William BOSSOM (1804–1880)
His daughter Mrs Elizabeth CRAPPER, née Bossom (1848–1912)
His son-in-law Henry John CRAPPER (1843–1909)
His baby granddaughter Edith Isabel CRAPPER (born and died 1880)
St Giles section: Row 5, Grave B41

William Bossom



DIED APRIL 20, 1880






DIED JUNE 10, 1909


DIED OCT. 9, 1912


R. I. P.



William Bossom was born in Oxford in c.1802 according to his recorded age at death; but in fact he is probably the William Bossom who was baptised at St Thomas's Church on 14 December 1804. This William Bossom was the son of John Bossom and Elizabeth Inns, who were married at St Peter-le-Bailey Church on 17 October 1790 and settled in Fisher Row, and his sister Elizabeth was baptised at St Thomas's Church in 1792, and his brother William in 1798. The Bossom family owned Medley boatyard and also ran pubs in the parish of St Thomas. Some of the following material is uncertain.

On 28 November 1838 at St Thomas's Church, William Bossom, described as a boatman, married Elizabeth Basson of New Road, the daughter of the fisherman Henry Basson. They seem to have had only one child:

  • Elizabeth Bossom (born in Oxford in 1848 and baptised at St Thomas's Church on 7 April).

William was described as a publican at her baptism.

At the time of the 1851 census William Bossom (with his age wrongly recorded) was described as a boat-builder and victualler, and was living at St Thomas's Street with eleven lodgers, and a 13-year-old servant girl called Mary Basson, who is likely to have been a relative of his wife. His wife and daughter are hard to find in the census, and it is possible that the former was already dead.

William Bossom (a widower with his age again wrong) spent the census night of 1861 alone on Bossom's Barge on the Thames in St Aldate's.

His daughter Elizabeth Bossom married Henry John Crapper on 4 September 1870: see their biography below.

William Bossom is hard to find in the 1871 census. In about 1874 he moved with his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Henry Crapper to Blenheim Place, St Giles Road West (the south end of the Woodstock Road). William died there in 1880:

† William Bossom died at 5 Blenheim Place, St Giles Road West at the age of 72 on 20 April 1880 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 25 April (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles's Church).

His death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal read simply: “April 20, at Oxford, Mr William Bossom, boat-builder, aged 72.”

His personal estate came to under £400, and his executors were the builder's clerk Thomas Cowley of 75 Kingston Road, and the joiner James Horseman of 27 St Bernard's Road (then called St John's Road).

Henry John Crapper and his wife Elizabeth Crapper, née Bossom

Henry John Crapper was born in Oxford in 1843 and baptised at St Giles's Church on 14 May. He was the son of the coal merchant John Bartlett Crapper and Ann Clare, who were married at St Giles's Church on 22 October 1838. His parents had seven other children baptised there: Ann (1839), John (1840), Emma (1841), Elizabeth (1845), Richard (1847), Eliza (1849), and Mary (1851).At the time of the 1851 census Henry (8) was living with his parents and siblings Ann (12), Emma (9), and Elizabeth (6) at Parker's Square, St Giles, and his father was now a carman. He was still there in 1861 at the age of 18, when he was a carman like his father.

Elizabeth Bossom was born in Oxford in 1848 (see above).

On 4 September 1870 at St Giles's Church, Oxford, Henry John Crapper, described as a carman of St Giles's Road West, married Elizabeth Bossom of St Giles Road East. Elizabeth was able to sign her name, but her husband signed with a cross.

At the time of the 1871 census Henry Crapper (27) was still working as a carman, and he and Elizabeth (23) were living at Walton Street with Henry's widowed mother. They went on to have six children:

  • Ada Mary Crapper (born in Upper Walton Street in 1871 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 8 October)
  • Genevra Alice Crapper (born at 89 Walton Street in 1873 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 9 March; registered with first name of “Guenever” and no middle name)
  • Annie Elizabeth Crapper (born at 3 Blenheim Place in 1874 and baptised at Ss Philip & James Church on 6 September)
  • William Henry Crapper (born at 3 Blenheim Place in 1876 and baptised at Ss Philip & James Church on 13 August)
  • Edith Isabel Crapper (born at 5 Blenheim Place on 5 October 1880 and baptised at Ss Philip & James Church on 25 November); died aged ten weeks
  • Maude Louisa Crapper (born at Blenheim Place on 19 July 1883 and baptised at Ss Philip & James Church on 13 September).

By September 1874 they had moved to the Woodstock Road (the south part of which was then known as St Giles Road West). Elizabeth's father moved in with them, and died there in 1880 (see above).

Their baby daughter Edith Isabel Crapper was born on 5 October 1880 but died at the age of ten weeks, and was buried with her grandfather:

† Edith Isabel Crapper died at St Giles Road West at the age of ten weeks in December 1880 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 18 December (burial recorded in the parish register of Ss Philip & James's and St Giles's Church).

At the time of the 1881 census Henry Crapper (37) and his wife Elizabeth (33) were living at 5 Blenheim Place with their children Ada (9), (Genevra) Alice (8), Annie (6), and William (4).

In 1891 Henry (47), a carman and contractor, was living at 71 Woodstock Road with Elizabeth (43) and their five children: Ada (19); (Genevra) Alice (18), who was an elementary teacher; Annie (16); William (14), who was a college servant; and Maud (7), who was at school. They also had a lodger.

They were at the same address in 1901 with four of their children: Genevra (28) was a school teacher; Annie (26) was a mother's help; William (24) appears to have had no occupation; and Maud (17) was a telegraphist.

Henry Crapper died in 1909:

† Henry Crapper died at the Woodstock Road at the age of 67 on 10 June 1909 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 15 June (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles's Church).

His effects came to £1,000 2s. 11d., and his executors were his wife and his unmarried daughter Genevra.

Mrs Crapper was still living at 71 Woodstock Road in 1911 with two of her daughters: Alice (38), who was an assistant school mistress, and Maude (27). She died there the following year:

† Mrs Elizabeth Crapper née Bossom died at 71 Woodstock Road at the age of 65 on 9 October 1912 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 14 October (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles's Church).



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