James Gouldby born 1853, was the son of a fisherman from Lowestoft.
Gouldby is referred to as the Butler at Penmaenuchaf Hall in the 1901 census
I am reliably told by his great-grand-son-in-law that he originally came from the Norwich area of Norfolk before moving
to Dorset where he worked as butler for three different employers. In 1892 Gouldby was a
Butler employed at Dewlish House. Gouldby was married to Annie Maria and they had eight
children, their last child being Percy born on 27th February 1892 at Dewlish.
Curiously, on the 1901 Penmaenuchaf census James Gouldby is listed with no other family members,
and although given to be a widower, it is understood by his family that Annie was still very much
alive at this time. I am told that Gouldby was a womaniser and during the time he was at Dewlish
in Dorset, he had an affair with a local lady which resulted in another child born out of wedlock.
Dewlish House, Dorset in the background.
Photo: David Squire and licensed for re-use under Creative Commons Licence.
Unsurprisingly, Gouldby's marriage to Annie failed and she was left to live with her
daughter in the Eastleigh area of Hampshire. He then moved to Wales taking up employment at
Penmaenucha. I am also told that his age was understated on the census since he was then
48 years old and not 42 as recorded.
Despite the issues in his personal life, he must have been a loyal servant to Lieutenant-Colonel
George Scott of Penmaenuchaf. He was left a decent bequest when Scott died in 1916. Originally
bequeathing him £200 in his 1914 Will, Scott increased this to £500 in a Codicil of 1915 as
recognition of "his care of me".
Thanks to Colin Clarke, great grand-son-in-law of James Gouldby.