Today in Tolkien History: son Father John Tolkien born in 1917

11.16.09 | Kunochan | 2 Comments

Originally published on JRR Tolkien Examiner on 11/17/09.

A Minas Tirith cake.On November 16th (some sources say 17th), 1917 (some sources say 1918), John Francis Reuel Tolkien was born to future Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien and his wife, Edith Mary Tolkien (née Bratt). He was their first child of four.

From the Tolkien Wiki:

He was the parish priest at Knutton Roman Catholic Church in Staffordshire from 1957 to 1966. He then became priest-in-charge at the Church of Our Lady of the Angels and St Peter in Chains, in Hartshill, a suburb of Stoke-on-Trent, until 1987.

A street off Hartshill Road, on the way out of the town centre, Tolkien Way, was named after him in the early 90’s because of his work in the community.

He’s buried at Wolvercote Cemetery, not far from his father’s and mother’s grave.

In Stoke-on-Trent, he was also chairman of governors at Bishop Right School; chaplain to the North Staffordshire Catholic Teachers Association; and area chaplain to the Young Christian Students.

Tolkien passed away in January 2003, while denying allegations that he had sexually assaulted a teenage congregant in the 1960s. In July 2003, the Archdiocese of Birmingham awarded the alleged victim £15,000 (US$25,200) in compensation, plus legal costs, without any admission of liability. A police investigation into the charges was discontinued in 2001, because Tolkien was deemed too ill to prosecute.

The alleged abuse took place while Tolkien was curate at the Church of English Martyrs in Sparkhill. The accuser said he was assaulted on three occasions after joining the English Martyrs Scout group, of which Tolkien was scoutmaster.

For more info: JFR Tolkien on the Tolkien Wiki and on People of Stoke-on-Trent; “Church settles Tolkien abuse claim” on BBC News; “JRR Tolkien: A Biographical Sketch” from The Tolkien Society; Father Tolkien complaining about intrusive LOTR fans.
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