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James Greenwood

James Greenwood

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James Greenwood, the second son in the family of eleven children of James Caer Greenwood and his wife, Mary Ann, née Fish, was born in London in 1831. After leaving school he was apprenticed as a compositor. Later he was employed as an engraver.

On 21st December, 1851, Greenwood married Eliza Hayson (1824–1917), a dressmaker. They had at least three sons and five daughters. His brother, Frederick Greenwood, was a journalist and together they wrote a novel, Under a Cloud (1860). This was followed by several adventure books for boys. He also had several stories published in Beeton's Boy's Own Magazine. One of these stories, King Lion, was later credited as an influence by Rudyard Kipling. His books and stories were often illustrated by the artist, Ernest Griset.

Frederick Greenwood eventually became editor of the Pall Mall Gazette. He employed James to write several articles for the newspaper. His biographer, Alannah Tomkins, points out: "Late in 1865 Frederick commissioned him to spend a night in the casual ward of a London workhouse. He was allegedly reluctant, but agreed to the work when offered a fee of £30 or £40 in advance, and further payment if the resulting articles made a significant impact on the Pall Mall Gazette's circulation. Accompanied by a friend named Bittlestone, a stockbroker, he entered Lambeth workhouse for a night in January 1866, both men having adopted clothing appropriate to occupants of the casual ward, which housed vagrants seeking overnight shelter. They remained in the workhouse for fourteen hours and emerged the following morning to be collected by Frederick's carriage."

Greenwood wrote: "No language with which I am acquainted is capable of conveying an adequate conception of the spectacle I then encountered. Imagine a space of about 30ft. by 30ft. enclosed on three sides by a dingy whitewashed wall, and roofed with naked tiles which were furred with the damp and filth that reeked within. As for the fourth side of the shed, it was boarded in for (say) a third of its breadth; the remaining space being hung with flimsy canvas, in which was a gap 2ft. wide at top, widening to at least 4ft. at bottom. This far too airy shed was paved with stone, the flags so thickly encrusted with filth that I mistook it first for a floor of natural earth."

He added: "Those beds were placed close together, every occupant being provided with a rug like that which I was fain to hug across my shoulders. In not a few cases two gentlemen had clubbed beds and rugs and slept together. In one case, to be further mentioned presently, four gentlemen had so clubbed together. Many of my fellow-casuals were awake - others asleep or pretending to sleep; and shocking as were the waking ones to look upon, they were quite pleasant when compared with the sleepers. For this reason the practised and well-seasoned casual seems to have a peculiar way of putting himself to bed. He rolls himself in his rug, tucking himself in, head and feet, so that he is completely enveloped; and, lying quite still on his pallet, he looks precisely like a corpse covered because of its hideousness. Some were stretched out at full length; some lay nose and knees together; some with an arm or a leg showing crooked through the coverlet. It was like the result of a railway accident; these ghastly figures were awaiting the coroner. From the moral point of view, however, the wakeful ones were more dreadful still. Towzled, dirty, villainous, they squatted up in their beds, and smoked foul pipes, and sang snatches of horrible songs, and bandied jokes so obscene as to be absolutely appalling. Eight or ten were so enjoying themselves - the majority with the check shirt on and the frowsy rug pulled about their legs; but two or three wore no shirts at all, squatting naked to the waist, their bodies fully exposed in the light of the single flaring jet of gas fixed high upon the wall."

The articles about the workhouse appeared in three successive issues of the Pall Mall Gazette. According to Alannah Tomkins "Greenwood's revelations of squalor, neglect, and degradation, and maladministration by the workhouse authorities, together with the shock of his and his companion's personal experiences (submerged in the filthy bathwater and sharing a bed with paupers), caused a sensation." The articles were reprinted in full in The Times, and they were issued later in the year as a pamphlet. It has been argued that Greenwood was the first journalist to use the pioneering technique of temporarily adopting the dress and circumstances of others and therefore provided a model for successors like Jack London, Mary Higgs and George Orwell.

Sympathetic to the plight of the working-class, Greenwood wrote several articles highlighting the problems of poor housing and public heath for the newspaper. His investigations into poverty also appeared in the books, Unsentimental Journeys, or, Byways of Modern Babylon (1867) and Seven Curses of London (1869). Greenwood developed ideas that resulted in him attempting to distinguish between the deserving and undeserving poor. He also proposed emigration to the colonies as a remedy for pauperism. During this period Greenwood was described as "a short, squarish, good-humoured man, dressed in a long black frock-coat, and black tie - the cut of a slum missionary".

