Charles Brook, often referred to as Charles Brook Junior, was born 18 November 1814 in Huddersfield, the son of James Brook and his wife Janet, and grandson of William Brook who founded a scribbling mill in the 1770s at Meltham Mills, Meltham. The mill later became Jonas Brook & Brothers.
Charles lived at Meltham Hall and was well-regarded within the community, reportedly knowing most of his 2,000 workers by sight
He built Meltham Mills Infant School as well as the Pleasure Gardens1, Convalescent Home and Bank Buildings in Meltham.
He married Elizabeth Hirst, daughter of John Sunderland Hirst, on 20 February 1860 at St. James’ Church, Meltham Mills.
He purchased Enderby Hall in Leicestershire in 1865 and died there on 10 July 1872, aged 57.
Following his death, a large portrait of Brook by Huddersfield painter Samuel Howell (1809–1878) was exhibited at the Huddersfield Infirmary in late August 1872 before being transferred to the Meltham Mills Convalescent Home. The Chronicle (24/Aug/1872) noted that Howell had previously painted Brook’s portrait in 1844 and 1863.
His uncle, Charles Brook Senior (1792–1869), lived at Healey House and built Bent Ley Silk Mill, Meltham Mills School and Helme Church. The latter was constructed in memory of his son Charles John Brook, who had died aged 27.