Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: August 18, 2019
Webpage updated: March 09, 2020



ALFRED COSTER (1844-1906)

Mr Alfred Coster was the founder of the well-known Plymouth drapery store Messrs Coster's Limited, of Frankfort Street and George Street before the Second  World War and New George Street from 1954 onwards.  Mr Coster was born in Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire, in 1844.

At the time of the 1871 census he was a manager at the linen draper's business of Mrs Lydia Barron, in West Street, Ewell, Surrey.

He married Miss Mary Ann Wish, from Sowton, near Exeter, Devon, in 1879.

In 1881 Mr Alfred Coster and his wife Mary Ann, were living at 5 Prospect Street, Plymouth, and he was described as a "Draper's Shopwalker". 

By 1891 he had become the manager a drapery store and lived at 11 Headland Park, Plymouth.  The store he was managing was that of Messrs John Yeo and Company, in Bedford Street, Plymouth, which he left in 1894 to set up on his own account at number 5 Frankfort Street.

Mr Alfred Coster died suddenly of a heart attack on Tuesday April 10th 1906.  He was living at number 21 Headland Park at that time.  He had attended to his business on the preceding Friday, Saturday and Monday and was reading Tuesday morning's newspaper when he complained of pains in his chest and passed away.  There were no children of the marriage.

His funeral was held at Woolborough, Newton Abbot.   His widow, brother Edmund, who was a grocer in Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and his brother-in-law, Mr H T Parker, of Newton Abbot, were present.

Legend has it that the business was then purchased by members of the Leatherby and Prynn families for the princely sum of 100 gold sovereigns (100).