Frederick CASTLE (c.1810–1860)
His wife Mrs Harriet Ann CASTLE, née Walden (1814–1886)
Their daughter Miss Jane Elizabeth CASTLE (1839–1871)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 21, Grave G56

Frederick Castle



Reverse of Frederick Castle vault

Frederick Castle was born in Fulham in c.1810.

Harriet Ann Walden (sometimes misspelt Wallen) was born at Bown's Alley or Yard, George Street, Oxford in 1814 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 6 November. She was the daughter of Isaac Walden (a labourer born in Baydon, Wiltshire in c.1772) and his wife Maria. Her seven siblings were also baptised at that church: Joseph (1801), James (1805), Charlotte (1807), Eliza (1809), a second Eliza (1811), George (1816), and James (1820): all except Joseph were recorded in the parish register with their surname spelt Wallen. Harriet's mother Maria Walden died at the age of 49 in 1822, two years after giving birth to her youngest child, and was buried in St Mary Magdalen churchyard on 19 November.

On 25 July 1833 at St Mary Magdalen Church, Frederick Castle married Harriet Ann Walden: neither was able to sign their name in the register. They had the following children:

  • Sarah Maria Castle (born at Bown's Alley, Oxford in 1834 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 9 March)
  • Louisa Isabella Castle (born at Bown's Alley, Oxford in 1835 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 16 August); known as Isabella
  • Frederick William Castle (born at Bown's Alley, Oxford in 1837 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 3 September)
  • Jane Elizabeth Castle (born at Bown's Alley, Oxford in 1839 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 24 November)
  • James Edward Castle (born at Bown's Alley, Oxford in 1845 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 17 March); died aged 22 months in December 1846
  • Albert James Castle (born at Bown's Yard, Oxford in 1847 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 25 April);
    died age 8 in September 1855
  • Harriet Ann Castle (born at George Street, Oxford in 1849 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 9 February)
  • Julia Lydia Castle (born at Bown's Yard, Oxford in 1851 and baptised at the new St George-the-Martyr chapel of ease in January/February, with the baptism recorded in the register of St Mary Magdalen Church)
  • Henrietta Castle (born at Bown's Yard, Oxford in 1853 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 12 June)
  • Joseph Castle (born at Bown's Yard, Oxford in 1857 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 29 June)

By 1835 Frederick was working as a basket maker and living in Bown's Alley (consistently misspelt in the parish registers by the parish clerk of St Mary Magdalen as “Bound's Alley”), Bown's Yard or Alley ran to immediately to the east of the present Odeon Cinema and was later known as St George's Place (after St George-the-Martyr Church, consecrated in 1850 as a chapel of ease for St Mary Magdalen Church).

At the time of the 1841 census Frederick and Harriet were living at Bown's Alley in the home of Harriet's widower father Isaac Walden with their first four children Sarah Maria (7), Louisa (6), Frederick (4), and James (1). Harriet's brother James Walden was also still living with his father. Their son James Edward Castle died in 1846 just before his second birthday and was buried on 11 December in St Mary Magdalen churchyard, as St Sepulchre's Cemetery did not open until 1848.

At the time of the 1851 census Frederick (39), still described as a basket-maker, was now the head of the household at 3 Bown's Alley, where he lived with his wife Harriet (36) and their children Louisa (16), Frederick (13), who was an errand boy, and Jane (10), Albert (4), Harriet Ann (2), and Julia (three months), as well as Harriet's father Isaac Walden (79), who was described as a pauper. Their eldest daughter Sarah (17) was already out to service, working at 100 Holywell Street for the family of Jonathan Lowndes, the publisher of Jackson's Oxford Journal.

Mrs Castle's father Isaac Walden died at Bown's Alley two years later at the age of 81 and was buried on 20 March 1853, probably in St Mary Magdalen churchyard with his wife Maria.

The family appear to have moved to George Street proper soon after that census, as that was given as his address when their son Albert James Castle died at the age of eight. He was buried on 13 September 1855, probably in the children's section of St Sepulchre's Cemetery.

Two of their children were married towards the end of the 1850s:

  • On 27 September 1857 at St Giles's Church, Oxford, Sarah Maria Castle (22) married Joseph Simms (22), a bricklayer of Plantation Road, the son of the mason John Simms. Sarah could sign her name, but her husband made his mark in the register. Sarah's address was given as St Giles's Street, and she may have been in service there
  • In the second quarter of 1858 in Oxford, Frederick William Castle married Mary Wiltshire.

Frederick Castle died in 1860, and again George Street was given as his address:

† Frederick Castle died at George Street at the age of 49 on 3 July 1860 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 13 July (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

(A ten-day delay between death and burial seems very long, especially as it was high summer, so it is likely that either the date on the grave or in the register is wrong.) His age is rounded up to 50 on the gravestone

Two months later his daughter Louisa was married:

  • On 3 September 1860 at St Giles's Church, Oxford, Louisa Isabella Castle (24) of St Mary Magdalen parish married John Simms (22), a bricklayer of Plantation Road and the son of the mason John Simms senior: he was the younger brother of her sister Sarah's husband. Louisa's forenames were transposed in the register.

At the time of the 1861 census Harriet (46) was at home in George Street with her four youngest children, who were all still at school: Harriet (12), Julia (10), Henrietta (8), and Joseph (5). Her son Frederick (23) was boarding in Bolton and working as a basket maker, and her daughter Jane (20) was the servant of the retired grocer George Bridges and his sister Mary at 43 St Giles's Street.

