I must start by saying that while Annabel's name appears as Annabelle in the baptismal register she is Annabel more or less everywhere else, including in her Will.
Annabel was born on 3 September 1868 at 56 Beaumont Square, Stepney and was baptised Sarah Frances Annabelle at St Peter's in Cephas Street, about ten minutes' walk away from her home. She was her parents' only – or only surviving – child.
Her parents Robert Hall and Annabella Copland were both from the North East. Robert was born c1827 in North Shields and was an Examining Officer of HM Customs – which is why they lived in the East End of London, usefully near to the docks. Robert and Annabella were a respectable couple in their early thirties living in a middle-class area – Beaumont Square was a garden square with a private communal garden in the centre – but they were perhaps not particularly well-to-do. The 1861 census shows that they shared No 56 with another couple and didn't employ a servant.
By the time of the census taken on 2 April 1871, their circumstances had changed and they were living at 13 Gloucester Terrace, Hackney in a neighbourhood of commercial clerks and ship brokers. Their little daughter was two years old, and living with them was a 19 year old general servant, a girl from Poplar. Perhaps Annabella needed the extra help because Robert was so very ill. Within three weeks the little family had moved to 13 Amhurst Road, West Hackney and it was there, on 23 April, that Robert Hall died aged 44 of oesophageal cancer. Annabella was left a widow at the age of 41, only months after the death of her mother in Newcastle. I think she must have received a widow's pension and that this was supplemented by an inheritance from her parents.
Annabel Dott's maternal grandparents
Annabella Hall's father was William Copland, born c1796 in Callaly near Alnwick, Northumberland. Evidently an enterprising man, he was a grocer & general provision dealer in the rapidly expanding industrial area of Ouseburn in Newcastle and had premises on the corner of Buxton Street and Melbourne Street. This was described in an advertisement of 1849, when it was to let, as a
Spacious and Commanding Shop, [to let] either with or without the Dwelling house above, containing Nine Rooms.
The entry in the National Probate Calendar describes him as a Shipowner (from which I deduce that at the time of making his Will he owned, or part owned, a vessel) and a Yeoman. Perhaps he may also have been the William Copland who, in the 1840s, had a business as a Wholesale chemist, druggist & drysalter (a dealer in salts, chemicals and dyes) at No. 20 Side, the mediaeval street that runs steeply down to Sandhill on the Newcastle Quayside. This man escaped with his life from a terrible fire in his premises in 1847 from which two of his men died of their injuries. I wonder if this was Annabella's father, looking to expand into another line of business – and, if so, I wonder if the fire had any part in the fact that when he witnessed his daughter's marriage in January 1856 he could only make his mark, instead of signing his name. He is described on the marriage certificate as a gentleman and had evidently retired from trade.
In his later years William Copland engaged in speculative housebuilding in the Ouseburn area. Copland Terrace was clearly built by him and he died there in 1859 in his house at 2 Copland Terrace, Shieldfield not far from where his grocery shop had been and not far from the Ouseburn Viaduct and the mills and factories that employed so many in the neighbourhood. Cotes Street, named after his sister-in-law's family, was evidently another of his ventures; a licensing application in the Newcastle Courant in 1866 shows that his widow Sarah was the owner of the Britannia Inn at 1 Cotes Street. I think these ventures must have been profitable because later censuses show that his widow and adult children were living on income from property.
[This 1888-1913 O.S. map showing Copland Terrace is reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland from their invaluable Map Images Website]
William's wife Sarah Brewis was born in Morpeth, Northumberland in about 1803, the daughter of Thomas Brewis. Her sister Margaret was married to John Cotes Esq (almost certainly a lawyer), son of the Rev Henry Cotes, vicar of Bedlington. William and Sarah must have been proud of this connection – and keen to maintain it, as they gave the middle name Cotes to two of their children. They spent time in Bedlington and can be found there in the 1841 census. In 1838 their six year old daughter Sarah died at The Retreat, Bedlington, the house of her aunt and uncle Cotes. I think this was probably the house that John Cotes' father had built, which was advertised for sale in 1838 as
A neat Freehold Residence, with coach-house, stable, and gardens, built by the late Rev Henry Cotes, of Bedlington, beautifully situated on the Banks of the River Blyth.
In 1844, a year after John Cotes' untimely death in 1843, William Copland was assisting his sister-in-law in managing her affairs – a notice in the Newcastle Journal required anyone interested in renting The Retreat to contact him.
Sarah Brewis remarried nine years after William Copland's death but she herself died two years later, in November 1870. Her gross personal estate (that is, not including land) is recorded in the National Probate Calendar index as falling into the tax band "under £3,000".
Sarah and William had seven children, two of whom died in infancy. Annabella was their second child – their eldest was Margaret, who married a builder called Thomas Russell Creigh, had a large family, and died in Hampstead in 1899. Annabella's brothers remained in Newcastle. William was initially a pawnbroker but after his parents' death described himself in the censuses as an "Owner of House Property"; he died at 48. The younger sons John Cotes and Henry were in business together as wholesale grocers; John Cotes died aged 37 and Henry aged 27. Mrs Annabella Hall and Mrs Margaret Creigh outlived their brothers by a good many years.