Oxford History: Miscellaneous Biographies  

Adin Williams, George St Swithin Williams, Ivy Williams

The Oxford draper & tailor Adin Williams was the father of the solicitor George St Swithin Williams
who in turn was the father of Ivy Williams, the first woman in England to be called to the bar

Adin Williams

(1) Adin Williams and his wife Eliza Ruth Bolton

Adin Williams (1803–1876)

Adin Williams (right) was born on 26 July 1803 in in Cote, Oxfordshire (which is four miles south of Witney in the civil parish of Aston). He was the son of Peter Williams and Ruth Collett, and his birth was entered in the register of Cote Baptist Chapel. The birth of four of his siblings was also recorded in that register: Boas (1800), William (1802), Abigail (1806), and Richard (1809). His other siblings Japhes and Elizabeth died in infancy.

Adin started off as a mercer’s assistant at the former shop on the site of 136 High Street, Oxford and later took it over.

Eliza Ruth Bolton (1810–1884)

Eliza Bolton was born at Chilswell Farm, Cumnor on 1 December 1810 and baptised at the Anglican church there on 16 January 1811. She was the daughter of William Bolton and Mary Elliott. Her older brother Reuben Bolton was baptised at the same church in 1809.

On 21 February 1829 at All Saints Church, Oxford, Adin Williams married Eliza Ruth Bolton: they were both then living in that parish. They had eight children:

  • Eliza Ruth Williams (born in Oxford on 24 January 1831)
  • George Williams (born in Oxford on 15 July 1833): later adopted the middle name St Swithin
  • Adin Williams junior (born in Oxford on 28 March 1835)
  • Daniel Williams (born in Oxford in 1837)
  • Mary Abigail Williams (born in Summertown in 1844)
  • Henry Bulteel Williams (born in Summertown in 1846)
  • John Horatio or Horace Williams (born in Summertown in 1848)
  • Martha Wallis Williams (born in Summertown in 1850).

Adin Williams was returned as a Guardian of All Saints parish in 1831.

Adin and Eliza Williams lived over their shop at 136 High Street until at least July 1833, and Adin remained the owner of the business there until his death in 1876.

Adin took on Charles Robinson as an apprentice in 1839, and Charles James Tyrrell in 1841.

By 1841 the family was no longer living over the shop but had moved to Summertown The 1841 census shows them living at Church House in what is now Rogers Street with their first four children Eliza (10), George (8), Adin (6), and Daniel (4), plus Eliza's parents William & Mary Bolton, and two servants.

In 1842 Adin Williams and his wife and their son John were enrolled as members of Summertown Congregational Church.

On 14 January 1845 Jackson's Oxford Journal reported how a house near Folly Bridge owned and in the process of being built by Adin Williams collapsed:

On Wednesday morning last, between 11 and 12 o'clock, a four-story brick house in St. Aldate's-street, near Folly Bridge, belonging to and built by Mr. Adin Williams, draper and tailor, of this city, fell in with a tremendous crash, and became in a moment a ruinous heap. Fortunately it fell inwardly, and no one was in or near it at the time; but had it happened a little earlier or later the workmen would have been buried in the ruins, as they intended putting the roof on that very day. A few weeks ago one side of the same house fell in; and it is much to be regretted that, for the safety of the public, there are not some stringent measures in force to prevent the erection of such gingerbread buildings.

In July 1845 Adin Williams was elected a Warden of the Mercers' and Grocers' Company, and he was re-elected in October 1845.

In 1846 he gave his son Henry the middle name of Bulteel, which probably indicates his support for the radical Oxford preacher Henry Bulteel.

At the time of the 1851 census Adin and Eliza Williams were living at Summertown with seven of their eight children: Eliza (20); George (17), who was now articled to a solicitor; Daniel (13); Mary (7); Henry (4); John (2), and Martha (seven months), plus two house servants: one of these servants was Harriet Hawkins (26), who was soon to marry Joseph Ewers (21), a servant who lived next door but one): they would become the parents of Emma Ewers (see below). Their son Adin Williams junior, a mercer's assistant,  lived over the shop at 136 High Street, and despite being only sixteen was described as the head of the household, looked after by a housekeeper. An assistant tailor lived with him, and there were now two other apartments over the shop occupied by other people.

