Biographical Details A to D


Soldiers of WW1 & WW2 printed in Italics    


Mr S. Adams

Manager of 120 Bath Street Ilkeston from the early 1930’s. he had a non de plume of Ghandi which he adopted after seeing the film

Edwin Alderwick 

Born 1868 at Bristol, son of George Alderwick, boot maker, and his wife Mary Ann COYNE. He married Mary Maria HURL in 1899 and they had two children: Reginald Bernard 1899 in Pembroke, Wales, and Edward Claud 1902 in Haverfordwest, Wales. In 1901 he managed a boot shop in Guildford, Surrey and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 110 Wells Road, Bristol. His wife Mary died in 1932 and he died in 1946

William Allen

Born 1865 at Stourbridge, Worcestershire, son of William ALLEN, chain maker, and his wife Sarah. He married Emma Elizabeth STORER in 1896 and their children born at Ripley, Derbyshire, included William Joseph 1897 and John Eric 1901. In the 1880s and until at least 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises in Market Place, Ripley. He died at Ripley 23 August 1933

Mary G Allison

later Mrs COMB
 Born 1927 at Stockton-on-Tees, Co Durham, daughter of John ALLISON, in the 1940’s-1950’s she worked at the Benefit Footwear branch at Northumberland Street, Newcastle. In 1948 she married William COMB and they had a son William D COMB 1954.

Frederick Allwood

Leamington Spa Courier Jan 1913 LEAMINGTONIAN’S SAD DEATH. A CHRISTMAS TRAGEDY.’ As briefly reported in a portion of our town edition last week, an inquest was held on Friday afternoon at Walworth Coroner’s Court concerning the death Frederick Allwood (25), whose body was recovered from the Thames the previous Monday. The deceased a son of Mr. and Mrs. Allwood, of 7, Queen Street, Leamington, and had of late been manager of the Euston Road branch of the Public Benefit Boot Company. It appears that he mysteriously disappeared about six weeks ago, all trace of him being lost until his body was found, as stated above. At the inquest Mrs. Emma Allwood, who gave her address as 7, Queen Street, Leamington, said that the deceased was her son, and had lived in Upper Porchester Street Paddington. She last saw him in August He had no difficulty or trouble so far as she knew, and he had not complained of ill-health. He was last seen alive the 20th November. She had since heard that he was dismissed at a minute’s notice from his employment which he had been for 10 years. Charles Hamilton Poole, who lodged with the deceased and who was manager of another branch of the business of the same firm, said that he had known deceased for four years. He understood that when the stock was taken in the branch which Allwood was employed, on November 15th, shortage of £12 to £14 was discovered. Allwood was instantly dismissed without any wages.—The Coroner: Is that usual? —Witness: I don’t think so. Mr. Poole said that the deceased was very much upset about his dismissal. stayed at his lodgings until the following Wednesday, spending his time walking about the streets. He was not as far as witness knew, looking for another situation. When he left he said he was going home. He had then only a few shillings in his possession. The jury returned a verdict of “Found drowned.” 

Photo. C. R. Anderson

Born: 1880’s?  a New manager and appointed repairs manager Liverpool 21 Brunswick Road in 1925 & in 1926.

Miss Appleby 

Assistant Babbington Buildings Derby 1950’s/60’s

Photo:S. Armitage 

Born 1860’s?   appointed warehouse manager St. Pauls Street Leeds was in that position in 1925

Photo  The North Party at Middleton One Row July 22nd 1925

Mr S Armitage Back Row 6th from the end going right

Mrs Armitage front row third from the end going right

Photo:  North managers at Roundhay Park Leeds July 9th 1924

S Armitage Third Row fourth on the left

Henry Arthur 

Manager of the Bridge Street New Swindon branch in 1894/5

John Herbert Ashworth

Born 1871 at Bramley, son of Abraham ASHWORTH, Baptist minister from Lancashire, and his wife Isabella ASHWORTH. He married Hannah BARKER in 1896 at Bramley. Two of his brothers-in-law, Nelson ELLIS and Brow DICKINSON, were also intimately associated with the Public Benefit Boot Co. He worked firstly as a clerk, then as a warehouseman and traveller. He died at Exeter in 1941 aged 87.

Photo:A. Ashley

Manager of 203 High Street branch Lincoln 1919

Photo:  Notts & Lincs ‘on their tour 1925

Mr A. Ashley Victoria St. Grimsby In the charabanc standing 3rd from the left 

Mrs Ashley 6th from the back seated in the charabanc

Photo: Mr A. Ashley 

Manager at Blackpool becomes manager at Victoria Street Grimsby found 3rd Qtr 1924

Samuel ASTON

Born 1890 at Bannell, Flintshire, Wales, son of Thomas ASTON and his wife Maria JONES. In 1911 he worked as a boot shop assistant at the company’s premises in Rugby, Warwickshire. He served in WWI and afterwards married Amy MILLS. Their children included William J ASTON 1922, Mary R ASTON 1929, Kathleen J ASTON 1933 and Ronald Henry ASTON 1934. He died at Manchester in 1951 aged 61.

Charles Thomas Atkinson

Born 1853 at Westerham, Kent, the son of Isaac ATKINSON, grocer, tea dealer and draper, and his wife Emma CAFFALL. In 1911 he was unmarried and worked as a boot salesman at 23 Goldsmith Street, Exeter. He died at Exeter in 1941 aged 87.

Thomas Atkinson

Born 1850 at Wolverhampton, son of Thomas ATKINSON, a Wolverhampton clothier originally from County Mayo, Ireland, and his wife Ann REABY. In 1885 at Wolverhampton he married Emma and their children included Wilfred Augustine ATKINSON 1888 and Augustine Leo ATKINSON 1892. In the early 1890s he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 216 High Street, Dudley, Worcestershire.

Mr Atkinson 

Assistant at Stockton sent to manage Horden Branch 1st QTR 1926

Photo: ‘North’ Managers at Roundhay Park Leeds 9th July 1924

N T Aveyard Harrogate Branch Back Row l-r 1st on left

Photo  The North Party at Middleton One Row July 22nd 1925

H J Aynsley Bedlington Branch back row standing 3rd from the right

Photo: North managers at Roundhay Park Leeds July 9th 1924

Mr H J  Aynsley 

Manager of 7 Market Place 1920’s-30’s Bedlington

Seen in the 1924 managers meeting at roundhay park in the charabanc  2nd Row Crouching 3rd from the right    

Henry James Aynsley Morpeth herald 21st March 1947 death of Henry J. Aynsley manager of Bedlington branch for many years.  The funeral took place last week of Mr. Henry J. Aynsley, 6, Market Place, husband of Mrs. K. Aynsley, J.P. Mr. Aynsley was, for many years, manager of the branch of the Benefit Footwear Ltd., and took active interest in his trade union. For 30 years he was secretary of the Shop Assistants’ Union Blyth and later at Bedlington when he took over the managership of the Bedlington shop. In addition, he was on the district  Council of the Shop Assistants Union, was a member  of the National Executive, and for time he was the National President. Before the interment at Bedlington cemetery Mass was held in St. Church, conducted the Rev. Father Benedict Crook, while the Rev. Father M. Hurley conducted the service at the grave side. Family mourners : Mrs. Aynsley (widow), Mr. and Mrs. F. Chicken daughter and son-in la). Misses M. and A. Aynsley (sisters), Mr. and Mrs. E. Aynsley brother and sister in law, Mr. E. Aynsley, Jun., Mr. and Mrs. F. Aynsley (brother and sister-in-law), Mrs. Simpson (mother-in-law), Miss Simpson and Mrs. Ruddick sisters-in-law. 

Mr W. Badger 

Manager of Bromsgrove Branch found 4th Qtr 1924 in 1928 he is managing Wolverhampton branch

Thomas William Badgery

Born 1868 at Worcester, the eldest son of James Thomas BADGERY, leather dresser, and his wife Mary JONES. He followed his father’s footsteps into the tanning and leather manufacturing business and went on to become principal of Ward & Co (Worcester) Ltd, chairman of British Chrome Tanning Co and chairman of James Cycle Co of Birmingham. He served for many years as president of the British Glace Kid Tanners’ Association. He married in London in 1896, travelled to Boston, Massachusetts in 1927, was appointed to the board of Benefit Footwear in 1929 and became chairman in 1931. He died at Worcester in 1953 aged 84.

John Albion Henry Bainbridge

Born 1857 at Bishop Auckland, Co Durham, son of James Andrews BAINBRIDGE, sub-postmaster and stationer, and his wife Sarah CLARKE. He married Mary COATES in 1885 and their children included Ethel  1886, Mary c1889, James Henry 1890, Frederick 1892, Doris Marian  1901 and Frank 1907. He managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Silver Street, Durham, from at least 1901 until 1911. He died at Durham 27 November 1927 aged 70.

Anne Bakewell 

Assistant Babbington Buildings Derby 1950’s/60’s

A J Baldry 

Manager of John O’ Gaunts branch Lincoln 1903

Alfred Charles Ball

Born 1887 at Harris Mill, Illogan, Cornwall, he worked at the Lennards Ltd boot shop at East Stonehouse, Devon, then for some years prior to WWI he managed the company’s premises at 82 Fore Street, Redruth, Cornwall. In 1914 he joined the Scottish Horse Imperial Yeomanry Territorial Force (3rd Reserve) based at Kettering. After several promotions, he was transferred to the Royal Artillery and early in 1917 he was appointed as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery Garrison. The following year he was appointed acting captain and was awarded the Military Cross for ‘exceptional work’ and ‘showing an utter disregard of danger’. He was demobilised in November 1919 and married his fiancée Phyllis Irene Dulcibel VICKERY a year later. He died in 1960 aged 72 and his widow Phyllis died in 1977 aged 74.

Herbert  Ball

Worcester Chronicle July 1899  Stolen. Boots.—Annie Savers (28), 5, Dent street, was charged by Herbert Ball, 5, Castle Place, Edgar street, manager for the Public Benefit Boot Co., with stealing from outside that shop, 28, Shambles, two boy’s boots, value 2s. 11d on June 24. Frank Jones, assistant at the shop, stated that on the date in question about 10.15 at night in consequence of what Ada Bellamy told him he went to the Shambles and there saw prisoner opposite Messrs. Hall’s shop with a perambulator...excerpt only consult Worcester Southern branches P-Z 

Mary Louisa Ball

shop assistant at 38 Fore Street 1901

Ruth Ball

Leicester Journal Aug 1881 Robert E. Hargreaves was charged with stealing a pair of boots, the property of Ruth Ball, between the 6th  inst. The boots were safe in the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company on Saturday….Consult Leicester Southern Branches H-O for the full story. Ruth was a franchisee for the company along with initially her husband

Mr Ballard 

Manager of the new repair factory at Chester 1926 & still there in 1928

J.Fisher Banks

Manager of Grimsby branch 55 Victoria Street Grimsby 1890 onwards

Mr Barker 

Manager from Wakefield Branch returned to his native Leeds this time at North Lane 1st QTR 1926

Photo: William E. Barker

Born 1868 at Lunedale, Yorkshire, son of Robert BARKER, boot and shoemaker, and his wife Phoebe BRUNSKILL. In the 1890s he assisted in his father’s boot and shoe shop in Middleton, Co Durham. At the same time his brother John George BARKER managed a boot and shoe shop in Darlington, very likely a branch of the Public Benefit Boot Co. 1902-1903 William managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 78 Lynn Street, West Hartlepool. In 1925 he was managing the despatch department at St. Pauls Street. He is seen as one of five of the cardboard ‘cut out’ characters depicted in Xmas 1925 the others being Barker, Bew, Ellis and Falcon

Disney Charles Barlow

Born 23 June 1880 at Braunstone, Leicestershire, son of Thomas Disney BARLOW, Church of England clergyman (Curate of Braunstone) and his wife Letitia Amelia McLean, both originally from Ireland. At the age of 20 he worked as a cashier for Lennard Bros in Leicester, going on to become secretary and managing director of the company. In February 1919 with fellow Lennard Bros director Samuel BRIERS, he travelled to New York on a business trip. He married Ethel Mabel SEXTON, granddaughter of Sir Robert SEXTON. In 1939 he was appointed High Sheriff of Leicestershire and he continued on the board of Lennard Bros until at least 1951. He was a shareholder in Lennards Bros for more than half a century. He was a director of the District Bank and chairman of Liberty Shoes Ltd. He died 16 February 1965 aged 84.

Mr E Barnes 

Won a gold medal in a display window judging competition 1928 at Rotherham Branch

Edgar Alfred Barnsley

Evening Despatch 20th April 1918  one time manager of a Branch in Birmingham

Harry Hartington Barrow

Born c1873 at Plumstead, London, son of William BARROW, engine fitter, and his wife Elizabeth PACK. He married Mabel Louise MARTIN in 1902 at Croydon, London and their children included Martin Henry W BARROW 1903, Brian Alfred BARROW 1905, Gilbert Harry BARROW 1907 and Joyce Mabel BARROW 1911. . He died in 1959

Herbert Arthur Bastin

Born 1875 at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, son of William BASTIN, draper’s warehouseman, and his wife Hannah DAVIES. At the age of 16 he was a Cheltenham music seller’s assistant and a decade later he worked in Derby as an accountant’s clerk. He married in 1902 and in 1913 resided at Rose Garth, Tranby Avenue, Hull, serving as district manager for the Public Benefit Boot Co. He died at Hessle, Yorkshire, on 22 June 1916 aged 41.

Irene Bate

Born 1920, at Blyth, Northumberland, daughter of Thomas BATE, coal miner, and his wife Agnes HALDANE. She worked as a shop assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Regent Street, Blyth 1938-1941.

Photo: Tom Bates

born 1848 Hunslet he was a hand finisher and helped the Dickinsons in their apprentice days and on commencing their business he would take work home. Later he was offered space in the first factory, in 1925 he was working in the despatch dept. ‘boxing up’. He enjoys music and has been a chorus member for 25 years at Leeds festivals he also became a choir master

Miss Batton 

Previous branches Birmingham and Darnall moves to managership of Crossgates 2nd Qtr 1924

Alfred Albert Battrick

Errand Boy for the Clock House Luton under Mrs Susannah Taylor found in 1908  consult Surnames T-Z under S.Taylor and Northern Branches H-O Luton for details of a court case

Harry Bawden

Worked at the Benefit Footwear repair facility at Templar Street, Leeds.1940’s onwards

Wilfred Bawden 

Whilst living at Richmond Terrace, Truro, Cornwall, he was employed as a lad in 1893 at the Public Benefit Boot Co branch on the corner of King Street and Boscawen Street, Truro.Royal Cornwall Gazette Oct 1893 Wilfred Bawden  was charged with unlawfully trundling a hoop on the pavement in St.Nicholas Street….excerpt consult Truro Southern branches P-Z 

Ann Beardsmore

In 1958 she started work as a shop assistant at Benefit Footwear in Derby on a weekly wage of £2.50. Fifty years later she still maintains contact with some of the other people who worked at that branch.

