George BOWERS (1824–1904)
His wife Mrs Jane BOWERS, née Taylor (1833–1916)
Their daughter Annie Beatrice BOWERS (1873–1884)
St Paul (St Barnabas) section: Row 36, Grave H19
[The broken-off section
must have had an inscription to
ANNIE BEATRICE BOWERS
who died June 1884 aged 10:
the footstone shows that she was
the first buried here]
[DIED JUNE …,] 1904.
[His wife JANE BOWERS]
… [BORN IN WA]NTAGE,
[There appear to be the following names
at the bottom right of the headstone:
possibly the names of the makers]
N. ELLIS / ?7 ALLUN
A. B. B.
1 8 8 4
1 9 0 4
[Jane’s initials were not added]
George Bowers was born in Oxford in 1824 and baptised at St Aldate’s Church on 31 October. He was the son of the hawker George Bowers senior and his wife Anne Hunt, who had three other children baptised there: Anne (1822), Sarah (1827), and Mary (1828). In 1851 George Bowers was working as a brewer’s labourer and lodging at Market End, Bicester; and by the time of his marriage in 1857 was living in Henley and working as a policeman.
Jane Taylor was born in Wantage around the beginning of 1833 and was baptised there on 3 February. She was the daughter of the labourer William Taylor and his wife Mary, who had five other children baptised there: Ann (1824), Eliza (1826), Elizabeth (1835), Eliza (1826), and Henry (1838). At the time of the 1841 census she was nine years old and living in Lock’s Lane, Wantage with her parents and two of her siblings. In 1851 when she was 18 she was the servant of a butcher in Temple Cowley, but at the time of her marriage in 1857 she was described as being of Bletchingdon.
On 2 September 1857 at Henley-on-Thames, George Bowers married Jane Taylor, who signed the marriage register with a cross. They had the following children, the first born soon after the wedding:
- Jane Bowers (born in Henley-on-Thames in 1857, reg. fourth quarter)
- Elizabeth Ann Bowers (born at Great Clarendon Street, Oxford in 1860 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 15 April)
- Eliza Mary (or Mary Eliza) Bowers (born in Blackfriars Road, Oxford in 1864 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 18 December)
- Annie Beatrice Bowers (born in Oxford on 30 June 1873 and baptised at St Barnabas’s Church on 18 November)
- William George Bowers (born in Oxford on 30 August 1875 and baptised at St Barnabas’s Church on 11 January 1876).
George & Jane Bowers had moved to the Jericho area of Oxford by early 1860, and the 1861 census shows them lodging at 2 Great Clarendon Street in the home of a printer. George (36) and his wife Jane (26) now had two children: Jane (3) and Elizabeth (1).
By 1864 the family had moved to Blackfriars Road in Holy Trinity parish, St Ebbe’s, and George was a turnkey at the County Prison at Oxford Castle. The 1871 census shows George (45), described as a warder at the prison, living at 41 Blackfriars Road with his wife Jane (36), who was working as a laundress, and his first three daughters: Jane (13) and Elizabeth (11), who were already working as shirtmakers, and Eliza (6).
By the time of the baptism of their fourth child, Annie Beatrice, in 1873, the family had moved back to Jericho, which was now in the new parish of St Barnabas’s parish, and George was working as a college servant. Their last child William George was born there in 1875.
Their eldest daughter was married in 1879:
- On 7 September 1879 at St Barnabas’s Church, Jane Bowers (21) married the tailor Frank John Kempster (22).
By early 1881 George & Jane Bowers had moved again, this time to Gloucester Green in St Mary Magdalen parish. Their second daughter Elizabeth gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Violet Bowers, there: she was baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 25 March 1881.
At the time of the 1881 census the family was living at 30 Gloucester Green in St Mary Magdalen parish: George & Jane Bowers were now both working as college servants, and four of their children were still at home: Elizabeth (20) was a book folder, Eliza (18) was an unemployed domestic servant, and Annie (7) and William (5) was at school. They were passing off Elizabeth’s baby Violet (three months), who also lived with them, as their own daughter.
