Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 08, 2021
Webpage updated: February 08, 2021




Frederick John Moore was born in Devonport on July 22nd 1860 to Mr Thomas Moore, a Messenger in the Royal Dockyard, and his wife Sarah.  They were living at number 61 Duke Street in 1861.

No information is available about his education but as his father worked in the Dockyard young Frederick was eligible to attend the Royal Naval and Military Free School in King Street.

A brother, William Henry Moore, was born in 1862 but their mother sadly passed away on June 12th 1863 in Wellington Street, Devonport.  Mr Thomas Moore re-married at the end of 1864 to Miss Mary Beer, who bore him a daughter, Ellen Mary Moore, in 1869.

By the time of the 1871 census the family were living at number 5 Seaton Place, Stoke, Devonport, and both the boys were at school.

Frederick John Moore was not baptized until July 29th 1879.  This took place at the Ker Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Devonport.

When the census was taken in 1881 the family were living at number 3 Wadham Terrace, Keyham, Devonport.  Frederick John Moore had obtained a job as a commercial clerk at a lime works and was also a Methodist Local Preacher, while his younger brother, William Henry Moore, was an apprentice to a carpenter.  Their sister was at school.  Sadly we do not know the identity or the location of the lime works.

Mr Frederick John Moore married Miss Ellen Ada Poad in Devonport in early in 1885.  They had one son and two daughters, all born in East Stonehouse: Miss Edith Matilda Moore, born 1886; Frederick Herbert Moore, born 1887; and Miss Frances Louise Moore, born 1889.  Their home was at number 26 Emma Place, East Stonehouse, where they even had the benefit of a domestic servant, 21-years-old Miss Martha M Bassett, from Modbury.  Frederick was now the stone merchant and quarry agent for the Battery Hill Quarry.  It was to be claimed in his Obituary that he:  'worked out the Battery Hill quarries.'  While in East Stonehouse he was the Superintendent of the Sunday School at the Edgcumbe Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel and during the winter months he used to hold Lantern Services for the children in the East Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel School Room.

Owing the declining health in or about 1900 he moved the family to "Petherwyn", in the village of Elburton, at Plymstock.  In the 1901 census he was declared as a 'Limestone Quarry Proprietor'.

Exactly when he acquired his quarries is not known but he eventually owned Billacombe, Cattedown, Elburton, Pomphlet, Prince Rock and Radford quarries and worked, if not actually owned, quarries at Hexton, Hooe Lake and Saltram.  It is likely that many of them came from Messrs Sparrow and Company, earlier quarry owners.  At some point he also became a director of Messrs Henry Lawry Limited, builders' merchants, of Plymouth.

Mr Moore's only son, Mr Frederick Herbert Moore, married Miss Eugenie Josephine Cooke at Leicester in 1914.  Mr Frederick Herbert Moore went off to the Great War as a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery.  He was captured at Bouvincourt on May 27th 1918 and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.  He apparently caught influenza, from which he died on November 20th 1918, and was buried at Niederzwehren Cemetery, Kassel, Germany, only one week after the Armistice had been signed.

Also in 1918, on June 5th, Mr Moore lost an old friend of his, Mr Peter Halse Evea, who for sixty years had been the  quarry manager first with Messrs Sparrow, Scott and Company, and more recently for Messrs F J Moore Limited.

Mr Frederick John Moore passed away at his home at Elburton on Friday December 26th 1924.  The funeral was held at the Mutley Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on Mutley Plain, Plymouth.  The cortgčge was escorted through Elburton village, and probably as far as the Laira Bridge, by Sergeant Hutchins and four Constables from the Devon County Constabulary.  The service was conducted by the Reverend W A Pilkington from the Stonehouse Wesleyan Chapel, assisted by the Reverends J Howen Rodda from Greenbank United Methodist Chapel, and Harry Whitehead from Compton Wesleyan Methodist Chapel.  Mr Cecil Palmer was at the organ.

In addition to his widow, the other family mourners included the deceased's brother and sister-on-law, Mr and Mrs William Henry Moore; his two daughters, the Misses Edith Matilda Moore and Frances Louise Moore, and his only sons' widow, Mrs Eugenie Josephine Moore.

During the service mention was made of the deceased's sorrow at the loss of his only son and his quarry manager.  The Reverend Rodda added: 'Mr Moore would claim that there was no office he had not filled except that of poor steward.  It was a noble record, and the one exception was a mere coincident, for he would have made an excellent poor steward, being a man of deep sympathy and one who delighted in doing good by stealth.'  Mr Moore had for many years represented Plymstock on Devon Local Education Authority and on its Pension Committee.

He was buried at the Plymouth Old Cemetery, originally known as the Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport Cemetery, on Tuesday December 30th 1924.

Messrs F J Moore Limited was continued by Miss Edith Matilda Moore, said to have been a formidable spinster but who drove a Baby Austin and her nephew, Mr Frederick James Moore, the only son of the late Mr Frederick Herbert Moore (1887-1918).  He had been sent to the Cornwall School of Mines, where he qualified in 1938.  In 1939 he was the Director, Engineer and Works Manager of a limestone company and was living at "Woodbine", Sherford Road, Elburton, with his widowed mother, Mrs Eugenie Josephine Moore.  His aunt Edith was  living at "Petherwyn" with her younger sister, Miss Frances Louise Moore.  However, her assistant soon joined the forces of the Royal Engineers for the duration of the Second World War and she was on her own again.

Interestingly, and curiously, Miss Edith got married in her sixties, in 1950, to Mr Francis William Jefford, of London.  The Jefford family had owned the Tor Quarry at Burraton Combe, Saltash, Cornwall.  Their marriage coincides with the date on which a Jefford's Quarry was sold to Messrs English China Clays Limited.

Mr Jefford passed away on March 24th 1956.  At around this time Moore's amalgamated with other small quarry firms in Devon and Cornwall to form the Northcote Group.  In December 1957 the Northcote Group were finally absorbed by Messrs English China Clays Limited to form their Quarries Division.

Mrs Edith Matilda Jefford died on April 21st 1964 at the age of 78 years.  Her estate of 63,092 passed to her sister, Miss Frances Louise Moore and her nephew Mr Frederick James Moore.  The latter, the last member of the family involved in the quarries, died at Exmouth, Devon, on August 28th 1991 bringing the story of Messrs F J Moore Limited to a close.