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John Cadbury

John Cadbury
Born 11 August 1802
Birmingham, England
Died 11 May 1889(1889-05-11) (aged 86)
Resting place
Witton Cemetery, Birmingham
Nationality British
Occupation Chocolatier, Businessman, Philanthropist
Years active 1824-1849
Employer Self Employed
Known for Founder of Cadbury
Home town Birmingham
Salary 20 million
Religion Quaker
Spouse(s) Priscilla Ann Dymond Cadbury (m. 1826)
Candia Barrow Cadbury (m. 1831)
Children John, Richard, Maria, George, Joseph, Edward, Henry
Parent(s) Richard Tapper Cadbury, Elizabeth Head Cadbury

John Cadbury (12 August 1802 – 11 May 1889) was proprietor of the small chocolate business in Birmingham which became the cornerstone business of Cadbury, today a brand with major production in England in an overseas-led multinational company. John Cadbury developed an emulsification process to make solid chocolate - creating the modern chocolate bar.


John Cadbury was born in Birmingham to Richard Tapper Cadbury, who was from a wealthy Quaker family that moved to the area from the west of England. 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 pacifist, a military career was also out of the question. So, like many other Quakers of the time, he turned his energies toward business and began a campaign against animal cruelty, forming the Animals Friend Society, a forebear of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Meanwhile, Cadbury’s manufacturing enterprise prospered, his brother Benjamin joined the business in 1848 and they rented a larger factory on Bridge Street. Two years later, in 1850, the Cadbury brothers pulled out of the retail business, leaving it in the hands of John's son, Richard Barrow Cadbury. (Barrow's remained a leading Birmingham store until the 1960s.)

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)[1] 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).

Benjamin and John Cadbury dissolved their partnership in 1860. John retired in 1861 due to the death of his wife, and his sons Richard and George succeeded him in the business. In 1879 they relocated 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.[2][3]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Paul Dale, Public Affairs Editor (27 March 2007). "Tesco loses battle of Bournville". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 7 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "Council rejects Tesco off-licence". BBC News (BBC). 26 March 2007. Retrieved 7 February 2011. 
  • John Cadbury [1]
  • Randall Morck, A History of Corporate Governance around the World: Family Business Groups - Page 600, University of Chicago Press, 2005, ISBN 0-226-53680-7

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