Joseph Brook (1787-1858)


He was born on 7 December 1787 at Thickhollins Hall, Meltham, the son of William Brook and his wife Martha (née Smith), and was baptised 3 January 1788.

His siblings included Jonas Brook (1775-1836) and Charles Brook (1792-1869).

He was a partner in both William Brook and Sons and Jonas Brook and Brothers, and spent his early years representing the former company in London with his elder brother William. He later became a partner in wool importers Riley, Brook and Co. of Huddersfield.

He married Harriet Smythe. They had nine children:

  • Richard Brook (1811-1874)[1]
  • George Henry Brook (1813-1882)[2]
  • Harriet Brook (1815-1886)[3]
  • Joseph Brook (1817-1859?)[4]
  • Charles William Brook (1819-1896)[5]
  • Frederick Smith Brook (1821-1859?)[6]
  • John Brook (1823-1884?)[7]
  • Emmeline Brook (1827-1845)[8]
  • Edwin Brook (1828-?)[9]

He was a founding partner and later a director of the Huddersfield Banking Company.

He was selected Chairman of the Improvement Commissioners a total of eight times, and was instrumental in the building of the Model Lodging House on Chapel Hill and Edgerton Cemetery.

Illness and Death

Joseph Brook died at 7:40am on Friday 16 July 1858, aged 72. He had been taken ill whilst in London the week before and returned to Huddersfield where his health deteriorated.

In their obituary article, the Huddersfield Chronicle noted, "there was no public undertaking as to which his advice was not asked — and no instance where that advice was cheerfully given."

Following his death, the Constable of Huddersfield, Joseph Shaw, issued the following circular to "the principal inhabitants of the district":

The lamented death of Joseph Brook, Esq., J.P., imposes upon the inhabitants of Huddersfield a mournful but an imperative duty, to honour — so far as their presence can confer honour — the transmission to the grave the remains of one whose life has been devoted to the promotion of the public interests of the district.

With a view to the due performance of this mournful duty, I take the liberty of inviting your attendance at a meeting of gentlemen, to be held at the Guildhall, to-morrow morning (Saturday), at ten o'clock precisely.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Joseph Shaw, Constable.
St. George's Square, July 16, 1858.

Further Reading


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Notes and References

  1. Born 14 July 1811 and baptised 8 November 1811 at Huddersfield Parish Church. Married 1835 to Clara Sophie Wagener (1815-1848) of Berlin, Germany. Lived in Berlin and died there 29 May 1874.
  2. Baptised 18 February 1813 at Huddersfield Parish Church. Married on 12 October 1843 to Ann(e) Smith (c.1816-1890), daughter of wool merchant Joshua Pullan Smith of Headingley, Leeds. Was living at Edgerton Cottage with wife and four children at the time of the 1871 Census, and working as an Insurance Agent. Died 14 September 1882 leaving an estate worth £357 0s. 9d.
  3. Baptised 19 November 1815 at Huddersfield Parish Church. Married 3 May 1860 to Jere Kaye (1810-1877). Died 5 October 1886 at 10 Terrace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire.
  4. Born 14 August 1817 and baptised 28 November 1817 at Huddersfield Parish Church. Likely married 1842 to Sarah Ann Cooper (1815-1890) and then died 9 September 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
  5. Born 31 July 1819 and baptised 24 September 1819 at Huddersfield Parish Church. Did not marry. Died 22 April 1896 at Elmwood Terrace, Huddersfield.
  6. Baptised 3 January 1822 at Huddersfield Parish Church. Married 27 July 1847 to Mary Genn (1826-1885). Immigrated to New Zealand circa 1852. Probably died circa 1859 in New Zealand.
  7. Born 17 December 1823 and baptised 18 March 1824 at Huddersfield Parish Church. Married 1871 in Edinburgh to Isabel McCaul (1838-1919). Probably died 1884 in London.
  8. Born 17 April 1827 and baptised 17 May 1827 at Huddersfield Parish Church. Did not marry. Died January 1845, aged 17, and was buried 25 January at Huddersfield Parish Church.
  9. Born 20 August 1828 and baptised 5 November 1828 at Huddersfield Parish Church.