Marshall Hooper

Marshall Hooper (1840-1913)

Hooper was born in Kent, son of a market labourer who had worked his way up to being a grocer. By 1861, he was still living at home but was described as a surgeon’s assistant : presumably he had some experience helping a local surgeon. His qualifications indicate he studied in Edinburgh, qualifying in 1867 at the age of 27.  He married Mary Ann Colman in 1868 in Hampshire.

In 1868 he arrived in Ripley, as surgeon to the Butterley Company collieries, probably his first permanent job as a qualified doctor. His first child, Olive, was born in Ripley in 1871.  Later, he appears in practice in his own right, or with James Hall as his partner, in Nottingham Road. Initially, the family lived in Havelock Street, but later they had various houses in the town, finally settling in Beech House in Shirley Road.

Beech House, much later

His wife died in 1874, and in 1875 he remarried, at the Wesleyan Chapel, to Elizabeth, the daughter of local manufacturer, G C Ogle.  They had two children, Marshall, born in 1876 and Ann Elizabeth, born in 1877. Olive became a Doctor of Music, and Marshall and Ann Elizabeth both went on to study medicine. His son was also given a medal in 1895 for rescuing someone from drowning in the Codnor Park reservoir. He later qualified as a doctor himself and worked for many years in Cartmel in the Lake District.

In April 1882, Marshall senior was elected to the Ripley Local Board, topping the poll with 764 votes, followed by William Jessop with 613, Fitzherbert Wright with 506 and Jethro Booth with 441. He was the chairman from 1882 to 1894 and was described as “deservedly popular”. He was also a magistrate.

In February 1889, he stood for the new Derbyshire County Council in the Ripley division, saying that he wished “to promote the interests of the working classes”.

He was not elected, Leslie Wright gaining twice as many votes.

In November 1890 he was reported as being involved in a traffic accident with his wife:

In January 1895, he chaired the last meeting of the Ripley Local Board, and then a few days later was elected chair of the new Ripley Urban District Council, proposed by Mr Bembridge and seconded by Leslie Wright. He remained chairman from then on until 1907 when he retired as chair, being replaced by Ernest Ellis-Fermor. In 1910, having had some disagreements with the Council, he retired.

It is interesting that he refused to take an oath to become a magistrate, affirming instead, presumably because of his non-conformist beliefs: he was a quaker.

In 1910 he retired from practice, handing over to his partner James Hall. In 1913 he went to visit his sister in Worthing and died there suddenly on 7th September at the age of 74. He left £6081 (the equivalent of £350,000 today) to his wife.