Hodgson lived an interesting life. He spent his youth at sea, opened a Physical Culture School, became a writer and then a soldier before dying in WWI in 1918. The following is a timeline of the important events and people in Hodgson’s life. Comments, suggestions and/or corrections are welcomed!
We begin with the birth of WHH’s father, Samuel.
1846 October 7 – Samuel Hodgson born to William and Ann Hodgson
1869 Samuel Hodgson matriculates from Lichfield Theological College in Lichfied, Staffordshire
1871 December 25 – Samuel Hodgson ordained as Deacon of Anglo-Catholic Church of England
1871-1873 Samuel Hodgson serves as Curate at South Darley, Derbyshire
1874 Samuel Hodgson ordained as Priest of the Anglican Church
Becomes Curate at St. James in Wednesbury, Staffordshire
1875 Samuel Hodgson moves to Pattiswick, Essex
Samuel Hodgson marries Lizzie Sarah Brown in Wednesbury
1876 Samuel sent to St. James Church in Greenstead Green, Essex
Samuel sent to Wethersfield, Essex
Samuel appointed Curate and Windsey Lecturer of Wethersfield Church
1877 November 15 – William Hope Hodgson born at St. Mary the Virgin, the Blackmore End District Church of the Parish of Wethersfield
1878-1879 Samuel becomes Curate at St. John’s Church in Middlesbrough, Yorkshire
1879-1882 At Skegby in Stanton Hall, Nottinghamshire
1885-1889 William Hope Hodgson attends school in Margate and visits during holidays
1886 Samuel Hodgson appointed as Curate at St. Andrew’s in Battersea, London
1887 Samuel Hodgson sent as missionary to Ardrahan, County Galway, Eire, Ireland
1890 Samuel Hodgson appointed as Curate to All Saints Church, Blackburn
Family moves into Frasier Villa at 42 Longshaw St.
William Hope Hodgson graduates from school
1891 August 28 – William Hope Hodgson runs away from home, again, and (with the help of his uncle, Reverend Thomas Lumsdon Brown) is apprenticed to Master W.W. Nelson of the firm of Shaw and Savill for four years as a seaman in the Merchant Marine
1892 May – Samuel and Lizzie Hodgson open Gospel and Salvation Mission in Blackburn
Samuel Hodgson develops cancer of the throat
November 11 – Samuel Hodgson dies at the age of 46.
1895 William Hope Hodgson qualifies as a seaman and then as an officer in the Merchant Marine
April – William Hope Hodgson’s older brother, Chad, joins the British Army against his mother’s wishes
1896 Nearly destitute, Lizzie Hodgson applies to the Clergy Orphan Corporation in London for free admission for her daughter Lissie to the Corporation school
1898 March 28 – William Hope Hodgson saves an overboard sailor in shark-infested water
1899 William Hope Hodgson receives a medal from the Royal Humane Society for the rescue
1900 William Hope Hodgson leaves the sea permanently
December 16 – William Hodgson, grandfather to William Hope, dies and leaves an inheritance to the family
1901 William Hope Hodgson opens his school of physical culture in Blackburn
August – Publishes “Dr. Thomas’s Vibration Method versus Sandow’s” in Sandow’s Magazine (This is his first published work anywhere.)
1902 August 30 – WHH rides down Brantfell Road (a steep road made of stairs)
October 24 – WHH and Harry Houdini face off at the Palace Theatre in Blackburn
1903 WHH closes his school by the end of the year
1904 Family moves to Borth near Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire. The house, called “Glaneifion”, was on High Street.
April – “The Goddess of Death”, WHH’s first published story appears in Royal Magazine
1906 April – “From the Tideless Sea” first published in Blue Book
1907 August 16, signs contract for BoGC
The Boats of the ‘Glen Carrig’ published by Chapman & Hall
August – “More News from the Homebird” (sequel to “From the Tideless Sea” first published in Blue Book)
November – “The Voice in the Night” first published in Blue Book Magazine
1908 The House on the Borderland published by Chapman & Hall
1909 The Ghost Pirates published by Stanley Paul & Co.
WHH meets Arthur St. John Adcock, editor of The Bookman, which was published by Stanley Paul & Co.
1910 WHH moves to London
1911 Lissie and her mother move to a house on the outskirts of Borth which they rename “Lisswood” in honor of Lissie.
1912 The Night Land published by Eveleigh Nash
1913 Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder published by Eveleigh Nash
February 26 – Marries Bessie G. Farnworth
March – WHH and Bessie move to Sanary, France
1914 Men of the Deep Waters published by Eveleigh Nash
August 4 – England declares war on Germany
The Hodgsons return to England. WHH joins the Officer Training Corps of the University of London while Bessie goes to Borth to stay with WHH’s sister and mother.
1915 July – WHH commissioned as Lieutenant in the 171st Battery of the Royal Field Artillery, part of the New Army Division.
WHH sent to Salisbury Plain for maneuvering of large field pieces and trains others in the handling of the horses used to pull the pieces
1916 The Luck of the Strong published by Eveleigh Nash
June – WHH thrown from a horse and suffers a broken jaw and a concussion. He is discharged from the Army and sent home to Borth to recover.
1917 Captain Gault: Being the Exceedingly Private Log of a Sea-Captain published by Eveleigh Nash
March – WHH (recovered) re-enlists and joins the 11th Brigade.
October – The 11th Brigade is stationed at Ypres
October 10th – WHH joins the 84th Battery which relieves a forward batter south of Rugby Dump.
1918 March 12 – 84th Brigade takes over positions at Brombeek
March 20 – 84th Brigade suffers heavy gas shelling and high velocity shelling at the Tourelle Crossroads
March 30 – 84th Brigade relieved by Belgian Artillery
April 2 – 84th Brigade marches to Ploegsteert area to relieve Australian Artillery and take position at Le Touquet Berthe
April 10 – Germans launch a large attack which briefly hospitalizes WHH
April 16 – 84th Battery withdraws and sets up a Forward Observation Post
April 17 – WHH volunteers for duty at the Forward Observation Post
April 18 – WHH and another N.C.O. take up the FOP.
April 19 – Last communication received by WHH; reported M.I.A. later that day when no further reports are received
April 19 – WHH and comrade suffer a direct hit from Mortar shell with what little remains can be found buried on the spot by French soldiers on the eastern slope of Mont Kemmel in Belgium.
Bessie returns to her family in Chesire
1920 The Calling of the Sea published by Selwyn & Blount
1921 The Voice of the Ocean published by Selwyn & Blount
1933 WHH’s mother dies at the age of 81 in Borth
1943 July 23 – Bessie dies and WHH’s literary estate passes to his sister, Lissie.
1946 The House on the Borderland and Other Novels published by Arkham House
1947 Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder published by Arkham House (expanded edition with 3 more stories)
1959 May – WHH’s sister, Lissie, dies in Borth