Frederick Nicholas Charrington
- Born: 4 Feb 1850, Bow Road, London
- Christened: 5 Apr 1850, St.Dunstan, Stepney, London
- Died: 1936 aged 86
Found on IGI; Frederick Nicholas Charrington, b 4 Feb 1850, chr 5 Apr 1850 St.Dunstan, Stepney. Parents Frederick Charrington and Louisa Elizabeth.
1851 Census; Living as son (aged 1) at 56 St Peter's Road ('Frederick Charrington House'), Mile End, London with parents, grandmother and 4 servants.
1861; Can't find.
1871 Census; Living as son (aged 21) at 'Fernside'(?), Princes Road, Wandsworth, London with parents, 2 brothers and a sister and and 7 servants. Occupation; 'Brewers Son'. Is shown as 'Frck'. PoB here given as 'Bow'.
1881 Census; Living as head (aged 31, unmarried) at Fernside, Princes Road, Wandsworth with 2x sisters, brother, brother in law, 2 x visitors (Amelia Simons, 60 and Catherine Stock, 46, both annuitants), 3 nieces and 11 servants (inc Butler, Page, Groom and Nurse as well as usual domestics). There is also, next house, a Fernside Gardeners Cottage with 2 x gardeners. Occupation; Independent Gentleman. PoB 'Bow'.
Buy 1891 Fernside is occupied by John D Charrington 'Brewer' and family, the Butler is 'James Powell' ; the same person that held that position in Frederick's house in 1881. Originally though this John D must be a cousin (born 1853) but is actually Frederick's younger brother.
1891 Census (indx as 'Chivington' on ancestry); Living as head (age 41, unmarried) at 41 Stepney Green, Mile End, London with boarder (Robert Scott, 41, Living on own means) and 2 x servants. Occupation; Living on own means.
1901 Census; Living as head (aged 51, unmarried) at 41 Stepney Green, Mile End, London. There is also a housekeeper and 3 boarders. Occupation; Living on own mean.
English social reformer. He renounced succession to a fortune of over £1 million in order to devote his time to temperance work. He founded the Tower Hamlets Mission in 1885 and made the Great Assembly Hall in the Mile End Road a centre of Christian work in the East End of London. He was one of the original members of the London County Council (1889–95). The son of a wealthy brewer, Charrington was born in London, England.
The FN Charrington Tower Hamlets Mission is still a registered charity, with net assets of > £1.6m.
One of the most damaging disputes of the time was the bitter feud between Barnardo and Frederick Charrington. Charrington was the heir to the wealthy brewery company. However, the sight of a woman being knocked down by her drunken husband outside a Charrington's public house so revolted him that he gave up his family business and spent his life working in the worst slums of London. This work developed into the famous City Mission in London. He had been converted to evangelical Christianity through reading to a friend, while on holiday in France in 1869, the third chapter of the Gospel according to St John in the New Testament. On his return to London, he began his philanthropic work by volunteering his services in the East End mission hall.
In 1872 Charrington started the Tower Hamlets Mission in the East End Conference hall and held a tent mission in the Mile End Road each summer for several years. Within a short period of time, his meetings would attract over two thousand people. In 1886, Charrington’s Tower Hamlets Mission opened a new hall seating five thousand people.
Despite the numbers flocking to these meetings, the organisers also faced violent opposition. During the late 1800s it is estimated that over seven hundred brothels were closed down as a result of the work of the philanthropists. This was truly muscular Christianity as Charrington was once sued for kicking a brothel attendant in the stomach. One alternative view of this powerful movement is that it forced women onto the streets and thus provided vulnerable victims for killers such as the infamous Jack the Ripper.
Indeed, there were a number of charges laid against Barnardo during the late 1870s. Among these were that he ran his charity for personal monetary advantage, and that he consorted with women of dubious moral virtue (the 'Mrs Johnson' affair). It was further suggested that he was not legally entitled to call himself 'Doctor' and had forged an entitling letter from the University of Giessen (though he was later admitted as an FRCS in 1879). He was also named as the author of the 'Clerical Junius' letters criticising George Reynolds and Frederick Charrington who had become identified as his main critics. His critics continued to scrutinise his activities, accusing him of using faked photographs to 'prove' the effectiveness of his work. They further claimed that his missions extended to both the 'deserving' and the 'undeserving' poor and thus encouraged mendicancy and subverted the Poor Laws, and that he was guilty of cruelty and neglect towards the children in his homes. However, it is the work of Barnardo, rather than of Charrington or Reynolds, that survived and grew, and is still providing support and protection for children today.
