John Edward Jacombs[1, 2]

Male Abt 1834 - 1928  (~ 94 years)

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  • Name John Edward Jacombs 
    Born Abt 1834  Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Christened 14 Feb 1834  Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    _UID AB9AC0CE12A14B2A9C0D74AC07BFC22F7B32 
    Died 9 Aug 1928  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5, 8, 9, 10
    35 Grange Road, Mt Eden 
    Buried 11 Aug 1928  Christchurch, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 9
    Person ID I1509  Treefive
    Last Modified 3 Mar 2018 

    Father William Jacombs,   b. Abt 1801, Ansley, Warwickshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Jun 1875, Pensarn, Denbigh, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 74 years) 
    Mother Catharine Lees,   b. Abt 1806, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Aug 1882, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 76 years) 
    Married 2 Jan 1827  Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [11
    Family ID F453  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Sarah Wilkinson,   b. 23 Oct 1835, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Nov 1869, Christchurch, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 34 years) 
    Married 17 Apr 1867  Christchurch, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [12, 13, 14
    St Michaels Church 
     1. Edith Wilkinson Jacombs,   b. 20 Nov 1869, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Feb 1870, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
    Last Modified 12 Sep 2019 
    Family ID F450  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Judith Lawson,   b. Abt 1837, Hornby, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Jun 1918, Christchurch, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 81 years) 
    Married 29 Aug 1878  Wellington, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [15, 16
    St Peters Church 
     1. William Henry Holmes Jacombs,   b. 7 Oct 1888, Christchurch, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Dec 1958, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years)  [Adopted]
    Last Modified 12 Sep 2019 
    Family ID F540  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    00028 Eric, Natalie, Frances and John E. Jacombs  abt 1924
    00028 Eric, Natalie, Frances and John E. Jacombs abt 1924
    On holiday at Waiwera