In 1852, Gardner’s Directory listed Adin Williams at 136 High Street as a hatter, linen draper, gentlemen’s mercer, tailor, and robe maker, as well as an agent for Star Fire & Life Assurance company.

Adin Williams' eldest daughter Eliza was married in 1855:

  • On 10 July 1855 at the Anglican church in Summertown, Eliza Ruth Williams married
    the upholsterer William Baker: both were then living in Summertown.

Three of Adin Williams' sons were admitted free in the 1850s: George in 1854, and Adin junior and Daniel in 1858.

On 20  March 1856 Adin Williams was elected Chairman of the Oxford Street Commissioners.

In 1861 Adin Williams (57), described as a tailor & clothier, was still living in Summertown with four of his children: Daniel (23), Mary (17), Henry (14), and Martha (10), plus a house servant. (The address was recorded as George Street, which has been renamed Middle Way, but they were probably at the same house as before in Rogers Street.) His eldest two sons George St Swithin Williams (27) and Adin Williams junior (26) were living over the shop in Oxford in 1861 with Jeannie Wallis (24) and Annie Williams (30), who were described as nieces (presumably of Adin Williams senior) and a 22-year-old servant girl called Emma whose surname her employers did not know.

Three more of the children of Adin and Eliza Williams were married before the next census:

  • In 1862 in the Cheltenham district, Adin Williams junior married Harriett Gibbs
  • On 4 May 1865 in the Headington registration district, Mary Abigail Williams married
    the Revd William Edward Cousins, who was a missionary in Madagascar.
  • On 20 July 1870 at Summertown Congregational Church, Martha Wallace Williams married
    the upholsterer Nehemiah Harry Prior.

On 14  May 1864 at the Bullingdon Division Petty Sessions at County Hall Adin Williams was summoned by the churchwardens of Summertown for refusing to pay a church rate of 13s. 6d., but the case was dismissed.

In December 1870 and and again in January 1871 Adin Williams was fined for allowing the chimney at his shop at 136 High Street to catch fire.

At the time of the 1871 census Adin Williams (67) and Eliza (60) were still living at Church House in Summertown with their unmarried sons Daniel (34), John (22), described as a master tailor and mercer, and George (38), solicitor, plus their servant girl Emma Ewers (17). The upstairs of the family shop in the High was now a lodging house.

Their son John was married later in 1871:

  • On 6 July 1871 at Summertown Congregational Church, John Horace Williams, described as a woollen draper of
    the High Street, Oxford, married Sarah Ann Bateman of Summertown.

In the early 1870s their son George eloped with the family's young servant girl:

  • At some point between 1872 and 1874, George St Swithin Williams and Emma Ewers were presumably married, but no marriage has been found.

In February 1875 Adin Williams was fined for allowing a nuisance to exist at 22 Wellington Street, Jericho, a property he owned.

Adin Williams was described as “late of Summertown” when he died at 136 High Street, Oxford at the age of 72 on 11 October 1876. He was buried at Cote Baptist Chapel. His effects came to under £6,000, and a copy of his will is available at the Oxfordshire History Centre (F104/1/W/1, in the Cousins Family papers at F104). The stock of his shop was immediately put up for auction on the premises (details under 126 High Street).

A month later on 11 November 1876 his executors advertised a sale on his premises at 126 High Street of his surplus stock-in-trade, plus his furniture and kitchen utensils:

Sale of stock of Adin Williams JOJ 11 Nov 1876

Eliza Ruth Williams, née Bolton was living in Marlborough Street, Great Faringdon, Berkshire in 1881 with her married daughter Martha Prior and family. She died at Sunbury Lodge, Park Town at the age of 74 on 16 February 1884 and her funeral was held at St Mary-the-Virgin Church on 21 February. (See F104/2 in the Cousins Family Papers Collection in the Oxfordshire History Centre). She was buried in Holywell Cemetery, Oxford (Plot H.66).

(2) George St Swithin Williams and Emma Ewers

George St Swithin Williams (1833–1904)

George Williams (born in Oxford on 15 July 1833) was the eldest son of Adin and Eliza Williams. He trained as a solicitor, taking the middle name St Swithin by the age of 21 in order to make his name more distinctive. He lived with his parents in Summertown until about 1873: see above for his early life.

He is first mentioned in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 25 November 1854, when he was 21, when it was reported that “Mr. St. Swithin Williams, a son of Mr. Adin Williams of this city, has been admitted a solicitor and attorney”. Later he added “Established 1854” to his advertisements.

