Mayor of Ipswich 1st January 1836 – 9th November 1836.

A member of the Whig/Liberal Party.

A member of the established church – Church of England.

Benjamin was entitled by right of birth to be a Freeman of the Borough and was enrolled a Freeman on the 8th September 1794.

Benjamin was an Attorney and Solicitor, of Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, and a member of the Church of England. He was one of the two last “bailiffs of the town” under the old régime and entered the Council in 1835 as one of ten Aldermen established by the 1835, Municipal Corporations Act.

Benjamin was nominated Mayor of Ipswich, by Frederick Francis Seekamp and seconded by William May. He was elected on 31st December 1835 and commenced his Mayoralty on New Year’s Day,1836, and for the period to the 9th November ensuing.


Born: 1772, Lower Brook Street, Ipswich.

He was the eldest son of Benjamin and Mary Brame.

Father: Benjamin Brame, born 1749, a Carpenter and Joiner in the Building Trade.

Mother: Mary Brame (nee Wright).

Brother: William Brame, born 1770, Ipswich. On the 23rd May 1798, at St. Mary at the Quay Church, Ipswich, William married Lucy Earthy, born 1777, Stowmarket, Suffolk – daughter of John and Elizabeth Earthy (nee Mills), of Stowmarket. In July 1881, William became the Governor of the Ipswich Borough Gaol, and Lucy became the Matron, they resided at the Gaol situated at the entrance of Black Horse Lane, off St. Matthew’s Street. William died Tuesday, 26th February 1811, Ipswich. Lucy continued at the Gaol and became the Gaoler – the only female Gaoler in the country for many years. In 1840, Lucy retired, the Ipswich Corporation granted Lucy a pension. Lucy died on the 25th March 1867, aged 90, at her home of Norwich Road, Ipswich.

Sister: Ann Brame, born St. Margaret’s, Ipswich. In 1800, Ann married William Wallis, of Manningtree, Essex.


Benjamin was apprenticed as an Attorney Clerk to his Master – Mr. Thomas Foster Notcutt – Attorney, 24th December 1787. He studied for the law and became admitted in the Court of Common Pleas to practise in Trinity Term, 1794.

Benjamin went into partnership with Thomas Notcutt’s son, Stephen Abbott Notcutt (1777-1847). Stephen held the office of Town Clerk for the unreformed Corporation, in 1820 and again in 1836. In February 1821, the partnership was dissolved by mutual consent.

He was a member of the Eastern Division committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society.


Benjamin married Ann Jackaman, daughter of Simon Jackaman (born 1748, Ipswich – died 1813) and Grace Jackaman (nee Sage, born 1751 – died 1824, Ipswich).
Ann and Benjamin had no children.

Ann’s brother, Simon Jackaman, born 1772, Ipswich, was a solicitor and attorney at law, of Ipswich. Simon was a Common Council Man, in the true ‘Blue’ interest, he was appointed coroner, river officer, bailiff, and Town Clerk. In 1820, after the death of King George the Third, Simon, as Town Clerk had an important role to play in Ipswich during The Proclamation ceremony:
On the 3rd February 1820, between 12 and 1 o’clock, the body corporate of Ipswich assembled at the Town Hall for the purpose of proclaiming, and swearing allegiance to George the Fourth, as King of the United Kingdom, etc. The Proclamation was first read from the steps of the Town Hall, by Simon Jackaman, Esq. Town Clerk, the worshipful the Bailiffs, and the perspective officers of the Corporation, attending in their robes.



1806 – Benjamin Brame, of St. Peter’s.
1817 – Benjamin Brame, of St. Peter’s, a Portman.
1831 – Benjamin Brame, of St. Peter’s, a Portman.


1841   Bank Street, St. Peter’s, Ipswich.

Benjamin was 65 years old, an Attorney at Law. He was married and head of the household.
Ann, 60.
2 female servants.


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

Benjamin was 77 years old, an Attorney. He was widowed, and head of the household.
1 housekeeper.
1 general servant.


Benjamin’s wife, Ann Brame died 1843, Ipswich.

After his year as mayor and on his retirement from the office of Chief Magistrate, a Public Dinner was given to Benjamin Brame, Esq. the late Mayor of Ipswich, on Friday, the 2nd December 1936, at the Council Chamber, Town Hall, at 5 o’clock. Tickets 7s. 6d. each.


In November 1841, Alderman Benjamin Brame went out of office, he wanted to retire and therefore would not allow his name to be added to the voting paper list.


Benjamin died 21st July 1851, at his residence in Lower Brook Street, Ipswich – the house he used to say he was born in.


The funeral was held on the 28th July 1851, as Benjamin requested in his Will, dated the 12th August 1846, he was laid to rest, in an inner vault with his dear, devoted late wife, Ann, at the churchyard of the parish of St. Peter, Ipswich.


As instructed from the Executor’s of the late Benjamin Brame, Mr. John Fox, an auctioneer, at Westgate Street, Ipswich, held an auction on Thursday, 27th November 1851, at the New Assembly Rooms, Northgate Street, Ipswich, to sell Benjamin’s entire cellar of over 80 dozen of very superior and choice old Port, Sherry, East India Madeira, and other Wines, the larger portion of which was bottled in the years 1806, 1818, 1826, etc. Suffolk Chronicle – 15th November 1851

Benjamin had written his Will on the 12th August 1846. On the same day he also wrote two deeds and kept them tied up with his will in a bureau at his home.

