Joseph Brooks Yates

21st Jan 1780 - 12th Dec 1855

Claimant or beneficiary


Son of the Unitarian minister John Yates (1755-1826) and Elizabeth Bostock (née Ashton, 1749-1819), and brother of John Ashton Yates (q.v.), Richard Vaughan Yates (1785-1856), James Yates (1789-1871) and Pemberton Heywood Yates. 

According to the ODNB entry (which is silent on his extensive slave-owning):

'....he joined the firm of a West Indies merchant, in which he became a partner, remaining with it until shortly before he died.  He was one of the leading reformers of Liverpool, and in the years after 1815 was a prominent figure in local campaigns and petitions in favour of civil liberties, adherence to constitutional rights and democratic reform. He was also a liberal supporter of the city's literary and scientific institutions....He also contributed to several local journals on antiquarian subjects, and wrote a small number of pamphlets, but none of his writings has had any lasting value.'

Baptised 18/02/1780 at Paradise Street Unitarian Church, Liverpool. He was still in Liverpool when he married in 1813. Six of his daughters were baptised at Paradise Street, Elizabeth (1814), Margaret Hannah (1816), Anna Maria (1817), Sarah Jane (1820), Emma Frances (1821) and Harriet Anne (1825). In the Poll Book for 1837 for St Peter.


ODNB, C. W. Sutton, rev. Alan G. Crosby, 'Yates, Joseph Brooks (1780-1855) merchant and antiquary'; R.K. Webb, 'Yates, John (1755-1826) Unitarian Minister'; Alexander Gordon, rev. R. K. Webb 'Yates, James (1789-1871) Unitarian Minister'.

C. W. Sutton, ‘Yates, Joseph Brooks (1780–1855)’, rev. Alan G. Crosby Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004) [, accessed 12 /08/2012]; R. K. Webb, ‘Yates, John (1755–1826)’, ibid. [, accessed 12/08/2012]; Alexander Gordon, ‘Yates, James (1789–1871)’, rev. R. K. Webb, ibid. [, accessed 12/08/2012].

FindMyPast, England & Wales Non-conformist births and baptisms [database online]. FindMyPast, Cheshire Marriage licence bonds and allegations 1606-1905 [database online]., UK, Poll Books and Electoral Registers, 1538-1893 [database online]. 1841 and 1851 censuses online.

The portrait of Joseph Brooks Yates is copyright National Museums of Liverpool and available here: [accessed 08/09/2015].

Further Information

Margaret Taylor
Elizabeth (1814-), Margaret (1816-), Anna Maria (1817-), Sarah (1819-), Emma (1821-), Harriet (1824-)
Eton [?-c. 1796 ]
Oxford DNB Entry

Associated Claims (18)

£1,846 8s 0d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£1,093 0s 1d
Awardee (Mortgagee)
£1,195 15s 11d
Awardee (Mortgagee)
£2,549 13s 1d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£1,289 4s 7d
Awardee (Judgement creditor)
£1,046 1s 4d
Awardee (Mortgagee)
£308 19s 3d
£3,301 14s 0d
Awardee (Mortgagee)
£707 19s 7d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£644 2s 5d
Awardee (Trustee)
£585 19s 8d
Awardee (Trustee)
£4,713 14s 9d
Awardee (Trustee)
£2,948 9s 1d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£2,912 11s 6d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£4,346 4s 1d
Awardee (Mortgagee)
£3,695 11s 2d
Awardee (Mortgagee)
£3,018 16s 11d
Awardee (Assignee)
£7,029 16s 1d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)

Associated Estates (8)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1817 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Joint owner
1834 [EA] - → Mortgage Holder
1834 [EA] - → Mortgage Holder
1815 [EA] - 1815 [LA] → Joint owner

The enslaved people were registered to France, Fletcher & Yates in 1815, and to predecessor firms from 1809 onwards.

1820 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Executor
1832 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1832 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1834 [EA] - → Mortgage Holder

Legacies Summary

Commercial (1)

Other partner
France, Fletcher & Co.
West India merchant  
notes →
1. 1801 Joseph Brooks Yates, although just out of his apprenticeship, took a quarter share in the firm founded by James France, with Thomas Fletcher, John Henry Matthews and Thomas France (ne...

Cultural (8)

Library - books
365 books and manuscripts initially collected by Joseph Brooks Yates with subsequent additions by his descendants, sold by Christie's in London in July 2014 with estimates totalling £3 million. The... 
notes →
Council Member
Chetham Society...... 
Founder member and President
Liverpool Literary and Philosophical Society...... 
notes →
Co-founder with Thomas Stewart Traill [ODNB, 'Yates, Joseph...
Liverpool Royal Institution...... 
Founder member
Philological Society...... 
Royal Geographical Society...... 
Society of Antiquaries...... 
Founder member
Southern and Toxteth Hospital...... 

Relationships (5)

Business partners
Grandfather → Grandson
Notes →
In 1867 Samuel Ashton Thompson changed his name by adding Yates in accordance with the will of Joseph Brooks Yates [who was his...
Business partners
Business partners

Addresses (3)

Liverpool, Lancashire, North-west England, England
Dingle Lane, Toxteth Park, Liverpool, Lancashire, Merseyside, North-west England, England
King street, Liverpool, Lancashire, Merseyside, North-west England, England
Notes →

This was his counting house address.