In 1871 Greenwood was commissioned by Michael Bass, to investigate working conditions in the railway industry. The articles appeared in the Daily Telegraph and exposed the conditions endured by railway workers. As a result Bass helped finance the formation of the Associated Society of Railway Servants Union. He also provided generous support for the Railways Servants' Orphanage at Derby. For a while, Greenwood became the editor of a new journal, the Railway Service Gazette.

Greenwood created great controversy in 1874 by writing an article for the Daily Telegraph about attending a fight in Hanley, Staffordshire, which a man fought a dog. The account aroused public anger and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals attempted to trace the organizers of the fight. However, Greenwood was unable to provide further details to back-up his story.

In 1883 he published Odd People in Odd Places. He stated in the preface that the book contained pen portraits of the "homes, haunts, and habits of some of the lower grade of the great community" of London. Greenwood later became involved in philanthropy and established two funds for children, to provide outings to the countryside and to supply Christmas hampers. Greenwood also published a books about his experiences as an observer in the London police courts. His final book, published in 1905, included interviews with the inmates of lunatic asylums.

James Greenwood found it difficult to find work in the last 30 years of his life and endured the kind of poverty he described in his earlier writings. He died at the home of his daughter in Catford on 11th August 1927, at the age of ninety-six.

At 9 o'clock on the evening of Monday the 8th January, a neat and unpretentious carriage might have been seen turning cautiously from the Kennington road into Princes road, Lambeth. Approaching a public-house which retreated a little from the street, he pulled up; but not so close that the lights should fall upon the carriage door; not so distant as to unsettle the mind of any one who chose to imagine that he had halted to drink beer before proceeding to call for the children at a juvenile party. He did not dismount, nor did any one alight in the usual way; but any keen observer who happened to watch his intelligent countenance might have seen a furtive glance directed to the wrong door - that is to say, to the door of the carriage which opened into the dark and muddy road. From that door emerged a sly and ruffianly figure, marked with every sign of squalor. He was dressed in what had once been a snuff-brown coat, but which had faded to the hue of bricks imperfectly baked. It was not strictly a ragged coat, though it had lost its cuffs - a bereavement which obliged the wearer's arms to project through the sleeves two long inelegant inches. The coat altogether was too small, and was only made to meet over the chest by means of a bit of twine. This wretched garment was surmounted by a "bird's-eye" pocket-handkerchief of cotton, wisped about the throat hangman fashion: above all was a battered billy-cock hat, with a dissolute drooping brim. Between the neckerchief and the lowering brim of the hat appeared part of a face, unshaven and not scrupulously clean. The man's hands were plunged in his pockets, and he shuffled hastily along in boots which were the boots of a tramp indifferent to miry ways.

This mysterious figure was that of the present writer. He was bound for Lambeth workhouse, there to learn by actual experience how casual paupers are lodged and fed, and what the "casual" is like, and what the porter who admits him, and the master who rules over him; and how the night passes with the outcasts whom we have all seen crowding about workhouse doors on cold and rainy nights. Much has been said on the subject - on behalf of the paupers - on behalf of the officials; but nothing by any one who, with no motive but to learn and make known the truth, had ventured the experiment of passing a night in a workhouse, and trying what it actually is to be a casual.

The day had been windy and chill - the night was cold; and therefore I fully expected to begin my experiences amongst a dozen of ragged wretches squatting about the steps and waiting for admission. But my only companion at the door was a decently dressed woman, whom, as I afterwards learned, they declined to admit until she had recovered from a fit of intoxication from which she had the misfortune to be still suffering. I lifted the big knocker, and knocked; the door was promptly opened, and I entered. Just within, a comfortable-looking clerk sat at a comfortable desk, ledger before him. Indeed, the spacious hail in every way was as comfortable as cleanliness and great mats and plenty of gaslight could make it....

