Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/James, John (1729-1785)

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1398664Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 29 — James, John (1729-1785)1892James Tait

JAMES, JOHN, D.D. (1729–1785), schoolmaster, born in 1729, son of Thomas James of Thornbarow, Cumberland, entered Queen's College, Oxford, as batler 6 June 1745, was elected taberdar 27 June 1751, proceeded B.A. 28 June 1751, and M.A. 7 Feb. 1755. On 11 April 1754 he became curate of Stanford Dingley, near Reading, and in 1755 head-master of St. Bees School, where he remained till 1771, and met with much success. He accepted in 1771 the lord chancellor's nomination to the vicarage of Kirk Oswald, near Penrith, but preferred to serve the curacy of Arthuret, near Carlisle, which was soon afterwards offered to him. He never resided at Kirk Oswald, and after paying the emoluments to a deputy for three years resigned the living in 1774. On 15 Feb. 1782 he was presented to the rectories of Arthuret and Kirk Andrews, proceeding B.D. and D.D. at Oxford as grand compounder on 1 March following. Dying at Arthuret 1 Jan. 1785, he was buried in the chancel of Arthuret Church. He married in 1757 Ann Grayson of Lamonby Hall, by whom he had four sons and three daughters.

The second son, John James (1760–1786), became a member of his father's college, won the Latin prize poem in 1782, the subject being Columbus, and graduated B.A. 4 July 1782. He took orders 1783–4, was appointed to a lectureship at Grosvenor Chapel, South Audley Street, London, and on his father's death was presented to the livings of Arthuret and Kirk Andrews. He died from the results of an accident 23 Oct. 1786, leaving a widow and one daughter. Richard Radcliffe's letters to his father, the correspondence which passed between his father and himself while he was in residence at Oxford, the letters of both father and son addressed to Jonathan Boucher [q. v.], the son's Latin poem on Columbus, and his Greek translation of an extract from Gay's ‘Fan,’ were printed in 1888 for the Oxford Historical Society in ‘Letters of Richard Radcliffe and John James.’ Both father and son are shown in a very amiable light.

The youngest son, Hugh James (1771–1817), after studying in London and Edinburgh, practised as a surgeon at Whitehaven (1796–8); in 1803 removed to Carlisle; completely lost his sight in 1806, but continued his surgical practice at Carlisle till his death in 1817.

[Letters of Richard Radcliffe and John James, Oxford, 1888; Foster's Alumni Oxonienses (1715–1886), ii. 740.]

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