Huddersfield Chronicle (13/Jul/1872) – Death of Charles Brook, Esq., J.P.

Charles Brook had purchased Enderby Hall in Leicestershire in 1865 and died there on 10 July 1872.

This article was printed with heavy black borders.

Death of Charles Brook, Esq., J.P.

The suggestion which we ventured to make yesterday (and which is given below) is to be acted upon on Monday next, the day on which the mortal remains of Mr. Charles Brook will be consigned to their final resting place. From an advertisement in another column it will be seen that the Mayor has issued an invitation to the inhabitants to meet him at the Armoury at half-past one o’clock, to attend a special service which will be held in the Parish Church at two o’clock. The distance which separates Huddersfield from Enderby will prevent the great body of the inhabitants from marking their respect for Mr. Brook’s memory by attending the funeral; but the opportunity which this local arrangement provides will enable a large representation of “all sorts and conditions of men” to take their part in the services of that Church of which the deceased was such a distinguished member.

We record with more than ordinary feelings of regret the death of Charles Brook, Esq., of Enderby Hall, Leicester, and Meltham Mills, Huddersfield. Our readers are well aware that for some time past Mr. Brook has been suffering from a serious illness which ever and anon placed his life in jeopardy ; but the favourable telegraphic despatches which we have lately published led to the belief that he had, for at least some time to come, escaped the portals of the grave, and that his life might be spared to his relatives and friends. The highest medical skill in the country, including Dr. Gull, physician to the Prince of Wales, was brought into exercise to ward off, so far as human effort could, the fatal result which took place about two o’clock on Wednesday morning.

During Mr. Brook’s long and painful illness the prayers (public and private) of thousands in this neighbourhood were offered up for his recovery. Every household in Huddersfield felt that the life of the noblest example of public philanthropy the neighbourhood ever produced was hanging in the balance. His illness was taken home to every heart, and felt with all the acuteness incidental to a near and dear relative. This feeling, too, was not confined to one class in the social scale, or the members of the Church of England of which he was a most devout and attached member, but it was shared in by men of every political caste and religious creed.

In all that concerned the religious, moral, and educational welfare of this district he invariably occupied the front rank. Others have done nobly, but he excelled them all. His was a princely generosity, not only in the amount of his gifts, but in the manner of giving them. No sooner was his head convinced and his heart touched than his hand bestowed, some of his largest contributions being accompanied by a total absence of ostentation. In every relation of life he was a model man. Many years of prosperity in business placed great wealth at his command, and this he largely used for the glory of God and the welfare of mankind. The churches and schools at Meltham Mills and Enderby prove his “zeal for the Lord,”‘ and the noble Convalescent Home which he publicly handed over to the town of Huddersfield in August last will be for all time a monument of his tender sympathy for the poor. It was one of the noblest traits in his noble nature that he “never forgot the quarry from whence he was dug.” Meltham Mills and its poor was a sweet green spot in his fondest recollections, and when he paid periodical visits to the district the old workpeople in the firm of Jonas Brook and Brothers, who had been known to him throughout life, were objects of his tenderest solicitude. By his death the Church of England has lost one of its most consistent and liberal supporters. “When in health he loved to enter the public sanctuary and offer up common prayer and praise to the common Father of all, and no legitimate application for assistance in promoting Church building, or the extension of Church principles, ever appealed for his aid in vain. He was a contributor of £5,000 to the Huddersfield Church Extension Fund; £3,000 for providing additional school accommodation for the Established Church in this neighbourhood (in addition to the same amount for the town of Leicester), besides innumerable gifts to other churches, including St. Stephen’s, Rashcliffe, and the one now in coarse of erection at Newsome.

But we refrain from making the present melancholy occasion a medium for parading Mr. Brook’s liberality. He has lived a tolerably long, and in every respect a consistent life. By precept and example he has well discharged his duty in his day and generation, and

The sweet remembrance of the just
Will flourish when be sleeps in dust.

In the long roll of Huddersfield worthies who have gone down to the grave, scarcely one has left a nobler, and none a more stainless name.

