Major John Sloper (1823-1905)

Sloper, John. JP. of 1, Woodville Place. Cardiff, or, as he is more usually called, Major Sloper, owing to his being one of the oldest Volunteer Officers in the County, is the son of the late Mr. John Sloper, Surgeon, of Pontvpool, in theCounty of Monmouth, where Major Sloper was born. His father, who enjoyed a large practice in the county, sent Mr. John Sloper to be educated at Newport, Monmouthshire, and afterwards to Wrington, in Somersetshire. Two of his brothers entered the medical profession, but Mr. John Sloper determined to enter commercial life, and became a Tanner and Leather Merchant. He subsequently joined the late Colonel and Alderman David as partner in the extensive business carried on by him in Duke Street and Grangetown, Cardiff. This was in 1853, and large as the business was when he joined, Major Slopers connection, which extended to all parts of South Wales and Monmouthshire, enabled him to double the business in three years. The Volunteer movement began in Cardiff in 1859, and Major Sloper, Colonel Page, and Mr. T. H. Stephens, now the Official Receiver in Bankruptcy, were, with the late Colonels David and Martin, among the first to take an active part in the movement. The Artillery Volunteers were established in 1861, and Major Sloper left the Rifle Corps, formed in 1859, and joined the Artillery Volunteers, being gazetted the same year as Lieutenant. He always took an active part in the success of the Volunteers, and continued to pass through the various grades until, in March. 1875, he received his commission as Major of the Glamorgan Artillery Volunteers. This rank he held till 1884, when he retired owing to the state of his health, having then been a Volunteer Officer for 22 years. The Commanding Officer of the Brigade, Colonel Sir Edward Stock Hill, K.C.B., M.P., recommended, at headquarters, as a recognition of his services to the Volunteers, that Major Sloper should be allowed to retain the rank and wear the uniform as Major on being granted his retirement. This request Her Majesty was graciously pleased to confirm.It may be mentioned that Major Sloper's retirement from the brigade was a considerable source of regret to his brother officers as well as to the men under his command, and on his retirement the officers under his command, and on his retirement the officers unanimously elected him a member of the mess. In 1892 Her Majesty directed that medals should be given to Volunteer officers for length of service, and among the first distribution of these medals in Wales in March, 1893, Major-General Harrison KCB distributed to Major Sloper and others long service medals. In November, 1871, Major Sloper was elected a Member of the Cardiff Corporation, and continued to represent the West Ward in the Council until 1880, when he retired. He was appointed by the Lord Chancellor a Justice of the Peace for the Borough of Cardiff in 1885, and in the same year a Commissioner of Taxes. He is also a Governor of the Cardiff Infirmary. He is a sound churchman, and has contributed liberally towards the of St. John's Church and the erection of St James' Church, in the Parish of St. John's, where he resides. He is a Conservative, and took an active part in the election of 1888, and also insubsequent elections at Cardiff. He retired from business in 1889, and since then, owing to failing health, he has not taken any prominent part in public movements.

Source: Contemporary Portraits 1896


The remains of Major Sloper, J.P., who died on Tuesday last, were interred in Cardiff Cemetery on Friday. The coffin, which was of English oak, with copper fittings, bore the inscription :-

John Sloper, J.P.

Born 3rd March, 1823.

Died 2nd May, 1905.

The Rev. A. Henderson, of St. John's, officiated, and amongst those present were Messrs. R Sloper, C Sloper, T. Sloper, and F. Probyn, Dr. Essex (Pontypool), Messrs. W Bradley. Price Reece. T. Jones, Grover, E. B. Reece (coroner) T. W. Lewis (stipendiary), T. H. Stephens, J.P., and Alderman Daniel Lewis. Mr. Augustine Stone, Cardiff, was the undertaker.

SOURCE: Obituary Evening Express 6th May 1905