James was born c 1745, the youngest of the five children of William Ivall (1699-1773) and his wife Anne (1705-1759) nee Kersley. He was baptised at the Hampshire village of Bentworth (near Alton) on 24 January 1746. James was apprenticed as a wheelwright to John Naish of Wield (a nearby village) in 1761.
On 8 September 1774, James married Dinah Camies at Wield. He was 29 and she was 26. They had six children namely Mary (1775-1828), William (1776-98), John (1777-1832), Charles (1779-1832), Thomas (1781-1835) and David (1795-1850). The first five children were baptised at Wield between 1775 and 1781. The church at Wield (St James) is a small, simple Norman church dating back to about 1150.
According to the Manor Court Records of Wield, James was entered in 1780 as a customary tenant of a copyhold property in Upper Wield. No court had been held since 1769, so he could have occupied it at any time since then. The property consisted of a house, wheelwright’s shop, outhouses, garden and half an acre, plus a further acre elsewhere. The building is still there, now known as Church Farm House. Copyhold tenure, as opposed to freehold or leasehold, was a form of landholding peculiar to manors. Copyhold tenants were restricted in what they could do with their land and needed permission from the manorial court to inherit, sell, sublet, buy or mortgage their copyhold property. These transactions, referred to as admissions and surrenders, were written down in the formal record of the court, that is the court roll or court book, and a copy of the entry given to the new tenant as proof of title. The term copyhold therefore derives from the fact that the land was held by copy of the court roll. Copyhold tenants were also subject to certain customary payments. For example, when a new tenant took over copyhold property he had to pay an entry fine (James paid 5d in 1780) to the lord of the manor and when a copyhold tenant died a payment called a 'heriot' had to be made. Copyhold was abolished by the Law of Property Act 1922.
James and Dinah moved back to Bentworth where his youngest child (David) was baptised in 1795. In 1798 James was farming Fleets Farm, which was owned by Thomas Hall of Preston Candover.
A survey was performed that year in order to levy a land tax. The amount due was £7 0s 8d, indicating that Fleets Farm was fairly large. The current name of the farmhouse is Ivall’s Farm Cottage. It is timber framed with white painted brick infilling.
Bentworth had a link with the authoress Jane Austen (1775-1817) at this time. Jane lived at the village of Steventon (about 10 miles NW of Bentworth) from 1775 to 1801. Her father George Austen was the rector there. The Reverend John Calland was a friend of Jane Austen’s and was the rector at Bentworth from 1791 until his death in 1800 aged 38. John is mentioned in a letter from Jane to her sister Cassandra in 1798.
James died 4 February 1809 and was buried in Bentworth. His gravestone said that he was aged 62, although his christening date indicates that he was at least 63. James’s grave can be seen in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church. It is one of a line of 5 Ivall graves under a large yew tree near the church entrance. The gravestones are now hard to read, although I know what they said from a list of monumental inscriptions prepared some time ago.
Ivall graves in St Mary's Churchyard
The gravestone for James Ivall
James’s will, made 29 December 1808, describes him as a wheelwright and farmer. It instructs the executors (Thomas Goodchild, Yeoman and John Ivall, his son) to sell his wheelwright’s stock and tools in Bentworth as well as any household goods and furniture not required by his wife. They were to carry on his farming business until the lease expired when the farming stock was to be sold. The total proceeds were to form a trust for his wife Dinah for life, while unmarried. On her death the trust was to be divided into four parts. One fourth part was to go to John Ivall (his son), one fourth part to Thomas Ivall (his son) and one fourth part to David Ivall (his son) when he reached 21. One fourth part was left to Mary Ivall (his daughter) and her husband William Norgate in trust and after their deaths to Mary’s children. In addition he left
- the copyhold property held at Wield to his son Charles
- leasehold property and his wheelwright’s shop at Bentworth to his wife Dinah for life, while remaining unmarried, and then to David, his son.
The total value of his estate is given as “under £2,000”. This was a fairly large sum for those times (equating to about £68,000 in modern terms).
Dinah Ivall, James’s wife, died in 1819 aged 71.