James Hodge Byles

???? - 1837


Lawyer and attorney in Jamaica in the early 1800s, returning to Britain in by the 1830s. No evidence of slave-owning has yet been found, and the sources of his wealth, which appears extensive, have not yet been established.

  1. Father-in-law of Coventry Patmore. The ODNB entry makes no reference to the sojourn of Marianne's father James Hodge Byles in Jamaica at the time of slavery, nor of the sources of her wealth, saying only: 'On 18 July 1864 Patmore married Marianne Caroline Byles (1822–1880), a wealthy Catholic convert, and the daughter of James Hodge Byles of Gloucestershire and his wife, Judith. Able to depend upon her monetary resources as well as her religious convictions, in 1866 he could now settle as the gentleman poet that he had always considered himself to be; and he much improved an estate, Heron's Ghyll near Uckfield in Sussex.' Marianne Caroline Patmore left £20,000 on her death in 1880.

  2. Will of James Hodge Byles of Bowden Hall Gloucestershire proved 04/08/1837. Under the will he left an annuity of £1000 p.a. to his wife, and forgave indebtedness to him from his brothers of £13,000. Three of his four executors were recognisably West Indians in Britain (Robert Hawthorn merchant of London; James Lewis at present of London; and William Rhodes James of Talconeston Place in Norfolk, each of whom q.v.), but the will contains no reference to property in Jamaica or to natural children in Jamaica.


  1. John Maynard, ‘Patmore, Coventry Kersey Deighton (1823–1896)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2008 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/21550, accessed 2 June 2013]; National Probate Calendar 1880.

  2. PROB 11/1882/310.

Further Information

Married but no further details

Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1804 [EA] - 1804 [LA] → Attorney

Legacies Summary

Commercial (1)

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Trustee c....

Relationships (4)

Executor → Testator
Other relatives
Notes →
The nature of the relationship (which is highly likely) has not yet been...
Executor → Testator
Trustee → Testator