No language with which I am acquainted is capable of conveying an adequate conception of the spectacle I then encountered. This far too airy shed was paved with stone, the flags so thickly encrusted with filth that I mistook it first for a floor of natural earth. Extending from one end of my bedroom to the other, in three rows, were certain iron 'cranks,' of which I subsequently learnt the use, with their many arms raised in various attitudes, as the stiffened arms of men are on a battlefield. My bed-fellows lay among the cranks, distributed over the flagstones in a double row, on narrow bags scantily stuffed with hay. At one glance my appalled vision took in 30 of them - thirty men and boys stretched upon shallow pallets with but only six inches of comfortable hay between them and the stony floor. Those beds were placed close together, every occupant being provided with a rug like that which I was fain to hug across my shoulders. It was like the result of a railway accident; these ghastly figures were awaiting the coroner.

From the moral point of view, however, the wakeful ones were more dreadful still. Eight or ten were so enjoying themselves - the majority with the check shirt on and the frowsy rug pulled about their legs; but two or three wore no shirts at all, squatting naked to the waist, their bodies fully exposed in the light of the single flaring jet of gas fixed high upon the wall.

My entrance excited very little attention. There was a horse-pail three parts full of water standing by a post in the middle of the shed, with a little tin pot beside it. Addressing me as "old pal", one of the naked ruffians begged me to "hand him a swig", as he was 'werry nigh garspin.' Such an appeal of course no "old pal" could withstand, and I gave him a pot full of water. He showed himself grateful for the attention. "I should lay over there if I was you," he said, pointing to the left side of the shed; "it's more out of the wind than this 'ere side is." I took the good-natured advice and (by this time shivering with cold) stepped over the stones to where the beds or straw bags were heaped, and dragged one of them to the spot suggested by my comrade. But I had no more idea of how to arrange it than of making an apple-pudding, and a certain little discovery added much to my embarrassment. In the middle of the bed I had selected was a stain of blood bigger than a man's hand! I did not know what to do now. To lie on such a horrid thing seemed impossible; yet to carry back the bed and exchange it for another might betray a degree of fastidiousness repugnant to the feelings of my fellow lodgers and possibly excite suspicions that I was not what I seemed.

Greenwood, James, Sr. (1878&ndash1949)

James Greenwood, Sr., neuropsychiatrist, was born in Seguin, Texas, on April 18, 1878, the son of Judge James and Corinna (Henderson) Greenwood. He attended private schools and the John H. Bishop Academy for Young Men in Seguin. In 1901 he received his M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Greenwood was on the staff of the San Antonio State Hospital for Mental Diseases from 1902 to 1906, when he went into private practice in Seguin. In 1908 he returned to UTMB as instructor in pediatrics, clinical medicine, and physical diagnosis. He left Galveston in 1912 to establish the Greenwood Sanitarium for treatment of neuropsychiatric diseases in Houston. He continued his practice there until his retirement in 1947. From 1943 to 1947 he also served as professor of neuropsychiatry at Baylor University College of Medicine.

Greenwood was a charter member and first president of the Texas Neuropsychiatric Association and president of the Harris County Medical Society (1926). He served as vice president of the Texas State Medical Association (1926–27), secretary of the Section on Mental and Nervous Disease and Medical Jurisprudence (1910), and secretary of the Section on State Medical and Public Hygiene (1918). He was a member, consecutively, of the Bexar, Guadalupe, Galveston, and Harris County medical societies, as well as the American Psychiatric Association and the Southern Psychiatric Association. He wrote a number of papers on neurology and psychiatry. He sponsored the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and was granted a patent on a perpetual calendar designed on the same principle as a differential gear.

Greenwood married Ella Harris on September 24, 1906. They had three sons and two daughters. He died at his home on August 22, 1949, of cerebral arteriosclerosis. He was an Episcopalian, a mason, and a member of the Houston Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, and the River Oaks Country Club.

Reference Folder, Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library, Harris County Medical Archive. Texas State Journal of Medicine, October 1949.

[Portrait of James Greenwood]

Portrait of James Greenwood, smiling and wearing a suit and tie.

Physical Description

1 photograph : b&w 9 x 8 cm.

Creation Information

Creator: Unknown. Creation Date: Unknown.


This photograph is part of the collection entitled: Rescuing Texas History, 2015 and was provided by the Moody Medical Library, UT to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 12 times. More information about this photograph can be viewed below.

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Moody Medical Library, UT

The Moody Medical Library provides a place for medical students and faculty of UTMB to advance their study of medicine. The library contains “one of the world’s great historical collections of books and manuscripts in the history of medicine" in the Truman G. Blocker, Jr. History of Medicine Collections.

