Joshua Kelley Waddilove
BornJoshua Kelley Waddilove
Manningham, Bradford, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Hampstead, London, England, United Kingdom
Known forFunding the construction of the first blocks of domitories at Waddilove High School
Spouse(s)Jane (Catton) Waddilove and Alice (Le Grove) Waddilove
ChildrenAlbert, Arthur and other 6 children
  • Richard Waddilove (father)
  • Ann Waddilove (mother)
FamilyElizabeth Ann, Johnston and Sarah Jane

Sir Joshua Kelley Waddilove was a British preacher and a generous benefactor of Methodist and other causes, especially overseas missions. He funded the 'Hospital of Universal Love' in China for the medical missionary William C. Grosvenor, the Waddilove Institution (now Waddilove High School) in the present Zimbabwe and in his native Bradford the Waddilove Samaritan Home for Women.


He was born at Manningham, Bradford. He established a clothing and drapery business in Bradford which in 1880 developed into the Provident Clothing and Supply Co. Ltd. He was a pioneer of the check and credit system, which encouraged thrift and prudential saving and provided discounts for retailers.[1]


1861 Brewer's Clerk 1871 Agent Superintendant 1881 Club Manager Clothing Boot Shop and Draper

Sir Joshua Waddilove worked as an insurance agent and in the course of his work saw first hand how some working class families struggled to pay for essential items such as furniture, clothes and shoes. He realised that something needed to change and devised a system to help families provide for themselves through the use of vouchers which could be exchanged in local shops for clothing, food and coal. The families then repaid the vouchers in small weekly instalments which they could afford.[2]

Word soon spread and demand for the vouchers grew. Sir Joshua opened an office and recruited agents to help collect the repayments, creating the foundations on which, over a century later, the Provident home credit business of Provident Financial still operates.


Joshua died on 14 February 1920 in Hampstead in London.[3]


  1. [1], A Dictionary of Methodism in Britain and Ireland, Accessed: 15 April, 2020
  2. [2], Provident Financial, Accessed: 15 April, 2020
  3. [3], WikiTree, Published: 10 October, 2019, Accessed: 15 April, 2020