Bloomfield, John Caldwell (1823–97), landlord and entrepreneur, was born 5 February 1823, eldest son of John Colpoys Bloomfield and Frances Arabella Bloomfield (née Caldwell); there were three other sons and a daughter. His mother, a descendant of Sir John Caldwell, was coheiress of the estates of Castlecaldwell, Co. Fermanagh, which John Caldwell Bloomfield, after serving as an army officer, inherited in turn in 1849, though they were at first encumbered. He wielded considerable local influence, expending much money and effort on attempts to foster local industry and to increase employment in Fermanagh. In 1852 kaolin was found on his estates; both Bloomfield and his friend (Sir) Charles Cameron (qv) claimed the credit of discovery. Bloomfield also found felspar, the other main raw material for manufacturing porcelain. At first he exported the felspar to the potteries in Worcester, but in 1858 induced Robert Armstrong (qv) to help set up a pottery – later world-famous – on a site provided by Bloomfield in Belleek. He also discovered clays which he advocated as a raw material for cement plaster; his eel fishery was one of the most important on Lough Erne; and he established a lace industry to give employment to women. Realising the importance of communications to both agriculture and industry, Bloomfield was one of the main backers of the Bundoran and Enniskillen railway and was the first to run a steamship service on Lough Erne: the Countess of Milan ran (1855–9) between Belleek, Enniskillen, and Castlecaldwell. He was high sheriff of Fermanagh in 1874; in 1885, as conservative candidate in the Fermanagh North constituency, he received 2,822 votes, but was defeated by William Redmond (qv) with 3,255. Bloomfield was also prominent in the synods of the Church of Ireland. At the end of his life, he moved out of Castlecaldwell to a smaller property, and died in Enniskillen 27 February 1897. He married first (1846) Elizabeth D'Arcy Irvine (d. 1874) of Necarne Castle, Co. Fermanagh; they had a son and a daughter. He married secondly (1875) his cousin Adelaide, daughter of Sir Josiah Hort; their mothers had been coheirs of the Castlecaldwell estates. His only son, Benjamin, died in 1886.
J. C. Bloomfield, ‘Irish industries and their revival’, Ir. Builder, 15 Oct. 1889, 254; Impartial Reporter, 4 Mar. 1897; Burke, LGI (1912), 58; Charles A. Cameron, Autobiography (1920), 27; Peadar Livingstone, The Fermanagh story (1969), 205, 355, 194, 211; Richard Degenhart, Belleek: the complete collector's guide and illustrated reference (1978), 1–3; Sean McCrum, ‘The Belleek industry’, Irish Arts Review, iv, no. 1 (1987), 17