James Family of Grosmont, Monmouthshire
Compiled by Alan James Price (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Grosmont Church interior showing James wall plaques
The James family of Grosmont, Monmouthshire, Wales date back to the 17th century (at least). Grosmont is near the Herefordshire border and was Welsh-speaking until the end of the 18th century, according to Bradney. There was a transition from the old Welsh patronymic system to the use of fixed surnames in the 16th and 17th centuries and there are gaps in the parish records in the 17th century. This makes it difficult to identify family relationships in that period. Solicitors' records (see notes) refer to a Philip James and a William James having lands in Grosmont in 1688 and a Thomas James having tenancy of a house in 1714.
Descendants of Henry James
A mason named Henry James (Harry or Hendrey) (c.1679- buried 10 October 1752) married Ann Cox of Rolston (Rowlstone, Herefordshire) (c.1679- probably buried 10 October 1764) at Grosmont on June 20 1699. The birth years are notional. There is a Roman Catholic register entry for this marriage. Ann passed the administration of Harry's estate in 1753 to her sons William and John, both masons. Henry and Ann's children (baptised in the parish church and as Roman Catholic) included:
- John James (1700-1772) who was baptised July 17 1700 and died July 13 1772. John and his wife Ann ? (1694-1771) had the following (baptised in the parish church and as Roman Catholic)::
- Micah James (baptised October 6 1727) - possibly a mistranscription of Micall, an early form of Michael. A Micah Jones of Peterstone was buried at Rockfield, Monmouthshire in 1801.
- John James (c.1731-1814)
- Walter James (baptised August 18 1734-1821)
- William James (baptised Feb 12 1737 - buried 3 March 1743/4)
- Anne James (baptised May 10 1741- )
John James' Will of 1772 does not name William but does refer to a daughter Elizabeth James. He left a property in Grosmont occupied by a John Lewis to his daughter Anne. His goods and chattels went to her brothers John and Walter. Elizabeth and Micah or Michael received five shillings each.
Grosmont Church Wall Plaque - "In memory of Ann ye wife of Jn James, who died Jan the 5th 1771 Aged 76. Also in memory of John James, Sen, who Died the 13th day of July 1772 Aged 72 years."
- Henry James (1702-c.1777) possibly married Jane Walter (dates unknown) at Aberystruth in 1743. Henry's descendants:
- Henry James (bap. 16 Oct 1743-1809) married Mary Price (1743-1818) in Grosmont on May 1 1767, including a Roman Catholic marriage. Mary Price was baptised on 23 October 1743 in the Parish Church and as a Roman Catholic, daughter of Thomas Price. A Henry James, parish clerk, was buried in Grosmont on 28 January 1809 aged 69. Henry was variously a stone mason, carpenter and tenant farmer at Town Farm. His Will passed his workshop to son Walter James and the remainder of the lease on Town Farm (rented from William Roberts James) to Walter and two other sons, George and John. Henry and Mary's children included:
- William James (1768-1837?) - son of Harry? and Mary James, baptised 21 February 1768 (born Feb 10 accordng to a family Bible). William married Sarah Higley (1780-1817) on September 21 1800 at Grosmont with a Roman Catholic marriage. Sarah had a Catholic baptism on 31 July 1780, father Stephen Higley. William was a mason living at the Greige in 1817. They had:
- Angelina James (1801-1874) who married her cousin Walter James (see below)
- Arabella James (1804-1840). She married Thomas Herbert (c.1800-1859) in Llandenny in 1826. Arabella and some of her children were mentioned in the Will of Ann Lloyd (1776-1852) (nee Higley) of Llandenny (dated 12 July 1851):(...) my Nephews and Nieces and Great Nephews and Great Nieces hereinafter named who shall be living at the time of my decease (that is to say) Henry James Edwin James Angelina James Sabina Phillips George Price Henrietta Herbert Jane Herbert Ann Herbert Arabella Herbert and James Herbert (which said Henrietta Herbert Jane Herbert Ann Herbert Arabella Herbert and James Herbert are the five children of my niece Arabella Herbert late of the parish of Llandenny deceased) (...)
