John Suffield, Jr. (1833 - 1930)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Birmingham, UK
Death: Died in Birmingham, UK
Occupation: Draper
Managed by: Калоян Иванов
Last Updated:

About John Suffield, Jr.

John Suffield of Birmingham lived to the grand age of ninety-seven. He was born in Old Lamb House, Bull Street in 1833 and died in Moseley just after his birthday in September 1930. The Suffield family had a drapery business in Old Lamb House, a half-timbered building on the corner of Bull Street and High Street. When he was born they lived above the shop. In the early 1840s the family moved out to Edgbaston, one of Birmingham’s new suburbs. In the mid 1850s they moved to Moseley, then still in the countryside, on one of the hills immediately to the south of Birmingham.

John Suffield was Tolkien’s grandfather, the husband of Emily Sparrow, and the father of May, Mabel, Jane, William, and two further sons. He had owned a prosperous drapery business in the city centre of Birmingham, but the business had gone bankrupt. He then became a commercial salesman for Jeyes disinfectant, visiting many factory managers and shop keepers, but still keeping his pride in his old and respectable family name. He did have his airs and graces, however, telling people untruly that William IV gave the family a coat of arms because they had done fine work for him, and that Lord Suffield was a distant relative. His ancestors had been engravers and platemakers, and John himself could copperplate the Lord’s Prayer in a sixpence circle. He was born in 1834, and when Tolkien was five and he was 63, John vowed that he would live to be 100. He was staunchly Protestant, having been brought up as a Methodist, but later swapping over to the Unitarian church, and was horrified when Mabel and May converted to Catholicism. In 1904, he looked after Hilary during Mabel’s illness, and in 1923, he was staying with Mabel and her family when Tolkien caught pneumonia. Tolkien could remember his grandfather standing by his bed and saying that Tolkien and his generation were degenerate weaklings, and that he, John, was off to catch a boat to go on a trip by sea around the British Isles. He lived for seven years after that, mostly with Jane on her farm.

Footnote Lord Suffield does have a very tenuous and distant connection to John Suffield Jr-through the Palmer family. Amazing!

John Suffield, Jr.

John Suffield his father

Samuel Wilson Suffield his brother

John Suffield his son

Lora Hill his daughter

Phyllis Hufton her daughter

Jennifer Adams her daughter

Dr. Trevor Adams her husband

Miriam Adams his mother

Robert Palmer her father

George Palmer his father

Charles Palmer his father

George Palmer his brother

Alfred Palmer his son

Katie Palmer his wife

Ethel Watson-Munro her sister

Machell Watson-Munro her husband

Jessie Watson (Dobson) his mother

Edward Hill Dobson her brother

Lucy Dobson his wife

Hon. Marcia Whittington her mother

Lindsey Burrell, Hon. her father

Peter Drummond-Burrell, 22nd Baron Willoughby de Eresby his brother

Charlotte Drummond-Willoughby his daughter

Robert Wynn Carrington, 1st Marquess of Lincolnshire her son

Cecilia Harbord his wife

Charles Harbord, 5th Baron Suffield her father

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John Suffield, Jr.'s Timeline

1833
September 10, 1833
Birmingham, UK
1858
April, 1858
Age 24
1859
January 25, 1859
Age 25
Birmingham, UK
1864
December, 1864
Age 31
Birmingham, UK
1865
November 19, 1865
Age 32
Birmingham, UK
1870
January, 1870
Age 36
Birmingham, UK
1872
June, 1872
Age 38
Birmingham, UK
1874
March, 1874
Age 40
Staffordshire, UK
1879
March, 1879
Age 45
Birmingham, UK
1930
September, 1930
Age 96
Birmingham, UK