Photo: W. Beale 

Manager of 18 Brook Street Hull repair facility in 1926

Dave Bean 

Born 10th November 1952 40, Westbourne Street Hull worked at a variety of firms and occupations including Postal driver. Co-author of the book ‘Well Heeled’ along with Brian Seddon of Australia it was published November 2004. He married Barbara Walker 29th January 1977 at the register office. The research for the book involved initially before the days when the ‘online’ revolution had completely unfolded, writing and sending through the post over 200 letters requesting information from libraries, archives and other sources. It also meant a lot of travelling and taking the time whilst on holiday to photograph many of the wonderful buildings built by the Public Benefit Boot Company which is the subject of the book. This ‘then and now’ approach is something keenly explored over the years and this website has encouraged that ambition.

Barbara Bean nee Walker

Born 9th February 1952 married to Dave Bean. They had four children, Michael David born 28th december 1981, Anthony Laurence born 25th September 1983, Robert Andrew born 17th September 1985 and Geraldine Louise born 20th March 1992. One of her great passions apart from travelling and meeting people is collecting V.W. memorabilia especially from the 1960’s. She has also been of immense help in aiding many times in the research for the Book and the website.

Frederick Joseph Beard

Born 1880 at Battersea, London, son of Henry Richard BEARD, labourer and driller, and his wife Jane BLACKMAN. He married Lilian May WADE in 1903 and their children included Frederick Richard Augustine 1904 and Gwendoline Lilian Ivy 1910, Vera Evelyn  1913 and Cecil Norman 1915. In 1904 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 32 Rye Lane, Peckham in 1911 he managed the premises at 159 Highland Road, Eastney, Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire. He enlisted in WWI in 1916. He died in 1954 his widow Lilian died in 1969

Mr Beaumont 

New manager sent to Rossington 2nd QTR 1927

Thomas Leslie Beeby 

Born August 1896 at East Shilton, Leicestershire, son of Thomas BEEBY, commercial clerk, and his wife Alice GOODWIN. It is thought he worked at Lennards as a clerk prior to enlisting in the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1914. He served in Egypt and France. He married Elizabeth REID in 1940 and he died in 1971 at Poole, Dorset aged 74.

Joseph Frank Beecham

Born 1879 at Boston, Lincolnshire, son of Elijah BEECHAM, Ostler, and his wife Lucy Osborne SCOFFIN. He married Florence Annie HATFIELD in 1904 and their children included Doris Helen 1906 and Norman F. 1914. In 1911 he managed the boot store in Market Place, Grantham. His wife Florence died in 1953 aged 77 and he died in 1963 aged 83.

Photo  The North Party at Middleton One Row July 22nd 1925

A Bell Sunderland repairs factory Back row standing 2nd from the right

Mr A Bell

Began at Stockton branch in 1914 and fought gallantly in the First World war twice wounded became manager of Sunderland repairs factory 4th Qtr 1924

Photo: A. Bell

In 1926 he was managing the repairs factory at 180 high Street West Sunderland.

Donald Bell 

Manager of company branch in 48 Stapleton Road Bristol 1898

Miss Bell

Assistant at Wakefield where she played a role as witness to a felony case 1902 

Wakefield Express Dec 1902 A LAPSE FROM HONESTY. • James Arthur, from Liverpool was charged with the theft of four pairs of boots. value £1 19s. 6d., from the Public Benefit Boot Co on kirkgate, on the previous afternoon. Messrs Lister. Pickersgill. and Rowlands; appeared on prisoner’s behalf. The evidence of Miss Bell assistant at the shop. and P.C. Butterworth, who arrested the prisoner, was to the effect that while Miss Bell was engaged at the back the prisoner entered the shop, and must have put one pair of boots in his portmanteau and three in a paper parcel. He was leaving just as she, reentered the front of the shop. Her suspicions were aroused,  she asked him what he had been doing but he returned no answer. He want into the singing-room of the Crown and Anchor, and left the parcel there; then he went to  “six Chimneys” and  then entered Mr Bells shop. In the  meantime P.C. Butterworth had been  communicated with, and following the prisoner, he arrested him the bag being found to contain one of the pairs of boots. The three others were handed to the officer by the land lady of the Crown and Anchor.  Mr underwood said that his client was a very respectable Liverpool tradesman. who went about  buying and selling boots, and had  hitherto borne an irreproachable character. —The Magistrates imposed a fine of £8 or one month to prison

Mrs Margaret Belton 

Assistant manager of 32 Station Road Ashington 1931-1940’s

Arthur Bemend

Born c1863 at Christchurch, Stafford, son of Oswald BEMAND, shoemaker, and his first wife Hannah HILDITCH. He married Rose Mary A JEWERS in 1886 at Northampton. Their children included Rose  1887, Arthur  1888, May  1890, Fred  1891, Minnie  c1894 and Phyllis Beatrice  1904. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 603 Smithdown Road, Wavertree, Liverpool. His two sons also worked in the boot trade. Arthur died in 1934 aged 71 years and his wife Rose died in 1936 aged 67 years.

Miss Bennington 

Manageress at Osset Branch since 1916 and previously at Blackpool fell ill at the Easter period and died. Described as a keen business woman, happy as a bird with a smile for everybody but not of robust physique. found 3rd QTR 1927 & 1928

Olive Bennington

Assistant at Osset was placed in charge 1928. Married in last QTR 1928 becomes MRS Shaw and unemployed.

Photo: H. Bennett

Found on group photo of five men all managers St. Pauls Street Warehouse Leeds Xmas 1925. The group are in the form of photographic ‘cut out’ characters. He managed the ladies’ department.

Mr Jack Bentley 

New manager sent to South Bank 2nd QTR 1927 and managed 135 High Street West Stockton Branch in the 1940’s

George Bevan

Evesham Standard West Midland Observer Nov 1899 George Bevan a reservist in the 5th Dragoon Guards was called up to fight in the Boer war he was a porter at the Public benefit Boot co at Worcester 

Photo: Robert Clarkson Bew

Began in 1900 spending 50 years with the firm Yorkshire Post 16th Feb. 1950. Vicar Lane & Templar Street corner repairs factory mentioned in 1952. He ended up as the order sheet man involved with costings and ordering of stock at St. Pauls Street. His image is on the group of five managers in the warehouse at Leeds. Resembles photographic ‘cut out’ characters.

John William Bilton

Born 1860 at Ripon, Yorkshire, son of Joseph BILTON, labourer and mattress maker, and his wife Mary Ann ROBINSON. He married Mary Jane BLACKBURN in 1885 and they had a son John Ewart BILTON 1888. John senior was a boot and shoe dealer in 1891 at 9 Fishergate, Ripon, and a decade later he had moved to 18 Fishergate where he continued to trade until his death in 1912 aged 51. In 1917 the premises at 18 Fishergate continued to operate as a branch of the Public Benefit Boot Co.

William Bilton

Born in 1863 at Portsmouth, Hampshire, he worked initially as a draper’s apprentice. He married Emily Rotherforth in 1888 at Hull and their children included Stanley c1890 and Louis 1895. William an assistant was a witness in a larceny case at Albion Street Hull over a pair of stolen boots in January 1887.  By 1891 William was managing the Public Benefit Boot Company premises at 33 Boothferry Road, Goole, followed by 1893-1897 at 41-43 St Sepulchre Gate Doncaster.  He died at Hull 9 September 1912 aged 49 and his wife Emily died there in 1954 aged 88. 

Easter Morning News June 1899 Serious CHARGE AGAINST A SERVANT. Jessie Townes, a domestic servant Goole, was charged at the Police Court on Saturday with unlawfully obtaining possess:on of three pairs of shoes valued at 17s 11d, the property cf the Public Benefit Boot Company, Goole; a quantity of ladies’ linen. valued at 16s 7d, the property of Louisa Hartwell, of Carter-street, Goole; and a quantity of under clothing, valued at 10s & 5d, the property of Sarah Gleadow, of Boothferry-road, Goole.The first case was the only one taken. and after evidence had been given by William Bilton, manager for the Public Benefit. Boot Company. prisoner was committed to the next Bradford Quarter Sessions, to be held on June 26th. Either William returned back to Goole from Doncaster (1893-97) or he remained as manager from 1891-1899 at the Goole shop is open to question given the dates?

Photo: J. Bingham 

Manager of Norton Road Stockton repair factory in 1926

Thomas Norton Bird 

Born 1886 at Kettering, son of Thomas BIRD, boot and shoe manufacturer, and his wife Mary SPENCE. In 1911 married Edith May WEBB at Kettering and in WWI served as a Captain in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. He was a principal of the firm Thomas Bird & Sons Ltd, shoe manufacturers and in 1937 he joined the board of Benefit Footwear. He died at Kettering in 1958 aged 71 and his widow Edith died there in 1979 aged 92.


Manager removed to the new Leamington Spa Branch found 3rd Qtr 1925

Mr Bishop 

New manager for Bromsgrove Branch 1st QTR 1926

George Frederick Blackburn

Born 1861 at Diss, Norfolk, son of Philip BLACKBURN, agricultural labourer, and his wife Ann Elizabeth TWAITES. He married Ellen Elizabeth TAYLOR in 1888 at Nottingham where he worked as a porter and boot shop assistant before taking over management of the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 73-75 Radford Road from 1898. In 1911 he managed the company premises at 32 Northgate Street, Chester, Cheshire. Last known Branch was Wombwell and in 1st QTR 1926 sent to manage Wakefield Branch George Died whilst managing new Gipsyville Branch Hull 3rd QTR 1928  

Robert Holliday Blackburn

Born 1874 at Bramley, son of William BLACKBURN, clothing manufacturer, and his wife Maria HOLLIDAY. Robert and his brothers Richard Arthur  and William worked initially in their father’s manufacturing business. In 1906 at Bramley he married Ethel Ann DICKINSON, daughter of Brow DICKINSON, managing director of the Public Benefit Boot Co. Robert served as a director of the Public Benefit Boot Co in the 1920’s. He was Lord Mayor of Leeds1932-33. His time in office include the day of the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Leeds to open the Civic Hall on 23 August 1933. Alderman Blackburn represented the Conservative on Leeds City Council as a councillor or alderman for 35 years, with the exception of one year. He was the chairman and joint managing director of William Blackburn & Co Ltd, clothing manufactures of Whitehall Road, founded by his father in 1867. He died at Leeds 31 August 1950 aged 76.

Photo:  Notts & Lincs ‘on their tour 1925

Manager W. Blackburn Wombwell 2nd row 2nd on the left

Photo: Notts. & Lincs. At the Arboretum Nottingham June 26th 1924

W Blackburn Wombwell Branch Back Row 2nd on the left

Mr Bloomberg

Manager of a franchise on Jersey. Independent & Daily Telegraph 15 Jan 1898 GUERNSEY NEWS. (From the Guernsey Evening Press Jan. 10.) Daring Highway Robbery What might be termed the height of impudence took place at the Public benefit Boot Stores, in the Bordage, on Saturday evening last. It appears that the proprietor, Mr. Bloomberg, was standing in his doorway at about 8 o’clock, when suddenly a man came up and taking a pair of boots, which were on show outside the shop, made off. The proprietor noticing this, followed the thief; but another person, no doubt an accomplice, struck Mr. Bloomberg a hard blow in the face, knocking him down, thereby giving time to the thief to escape; but that was not so, as PCs. Roberts and Burley were near by; at the time. Both were arrested and locked up. We are informed that one man is named Daly and the other is a Frenchman. They will be brought before the Court on Thursday next. Great praise is, however, due to Constable Ogier, of the Catel parish, for having given information to the police, he having witnessed the chase. 

Dorothy Christabel Boddice

Skegness Standard Employee Miss Dorothy Christabel Boddice 10th November 1948 employee at Skegness Branch

William Boasten 

Manager of the Oxford shop:

TWO CASES IN THE SAME COURT. Oxford Times dec 1904 William Boasten. of the Public Benefit Boot Company. St. Aldate’s, sued the London and North-Western Railway Company for £3. 12s 8d. damage to goods.—Mr. Cosens, who appeared for the plaintiff, said that a mirror, along with other goods, was conveyed to Messrs. Pollard and Co., of Buckingham to Messrs. Nicholls, of Oxford, who were acting agents to the plaintiff…… 

BOOT CASE ADJOURNED. The Public benefit Boot Company, St Aldates  sued Joseph Watson of Meadow lane Iffley, for £1.18s 6d for goods supplied. Mr Cosens, for Mr E.T.Hatt, represented the plaintiff and said the defendant was supplied with boots for himself and his daughter…… Consult Oxford for both cases for the full stories Southern branches H-O

Mr Bond 

Assistant at Chesterfield and Newark becomes a new manager sent to newly opened Hemsworth 1st QTR 1927

William Thomas Bone

Born c1891 at Winchester, Hampshire, son of Thomas BONE, billiard maker, and his wife Kate BUDDEN. In 1911 he worked as a Lennards Ltd boot repairer in Bristol and served in WWI. In 1914 he married Agnes H Morgan and their children included Ronald W BONE 1915 and Charles BONE 1923. His wife Agnes died at Bristol in 1953 aged 66 and he died there in 1959 aged 68.

Hamilton Bonner

Born 1857 at Rodley near Leeds, son of Benjamin Holme BONNER, boot manufacturer, and his wife Sarah Ann LISTER. He married Emma POLLARD in 1880 at Bradford and their children included William  1882, Rhoda  1891 and Lilian  1898. Hamilton’s father Benjamin manufactured footwear in 1899 as B Bonner & Sons and built the Gladstone Works in Stanningley (occupied in 2004 by Dents, Dyers & Cleaners). Benjamin’s two sons Hamilton and Lonsdale, were both shareholders in Lennards Ltd in 1914 and carried on the business their father founded until 1930.

Lonsdale Bonner

Born 1865 at Bramley near Leeds, son of Benjamin Holme BONNER, boot manufacturer, and his wife Sarah Ann LISTER. He married Sarah Ada GUDGEON in 1890 at Bradford and their children included Thomas William BONNER 1895 and Robert Arthur BONNER 1900. With his brother Hamilton, he was a Lennards Ltd shareholder and continued in his father’s business B Bonner & Sons. One hundred employees were engaged in manufacturing heavy boots, mainly for farmers and the Army. The firm enjoyed a large export trade with Ireland.

Mr Boniface

Head finisher and operator came from the ‘Deaf & dumb school in 1917

Herbert James Bool

Born 1877 at Bristol, Gloucestershire, the son of James BOOL, freestone mason, and his wife Emma CHAPPELL. At the age of 13 he worked as a shop boy at Battersea, London. He married Ethel May FINCH in 1901 at Worcester their children born at Swansea included Albert James 1902, Douglas Clifford 1906 and Ronald Barry 1911. From circa 1901 to 1911 he managed the company’s premises at, 16 Victoria Arcade & 1 King Edwards’ Road (Lennards Corner) Swansea, where his sister-in-law Clara Ellen Finch also worked as a shop assistant. His wife Ethel died in 1946 he died in 1951

William John Booth 

Belper News 26th February 1915 William John Booth died of meningitis during military training at Glasgow was an assistant at the branch in Belper

Isaac Bostock

Born 1860 at Stockport, Cheshire, son of Isaac Moore BOSTOCK, postman and shopkeeper, and his wife Jane WHITAKER. In 1882 he married Henrietta Steward MUNSLOW who died in 1926. He secondly married Louisa Kate DOOGOOD. Isaac worked initially as a tailor’s salesman but in the 1890’s and early 1900’s he was a Public Benefit Boot Co shareholder and managed a boot shop at Douglas on the Isle of Man. In 1911 he was listed as a managing director and retail boot dealer in Stockport. He died at Southport in 1932 aged 72.

