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James Freeth [fh.]

James Freeth was the fifth child of James Freeth & Maria Vezey born in West Bromwich & christened March 8th, 1840 at Smethwick, Staffs.

At the time of the 1851 census James was living at home with his parents, brothers & sisters at Moore St, West Bromwich.

In 1861 he was still at home at the Pheasant Inn, Albert St, West Bromwich.

James married Mary Eliza Owen in Jan-March 1866 at All Saints, West Bromwich. Mary was born July-September 1842 at Aston, Warwickshire, the daughter of Sarah & Thomas Owen, a brush maker.

Their first child, Thomas, was born in December 1866 & a daughter, Edith Lizzie, followed in April-June 1868. Sadly Edith died in July-September 1869 at West Bromwich.

The Birmingham Daily Gazette of June 21st, 1869 reported on a case brought against James Freeth, a grocer & provision dealer of High St, West Bromwich.  James was found guilty of having a pair of scales in his shop which were one and three quarter ounces out of balance caused by a loose piece of lead in the scale.  He was fined £3.12s & advised that of there was another such case brought against him he may be accused of  obtaining money by false pretences.

In 1871 James & Mary (Freett in index) were living in the High St, West Bromwich where James was a grocer. They had 2 children Thomas L G (4) & William H (1). They had a domestic servant, Fanny Harris.

James & Mary (listed as Sarah Eliz in census) were at 289 High St, West Bromwich in 1881 where James continued to be a grocer. They now had 6 children Thomas, William, James Wilfred (9), Albert Ernest (8), Florie Maria (6) & Edith Sarah (3). They had 1 general & 2 domestic servants. Sadly Edith Sarah died, aged 4, the following year.

In 1891 the family were still at 289/287 High St & James' sons Thomas, William & Albert were now assisting their father in the grocer's shop. Also at home were James, an art student, Florence, Harold (7). They had 2 domestic servants. The Birmingham Daily Post of July10th, 1891 carried an article about a meeting of the temperance movement at Freeth’s coffee house, High St.  There being no temperance society in existence in West Bromwich, it was proposed to form the West Bromwich Total Abstinence Society & Band of Hope Union.  James was one of the instigators of this & was also appointed secretary of the society.

In Kelly's directory of Staffordshire, 1896, James was listed as owning a coffee house at 287 High St & his grocer's shop was number 289 High St.

Mary Eliza died on February 4th, 1900,  aged 57, at 289 High St, West Bromwich.  Probate was granted to widowed James on January 25th, 1909 & her effects were £279.4s.6d.

Widowed James continued to live at 289/287 High St & in 1901 he was being assisted in the grocer's shop by son Thomas. Also at home were Florence & Harold who was a carpenter's apprentice. The family had a cook, a housemaid & a general servant.

James was still running his family grocery business on the High St at the time of the 1911 census at the age of 71. Thomas continued to assist him & their housekeeper was daughter Florence. Harold, now a carpenter, was still at home. They had 2 domestic servants.

James died on January 15th 1922, aged 81, at 289 Hight St, West Bromwich.  Probate was granted at Lichfield on February 23rd, 1922 to sons Thomas Lewellyn Owen Freeth & William Herbert Freeth, both grocers, & to daughter Florence Mary Knifton & Leonard Henry Adcock, solicitor.  His effects were £731.3s.9d.


The children of James Freeth & Mary Eliza Owen were:

fh. Thomas Lewellyn Owen Freeth born December 21st, 1866 at West Bromwich & christened February 3rd, 1867 at West Bromwich Wesleyan Methodist Church; died February 2nd, 1941 at Sandwell Nursing Home, West Bromwich

fh. William Herbert Freeth born February 6th, 1870 at West Bromwich, Staffs; died December 2nd,1963 at 23 Warley Croft, Quinton, Birmingham

fh. James Wilfred Freeth born February 4th, 1872 at West Bromwich, Staffs; died December 11th, 1940 at 1Beresford House, Cirencester, Gloucs

fh. Albert Ernest Freeth born Jan-March 1873 at West Bromwich, Staffs; died March 13th 1920 at 289 High St, West Bromwich

fh. Florence Mary Freeth born November 11th, 1874 at West Bromwich, Staffs; died December 25th, 1948 at West Denbighshire Hospital, Colwyn Bay, Wales

fh. Edith Sarah Freeth born Oct-December 1877 at West Bromwich, Staffs; died Jan-March 1882 at West Bromwich

fh. Harold Leopold Marsh Freeth born June 28th, 1883 at West Bromwich, Staffs; died on May 24th, 1941 at Sandwell Nursing Home, West Bromwich



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