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Heinrich Wilhelm Michael BODEKER

Heinrich Wilhelm Michael BODEKER[1, 2, 3, 4]

Male 1816 - 1864  (48 years)

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  • Name Heinrich Wilhelm Michael BODEKER 
    Born 1816  Hamburg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    _UID 7883ABB5BA23D511B6E7DD3AFA2E9C35CB0C 
    Died 17 Aug 1864  20 Alfred Place, Newington Causeway (Elephant & Castle), Southwark, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Buried 30 Aug 1864  Brookwood Cemetery, Woking, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I1871  YoungFamily
    Last Modified 24 Jan 2022 

    Father Wilhelm BODEKER,   b. pre-1796,   d. pre-1850  (Age ~ 54 years) 
    _UID 057CABB5BA23D511B6E7DD3AFA2E9C355173 
    Family ID F502  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Emma (Sarah) HODGES,   c. 16 Jul 1826, Maidstone, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. June Qtr 1889, 2a, 455, Faversham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 30 Jun 1850  Maidstone, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    _UID 197AABB5BA23D511B6E7DD3AFA2E9C356395 
     1. Emma Sarah BODEKER,   b. 29 Aug 1851, Maidstone, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Heinrich Wilhelm ^ BODEKER,   b. 27 Sep 1854, St. Paul, Deptford, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Mar 1859, Deptford, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 4 years)
     3. Catherina Maria BODEKER,   b. 14 Nov 1857, St. Paul, Deptford, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Sept Qtr, 1897, 1a, 96, Kensington, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Alfred Heinrich BODEKER,   b. 5 Feb 1860, Deptford, St. Paul, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Aug 1920 (58 yrs, 5 mons), Durban, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. Wilhelm Albert BODEKER,   b. 20 Sep 1861, St. Paul, Deptford, Greenwich, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1949, Surrey South Eastern District, Surrey, England (5g, 841, aged 87) Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years)
     6. Charles Horatio BODEKER,   b. 23 Jul 1864, Faversham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 May 1949, Moat house, Uplees, Kent, England (Sittingbourne District, 5b, 675, aged 84) Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years)
    Last Modified 15 May 2022 
    Family ID F7  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Documents
    Bodeker Suicide
    Bodeker Suicide
    Newpaper report in the London Evening Standard 24 August 1864, p. 7 on the commencement of the inquest into the death of Heinrich Wilhelm Michael Bodeker.
    Bodeker Suicide Inquest Conclusion
    Bodeker Suicide Inquest Conclusion
    Conclusion of the inquest into the death of Heinrich "Henry" Wilhelm "William" Michael Bodeker as reported in the Kentish Chronicle 03 September 1864, p. 3, col. 5.
    Watches Reclaimed
    Watches Reclaimed
    Watches reclaimed as reported in the Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser 05 September 1864, p. 6, col. 6.
    Faversham Town Council Meeting, Wednesday Sept. 28, 1864
    Faversham Town Council Meeting, Wednesday Sept. 28, 1864
    A brief report as to the expense incurred by the Faversham Town Council in the apprehension of criminals as it relates to the Bodeker case. Reported in the East Kent Gazette 01 October 1864, p. 4, col. 5.

  • Notes 
    • Ruth Busbridge's grandfather was Charles Horatio Bodeker who was only 1 month old when Heinrich Wilhelm Michel Bodeker died so only knew what his mother told him..... The story goes that Heinrich Wilhelm Michel fled to England after he killed a man "accidently" in a duel. His father was a Count and a merchant and had links with Helgoland. Heinrich Wilhelm Michel had been to University, possibly in Hamburg, and could speak 4 languages. His English was perfect. Ruth has a letter which he wrote to his daughter. She also has some "bits" which she took from a very old Bible.
      Heinrich Wilhelm Michael Bodeker was buried at Brookwood Cemetery on 30 Aug 1864 - register number 28828 - died at 20 Alfred Place, St George Southwark - aged 48 - F Owston cemetery Anglican Priest officiated and he received a pauper class burial. The agreements with London parishes varied slightly but generally a pauper burial cost the parish about 15 shillings which included coffin transport to the Necropolis station in London, fare for the coffin and one mourner to Brookwood, burial as well as burial service in the cemetery.

      In an email received from Ruth Busbridge dated September 18, 2004, she states the following:
      "It would appear that HWM must have changed his name by what you found out from the 1861 cenus, they were still living there in 1863 as I have a receipt of money paid for the funeral of Sarah Hodges."

      Discussion on Rootschat regarding inquest report in newspapers can be found at:,280022.0.html

      Mr. H. Bodeker, watchmaker and jeweller, who had committed suicide by cynide of potassium. He had lately given way intemperance. The verdict was Suicide.
      Source: Monday 29 August 1864 , pp. 2-3, Sheffield Daily Telegraph, South Yorkshire, England

      This person on rootschat also says that HWM Bodeker was his 3xgreat-grandfather. I wonder who he or she is? Last activity on rootschat was 2012. This is now 2021. He descends through Charles Horatio. His daughter Eva was my great grand mother.

