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John Cadbury

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John Cadbury
Born12 August 1801
Died11 May 1889(1889-05-11) (aged 87)
Resting placeWitton Cemetery, Birmingham
Occupation(s)Chocolatier, businessman, philanthropist
Years active1818−1861
Known forFounder of Cadbury
Priscilla Ann Dymond Cadbury
(m. 1826)
Candia Barrow Cadbury
(m. 1831)
Children7, including George and Richard Cadbury
Parent(s)Richard Tapper Cadbury, Elizabeth Head Cadbury

John Cadbury (12 August 1801 – 11 May 1889) was an English Quaker and proprietor, tea and coffee trader and founder of Cadbury, the chocolate business based in Birmingham, England.[1]



John Cadbury was born on 12 August 1801 in Birmingham to Richard Tapper Cadbury and his wife Elizabeth Head. He was from a wealthy Quaker family that moved to the area from the west of England. John went to school at Joseph Crosfields Quaker School at Hartshill, Warwickshire.[1]

Founding Cadbury


As was customary for Quakers in the early 19th century, Cadbury did not enter a university or pursue a military career, turning his energies toward business instead. He was first apprenticed to a tea dealer in Leeds in 1818.[2] In 1824, Cadbury opened a shop at 93 Bull Street, Birmingham, selling cocoa and drinking chocolate that he prepared himself, along with tea, coffee, hops, and mustard.[3] He eventually decided to start commercial manufacture, opening a warehouse in Crooked Lane in 1831. In 1842, he was selling sixteen varieties of drinking chocolate and eleven varieties of cocoa.[2] In 1846, Cadbury entered into a partnership with his brother Benjamin, establishing Cadbury Brothers. The company moved to a new factory in Bridge Street in 1847.[3] In 1850, the Cadbury brothers pulled out of the retail business, which was passed to John's son, Richard Barrow Cadbury (Barrow's remained a leading Birmingham store until the 1960s). The partnership was dissolved by mutual consent in 1856 and John retired in 1861, following the death of his wife. Control of the manufacturing business passed to his sons Richard and George.[2][4]

John Cadbury also campaigned against animal cruelty, forming the Animals Friend Society, a forerunner of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.[5]

Cadbury married twice. He married Priscilla Ann Dymond (1799–1828), in 1826, but she died two years later. In Lancaster on 24 July 1832 he married his second wife, Candia Barrow (Lancaster, 8 April 1805 – 5 March 1855), daughter of George Barrow and wife Elizabeth Pumphrey,[6] and had seven children: John (1834–1866), Richard (1835–1899), Maria (1838–1908), George (1839–1922), Joseph (1841–1841), Edward (1843–1866), and Henry (1845–1875).[citation needed]

Richard and George relocated the business in 1879 to an area of what was then north Worcestershire, on the borders of the parishes of Northfield and King's Norton centred on the Georgian-built Bournbrook Hall, where they developed the garden village of Bournville; now a major suburb of Birmingham.[citation needed]

The family developed the Cadbury's factory, which remains the main UK manufacturing site of the business. In accordance with Cadbury's teetotal heritage,[7] the district around the factory has been dry for over 100 years, with no alcohol being sold in pubs, bars or shops. Residents have fought to maintain this, winning a court battle in March 2007 with Britain's biggest supermarket chain Tesco, to prevent it selling alcohol in its local outlet.[8][9]


  1. ^ a b "John Cadbury". www.quakersintheworld.org. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Our Founders". Mondelez International. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b Franks, Julian; Mayer, Colin; Rossi, Stefano (2005). "Spending Less Time with the Family: The Decline of Family Ownership in the United Kingdom". In Morck, Randall K. (ed.). A History of Corporate Governance around the World: Family Business Groups to Professional Mergers. University of Chicago Press. p. 600. ISBN 0-226-53680-7.
  4. ^ "The Cadbury Family". History TV. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  5. ^ "BBC – Cadbury: The legacy in Birmingham". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  6. ^ The Annual Monitor For 1856, Obituary of the Members of the Society of Friends in Great Britain and Ireland For the Year 1855. London: Cash, 1855.
  7. ^ March, James (7 February 2024). "'It's basically a Ladybird book': Inside Bournville, Cadbury's peculiar tee-total Victorian village". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 May 2024.
  8. ^ Paul Dale (27 March 2007). "Tesco loses battle of Bournville". Birmingham Post. Archived from the original on 23 August 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  9. ^ "Council rejects Tesco off-licence". BBC News. BBC. 26 March 2007. Retrieved 7 February 2011.