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James Wallace Richard Hall5

James Wallace Richard Hall was born in 1799. He was the son of Rev. John Hall who was a naval chaplain. When he retired he moved to Much Birch in Wallace Cottage (now the Old Cedars).

James Hall was made a freeman of the city of Hereford in 1822; the year after became a practising solicitor in Hereford. Inspite of this he devoted his many talents to Ross even though he suffered a number of personal tragedies. He married twice although both of his wives died prematurely and out of his 10 children only one of them reached old age (Mary Sarah who attained 105 years).

Hall lived at Springfield House (now demolished), now the site of Vaga Crescent and Oaklands housing estates.

He is mainly remembered for the formation of the Hereford, Ross, Gloucester Railway [ more... ] which opened in 1855 although he also established the Ross Dispensary and British and Foreign School which were major milestones in Ross' history.

His other work for the town included being treasurer of Webbe's Hospital, vice-chairman of the Union Workhouse, a trustee of Baker's Charity and the Ross Turnpike Trust and he was also a Ross Improvement Commissioner. His professional and business interests meant that he was a clerk to the Wormelow Hundred, a solicitor to the Harewood End magistrates and he was pivotal in setting up the Forest of Dean Bank which is now part of Lloyds.

In Much Birch he was the principle landowner and in 1835 he was deeply involved in the rebuilding of the Church for which he supplied large amounts of financial support and administered the contracts and carried out the legal formalities.

In 1860 Hall died suddenly. He had requested that his funeral should be "as plain as possible", although the people of Ross did not carry out this wish.

On the day of the funeral shops were closed, blinds lowered and the funeral route was lined with the town's residents and workforce. The Hereford Times reported on the event and said:

Quoted from 'Hereford Times 1860'
The demeanour and bearing of those who attended showed they had come to pay their last sad token of respect to departed merit and all felt that a blank had been created and a niche made void which would not be filled very readily.

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1 Ross Gazette - 29/3/2001 - Article: "Thomas Blake"
2 Western Daily Press - 2/11/1965 - Article: "Kate plods on almost alone"
3 Ross Gazette - 25/5/1983 - Article: "Ross 'character' dies"
4 Crossroads Fan Club - 19/12/2009 - Article: " Backstage stories"
5 Hereford Times - 5/5/1988 - Article: "Tireless worker for Town"

[Page updated: Feb 15 2011 13:31:59]

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