From the Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette - Thursday 04 January 1872: "MELKSHAM - That well-known hotel, the King's Arms, which 50 years ago, when the Melksham Spa attracted so many visitors, did a large amount of business, while the stage coach and posting formed an important branch, was put up to auction by the Messrs. Darley on Tuesday, and knocked down to Mr. Foley at £1060, who, it was stated, purchased it for Mr. Bown of the Bear Hotel."
James Larcombe was born in Chew
Magna, Somerset to William and Mary Larcombe. His father William was a
humble farm labourer and James was baptised James Fear Larcombe on 8th
James married Martha Annie Bosley in Ryde, Hampshire on 8th Sept. 1874. Martha was born in Lydiard Millicent, near Swindon, her father and mother, John & Mary Bosley, were coachman and lady’s maid to the family of Giles Daubeny (1796-1877), Rector of Lydiard Tregoze, County Magistrate and Cricketer.
In Kelly’s Directory 1875 James is listed as the manager of the Black Swan Hotel Ltd., Market Place, Devizes, Wiltshire. By 1878 however, he seemed well established at the Kings Arms Hotel in the Market Place, Melksham where he remained for the remainder of his working life.
James & Martha’s eldest daughter Emma Blanche Mary was baptised in Melksham on 8th Jun. 1878. Their second daughter Alice Maud Mary was baptised in Melksham on 28th Jun. 1880. She may have been named after a barmaid Alice M. M. Chard who was working for the family in 1881. Alice Larcombe seems to vanish from the records after 1891.
James's wife Martha Annie died in the Autumn of 1898 in Melksham. James was still listed in Kelly’s Directory 1898 as keeper of the King’s Arms. He must have retired shortly after the death of his wife.
In the 1901 census James was listed as a Retired Hotel Keeper (aged 55) and widower, living with his daughter Emma in Place Road, Melksham. James spent his final years at 23 St. Ronan’s Ave, Southsea, Hampshire and he died on 12th Feb. 1909 in Southsea leaving over three and a half thousand pounds to Emma Blanche Mary Millard, his daughter and wife of Raymond Arthur Millard, an assistant schoolmaster from Shrewton, Wilts. who she married in 1903.
|1/2 Gallon Stone Jar|
JAS. LARCOMBE / Wine & Spirit Merchant / MELKSHAM.
Potter: Powell + Bristol.