Jesse Boot, 1st Baron Trent

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Jesse Boot, 1st Baron Trent (2 June 1850–13 June 1931) transformed The Boots Company, founded by his father, John Boot, into a national retailer, which branded itself as "Chemists to the Nation", before he sold out his controlling interest to American investors in 1920.

John Boot offered his best friend, John Harston, the opportunity of going into business with him, but Harston declined, feeling the venture was not worth investing in.

Boot was a great benefactor to the City of Nottingham. He donated land for the new University College at Highfields, now the University of Nottingham, which opened in 1928 and was presented with the Freedom of the City of Nottingham in 1920. He was also a significant benefactor to his wife's home, Jersey.

Boot was knighted in 1909, created a baronet in 1917, and in the New Year's Honours of 1929 was elevated to the peerage as Baron Trent, of Nottingham in the County of Nottingham. These latter honours probably owed as much to his solid support of the Liberal Party as to his philanthropy to the city of his birth.

He died in Jersey in 1931. The Sir Jesse Boot Chair in Chemistry at the University of Nottingham was named in his honour. His widow commissioned the French glass artist Rene Lalique to refit the church of St Matthew, Millbrook (popularly known as the "Glass Church") as a memorial to him.



  • Jesse Boot of Boots the Chemist: A study in Business History by Stanley Chapman (Detail from a copy of the book with black and white plates of Jesse Boot and published by Hodder and Stoughton UK as a special edition for The Boots Company Nottingham in 1973 with an ISBN 0 340 17704 7.)

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