Yeovil people

joseph brutton

Brewer, Wine & Spirits Merchant


Joseph Brutton was born on 25 May 1831 in Exeter, Devon, and baptised on 17 June 1831 at St Mary Major church, Exeter. He was the son of Joseph Able Brutton (1795-1837), gentleman, and Margaretta née Browne (1797-1874).

Joseph senior was in the licensed trade and various leases survive for some of the pubs he owned in Exeter including the Oat Sheaf in Fore Street (1821), the Black Moor's Head in Westgate Street (1825, 1837), the Antelope in St Sidwell (1827, 1837), the Paper Makers' Arms in Exe Lane (1837), the Union in St Carrion (1837), the Jolly Sailor in Holy Trinity (1837), a dwellinghouse and malt house in Preston Street (1837), and the King's Arms in Stoke Canon (1837).

By the time of the 1851 census his father had died and his mother was living at 2 Friars Walk, Exeter, with her eldest son Thomas age 24, who was curate of Brixham, Joseph aged 19 described as a brewer and her daughter Laura, a 15-year-old scholar. Also living with them was Joseph's paternal grandmother Martha, aged 80, and a general servant.

By 1854 Joseph had moved to Yeovil and entered into business with Thomas Cave who had established a brewery behind his house in Princes Street. The company originally started life as Kitson & Cave, subsequently Cave's and from 1854 as Cave & Brutton. Thomas Cave was a Yeovil Freemason and Joseph Brutton is known to have joined Yeovil's Lodge of Brotherly Love on moving to Yeovil. He was initiated of 16 November 1853 and served as the Lodge's Worshipful Master in 1860.

On 11 April 1860 in the parish church at Osmington, Dorset, Joseph married Elizabeth Lillington Hall, the daughter of gentlemen Charles Hall and Elizabeth née Lillington. On his marriage certificate Joseph described his rank as gentleman and his residence at the time of marriage as Yeovil, Elizabeth gave her residence as Osmington. Joseph and Elizabeth were to have four children; Margaretta, Robert Hall, Amy and George. In the 1861 census they were listed as living in Princes Street and with them was month-old baby daughter Margaretta, his mother Margaretta and two servants. Joseph, now aged 29, described his occupation as 'Brewer, Wine and Spirits Merchant' (abbreviated on the form). Elizabeth died on 18 May 1869 and was buried in Yeovil Cemetery.

In 1870 Joseph was elected by the Vestry as the town's nominated Churchwarden at St John's and was re-elected in 1871, 1872 and 1873.

In the 1871 census Joseph was described as a widower aged 39 and gave his occupation as 'Common Brewer, Wine and Spirit Merchant, Master, employing 20 men'. Living with him were Amy and George and his mother Margaretta as well as a housekeeper, cook, housemaid, and a nursemaid.

On 24 January 1872 at the parish church of Buckland Newton, Dorset, Joseph married Mary Georgiana Cull, daughter of gentlemen James Cull of Buckland Newton. On his marriage certificate Joseph gave his profession as Brewer. Joseph and Mary were to have nine children, mostly born in Yeovil; Alice, Laura, Joseph, Marion, Arthur, Bessie, Henry, Evelyn and Beatrice.

In 1880 Joseph was listed in "Breeders of Jersey Cattle in the UK, 1880" as J. Brutton, Yeovil, Somerset, England. This, at first glance, appears to be a little incongruous however the extensive land holdings of Frederick Greenham were sold off following the death of Frederick's widow Mary in 1889 and in the sale details it was shown that Joseph rented a five acre pasture field off Horsey Lane. The sale description in the Western Gazette edition of 10 May 1889 read "Lot 8, a close of rich pasture and garden land, also situate in Horsey's Lane, in the occupation of Mr Joseph Brutton, and comprising 5a 0r 25p, was bought by Mr Henry B Batten for £600 (about £57,000 at today's value).

In the 1881 census Joseph and his family were recorded at 7 Princes Street. Living with them were 8 children ranging in age from 20 to 10 months, as well as a cook, general domestic servant, housemaid and 2 nurses. Joseph listed his occupation as "Brewer & Wine Merchant, employing 36 men & 3 boys". The 1891 census listed him as a "Brewer, Wine & Spirits merchant", at 17 Princes Street.

Joseph retired due to ill-health in 1893 and moved to Eastbourne, Sussex. He died on 21 February 1914 aged 82 and his probate in the sum of £2,337 (£230,000 in 2017's value) was handled by his son Henry.




Memorial erected to the memory of Joseph Brutton and his son Robert in St John's church.