Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 19, 2019
Webpage updated: January 01, 2020




Eldred Roberts Brown was baptised at Egloshayle Parish Church on November 30th 1809.  He was one of the sons of Mr William Brown and Miss Juliana Roberts, daughter of Mr Eldred Roberts, who had married at Creed, in Cornwall, on November 29th 1808.

By 1841 he had become a clerk to Mr John Burnell, who had been running a grocery business at number 4 Bilbury Street, Plymouth, since 1797.  In 1846 Mr Burnell took Mr Eldred Roberts Brown into partnership, along with Mr Thomas Nicholson, and the grocery business became known as Messrs Burnell, Brown and Nicholson.  When Mr Burnell retired in 1853, they joined in to a partnership with Messrs Daniel Millward and Joseph Wills (1804-1872) at The Abbey, Finewell Street.  The business then became known as Messrs Brown, Wills and Nicholson.

With Mr Thomas Nicholson, he helped to found the Catte Street Ragged School.  Mr W N Elliott recalled: 'I can recall many proofs of his untiring and unselfish efforts on behalf of the poor little waifs and strays who, at that time, had only those schools to look to for the rudiments of education.'  He helped to found the Lower Street Working Men's Institution and started the Plymouth branch of the National Education League.  During his presidency of the Reform League in 1866/67 'he brought down upon himself the strictures of his personal friends' but he was one of those men who were able to give his ungrudging support to the unpopular cause.

Mr Eldred Roberts Brown died at hios home, number 14 Lockyer Street, on February 4th 1885 after what was described as 'five years of patient suffering'.  He was 75 years of age and had never married.

He was succeeded in the what was by now the wholesale provision merchants, tea dealers and grocery business by his two nephews, Mr Joseph Pearce Brown (1850-1936) and Mr John Brown.