Edmund BEVERS (1811–1880)
His first wife Mrs Isabella BEVERS, née Coggan (c.1818–1851)
Their son Harcourt Arthur Bell BEVERS (1851–1891)
Edith Winifred BEVERS, the only child of Harcourt Arthur Bevers (1889–1906)
Mrs Alice BEVERS, née Coggan, the second wife of Edmund Bevers (1820–1899)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 19, Grave D51
In Loving Memory of
WIFE OF EDMUND BEVERS,
WHO DIED MARCH 4TH 1851,
FEBRUARY 14TH, 1880
HARCOURT ARTHUR BELL
YOUNGEST SON OF THE ABOVE,
WHO DIED OCTOBER 1ST, 1891,
ALSO EDITH WINIFRED,
ONLY CHILD OF
HARCOURT A. B. BEVERS
WHO DIED MARCH 6TH 1906,
Alice (died November 1899), was no
longer visible in 2014]
Edmund Bevers (which he usually spelt “Beavers” prior to 1841) was born at New Road, Bermondsey in the parish of St James’s, Westminster on 2 December 1811, the son of the dentist Thomas Beavers and his wife Hannah Pulsford (daughter of William and Elizabeth Pulsford). His two younger brothers were born at Windmill Street, St James’s: Thomas Hornsby Beavers on 8 June 1814 and John Beavers on 20 March 1816.
Edmund became a surgeon dentist, starting his career in London, where he worked for ten years. He then gave up his practice at 4 Brook Street, Hanover Square. and after travelling on the continent settled permanently in Oxford: all his later advertisements, state “Established in Oxford 1837”.
His first advertisement in Jackson’s Oxford Journal appeared on 22 April 1837:
In 1840 Bevers took over the practice of William Lukyn in Lower Cowley House in Cowley Place, which was then in the parish of Cowley, whose church was nearly two miles to the east. His surgery and home is now part of the present Hall Building of St Hilda’s College, and is viewed below from the River Cherwell side:
Bevers placed the following advertisement in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 3 October 1840 announcing his move:
During the period that Bevers was in Lower Cowley House, the main part of the house was occupied first by an upholsterer called Cooke, and then from 1843 by the surgeon William Tuckwell and his family.
On 17 October 1840 Bevers was obliged to add to his advertisements:
In consequence of the unfounded reports, Mr Beavers takes this opportunity of informing his friends there is no connection whatsoever existing between him and Mr Lukyn, who formerly resided at Cowley House.
Bevers was alone with two servants at his premises in Cowley House at the time of the 1841 census. In that year he started to insert a simple line advertisement in the newspaper reading, “Mr E. Bevers, Surgeon-Dentist, Lower Cowley House, close to Magdalen Bridge, Oxford, at home from Ten till Four”. In 1844 he gave the following additional information: “All the various descriptions of original natural, mineral, and the patent Vitrious Teeth, from one to a complete set”.
Isabella Coggan was born in Fulham in c.1818, the daughter of Thomas Coggan, a Postmaster. She had at least two sisters, both also born in Fulham: Eliza Coggan, later Mrs Newman (born c.1808) and Alice Coggan (born c.1820).
On 9 April 1842 at St Peter's Church in Hammersmith, Edmund Bevers married his first wife Isabella Coggan, and they had the following children:
- Winifred Morgan Bevers (born at Cowley House in 1847 and baptised at St James’s Church in Cowley on 5 December 1847)
- Edmund Augustine Bevers (born at Cowley House in 1849 and baptised at St James’s Church in Cowley on 12 August)
- Harcourt Arthur Bell Bevers (born at 46 Broad Street in 1851 and baptised at St James’s Church in Cowley on 23 March).
Bevers and his family remained in Cowley House until 1849. On 1 September that year he inserted a “Notice of removal” in Jackson’s Oxford Journal, announcing that he had moved from Lower Cowley House to 46 Broad Street (left), where members of the Bevers family were to practise dentistry until 1921. The house was demolished in 1935, when the whole row of houses on the north-east corner of Broad Street was removed to make way for the new Bodleian Library.
Although their new house and surgery were in St Mary Magdalen parish, for eight years Bevers continued to have his children baptised up in Cowley.
Bevers’s first wife Isabella died just after the birth of her youngest son Harcourt, a couple of weeks before he was baptised:
† Mrs Isabella Bevers, née Coggan died at 46 Broad Street at the age of 33 on 4 March 1851 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 11 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
At the time of the 1851 census, just a month after his wife’s funeral, Bevers was described as a widower of 39, living at 45 Broad Street with Winifred (3), Augustine (2), and Harcourt (6 weeks). He had three house servants plus a nurse to look after the baby, and his sister-in-law Miss Alice Coggan (aged 30, born in Fulham in 1820) was staying with the family.
On 19 April 1854 Edmund Bevers took out a licence to marry Alice Coggan at St Peter’s Church, Hammersmith, declaring under the usual oath that he believed there was “no Impediment of Kindred or Alliance … to bar or hinder the Proceeding of the said Matrimony”, and the marriage took place shortly afterwards. (There was in fact a serious impediment, as the Deceased Wife’s Sister’s Marriage Act was not passed until 1907.) They had the following children:
- Margaret Isabella Bevers (born at 46 Broad Street in 1855 and baptised at St James’s Church in Cowley on 12 March)
- Catherine Alice Bevers (born at 46 Broad Street in 1857 and baptised at St James’s Church in Cowley on 17 March)
- Dora Emily Bevers (born at 46 Broad Street in 1859 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 22 December).