George Arthur Bosworth

Born 1892 at Guilsborough, Northamptonshire, son of Thomas BOSWORTH, builder’s labourer, and his wife Annie Louisa NICHOLS. He worked as a salesman for Lennards Ltd in Bristol before enlisting to serve in WWI. He served as a driver with the Royal Field Artillery in France for 3 years, 8 months.

Nora Brady

Manageress of a Goole Branch 1910 she gave evidence of a crime committed at the shop Hull daily Mail October 1910 WHAT THE MANAGERESS SAW AT GOOLE.  Saturday, Goole, John Kelly, labourer, was charged with stealing a pair of gent’s boots, belonging to the Public Benefit Boot Company, Bridge-street. Superintendent Minty said that whilst the manageress of the shop (Miss Nora Brady) was in the back room she saw accused go from the shop, wrap a pair of boots in a sack, and leave with them. A neighbouring shopkeeper caught the accused and brought him back, but after dropping the boots he ran away. He was subsequently caught by P.C. Tordoff hiding under a hedge in Duckels Farm. He was also charged with assaulting Tordoff, latter stating that accused struck, him in the mouth and kicked him in the thigh. Several convictions were proved against Kelly in various places in different names, including one this year at Hull for stealing a bicycle. For the assault, prisoner was committed for one month, and for the theft two months—three months in all

Frederick James Bragg

Born 1871 at Bristol, son of John Bragg, boot maker, and his wife Sarah Ann JONES. Frederick and three of his brothers (Albert, William and John) commenced their working life in the boot trade. He married Kathleen ABBOTT in 1893 at Bristol and their children included Frederick John 1893, Herman Abbott 1894, and Kathleen Vera 1897. From 1901 to 1906 he managed the Public Benefit branch at 43 Market Street, Falmouth in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 52 Fore Street, Tiverton, Devon. He died in 1919

Photo Mr F. C. Braithwaite 

Manager of the premises Newland Avenue in 1925 sent to the new branch at Woodlands near Doncaster 1st QTR 1926 also managed premises at Goole, Yorkshire in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Photo:  Nott’s & Lincs ‘on their tour 1925

Manager F C Braithwaite Newland Avenue Hull branch Front row seated 6th from left next to the lady with the hat.

Mrs Braithwaite 3rd row 7th from the right

Photo: Notts. & Lincs. At the Arboretum Nottingham June 26th 1924

F C Braithwaite Hull Branch Back Row standing 5th from the left

Mrs Braithwaite 2nd Row 6th on the left

John William Bramman

Born 7 May 1903 at Goole, Yorkshire, son of James BRAMMAN, dock labourer, and his wife Sarah Elizabeth BULLASS. As a young lad, he worked as an errand boy for four shillings a week at the Public Benefit Boot Co shop at 33 Boothferry Road, Goole 1913. He later went on to work on the docks and died at Goole in 1996 aged 93.

John Thomas Bray

Born 1851 in Leigh, Gloucestershire, the son of John BRAY, tailor, and his wife Maria POWELL. He married Mary Sims RAYNER in 1879 at Axbridge, Somerset, and their children included Mary Gertrude 1880, Ethel Kate  1882, William John  1884 and Arthur Henry  1886. It is thought he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at Penryn in 1898 and from 1901 to at least 1913 he managed the boot shop at 19 The Homend, Ledbury, Herefordshire. He died at Ledbury in 1915 aged 63 and his wife Mary died there in 1923 aged 72. Their son William carried on business as a boot and shoe retailer.

William John Bray

Born 1884 at Ledbury, Herefordshire, son of John Thomas BRAY, boot retailer, ad his wife Mary Sims RAYNER. He married Catherine A DAGGER in 1910 and their children included Arthur J W BRAY 1911, Marjorie E BRAY 1914 and Mary C BRAY 1918. He managed the boot and shoe retailing business in Ledbury for some years. His wife Catherine died in 1944 aged 63 and he died in 1966 aged 81.

Mr Brayendale 

New manager sent to Brunswick Road Liverpool 4th QTR 1926

 B W Breeze 

Chester Chronicle 4th august 1917 Private W. B. Breeze reported killed October 1st 1916 in the South Lancs regiment he was the late manager of the Market Street Branch at Crewe. His epitaph reads: The unknown grave is the bitterest blow. None but aching hearts can know. From his loving wife and child.

John Brelsworth

1880 7th April Derby Telegraph Man in the Boot Trouble.—This (Wednesday) morning, at the Derby Police Court, John Brelsworth was summoned for furious driving in the Corn- market, Derby on Saturday evening, March 20th.—Police constable  Brown said the defendant was the driver of the ” big boot.” On the night named he galloped his vehicle down the Corn-market. He shouted to defendant but he only slightly slackened speed.—There were  other convictions, and defendant was fined 20s or eleven days imprisonment

Robert Leonard Brewer

Manager of 12-13 St.Peters’ Street Hereford 1901

East & South devon Advertiser June 1901 Newton Abbot IPPLEPEN WOMAN FAILS AT OLD TRICK. Torquay County Court Saturday Selina Bibbings, of Ipplepen, resisted a claim made by the Public Benefit Boot Company for balance due on a pair of boots. Complaining that she was straightened circumstances, Mr Brewer, the local manager, let her have a pair of boots costing 10s 11d for the payment of a shilling down and the promise of regular instalments….Consult Newton Abbot Southern branches H-O for the full story

Torquay times April 1901 The Torquay Early Closing Association Cricket Club, which was started last year, will this scum, only run a Wednesday team. Mr. R. L. Brewer the manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, is the enterprising secretary. He has arranged matches with Paignton St. John’s, Brixham, Britannia, and Upton. The club will probably play their home engagement’s at the Recreation Ground

Mr T. Brewer

Local manager 1900

Torquay Times June 1900 ALLEGED WHOLESALE ‘THEFT OF SHOES.. Ellen Bowden, a married woman of Melville Street, was brought up in custody charged with stealing six pairs of shoes, value 17s. 4d. the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company. Mr. T. Brewer, manager of the Public Benefit Boot establishment, said he had been missing shoes from the hooks, from which they were usually suspended outside the shop, for several days... excerpt consult Torquay Southern branches P-Z for full story

Photo: Notts. & Lincs. At the Arboretum Nottingham June 26th 1924

G F Brewin Bolsover Branch Front Row 3rd from the left

Mr Bridgens 

A new manager sent to Walsall Branch 1st Qtr 1926

Photo: Miss Bridie

With Miss Eldred promoting cardboard Joe at Skegness 1926

Samuel Briers

Born 1868 at Leicester, son of Frederick BRIERS, a Hugglescote wheelwright. Samuel married Mary GRIFFITHS in 1892 and their children included Gladys Mary  1893, Dorothy Harriet 1896 and Winifred Emily 1898. Along with his brother-in-law Thomas HATTON, Samuel was a shareholder in Lennard Bros. Samuel commenced working as a clerk before taking over the management of the company’s warehouse in Leicester, later serving as managing director. In February 1919 with fellow Lennard Bros director Disney Charles BARLOW, he travelled to New York on a business trip. He died at Birstall, Leicestershire, 28 December 1926 aged 58.

Thomas Henry Briers

Born 1901 at Leicester, son of Samuel BRIERS, boot manufacturer, and his wife Mary GRIFFITHS. He married Frances E GREENWOOD in 1927 and their children include Annette E BRIERS 1928, Jane M BRIERS 1932 and Susan BRIERS 1939. He continued his family’s long association with the companies and in 1951 was a director of Lennards Bros.

John James Britten

Born 1845 in London, a boot manufacturer at Bethnal Green, London and a shareholder in the Public Benefit Boot Co. Married Sarah Ann TURNER in 1869 at Hackney. Their children included Sarah 1872, Louisa Mary A  1874, Ellen Elizabeth  1875, Florence May 1877, Henry Warner  1879, John Turner  1883, James William 1885 and Charles Wallis  1888.

Thomas Brocklebank

Manager of Rotherham branch.  He was prosecutor in the following felony                                Sheffield independent March 1883 theft from Rotherham premises 28 High Street.George Smith, shoemaker. Well-gate, and Benjamin Margisson, shoemaker, Nottingham street, were charged with stealing a pair of boots from the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company, 28, High street, Rotherham, on the 10th inst. The manager, Thomas Brocklebank, missed the pair of ladies’ boots produced, which were worth 7s. 6d., from the shop door ; the boots were afterwards pawned by Margisson at the shop of Mr. Eaton, Church street, Rotherham, and the prisoners were apprehended on Tuesday afternoon by Sergeant Egley. Margisson said he pawned the boots for Smith, who said he had bought them at Sheffield. Prisoners were each committed to the House of Correction for a month.

Mr Broughton 

Manager of Dewsbury Road sent to Crossgates 1st QTR 1927

Albert Brown

Born around 1867 at Chatham, Kent, he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at High Street, Totterdown, Bristol from 1891 to 1895.1898 as a district manager he was present at the inquest of the death of shop manager. F. Lodge at 379 High Street Cheltenham

Bristol Mercury June 1894 THEFT OF BOOTS, -William Henry Wilson, a young man, was charged with stealing a pair of boots and a pair of tan ‘shoes, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company on Saturday evening. Charles White, porter to the Public Benefit Boot Company Leonard and Co.), said that on Saturday evening he saw the defendant outside the shop looking at some tan Shoes. After a time he suddenly ran off. Mr Brown. the manager of the shop, identified the pairs of boots. Detective Williams stated that on the evening in question he arrested the man in St. Philip’s. He acknowledged stealing the shoes, but said he did not take the boots. The boots wore found at his sisters’ house. Prisoner pleaded guilty, and said that his sister did not know where he obtained the boots. He was the worse for drink at the time. Fined 10s and costs, or 14 days

Bristol Mercury April 1895 ALLEGED THEFT OF A PAlR OF BOOTS. William Joseph was charged with stealing a pair of boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Co. The manager of the Totterdown branch of the company stated that he often employed the accused at different times to do odd jobs for him, On March 9th the accused took, according to witness’s orders, a pair of girls’ boots to the High street depot to exchange for another pair of the same sort In a different size. He brought back the pair required. Later on witness received an account from the High street depot charging him with the pair of girls’ boots which had been sent to Totterdown. He made inquiries, and afterwards took proceedings against the accused, Albert Brown, manager of the High street depot, stated that on the 9th March when the accused came to the shop to exchange a pair of boots he placed the pair required In a bag and also the pair sent for exchange, as he had boots in that size and thought that the pair would be useful to the Totterdown branch. The accused then took the bag away, The case was remanded until Tuesday. and bail was allowed providing a surety could be found.

Charles Henry Brown

Born 1866 at West Hartlepool, Co Durham, son of James BROWN, a tailor from Lancashire and his wife Jane. He married Agnes Woodhouse in 1893 at Hartlepool and their children included Gladys  1894, Winnie 1896, Adolph 1897 and Ida  1900. He was a boot salesman and 1900-1901 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 23 Northgate Street, Hartlepool.


George William Brown

Boot dealer, he traded as the Public Benefit Boot Co at 136 Yorkshire Street, Rochdale and went into receivership on 26 November 1897.

George William S. Brown

Born 1884 at Poplar, London, son of George BROWN, stationary engine driver, and his wife Emily. He married Ethel Jane JAMES in 1910 at Isle of Wight. In 1911 he worked as a boot salesman at the company’s premises at Brockenhurst, Hampshire.

Photo Notts & Lincs ‘on their tour 1925

J.D. Brown 203 Lincoln High Street Branch front row seated 2nd from the left

Photo: Notts. & Lincs. At the Arboretum Nottingham June 26th 1924

J D Brown Lincoln Branch Front Row 4th from the left

Photo:  J D Brown

Lincoln Branch, an announcement he has a new child found 3rd Qtr 1924 & in the 1st QTR 1928 sent to manage the Cleckheaton Branch. In 1935 he managed the 203 High St branch Lincoln

Mr W. Brown 

Belper News 6th March 1914 death of Mr W. Brown aged 64. From 1884 to 1904 he managed the Chesterfield Premises.

Leo Sylvester Bryan

Born 1890 at Cardiff, son of James William G BRYAN, cigar merchant, and his wife Ursula KERR. He married Dorothy Ethel CORNWELL in 1910 and they divorced in 1924. He likely managed the company’s premises in Regent Street, Burnham on Sea, Somerset in 1911

Mr Bryant

Shepton mallet journal Aug 1904 WESTON SUPER-MARE. Another FIRE. —For the third time within a few months a fire has occurred in Weston-super- Mare. First of all, Wreford’s premises in Oxford-street a bakery was the scene of a conflagration ; then, in May, came the very serious and sad affair at Huntley’s Priory Restaurant ; and now, yet another similar fire is reported, this time at Price’s Bakery in Regent-street. It appears that, shortly before eight o’clock Sunday night, fire broke out in the storehouse, situated over the oven at Price’s Bakery—a somewhat similar location to that in which was the inception of the Priory fire, be it noted—and had the outbreak not been quickly discovered, the consequences might very possibly have been of very serious nature, as the premises are situated in the narrow part of the street, being entered at the back from Meadow-street. A young man named Bryant, who works for the Public Benefit Boot Company, jointly with three police constables, worked hard to keep the flames down with buckets of water, until the arrival of the brigade. In half an hour, so prompt were the measures taken, the fire was got under, without any very great damage to the premises, but to the destruction of a large quantity of flour. The peculiar circumstances of the fire caused immense excitement in the town, which is now very full of visitors, and eager crowds of people congregated in Regent-street and Meadow-street, whence they watched the operations of the brigade with the keenest interest

Mr Bruce 

Manager of Hetton Le Hole hitched in 3rd Qtr 1924

Mr Buckley 

Manager of Morley Branch sent to King Street Huddersfield 1928

Percy Berry Bugg

Born 1875 at Ipswich, Suffolk, twin son of John William BUGG, iron hardware-man, and his wife Salome BERRY. He married Gertrude Emma BLOOMFIELD in 1903 and they had a son Cecil Percy BUGG 1910 at Chelmsford where Percy managed the Public Benefit Boot Company premises at 87 High Street. He died in 1959

Thomas Bull

Born 1858 at Mersham, Kent, son of Charles BULL, boot maker, and his wife Ruth HANSON. He married Eleanor MARTIN in 1892 and at Folkestone, Kent, they had the following children: Thomas Henry BULL 1893, twins James Alfred BULL and Stanley Charles BULL 1897, Sidney Martin BULL 1898, Victor Edward BULL 1901 and Leonard Hanson BULL 1903. He was a Lennards Limited shareholder and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 4 Cheriton Road, Folkestone with his wife Eleanor assisting in the business. He died at Littlemore, Queensland, Australia in 1923 aged 65.

Jabez Sidney Bullough

Born 1866 at Huddersfield, Yorkshire, the son of Thomas BULLOUGH, iron moulder, and his wife Agnes Mary DEVEY. In 1893 he trades as the Public Benefit Boot and Shoe Co at Westgate, Bradford, before going in to liquidation. In 1897 at Bramley, Yorkshire, he married Agnes Mary Devey from Seaton Carew, Co Durham. They had one surviving child Roland BULLOUGH 1903 at Crook, Co Durham. By the turn of the century Jabez worked variously as a Publican and a Draper. He died 24 December 1939 at London aged 73.

