Born: 1830, Al­trin­cham, Man­ches­ter, Eng­land.

Died: De­cem­ber 21, 1903, Hamp­stead, Mid­dle­sex, Eng­land.

Buried: Hale, Che­shire, Eng­land.


Brooke was the son of John and Sar­ah Her­ford.

He re­ceived his ear­ly ed­u­ca­tion in Man­ches­ter, at the school of John Rel­ly Beard.

At age 14, he left school and went in­to his fa­ther’s count­ing house for four years.

As he be­came en­gaged with the lo­cal Sun­day School, and at the Mos­ley Street Mis­sion School, he event­u­al­ly de­cid­ed up­on the min­is­try as a ca­reer. At age 18, he en­rolled at Man­ches­ter New Col­lege (now at Ox­ford, but then at Man­ches­ter).

At age 21, he be­gan preach­ing at Tod­mor­den, York­shire and, as his col­lege would not sup­port him, he with­drew from school to be a full time min­is­ter.

After five years at Tod­mor­den, he moved to the Up­per Cha­pel, Shef­field, and nine years lat­er, to Strange­ways Free Church in Man­che­ster. He spent 11 years there, al­so tu­tor­ing at the Home Mis­sion­a­ry Col­lege.

He then moved to Am­er­i­ca to be­come pastor of the First Un­i­tar­i­an So­ci­e­ty in Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois (1874–91).

He al­so served as cor­res­pond­ing sec­re­ta­ry (1878–79) and pre­si­dent (1880–81) of the Chi­ca­go Li­ter­a­ry Club; pas­tor of the Ar­ling­ton Street Church, Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts (1882–92); and on the fa­cul­ty of Harvard Un­i­ver­si­ty, be­fore re­turn­ing to Eng­land in 1893.