John Blundstone (1831 – 1895) bootmaker
Blundstone have been making quality footwear for 138 years. Blundstone’s founder, John Blundstone was a respected and active member of the Hobart community who changed his religious affiliation from Church of England to Wesleyan. For a number of years was an office-bearer of the Melville Street Wesleyan Church Hobart.
John Blundstone, bootmaker, was born at Derby, England, son of William Blundstone, a jeweller. In 1855 he and wife Eliza migrated to Van Diemen’s Land, arriving on 14 October. John began in business in Hobart as a coachbuilder, but in 1870 set up as an importer of boots and shoes. In addition to boot manufacture and wholesale importing, the company sold a wide range of leather and rubber goods as well as boots and shoes. By 1891 a subsidiary retail business, W. H. Blundstone & Co., was created under the management of William Henry (1864-1918), the second son. A respected and active member of the Hobart community, from 1879 Blundstone acted as a trustee of the Mechanics Hall. Some time after his arrival in Tasmania he changed his religious affiliation from Church of England to Wesleyan and for a number of years was an office-bearer of the Melville Street Wesleyan Church. In 1891 he was appointed a justice of the peace and for a time was a judge of vehicles for the Southern Tasmanian Agricultural and Pastoral Association. Blundstone died of pleurisy on 24 September 1895 at his residence in Campbell Street, Hobart, and was buried in Cornelian Bay cemetery. He was survived by his wife and eight children. His sons continued to run the two businesses.
Blundstone web site : http://www.blundstone.com/
Wesleyan Church, 56 Melville St, Hobart, Tasmania http://www.aussieheritage.com.au/listings/tas/Hobart/WesleyanUnitingChurchandHall/14399
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