William BLACKWELL (c.1801–1883)
St Paul section: Row 2, Grave A19 [St Paul ref. F.1]

William Blackwell





OCT. 15TH 1883, AGED 82







William Blackwell was born in Looe, Cornwall in c.1801. On 15 September 1826 he was made a freeman of Oxford, and set up business as a saddler in St Peter-in-the-East parish in Oxford.

On 17 September 1827 at St Giles’s Church, he married Mary Ann Chillingworth, the daughter of John Chillingworth, and their marriage was announced in Jackson’s Oxford Journal. They had the following children:

  • Benjamin Chillingworth Blackwell (born in All Saints parish, Oxford on 16 July 1828 and entered in the register of New Road Baptist Church on 18 October)
  • Mary Ann Blackwell (born in All Saints parish on 9 September 1830 and entered in the register of New Road Baptist Church on 31 March 1831 and baptised at the independent chapel in George Street on 26 April 1831)
  • John Blackwell born in All Saints parish on 5 November 1832 and baptised at the independent chapel in George Street on 23 June 1833)
  • Sophia Blackwell (born in Oxford on 28 July 1834 and baptised at the independent chapel in George Street in 1836)
  • Elizabeth Blackwell (born in Oxford on 5 June 1836 and baptised at the independent chapel in George Street on 11 September)
  • Sarah Blackwell (born in Oxford in 1838, reg. third quarter; died aged 17 and buried at All Saints Church on 12 April 1856)

By the time of the birth of their first child in 1828, William and Mary Ann Blackwell had moved to 122 High Street in All Saints parish (one of the three houses demolished to make way for the National Westminster Bank). They were evidently Nonconformists, as they worshipped at New Road Baptist Church until 1830, and then at the independent chapel in George Street.

The family saddlery business in the High Street is listed as Blackwell & Evans in Pigot’s Directory for 1830 directory and Robson’s Directory for 1839.

William’s wife Mrs Mary Ann Blackwell née Chillingworth died in Oxford at the age of 33 near the end of 1839, nine years before St Sepulchre’s Cemetery was opened. It is unclear where she was buried.

At the time of the 1841 census William Blackwell, a widower, was living at 122 High Street with five children of his children – Benjamin (13), Mary Ann (11), John (9), Sophia (8), and Sarah (2) – plus a servant. His other child Elizabeth (4) was staying with her grandparents John & Mary Chillingworth in their Banbury Road home.

By 1842, the family saddlery business at 122 High Street was listed under the name of William Blackwell alone.

On 30 August 1850 at Theydon Garnon, Epping Forest, William Blackwell married his second wife, the widow Mrs Sarah Susannah Tidy, née Williams. She was born in Chelmsford, Essex on 1 August 1790 and was hence at least ten years his senior. She was described on the marriage certificate as a lady, and her father William Williams as a gentleman.

At the time of the 1851 census William Blackwell was living at 122 High Street with new wife Sarah and his two youngest daughters, Elizabeth (14) and Sarah (12), who were still at school. The two older daughters had been sent away to boarding school: Mary Ann (20) was a pupil at a small school in Worksop and Sophia (16) was a pupil at Mrs Barlett’s School in Iffley. Both their sons had already left home: Benjamin (23) was a saddler lodging at 32 Adam Street, Marylebone, and John (17) was an apprentice grocer in Abingdon.

Two of his children by his first wife were married in the 1850s:

  • In the second quarter of 1855 in Oxford, Mary Ann Blackwell married Francis Lesiter Soper;
  • Near the beginning of 1856 in Marylebone, Benjamin Chillingworth Blackwell married Sarah Kilpin.

In 1861 William (60) was still working as a saddler and living at 122 High Street with his wife Sarah, plus a servant and a lodger.

By 1871 William and Sarah had moved to 1 Princes Street, Paradise Square (in St Ebbe’s parish), and still employed a servant.

Mrs Sarah Susannah Blackwell died at 1 Princes Street at the age of 85 on 11 June 1875 and was buried on 15 June 1875 (probably at Osney Cemetery, as her burial was recorded in the parish register of St Ebbe’s Church). Her effects came to £100, and her husband was her executor.