A longer (and different) list of children can be identified from Llandenny parish baptisms - children of Thomas and Angelina - and burials: Thomas Herbert (1827-1827), Jane Herbert (1828- ), Sarah Herbert (1830- ), Jane Herbert (1830- ), Phillip Herbert (1830-1845), Arabella Herbert (1837-1903 d. Cardiff), George Daniel Herbert (1840-1847?) and John William Herbert (1840-1840).
In the 1841 census the following were with Philip and Ann Lloyd in Llandenny: Sarah (15), Ann (8), Arabella (6), George (9mo). In 1851 with widow Ann Lloyd: Ann (17), Arabella (15) and James (12).
A Jane Herbert married Edward Evans (1827- ) in Newport in 1855. Edward Evans kept the Parrot Hotel and associated Concert Hall in the 1870s. The business was liquidated in May 1880 (London Gazette, May 21 1880. This seems to have been an eventful decade with several reported instances of assault and drunkeness on the premises. Other mentions:KEEPING OPEN AFTER HOURS. - Edward Evans was summoned for keeping open his house, the Parrot Hotel, for the sale of liquor, during prohibited hours on Saturday night.-P.C. Longville said at half-past eleven on Saturday night he saw a woman with a jug in her hand knocking at the front door. The door opened, five or six men came out, and the woman went in. In about two minutes the woman came out with the jug full of beer, and she was followed by five or six more persons who looked like performers. Mr. Evans came to the door with them and closed it. -Defendant said he did not know anything about it he did not see the woman, and he could not find out who served her.-The policeman said Mr. Evans was on the doorstep close behind the woman.-The magistrates said professional singers had no more right in the house after hours than any one else. -Defendant they were his servants. -The Clerk: It is the case of the woman with the beer we have to consider. -No complaint was made of any disorderly proceedings, and this being a first offence defendant was fined in a mitigated penalty of 20s. and costs. The magistrates directed that the conviction should not be recorded on the license. (Monmouthshire Merlin July 31 1874).
Arabella Herbert married Sydney Morgan (c.1830-1866) in 1856, Newport District June Q and subsequently William Smart (b. Staffordshire 1834-1903 d. Newport, Mon. ) in 1870. She had Thomas Herbert (?-1866), Sydney Morgan (1857- ), Arabella Morgan (1859- ) and Millicent Sarah Morgan and then Thomas Smart (1871- ), Henrietta Smart (1874- ) and James Herbert Smart (1879- ).
Ann(e) Herbert (1833-1903) married Frederick Dixon Barfoot (1828-1906 ) at St Woolos, Monmouth on April 12 1856. One of the witnesses was Arabella Morgan. Coal merchant Frederick Barfoot appears in the London Gazette in 1863 and 1869 in connection with bancruptcy proceedings and discharge. They had children including Arabella Mary Barfoot (1856-1933, d. Liverpool) who married Publican Nicholas Burnell Jones (b. Newport 1856-1918 d. Birkenhead) 4 children including Olive Jones (1878- ), Nicholas Frederick Jones (1879- ) and Irene Jones (1890- ); Frederick William Barfoot (1858- ).
- Henry James (1806- ). In 1861 he was at Trebinshwn Farm, Llangasty Tal-y-llyn, Breconshire with wife Elizabeth ? (54) born Tylachdu, son Henry James (31) born Tylachdu, daughter Keziah James (29) born Llancilo, Mon., son Thomas James (22) born Goetre, Mon. and daughter Anne Selina James (13) born Llangorse, Brecknock. He was a visitor at Town Farm in 1871 described as a widowed farmer of 112 acres employing 2 labourers.