At the time of the 1861 census, Edmund Bevers (49) and his wife Alice (31) were staying on Sandown in the Isle of Wight on census night, and Edmund described himself as “MCDE practising as surgeon dentist at Oxford”. Back in Oxford four of the Bevers children were at home at 46 Broad Street, looked after by three servants: Harcourt (10) from Edmund Bevers’s first marriage, and Margaret (5), Catherine (3), and Dora (1) from his second. An assistant dentist, Augustus Cornwall (46), was also living in the house. Two children were away from home: Winifred (13) was boarding with a schoolmaster and his wife at Camberwell; and Edmund (11) is hard to find.
On 9 May 1864, Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) wrote in his diary, “Went to Mr. Bevers, dentist, to have a tooth stopped: he afterwards showed me a curious collection of lithographs from drawings made in India.”
At the time of the 1871 census the only children living at home at 46 Broad Street with Bevers and his wife were Winifred (22) from his first marriage and Catherine (13) from his second. Three of his other children were living at his other establishment at Appleton in Berkshire, looked after by a general servant: Harcourt (20), who was a medical student, and Margaret (15) and Dora (11). Edmund, who was a doctor, is missing, and was known to have served as a dresser in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1.
Edmund Bevers’s eldest son was married in 1874:
- On 23 April 1874 at Holy Trinity Church, Newington, Edmund Augustine Bevers of St Mary Magdalen parish married Helen Jane Wood, daughter of a surgeon of Trinity Square, London.
Edmund Bevers died in 1880:
† Edmund Bevers died at 46 Broad Street at the age of 68 on 14 February 1880 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 20 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
The following brief death notice appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 21 February 1880: “Feb. 14, at 46 Broad-street, Oxford, Edmund Bevers, of Oxford, and Appleton, Berks, in his 69th year.”
At the time of the 1881 census the head of the household at 46 Broad Street was Bevers’s widow, Alice (58). As well as her own three grown-up daughters – Margaret (25), Catherine (23), and Dora (21) – the two unmarried children by Edmund’s first marriage – Winifred (33) and Harcourt (30) – were still living in the house, plus Mrs Bevers’ widowed older sister Mrs Eliza Newman (73). The family had two servants. Harcourt was described as “Dental Surgeon LDS RCSE”; and his brother Edmund, who was married and living at what is now numbered 117 Woodstock Road, was in partnership with him. Hence directories from 1881 to 1889 list “Messrs Bevers, Dental surgeons, and E. A. Bevers, Surgeon” at 46 Broad Street.
Edmund Bevers’s son Harcourt Arthur Bell Bevers (born to his first wife in 1851)
On 26 April 1888 at St Cross Church, Harcourt Arthur Bell Bevers (37) married Kate Whitehead (25). Kate (born in Royston, Hertfordshire in 1851/2) was the daughter of the gilder William Whitehead; in 1881 she had been living at the King’s Arms, assisting the manager as her bookkeeper. They had one daughter in their short marriage:
- Edith Winifred Bevers (born at 13 Southmoor Road on 5 October 1889 and baptised at Ss Philip & James’s Church on 1 December).
From 1889 Harcourt Arthur Bevers, LDS ECS and his brother Edmund were listed as Surgeon dentists at 48 Broad Street. At the time of the 1891 census he and his wife and baby daughter were living at 13 Southmoor Road with one servant. Harcourt died just before his only child’s second birthday:
† Harcourt Arthur Bell Bevers died at 10 Beaumont Street at the age of 40 on 1 October 1891 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 20 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
It is unclear what happened to his widow Kate. Their only daughter Edith was living with her unmarried aunts at 31 Leckford Road in Oxford in 1901 when she was 11, and she died there at the age of 16:
† Edith Winifred Bevers died at 31 Leckford Road at the age of 16 on 6 March 1906 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 9 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
Edmund Bevers’s widow Alice
At the time of the 1891 census Mrs Alice Bevers (70) was living at Rycote, 31 Leckford Road with Winifred (her husband’s 43-year-old daughter by his first wife), and her own three unmarried daughters Margaret (33), Katherine (31), and Dora (29). Her sister Mrs Eliza Newman (83) was still living with her, and they had one servant.
† Mrs Alice Bevers, née Coggan died at 31 Leckford Road at the age of 79 in November 1899 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 21 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
The four daughters of Edmund Bevers
None of Edmund Bevers’s four daughters got married. At the time of the 1901 census Winifred (53), Margaret (45), Catherine (43), and Dora (41) were living together at 31 Leckford Road together with Edith (11), the daughter of their dead brother Harcourt, and one servant.
By the time of the 1911 census their young niece Edith was dead, and Catherine had moved to Ventor on the Isle of Wight, where she lived alone. Winifred, Margaret, and Dora were still at 31 Leckford Road with one servant.
The three sisters who stayed in Oxford all lived to a good old age: Winifred died there at the age of 90 in 1938 ; Margaret at the age of 86 in 1943 ; and Dora at 71b Observatory Street at the age of 97 in 1957.
The only surviving son of Edmund Bevers
Edmund Augustine Bevers (born 1849) continued as a surgeon and dentist at 45 Broad Street, and became the first leaseholder of 137 Woodstock Road in 1884. He was Dental Surgeon at the Radcliffe Infirmary from 1886 to 1920, and was Mayor of Oxford in 1903 and again in 1908. His only son Edmund Cecil Bevers (1876–1962) was elected consulting surgeon at the Radcliffe Infirmary in 1915. See fuller biography here.