Bradford Daily Telegraph Jan 1894 A TRADESMAN’S PROTEST AGAINST MAGISTERIAL LENIENCY. Some time ago Mr J. s. Bullough. who trades as the  Benefit Boot Company, at 78a, Westgate.Bradford, was the prosecutor in a case tried before the Stipendiary (Mr Skidmore), who declined to punish a prisoner, charged with theft because the boots which he appropriated were taken from the shop door. This, and other similar intimations from the Bench have been a source of grievance shopkeeper* business necessitated the prominent display of their wares. The theft above mentioned the only one which Mr Bullough had had at his shop for four years. Since, however, he appeared as prosecutor the aforementioned instance, he has been twice victimised, the Stipendiary’s decision having apparently inspired a sense of immunity amongst the dishonestly-inclined. On Tuesday evening last, Mr Bullough had a pair boots stolen, and late Saturday night a most audacious seizure of fourteen pairs of boots was made by a rough looking man wholes in White Abbey, and who is known both to Bullough and the police. The occurence took place a few minutes after 11 o’clock. A lad In the employ of Mr. Bullough was standing at the shop-door to see ‘that no appropriation was made by passers by from the several rows of boots suspended, within the entrance and outside the doors and windows of the shop. The man in question, although there were many people besides the lad about, with a cool audacity that almost commanded admiration, unhooked and made off with a string of fourteen pairs of boots suspended just within the entrance. Bullough’s lad, as soon  as he overcame his momentary astonishment, alarmed his employer, whose assistant, Thomas Coonan, at once went out. The thief had not got many yards away, and was soon captured by his pursuer, who proceeded to inflict physical chastisement upon his captive. Police : officers (150) Sheriff and (173) Starkey were soon on the scene, but a protest against the action of the Stipendiary in the previous case which he took before him. Mr Bullough declined to prosecute. The fourteen pairs of boots were recovered and the depredator was : allowed to go home, though be probably was rather sore from his punishment

John Bulmer

Born 1885 at South Shields, Co Durham, where in 1908 he married Florence HIMSLEY. In 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Company’s premises at 29 Victoria Street, Grimsby, He died at Hull 2 January 1924 aged 38.

Photo  The North Party at Middleton One Row July 22nd 1925

J R Burn Newcastle Branch middle row 3rd from the left

Photo:  North managers at Roundhay Park Leeds July 9th 1924

J R Burn Newcastle Branch 2nd Row 2nd from the right

Photo: Mr J R Burn 

New manager at Newcastle announces baby boy 4th Qtr 1924

Neil Burns 

Worker at the Queen Victoria Street repair shop active from 1961-1988

Miss S. Burn 

Assistant at 11 & 40 Northumberland Street, 1940’s/50’s

Mr A Burnell 

One time manager of the Bideford Branch of the P.B.B.co 1900’s and certainly in 1909

Bideford North Devon Gazette  Feb. 1895 obstruction to the pavement with four crates of boots for 36 hours George Burnell of the High-Street Bideford branch pleaded guilty paid costs of 4s 6d

By 1908 new management had taken over the branch Mr & Mrs Smith

North Devon Journal April 1909 The funeral of Mr A.Burnell of Cold Harbour, took place at the cemetery he was one time manager of the Bideford branch of Public Benefit Boot Company. Consult Bideford Southern Branches A-G for full story

Arthur Lewis Burnley

Born 1861 at Shipley, Yorkshire, son of Denby BURNLEY, boot and shoe dealer, and his wife Sarah Ann WALKER. He married Harriet HOLMES in 1901 and they had a daughter Ida BURNLEY 1903 at Keighley, Yorkshire. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 12 Lytham Street, Blackpool, Lancashire. He died in 1944 aged 83.

John William Henry Burmester

Born c1919 in Oxfordshire, son of John William Lawrence Burmester and his wife Erica S C ROSE. In 1942 he married Joyce Marian GURR. He was appointed a director of Lennards Limited in 1969.

Albert Burridge

Manager of Bedford branch

…..Albert Burridge, 8, Alexander-road, manager to the Public Benefit Boot Company, 6, Harpur-street, said at 11.30 am. on Aug. 12, prisoner was in the back premises of the shop in Harpur-street, and he asked him where he got the sacking (produced) from. Prisoner said he brought it from away, and wanted to buy some old boots….. consult Bedford Southern Branches A-G for the full story

Charles Burrow 
In 1884 he was proprietor of four Public Benefit Boot Co stores – at Bradford, Huddersfield, Rochdale and Stockport. He also had extensive interests in other boot dealerships but went into receivership in 1884.

Samuel Burton

Born 1841 at Sawtry, Huntingdonshire, son of William BURTON, grocer and draper. Samuel worked in the family business for many years. Later in life he married Isabel MARK and managed the Public Benefit Boot Co shop in Rugby, circa 1896 He was a brother-in-law of the Coventry boot dealer Samuel HARKER and died at Rugby in 1903 aged 61.

William Joseph Bush

Born 1867 at Shirley, Hampshire, son of James BUSH, joiner, and his wife Louisa BURROW. He married Hetty Elizabeth SIMMS in 1890 and they had a daughter Louisa Hetty BUSH 1891 in Southampton. In 1891 he worked as a boot shop assistant in Southampton and from circa 1901 until 1913 he managed the premises at 99 High Street, Winchester, Hampshire. His wife Hetty died at Weymouth, Dorset, in 1954 he died there in 1957

Mr Butler 

Manager of the ladies’ saloon at the premises of the Public Benefit Boot Co at 33 Boothferry Road, Goole, Yorkshire, around 1913-1914.

Ernest Butler 

Derbyshire Courier 3rd august 1918 Ernest Butler a rifleman in the West Yorks. Is in the 12th General hospital Rouen suffering from wounds in the groin and buttock. Prior to this he had been gassed in April He first went to France in December 1917 and was an employee of a Branch in Sheffield.

Photo:  Notts & Lincs ‘on their tour 1925

Manager L. Butler of Stainforth front row seated third from left

John Butson

Born 1847 at Crediton, Devon, son of William BUTSON, carpenter, and his wife Susan. He married Emma Jane PARK in 1870 and they had two daughters Rosa Agnes BUTSON 1874 and Lily Louisa BUTSON 1877. He was a boot dealer and by 1911 he had retired and his two daughters carried on the boot dealership at 10 High Street, Totnes, Devon. His wife Emma Jane died in 1924 and he died in 1935

William Butterfield

Born c1838 at Shipley, Yorkshire, son of Jonas BUTTERFIELD, wool sorter, and his wife Ann SHEPHERD. He married Mary FOSTER in 1872 at Bridlington and their children included James Foster Butterfield 1873, Jane Foster BUTTERFIELD 1880, William 1883 and Jessie 1885. From the 1870’s until at least 1911 he and his wife managed the boot dealership at 31-32 Market Place, Driffield, Yorkshire, assisted in the business at various times by their daughters Jessie and Jane and nieces Clara PICKLES and Anna Marie HAINSWORTH.

Eva Button

Born 1914 at Goole, Yorkshire, daughter of Clifford BUTTON, railway company employee, and his wife Sarah Ann PROCTOR. At the age of 15 she worked as a junior for Benefit Footwear in Goole, earning eight shillings per week. She was very happy working there and on some weekends assisted at the company’s premises at King Edward Street, Hull and in Whitefriargate, Hull. Over the eight years she worked for Benefit Footwear, her wages rose to 19 shillings per week. She left the job to get married in 1938 to William Arthur CARR. Her husband died at Goole in 1978 aged 66.

Jessie Buzzacott

Born 1878 at Crediton, Devon, daughter of Eli Buzzacott, currier, and his wife Mary Jane Kidwill. In 1900 married Francis Edwin NEWTON, a salesman for the Public Benefit Boot Co. In 1912 Jessie was the manageress of the company’s branch at 43 Market Street, Falmouth, Cornwall. It is thought she died in Canada in 1929 aged 51 and her husband Francis died there in 1959 aged 82.

William Caley,                                                                                                                    Benjamin Caley,                                                                                                                  Rowland Caley

Born 1887 at Hunslet, Yorkshire, the son of Benjamin CALEY, a boot repairer, and his wife Laura LONGBOTTOM. In 1911 William managed a new boot Warehouse at 28 Queen Street, Morley while his father Benjamin and brother Rowland worked as boot repairers. He married Ethel CROSSLAND in 1912 and their children include Cyril 1914 and William 1921. He died at Morley in 1922 aged 34.  In 1912 number 28 Queen Street Y.E.Post 4th May 1912 was being sold off and the tenant was boot repairer Benjamin Caley. The shop and living quarters was purchased by Public Benefit Boot installing William Caley as the Manager and his father Benjamin worked as boot repairer along with Rowland Caley

Mr G A Campbell 

Assistant at high St. West sent to manage Blackhall 3rd QTR 1928

Alice Clements Card

Born 1866 at Tunbridge Wells, Kent, daughter of Ephraim CARD, farmer, and his wife Harriet CLEMENTS. In 1890 at Tunbridge Wells she married Francis Edward VICK. In 1911 she and her husband ran the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 1 Wellington Street, Teignmouth, Devon. She died at Bournemouth in 1947 aged 81 and Francis died there two years later aged 82.

Miss Betty CARR 

Worked as a shop assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Regent Street, Blyth, Northumberland in the 1930’s.  In 1938 she spoke on behalf of a neighbour Bill Clayton who was then taken on at the shop as an errand boy.

Thomas Albert Carter

Born 1879 at Gloucester, son of Henry CARTER, tram car driver, and his wife Emma TUCKER. He married Bessie DRAKE in 1908 at Fulham, London. Their children included Norman Arthur c1910 and Cyril J 1913. Thomas worked as a boot shop assistant in Croydon, Surrey and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 36 High Street, Stratford-on-Avon.

C. Cartwright 

New manager sent to Victoria Street Grimsby 4th QTR 1927

John Cashmore

Born 1855 at Stone, Staffordshire, son of John CASHMORE, shoemaker, and his wife Mary. He married Emma MOULD in 1877 at Stafford and their children included Mary May 1877, Arthur John 1879, Helen Lucy  1882, Bertram Charles 1886 and Reginald George  1893. He worked as a boot maker and in the 1890s and early 1900s he was a foreman and manager of the Lennards’ shoe manufacturing operations at Blaby, Leicestershire.

Cecil Chambers 

Manager of John O’ Gaunts Branch Lincoln in 1919

George Chambers

Daily Herald March 1922 “STAGING” A BURGLARY Dust on Window Rouses ‘Tecs’ Suspicion From Our Own Correspondent LINCOLN, Friday.—There was a sensational sequel to the bogus Lincoln burglary at the police court here today, when George Chambers (28),. manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Lincoln, pleaded guilty to embezzling £3 13s. 61d. it was stated that Chambers reported to the police that the premises had been burgled during the night. Detectives found the safe door open, and two large hammers and quantity of burnt matches near by but the safe door bore no traces of being forced, an open window, thickly coated with dust, showed entry had not been effected from the outside Their suspicions aroused, the detectives challenged Chambers, who admitted staging the burglary, and later produced the money. The defending solicitor said Chambers told him he had been to a cinema the previous Monday, and the solicitor remarked that ” pictures seemed arranged to degrade the morals of men.” The man had been over eight years with the company and bore an excellent character. The Bench imposed a fine of £5


District manager based at 90 Queen Street Cardiff:                                                            Gloucester journal May 1901 At Newport on Monday Alfred James Spittle manager for the Public Benefit Boot Supply company was remanded charged with embezzlement. The evidence showed that an inspector from the company’s head office visited the defendants shop and found £119 worth of stock missing as compared with the books. J.A. Chapman district manager from 90 Queen Street Cardiff found the discrepancies when he examined the books. Three months imprisonment. 

William Robert Chapman

Bath branch 1903…….When charged he made no reply.—Wm. Chapman, in the employ of the Company, said the boots (produced) were on the top of a stack of others just outside the door……. consult Bath Southern Branches A-G for full story

Born 1856 at Uppingham, Rutland, son of James CHAPMAN, grocer and letter carrier, and his wife Elizabeth. William firstly married Harriet CORSER in 1883 and they had a son Willie Gordon CHAPMAN 1885. Harriet died in 1892 and William secondly married Edith CLARK in 1898 and their children included, Robert James CHAPMAN 1899 and Edith Olive CHAPMAN 1910. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 23 Foregate Street, Chester. He died at Chester 4 September 1939 aged 83.

Photo: J. A. Chatburn manager of 23 Wellington Street Sheffield repairs factory in 1926. Commenced working at Moorhead Sheffield 1893, a separate factory was opened in Devonshire Street 1908 

John Gordon Chattaway

Born 1854 at Earlsdon, Warwickshire, son of Thomas Chattaway, writing master, and his wife Mary. He married Sophia HANGER of Kettering in 1882 and their children included Sophia Lillian  1883 and Charles Gordon  1892. John was a Leicester boot and shoe manufacturer and served as a director of Lennards Ltd. His son Charles followed him into the footwear manufacturing business. With his colleagues’ W EVANS and Joseph Wallis GODDARD, John provided business finance to a Spanish-American engineer, Hidalgo MOYA, who went on to become his son-in-law and establish the Imperial Typewriter Co in Leicester in 1908. He died 16 November 1936 aged 82.

Mr Chivers

Manager of the Co branch 61 Clayton Street Newcastle in the 1950’s and Wallsend c1960’s.

Photo:  North managers at Roundhay Park Leeds July 9th 1924

A Christian Lion House Leeds Branch Third Row and third from the left

Mrs Christian Front Row 2nd on the left

Arthur Church

Born c1893 at Hampstead, Middlesex, son of Henry John CHURCH, circular sawyer, and wife Ellen. Married Bertha May PHILLIPS in 1905 their children: included Olive May CHURCH 1907 and Arthur Alexander CHURCH 1911. He worked firstly as a shop assistant in London and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 405 Hoe Street, Leyton, Essex.

Edward John Church

Born 1897 at Hornsey, Middlesex, son of Henry John CHURCH, circular sawyer, and his wife Ellen. In 1911 at the age of 14 he worked as an assistant at the company’s premises at 405 Hoe Street, Leyton, Essex, managed by his brother Arthur.

John Arthur Clapham

Born 1874 at Pluckley, Kent, son of John Palliser CLAPHAM who had worked variously as a rope maker, marine store dealer, fishmonger and fruiterer. By the age of 16 John Junior was a boot and shoe salesman in Peasecod Street, Windsor. He married Eunice Clara May HOWE in 1894 at Bristol their children included Dorothy May 1895, Elsie Gladys 1897, Eunice Gertrude 1900, John Arthur Henry 1904 and Charles Rodney c1907. 1891 he worked as a salesman at the Public Benefit branch in Peasecod Street, Windsor, in 1893 he managed the branch at 39 Gloucester Road, Bishopton and afterward the branch at 90 Queens Street in Cardiff.1896 Manager of Old Swindon Branch 5, Regents Circus. In 1911 was based in Redland, Gloucestershire becoming a district inspector of Lennards Ltd branches. His daughter Dorothy became a shop assistant at one of the Lennards branches in Bristol. His wife Eunice died in 1926 he died in 1970

Clifton & Redland Free Press Sept 1893 Mr. J. A. Clapham, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company’s branch at 39 Gloucester Road, Bishopton, writes to correct a mis statement in last week’s issue. In the By the-Bye” column, this paragraph appeared : ” Twenty-one days’ imprisonment is the punishment awarded to a lad who was sent by the Public Benefit Boot Company, High Street, with something over £2 to pay an account in Broadmead, and proceeded with the money to London, and thence to Cardiff, where he was arrested.  The facts are these. A man—not a lad—employed in carrying sandwich-boards was sent from the company’s shop at Bedminster —not from the High Street depot—to pay an account in Broadmead. As he did not return, the matter was put into the hands of the police, who arrested him as reported in Cardiff.