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Greenwood History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Greenwood is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the Old English words meaning "green" and "wood." No doubt, the first family to bear this name lived in or near a dense forest or "whose abode was 'the merrie green-wood.' " [1]

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Early Origins of the Greenwood family

The surname Greenwood was first found in Yorkshire where the name is "a well-known Yorkshire name. Of course other spots might give rise to the surname. But it is absolutely certain that some small spot between Huddersfield and Slaithwaite has given birth to the Greenwoods, who have ramified so marvelously in that county." [2]

As one might expect, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379, list Johannes de Grenewode et Agnes uxor ejus, ffarmour de Graunge in Huddersfield Johanna de Grenewoode and Ricardus de Grenewode. [2]

The Greenward variant is an interesting one. In this case, the name literally means "keeper of the village green" from the Old English word "weard" and the first record of the family was Adam Grenewerde who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1276 in Yorkshire. The same rolls also listed John de Grenewode and also holding lands in Yorkshire at that time. [3]

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Early History of the Greenwood family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greenwood research. Another 143 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1275, 1593, 1593, 1592, 1609, 1558, 1561, 1737 and 1711 are included under the topic Early Greenwood History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Greenwood Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Greenwood, Greenwoode, Greanwood, Greenewood, Grunewood, Greenwude, Greenewude, Greenwud and many more.

Early Notables of the Greenwood family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John Greenwood (died 1593), an English clergyman and religious reformer, executed in 1593. "On 5 Dec. 1592 Greenwood and Johnson were arrested shortly after midnight at the house of Edward Boys in Fleet Street, and taken to the Counter in Wood Street, Cheapside, and in the morning the archbishop recommitted Greenwood to the Fleet. On 11 and 20 March Greenwood was examined, and confessed to the authorship of his books (Egerton Papers, pp. 171, 176). On 21 March Greenwood and Barrow were indicted, and two days later Sir.
Another 93 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Greenwood Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Greenwood migration +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Greenwood Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Greenwood, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 [4]
  • Judeth Greenwood, who arrived in Virginia in 1651 [4]
  • Nathaniel Greenwood who settled in Boston, Massachusetts in the year 1654
  • Armagall Greenwood, who arrived in Virginia in 1656 [4]
  • Armagill Greenwood, who landed in Maryland in 1659 [4]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Greenwood Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Greenwood Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Greenwood, who arrived in America in 1811 [4]
  • John Greenwood, who arrived in New York in 1835 [4]
  • Mr. Greenwood, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
  • J Greenwood, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
  • J S Greenwood, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Greenwood migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Greenwood Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Eliza Greenwood, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Greenwood, who landed in Nava Scotia in 1750
  • Phillis Greenwood, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Robert Greenwood, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. John Greenwood U.E. born in Newcastle, Delaware, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [5]
Greenwood Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

Greenwood migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Greenwood Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Greenwood, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia[6]
  • James Greenwood, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia[7]
  • John Greenwood, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia[8]
  • George Greenwood, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia[9]
  • Miss Eliza Greenwood who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Burrell" on 31st December 1831, arriving in New South Wales[10]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Greenwood migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

1839 – Estimated year of birth.

1855 – 17 th October – Convicted in Preston of Stealing a shirt. – Sentenced to 4 years Penal Servitude.

1856 – 19 th January – Received at Millbank Prison.

1859 – 3 rd May – Received at Woking Convict Invalid Prison. Prisoner Number 8. Recorded as a 4𔃻″ red haired methodist.

1859 – 15 th October – Released from Woking Convict Invalid Prison.

1895 21 st November – Received at HMP Wakefield for being “drunk and riotous” Sentenced to 7 days or a fine of 11.3.

1904 – 24 th October Deceased in Lambeth Workhouse. We are unsure of what brought him to the workhouse, age, infirmity or insolvency. He died aged around 65.

If you have more information about him or his family, please email us here.

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James Beckwourth and the California gold boom

James Beckwourth had already been to California once when he finally split with Luisa Sandoval Brown, and in 1843 he headed there again. Encyclopedia verifies that for the next several years, the man would ramble over the Southwest towards the Golden State, gambling, trading horses, working as a guide for the Army and arriving in Los Angeles in time to assist residents in their efforts to make California officially part of the United States. Beckwourth himself illuminated on his travels, talking of wrangling grizzly bears, dealing with Natives, mining, and discovering a pass that today remains named for him.

