OrnaVerum
v 6.10.00
20 Jun 2020
updated 19 Oct 2020

The James Connection

I'm very grateful to my wife Sonia for supplying a galley proof (please click here to see a copy) for p 941 of the 1995 edition of Debrett's Peerage & Baronetage which has helped to fill-in some vital details in this table.

Also, when Googling for additional details, I've noticed that www.thepeerage.com keeps popping up, and it has provided a bonanza of useful information, though in an almost totally unpredictable sort of way.

  • A great deal of information (most of it to be taken cum grano salis) can be found in Edward James' memoirs (dictated to tape, then edited by George Melly – whose own autobiography was memorably entitled Rum, Bum and Concertina)
  • Swans Reflecting Elephants: My Early Years, Edward James, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1982

    (It got excoriating reviews in The Times and The Daily Telegraph, but it's still a fascinating social document, well worth browsing.)
  • The Edward James Foundation, ed Peter Sarginson, The Edward James Foundation, 1992

As always, the ancestry.co.uk website has also been immensely useful, one tree in particular. And for more recent family, the lists compiled by Sharon-Michi Kusunoki have been helpful, though not without a number of ambiguities.

Please note, as regards familiar names as used in this tabulation:

  • A subsidiary forename used in preference to the leading forename is italicised.
  • A regularly-used diminutive or nickname used in preference to the given forenames is italicised and parenthesised.
#IndividualSpouse / PartnerFamily
‑5Nathaniel Emmes James
(2 or 22 Jul 1772 –
14 Jun or 16 Jul 1844)
Betsey Ingersoll
(10 Apr 1782 –
17 Feb 1849)
(m 22 Oct 1799)
Daniel James
(17 Apr 1801 –
27 Nov 1876)

Mason James
(16 Dec 1802 –
1892)

Willis James
(b 9 May 1804)

John James
(b 13 Jul 1806)

Nathaniel E James
(20 Mar 1808 –
1866)

Eliza James
(b 12 Mar 1810)

Franklin James
(2 Dec 1812 –
3 Jun 1813)

Henry James
(21 Jul 1821 –
27 Jul 1897)

Caroline James
(b 25 Jul 1814)

Mary Ann James
(20 May 1816 –
13 Jan 1866)

Harriet James
(29 Jul 1818 –
11 Jun 1880)

Jane Trowbridge James
(18 Apr 1823 –
9 Aug 1852)

Martha James
(13 Oct 1826 –
29 Mar 1846)
‑4Daniel James1,  2
(17 Apr 1801 –
27 Nov 1876)
Elizabeth Woodbridge Phelps
(2 Aug 1807 –
21 Jun 1847)
(m 24 Mar 1829)
Anson Green Phelps James
(1829 –
1842)

Daniel Willis (W) James
(15 Apr 1832 –
13 Sep 1907)

Portrait

Elizabeth Eggleston James
(1833 –
1868)

Olivia Phelps James
(1837 –
1935)

Henry Stokes James
(1839, died at 3 months)
Sophia Hall Hitchcock
(21 Nov 1818 –
10 Feb 1870)
(m 19 Feb 1849)
Frank Linsly James1,  2
(21 Apr 1851 –
21 Apr 1890)

John Arthur James1,  2
(24 Feb 1853 –
30 Apr 1917)

William (Willie) Dodge James
(7 Dec 1854 –
22 Mar 1912)
Ruth Lancaster Dickinson
(1824 –
1907)
(m 1871)
sp
‑3Daniel Willis (W) James
(15 Apr 1832 –
13 Sep 1907)
Ellen S Curtiss Arthur Curtiss James
(1 Jun 1867 –
4 Jun 1941)
‑3John Arthur James
(24 Feb 1853 –
30 Apr 1917)
Mary Venetia Cavendish-Bentinck 1,  2
(4 Jun 1861 –
2 May 1948)
(m 7 Dec 1885)

Portrait
 
‑3William (Willie) Dodge James
(7 Dec 1854 –
22 Mar 1912)

Portraits
Evelyn Elizabeth Forbes
('Mrs Willie James')
(9 Mar Kensington –
13 May 1929, Marylebone)
(m 5 Mar 1889)

Portraits

eldest daughter of Sir Charles John Forbes (1843 – 7 Nov 1884) 4th Baronet, and Helen Moncrieffe
Helen Millicent James
(28 Nov 1889 –
15 Aug 1967)

