Joseph (“Joe”) ARNETT (1811–1876)
His wife Mrs Mary Eglantine ARNETT, née Wagstaff (1818–1904)
Their daughter Miss EMILY MARTHA ARNETT (1840/1–1921)
Mrs Arnett’s mother Mrs Mary WAGSTAFF née Fletcher (c.1797–1854)
and Mrs Arnett’s sister Miss Anne WAGSTAFF (1819–1912)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 4, Grave C59

Wagstaff & Arnett


DIED [MAY ?5 1854]


[DIED APRIL 8 1876




WHO DIED JUNE 14, 1912




[On kerb, picture at end of page]

WHO DIED MARCH ?16, 1921,


Joseph Arnett

John Arnett

Joseph Arnett, known as Joe, was born in Holywell, Oxford on 25 July 1811. His father was the printer John Arnett (born in London on 6 March 1775 and baptised at Wells Street Scotch Church in Marylebone on 26 March), who had been apprenticed to Samuel Collingwood in London in 1788 and had come to Oxford with him in 1792 to work at the University Press, initially as reader or overseer on the classical side.

Joseph’s mother was Sarah Timberlake (born in Beckley in 1775): she was the daughter of William Timberlake, another printer at the University Press.


Left: Joseph Arnett’s father, John Arnett
(image supplied by his great-great-great-granddaughter Stella Welford)

North House

Joseph Arnett’s parents were married at St Ebbe’s Church on 23 May 1796. His family were Baptists, and Joseph’s date of birth in 1811 is recorded in the register of the New Road Baptist Chapel, as are those of his siblings Elizabeth (1797, Mrs Cox), Mary (1800), Thomas (1801, died 1824), John (1803, also baptised at St Cross Church), William (1805), a second Mary (1806), Susannah (1808), James (1809), Samuel (1813), Henry (1815), Martha (1816, died aged 17 in 1834 and buried at the chapel), and Rebecca (1818).


In 1814 Joseph’s father John Arnett became head of the Bible Department at Oxford University Press, and the family moved from Holywell to North House in the Oxford University Press quadrangle (right).

Mary Eglantine Wagstaff

Mary Eglantine Wagstaff was born at Clifton near Deddington in 1818 and baptised there on 1 December, the daughter of Robert Wagstaff of Deddington who married Mary Fletcher at St Michael’s Church on 20 February 1817. Mary (who is also buried in this grave) was born in Oxford in c.1797, and was described as being of St Michael’s parish at the time of her wedding: as her age fluctuates, she could be the Mary Fletcher, daughter of William & Anne, who was baptised at St Thomas’s Church on 27 February 1792, especially as a William Fletcher of St Thomas’s parish who died aged 64 was buried at New Road Baptist Chapel on 2 December 1831.

Robert and Mary Wagstaff evidently first went to live in Deddington after their marriage, and Eglantine’s younger sister Anne Wagstaff, also buried in this grave, was born there in 1819 and baptised at Deddington Church on 6 August. The family then moved to Oxford, and their youngest daughter Eleanor Emma Wagstaff was born at Gloucester Green in 1821 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 31 October. Robert Wagstaff was described as a coal dealer at the two Deddington baptisms, and as a boatman at the Oxford one.

Joe Arnett

On 29 August 1837 at St Paul’s Church, Oxford, Joseph Arnett (26), who was described as a printer at the Clarendon Press Printing Office, married Mary Eglantine Wagstaff, who was described as a gentlewoman with her father, the former coal dealer-cum-boatman, recorded as a gentleman. Their marriage notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 2 September 1837 read simply: “On Tuesday last Mr. Joseph Arnett, printer, to Miss Wagstaff, both of this city.” They had the following children:

  • Mary Eglantine Arnett (born in Oxford in 1839 and baptised as an adult at St Martin's Church on 1 October 1866)
  • Emily Martha Arnett, who was registered as Martha Emily Arnett and known as Martha (born in Oxford in 1840/1, reg. first quarter of 1841)
  • Joseph Edmund Arnett (born in Oxford in early 1851).

Joseph Arnett’s parents died before St Sepulchre’s Cemetery was open: his mother died at the age of 64 on 9 March 1839, and his father, who was living at the University Press with four of his grown-up children in 1841, died there on 1 June 1845, and was interred in the crypt of New Road Baptist Church on 7 June. Mrs Arnett’s father Robert Wagstaff was also dead by the time of the 1841 census.

Right: Joseph Arnett


In Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 12 October 1839, Joseph Arnett advertised that he had set up business as a china, glass and earthenware warehouse at 78 High Street. As he was now well established as a printer and in a senior position at Oxford University Press, he would have put someone else in to run the shop, perhaps his widowed mother-in-law.

At the time of the 1841 census Joseph Arnett, a printer of 25, was living in St Peter-in-the-East parish in Oxford (possibly at 78 High Street, one of the houses demolished to make way for the Examination Schools) with his wife Mary and his first two children Mary Eglantine (2) and Martha (three months). Also living with them were Mary’s mother, Mrs Mary Wagstaff, and her younger sisters Anne and Emma.

In 1851 Joseph Arnett (39), a printer, was living at 25 Walton Place (now 28 Walton Street) with his wife Mary (33) and their children Mary (12), Martha (10), and Joseph (one month), and they had one servant. Mary’s mother Mary Wagstaff (56), described as a proprietress of houses, was now living at 54 St John Street with her daughters Anne (27) and Emma (54), and her nephew Cyril H. Evans (11), plus one servant.

By 1859 Joseph Arnett was Chairman of the Committee of the Girls’ British Schools in Oxford. (British Schools were set up by Nonconformists as an alternative to the Church of England National Schools.)