On 11 July 1857 at the age of 23 he was the instructing solicitor for Mr Neate in a case about corrupt practices in the Oxford City Election.

On 23 April 1859, giving his father's business address of 136 High Street as his office, he started advertising loans. The following advertisement appeared in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 4 April 1868:

JOJ 4 April 1868

George inserted a box advertisement on the front page of Jackson's Oxford Journal each week until early 1870. The size of the loans offered later increased to £50–£1,000 against land or houses, and he called his private bank the Oxon & Berks Bank.

In 1871 at the age of 38 George was still living at home with his parents and their 7-year-old servant girl Emma Ewers. He was the instructing solicitor in further court cases until 1872, and then there is a gap of eight years before his court cases (where he sometimes was the Plaintiff when his customers defaulted on their loans) started to reappear.

Emma Ewers (1854–1921)

Emma (born in Summertown after the middle of 1854) was the daughter of Joseph Ewers, a labourer who was born in Ashendon, Buckinghamshire in 1830, and Harriet Hawkins, who was born in Witney in 1829. In 1842 before her marriage, Emma's mother Harriet had joined Summertown Congregational Church, and probably met the Williams family there, as they had joined the church in the same year: in any event, by 1851 Harriet was working as their servant at Church House, Summertown. Just before their marriage two years later, both of Emma's parents were living in St Ebbe's in Oxford: Joseph Ewers was a gardener in New Street, and Harriet Hawkins was living in Bridge Street. Emma's parents were married at St Ebbe's Church on 5 September 1853 and moved to Summertown. Emma, who was their eldest child, was born there in 1854, followed by Charles (1857), Rosa (1860), Thomas Edward (1862), and Ernest (1865/6).

At the time of the 1861 census Emma (6) was living in South Parade with her parents and her younger siblings Charles (3) and Rosa (six months).

Emma's mother Harriet Ewers died at the age of 41 in 1868 not long after giving birth to her sixth child, and was buried at Summertown on 28 February 1868. When recording her death in their register, Summertown Congregational Church register added that she “married Joseph Hewers and lived in much love about 15 years”. Her baby Harriet was probably not expected to live, as on 24 February 1868 she was the only one of the Ewers children to be baptised at Summertown Church: she died when she was eighteen days old, and was buried at the same time as her mother.

Emma's father Joseph Ewers was evidently a coal seller, as Jackson's Oxford Journal reports that at the Petty Sessions at County Hall on 17 October 1868 he was fined for having an incorrect pair of scales in his possession. He was also described as a carrier.

On 19 May 1869, fifteen months after his wife's death, Joseph Ewers took a group of eight or nine people from Summertown in his horse-drawn coal van to the Eynsham Athletic Sports. On the way home, between 9pm and 10pm, they called in at the Red Lion at Cassington. There was a dispute in the pub with a man called John Timms, and when Ewers was putting his horse to the van at about 11pm ready for the journey home, Timms struck him four times with a hatchet. His friends took Ewers to the Radcliffe Infirmary in his own coal cart. Ewers left the Infirmary at his own request on 2 June before his wounds were healed, and on 12 July he suffered from inflammation of the brain and convulsions and was readmitted. He died there the next day at the age of 37, and following an inquest on 14 July he was buried at Summertown on 16 July 1868. The verdict at the Spring Assizes of 3 March 1870 was manslaughter rather than murder, as Ewers should not have discharged himself from hospital, and he was also found to have kidney disease which could have contributed to his death. There is a report of the trial in The Times of London on 6 March 1870, and fuller details in Jackson's Oxford Journal of 17 July 1869 and 24 July 1869.

Emma was thus an orphan at the age of 15, and it looks as though the Williams family stepped in to help her, as she was the daughter of their former servant and also a member of their church, By 1871 Emma (17) was living with them in Rogers Street as their servant. Three of her siblings were with relations: Charles (13) and Ernest (5) were with their uncle, the milkman Israel Carpenter, at George Street, Summertown (now Middle Way) and Rosa (10) was with her uncle Jonathan Ewers, a coal porter and local preacher, at Rose Hill. Her brother Thomas (9) was boarding at Witney.