Alexandra (Xandra) Maud Venetia James
(26 Dec 1896 –
4 Feb 1981)

Helena Silvia Sophie James
(9 Dec 1898 –
8 Oct 1987)

(allegedly known as "Chimp")

Audrey Evelyn James
(21 Apr 1902 –
14 Feb 1968)

Edward William Frank James
(16 Aug 1907 –
2 Dec 1984)
‑3Mrs Willie James Lt Col John Chaytor Brinton1,  2 CVO DSO
(5 Apr 1867 –
6 Apr 1951)
(m 30 Aug 1913)
Pamela Cathleen Brinton
(18 Sep 1914 –
1973)
‑2Millicent James

Portrait
Maj. Henry Ralph Mowbray Howard1,  2 (Howard-Sneyd)
(m 8 Jun 1911)
Diana Katherine Howard
(4 May 1913 –
1 May 2003)

Pamela Evelyn Howard
(5 Oct 1914 –
3 Jan 1998)

Audrey Elizabeth Howard
(25 Jan 1916 –
14 Aug 1994)

Rosemary (Tom) Millicent Howard
(22 Sep 1917 –
26 Apr 1986)

Joan Margery Howard
(7 Sep 1921 –
25 Jul 2001)
‑2Xandra James

Portrait
Lt Col Arthur Edward Flynn Fawcus DSO MC
(19 Oct 1886 –
10 Aug 1936)
(m 23 May 1918)

Portrait
William James Fawcus
(Dec 1919 –
1945, KIA with King's Royal Rifles)

Michael Edward Fawcus
(3 Oct 1924, Kenya –
24 Feb 1998)

Evelyn Venetia Fawcus
(14 May 1928 –
6 Sep 2017)
‑2Silvia James

naturalised as US citizen in 1943
Sir John Menzies Wilson 3rd Baronet
(12 Feb 1885 –
22 Oct 1968)
(m 5 Jan 1921)
Daphne Margaret Wilson
Frank Arady
(12 Nov 1890 –
25 Oct 1965)

a bit of a rough diamond, perhaps
‑2Audrey James Muir Dudley Coats MC
(15 Sep 1897 –
7 Aug 1927)
(m 25 Mar 1922)

son of Sir Stuart Auchinloss Coats
2nd Baronet
Peter Coats
(16-20 Feb 1923)
Marshal Field III
(28 Sep 1893 –
8 Nov 1956)
(m 18 Aug 1930)
sp
 two sons adopted at unknown date(s) during this period

William James
(b ca 1929)

Jeremy James
(5 Jan 1936 –
2014)
Hon. Peter Pleydell-Bouverie
(b 19 Oct 1909)
(m 25 Nov 1938)

son of Jacob P-B
6th Earl of Radnor
sp
‑2Edward James 1,  2,  3

Portraits
Ottilie (Tilly) Ethel Leopoldine Losch
(15 Nov 1903 –
24 Dec 1975)
(m 4 Feb 1931)

Portraits

subsequently married Henry Herbert, 6th Earl of Carnarvon
sp
‑2Pamela Brinton John Elwes sp
Noel Forde son

daughter

son
‑1Diana Howard Richard Marcus Beresford
(d 19 Aug 1968)
(m 29 Jul 1938)
Patricia (Tricia) Mary Beresford
(b 1941)

Katherine (Kabby) Anne Beresford
(b 1943)

Christopher Charles Howard Beresford
(9 Jul 1946 –
Jul 2006)
‑1Pamela Howard Ian Reginald Gilfrid Karslake
(31 Aug 1902 –
30 Jan 1982)
(m 15 Sep 1939)
Sarah Vivien Karslake
(b 11 Nov 1941)

David Ian Howard Karslake
(b 9 Jun 1944)

Elizabeth Ann Karslake
(b 28 Aug 1948)
‑1Audrey Howard Ronald (Ron) John Henry Kaulback
(23 Jul 1909 –
2 Oct 1995)
(m 20 Mar 1940)
Sonia Elizabeth Kaulback
(b 19 Mar 1941)

Susan (Susie) Georgina Kaulback
(b 9 Aug 1942)

Bryan Henry Kaulback
(b 19 Jul 1948)

