George COWDEROY (c.1826–1904)
His wife Mrs Mary Ann COWDEROY, née Bell (1824–1891)
St Paul section: Row 3, Grave A2 (St Paul ref. U2)

George & Mary Ann Cowderoy



[cross missing]






JANUARY 23RD, 1904



George Cowderoy was born in St Margaret's parish, Westminster in c.1826, the son of the grocer John Cowderoy (born c.1775) and his wife Margaret. (If he was the son of a second marriage, his parents could well be the John Cowderoy and Margaret Davis Pulbrook who were married at Christ Church, Southwark on 5 May 1819.) At the time of the 1851 census George (24) was living with his father John Cowderoy, widower of 76, at 13 Gillingham Street, Westminster: they were both described as grocers & cheesemongers. Also at home were George's sisters Martha (44), Susan (35), and Margaret (25). By 1853 George was a grocer in Millwall, London.

Mary Ann Bell was born in Oxford in 1824 and baptised at St Michael's Church on 5 March. She was the daughter of the London printer Thomas Page Bell and Oxford-born Mary Ann Pulbrook, who were married on 10 September 1817 at St Mary's Church, Newington. They settled in Oxford and had five children there. For more about Mary Ann's parents and siblings, see her parents' separate grave. By the time of the 1841 census Mary Ann (16) was living at Clarendon Place in the new district chapelry of St Paul with her parents, her widowed grandmother Mary Pulbrook, and her three surviving siblings. On the census night of 1851 Mary Ann Bell (26), who was still living with her parents in Clarendon Place, was paying a visit to her future parents-in-law John and Margaret Cowderoy at 3 Crescent Place, Brighton.

On 27 September 1853 at St Paul's Church, Oxford, George Cowderoy married Mary Ann Bell. They had the following children:

  • George Bell Cowderoy (born at Millwall, Poplar, Middlesex on 27 September 1855 and baptised at St Anne's Church, Limehouse on 7 October)
  • Mary Ann Bell Cowderoy (born at Observatory Street, Oxford in late 1857 and baptised as Marianne at St Paul's Church on 8 February 1858).

Mary Ann's mother Mary Ann Bell died in Oxford at the age of 61 on 11 September 1855.

George and Mary Ann evidently began their married life in the London area, and George was described as a grocer at Millwall when his son was baptised in October 1855.

By the end of 1857 they had moved to Oxford, and George was described as a Post Office employee at the time of Marianne's baptism. Oxford's main Post Office was then at the south end of the Old Town Hall.

On 11 April 1857 at St Nicholas's Church, Brighton, Mrs Mary Ann Cowderoy's father Thomas Page Bell (63) took as his second wife Mrs Margaret Cowderoy (62), who was doubtless a relation of George Cowderoy.

George's father John Cowderoy died in Pimlico at the age of 84 on 14 August 1859, and a death announcement was placed in Jackson's Oxford Journal.

At the time of the 1861 census George (34), described as a post office clerk, was living at 5 Observatory Street in St Giles's parish with his wife Mary Ann (34) and their children George (5) and Mary Ann (4), plus a servant.

Mrs Mary Ann Cowderoy's father Thomas Page Bell died in Oxford at the age of 74 on 24 May 1865.

By the time of the 1871 census George & Mary Ann Cowderoy and their two children were living at 45 Walton Street in St Paul's district chapelry.

Oxford Post Office

Oxford's new Post Office at 102 to 104 St Aldate's, a large building of Chilmark stone on four floors, opened in 1880. This drawing (right) shows how it would have looked when George Cowderoy worked there. (In 1903 the shop to the left was demolished and an archway to a new sorting office at the back was created.)

At the time of the 1881 census George & Mary were living at 45 Walton Street with their daughter Ann (24), who was a teacher of music. Their son George (25) is hard to find in 1881.

George Cowderoy described himself as a post office clerk in 1881, but by June 1888 he was Chief Clerk at the Oxford Post Office.

Their son George was married in 1887:

  • In the fourth quarter of 1887 in Lewisham, George Bell Cowderoy married Louisa Tink (born in Alford, Somerset in 1856).

By the time of the 1891 census George Cowderoy (63) had retired from the Post Office. He and his wife were still living at Walton Street with their daughter Mary (32), who was now teaching in a school.

Mrs Ann Cowderoy died near the end of 1891:

† Mrs Mary Ann Cowderoy née Bell died at 45 Walton Street at the age of 67 on 9 December 1891 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 14 December (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul's Church).

Her death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal read: “Dec. 9, Mary Anne [sic], the beloved wife of George Cowderoy, of 40, Walton-street, Oxford.”

Her daughter Mary [Ann] Bell Cowderoy was married in 1898:

  • On 12 April 1898 at St Michael's Church, Oxford, Mary Ann Bell Cowderoy of 45 Walton Street married John Thomas Gradon, an ophthalmologist of 18 Broad Street and the youngest son of the late Thomas Gradon of Blackhill, Durham. The wedding was announced in the London Evening Standard.

George Cowderoy died in 1904:

† George Cowderoy died at 45 Walton Street at the age of 77 on 23 January 1904 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 28 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul's Church).

His effects came to £1,176 10s. 4d., and his executors were his son George Bell Cowderoy, who was described as a gentleman, and his bank manager.

Children of George & Mary Ann Cowderoy
  • George Bell Cowderoy (born 1855) and his wife Louisa did not have any children, and George had no occupation for the whole of their marriage, but lived off his own means. At the time of the 1891 census George (35) and Louise (34) were boarding at 24 Wellington Square, and they employed a 17-year-old kitchenmaid. In 1901 George (45) was living with Louisa (44) at East Hanney. In 1911 they were at Malvern House, Bath. George died at 9th Boulevard, Weston-Super-Mare at the age of 64 on 22 August 1920. His effects came to just £44, and his wife Louisa was his executor.
  • Mary Ann Bell Cowderoy, Mrs Gradon (born 1857) and her husband John Thomas Gradon had no children. At the time of the 1911 census Mary Ann (48) was living at 9 Portland Road, Summertown with John (42), who was a sight specialist and private tutor with consulting rooms at the Bank Chambers at Carfax; also living with them were one of his pupils and their cook. Mrs Mary Ann Gradon died in Oxford at the age of 78 near the end of 1934.



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