Mr Clarke

Manager of Walsall Branch 4th QTR 1927

Charles Clarke 

Manager of Benefit repair facility at 33 Queen Victoria Street,

Miss Clarkson 

Assistant of Anlaby Road Branch Hull found in 1927

Arthur Russell Clayton

Born 1859 at Belgrave, Leicestershire, son of Thomas CLAYTON, framework knitter. He married Eliza Jane WELCH of Birmingham in 1884 and their children included two daughters Amy CLAYTON 1887 and Edith Welch CLAYTON 1892. Arthur commenced his career as a shoe warehouseman in Preston and went on to manage Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Blackpool in 1891 and at 109 Bath Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, from 1894-1901 He died at Ilkeston 8 January 1940 aged 80.

William Clayton

He commenced work as an errand boy for the Public Benefit Boot Co in 1938-1941 at the Blyth shop and was soon sent to the Northumberland Street branch in Newcastle to learn window dressing. He served as a driver/gunner in Belgium, Holland and Germany. In 1945 he returned to the Benefit Footwear branch in Blyth and continued with window dressing the company’s branches in various regional towns. In 1949 he married Margaret MOSELEY, a Benefit Footwear shop assistant and they had a son Ralph CLAYTON the following year. William’s first management position (on a wage of £5) was a small Benefit Footwear shop in Spennymoor, 1950 circa after which he went on to manage branches in Morpeth and the branch at Ashington that he managed for more than 36 years. He was managing from 1947-1983

MR. ROBERT C. CLEMENT  Times and Independent 5th January 1951  A Trade Union Stalwart. A lifetime of devoted service to the Trade Union movement came to an end this week the death of Mr. Robert C. Clement, Wendover Drive, Bedford, at the age of 68. Mr. Clement died suddenly Wednesday morning, after enjoying the Christmas festivities in his usual health. From 1942 to 1946 Mr. Clement was manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co., Ltd., branch Midland Road, Bedford and since his retirement from business he had lived here with his wife. He had been in the service of that firm since 1905. starting at Kilburn as a youth and transferring to Luton in 1910 as branch manager. During the war years he carried on the firm’s Bedford shop while his wife managed that at Luton. In one capacity or another Mr. Clement had been prominently associated since his Kilburn days with the National Amalgamated Union of Shop Assistants. Warehousemen. and Clerks. At Luton he served as Branch Chairman, then as Hon. Treasurer, and later for many years as Hon. Secretary. He saw the membership grow from 100 to nearly 800. In 1937 Mr. Clement was presented with the highest honour that the Trade Union movement bestows—the gold medal of the T.U.C. —and in the following year a bar was added. Further recognition came in 1946 with the presentation of the T.U.C. gold badge to mark the completion of 43 years’ service for the Union. One daughter. Mrs H. W. Janes, of Luton, is left. Cremation will take place at Golders Green on Tuesday.. 

Frederick Clews

Born 1875 at Redditch, Worcestershire, son of John CLEWS, warehouseman, and his wife Elizabeth GOODALL. In 1911 Frederick and his Irish-born wife Agnes lived on High Street, Evesham, where he worked as a boot salesman. He died at Belfast, Ireland 16 April 1941 aged 66.

Photo  The North Party at Middleton One Row July 22nd 1925

T. O. Cockett Ferryhill Branch Back row standing 6th from the left

Photo: From North managers at Roundhay Park Leeds July 9th 1924

T. O. Cockett 2nd Row crouching 8th from the left behind the chairman Brow

Photo  T. O. Cockett

Ferryhill Branch1924-1927

A Coleman 

Manager of 46 Henry Street branch Dublin 1894

Joseph Otley Collett

Born 1890 at Diss, Norfolk, son of Christopher COLLETT, postman, and his wife Rachel OTLEY of Tostock, Suffolk. In 1937 Joseph was based in Leeds when his wife Dorothea died. He worked for the chartered accountants Price Waterhouse and during the 1941-45 period, when the Benefit Footwear managing director was serving in the army abroad, Joseph took over the Benefit Footwear managing director’s role.

Mr collins

Manager of Bournemouth branch 83 Old Christchurch Road 1899

Hampshire Advertiser Jan 1899 Alleged False Pretences Case: Eliza Mabel May Rose, a respectably-dressed, rather prepossessing girl, was charged with having on the 17th inst. obtained by false pretences, four pairs of shoes, value 18s. 10d., the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company.— P.C. Gill said that from information received he went in search of defendant on Saturday last, and found her about 10 o’clock at night. He told her a complaint had been received from Mr. Collins, the manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, whose shop was 83 Old Christchurch-road, Bournemouth, that she had obtained from the shop four pairs of shoes. She denied the charges and was accompanying the Policeman to the shop when she ran off, he gave chase and overtook her. On arriving at the shop, Miss Caroline Collins…… continued below under Caroline Collins 

Caroline Collins

Assistant at 83 Old Christchurch Road bournemouth 1899 working under a family member perhaps her father? The first part of this story is set out under Mr Colins the second part is here under Caroline Collins

On arriving at the shop, Miss Caroline Collins, an assistant, at once identified the defendant, and told her she went there last Tuesday and asked for a pair of boots for Mrs. Rose, of Florence Villa, Wellington-road. The girl again denied the charge and she was arrested, then began to offer an explanation. “I am sorry that I told such lies, but my boots were got so bad, and I had not got any money, or I should not have done it.” She pleaded guilty, and elected to be tried summarily. — Superintendent Foster, in reply to the magistrates, said the girl had been away some months in a home, whither she had been sent through the assistance of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. She returned from the home in London last Saturday week, and had no home to go to. He was sorry to say that since she had been in Bournemouth she had gone to a loan office, and had referred to the Inspector of the S.P.C.C. as a surety to a promissory note. He believed she was six months in the Home. — The Chairman said the magistrates wished to make inquiries, with a view to the defendant going into a Home, -as he understood a lady was prepared to take ‘care of her. — The girl said she would rather go to a Home than go to prison; and she began crying. — The Chairman said she would be remanded until to-morrow, and in the meantime the. necessary inquiries as to the Home would be made

Henry Collins 

Manager of Stapleton Road branch Bristol 1899 

Bristol Mercury April 1899 THEFTS FROM SHOPS, Martha Wilshire. 28, and Eliza Bennett of Dursley. 33, both living in Twinnell road, were charged with stealing articles from shops in Stapleton road—a pair of shoes, the property of Henry Collins; 5 shirts, the property of Samuel Barrett Cole; yards of flannel or print belonging to Philip Harris; a pair of shoes, belonging to ‘Charles Tovey, a pair of boots, belonging to the Public Benefit Boot Company; and 19 yards of velveteen, belonging to William Joseph Lane. Bennett was further charged with stealing two pairs of shoes, the property of Emma Haskins. Sidney Hepburn, assistant at the boot shop of Henry Collins, of Stapleton road, said that on Friday last he saw Wilshire pull at pair of shoes hanging outside.……. The story goes on with names of those involved…witnesses …shopkeepers and so on.

Leonard Herbert David Collins

Born 1881 at Trowbridge, Wiltshire, he married Florence Mabel GRIST in 1903 and they had a son Herbert E R COLLINS 1912. In 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Company’s premises at 142-143 Peasecod Street, Windsor, Berkshire. He died in 1949 at Windsor aged 67 and his widow Florence died there in 1964 aged 81.

Mary Edith Collins

Born 1883 at Bristol, daughter of Walter William COLLINS, boot dealer, and his wife Mary Jane PROWSE. In 1901 she worked as a cashier at the Public Benefit Boot Co branch managed by her father at 19 Stall Street, Bristol.

Thomas William Collins

Born 1874 at Lambeth, London, he married Minnie SIER in 1900 their children included William James K 1902, Marguerite Dorothy 1904, Barbara Mary 1905 and a son (possibly David W J COLLINS born 1911, at which time he managed the company’s premises at 90-92 Beckenham Road, Penge, Surrey. Thomas and Minnie divorced in 1919.

Walter William Collins

Born 1862 at Kelston, Somerset, son of William COLLINS, agricultural labourer, and his second wife Emma. At the age of 10 he worked as an agricultural labourer along with his brothers and father and by the age of 20 he was undertaking a boot making apprenticeship. He married Mary Jane PROWSE in 1882 and they had one daughter Mary Edith COLLINS born 1883 at Bristol. At the time of his marriage he was a boot salesman in Bristol. He was a Lennards Ltd shareholder and in 1894 was managing the Bedminster branch then from 1897 to at least 1914 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 19 Stall Street, Bath, where his wife and daughter assisted in the business.

Bristol Times and Mirror July 1894 Elizabeth Rea was charged with stealing a pair of boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company. P.C. B 9 said that he met the defendant in East Street, Bedminster, at 4.30 p.m. on the previous afternoon, and saw that she had something bulky under her apron. He asked her what she had, and she showed him the boots produced. Walter Collins, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company’s shop, at 69, East street, Bedminster, said that the boots were the property of the company, and were taken from the shop at Bedminster. The bench sent the accused to prison for three months

Gloucestershire Echo 22nd May 1943 FUNERAL OF MR. W. COLLINS The funeral took place on Friday of Mr. Walter Collins, aged 82, of Penryn, Prestbury road, Cheltenham. The service was conducted by the Rev. W. R. Bellerby, of St. Paul’s Church, and the interment took place at Prestbury Parish ! Church. Mr. Collins was well known in both Cheltenham and Bath. He was manager of Lennards, Ltd., of Bath, for 53 years, and had lived in Cheltenham since his retirement. His only daughter attended Mrs Edith Musfreur

William George Colmer

Manager of Lower Parade branch in the district of Honiton  Devon 1910-11. He lived at Rosedale, Oldfield Park, Bath owned by the company.

Wallace James Cooke

Born 1860 at Barnstaple, Devon, son of John COOKE, boot maker, and his wife Jane. He married Melinda Jane PHILLIPS in 1883 and their children included Edith Florence J. 1884-1894 and Lilian Frances  1885-1903. In 1911 he, assisted by his wife Melinda, managed the company’s premises at 25a High Street, Barnstaple. His wife died at Barnstaple in 1921 aged 60 and he died there in 1942 aged 82.

Thomas Coonan

Assistant at Bradford to J.S.Bullough. Consult the latter for details of the case

Mr Cooper

Window dresser Dewsbury described as an artist on musical matters and his wife is an accomplished soprano soloist.

Mr A W Cooper

Sheffield Independent Moorhead annual outing 22 June 1900 Public Benefit Boot Company’s annual excursion The employees of the Sheffield Public Benefit Boot Company, Moorhead, had their annual outing yesterday, and were conveyed by coach via Fox House. Grindleford, and Derwent Valley to Castleton. Mr A.W. Cooper Northampton proposed a toast to the chairman 

Photo found on The North Party at Middleton One Row July 22nd 192

M W Corner Hetton Branch Back row standing 12th from the left.

Photo:  Mr M W Corner 

Manager of Branch Market Street Hetton Le Hole County Durham seen outside his shop highlighting the shop that leans! 2nd QTR 1927 sent to manage Hendon Road Sunderland still there in 1928

Edward Simpson Corner 

Blyth News April 1919 Sergeant Edward Simpson Corner, late of the 353rd Siege Battery, R.G.A., and manager of the local branch of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Blyth, joined up on June 29th, 1916, and was drafted to France on Sept. 16th, 1917, taking part in some of the most desperate fighting that followed, particularly the battles for Hill 80, Passchendaele Ridge, Messines, and Mont Kemmel. Later the battery became attached to the 133rd French Artillery Division. with which he was in action at Monticate, near Bailleull, Rennlnghurst. and Westhoutre, near Popperinge. The Croix-de.Guerre (French decoration),was conferred upon Sergeant Simpson Corner by Col. Pujos. Commandant 1st A.D,/133rd Artillery Division, for “Having proved himself courageous and cool during the operations from April 20th to May 5th, 1918, thereby giving a fine example to all.

Robert Albert Cossey

Born 1871 at Crossness, Kent, son of Robert COSSEY stoker at gas works, and his wife Sarah Maria HAMILTON. He married Edith Clara HEATH in 1886 and their children included Dorothy Annie  1897, Spencer Robert 1898 and Alma Gertrude  1902. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 39 Queen Street, Oxford. He died in 1923 aged 52.

Mr Cotter worker at Repairs Factory Templar Street Leeds from 1940’s onwards

Tom Coulson

Born 1858 at Hull, Yorkshire, son of William COULSON and his wife Jane Elizabeth JACKSON. In 1880 he married Elizabeth ELLIS who at the time worked as a Hull boot shop assistant (possibly for the Public Benefit Boot Co). Around 1881-82 they moved to Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, where their son Frank COULSON was born in 1882. His wife Elizabeth died in 1890 and he married secondly to Hetty SCHWARTZ and they had four children: Lily COULSON 1893, Alfred COULSON 1896, Edith COULSON 1898 and Kathleen Hetty COULSON 1905. For around 16 years Tom managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at Gainsborough from 1882 -1896.                                                                               06-1897 Lincolnshire Echo disappearance of Gainsborough shop manager and assistant The town of Gainsborough has been afforded a topic for conversation by the sudden disappearance of Mr. Tom Coulson, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Market-place. Coulson was a married man  and previous to running off he had pressed his wife to go on a visit to her parents at Retford. He wrote a letter to one the assistants at the shop, stating that the keys of the premises were left inside the house, and that a certain window had been left unlatched. The police were informed, and a constable entered the house and got the keys. As far as is known the firm’s money was all right. A clue to the reason of Coulson’s disappearance is, however, found in the fact that a young girl employed in the boot shop has also disappeared and it is practically certain that Coulson has gone away with her. Coulson had been twice married, and is described as a man of capricious temper. The utmost sympathy is felt with the missing girl’s parents.He later became licensee of the ‘Portland Arms’ at Retford, Nottinghamshire, where he died in 1946 aged 88. His widow Hetty died there in 1964 aged 93.