George & Emma Williams

George St Swithin Williams and his family's servant Emma Ewers left Oxford by the end of 1874, presumably to get married, although no marriage has been found. It is possible that they married in Scotland or abroad, as Emma was still a minor, 21 years younger than her husband, and in England she would have needed the permission of her guardian. The birth places of George and Emma's two children show that in September 1875 they were on the Isle of Wight, and two years later in Devon:

  • Winter Williams (born on 17 September 1875 in Ryde, Isle of Wight)
  • Ivy Williams (born on 7 September 1877 in Newton Abbot, Devon).

This single line advertisement was inserted regularly in Jackson's Oxford Journal up to 27 November 1875, showing that his business was still based in his father's shop at 136 High Street:

JOJ 27 November 1875

In 1875 George St Swithin Williams was the defendant in the case Durell v. Williams (National Archives C16/1053/D4A). The plaintiff, Maria Durell, was the widow of David Vavasour Durell, who had been superintendent of the Oxford Canal Company (more information on the family here).

George's father Adin Williams died in 1876. Despite the fact that George was a solicitor, Adin's executors were his son-in-law Harry Neville Prior and John Lindsey, a Summertown butcher, which indicates that a serious rift between father and son had probably been caused by George's marriage.

There is no mention of Swithin Williams in Jackson’s Oxford Journal after November 1875 until 17 February 1877, when his residence is given as Bolls Chambers, Middlesex and the Parish of All Saints, Oxford, with the place where the business was carried on given as High Street, Oxford.

By April 1880 the family of four appears to have been back in Oxford, but it is hard to find them in the 1881 census for England & Wales: they may well have been travelling in Europe.

In 1882 George planned a move to his first of his two addresses in King Edward Street. Jackson’s Oxford Journal for 14 October 1882 reports: “Alterations have been made to No. 9, King Edward-street, consisting of new front, strong room, fittings, &c. for occupation by the Oxford and Berks Bank for Mr. St. Swithin Williams. Messrs Symm and Co. are the builders, and Mr. Codd, architect.” (George would have known Frederick Codd well, as in the 1860s they both had their office above George's father's shop at 136 High Street.)

George wasted no time when the Oxford Building Society collapsed in 1883, immediately offering loans to bondholders.

George's mother Eliza Williams died in 1884.

In August 1899 his son Winter Williams, who who had read Jurisprudence at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, was the Lieutenant of the cyclist section of the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Oxfordshire Light Infantry, and by August 1900 he was a Captain. In October 1900 he was chosen to sit on Cowley Parish Council as he “woud be shortly occupying a farm at Cowley”.

George and his family were again away at the time of the 1891 census, but by 1897 they were at Merton House, 12 King Edward Street, their second address in that road. This housed George's bank (the Oxon & Berks) and also his solicitor's office, and the family of four lived upstairs.

At the time of the 1901 census George (67), now described as a banker as well as a solicitor, was living at 12 King Edward Street with his wife Emma (46), his son Winter (25), who was a barrister, and his daughter Ivy (23), who was a law student. They had two servants.

George's son Winter Williams, who was now a young barrister, continued to live with his family at 12 King Edward Street. He died on 14 July 1903 at the age of 27 at All Hallows, a semi-detached house in Temple Cowley. His funeral at St Mary-the-Virgin Church was conducted by a Congregational minister (certified under the Burial Law Amendment Act of 1880), and he was buried in Holywell Cemetery in his grandmother's grave (Plot H.66).

George St Swithin Williams himself died at 12 King Edward Street, Oxford at the age of 71 on 19 September 1904, and his funeral was held at St Mary-the Virgin Church on 20 September (again with a Congregationalist ceremony certified under the Burial Law Amendment Act of 1880). He was buried with his mother and son in Holywell Cemetery (Plot H.66).
His effects came to £79,588 4s. 8d., and his executors were his widow Emma and his daughter Ivy.

Following her husband's death, Emma Williams, née Ewers moved with her daughter to Sunnyside, a large house off Hollow Way in Cowley.

In 1920 they moved to 30 Staverton Road in north Oxford. Emma Williams was still living there when she died at 28 Nassington Road, Hampstead on 8 July 1921. Her effects came to £3,893 7s. 6d., and Ivy acted as her executor.

