Tom Trott tin

Tom Trott tin

“Mr Furniss was a fair employer and a philanthropist. As well as donating significant sums to build Truro Cathedral, he discreetly provided a royalty on every tin of Tom Trot’s humbugs to the victim of a site accident when Mr Glanville lost both legs as a ‘bosun’s chair’ lift ran away from the western towers and crashed. Mr Furniss died towards the end of the C19th but left both an enduring product and a good business behind.”


(Source: Truro City Council –


Tom Trott tin – (as provided by John Husband who wrote about the history of Furniss).


The name Tom Trott for a variety of toffee occurs all over England and dates back several centuries. I imagine John Furniss adapted the traditional recipe for his product, in the same way as he did for the fairings. The man who lost his legs in the cathedral accident was called Richard Granville, and his picture appears on the tin. After the accident Mr Furniss paid the family a royalty for every tin sold.


On July 8th 1908 a serious accident took place, the only one occurring during the building work. A steam lift had been raised to the top of one of the western towers to take the construction workers to the bottom after their morning shift, but the safety device had not been applied correctly. As the men stepped into the cage their weight caused it to plummet 70 feet to the ground with six men inside. Five escaped with less severe injuries, but 51 year-old Richard Granville sustained damage to both legs which had to be amputated. He was given artificial limbs but was unable to work again and received £300 in compensation. He also received assistance, and also achieved a degree of fame, from a local businessman (see John Cooper Furniss), and lived for another 25 years.