Located in the Sierra Nevadas, Beckwourth Pass lies at an elevation of 5,221 feet, says California's Office of Historic Preservation. Beckwourth's online biography submits that he "discovered" the pass during the spring of 1850. After working to improve the trail for about a year, he was able to begin leading wagon trains to Marysville some 125 miles away. T.D. Bonner, Beckwourth's official biographer, wrote that the pass "greatly facilitated emigrants in reaching California." Weary travelers often stopped at his place nearby, which Legends of America says consisted of a ranch and trading post. Sierra Nevada GeoTourism notes that Beckwourth established three other passes as well but only Beckwourth Pass was made an official historic landmark, in 1939.

James Greenwood

If James Greenwood was the person you were looking for, you may be able to discover more about them by looking at our resources page.

If you have more hunting to do, try a new search or browse the convict records.

Know more about James Greenwood?

Community Contributions

Jenni Cook on 6th November, 2012 wrote:

Free by Servitude 1853.
Moves to Castlemaine, Victoria to mine gold.

Lizz Sullivan on 28th June, 2014 wrote:

I am a relative from England, would love to know what happened to him and whether I have any relatives!

D Wong on 29th June, 2014 wrote:

James was 24 years old on arrival in VDL and was convicted along with James Elmer (also on board).

James was 5𔃽 1/4” tall, brown hair and eyes, fresh complexion.

James was married, wife Ann and 3 children at Poulstead.

15/5/1853: Passenger per ‘Clarence’ Launceston to Melbourne.

1/10/1853: Passenger per ‘Yarra River’ Launceston to Melbourne.

Quite a few James Greenwood’s around at the same time, have not been able to track him in Victoria.

Lizz Sullivan on 29th June, 2014 wrote:

He married sarah bickley Thompson in 1879 and dies in 1872, as per census records he was an agricultural labourer, hence why I changed his occupation -) he was my great great great grandfather, as far as I know he had a step son which was sarah’s son, not sure of the name though.

D Wong on 30th June, 2014 wrote:

From a post on Rootsweb by Sharon Finn March, 2006:

Looking for the death of a William THOMPSON, c.1859. His wife Sarah Bickley Thompson (convict arived VDL on Asia 2) remarried James GREENWOOD in
Victoria 1879 and lived in Castlemaine area. Sarah stated on that marriage certificate that she had been a widow since 1859. Sarah (died 1894) James
Greenwood and James Thompson (son of Sarah and Wiliam) are buried at Campbells Creek Cemetery.

D Wong on 30th June, 2014 wrote:

Birth: 1814
Marriage: Not Available
Death: 1882
Castlemaine Cemetery
Campbells Creek, Victoria, Australia

Others Here:
Sarah Greenwood (nee Bickley)

James Brison Thompson

Epitaph & Description:
James greenwood 1814-1882 miner and pasturer born Suffolk England arrived Tasmania 1837 on Recovery died Ten Foot Hill Castlemaine his wife Sarah Greenwood nee Bickley c1823-1894 born Staffordshire England arrived Tasmania 1847 on Asia his stepson James Brison Thompson 1851-1899 blacksmith of Castlemaine erected by his descendants in England.

Jenni Cook on 16th August, 2015 wrote:

Lizz I would love to get in touch, I am James’s 4x great granddaughter. My father erected the gravestone.

Helen Mckee on 25th February, 2016 wrote:

Marriage certificate for James Greenwood and Sarah (Bickley) Thompson says he was widowed in 1864 with no children. He died on 2nd April 1882 at Castlemaine, Victoria aged 68 yrs old.

Helen Mckee on 25th February, 2016 wrote:

He married Sarah Thompson on 18th December 1879 at Castlemaine Registrar Office.

Stephanie Thompson on 14th January, 2019 wrote:

James Greenwood married Sarah Bickley was my husband’s great grandmother. Sarah’s son James Brison (Bryson) Thompson was my husbands grandfather. William Thompson was the father of James. Would love to hear of any connections.

