yeovil people

James upton

Yeovil Solicitor and Gentleman

 

James Upton was born around 1730 at Pendomer (about five miles southwest of Yeovil), the son of Reverend James Upton of Pendomer (1699-1728) and Martha née Hacker. James was baptised at Pendomer on 5 June 1730. James and Martha had lost a baby son, also James, the previous year while their other son John (b1734) went on to become a surgeon.

James became an attorney and practiced in Yeovil. He was referred to as 'James Upton the Younger, gent' on a lease for the Higher Three Cups (later the Castle Inn, Middle Street) dated 9 January 1756 - "William Coker, late of Mappowder, now of Wimborne, Dorset, gent / Richard Seymer of Iberton, Dorset, gent., (eldest son and heir of Robert Seymer late of Bell Chillwell, Dorset, decd.). James Upton the younger of Yeovil, gent., Joseph Hodges, innholder of Yeovil - Messuage called the Higher Three Cups in Pitt Lane or Middle Street..."

James Upton and his wife, Elizabeth, had at least five sons; George Proctor, James (1763-1844), John, Charles and Francis.

In 1767 James was recorded as taking on a clerk by the name of James Upton Tripp (he was a first cousin of James Upton - his mother was James’s father’s sister) and James' son George Proctor was also articled to his father - his Articles of Clerkship, sworn in Yeovil and dated 10 April 1782 and sworn in London and dated 17 June 1782, are shown below - in which his father is described as "James Upton of Yeovil in the County of Somerset Gentleman one of the Attorneys of his Majesty's Court of Common Pleas and a Solicitor of the High Court of Chancery". James was listed as an Attorney of Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, in Bailey's British Directory of 1784. 

In his will dated 3 April 1782 James left one hundred pounds (around £210,000 at 2017's value) but the rest of his estate to be equally divided between his five sons. He directed that he be buried at St Roch's church, Pendomer, even stipulating "the Vault to be covered over with an Hamdon Hill Stone with an Inscription to be ungraved thereon very bare and to be filled with Lead". The stone is shown below. More surprisingly, and perhaps indicating a fear of being buried alive, he requested "that my Coffin be not nailed down or my Body interred till it is plainly turned into a State of Putrefaction". Nice.

James died on 26 August 1784, aged 54, and his will was proved in London on 30 September. His law practice was continued by his son George Proctor Upton and later by George's son-in-law, Francis Theophilus Robins.

 

See Upton Family Tree

 

The Last Will and Testament of James Upton

 

 

This is the last Will and Testament of me James Upton of Yeovil in the County of Somerset Gentleman First I give devise and bequeath unto my five Sons George Proctor James John Charles and Francis all my Freehold Customary Chattles and Leasehold Estates of what nature or kindsoever I shall [words illegible] of interested in or intitled unto wether in possession in revertion or remainder equally between them share and share alike as Tenants in common and not as joint Tenants and unto their several and respective Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns Also I give and bequeath unto my said five Sons all my Goods Chattels and Personal Estate of what nature or kindsoever I shall [In ?] possessed of interested in or intitled unto their several and respective Executors Administrators and Assigns And I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth my wife the sum of One hundred Pounds of lawful Money to be paid her in one year after my decease and I charge and make chargeable all my Real and Personal Estates with the payment of the same and I direct that my Body be buried in the most plain and frugal manner in a vault to be made [words illegible] Church to the Parish Church of Pendomer I give the Preference the Vault to be covered over with an Hamdon Hill Stone with an Inscription to be ungraved thereon very bare and to be filled with Lead and I desire that my Coffin be not nailed down or my Body interred till it is plainly turned into a State of Putrefaction And lastly I nominate constitute and appoint my Brothers in Law Mr Andrew Everton the Rev Mr Jenkins of Yeatminster in the County of Dorset Clerk and my Son George Proctor Upton Executors of this my last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal this third day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty two - James Upton - Signed Sealed Published and declared by the Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at his request and in the presence of him and of each other do subscribe our Hands as Witnesses thereunto - Robt Buncombe - Tho Sweeting - Prockter Thomas

This Will was proved at London this thirtieth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty four before the Right Worshipful Petr Calvert Doctor of Laws Master Keeper or Commysary of the Perogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the oaths of Andrew Everton and the Reverend William Jenkins Clerk two of the Executors named in the said Will to whom Administration was granted of all and singular the Goods Chattels Credits of the said deceased they having been first sworn by Commission duly to administer Power reserved of making the like grant to George Proctor Upton the Son of the deceased and the other Executor named in the said Will when he shall apply for the same

 

Transcribed by Bob Osborn 

 

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The Articles of Clerkship of George Proctor Upton, sworn in Yeovil and dated 10 April 1782.

 


The Articles of Clerkship of George Proctor Upton, sworn in London and dated 17 June 1782.

 

The Ham Hill stone memorial to James Upton, still retaining its lead infill, in the chancel of St Roch's church, Pendomer. Photographed in 2008.