James Taylor was a well-known Meltham shepherd, known locally as "James o'th Ethards", who worked the hills well into old age.
He was born in Meltham sometime around 1786.
He married Ann and they had one known child:
By 1851, he was living on Town Street and farming 16 acres of land.
Death of the Old Shepherd. — A large number of the inhabitants of Meltham assembled on Monday to witness the funeral of James Taylor, known as "James O'th Ethards," the old shepherd, who expired at the advanced age of 84 years and seven months. The deceased was known, far and wide, as the oldest shepherd frequenting those moors, and, by his conciliatory conduct, was respected by everyone. The funeral cortege was accompanied to St. Bartholomew's church by a large concourse of people. At the conclusion of the ceremony upwards of 40 of the deceased's most intimate friends were invited to dinner at the Rose and Crown Inn, the expenses being defrayed by the son of the deceased.