Life story retold by Katie Amos
James Plim was christened on 4 Jan 1828 in St Mary’s Reading. He was born in 1827/8 in St Mary’s, Reading. He first appears in the census returns in 1841 in Thorn Street, Reading as the son of Daniel and Rebecca Plim, age 14.
At the end of December 1849 he had an accident in town, which was reported in the Reading Mercury (5.1.1850) – Accidents. Admitted in patients of the Royal Berkshire Hospital, on the 29th ultimo:………..And on the same day, James Plim, with his leg broken, from a fall on the pavement in Broad Street.
In the 1851 census James was at 17 Thorn Street, Reading, a fishmonger shopworker, age 23. This may have been for the Cock’s family as in July 1859 he is back in the newspapers again:
From the Reading Mercury:
“Charge of assault. James Plim, a respectable young man, attended to a summons charging him with having assaulted John Cocks, junr, on the 20th inst.”
The basis of the case is that James was preparing three parcels to send to Calcutta and was filling in the relevant paperwork when John Cocks came up and attempted to fill the document out himself. James took objection to having his work tampered with and pushed him away. John walked away and James followed, so John went to his uncle, then back to where the packages were. Plim pushed him and he fell, badly bruising his elbow. A witness – David Saunders – was on James side, and said that John was trying to interfere with his work, and that James had pushed him harder than he had intended to. The judge having heard all the evidence thought there was no intent to injure, and so the case was dismissed.
He would appear to have kept his job as in the 1861 census he was at 8 Regent Street, Reading, a fishmonger’s shopman, age 32.
He wrote his will on 8 Mar 1866 in Reading, which was proved on the thirtieth day of April 1880:
The will of James Plim late of Reading in the County of Berks, shopman deceased, who died in the third day of April 1880 at Reading aforesaid, was proved in Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice in the District Registry attached to the Probate Division thereof at Oxford by the oath of Ann Plim of 93 Watlington Street, Reading aforesaid, Widow, the Relict of the Deceased, the sole Executrix named (in the said will) she having been first sworn duly to administer.
It is hereby certified that the above is a correct copy Dated this sixth day of May 1880.
Personal Estate under £100
Extracted by Robert Coster Dryland, Solicitor, Reading:
“This is the last will and testament of me James Plim of Reading in the County of Berks, Shopman. I devise and bequeath all the real and personal estate to which I shall be entitled at the time of my decease unto my dear wife Ann Plim absolutely but as to estates vested in me upon trust or by way of mortgage subject to the equities affecting the same respectively. And I appoint the said Ann Plim sole executrix of this my will hereby revoking all other testamentary writings by me at any time heretofor made. In witness whereof I have hereunder set my hand this eighth day of March in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and sixty six.
Signed by the said James Plim the Testator as his last will and Testament in the presence of us present at } James Plim the same time who in his presence and in the presence of each other do attest and subscribe the same Wm Sherwood W H Freeman } clerks to Messrs Whatley & Dryland, solcs. Reading
Proved at Oxford the thirtieth day of April 1880 by the oath of Ann Plim, widow, the Relict the sole executrix, to whom Administration was granted-The Testator James Plim was late of Reading in the County of Berks, Shopman, and died on the third day of April 1880 at Reading aforesaid.
Robert Coster Dryland, Solicitor, Reading
It is hereby certified that the above is a correct Copy. Dated this sixth day of May 1880.“
He had married his wife Ann, mentioned in the will in Islington, London on 25th September 1862. At her marriage, Ann is of full age, living at 11 Wellington Road, Holloway (as was James) and her father is shown as a coachmaker. Witnesses were John Goodchild and Eliza Wheeler. James was a bachelor, of full age, a fishmonger, of 11 Wellington Road, Holloway.
From the Reading Mercury: On the 25th inst., at St Mary’s, Islington, by the Rev. HJ Chapman, Mr James Plim of Reading to Ann, fourth daughter of Mr George Wheeler, Watlington Street, Reading.
I’m not sure why the two of them chose to marry in Islington, given their links to Reading, as by the 1871 census they are definitely back in Reading.
James was living at 20 Watlington Street, Reading in 1871 worker at sauce manufactory, age 42.
The following year (1872) and he is in the news again, this time regarding a contested will. From the Reading Mercury 21st December 1872 – Plim and Button v Botting and Botting.
The will in question was that of Alfred Button, of 42 Oxford Road, who died on the 25th May. James Plim and George Button (the deceased’s brother) were the executors, and Henry and Elizabeth Botting were his daughter and son in law.
James was the manager of the sauce and pickle department of Cock’s Reading Sauce Manufactory. Alfred Button was a builder and decorator, and his brother was the manager of the fish dept. at Cock’s RSM.
Various witnesses were called, including James Plim. Mrs Botting succeeded to her father’s property.
James died on 3 Apr 1880 at the age of 52 in Reading. Buried at Cemetery Junction, where his headstone reads:
In loving remembrance of James Plim, who died April 3rd 1880, aged 52 years. ‘Father thy will not mine be done’ also Anne wife of the above died February 27th 1906, aged 70 years ‘Rock of ages cleft for me’
From Ancestry Wills and Administrations:
Plim, James, 30 April. The will of James Plim late of Reading in the County of Berks, shopman, who died 3 April 1880 at Reading was proved at Oxford by Ann Plim of 93 Watlington Street, Reading Widow the relict the sole executor. He was buried on 7 Apr 1880 in London Road Cemetary. Age 52 of Watlington Street.
Reading Mercury – Deaths – Plim: On the 3rd inst., at 93 Watlington Street, Reading James Plim, aged 52, for 38 years the faithful servant of Charles Cocks and Co. James had his estate probated on 30 Apr 1880 in Oxford.
From Ancestry wills and probate records:
Plim, James The will of James Plim late of Reading in the county of Berks shopman who died 3 April 1880 at Reading was proved at Oxford by Ann Plim of 93 Watlington Street Reading widoe the relict the sole executrix.
At the baptisms’ of his three daughters he is shown as sauce manufacturer’s assistant, and his address is given as Princes Street in 1863 and 1865, then 20 Watlington Street in 1867.
A list of entries for him, and his family from Reading street directories show him at 20 St John’s Parade Watlington Street in 1870, at 39 Watlington Street from 1874 to 1882, when it changes to no 93, and stays at that address to 1901, then from 1902 to 1909 it’s 101 Watlington Street. (Mrs Ann Plim is shown from 1882 on).
Buried in Section 43, Row B, Number 49