William BRIDGWATER (1803–1879)
His wife Mrs Ann BRIDGWATER, née Parsons (1801–1876)
Their daughters Miss Elizabeth BRIDGWATER (1831–1863),
Miss Mary Ann BRIDGWATER (1833–1914), and
Miss Emily BRIDGWATER (1845–1856)
St Giles section: Row 18, Grave F37

Bridgwater grave

 

To the memory of
Elizabeth Bridgwater,
Deceased August 16 1863,
aged 32 years.

Also of
Emily Bridgwater,
Sister of the above
Deceased March … 1856
aged 11 years

[Also of
Ann Bridgwater,
Deceased March … 1876
Aged 74 years]

[Also of
William Bridgwater,
deceased February 28, 1879
Aged 14 years]

[Also of
Mary Ann Bridgwater,
deceased March 10, 1914
aged 80 years]

 

Footstone:

E. B. / 1863

E. B. / 1856

A. B. / 1876

W. B. / 1879


William Bridgwater was born in Islip in 1803 and baptised there on 27 November. He was the son of Joseph Bridgwater and his wife Elizabeth, who had seven other children baptised at Islip: Hannah (1793), Benjamin (1796), Joseph (1794), John (1798), Martha (1800), Sarah (1802), and Phillis (1808).

Ann Parsons was born in Oxford in 1801 and baptised at St Cross Church, Holywell on 12 April. She was the daughter of William and Hannah Parsons (probably the William Parsons and Hannah Cox who were married at St Mary Magdalen Church on 14 June 1795 and who had another daughter, Elizabeth, baptised at St Cross Church in 1799).

On 9 October 1828 at St Giles’s Church, Oxford, William Bridgwater of St Aldate’s parish married Ann Parsons. They had the following children:

  • Sarah Bridgwater (born at 33 St Giles’s Street on 23 July 1829 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 23 August);
    died aged 3 and buried at St Peter-in-the-East churchyard on 23 October 1832
  • Elizabeth Bridgwater (born at 33 St Giles’s Street on 11 May 1831 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 5 June)
  • Mary Ann Bridgwater (born at 33 St Giles’s Street on 31 May 1833 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 23 June)
  • Martha Parsons Bridgwater (born at 33 St Giles’s Street in 1835 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 6 September); died aged 17 and buried on 18 October 1852
  • William Parsons Bridgwater (born at 33 St Giles’s Street in 1837 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 8 September); died aged 14 and buried on 14 February 1852
  • John Bridgwater (born at 33 St Giles’s Street in 1840 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 26 January);
    died aged 1 year 9 months and buried in its churchyard on 10 October 1841
  • Andrew Bridgwater (born at 33 St Giles’s Street in 1842 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 16 May);
    died aged 1 year 8 months and buried in its churchyard on 27 December
  • Emily Bridgwater (born at 33 St Giles’s Street in 1845 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 31 March);
    died aged 11 in 1856.

33 St Giles's Street

In 1831 William Bridgwater opened his furniture business at 33 St Giles’s Street (now the left-hand side of the Royal Bank of Scotland, shown left). Bridgwater’s Yard lay behind these premises.

At the time of the 1841 census William Bridgwater, described a furniture broker and bath-chair owner, was living there with his wife Ann and their children Elizabeth (10), Mary Ann (8), Martha (6), William (3), and John (1).

William Bridgwater, now employing two men and two boys, was still living at the same address in 1851 with his wife Ann and four of their children: Elizabeth (19) was a music teacher; Martha (15) was a confectioner; and William (13) and Emily (6) were still at school. Mary Ann (19) was the governess to the family of Tyrrell Knapp, a landowner who lived on The Rise at Headington Hill and had fifteen children.

The following year two of their children died. William Parsons Bridgwater died at the age of 14 on 10 February 1852 after a short illness and was buried on 14 February 1852, with his death announced in Jackson’s Oxford Journal. His older sister Martha Parsons Bridgwater died eight months later at the age of 17 on 18 October 1852. Their burials are recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church, so they are probably buried elsewhere in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, but there is no record of their grave.

See also the grave of William's brother John Bridgwater

Their youngest daughter Emily died in 1855:

† Emily Bridgwater died at 33 St Giles’s Street at the age of 11 in March 1856 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 1 April (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

The following advertisement appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 11 April 1857:

FURNITURE WAREHOUSE,
33, SAINT GILES’S STREET, OXFORD
WILLIAM BRIDGWATER

GRATEFULLY acknowledges the support he has received from his friends and the public generally in the University, City, and County, during the last 26 years, and begs to call their attention to his large assortment of useful HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, which he has commenced SELLING OFF at very reduced prices, in consequence of his intention to discontinue business. The whole of the Stock must, therefore, be disposed of as soon as practicable, and will be found well worthy of inspection.

Later he added that the shop would be let from Michaelmas (29 September 1857), but in the event his older brother John took it over. The following notice appeared in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 3 July 1858:

Furniture Warehouse, 33, St Giles's Street.
WILLIAM BRIDGWATER, in retiring from the above, gratefully acknowledges the support he has received (during a period of 27 years) from the Members of the University and Inhabitants of the City and County, and begs to add that, in future, the business will be carried on by his brother, JOHN BRIDGWATER, whom he respectfully recommends as his successor.
W.B. begs to inform his friends and the public that he will still continue the APPRAISING BUSINESS (in which he has had so much experience), and hopes to secure the patronage of those who have hitherto honored [sic] him with their favors [sic]….

The Bridgwaters moved to the south end of the Woodstock Road (then called St Giles Road West), and William's brother John moved in over the shop at 33 St Giles’s Street.

At the time of the 1861 census William Bridgwater (57) was living at the south end of the Woodstock Road with his wife Ann and their daughters Elizabeth (29), who was a piano teacher, and Mary Ann (27), who was still a governess but no longer living in the household of the children she taught. They had a 16-year-old servant girl.

Their daughter Elizabeth died in 1863:

† Elizabeth Bridgwater died at the south end of the Woodstock Road at the age of 32 in August 1863 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 20 August (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

At the time of the 1871 census William (67) and Ann (70) were still living at the same address, and employed a nurse. Their daughter Mary Ann (37) was now the companion of a 54-year-old widow in Old Swinford, Worcestershire.

Mrs Bridgwater died in 1876:

† Mrs Ann Bridgwater née Parsons died at the south end of the Woodstock Road at the age of 74 in March 1876 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 13 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

Her husband William died in 1879:

† William Bridgwater died at the south end of the Woodstock Road at the age of about 76 (the parish register rounds his age up to 80) on 28 February 1879 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 9 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

His effects came to under £3,000, and his will was proved by his daughter Mary Ann.

At the time of the 1881 census his daughter Miss Mary Ann Bridgwater was living alone with a servant at 41 Woodstock Road, and her income was derived from houses.

In 1901 the number of her house is given as 49 Woodstock Road, and Miss Mary Ann Bridgwater died there in 1914:

† Miss Mary Ann Bridgwater died at 49 Woodstock Road at the age of 80 on 10 March 1914 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 13 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

Her effects came to £6,333 15s. 5d.


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