- Sabina James (1811-1873). Given a Catholic baptism on April 13 1817. She married John Phillips in a Roman Catholic ceremony in 1837. He was a butcher born in Rowlstone, Herefordshire. They had Elizabeth Phillips (1842- ), Sarah Phillips (1848-), Mary Ann Phillips (1851-1908) in Grosmont. In the 1861 census they were farming in Llangorse, Breconshire. In the 1871 census widow Salina (sic) Phillips was Innkeeper of the Noah's Ark, Skinner Street, Newport with daughters Polly (Mary Ann) and Sarah Price (married to cabman Edward Price (b. Gloucester 1845- ).George Aplin, a juvenile, was charged with stealing 9d. from the till of Mrs. Phillips, of the Noah's Ark.-Mary Phillips, daughter of prosecutrix, said on Friday she saw the prisoner leaning over the counter with his hand in the till.-P.S. Bath said he was sent for to the Noah's Ark. Mrs. Phillips had the lad in custody, and witness found 9d. in his hand. Witness said the lad was apprehended with two others for stealing 2s. lOd. from a till at Pillgwenlly. He was then discharged, on the lad's fether promising to beat him.-In answer to the Bench, the father, who was in court, said he had not beaten him, as the lad promised to be a good boy, and he forgave him. He had, however, since beaten him for doing something wrong on Thursday, and on the Friday he committed this theft. He was nine years old, and he could do nothing with him.-The Chief Superintendent said the lad bad been much neglected by his parents, and he had been connected with other robberies besides those mentioned. The lad was sentenced to a month's imprisonment, and then to be confined in the Little Mill Reformatory for five years, the father being informed that he would have to contribute to his maintenance. He said "he couldn't afford it." (Monmouthshire Merlin June 8 1867)DEATHS - PHILLIPS - On the 13th inst. at the Noah's Ark Inn, Skinner-street, Newport, Mrs Sabina Phillips, aged 61 years. ( Monmouthshire Merlin January 17 1873)LICENSE TRANSFER - The license of the Noah's Ark, Skinner-street, was transferred from Sabina Phillips to Mary Ann Louisa Phillips. (County Observer and Monmouthshire Central Advertiser May 17 1873)
Mary Ann married builder Alfred Williams (b. Newport 1850-1883) in 1874 and had Gertrude Annie Williams (b. Newport 1878- ).MARRIAGES. WILLIAMS-PHILLIPS.-On the 5th instant, at Maindee Church, by special license, by the Ven. Archdeacon Sleeman, Mr Alfred Williams, builder. 16, Park-street. Newport, to Miss Mary Ann Louisa Phillips, of Clarence-place, Newport.-No cards. (Monmouthshire Merlin March 13 1874)MEMORIAL TABLET TO LORD TREDEGAR.-A tablet of Caen stone, in honour of the late Lord Tredegar, has been placed in the Tredegar family pew at Bassalleg church. There is an inscription on marble upon it, and some elaborate carving. The work was executed by Mr. Alfred Williams, of Park-street, Newport. (Monmouthshire Merlin November 14 1879)DEATH OF MR ALFRED WILLIAMS.-The death of Mr Alfred Williams, youngest son of Mr William Williams, who formerly carried on an extensive building business in Dock-street, Newport, took place at his residence, Park-street, on Monday morning. Deceased, who had been suffering from consumption, was about thirty years of age. (County Observer and Monmouthshire Central Advertiser March 3 1883).DEATH OF A YOUNG TRADESMAN.-On Tuesday morning Mr. Alfred Williams, builder, Park-street, died of consumption after a lingering illness, aged about 30 years. He was a son of the late Mr. W. Williams, builder, who carried on business many years in Dock-street (Weekly Mail March 3 1883).MRS. M. A. WILLIAMS, NEWPORT Mrs. Mary Ann Williams, of 16, Park-street, Newport, who died on January 21. left estate ralued at £739, and probate of her will has been granted to Mr. Henry Duckham, of Gaer Fach, Newport. (Weekly Mail April 4 1908).
Gertrude (styling herself as Gertrude Elizabeth Williams) was at a renumbered/named 29 Park Square in the 1911 census with 60-year-old widow Eliza Murphy.
- Edwin James (baptised April 23 1817, Parish Church and Catholic - ). Edwin married Harriette Holmes (born Clifton, Bristol in 1827). They had John James (b. Pontypool, Mon. c.1854- ), George James (1856- ), Walter James (1859- ), Fanny James (b. Lancashire 1863- ) and Harriette Jane James (b. Newport, Mon. 1869- ).
John married Hannah Greenwood (b.Tintern, Mon. 1858- ) in Newport in 1881. They had Margaret James ('Maggie') (1883- ), Edith James (1889- ) and another who died in infancy.
