James/William Breeze

Author: Christine Gambles
Date published: 01/04/2021

James/William Breeze



James was born in Staffordshire he was baptised on the 11th May 1800 in Burslem Staffordshire the son of Ralph (1760-1836) and Elizabeth Breeze 1763-1843 (nee Nixon) who were married on the 31st December 1787 in Whitmore Staffordshire.

His father  Ralph was baptised on the 28th September 1760 at St John the Baptist Burslem (surname spelt Breese) the son of John and Mary, he died aged 76 in 1836 and was buried on the29th December at St John the Baptist Burslem, at the time of his death he was living in Sneyd Green.

His mother Elizabeth was baptised on the 19th August 1763 at St John the Baptist Burslem the daughter of James and Elizabeth Nixon. The 1841 census records Elizabeth (75), as Independent, living in Sneyd Green Burslem, also living with her was a John Breeze (6). She died aged 81 in 1843 and was buried on the 5th March in Burslem.

Ralph and Elizabeth also had the following children:

William baptised 12th October 1788

Mary baptised 14th February 1790

Ralph baptised 10th March 1793

Richard baptised 11th May 1800 (along with his brother James)


James was living in Hampshire by 1829 and was in a relationship with Ann Cook, they had the following two children baptised in Hampshire:

Jesse James Breeze Cook Breeze born 14th July 1829, baptised on the 20th September in Whitchurch Hampshire

Elizabeth Breeze baptised on the 6th September 1830 in Basing Hampshire

By 1831 the family had moved to Newbury. Ann gave birth to twins, Richard and William who were baptised on the 23rd November 1831 at St Nicolas Church Newbury. The baptisms record both boys as illegitimate, with the middle name Breeze, children of James Breeze and Ann Cook, James was recorded on the baptism record as an Earthenware Man.

It is possible James and Ann had another illegitimate son, Ralph Breeze Cooke as there is a baptism for this child in the parish register dated 15th April 1835 but records the father as Ralph Breeze, occupation: Potter and Ann Cooke. (This child died aged 1+ in 1835 he was buried on the 31st August 1835 at St Nicolas Newbury)

Ann gave birth to a daughter, Ann Breeze Cook in October 1838 she died aged 32 just after the birth and was buried on the 22nd October at St Nicolas Newbury.  Baby Ann died aged 3 months and was buried on the 18th January 1839 at St Nicolas Newbury.

In the 1841 census James was recorded as a Hawker living in Caroline Place Newbury with his son Jesse (12), also recorded in the household were Judith Breeze (45), William Bowles (15) and Harry Bowles (12). Richard and William (aged 9) were recorded with the surname Cook in the household of their uncle Richard Breeze and his wife Hannah, living in Rg Market Newbury.( No record of a marriage between a James Breeze and a Judith found and future records record Judith as Judith Bowles so possibly they were cohabiting and parted company later or Judith and her children were lodging with James and she has been mistakenly recorded with the surname Breeze. Judith Challis married William Bowles in 1815 in Newbury, William Bowles died in 1837)

 In the 1851 census James was recorded as an Earthenware Man visiting at the Lion Inn West End Street Stratfield Mortimer Berkshire.

The 1861 census records James (60), as an Earthenware Dealer, living in Bartholomew Street Newbury with his wife Emma Breeze (49) and their daughter Martha Breeze (10).

The 1871 census records James (70), China Dealer, living in Bartholomew Street with Emma (59), their unmarried daughter Martha Rivers (20) and granddaughter Annie Moss Rivers (2).

(James and Emma never actually married and James was not Martha’s biological father, she was the illegitimate daughter of Emma Twine who was living with and working for David Rivers in 1851. David was Emma’s widowed brother-in-law, he married Emma’s sister Martha in 1841. Martha died aged 30 in 1849 and Emma married David in 1854. David died aged 39 in 1856 he was buried on the 14th January in Brimpton St Peter)

James died aged 71 in 1871 he was laid to rest in the Newtown Road Cemetery on the 22nd December. (James has mistakenly been recorded as William Breeze in the Newtown Road Cemetery records and in the Newbury Weekly News. His death was registered as James Breeze. The NBI records him twice, once as James Breeze Place/Details Newbury St Nicolas (church burial service) and once as William Breeze Place/Details Newbury Newtown Road Cemetery. (burial))

Emma died aged 65 in 1876 she was laid to rest in the Newtown Road Cemetery on the 10th November.



Sources: as above

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