Alfred Thomas CLEAVER (1835–1906)
His wife Mary Ann CLEAVER née Duffield (1834–1911)
St Paul [St Barnabas] section: Row 50, Grave H22

Cleaver grave


In loving memory


BORN JUL. 30 1835
DIED FEB. 18 1906



BORN NOV. 7 1834  DIED SEP. 11 1911


Cleaver inscription


See separate grave for more on Alfred Thomas Cleaver's brother Frank

Alfred Thomas Cleaver (sometimes known as Thomas Alfred) was born in Jericho, Oxford on 30 July 1835 and was baptised at St Thomas's church on 23 August as the new district chapel of St Paul’s was still in the process of being built. He was the son of the Jericho tailor Edward Cleaver (born in Oxford in 1815/16) and Mary Ann Lait (born in Brailes, Warwickshire in 1815/16)., who were married at St Thomas’s Church, Oxford on 9 February 1835.

At the time of the 1841 census Alfred Thomas Cleaver (6) was living in Great Clarendon Street with his parents and his younger sister Catherine (2) in the home of his widowed grandmother, Susannah Cleaver, who worked as a laundress. Alfred's older brother Robert Joseph Cleaver had died in 1838 at the age of three months.

Alfred’s grandmother Susannah Cleaver died at the age of 73 in January 1844, just before St Sepulchre’s Cemetery was opened, and was buried in St Thomas’s churchyard.

Alfred's sister Susanna was born in 1845 but died the same year at the age of nine months.

By the time of the 1851 census Alfred Thomas (15) was a compositor's apprentice, living at 41 Great Clarendon Street with his father Edward (35), who was now working as a porter at Worcester College, his mother Mary (35), who was a laundress for the college, and his four siblings Catharine (12), Edward (8), Frank (3), and Charles (nine months).

Two more siblings were born in the 1850s but did not survive: Edward, who died at the age of six months in April 1856. and Mary Ann, who died at the age of ten months in February 1858. They appear to have been buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, as they have a St Paul’s plot reference (O.17).

Alfred's brother William John Cleaver was born in 1860.

Alfred’s father Edward Cleaver died at Great Clarendon Street at the age of 43 in 1860, and he too was buried in Plot O3 of St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 6 April.

Mary Ann Duffield was born at Plantation Road on 7 November 1834 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 4 January 1835. She was the daughter of William Duffield (variously described as a coal merchant, bargeman, or boatman) and Margaret Westwood. Her brother William died by drowning in Kidlington at the age of five in 1843. By the time her youngest sister, Sarah, was born in 1845, the family was living at St Bernard’s Road.

At the time of the 1851 census Mary Ann Duffield was a servant in the house of Mrs Hester Tagg in Adelaide Street. She would have been sixteen, but her employer seems to have believed that she was eighteen.

Mary’s mother Mrs Margaret Duffield, née Westwood died by drowning in 1853 at the age of 53, and her funeral was at St Paul’s Church on 21 December. She is also likely to be buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, as she has a plot reference (L11).

On 11 May 1856 at St Paul's Church, as soon as they were both of full age, Alfred Thomas Cleaver married Mary Ann Duffield: they were both living in Great Clarendon Street at the time of the wedding. They had eight children:

  • Edward Thomas (or Thomas Edward) Cleaver (born at St Paul’s Terrace in Walton Street in 1857 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 25 October)
  • Frederick William Cleaver (born in Clarendon Street in 1858/9 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on Easter Day 1859)
  • Bessie Ann Cleaver (born at St Bernard’s Road at the end of 1860 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 3 February 1861; died at St Bernard’s Road at the age of four and buried on 7 January 1865, probably at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery: burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church)
  • Frank Cleaver (born at 26 St Bernard’s Road in 1862/3 and baptised at Ss Philip & James’s Church on 1 March 1863)
  • Alfred John Cleaver (born at 26 St Bernard’s Road in 1864 and baptised at Ss Philip & James’s Church on 2 October)
  • Margaret Ann (born at 26 St Bernard’s Road in 1866 and baptised at Ss Philip & James’s Church on 7 October)
  • Charles Cleaver (born at 26 St Bernard’s Road, Oxford in 1868 and baptised at Ss Philip & James’s Church on 7 June; died there aged seven months and buried on 28 September, probably at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery: burial recorded in the parish register of Ss Philip & James’s Church)
  • Lillian Sarah Cleaver (born at 3 Marlborough Villas, Leckford Road, Oxford in 1875 and baptised at Ss Philip & James’s Church on 5 September).

Alfred and his family were evidently living at St Paul’s Terrace (which was in Walton Street opposite Jericho House and next to the Observatory grounds) in 1857, but had moved to Clarendon Street by early 1859. In that year he was apprenticed to the printer Henry Cooke, who ran the Oxford City and County Chronicle newspaper at 119 High Street.

Alfred's father Edward Cleaver died at Clarendon Street at the age of 45 in 1860, and was buried on 6 April in the same plot as his small children (O.17, burial recorded in St Paul’s register). This left Alfred with some responsibility for his younger siblings.

