Mrs Sarah BARRETT, née Hammick (c.1834–1876)
Her son Frederick BARRETT (1868–1878)
St Michael section: Row 32, Grave L48½
This is the grave of the wife and son of William Barrett. He himself is not buried in this grave, as he married again after Sarah’s death and had a new family.
The gravestone is currently laid face down and is too heavy to lift, so it is not possible to see the inscription
William Barrett was born in Bloxham, Oxfordshire in 1831/2 and baptised at the church there on 10 January 1832. He was the son of the carpenter William Barrett and his wife Caroline, who had three other children baptised there: Thomas (1824), Fanny (1826), and John (1830). At the time of the 1851 census he was an assistant grocer, living over the shop of his master in St Pancras.
Sarah Hammick was born in Torquay in 1833/4, the daughter of the mariner William Hammick and his wife Betsey. In 1851 she was still living with her parents and her younger brothers Samuel (13) and Edward (7) in Torquay (at Beacon Terrace).
In the Exeter district in the second quarter of 1854, William Barrett married Sarah Hammick. They had seven children:
- Caroline Barrett (born in Torquay in 1855, reg. Newton Abbott second quarter)
- William Thomas Barrett (born in Torquay in 1856, reg. fourth quarter)
- John Barrett (born in Bath in 1858/9, reg. first quarter of 1859)
- Edward Barrett (born in Torquay in 1860, reg. fourth quarter)
- Charlotte Barrett (born in Torquay in 1862/3)
- Samuel G. Barrett (born in Torquay in 1866, reg. third quarter)
- Frederick Barrett (born in Oxford in 1869/70 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 6 February 1870).
By the time of the 1861 census Sarah and her husband William, who was working as a post office clerk, were living at 1861 Abbey Place, Torquay with their first four children, and their 15-year-old servant girl.
By 1869 the family had moved to Oxford, and William was the licensed victualler at the Bell Inn, which was on the east side of Cornmarket, to the north of Market Street (one of the buildings demolished to make way for the former Marks & Spencer block). William & Sarah can be seen living there in the 1871 census with their seven children, plus a servant girl and a lodger.
Between 1871 and 1876 the family moved across the road to manage grander premises, the George Hotel, which was on the corner of George Street (now the NatWest bank). Not long after the move, when Frederick her youngest child was still only eight, Sarah Barrett died; her death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal stated that it was after a long and painful illness:
† Mrs Sarah Barrett née Hammick died at the George Hotel, Cornmarket at the age of 42 on 23 September 1876 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 26 September (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church).
William Barrett continued to look after his younger children, and less than two years after his wife’s death a tragedy when his son Frederick was drowned in the River Cherwell at Tackley at the age of ten, when he was left alone guarding his father’s fishing tackle when he went off with his friends for a midday meal:
† Frederick Barrett drowned at Tackley at the age of ten on 25 July 1878 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 4 August (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church).
The following report on the death appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 3 August 1878:
SAD DEATH BY DROWNING. — On Thursday last a sad fatality happened at Tackley to the youngest son of Mr. William Barrett, of the George Hotel, Cornmarket-street, in this city. It appears that Mr. Barrett and some friends were out fishing in the Cherwell, and during their temporary absence at dinner it is supposed (as no one was a witness of the occurrence) that the boy, named Fred, aged 10, took up one of the rods and was overbalanced by its weight into the river. On the return of the party the boy was missed, and after the finding of his hat in the river a search was made, and the body was discovered in about seven feet of water, the rod being close by him, and the line being wound round his body. An inquest was held on Friday evening before W. W. Robinson, Esq., Coroner.
Frederick’s father William Barrett
In the second quarter of 1879 William Barrett was married at Tackley (where his son had drowned) to his second wife, Miss Sarah Jane Gomm (a farmer’s daughter born in Ascott in 1839 and baptised there on 29 November): they had no children. He brought her back to Oxford, and at the time of the 1881 census they were living at the George Hotel with two children from William’s first marriage: Charlotte (18) and Samuel (14). There were only two guests at the hotel, but five servants (a boots, ostler, chambermaid, cook, and waitress).
By 1891 William Barrett (59) had retired and was living with his second wife at 70 Kingston Road. His second wife, also confusingly called Mrs Sarah Barrett, died there on 15 January 1916, aged 76.
William Barrett himself died at 70 Kingston Road at the age of 91 on 25 March 1922, and was presumably buried with his second wife: if their grave is in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, it is now illegible. His wealth at death was £4,478.
Surviving children of Frederick and Sarah Barrett
- Caroline Barrett (born 1855) was visiting the Chaundy family at Wootton near Woodstock at the time of the 1881 census. She married John Bradfield, a fitter’s clerk, in Sheffield in the first quarter of 1891, and can be seen living with him and two stepchildren at 93 Lancing Road, Sheffield in the 1891 census. They had moved to 39 Sitwell Road in Sheffield by 1901, and Caroline then had two children of her own: William Bradley (born 1893/4) and Percy Bradley (born 1899/1900).
- William Thomas Barrett (born 1856) married Mary Harriet Cope in Oxford in the third quarter of 1883. At the time of the 1891 census he was a brewer’s timekeeper living at 11 New Road with his wife and their first three children, born in St Clement’s parish: William Cope Barrett (born 1884), Norman C. Barrett (born 1885/6) and Lilly H. Barrett (born 1886/7). By 1901 he described himself as a brewer’s clerk and there were two more children, born in St Peter le Bailey parish: Frederick Barrett (born 1892/3) and Arthur James Barrett (born 1895). By 1911 the family had moved to Edgbaston, Birmingham.
- John Barrett (born 1858/9) appears to have married Mary Jane Barrett in the Dudley area in the third quarter of 1879.
- Edward Barrett (born 1860) is probably the man of that name, born in Torquay, who was a 20-year-old army private in barracks at Portland at the time of the 1881 census. His whereabouts continues to be uncertain: in 1901 there was an Edward Patrick Barrett of the right age and born in Torquay who was a tailor boarding in Bradford, and still unmarried at the age of 40; by 1911 he had married but had lost his wife, and was still in Bradford.
- Charlotte Barrett (born 1862/3) married Joseph Gustave Slapoffski, a violinist of All Saints parish, at All Saints’ Church on 4 October 1881. They lived at 9 Turl Street and their first two children were baptised at All Saints’ Church: Adolf William Frank Prosper Slapoffski (23 June 1882) and Anne Hunter Slapoffski (11 March 1884). Their daughter Lottie D. Slapoffski was born in Camden Town in 1884/5, their son Gustave Slapoffski in Oxford (baptised at All Saints’ Church on 12 March 1887), and their son Robert Slapoffski in Camden Town again (1888/9). At the time of the 1891 census they were living at 36 Boulter Street in east Oxford, where their daughter Lola Slapoffski was born in 1892 (baptised St Clement’s Church 31 July); Claud Slapoffski in 1893/4; and Mary Slapoffski in 1895/6. Charlotte died in Oxford at the age of 34 in 1896, and Joseph went off to Australia to bring a season of opera there, and spent the rest of his life there. At the time of the 1901 census seven of Joseph and Charlotte’s children were being looked after by their Russian grandfather Adolph Slapoffski and his Australian wife at 13 Turl Street: they later joined their father in Australia. He died in Melbourne on 3 August 1951: see his entry in Australian Dictionary of Biography.
- Samuel G. Barrett (born 1866) became an upholsterer, and in 1891 when he was 24 he was lodging at Beckenham in Kent. By 1911 he was following the trade of his father and was a public house manager at 187 Aldersgate, London. He was then aged 43 and unmarried.