Thomas Blakeman BROWN (1799–1870)
His wife Mrs Sophia BROWN, née Townsend (1799–1865)
Their daughters Miss Harriett BROWN, born Townsend (1822–1876) and
Miss Elizabeth BROWN (1829–1865)
St Giles section: Row 9, Grave B40

Thomas Blakeman Brown




WHO DIED FEB. 15, 1865


WHO DIED JAN. 28, 1865
AGED 32 [35] YEARS.


WHO DIED AUG. 27, 1870


WHO DIED NOV. 20, 1876
AGED 53 [54] YEARS.


Thomas Blakeman Brown was born in Witney in 1799 and baptised at St Mary's Church there on 24 April. He was the son of the farmer Thomas Blakeman Brown senior and Penelope Collins, who were married at Witney on 8 January 1794 when the latter was still under 21. Thomas's two older siblings were baptised at Witney: Richard on 2 November 1794, and Elizabeth on 25 April 1797.

Sophia Townsend was born in Standlake in 1799 and baptised there on 26 May, the daughter of Thomas Townsend and his wife Mary (surname unknown). She gave birth to a “baseborn” daughter Harriet in 1822, acknowledged in the baptismal register to be the daughter of Thomas Blakeman Brown.

On 24 November 1822 at Standlake Church (two months after having their daughter baptised there), Thomas Blakeman Brown married Sophia Townsend: both were described as being of that parish. They had the following children:

  • Harriett Townsend, later known as Harriett Brown (born at Standlake in 1822 and baptised there on 22 September)
  • Elizabeth Brown (born in Benson in 1824 and baptised there on 14 March; died aged 13 months and buried there on 7 April 1825)
  • Thomas Blakeman Brown junior (born in Benson in 1825 and baptised there on 11 December)
  • Henry Brown (born in Little Clarendon Street ("Workhouse Lane"), Oxford in 1827 and baptised at St Giles's Church on 2 September)
  • Elizabeth Brown (born in Little Clarendon Street, Oxford on 22 May 1829 and baptised at St Giles's Church on 3 May)
  • Mary Ann Brown (born in Jericho, Oxford on 3 August 1830 and baptised at St Giles's Church on 1 September)
  • Eliza Brown (born in St Thomas's parish (which then included Jericho), Oxford in 1832 and baptised at St Thomas's Church on 1 August)
  • Jane Brown (born at Plantation Road, Oxford in 1835 and baptised at St Giles's Church on 11 January)
  • Ellen Penelope Brown (born at Observatory Street in 1836 and baptised at St Giles's Church on 18 December);
    died aged at Observatory Street aged one year and buried in St Giles's churchyard on 24 November)
  • Richard Brown (born at Observatory Street in 1838 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 8 September);
    died aged 14 days and buried in St Giles's churchyard on 15 September 1838
  • Charles Richard Brown (born at Observatory Street in 1839 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 24 November).

Thomas and Sophia Brown began their married life in Benson (known also as Bensington at this time), and Thomas was working as a baker there in 1824 and 1825.

The family then moved to Oxford and Thomas evidently started to bake for the University, as on 14 March 1827 he was matriculated at the University as a privileged “Pistor” (baker). In September that year the family was living at Little Clarendon Street in Oxford, and by 1830 they had moved to Jericho, where Thomas continued to work as a baker.

By early 1833 Thomas had been appointed Inspector of the University Police, a job he held until his retirement: his post had the alternative description of University Bellman & Marshal. The University was in charge of policing Oxford by night (with the help of the Senior and Junior Proctor), while the City Police only operated during the day. On 5 January 1833 Jackson's Oxford Journal reported that a man called William Hutton was convicted of an assault on him. By 1835 the family had moved to Plantation Road.

By 1836 they had moved again, to Observatory Street, which was then in St Giles's parish. The following year it became part of the St Paul's district chapelry, which explains why in December 1836 their daughter Ellen was baptised at St Giles's Church, but in September 1838 their son Richard (born at the same address) was baptised at St Paul's Church.

