A difficult life

James Salmon was appointed a probationer lay clerk on 18 May 1780 [SGC VI.B.8]. He and his wife Sarah had four children who were baptised in the Chapel; William on 18 March 1787; Elizabeth-Mary on 27 January 1789; Ann on 12 September 1790; and Mary on 21 July 1795 [SGC R.1]. In 1799, they lived at No. 19 Horseshoe Cloister.

Given 10 guineas on account of his circumstances in 1785 [SGC VI.B.8], he was fined 1s for non-attendance in Chapel on 14 December 1795 [SGC VI.B.8]. In January 1819, he was suspended from duty until his daughters be removed from his house, “in consequence of their general bad character” [SGC VI.B.9]. He was suspended again in December 1820 as his daughter Mary had given birth to an illegitimate child in his house [SGC VI.B.9]. He was admonished and one month’s pay withheld from him. In February 1824, he was again suspended due to his “unbecoming behaviour” and numerous complaints against his daughters [SGC VI.B.9]. They were given 2 days to leave. By April 1824, they had still not left, with James stating that he had tried and failed to find accommodation in the town. On account of his age and infirmity, he was permitted to remain in the Cloisters until Midsummer [SGC VI.B.9]. In June, this suspension was repealed on account of his condition and the fact that his daughters had now moved out [SGC VI.B.9]. He died 3 years later on 27 March 1827 [SGC V.B.7] and was buried in the Chapel 4 April 1827 at the age of 86 [SGC R.1]. The cost of his burial was 18s 4d and he was buried in the grass plot on the south side of the Chapel [SGC XIII.A.5]

His son William, however, was appointed probationer lay clerk on 14 April 1806, swore oath and made his declaration a year later [SGC VI.B.8]. He and his wife Nancey Paris lived at 24 Horseshoe Cloister [now part of No. 16] and had a daughter, Charlotte, who was baptised in the Chapel on 3 November 1812 [SGC R.1]. He continued as lay clerk for 52 years, and was buried in the same area as his father on 1st February 1858 [SGC R.1]. In contrast, his burial cost £1 14s 4d [SGC XIII.A.5]

Eleanor (Assistant Archivist)

The King's Free Chapel. The Chapel of the Most Honourable and Noble Order of the Garter. The Chapel of the College of St George.