Dictionary of Family Biography
Frederick Paulin (1831-1918) was born the 5th of August 1831 in Henley-on-Thames, England. He was the son of George Paulin, hairdresser, and his wife Sarah Clements. He was their second child, and only son. His sister Sarah Ann was born in 1829. He used the spelling Pauline from 1888 until his death.
There is no direct evidence that Frederick had any formal education, however there are indications that he did. There was a grammar school in Henley, and George Paulin was very prosperous, and could have afforded to send his only son to school. Frederick was literate, and in his later years worked as an accountant.
In the 1851 UK census Frederick was still living with his parents on Bell Street in Henley, working both as a hairdresser and as a malting agent. In 1860 he was living in Regent’s Park, London working as a brewer.
It is unclear when or how Frederick moved to London and met Mary Cutler, the daughter of the late John Cutler, gentleman, and his wife Louisa Freak. On the 30th of September Mary gave birth to their first child, Louisa Mary Paulin Cutler, in St Pancras, London. The birth certificate is a combination of fiction and fact, listing the father as Frederick Cutler, brewer. There is no information as to why the couple were not married at this time, or if they lived together. They eventually married the 10th of February 1861, at St Pancras Church. The couple moved back to the Henley area, living across the Thames in Remenham, with Mary’s mother Louisa, and her half-brother Edward. In 1871 the family was living near Frederick’s parents on New Street in Henley. Through the 1860s and early 1870s Frederick was the owner of the Union Brewery and pub. He was also the licensee of the Rifle Beerhouse. At this time it appears that his father George also owned two pubs, which he leased out: the Everley House and the Halfway House.
The family continued to grow. In addition to Louisa and Frederick (Jr), Frederick and Mary had a further seven children: George (1863-1921), Ernest (1864-1912), Herbert (1866-1931), Bessie (1868-1947), Amy (1869-1931), Florence (1871-1950) and Violet (1873-1956).
During his years in Henley, Frederick had a very active social life. There is an account in the Oxford Journal (8 July 1854) which puts Frederick rowing for Henley in the Henley Regatta for the Challenge Cup. Wargrave beat his team. Through the 1860s and early 1870s Frederick was an active member of the Henley Elocution Society, as well as the Henley Reading Chess and Music Society.
At the end of 1873 Frederick sold his brewing business and with the proceeds and a loan from his father, bought the Anchor Brewery in Peckham, London. This must have been seen as an opportunity to serve a larger market, and was not located in an unknown area, as his mother-in-law, who still lived with the family had a number of nieces and nephews living nearby. The family moved there and began their new venture. In June Louisa Cutler died in Peckham, and in October they welcomed their 10th child, Sarah (aka Sally or Sadie) (1874-1959).
In July 1874 Frederick declared bankruptcy. The family then moved to the West Midlands. In 1875 Frederick was a brewer in Tipton, and in November that year their eleventh child, Marion (aka Polly) (1875-1958) was born in Prince’s End. John Paulin (1877-1923) was born in Gospel End, and their last child Nellie (1879-1954) was born in Acock’s Green, in Birmingham. The family appears to have settled down, and lived in a home they called “Henley Lodge” on the Yardley Road in Acock’s Green. Frederick was now working as an accountant. It appears that they family made a comfortable living, as in 1881 the family employed a domestic servant.
By the 1880s, his older children were coming into adulthood. Frederick (Jr) and Ernest were both employed as accountants/clerks. In 1883 Frederick (Jr) and George Paulin emigrated to Canada. They were followed in 1886 by Ernest and his new wife Emma, and Herbert. They all settled in Victoria, British Columbia.
Frederick went to his father and sold him annuities his wife had inherited from her mother. He put up part of his eventual inheritance from his father as security. The £5000 funded the move of the rest of the family to Victoria. Ultimately the whole family moved to Canada except their eldest daughter Louisa, who had married Robert Rutherford that year, and decided to stay in Birmingham.
In Victoria, Frederick added the “e” to the end of his name. He worked variously as an advertiser, real estate agent, secretary of the Turkish Bath, and an insurance agent. By 1897 he had bought the Tod House in Oak Bay, and had set out to live the life of an English country gentleman. He stopped working. During his retirement he became and artist, and held exhibitions in Victoria.
Frederick died the 13th of June 1918, at the age of 87. He died with an estate valued at $1 – the land was mortgaged, and he left no personal estate. He is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery with his wife, who died in 1921.
UK Census – 1851-1881
Canadian Census – 1891-1911
Oxon Brews: The Story of Commercial Brewing in Oxfordshire by Mike Brown, Longfield, Brewing History Society, 2004.
British Columbia Estate documents, GR 1304, BC Archives
The London and Suburban Licensed Victuallers’ Hotel and Tavern Keepers’ Directory,London, Henry Downes Miles, 1874.
Fort Victoria Brick Project – City of Victoria Archives
City Directories – Henley-on-Thames, Birmingham, Victoria
Ross Bay Cemetery, BC
Reading Mercury, Oxford Journal, British Colonist, Berkshire Chronicle, and the Birmingham Daily Post