At the time of the 1841 census Thomas Blakeman Brown, described as a police inspector, was living at Observatory Street with his wife Sophia and their children Harriet (15), Henry (13), Elizabeth (12), Mary Ann (10), Eliza (8), Jane (6), and Charles (1). Their son Thomas (15) was training to be a teacher in Summertown.

By 1850 they had moved to St Giles's Road (the south end of the Woodstock/Banbury Roads). Their son Henry Brown died there at the age of 23 and was buried on 22 December 1850. His burial is recorded in the parish register of St Giles's Church, and he may be buried in that churchyard with his two baby sisters, as he is not mentioned on this gravestone.

The 1851 census shows Thomas (52), described as a Marshal, living at St Giles's Road with his wife Sophia (51) and their children Elizabeth, Mary Ann, Eliza, Jane, and Charles. Their son Thomas (25) was an assistant teacher at a school in Temple Cowley, but their daughter Harriett (18) is hard to find.

On 19 April 1851 it was reported in Jackson's Oxford Journal that a man had been imprisoned with hard labour for a month by the Small Debts Court after stealing broccoli from Brown: “Mr. T. B. Brown stated that he rented a garden in Saint Giles's, and on Saturday last he missed about 24 heads of broccoli, and that on comparing those found on the prisoner with the stumps remaining in his garden, they matched exactly.”

On 26 April 1851 Thomas Blakeman Brown stood in the election for the inferior Bedel of Law in the University, but was beaten by a younger man, John Haines junior.

On 19 July 1851 Jackson's Oxford Journal reported on a case at Berkshire Summer Assizes where Joseph Caudwell of North Hinksey House, Folly Bridge, was charged with having shot at Alexander Henry Ross, an undergraduate of Christ Church, on 26 June:

Thomas Blakeman Brown, University Marshal, said — I took the prisoner into custody on the 26th of June; I told him what he was charged with; did not handcuff him at all; told him that Mr. Ross was shot in the head, neck, and right hand; he said he saw his hand on the cannon, and he aimed at his hand; he also said that the man's head must have been a little forward for the shots to have taken the head; I brought him from Oxford to Abingdon; I said I was sorry that he was so unguarded as to shoot the man, when he replied that it was a bad job, but he had been annoyed by them so many times; he said he got some blank cartridge and rammed it in the gun, and took some loose shots in his hand, when his wife said “don't make such a noise, you will disturb the inmates of the house.”

On 30 March 1852 Thomas Blakeman Brown's mother Penelope Brown died at Standlake at the age of 77 after a long illness, and she was described in the death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal as being “mother of the University Marshal”.

Their eldest son Thomas was married later in 1852:

  • In 1852 (reg. third quarter) in Montgomeryshire, Thomas Blakeman Brown married Alice Bloxham.

On 12 July 1856 it was reported in Jackson's Oxford Journal that on 1 May that year the labourer John Johnson (33) had violently assaulted Thomas Blakeman Brown, the University Marshal.

By the end of 1857 the Brown family had moved to Park Place, which was at the south end of the Banbury Road, running north from opposite St Giles's Church (map).

It appears that Thomas Blakeman Brown's father of the same name moved to his son's home in Oxford after his wife's death, as he died in Park Place on 27 December 1857 at the age of 85: his death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal emphasized that he was “father of Mr. Brown, University marshal”.

On 10 April 1858 it was reported that Brown had visited Mrs Standen's shop in the High Street to charge a man with having stolen some money from William Powys's room at University College, and also that he had found in a box in his lodgings an ivory charm and shirt link belonging to A.M.W.A. Reilly of Brasenose College.

Their daughter Mary Ann was married in 1858:

  • On 6 September 1858 at St Giles's Church, Oxford, Mary Ann Brown (25) of Park Place married William Duke (25), a college servant of The Parks and the son of the labourer John Duke.

At the time of the 1861 census Thomas Blakeman Brown (61), who was still the Marshal of the University Police, was living at 6 Park Place with his wife Sophia (61) and their five unmarried children Elizabeth (30), Harriet (29), Eliza (26), Jane (23), and Charles (21).

