Monday, 9 December 2013

The deaths of two brewers

I'd never considered how handy it was people dying. Mmm . . . I think that might have come out the wrong way. For my research, deaths are handy, because they generate obituaries, often a great source of potted biographies.

The deaths in question here were of two prominent Newark brewers, 18 years apart, though there was a connection between them. Both men had at some point been connected to the Castle Brewery. Which, as you must have realised by now, is another of my many obsessions.

"The Late Mr. Goodwin.—The funeral of the late Mr. Goodwin, whose death announced our obituary column last Saturday, took place Friday afternoon week. The first portion of the burial service was conducted at the Parish Church, the Rev. Marshall Wild officiating. Many beautiful wreaths were sent from relatives and friends, and one was from the workmen employed at the brewery, a tribute of respect to their old master. The mourners included— Mrs. Goodwin, Miss Goodwin, Mr. W. G. Goodwin, Mr. Fleming Goodwin, the Rev. Gerald Goodwin, Mr. H. A. Blount, Mr. Adcock, Mr. Gilfin (Grantham), and others. The coffin was of polished wainscot oak, with engraved brass mountings. The inscription ran follows" John Goodwin, died November 24th, 1896, aged 63." Mr. Goodwin had been connected for many years with the Newark breweries. Formerly was managing partner in the firm of Messrs. Caparn, Hankey & Co., who one time held the Castle Brewery. Subsequently he became head of the firm Messrs. Goodwin Bros., brewers, Balderton-gate. This business concern was converted into a Limited Company, and is now known Goodwin Bros., Limited, the premises extending from Balderton-gate to Barnby-gate. Only the Thursday before his death Mr. Goodwin was out of doors, and that he should have passed away so soon as Tuesday night must have proved a shock to his friends and those who knew him. He had long suffered from bronchitis, and it was that which is understood to have hastened his end."
Grantham Journal - Saturday 05 December 1896, page 6.

I'd been unaware that Goodwin had been associated with the Castle Brewery when it traded as Caparn, Hanky & Co. A name which for some reason I struggle to remember. Unlike McGeorge and Heppenstall, another former Newark brewery.

The next brewer managed almost a quarter century more than Goodwin. And accumulated a lot more fame and honours: James Hole. A prominent businessman and politician, whose career stretched almost 70 years, beginning as a maltster in 1847.

Talking of which, I confirmed that the maltings were quite separate from the brewery, being located close to the river. Barnard can be really handy at times. And while we're talking of malt, I forgot to mention in my recent post on Whitbread K Ales of the 1860's that some of the beers contained "Newark malt". I guess that also confirms Newark's renown as a centre of malting.

"DEATH OF A WELL-KNOWN BREWER - The death of Mr. James Hole, head the well-known firm of brewers, took place at his residence, Westfield, Farndon, Newark, on Saturday morning. The deceased gentleman was close upon his 88th year, and had been in failing health for some time. He was born at Caunton, near Newark, and was a relative of Dean Hole, author, cleric, and wit. His early business career in Newark was in the malting trade, but eventually took over the Castle Brewery from Messrs. Caparn, Hankey, and Co., and made the name and beers of Messrs. Jas. Hole and Co. famous in the Midlands. After serving on the Newark Town Council, the late Mr. Hole was elected Mayor of Newark in 1888. He also accepted a second tenure office in 1896, and in the latter year saw the Castle gardens officially opened. The deceased was formerly a magistrate, a member of the Newark Navigation Commission, of the Stock Library, and many other local institutions was at one time chairman of the Newark Rural District Council, on which body sat for the parish of Farndon. He was a staunch Conservative and loyal Churchman. The deceased leaves one son, Mr. J. R. Hole, of Balderton. His wife died many years ago. A vote of condolence was, at Tuesday's meeting of the Newark Board of Guardians, passed with the family the late Mr. Hole. The funeral took place at Farndon on Tuesday. There was a large and representative attendance of townspeople. The chief mourners were Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Hole (son and daughter-in-law), Mr. D. K. Hole, London (nephew), Mr. Hugh Hole, Caunton Manor, and Mr. E. K.. Marsland (cousins). Amongst others present was the Mayor Newark (Mr. J. C. Kew), chairman the Rural District Council.
Grantham Journal - Saturday 09 May 1914, page 2.
Odd, isn't it, that despite latterly most famous as a brewer, he came to the profession very late in life, when he was 59 years old. Maybe I've still got a chance to live the dream of running my own brewery. I'm not quite that old yet. He seems to have had his fingers in lots of pies in the Newark area.

Now, I know this won't mean much to you, but I was really struck by the fact that Hole lived in Farndon. And his son in Balderton. A couple of my school friends lived in Farndon. And I grew up in Balderton. I wonder where their houses were? They must have been pretty grand.

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