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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002

    Josias Booker of liverpool and Demerara and founder Royal Insurance Co.

    I keep finding interesting items from Liverpool, May be I should start collecting.

    this time it is the telescope owned by Josias Booker

    The History of Booker Line

    In 1815, Josias Booker, the third of seven sons of a Lancashire Miller, emigrated to Demerara to work in the sugar plantations. One of the first British settlers in Demerara, he learnt his trade quickly and became a planter of some distinction, and by 1818 he was managing his own plantation. Following his success he was joined by two of his brothers, George and Richard, and the firm of Booker Brothers was founded.

    After a dispute with the Liverpool Shipowners who had been transporting their sugar, the brothers decided to form their own shipping company, and in 1835 they acquired their first ship, the Elizabeth, a brig built in Scotland in 1832. In the early years Bookers bought and sold many ships, unfortunately a lot of the company's records were destroyed by fire in Guyana, and the complete record of the company's activities was destroyed in London during WW2, but it is known that some of their early ships were; Palmyra, Standard, Lucknow, Lord Elgin, John Horrocks and Lancaster.

    Josias (1793-1865) went to British Guiana in 1815. He was manager of Plantation Broom Hall in 1818. Josias was the second of seven sons of John Booker ( -1818) and his wife Ann Hacking who lived in the area of Carnforth, Lancashire. Josias was baptised at a church in Over Kellet, two miles east of Carnforth. The family became involved in shipping and trade and established premises in Liverpool. George (1799-1866) and William (1796-1839), brothers of Josias, also went to British Guiana. The other brothers were: John (1787-1861) who became a farmer and died a bachelor and Thomas (1790-1835), who became a brewer in Liverpool.
    Josias, who had grown up on a farm, appears to have gone to Demerara to work on a cotton plantation, Broom Hall, owned by Thomas Bond of Lancaster. By 1818 he was attorney (owner's representative) and manager of Plantation Broom Hall. He was very interested in the farming system on the plantation and introduced many improvements which lessened the burdens on the slaves. He wrote an account of the farming system and of some of the improvements he made and for this he was awarded the gold medal of the Royal Society of Arts in London. In 1826, he married, in Liverpool, Elizabeth Higgin (1799-1881). The couple went to Demerara later the same year, but left for good in 1827. In Liverpool he established the firm of Josias Booker & Co. Later, Josias, with John Moss, C.S. Parker and J.A. Tinne (all with businesses in Liverpool and Demerara) gave money for the founding of the church of St Anne, Aigburth, Liverpool. Josias' son John Horrocks Booker was the first child to be baptised there on 29 March 1837. Among his many activities in Liverpool, Josias was the founder Chairman of the Royal Insurance Co. (1845-49).Josias married Elizabeth HIGGIN in 1826 in Liverpool. (Elizabeth HIGGIN was born in 1799 and died in 1881.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    I will be holding an auction sale shortly of about 50 of the most interesting items for a collector of Liverpool memorabilia. From the Deeds of the Liverpool Water Front (World Heritage Site) to the Liverpool Prayer Book give to the few people who attended the opening of the First Mosque in Britain, A bronze Tom Murphy Bust of Ken Dodd and Billy Fury to, street signs.

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