“Thomas Pemberton and Sons,”
Brassfounders, of Livery Street.
come now to the last branch of the Birmingham Pembertons, best
described under the title of “Thomas Pemberton and Sons,” for
it includes the members of that well-known firm of brassfounders, as
well as Charles Reece Pemberton and Dr. Oliver Pemberton.
connection of this branch with the others dealt with in the previous
sections has not been traced. The Compiler of these Charts had
considerable correspondence with the late Mr. Thomas Edgar
Pemberton,† and with Mr. A. W. Matthews§ who, together with his
wife, is a descendant of Josiah Pemberton,‡ but no one could give
any information earlier than the Thomas who heads this Chart (No. 1).
It was generally believed that he was connected with the Deritend
family, where alone, at that time, the name Josiah was known to
occur. Further, an article 111 the “Birmingham Weekly Post””
with this family, stated that “an Abraham Pemberton held
messuages and premises in what is now Livery Street, in 1703,”
implying that the property of the firm had descended from this
Abraham, who was assumed to be one of the Deritend family. Recently,
however, the Editor got into correspondence with Mr. P. W. L. Adams,
F.S.A., of Woore Manor, Salop, a descendant of Thomas Pemberton,* and
he first suggested that this family came from Leicester. Further
investigations instituted by Mr. Adams practically prove this to be
Thomas Pemberton, brazier, of Leicester, was made a Freeman of that
town “as a Stranger” in 1755, and died in 1766, aged 59. That
is to say he was born about 1707. He was the son of William
Pemberton, brazier, of Whitwick, co. Leics.,** but though the
baptisms of many children of this William and his wife Mary are
recorded at Whitwick, that of Thomas is not among them, but that
William had a son Thomas is shown by his will, which was proved at
Leicester in 1724. The will of Thomas was also proved at Leicester,
in 1766. In it he mentions sons Thomas, Joseph, William and John,
besides his wife Ann, and two married daughters. The sons Joseph and
William were both apprenticed to their father, and both received the
Freedom of Leicester in 1767, as did William, James and Samuel, sons
of William, and Josiah the son of Joseph, at later dates. Now Joseph
and William and their sons certainly migrated to Birmingham, but
concerning the eldest son Thomas there is complete silence, but it is
almost certain that he is the Thomas (No. 1) with whom we are now
father, as we have seen, was born about 1707, and may be assumed to
have married about 1728-30. Our Thomas died in 1809 at the age of 78,
and therefore was born about 1731, but again the baptism cannot be
found, though two entries at Whitwick in 1737 and 1740 probably refer
to his sister Sarah and brother William (Chart 24, Nos. 24 and 22).
to the Thomas, of Birmingham, the editor is indebted to some MS.
notes by Mr. Samuel Grew (a great-grandson),*** kindly lent by Mr.
Matthews, for the following particulars, which support the contention
that he “ came to Birmingham ” and was not born there. He was well
educated, going to a Public School, and a University,†† “but
having spent his all in riotous living came to Birmingham, where he
fell in love with a virtuous servant-girl.” This was Martha
Hodgetts. She, however, declined to marry him unless he learned a
trade and earned his living, so for three years he worked as a
copper-smith, and in 1761 they were married at St. Martin’s Church,
but after the marriage Thomas “swore he would do no more work, and
kept his word.” There were nine children, and poor Martha had
a hard time. However, Thomas does seem to have worked after all, for
on his death he is described§§ as “Brazier, of Livery Street,”
a business which developed under his energetic son into the great
Chart itself is believed to be complete, with the exception of the
descendants of William Pemberton (No. 2). Little is known of his son
Richard Reece, and nothing of his grandson Edward Dobson. It is
possible that both had descendants. Another doubtful point is the
marriage of Mr. James Turner, the button-maker. He certainly married
a Miss Anna Pemberton.‡‡ This is probably Ann Maria (No. 19)
daughter of Thomas Pemberton II.
Max Pemberton claims to belong to this family, but up to the present
time the connection has not been traced. His grandfather, Charles,
was bom in 1811, and from 1839 at least lived in Liverpool, where he
became an eminent solicitor. His baptism has been searched for in
every possible Register in Birmingham and Liverpool, without success.
Charles may have been the son of James, the nephew of Thomas
Pemberton I. and Martha (Hodgetts), who left “a large family,”
but only five of their baptisms can be found.
the same James may probably be traced the ancestors of the Rev.
Bertram Harold Pemberton, of Brighton, whose father was Joseph
Pemberton, of Birmingham, and “a cousin” of Dr. Oliver Pemberton,
and also those of Mr. Samuel Thomas Pemberton, Engineer, of Knowle
and Birmingham. This Mr. Pemberton’s great-grandfather was John
Pemberton, Ironfounder, of Wednesbury, and later of Deptford, who
married Martha Clifton, of Burnley, Lancs., by whom he had four sons,
William, Samuel, John and Joseph, and one daughter Mary. All the sons
were Ironfounders, and the three youngest were married. Samuel had a
son Samuel Joseph, who is an Engineer in London and is the father of
the above mentioned Samuel Thomas Pemberton. He also had five other
sons, Alfred Ernest, an Engineer, Horace, a Surveyor, who was killed
in 1916, Percy and Sidney, Engineers, and Leonard, killed in 1916;
and four daughters, Charlotte, Florence, Ada and Rose, all being
married except the youngest son and the second daughter. Mr. S. T.
Pemberton has one son, Roland Turner, and one daughter Hilda Helen,
now Mrs. Leonard Ernest Watson.
§ No. 46.
‡ No. 5.
¶ Jan 14,1899, on “An Old
* A descendant of Andrew Jukes Worthington. No.
** Chart 24, No. 5.
*** Son of No. 28
†† Mr. Grew
says Rugby and Oxford, but his name cannot be found in the
§§ Birmingham Gazette.
‡‡ M. I. At Florence to
Sophia (Turner) wid. Of Comm. Egisto Chiavacci (b. at Birmingham 24
Aug 1827, d. 19 Aug 1909) daughter of James Turner and Anna Pemberton
(original in Italian) supplied by Mr. Matthews.