Benjamin’s estate consisted of some freehold lands, and the value of his personal estate not specifically bequeathed by his will was £79,954, of which £74,790 consisted of secured upon land. After Benjamin’s death in 1851, it was discovered that his will only dealt with a comparatively small part of his property; he had therefore died intestate as to the remainder. The two deeds enclosed were also found. The two deeds had not been enrolled in the Court of Chancery during his lifetime, as required by the 9th George II., statute of Mortmain. The gifts made by Benjamin was thought to be a plan of his own making to evade the Mortmain laws, instead of following the means prescribed by law for establishing a charitable endowment.

The first deed was a gift of several sums of money to certain persons, including his late servants J. Legger and J. Purssey, who were to receive 7 shillings a week. His female servant, Eliza Chenery (part of his household in the census 1841 and 1851), was also remembered “for the kind attention to his late wife.”
Eliza Chenery married in 1853, Ipswich, to William Simpson Goodwin, they had 3 sons – William Brame Goodwin, Herbert Benjamin Goodwin, and Alfred Edgar Goodwin. To the first deed, there was no serious objection.

For the second deed, Benjamin wished that after all the funeral, testamentary expenses, and other debts and all the legacies had been paid that £60,000 should be raised and invested upon trust for charitable purposes in the county of Suffolk, within 12 months of the date of the deed. In default of that being done, his executors, William Henry Alexander, Frederick Alexander, and George Alexander. In default of that being done, his executors were to raise the money, and invest it. Benjamin requested that the vicar or incumbent and churchwardens of the parish of St. Peter in Ipswich, should receive the sum of £13 to be expended in bread, to be weekly distributed among the poor of this parish, and a further sum of £13 to be expended in coals for the like purpose.
This second deed was contested by the nine heirs-at-law (nieces and nephews), who contended the £60,000 belonged to them, and not to the charities.

For over two years the case was in litigation. In June 1854, the case was heard at the Rolls Court, Chancery Lane, with eleven counsels employed in the case. In February 1855, the Case was heard at the Court of Chancery before the Lord Justices and two common law judges. In July 1855, the case had moved to the Court of Appeal before the Lords Justices of Appeal. In March 1860, the House of Lords heard the case. Finally, in August 1860 after 9 years of litigation, the case was settled by a decision of the House of Lords. The expenditure in law had been sufficient to form the endowment of a considerable charity. The deed by which Benjamin sought to give nearly all he possessed towards perpetuating his name had been declared invalid.

A few days later £54,000 was paid out to Benjamin’s next of kin. The final issue was divided into nine equal parts of £6,000. Two of the nine had died (one in a union house), their share being paid through instructions in their respective wills:

Mr. John Brett – 1 part.

Mrs. Isabella Brett (nee Wallis), of Tavern Street – 2 parts (1 part being from her deceased sister Catherine Matilda Wallis).

Mr. Michael Brett – 1 part.

Mr. George Brame (a postman) – 1 part.

Miss Sarah Brame – 1 part.

Mrs. Lucy Jeffries – 1 part.

Mr. George John Wallis, of London – 1 part.

Mr. Henry Penny (and Jonathan Godbold) – 1 part (from William Brame Wallis since deceased).


The remaining sum of £7,000 passed into the care of Mr. Simon Batley Jackaman whilst the Brame Charity was established.

Today, this charity with the registered charity number: 280969 is known as ‘Brame’s Relief in Need Charity’ although a separate charity it is administered by the same Trustees as Tooley’s Court.



On Friday, 29th January 1836, at 11 o’clock, at the Town Hall, Benjamin as Mayor called a general meeting with the merchants, ship-owners, traders, and others interested in the prosperity of Ipswich and the port, to take further consideration to the proposal submitted by the Chairman, Mr. William Lane, Esq., Collector of the Customs, of forming a Wet Dock, at the Port, and improving the River and Harbour.


On the 27th June 1839, Benjamin attended the anniversary dinner of the Ipswich Shipwreck Seaman’s Society, 270 guests were accommodated at the White Elm Inn, St. Clement’s.


On Tuesday, 2nd August 1836, the East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital, designed by Mr. William Ribbans, of Ipswich, and erected by contractors – Messrs. Backhouse, W. Ribbans, and S. Groom, was opened. Benjamin, as Mayor and a Patron, attended St. Mary at the Tower Church in the morning where a sermon was preached by The Hon. and Very Rev. G. Pellow, D.D., Dean of Norwich. The same afternoon a Fancy Bazaar at the hospital was held.

On Wednesday, 3rd August 1836, in aid of the Funds of the East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital, Benjamin, returned to St. Mary at the Tower Church, for a grand selection of Scared Music performed in the morning, with a sermon preached by the Hon. and Rev. the Dean of Norwich. Followed by an evening at the theatre for a Grand Miscellaneous Concert.

On the Thursday evening, a Ball was held at the New Assembly Rooms.





Image courtesy of Mr. A. Gilbert – Ipswich Borough Council.   used for census returns, births, marriages, deaths, probates, military records and other historical online records.

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


The trails through courts of the second deed:

Suffolk Chronicle – 1st July 1854

Ipswich Journal – 8th July 1854

Suffolk Chronicle – 16th April 1859

Suffolk Chronicle – 31st March 1860

East Anglian Daily Times – 8th February 1894



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