Elizabeth Coulson

Daily Gazette for Middlesboro Feb 1890 A SUICIDE’S EXTRAORDINARY DELUSION. An inquest was held yesterday at West Stockwith, Notts, before Dr. Horsley, as to the death of Elizabeth Coulson, aged 30 years, who was found drowned in the Trent on Wednesday, after mysteriously disappearing the previous Monday night. Deceased was the wife of a Gainsborough tradesman named Tom Coulson, who represents the Public Benefit Boot Company as the Gainsborough manager. The wife had written the following extraordinary letter to Mr Franklin, head of the Public Benefit Boot Company, at Hull :— By the time this reaches you I shall be dead. My husband cannot understand you writing so much about the drafts, but I can. It is I who have taken the money. I did not mean to keep it. I took it to keep house while I had company. I always have had somebody, and never had a chance. Tom is as honest a man as you can find, but will be cut up when be knows. Tell him it as gently as you can. Oh, God ! the anguish l am suffering just now is worth all the money in the kingdom ; and my darling boy, God take him away from this world. My poor mother and husband, what will they do ? I cannot write more, lam broken-hearted.” A representative of the company stated there was nothing wrong with the accounts, and he knew nothing of the drafts mentioned. — A verdict of ” Suicide whilst temporarily insane” was returned.

C S Coupe 

Hull Daily Mail 7th August 1918 Pte C. S. Coupe reported missing Sept 20th 1917 now reported killed on or since that date. He lived at 10 Clarendon street Spring Bank and worked for the company in Hull (Photo in the paper)

George Cowdry

Born 1891 at Cardiff, Wales, son of George COWDRY and his wife Louisa YOUNG. He worked as a boot and shoe repairer for the Public Benefit Boot Co (Lennards Ltd), Queens Road, Bristol and at the age of 24 enlisted in the Army Ordnance Corps. He served in Egypt and married Eliza Eddleston in 1923 at Cardiff where they had a daughter Jeane COWDRY 1926. He died at Bristol in 1940 aged 48.

A G Cowie 

New manager sent to Bentley Branch 2nd QTR 1927

Photo  The North Party at Middleton One Row July 22nd 1925

Mr R. Craven Wallsend Branch front row 2nd to last going right

Photo Mr R Craven 

Assistant at Newcastle becomes manager of Wallsend 4th Qtr 1924 & 1925 . Sent to South Shields In 3rd QTR 1926 sent to Consett in 1928

Mr Crawford 

Manager of Foregate Street Chester found 4th QTR 1927

Mr Crawshaw 

New manager becomes manager of Widnes Branch found 4th Qtr 1924

Mr Thomas Frederick Crew 

Manager of Saltley Branch in 1924 midlands branches. His death was reported in the Skegness Standard 18th March 1931. Skegness people were shocked to learn of the death of Mr. Thomas Frederick Crew, of Lumley Road, which occurred with tragic suddenness on Sunday morning Mr. Crew, who was only 30 years of age, had been in charge of the local branch of the Public Benefit Boot Company’ for the past two years, and was well liked by customers and others. From what can be gathered he contracted a chill during the week, but this was not regarded as serious and was at business as recently as Saturday. Pneumonia developed very rapidly and the end came a few hours later as stated. Mr. Crew leaves a widow and young daughter, to whom universal sympathy  has gone out in their terribly sudden bereavement. The remains were interred in St. Clement’s churchyard yesterday.

William Henry Crispe

Born 1875 at Ashford, Kent, son of William CRISPE, a boot maker, and his wife Emma Elizabeth Hemsley. He married Florence Ada Hickmott in 1905 at West Ashford and they had a daughter Norah Ruby 1907. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 52 High Street, Ashford, the business having been run by his family since the 1870s. He died at Ashford in 1946 aged 70.

Alfred William Critchell Embezzlement

Christchurch Times Sept 1897 At the police court on Friday, Alfred William Critchell, an employe’ of the Public Benefit Boot Company, was sentenced to three months’ hard labour for converting to his use of the moneys of his employees.

Photo Mrs A. Crooks 

Born circa 1870’s began with the company in 1897 in the offices she became affectionately known as ‘Ma’

Mr Croskin 

Manager at the Wicker Branch sent to Armley branch 1st QTR 1926

Photo: Anderson Crossgrove

Born 1874 at West Auckland, Co Durham, son of Thomas Anderson Crossgrove, a Prudential Assurance agent, and Jane BROWN. He married Ada SIMPSON of Newcastle in 1896 the following year he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 78 Lynn Street and 113 Musgrave Street, West Hartlepool. From 1901 until at least 1911 he managed 44 Linthorpe Road at Middlesbrough, Yorkshire. He died at Middlesbrough 22 February 1937 aged 62 and his widow Ada died there in 1950 aged 74.

Robert Crossgrove

Manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at Thornaby-On-Tees, Yorkshire, in 1900.

YORK HERALD JULY 1900.   TRANSLATOR OF BOOTS Thomas Moran (67), labourer, was indicted for stealing a pair of boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, at Thornaby-on- Tees, on the 19th of May last. Mr. Mortimer prosecuted, and said at about 10.40 o’clock on the night in question prisoner was seen by P.C. Calvert to offer the boots for sale outside the Erimus Hotel, Thornaby. When questioned, he said he had bought them at Darlington, but after- wards said he purchased them from a drunken man at Redcar. — Robt. Cosgrove, manager to the Boot Co., identified the boots by a private mark. Prisoner said he was a ” translator ” and buyer of boots. He was drunk when he bought them from another drunken man. He denied having been convicted of felony at Darlington in February, 1889. — The Chairman said prisoner had 50 previous convictions against him, including one of five years’ penal servitude and two years’ police supervision. He called himself a ” translator “of boots, which meant that he translated boots belonging to other people to his own use. He was a well-known and reputed thief. The Court sentenced him to three years’ penal servitude

Photo: Thomas Anderson Crossgrove 

Manager of 144-145 High Street Stockton in 1902 He was an insurance agent throughout his life he became the man at the Pru! His sons worked for the Public Benefit Boot company.

John Thomas Crossgrove

Born 1872 at West Auckland, Co Durham, son of Thomas Anderson Crossgrove, a Prudential Assurance Agent, and his wife Jane BROWN. In 1893 he married at Middlesbrough where he was employed as an assistant manager at 44 Linthorpe Road 1896-1911

George Albert Crossland

born circa 1920 assistant at 715 Attercliffe Road Sheffield 18th May 1935 Suicide of store manager of 715 Attercliffe Road Sheffield. John Stone aged 23. George Albert Crossland aged 15 assistants at the branch and Mr Percy Powell shop inspector Sheffield Independent news paper

David Crow

Born 1876 at Liverpool, the son of Scottish immigrants David CROW, brass finisher, and his wife Margaret. He married Martha Ann ODDY in 1902 and their children included Norman 1904, Margaret Alice 1905 and Frank 1911. By the age of 25 he worked as a boot salesman and he went on to manage the Public Benefit Boot Co branch in Ecclestone Street, Prescot, for some three decades. He died at Prescot in 1944 and his widow Martha died there in 1954

Mr Crowe established manager sent to Skipton branch January 1928

William Henry Crute

Born 1891 at Winchester, Hampshire, son of Emily Kate CRUTE, laundress. In 1911 he worked in the company’s Winchester premises as a boot shop assistant. In WWI, he served as a private in the Hampshire Regiment and was killed in action in Belgium on 4 September 1918 aged 27.

Photo  The North Party at Middleton One Row July 22nd 1925

Miss Cunningham Jarrow Branch squatting front row 4th from left

Photo:  North managers at Roundhay Park Leeds July 9th 1924

Miss Cunningham Jarrow Branch Front row 4th on the left

Cornelius Currins

Born 1865 in Northumberland, son of William Currins, labourer, and his wife Bridget McIntyre. He married Sarah Ann STYLES in 1886 and they had a son William Currins the following year. At the age of 14 Cornelius worked as a shoemaker at Belford, Northumberland where he grew up. In the 1890s he operated as a boot shop manager and dealer in Leeds and Harrogate and by the turn of the century he managed a boot shop in Prospect Street, Hull. He was a Public Benefit Boot Co shareholder and lived in Hull until at least 1913. His wife died at Hull in 1924 aged 57 and he died at Withernsea, East Yorkshire in 1929 aged 64.

Thomas Curtis

Born 1873 at Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire, son of John CURTIS, plumber, and his wife Emma. He married Edith Mary SMITH in 1898 at South Shields and their children included John Henry CURTIS 1903. Thomas worked initially as a boot maker’s apprentice and 1901-11 he managed the boot shop at 107-109 Grange Road, Birkenhead, Cheshire.

William John Curtis

Born 1864 at Docking, Norfolk, son of William CURTS, builder and bricklayer, and his wife Rose Ann WICKS. He married Mildred Jane KNIGHT in 1888 at Derby and their children included Dorice Hilda  1891, Claude William  1892 and Cyril George 1894. At the age of 16 he worked as a shop assistant in Derby. Following the 1889 death of the Public Benefit shop manager in Grantham, of Richard FRANKLIN, William CURTIS took over the management of the premises at 7 London Road, continuing there for more than a decade.

Mr Damms 

Manager of Doncaster Repair facility 4th Qtr 1927 began at Sheffield in 1900

Harry Daubney

Manager 1964 onwards of Templar Street Repairs Factory

Mr F R Davidson

New manager sent to manage Peterboro Branch 3rd Qtr 1926

Joyce Davidson Assistant at Regent Street Blyth shop 1930’s

Photo found on The North Party at Middleton One Row July 22nd 1925

J H Davis Bishop Auckland Branch Back row standing 5th from the right

Mrs Davis Front row 5th from the left Hexham Branch

Master Davis Front row little boy with the two ladies

Photo:  North managers at Roundhay Park Leeds July 9th 1924

J H Davis Bishop Auckland Branch Back Row 4th on the left

Photo  J. H. Davis 

Ceased working for the company and his position at Bishop Auckland was filled by MR Leggett manager of Spennymoor

David Davies

Born c1873 at Llangendeirne, Carmarthenshire, Wales, c1902 he married Mary (surname unknown) and their children included Eva Wym DAVIES c1903, Doris Valmai DAVIES 1905, John Daniel DAVIES c1908 and David Lionel G DAVIES 1909. In 1911 he managed the boot shop at 3 Hall Street, Carmarthen and his wife Mary assisted in the business.

Alfred Davis

Born 1880 at Appleby, Westmorland, son of John Coulthard DAVIS, carter, and his wife Margaret ROBINSON. He worked initially as a grocer’s assistant and in 1906 he married Elizabeth Louisa COUPE. In 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Company branch at 118-120 Stretford Road, Hulme, Lancashire.

John Davis

A porter at the temporary premises number 27 Broad Street at reading:Berkshire Chronicle May 1905 Theft of Boots. John Whitaker, of no fixed abode, was charged with stealing the 29th ult. pair of boots value ??, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Limited… For the complete story consult Reading  Southern branches P-Z

Frederick Binns Dawson

Born Leeds c.1855 retired from the company in 1923 & died late 1924 worked as a ‘clicker’ in the first Dickinson factory at Bramley, circa 1880

Photo:  North managers at Roundhay Park Leeds July 9th 1924

F L Dawson Malton Branch Third Row 7th from the left 1924

John Harris Dean

Born 1860 at Blackburn, Lancashire, son of James DEAN, shoemaker, and his wife Esther HARRIS. He married Emily Jane TRAYFORD in 1883 and their children included Emily Alice DEAN c1884, Edith Eleanor DEAN c1885, James DEAN c1888, William Edward DEAN 1890 and John Edgar DEAN 1892. For many years, he managed the company’s premises at 29 Albert Road, Barnoldswick via Colne, West Yorkshire. His wife Emily Jane died in 1932 aged 69 and he died in 1940 aged 79.

Mr Denham

Manager of the Widnes Branch given Warrington Branch 4th Qtr 1925

John George Dennis

Born 1867 at Leicester, son of George DENNIS, warehouseman, and his wife Mary Ann CASHMORE. He married Ada Hannah HARRIMAN in 1889 and they had the following children: Doris May DENNIS 1890, George Leslie DENNIS 1892 and Ida Nellie DENNIS 1896. For several decades, at least he lived at Loughborough, Leicestershire, where, assisted by his wife Ada, he managed the company’s premises at 30 Swan Street, Loughborough. He died at Kettering in 1947 aged 80 and his widow Ada died there in 1953 aged 90.

Ethel May Dews

Born 27 Dec 1897 at Goole, Yorkshire, daughter of Samuel DEWS, dock labourer, and his wife Lydia Realea LISTER. For more than 35 years she worked as first sales lady at several of the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Goole, Yorkshire. She did not marry and died at Goole in 1984 aged 86.

Rick Dickinson:

Born: 11th August 1955 at Calverley Son of John Dickinson and grandson to Brow Dickinson, deceased 24th April 2018 Texas. Early life  graduated from Newcastle Polytechnic in 1979 with a First-Class Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Design for Industry. The “Design for Industry” degree was the first of its kind, formerly a three-year “Industrial Design” degree. The new course with two additional terms for industrial placements, extended the degree to four years and the introduction of the term ‘Sandwich’   He joined Sinclair research Ltd in December 1979, at 6 Kings Parade, Cambridge. Rick was the in-house industrial designer of Sinclair Research Ltd and designed the ZX80, & ZX81 Computer cases, including the touch-sensitive keyboard, the TV80 casing and Sinclair QL as well as the rubber keyboard of the ZX Spectrum. Dickinson worked for Sinclair as a student on one of his industrial placements from Newcastle Polytechnic before he had completed his degree. The ZX81 won a British Design Council award in 1981. It won a Haus Industrie Form  award and is in a permanent collection in Essen. The Sinclair QL won an Italian design award at the Smau Industrial Design Award.                                                              Post-Sinclair: In 1986, he founded Dickinson Associates, an industrial design consultancy based in Cambridge. That year he produced the industrial design for an early laptop computer, the Cambridge Z88. In 1987 he was commissioned by Alan Sugar to create the industrial design concept for Amstrad’s first portable computer. In 1989 along withChristopher Curry(Acorn Computers) and Keith Dunning had a re-think of the famous Macarthur Field Microscope to  design the Lensman microscope, a portable field microscope. In 1991 this invention won the BBC design awards, The Prince of Wales award for Industrial innovation and Production, Archimedes award for Engineering Excellence. Moving on he produced the industrial design concepts and models of the first “Broad Band phone” for AT&T. Dickinson Associates created the industrial design, mechanical design, and production engineering design for the first GSM mobile phone “reference phone” design, for Rockwell. They were also the designers of the Gizmondo  handheld console (originally the Gametrac).

Lizzie Dickinson

nee Biog Born 7th November 1968 Cambridge. She married Rick 9th September 1999. Lizzy left 6th form and joined Trek Force, organising expeditions  for young people to Indonesia islands. Later joined the homeless charity ‘Crisis’ as event organiser, after her marriage joined IWM Duxford as event manager, went freelance and has wide range of clients and events including the BBC, Children in need, Stonehenge Summer Solstice etc., Lizzy also independently organised and funded the first Outdoor ice rink in Cambridge, which was a smash hit!

John Dickinson

Born 24th June 1926 Bramley. Died 26th September 2006 in Cambridge. Son of Brow and Winifred he was educated at Uppingham Private School & Outlands School Harrogate, and studied Aeronautical engineering at loughborough university. His marriage was to Ursula Dickinson nee Dam Born in Rotterdam of Flemish/ Dutch descent. John predeceased her. After the war he served his national service 1947-1949 in the police wing of the RAF. On coming out he formed a tri-partnership with two others at Leeds selling wrought iron. From 1956 to 1962 he worked at Hawker Siddeley Brough as, draughtsman, technician, head of plastics lab. designed a supersonic wind tunnel and the canopy with attachments for the Buccaneer NA39. From there he went from strength to strength as he designed the tallest chimney in the world in Iceland. 1977-1979 was general manager at replastruct, Swansea, worked for various companies in important positions across the country and at Hull. He moved to Cambridge in 1986 and his greatest passion was finding new ways of doing things. He also loved sailing and this inventive and engineering background obviously inspired his son Rick to go on and become one of the ten best designers in modern Britain. 