  • Notes 

    • This biography is a compilation of facts derived from various sources, many from the National Library of New Zealand’s paperspast website.  It is basically a chronology of events, as little is known of the man himself.  Natalie (Jacombs) Sinnott was the only person who could provide any first hand information about him, and that was limited, as John Edward died when Natalie was 16.
      John Edward Jacombs was born about 1834 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, and was baptised there on 14 Feb 1834.  He came from a long line of Jacombs (or Jacombe, Jacam) who lived in Nuneaton for many generations.
      He emigrated from England to New Zealand about 1864 and settled in Christchurch.
      He was on a list of new members announced at ameeting of the Acclimatisation Society in January 1866 in Christchurch.
      He married Sarah Wilkinson at St Michaels Church in Christchurch on 17 April 1867.  The marriage entry described him as a bachelor of full age, and his occupation as a grocer.  Sarah was described as a spinster of full age.  Witnesses to the marriage were Joseph Mannings, a storekeeper, and Sarah (Mauchee or Mitchell).
      A family member has an old-fashioned portable writing cabinet.  It once had a shield on top with S. Wilkinson Oct 3rd 1864, and underneath J.E.J.  The shield is now lost.
      From May 1867 to May 1872, J.E. Jacombs was a grocer at the corner of Tuam and Montreal Streets, Christchurch.  He also sold petroleum and was the maker of the Canterbury Sauce.
      He had purchased the business from Herbert Lowther in May 1867.  In April 1868 he was one of the grocers of Christchurch who agreed to close at 6pm in winter months.  In November 1868 he exhibited sauces at the Lyttelton Horticultural Show. There was no competition in the sauce category.  Between Dec 1868 and Mar 1869 he often placed advertisements for the Canterbury Sauce in the Star newspaper – it was for sale at his Tuam St shop and various other Christchurch outlets.
      In Feb 1869, he advertised board and residence with a private family, available for a gentleman.  It is not known if anyone apart from John Edward comprised the “family”.  The property was described as being within 10 minutes' walk of the Post Office.
      In Mar 1869, he advertised a pony for sale.  It was said to be very handsome and thoroughly quiet in harness.
      At a meeting of the parishioners of St Michael's School on 8 Apr 1869, Mr Jacombs was one
      of those elected as a member of the School Committee.
      Personal tragedy struck late in 1869.  John Edward and Sarah had a daughter, Enid Wilkinson Jacombs, but both mother and child died soon after the birth.
      In The Illustrated Press Almanac for the Year 1870, as noted in the Press newspaper of 3 Dec 1869, he was listed as a General Grocer and Provision Merchant and sole proprietor of the celebrated Canterbury Sauce.
      On 11 Dec 1869 he advertised for "a goat in full profit".
      An auction of household goods was held on 14 Jun 1870 at the residence of Mr Jacombs, corner of Montreal and Tuam Streets.  Mr Jacombs was said to be"giving up housekeeping".  The private dwelling was to be let, but Mr Jacombs was to carry on the business.  This decision appears to result from Sarah’s death a few months earlier.
      On 6 Feb 1871 the City Council Fire Brigade Committee recommended places for 12 Fire Brigade ladders to be held, including at Mr Jacombs' store.
      In Aug 1871 he signed a request by ratepayers to the Mayor of Christchurch to hold a public meeting on the drainage scheme.
      Advertisements in the Press and the Star listed the Christchurch grocers to close on Canterbury Anniversary Day 16 Dec 1871,including J. E. Jacombs.
      In mid-April 1872 he advertised for a general servant.
      His grocery store at the corner of Montreal and Tuam streets, with dwelling-house, stabling and out-houses, was advertised to let in April and May 1872.  On 6 May 1872, he sold the grocery business to Mr J. Munnings, and thanked his friends for their support over the past 5 years.
      On 11 Jul 1872, in a civil case against H.Hewer, J. E. Jacombs was awarded 6 pounds 8s 2d and costs of 14s.  This was the last of a number of cases that he took in relation to his grocery store, it seems that he did was quite prepared to take action against those who failed to pay their debts.
      On 12 March 1875, in Court Chambers at the Supreme Court, a Mr Slater requested for probate to be issued to Henry Bromwich and John Edward Jacombs regarding the will of the late Charles Prebble.  On 2 Nov 1875 the Lands Registry Office advertised an application by the devisees in trust under the will (Bromwich and Jacombs) to be registered as proprietors of a property in Hereford Street,Christchurch.
      In Feb 1877 he was appointed Postmaster atLongbeach, Canterbury.
      On 27 Aug 1878 a Mr Jacombs left Lyttelton for Auckland via East Coast on s.s. Hawea.  His destination was most likely Wellington as he married Judith Lawson there on 29 Aug 1878 at St Peters Church.  He was described as a widower, and his profession was given as clerk.  Judith was described as a spinster.  The witnesses were Jno Blamey of Wellington,accountant and Florence Banks Lawson of Wellington, Judith’s niece.
      On 8 Sep 1878 a Mr Jacombs arrived at Lyttelton on s.s. Rotorua from Sydney via Auckland, Hawkes Bay and Wellington.  On this return journey to Lyttelton there was a Miss Lawson on board - but not a Mrs Jacombs. Perhaps they forgot to use her new name.
      In Jul 1879, he was a witness in a courtcase.  He was described as a clerk and storekeeper to Mr Grigg of Longbeach. Jacombs had given the accused 6 pounds in lieu of rations.  The accused was found not guilty, as there was no intention to defraud.
      On 29 Aug 1880 Mr and Mrs Jacombs left Lyttelton on the s.s. Hawea for Wellington. They returned to Lyttelton on 10 Sep 1880 on the s.s. Wakatipu.  The reason for the journey is not known.
      The Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives has, under "Public Servants Employed in 1881”,  an entry for"Jacombs J E, Longbeach, AJHR 1881 H-2-P 55, Repro 68".
      The 1881Coleridge electoral roll has an entry for Jacombs, James Edward, residential, Longbeach, storekeeper.
      But by 1882 he was back in Christchurch.  "A Return of the Freeholders of NZ - October 1882" records John Edward Jacombs as a storekeeper in Christchurch, owning 102 acres in Ashburton County, valued at 489 pounds.
      In December 1882 he advertised the lease of "a very commodious hotel in one of the best positions in Christchurch, now doing a very profitable business, which might be greatly increased.  Present owner leaving for England."  Particulars were available from J. E. Jacombs, 222 Hereford street West, Christchurch.  It is unclear if he actually owned the hotel –if so, it was a big step up from his earlier occupations, if the advertised features of the hotel were accurate.
      In 1883 he was selected as a rate collector for the Christchurch District Drainage Board. On 9 Apr 1883 the chairman of the Drainage Board was empowered to affix the Board's seal to Mr Jacombs' agreement.  On 8 Apr 1884 the Finance Committee of the Drainage Board reported to the Board that some officers, including J. E. Jacombs, were to be offered new appointments following terminations on 30 Jun.  On 26 May 1885 the Drainage Board declined an offer from J. E. Jacombs to collect drainage rates in St Albans, Sydenham, Avon and Spreydon, as the Board has already entered into arrangements with most of the local bodies referred to.
      In the 1887 St Albans Electoral Roll, his occupation was noted as a Merchant's Clerk, qualification freehold, place of residence Lower Riccarton, and land Part Rural Section 155.
      On 15 Nov 1887 he was fined 5 pounds for riding a bicycle on the footpath.
      On 23 April 1891 John Edward and Judith Jacombs adopted William Henry Holmes who had been born in Christchurch in 1888.  They named him William Henry Jacombs.  William's birth mother was Annie Matilda Holmes, and his birth father was Edwin Pitt, husband of Annie's sister Sarah.  It is not known if there was any relationship between Annie and the Jacombs but, later in William’s life, at times he used the name “William Henry Holmes Jacombs”, so he must have been aware of his origins.  This knowledge was not passed on to his children.
      According to his son William's birth certificate, J. E. Jacombs was at that time a clerk in Christchurch. In the adoption proceedings, he was said to be an accountant.
      In Dec 1892 Mr T. Bullock advertised, on behalf of J. E. Jacombs, the sale of 22 acres in the Coldstream District, plus 6 allotments in Wheatstone Township, each containing a quarter acre.
      On 5 Feb 1894, at a meeting of the Linwood Borough Council, a letter from Mr J. E. Jacombs re danger from the burning of gorse was read. The Council resolved to request owners of property to clear gorse off their sections.
      J. E. Jacombs was invited to attend a reception for the Governor-General on 8 Nov 1897 in Christchurch.
      In Nov 1901 John Edward and Judith were living at 189 Madras Street, Christchurch.
      On 13 Mar 1905 he sued William H. Mason in a Judgment Summons case, but the Magistrate made no order.  The Magistrate remarked that the case was one in which there was the usual loophole - the debtor had no means to meet the liability.
      John Edward is on the electoral roll for Christchurch East in 1905-06 as: Jacombs,John Edward, 189 Madras St, accountant. On his son William Henry Jacombs' 1958 death entry, John Edward was noted as an accountant, so this was probably his occupation in later life.

