James Douglas, Watchmaker of Egham High Street and Martha Ann Boyce - my great great grandparents



James Douglas and Martha Ann Boyce.

James Douglas was born on 9th February 1806 in Chertsey, Surrey to James Douglass and Mary Varnden. His father and Grandfather, both called James Douglass, were watch and clockmakers at Chertsey, which profession James also followed in due course. James Douglass senior (the grandfather) has a number of clocks in Chertsey Museum. The present James seemed to mostly drop the extra ‘s’ in Douglass.

Incidentally James's baptismal record gives his parents as James Douglas and Elizabeth, relationships in censuses show he is a brother to Albert. Also Sophia Varnden in her will calls James a son of her sister Mary Douglas.

James married Martha Ann Boyce (left) on 25th December 1833 at St Marylebone London. Martha was the youngest daughter of George Boyce, the baker of Middle Hill and Martha née Pierce. She was born on 4th May 1813 at Egham. James’s father died in 1835, and by 1835, James junior had set up in Egham High Street as a watchmaker. James died on 6th April 1879 in Egham and Martha on the 29th September 1880. James was buried on the 10th April 1879 at St John's Egham, and Martha Ann on the 30th September 1880, also at St John's.

James also became the local registrar of births, deaths in 1843. He also became the registrar for marriages in 1861. He held this position until at least 1871. He had expressed the desire that his son Frederick should take on this role in the future, but this did not happen. One of his clocks is on show in Egham Museum, and a barometer made by him is still in family hands to this day. Another has been offered for sale. On the 31st of March 1837, James foiled an attempt at robbery of his shop. James called out that he was fetching his gun, and the robber ran off. This was reported in the Windsor and Eton Express. For an account of this incident see this page here

James also sold fireworks from his shop. Newspaper articles show that he was prosecuted for selling fireworks in 1853, in at least in 1862 obtained a licence (to sell them) and was selling them still in 1868. An advertisement for fireworks in 1868 gives the shop's location as opposite the King's Head

James and Martha had six children, all born in Egham: -

Elizabeth Boyce Douglas was born in 1835, and baptised 8th May 1835 at Egham, she married John Donaldson, a farm bailiff, on St John’s Waterloo on 28th Jul 1856. She died on 18th September 1867, probably at Woolbeding Sussex. They had 6 children, born at various places around the South of England. John died on 1st December 1868 at Stedham leaving the children to be brought up by the families on both sides. See here.

James Douglas was on born 25th Dec 1837, and baptised 21st January 1838, he married Emily Ann Harris on 16th Apr 1862 at Weybridge. He died on 31st Aug 1920 at Torquay. They had 7 children, see here. He opened the first tobacconist’s shop in Torquay. Emily died on 20th January 1911 at Torquay.

George Boyce Douglas was born on 20th Oct 1841,and baptised on 14th November 1841, he married Frances Louisa Dolby on 19th Jan 1867 at St Peter’s Bolton. He died on 25th Jan 1905 at Prestwich Lunatic Asylum. Frances died on 1st January 1908 in Bury District. They had 9 children, see here. He claimed to have studied medicine at the University of Philadelphia Medical School, and became a GP in Lancashire, also acting a doctor to some of the local coal mines. However he was prosecuted for practicing without a licence, view here.

Archibald Douglas was born on 14th Jan 1844, and baptised on the 4th February 1844, he did not marry and died in January quarter 1924 in Brentford district. He attended the St George’s Chapel School like his brother James. He was apparently a cook or baker for most of his life. He was involved in a court case, where he had been duped, along with other Egham townspeople, by a woman call appropriately Annie Cheetham. She was brought to trial at Southwark Court for obtaining goods by deception, see here.

Frederick Douglas, my great grandfather, was born on 26th Sep 1850, and baptised on 23rd October 1850, he married Clara Maria Clarke on 29th March 1881 in St Mary's, Lambeth. He died on the 15th October 1901 in Egham. leaving 7 children, see here. After learning bakery at his Uncle Albert’s in Middle Hill, he opened his own bakery in Egham High Street. The bakery continued until around 1970, when Ethel died,  then the premises were knocked down and a new building erected. See baker’s here

Martha Pierce Douglas, known as Pattie, was born on 31st Jul 1858, and baptised on 29th September 1858, she married a hotel proprietor John Edward Stanley from Leamington in Warwickshire (who had been married twice before) on 25th Nov 1886 at All Saints Warwick. Martha died on 12th July 1900 in Llandudno. John had died on 11th Jan 1894 in Wellesbourne, Warwickshire, just over a year after being made bankrupt. They had no children. See here.

St Marylebone, London

There is no photo of Elizabeth Boyce Donaldson. 

Frederick Douglas

George Boyce Douglas
apparently a GP in Bolton,

but practising without a licence

Archibald Douglas,
a chef/baker
James Douglas,
a tobacconist from Torquay
Frederick Douglas,
a baker

Martha Pierce Douglas, Pattie’, married

John Edward Stanley, proprietor of Crown Hotel, Leamington

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