John Baptiste Lombardini was a printer, master carver and gilder.
He was born (presumably as Jean-Baptiste Lombardini) in Switzerland circa 1785.
It is uncertain when he moved to England and settled in Huddersfield, but it was certainly by the early 1820s when the Sheffield Independent reported that Messrs. J. & B. Lombardini — "Opticians, Market Place" of Huddersfield — were an agent of the Hazard & Co. lottery scheme. Another advertisement for the lottery company in May 1825 noted that J. B. Lombardini was a "looking-glass manufacturer".
Baines' Directory of 1822 listed J. & B. Lombardini as carvers & gilders of Market Place.
The Birmingham Journal reported in December 1825 that the partnership of "John Baptist Lombardini and Bernardo Camillo Lombardini ... carvers, gilders, and printsellers" of Huddersfield had been dissolved.
The 1841 Census lists the family residing on Bath Buildings (now known as Bath Street). By 1851, they had moved to 37 Trinity Street. Also residing with the family in the 1841 Census is William Lombardini, although the family relationship between the two men is uncertain.
He appears to have been a keen amateur meteorologist and the Huddersfield Chronicle reported his weekly summary of measurements taken by his "self-registering Thermometer" in the early 1850s. In July 1852, the Chronicle noted that Lombardini had recorded a temperature of 109 degrees, whilst the hottest day of the previous year had been 10 June when "the thermometer stood at 102 degrees in the sun."
J. B. LOMBARDINI most respectfully informs his Friends and the Public, that in consequence of his removal from the Market-place, his valuable stock of Pier, Chimney, Dressing, and Cheval GLASSES, of every description ; Barometers, Thermometers, and a great variety of other articles, are now SELLING OFF at a GREAT REDUCTION in PRICE.
J. B. L. also informs his Friends and the Public that he has entered those extensive premises lately occupied by the Railway Company, as Offices, &c., opposite Messrs. Crosland's and Norris and Sykes' Warehouse, Temple Street, where he intends carrying on the Business in all its Departments as before, and respectfully solicits a continuance of their kind patronage.
Market-place, August 13, 1852.
The 1853 White's Trade Directory lists John Baptiste on Westgate, whilst William Lombardini was at 127 Upperhead Row.
On 28 May 1855, the congregation of Trinity Church presented the Rev. N. Maning with a portrait "painted by Mr. Howell" which had a "massive guilt frame, which was supplied by our fellow-townsman Mr. Lombardini, of the Lion Arcade".
The exact date of John Baptiste Lombardini's death is uncertain, but it occurred between December 1855 and March 1856. Following his death, his widow Mary was declared an insolvent debtor. On 23 July 1856, property leased by the Lombardini's in the Newtown area of Huddersfield was auctioned at the Ramsden's Arms on Cross Church Street. By May 1857, it was announced that creditors would receive 1s. 9d. in the pound upon their debts.
The 1861 Census listed Mary living her daughters at 38 Northgate.
In December 1862, the case of Thewlis v. Mumford was heard in London — "prosecuted by Mr. Titus Thewlis, commission agent, residing at Upperhead Row, Huddersfield, against Mr. Charles Mumford, a land surveyor in the same town, to recover from his compensation for the alleged seduction of his (plaintiff's) daughter." Amongst those mentioned in the case was Fanny Lombardini, which caused Mary to write to the Huddersfield Chronicle to note that Fanny "is not a member of my family ... as great trouble and annoyance has been experience by myself and family through the misapprehension which exists" — Fanny was in fact the daughter of William Lombardini.
The reporting of the trial by the London Times stated that the case "proved an apparently very loose morality in Huddersfield". The case was also noteworthy for the fact that it descended into shambles when two of the jury members began fighting — reportedly, one jury member tried to kill another with a chair!
By 1871 Mary Lombardini had moved to Batley, where she died on 27 August 1874.