Harriette Jane married Joseph John Crook (born Bath, Somerset 1865-1935) and had Sebastian Joseph Crook (born Bristol 1897-1948), Bertram Austin Crook (b.Bristol 1899-1973) and George James Crook (b. Bristol 1903-1934). Sebastian married Kathleen Williams (1897-1974) and had Irene Margaret Crook (1918-1969). Bertram ('Bertie') married Kathleen Marjorie Wilmore (b. Upton on Severn, Worcestershire 1901-1987). An obituary for Bertram was published in the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society Proceedings
A William James (widower) from Grosmont married Maria Biggs of Lyncomb and Widbath at Bath St James on October 24 1817. They had William James (1818-1912) who married Cheltenham-born Lucy Fowler Phillips (September 12 1824-December 19 1907) in 1848. They emigrated to Australia in 1849. Both died at 'Grosmont', 25 Flood St, Bondi, New South Wales. See Lucy Fowler Phillips family
- Henry James (1771-1787) - born Feb 13 1771 and died July 1787 accordng to a family Bible.
Mary James (nee Bevan) on chest tomb
- Thomas James (1773-1842) - baptised 5 December 1773 (born Nov 21 1773 accordng to a family Bible), died 22 December 1842 according to probate of his will. He married Mary Bevan (bap. June 21 1767-1818?) of Llangattock Lingoed on Jan 28 1803. He is described as a grocer on his first child's baptism and subsequently as a shopkeeper. Widower Thomas James then married Ann James (?) on 29 April 1819. She may be the Nancy wife of a Thos James who died December 17 1825 (Hereford Journal Dec 21 1825). Thomas had:
- Walter James (1804-1890, bap. 8 April 1804) who married his cousin Angelina James (1801-1874, see photo of chest tomb below). An advert in the Hereford Times February 16 1839:TO BE LET OR SOLD
THAT well-bred CART HORSE, the property of WALTER JAMES, Geig, near Grosmont, Monmouthshire. He was got by Old Favourite, the property of Mr. William Jones, Llanthewey, and dam the property of Mr. Hill, Abbey Dore, she was got by Sweet William.
Walter (of the Greig, Grosmont) was buried on April 18 1890. They had:
- Christiana James (b. Dec 18 1829). Christened in Parish Church and also Roman Catholic on January 17 1830. Unmarried with parents in 1861.
- George James (born Mar 10 1832). With his parents in 1871. In 1881 he was a farm bailiff in Peterstow, Herefordshire with wife Sarah ? (1847- , born Kentchurch, Herefordshire) and children George James (1874- , born Kentchurch) and Alfred James (1880- , born Peterstow). In 1891 he was farming at Grange Farm, Kentchurch. In 1901 widow Sarah James was keeping the Red Lion Inn, Grosmont with son Alfred, the licence having been transferred from a Lewis Jones to George James in 1900. The licence was subsequently transferred from Alfred to a David Strachan in June 1903. In 1911 Alfred was a threshing machine proprietor at the Greig, Grosmont having married Sarah Ann Sayce (1884- , born Grosmont) in 1902 (when his father was deceased) and and had 5 children born in Llanvetherine: Gerty James (1903- ), Kate James (1905- ), Alfred James (1906- ), Ellen James (1908- ), Daisy James (1910- ).
- Henry James (b. June 17 1835). Unmarried with brother George in 1891. May have been a witness to Alfred's marriage in 1902.
- John James (b.1838) who married Harriet Kezia Beavan (1844-18 Nov 1919, born Callow, Herefordshire, died Yorkley, Gloucestershire). In the 1911 census they were living with daughter Emily James (b.1870, Orcop, Herefordshire) and husband Edwin William Sims (b. 1865, Garway, Herefordshire) having been married 43 years and had 4 children of whom 2 had died. Emily and Edwin had Sydney George Sims (1894-1971), Hilda Bessie Sims (1901-1976) and Mary E Sims (c.1908) all born West Dean, Gloucestershire. John and Harriet's other surviving child was John Bartholomew James (24 August 1880-13 February 1949) who married Eliza Bowen (19 August 1880-20 February 1960, born Llangattock, Monmouthshire) and had: Edna May James (31 March 1905-1979) who married Richard Thomas Latham (8 December 1900-1971) in 1941; Leonard John James (19 June 1906-1986) who became a Superintendent in the Monmouthshire Constabulary; Gladys Emily James (b. 1907); Marjorie James (b.1909); Annie Elizabeth James (5 February 1912- 15 November 1990) who married George Sydney Brunt (1918- 28 July 1992) born Neath, Glamorgan; George David James (31 October 1919 - ) who probably married Nora J Martin. All were born in St Maughans, Monmouthshire. In the 1939 Register John B. of the Green Farm is described as being disabled on the right side by a stroke and Eliza as being crippled for many years.
