Jonas Brook (1775-1836)

Jonas Brook was a founding partner of Jonas Brook and Brothers of Meltham Mills.


He was born in 1775[1], the son of William Brook and his wife Martha (née Smith) of Thickhollins Bank, and was baptised on 23 July 1775 at All Hallows, Almondbury.

His siblings included Joseph Brook (1787-1858) and Charles Brook (1792-1869).

He married Hannah Wilson, daughter of banker B. Wilson of Mirfield, on 10 January 1820[2] at St. Mary, Mirfield. They had six known children:[3]

  • William Wilson Brook (1821-1836)[4]
  • Mary Brook (1824-1911)[5]
  • Edward Brook (1825-1904)
  • Martha Brook (1827-1900)[6]
  • Henry Brook (1828-1895)[7]
  • Elizabeth Ann Brook (1830-1904)[8]

Jonas Brook died on 14 January 1836, aged 60, and was buried on 20 January at St. Bartholomew, Meltham.

Following his death, a number of plots of land were auctioned on 3 June 1836 by the trustees of his Will:[9]

Lot 1. All that CLOSE or PARCEL of rich Grass LAND, called The Little Birmingham Close, situate in Meltham aforesaid, and adjoining upon the Wearley Moor and Deerhill Bents Road, and the Occupation Road, containing One Acre (more or less) and now in the Possession of the said Trustees.

Lot 2. All that other CLOSE of rich Grass LAND, adjoining the last mentioned Roads, and the Road leading from Meltham to Holthead and Marsden, and called The Birmingham Close, containing 3 acres 2 roods 16 perches (more or less) and now in the Possession of the said Trustees.

Lot 3. All that PLOT or PARCEL of LAND (now planted with inriving Timber of several Years growth,) situate at or near Burr, in Meltham aforesaid, and near the Old Turnpike Road leading from Huddersfield to Manchester, and containing 3 acres 3 roods 24 perches (more or less.) This Lot contains a Bed of excellent BUILDING STONE, which can be got at a very easy Expense.

Lot 4. All those THREE CLOSES of excellent LAND, lying with a Ring Fence, situate and called Laggards, in Meltham aforesaid, adjoining upon the Green Slack Road, and containing together 6 acres 18 perches (more or less,) also in the Possession of the said Trustees.

Lot 5. All that newly-erected Stone-built COTTAGE, with a spacious and substantially built Barn, Stables, Mistals, and Feeding Sheds, Cart Houses, Piggery, and other convenient Outbuildings, situate at and called "Wilshaw," in Meltham aforesaid ; and also all those NINE several CLOSES or PARCELS of excellent LAND or GROUND adjoining thereto, being partly in Meltham and partly in Netherthong, and containing together 24 acres 2 roods 17 perches (more or less) and now in the Possession of the said Trustees.

This is a most desirable Property, adjoining the Roads leading from Meltham and Meltham Mills to Netherthong, Upperthong, and Holmfirth, in a high State of Cultivation, well Watered and Fenced, and the Buildings of very superior description.

Lot 6. All those THREE several CLOSES or PARCELS of valuable LAND, situate at or near Snape, in Meltham aforesaid, and adjoining the Meltham and Austonley Road, and the Estates of J. G. Armitage, Esq. and Messrs. Eastwood, containing 13 acres 3 perches (more or less) also in the Possession of the said Trustees.

Lot 7. All that Valuable and Thriving PLANTATION (of several Years growth,) in Meltham aforesaid, and adjoining the Harding Mill Road, the Township of Austonley, and Messrs. Eastwood's Estate, and containing 16 acres 2 roods 24 perches (more or less.)

Lot 8. All those several PARCELS of LAND or PLANTATIONS, situate, lying, and being within the Townships of Meltham and Austonley aforesaid, and adjoining the Shepley Land Head and Greenfield Turnpike Road ; and also the Road leading therefrom to Royd and Meltham, and upon the Estates of J. G. Armitage, Esq and Mr John Harpin, and containing by Admeasurement 18 acres 2 roods 26 perches (more or less.)

The Whole of the above Lots are of Freehold Tenure, remarkably well Fenced and Watered ; the Farming Land in a very high State of Cultivation, being contiguous to several Manufacturing Villages, adjoin upon good Roads, and near excellent Stone for Building purposes. The Buildings upon Lot 5 are well arranged, have a constant supply of Water, are in all respects well calculated for a Manufacturer, being situate about One Mile from the rapidly improving Town of Meltham, Two from Holmfirth, and Six for the Market Town of Huddersfield, and are near to several Fulling and Scribbling Mills and Public Dyehouses.

His widow, Hannah Brook, died in June 1868, aged 71, and was buried on 25 June at St. James, Meltham Mills.

Notes and References

  1. Some sources state 14 June 1775.
  2. Source: parish records and contemporary newspapers. Other sources give the marriage as taking place on 10 January 1819 (a mistranscription of the parish records by or 8 January 1820.
  3. Several family trees on also list a daughter Sally Brook (1820-1853) but no historical records were found to confirm her.
  4. Born on 20 July 1821 and baptised 12 August 1821 at St. Bartholomew, Meltham. Died 21 October 1836, aged 15, "after a short illness" and buried on 24 October at St. Bartholomew.
  5. Born on 9 May 1824 and baptised 31 May 1824 at St. Bartholomew, Meltham. Married John Hartop (1816–1902) on 4 September 1862 in Mirfield. The couple did not have any children. She died aged 87 on 28 November 1911 at Alga House, Scarborough, and was buried in the Hartop family vault in Barnburgh, Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
  6. Born on 11 March 1827 and baptised 10 April 1827 at St. Bartholomew, Meltham. Died 7 March 1900 in Southport, Lancashire. Probate listed effects worth £32,673.
  7. Born on 10 August 1828 and baptised 20 August 1828 at St. Bartholomew, Meltham. Did not marry. Died 11 December 1895 in Brandon, Norfolk.
  8. Born 11 March 1830 and baptised 26 November 1830 at St. Bartholomew, Meltham. Did not marry. Died 19 May 1904 at Barnburgh Hall, Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Probate listed effects worth £76,547.
  9. Leeds Intelligencer (14/May/1836). One of the named trustees was Jonas' brother Charles Brook (1792-1869).