"Frederick Charrington had everything going for him. He was young, tall, good-looking and, best of all, he stood to come into millions as heir to one of the great brewing families of the East End. But Fred was no idle son of the rich, he also had a conscience and it was this that would change the course of his life forever. Charrington was born in the East End, baptised at St Dunstan's, Stepney and raised in 3 Tredegar Place, later re-numbered 87 Bow Road. He was sent to the posh Marlborough public school but returned to the family home in the East End and it was here, as a young man, that the extraordinary coincidence occurred that would lead Fred to renounce his millions and work for the poor. Passing the Rising Sun pub in Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, Charrington saw a sight within, all too common in the Victorian East End. A woman with her three children in tow begged her husband for money, the drunken spouse hit his wife and Fred, unable to ignore any injustice, rushed in to pull the man off. He paused in horror. There, above the door was the name of the pub's proprietors . . . Charrington. He renounced the family millions and dedicated his life to helping the fallen and the falling and to fighting the "evils" that dragged them down - alcohol, poverty and prostitution. Charrington would parade up and down outside the East End gin palaces, wearing a sandwich board which carried the dire warning "The wages of sin is death". He kept watch on the numerous brothels, noting down the comings and goings in his little black book, later handing on the details to the constabulary.Needless to say, Fred's public spiritedness was not always welcome and he received many batterings from the prostitutes' pimps. And on one unfortunate occasion, the madame of an East End brothel was so distracted by the news that Charrington was approaching with his little black book that she rushed inside her house, had a heart attack and promptly died. On Sundays Fred would lead his temperance brass band through Stepney and Wapping, stopping to tempt converts at the many pubs along the way - many of them bearing that name Charrington above their door. The throng would grow along the way, and by the end would contain a large number of good-natured and noisy drunks, who found "Uncle Fred's" regular weekend procession great sport. Many mocked Charrington, and his opposition to music halls made him appear as one of those grim Victorian philanthropists for whom any entertainment was morally suspect. But he left his monument and one that did immense good for generations of East Enders. Charrington, having renounced riches, campaigned vigorously to raise cash and build the Great Assembly Hall in Mile End Road. The mission, opened in 1886, fed the poor bodies with bread and cocoa and their souls with evangelistic religion. Before the phrase was ever coined, the mission was a centre of social work and, in 1910, provided Christmas dinner for 850 families. Fred died in 1936, one of the last survivors of the great Victorian philanthropists. And just a few years later his mission would be gone too - burned down in the fires of the Blitz.
Ron Lee Davis, Courage to Begin Again, (Harvest House, Eugene, OR; 1978), pp. 81-82
"Frederick Charrington was a member of the wealthy family in England which owned the Charrington Brewery. His personal fortune, derived solely from his brewing enterprise, exceeded $66 million.
One night, Charrington was walking along a London street with a few friends. Suddenly the door of a pub flew open just a few steps ahead of the group, and a man staggered out into the street with a woman clinging desperately to him. The man, obviously very drunk, was swearing at the woman and trying to push her away. The woman was gaunt and clad in rags. She sobbed and pleaded with the drunken man, who was her husband.
“Please, dear, please!” she cried as Charrington and his friends watched. “The children haven’t eaten in two days! And I’ve not eaten in a week! For the love of God, please come home! Or if you must stay, just give me a few coins so I can buy the children some…”
Her pleas were brutally cut off as her husband struck her a savage blow. She collapsed to the stone pavement like a rag doll. The man stood over her with his fists clenched, poised as if to strike her again. Charrington leaped forward and grasped him. The man struggled, swearing violently, but Charrington pinned the man’s arms securely behind his back. Charrington’s companions rushed to the woman’s side and began ministering to her wounds. A short time later a policeman led the drunken man away and the woman was taken to a nearby hospital.
As Charrington brushed himself off, he noticed a lighted sign in the window of the pub: “Drink Chrarrington Ale.” The multi-millionaire brewer was suddenly shaken to the core of his being. He realized that his confrontation with the violent husband would not have happened if the man’s brain had not been awash with the Charrington family’s product. “When I saw that sign,” he later wrote, “I was stricken just as surely as Paul on the Damascus Road. Here was the source of my family wealth, and it was producing untold human misery before my own eyes. Then and there I pledged to God that not another penny of that money should come to me.”
History records that Frederick Charrington became one of the most well-known temperance activists in England. He renounced his share of the family fortune and devoted the rest of his life to the ministry of freeing men and women from the curse of alcoholism."
"In 1903 Mr Frederick Charrington who was then the Chairman of a brewery business in London's East End purchased an island off the coast of Maldon in Essex called Osea Island. He purchased the island with a vision of temperance, to create a place where alcoholics and people with other addiction problems could retreat and seek help. During Mr Charrington's time the Island provided free treatment to those individuals suffering from the ill effects of alcohol and opiate addiction. In return for treatment clients would remain on the island and work the land. This was a way of giving something back to the establishment. This continued until late 20th century. when unfortunately the island was requisitioned by the Admiralty and subsequently turned into a top secret torpedo manufacturing base for both World Wars. " and "He purchased the island with a vision of temperance, where alcoholics and people with addiction problems could retreat and seek help. A considerable force of East End unemployed were brought from London and housed in wooden huts while they worked on the island carrying out alterations. Roads were constructed, houses were built and a village store was opened. Some attempts were even made to give the island an exotic appearance. Palms and fuchsias were planted, a large ornamental seal pond was created and wallabies were actually imported from Australia to roam free about the island. Charrington was one of the last great Victorian philanthropists. He passed away in 1936. He had fed the hungry, fought against the exploitation of woman and backed workers in their struggle against social injustice but sadly with the outbreak of the First World War; Charrington's ambitious plans came to a halt. The island re-opened as a haven of wellbeing in 2003 exactly 100 years from it's original inception."
There is a 'Frederick Charrington House" in Wickford St., E1.
Lewis Carol, Dr Barnardo, Frederick Charrington, James Maybrick, and Charles Dickens, are just a few of the other names often put forward as being responsible for the crimes. Alright, Dickens has never been put forward as a suspect, but only because he was dead by the time of the murders. Doubtless, had he been alive in 1888 his name would long ago have been added to an endless list of suspects, and facts about his life would have been twisted to fit the theory and prove that he was Jack the Ripper.