      John Edward and Judith’s son William Henry attended Christchurch Boys High School. After he had left school, John Edward and his family went to UK on holiday.  On 29 Mar 1906 they left Lyttelton on s.s. Rotomahana for Wellington on the first stage of the trip.  In London, they visited the office of the New Zealand High Commissioner in June 1906.  They left London on the Athenic on 8 Feb 1907 to return to New Zealand.
      In Nov 1908 Mr and Mrs Jacombs visited Hanmer Springs.
      On 3 Dec 1910 Craddock McCrostie advertised the sale by auction on the same day of Mr Jacombs' property at 141 Rolleston St, Linwood.  It was described as "Built on the hill, corner of Armagh and Rolleston Streets, house of 7 rooms and all offices and conveniences, over 1/4 acre of land".
      On 10 Aug 1910, Mr Jacombs left Lyttelton on the s.s. Maori for Wellington.  Also on board a Mrs and a Mr Turnbull – possibly Judith’s niece Caroline (Lawson) Turnbull and husband Arthur Turnbull, Manager of the Farmers Co-operative Society in Christchurch.  There was also a Mr Marchant on board, possibly a relative. The ship arrived at Wellington the same day. The purpose of the trip is not known.
      On 2 Sep 1911 Mr and Mrs Jacombs left Wellington on s.s. Maori for Lyttelton.  This was probably the return journey after going to Auckland to the marriage of their son William to Frances Mary Howell on 21 Aug 1911.
      On 13 Aug 1912 Mr Jacombs arrived at Wellington on the s.s. Mokoia from Lyttelton. Perhaps Judith travelled to Wellington on a different ship, as they both left Wellington on 27 Sep 1912 on the s.s. Maori heading for Lyttelton.  The trip may have been related to the birth of their granddaughter Natalie Jacombs at Wellington on 14 Jul 1912.
      On 5 Jun 1913 Mr and Mrs Jacombs leftLyttelton on the s.s. Maori for Wellington. They arrived the following day.  Thepurpose of this trip is unknown.
      On 18 Oct 1915 Mr Jacombs arrived at Wellington on the s.s. Monowai from Lyttelton. This trip may have been related to the birth of his grandson Eric Jacombs at Palmerston North on 28 Aug 1915.
      Judith was listed on the Christchurch East electoral roll in 1919, at 277 Madras St, even though she had died in 1918.  John Edward was not listed.  It is possible that he had already moved to join his son William in Auckland – his obituary indicates that he moved to Auckland about 1921. Natalie (Jacombs) Sinnott told Rex Sinnott that, when she lived in Grange Rd, Auckland, as a child, John Edward lived there for several years until his death.
      John Edward Jacombs died on 9 Aug 1928 at the age of 94 at 35 Grange Road, Mt Eden, Auckland.