Their daughter Elizabeth, who never married, died in January 1865:

† Miss Elizabeth Brown died at Little Clarendon Street at the age of 35 [but recorded as 32] on 28 January 1865 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 4 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles's Church).

Mrs Brown died just two weeks after her daughter:

† Mrs Sophia Brown née Townsend died at Little Clarendon Street at the age of 65 on 15 February 1865 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 18 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles's Church).

Two more children of Thomas Blakeman Brown and Sophia were married later in 1865:

  • On 18 April 1865 at St Paul's Church, Oxford, Charles Richard Brown, who was then working as an excise officer in Walsall, married Emily Cooke of Upper Walton Street, the daughter of Henry Cooke, proprietor of the Oxford Chronicle;
  • On 10 October 1865 at St Giles's Church, Oxford, Jane Brown (26) of Little Clarendon Street married Henry Hill (26), a butler of Lancing, Sussex and the son of the butcher Edward Hill.

Thomas Blakeman Brown died in 1870:

† Thomas Blakeman Brown died at 11 Little Clarendon Street at the age of 71 on 27 August 1870 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 1 September (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles's Church).

His death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal read simply: "Aug. 27, at 11, Little Clarendon-street, St. Giles's, Mr. Thos. Blakeman Brown, late University Marshal, aged 71."

Miss Harriet Brown

Their eldest daughter (born in Standlake in c.1826) was unmarried and still living with her parents in 1861. She is hard to find in the 1871 census. She died at Begbroke to the north of Oxford in 1876, and was buried in the grave of her parents and sister:

† Miss Harriet Brown died at Begbroke at the age of 54 (although recorded as 53) on 20 November 1876 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 23 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles's Church).

Other surviving children of Thomas Blakeman Brown and his wife Sophia
  • Thomas Blakeman Brown junior (born 1825) was a schoolmaster aged 35 in 1861 and living in Welshpool, Montgomeryshire with his wife Alice and their children Thomas Blakeman Brown IV (7), Edward Bloxham Brown (6), Alice Anne Brown (5), Ellen Letitia Brown (4), and Charles Hamilton Brown (six months). By 1871 he was back in Oxford, running a small school at 4 Park Crescent (now 20 Park Town) and living there with his family and four scholars: there were four more children, namely Charles (10), Lucy (9), Florence (6), and Richard (5); another child Clara (8) was staying with his sister Mary Ann. In 1881 he was a life assurance inspector, living at Alice Villa in Tottenham with his wife Alice and their children Lucy (19), Clara (18), Florence (16), and Henry (14). He is hard to trace after 1881.
  • Mary Ann Brown, Mrs William Duke (born 1830): see separate grave.
  • Eliza Brown (born 1832) is hard to trace after 1861, when she was still at home with her parents.
  • Jane Brown, Mrs Henry Hill (born 1835) was living in Tenbury, Worcestershire in 1871 with her husband Henry, who was a butler, and their children Sophia Brown Hill (5) and Edward Henry Hill (six weeks). In 1901 Jane and was living at St Peter Port, Guernsey with Henry, who was now a tobacconist. In 1911 they were both aged 75 and back in Oxfordshire, living at Henfield View, Shillingford. Jane died a widow at Stratfield Road, Summertown on 26 November 1920 at the age of 85. Her effects came to £179 5s. 7d., and her daughter Sophia was her executor.
  • Charles Richard Brown (born 1839) was working as a clerk in the Inland Revenue at the time of the 1871 census and living at 17 Clifton Street, Brighton with his wife Emily (29). On 19 April 1892 at Charlbury, Charles, (51), who was then living at Southsea, married his second wife Ellen Lay (37), the daughter of the hotel-keeper John George Lay. In 1901 Charles (60) was still an Inland Revenue clerk, living at 31 Outram Road, Portsmouth with his second wife Ellen (46) and their servant. In 1911 Richard (70) was retired, living with Ellen (57) at 24 St Peter's Grove, Southsea. He is hard to trace after 1911.



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