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James Freeth [fh.]

James Freeth was the seventh child of Samuel Freeth & Frances Grigg christened March 13th, 1808 at Smethwick, Staffs.

James married Maria Vezey on July 4th, 1831 at St Peter Paul, Aston Juxta, Birmingham. Witnesses at the wedding were Maria’s father William Vezey & Mary Bibb. Maria was the daughter of Elizabeth & William Vezey (Veysey) born March 9th, 1810 & christened May 26th, 1810 at Mares Green Independent, West Bromwich.

At the time of the birth of their first son, Samuel, James’ occupation was given as ‘caster’

By 1841 James & Maria were living at Ling Road, Lingfield, West Bromwich with their 5 children – Samuel (9), Elizabeth (7), Fanny (5), Maria (3) & James (1). The family were listed as Freesh in the index! James was described as a labourer at this time, but he was also noted as an iron caster on the baptism records of some of his children. Living next door in Ling Road were Maria’s parents, William (60) & Elizabeth (50) Veasey. William was a boiler maker.

James & Maria raised their family in West Bromwich where they were living at the time of the 1851 census at Moor St. James was now a shop keeper & they had 9 children – Samuel (19), a glass maker, Fanny (15), Mary (13), James (11), Maria (6), Jane (4), William (2), David (1). Sadly David died later that year. Daughter Elizabeth (16) had left home & was living at Wood Lane, West Bromwich where she was an apprentice straw bonnet maker with the Skidmore family.

By 1861 James & Maria were living at the Pheasant Inn & grocers shop, Albert St, West Bromwich & James’ occupation was a publican. Children at home were James, Maria, Jane, William & Louisa (7). Living with them was their son-in-law Joseph Poulton who had married daughter Elizabeth in 1854 & their son James Poulton (6). It is presumed that Elizabeth had died as no further record of her was found.

An article in the Birmingham Daily Post of November 27th, 1865 reported that James Freeth, beerhouse keeper of Albert St, pleaded guilty to keeping his house open for the sale of liquor during prohibited hours on Sunday November 19th.  James was fined 40shillings and costs!

In 1871 James & Maria were still living at Albert St where James was still a publican. Only 2 children were still at home – William (22) a bundler at the iron works & Louisa (17).

Maria died aged 64 in Oct-December 1874 at West Bromwich.

James died died on March 7th, 1875, aged 65, & was buried on March 9th, 1875 at West Bromwich cemetery.  James’ will was proved on March 23rd, 1875 at Lichfield by James Whitehouse of Barrows St, West Bromwich, whitesmith, & James Simcox of Spon Lane, West Bromwich, glassmaker.  James’ effects were under £1,500.

The children of James Freeth & Maria Vezey were:

fh. Samuel Freeth christened April 29th, 1832 at Old Church, Smethwick; died Jan-March 1897 at Smethwick
fh. Elizabeth Freeth christened August 10th, 1834 at Old Church, Smethwick; died 1857/58 in West Bromwich
fh. Fanny Freeth christened March 6th, 1836 at Old Church, Smethwick; died April 2nd, 1907 at 20 Pitt St, West Bromwich
fh. Mary Freeth christened February 18th, 1838 at Old Church, Smethwick; died March 22nd, 1907 at 21 Cambridge St, West Bromwich
fh. James Freeth born West Bromwich & christened March 8th, 1840 at Old Church, Smethwick; died January 15th, 1922 at 289 High St, West Bromwich
fh. Maria Freeth born West Bromwich & christened February 6th, 1844 at Christ Church, West Bromwich
fh. Jane Freeth born September 1st, 1846 & christened September 20th, 1846 at Christ Church, West Bromwich; died February 25th, 1921 at West Bromwich
fh. William Freeth born at Moor Street, West Bromwich & christened August 29th, 1848 at Christ Church, West Bromwich; died January 2nd, 1912 at Smethwick
fh. David Freeth christened February 20th, 1850 at Christ Church, West Bromwich; died at Moor St, West Bromwich & buried December 30th, 1851 at Christ Church, West Bromwich
fh. Louisa Freeth born September 6th, 1853, christened October 16th, 1853 at Christ Church, West Bromwich, died December 13th,1944 at Arthog, Wales


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