Born in 1801, James Brownhill served his apprenticeship with another well-documented Liverpool clockmaker Thomas Green and was part of a clock and watchmaking family, with his younger cousin (likewise named James Brownbill), also becoming a watchmaker in Liverpool. In 1837 a local trade directory listed our senior James as being at 10 Richmond Row, Liverpool as a clock and watchmaker, which is duly supported by the 1841 census records. (Nb-I: On the 1851 census, James [the junior] is listed as a watchmaker, living and trading from 19 Richmond Row, Liverpool).
The Brownhill’s uncle, Robert Simpson, was also an established watch and clockmaker, trading from Market Place in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire and upon his death in c1849, our Brownhill, (the senior), took over Robert’s shop, from where he continued to live with his family and trade until his own death on 14 April 1868, aged 68. (Records state, that the shop was on the west side of Market Place and included outbuildings and a garden!) (Nb-Ii: To complicate things further, our James (the senior) also had a son called James, who was an apprentice to his father at Poulton-le-Fylde. He later became a watch repairer based at 6 Prussia Street, Liverpool).