John Brandreth (1770 – 1845)


  1. His childhood

John Brandreth was born on 28 April 1770 at Ormskirk, Lancashire, England, as the son of Thomas Brandreth (1723 – 1792) and Mary Robinson. John was from a well-educated family, having had two older brothers who completed further studies at university level. John’s highest level of education, however, is not known.1-5

  2. His wife

2.1 Alice Horridge

On 7 September 1793 at Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire, the 23 year-old John married 21 year-old Alice Horridge (1772 – 26 February 1798), who was born and who died at Bolton-le-Moors. Their only child was born in 1794.1-3,5

2.2 Anne Grundy

Four years after the death of his first wife, the 32 year-old widower married Anne Grundy on 21 July 1802 at Bolton-le-Moors. She was the daughter of Edmund Grundy and Balty Byrom.1-3,5,6 John and Anne Brandreth were my husband’s great-great-great-great-great-grandparents.Anne Grundy was the second eldest of four daughters but their parents passed away leaving behind four young children. The orphaned girls went to live with various family members. Anne was adopted by her great-aunt Hannah Kaye (née Grundy) and her husband who were initially Presbyterians but later changed to Unitarianism. Anne and her three sisters, Sarah, Jane and Elizabeth, remained close in spite of being separated at a young age and in spite of differences in religion, politics and prosperity that developed after their respective marriages.1,2,7

   3. His career

John Brandreth was a cotton spinner, but the business became less successful and the life of the young family became very difficult. They later moved to Knutsford, Cheshire, England. John was of high character and was adored by his children and sisters. He loved horses and hunting, and the tradition was that after coming home from a hunt, he would walk his wife home from where she was waiting upon him. Their house in Knutsford overlooked the racecourse (see painting of racecourse by his daughter, Anne) and the family regularly went to watch the races. John was a member of the Anglican Church of England, but later converted to Unitarianism. His son-in-law, married to his daughter Mary, was the local Unitarian vicar at Knutsford.1,2,7

   4. His death

When John died, he was buried on 12 June 1845 in the churchyard of the Brook Street Chapel in Knutsford. After her husband’s death, Anne moved in with her daughter, Mary and her family. Even after Mary and Henry Green had passed on in 1871 and 1873 respectively, Anne continued to live at Knutsford with her granddaughters, Emily, Mary and Isabella until her own death at the age of 71 years in May 1874. She suffered from dementia for some time before her death. She was also buried in the Brook Street churchyard.1,2,7

  5. His children

John had one daughter, Alice Horridge, from his first marriage and five children from his second marriage.

5.1 Alice Horridge

Alice Horridge Brandreth was born on 12 October 1794 at Bolton-le-Moors. At the age of 26 years on 18 December 1820, she married Dr John Casey (1788 – 1864) at Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire. He was a general practitioner and surgeon, who at one point also served as a surgeon in the British Royal Navy. Alice died on 23 May 1841 at the age of 47 years at Prescot, a village 5 km south-west of St Helens, Lancashire.3

Alice and John Casey had two girls and three boys.3 Information on some of them were found:

  • Eliza Alice (1822 – 1847, Prescot) never married and died at the age of 27 years.3
  • Caroline Mary (1825, St Helens – 1902, Prescot) married Dr Edward Penrose Twyford (ca 1831 – 1909) who entered into a joined private medical practice in St Helens with Dr Arthur Jamison, husband of Isabella Green.3,5,7 Isabella was Caroline’s half-cousin, being the daughter of Mary Green (née Brandreth) (3.2).
  • John Brandreth (1828, St Helens – 1874, Townsville, Queensland, Australia) immigrated to Australia where he first worked at the Victorian Water Police, then at the Post Office, followed by working as a shipping pilot along the coast of Queensland for most of his life.3
  • Walter, of whom very little is known, also immigrated to Australia.3

5.2 Mary

Mary was born on 28 May 1803 at Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire and later married a minister of the Unitarian church.1,2,7  Mary became my husband’s great-great-great-great-grandmother. READ MORE on Mary Brandreth and her husband, Henry Green.

5.3 Thomas

He was born in 1805. Thomas became a successful cotton manufacturer who died of typhus fever at the age of 33 years in 1838. He was unmarried and had no issue.1,2,7

Typhus fever is caused by bacteria (Rickettsia sp.) that are spread by infected anthropoids such as lice and fleas. Humans are not a normal host in the life cycle of the bacteria, but when infected, the illness can range form mild to fatal, particularly where antibiotics are not administered. Symptoms include rash, high fever, nausea, malaise, diarrhea, vomiting and hypotension (low blood pressure).8,9

5.4 Anne

Anne, also sometimes spelled Anna, never married. She was a skilled amateur artist and participated at various art exhibitions.1,2,5-7,10

5.5 Jane

Jane Brandreth married John Long of Knutsford.1,2,6,7 He owned a tanning business at Knutsford in partnership with his brother, Henry Long.11 During a parliamentary session held on 14 August 1848, both brothers were appointed as Commissioners for executing the Acts for granting a Land Tax and other Rates and Taxes for Cheshire (the County of Chester).12

John and Jane Long had three children. Their only son, John Brandreth died at Knutsford in a railway accident in 1866. Louisa never married and and Catherine (? – 1869) went on to marry Alfred Holt (13 Jun 1829 – 28 November 1911) of Liverpool. Like his wife’s family, Alfred also belonged to the Unitarian Church.1,2,6,11,13Alfred Holt, son of George Holt (1790 – 1861) and Emma During, was an engineer, ship fleet owner and merchant. On 16 January 1866 he founded Alfred Holt and Company, later trading as the Blue Funnel Line, which operated merchant ships for 122 years until 1988. He is credited with establishing the long distance steamship that replaced sailing clippers on routes to China, and also to Australia en the Americas. Alfred and Catharine had a son who died in his teens and a daughter, Jane (1867 – 1922), who married the marine biologist William Abbott Herdman. After Catharine’s death, Albert married her cousin, Frances Long. They had two sons.13 Jane Long (née Brandreth) died on 14 February 1864 and was buried in the churchyard of Brook Street Unitarian Chapel at Knutsford, where her brother-in-law, Rev. Henry Green, was the local minister.1,2,14,15

5.6 Hannah

Very little is known of Hannah Brandreth, apart from being mentioned in family letters.7


  1. Papers of the Jamison Family (1830-1971), Box 1/2 (etc.), John Rylands University Library, University of Manchester.
  2. Tanner, S. 2008. Henry Green 1801-1872: Nineteenth century letters written by the Green families of Knutsford in Cheshire. Letters/preface nineteenth century letters
  3. Information and photos received electronically in February 2018 from Carolynn Johnson (née Casey) from Townsville, Queensland, Australia, the great-great-granddaughter of Alice and John Casey and granddaughter of Livingstone Casey
  4. A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe. The Peerage.
  5. Family tree notes by Jean Jamison, made available by Katie Taylor from Germany, October 2017
  6. Rob Jamison: Family portraits 2016.
  7. Memoirs of Isabella Green. Copies in possession of Tony Jamison, Randfontein, South Africa, great-grandson of Isabella Green
  8. Typhus.
  9. Typhus cycle.
  10. Original water-colour paintings of Anne Brandreth in possession of Tony Jamison, Randfontein, South Africa
  11. Information received electronically in June 2019 from Paul Kinsey, distant cousin of John Long
  12. Collection of the Public General Statutes passed in the eleventh and twelfth year of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria: Being the First Session of the Fifteenth Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. 1848 George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode Printers: London.
  13. Alfred Holt.
  14. Brook Street Chapel.
  15. The Unitarian Church.