hartlepool history logo

Murrell & Co. [J.H. Murrell]

Details about Murrell & Co. [J.h. Murrell]

Francis Yeoman started out as a clerk in the firm of his uncle, Sherinton Foster, who, as well as being a shipbroker and shipowner was also a master mariner. Francis eventually became a partner and the company became Foster & Yeoman. On his uncle's death he took over the business. A partnership was then formed between Joseph Murrell & Francis Yeoman in 1881. When the partnership was dissolved the company became J.H. Murrell & Co. then J.E. Murrell & Co. and lastly Murrell S.S. Co. Ltd.

The directors of the company in 1945 were Arthur George Murrell F.I.C.S. and Edwin Joseph Murrell F.I.C.S.

Sherinton Foster had shares in the following Hartlepool registered vessels; brig Regent from 1848 to 1851 and was master in 1848; snow Glide from 1851 to January 1854 and was master during those years; snow Bride of Abydos from March 1852 to December 1854 and was master in 1854 when she was wrecked; barque Civility from 1853 to 1859 and was master in 1855; brigantine Naiad in 1859; barque Ken in 1862.

Family History:

Sherinton Foster was born on 25th March 1815 at Scarborough.  He married Isabella Dunovell in 1838. Sherinton received his Master’s Certificate of Service No. 39180 in March, 1850. Prior to this he had sailed as master on four vessels including the Regent of Hartlepool in 1847. By 1851 Sherinton and his wife were living in Hartlepool and in the 1861 census Frances Yeoman, their nephew was living with them. Isabella died aged 70 at Hartlepool in July 1882.

Sherinton died aged 71 on 20th September 1886 leaving effects of £132.

Obituary in Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail – Wednesday 8 September 1886.

Our readers will learn with regret of the death of Mr Sherinton Foster, a gentleman well known in the Hartlepools for the best of the half-century.  Formerly a master mariner and afterwards a shipowner, Mr Foster relinquished his position as a merchant in this port to devote the remainder of his life to the work of religion in which he had long taken an active interest. Droll but telling were his discourses to Methodist audiences at Hartlepool. “Sherry Foster's Sermons" as they were familiarly spoken of will long be remembered by Hartlepool Methodists. Some four or five years ago he left the district, withdrew his interest in the firm of Foster and Yeoman, and joined General Booth as a staff officer of the Salvation Army. Though advanced in years, he proved a vigorous as well as a successful evangelist and, at the time of his death which occurred at Easingwold was seventy one years of age. Deceased was a native of Scarborough, and uncle of Mr Councillor Yeoman of Hartlepool.


Francis Yeoman was born at Scarborough in 1849 to parents Margaret and Thomas.  Francis married Jane Ann Younghusband at Hartlepool in 1873. By the 1881 census the couple were living at Radcliffe Terrace with their three children. By the 1891 census they were living at Gainford House in Henry Smith Terrace with their six children.

Francis died at Hartlepool aged 66 on 28 April 1914 leaving effects of £20,832.

Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough  - Wednesday 29 April 1914.

‘HARTLEPOOL SHIPOWNER’S DEATH. BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE LATE MR FRANCIS YEOMAN, J.P. By the death of Mr Francis Yeoman, J.P., the Hartlepools have lost one of their best known and most respected citizens. Over a fortnight ago he was seized with illness whilst on the Hartlepool Golf Links, and since then his condition had caused grave anxiety. He passed away last night at his residence, Gainford House, Hartlepool. Mr Yeoman was a native of Scarborough, and at an early age entered the office of his uncle, Mr Sheridan Foster, who carried on business as a ship broker and insurance agent on the Town Wall, Hartlepool. In due course he was admitted into partnership, and on the death of his uncle continued the business on his own account. Upon the transition of the sailing ship, Mr Yeoman directed his attention to steamship chartering and share brokering, and in 1882 he joined his brother-in-law, Mr J. E. Murrell, as a steamship owner, under the style of Messrs Murrell and Yeoman. The partnership was dissolved in 1900, and the business was continued by Mr Yeoman. In 1886 he was elected secretary of the Hartlepools Shipowners’ Society, and was the district secretary of the Shipping Federation in 1902. For some years Mr Yeoman was a member the Hartlepool Town Council, and he was also a Justice the Peace for the borough. He took a deep interest in religious work. He was a charter member the “James Rewcastle” Lodge of the Independent Order of Good Templars; and for many years treasurer of St. Mark's United Methodist Church, of which he was a munificent supporter. In politics he was a staunch Liberal, and was one of the vice-presidents of the Hartlepools Liberal Association. He was an ardent amateur photographer, and was president of the Hartlepool Amateur Photographic and Sketching Society. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of the Hartlepool Rovers Football Club, of which his sons have been prominent playing members. He was also a member of the Hartlepool Golf Club. Mr Yeoman was of a kind and genial disposition, and was held in very high esteem by a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. He was 67 years of age, and leaves a widow, four sons, and two daughters, with whom the deepest sympathy is felt.

At the Hartlepool Police Court this morning Councillor W. Scott Gibb (the presiding magistrate) referred to the great loss the Bench had sustained by the death of Mr Yeoman. He was sure that all his colleagues would bear him out when said that Mr Yeoman always tempered justice with mercy. On behalf of the Bench, Councillor Gibb expressed their deep sympathy with the widow and family of the late Mr Yeoman in their sad bereavement. Mr A. Belk (magistrates’ clerk) associated himself on behalf of the officials of the court with the expression of sympathy and regret, and said no one could be more deeply sensible of the less which the Bench had sustained than the officials, because of the kind consideration always shown to them by Mr Yeoman in the carrying out of their duties.’


John Henry Murrell was born on 14 February 1837 at Wivenhoe, Essex to parents William and Eliza. He began his working life as an errand boy to a Hosier and then moved on to become a clothier. John married Elizabeth Bainbridge in 1859 at Hartlepool. By 1881 he was listed in the census as a Draper. By 1891 he had become a shipowner and on the census the family were living at Highfield House, Stranton. One of their sons, John William Percy, was listed as a shipowner’s clerk.

John was a partner in the firm of J.H. Murrell & Sons of Cardiff which was managed by his son Cecil.

John died aged 55 at Hartlepool on 8 January 1893 leaving effects of £9908.


Joseph Edward Murrell was born 1837 at Wivenhoe, Essex to parents William and Eliza. He received his mate’s certificate No. 18784 in 1858.  Joseph married Mary Younghusband at Hartlepool in 1863 and by 1881 the couple were living at South Crescent with their two sons and two daughters. By the 1891 census they had two sons and six daughters. By the time of the 1901 census the family were living at Clifton Avenue.

Joseph died aged 80 at Hartlepool on 21 February 1919 leaving effects of £81,550.


Edwin Joseph Murrell was born on 21 May 1881 at Hartlepool and by the time of the 1901 census he was listed as a shipowner’s clerk. In the 1911 census he was listed as a clerk and shipowner. He married Kathleen Cooper in 1915. Edwin served on the President 11 from 2 August 1917 to 31 March 1918.

Edwin died aged 81 at Hartlepool General Hospital on 8 April 1962 leaving effects of £124,036. His wife, Kathleen, died in 1935.



Related items :