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:

Workhouse, Stepney

wife Mary Brecht (54), Laundress
son Henry Brecht (14)
Admitted 7.6.1862 Discharged 9.6.1862

Henry's son Edward Brecht

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

Poor Law Removal& Settlement Records

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

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.

George Frederick Brecht's Grandson George Henry Brecht

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. More detail is given in a separate article:

A Certain Notoriety

Colin Bower
7 October 2017

Index to Articles on the Brecht Family

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