Eliza Ann Breakspear was born in 1811 in Chipping Norton, the daughter of John Breakspear and Emma (nee) Salmon. Her father seemed to have moved around as her younger sister Emma was born in 1813 in Brill in Buckinghamshire and older siblings appear to have been born in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire. This could be because John Breakspear was a licensee of different pubs - we know that he was brought up in the Blue Boar in Chipping Norton.

On 20 May 1830 at the age of 19 she married Walter Showell, in Harborne Staffordshire. He was a licensed victualler, according to his surviving son's marriage certificate. But this was a tragic and short marriage. Her first son William Henry Showell died at nine months and her husband died in 1835 leaving her with her second son Walter who was born in 1832.

Eliza Ann Showell remarried Thomas Francis, an engraver and printer, on 10 Jan 1840 in Aston. He was a widower and already had four children. It would appear that Walter did not join the new family and was brought up by his Aunt Mary Ann Hands Later Walter certainly seems to have more family connections with the Hands family than he ever did with his step brothers and sisters in the Francis family. This estrangement from her son would most likely have been at the behest of the Showell family or possibly of Thomas Francis himself. Matters could not have got any better for Eliza as again her first born in her new marriage, William Breakspear Francis died before his first birthday and she appears to have had no more children of her own. She is not recorded as living with her husband in the 1851 census.

By the 1871 census Eliza Ann Francis is shown living with her sister Emma Kirby, both widows. Emma's husband, Thomas Collins Kirby, was a Spirit dealer and this provides further circumstantial evidence that Eliza and Emma's father had some connection with the drinks trade. Another sister Jane Davis was married to a 'Retail Brewer'. Eliza's only surviving son Walter Showell, went on to become a major brewer in Birmingham in the 1880's. All this makes it interesting to speculate that the Breakspears in Chipping Norton are quite closely connected with the nearby Breakspear dynasty of brewers in Henley. The parents of the founder of the brewery Robert Brakspear (1750-1812) were indeed married in Chipping Norton in 1748. But this is close as it gets as Breakspear is a strong regional name to the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire. Its roots connect back to the family of the only English pope Nicholas Breakspear (1100-1159) - Adrian IV


Family of Walter SHOWELL and Eliza Ann BREAKSPEAR

See also
Walter SHOWELL's parents: Joseph SHOWELL (b.1769?, bur.1835) and Sarah CADE (bap.1768, bur.1832)
Walter SHOWELL's siblings: Thomas SHOWELL (bap.1792, d.1857?),Mary Ann SHOWELL (bap.1794, d.1859?), Isaac SHOWELL (bap.1796, d.bef1805), Charles SHOWELL (bap.1798, d.1798?) and Eliza SHOWELL (bap.1805)
Eliza BREAKSPEAR's other family: with Thomas FRANCIS (1793-bef1861)
Eliza BREAKSPEAR's parents: John BREAKSPEAR (1777-bef1851) and Emma SALMON (1775-1861)
Eliza BREAKSPEAR's siblings: Ann BREAKSPEAR (b.1803, bur.1807), Jane BREAKSPEAR (1804- ), John BREAKSPEAR (1807- ) and Emma Dudley BREAKSPEAR (b.1813, bur.1892)
Husband: Walter SHOWELL (bap.1803, bur.1835)
Wife: Eliza Ann BREAKSPEAR (bap.1811, d.1875)
Children: William Henry SHOWELL (1831-1831)
  Walter SHOWELL (1832-1901)
Marriage 20 May 1830 Harborne, Staffordshire

Husband: Walter SHOWELL

Name: Walter SHOWELL
Sex: Male
Father: Joseph SHOWELL (b.1769?, bur.1835)
Mother: Sarah CADE (bap.1768, bur.1832)
Baptism 28 Mar 1803 St Martin's Birmingham
Occupation (1) btw 1820 and 1830 Victualler; (as per Walter Showell's marriage certificate 1854)
Occupation (2) 1830 Victualler of Price Street Birmingham
Burial 4 Dec 1835 St Pauls, Birmingham

Wife: Eliza Ann BREAKSPEAR

Name: Eliza Ann BREAKSPEAR 1
Sex: Female
Father: John BREAKSPEAR (1777-bef1851)
Mother: Emma SALMON (1775-1861)
Baptism 24 Aug 1811 Chipping Norton
Death Jul 1875 Aston

Child 1: William Henry SHOWELL

Name: William Henry SHOWELL
Sex: Male
Birth 9 Mar 1831 Birmingham
Baptism 7 Apr 1831 (age 0) St Martin's Birmingham
Death 1831 (age 0) Birmingham

Child 2: Walter SHOWELL

Name: Walter SHOWELL
Sex: Male
Spouse: Sarah Cheshire HARTILL (bap.1835, d.1910)
Birth 26 Sep 1832 Birmingham, Warwickshire
Baptism 25 Oct 1832 (age 0) Saint Martin's Birmingham
Residence (1) 1841 (age 8-9) Birmingham with Mary Ann Hands (an orphan?)
Occupation (1) btw 1851 and 1854 (age 18-22) Chemist's Apprentice
Occupation (2) 1861 (age 28-29) Ale and Porter Merchant
Occupation (3) btw 1871 and 1881 (age 38-49) Brewer (Cross Wells Brewery, Oldbury)
Residence (2) 1881 (age 48-49) 104 Hagley Road, Edgbaston
Politics 1885 (age 52-53) Conservative Candidate for Bordesley Division of Birmingham
Residence (3) 1887 (age 54-55) The Dorridge, Knowle, Warwickshire
Residence (4) 1890 (age 57-58) Bell Hall, Belbroghton
Residence (5) 1901 (age 68-69) Stourton Hall, Stourton, Staffs
Death 31 Jul 1901 (age 68) Stourton Hall, Kinver, Staffs
Will 3 Jan 1902 (age 69) Bequeathed £2000 to St James Church, Round Green