      He signed his will on 2 Apr 1913. The witnesses were Geo. A. Smyth and A. E. Hardy, both civil servants of Christchurch. Judith Jacombs was appointed sole executrix, and all J. E.'s real and property were left to her, provided that she outlived him. As Judith died before him other terms of the will became effective. The Public Trust became the sole executor and trustee. The property was to held on trust and converted into money, and then divided into 12 parts:
      4 parts to his adopted son William Henry Holmes Jacombs;
      1 part to J.E.'s brother William Henry Jacombs;
      1 part to his brother Walter Septimus Jacombs;
      1 part to his sister Katherine Lees Jacombs;
      1 part to his sister-in-law Sarah Jacombs, widow of Frederick;
      2 parts to his wife's brother James Lawson;
      2 parts to Frances Mary Eastwood, daughter of his sister-in-law.
      There were provisions to apply in the event that any of the trusts failed.
      A codicil of 9 Feb 1916 set out provisions to apply if J.E.'s brother William Henry predeceased him, and also if both James Lawson and James' wife Margaret predeceased him.
      A second codicil dated 14 Dec 1920 left all of J. E.'s jewellery and personal effects to his son W. Henry Holmes Jacombs.
      Probate was granted to the Public Trustee, executor of the will, in the Supreme Court at Wellington on 5 Sep 1928.
      John Edward was buried on 11 Aug 1928 at Hillsborough,Christchurch.
      His obituary in the Auckland Star on 11 Aug 1928 read:
      A former resident of Christchurch, Mr J. E.Jacombs, died at the residence of his son, Mr W. Jacombs, at the advanced age of 94.  He was born at Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, and came to New Zealand when about 30 years of age, and settled in Christchurch.  Mr Jacombs opened a store in St Asaph's Street, and later was employed on the Long Beach Estate, near Ashburton.  Afterwards he was an accountant in Christchurch, and retired about 20 years ago.  For the past seven years he has lived at Mt.Eden."

  • Sources 
    1. [S857] Letter Jacombs, Dennis to Rex Sinnott 28 Sep 1995 (JAC075), JAC075.

    2. [S856] TRE017 Family tree - Jacombs, William and Catherine (Dennis Jacombs), TRE017.

    3. [S971] 1841 England Census, Class: HO107; Piece: 1127; Book: 23; Civil Parish: Shustoke; County: Warwickshire; Enumeration District: 11; Folio: 4; Page: 3; Line: 17; GSU roll: 464170.

    4. [S1628] DTH Death Index New Zealand, John Edward Jacombs; 3348; 1928.

    5. [S13] DTH003 Death Jacombs, John Edward, DTH003.

    6. [S970] 1851 England Census, Class: HO107; Piece: 2016; Folio: 604; Page: 34; GSU roll: 87419.

    7. [S1950] 1841 England census, Shustoke, Warwick - William & Catherine Jacombs & family.

    8. [S305] DTH090 Death notice Jacombs, John Edward, DTH090., death notice; 12 August 1908.

    9. [S2758] New Zealand, Cemetery Records, 1800-2007, BUR193., Hillsborough Bur. Reg.

    10. [S2427] New Zealand, Notices of Deceased Estates, 1880-1950.

    11. [S3867] Warwickshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1910, 2 Jan 1827, William Jacombs and Catherine Lees.

    12. [S187] MAR024 Marriage Jacombs, John Edward and Wilkinson, Sarah, MAR024.

    13. [S1303] MAR132 Marriage Jacombs, J. E. and Wilkinson, Sarah, MAR132., J. E. Jacombs and Sarah Wilkinson; 18 April 1867; page 2.

    14. [S938] MAR Marriage Index NZ - on-line, John Edward Jacombs; Sarah Wilkinson; 7816; 1867.

    15. [S186] MAR023 Marriage Jacombs, John Edward and Lawson, Judith, MAR023.

    16. [S938] MAR Marriage Index NZ - on-line, John Edward Jacombs; Judith Lawson; 1874; 1878.