Thomas Fielding Johnson Senior lived at ‘Brookfield’ (now the University of Leicester’s Business School) between 1871 and his death in 1921.
Fielding Johnson, one of eight children, was adopted by his childless aunt and uncle aged twelve. Educated by a governess and at the new Nonconformist Proprietory School (which became the New Walk Museum), he entered his uncle’s worsted woolspinning business and, on his uncle’s death in 1852, took it over aged 24.
The firm prospered and grew under his leadership, becoming one of Leicester’s most important employers. Fielding Johnson lost his second son in infancy and his third son contracted measles and died while a boarder at Rugby School. This perhaps influenced him in becoming a member of the Board of Governors of Leicester Infirmary (later the Leicester Royal Infirmary) where he served for thirty years, spending most of it as vice-chairman and the period between 1898 and 1902 as chairman.
He and his second wife Agnes were both committed to improving public health and promoting education and their enduring legacy was the purchase and donation of the old lunatic asylum site to create Leicester’s new University College.