John Finnemore

No photo of John Finnemore (1863-1915) has been found.
John Finnemore (1863-1915) was a British school teacher and writer of fictional novels and history and geography texts of countries - most are for younger readers. Finnemore contributed stories to popular boys' magazines of his time such as Boy's Own Paper and Boys' Realm but he is best remembered for his books about Teddy Lester and his friends at Slapton, a fictitious English public school. The stories have a strong sporting focus, with Lester excelling at rugby, cricket and other games. He also wrote a few adult novels. There is no existing documentation of Finnemore's life and the following account has been constructed from returns of the Census in the United Kingdom and official Birth, Marriage and Death records held at the General Register Office (GRO) for England and Wales. John was born in the third quarter of 1863 at Birmingham, England. His father, William worked in the Birmingham pen trade and his elder brother was the artist Joseph Finnemore. John's mother, Charlotte died in 1878 when he was 15 years of age and his father did not marry again. The family must have been reasonably wealthy and as a result John received a good education because at the age of 17 he was already working as a school teacher. Five years later he married Eliza Emily Pearson who was the same age as him and was also a teacher at 17. Eliza came from a Northampton family which had resettled in Birmingham before she was 7 years of age. After her marriage Eliza dropped her first name and retained her maiden surname to become Emily Pearson Finnemore. She became an author of mainly religious works published by the Christian Knowledge Society (now known as SPCK). There were no children from the marriage.


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