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John Finnemore

Birthdate: (52)
Birthplace: Birmingham, Warwickshire, UK
Death: December 17, 1915 (48-56)
Llanfarian, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, UK (Heart Failure)
Place of Burial: Ceredigion, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of William Finnemore and Charlotte Ann Finnemore
Husband of Eliza Emily Finnemore
Brother of William Finnemore; Joseph Finnemore; Mary Jane Finnemore; Robert Finnemore and Ellen Elizabeth Finnemore

Occupation: School teacher and Writer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Finnemore

Source: John Finnemore - Wikipedia

John Finnemore (1863–1915) was a British school teacher and writer of fictional novels and history and geography texts of countries - most are for younger readers. Finnemore contributed stories to popular boys' magazines of his time such as Boy's Own Paper and Boys' Realm but he is best remembered for his books about Teddy Lester and his friends at Slapton, a fictitious English public school. The stories have a strong sporting focus, with Lester excelling at rugby, cricket and other games. He also wrote a few adult novels.


There is no existing documentation of Finnemore's life and the following account has been constructed from returns of the Census in the United Kingdom and official Birth, Marriage and Death records held at the General Register Office (GRO) for England and Wales. John was born in the third quarter of 1863 at Birmingham, England. His father, William worked in the Birmingham pen trade and his elder brother was the artist Joseph Finnemore. John's mother, Charlotte died in 1878 when he was 15 years of age and his father did not marry again. The family must have been reasonably wealthy and as a result John received a good education because at the age of 17 he was already working as a school teacher. Five years later he married Eliza Emily Pearson who was the same age as him and was also a teacher at 17. Eliza came from a Northampton family which had resettled in Birmingham before she was 7 years of age. After her marriage Eliza dropped her first name and retained her maiden surname to become Emily Pearson Finnemore. She became an author of mainly religious works published by the Christian Knowledge Society (now known as SPCK). There were no children from the marriage.

The 1881 Census shows Finnemore living at the family home at Aston, Birmingham but 10 years later he is found living with Emily at the small hamlet of Little Bealings in Suffolk where his occupation is shown as a schoolmaster. 10 years later the couple are found living in Wales in the village of Blaenpennal in Cardiganshire. The 1891 Welsh Census shows that John was a speaker of the Welsh language which, no doubt, was an essential skill he had to acquire since again his occupation is shown to be a "schoolmaster and author". The biography of Thomas Hughes Jones (1895–1966) records the fact that Jones attended the Tan-y-garreg elementary school, Blaenpennal, where his schoolteacher until 1903 was John Finnemore. It is around this time that Finnemore's first published works start to appear. During the following ten year period he became a prolific writer with several books published each year and during that time he must have become quite wealthy. This is evidenced by the 1911 Census showing John and Emily living together with their cook and housemaid in a 15 room house at Llanfarian, Aberystwyth some 12 miles from Blaenpennal.

Finnemore died on the 17th December 1915 of heart failure aged 52. Four days later he was buried at the Anglican church of St. Llwchaearn at Llanychaearn a few miles from his home.

Selected works

The Teddy Lester Series

  • Three School Chums (London, W. & R. Chambers, 1907)
  • His First Term: A Story of Slapton School (London, W. & R. Chambers, 1909)
  • Teddy Lester's Chums (London, W. & R. Chambers, 1910)
  • Teddy Lester's Schooldays (London, W. & R. Chambers, 1914)
  • Teddy Lester Captain of Cricket (London, W. & R. Chambers, 1916)
  • Teddy Lester in the Fifth (London, W. & R. Chambers, 1921)


  • Jack Haydon's Quest (London, A. & C. Black, 1906)
  • Japan (London, A. & C. Black, 1907)
  • India (London, A. & C. Black, 1910)
  • Italy (London, A. & C. Black, 1911)
  • Social Life in England (London, A. & C. Black, 1912)
  • A Boy Scout in the Balkans (London, A. & C. Black, 1913)

FINNEMORE John of Tyissa Llanfarian Cardiganshire died 17 December 1915 Probate London 25 January to Eliza Emily Finnemore widow. Effects £981 14s. 8d.

Source: National Probate Calendar -

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John Finnemore's Timeline

Birmingham, Warwickshire, UK
December 17, 1915
Age 52
Ceredigion, UK
December 21, 1915
Age 52
Ceredigion, UK