- Alfred James (b. May 16 1841). A draper's apprentice in Hereford in 1861; a 'shop man' at 21 Hare Street, Woolwich in 1871.
- Henry James (bap. 24 Dec 1820 - )
- Mary James (c.1818-1902, died Tuam, Galway, Ireland) who married Irish surveyor Patrick McCormick (c.1814-1902, died Tuam, Galway, Ireland) at Grosmont on October 27 1841. They had: Frances McCormick (1843- ),; Mary McCormick (1845-1919, died Tuam, Galway, Ireland); Thomas McCormick (1850-1913, died Tuam, Galway, Ireland); John Joseph McCormick (1852-1910) a general practitioner who married Louisa Emily Stobart (29 September 1863 - ) born Chelsea, London, in 1885; Anne McCormick (1853-); Patrick William McCormick (1855- ); Jane McCormick (1857- ) unmarried with brother Charles in 1911; Frank or Francis McCormick (1860-1933, died Tuam, Galway, Ireland); Charles Vincent McCormick (8 December 1863- ) a medical practitioner, unmarried with sister Jane in Bootle, Lancashire in 1911 and widowed in Penmaenmawr, Caernarfonshire in 1939.
- William James (bap. 9 Mar 1823 - ). A tailor's apprentice to Philip Sparks at Rose Cottage, Grosmont in 1841. Then a tailor in Usk Road, Raglan in 1851 married to Mary ? (1823- ) born Hereford with children Sarah James (1849- ) and Thomas William James (1850- ). In 1861 he was a visitor with his sister Mary and the McCormick family in Grosmont. Meanwhile in 1861, Mary was at Lewellyn Cottage, Llantilio Crosseny with additional children Isabella James (1852- ), Henry James (1853- ) and Mary Ann James (1858 - ) all born in Raglan.. In 1871 William was a farmer of 5 acres at Middle Pant, Llantilo Crosseny with wife Mary, sons Thomas (a waggoner), ag lab Henry and daughter Mary Ann.
- Walter James (1775-1854) - baptised 18 November 1775 (born Nov 12 1775 accordng to a family Bible).
- Mary James (1778- ) - baptised 11 February 1778 (born May 7 1778 accordng to a family Bible). Married Samuel Dykes (otherwise Samuel Dyke, c.1781-1860) of Crickhowell in the Parish Church, Grosmont and in a Roman Catholic marriage on December 17 1812.
- Anne Abigail James (1780-1783) - baptised 20 May 1780 (born April 24 1780 accordng to a family Bible).
- George James (1785-1810) - baptised 14 August 1785, when Henry was described as a mason (George born Feb 20 1785 accordng to a family Bible). He married Christiana Higley in 1809. A George James aged 24 was buried 8th February 1810. Subsequently Christiana James (widow) married Charles Price (widower) of Crickhowell in Grosmont on June 23 1812 - both in the parish church and a Roman Catholic marriage. There had also been a Catholic baptism in 1785 and a Roman Catholic wedding with George James.
- John James (1788-1869) was baptised (both Parish Church and Catholic) in Grosmont on May 26 1788 (born May 2 1788 accordng to a family Bible). John James was married in Grosmont 23 June 1819, otp, batch to Jane Edmonds (1791-1839), Skenfrith, spin witnessed by Wr James and Elizth James with consent. There was also a Roman Catholic marriage the same day. Jane Edmonds had been baptised in Skenfrith in 1792 as daughter of Charles Edmonds (1752-1829) and his wife Sarah Phillips (see Edmonds family in Skenfrith).
