Siward James

Siward James 1873-1962


Siward James was born in Birmingham on 28th December 1873. He was a grandson of Joseph James (born 1779) of Leominster, who moved to Edgbaston.

Siward was educated at King Edward’s School Birmingham and became a solicitor at the age of 21. He joined his father’s firm – James Kentish & James, which later became James Atkins & Selkirk with offices in Great Charles Street, Birmingham. Siward was a prominent citizen of Birmingham, being a member of the City Council and a Governor of King Edward’s School, as well as serving on many other committees.

He married Gladys Hinton (1880-1955) of Birmingham in 1901.

Siward had a long family connection with Leominster. His great-grandfather, Thomas James (1752-1839), lived in Leominster and married Sarah Vale of Upper Bache Farm, Kimbolton. This farm which has been in the family for approximately 400 years was passed down the line to Siward and then to Thomas Vale James-Moore. Siward’s great-uncle, Henry James (1801-1869) was Mayor of Leominster in 1854 & 1859.

Kenneth Vale James-Moore – son of Siward’s cousin, John Howard James-Moore – was also his godson. Kenneth Vale lived at Houghton Court, Bodenham.

Siward and Gladys did not have any children of their own and he wished his ancestors to be remembered in the Leominster area, which he loved. When he retired, he spent his summers in Leominster & winters in Devon. In his will Siward appointed Thomas James-Moore as one of his executors.

Siward left money to fund the building of almshouses in Leominster, Kimbolton, or Bodenham in memory of his family. A suitable site was found in Bodenham and Siward James Close consisting of 20 bungalows (a further 3 Arkwright bungalows were added later) was opened by Lady Hereford of Hampton Court on Friday, 20th November 1970.

Address: Siward James & Arkwright Trust Charity, 21, Siward James Close, Bodenham, Herefordshire HR1 3LS
Phone: 01568-797412