|Born||12 August 1801|
|Died||11 May 1889 (aged 87)|
|Resting place||Witton Cemetery, Birmingham|
|Occupation||Chocolatier, businessman, philanthropist|
|Known for||Founder of Cadbury|
|Spouse(s)||Priscilla Ann Dymond Cadbury (m. 1826)|
Candia Barrow Cadbury (m. 1831)
|Children||7, including George and Richard Cadbury|
|Parent(s)||Richard Tapper Cadbury, Elizabeth Head Cadbury|
John Cadbury was born in Birmingham on 12 August 1801 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. As a Quaker in the early 19th century, he was not allowed to enter a university, so could not pursue a profession such as medicine or law.
As Quakers are historically and typically pacifist, a military career was also out of the question. So, like many other Quakers of the time, he turned his energies toward business. After being apprenticed to a tea dealer in Leeds in 1818, he opened a grocer's shop at 93 Bull Street, Birmingham in 1824. He prepared drinking chocolate, and eventually decided to start commercial manufacture, opening a warehouse in Crooked Lane. In 1842, he was selling 16 lines of drinking chocolate, and eleven lines of cocoa. In 1846 he entered into a partnership with his brother Benjamin, establishing Cadbury Brothers, which moved to a new factory in Bridge Street in 1847. 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.
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.
Cadbury married twice. He married Priscilla Ann Dymond (1799–1828), in 1826, but she died two years later. In 1832 he married his second wife, Candia Barrow (1805–1855) 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).
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.
The family developed the Cadbury's factory, which remains the main UK manufacturing site of the business. 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.
- "John Cadbury". www.quakersintheworld.org. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
- Mondelez Our founders (archived from the original). Accessed: 28 September 2020.
- "The Cadbury Family". History TV. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
- "BBC – Cadbury: The legacy in Birmingham". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
- 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.
- Paul Dale (27 March 2007). "Tesco loses battle of Bournville". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- "Council rejects Tesco off-licence". BBC News. BBC. 26 March 2007. Retrieved 7 February 2011.