Mrs Laura BLAKE, née Lamb (1819–1919)
Her son John Arthur BLAKE (born and died 1853)
Her daughter Miss Norah Mary BLAKE (1857–1874)
With a mention of her son Robert Percy BLAKE (1862–1900)
St Michael section: Row 11, Grave D45½
BELOVED WIFE OF
JOHN CHARLES BLAKE
BORN FEBRUARY 6TH 1819
DIED FEBRUARY 2ND 1919
ALSO OF THEIR CHILDREN
WHO DIED DECEMBER 25TH 1853
AGED 9 MONTHS
WHO DIED IN PARIS APRIL 18TH 1874
AGED 17 YEARS
AND ROBERT PERCY,
40TH COMPANY, IMPERIAL YEOMANRY
WHO DIED IN ZEERUST, S. AFRICA
DECEMBER 10TH 1900
AGED 37 YEARS.
For more about Laura’s husband John Charles Blake and his wine business, see the separate grave where he is buried with their son Charles.
Laura Lamb was born in Swindon on 6 February 1819. She may be the Laura Lamb, daughter of Thomas Lamb and his wife Comfort Groom, who was baptised in Swindon on 5 April 1822, but that would make her three years old at the time of her baptism, unless the year she was born is inaccurate (and her age does fluctuate in the censuses).
On 20 March 1851 in Shrivenham, Berkshire, Laura Lamb married the Oxford wine merchant John Charles Blake, and they had seven children:
- Ellen Laura Blake (born at 42 Cornmarket in 1852 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 9 April)
- John Arthur Blake (born at 42 Cornmarket in 1853 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 17 April);
died aged nine months on Christmas Day that year
- Charles Blake (born at 42 Cornmarket on 24 June 1854 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 19 July)
- Nora Mary Blake (born at 42 Cornmarket in 1857 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 12 April)
- Ann Louise Blake (born at 42 Cornmarket in 1858 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 5 September)
- Catherine Rosa Blake (born at The Crescent, Park Town in 1860 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 22 July)
- Robert Percy Blake (born in Park Town in 1862 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 9 November).
Laura’s husband’s first shop was at 41 & 42 Cornmarket (the present EE mobile phone shop), and they were living upstairs at No. 42 by the time of the 1851 census. with two of her husband’s clerk and a house servant. Miss Caroline Lamb (28), Laura’s cousin, was paying a visit.
Their son John Arthur Blake, who was born at 42 Cornmarket in about February 1853, only lived nine months:
† John Arthur Blake died at 42 Cornmarket at the age of nine months on Christmas Day 1853 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 29 December (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church).
By 1860 John Charles Blake had moved with his family to the Crescent in Park Town. At the time of the 1861 census Laura was paying a visit with her children Ellen (9) and Charles (6) to the family of her brother John Lamb, a draper in Highworth Wiltshire, while her husband was at home in Park Town with the youngest children Nora (3), (Ann) Louise (2), and Rosa (ten months), looked after by their housemaid and nursemaid.
At the time of the 1871 census, John and Laura Blake were living in Iffley with Ellen (19), Catherine Rosa (10), and Robert (8), looked after by a cook and a housemaid. Charles (16) was working as a clerk and boarding at Bristol; Nora (14) was at a boarding school at 37 Brunswick Road, Hove; and (Ann) Louise (12) is hard to find.
Their daughter Nora died in 1874 at the age of 17; the headstone says she died in Paris, but the parish register recorded her home address as Iffley Road, and her body was brought back to Oxford for burial:
† Miss Nora Mary Blake died at Paris at the age of 17 on 18 April 1874 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 21 April (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church).
The family had moved to Park Place by 1879, when their daughter Ann was married:
- On 2 September 1879 at St Giles’s Church, Ann Louise Blake married Stephen Castlehow Wakefield, a widowed papermaker of Eynsham.
B the time of the 1881 census the family had moved again and was living at Worcester Lodge, Woodstock Road: Laura (61) and John (56) were there with four of their children: Ellen (29); Charles (26), who was a wine merchant’s clerk: Rosa (20); and Robert (18), who was a rope maker’s clerk. They employed a cook and a housemaid.
By 1891 the family had moved house again and were living at 34 Norham Road. John was still working as a wine merchant, and the only children at home were Ellen (39) and Catherine (30), plus their cook and housemaid. Robert in army??
Their son Robert Percy Blake was serving with the 40th Company of the Imperial Yeomanry when he died in Zeerust in the South African war at the age of 37 on 10 December 1900.
By 1901 John Charles Blake (76) was retired and living at 14 Park Crescent, Park Town with his wife Laura (82) and their two unmarried daughters Ellen (49) and Catherine (40), who was a chiropodist. They still employed a cook and a housemaid.
At the time of the 1911 census John Charles Blake (86) was living at 14 Park Crescent with his wife Laura (92) and their eldest daughter Ellen (59), who was acting as their housekeeper, and his wife’s niece Miss Jane Lamb (65), plus a servant. Their daughter Catherine (50) was a patient in the Acland Hospital on census night.
Mrs Blake died in 1919, apparently just four days short of her hundredth birthday, and was buried with her two children:
† Mrs Laura Blake née Lamb died at 14 Park Crescent at the age of 99 on 2 February 1919 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 5 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church).
Her husband died just a month later, and was buried in a separate new grave.
Surviving children of John Charles and Laura Blake
- Ellen Laura Blake (born 1852) never married. She died in Oxford at 9 Warnborough Road the age of 89 on 18 March 1940, and her effects came to £11,637 19s. 5d.
- Charles Blake (born 1854): see separate grave
- Ann Louise Blake, Mrs Wakefield (born 1858) was staying at East Molesey Lodge, Surrey in 1881 with her husband and parents-in-law. By the time of the 1891 census Ann (32) was living at Newland Lodge, Eynsham with her husband Stephen (38), who was a mill manager, and their children Lewis (8), Hubert (7), and Mary (5), plus their four servants (a housekeeper, governess, and two general servants). In 1901 her husband was a commercial traveller and they were living at 1 Agamemnon Road, Hampstead with Lewis (18), who was a stockbroker’s clerk, and Mary (15), plus a housekeeper. In 1911 they were living at Harrow with Mary (25) and a general servant, and Stephen Wakefield was a paper agent’s commercial traveller. Ann Louise Wakefield’s home was at 5 Brighton Road, Watford when on 6 November 1955 at the age of 97 she died at Hope House Nursing Home in that town. Her effects came to £4,138 4s. 1d., and William John Wakefield, a civil servant, was her executor.
- Catherine Rosa Blake (born 1860) never married. She died in the Headington registration district at the age of 62 in 1923.