The Platt family were important brewers in Hungerford during the 19th and early 20th century.
The Platt family was a large one (see below). In the 1841 census John Platt junior (40 years) was recorded as "Brewer, employing 20 men" living in Willow Lodge [in Bridge Street, with an adjacent malthouse].
The first evidence of John Platt at Manor House was the 1847 Commoners List where he is listed as owner and occupant. The Kelly Directory of the same year records him as "brewer, maltster, wine, spirit and hop merchant". John Platt was an effective businessman, and by 1861 he is recorded in the census as aged 50 years, with 290 acres, employing 9 men and 3 boys.
In the 1869 Post Office directory, in addition to the entry for John Platt, there is also an entry for John Platt jnr - at The Poplars, High Street (behind brewery off Everland Road).
The 1871 census lists John Platt, snr (60 years) - brewer and farmer (580 acres) as well as John Platt jnr (29 years) - brewer at "Platts Malthouses" - Thomas Tipple (44 years) was the maltster.
By the 1881 census, the business was slightly more modest - John Platt (Manor House), was farming just 127 acres, employing 4 men and 1 boy. In the malthouse were Thomas Taylor and William Seymour, described as servants.
John Platt snr died in October 1890. The Reading Mercury of Sat 25 Oct 1890 recorded "By the death of Mr John Platt senr., which occurred at his residence, the Manor House, on Thursday morning in last week, Hungerford loses one of its oldest most prominent inhabitants. The deceased had attained the great age of four score years, and had lived a life of usefullness. .... The deceased came to Hungerford nearly 50 years ago, when he took the Hungerford Brewery. the business of which he so increased that it became ultimately one of the biggest concerns in the county. Some years ago he ceased to take an active part in the management of the Brewery leaving it in the hands of his son. He then engaged in agricultural pursuits, having several farms, which flourished under his skillful oversight. He had filled all the offices in connection with the town, including the High Constableship, with credit to himself and benefit to the community, and he was greatly instrumental in securing the present Town Hall and commodious Corn Exchange; he was also churchwarden for many years. On his death the last but one of the old order of feoffees has passed away, Mr R. Killick being the only survivor. The funeral took place at St Saviour's Church on Monday....".
The Berkshire Chronicle of Sat 25 Oct 1890 added "Mr Platt came to Hungerford in 1846. .... The deceased was eighty years of age."
1891 (Kelly) J. Platt jnr, Brewer/wine merchant, High Street.
By 1896 John Platt had sold the business to South Berks Brewery Co, but George Platt is described as occupant. The 1896 Commoners List has J. Platt as occupier of Willow Lodge.
Interestingly, and slightly puzzlingly, the 1903 Kelly Directory has George Platt at "The Priory, High Street" (sic!).
His son, George Platt lived at The Priory for some years after the business closed - he is in the 1920 Kelly Directory, but by 1939 Blacket it was in the ownership of J. Arthur Palethorpe,
The Platt Family: An attempt has been made to piece together the Platt family tree from the Parish Registers. It seems that John Platt (b. 1811, later the brewer) married Theodosia, and they had one child – George (b. 29.5.1849).
George Platt married Florence and they had four children – William, Mary (prob died young), George, and Mary.
There are several earlier entries:
Nicholas and Mary Platt had Thomas (b. 12.3.1706) and Mary (b. 17.7.1708)
Thomas and Elizabeth Platt had Thomas (b. 1.3.1740) and Elizabeth (b. 8.5.1743)
Thomas and Mary Platt had Elizabeth (b. 25.2.1770), Jenny (b. 31.1.1773), Charles (b. 3.9.1775) and Rose (b. Sep 1782)
Rose Platt had Carl (b. 28.5.1802)
George and Florence Platt had William (b. 25.1.1889), Mary (b. 14.12.1889), George (b. 10.12.1892), Mary (b. 18.11.1893).
In the 1851 Census there were many of the Platt family in the town:
John Platt (40) b.1811
Theodosia Platt (38) b.1813
Charles Platt (22) b.1829
John Platt (9) b.1842
Elizabeth Platt (7) b.1844
Henry Platt (5) b.1846
Theodosia Platt (3) b.1848