The Jippi-Jappa Hat Merchant and His Family:

A Jamaican Family in Britain



Migration, and its impact on existing communities and on the incomers themselves, is today the subject of great interest and speculation.

These stories of one branch of the Henriques family in Britain offer an unusual and important insight into immigrant childhood, family and professional life in the 20th century.

In 1919 Cyril Charles Henriques, with a background including French, Portuguese, Haitian and Jewish elements, was a successful merchant in Kingston, Jamaica, exporting produce including ‘jippijappa’ hats. As soon as the Great War ended, he brought his family to live in Britain to ensure his six children received a good education.

This well-illustrated book, researched and written by his descendants, vividly illuminates Cyril Henriques’ own life and the lives of his children. Several of them became prominent in their chosen professions: Carryl, doctor and inventor of the phonostethograph; Cyril George, President of the Court of Appeal in Jamaica; Pauline Crabbe/Henriques, the first black woman magistrate in Britain; and Fernando, an eminent academic at Leeds and Sussex universities, and writer on class and on multiracial studies.

Forty years before the first major wave of West Indian immigration to the UK, the family’s experiences of life in England, of the children’s education, their enthusiasms, careers and their intellectual and political commitments, are based on their diaries, their conversations with their children, and other writings.

  • Much more than a rich family memoir, this book makes an important and lasting contribution to understanding the history and development of the multi-racial and multi-cultural societies of today.


The BeginningAnna Aleong
Carryl Henriques, 1904–1952Miranda Aldhouse-Green
Gilda Henriques, 1905–2005
Part 1 Gilda’s StoryGilda Stewart
Part 2 GildaHelen Holland
Part 3 Gilda, An AfterwordMichael Oatley
Cyril Henriques, 1908–1982Claudette Gentle
Eunice Henriques, 1909–1995Miranda Aldhouse-Green
Pauline Henriques, 1914–1998
Part 1 My Mother, PaulGail Critchlow
Part 2 ‘Cutting the Apron Strings’Pauline Crabbe
Part 3 Memories of my MotherBiff Crabbe
Fernando Henriques, 1916-1976
Part 1 Personal StatementFernando Henriques
Part 2 Fernando’s FootstepsJulian Henriques

xviii +236 pages, with 70 photographs, maps and tables
ISBN: 978-0-9927152-0-5. Paperback. Horsgate Books
Publication: 2014
Prices: £25.00