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Knottingley and Ferrybridge Local History

HENRY BROWN
1830-1866

Within Knottingley cemetery, just to the right as you pass through the entrance gates, lies the grave of Henry Brown, a native of the United States of America.  It is believed that he escaped from slavery in America and fled to England for his own safety and was befriended by the townsfolk of Knottingley.  Does anyone know the story behind this man?  If you can help with any details then please contact us at the Knottingley and Ferrybridge Web.

A very similar story exists in America about a Henry 'Box' Brown who escaped slavery by hiding himself in a box. Although he also fled to this country in about 1862 no trace of his whereabouts can be found since he was last known to be in Wales in 1864. However the date of birth of Henry 'Box' Brown was 1815 which would have made him 51 years old in 1866 and according to the death certificate, the 'Knottingley' Henry Brown was aged only 36 at the time of his death.

Henry Brown memorial stone Henry Brown memorial inscription
The gravestone of
Henry Brown
The inscription on Henry Brown's memorial stone


The inscription on the headstone reads as follows although I am unable to make out several characters.

IN MEMORY OF
HENRY BROWN A COLOURED MAN
A NATIVE OF ***D ISLAND
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
WHO DIED SEPT 30TH 1866
AGED ** YEARS

STOP STRANGER PAUSE AS YOU DRAW NEAR
AND READ THE EPITAPH THAT'S WRITTEN HERE
FAR FROM HOME AND FRIENDS SO DEAR
DIED IN A STRANGE AND FOREIGN LAND
AND HERE I'M BURIED BY ENGLISH HAND
THIS STONE WAS ERECTED BY THE
ANCIENT ORDER OF FORESTERS
COURT LORD MELLOURN No.44*

Henry Brown certificate

A copy of the death certificate believed to be that of Henry Brown


MORE FAMOUS PEOPLE FEATURED:

Ben Thomspon
Billy Thompson
William Moorhouse
Sir Arthur Ingram
William Bartholomew


 

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