Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Bramley-Moore, John

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1417228Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement, Volume 1 — Bramley-Moore, John1901Charles William Sutton

BRAMLEY-MOORE, JOHN (1800–1886), chairman of the Liverpool docks, youngest son of Thomas Moore, was born at Leeds in 1800. As a young man he went out to the Brazils to engage in trade, and lived for several years at Rio de Janeiro, where in 1828 he entertained the officers of the exploring ships Beagle and Adventure. On his return to England in 1835 he settled at Liverpool as a merchant, and soon began to interest himself in public affairs. In 1841 he was elected by the town council as an alderman, an office which he held for twenty-four years. In 1841 he became a member of the dock committee (afterwards called the dock board), and in the following year was appointed chairman. Foreseeing that great extensions of the docks would in the future be required, he induced his committee to agree to some bold proposals, resulting in 1846 in an arrangement with the Earl of Derby by which two miles of the foreshore of the river Mersey, from the borough boundary to Bootle, became available for the construction of docks. After the opening of the Albert Dock by Prince Albert in 1846 he was offered the honour of knighthood. This he declined. Five other docks were opened on 4 Aug. 1848, one of them receiving the name of 'Bramley-Moore Dock.' He was elected mayor of Liverpool in November 1848, and during his year of office originated a fancy fair and bazaar by means of which the sum of 12,000l. was raised for the local hospitals. In politics he was a conservative, and was returned to parliament in 1854 as member for Maldon. He lost that seat in 1859, but afterwards represented the city of Lincoln from 1862 to 1865. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Hull in 1852, for Liverpool in 1853, and Lymington in 1859. For many years he was chairman of the Brazilian chamber of commerce in Liverpool, and in that capacity earnestly pressed the government to reduce the then high duties on coffee and sugar. In 1863 he made a speech in parliament on the subject of the relations of England with Brazil, for which he was decorated with the order of the rose by the emperor of Brazil.

Some years before his retirement from business he went to live at Gerrard's Cross, Buckinghamshire, where he built a free reading-room. He died at Brighton on 19 Nov. 1886, aged 86, and was buried at St. Michael's-in-the-Hamlet, Toxteth Park, Liverpool. He married in 1830 Seraphina Hibernia, daughter of William Pennell, British consul-general for Brazil, and left two sons, the Rev. William Joseph Bramley-Moore, formerly a clergyman of the church of England, and author of several theological works, and John Arthur Bramley-Moore (d. 10 July 1899). His additional name of Bramley was assumed in 1841.

[Picton's Memorials of Liverpool; Shimmin's Pen-and-ink Sketch of Liverpool Town Councillors, 1866; Manchester Guardian, 23 Nov. 1886; Liverpool newspapers, 23 and 26 Nov. 1886. Bramley-Moore's will is given in the Liverpool Post, 27 Dec. 1886.]

C. W. S.