Webpage created: November 28, 2019
Webpage updated: January 04, 2020
EDWIN ALONZO PEARN (1822-1893)
Born in Monument Street, Plymouth-Dock, on December 6th 1822, he first attended the New School in that Street and later one run by a Mr Southwood in George Street.
After leaving School he was apprenticed to Messrs Dabb, Rundle and Brown, wholesale drapers. They later became Messrs Rogers and Brook. He became one of their commercial travellers until circa 1863 when he became a partner in the Exeter drapers and woollen warehouse business of Messrs Kendall, Norris and Pearn. Thanks to his thrifty nature, cautious business decisions and fortunate investments, he amassed a huge fortune. He retired from the business on December 26th 1873, when the partnership was dissolved, and acquired from Mr W Luscombe the estate of Compton Leigh, where he lived a quiet life doing a great deal of charitable work.
Although not a Roman Catholic but a regular worshipper at the Parish Church of Eggbuckland, he took a great interest in the Little Sisters of the Poor and when they opened their Home at Hartley he paid for the shrubs and the laying out of the grounds. He provided the Convalescent Home for patients of the South Devon and East Cornwall Hospital and the Royal Albert Hospital at Devonport.
Described as 'hale and hearty up to the day of his fatal attack', he had just celebrated his 71st birthday the previous Wednesday.
Mr Edwin Alonzo Pearn passed away at his home on Sunday December 10th 1893 apparently after catching a severe chill while supervising the trimming of the shrubs at the Little Sisters of the Poor premises the previous Monday. He was laid to rest at the Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport Cemetery during what the local newspaper described as 'very boisterous' weather on the morning of Wednesday December 13th 1893. The service was carried out by the Reverend G B Barry and the Reverend J T Turner, vicar of Saint Edward's Church, Eggbuckland, and was attended by four of the Little Sisters of the Poor from Saint Joseph's Home. Mr WT Brown, of Batter Street, was the undertaker. The coffin was adorned by a single floral cross.