A Master Grocer and a Liberal Councillor.


Born: 1822, Theberton, Suffolk.

Baptised: 5th April 1822, Suffolk.


David was a member of the Society of Friends – Quakers and served as an Elder.


Father: John Burley, born 1785, Theberton, Suffolk. John was a Farmer of 110 acres at Leiston. John Burley died 1857, Leiston.


Mother: Elizabeth Burley (nee Catchpole), born 1792, Leiston, Suffolk. After the death of her husband Elizabeth lived with her son William and his family at Theberton Grange. Elizabeth Burley died 1879, Theberton Grange, Leiston. Laid to rest with daughter Louisa and son John at the Quaker Burial Ground, Leiston.




Emily Burley, born 27th September 1820, Theberton, baptised 3rd November 1822, Suffolk. In 1843, Leiston, Suffolk, Emily married Henry Sheppard, born 1819, Leiston, baptised 13th June 1819, Leiston. Emily and Henry, a moulder had three children. Henry Sheppard died 1886, Laid to rest at St. Margaret’s Churchyard, Leiston.


Mary Ann Burley, born 24th March 1824, Leiston. On the 4th January 1854, at Theberton, Mary Ann married William Coleman, born 1822, Wenhaston, Suffolk, baptised 3rd March 1822, Wenhaston. Mary Ann and William had four children and made their home in Leiston. William was a shoe and boot maker – own account. William Coleman died 1869, Leiston. Mary Ann Coleman died 1886, Leiston. Laid to rest at the Quaker Burial Ground, Leiston.


Elizabeth Burley, born 11th November 1825, Leiston. On the 11th February 1851, Elizabeth married James Walton, born 1824. Elizabeth Walton died 8th May 1852, of St. Peter’s Derby, Derbyshire. Laid to rest 16th May 1852, by the Society of Friends.


William Burley, born 2nd September 1827, Leiston. On the 21st November 1861, at the Friends’ Meeting House, Ipswich, William of Theberton, married Martha Le Gay Brereton, of Foundation Street, Ipswich, born 7th February 1831, Bawtry, Yorkshire – daughter of Thomas Le Gay Brereton and Mary Ann Brereton (nee Taylor), of Bawtry, Yorkshire. Martha and William, a farmer of 260 acres had six children and made their family home at Theberton Grange, Leiston. William was an influential person in the Leiston and Theberton area, he attended and contributed to meetings. In December 1859, a meeting was held in Leiston to consider the proposed additional expenditure for the National Defences in connection with the formation of the Volunteer Rifle Corps. 12 million pounds was proposed for the erection of fortifications and other coastal defences. After an able speech from Edward Fry, Esq., William Burley rose to say “that in the opinion of this meeting, the proposed additional expenditure is wholly uncalled for, and is the result of a baseless and humiliating panic on the part of those who thus seek to add to the burdens of an already over-taxed people, and who, not satisfied with imposing such demands upon the pecuniary resources of the nation, have attempted to excite a military mania amongst the people by the proposed formation of Volunteer Rifle Corps, a course which, in the opinion of this meeting, is more likely to provoke hostility, than to establish the security of the country.” Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 24th December 1859. William was a good friend of the Liberal cause and was a member of the Leiston Liberal Association and often chaired the meetings. He was a member of the Liberation Society and the Friends of Peace Society and in September 1884 was part of a party of 140 who boarded a steamer to Ostend to attend the great Peace Congress at Brussels in Belgium. He chaired meetings in Leiston on anti-slavery. He and Martha were members of the Band of Hope. They annually welcomed local members of the Temperance movement to Theberton Grange to host their tea and treat event which was organised by the movement’s superintendent Mr. Walter Sterling. The Burley’s beautiful gardens were opened for the adults and children to stroll through, and rural games were provided for the children to play. The barns were suitably arranged to enable all the members to sit down and partake in an excellent shared tea during which the children sung several suitable temperance melodies.

In the Autumn of 1884, William retired from farming, portions of the family home and the live and dead farming stock of Theberton Grange, two miles from Leiston and four miles from Saxmundham went to an auction by Messrs. H. and J. read. His eight mares, geldings, pony and donkey, milch cows, heifer, Suffolk bull, young neat stock, black and grey-faced lambs, boar, three sows, pigs and fowls. All William’s agricultural carriages, harnesses, implements, machines, bins, troughs, iron hurdles and tools. A week later a portion of the Burley household furniture was sold – furniture, books, dairy, brewing, washing utensils, garden tools, greenhouse plants, a large stock of bees, quality choice of apples and numerous other effects. William and Martha moved to their new residences at Colville Lodge, Oulton Broad. Martha Burley died 4th August 1891, at her residence at Colville Lodge, Oulton Broad, Suffolk. William Burley died 4th January 1921 at his residence Colville Lodge, Oulton Broad, Suffolk. Laid to rest at St. Peter’s Churchyard, Carlton Colville, Suffolk.