- Ann James (1746-1746) was baptised on 7 November and died on 14 November.
- William James (1746-1746) was baptised on 7 November and died on 21 November.
- Elizabeth James (1751-1796) who married John Croft(s) (1749-1794) on 5 June 1772. They had no children, They feature in the chapter entitled 'Honest Servant' in Phillip Morgan's A Grosmont Miscellany (2008, Capella Archives). Initially in her will she left all her estate to her servant Eleanor Jones but later wrote a codicil leaving sums of money to relatives and friends which the honest Eleanor discovered. The relatives mentioned in the codicil were: sister-in-law Mary Morgan and her son James Morgan; aunt Elizabeth Gwin at Roulstone; aunt Mary Powel; and, last, brother Hennery James 'if he will put his hand to paper that he will wall up the bulk in his work shop that it may be no newsense to the aginieining land any more.'
- Ann James (baptised 17 April 1708 - buried 14 November 1746)
- Helen James (baptised 23 Oct 1710 - )
- William James (baptised 13 May 1713 - buried 21 November 1746)
- Philip James (baptised 5 May 1715 - buried in the church 9 March 1719/20)
- Richard James (baptised 5 Nov 1717 - buried 28 June 1801) who married Martha Evans (? - probably buried 7 August 1770) on 28 June 1752. They had Martha James (1754- ), Elizabeth James (1758-1835) and Ann James (1760-1762).
Walter James (parish clerk of Grosmont) and brothers John James (farmer), Thomas James (farmer), and the children of William James (deceased) and sister Mrs Mary Dyke are named as beneficiaries in the will of Elizabeth James (spinster) of Kingsfield who died in 1835. Elizabeth James had inherited the estate of Walter James (d. 1821) whose brother John James had predeceased him. Elizabeth was described as 'our relative residing with us' at Kingsfield in Walter's will. Her dates coincide with a baptism on December 18 1758 for Elizabeth daughter of Richard James. John and Walter were the sons and executors of John James (1700-1772). Elizabeth's death notice in the Hereford Journal of 5 August 1835:On Monday the 27th ult. died, at Kingsfield, near Grosmont, Monmouthshire, Mrs James in the 70th year of her age; she was universally respected by her numerous friends, and her loss will be long felt by the neighbouring poor, to whom she was always a kind and steady friend.
While the Monmouthshire Merlin of 1 August 1835 more accurately stated:Qn Monday last, at Kingsfield, in the parish of Grosmont, in the 77th year of her age, Mrs. Elizabeth James most sincerely regretted by the whole neighbourhood, more than 200 of whom, to testify their respect for the deceased, followed her remains to the grave.
And in the Hereford Times of 1 August 1835:DEATHS - Qn Monday last, at Kingsfield, in the parish of Grosmont, after a protracted illness which she bore with Christian fortitude and resignation, Mrs. Elizabeth James, in the 78th year of her age. She lived respected by the rich, to whom she was always courteous, affable and obliging; beloved by the poor, to whom she was a constant, judicious and liberal benefactress and her death will long be a subject of deep regret to all her relatives, friends and neighbours.
Grosmont Church James Wall Plaques
Descendants of John James, Town Farm
There is a Grosmont baptism record dated 19 September 1825 for a Jane James (1825- ) daughter of John and Jane James, otp, farmer who married James Price in 1845. Other baptisms for a couple of the same name include:
- Mary James (1820-1837) baptised 26 November 1820
- Ann James (1826- ) baptised 11 June 1826
- Sabina? James baptised 9 March 1828
- Sabina James (1828-1837) baptised 17 August 1828 (transcription error?)
