James Richmond 1757-1826

Publican Lobster Smack

We have recently found the Will and a Codicil for James Richmond they were dated 1813 and 1824 respectively.  We had no idea who James Richmond was or his connection with Canvey so the papers were very enlightening.

The codicil begins:-

I, James Richmond of Canvey Island, in the Parish of South Bemfleet in the County of Essex this 25th day of November 1824. Do hereby annex this as my last will and desire to my former will, Dated the 24th day of March 1813 — It having pleased Almighty God to spare my Life to see my two children arrive to the Age of twenty one Years.

It goes on to mention his wife Susan and children James and Susan. So a little more is known.  It was not until we looked at the actual will that the penny dropped.

The will begins:-

I, James Richmond of that part of Canvey Island which is in the Parish of South Bemfleet in the County of Essex Victualler………………….

Canvey! Victualler! What pubs were on Canvey in 1813-1826? The Red Cow and the Lobster Smack of course. It was then that the name Richmond started ringing bells and it has been confirmed that Susannah (Susan) Richmond was the Inn Keeper of the Lobster Smack in 1828 according to the Alehouse Recognizances.

James Richmond was born c1757 possibly in Burnham (to be confirmed). He married Susanna c1798 and had two children James b1799 and Susan b1800 both born South Bemfleet. (Canvey??) We know he was the Victualler at the Lobster Smack in 1813 but when the family actually arrived on Canvey Island we do not know. The baptism of the children or the parent’s marriage have not yet been found.

Another section of the codicil states:-

And that on the third day of December, 1823, I having given my eldest child, my son James, in the Parish of Rayleigh my Farming Crops, Stock and Implements to the Amount of Five Hundred Pounds.

So James Snr owned a farm in Rayleigh and passed it onto his son James Jnr in 1823. We have confirmed this, we found the son at the farm in the 1841 and 1851 census. The farm was Weir Farm and James Jnr is stated in the 1851 census as being a farmer employing 2 men. He was there with his wife Susannah/Susan and five children. The couple were married in 1836 possibly Thundersley. The wife was Susan Knightbridge. (There is also some indication that Susan was his second wife)

Reading the will and codicil it would appear that James Snr was the owner of Freeholds, Copyholds etc. But it does not mention the Lobster Smack specifically. So did he own it and if so from when? Perhaps we will find out in the future.

What else do we know? James Snr died on the 12 Jun 1826 and was buried four days later at St Mary the Virgin, South Benfleet. We have not found his wife’s death recorded anywhere as yet.

His son died c1859 in Rayleigh, his wife and youngest daughter were still living at Weir Farm in 1871.

What else will we find?

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