John Sudbury (1821-1884)

A native of Loughborough, he married Amy Simmons (1817-) in July 1841. In the 1851 census, they were living with their three children, Emma, John and Caleb in Sparrow Hill, next door to Ann’s mother and the rest of her immediate family. In 1854, they lost their son George, who died on 28th February[1]. The following year, they were living in Fennel Street, where Amy, their 16-year-old daughter died on 18th December[2]. By this time, John Sudbury was already an established joiner and was probably one of Thomas Messenger’s first employees, when he joined the newly fledged horticultural business in 1859[3].

In the 1871 census, they were living at No. 25, Moor Lane and he was describing himself as a “foreman at the horticultural works”; in the 1881 census, they were living at No. 69, Cobden Street, Loughborough and now a “horticultural builder“.

John Sudbury died on 25th January 1884; his funeral was reported in the Loughborough Herald and North Leicestershire Gazette on 30th January:

Funeral of Mr. John Sudbury. — We regret to record the death, on the 25th inst., of Mr. John Sudbury, who was well known to many residents of Loughborough, and particularly to those connected with the building trade. He was a valued servant of the firm of Messrs. Messenger and Co., and, we believe, acted as foreman for Mr. Messenger from the time when he commenced the horticultural business, which has since developed in so remarkable a manner. The funeral took place at the cemetery on Monday, when the deceased was buried in accordance with the rites of the Catholic Church by the Rev. Father Garelli. A body of men from the horticultural works followed the remains to the grave, and a large number of friends and spectators attended, among whom were Mr. W. C. Burder and Mr. A. W. N. Burder, the employers of the deceased. The deceased is much regretted by his coreligionists, to whom he had rendered many valuable services.

He was buried in Loughborough Cemetery and was joined by his wife, who died on 15th November 1889, aged 73.

He left a personal estate valued at £544 10s. 10d., with another of the firm’s employees Joseph Gilbert Reeve, acting as sole executor[4].


  1. The Leicester Chronicle: or, Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser, 4th February 1854.
  2. The Leicester Chronicle: or, Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser, 29th December 1855.
  3. A Century of Progress – a History of Messenger & Company, Limited. 1858-1958 (Unpublished).
  4. Probate Records.