On the Parish Church and other places in the town, flags were hoisted half-mast high when the melancholy news reached Huddersfield, and the bells of the Parish Church rang a muffled peal. We have been unable to ascertain where Mr. Brook will be interred, but whether it be at Meltham Mills or Enderby multitudes of sorrowing friends will be present to mingle their tears with those who in life were specially near and dear to him. Mr. Brook was in the 58th year of his age.
Daily Chronicle, Thursday.

We understand arrangements are in progress for interring Mr. Brook in the family vault at Enderby Church, at two o’clock on Monday next. No doubt many of our fellow townsmen will be present on the melancholy occasion, to pay the last mark of respect to one who in life did so much to promote the welfare of this district. We have not yet heard whether the public bodies of the town have taken any steps for collectively expressing the feelings of the public, but we doubt not before Monday our chief magistrate and those who co-operate with him will make such arrangements as will enable the inhabitants to bear their part in the melancholy proceedings of the day. As Mr. Brook’s liberality was largely made available for all classes of society — for those outside as well as those within that branch of the Church Catholic of which he was a member — we would respectfully suggest the holding of a special service in the Parish Church, and the delivery of a sermon suitable to the occasion. The governing bodies of the town might assemble in one of our public rooms, and proceed in order to the church. Such a proceeding would, we are sure, be in harmony with the feelings of our fellow-townsmen generally, all of whom feel that a truly good Christian and a large-hearted citizen has been taken from us to a better and a holier life.
Daily Chronicle, yesterday.

The following is extracted from the Leicester Journal of yesterday :—

“The deceased gentleman was a county magistrate both in the West Riding and in Leicestershire. His mills gave employment to nearly 2,000 hands, and his last public act was to advance the allowance made to those workpeople who, from old age or infirmity, have been pensioned off. Mr. Brook was in his 59th year, and leaves a widow, but no family. It is about eight years since he purchased the Enderby Hall Estate, and during his residence in that parish, Enderby has had good cause for knowing who was its real friend.

“Mr. Brook in politics was a thorough-going Conservative, and took an active part in promoting the interests of his party, both in Yorkshire and this county. He was also a Churchman, and ever ready with his purse to promote the prosperity of the Establishment. His political or religious creed did not, however, prevent him from taking a warm-hearted interest in everything that was calculated to benefit his poorer brethren, be they Nonconformists or Churchmen. And thus he was universally respected. His good name was the out-growth of his good deeds, which were as unselfish as they were generous. He was in the best sense one of the worthies of Yorkshire, and during the comparatively short time he has lived in this county, one of the best Squires Leicestershire has ever had.

“His unostentatious, but really munificent liberality, had made his name familiar throughout Yorkshire and Leicestershire, and within the narrowest circle where it was test known, it had for long been a household word. Knowing this, it is no mere phrase to say that his loss will be almost irreparable. He was a merchant prince in more senses than one. He belonged to that older school, the fame of which was based upon the scrupulous honour with which all business transactions were conducted ; and he combined with this deep sense of honour the kindness of disposition which made him a gentleman in every act of his life. It was not until the sudden death of his brother, many years ago, that he took an active part in the management of the works at Meltham Mills, but he soon showed that if he had not the robust energy which characterised his brother, he had the true business tact, and that in becoming a manufacturer and a merchant, it was not necessary to sacrifice those higher qualities which had pre-eminently made him a Christian gentleman.

“In the present critical times we can ill afford to spare so excellent and valuable a person as Mr. Brook, but now he has been removed from this busy active scene, his deeds remain in after generations as the noblest memorial of a life spent in the work God has given him to do.”