(3) Ivy Williams (1877–1966)

George's only surviving child Ivy Williams had been tutored at home in Oxford, and on 5 September 1891 Jackson's Oxford Journal announced that she had obtained first class in three subjects (German, French, and Additional Mathematics) in the Oxford & Cambridge Schools Examination at the Oxford Centre. On 10 September 1892 that paper stated that Ivy had passed in English grammar, Latin, German, French, arithmetic, Euclid (four books), algebra (to quadratic equations), geography, and English History. She gained three distinctions in Latin, German, and French; she was first in all England in German; in French she was 12th in the honours list, and in Latin she was the second of the girls.

A year later on 9 September 1893 that newspaper reported that in the senior examination, when she was only 16 years and 10 months, she did so well that she gained a certificate of exemption from the University of Oxford first examination for women, stating however that Oxford would admit women to her law examinations, “but she gives them, as yet, no degrees”; nor could they be matriculated.

Ivy studied Jurisprudence at the Society of Oxford Home Students (later St Anne’s College) from the age of 19, living with her family at 12 King Edward Street.

Following the death of her brother in 1903 and her father in 1904, Ivy moved with her mother to Sunnyside in Cowley (photograph) , and then in 1920 they moved on to 30 Staverton Road in north Oxford. After the death of her mother in 1921 she transferred Sunnyside and its fifty-acre estate to the Radcliffe Infirmary and it became the Sunnyside Convalescent Home until that was transferred to Headington in 1930.

Ivy was finally allowed to matriculate on 7 October 1920 and just a week later took her BA degree in Jurisprudence (which she had gained in 1900), her MA, and her BCL (gained in 1902): see photographs in the Oxford Journal Illustrated of 20 October 1920, p. 6.

From 1920 to 1945 Ivy was tutor and lecturer in Law to the Society of Oxford Home Students, and in 1923 she was the first woman at the University of Oxford to be awarded the degree of DCL. In that year she gave the University of Oxford two sums of £3,500 for two law scholarships (one for women only) in memory of her brother Winter Williams: see Oxford Journal Illustrated of 7 February 1923, p. 11. There is still a Winter Williams Studentship in Law at the University of Oxford.

In 1922 she was the first woman in England to be called to the bar. She did not practise law, however, and returned to her life as an academic.

She spent years abroad studying foreign systems of law and was fluent in French, German, Italian, and Russian. In 1930 she was appointed by the Government as a technical adviser to the conference on the Codification of International Law, and in early 1932 she was the only woman apppointed to the newly formed Aliens Order Advisory Committee.

In 1948 she wrote a Braille primer to help others who, like herself, were going blind, and taught correspondence pupils to read and write in Braille.

She died at 30 Staverton Road on 18 February 1966 at the age of 88. Her effects came to £30,366, and her executor was Miss Mary Banbury.

The four surviving siblings of Ivy's mother Emma Ewers (Mrs St Swithin Williams)

The five Ewers children were orphaned in 1869

Charles Ewers (1857–1926)

In 1871 Charles Ewers (13) was still at school, and he and his younger brother Ernest (5) were living in Middle Way (then called George Street) in Summertown with their paternal aunt Martha Carpenter, nee Ewers and her husband Israel Carpenter, who was a milkman.

Charles was married in Sheffield in 1880 to Elizabeth Mawson, whose husband Andrew had died at the age of 29 in 1874.

In 1881 Charles (23) was a railway clerk, living at 80 Catherine Road, Sheffield with his wife Elizabeth (34) and his stepson John Arthur Mawson (12), and their two lodgers.

In 1891 he was a solicitor's clerk aged 33, living at 76 Hurst Street in east Oxford with his wife Elizabeth (45), their daughter Florence (9), and his stepson John Arthur Mawson (22).

In 1901 he was still a solicitor's clerk, now living at 142 Hurst Street with his wife Elizabeth.

They were at the same address in 1911. Charles now described himself as an estate agent, and their daughter Florence (29) was living with them again and working as an elementary school teacher.

Charles Ewers died in the Headington registration district (probably in east Oxford) in 1926. His only child Florence Ewers never married, and was living at 68 Hill Top Road, Oxford when she died at the Radcliffe Infirmary at the age of 80 on 3 January 1962.

Rosa Ewers (born 1860)

At the time of the 1871 census Rosa (10) was living at Rose Hill, near Oxford with her paternal uncle Jonathan Ewers, who was a coal porter for the local board, and his wife Elizabeth.

In 1881 Rosa (20) was a general servant, living at Waynflete Lodge on the Iffley Road, Oxford, looking after the widowed annuitant Mary Wells (66) and her seven-year-old grandson.