- Sarah James (1830- ) baptised 15 August 1830
- Isabella Abigail James (1833-1864) baptised 18 January 1833
- Louisa Martha James (1834-1841) baptised 11 December 1834
These names and ages correspond with a family listed at Mansion, Grosmont in 1841 without mother Jane (buried 4 February 1839, aged 48), daughters Mary (buried 30 September 1837, aged 16), Sabina (buried 9 December 1837, aged 9) and Louisa (buried 16 January 1841) but including a Walter James with a rounded age of 65, 'Independent' (John's brother). Walter was buried on 10 March 1854, aged 79, opt, Coroner's Order. In his will, his estate was left in trust to John James and subsequently to Sarah and Isabella Abigail. Ann James appears in the 1851 census but not in Walter's will, suggesting that she had died by 1854. Jane Price received a hundred pounds (after her father's death) for her own - not her husband's - use. Isabella Abigail Nicholas was brought back to Grosmont from Broad St, Hereford for burial 20th October 1864 aged 32 having married Thomas Black Nicholas, draper, on the 7th April. John James died in Grosmont on 16 October 1869 and was buried on 20 October 1869, aged 81. Sara James was still in Grosmont in 1871. A Sarah James of Brecon Road, Abergavenny aged 47 died in August 1878 (needs checking).
Among references to the family in the local press, the following appeared in the Monmouthshire Merlin 14 March 1835:On Tuesday last, an inquest was held at our county prison, on view of the body of Ruth Harry, a female prisoner who died in child-bed, on Sunday the 8th instant. After an investigation of all the circumstances of the case, the jury returned a verdict of "Natural Death." The deceased, who was only 19 years old, was convicted at the last October Sessions for this county, on a charge of stealing a gown belonging to the daughter of her master, John James, of the parish of Grosmont, and sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment.
The following notice had appeared in the Hereford Journal of 10 December 1845:
THE TOWN FARM
LIVE AND DEAD FARMING STOCK
IMPLEMENTS IN HUSBANDRY,&c,&c.
TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION,
On the Premises aforesaid, on Friday the 12th day of December,
1845, the property of Mr.JOHN JAMES, who is retiring from
the Farming Business;
CONSISTING OF fifty-six sheep, five superior cows
and calves andto calve, two heifers in calf, nine yearling
cattle, four draught horses, one 3-year-old cart colt, one year-
ling ditto, one weaned ditto, one poney mare, one sow, and six
store pigs, one broad-wheel waggon, one harvest ditto, two
broad-wheel carts, two pairs of harrows, two ground cars, one
roller, four lammas and three sowing ploughs, one three-knife
straw cutter, four sets of gearing and about thirty tons of well-
tended hay, part of which may go off the premises; several
hogsheads and casks in good condition, with sundry other articles.
Sale to commence precisely at Eleven o'clock.
Then in the Hereford Journal of 25 May 1867:
TO BE SOLD BY PRIVATE CONTRACT or
LET (with immediate possession), all that
FAMILY RESIDENCE, with large and productive
Garden, situate in the town of Grosmont, Monmouth-
shire. The House contains a Drawing-room, Sitting-
room, Parlour, and Five Bed-rooms, Kitchen, Laundry,
and other Offices. Also, detached from the above, a
Stable, Coach-house, and Cider-mill. The house com-
mands an extensive view over the surrounding country,
and is situate near the river Monnow, which is very
famous for its trout fishing.
Also to be sold (near to the above) four acres of very
Prime Pasture Orcharding in full bearing.
The Property is Freehold, and is situate within three
miles of the Pontrilas Station, on the Great Western
For further particulars, apply to Mr. John James
Grosmont (the proprieter) or to Mr.Samuel Farmer,
According to Bradney's History of Monmouthshire, Part 1 (1904) (p.:
Kingsfield takes its name from being the place where King Henry III encamped when he was attacked and defeated by Hubert de Burgh in 1232. In the eighteenth and early part of the nineteenth century this place belonged to a family named James, who seemed to have been an old family in Grosmont. It was sold to Colonel Scudamore about 1860. The same family also owned Trevyr, the Grug Lodge, and the Town Farm.
Bradney describes Town Farm thus (p.86):
The Town Farm, so called because of its situation at the edge of the town, also belongs to Mrs Gazzard. At the end of the eighteenth century it belonged to William Roberts James, who in 1806, then residing in Serle Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, married Maria Hodges. He died in 1850 at Lested Lodge, near Sutton Vallance, Kent, having had issue Maria, William, Eliza, Amelia, Helen, Robert Edwards, Henry Brandram, Thomas Lloyd, and Edward Wallwyn.