At the time of the 1871 census Harriet Castle (56) was described as a pauper and was living at 51 George Street with just her youngest son Joseph (13), who was an errand boy. Her four unmarried daughters were in service: Jane (30) was still with Miss Bridges at 43 St Giles's Street; Harriet (22) was a housemaid to Miss Hargrave at 46 St Giles's Street; Julia (20) was the housemaid of the solicitor John Crews Dudley at 6/7 Broad Street; and Henrietta (17) was living in Market Street, the servant of the basket-maker Mary Ann Nunney (daughter of Mrs Martha Nunney).

Harriet's daughter Jane died in Oxford just a month after the 1871 census. She is recorded in the parish register as having died at Gloucester Green, which seems odd and may be an error:

† Miss Jane Elizabeth Castle died at Gloucester Green at the age of 30 on 4 May 1871 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 9 May (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

The fortunes of Harriet's youngest son Joseph picked up, and someone may have sponsored him. He ceased to be an errand boy, and attended the Oxford Blue Coat Boys' School, where in March 1875 won a prize for History and General Proficiency. On 1 February 1881 he was matriculated at Hertford College, Oxford at the age of 23 (wrongly recorded as 22): he described his deceased father as a gentleman.

Harriet's married son Frederick William Castle died at Broad Street, Oxford at the age of 39 in 1877 and was buried on 29 July in a different grave in the St Michael section of St Sepulchre's Cemetery: see his grave for more about his family.

Her daughter Harriet was married in 1878:

  • On 14 February 1878 at St Mary Magdalen Church, Harriet Ann Castle (27) married Thomas Biggerstaff (20), a groom and the son of the coachman Thomas Biggerstaff: both were then living in that parish.

By the time of the 1881 census Mrs Castle (66) had gone to live at 1 Chain Alley off the north-east end of George Street with her daughter Mrs Harriet Ann Biggerstaff (32) and her husband Thomas (32), who was a stonemason, and their son Joseph (2). Her two unmarried daughters were both working: Julia (30, but listed as 28) was the house & parlour maid to the family of the banker's clerk George Bowman at 16 Longridge Road, Kensington, and Henrietta (27) was still working for the basket-maker Mrs Nunney in Market Street, Oxford. Joseph (23) was in residence at Hertford College.

Her son Joseph obtained his BA in 1885, and in the same year was appointed Curate of Lydd.

Mrs Castle died in 1886:

† Mrs Harriet Ann Castle née Walden died at George Street at the age of 71 on 22 January 1886 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 28 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

Surviving children of Frederick & Harriet Ann Castle
  • Sarah Maria Castle, Mrs Simms (born 1834) was living at 103 Walton Street in 1861 with her husband Joseph, who was a bricklayer, and their sons John (2) and Frederick (1). By 1871 Sarah (37) and Joseph (35) were living at 52 Great Clarendon Street, and they had five more children: Alfred (7), George (5), Joseph (3), Harry (2), and Albert (four weeks). They were at the same address in 1881 with two more children: Edith (8) and Nelly (5). Sarah was still at that address in 1901 but appears to have died in the Banbury district at the age of 71 in 1905.
  • Louisa Isabella Castle, Mrs Simms (born 1835), known as Isabella, was newly married in 1861 and living with her bricklayer husband John Simms at 103 Walton Street. By 1871 they had moved to 4 Adelaide Street and had six children: John (10), Henry (9), Lizzie (7), John (5), Frederick (3), and Louisa (1). In 1881 their address was given as 27 Adelaide Street: they had one more child, Harriett (7), and John Simms was now described as a master builder. They were still at that address in 1891, but in 1901 it was given as 29 Adelaide Street. Mrs Louisa Isabella Simms died at 29 Adelaide Street in November 1909 at the age of 74. Her burial on 16 November is listed in the St Giles's parish register, and she may be buried at St Sepulchre's Cemetery, possibly in the Simms family grave (Row 2, Grave B38).
  • Harriet Ann Castle, Mrs Biggerstaff (born 1849) disappears after the 1881 census, and appears to have emigrated to Canada. She died in Ohio in 1906.
  • Julia Lydia Castle (born 1851) married Albert Edward Sutton in the fourth quarter of 1887 at St George's Church, Hanover Square. They emigrated to Ohio, USA and Julia died there in 1925.
  • Henrietta Castle (born 1854) worked for the basket-maker Miss Mary Ann Nunney at 13 Market Street for at least thirty years (1871–1901). Her employer died in December 1904, and in 1905 in Oxford she married William Laker Simms, the former Treasurer of Christ Church. At the time of the 1911 census Henrietta (52) and William (70) were living at 91 St Aldate's Street with one servant: they moved to the Hastings area immediately after the census, and William was dead by mid-1911. Henrietta was living at 42 Carisbrooke Road, St Leonard's-on-Sea when she died at St Mary's Home there on 1 July 1939. Her effects came to £6,602 6s. 2d.
  • Joseph Castle (born 1857) was ordained Priest in 1886, and at the time of the 1891 census he was aged 33 and was boarding at Lynsted near Faversham in Kent, where he was now Curate. In 1892 he married Blanche Ellen Finn (born in the Romney Marsh area in 1862) in Kent. At the time of the 1901 census Joseph (43) was living in the Parsonage at Eastchurch in Kent with his wife Blanche (38) and their three children Burgon Finn Castle (6), Doris Florence May Castle (2), and Bernard Terry Edwin Longuet Castle (two months), plus two servants. In 1911 he and his wife were living at the Vicarage in Queenborough, Kent with Doris (12) and Bernard (10). He was still the Vicar of Queenborough when he died on 3 July 1926 at the age of 69 at St Luke's Hostel, 14 Fitzroy Square, St Pancras. His effects came to £4,596 18s. 4d., and his executors were his son Burgon, who was a civil servant, and John William Kennard Castle, who was a solicitor.



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