When and why Henry Brickwood (1801-1864) became publican of the White Hart in Queen Street near the dockyards is uncertain, but it appears that he encouraged his older brother Thomas, his wife Fanny Watts and son Harry to move to the area. Thomas was born in 1796 in Guildford, Surrey (the home town of the Brickwoods for at least a century before that, 42 miles north east of Portsmouth on the London road). Family records show that Thomas died in November 1848, and probably it was just Fanny and Harry who moved in.

Fanny certainly took charge of the Cobden Arms pub in Arundel Street, in the town centre Picture of pub window with Brickwoods namenear the railway station, after Thomas' death. The railway had only arrived in 1847 further stimulating growth of the town. She bought the adjacent brewery (established in 1823) in 1851, and installed Harry (then 23) as the brewer after a week's training: this was an eventful period for Harry, as he also married Rosetta Schneegans in the same year. Harry and Rosetta had two sons, John in 1852 and Arthur in 1854, the year that Fanny died and Harry took over the business. They had three more children all who died in infancy, with Rosetta dying herself aged only 33 three weeks after giving birth to the last. Harry joined the town council in 1860 but also died young in December 1862 aged 34.

Brickwoods was put into the hands of trustees pending John and Arthur's coming of age: between 1862 and 1874 the trustees acquired at least three more breweries. Another small brewery was founded by one Thomas Brickwood, probably Harry's cousin Thomas, oldest son of Henry, who died in 1874 aged 39. There are also records of a female brewster called Martha Brickwood in the 1870s: this was almost certainly Thomas's widow Martha White. She apparently re-married one William Kingsbury in 1880 who took over the brewing, giving up in 1906 and extending the Suffolk Arms pub over the brewery: this was still trading as Martha's/Suffolk Arms in 2000.

In 1874 John inherited his father's business after an apprenticeship at the Mitcham Brewery in south London, and was joined by brother Arthur in 1875. Arthur had married Caroline Cheaters in 1873: they had nine children in eleven years, five of whom died in infancy. The brothers grew the business by acquisition, eventually abandoning the Cobden Brewery in 1880 and moving operations to the Hyde Park Brewery bought that year in neighbouring Southsea.

Picture of Brickwoods Brilliant Ales sign

Link to enlargement: grave of Arthur Brickwood
With the 1887 purchase of the Portsmouth Brewery in Saint Nicholas Street (just off the High Street in Old Portsmouth) the brothers moved the operation again, becoming the largest brewer and pub owner in the town - and also having a number of pubs in nearby Gosport. Arthur became seriously ill around 1890, and in 1891 agreed to the flotation of what now became Brickwood and Co. Ltd. While he retained an interest in water sports (see the Club History section at Southsea Rowing Club) his health continued to deteriorate, and he died in 1894. CLICK ON THE THUMBNAIL FOR AN ENLARGEMENT.

Use NEXT button to read about Brewery history from 1894 to 1933 and thereafter.