James Bates 1803-1891

James Bates was my 3 x Great Grandfather and the Father of James Bates 1842-1913.

He was born in Sutton Valence, Kent in 1803 to Thomas and Mary and was baptised on 3rd April at St Mary's. Sutton Valence is a village some five miles SE of Maidstone, Kent, England on the Greensand Ridge overlooking the Vale of Kent and Weald.

James had 4 older siblings, 1 younger and 2 older half sisters, that I have found so far.

In around 1836, at the age of 33, he married Caroline Mary Bell. As compulsory national records did not start until 1837 I have found no documentary evidence of the marriage to date.

Their daughter Caroline was born in St Pancras, London around 1840. James was a Police Sergeant in the City of London Police at the time.

The 1841 census shows James and Caroline living in Dunstable Street, Ampthill, Bedfordshire with their one year old daughter, Caroline.  I cannot make out James’ occupation as the writing on the census document is faded but it could be Superintendent of Police, which is on the next 2 censuses as a professional police force was started in Bedfordshire in 1839 with the Chief Constable, 6 Superintendents and 40 constables.

James’ wife, Caroline, died in 1849. So the 1851 census shows James as a widower living with 3 children, including my 2 x  gt grandfather, James, and a housekeeper at 99 Dunstable Street, Ampthill. This address was listed in 1951 as of historic interest. His occupation is now definitely Police Superintendent. He was also an Inspector of Weights and Measures.

St Anne, Limehouse

On 10th December 1852 James married Mary Thurman in St Annes, the  Parish Church of Limehouse, East London. 

I have found records of some of the cases that James dealt with including the case of George Stokes, accused of obtaining a leather horse collar and a carpenter's rule by false pretences and the case of Thomas Newman & John Williams, alias James Webb, accused of passing counterfeit coins and the case of William Peat and Robert Appleby charged with destroying or damaging one peach tree, 3 pear trees. one cherry tree, 6 plum trees, 6 apple trees, 2 walnut trees, one cedar tree, and many other trees and shrubs growing in a garden, orchard and pleasure ground belonging to Charles Moore Esq. at Maulden on 30 March 1844, causing damage exceeding £1

The 1861 Census shows the family has grown to 6 children and they are living  in the Police Office in Hog Hill, Ampthill, Beds. (Hog Hill is now known as Brewery Lane). James is still Police Superintendent.                                                                                                                                          

​By the time of the 1871 census, James is 68 and is listed as having no occupation – hopefully having retired on a Police Pension. On census day he is visiting his son, Albert in West Bromwich. Albert was married to Maria Hamblet who was one of the family who owned the Hamblet brickworks. Albert is shown as a brick manufacturer and so had entered his wife’s family business. His family (wife and 6 children) are living at 13 Dunstable Street, Ampthill, which was a more modest house than number 99.

In 1881 the family still have 4 daughters at home in 104 Bedford Street, Ampthill. All the women have a job.

By 1891, James is 88. He and Mary are living with their youngest daughter, Amelia, at 149 Bedford Street, Ampthill. James died later the same year and was buried in Ampthill on 4th January 1892.

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