Captain James appears in the first chapter of Barefoot on the Cobbles when he is visited by his grandchildren Albert and Eadie. Born in 1809, James spent his whole life living in Bucks Mills. He went to sea at the age of eleven and was a fisherman and pilot. He was credited with saving the lives of several local fishermen who had got into difficulties in Bideford Bay.
In 1836 he married his first cousin Mary and they had eleven children. He probably began his married life in a property known as The Bluff, before building King’s Cottage, next to his father’s home in 1845. He died in 1898.
‘The grandfather, Captain James, was held in high regard by the villagers, most of whom were relatives of one kind or another. He could no longer row out to pilot boats in over the bar, or rescue ships in distress, these glories were now merely memories to be shared with the next generation. The old man might still potter in the bay, handline for fish from the shore or sit in the porch and ponder on the past. He would raise his telescope to scan the sea that had been his love and his master for more than eighty years.’
Barefoot on the Cobbles will be published on 17 November 2018. More information about the novel can be found here. Copies will be available at various events in the weeks following the launch or can be pre-ordered from Blue Poppy Publishing or the author.