A summary of the career of James John Tapson appears in the 1897 edition of CROCKFORD’S CLERICAL DIRECTORY:


Tapson, James John, Hooe Vicarage, Plymstock, Devon.


Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; deacon 1851; priest 1852, Exeter.


Vicar of Hooe, Diocese of Exeter 1870.


(Patron, Keeble College, Oxford, Court of Chancellor £28. Fees £6.


Queen Anne’s Bounty £43. Ecclesiastical Commission £251.


Gross income £328; net £319 and House. Population 1364.)


Acting Chaplain to the Forces at Staddon Station 1870 (income £75).


Formerly Curate of Stoke Damerel 1851-52, Probus 1852-54, Callington 1854-60,


Chaplain Royal Laboratory and Magazines, Bull Point 1865-70


The Alumni Cantabrigienses gives further details:


Tapson, James John. Admitted pensioner at Corpus Christi Jan 30, 1851

Of Devon (son of Ebsworthy of Stoke Damerel) Matriculated Michaelmas 1851

Ordained deacon (Ely) 1851; priest 1852


Curate of Stoke Damerel 1851-2, Curate of Probus 1852-4, Curate of Callington 1854-60,

Curate of St John, Clapham 1860-1


Chaplain, Royal Laboratory and Magazines, Bull Point, St Budeaux 1868-70

Vicar of Hooe, Plymouth, 1870 -1904. Died c Nov 29, 1904, Aged 79.


James John was married in his church at Hooe, a modem parish carved out of the ancient parish of Plymstock:


17 Jun 1878 James John Tapson Full Bachelor Clerk in Holy Orders, Hooe Vicarage (Father: Ebsworthy Tapson, Gentleman)

Julia Elizabeth Callaway Full Spinster, Hooe (Father: Richard Mabany Callaway, Retired Officer R.N.) by Licence in the presence of Robenia Ellen Luxton, John Shelly & Alexander Burns Osborne


The Hooe register also records the baptism of a daughter:

26 Sep 1880 Edith Emily dau of James John & Julia Elizabeth Tapson, Hooe Vicarage, Clerk in Holy Orders (J. Cox Edwards, officiating minister)


The 1881 census for Plymstock (PRO RG11/2185 Fo. 144) shows that James John and

Julia Elizabeth already had another daughter: Julia Mary Annie.


The Will of James John Tapson dated 3 April 1903


This is the last Will and Testament of me James John Tapson of Hooe Vicarage in the county of Devon Clerk in Holy Orders I appoint my friends John Shelly of Plymouth Solicitor and the Reverend Joseph Mercer Cox Vicar of Plympton St Mary Devon to be the Executors and trustees of this my will. I give and bequeath the sum of one hundred pounds to the said John Shelly and the sum of one hundred pounds to the said Reverend Joseph Mercer Cox . And I give and bequeath all my furniture and household goods and effects and my books and my Organ now standing and used by my permission in the Parish Church at Hooe unto my two daughters Julia Mary Annie Tapson and Edith Emily Tapson equally to be divided between them And I give devise and bequeath all the residue of my estate and effects unto my trustees Upon trust to pay thereout unto Sarah Callaway now residing at Plymouth an annuity of forty pounds a year and subject thereto Upon trust to pay or apply the whole or such part of the income of my trust estate as my trustees shall from time to time in their discretion think fit in or towards the maintenance and education or otherwise for the benefit of my said two daughters until the younger of my said two daughters shall attain the age of twenty five years and upon the younger of my said two daughters attaining the age of twenty five years I give devise and bequeath the whole of the residue of my estate and effects unto my two daughters in equal shares . In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand . this third day of April one thousand nine hundred and three Jas J Tapson


James John Tapson died on 29 November 1904 at the age of 79 years; the brief announcement of his death in The Times of 1 December 1904 credits him with being the vicar of Hove (near Brighton in Sussex)! His memorial in the church at Hooe, where he was vicar for almost 35 years, also records the death of his wife, Julia Elizabeth, on 2 December 1895, aged 44 years. It was perhaps her mother who received an annuity under the terms of James John’s will. Probate was granted on 23 January 1905, effects being valued at £33,963 – 14 – 8; one of the executors, John Shelly, had been a witness at James John’s wedding. At the time of James John’s death Edith Emily was 24 years old and Julia Mary Annie about a year older, so they would not have had very long to wait for their inheritance. The two sisters moved to London, where the marriages were registered (St. George, Hanover Square, R.D.) of Julia Mary Annie to George L. Crossman in 1914, Q2 and of Edith Emily to Hugh S. Andrewes in 1915, Q4.


[As well as the memorial in the church at Hooe, Rev. Tapson is commemorated by the name of a street further up the hill, Tapson Drive. – SB]


Tapson Drive - Richard


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