Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 11, 2019
Webpage updated: January 01, 2020



JAMES BRYANT (1800-1875)

James Bryant was born at Tiverton, Devon, on March 8th 1800 to Mr James and Mrs Sarah Bryant.  On April 14th 1800 he was baptised in the Independent Chapel (probably the Baptist Chapel) at Tiverton.

He was the older brother of Mr William Bryant, born at Tiverton in 1802.

Mr James Bryant married Miss Sarah Whitchurch Bennett, of Tavistock, Devon, on March 13th 1822 but the location is not recorded.

Their eldest daughter, Miss Ann Whitchurch Bryant, married Mr John Wakeham Sparrow on April 21st 1841 in Plymouth's Charles Church.

The Bryant brothers became involved in a number of local enterprises, most of which only became known when they ceased to be partners in the businesses.  Hence, Mr James Bryant ceased to be a partner in the Plymouth and Dartmoor Gunpowder Company on September 16th 1846 and he was one of the partners in the Bryant Brothers and Burnell soap manufacturing business that was dissolved on September 29th 1848.

At the time of the 1851 census James and Sarah were living at Prospect House, in the parish of Pennycross, but on census night, March 30th 1851, only Sarah and their daughter Miss Martha Bryant and 9-years-old grandson Master John Sparrow were in residence, albeit with five servants.

James spent census night at Hedge Barton, Manaton, near Widecombe-in-the-Moor, with his son-in-law, Mr John Wakeham Sparrow, and the farm servants, Mr William and Mrs Elizabeth Palmer.  Their census entries reveal that James was still a sugar refiner but was also the occupier of 150 acres of arable land and 220 acres of common land.  He also employed nine labourers but it does not say if they were employed on the farm or in the sugar refinery.  John Sparrow was a lead and limestone merchant but also a non-practising Member of the College of Surgeons.

It turns out that James was in business with his son-in-law trading as Messrs Sparrow, Hodge and Company.  The partnership was dissolved on May 13th 1858 leaving Mr John Wakeham Sparrow and Mr Benjamin Sparrow to deal with the paying debts and receiving dues.

By the time of the census in 1861 Prospect House had become Prospect Hall but James had retired from business and become a "Landed Proprietor".  His grandson, John B Sparrow, now 19-years-old, was employed as a clerk in the sugar refinery.

Curiously, while the young John B Sparrow lived with the Bryant's in 1861, their son, Master James Bryant, was living in 1841 with his older sister in the Sparrow household.

Mrs Sarah Whitchurch Bryant died in 1866, at the age of 61 years.

In 1871 Mr James Bryant, widower, was living at Peverell Park Villa, Pennycross, on the road from Devonport to Tavistock, with his daughter, Sarah Whitchurch Bryant, and son-in-law, Mr Charles Henry Elphinstone Holloway, whom she had married at Saint Andrew's Church, Plymouth, on October 25th 1853.

Mr James Bryant died at home at Ford Hill House, in the parish of Saint Budeaux, on September 26th 1875 at the age of 75 years.