Photo:  Notts & Lincs ‘on their tour 1925

Mrs & Mr Dickinson 3rd row 8th & 9th from the left

Photo The North Party at Middleton One Row July 22nd 1925

Mrs Dickinson & Mr Dickinson Back row standing 9 & 10th from the left

Photo:  North managers at Roundhay Park Leeds July 9th 1924

Brow Dickinson Front Row 7th from the left

Photo Brow Dickinson

Born 1857 at Bramley near Leeds, son of John DICKINSON, quarryman, and his wife Ann Smith BROW. By the age of 14 years Brow and his brother George  aged 15 years, were working as shoe riveters. Brow, George and a younger brother John, commenced making boots in the front room of their house. This was the beginning of the ‘Benefit Boot’, a vast manufacturing empire and a long association with the Public Benefit Boot Co. In 1897 Brow was appointed managing director of the Public Benefit Boot Co – a position he held at his death on 4 November 1931 aged 74. In 1882 Brow married Jane Isabella ASHWORTH originally from Bury, Lancashire, who at the time was a Bramley schoolmistress. Their children included Ethel Ann  1883, Evelyn May  1885 and Dorothy  1891. He was elected a member of Leeds City Council in 1911. Following the death of his first wife in 1915, he married secondly in 1924 to Winifred GILL at Goole and they had a son John Brow DICKINSON 1926.

George Brow Dickinson

Born 1855 at Bramley near Leeds, son of John DICKINSON, quarryman, and his wife Ann. He married Tamar Alice BERRY in 1883 at Leeds and their children included Anne 1883, Hilda 1885, John 1888, Fred 1890, Mabel 1891, George Brow  1893 and Stella 1899. Along with his brothers he devoted his working life to boot manufacturing and maintained strong links with the Public Benefit Boot Co. George Brow Dickinson fought in WW1 and in July 1916 the terrible battle of the Somme, saw George carry out ‘conspicuous bravery in the field’ for which he earned a Military Medal.His wife Tamar died at Bramley 5 December 1903 and he died there 11 May 1922

John Dickinson

Born 1860 at Bramley near Leeds, son of John DICKINSON, quarryman, and his wife Ann. He and his wife Hannah had a daughter Emma G L DICKINSON in 1883. Along with his brothers, he managed major boot manufacturing operations in Bramley and was a director of the Public Benefit Boot Co in the 1920’s                                                                                 Leeds Mercury Jan 1923 BUSINESS MAN’S DEATH. Loss to Leeds Public Benefit Boot Company of St. Paul’s Street. and the district of Bramley, mourns the loss by death of Mr. John Dickinson, who has passed away at age of sixty-three. The youngest of three brothers who commenced a boot factory in Bramley more than forty years ago, was both a keen business manager and a popular employer. He was a director of the huge business known as the Public Benefit Boot Company.  Of the three brothers one, Mr. George Dickinson, died last year, and the “other, Mr. Brow Dickinson, who has been prominent as a city councillor, still survives. 

Photo: J.O. Dickinson 

Manager of repairs at St. Pauls Street in 1925

Photo:  managers at Roundhay Park Leeds July 9th 1924

J O Dickinson Second Row crouching 2nd on the left

William Walter Dickson

Born 1869 at Leicester, son of Thomas DICKSON, a tea dealer and commercial traveller, and his wife Harriett Yates TAYLOR.  He worked initially as a Leicester boot & shoe warehouseman. He married Kate Elizabeth SMITH in 1891 at Leicester and their children included Douglas Gordon DICKSON born 1895 at Leicester and Irene Lilian DICKSON born 1901 at Bristol. From 1901 to at least 1914 he managed a boot warehouse for Lennards Ltd in Bristol. He died in 1934 aged 65 and his widow Kate died in 1946 aged 78.

James Henry Dingle

Born c1834 at Liskeard, Cornwall, son of Henry DINGLE shoemaker, and his wife Peggy. He married Rebecca DAVEY in 1857 and their children included James H DINGLE c1858, Alfred DINGLE c1859, John Samuel DINGLE 1861, Herbert DINGLE 1863, Edwin DINGLE c1863 and William DINGLE c1866. With his son John, he managed the company’s premises at 20 Fore Street, Liskeard, trading as James Henry Dingle & Son, Boot Makers. He died at Liskeard in 4 April 1915 aged 81 and his widow Rebecca died there 24 January 1919 aged 85.

John Samuel Dingle

Born 1861 at Liskeard, Cornwall, son of James Henry DINGLE, boot maker, and his wife Rebecca DAVEY. He married Mary EVELY in 1890 at Liskeard and they had one surviving son Percival James  c1892. With his father, he carried on the boot dealership at 20 Fore Street, Liskeard.

A W Dobson 

Manager of Hartlepool 23 Northgate Branch 1904-5

Albert William Dobinson

Born 1877 at Stockton-on-Tees, son of John Robert DOBINSON, agent for sewing machines, pianos and organs, and his wife Isabell Douglass STAINSBY. In 1902 he married Alice GRUNDY who died five years later. He secondly married Elizabeth Wright CAIRNES in 1908 and they had a daughter Vera Douglas DOBINSON 1909. In 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 260-261 High Street, Sunderland.

Hull Daily Mail 23rd March 1915  manager of Prospect Street shop prosecuted for letting the light shine onto the pavement by failing to shade the lights in the windows.He died at Hull in 1950 aged 72 and his widow Elizabeth died at Leeds in 1980 aged 91.

Walter Dobinson

Born 1879 at Stockton-on-Tees, son of John Robert DOBINSON, agent for sewing machines, pianos and organs, and his wife Isabell Douglass STAINSBY. At the age of 23 he was a messenger for a Stockton-on-Tees boot shop. He married Annie Ethel ATKINSON on 5 September 1905 and their children included Dennis Kay DOBINSON 14 June 1906 and Francis Geoffrey DOBINSON 28 February 1910. He managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises on the corner of Hessle Road and Coltman Street, Hull, 1911-13 and was managing a boot shop in Sunderland in 1917 when he enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery. Walter died suddenly in Late September 1924 aged 44 at Preston and was a district inspector for the North West and his wife Anne died in 1950

Photo  The North Party at Middleton One Row July 22nd 1925

Miss Dodds fitting room Hexham branch squatting front row 6th from left

Photo:  North managers at Roundhay Park Leeds July 9th 1924

Miss Dodds fitting room Hexham Branch Front Row 5th from the left

Mary Elizabeth Dodd

Assistant or sales lady At the Widnes branch

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Oct 1893 Action for Personal Damages at Widnes. —At the Widnes County-court, on Friday, before his Honour Judge Shand and a jury, action was brought by Richard and Mary Elizabeth Dodd his wife, of Hale-road, Hale-bank, to recover damages against the Public Benefit Boot Company, Widnes, for injuries sustained by female plaintiff falling down the trapdoor of the defendant’s shop. A verdict for the plaintiffs, damages £50 was recorded.

George Abraham Dougan

Born 1893 at Spalding, Lincolnshire, son of Jacob DOUGAN, licensed victualler, and his wife Fanny Smith BOOTHBY. In 1911 he worked in the company’s Spalding premises as a boot shop assistant. In 1915 he enlisted and served in WWI. He died at Hull, Yorkshire, in 1968 aged 74.

Mr Douthwaite 

Assistant at Sunderland but became a manager of Horden Branch found 3rd Qtr 1924

R Downes

Manager of Kingstown Galway Branch Ireland 1897.

Freemans Journal April 1897 An article By R Downes manager of the Public Benefit Boot company in Kingstown heading a petition to end the severe disruption outside their business premises by the installation of an electric tram system. With roads being dug up and tons of rubble and stone left for days on end. causing hardship and huge disruption to al the businesses along the proposed route. Mr Downes has written a long appeal of complaint.

Mr T. B. Drake 

Manager of latest English Street Carlisle branch found 1st Qtr. 1924 he removes to Great Crosby in 1st Qtr 1925

William North Driver

Born 1863 at Wakefield, the youngest of three children born to Joseph DRIVER and his wife Emma NORTH. By early 1871 at the age of seven, William, and his sister Jane North DRIVER aged 11, worked as boot closers with their father Joseph, a Wakefield boot maker. William worked as a boot maker for some years but by the age of 27 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch in Wakefield. He married Lily Waddington of Castleford in 1895. From the 1890’s until the 1920’s he managed Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 24 Carlton Street, Castleford, Yorkshire. William was civic minded and well-known in Castleford where he helped establish the town’s free library. His wife Lily died in 1950 aged 75 and he died in Pontefract, Yorkshire in 1953 aged 89.

George Thornell Dudley

Born 1859 at Willenhall, Staffordshire, son of Christopher DUDLEY, an agent and grocer, and his wife Hannah Neesham. George’s father died when he was young and by 1881 he was operating as a boot factor in Leicester. In 1890 he married Annie Hewison and he died at Leicester in 1901 aged 41.

Henry Duffield

Born 1869 at Kilburn, Yorkshire, son of Thomas Duffield, farm worker, and his wife Elizabeth. Age 21, he was working as a shoemaker, Henry married Anne HARLAND at Leeds. They had two children: Thomas Henry 1891 (referred to as Henry) and Ethel 1893. Around 1892 he became the resident manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co shop at Market Weighton with his wife and son Thomas Henry assisting. He died at Market Weighton 22 February 1938

Frank Dunn

Born 1878 at Sturry, Kent, son of John DUNN, tea dealer, and his wife Harriet BUSS. In 1901 he worked as a boot salesman assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises on Peasecod Street, New Windsor, Berkshire.

 Mr P. Durbridge

Sheffield Independent Moorhead annual outing 22 June 1900 Public Benefit Boot Company’s annual excursion —The employees of the Sheffield Public Benefit Boot Company, Moorhead, had their annual outing yesterday, and were conveyed by coach via Fox House. Grindleford, and Derwent Valley to Castleton. ‘They were entertained at dinner at the Peak Hotel, Castleton. which was thoroughly enjoyed. Mr. P. Durbridge looking after those who preferred the rambles in the vicinity

Henry Leopold Durham

Born 1885 at Bredenbury, Herefordshire, son of William DURHAM, grocer and farm foreman, and his wife Margaret Williams. In 1901 he worked as an apprentice to John James TYLER, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 161 Cricklade Street, Cirencester. In 1911 he worked as a boot trade manager in Rochford, Essex. He married Mary Isobel JAMES in 1916 and their children included twins Raymond J DURHAM and Bernard H DURHAM 1922, Geoffrey W DURHAM 1925, and possibly two daughters. He died in 1960 aged 74 and his widow Mary died in 1971 aged 85.

Andrew Dyer 

Manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 50 Mandale Road, Thornaby on Tees, Yorkshire, in 1897.

Daily Gazette for Middlesboro Jan 1897 Michael Swift, an old offender, was charged in custody with stealing a pair of new boots from the. shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company on the 23rd inst. Andrew Dyer, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, said that on the night in question he heard some boots fall, and rushing out of the shop he saw a pair of boots lying on the ground and the prisoner going down the street. He followed him and got another pair of boots from a little boy whom the prisoner had handed them to. The boots were worth 2s 11d.— Prisoner was committed to Northallerton Gaol for three mouths with hard labour

Francis Walter Dycer

Born 1872 at Milborne Port, Somerset, the son of William John DYCER, glover, and his wife Hannah Jane CROCKER. He married Florence MARTIN in 1895 at Yeovil and from 1901 until at least 1911 he managed the company premises at 26 King Street, Hammersmith. He died at Hammersmith in 1941 his widow died there several years later

Bristol Mercury March 1898  RATHER GO TO PRISON, Louisa Caddick 36, was charged with stealing a pair of boots on Friday evening. P.C. 57 B stated that about 10 o’clock in the evening he was in East street, Bedminster, where he saw the prisoner with something bulky under her shawl. She was walking in a very suspicious manner. In reply to witness, she said she bad nothing under it. Witness, however, on removing it, found a pair of boots. The prisoner admitted that witness saw her take the boots. She had got no home, and she might as well go to prison as walk about the streets. Francis Walter Dycer, manager of the boot shop belonging to Leonard’s, Limited, trading under Public Benefit Boot Company, also . gave evidence, adding that it required a little patience and perseverance to take the boots from outside the Windows. The prisoner was sent to prison for six weeks, the magistrates complimenting constable upon his conduct, which was highly satisfactory, and deserved all credit.

Bristol Mercury Jan 1899 Charles Bogh 50, was charged with stealing a pair of boots. Francis Walter Dycer, manager of the East street branch of the Public Benefit Boot Company, stated that on Tuesday last he missed pair of boots from outside the shop. They were worth 7s 11d. a labourer gave evidence to seeing the prisoner take the boots from outside the shop and put them under his coat and walk away. The following day he saw the man again and the police took him into custody. Andrew Skinner, bricklayer, corroborated as taking the boots. The prisoner said he had been drinking and knew nothing at all about it. He did not know what became of the boots. The police said the boots had not been found. Fourteen days with hard labour



Frederick Robert ADAMS, 38 Gerry Street, Bedford, Gentleman

Rev Charles ADDENBROOKE, 58 Francis Road, Edgbaston, Clerk in Holy Orders

Herbert ADDENBROOKE, Idswall, West End Avenue, Harrogate, Traveller

Rev John G ADDENBROOKE, Caverswall Vicarage, Longton, Clerk in Holy Orders

Thomas Jervis ADDENBROOKE, 95 Colmore Row, Birmingham, Stockbroker

Percy Edwin ALLEN, 42 Southgrove Road, Sheffield, Traveller

William John ALLEN, Lansdown Hotel, Sheffield, Wine & Spirit Merchant

James Henry AMPS, Park House, Highgate, London N, Clerk in Holy Orders

William Field ANGEL, 24 Bainbridge Road, Leeds, Cement Traveller

George ANSON, 215 Glossop Road, Sheffield, Hairdresser

Edgar Snowden APPLEYARD, 93 Birch Mount, Berry Brow, Huddersfield, Clerk

Frances ARMITAGE, 7 Highfield Street, Leicester, Spinster

Martha ARMITAGE, 187 Stanningley Road, Bramley, Wife

Wilson ARMITAGE, High Street, Nottingham, Grocer

John Arthur ASHBY, 8 Cliff Field Road, Sheffield

John Herbert ASHWORTH, 28 Westover Road, Bramley, Warehouseman

Robert ASK, Bubwith nr Selby, Joiner

Margaret Bruce ASKEW, 1 Stanstead Terrace, Princess Avenue, Hull, Wife

William Wilson ASKEW, Flat Street, Sheffield, Master Printer

Emma ATKINSON, Bleak House, Burton Salmon, South Milford, Yorks., Spinster

Joseph ATKINSON, Bainton via Hull, Station Master

Thomas AYRE, 2 Chesterfield Road, Heeley Sheffield, Grocer

Robert Salmon BACKHOUSE, 22 Park Row, Leeds, Stockbroker

Richard Samuel BAGNALL, Rydall Hill, Earls Coombe, Worcester

William Henry BAGNALL, Shalesmoor Foundry, 296 Shalesmoor, Sheffield, Iron founder