John Burley, born 6th September 1829, Leiston. John Burley died October 1838, Leiston. Laid to rest 12th October 1838 with sister Louisa at the Quaker Burial Ground, Leiston.


Louisa Burley, born 13th October1831, Leiston. Louisa Burley died 7th March 1835, Leiston. Laid to rest 11th March 1835, at the Quaker Burial Ground, Leiston.


Lydia Burley, born 9th January 1834, Leiston. Lydia Burley died 1845, Leiston.




1841   Leiston Street, Leiston cum Sizewell, Suffolk.


David was 16 years old and an apprentice Draper and Grocer. He was lodging with his employer 40 year old Gundy Neave, a Draper and Grocer.


1851   St. Peter’s Street, St. Peter’s, Ipswich.


David was 29 years old, and a Grocer – own account.

1 female house servant.


1861   1 & 3, St. Peter’s Street, St. Peter’s, Ipswich.


David was 39 years old, a Master Grocer – employing 6 men. He was married and head of the household.

Mary, 32.

1 grocer’s apprentice.

1 female house servant.


1871   Linden Lodge, Anglesea Road, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.


David was 49 years old, a Provision Merchant. He was married and head of the household.

Mary, 41.

1 female house servant.


1881   Linden Lodge, Anglesea Road, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.


David was 59 years old, a retired Grocer. He was married and head of the household.

Mary, 51.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.


1891   Linden Lodge, Anglesea Road, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.


David was 68 years old, a retired Grocer. He was married and head of the household.

Mary, 61.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.


On Thursday, 7th July 1851, at the Friends’ Meeting House, Doncaster, Yorkshire, David married Mary Jackson Brereton, born 9th April 1829, Bawtry, Yorkshire – second daughter of Thomas and Mary Ann Brereton, of Bawtry.


Father: Thomas Le Gay Brewerton, born 1st May 1787, Bawtry. A member of the Society of Friends. Thomas was first married to Martha Parkin, who died in 1818, Bawtry, aged 27 and laid to rest on the 4th June 1818, at St. Nicholas Churchyard, Bawtry. Thomas was an experienced Surgeon and Apothecary.

On Monday, 21st April 1823, at Doncaster, Thomas Le Gay Brewerton, as Surgeon was left a body in a Will. Mr. Ebenezer Hall, a 25 year old, grocer, of Doncaster was an occasional preacher in the Wesleyan Connection and known for his piety bequest his body to Thomas on kind philanthropic and benevolent principles. On learning of the bequest, Thomas waved all claims on the executrix and requested that the deceased’s body be decently interred according to common usage. Later on Monday, the body of Ebenezer Hall was conveyed to Gainsborough for interment. English Chronicle and Whitehall Evening Post – Tuesday, 22nd April 1823.

Thomas Brewerton died Tuesday, 1st February 1831, at Bawtry.


Just a few days after his death on Sunday, 6th February 1831, Mary Ann gave birth to their daughter – Martha Le Gay Brewerton.


Mother: Mary Ann Brewerton (nee Taylor), born 1799, Cuckney, Nottinghamshire, baptised 4th November 1798, Cuckney. After her son John Le Gay Brereton emigrated to Sydney, New South Wales, Mary Ann moved to Ipswich with her two daughters to be near her daughter Mary Burley. Mary Ann Brereton died 15th March 1873, Ipswich. Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery the Quaker Section V.

Millicent Le Gay Brewerton, born February 1826, Bawtry moved to Ipswich with her widowed mother and lived close to her sister Mary Burley at 164, Norwich Road. Millicent died in July 1897 at her residence in Norwich Road, Ipswich.


The Brewerton surname was spelt Brereton by some members of the family.


For the last 20 years of his life, David had been more or less an invalid and had been attended by Dr. William Brock Roche.


David Burley died Tuesday, 23rd June 1891, at his residence Linden Lodge, Anglesea Road, Ipswich.

Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery at the Quaker Section V.


Probate to Mary Jackson Burley – widow.


Mary Burley died 14th March 1909, Linden Lodge, Anglesea Road, Ipswich.


Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery, in the grave of her husband at the Quaker Section V.


Probate to Theodore Le Gay Burley – David’s nephew (son of William and Martha Burley), a journalist and Samuel Alexander, a gentleman.


In May 1909, the attractive, well-built, five-bedroomed detached residence Linden Lodge, Anglesea Road, was sold at auction by Robert Bond and Sons. Also under instructions by Mary’s executors was the 41 Rods of land on the opposite side of the road, laid out as a garden with well-established trees and shrubs – a highly eligible building site.


David Burley was a Liberal and served on the Town Council for six years. He sat on the Ipswich Board of Guardians, the Paving and Lighting Committee and the Ipswich Dock Commission.

He was first elected unopposed on the 1st November 1865, as a Liberal, one of the representatives of the Bridge Ward, and returned again unopposed in November 1868.

