........James Banfield Moore Harris 1820 - 1896

William and Betsy's first child James Banfield Moore Harris was born 18th Dec 1820 in Bath Somerset. He was christened 14th Jan 1821 at St George the Martyr Southwark.


The Banfield part of his name originates from his mother's family. Her father John Neate had a cousin named Bampfield Neate (1767 - 1828). One of his children was named Bamfield Neate (1808 - 1887). He would have been a second cousin to Betsy Harris and his unique name formed one of the middle names of her first born James. Note the spelling changed over the generations from Bampfield to Bamfield and then to Banfield.

The Harris family at this time were living at Youngs buildings Southwark.The above map is dated 1799 and shows the immediate area east of St George the Martyr Church. Youngs Building were located somewhere on the north side of White Street.

By the time of the first census in 1841 they were living at Artichoke Court, Granby Place Lower Marsh Lambeth. James is recorded as being an errand boy with an uncorrect age of 15.

James married Sophia Elizabeth Woodcock in 1846. She had been baptised in 1827 at St Mary's Lambeth with her brother Mark Henry Woodcock. They were two of five children known to have been born to Matthew Woodcock and his wife Sophia. Matthew had married Sophia Ann Whitehall in 1824 at St George the Martyr in Southwark. Their Known children John, Sophia, Mark, James and Charles were born over the next five years. Matthew Woodcock is believed to have died before 1835 as his wife Sophia remarried Benjamin Hill on 7th Uuly 1835 at St Bride Fleet Street London. Benjamin and Sophia had three children before Benjamin died in 1849. Elizabeth Maria Hill born 1838, Alfred Frederick Hill born 1841 (died 1848), and Frances Sarsh Hill born 1844.

In 1849 Sophia Hill nee Woodcock married Lambert Weston in West London. Lambert had previously been married but his wife Hannah had died in 1845. When Lambert Weston married Sophia Hill they lived with his children in Southwark. The 1851 census shows the Weston family living at 34 Wellington Place Southwark. The census shows Lambert Weston (a blacksmith), his wife Sophia, and some of the children from his previous marriage. Lastly is shown James Harris, grandson, aged four. James is the eldest child of James Banfield Moore Harris and his wife Sophia. Sophia Weston ( nee Woodcock) was her mother.

James &
Elizabeth Harris's Children

Mark James Harris was born in 1847 and baptised 4th April at Trinity Church Lambeth. The families abode is was now Upper Marsh Lambeth.

Betsy Sophia Harris was born in 1849 at 2 James Street Lambeth and baptised from 4 Lucretia Street

The 1851 census also records James Banfield Moore Harris and wife at the Workhouse at St Martin in the Fields near Trafalgar Square London. James is shown as a stone mason, his wife Sophia as copper nail maker, and her two year old daughter Elizabeth (Betsy Sophia). The family were living in the Lower Marsh area of Lambeth in 1849 when Betsy was born.

When their next child Emma Harris was born they were still living in the same area when she was baptised in September 1851. This would suggest that Emma was born around the time of the 1851 census in March. This could be the reason that James & Sophia at this time were at St Martins Workhouse. Sophia was awaiting the birth of her next child in the Infirmary whilst her husband worked nearby. Emma Harris was later known in the family as Emily Sophia Harris and was eventually to marry George Musgrove in 1871.

Lambert William Harris was born in 1853 and baptised 3oth October at St Mary Lambeth. The family were now living at 37 South Street Lambeth.

Sophia Harris was born in 1856 and baptised 19th March at St Mary's Lambeth. The family were now living in Mead Row Lambeth.

1856 also saw a return briefly to the St Martins Workhouse at Trafalgar Square from July to September.

Charles Harris was born 1858 and baptised 10th October at Trinity Church Lambeth. The family had now moved back to South Street but were living at number 11.

George Harris was born 1860 and baptised 3rd April 1861 at St Mary Lambeth. The family were now living at King Street Lambeth. The fortunes of the Harris family had improved during the 1850's, as by the time the 1861 Census was taken, the family were now sharing a house at 40 King Street Lambeth. This is the first official record of the majority of the members. James is listed still as a Stone Mason, his wife Sophia a copper nail maker. All the children are shown as scholars.

William Harris was born in 1863 and baptised 1st October 1865 at St Mary Lambeth. The certificate shows he was baptised with his cousin Alfred Ernest Harris, the son of James Banfield Moore Harris's brother Walter Harris. The family are now living at New Street Lambeth.

Ada Harris was their last child born in 1866 and baptised 9th September at St Mary Lambeth.The family were still living at New Street.

We have marked all their known addresses on this really nice detailed 1831 map.

..........The 1871 census Shepherds Place Kennington Lane

The 1871 census in April shows the Harris's living at 17 Shepherds Place, off Kennington Lane Lambeth.

James Banfield Moore Harris, by 1874, had moved from Shepherds Place, Kennington Lane to nearby Regent Street in Lamberth. Tragically his daughter Betsy Sophia Harris died of Typhoid Fever in 1874.

...............James Banfield Moore Harris marries again

In 1875 James had moved to Allen Street in Lambeth near to South Street where the family had lived in the 1850's. On 15th May James married his second wife Elizabeth Burgess who herself was a widow, her husband Francis having died two years earlier. They married at the Church of St Mary Lambeth, the same Church that Jame's daughter Emily had married George Musgrove four years earlier in 1871. In fact George and Emily are shown as the witnesses on the marriage certificate.

Jame's marriage to Elizabeth could not have lasted long as on 29th August 1875 he married again. He was now living in Neville Street off Upper Kennington Lane, close to his old home at Shepherds Place where his first wife Sophia died in 1871. His third wife Frances Sarah Chancellor was a seemstress aged 38 and had been living and working in the area for a number of years. She was born in Margate Kent and was the daughter of Matthew Chancellor, who was a baker and later became Parish Clerk to Holy Trinity Margate.

................The 1881 census at Lambeth Infirmary

What became of James Banfield Moore Harris's 2nd and 3rd wives is a total mystery. By 1881 the Census records James as a patient at the Lambeth Infirmary, and his marital status is given widower. This would suggest that by 1881 his third wife Frances Sarah Harris had died or remarried. However we can find no records which confirm this. This brings us to his second wife Elizabeth. What happened to her is equally mysterious as they were only married for 3 months before James married again. All Births, Deaths and Marriages were officially recorded by law, and there were heavy penalties for making false declarations or not registering these events at all.

James Banfield Moore Harris is shown on the 1891 census as a patient at the Infirmary at The Lambeth Workhouse. He is listed as a widower and his occupation as a retired Stonemason.

James Banfield Moore Harris died in September 1896 of chronic bronchitus at the Lambeth Infirmary. The informant of the death was his son Charles Harris, who would have been both Lambert's and Emily Musgrove's brother.

..........Children of James Banfield Moore & Sophia Harris











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