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Huntley Berner & Co.


Details about Huntley Berner & Co.

This is a story of a father and son that saw opportunities and made the most of them as Hartlepool was developing into a busy port. Benjamin H. Huntley owned or had shares in ships from 1843 up until his death in 1874. In 1866 his son, Benjamin R. Huntley, formed the company of B.R. Huntley & Co. Ltd. Oxide of iron, paint and grease manufacturers at Catherine Street Steam Mills, West Hartlepool. By 1868 he had a successful business manufacturing Vulcan cement for steam joints. In about 1874 he went into partnership with Ernest Berner, shipbroker, to form two shipping companies trading as B.R. Huntley & Partners and Huntley, Berner & Co. They owned ten ships up until the partnership was dissolved in 1884.

Family History.

Benjamin Henderson Huntley was born at Chester Le Street on 31st July 1804 to parents James and Margaret (nee Clark) (married 1791). He married Elizabeth Allen at Bishopwearmouth on 29th May 1830. Their son, Benjamin Ralph, was born about 1837 and their daughter, Isabella, was born in 1844. By 1844 or possibly earlier Benjamin was innkeeper of the Life Boat Inn at Southgate, Hartlepool. Elizabeth died aged 40 on 16th September 1848.

Benjamin then married Mary Walker at Norton on 23rd July 1849. Their son, Henderson, was born at Hartlepool in 1852. Mary died suddenly on 4th November 1853 and his daughter, Isabella, died in 1856 aged just 12.

The youngest son, Henderson, wanted to go to sea but his father was against it. When he was aged 15 it was decided to allow him one voyage with the hope that when he returned he would decide to follow a different path in life. On 16th May 1867 while off the coast of Portugal on the barque Cuba, against orders, he climbed the rigging, fell into the sea and was drowned.

Benjamin’s third marriage was to Eleanor Smith on 14th June 1855 at South Shields. By 1858 the couple were living at Moor Terrace, Hartlepool and Benjamin was in the 1861 census as a ship owner. Eleanor died in 1870 and Benjamin moved in with his son at 8 Cliff Terrace, Hartlepool.

Benjamin died aged 71 at Hartlepool on 26 December 1874 leaving effects of under £4,000.

Benjamin Ralph Huntley was born about 1837 to parents Benjamin Henderson and Elizabeth (nee Allen). He married Eleanor Todd at Hartlepool in 1859. By 1858 the couple were living at Southgate Street, Hartlepool with their son. Benjamin was listed as a ship chandler, chemist and druggist. In 1871 the couple were living at Cliff Terrace with their son, two daughters and Benjamin’s widowed father. In 1881 the couple were staying at Cardiff with Eleanor’s family and by 1891 they were living at 84 Ryhill, Elswick with their son and two daughters.

Benjamin died aged 56 at Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1892. Eleanor died aged 88 in 1924 at Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Ernest Julius Peter Berner was born in October 1840 at Mecklenburg Germany to parents Samuel Berner and Anna  Maria Cordes. In the 1861 census he was living as a boarder at Hartlepool and working as a shipbroker’s clerk. Ernest married Hannah Elizabeth Cout at Hartlepool in 1865. The couple were living at Scarborough Street, Stranton in 1871 and Ernest was naturalised at the age of 32 on 31 December 1872. In 1881 the family were living at 4 Raglan Place, Stranton with their four sons. It appears that Ernest travelled from Southampton to New York on the ship St Paul in 1908.

Hannah died aged 70 at Hartlepool in May 1915 and Ernest died aged 74 at Mecklenburg, Germany on 14th June 1915.

These are all the known vessels owned or partly owned by the Huntleys'.

As well as those listed individually Benjamin Henderson Huntley had ownership in the following:

1845 to February 1855 steam paddle sloop Powerful built 1843.

September 1845 to 1855 steam paddle tug Dragon built 1826.

1851 to 1855 paddle steamer Voltigeur built 1851.

1852 to July 1854 steam paddle sloop Flying Dutchman built 1852.

1854 brig Croxdale built 1842.

1863 to June 1865 snow Findon built 1826 (owned by father & son)

Benjamin Ralph Huntley had ownership in the following:

1862 to December 1863 wood sloop Prosperity built 1835.

1866 to March 1867 brig Elba built 1854.

1867 to June 1868 barque Richmond built 1843.

1878 to 1882 iron screw steamer Ovington built 1873 (registered Newcastle-on-Tyne)

1875 to 1883 barque The Bride built 1856 (registered London)

1879 to 1880 brig Ann & Sarah built 1846.

1879 to 1880 brig Pride of Dorset built 1862 (registered Weymouth)

Huntley, Berner & Co. owned the following:

1876 to 1880 brig Osbert built 1851.

1881 to 1882 iron screw steamer Wycliffe built 1880.

1883 to 1884 iron screw steamer Severn built 1870 (registered London)


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