In 1871, the period for which David was elected was about to terminate and he offered himself once again as a candidate for the ensuing election. However, this time he was opposed and lost his seat when it was discovered that many of the votes for David Burley were informal, his place of business having been inserted instead of his place of abode, as required by the law. The result was updated, and David lost his seat through the inadvertence of upwards of 50 of his supporters misdescribing his residence. He did not seek re-election or aspire to political honours again.



In July 1848, Mr. George Goldsbury announced in the local newspapers that he had disposed of his tea, grocery, and provision establishment, at St. Peter’s Street, Ipswich to David Burley. George sincerely thanked his friends and the public for the very liberal support he had received in his business. He informed the public that he would continue with his wholesale tallow chandler and melting business. On David’s behalf, he most respectfully solicits their continued favours. In return, David Burley assured the public that his system of conducting business will be to supply such articles as are of genuine and intrinsic quality, at the lowest remunerating prices, in strict personal attention and punctuality in the execution of orders, and thereby trusts to ensure a continuance of the patronage and support so liberally bestowed on his predecessor, which would ever be his desire to merit. Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 22nd July 1848

George Goldsbury, a member of the Society of Friends had succeeded the grocer, tea dealer, and cheesemonger business in St. Peter’s Street, near the Rose Inn from Mr. George William Carter Daking in October 1838. George Goldsbury announced via the local newspapers that by keeping articles of the best quality, at moderate prices, and with the punctual execution of orders, to ensure that patronage and support which he earnestly solicits and will endeavour to maintain. George would offer genuine teas, coffee, and spices. New fruits, fine new Kent hops and a variety of brushes, rope and cocoa nut mats etc. Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 27th October 1838


In March 1852, David Burley announced in the local newspaper that in consequence of the increasing demand for his coffees available at his wholesale and retail business in St. Peter’s Street, Ipswich, he had fitted up on his premises a Coffee Roaster, on the latest improved principle, by which he would be able to roast coffee daily, and would always ensure the coffee would be at its freshest and purest state. David had also commenced packing the choicest qualities in 1 lb. and ½ lb air-tight canisters, which would be found to be equal to any, and superior to most canister coffees. The coffee would be roasted in very small quantities and subjected to the action of the fire but for a few minutes; it would then be ground whilst hot, after the Continental method, and immediately packed so that by these means all evaporation is prevented, and the richness of its flavour is entirely preserved. Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 10th January 1852


David observed all the Bank Holidays adopted throughout the country. It was his intention to avail himself of all the Bank Holidays as he also knew those in his employ looked forward with pleasure to them.


David’s wholesale department developed steadily, and in 1876 he found it desirable to give up the retail trade in order to take the shop into the saleroom and enlarge his premises, which were already extensive.


David’s retail department at St. Peter’s Street, Ipswich, opened at 8 every morning and closed at 6 on the first four nights of the week, at 7 on Friday, and 8 on Saturday evenings. David’s wholesale warehouse opened at 8 in the morning and closed at 6 every evening.

In 1865, David took on a young lad named Harry William Raffe as his apprentice. In 1877, David went into partnership with Mr. Harry William Raffe under the title “Burley and Raffe” – Wholesale Grocers and Provision Merchants, of St. Peter’s Street, Ipswich.



On Saturday, 16th August 1879, the employees of Messrs. Burley and Raffe selected Felixstowe as the destination for their annual excursion. They travelled by road; the conveyances were supplied by Mr. Fenn in his usual style and arrived at the Ordnance Hotel at 11 am. After refreshments, the party made their way to the beach and enjoyed the seaside amusements. The employees dined back at the Ordnance Hotel for lunch, where after an ample fare, toasts and songs followed. The afternoon was devoted to the national game of cricket. Tea was at 5:30, after which a pleasant evening was spent, before at 8:30 the party made their way home, bringing a very pleasant day to a conclusion.

It was the opinion that it would be better for more employers would follow the example of David Burley and Harry Raffe – for where unity exists between employer and employed, success must follow their efforts. Ipswich Journal – Tuesday, 19th August 1879


In November 1879, David Burley retired and the partnership between David and Harry Raffe was dissolved by mutual consent on the 3rd November 1879.


Harry Raffe continued the business in partnership with Mr. Henry Juby.

In 1907 – 1908, Harry Raffe served as Mayor of Ipswich, included in his very first speech to the Ipswich Council in November 1907, Harry spoke of the late Mr. David Burley, to whom he owed so much, both as regards to his business training and also the grand example he set him in every way. He told those gathered at the meeting that in 1871, through a printer’s error or otherwise, Mr. David Burley lost his seat on the Council, which was taken by the late Mr. Alfred Piper. In 1889, on the death of Alfred Piper, he was returned at a bye-election in February. Harry was honoured and proud to tell the gentlemen, “…. that all the time I have been on the Council, I have occupied the seat held by my old master and afterwards my partner.” E.A.D.T – Monday, 11th November 1907



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Members of the Council – in and since 1835 – Mr. B.P. Grimsey – July 1892.


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