Peter John Kaulback
(19 Jul 1948, twin –
2 Jan 2004)
‑1Tom Howard Guy Michael Craigie Anderson
(28 Sep 1913 –
30 Jan 1944, Italy KIA)
(m 3 Feb 1939)
 
Michael Frederick Lilly
(m 17 Aug 1946)
Nigel Lilly
‑1Joan Howard Hubert Murray Sturges
(m 21 Dec 1945)
William Henry Sturges
(b 19 Feb 1949)

Rosemary Jane Sturges
(? b 29 Sep 1949)
‑1Michael Fawcus

tea planter, Kenya
Pauline Hilda Rich
(28 Nov 1921 –
6 Feb 1964)
(m Jul 1945)
Georgina Alexandra E Fawcus
(b 22 Oct 1947)
= David Bullock

Alexandra Edwina Venetia Fawcus
(b 31 Aug 1950)
= Michael I Pitcairn
(m Q3 1981, Chichester)
‑1Venetia Fawcus

Portrait
Michael Evan Worthington
(b ca 1917)
(m 22 Apr 1948)
Edward James Worthingon
= Sarah (Georgi(n)a, Harry and Victoria)

Euan (or Evan) Arthur Worthington

titan of commerce?

Alex Worthington
= Inger (Natasha, Telita)
‑1Daphne Wilson Thomas Morton Macdonald
(m 1 Sep 1945)
Ian James Macdonald
(b 8 Jan 1946)
= Josephine Reynell
(Eloise and Edward)

Neil Stuart Macdonald
(b 1 Oct 1947)

Alastair Macdonald
(5-8 May 1950)
1: Please click here for some most interesting and authoritative information sent by Ted Robbens (and gratefully utilised in this table) about the resolute and entrepreneurial patriarch Daniel James. It also corrects certain widespread misconceptions as to the sources of the James family wealth.
2: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_James_(businessman)

Please skip the following notes if you are totally uninterested in prurient scandal-mongering. No, I thought not...

  1. Edward James firmly believed that his maternal grandmother Helen Forbes (née Moncrieffe, the wife of Sir Charles Forbes) had stooped to folly with the future Edward VII and that his mother Evelyn Forbes (Mrs Willie James) was the daughter of Edward VII rather than of Sir Charles.
  2. Other contemporary social observers thought that the stooping to folly was on the part of Mrs Willie James herself some decades later, and that Edward James' father was Edward VII rather than William James himself.

    Indeed Hilaire Belloc went so far as to put some verse into the public domain about what the rich and privileged got up to after hours during house-parties at places such as West Dean. Such corridor creeping was a stock feature of smart set house parties.

    There will be bridge and booze 'till after three
    And, after that, a lot of them will grope
    Along the corridors in robes de nuit
    Pyjamas, or some other kind of dope.
    A sturdy matron will be sent to cope
    With Lord —, who isn't quite the thing,
    And give his wife the leisure to elope ...
    And Mrs James will entertain the King.

    For a fascinating and authorative account of the lifestyles of the rich and titled (the Marlborough House set) in those days, please click here and perhaps here

  3. Edward James also firmly believed that his mother Mrs Willie had stooped to folly with Sir Edward Grey (the English Foreign secretary who would later remark that the lamps were going out all over Europe), and that his sister Audrey was the result. He based his belief on the shape of her nose!

The Rude Forefather(s)

Obviously there is a limit to how far backwards or sideways one can extend a family tree, and the zone of our personal interest is anyway probably demarcated by great grandparents and second cousins – sometimes rather less!

But even at greater removes there can be isolated individuals who command our interest and/or admiration. And the remove may also lie in an almost unimaginable difference in wealth and privilege. I came from an impecunious background in which one would spend half an hour searching for a lost sixpence, whereas Edward James inherited a million pounds (50 million in today's terms) on reaching 21 and his father William James had left 20 million pounds (almost 2 billion in today's terms) back in 1912.

William James was a thoroughly good and decent man, revered by all who knew him. Even Edward doesn't have a bad word to say about him in the memoirs referenced above. He and his brothers were repatriates from America, where their grandfather and father (Daniel) had made a simply mind-boggling amount of money, firstly in copper-mining and thereafter in timber, railroads etc etc etc.

