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Frederick Brill

Hotelier & Town Councillor

Keith Tankard
Knowledge4Africa.com
Updated: 14 October 2009
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DEATH NOTICE: see Cape Archives, MOOC 6/9/300, No 170.
OBITUARY: see the Daily Dispatch, 9.1.1892.

Frederick Brill was born in Chelsea in 1827 and came to the Cape in 1846.

He settled at East London ten years later and was first employed by William Ogilvie as a baker. He thereafter went farming in the Cove Rock area to the south-west of the port.

Brill soon became better known as a hotelier, with several hotels to his name. He built the Union Hotel on the West Bank in 1874 but sold it and retired to England in 1876. On his return to East London, he built the Central Hotel which he operated with his sons until 1881.

He took over the Cambridge Hotel in 1882. After a further stay of some twelve months in England, he returned to the West Bank and became proprietor of the Orange Grove Hotel.

Brill attempted to enter local politics in February 1877 when he was nominated for a seat in Ward 1 but was only elected in May 1879.

He was re-elected in February 1880 but resigned in July that year. He twice sought re-election in 1883 but lost.

In June 1885 he became a member for Ward 2 after the seat had remained vacant for a whole year with nobody willing to serve. He was re-elected in 1888 and 1889 but resigned in December 1891 because of serious ill-health.

Brill died on 5 January 1892, aged 64, and was buried at East London.

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