Personal information about William John Brooks

Below is all the information we have about William John Brooks. As far as we know, the information is correct. However, if you find any errors or have additional information, certificates or pictures, please contact us so that we can update this page. Thank you.

Burial Information

Name on burial register:
   William John Brooks
Burial register image
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Age at death:
Date of burial:
   22 April 1878
Abode at death:
(according to burial register)
Burial register information:
Book number: 1868
Page number: 175
Record number: 3798
Official at burial:
   The Rev'd. Herbert F Hunt, Curate.
Source of information:
  Burial Register
* This entry is awaiting verification.

Memorial Details

No memorial information available at this time.



Obituaries and Newspaper announcements

William John Brooks
Article source:    ReadingMercury
Date of source:    19 April 1898
Copyright:    © Reading Mercury



WILLIAM BROOKS                                                                 19th April 1878


          At 11.15am on this day William Brooks stopped near the London Apprentice to talk to William Preston. A carriage pulled up and Brooks went to lift the little girl off when Preston noticed blood running down his leg. On being told Brooks said “Oh, I am done for.” He started to walk away but staggered. Preston with two others grabbed a chair and sat him down. A surgeon, Mr. Montague Palmer, happened to be passing and was called to give aid. Palmer was unable to stop the bleeding and Brooks died.


           Brooks, who leaves children orphaned and was known as Running Jack had varicose veins which he had elastic stockings but rarely wore.


Reading Mercury


Book 1868 page 175 no. 3798

Buried 22 April 1978 aged 44


From “Newbury 365” by Dr. Nick Young ISBN 978-1-326-20841-7:2015

Reproduced by kind permission of the author.

This obituary entry is awaiting verification.
William John Brooks
Article source:    Newbury Weekly News and General Advertiser
Date of source:    25 April 1878
Copyright:    © Newbury Weekly News



William John Brooks



Jack the Runner, or Running Jack, as he was wont to be called, met with his end suddenly on Good Friday. The deceased, whose proper name was William John Brooks, was coming through the City, near the Almshouses, when he stopped to speak to William Preston about his having been summoned for not sending his children to school, and said he could not afford eightpence a week for such a purpose.

Just then Mr. Collins, junr , drove up, and Brooks went to lift the little girl out of the cart, when Preston remarked, " Oh! John, blood is coming out of your leg." He immediately exclaimed " Oh dear, I'm done." It was known the deceased had a varicose vein, which he had been heard to say was caused by his running after the hounds. He walked about one hundred yards as if he would hurry home. A woman looked over the wall, and shouted to him to put his leg in a bucket of water. The deceased turned round to come back, and when within a few yards of Preston he staggered, but was saved from falling by Caleb Griffiths and Hosier. A chair was procured for deceased to sit upon, and Mr. Palmer happening to pass at the bottom of the road was called. Mr. Palmer laid him down, and tried to prevent the hemorrhage, but he died almost immediately.

The body was removed to the Red House, where it was viewed on the following day by the Coroner (Dr. Watson) and Jury, sworn upon the inquest held at the London Apprentice. The only witness examined was William Preston, who testified to the facts above mentioned, and also said that when he was falling Brooks said something, but what it was he could not gather. The deceased, in the course of the conversation he had with him that morning, appeared in better spirits than usual. The Coroner, in addressing the Jury, said nothing was so fatal as the bursting of a varicose vein ; unless it could be stopped at once there was no chance of life. The man having a varicose vein lived in the greatest jeopardy unless he wore an elastic stocking. It would appear that the deceased was a careless man ; sometimes he had the elastic stocking on, and sometimes he had'nt. Without such a stocking, he repeated, a man carried his life in his hands, for if the vein burst the gush was so tremendous that the blood flowed out of the system ad paralysed the heart. The witness Preston remarked that the blood seemed as if it was being poured out of a bottle.

The Jury, of whom Mr George New was foreman, returned a verdict that deceased died from the accidental bursting of a blood vessel in the leg. In the course of the inquiry, Mr. Morris, one of the Jurymen remarked that he had heard deceased say that his proper name was “Johno Williams”; that when he was taken to be christened it was said that the name was John, and then immediately the person finding a mistake had been made, made an effort to correct it, and added "O William "; but the clergyman thinking this was the name, christened him " Johno William".

It has also been stated that the deceased had followed the Craven Hounds 23 years as runner ; and that the first time he did so he was seen to throw his shoes into the air, and say, " I'll stick to them hounds as long as I live," a remark that facts show he rigidly adhered to.

Newbury Weekly News and General Advertiser - Thursday 25 April 1878

This obituary entry is awaiting verification.

Biographies & History

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