James Shaw-Hellier was born in Dudley in 1759 the eldest son of Thomas Shaw, the perpetual curate of Claverley and vicar of St John's Wolverhampton. In 1786 his father inherited the estates of Sir Samuel Hellier and changed their name to Shaw-Hellier. The family then moved to the Wodehouse in Wombourne.

James had a younger brother Thomas who seems to have followed his father and namesake into the church and indeed seems to have been attending the university when he died in Oxford aged 43 in 1803. James himself seems to have taken on the full advantages of his father's inheritance and took to the life of the country squire based in the family estate in Wombourne. He is mentioned as managing the colliery on the estate at Netherton and also of being a steward for the races at Penn Common in 1822.

James had nine children with his wife Elizabeth Baddeley. The eldest two daughters may have been illegitimate as this is alluded to in later court cases. His father's will of 1812 is a complex document that is difficult to interpret as it was largely designed to bypass a generation and leave all the estate to his ten grandchildren. James was left the sum of £400 per year a meagre amount given the size of the estate. His other surviving youngest and unmarried brother Theophilus inherited a mere £100 per year. Perhaps we can conclude that Rev Thomas Shaw=Hellier did not have much faith in James. Elizabeth is illiterate as indicated on her inability to sign her will.

However, as one of three trustees of his father's estate James would have had considerable independence and some control of many matters after 1812. Two thirds of the estate was meant to accumulate for the benefit of the ten grandchildren and to be distributed when the youngest (Emma) attained the age of 21. The tenth grandchild was the only son of his deceased brother Thomas, also called Thomas, based in Oxford and who went into the church - making three successive generations of Thomas Shaw-Helliers all in the church.

James sent his eldest son, yet another Thomas Shaw Hellier, to Oxford, where his career was contemporaneous with his orphaned cousin of the same name.

James Shaw-Hellier died in 1827. James's will, proved on 12 Dec 1827, simply passed all his estate to Elizabeth, his wife. However, Thomas Shaw Hellier, the eldest son and the residuary beneficiary of his grandfather's will, seems to have taken over the estates at this time and his mother left the Wodehouse to live with her second son James Shaw-Hellier at Barnhurst.

The dispute between Thomas Shaw-Hellier and his siblings and mother, is also complex spanning eleven years of court cases. As early as 1826 Shaw v  Rhodes was Thomas first attempt to wrestle out some of the anomolies in his grandfather's bequests.

Elizabeth Shaw Hellier's will of 1835 makes no mention of her eldest son.

Family of James SHAW-HELLIER and Elizabeth BADDELEY

See also
James SHAW-HELLIER's parents: Thomas SHAW-HELLIER (1732-1812) and Mary SHAW (1735-1806)
James SHAW-HELLIER's siblings: Thomas SHAW-HELLIER (1761?-1804), Mary SHAW-HELLIER (1763-1831) and Theophilus SHAW-HELLIER (1766-bef1830)
Husband: James SHAW-HELLIER (1759-1827)
Wife: Elizabeth Baddeley (1764-1835)
Children: Elizabeth SHAW-HELLIER (1791-1847?)
  Parthenia SHAW-HELLIER (1796?-1823)
  Mary SHAW-HELLIER (1801-1878)
  Thomas SHAW-HELLIER (1802-1870)
  Ann SHAW-HELLIER (1803-1855)
  Sarah SHAW-HELLIER (1805-1858)
  James SHAW-HELLIER (1806-1850)
  Samuel SHAW-HELLIER (1808-1856)
  Emma SHAW-HELLIER (1809-1854 )
Marriage 1790 (app)  

Husband: James SHAW-HELLIER

Name: James SHAW-HELLIER 1
Sex: Male
Father: Thomas SHAW-HELLIER (1732?-1812)
Mother: Mary (1739?-bef1812)
Birth 3 Oct 1759 Dudley, Worcestershire
Baptism 16 Nov 1759 (age 0) Dudley, Worcestershire
Death 1827 (age 67-68) Wodehouse, Wombourne

Wife: Elizabeth

Name: Elizabeth Baddeley
Sex: Female
Father: -
Mother: -
Death 1835 Barnhurst

Child 1: Elizabeth SHAW-HELLIER

Name: Elizabeth SHAW-HELLIER
Sex: Female
Spouse: William Meredith
Birth 1791  
Death 1847 (approx)  

Child 2: Parthenia SHAW-HELLIER

Name: Parthenia SHAW-HELLIER
Sex: Female
Spouse: Joseph REED ( -1831)
Birth 1796 (app)  
Death 8 Jul 1823 (age 26) Wolverhampton

Child 3: Mary SHAW-HELLIER

Sex: Female
Spouse: Richard EVANS (1797-1859)
Birth 27 Feb 1801 Dudley, Staffordshire
Baptism 21 Apr 1801 (age 0) St Thomas, Dudley
Death 6 Dec 1878 (age 77) Wolverhampton

Child 4: Thomas SHAW-HELLIER

Sex: Male
Spouse: Alice Titterton PERSHOUSE (1805-1840)
Birth 25 Oct 1802 Netherton, Worcestershire
Baptism 28 Dec 1802 (age 0) St Thomas, Dudley
Education 1820 (age 17-18) Worcester College, Oxford
Death 9 Nov 1870 (age 68) Rodbaston Hall, Penkridge


Sex: Female
Birth 30 Nov 1803 Dudley, Worcestershire
Baptism 30 Dec 1803 (age 0) St Thomas, Dudley

Child 6: Sarah SHAW-HELLIER

Sex: Female
Spouse: Francis Slater
Birth 17 Jan 1805 Dudley, Worcestershire
Baptism 14 Mar 1805 (age 0) St Thomas, Dudley

Child 7: James SHAW-HELLIER

Sex: Male
Spouse: Jane PACKWOOD (1809?-1883)
Birth 19 Jul 1806 Dudley, Worcestershire
Baptism (1) 29 Jan 1807 (age 0) St Thomas, Dudley
Baptism (2) 2 Feb 1807 (age 0) Wombourne
Residence 1841 (age 34-35) Barnhurst
Death Q4 1850 (age 44) Wolverhampton

Child 8: Samuel SHAW-HELLIER

Sex: Male
Spouse: Mary Anne WILLINGTON (1811-1879)
Birth 23 Aug 1808 Wombourne, Staffordshire
Baptism 11 Dec 1808 (age 0) Wombourne
Death 1856 (age 47-48) Wolverhampton

Child 9: Emma SHAW-HELLIER

Sex: Female
Birth 31 Aug 1809 Wombourne
Baptism 6 Feb 1810 (age 0) Wombourne
Household 31 Aug 1830 (age 21) Coming of age of youngest gd of Rev TSH triggers court case on will


1 Sir Samuel Hellier did not enjoy his inheritance for long, dying on October 12th 1784, (not 1748 as stated in Shaw), and being still unmarried and childless bequeathed the estate to the Reverend Thomas Shaw, son of James Shaw, a Dudley solicitor. On July 18th 1786 the Reverend Shaw took the name of Shaw-Hellier. He lived at the Woodhouse but served as minister of St.John's Wolverhampton and of Tipton and was Perpetual Curate of Claverley. He died in July 1812 and was buried with his wife Mary at Wombourne. His son James was manager of Netherton colliery and one of his sons, Samuel, married Mary Ann Willington of Brinsford at Bushbury on August 7th 1832. In 1841 they were living at Wobaston. James died in 1827; when his wife Elizabeth died in 1835 she was living at Barnhurst. Indirect descendants of James' brother Thomas remain at the Woodhouse and there are several memorials to the family in Wombourne church.