My 2x great grandfather Frederick Beacock was born in about the July of 1875 on South Street in Hull, East Yorkshire. He was baptised on 15th August 1875 in the parish of the Holy Trinity in Hull.
He was one of 13 known children; Thomas William (1869-1939), Sarah Francis (1871-1936), Henry Handson (1873-1958), Martin (1874-1875), Frederick (1875-1932), Julia Ann (1878-1966), Caroline (1880-1965), Gertrude (1883-?), Daniel (1885-1931), George Arthur (1887-1916), Martha Jane (1888-1888), Charles (1889-1890) and Hannah (1890-1890). The photos below show Henry Handson Beacock, one of the sisters, and Daniel Beacock.
In 1891 at the age of 16, Frederick was a butcher. He was probably taught by his father Thomas Beacock, as he once was also a butcher. Frederick may have wanted to attempt butchery due to his father’s past occupation.
On 5th August 1895, Frederick married Florence Avis Smith in Newington, Hull. His occupation at this time was a Rullyman, which would have involved delivering goods. Today he would be referred to as a lorry/truck driver. At this time his father Thomas Beacock does not seem to have an occupation. At the time of their marriage, Florence’s place of residence was 23 Witty Street, Hull and Frederick’s was 3 Brunswick Avenue, Liverpool Street, Hull.
In 1911 Frederick was a Labourer at an Oil Refinery. This would have involved working with organic oil, rather than motor oil.
On the 1921 Census, Frederick was living at 70 North Street in Hull. His age was recorded as 46 years, 9 months and he was working as a Rullyman for a company called British Oil & Cake Mills, which was located, more specifically on Cleveland Street in Hull. The industry that Frederick was working within, by the 1920s, had grown rapidly meaning that Hull had become the largest seed crushing and oil extracting centre in the world. In 1923 alone almost 700,000 tons of oil seeds were imported into Hull consisting of Linseed 165,830 tons, Soya Beans 74,566, Egyptian cottonseed 221,791, other kinds of cottonseed 62,799, Rape seed 41,246, Castor seed 14,527, Palm Kernels 87,204, Ground nuts 9,579, Sunflower seed 5,356. Frederick would have been transporting seeds from the docks to the mills, and oil from the mills to the docks and other places within the city.
Frederick was living with his wife Florence, son Frederick Walter, daughter Julia May and a lodger called John Colloy Beogray. Florence’s occupation was recorded as Household Duties, Frederick Walter a Fitter’s Labourer at the Radiator Works on Perth Street (Ideal Standard) and Julia was at school. John Colloy Beogray was a 56 year old Cabinet Fitter at J.H. Spense Cabinet Makers on North Street.
When Frederick was filling out the 1921 Census, he interestingly wrote down the street names in which each family member was born. They were later crossed out and replaced purely with “Hull”. The street names, however, can be still clearly read.
The photo currently belongs to my uncle but has obviously been passed down from my grandfather and his father. I believe that it is a photo of Frederick, as he looks very much like the photo of Daniel Beacock, and has a strong resemblance to the Beacock’s in general. It also would have been taken in Fred’s era, although I cannot 100% prove that it is him, as there is nothing written on the back of the photo. Such a shame!
From the information provided by the Electoral Registers from 1926 to 1931, it seems that there were two residences. Fred and Florence were living at 70 North Street in 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930. Then in 1931, the couple were recorded as living at 3 Clowes Mansions (or Buildings) on New George Street, Hull.
On 24th November 1932, Frederick was found leant over his gas stove, dead, by his wife Florence Avis Beacock (nee Smith). There were two newspaper articles about the death of Frederick in the Hull Daily Mail. The article that was published on 26th November 1932 discussed the story in more detail. The coroner came to the conclusion that Frederick committed suicide.
According to a family story, Florence had told Frederick something along the lines of “I’ll give you a shilling if you go and put your head in the oven”. My father’s cousin told me this story which had been told to his father by my great-grandmother Lily Beacock (nee Kirby). Lily had apparently also said that Frederick had been very depressed and that he actually took her seriously and did what she said. I believe that he was in a state of unsound mind, as the newspaper states. We, however, do not know how true the story is, as it has been passed down a few generations, and could easily have been changed.
I found an obituary in the Hull Daily Mail from 28th November 1932 which reads:
I visited Northern Cemetery, which is where the most of the burial records are stored. On his burial record, it stated that the cause of death was Gas Poisoning. Frederick was buried in Western Cemetery on 29th November 1932 at 2:15 pm, where his wife Florence was later buried. There is, unfortunately, no headstone.
Thank you for reading,