Rosa Ewers is hard to find after that date. There is no marriage or death. (The Rosa Ewers who married in Oxford in 1905 is her widowed sister-in-law of the same name.)

Thomas Edward Ewers (1862–1931)

In 1871 Thomas (9) was boarding at Witney in the home of a butcher called Thomas King; the other three boarders were all adults.

In 1881 Thomas (19) was working as a labourer in a varnish works and lodging with the Broadbridge family at 6 Albion Place, Church Road, Mitcham, Surrey.

Within a few months of that census he was married in Croydon to Ada Harwood. Their daughter Hilda May Ewers was born in Mitcham, Surrey in 1886; then Charles Ewart Edward Ewers and Edith Ewers were born in Lambeth in 1892 and 1893 respectively. Their last three children were born in Carshalton, Surrey: Elsie Muriel Ewers in 1898, Beatrice Winifred Ewers in 1901, and Kathleen Marjorie Ewers in 1904. All were baptised in the Anglican church.

In 1891 Thomas (29) was a Metropolitan police constable, living at 22 Burgoyne Street, Lambeth with his wife and their son Roderick (three months).

In 1901 Thomas (38), who was still a Metropolitan police constable, was living in Sherb[ourne?] Road, Carshalton with his wife Ada and their children Hilda (14), Charles (9), Edith (7), and Elsie (2).

Their daughter Hilda May Ewers died in Gloucester on 5 April 1911. At the time of the 1911 census Thomas (48), described as a police pensioner, was living at Vine Cottage, Dorchester-on-Thames with his wife Ada and three of their six surviving children: Elsie (12), Beatrice (9), and Kathleen (7).

Thomas Edward Ewers died in the Wallingford registration district at the age of 68 near the beginning of 1931.

Ernest Ewers (born 1865/6–1903)

In 1871 Ernest (5), along with his older brother Charles (13) was living in Middle Way (then called George Street) in Summertown with his paternal aunt Martha Carpenter, née Ewers and her husband Israel Carpenter, who was a milkman.

In 1881 Ernest (15) was described as a butcher and was still living with the Carpenters in Middle Way, Summertown.

On 21 September 1890 at Cowley St John Church Ernest Ewers (24) of 76 Hurst Street married Rosa Boddington (24), a shepherd's daughter who was employed as a domestic servant at 1 Crick Road. They do not appear to have had any children.

In 1891 Ernest, a butcher, was living at 4 Cambridge Street, St Ebbe's, Oxford with his wife Rosa.

In 1901 Ernest (35), a butcher and employer, was living at 37 St Ebbe's Street with his wife Rosa.

Ernest Ewers died at 37 St Ebbe's Street at the age of 37 and his funeral was held at St Peter-le-Bailey Church on 8 November 1903. His widow Rosa Ewers married her second husband in 1905.

The siblings of Ivy's father George St Swithin Williams

Eliza Ruth Williams, Mrs Baker (1831–1901)

At the time of the 1861 census Eliza (30) was living at The Terrace in Park Town with her husband William Baker (28), who was described as a cabinet maker employing 22 men, 8 boys, and 24 women, and their niece Caroline Thomas (9) and their servant.

In 1871 they were living at 4 Broad Street with their adopted daughter Constance E. Jeffris Baker (13) and their great-niece, plus two servants.

In 1881 William and Eliza were at a house in St Giles called Kursman with their son William Henry Baker (8) and their daughter Hilda Millicent Baker (6), plus their adopted daughter Constance (23) who was now a housemaid, and three servants. William now employed 31 men, 7 boys, and 4 women.

In 1882 William Baker and his sister Martha's husband Harry Neville Prior built a four-floor warehouse at the rear of 1–3 Broad Street

In 1891 Eliza (60) was staying in a Hydropathic Establishment in Matlock, Derbyshire, presumably receiving water treatment. Her husband William Baker (48) was living at 16 Rawlinson Road, Oxford, with their son William (18) and his daughter Hilda (16), plus a cook and a housemaid.

Eliza Ruth Baker, née Williams died at Hanborough near Woodstock at the age of 70 and was buried on 13 March 1901 at Bicester Church (in unconsecrated ground but with a Church of England Service). Her husband William Baker died in June the same year.