      Offline Madmaxi
      RootsChat Extra
      Posts: 13
      Census information Crown Copyright, from
      View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

      My Grandad
      « on: Sunday 17 June 12 01:56 BST (UK) »
      Morning everyone, I wonder if anyone could help me. I never got to meet my grandad due to him moving away when he divorced my nan.

      Ive found out that he was a POW in WW2. Find my past have the following details.

      Frederick Reginald Wooding, Private, The Wiltshire Regiment.
      Army number 5572396, Camp number 344, POW no. 21665,
      Camp Type Stalag, Camp location Lamsforf

      He was a POW between 1939 and 1945. What I can't find out is how, when and why he became a POW and when and where he was released.

      Ive tried the National Archives but with no joy.

      Am really hoping someone could please help me as I am stuck ???

  • Sources 
    1. [S58] 1861 Census, England, Office of National Statistics, General Register Office, Kew, Surrey, England, (U.S.A., Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah), LDS Film #0542629-30, St. Paul, St. James Hatcham, page 15, 7 Apr 1861.
      Schedule #105, 13 Walpole Road:
      Henry Saunders [sic], head, married, 45, watchmaker, born Hamburgh [sic], Germany;
      Emma Saunders, wife, married, 34, born Maidstone, Kent;
      Emma S. Saunders, daughter, 4 years, scholar, born Maidstone;
      Catherine M., daughter, 3 years, born Deptford;
      Heinrich A. Saunders, son, 1 year old, born Deptford;
      Sarah Hodges, mother, widow, 64, born Maidstone, occupation was written as "independent" but that was crossed through and superceded by "retired shopkeeper".
      This entry was extremely difficult to find. The entirety of Deptford was searched several times, without success. When all attempts had failed to produce an entry in the 1861 census for the Bodeker family, the certificates of birth of Alfred and one of his siblings was purchased. On the certificate of his sibling was the address 13 Walpole Road. Even then, when I first ventured to find the right entry, I found the Saunders family reference but did not take special notice of any of the other inhabitants. I noted that there were two families were living at that address but that neither was a Bodeker family. After searching all other Walpole addresses in Deptford I returned to this particular entry and it finally came to my awareness that Sarah Hodges, the mother, of Emma was living with this group. There are far too many similarities for this not to be the Bodeker family: Emma and Sarah's ages in comparison to the 1851 census, each of their birthplaces, the names of the children as shown on the 1871 through 1881 census returns.

      It is also interesting to note that this address re-appears later in the collective family's history: when Samuel Gregory and his wife take up residence at 13 Walpole Road in Deptford.

    2. [S132] Newspaper, Various, (Various), Kentish Chronicle, Saturday, 3 September 1864., 3 Sep 1864.


      On Friday afternoon Mr. Payne, the coroner for the City and Southwark, resumed an inquiry at St. George's Workhouse, Mint-street, in relation to the facts in connection with the death of Mr. Henry William Bodeker, aged forty-seven, a watchmake and jeweller, who had carried on business in Court-street, Faversham.

      The evidence upon the previous occasion went to show that the deceased suddenly left his place of business and came to London, where he took lodgings at Mr. Allcroft's, a coffee-house keeper, of Newington-causeway. On Thursday morning last, not coming down as usual, several persons went to his room door; but, notwithstanding repeated knocking, no answer was returned, and ultimately it was forced open. The deceased was then discovered lying on the floor and quite dead. Mr. Turner, surgeon, was called in, and a bottle which had contained cyanide of potassium was found in the room.

      From a post-mortem examination it was shown that death had resulted from the poison named. On the deceased's person was found several pawnbrokers' duplicates relative to watches and brooches pledged in different names at Faversham and other places. In consequence of communications sent by Mr. Cooke, the coroner's officer, letters were received from pawnbrokers and from the police at Faversham and Canterbury showing that he had made away with gold and silver watches and other property entrusted with him to repair. He had on an advertisement being inserted in the local newspapers and becoming aware that the police were after him, absconded.

      The wife of the deceased, who was on Friday examined, stated that he had been in difficulties for some time, and had no doubt he had made away with the property described. She believed that he had been brought to the position he was in by drink.

      The Coroner having summed up, the Jury returned a verdict, "That the deceased committed suicide whilst labouring under temporary insanity."

      The inquiry then terminated.

    3. [S132] Newspaper, Various, (Various), London Evening Standard 24 August 1864, p. 7, 24 Aug 1864.

      London Evening Standard 24 August 1864, p. 7

      An inquiry was yesterday held in the board room of St. George's workhouse, before Mr. Payne, the coroner for the City of London and Southwark, relative to the death of a man whose name was believed to be Bodeker, aged 48 years, which took place under the circumstances detailed in the subjoined evidence.