At the time of the 1881 census, William Blackwell (80) was lodging with the Hine family at 32 Juxon Street, Jericho. He died there in 1883:

† William Blackwell died at 66 Juxon Street at the age of 82 on 15 October 1883 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 18 October (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

His death notice read simply: “Oct. 15, at 66, Juxon-street, Oxford, Mr. William Blackwell, saddler, aged 82.” His will is available at the Oxfordshire History Centre (F118/W/2).

Children of William and Mary Ann Blackwell
  • Benjamin Chillingworth Blackwell (born 1828) was a journeyman saddler in 1861, living in London at 259 Marylebone Road with his wife Sarah and their son Charles Blackwell (nine months). By 1871 he had his own business, and was living at 21 Ashurst Terrace, Hammersmith with his wife and their four sons Charles (10), William (8), Frederick (5), and Percy (3), plus a servant; they were still at this address in 1881, with another child, Alice (9). In 1891 and 1901 Benjamin and Sarah were living at The Crescent, Upper Richmond Street, Putney with their daughter Alice. By 1911 Benjamin (82) and Sarah (78) were living alone with a servant at 1 Putney Hill, Putney. Benjamin Chillingworth Blackwell died in Wandsworth at the age of 90 near the end of 1918.
  • Mary Ann Blackwell, Mrs Soper (born 1830) and her husband Francis Lester Soper had nine children. The first four were born in Margate: Francis Blackwell Soper (1856, died 1857), Mary Jane Soper (1858), Arthur Lewis Soper (1860), and Florence Soper (1862). The rest were born in Hampstead: Annie Sophia Soper (1864), Herbert Edward Soper(1865), twins Percy William Soper and Reginald George Soper (1867), and Frederick Richard Soper (1869). At the time of the 1861 census Mary Ann (30) was living at the Churchfield Classical & Commercial School at Margate in 1861 with her husband Francis Lester Soper (42), who ran the school, and their first three surviving children, plus two assistant masters, four servants, and 27 boys aged 9–13. In 1871 Francis was a book publisher in London, and they were living at 146 Adelaide Road, Hampstead with their eight surviving children. By 1881 they were living at Cholmeley Villa, 7 Archway Road, and Mary Ann’s niece, Lily Louisa Blackwell (14), was paying a visit from Australia. They were at the same address in 1891 and 1901, and Francis was still working as a book publisher at the age of 82. Mary Ann Soper died in London at the age of 75 in 1905.
  • John Blackwell (born 1832) emigrated to Australia in 1858 when he was 25, and on 6 July 1865 in Richmond, Victoria he married his first wife Ellen Louisa Tice. They had three children: Lily Louisa Blackwell (1866), John Arthur Blackwell (1868), and Frank Tice Blackwell (1869). Ellen died in 1875 and on 19 March 1877 he married his second wife Agnes Colby. She died in 1883, and in 1891 he married his third wife Agnes Page. John Blackwell died at Hawthorn, Victoria at the age of 75 on 1 March 1906.
  • Sophia Blackwell (born 1834) never married. In 1861 she was a governess aged 26, living with her married brother Benjamin and his wife in Marylebone. In 1871 she was a schoolmistress living in Aldbrough, Yorkshire and in 1881 she was running Eaton House Boarding School for Boys at Bilton-cum-Harrogate. In 1901 she was retired and living at 7 Beechwood Crescent, Harrogate, and her younger sister Elizabeth had come to live with her. In 1911 Sophia (76) was paying a visit to friends in Worthing with her sister Elizabeth (74) and their brother Henry’s wife Mrs Sarah Blackwell (78). She was living at 35 Queen’s Road, Wimbledon with her sister Elizabeth by 1915, and died there on 17 April 1915 at the age of 80, just three months after the death of her sister. Her effects came to £5,014 6s. 9d., and probate was granted to the Public Trustee.
  • Elizabeth Blackwell (born 1836) never married. She is hard to find in the 1861, 1871, and 1881 censuses, but in 1891 she was living on her own means in a boarding house in Harrogate. In 1901 she described herself as a retired schoolmistress, and was living at 7 Beechwood Crescent, Harrogate with her sister Sophia. In 1911 she was visiting friends in Worthing with her sister Sophia and her sister-in-law. She was living at 35 Queen’s Road, Wimbledon with her sister Sophia at the time of her death on 30 January 1915 at the age of 78. Her effects came to £99 7s. 6d., and her executor was her brother Benjamin.



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