Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 12, 2019
Webpage updated: September 23, 2019




Messrs William Brendon and Son Limited, printers, also known as the Mayflower Press, were located at Pier Street and West Hoe Road, Plymouth, before the Second World War.

Mr William Brendon was born at Lezant in Cornwall on January 30th 1818.  His father was a farmer and in the 1841 Census William was still living on the farm although in later years it was claimed that he started his printing business in Tavistock in 1837 or 38.

In 1844 he married Miss Sarah Turner in Plymouth and in 1845 she gave birth to a son, William Turner Brendon, in Tavistock, where his printing business commenced.  In 1849 Mr Brendon moved the printing business to Plymouth.  

At the time of the 1851 Census the family were living at Mulgrave Street, Plymouth, and William was employing three men.

He was joined in the business in 1865 by his son and the business became Messrs William Brendon and Son Limited.  Their premises were at 62 George Street, Plymouth.

Mr William Turner Brendon married Miss Fanny M Adams, the eldest daughter of Mr Benjamin Adams, tailor, and his wife Susanna, of Knackersnowle.

In the 1881 census, when the Company was employing 37 men, 28 boys and 13 girls, the W T Brendon household in Elm Road, Mannamead, consisted of:  George F W Brendon, 11; Bessie A Brendon, 10; William H Brendon, 8; Alice M Brendon, 6; Charles E Brendon, 4; Richard F Brendon, 2 and Fanny M Brendon, 9 months. In addition there were a governess, 23-year-old Charlotte E Stevens from Saint Budeaux, and two domestic servants, 24-year-old Elizabeth Smithson and 19-year-old Anne C Paul.

Mr William Brendon, 63, and his wife Sarah, 61, were in 1881 living at Castle Hayes Villa, Plympton Saint Maurice, with a 28-years-old female domestic servant by the name of Elizabeth Amelia Andrews.  Mr William Brendon died on Saturday April 8th 1882, at the age of 64 years, and was buried at the Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport Cemetery at Ford Park, Plymouth.

On March 28th 1911 Mrs Heather Brendon, wife of Mr Charles Ernest Brendon, gave birth to twin boys, Robert E H and Charles R. M Brendon.  The family were at that time living at Dunheved House in Saltash, Cornwall. 

William Turner Brendon died at The Anchorage, Grand Parade, Plymouth, on July 25th 1928 at the age of 83 and was succeeded in the business by one his sons, Mr Charles Ernest Brendon.

Mr Charles Ernest Brendon died at his home, Rutt, Ivybridge, Devon, on Sunday August 9th 1936 at the age of 60 years.  He was survived by his widow and five sons.  He had been very keen on farming and all country sports, especially the Dartmoor Hounds, and was also a member of the Royal Western Yacht Club.  An active Conservative Party supporter he was a director of Plymouth Argyle Football Club and deeply interested in the Scouting movement.   Mr Brendon was a member of Plymouth City Council representing the Saint Andrew's Ward.  His funeral took place at Saint John's Church, Ivybridge, on Wednesday August 12th 1936, followed by cremation at Efford Crematorium, Plymouth.

The business ceased when the premises in West Hoe Road took a direct hit in the air raids of April 1941.  All of the standing type for the Stanley Gibbons' stamp catalogues and the entire May edition of their magazine were destroyed.  Apparently the only item that survived the blast was the Company's brass name-plate.  By June 1941 the firm had relocated to Saint Alban's, Hertfordshire, where they celebrated their centenary the following month.

In 1946 a descendant of the family, Mr Robert Edwards Harvey Brendon, purchased another printing business, Messrs Clarke, Doble and Company Limited and reformed it as Messrs Clarke, Doble and Brendon Limited, the Oakfield Press.

However, the original business, Messrs William Brendon and Son Limited, was still going in 1956 as the Mayflower Press (Late of Plymouth), at Bushey Mill Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire, where they printed "The Stanley Gibbons Centenary, 1856-1956" for Messrs Stanley Gibbons Limited, for whom they had printed the "Gibbons Stamps Monthly" magazine.