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William Shakespear Brown

Rushden Echo, 22nd February 1901, transcribed by Kay Collins

The Statement of Affairs of Mr. W. S. Brown, of 41 High-street, Rushden, baker and confectioner, has just been issued by the Official Receiver. The debtor estimates his unsecured liability at £176 13s. 5d. and his assets, amounting to £35 10s., are swallowed up by preferential claims. Debtor says that previous to September 1889, he was bandmaster in the Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Company, and before that he earned his living as a violinist. He commenced his business at Rushden in September 1889, with a capital of £144, £100 of which he borrowed from his wife. The landlord distrained for three quarters’ rent (£30) prior ro the date of the receiving order. According to the statement of affairs there are two creditors whose debts exceed £10. The deficiency account discloses that the bankrupt was insolvent a year ago, that he lost £52 from carrying on business during the past year, and also a sum of £35 on machinery and plant for sugar-boiling business. His household expenses of self and family for the past year have been £78.—The causes of insolvency are stated to be competition in trade and want of capital.

Rushden Echo, 8th March 1901, transcribed by Kay Collins

similar to start above then..... Debtor began business ten years ago with £15 of his own and £115 belonging to his wife. Prior to that, he had been a bandmaster and violinist. He knew a year ago that he could not pay 20s. in the £. He asked his landlord to lend him £100 to carry on a wine and spirit business. Stock was taken, and he was £20 or £30 to the bad. His man left him, and he tried by working himself to lessen his expenses. He had also a sugar-boiling plant, and he thought it was neglecting this that had made him go wrong. He lost £52 carrying on business last year owing to competition and loss of trade. A distress was issued for the rent, and he had to file his petition.—the examination was formally adjourned.

Rushden Echo, 7th May 1909, transcribed by Kay Collins

Bankruptcy—An application for discharge in bankruptcy was made at Northampton Bankruptcy Court on Wednesday by William Shakespear Brown, formerly in business at 41 High-street, Rushden, as a baker and confectioner. The official Receiver said the receiving order was made on Feb 1, 1901, on the debtor’s own petition, the public examination being concluded on April 2. The bankrupt’s statement of affairs showed liabilities £176 13s. 5d. Prior to the receiving order being make bankrupt’s landlord distrained, and his claim absorbed all the assets, so that no dividend had been or could be paid to unsecured creditors. The bankrupt began business as a baker and confectioner at Rushden in September 1889, with a capital of £130, £15 of which was his own money, and the balance of £115 was borrowed from his wife. Before beginning business bankrupt had earned his living as a musician, but he had a knowledge of the baking trade. He first became aware of his insolvency 12 months before the receiving order. He was anxious at that time to borrow some more money, but the proposed lender employed a valuer to inquire into the matter, and it was then found that there was a deficiency, but the bankrupt was unable to say how much it was (he thought £20 or £30), or what became of the informal balance-sheet then prepared. He tried to improve his position and the business, but was unsuccessful. His difficulties were competition in trade and want of capital. His honour granted the discharge, subject to the two years’ limitation.

Note: William had married Alice Golding (from Stow-cum-Quy) in 1891. He was working with his father at Wollaston in 1901, and had three daughters. All three daughters were born at Rushden, so he must have returned to his father's bakery when his own business failed. In 1911 he was living in Northampton; he was an attendant at Duston Assylum and his wife was a bed maker.

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