The Life of James Davies
Chapter II: Usk
In 1801, soon after his wife's death, James Davies left the village of Grosmont to seek another home. The occupation of a weaver was not well suited to a bodily frame, which long manifested consumptive tendencies ; and the toil and exhaustion of severe bodily labour, could be ill sustained by a fragile constitution and feeble health.
The occupation of a travelling pedlar was that in which he now engaged, and the choice marks the justness of view and humility of temper, by which he was characterised.
Whilst pursuing his itinerant occupation, he made his home at the picturesque little town of Usk.
From "Usk he made his circuits through the adjoining country, carrying in his basket the ordinary furniture of a pedlar's store, and collecting rags, which he disposed of at paper mills at no great distance from that town.
Whilst pursuing the life of an itinerant pedlar, he occupied lodgings; but after some years had been thus spent, he rented a house, in which he carried on the business of a retail dealer, embracing that variety of articles, which are commonly sold by the shopkeeper of a small town; and he followed this occupation until the year 1812.
In his shop he sold corn flour and rice,to the poor, at less than the ordinary market price; and after he had given up his shop, he provided for them flour, which he warehoused and sold, first in his room, and afterwards in his school, until the period of his quitting Usk for Devauden.
In June 1812, some friends of the religious education of the poor resolved to establish a school at Usk; and James Davies, the most zealous promoter of the good work, proposed to accept the office of master, to which he was appointed on the 1st July 1812, with a salary of £30 per annum, and was requested to repair immediately to Bristol, to be instructed in his duties.
Chapter III: Devauden
Chapter IV: William James
Two editions of the memoir of James Davies contained a narrative of the last days of William James, who died at Kilgwrrwg, October 19, 1838, by James Davies, schoolmaster of the Devauden: and in 1843 the old man published, at his own expense, and distributed gratuitously, a small tract containg a brief memoir of the last days of William James.