George Simon Brinton was born in Southampton in about 1822. He made his mark on the town by founding a large and successful building business which was responsible for building many of the houses in the Newtown and St Mary's areas in the mid-19th century. He built many of the houses in East Park Terrace, including number 27, where he lived for many years (it was later known as Garibaldi House). He also built Thorner’s Charity Homes in Above Bar and the lido on Western Esplanade.

He was a Liberal town councilor from 1850 and was elected mayor in 1864. It was during his mayoralty that he entertained the Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi at the start of his triumphal visit to England. A plaque commemorating the visit was originally fixed to 27 East Park Terrace but was moved to Tudor House Museum when the house was demolished in 1941. The two men evidently got along well for Garibaldi invited Brinton to accompany him to London and to share his carriage on its triumphal procession through the streets of the capital. Brinton died in 1868 aged 46. Brinton’s Road and Brinton’s Terrace were named after him.

Brinton, George Simon

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This photographic portrait of Brinton appeared in the Southern Reformer 10 March 1881.

Newspaper clippings (available online or from the Local Studies Library):

Death of Mr. G. S. Brinton, J.P. - (Southampton Times, 22/02/1868)
"House of memories for mayoral duo" - (SEE 25/10/1985). Article mainly focussing on the history of Brinton's house, as a school, hotel, and then club house for the staff of Edwin Jones. Fred Goater, mayor in the 1970s, lived there as a child - his father worked for the athletic association which was based there in the 1920s and 30s. The article also briefly describes Garibaldi's visit and quotes his letter to Brinton.

Further reading:

Southampton Times, 22nd February 1868, (Obituary).
Illustrated London News, 16th April 1864, p374.


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