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John Tolkien

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Father John Francis Reuel Tolkien (November 16, 1917 - January 22, 2003) was the first child and eldest son of J.R.R. and Edith Tolkien. His second name comes from his father's guardian, Father Francis Xavier Morgan.[1]

John often had difficulty falling asleep and his father would come to his bedside and tell stories. These included the tale of Carrots, a boy with red hair who climbed into a cuckoo clock and went off on a series of strange adventures (this was the premise for the character of Tom Bombadil[source?]), and a tale called "The Orgog".[2]

In 13 February 1944 John Tolkien was made Exorcist and Acolyte (the two highest of the Minor Orders of the Roman Catholic Church) in a ceremony at Stonyhurst. He was given his Orders as a priest on 10 February 1946.

Between 1957 and 1987 John Tolkien lived in Stoke-on-Trent. He wrote the script for a film about the life of Cardinal Newman, which was shown in June 1957 at the Oratory of Birmingham.[3] In September 1973, John Tolkien celebrated a Requiem Mass for his father at the Church of St. Anthony of Padua, in Oxford.

John Tolkien is buried in the same cemetery as his parents, with his grave not far from theirs.

He appears briefly in the biographical drama film Tolkien, portrayed by actor Harry Webster.


The Tolkien family is under perpetual abuse of one kind or another. It goes on all the time. I am anticipating endless bother when the film actually comes out.—To the Daily Telegraph in 2001.



Family Tree

Edith Bratt
J.R.R. Tolkien
John Tolkien
Michael Tolkien
Faith Faulconbridge
Christopher Tolkien
Baillie Tolkien
Priscilla Tolkien
Simon Tolkien
Adam Tolkien
Rachel Tolkien

External links


  1. Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography
  2. Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: I. Chronology, p. 125
  3. "A film on Newman" dated 22 June 1957, The Tablet (archived at Internet Archive) (accessed 1 December 2023)