This fine Victorian Gentleman is James Welch. He was the middle of three James Welches all of whom had close connections with Market Lavington. He was photographed by a Salisbury photographer in about 1895. The photo is of the type known as a carte de visite and measures some 9 by 6½ centimetres.
This James Welch was born in about 1856 in Glamorgan in Wales. In 1861 the family lived at Michaelstone, near Cardiff in Glamorgan where father, James Welch was the assistant manager at an iron works. Older children had been born in Battersea so the family had not moved to Wales all that long before our James was born.
We haven’t located our James on the 1871 census but his parents and some siblings were living at Beech House, White Street, Market Lavington. James senior was living on interest from money.
In 1881 our James was back with his parents at Beech House. He was now aged 25, but is not listed as having any kind of occupation. An interesting visitor to the house was 24 year old Annie Earle who was born in Lambeth in London.
Our James married Annie in 1887 in a ceremony in East London.
In 1891 this part of the Welch family were living on Church Street in Market Lavington. The older daughter had been born in East London, but James (the third) aged 2 was Market Lavington born. Our James was secretary of the Wiltshire Agricultural Society. The same two children were with parents on Church Street in 1901 and 1911.
James was a founder member of Market Lavington Parish Council and its chairman from 1915 to 1919.
James died in 1927. The Market Lavington church burial record gives his address as Spring Villa on Church Street but the death was registered in Weymouth.
For the record the third James had a daughter who became Peggy Gye, founder of Market Lavington Museum.
Also for the record, James Lye, the Market Lavington Fuchsia grower produced varieties which he called James Welch and Annie Earle. Annie Earle still exists but many people would like James Welch to be re-discovered.