Henry COLES (1847/8–1928)
His wife Mrs Ellen COLES, née Knight (1850–1933)
St Paul section: Row 4, Grave 7

Henry Coles

[Opposite long side]: HENRY COLES, AT REST 18TH JANUARY 1928


Henry Coles was born in Observatory Street, Oxford in 1847/8 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 16 January 1848. He was the son of the baker Job Coles and Susan Leach, who were married at St Ebbe's Church on 23 April 1833. His parents were living in Williams Yard when their eldest son Martin Thomas was baptised at St Giles's Church in 1834; in St Thomas's parish when their second son Samuel was baptised at St Thomas Church in 1835; and in St Giles's Road when their eldest daughter Mary Anne was baptised at St Giles's Church in 1838. They then moved to Observatory Street, and their last five children were all baptised at St Paul's Church: Susan (1840), Frederick (1842), James (1843), Fanny (1845), and Henry himself (1848).

At the time of the 1851 census Henry (3) was living at Observatory Street with his parents and his siblings Martin (17), who was a hairdresser, and Frederick (9), James (7), and Fanny (6), plus a servant. In 1861 Henry (13) was still at school and living at 104 Walton Street with his father Job (50), who was still a baker, and his siblings Frederick (19), who was a gardener; James (17), who was a compositor; and Fanny (15), who was a shopgirl.

Henry's mother died in 1865, and at the time of the 1871 census he was a solicitor's general clerk aged 23, living at 12 Cranham Street with his father Job (59) and his brother James (27), who was a printer, and his sister Fanny (25), who doubtless kept house for them.

Ellen Knight was born in Rugby in 1850 and baptised at St Matthew's Church there on 4 August. She was the daughter of Matthew Knight and Jane Wakefield, who were married on 14 July 1842 in Shoreditch, London. For more about her background and parents, see their separate grave. By 1861 her father had come to Oxford to work as a college servant, and by the time of the 1871 census he was butler to Benjamin Jowett, the Master of Balliol, and the family was living at the college. Emma (21) was then herself a servant of the college.

On 12 April 1873 at St Paul's Church, Oxford, Henry Coles, described as an attorney’s clerk of Observatory Street, married Ellen Knight. They had the following children:

  • Ada Margaret Coles TWIN (born at 14 Cranham Street in early 1874 and privately baptised by St Paul’s Church on 27 February)
  • Ellen Fanny Coles TWIN (both born at 14 Cranham Street in early 1874 and privately baptised by St Paul’s Church on 27 February); died aged two months
  • Percy George Coles (born at 14 Cranham Street in 1877 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 20 May)
  • Arthur Harry Coles (born at 14 Cranham Street on 30 May 1880 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 27 June); died 1883
  • Jessie Helen Coles (born at 58 Kingston Road on 2 January 1884 and baptised at Ss Philip & James's Church on 17 February)

Henry and Ellen Coles began their married life at 14 Cranham Street, where their twin daughters Ada Margaret and Ellen Fanny were born in 1874. Ellen Fanny Coles died aged two months and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 10 April 1874 (St Paul’s ref. G1, probably a communal infant burial plot).

By the time of the 1881 census Henry (33), who was still a solicitor's clerk, and Ellen (31) were living in Kingston Road, which was then in Ss Philip & James's parish, with their surviving children Ada (7), Percy (4), and Arthur (ten months), plus one servant. Their address is curiously described in the census as “76 Kingston Road ‘so called’”. When Jessie was born in 1884 their address was given as 58 Kingston Road: it may be the same house.

Their younger son Arthur Harry Coles died at the age of 2 years 8 months near the beginning of 1883 and was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 3 February (St Giles’s section, probably in a section for infants).

By 1891 Henry (43) and Ellen (41) were living at 128 Kingston Road, where as well as being a solicitor’s clerk Henry was running a shop with his wife, and their daughter Ada (17) was helping out as a shop assistant. Their youngest children Percy (14) and Jessie (7) were still at school.

The 1901 census shows the family living at 128 Kingston Road (wrongly numbered 127). Their daughters Ada (27) and Jessie (17), who was a milliner, were still at home with their parents, while their son Percy (24) was an assistant master at the grammar school at Almondbury, Yorkshire.

Their son Percy was married in 1905:

  • On 26 April 1905 at Eynsham, Percy George Coles. now a schoolmaster of Preston, married Alice Gertrude Coulson of Eynsham, the daughter of the corn merchant Richard Coulson.

Henry and Ellen Coles and their daughters were all still at 128 Kingston Road in 1911: Jessie (27) had taken over her parents’ shop, but Ada (37) was listed without an occupation.

Henry Coles died at that house in 1928:

† Henry Coles died at 128 Kingston Road at the age of 80 on 18 January 1928 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 21 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul's Church).

His effects came to £573 12s., and his wife Ellen was his executor. This grave may have been reserved by the family at the time they were living in Jericho, as normally someone who lived in Kingston Road would have been buried in the St Giles's section of the cemetery.

Henry and Ellen's unmarried daughter Ada Margaret Coles died at the same address at the age of 55 on 26 May 1930, but evidently space in her father’s grave was being reserved for her mother, and so she was buried on 29 May in the St Mary Magdalen section of the cemetery in the grave of Thomas Knight, an uncle she would barely have remembered: see separate grave.

Mrs Ellen Coles died in 1933:

† Mrs Ellen Coles née Knight died at 127 Kingston Road at the age of 73 on 23 November 1933 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 28 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul's Church).

Her effects came to £566 17s. 7s., and her executor was her daughter Jessie.

Surviving children of Henry and Ellen Coles:
  • Percy George Coles (born 1877) was a secondary school teacher aged 34 in 1911, living at Elsfield, Copdene, Penwarthen, Preston with his wife Gertrude (33). They appear to have had one child, Mary G. Coles, whose birth was registered at Preston in the second quarter of 1913. Percy was living at 20 Higher Bank, Fulwood, near Preston when he died at the Sharoe Green Hospital, Fulwood on 8 January 1945. His effects came to £2,845 4s. 11d., and his executor was his wife Alice Gertrude Coles.
  • Jessie Helen Coles (born 1884) never married. She died in Oxford at the age of 96 in 1979



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