Richard Brazenor (1755 – 1840)

Richard, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Brazenor, was baptised at Llansantffraid -ym – Mechain, Montgomeryshire in 1755. Nothing is known of his life until he was indentured as an apprentice saddler to Thomas Dale of Oswestry, the duties being paid  0n 21 April 1770. He later became a member of the Saddlers Company and a freeman in the town of Shrewsbury, in 1781. He was admitted as a “foreigner” which conveyed the fact that he was not a native of the town and had served his apprenticeship elsewhere. By 1784, Richard was living at Pontesford, in the parish of Pontesbury, where he took on William Cooper and also, later that year, Samuel Lee, as apprentice saddlers. He married at the old St Chad’s Church, Shrewsbury, in 1787, to Mary Cooper of that parish, while Richard was of the parish of Pontesbury. William and Mary Cooper were probably related. A few years later Richard took on his brother Randal as an apprentice, duties being paid in 1789. His last indentured apprentice was John Hayward, duties being paid in 1803, when Richard had moved his business from Pontesford to the nearby village of Pontesbury. Richard and Mary’s  children included five sons and four daughters all of whom were baptised at Pontesbury. However, Richard maintained a dwelling and  saddlery business in Shrewsbury, because his name appears in the list of inhabitants, in the Shrewsbury Visitor’s Pocket Companion, published in 1793, by T. Minshull. Richard’s place of  business was in a short street known then as Carrier’s Inn, now part of Shoplatch.

Shrewsbury Map 1793

Legend for Shrewsbury Map

Richard brought his sons William, Thomas, Richard, Samuel and Robert into the saddlery trade. William, once he had learnt his trade, moved to Birmingham. Thomas went into business consecutively in Shrewsbury, Oswestry and Birmingham, Richard did likewise at Wem, and Birmingham, whilst Samuel took over his father’s business at Pontesbury. Robert, the youngest son, went to work for his eldest brother William in Birmingham, before moving to Marylebone, London.

In July 1805, the Universal Magazine of London, in its section “Provincial Occurrences”, was to record in its report for the County of Shropshire – Died, at Pontesbury, at an advanced age, Mr Brazenor, father of Mr Brazenor, Saddler. It happened that on 30 June 1805, Thomas Brazenor, farmer of Bulthy, Shropshire, was buried at Alberbury, a village near the border with Montgomeryshire, some six miles north of Pontesbury. Thomas’s wife Elizabeth had been buried there in 1783. There are fortunately no other male Brazenor  deaths recorded in Shropshire at the time. I had previously correctly surmised that Richard the saddler, was Richard the son of Thomas and Elizabeth because they fitted well in time and place and because Richard had named some of his children after his parents and four of his brothers. It was good to have confirmation even if in a roundabout manner.

Richard, by 1811, had become a husbandman, a small tenant farmer, at Pontesbury, where he took on Margaret Hammond as a parish apprentice in housewifery, to help his wife Mary. The following year he also took on her brother Adam as a parish apprentice in husbandry, thereby keeping them together as a family.

There is a large gap in Richard’s story until he next appears on the Shropshire
Electoral Roll for 1831, at Pontesbury. His son Thomas was on the same roll but at Oswestry in 1831  and again in 1832. There is no mention of Richard voting in 1832.

Richard died in late September 1840, his death being recorded in the Atcham registration district, which included Pontesbury. He was buried at Pontesbury on 3 October 1840, aged 84. Mary, his wife, was living at Pontesbury with her son Samuel and daughter in law Margaret, during the 1841 and 1851 Censuses, when her place of birth was recorded as Ruyton-XI -Towns, Shropshire. She died in 1852, aged 89, and was buried at St George’s Church, Pontesbury.

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