James Taylor (c.1786-1870)

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:

  • Edwin Taylor (1825-1894)[1]

By 1851, he was living on Town Street and farming 16 acres of land.

James Taylor died in late September 1870 and was buried on 26 September at St. Bartholomew. The Huddersfield Chronicle reported his funeral:[2]

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.

Notes and References

  1. Baptised on 27 March 1825 at St. Bartholomew, Meltham. Worked in Meltham as a grocer and tea dealer. Married twice. His first wife was Charlotte Wright, daughter of shoemaker William Wright, and his second wife was Elizabeth Hampshire, daughter of farmer Joseph Hampshire, who was 12 years his junior. Died 1894, aged 69.
  2. "Meltham" in Huddersfield Chronicle (08/Oct/1870).