Miss Mary Ann DAWES (c.1799–1856)
St Giles section: Row 18, Grave F39

Mary Ann Dawes


Mary Ann Dawes was born in Abingdon in c.1799, but does not appear to have been baptised there. She is likely to have been a relation of Thomas and Mary Ensworth (who had no children of their own), as in her latter years she lived with them in Oxford. Thomas Ensworth (born in Oxford in 1774) was a retired wine merchant and former Mayor of Oxford, who built Walton House between the Woodstock Road and Walton Street in the 1830s (later the original hall of residence of Somerville College); and his wife Mary Elizabeth Bowles (born at West Hanney in 1781), was the daughter of William and Sarah Bowles.

At the time of the 1851 census Mary Ann Dawes (45) was described as a visitor of the Ensworths at Walton House, but she evidently continued to live with them, as she died suddenly at their house in 1856:

† Miss Mary Ann Dawes died at Walton House, St Giles's Road at the age of 56 on 16 February 1856 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 22 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles's Church).

An inquest was held into her death on the same day that she died, and the following report appeared in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 23 February 1856:

Inquests by W. Brunner, Esq., Coroner.
On Monday the 18th inst., at the residence of Thomas Ensworth, Esq., St. Giles's, Oxford, on view of the body of Mary Ann Dawes, aged 56 years, who was found dead in her bed the same morning. From the evidence it appeared that deceased was at Church the previous day, and that she appeared better than she had been for some time when she retired to bed; in consequence of her not appearing at breakfast, a person went to her bed room, and found her dead. Mr. Hester, surgeon, stated that he had frequently attended deceased when she had been attacked with paralysis – once about six months since, and again three months ago, and that, having seen the body, he was of opinion that death was caused by apoplexy. Verdict accordingly.

Her death notice in the same edition of the newspaper read:

Feb. 18, at Walton House, St. Giles's (the residence of T. Ensworth, Esq.), Miss Dawes, highly respected by a large circle of friends.

Both Thomas Ensworth and his wife Mrs Mary Elizabeth Ensworth née Bowles died the following year (1857).



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