Frederick Jukes

Bordesley HallFrederick Jukes was the ninth child of John Jukes, a merchant, and Elizabeth Mansfield. His birth, on 21 June 1796 was recorded in the non-conformist and non-parochial birth records.

John and Elizabeth lived at Bordesley House which was a substantial dwelling built by his grandfather Joseph. At the time of Frederick’s birth, it is debatable whether Bordesley House was still the family home.  

In the Priestley riots of July 1791, the houses of non-conformists were targeted. Some accounts say that Bordesley House was looted and destroyed but, in 1839, when Elizabeth died, her obituary referred to the wife of John Jukes of Bordesley House. Family history records suggest that Frederick’s father removed his furniture and left ale for the rioters who had also appreciated his work as a Guardian of the Poor.

Frederick qualified as a surgeon and in 1820, when his brother Alfred resigned from his post at the General Hospital in Birmingham, he became surgeon and apothecary for the hospital. At the time Birmingham General Hospital on Summer Lane was the only such hospital in the city and was voluntarily funded. In 1818 they had treated 1,167 in patients and 2,541 out-patients so this was a demanding post. Frederick left the General Hospital after nine years and continued in private practice from his premises in Cherry Street.

Outside his medical career Frederick was a keen paleontologist. He had articles and letters published in geological journals, found a trilobite fossil near Great Barr and wrote an article on “Diluvial Gravel in Birmingham”. He never married and, when he died in 1857 at the age of 61, left a variety of bequests to his sisters, nieces and nephews.

Lindsay W