Mary Arnett’s mother Mrs Wagstaff must have come to live with her daughter and son-in-law again, as she died at the south end of St John Street in 1854. She was the first person buried in this family grave:

† Mrs Mary Wagstaff née Fletcher died at St John Street at the age of about 56 on 8 May 1854 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 8 May (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

At the time of the 1861 census Joseph Arnett (59), described as the Registrar of Marriages as well as a printer, was living at 54 St John Street in St Mary Magdalen parish with his wife Mary Eglantine (42), plus one servant. Their aunt Miss Anne Wagstaff, now in her early forties, was now running a small boarding school at 7 Park Villas (at the south end of the Banbury Road), with six girl boarders, and her two nieces Mary Eglantine Arnett (21) and (Martha) Emily Arnett (19) were living there with her and working for her as school teachers. There is uncertainty about where their brother Joseph Edmund Arnett (10) spent census night, as his parents listed him as being at their house, while his aunt listed him as a visitor at hers.

Their eldest daughter was married in 1863:

  • On 7 July 1863 at St Mary Magdalen Church, Oxford, Mary Eglantine Arnett married the widower Stephen Quelch, who was a tanner in St Ebbe’s.

By 1865 their address was 16 St John Street, and their second daughter Martha was running her own small school from the family home. The following advertisement appeared in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 14 January 1865:

MISS ARNETT, assisted by a talented Lady and efficient Masters, receives Pupils at 16, St. John-street. The Classes will be resumed January 19, 1865.

In 1871 Joseph (69), who was still working as a printer at the University Press, was living at 16 St John Street with his wife and his wife’s sister Miss Anne Wagstaff (51). Their two unmarried children, Martha and Joseph, are hard to find in this census.

Joseph Arnett died in 1876:

† Joseph Arnett died at 16 St John Street at the age of 64 on 8 April 1876 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 13 April (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

His death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal read simply: “April 8, at 16 St John’s-street, Mr. Joseph Arnett, aged 64.” His effects came to under £600, and his widow, his son Joseph Edmund Arnett, and Henry Jones of Somerset House, Westminster were his executors.

At the time of the 1881 census his widow Mary (64) was living at 3 Wellington Place with her unmarried daughter Martha (40), who occupation was given as “scholastic”. They had three boarders, including an undergraduate and his mother, and one servant.

In 1891 Mary and her daughter Martha (now described as a “visiting governess") were living on their own at 42 St John Street.

In 1901 Mary, now 84, and her daughter Martha (60) were living at 29 Richmond Road in St Barnabas’s parish, and Mary’s unmarried sister Anne Wagstaff (81) had come to live with them again. They also had two lodgers.

Mrs Mary Eglantine Arnett died in 1904.

† Mrs Mary Eglantine Arnett née Wagstaff died at 29 Richmond Road at the age of 87 in December 1904 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 5 December (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

She was the first member of the family to die following the passing of the Burial Laws Amendment Act of 1880, with the result that the register states that her burial was certified under this Act: this means that although she was a nonconformist, she would have been allowed to have a burial service at St Mary Magdalen Church or the cemetery chapel.

Miss Anne Wagstaff, Mrs Mary Eglantine Arnett’s unmarried sister

Anne Wagstaff (born in Deddington in 1819 and baptised there on 6 August) was living with the Arnetts at 16 St John Street in 1871.

She is hard to find in the 1881 census, but in 1891 when she was aged 71 she was living with her cousin Mrs Harriet Ham, a lodging-house keeper at 27 St John Street.

In 1901 Ann was living with her sister Mrs Arnett again, and in 1911 when she was 91 she was living at 3 Little Clarendon Street with her niece Martha Emily Arnett (70), Joseph & Mary Eglantine Arnett’s daughter.

She then evidently went into a care home, where she died in 1912:

† Miss Anne Wagstaff died at Nazareth House in St Clement’s at the age of 93 in June 1912 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 18 June (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

Her effects came to £58 8s., and her sister Martha Emily Arnett was her executor.

Emily Martha Arnett , known as Martha

Arnett kerb

Martha (born 1840/1), the unmarried daughter of Joseph & Mary Eglantine Arnett and the last person named on this grave, had moved to Richmond Road by the time of her death in 1921:

† Miss Emily Martha Arnett died at 17 Richmond Road at the age of 80 in March 1921 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 18 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

Her effects came to £1,150 0s. 5d., and her executors were her brother, the bookseller Joseph Edmund Arnett, and her nephew, the leather merchant Edward Arnett Quelch. She is named as Martha Emily Arnett in her probate record.

The other two children of Joseph & Mary Eglantine Arnett
  • Mary Eglantine Arnett, Mrs Stephen Quelch (born 1839) was living at 11 Queen Street in 1871 with her husband Stephen Quelch, a leather merchant & furrier employing five men and five boys. Three of his children from his first marriage were living with them, and Mary had four of her own: Frederick (6), Arthur (4), Edward (2), and Harry (two months; and the family had a servant and a nursemaid. In 1881 Mary (44) and her two youngest children Harry (10) and Gilbert (1) were staying at 58 London Road, Croydon with her unmarried stepson Stephen Quelch (30), a prosperous boot manufacturer. In 1901 Mary Eglantine Quelch (63) was still living at 11 Queen Street with her husband Stephen (75): she died near the beginning of 1913.
  • Joseph Edmund Arnett (born 1851) was working as a bookseller in 1881 and boarding at Trafalgar Villas in Stratton, Gloucestershire. In 1890 he married Florence Edith J. Mathias in the Narberth registration district of Pembrokeshire, and they had just one child, Lily Mary Arnett, who was born and died in early 1891. At the time of the census that year he was a bookseller & stationer living at the High Street in Tenby with his wife, a boarder, and their servant. They were still there in 1901 and 1911. Joseph Edmund Arnett died at Pembroke in 1940.



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