Abel BAILEY, The Heys, New Mill nr Huddersfield

John Newman BAILEY, 34 Watkin Terrace, Northampton

William Rose BAKER, Market Chambers, 16 Derwent Street, Derby, Brewers Agent

Edwin Berry BALMFORTH, 4 Meanwood Road, Leeds, Currier

Francis James BANNISTER, 385 Hackney Road, London NE, Boot & Shoe Manufacturer

Charles Henry BARBER, 5 Hounsfield Road, Sheffield, Surveyor

George Valentine Blinkhorn BARKER, London Midland Bank, Leeds, Bank Clerk

Helen Maria BARNES, Helme Hall, Meltham nr Huddersfield, Spinster

Selina BARNES, Providence House, Sanfield, Stanningley, Married Woman

William Henry BARNES, 31 Moor Oaks Road, Sheffield, Gentleman

Ann BARRACLOUGH, Harcourt Lodge, Chapel town, Sheffield, Married Woman

Frederick William BARROWS, Birdingbury Rectory, Rugby, Clerk in Holy Orders

Job Kaye BATTYE, 19 Greenhead Road, Huddersfield, Collector

Josiah BAXENDALE, 12 Stamp Office Place, Wakefield, Retired

Charles BAXTER, 53 Dale End, Birmingham, Butcher

William BAXTER, Albert Terrace, Kirkstall

Kate BAYLEY, Lenton Abbey, Beeston, Nottingham, Spinster

Frederick BEAMONT, Lynwood, Cardigan Terrace, Wakefield, Master Ironmonger

Mrs Elizabeth BEARDMORE, Lady K Leveson’s Hospital, Temple Balsall nr Knowle, Matron

Robert BEAUMONT, 14 Regent Park Avenue, Leeds, Prof of Textile Industries

Josiah BEDDOW, 147 Auckland Road, Upper Norwood, London SE, Manufacturer

Julia BEEBY, Elmleigh House, Westleigh, Leicester, Married woman

Arthur C BEMROSE, Elmhurst, Derby, Solicitor

Eliza Anne BENNETT, Salisbury Street, Warrington, Married Woman

Eliz BENTLEY, Dalton Grove, Huddersfield

Frederick William BENTLEY, Estate Building, Huddersfield, Stockbroker

John BENTLEY, Fleming House, Dalton, Cotton Spinner

Alexander Elmslie BERRY, The Gardens, Osmaston Road, Derby, Commercial Traveller

Benjamin BICKERDYKE, 89 Victoria Road, Headingley, Gentleman

Henry BIGGIN, 27 Montgomery Road, Sharrow, Sheffield

Arthur BINKS, 44 Edinburgh Road, Armley, Leeds, Secretary

Benjamin BINKS, 5 Park Place, Leeds, Gentleman

George Bentley BINKS, 6 Edinburgh Road, Armley Leeds, Auctioneer’s Clerk

Henry BINKS, 3 Edinburgh Grove, Armley Leeds, Commercial Traveller

Thomas BINNINGTON, 8 Shakespeare Street, Hull, House Furnisher

Thomas Edward BINNS, 68 Vincent Road, Sheffield, Salesman

Henry Willis BIRCUMSHAW, 110 Raleigh Street, Nottingham, Lace Manufacturer

William Eggleston BLACKETT, Cotherstone, Darlington, Gentleman

Percy BLAKE, 39 Virginia Road, Leeds, Bank Clerk

Thomas Henry BLAKE, Crown Silver Works, Holly Lane, Sheffield, Bank Clerk

Joseph BLAMIRES, Richmond Avenue, Fartown, Huddersfield, Manufacturer

John BLATHERICK, Broomgrove, Sheffield, Sugar Merchant

James BLOSSOM, 186 South View Road, Sheffield, Friendly Society Accountant

Joseph BOLTON, 12 North Parade, Otley, Rate Collector

George Mill BONAR, 101 Victoria Avenue, Hull, Bank Accountant

Henry BOND, 212 Wilderspool Road, Warrington, Manager

Margaret Emily BOND, 212 Wilderspool Road, Warrington, Married Woman

John BONE, 269 Fulwood Road, Brownhill, Florist

Thomas BOOKLESS, 50 Montgomery Road, Sharrow, Sheffield, Commission Agent

Emmanuel BOOTH, Muslinhall, New Mill nr Huddersfield, Schoolmaster

Isaac BOSTOCK, 27 Duke Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, Boot Dealer

William BOTTERILL, 23 Parliament Street, Hull, Architect & Surveyor

Kate Emily BOWER, 70 Caledonian Road, Leeds, Spinster

Thomas Reddish BOWER, 2 Rumford Court, Liverpool, Commission Merchant

William George BOWER, 69 Wolstenholme Road, Sharrow, Sheffield, Physician

John BOWLING, Leeds, Solicitor

Hirst BRADLEY, 43 New Hay Road, Oakes, Huddersfield, Grocer

Alfred L BRAITHWAITE, 54 Francis Street, Leeds, Gentleman

Eleanor BRENCH, 56 Belle View, Leeds, Married Woman

John James BRITTEN, 84 Tewardstone Road, Victoria Park, Boot Manufacturer

Edward BROOK, 127 Machon Bank, Sheffield, Commission Traveller

James BROOK, Fern Villa, Belle Vue Road, Leeds, Bank Manager

Louisa Stowe BROOK, Fern Villa, Belle Vue Road, Leeds, Married Woman

Edward BROOKE, Cowtress, Cleckheaton, Tanner

Annie BROOKES, Kings Newton House, Kings Newton nr Derby, Widow

Joseph BROOMFIELD, 19 & 21 Infirmary Road, Sheffield, Tailor & Clothier

George Hewson BROUGHTON, College Road, Barrow on Humber, Hull, Farmer’s Son

Emily Alice BROWN, Boar Lane, Leeds, Saleswoman

James BRUCE, 20 Bainbridge Road, Headingley

Robert BRUCE, Clive Mills, Mirfield, Yorks., Manufacturer

William BUCK, Ilkley, Yorkshire, Tobacco Merchant

Hubert BUCKLEY, Magdale Honley, Huddersfield, Clerk

Thomas Arthur BUNTING, 66 Carlyle Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, Merchant

Henry Longden BURGON, 4 Belmont Grove, Clarendon Road, Leeds, Grocer

Isaac Barnes BURGON, Willow Grove, Leeds, Grocer

Arthur BURHOUSE, Scissett nr Huddersfield, Provision Dealer

Mary BURLEY, 1 Hornby Terrace, Morecambe, Widow

John BURROWS, 20 Spring Street, King Cross, Halifax, Printer

Miss Mary BURROWS, 13 St John’s Lane, Halifax, House Keeper

Bramwell C BURTON, The Rectory, Cherry Burton nr Beverley, Revd’

William BURTON, 55 Douglas Street, Derby, Inspector of Schools

William BUTLER, 4 Westhill Terrace, Chapel town, Leeds, Retired

Charles Leslie Lovett CAMERON, The Vicarage, Mortimer, Berks, Clerk in Holy Orders

James Spottiswoode CAMERON, 1 Ridge Mount Cliff Road, Leeds, Medical Officer of Health

Nathaniel CANTLEY, 7 Crown Office Row, Hampstead, London, Barrister at Law

Jonathan Milne CARNLEY, Summerbridge via Leeds, Gentleman

Caroline CARR, Hemsworth nr Wakefield, Widow

William Rawson CARTER, 116 Rutland Park, Sheffield, Wholesale Grocer

Thomas, CATTLEY 10 Prince of Wales Terrace, Scarborough, Gentleman

George CHADWICK, 2 Elm Villa, The Park, Hull, Manufacturer

William CHADWICK, 57 Cardigan Road, Leeds, Gentleman

Caw CHAMBERS, 74 Norfolk Road, Sheffield, Married Woman

Albert CHAPMAN, 19 Suffolk Street, Hull

Amy Matilda CHAPMAN, c/o Rev Charles Chapman, London, Spinster

Arthur CHAPMAN, 41 Oakwood Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds, Steel Manufacturer

Charles CHAPMAN, Grosvenor Club, Bond Street, London W, Clerk in Holy Orders

George Alexander CHAPMAN, Tremlett, Wellington, Somerset, Major

Frederick CHARLESWORTH, Grove Villa, Dore New Road, Dore, Sheffield, Clerk

George CHARLESWORTH, 546 Shoreham Street, Sheffield, Clerk

W CHARLTON, 95 Colmore Row, Birmingham

John William CHESHIRE, 48 Sadler Gate, Derby, Grocer

Agnes CHEW, 16 King Street, Bridlington Quay, Spinster

John A CHRISTIE, Cranethorpe, Leamington Spa, Director, L & M Bank

Mary J Ross CHRISTIE, The Lindens, Collegiate Cres, Broomhall Park, Sheffield, Spinster

Haigh CLAPHAM, 2 Kingston Square, Hull, Costumier

David CLARK, North Dalton nr Driffield, Licensed Victualler

William Burdett CLARK, Husband Bosworth nr Rugby, Grocer

Thomas CLEGG, Brookroyd Terrace, Holywell Green nr Halifax

Frederick CLIFTON, Laverstock Villa, Uttoxeter Road, Derby, Chemist

Margaret Mary COATES, Priest Hill, Wetherby, Married Woman

Arnold Percy CODNOR, 20 Stafford Street, Hull, Clerk

Walter Reginald COLERIDGE-ROBERTS, Lichfield, Dental Surgeon

Frederick Innes COMINS, 20 Bramley Hill, Kirkstall, Leeds, Brewer

Robert A CONLEY, 31 West Parade, Huddersfield, Gentleman

William Henry CONYERS, Fainstowe, Ilkley, Tanner & Leather Factor

Arthur Joseph COOK, 49 Rustling Road, Sheffield, Bank Agent

John COOK, 28 Cardiff Road, Luton, Associate Superintendent

Cecil Austin COOMBE, Alliance Chambers, George Street, Sheffield, Share broker

Charles George COOMBE, Worthing, Clergyman

Charles COOPER, Acacia House, Gainsborough, Merchant’s Clerk

Howard Lister COOPER, 54 Old Broad Street, London E, Stockbroker

Elizabeth COPLEY, Spa Bottom, Fenay Ridge nr Huddersfield, Spinster

Albert COWELL, Broomfield, Kidderminster, Carpet Manufacturer

Edith Annie COWELL, Broomfield, Kidderminster, Spinster

Charles Henry COWLESHAW, Heath Lodge, Uttoxeter, Solicitor

William Henry COX, Nevada Farquhar Road, Edgbaston, Gentleman

Emilia Thomson CRABBE, Copeley Hill, Birmingham, Married Woman

Henry CRANSWICK, Thorneycroft, Bridlington Quay, Land Agent

Joseph CRAVEN, 424 Broom Bank, Mt Glossop Road, Sheffield, Gentleman

James Hamer CROSSLEY, Fairfield, Huddersfield Road, Brighouse, Card Maker

David CROWE, 8 Hill Street, Marsh, Huddersfield, Yeast Merchant

William Ernest CROWE, 8 Hill Street, Marsh, Huddersfield, Yeast Merchant

Henry Ashworth CROWTHER, Gawthorpe Green, Kirkheaton, Huddersfield, Esquire

William CUMMING, Huddersfield, Merchant

Cornelius CURRINS, 40 Roseville Terrace, Leeds, Boot Trader

Thomas CUTTRISS, 24 High Street, Doncaster, Dentist

James Charles Ellard D’ESTERRE, Elmfield, Southampton, Esquire

Robert DALE, Greenside nr Sheffield, Draper & Boot Dealer

Alice DARLEY, 27 Brudenell Grove, Leeds, Married Woman

Thomas Easterby DARLEY, 27 Brudenell Grove, Leeds, Traveller

Lewis Frank DAVIES, 105 Fitzwilliam Street, Sheffield

Nathaniel DAVIES, 44 Coleman Street, London, Gentleman

Robert DAVIES, 46 Marsh Lane, Bootle, Liverpool

Robert DAVIES, 4 Grove Street, Dewsbury, Agent

William Aish DAVIES, Yaverland, Streatham Park, London SW, Shorthand Writer

William Reginald DAVIES, 44 Coleman Street, London, Gentleman

Anna Schofield DAVIS, Castlegate House, Skipton, Widow

Richard H DAWE, Town Hall Leeds, Town Clerk

Richard Watson Bodley DAWE, Walkington Rectory, Beverley, Clerk in Holy Orders

Frederick Binns DAWSON, 22 Bayswater Street, Leeds, Foreman Cutter

William DAWSON, The Farm, Gordon Castle, Fochabers NB, Gentleman

Charles DEANE, 47 Woodstock Road, Sheffield, Retired Schoolmaster

Edward Harry DEE, Portland Cottage, Henley on Thames, Valuer & Estate Agent

Thomas DENCE, 74/84 South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, London, Provision Manufacturer

William DENLEY, 38 Corporation Street, Birmingham, Trimming Merchant

John Charles DENNIS, The Willows, Benton, Newcastle on Tyne, Gentleman

Thomas DENNIS, 21 Peel Street, Hull, Solicitor’s Clerk

Benjamin DENSHAM, 49/51 Eastcheap, London EC, Managing Director

John Lane DENSHAM, 49/51 Eastcheap, London EC, Chairman, Magawaker Teale

William DERRY, 12 Monkbridge Road, Headingley, Leeds, Accountant

Arthur Knocker DIBB, Kirk Ella nr Hull, Colonel & JP

Brow DICKINSON, Bramley, Leeds, Boot Manufacturer

Brow DICKINSON, Rosemont, Bramley, Boot Manufacturer

Edward DICKINSON, Meersbrook Bank, 10 Monkton Road, Sheffield, Secretary

Eliza Ann DICKINSON, Dewsbury Road, Leeds, Widow

George DICKINSON, Ferndale, Bramley, Leeds, Boot Manufacturer

George DICKINSON, Bramley, Leeds

John DICKINSON, Irvinedale, Bramley, Leeds, Boot Manufacturer

John DICKINSON, Bramley, Leeds, Boot Manufacturer

Frederick George DIMERY, Moortown, Leeds, Industrial School Superintendent

Edward DIXON, Princess Avenue, Hull, Chairman, Blundell Spence & Co Ltd

Abraham Charles DOAR, Sandiacre nr Nottingham, Cashier

Edith M Margaret DOBSON, c/o R H Dobson, 54 Old Broad Street, London, Spinster

Edwin DOCKER, Selly Oak nr Birmingham, Solicitor

Charles DOWNES, 11 Harley Street, Hull

William North DRIVER, 24 Carlton Street, Castleford, Manager

Thomas Wortley DRURY, 180 Upper Street, Islington London, Clerk in Holy Orders

Thomas DUCKETT, Bewholme Vicarage, Hull, Clerk in Holy Orders

George Henry DUDLEY, Kingswinford nr Dudley, Nail Manufacturer

Henry DUNCALFE, Sutton Coldfield, Surgeon

James DUNN, 2 Egypt Street, Warrington, Clerk

George Frederick DYSON, 29 Sholebroke Avenue, Chapel town Road, Leeds, Clerk