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Samuel BODDINGTON JP (1850-1936)

The third son of Henry Boddington (b.1819), a prominent cattle dealer, Samuel established himself as a dealer in woollens and as a country squire with a fine house, appointed a Justice of the Peace and was prominent in the local fox hunt. He was also a breeder of horses, hunters and Shires, and collie dogs.

Samuel lived at Hillfield Hall, Solihull, built in the 15th century and is a listed building, now converted to apartments, as is the stable block adjoining. Samuel moved c.1917 to Widney Manor Farm about two miles up the road, he extended the original cottages here and named them The Chase. He bred Shire horses and dogs there until his death in 1937 aged 86. Samuel was a member of the North Warwickshire Hunt.

The Chase was bought by Captain Oliver Bird MC in 1937, he being of the Bird's Custard family.

Samuel Boddington JP (1850-1937)

Copies of the fine picture (above) of our illustrious forebear, Samuel Boddington JP, are held by several members of the family. He was my great grandfather. The picture is based on a monochrome photograph and the prints were subsequently tinted to make them into coloured pictures and then framed.

It is a very posed picture - Samuel on his hunter in his hunting pinks, probably at the meet of the North Warwickshire Hunt and believed to be in Warwick Park, in front of his car (I haven't identified that yet, anyone know what it is?). We believe the picture was taken in 1929. The man at the back of the car is Hart, Samuel's groom and chauffeur. The man on the right walking towards the car is said to be Baron Willoughby de Broke. However, the then Baron would have been, in 1929, only 33 years of age and the man in the picture looks rather older than that.

Hart (sorry, I don't know his first name) later retired to a cottage in Saddle Bow Lane, near Claverdon station, where he died probably in the 1960s. I remember meeting him there when he was an old man. His son established a motor repair garage and petrol pump in Claverdon, adjacent to the village green.

Samuel Boddington was a noted horse breeder. It seems that he bred hunters for some years, and c.1909 he began breeding Shire horses. He showed several of these and won many prizes for their quality.

Samuel Boddington's Shire foals

See the further history page on Samuel Boddington's children.

Samuel Boddington & Sons Ltd

Samuel Boddington & Sons Ltd

Samuel Boddington set up this company at 20-21 Cannon Street in the centre of Birmingham. The brass office plate (pictured) and another were rescued by Simon Boddington when the building was demolished in the 1960s. The one shown was gifted to his brother's son and daughter in law. There was a further branch at 66 George Street, Walsall.

Simon Boddington, Samuel's great grandson, began his own career at the Cannon Street office and continued in the same industry for the remainder of his working life in California, USA. He died there in 2019.

Obituaries were printed in two Birmingham newspapers. They were almost identical and I have merged the minor differences ...


Mr. Samuel Boddington, founder of the firm of Samuel Boddington and Sons, Ltd., woollen merchants, of Cannon Street, Birmingham, died yesterday at his home, The Chase, Widney Manor, Knowle, aged 86.

The son of the late Mr. Henry Boddington, of Edgbaston, he was educated at King Edward's High School. At the age of 21 he founded the business that bears his name, and continued in it until his retirement about 1900, when it was thought that he had but a few years to live.

On his removal from Edgbaston to Solihull he devoted himself actively to country pursuits, and became a noted breeder of shire horses, his entries at leading shows in London and the provinces securing many awards. His services as a judge of shire horses were frequently in demand at the Henley show and elsewhere. While at Edgbaston he had been a breeder of collie dogs.

Mr. Boddington was a member of the North Warwickshire Hunt, with whom, at the age of 80, he was still hunting regularly [see the picture at top, he is believed to have been 79 when that was taken].

During the war years he served at Solihull as chairman of the War Savings Committee and Food Control Committee. He held many other public appointments, among them Justice of the Peace for Warwickshire, governor of Solihull Grammar School, and until recently vice-chairman of the Midland Counties Institution, Knowle.

His wife, the daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Pask-Hughes, died in 1930. He leaves a son and three daughters. Two sons were killed in action during the war, and a third died in 1929. Mr Boddington is survived by 14 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

The funeral will take place at Solihull Parish Church on Wednesday at 12.15.

Page prepared by Tim Boddington (Webmaster), great-grandson.

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