People from Stoke-on-Trent

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Hubert Noel Marks

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Hubert Noel Marks b.1849 - d.1912


Hubert N. Marks at his Builders' Merchant in Copeland Street, Stoke - c.1900
Hubert N. Marks at his Builders' Merchant in Copeland Street, Stoke - c.1900

owners of the business: Hubert N. Marks (founder), then his son Edwin Marks, followed by his son Edwin Brian Marks 



Born 02 Dec 1849 Tunbridge Wells, Kent, his parents were Edwin Marks and Maria Alleway. He had six brothers and three sisters. His father was a librarian and schoolmaster and they lived in Bethnall Green, Middlesex until around 1855-60 when the family moved to Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire.

His father took up a position as a clerk in a local iron works.

From 1875 Hubert was a potter's manager and then in 1877 he set up his builder's merchant or agent's business, as it was called, in Copeland Street, Stoke. It ran on under his name, changing only to "H N Marks & Son", for nearly one hundred years. The business was sold by his grandson, E Brian Marks, to a national chain when the latter retired in the 1970's.

Hubert Marks was also a member of the firm of Messrs. Marks and Greatbatch, Livery and Bait Stables, Wolfe Street, Stoke-on-Trent. 

In 1875 Hubert married Sarah Ann Holloway in the Old Church, Hanley. They had two children: Edwin Marks (the 'Son' of HN Marks & Son) and Isis Zenobia Marks

He was a Town Councillor for seven years for Stoke Borough.


He moved around quite a bit and his potteries residences are recorded as:

  • 1871     49, Lichfield Street, Hanley

  • 1875    5, Grafton Street, Shelton

  • 1876     13 Laurence Street, Shelton

  • 1878     70 Seaford Street, Shelton

  • 1881     5 Glebe Street, Stoke

  • 1901     88 London Road, Stoke


Hubert Noel Marks died 30 Jan 1912 with an estate valued at £6,310



information supplied by: Martin Marks OBE, (great grandson of Hubert Noel Marks)


Martin Marks recalls...

I can remember playing in the yard and particularly climbing up the wooden stairs to a storage loft full of mainly chimney pots. 

The stables were still there but used as storage spaces. One stable contained an old Hispano-Suiza car, later scrapped!! I learnt to drive a car (slowly!) around the yard before I was road legal and  used to earn pocket money delivering building materials as a driver’s mate and later promoted to lorry driver.

My father sold off the business in the 1970’s to a national builders’ merchants chain but I believe that the development of roads through Stoke took out the site? 

It was on the south west side of Copeland Street, between the A52/Leek Road and Leas Street. Approaching from Leek Road there was Stoke police station on the left near the corner, a hump bridge (branch to a canal wharf?), about two or three other sites and then H. N. Marks and Son. 

On the opposite side of the road was a motor spares specialist (Amco, Amoco or similar?). This would be circa 1950-70. At the far end of the site it was bordered by a dirty stream, called I think The Brook. It ran in a wide, deep concrete gulley and we were always warned to keep away from it.



Related pages

William Heath - gold prospector

William Heath’s sister, Annie Heath, was married to Hubert Noel Marks’ son, Edwin, the "Son" in H N Marks & Son

External Links..

Hubert's cousin was Henry Stacy Marks, later RA, the renowned bird painter and artist whose friezes can be seen around the outside of the Albert Hall: