Henry Currer BRIGGS

Henry Currer Briggs(198) was the elder brother of my great-grandfather Archibald Briggs(5). He was born at Overton on 2 Mar 1829 at about half past eight in the morning, and baptised by the Rev. Thomas Johnstone at the Westgate Presbyterian Church, Wakefield, Yorks., on 26 May 1829. He married Catherine Shepherd (1832-1907) on 20 Apr 1854, and according to the pedigree compiled by Mary Southwell they had five children.

Children of Henry Currer Briggs(198) and Catherine Shepherd(199)

Name Notes
Arthur Currer Briggs(369) 1855 - 1906. Married Helen Jones(375) (1860-1931) in 1883. 3 children. See his entry below.
Marion Helen Currer Briggs(371) 1857 - 1912. Married Walter Geoffrey JACKSON in 1879.
Gerald O'Dwyer Briggs(372) 1860 - 1916. Married Augusta Raikes. Gambled at Cannes "the black sheep of the family"
Gilbert Henry Briggs(373) 1863 - 1910. Married Margaret Ellen Scattergood.
Ernest Edward Briggs(374) 1866 - 1913. Married Mary Cooper (1861-1910) in 1893. 3 daughters. See his separate page.

According to Donald Henry Currer Briggs ( A Merchant, A Banker and the Coal Trade ), in 1849 Henry Currer Briggs joined his father Henry and his then partner Henry King Spark, who had coal mines in the Whitwood area. Following his marriage, he also assisted in the management of a jute mill at Thornes, Wakefield, owned by his father-in-law Edward Shepherd, the firm being known as Shepherd and Co. He joined the Dundee firm of Thomson, Shepherd and Briggs, who were jute spinners, and lived at Fernbrae in Dundee until 1869 when, following his father's death, he moved to Saltburn. In 1873 he moved again, to Harrogate and in 1876 to Leeds.

Until 1860 the family Colliery Company was known as Henry Briggs and Co., but the retirement of Henry King Spark in 1859 prompted a reorganisation. Also, unrest among the colliers prompted the family to promote a scheme of co-operative management, and to facitilate this a new limited liability company was registered, Henry Briggs Son and Co. Ltd. Henry Currer Briggs was manging director of this company from 1865 to 1868, and again from 1876 until his sudden death in 1881. In the inteim period, from 1869 to his own death in 1876 my great-grandfather Archibald Briggs(5) was managing director.

Henry Currer Briggs was a strict Unitarian, and helped in founding a chapel in Dundee in 1870, and in Stockton-on-Tees in 1872. His sudden death on 20 Oct 1881, whilst inspecting the Bratsberg Silver Mine in Norway, was a great blow to the firm of Henry Briggs Son and Co., leaving his oldest son Arthur Currer Briggs, who had just been appointed to the board that year, as the only family representative on the board.

Arthur Currer Briggs

Arthur Currer Briggs(369) was born on 23 Jul 1855, at Outwood Hall according to the IGI. In 1881, in the year his father died and at the age of just 25, he was appointed to the board of Henry Briggs Son and Co., and the following year became the managing director. In 1893 he became chairman, a post which he retained until his death in 1906 at the early age of 51. In 1883 he married Helen Jones (375), and they lived at Red Bank, Newton Park, Leeds. Their grandson Dr Donald A. N. Barran kindly lent me a photograph of his grandparents. They had three children.

Children of Arthur Currer Briggs(369) and Helen Jones(375)

Name Notes
Dorothy Currer Briggs(376) Born in 1884 at Potternewton, Yorkshire. Died in 1956. Married Philip Austyn BARRAN(577) in 1908 at Leeds. 4 children. For details see the separate page on Philip Austyn Barran.
Reginald Martin (Mark) Currer Briggs(377) 1891 - 1948. Married 1st Doris May GREENER(389) in 1916. Two children. Married 2nd Ethel Marjorie Harding CHURTON(383). 3 children.
Donald Henry Currer Briggs(378) 28.4.1893 - 29.9.1974. According to Who Was Who (1971-80) he was educated at Charterhouse School and Trinity College, Oxford, and was a mining engineer in charge of collieries in the Wakefield and Castleford district of Yorkshire. M.B.E.(1944). In 1917 he married Elizabeth DENNISTON (387) (31.12.1890 - 15.9.1977), the daughter of Dr James Deniston MD of Dunoon and Altrincham, in 1917. They had 4 children, one son and three daughters. His recreations are listed as shooting and fishing. His address is given in Who Was Who as 7 North Hill Road, Headingly, Leeds 6.

At the time of the 1901 UK Census, Arthur and Helen were recorded at Gledhow Grange, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, with their three children and four servants. An obituary of Arthur Currer Briggs appeared in the Y.D.O. (Yorkshire Daily ??) of 1 Sep 1906, and gives a lot of detail of his life. His career is also part of the story told by his younger son, Donald Henry Currer Briggs ( A Merchant, A Banker and the Coal Trade ). A memorial, designed by William Hamo Thornycroft, was erected in 1908 in the Lawnswood Cemetery, Leeds, and is now a Grade II listed structure. There is a portrait photograph of him when Lord Mayor of Leeds (1903-04), also lent to me by Dr. Donald Barran.

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© John Stowell 2004