Wednesday, 9 April 2008

William Bocking (1782-1869) of Bradwell

Nearly four years ago, John Bradley sent me this image from his collection of a an elderly man by photographer Joshua Evans of Bradwell. The subject was not a member of his family, and I added it to my online portfolio of this photographer with an "unidentified" caption and an estimate that it was taken in the 1860s.

Image © & courtesy of John BradleyImage © & courtesy of John Bradley

Then, a few weeks ago, I received an email from Andre Hallam:

I think I can identify a man in one of the pictures on the Joshua Evans page - the one labeled "Unidentified gentleman" taken in the late 1860s. It appears to be William Bocking, who was a Weslyan Sunday School teacher in Bradwell. There is a picture of him in the book "Bradwell Ancient and Modern" by Seth Evans, and it definitely looks like the same man.
Image © Seth Evans & courtesy of Andre Hallam
who died in 1869, aged 87, was a Wesleyan
Sunday School teacher over 60 years.
Image © Seth Evans & courtesy of Andre Hallam

Peter Evans, who provided me with information about the photographer Joshua Evans's family, as well as several photos of family members, some almost certainly by Joshua himself, has responded to Andre's identification:
I am tempted to agree with Andre Hallam that comparing the photo of William Bocking with photos in "Bradwell, Ancient and Modern" by Seth Evans it is of William Bocking. William Bocking was the father of Mary Bocking, who married James Evans, the father of Robert Evans and grandfather of Joshua Evans. Incidentally Robert Evans died at Joshua's in Vicar Lane, Sheffield in 1875. James Evans was also in partnership with his brother William in making "Bradda" hats. The story has it that the Bradda Hat was used as the model for the shape of helmets in both World Wars.

I'm also hoping that Peter, or someone else perhaps, will be able to identify the two men in the other photo by Joshua Evans contributed by John Bradley. In the late 1860s, the population of Bradwell was only around 1200 - these two may also be part of the extended family of Joshua Evans.

Image © & courtesy of John BradleyImage © & courtesy of John Bradley


  1. Forgot to mention that this William Bocking was Joshua Evans' great uncle.

  2. Bit of extra family info:

    - Joshua EVANS' mother was Sarah BARBER(1811-?).
    - Sarah's sister Nanny BARBER (1801-1871) married a Robert BOCKING (1828-1873.
    - Sarah also had an aunt, Elizabeth BOCKING (?-?) who married her father Josiah BARBER's (1775-1846) brother Benjamin BARBER (1767-?)
    - There is a photo of Sarah on Brett's pages of Derbyshire photographers:

  3. Thanks for this extra info, Fiona -much appreciated. Regards, Brett


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