Web site logo c. 123-mcc.com

 Angus and Rosemary's Miscellany

  of Malvern - Local History

History menu >

Biography of Julia Marten Duplock (schoolmistress)


Miss Julia Duplock worked for Miss Caroline Cooper who was the first Principal of a first class private School for Ladies established in Great Malvern during the early years of the Victorian water cure.

Caroline had started her Ladies' School at an imposing house named Elmsdale in Abbey Road, Great Malvern, about 1857, briefly moving to Hollymount above the Promenade next to Brays on the Worcester Road in the late 1860s, and then about 1870 to a large house named Malvernbury, in Abbey Road, which was just two doors south of Elmsdale.

Elmsdale House

Photo above: Elmsdale house built about 1853

In 1861 Caroline Cooper was assisted at her school by the Duplock sisters, Matilda and Julia who were recorded as teachers, and Eliza the youngest, aged 18 years, recorded as a pupil. As far as we know Julia and Matilda had no formal training as teachers, but came from a large middle class family. Their father Gideon first had a stationery business and later was a bookseller; thus the girls were probably exposed to the world of learning at an early age.

The photo below shows the architecture of the rear of Elmsdale House. The ground floor is mostly hidden behind shrubbery. In 1861 there would have been sweeping grounds below Elmsdale leading down to Doctor James Loftus Marsden's water cure Bath House now named Royd's Lodge in College Road.

East side of Elmsdale

In 1864 Eliza Duplock, the youngest of the three sisters, married clergyman Jesse Gillett, vicar of Aldeby in Norfolk. The couple had ten children and she died in 1908.

By 1871 the school had moved to a larger house having five floors named 'The Bury' later known as 'Malvernbury' in Abbey Road. On census night schoolmistress Julia Marten Duplock was in charge, as the Principal, Caroline Cooper, was in Bath. Also listed were five governesses, one of whom Sarah H P Cooper aged 21 years was described as a niece - she was in fact Sarah Harriet Phillips Cooper (1849 - 1939), the daughter of Caroline Cooper's brother Basil Henry Cooper junior, an author and Methodist Minister.

By this time, Julia's eldest sister Matilda was back home, probably helping to look after the two children of her widowed sister Sarah. In 1874 at Lambeth Matilda married John Henry Pratt, a farmer of 250 acres. The couple had four children and she died at Banbury in 1918.

The history of Lawnside School (ref 1) suggests Sarah Harriet Phillips Cooper and Julia Duplock continued to run the Ladies' School for a short while after Caroline Cooper's early death at Malvernbury on 15th January 1873.

Julia Marten Duplock died aged only 42 years at Petersfield in Hampshire on 7th February 1875. The Times of February 10th 1875 carried the announcement of her death:

On the 7th inst at Petersfield, Julia Marten Duplock late of Malvernbury, Great Malvern, and third daughter of Gideon Duplock of Petersfield, aged 42.

Whether Julia was still associated with the school or had retired through ill health to live with her father, a bookseller, we don't know.

A year later on October 25th 1876 The Times reported the death of Julia's aunt Kezia:

On 23 inst at the house of her brother at Petersfield, Kezia Duplock the beloved and only surviving sister of Gideon Duplock aged 68 years.

The fact Gideon Duplock placed these announcements in the deaths' column of The Times suggests he had some social standing.

The Ladies' School at Malvernbury was bought by a Miss Janet Leighton, who moved the school first to a house named Oak Hill and then to Lawnside, both in Albert Road.


Julia Duplock was the daughter of bookseller Gideon Duplock (1802 - 1878)and Mary Marten (1808 - 1899).

Gideon and Mary had at least nine children,

Emily Marten Duplock (1828 - 1891)

Maria Marten Duplock (1830 - 1881)

Julia Marten Duplock (1832 - 1875)

Edwin Marten Duplock (1835 - 1879)

Matilda Marten Duplock (1836 - 1918)

Sarah Marten Duplock (1839 - 1908)

Frederick Marten Duplock (1842 - 1909)

Eliza Marten Duplock (1843 - 1908)

Mary Marten Duplock (1847 - 1859)

In 1851 eldest daughter Emily aged 22 years was living in High Street, Godalming with her sisters Julia and Matilda. They may have had a small shop selling needlework, as they are described as dealers in Berlin Wool Work which was fashionable at the time. How Julia, Matilda and Eliza came to work for Caroline Cooper in Great Malvern is a mystery, but perhaps their father saw an advertisement in a newspaper for governesses.

Here is a little more about some of the children not already mentioned.

Emily the eldest lived with her parents, did not marry and took over the family business.

Maria also worked in the family bookselling business dying in 1881 aged only 51 years.

Julia's brother Edwin married and had at least four children. The 1871 census records him as a clerk to the Ministry of Works.

Julia's youngest brother Frederick married widow Marian Beckett, gaining two step children. The London Gazette of 1896 recorded his appointment as a staff clerk to the Transport Department of the Admiralty.

Sarah married accountant Harry Woledge by whom she had two children, but he died in 1869 leaving her a young widow.

In the 1871 census Julia's mother was recorded as suffering from paralysis. Nevertheless she survived her husband by twenty one years and she died in London in 1899. So far we have not found her in the 1881 and 1891 census.

So it seems all the surviving children found occupations and most married. Julia seems to have found her niche helping to run a 'first class' school, but sadly she died mid career aged only 42 years.


  1. Lawnside, the history of a Malvern school, compiled by Mary Dixey and Duseline Stewart, Lawnside Old Girls' Association, Malvern 1996
  2. Census of England and Wales
  3. Index of Births Marriages and Deaths
  4. National Probate Calendar
  5. Wikipedia

The Malvern Hills logo

Back to top

If you would like to either suggest changes or offer additonal material for this page please email the webmaster