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British Industrial History

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John Arthur Kenrick

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John Arthur Kenrick (1829-1926)

1829 Born in West Bromwich, son of Archibald Kenrick and his wife Anne[1]

Educated at a private school in Handsworth, and the Hove School.

1847 his father's illness compelled him to withdraw from University College, London, to assist his uncle Timothy in the family firm, Archibald Kenrick and Sons. John Arthur took responsibility for production; his brother William later became responsible for the commercial management

From the 1860s both Kenrick brothers became increasingly engaged in other business ventures and in public affairs.

1866 he married Clara, daughter of the Revd John Taylor; they had four sons and four daughters.

His sister Harriet was the first wife of Joseph Chamberlain, and his cousin Florence Kenrick the second wife.

1872-1911 John Arthur was chairman of the Cast Iron Hollowware Manufacturers' Association which regulated price competition in the home market.

After 1868 production management was delegated to Frederick Ryland, a professional engineer who was also the first non-family manager (and from 1883 director) employed in the family firm.

1873 George Hamilton Kenrick (1850–1939), cousin to the two senior partners, entered the firm; the day-to-day commercial management became his responsibility.

John Arthur became a director and chairman of both Nettlefolds Ltd and William Elliott and Sons Ltd, and a director of Lloyds Bank and of the Union Rolling Stock Co.

1878 he bought the West Bromwich Free Press with the intention of restoring its fortunes; this purchase led to the formation of Kenrick and Jefferson, which became a commercial printer on a large scale.

1883 Head of Archibald Kenrick and Sons

1891 Ironfounder, JP, living in Edgbaston with Clara Kenrick 46, John A Kenrick 21, George G Kenrick 14, Cleon Kenrick 12[2]

1898 John Arthur stepped down as chairman of the company

1911 Living in Edgbaston, widower, JP, employer[3]

1926 Died at Berrow Court, Edgbaston, Birmingham, on 23 April 1926.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Non-conformist and Non-Parochial records
  2. 1891 census
  3. 1911 census
  • Biography of the Kenrick family, ODNB