Alfred Radley Briggs was born in the summer of 1863 to cloth manufacturer George Briggs and Sarah Elizabeth (nee Radley). The 1871 census shows 7 year-old Alfred at the home of his maternal grandparents, George and Martha Radley, at Highfield House, Ossett Green. His grandfather George was also a cloth manufacturer, employing 10 men. His mother Sarah and siblings, George Edward 11, Herbert 9, Alice 6 and Catherine 1 are also at this address. His father George was at the home of his mother, Hannah Briggs, Denton Lane, Ossett.

Alfred Radley Briggs

Above: The Briggs Chemist and Druggist shop in Horbury with an unidentified man standing in the doorway, which could possibly be a young Alfred Radley Briggs. Photograph courtesy Anne Ellis.

In the census of 1881, Alfred is again at the home of his grandfather George Radley, who is now living on South Street, Ossett. 17 year old Alfred is employed as a chemist’s apprentice. The same census reveals Alfred’s father, George Briggs has died. His mother Sarah lives on Church Lane, Ossett with her children, George Edward, now 21 and working as a wool dyer; Herbert, now 18 and a foreign correspondent, Alice, now 16 and a rag sorter and Catherine, now 11 and a scholar.

Alfred Radley Briggs and his wife Alice Jane Nettleton

Above: Alfred Radley Briggs and his wife Alice Jane, nee Nettleton. Pictures courtesy of Anne Ellis.

On the 30th March 1887, Alfred Radley Briggs married Alice Jane Nettleton, daughter of manufacturer George Nettleton of South Ossett, at South Ossett Church. The next census in 1891 shows Alfred was visiting again. This time he and Alice are at the home of Joseph and Sophia Thorp (nee Nettleton) in Golcar, Huddersfield, Alice’s sister. With them are their two children, Herbert Briggs, 2 years and Edgar Briggs, aged 6 months.

In the census of 1901, we finally find Alfred Briggs at his own home! His address is Grange Villa, Wakefield Road, Horbury. Alfred is now 37 and a Chemist and Druggist with his own shop in Queen Street (now Ingham’s DIY). Alfred and Alice have had a daughter, Catherine 6. They also have a domestic servant, Ellen M. Gadie aged 22.

Briggs Children

Above: Teddy Briggs on the left, Herbert Briggs at the back and Catherine Briggs at the front. The boy on the right is possibly a relative but unidentified at the moment. Thanks to Anne Ellis for permission to use the photograph. Catherine Briggs was her grandmother.

The 1911 census shows Alfred is still a Chemist and Druggist with a shop on Queen Street, Horbury, although his shop did move to the corner building below his original shop at some point. His son Herbert is now 22 and a qualified chemist, working in the shop. Edgar is 20 and an ironmonger’s apprentice. Catherine is 16 , but with no occupation. Their domestic servant is now Lilian May Wood aged 29.

Grange Villa

Above: The home of Alfred Radley Briggs, Grange Villa, Wakefield Road, Horbury shown as it was when the Briggs family lived there and how it looks today.

Herbert Briggs died on the 25th February 1934, age 45. His address was still Grange Villa, Horbury. As far as I can tell he was unmarried. His executor was his father, who had retired by this time.

Briggs Second Shop Alfred Radley Briggs died on the 18th April 1938 at Belmont Nursing Home, Leeds. His home address was still Grange Villa, Horbury. Probate was granted to his son Edgar Briggs and Eric Edwin Lee, ironmongers. Have you joined the dots up yet? Ironmongers, Eric Edwin Lee and Edgar Briggs?

Right: The location of Alfred Briggs' chemist shop, which moved to the corner of Queen Street, Horbury

The firm Lee and Briggs was established in 1913. Edgar Briggs joined the army in 1915 and he served in the 11th Motor Ambulance Convoy in France, being discharged in 1919. On the 7th of January 1924, he married Dorothy Emmaline Appleyard, at St James Church, Derby. They lived at Grange Villa until 1938 when they moved to Willow Garth, Northfield Lane, Horbury.

Edgar and Dorothy had three children: Jean born 1924, David born 1927, and Christopher born 1930. Dorothy Emmaline Briggs became a J.P. and was noted as being organiser of the local W.R.V.S. and vice-chair of the Old People’s Welfare Committee.

Catherine Briggs, the sister of Edgar Briggs married his business partner Eric Edwin Lee in the summer of 1919, making Lee and Briggs a truly family firm!

Briggs Graves

Above: The rather dilapidated grave marker for Alfred Radley Briggs and his son Herbert Briggs in Horbury Cemetery. Pictures by Helen Bickerdike.

Briggs Graves

Above: The graves in Horbury Cemetery of Christopher Radley Briggs (1930 - 1957), the son of Edgar and Dorothy Briggs and Edgar Briggs (1890 - 1976) at rest with his wife Dorothy Emmeline Briggs (1902 - 1984). Photographs by Helen Bickerdike.



Helen Bickerdike, June 2018