Their third daughter was married in 1883:
- On 28 January 1883 at St Barnabas’s Church, Mary Eliza Bowers (20) married the tailor Edward Scot Coates (22).
Soon after that census George & Jane Bowers evidently moved back to St Barnabas’s parish, this time to Cardigan Street. Their youngest daughter died there in 1884:
† Annie Beatrice Bowers died at 52 Cardigan Street at the age of 10 in June 1884 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 15 June (burial recorded in the parish register of St Barnabas’s Church).
Their second daughter Elizabeth had two more children before she was married: Ethel Leah J. B. Bowers in 1882, and Kathleen Annie B. Bowers in 1886. She was married in 1888:
- On 24 November 1888 at Summertown church, Elizabeth Ann Bowers married the widower Edwin Bower: he was 52, and unable to sign his name in the register, and she was 29.
Elizabeth left her two eldest daughters, Violet and Ethel, with her parents to bring up; but she kept the youngest, Kathleen, whom Edwin treated as his daughter (which of course she may in fact have been).
At the time of the 1891 census George & Jane Bowers were still at 52 Cardigan Street: George (65) was now a pensioner, and Jane (57) was a college cook. Living with them was their youngest child William (15), who was a printer, and their grandchildren Violet (10) and (Ethel) Leah (8), who were still at school and described as children.
Their only son was married in 1899:
- In 1899 in the Pontypool district, William George Bowers married Alice Amy Jenkins.
By 1901 the family was living at 24 Cranham Street. George now described himself as a retired college servant, and Jane appears to have retired too. Violet (20), who was now acknowledged as their granddaughter rather than their daughter, was living with them and working as a dressmaker.
George Bowers died in 1904:
† George Bowers died at Cranham Street at the age of nearly 80 in June 1904 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 25 June (burial recorded in the parish register of St Barnabas’s Church).
His daughter Mrs Jane Kempster died in 1909 (see below).
At the time of the 1911 census Mrs Bowers (80), a retired college pensioner, was still living at 24 Cranham Street. She was now sharing her home with her granddaughter Maud Coates (28), who worked as her housemaid, and a lodger.
Mrs Bowers died in 1916:
† Mrs Jane Bowers née Taylor died at Cranham Street at the age of 82 (although parish register says 83) in January 1916 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 19 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Barnabas’s Church).
The other five children of George & Jane Bowers
- Jane Bowers, Mrs John Kempster (born 1857) was living at 69 Montgomery Street, Aston, near Birmingham in 1881 with her husband John, who was a foreman tailor, and their daughter Eveline (three months). By 1901 they were living in Toxteth Park near Liverpool, and John was now a master tailor and they had five children: Eveline Kempster (20), who was a milliner; Rowland Kempster (18), who was an apprentice tailor; Millicent Kempster (15); Sidney Kempster (14); and Ethel Kempster (12). Mrs Jane Kempster died on 18 December 1909.
- Elizabeth Ann Bowers, Mrs Edwin Bower (born 1860) was aged 38 and living at 47 Crescent Road, Cowley in 1891 with her husband Edwin (54) and their daughter Primrose Bower (1), as well as his son Alfred (14) from his first marriage and her daughter Kathleen (5). They were living alone at 45a Howard Street in 1911. She was buried in Cowley St John churchyard in 1921, and her husband in 1922.
- Eliza Mary Bowers, Mrs Edward Coates (born 1864) had eight children: Constance Maud Coates (1885), Edward Scott Coates (1885), Ethel May Coates (1887), William Coates (1890), Michael Coates (1893), Harold Coates (1895), Daisy Coates (1897) and Robert Baden Coates (1900). They were living at 11 Wellington Street in 1891. Mrs Eliza Coates was dead by the time of the 1911 census.
- William George Bowers (born 1875) was working as a railway engine driver in 1911 and living at Griffithstown, Monmouthshire with his wife Alice and their children Violet Florence Annie Bowers (10), Gladys Bowers (8), Frederick William Bowers (6), and Beatrice Mabel Bowers (4). William George Bowers died in the Pontypool district at the age of 61 in 1937.