The house is a very old one, some of it having been apparently built in the early part of the sixteenth century. Over the door is the date 1673, and on the door-frame of the stable 1671.
Monmouthshire Houses, Part 111, Renaissance Houses, c.1590-1714 by Sir Cyril Fox and Lord Raglan (Merton Priory Press/ National Museum of Wales, 2nd edition, 1994) includes a plan of the house and photograph, together with the following description:
(pp. 52-53) Town Farm, Grosmont, a fine little house of (...) three-in-two plan (...) is developed from its neighbour, Upper Tresseny (...) for it has the principal entry at the side. (...) Of two storeys, with attic, it is completely unaltered, with original doors, windows, and cupboards throughout. [Footnote states: Part of the back wall of the parlour, beside the farm-yard, fell in 1952.] These windows have the usual angled hoods; they are of four lights, ovolo-moulded, on both floors: the lights are 12 in, wide with intermediate bars. The joists have bull-nose mouldings. (...) the entrance is central, and the whole layout symmetrical. Entering the lobby, a striking and novel feature in our tradition, the stairs to the cellar are opposite; beyond is the pantry; doorways with shaped heads on either side lead to rooms, hall, and parlour, approximately equal in size and similar in character, each with its stairway, to a bedroom above. The house is dated on the outer, rectangular, door head - 1673. The back doorway has a modern frame, but may be original. A stable, dated 1671, is on the opposite side of the road; its chamfered door frame and door are original, as are the decorative "trident" hinge-straps: the tall window beside the door, of seven lights, has diamond mullions. This door and window unit, under the same angled hood, is seen at the house as well as the stable; it is in our experience peculiar to the parish. It enabled the seventeenth century indwellers, man or horse, to have a peep at a visitor.
Grosmont Chest Tomb - Angelina James
James and Edmonds in Gwent Archives: Documents deposited by Messrs Williams, Son, Pryce and Tweedy
1 February 1688
In the marriage settlement of Thomas Edwards and Sarah Delahay, reference to tenements, etc in the parishes of Skenfreth and Grosmont near 'the lands late of Phillip James, of William James, of Jane Phillips, widow of Isaack Williams gent.
1 February 1688
Similar but also ending with 'and other lands of Phillip James.'
13 June 1714
Reference to 'a house in the town of Grosmont in the possession of Thomas James as tenant..'
Similar 6 September 1718. Similar 4 May 1713 - all described as 'late of'.(Both filed under parish of Skenfrith).
12 February 1803
25 December 1825
Conveyance. Lease for a year with 4 names including William Edmonds of Skenfreth, farmer (filed under Skenfith).
Charles James gent tenant (with two others) recovery of property, land in Grosmont.
7 February 1849
- Walter Prosser of Much Birch co. Hereford yeoman
- Thomas James of Grosmont co. Mon Blacksmith and Ann his wife
- Edward McCormick of Grosmont, land surveyor and Elizabeth his wife
- Thomas Prosser of Monmouth, draper's assistant
- Elizabeth Prosser of Little Kingsfield par. Grosmont widow
- John Prosser, otherwise John Prosser Williams yeoman
- Thomas Prosser and Edward Carpenter of Kingsfield par. Grosmont, farmer
DECLARATION OF TRUST
£700 a part share arising out of a sale of a mess farm, cottage and certain lands par. Grosmont, invested in public funds
Monmouthshire Merlin 20 September 1834, part of an item on erection of toll gates within the Abergavenny Diistrict of Turnpike Roads: "A Toll Gate or Bar, across the turnpike road from Abergavenny to Hereford, by the Greege, between a close of land in the occupation of James Jones, and a close of land in the occupation of Walter James, in the parish of Grosmont."
Monmouthshire Merlin 12 September 1851, leading on from a fire in Llanfoist: "(...) The accident arose from the culpable conduct of the parents of some of the village children, allowing them to have access to their lucifer match boxes. A fire took place last week in Grosmont, from the same cause, when Mr. M'Cormack's barn was destroyed, and about sixty bushels of wheat. Surely there is a law in existence that will reach parents who are so careless as to leave such dangerous articles as lucifer matches within the reach of children."
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