Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Bramall (1812-1887)

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of Sheffield

c.1812 Born at Neepsend, son of James Bramall[1]

On leaving school he was apprenticed to his father's firm Spear, Jackson and Bramall

c.1833 on attaining his majority he obtained the position of file manager at Butler and Co in Trinity Street, Sheffield.

After some years, he set up his own business on the understanding that he would produce all the files required by Messrs Butler. His premises were in Hoyle Street; he was assisted initially by his father who had retired from Spear and Jackson.

Took George Fisher (who had been a traveller for Messrs Blake and Co in the next door premises) into partnership - Fisher, Bramall and Co.

1841 John Bramall 25, cutler, lived in North Sheffield with Mary Bramall 25, Henry Bramall 7 Months[2]

1851 John Bramall 38, file manufacturer, lived in North Sheffield with Elizabeth Bramall 39, Mary Bramall 17, Elizabeth Bramall 8, Sarah Bramall 6 and a nephew Walter Saister 7[3]

1861 John Bramall 48, file and steel manufacturer, lived in Nether Hallam with Elizabeth Bramall 49, Elizabeth Bramall 18, Sarah Bramall 16, and a nephew, Walter Bramall 17, clerk to file and steel manufacturer[4]

The partnership continued for 20 years. Mr Fisher continued the business in Hoyle Street; Mr Bramall established a new business in Savile Street. He then built new works in Mowbray Street; the business later became Bramall and Bedford.

1871 John Bramall 58, manufacturer and merchant, lived in Nether Hallam with Elizabeth Bramall 59[5]

1871 Bramall retired from the business with a considerable fortune.

Looking for somewhere to invest his money he tried shipping, which proved initially profitable. Then, with Thomas Sorby and J. B. Walker, they decided to form a company to trade across the Atlantic, with 4 ships. The first was named John Bramall. The following ships did not attract enough investors so Bramall invested in them himself. But there were disagreements with the managing house in Rotterdam and Bramall was called on to provide more money.

1875 A crash in shipping led to Bramall being bankrupted but fortunately his wife's assets were kept out of the proceedings as she had been given them long before. Thus they retained some assets which provided them with a comfortable living.

He was also a director of G. and J. Brown and Co

1881 John Bramall 68, Retired crucible steel manufacturer, lived in Ecclesall Bierlow with Elizabeth Bramall 70[6]

Based on his thorough knowledge of the steel and file trades, he had amassed a fortune but subsequently lost it.

1887 He died at Southgate, (at Wakefield[7]), about a year after his wife. He had 3 surviving children, all daughters.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Sheffield Independent Oct. 18, 1887
  2. 1841 census
  3. 1851 census
  4. 1861 census
  5. 1871 census
  6. 1881 census
  7. National Probate calendar
  • Sheffield Independent Oct. 18, 1887: Obituary