By the time of the 1861 census Alfred and his family had moved out of the St Paul’s district chapelry and were living at 14 St Bernard’s Road (then named St John’s Road) in St Giles’s parish with their first three children and Mary Ann’s sister, Sarah Duffield (16), who was still at school. Alfred Cleaver was working as a printer compositor. In 1862 the new church of Ss Philip & James was consecrated, and thereafter St Bernard’s Road was in that parish. Their next child, Frank, was one of the very first to be baptised at Ss Philip & James’s Church, on 1 March 1863; but the event was recorded in the old St Giles’s baptismal register, as the new church did not start using its own baptismal register until 1 April.

At the time of the 1871 census Alfred and Mary Cleaver were still at 14 St Bernard’s Road with their five surviving children, who were all still at school. Alfred’s mother died on 16 June 1871: the announcement of her death in Jackson’s Oxford Journal read: “June 16, after a long illness, in her 57th year, Mrs. Mary Ann Cleaver, of Great Clarendon-street, St. Paul’s; for many years laundress of Worcester College”.

When their daughter Lillian was born in the mid-1870s, Alfred & Mary Cleaver were living in Leckford Road; but by the time of the 1881 census they had moved again, to 20 Richmond Road (which was then 20 Worcester Terrace) in St Barnabas’s parish. Four of their children were still at home: Frank (18) and Alfred (16), who were now both tailors; and Margaret (14) and Lillian (5) who were at school. Also living with them was Alfred’s much younger brother William John Cleaver (20) who was also a tailor. The family had one servant.

In 1889 their son Frederick William Cleaver was married, and this announcement appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal:

June 8, at Wardour Hall, Little Chapel-street, London,, by the Rev. Dr. Lunn, Frederick William, second son of Mr. Alfred Thomas Cleaver, Worcester-terrace, Oxford, to Selina Eleanor, only child of Mr. T. W. Beard, of Wolverhampton.

The family was still at 20 Richmond Road in 1891: Alfred (55) was a printer compositor (in a newspaper office), and his wife Mary (56) was now a self-employed laundress for a college, working from home. Three children were with them: Frank (28), who was a tailor, and Margaret Ann (24) and Lillian (16), who helped their mother with her laundry work.

A month later their daughter Margaret Ann Cleaver committed suicide by drowning herself at the age of 24: the report of the inquest appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 9 May 1891. Following a family quarrel, she left a note on the table reading “Good-bye all, you will find me above Godstow”, and that is where her father found her body in the water.

Their son Frank Cleaver died the following year, 1892, and the following notice appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal:

Nov. 22, at 20, Worcester-terrace, Oxford, Frank, third son of Thomas Alfred and Mary Ann Cleaver, aged 29; dearly loved and greatly respected.

In 1894 their son Alfred John Cleaver was married, and once again there was an announcement in the paper:

Dec. 11, at St. Ebbe’s Church, Oxford, by the Rev. J. Arkell, Rector, Alfred John, youngest son of T. Cleaver, Worcester-terrace, Oxford, to Annie, youngest daughter of George West, Paradise-square, Oxford.

Their daughter Lilian Sarah Cleaver was married to Frederick George Pavier at St Barnabas’s Church on 22 August 1898.

By the time of the 1901 census, Alfred (65) was still working as a compositor and Mary (55) was still working at home as a laundress. They were now living alone at 20 Richmond Road.

Alfred Cleaver died in 1906:

† Alfred Thomas Cleaver died at 20 Richmond Road at the age of 70 on 18 February 1906 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 24 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Barnabas’s Church).

His widow Mary was living with her son Edward and his family at 30 Juxon street at the time of the 1911 census. She died in the autumn of that year:

† Mrs Mary Ann Cleaver née Duffield died at 30 Juxon Street at the age of 76 on 11 September 1911 and was buried with her husband at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 14 September (burial recorded in the register of St Paul’s Church).

Surviving children of Alfred & Mary Ann Cleaver
  • Edward Thomas Cleaver (born 1857), known as Thomas, remained in Jericho. At the time of the 1911 census he was a compositor for the Clarendon Press, living at 30 Juxon Street with his wife Annie, who was a laundress, and their children Alfred (28), who was a type founder; William (26), who was a machine minder; Ewart (22), who was a compositor; and Pearl (16). His mother was still living with him then, just before her death.
  • Frederick William Cleaver (born 1858/9) remained in London after his marriage. At the time of the 1911 census he was working as a caretaker and living at 5 Endsleigh Gardens with his wife Selina and his children Florence Maud Cleaver (20), who was a dressmaker; Frank Cleaver (18), who was a pianoforte apprentice; Frederick Thomas Cleaver (12); and William Brian (4).
  • Alfred John Cleaver (born 1864) remained in Oxford. At the time of the 1911 census he was working as a publican and tailor and living at 84 Blackfriars Road with his wife Annie and their children Reginald Alfred Cleaver (15) and Margaret Annie Cleaver (14).
  • Lillian Sarah Cleaver (Mrs Pavier) (born 1875) remained in Jericho. At the time of the 1911 census she and her husband Frederick, still a grocer’s assistant, were living at 29 Nelson Street with their children William Duffield Pavier (12), Hilda Margaret Pavier (10), Leonard George Pavier (7), Lilian Mary Pavier (5), and Marjorie Emily Pavier (1).



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