William Jupe, the master-builder responsible for many of the houses in Southampton, was born in 1859 in the village of Curbridge. William appears to have left school by the age of twelve to become, like his father, an agricultural labourer. By 1881 he was living in Southampton and was described in the census of that year as a bricklayer. In 1883 he married Emily Harvey whose father William owned a building business. Jupe subsequently became a foreman in the firm. In the 1880s Jupe and his family (the couple had four daughters) lived at North Road, St Denys. By 1898 they had moved to a large house, Fernlea, in Station Road (now MacNaughten Road), Bitterne Park, and by 1903 to Ecclesbourne, a five-bedroomed house on Cobbett Road. By now William had started his own construction firm and was building houses, mainly in the Bitterne Park and St Denys areas. In 1905 he won the contract to build Bitterne Park Congregational Church in Cobden Avenue, and in 1911 the contract to build Bitterne Park Baptist Church in Wellington Road. The firm continued to build houses across Southampton, including many in Cobbett Road (image below).
After the start of World War Two, William moved to Brockenhurst to escape the Blitz. He died there in 1943 and was buried in the churchyard of St Saviours Church in Bitterne.
‘William Jupe, Master Builder (1859-1943)’, by Christine Clearkin, in Southampton Local History Forum Journal, no13, Spring 2008, p28-38. (HS/h)
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