James Horatio Bobby
James Horatio, was born on 26th March 1819 in Diss the eldest son of William Bobby. He was baptised at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel as were his brothers and sisters. James Horatio was apprenticed to his father, as a draper, and in 1841 he was still living at home. He was married in 1844 to Mary Anne Barkham and by 1851 they had four children and he taken over his father William’s business in Half Moon Street where ‘Rooms with a View’ now trades.
His first wife died in 1870 and he married Anne Kent of Roydon in 1872. James Horatio remained largely a draper and then branched out into ‘fancy’ and household goods including carpets and bedding as well as the latest ‘novelties’ from London.
By the 1880s he was also selling millinery, hosiery and women’s readymade clothes.
Although baptised a Methodist James Horatio seems to have followed a more respectable path. In 1890 he was a Churchwarden in Roydon, where he had lived in ‘The Poplars’ from at least the 1880s while his daughter was married in Roydon Parish Church in the same year. He died in 1903 in Roydon. He was also a Freemason.