Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: June 10, 2021
Webpage updated: June 10, 2021




In 1893 Mr John Yeo, the founder of Messrs John Yeo and Company, drapers, of Plymouth, invited his nephew, Mr John Henry Beckly, to become a partner in the business.

John Henry Beckly was the only son of Mr Richard Hodge Beckly and Mrs Ann Beckly, formerly Miss Ann Yeo, the eldest child and daughter of Mr William Yeo, father of Mr John Yeo, the founder of Messrs John Yeo and Company.  They had married at Bradford, Devon, on May 2nd 1860 by license of the Superintendent Registrar.  Mr Richard Hodge Beckly was a builder and farmer at Crimpa, Pancrasweek, Devon.  Although John Henry's birth was registered in the first quarter of 1864 his School Admission record shows his date of birth as January 27th 1863.

If and where he did an apprenticeship is not recorded.  In 1896 Mr John Henry Beckly married Miss Caroline Bond Winnicott.  As both were committed Methodists this probably took place at the Ebenezer Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Saltash Street, Plymouth.  At the time of the census on March 31st 1901 they were living at number 8 Sutherland Road, Plymouth.

The circumstances in which Mr William Edwin Beckly MC joined the Company in 1925 are still being investigated.

Messrs John Yeo and Company Limited was registered on November 9th 1928, with a capital of 300,000 with which to acquire the business off the then owners.  Mr John Henry Beckly JP was appointed chairman and Mr William Edwin Beckly MC managing director.  Other directors were Mr Frank Russell Yeo, Mr John Cowling Brown JP, and Mr John Russell, who had been a manager and buyer for the firm for 25 years.  The shares were divided into two categories: 150,000 worth of 7% Preference one pound shares and 150,000 worth of Ordinary ten shilling shares.  By virtue of a contract dated November 14th 1928, the whole of the Preference shares were taken up by Messrs Myers and Company.  Their directors/owners were Messrs Moss Samuel Myers; Felix Berhardt Goetz; Stefan Redlich; William Lightfoot Underwood; Francis Nathaniel Downey; and Frank Broome Foster.  They also owned 25,000 of the Ordinary ten shilling shares but the rest were owned by the Plymouth directors and some members of staff.  The official take-over was on December 1st 1928.

Mr John Henry Beckly died on the evening of Thursday December 22nd 1932 and this was soon followed by the death of Mr Frank Russell Yeo on Monday November 16th 1936, thus leaving the Company in the control of Mr William Edwin Beckly.