An Exceptional Undertaking
The Story of the Jennings Family Business

by Bev Parker

This was written in 1999 when Jennings was still run by the original family.
Many family businesses have come and gone, occasionally one may reach its centenary, but few of them have lasted as long as Jennings Funeral Directors of Horseley Fields who started their business in 1848. The present Directors are the fifth generation of the family to run the business which must be quite extraordinary.

The founder was Mr. George Jennings who was born in 1826. He was a woodworker and craftsman by trade, working from Union Mill Street in Wolverhampton. One day a close family friend asked him to undertake a funeral. This was presumably a great success because in 1848 George and his wife Sarah set up in business as undertakers. They called themselves George Jennings General Undertaker and ran the business from their Union Mill Street premises.


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Mr. George Jennings and his wife Sarah.

The first few years were extremely hard as George and Sarah did all the work themselves. They worked long hours, sometimes throughout the night. There were no motor cars, horse-drawn hearses were expensive and the premises were very small.

Sarah took charge of the administration and between them they thoroughly learned all aspects of their business. Their reputation soon became established and eventually they were joined by their son Frederick. Frederick took the business over in 1875 and George & Sarah enjoyed a well deserved retirement until 1907, the year in which they both died.

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The original premises in Union Mill Street.


One of their very first business cards.

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