Friday, 18 October 2013

Burdett Lambton Brown

Burdett was baptised in Washington, Co Durham in November of 1820 and first appears in the census of 1841 living in the household of his brother (or so it appears due to the ages given) George, possibly George's wife, Catherine and their son, Anthony - relationships are given in the 1841 census. George is a smith (like their father Ralph) and Burdett is an engineer. Why Burdett? It's a tradition in that part of the north east for some families to 'protect' surnames by using them as given names and I suspect that is the case here.

Burdett married Ann Morgan in 1844; she was the daughter of an engine driver. They had two children, Jane and Hannah but Ann died in 1849. By this time, the family was in Chepstow, Monmouthshire.  Burdett returned to the north-east of England to marry his second wife, my great, great aunt, Elizabeth Mary Brown.
I suspect these two are cousins, because of the coincidences elsewhere in the family of the surnames they used for given names for their children, but I need to do more research on this.

Their fist child was Ralph Lambton Brown, then Lizzie Sarah, Mary Oughton Brown, George P(hilip?) and Thomas Lumsden Brown (not to be confused with my great great grandfather of the same name, Elizabeth's youngest brother).Ralph and Lizzie were both born in Chepstow, Mary in Newport (also Monmouthshire), George in West Bromwich (Staffordshire, modern day West Midlands) and Tom in Wednesbury Staffs, now West Midlands). The family moved a lot with Burdett's profession.

Catching up with the family via censuses, in 1851 they were living in Chepstow and Burdett's profession is given as practical engineer. In 1861 in Wednesbury and Burdett is manager & engineer (but where is Ralph? At school somewhere?).

In December of 1861, John James Russell (as far as I know, no relation!) of the Crown Tube Works, Wednesbury in the county of Stafford, Patent Tube manufacturer and Burdett Lambton Brown of the same place, Engineer in the employ of the said JJR applied for, and were granted,  a patent 'for an invention for improvements in apparatus used in the manufacture of taper tubes'.  You can find more information about the Crown Tube Works at:

In 1871, at the same Church Hill address, Burdett is 'Wrought Iron Tube manufacturer employing 35 men and 16 boys'; Ralph has re-appeared an at the age of 19 is a wrought tube maker and they have a domestic servant. Their daughter, Mary, died later that year.

Lizzie Sarah married Samuel Hodgson in 1875, a clergyman and judging by later censuses and the birthplaces of their children, they travelled round a lot! I need to look him up in a Crockford's! I wonder if this relationship had an effect on Tom? Lizzie and Samuel's second child, William Hope Hodgson became an author and is now recognised as an important pioneer of 'modern imaginative fiction' (see: but you'll need a subscription)

George married Jane Jones in Wednesbury in 1879 and settled in nearby Walsall and became a bank clerk

By 1881 the remaining family had moved on again and were living in Hanover Square, Leeds; Burdett is an agent to a wrought iron tube depot and Ralph is a clerk to a wrought iron tube depot. Tom, who always seems to have been called Tom and not Thomas, was listed as being a theological student.

Burdett died in Leeds in February 1888 and Elizabeth and Ralph remained there sharing their home until  at least 1911. In 1891, at the census they are joined briefly by a Mary Holwell, the sister of Amelia Holwell who had married Tom who by then had been ordained as an Anglican priest and was living in Monkwearmouth (and I do have his entry from Crockford's)

Ralph died in 1914 in Leeds; the informant of his death was Tom so I don't know if Elizabeth was still living at this point. I suppose that street directories will need to be consulted if I want to take this any further or maybe cemetery records but Elizabeth Brown is quite a common name especially in a city the size of Leeds.

A really interesting sideline that make family history so rewarding!

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