Lady James with her daughter, Elizabeth Anne.
Anne Goddard was born into a wealthy family, and was probably brought up at the family home, Hartham Park in Wiltshire. She married William James in 1765, when he was 42 and she was in her early twenties. This was William’s second marriage, and he already had one son. William and Anne had two surviving children, Edward William and Elizabeth Anne. A stillborn child was buried at Eltham in 1780. Anne and William bought Park Farm Place at Eltham, and, when in London, lived in fashionable Gerrard Street, Soho.
Anne was interested in the arts. Both Anne and William were close friends of Lawrence Sterne, the author of Tristram Shandy. She was an amateur painter and, as well as buildings, she commissioned artworks, including a portrait of her friend Eliza Draper, also known to Lawrence Sterne.
Anne continued to live in Soho for several years after William’s death. In the 1790s she commissioned another building, at her family home in Hartham Park. This was completed in 1795, and Anne died there in 1798, having survived her husband and two children.
She was a wealthy woman, and left a detailed will, with most of her estate going to her grandson, and £5,000 to each of her two grand-daughters. Curiously, Severndroog Castle was not mentioned in her will.