John Benjamin VERITY, Sandridge Bury, Sandridge, 1897-9


A Hertfordshire Hounds Calendar  which shows part of the December 1897 programme including details of a hunt on Sandridgebury on 17th December.

  Post card giving details of Hertfordeshire Hounds meeting in December 1897, sent to J Verity of Sandridge Bury

John Verity was a was a very short term tenant at Sandridgebury (owned by Earl Spencer)  and when Trudi Rintoul kindly donated the above calendar I decided to find out more about him as my own relatives were very much concerned with hunting in the area, and would undoubtedly have known him.


Sandridgebury, Sandridge


Card by H. W. Lane,


43 St Peters Street,

St Albans


Early 20th century


A check in the British Newspaper Archive revealed that A marriage has been arranged, and will take place in June, between Mr John Verity, J.P. of Aston,  Warwickshire, and Sandridge-Bury, Hertfordshire, and Evelyn Mary, eldest daughter of Mr. Henry J. Lubbock, of Newberries, Hertfordshire. [Morning Post, 7 April 1897]


A later hard to read announcement in the Morning Post showed that they married on 26 May - and the marriage certificate record that the wedding was at Holy Trinity Church, South Chelsea, between John Verity (33, Engineer) of Sandridge Bury and son of  John Verity (Engineer) and Evelyn Mary Lubbock (30, Spinster) of 26 Cadogen Gardens, daughter of Henry James Lubbock (Banker). The service was conducted by R. Ducksworth, Sub-Dean of Westminster, and the witnesses were Henry James Lubbock, Frances Mary Lubbock and Blanche Grenfell.


Henry James Lubbock was a banker from a significant London banking family, with a major household at Newberries, Aldenham, and who was High Sherriff of the County of London in 1897. It turns out that John Verity was another significant businessman who presumably took Sandridgebury so that his wife could be near her parents. However while their first son, John Lubbock Verity, was born at Sandridge in 1898 he appears to have kept a London address and their first daughter, Pamela Verity, was born in Chelsea early in 1900, and the whole family was in Chelsea for the 1901 census, possibly already having left Sandridgebury for good.


In fact John Verity died in 1905 at the age of 41 and the following obituaries show what a significant part he played in the introduction of electric light into this country:

Mr John Verity, who died at Hailey, Oxon, on the 8th Inst., at the age of 41, took a prominent part in the development of electrical industry in this country. In the early days he turned his attention to adapting electric light to domestic use. He was associated with Mr. Edison, whose personal friendship he enjoyed, and his efforts culminated in the great display of incandescent lighting at the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1882, which did so much to popularize electric lighting in the country. In conjunction with the late Sir James Pended and Sir George Elliot, he founded the Metropolitan Electric Supply Company. As chairman of Verity's (Limited) he was a large employer of labour in Birmingham and Manchester. Mr. Verity was High Sherriff for the County of London and was a justice of the peace for Warwickshire. He married, in 1897, the eldest daughter of Mr. Henry Lubbock, of Newberries, Herts, who with four children, survives him. [The Times 18th April, 1905]


John Verity, who died on April 6, 1905 at the age of 41, was educated at University College School. After spending four years on the continent of Europe, he went to America, where he had experience of the production of the earliest incandescent electric lamps. Returning to England, he joined the firm of B. Verity & Sons, and soon after the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1882 he turned his attention to the manufacture of electrical material on a large scale. The works which were first at Covent Garden, were transferred to Aston, near Birmingham, in 1891, and were considerably enlarged in 1896 and 1904. Mr. Verity, who was a Justice of the Peace for the County of Warwick, and High Sherriff of the County of London, were elected as Associate of this institution in 1888, and was transferred to the class of Members in 1889. [Proceedings of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, Volume 35.]

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