times

For many, times were hard in the East End of London in the 19th century and early 20th century. Disease, overcrowding and poor incomes caused real hardship; the Brechts did not escape:

Heinrich (Henry) Brecht

Heinrich married Mary Somes in 1808 and the couple lived in Fashion Street near Christ Church, Spitalfields. He was a colour manufacturer.

Parish Records show that Henry, as he bacame known, lost his wife and her children at a young age:

First Wife

*Mary Brecht buried 3.1.1819 (age 35)

Her Children

*Maria Catharine Brecht buried 16.11.1814 (age 2)
*Charlotte Brecht of Fashion Street buried 15.1.1819 (age 9)
*Elisabeth Catharine Brecht buried 17.6.1821 (age 5)

After his wife died, he lost a further child, by another woman (?Harriet Piper):
*Eleanor Brecht of Fashion Street buried 24.10.1824 (age 17 months)

After Henry died, his son Henry also died young:
*Henry Brecht buried 2.8.1855 (age 22)

*All burials with asterick at Christ Church, Spitalfields

Henry's Son George Frederick Brecht

The family of Henry's son George Frederick Brecht also hit on hard times:

London Workhouse Admission & Discxharge Records 1764-1930

Workhouse, Stepney

Mary Brecht (53), Single, Charwoman and Destitute
Admitted from Casual Work Thursday 22 May 1862
Discharged 28 May 1862

 Mary Brecht (54), Single Laundress, No Residence & Destitute
son Henry Brecht (14)
Admitted Saturday 7.6.1862 Discharged 9.6.1862

St Mary's Islington

Caroline Brecht (76), Needlewoman admitted8 April 1899

Henry's son Edward Brecht

After his wife Clara died, Edward found bringing up the children difficult:

London Workhouse Admission & Discharge Records 1764-1930

Mile End Old Town

Friday 1 March 1907

Admitted because of destitution

Dischaged to Scattered Homes:
Sidney Brecht (11) and John Brecht (8)

Ethel Btecht (6) to Infirmary

London Selected Poor Law Removal & Settlement Records 1698-1930

Poplar Union - Order of Removal 6.3.1907

Sidney Brecht aged about 11 years
John Brecht aged about 8 years
Ethel Brecht aged about 4 years

- living in No 14 Cottage Grove and the Infirmary, Mile End Old Town
- father Edward Brecht (now absent) previously at 15 Southill Street
- by Clara his wife (now deceased)

Notes have been handwritten on the documentation:

- father left children at sisters in Rowsell Street
- wife died in ................1906
- previously in High Street, Poplar
- 15 Southill Street will set up
- no idea where father is

London Workhouse Admission & Disxcharge Records 1764-1930

Poplar Union

Edward Brecht Widower Painter born 1857

Admitted 26 July 1907

1911 Census

Edward Brecht was in the Poplar Branch Workhouse and 3 of his children were in a Training School:
Sidney (15), John (12) and Ethel (8)
2 other children were staying with a family called Warner:
George (22) and Frederick (19)
Edward remarried later in the year.

London Workhouse Admission & Disxcharge Records 1764-1930

There are 2 cases of children being born in the workhouse:

1. St Marylebone

Wednesday 23 December 1914

Rose Brecht Housemaid born 1897 In Labour
Noel Brecht (Parent Rose) born 23 December 1914

Certificate Held:

Full name: Noel Eric Brecht
Born at: 1 Northumberland Street, St Marylebone (Date: 23/12/1914)
Father: (Occupation: )
Mother: Rose Elizabeth Brecht, Housemaid of 3 Upper Bedford Place, Bloomsbury

2. Workhouse, West Ham

Charles Albert Cornwell born 1900 (mother Lucy Ann Cornwell and father George Henry Brecht - see below)

1901 Census

7 Lansdowne Road, West Ham

Louisa Cornwall Age 19 Jam Factory Hand (living with mother Sarah, Widow)
Albert Cornwall Age 10 months born West Ham, Essex (grandson of Sarah)

1911 Census

1 Oak Road, Canning Town, Essex

Lucy Ann Brecht Head Married 29 Factory Hand Bottle Fillers born Millwall, Middlesex
Albert Ernest Brecht Son 10 born Tidal Basin, Essex
George Henry Brecht Son 8 born Tidal Basin, Essex
Alf Brecht Son 5 born Plaistow, Essex
Frank Bert Brecht Son 15 months born Plaistow, Essex

Husband in HM Prison, Pentonville

George Frederick Brecht's Grandson George Henry Brecht

Apart from his first born being born illegitimate in a workhouse (he did marry Lucy Ann in 1902), George Henry Brecht had a criminal record in England (was in Pentonville in 1911) and was murdered in Sydney in 1951.

His family stayed away from him in England.

There is more detail is given in a separate article:

A Certain Notoriety

Colin Bower
12 February 2021

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