A Leicestershire correspondent says :—

Mr. Brook, several years ago, purchased the Enderby Hall (Leicestershire) estate at a cost of about £96,000, since which time he has resided in Leicestershire. Locally, he was known as a staunch Conservative and a zealous supporter of Church and State : while the princely fortune which he enjoyed was distributed with a liberal hand amongst all classes; the charitable institutions of the neighbourhood receiving a large share of his munificence. The deceased gentleman had been suffering for the past six weeks from a severe attack of pleurisy and bronchitis, during which time he had been constantly attended by two local doctors, assisted occasionally by Sir William Gull, M.D., and so greatly had he improved in health, that he had been able to sit up in his room. On Friday he suffered a relapse, and died about two o’clock on Wednesday morning. Locally, his loss will create a gap which it will be difficult to fill up, more especially in the Conservative ranks.

The Leicester Evening News of Wednesday has the following :— “It is with mournful feelings we are called upon to record the death of Mr. C. Brook, of Enderby Hall. Some weeks ago Mr. Brook was seized with a very serious illness — pleurisy and bronchitis — causing the greatest anxiety to his friends. For several days he lingered between life and death, and the advice of Sir William Gull was obtained in addition to his local medical advisers, Dr. Shaw and Dr. Marriott. Under the care of these gentlemen he rallied, and it was hoped the danger was past. Indeed, we believe Mr. Brook had so far recovered as to be able to sit up in his room. Last Friday, however, a relapse set in, which all the able skill of his medical attendants was unable to arrest, and we lament to say terminated fatally at two o’clock this morning. What a void has been caused by his removal!

He was a man, — take him for all in all,
We ne’er shall look upon his like again.

Possessed of a princely fortune, he was not Blow to devote it to the alleviation of distress in every form and no case meriting his aid went unheeded. He was a most ardent member of the Church of England, and never shall we forget his enthusiastic advocacy on her behalf when speaking at public meetings in connection therewith. No sooner had he entered upon his Enderby estate than he set about doing good. The rebuilding of the parish church at his sole expense is a lasting memento of his munificence ; while the neighbourhood of Huddersfield has proof of his philanthropy in the Meltham Mills Convalescent Home, which he erected recently at a cost of £50,000. These are only a few of the many evidences of his large-heartedness, while his more humble benefactions it would be impossible to recount. The poor of Enderby, to whom he was naturally much endeared, have indeed lost a friend, and from their memory the name of Charles Brook, the philanthropist, can never be erased. Politically, he was a staunch Conservative, and although in his zealous advocacy of Constitutional principles he might appear to o’erstep the bounds of public oratory, his bitterest opponent could not but give him credit for the honesty of his convictions. As an individual his death will be deplored by all parties. Politically, the Conservatives have lost a most noble and energetic champion.



Strew cyprus round and weep
  Over this honour’d bier.
In calm and holy sleep
  A good man resteth here.

In deeds of worth he shone.
  And nobly felt for all;
Others’ cares were bis own.
  Responsive to their call.

Life’s warfare now is o’er.
  The Christian prize is won,
List as the voices soar
  “Servant of God well done.”

Bind cyprus on each heart,
  Remembering as we weep
He is, from whom we part.
  Not dead — “fallen asleep.”


Charles Brook, Died 10th July, 1872

That noble heart will throb no more.
  Which glowed with Pity’s warmest tire,
And quivered to its very core.
  Like some rapt bard’s reponsive lyre.

When Pity touched its tender chords,
  ‘Twas answered by sweet Mercy’s thrill;
Such music heaven alone accords
  To those who soften human ill.

But now ’tis o’er! that genial soul
  Has shaken off all earthly thrall :
And he, for whom the requiems toll,
  Must fill the common grave of all.

That bounteous hand, beneath whose touch
  Pale Misery’s baleful eye shone bright.
Whose wondrous power to heal was such
  That gloomy hovels streamed with light.

That hand, alas ! is icy cold.
  Bereft of all its sacred power;
That hand — more precious than the gold
  It lavished forth in generous shower.

The film of death has darken’d o’er
  The eye that beamed with kindliest ray :
The loving words are heard no more,
  The tongue that spake is speechless clay.

But grateful hearts will long revere
  The loyal, philanthropic dead ;
With sounds of grief, the pitying tear
  Will o’er his hallowed grave be shed.

Death of Charles Brook - Huddersfield Chronicle 13 July 1872 BL-0000167-18720713-035