Convict Changes History

Jenni Cook on 6th November, 2012 made the following changes:

date of birth 1814, gender, occupation, crime

Lizz Sullivan on 28th June, 2014 made the following changes:

D Wong on 29th June, 2014 made the following changes:

D Wong on 30th June, 2014 made the following changes:

date of death: 1882 (prev. 0000)

This record was discovered and printed on ConvictRecords.com.au

British Convict transportation register made available by the State Library of Queensland


I wasn't paid for contributing to the first series of The Pets Factor, for example, because it was more of an observational documentary.

As a result, there was an 18-month period when I was struggling to cover the mortgage and my basic shopping needs. I was dipping into savings just to make ends meet – and keep a roof over my head.

That was the worst period of my life, financially. It was super stressful. If the money scales start tipping in the wrong direction, it can affect everything from your relationship to your home – and it can result in general anxiety.

I wanted to pursue the media opportunities I was being offered, but I realised a career in TV was not financially sustainable if I didn't start getting paid. Now, my role on The Pets Factor is different. I'm more of a presenter and am paid accordingly.

Have you ever been paid silly money?

Yes. I once took part in a branded PR campaign to raise awareness around parasite control. I earned several thousand pounds – a month's wages for a vet – in about four hours. It was crazy. I almost fell off my chair when I got the email. I had to read it several times, as I thought they'd put an extra zero on my fee by mistake.

It was quite electrifying to earn that much money in such a short period of time. As a vet, the money you earn is quite low for the amount of emotional stress.

Vets' salaries aren't nearly comparable to doctors or dentists. The amount of financial commitment it takes to become a vet versus the reward, in terms of salary, means it's definitely a labour of love.

You go into it understanding that being a vet is a vocation – an absolute passion – rather than something that you are going to make a lot of money from.

What was the best year of your financial life?

Last year. I took a big gamble taking a pay cut to work in TV, but I'm now making as much as I would make if I was working flat out full-time as a vet.

I am hoping this year will be even better but it's difficult to know, due to the coronavirus.

What was the most expensive thing you bought just for fun?

A natural seagrass carpet for my home. My husband and I were renovating our house, which is quite old, and I had always wanted to have this specific type of carpet. It cost about £5,000 to carpet two rooms.

However, the dog vomited on it, a lamb called Sprout urinated on it and we had a leak from the bathroom – so it all had to be replaced.

It was such a ridiculous extravagance, but I still absolutely love it.

What was the best money decision you made?

Getting on the property ladder. We bought our first home, a two-bedroom house in Bristol, in 2012. We sold it three years later and made £40,000. That enabled us to buy our current home, a three-bedroom detached house on the outskirts of the city.

Do you save into a pension or invest in the stock market?

Yes I do save into a pension and have done so since I was 29 and started as a vet. My dad always encouraged me to start one.

I've also got some share-based Isas – I took advice from a financial adviser and invested a small amount about nine months ago.

I think it's a good idea to have a spread of investments – a pension, a property, and stocks and shares – rather than putting all your money in one place.

Do you consider your home as an investment?

Yes. Our home was a project when we bought it, which means, unfortunately, we have been cooking on barbecue stoves and washing up in the bathtub for years.

But it's finally getting to the point where it's more like how I want it to be. Plus, our replacement carpet is down – so that makes me happy.

There's a paddock behind the garden for our 20 sheep, though Sprout – the lamb who urinated on the carpet – lived in the house for three or four weeks during lockdown.

If you were Chancellor what would you do?

I would throw more money at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – as well as all the animal charities working so hard to expose and clamp down on illegal puppy trading.

Puppy farming and illegal puppy smuggling has boomed through the coronavirus lockdown as the demand for puppies has skyrocketed. It's heartbreaking as a vet to witness this exploitation of animals and more needs to be done to toughen the laws around it.

What is your number one financial priority?

To save more money so that my husband and I can start a family. I never thought that becoming a dad would be an option for me when I was growing up. But my husband and I have got so much love to give and would like to be able to experience parenthood, like so many other people do.

We're looking at how we can put the money together because if we go down the surrogate route, all the expenses need to be covered by the intended parents, which costs thousands of pounds. We're exploring adoption as well.

But either way, we know that bringing up a child is going to put extra financial strain on our household. So we're being careful with all the money we have coming in at the moment and trying to save as much as possible.

Watch the video: James Greenwood: The Pets Factor Pretzel Poo (May 2022).