Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 29, 2019
Webpage updated: January 04, 2020



HENRY HURRELL (1852-1939)

Henry Hurrell was born in Plymouth on December 6th 1852, the third child and eldest son of Mr Henry Hurrell and Mrs Martha Hurrell, formerly Lobb.

When his father dissolved his partnership with Mr Joseph Crossing in the flour mills at Lambhay, Plymouth, and the canvas manufactory at Brent, Devon, he established a new business as corn factor, Messrs Hurrell and Company, at the Great Western Docks, in Plymouth.

In 1870, after receiving his education at the Corporation Grammar School and at University College, Gower Street, London, young Henry joined his father's business working in the office.  Eight years later he was admitted as a partner but when his father died the following year, he became sole proprietor.

Mr Henry Hurrell senior passed away on December 21st 1879.

Mr Henry Hurrell junior married Miss Lucy Ann Shellabear in Plymouth 1900.  She was the daughter of Mr George Shellabear, builder.

Up to that time he had taken no part in local political life but in 1902, when Plymouth Borough Council were unable to find a member who was willing to become Mayor of the Borough, they unanimously selected him to fill the vacant position.  He was then 50 years of age.

He carried out his duties with such tact, firmness and generosity that he was re-elected at the end of his term and in 1911 he was chosen to serve a third term.

During his first term as Mayor he opened Hyde Park Elementary Schools and in his second year in office he entertained both the German and the American Navies.  In was during this second term that he was invited to become a proper member of the Town Council and he was elected to represent the Drake Ward.  It is said that no Mayor had opened more bazaars than him.  In 1911 he was elected an Alderman.  He was a keen chairman of the Housing for the Working Classes Committee.

From 1892 until his death Mr Hurrell was superintendent of the Mutley Baptist Chapel Sunday Schools, a post he held after being a teacher and secretary of the Schools and a deacon of the Chapel.  He gad met the famous Baptist preacher Mr Charles Haddon Spurgeon when he visited the Mutley Chapel.

He was also a Justice of the Peace, a member of the Plymouth Institution, a director of the West Devon Electric Supply Company (his baby sister, Miss Clara Helena Hurrell had married Mr William George Heath, Plymouth's pioneer electrical engineer, in 1900), and a founder of the Mannamead Tennis Club.  He was chairman of the Port of Plymouth Chamber of Commerce in 1900.

Mr Henry Hurrell died at Peverell Park Villa in Tavistock Road on Tuesday July 5th 1939 at the age of 86 years.

The funeral was held on Thursday July 6th 1939 at Mutley Baptist Chapel and he was interred in the family's double-walled grave at the Plymouth Old Cemetery (Ford Park Cemetery).

He was survived by his widow, Mrs Lucy Ann Hurrell, their son, Mr Henry George Hurrell (1901-1981), and a daughter, Mrs Mary Edith Chesterman.