St James, Bath

Status: 
Closed
Number of Burials: 
9,905 (from 1718 to 1855)
Number of Memorials: 
0

From A New Guide through Bath and Its Environs by Rev Richard Warner (1811):”The parish Church of St. James was built, about 43 years ago, on the scite (sic) of its old dilapidated place of worship. Mr. Palmer, an architect, of Bath, designed and began it in 1768. ... A square tower rises at the western end, built in 1726, which contains a musical set of eight bells. No monuments are permitted to be placed in this church; a regulation that preserves its elegant simplicity entire.”

The original burial ground for the parish of St James was located between Lower Borough Walls and St James’ Parade.

The location of the original St James’ burial ground (red), and St James’ church (orange).

The remains of the graveyard

In 1775 the roadway of Lower Borough Walls was widened taking in a part of the burial ground. The burial ground was closed in 1855. In 1925 it was proposed that the ground be the site of a Men’s Club, but the parish council “decided that the time was inopportune and asked that the scheme be held in abeyance for 12 months.” The Parks Committee attempted to obtain the burial ground as a playground in 1926. From The Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette of Sat 23 Nov 1929 “The Bath Parks Committee wanted the St. James’ Old Burial Ground in the Lower Borough Walls in order to lay it out with flower beds and place seats therein for the aged. But the Parochial Church Council have refused their request. ... Mr. Bray remarked that the church authorities put seats in it and opened it, but the privilege was abused by youngsters, and it was closed again”. The area is now a park and there are no memorials which survive in situ. Some stones were moved to paths surrounding St Philip & St James, Odd Down.

Burials per year_0.png

Number of burials per year

There were also burials in the crypt of the church. St James’ church was severely damaged in the Bath Blitz and was eventually demolished and the site sold. Volume 3 of the Bath Abbey Cemetery’s burial books has a record of the re-burial of remains from St James’s church on 11-Feb-1960:

“A number of bodies in lead coffins and many human bones, buried under the church of St James Bath were removed prior to the sale of the site of the ruined church and re-intered (sic) by the Archdeacon of Bath, the Venerable Arthur Cook, in a plot of the ground at the lower (or extreme north) corner of the Abbey Cemetery, in the presence of the former Churchwardens of the parish of St James. G. H. Deacon and L. F. Hooper on the 11th February 1960.”

Some Notable People

Clement Boehm (-1804)

From The Scots Magazine ... for 1804 Vol LXVI p645:

June 9, At Bath, suddenly, Clement Boehm, Esq. remarkable for travelling on foot, and unattended, thro’ Europe.

Gentleman’s Magazine Vol LXXIV Jul-Dec 1804 p697 also has an obituary.

Rt Hon Anne Wolfe, Viscountess Kilwarden (-1804)

Youngest daughter of Lord Kilwarden, Chief Justice of Ireland, who was in the carriage with her father when he was killed in Dublin in July 1803 during the unsuccessful rebellion led by Robert Emmet.

Marquis de Roupecey (-1806)

From The Universal Magazine Vol V Jan-Jun p379: Died] ... At Bath, the Marquis de Roupecey, a French emigrant, long resident in that city, whose eminent piety and misfortunes endeared him to all who knew him.

Admiral Henry Trollope (1756-1839)

Having joined the Royal Navy at the age of 14, he participated in the American War 1775-1783. At the end of the war he lived in Wales before returning to sea in 1790 as a captain. He served in the war against Revolutionary France and was made a Knight Companion of the Order of the Bath for his service at the Battle of Camperdown in 1797 against the Dutch Batavian Republic.

Clement Wilson Cruttwell (1781-1816)

Surgeon to the General Dispensary, Bath.

George Stothert (1754-1818)

Founder of an ironmongery firm which later became the world-renowned Stothert & Pitt.

 

Documentation: 

Register of St James Vol I – Baptisms 1569-1685; Marriages 1568-1650; Burials 1569-1689. Typescript and surname index. [Bath Central Library]

Register of St James Vol II – Baptisms 1718-1782; Marriages 1718-1754; Burials 1718-1782. Typescript and surname index. [Bath Central Library]

Register of St James Vol IV – Baptisms 1783-1812; Burials 1782-1812. Typescript and surname index. [Bath Central Library]

'Tablet inscriptions inside of Bath St James church - Somerset Record Office DD/X/CBN4.

Extracts From the Burial Register of St James’, Bath appears in The Genealogist Vol IX. However, comparison with the transcripts shows a significant number of omissions for the period 1657-1762 covered.

Burial Register Microfiches: 1569-1859 [Bath Record Office]

Transcripts / Indexes:     Bap., Marr., Bur.,  1569-1840 [Bath Record Office]

St James, Bath - Burial Register Entries 1718-1857 - Name Index, P J Bendall (2013) [Bath Record Office]

National Burial Index 3: 10,203 entries (1569-1853)