      Mr. George Aldcroft deposed that he kept a coffee house in Alfred Place, Newington. On Thursday week the deceased, whom he did not know, came to the house and was provided with a lodging. He then appeared in very good health, and stated that he had come from the country to London on business. On Wednesday night last he proceeded as usual to bed, but not making his appearance on the following morning, witness went up to his room to call him, when he found the door fastened, and not receiving any reply after repeated knockings the door was burst open. The deceased was then found lying on the floor in a senseless state. A surgeon was sent for, who pronounced life to be extinct.

      James Cox, a lodger in the house, corroborated the above testimony, and also stated that the deceased had told him he was a watchmaker, and had come from the country to take away his daughter, who was too fond of Spurgeon's religion. The deceased seemed perfectly well in health, and not in want of money.

      Police constable 294 M deposed that he searched the deceased, and found three duplicates relative to watches, brooches, etc., pawned in different names in the country and London.

      Mr. William Turner, surgeon, of Alfred Place, stated that he was called in to see the deceased and found him as described. He had evidently been dead some time, and on searching the room he found a bottle which had contained cyanide of potassium. The bottle was on the shelf with a cork in it, but the deceased could have placed it there after taking the contents, and then fallen where he was found, but he did not appear to have struggled much. He (witness) had made a post mortem examination, and from that he ascertained that death had resulted from the cyanide of potassium which he had taken.

      After some further evidence the inquiry was adjourned, when the following additional facts were ascertained by Mr. Cooke, the coroner's officer. In reply to communications sent to Faversham, Sittingbourne, and Canterbury, places to which the duplicates found upon the deceased related, it was ascertained that the deceased was Mr. Henry Bodeker, a watchmaker and jeweller carrying on business in Court Street, Faversham. Mr. C. White, the head constable of Canterbury, arrived in town and at once identified the body, and stated that the deceased had absconded after pawning watches and other articles left with him to be repaired; and that he had left behind a wife and five children, the former just in her confinement.

      Letters were also received from two pawnbrokers in Faversham and Sittingbourne relative to some of the property pledged, and stating that in consenquence of the robberies the police had been communicated with, and were in search of the deceased.

    4. [S132] Newspaper, Various, (Various), Morning Advertiser 27 August 1864, p. 3, 27 Aug 1864.

      Morning Advertiser 27 August 1864, p. 3


      Last evening Mr. W. J. Payne, the deputy coroner, resumed at the St. George's Workhouse, Mint-street, Southwark, an inquiry respecting the death by suicide of Mr. Henry William Michael Bodeker, aged 46 years.

      The deceased was a watchmaker and jeweller, carrying on business in two shops in Count Street, Faversham. Several articles of jewellery were entrusted to him for repairs by customers, which he pledged or sold. The assistance of the police was then called in, and the deceased absconded. On Thursday week he took a room at Aldcroft's coffee house, in Alfred Place, Newington Causeway. On Wednesday week, he was found dying in the room. A wine bottle containing cyanide of potassium was found on a shelf near him.

      Mr. Turner, surgeon, stated that the deceased died from the effects of that poison.

      Mrs. Emma Bodeker, widow of the deceased, said he used to walk through the street looking down upon the ground, with his hands pressed upon his head. The people used to say, "How strange that man looks." He was advertised for, and that seemed to have a great effect upon him. He ran down to the river, and witness had to send a girl after him. Witness then removed a bottle of cyanide of potassium which he was in the habit of carrying about him.

      Verdict - "Suicide whilst in a state of temporary insanity."

    5. [S11] Certified copy of an entry of Death, (England, Kew: General Register Office), Death Certificate #DYA386389, 29th August 1864.
      Registration District of Saint George Southwark
      1864 Death in the Sub-district of London Road, in the County of Surrey
      No. 896
      When and where died: 1864, August 16th at No. 20 Alfred Place, Newington Causeway
      Name and surname: Henry William Michael Boddeker
      Sex: male
      Age: 47 years
      Occupation: watchmaker
      Cause of death: Suicide by taking hydocyanic acid found dead p.m.
      Signature of Information: Information received from William Payne Coroner for London and Southwark, inquest held 20th and 26 August 1864
      When registered: twentyninth August 1864
      The address given on this certificate is immediately next to Elephant and Castle, in Newington, Surrey. Original in possession of Susan D. Young issued 13th July 2004.

    6. [S122] Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage, (England, Kew: General Register Office), Certificate #MB434713, 30 Jun 1850.
      In the parish of Bearsted at the parish church, after banns: Henry William Michael Bodeker, of full age, bachelor, watchmaker, usual residence being at Bearsted, father William Bodeker, merchant deceased with Emma Hodges, of full age, spinster, no occupation, usual residence at Bearsted, father George Hodges a farmer. Witnesses were Richard Hills and Mary Pope. Vicar was F. St. Leger Baldwin.