James Thompson was born in 1758 in Fairburn Yorkshire. The family been residents in Fairburn for hundreds of years.
Son of William Thompson of Fairburn . He was baptiised on July 23rd of that year at Ledsham Parish Church. Nothing is known of James’ life until his marriage at Ledsham to Elizabeth Whittaker. In 12 March 1798, James, along with Edward Williamson and Thomas Jackson purchased a property described as two dwelling houses, a blacksmith and outbuildings.
At what point James decided to create a public house on the premises is unknown but the Baines's Directory and Gazetteer Directory of 1822 lists James Thompson as Victualer of the 3 Horse Shoes .
James and Elizabeth had 6 children, a son, and 5 daughters. Son, James, born in 1784 became a chemist and moved to Stonegate York.
Ellen Thompson, born 1787 married Benjamin Farrer, a successful watch and clock maker from nearby Pontefract.
The other daughters were Elizabeth born 1793, Sarah born 1795, Ann, born 1800 and Hannah born 1802 . Hannah married Thomas Elliot a farmer from Wakefield Yorkshire in 1831
James remained in Fairburn as publican at the Three Horseshoes until his death in September 1841 aged 80 where he resided with his 3 unmarried daughters, Elizabeth Sarah and Ann. His will was very specific. He left the pub and its surrounding property to his unmarried daughters, as long as they remained unmarried. Elizabeth and Sarah went on to become the publicans at the Three Horse Shoes until their deaths in 1866 and 1867 respectively. Ann remained living in the pub until after 1851 (aged 51) but her whereabouts after this date are unknown .
THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of me
James Thompson of Fairburn in the County of York, Gentleman, made this Eighteenth day of April in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and thirty one. First I direct that all my just debts and funeral and testamentary expenses and the charges of proving and registering this, my will be fully paid out of my property by my Executor, which I here appoint my Son Mr James Thompson of York, Druggist into whose hands I entrust the whole of my property for the use of Elizabeth my wife and Daughters as follows. I Will that my said wife Elizabeth Thompson shall have the whole of whatever property I may have for her and by Daughters who remain unmarried/Sole use and benefit during the term of my said wife’s natural life and at my said wife’s death I will that those my daughters, who may remain unmarried shall have a house genteely furnished out of the house which I now reside then I will that the property now consisting of Three dwelling houses, with the premises thereto belonging situate about the centre of the Village of Fairburn, near the crofts be given to my daughters for there support while they remain unmarried . Should any of them marry or die, the said property to be held by the single daughter or daughters so continuing unmarried and then I will that the completion of this part of my will that the remainder of the furniture with the house in which I now reside together with the land belonging thereto be valued and disposed of according to the judgment of those my son and daughters concerned to do as they may think proper and if the parties concerned agree to sell the property I will that it be so sold and the money equally divided amount them, share and share alike and then I will that at the marriage or death of my daughters, now single, the said property which haws held by them shall with all the residue of my property be disposed of to the best advantage for the use and benefit of those my Son and Daughters concerned and should my Son or any of them my daughters die before the execution of this my will leaving lawful issue such children to have the parents share equally divided amongst them share and share alike And I hereby revoke all my former wills In witness whereof I the said James Thompson have to this my last will and Testament set my and and seal the day and year bore written
Signed sealed published and declared by the said James Thompson the testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us, who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.