For more information about William Baker's upholstery business, see William Baker House, which was built in 1914/15 after their death on the corner of Cornmarket and Broad Street and now houses Waterstone's bookshop.

Adin Williams junior (born 1835)

At the time of the 1881 census Adin (46) was a shopman in the tailor's trade, living at 22 Harriet Street, Litchurch, Derby with his wife Harriett (49). From 2 October to 19 December 1888 he was confined in Littlemore Asylum, and was described as a former tailor living at 38 St Aldate's Street in Oxford and aged 54 when his body was found in the river near Bablock Hythe. A verdict of suicide while temporarily insane was returned at the inquest (reported in detail in Jackson's Oxford Journal of 15 June 1889).

In 1899 his widow was runnng university lodgings at 57 St Aldate's Street.

Daniel Williams (born 1837)

Daniel had no occupation in 1871 and was still living with his parents at the age of 34: he probably had some incapacity. On 31 January 1885 he died at the Homoeopathic Hospital at Bath at the age of 47, “after years of suffering”. His effects came to £345 3s. 1d., and his executor (who acted over five years later) was his brother Henry.

Mary Abigail Williams, Mrs Cousins (1844–1894)

Following her marriage in 1865, Mary went to Madagascar with her husband, the missionary Revd William Edward Cousins, and they had seven children, all born in Antananarivo.

At the time of the 1891 census Mary (48) was back in Oxford without her husband, living at 8 Wellington Square with four of her children: Herbert Henry Cousins (21), who was a demonstrator in Chemistry, Wilfred (18), Ada (17), and Constance (8), plus a general servant.

Mary died in Oxford at the age of 50 and was buried at Wolvercote Cemetery on 28 June 1894. Her husband William was buried with her on 7 January 1939. The three other people buried in the grave are probably unmarried children: Minnie Cousins (1945), Herbert Henry Cousins (1949), and Winifred Mary Cousins (1966).

See Cousins Family Papers in the Oxfordshire History Centre at F104

Henry Bulteel Williams (1846–1894)

Henry Bulteel Williams appears to have spent some time abroad, and then returned to England and married Elizabeth Miller in the Kensington district near the end of 1881. When he was the executor of his brother Daniel in 1890, he was described as an upholsterer of 105 Clarendon Road, Notting Hill. He was a lodging-house keeper at 61 Portland Road, West Brighton, Sussex when he died at the age of 48 on 23 October 1894. His effects came to £126 16s. 5d., and his executor was his wife Elizabeth

John Horatio/Horace Williams (1848–1930)

John and his wife Sarah Ann had two children: Lilian Mary Williams (born in Oxford in late 1872) and Sarah Elizabeth Williams (born in Summertown near the beginning of 1874).

John appears to have separated from his wife and at the time of the 1881 census Sarah Ann (32), who described herself as a married annuitant, was lodging with her daughter Sarah Elizabeth (7) in the home of a baker at 34/35 Little Clarendon Street, while her daughter Lilian (9) was paying a visit to the retired corn merchant Isaac Grubb – or more likely to his cook Alice Bateman (21) and housemaid Eliza Bateman (19).

His daughter Lilian was living at 12 Pembroke Street and was only 17 when on 9 September 1889 she was married to the livery stable keeper William Percy Johnson. She described her absent father as a deceased tailor.

John Horace Williams emigrated to Canada in about 1890. He died at Victoria Street, Alliston, Simcoe, Ontario at the age of 84 on 13 December 1930. Although he had been married, his death certificate described him as single. He was buried at Allison Cemetery

Martha Wallis Williams, Mrs Prior (1850–1920)

Martha and her husband Nehemiah Harry Neville Prior (known as Harry) began their married life in Faringdon, and their first three children were born there: Sydney Herbert Prior (1874), Cordelia Mary Prior (1878) and Percy Neville Prior (1880). Harry was a successful cabinet maker with shops in Oxford, and in about 1886 they moved to Highfield House (later the Park Hospital) in Old Road, Headington, where they had three more children: Gladys Mary Prior (1887), Robin Sylvio Prior (1892), and Reginald Harry Neville Prior (1894/5). In 1908 they moved to The Ridings at the foot of Shotover Hill, and Martha Wallis Prior died there at the age of 69 on 8 July 1920. She was buried at Holywell Cemetery with her mother, brother George, and nephew Winter (Plot H.66).
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© Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 24 July, 2022

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