The Document Chest

James Pope

Yeoman of Larkhill Farm


James Pope was born at Folke (just south of Sherborne), Dorset, in 1785 and baptised at St Lawrence's church, Folke, on 9 August 1785. He was the son of William and Mary Pope, who had six sons and one daughter, all born at Folke; George (b1778), John (b1779), William (b1781), Thomas (b1784), James,  Richard (1788-1862) and Mary (b1790).

On 30 October 1804, at Holy Trinity, Frome, James married Elizabeth Timbury of Nunney. Frome. Known as Betty, she was the daughter of James and Jane Timbury of Beckington, Frome, and was baptised at Beckington on 29 May 1803.

James was a tenant farmer but his farming career is difficult to establish. Certainly in 1832 he was a tenant farmer of Yeovil Marsh and in 1843 he is known to have been a tenant farmer of several fields totalling 112 acres, distributed across Yeovil Marsh and Ashington (72 acres), Mudford (20 acres) and Yeovil (20 acres) - see Gallery.

James wrote his will (see below) in 1852, but died in late 1856. He was buried at Yeovil on 9 February 1856.


For the 1821 will of James' mother, Mary Pope, - click here




A notice of the sale of two plots of land being farmed by James Pope as the tenant farmer from the 5 March 1832 edition of the Western Flying Post.


A notice of the letting of several plots of land, totaling 120 acres, being farmed by James Pope as the tenant farmer, from the 18 November 1843 edition of the Western Flying Post.


The 1852 will of James Pope


This is the last Will and Testament of me James Pope of Larkhill in the parish of Yeovil in the County of Somerset Yeoman I appoint my wife Elizabeth Pope and my sons William Pope and Thomas pope Executrix and Executors hereof I give to my grandson James Pope my Silver Watch I give to my own two sons William and Thomas all the plate that was mine before my marriage with my present wife to be taken and divided as equally as can be between them at my decease I give unto my said wife Elizabeth Pope the silver watch and all the plate which was hers before our marriage absolutely and I give to my said wife the use during her life of such of my household goods as she shall select And I direct my Executrix and Executors to convert all my farming stock implements in husbandry and dairy Utensils and other my personal property and effects not hereinbefore bequeathed (except the household property hereinafter mentioned) as soon as they can into money and out of the same and any ready money of which I may be possessed at my death to pay my just debts and funeral and testamentary expenses and to place out the residue at interest on government or real security and the interest and income arising therefrom I give to my said wife for her life And also I give to my said wife for her life my share of the leasehold premises and property at Clotfurlong in the parish of Folke in the County of Dorset held by me and my brother Richard jointly if my term and interest therein shall so long continue and upon and from my said wifes decease my desire is that the whole of my property estate and effects then remaining shall go and belong to my said sons equally And my Will further is that in case the interest and income arising from the investment hereinbefore directed to be made shall not amount to twenty six pounds per annum then that amount shall be made up to my said wife out of the principal And that such yearly sum shall be reckoned in favor of my said wife as growing due from the day of my death I revoke all Wills by me heretofore made In Witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my hand this twenty seventh day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty two

James Pope

Signed by the said James Pope in the presence of us both present at the same time and attested and subscribed by us in his presence the word "Brother" being written between the two bottom lines on the other side

Thomas Phelps   Ann Phelps   both of Yeovil Somerset


Proved at London 23rd of Dec[embe]r 1856 Before the Judge by the oaths of Elizabeth Pope Widow the Relict and William Pope and Thomas Pope the Sons the Ex[ecut]ors to whom Adm[inistrati]on was granted having been first sworn by Com[missi]on duly to adm[iniste]r



Transcribed by Bob Osborn