Mrs Mary CRIPPS, née Rowell (1799–1862)
Her sister Miss Sarah Ann ROWELL (1796–1876)
Her second son Frederick CRIPPS (1832–1857)
St Michael section: Row 21, Grave G47½
I H S
SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF
WHO DIED DEC. XVII
ALSO OF MARY
MOTHER OF THE ABOVE
WIDOW OF THE LATE
JOHN F. CRIPPS
WHO DIED DEC XXVII
AGED LXII YEARS
ALSO HER SISTER
SARAH ANN ROWELL
WHO DIED OCT. 28, 1876
AGED 82 YEARS
See also the next-but-one grave (Row 21, Grave G45½), where Mrs Cripps's eldest son, John Francis CRIPPS junior (1830–1863) and her fifth son Charles CRIPPS (1839–1910) and his wife Mrs Rebecca CRIPPS, née Wilsdon (1843–1926) are buried
John Francis Cripps senior (1806–1844), whose wife and son Frederick are buried in this grave (with two more sons in the adjoining one), was a pastry cook, confectioner, and fruiterer at 18 Broad Street (now rebuilt and occupied by Flaggs). He has an interesting history: he was born in the West Indies in about 1806, the illegitimate son of Thomas Cripps, who was then serving there as a soldier. Thomas subsequently became a fruiterer in Broad Street (in the firm of Fletcher & Cripps) and on 3 August 1815 at St Magdalen Church he married Mary Ann Fletcher, who was probably the daughter of his business partner, and they had their firstborn son Robert Thomas Fletcher Cripps baptised there on 15 October 1816. Just over two months later, on 27 December 1816, Thomas’s older illegitimate son John Francis Cripps senior was baptised in the same church at the age of ten, with his mother’s name recorded as being unknown. He remained with his father and stepmother, who had five more children, and eventually took over their business.
Mary Rowell was born seven years before her future husband, but appears to have concealed this fact: she was baptised at All Saints’ Church on 6 March 1799. Her older sister Sarah Ann Rowell, who is also buried here, was born in 1796/7. They were the daughters of the watch & clock maker George Rowell and his wife Mary Rouse (see the grave of their brother, the meteorologist George Augustus Rowell, for more about their parents).
John Francis Cripps senior must have married Mary Rowell in the late 1820s, and they had the following children:
- John Francis Cripps junior (born in Oxford on 11 October 1830 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 1 December)
- Frederick Cripps (born in Oxford in 1832 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 15 January 1833)
- Richard Rouse Cripps (born in Oxford in 1835 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 30 August)
- George Cripps (born in Oxford in 1837 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 20 August)
- Charles Cripps (born in Oxford in 1839 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 6 October).
The family was living at Pusey Street (then called Alfred Street, St Giles) when John Cripps junior was born in 1830, but by the time he was two years old his parents had taken over the family business at 18 Broad Street, which was now under the sole name of Cripps.
John Francis Cripps senior died on 29 June 1844 and was buried on 5 July in St Michael's churchyard, as St Sepulchre's Cemetery was not yet open. The following notice appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 6 July 1844:
On Sunday last, after a long illness, aged 39, Mr. John Francis Cripps, confectioner, of Broad-street, leaving a widow and five children to lament their loss.
His will is available in the National Archives.
Mrs Mary Cripps took over her husband’s confectionery business. At the time of the 1851 census she was at 18 Broad Street with her five sons: John (20) and Richard (16) were working as her assistants; her son Frederick (18) was a watchmaker’s apprentice; and George (14) and Charles (12) were still at school. The family had one house servant.
Her second son Frederick Cripps died in 1857, and it was presumably then that she purchased a double plot in St Sepulchre’s. He was the first member of the family to be buried there:
† Frederick Cripps died at 18 Broad Street at the age of 27 on 17 December 1857 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 23 December (burial recorded in parish register of St Michael’s Church).
Mrs Cripps's eldest son was married in 1860:
- On 24 December 1860 at St Michael’s Church, John Francis Cripps junior married Hannah Kilby.
At the time of the 1861 census John junior and his wife Hannah were living at 18 Broad Street with John’s mother Mrs Mary Cripps, who was still working as a fruiterer and confectioner. John (30) was now a full confectioner like his mother, while his unmarried brother George (23) was still a confectioner’s assistant. Again, the family had one house servant.
Mrs Mary Cripps died in 1861 after a long illness, and was buried with her son Frederick:
† Mrs Mary Cripps née Rowell died at Broad Street on 27 December 1861 at the age of 72 (grave and register say 62) and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 2 January 1862 (burial recorded in parish register of St Michael’s Church).
Her effects came to under £50, and letters of administration were granted to her eldest son John Francis Cripps junior.
Her son John Francis Cripps junior died just two years later in 1863, and was the first member of the family to be buried in the adjoining grave.
Miss Sarah Ann Rowell
Sarah, the unmarried sister of Mrs Mary Cripps, was living Pusey Street in 1851, when she was 54, in a flat in the house of her brother, the meteorologist George Augustus Rowell, and his wife Maria. Following the death of Maria in 1864, she became her brother’s housekeeper, and can be seen living with him in Pusey Street in 1871, when she was 74.
She died in 1876, and was buried in the grave of her nephew Frederick Cripps and sister Mrs Cripps:
† Miss Sarah Ann Rowell died in October 1876 at the age of 82 and was buried on 1 November at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery (burial recorded in parish register of St Michael’s Church, with the note “St Philip & St James”).
The other children of Mrs Mary Cripps and her husband John Francis Cripps senior
- John Francis Cripps junior (born 1830): see separate grave
- Richard Rouse Cripps (born 1835) became the landlord of the Brass Knocker Inn in Monckton Combe, Somerset., but went bankrupt in September 1865. He died of consumption at Pierrepoint Place, Bath at the age of 30 on 16 January 1866, and a death notice was inserted in Jackson's Oxford Journal.
- George Cripps (born 1837) is hard to trace after 1861.
- Charles Cripps (born 1839): see separate grave