Click here for an account of his family background and marriage in 1889. The propinquity of his father-in-law's estate to Balmoral does provide circumstantial support to later allegations by his son Edward! In 1891 William purchased West Dean House 1 in Sussex and had it substantially remodelled a year or two later, and the irresistible combination of his family wealth and his wife's beauty soon made it a focal point of the social season.

Click here for a survey of the West Dean interior in those early days. Many years later, in 1964, Edward endowed it to the Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust, and it became a college in 1971, since when it has become renowned for the quality and variety of its residential courses in the creative arts.

There is little to suggest that William took much part in the social whirl, and much preferred to make better use of his time. As Edward recalled, loc cit:

My father was a remarkable man. His philanthropy wasn't just for the look of the thing, he did it because he wanted to help the human race. He gave himself to all the people on his estate. They were deeply devoted to him and he is still remembered throughout Sussex as being a most wonderful landlord and a father to the people of the estate.

He was a very busy man. He was still the chairman of many companies, and he was building the hospital wing in Chichester and was involved in the Edward VII Sanatorium ... and he always found time to read to me for an hour in the morning and an hour before I went to bed.

Touching tributes are still on record for William's generosity in providing a social clubhouse in 1885 for the people of Woolton, a village near Liverpool, where his father had settled on coming to England in about 1830, and where William had been born in 1854. A copy of his farewell note to the people of Woolton makes a fitting adieu to William himself. He died prematurely, of cancer.

His grave is located in the 'James family' corner of West Dean churchyard (I do have an excellent photograph somewhere), but there is also a very fine gun-metal grey effigy of him in the South chapel of West Dean church.

I'm delighted to see such a profusion of detail about Willie James on Wikipedia since I first took up his cause back in 2013, but it would be nice to see an acknowledgement to OrnaVerum in the References!

Memorial to Millicent James and her sisters

A service of dedication of this plaque to Willie and Evelyn James' daughters was held some years ago at St Andrew's Church, West Dean, attended (inter alia) by my wife Sonia and numerous cousins.

I myself have only attended two services in this stunningly beautiful setting – Millicent (née James) Howard's funeral in 1967 (driving to which Sonia and I in our borrowed Mini got stuck behind the hearse all the way from Midhurst to West Dean) and her daughter, my mother-in-law, Audrey (née Howard) Kaulback's memorial service in 1994. If there's anywhere closer to whatever may be Heaven this is surely it.

The plaque in memory of Evelyn James' daughters is clearly visible behind the effigy of William (Willie) James in the south transept, and the brass tablet slightly further to the east of Willie's feet, commemorating his brother Frank's unfortunately fatal encounter with a peevish pachyderm, is also prominent.

This service, however, was very nicely documented for posterity by Sharon Sharon-Michi Kusunoki, at that time senior administrator at the West Dean College.

Another plaque in the church was in all probability placed by West Dean College themselves at the time of the funeral service for Edward James himself in 1984.

He had been buried in the gardens of West Dean

www.findagrave.com/cemetery/2451107/st-roche's-arboretum

The 49-acre St Roche's arboretum was started in the 1830s. Edward James kept his golden pheasants in the arboretum and made a significant contribution to its planting, specialising in exotic, pendulous, contorted and twisted trees. It is appropriate that this should be his final resting place. He is buried beneath a massive slab of Cumbrian slate inscribed by local artist John Skelton with the simple words 'Edward James, Poet 1907 - 1984'. It was as a poet that Edward wished to be remembered.

There is, however, another family memorial closely connected with the church, a magnificent lychgate leading from the public lane outside to the churchyard, and inscribed collectively from all five of her offspring to Willie's wife, Evelyn (née Forbes) James.

Public and private recollections often conflict, and I think (without further ado and another sojourn in the potting shed) the date on which this was unveiled (so to speak) to Willie and Evelyn's descendants was 30 Sep 1995.

Despite its historical family connections with the James family, West Dean Church and its churchyard are of course Church Commissioners' territory, and these funerals and memorial services should not disguise the unease with which various key descendants of Willie and Evelyn James view the course that the West Dean College have taken, in regards to what the aged patrician, erstwhile Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, once referred to as "selling off the family silver", and the gradual corporate PR disconnection from the family heritage. Audrey Kaulback and Venetia Fawcus were particularly critical of both these tendencies, but now that generation has passed away, the snows of yesteryear have blurred the issues. But you might still like to review them in retrospect1,  2...