Thomas DODSON (1789–1869)
His wife Mrs Ann DODSON, née Prior (1814–1891)
Their grandson William Thomas ROYLE (1873–1883)
St Paul section: Row 26, Grave E11 [St Paul ref H22 or Q23]

Thomas Dodson


The front surface of this grave marker has broken off except for the IHS at the top; but in 1988 Bostock was able to read
all three names as follows:






The initials on the footstone,
however, have survived intact:

T . D

W. T. R

A . D.


Thomas Dodson was born in Geddington, Northamptonshire on 21 December 1789, the son of the farmer Thomas Dodson senior and his wife Sarah. (His place of birth was misunderstood to be Deddington, Oxfordshire in the 1851 census, and as Deddington, Hampshire in 1861.) By 1842 he had moved to Oxford and was the landlord of the North Star (or Star) public house at Park Place, which was at the south end of the Banbury Road, running north from opposite St Giles's Church (map).

Ann Prior was born in Fyfield (which was then in Berkshire) in 1814 and baptised there on 20 March. She was the daughter of the labourer Richard Prior and his wife Sarah Rixon, who were married at Fyfield on 30 September 1807. Her parents had six other children baptised at that church: Hannah (1808), an earlier Ann (1810), Thomas (1812), John (1818), William (1822), and Daniel (1825). In about February 1841 in Fyfield, Ann Prior (27) gave birth to a daughter, Joanna, and at the time of the census she was living at Fyfield with her parents, her one-month-old baby Joanna, and her younger brother Daniel. Her daughter was registered as Joannah Dodson, but baptised as Joanna Prior at Fyfield Church on 16 May 1841 (with her mother described in the register as a single woman).

On 17 March 1842 at Fyfield church, Thomas Dodson married Ann Prior, and their marriage was announced in Jackson’s Oxford Journal. In addition to Joanna (who is probably also Thomas Dodson’s daughter, given that she was registered with his surname), they had the following children:

  • Mary Ann Dodson (born at the North Star public house in Oxford in 1843 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 12 March)
  • Sarah Sophia Dodson (born at Adelaide Street, Oxford in 1849 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 18 November)
  • Thomas Richard Dodson (born at Adelaide Street, Oxford in 1853 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 19 June).

Thomas Dodson was still listed as the publican at the (North) Star pub in 1846, but by the time of his daughter Sarah’s birth in 1849 he was an ostler (possibly at the Lamb & Flag, where he worked later).

At the time of the 1851 census Thomas (56), who described himself as an ostler, was living in Adelaide Street with his wife Ann (35) and their first four children Joanna (9), Mary Ann (8), and Sarah (1), plus Thomas’s sister Miss Sophia Dodson (60). (Some of the names in this census are wrongly recorded, e.g. Hannah for Joanna.) Their youngest child Thomas was born in 1853.

Their eldest daughter was married in 1858 at the age of 17:

  • On 9 August 1858 at St Marylebone Church, Johannah Prior Dodson (as she now styled herself) married the upholsterer Joseph Thorley. Joanna named Thomas Dodson as her father, and described him as a horse dealer.

In 1861 at the age of 70, Thomas Dodson was still an ostler at the Lamb & Flag inn at 13 St Giles’s Street, and he spent census night there. His wife Ann (50), who was working as a charwoman, was home at 1 Dodson’s Yard, Adelaide Street with their two youngest children Sarah (10) and Thomas (8), plus a lodger. (There were four cottages in Dodson’s Yard, which presumably was leased by her husband.)

Thomas Dodson died in 1869:

† Thomas Dodson died at Adelaide Street at the age of 80 on 11 November 1869 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 16 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

His death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal read: “Nov. 11, in Adelaide-street, St. Giles’s, after a lingering Illness, borne with Christian fortitude, Thomas Dodson, aged 80.”

His effects came to £200, and his executor was Henry Hart, a college servant of Park Place.

In 1878 their only son was married:

  • On 7 July 1878 1878 at St Barnabas's Church, Thomas Richard Dodson (26), described as a gardener of 5 Dodson Square, Adelaide Street married Elizabeth Lucas (27) of 26 Victor Street, the daughter of the basket maker Joseph Lucas.

Mrs Mary Ann Royle, née Dodson and her son William Thomas Royle junior

Mary Ann Dodson (born 1843), the daughter of Thomas and Ann Dodson, was the servant of a solicitor and his family in Hackney in 1861.

On 1 October 1871 at St Ebbe’s Church, Mary Ann Dodson married William Thomas Royle senior, a servant of Lincoln College, who lived in Chapel Place and the son of the builder’s clerk Luke Royle. The marriage was announced in Jackson’s Oxford Journal. They had a set of twins:

  • William Thomas Royle junior (born at 2 Chapel Place, Oxford in 1873 and baptised at St Ebbe’s Church on 25 June)
  • Ada Mary Ann Elizabeth Royle (born and baptised at the same time as her twin brother).

Mary Ann’s husband William Thomas Royle senior died at Chapel Place, Oxford at the age of 36 and was buried on 26 March 1875 (probably in Osney Cemetery, as the burial is recorded in the register of St Ebbe’s Church).

A year later, on 30 April 1876 at St Ebbe’s Church, Mrs Mary Ann Royle, a widow of 33 who had been working as a housekeeper, married her second husband Thomas Greenland (22), a shopman and the son of Thomas Greenland (22). They were both living at 3 Chapel Place at the time of their marriage, so Mary Ann may well have been a housekeeper for the Greenland household, especially as her first baby by Thomas Greenland was nearly due at the time of their marriage.

Mary Ann’s son by her first marriage, William Thomas Royle junior, went to live his widowed maternal grandmother Mrs Ann Dodson, and his twin sister Ada Mary Ann Elizabeth Royle went to live at 1 Chapel Place, St Ebbe’s with her paternal aunt Miss Mary Ann Elizabeth Royle, who was a college bedmaker.

Mary Ann and her second husband Thomas Greenland had the following children:

  • Thomas Francis Greenland (born in Oxford in 1876, reg. second quarter)
  • Florence Sophia Greenland (born at 3 Chapel Place, Paradise Square, Oxford on 5 February 1878 and baptised at St Ebbe’s Church on 28 February)
  • Percival Greenalnd (born at 3 Chapel Place, Paradise Square, Oxford on 16 July 1879 and baptised at St Ebbe’s Church on 14 September)
  • Alice Eliza Greenland (born at 3 Chapel Place, Paradise Square, Oxford on 20 December 1881 and baptised at St Ebbe’s Chuch on 23 February 1882).

At the time of the 1881 census Mary Ann and her second husband Thomas Greenland, who was a fruiterer and florist, were living at 3 Chapel Place, St Ebbe’s with their first three children Thomas (5), Florence (3), and Percival (1).

In 1883 William Thomas Royle, her son by her first marriage, died at his grandmother’s house:

† William Thomas Royle died at 25 Adelaide Street at the age of nearly 10 on 14 January 1883 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 20 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

His death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal read: “Jan 14, at 25 Adelaide-street, St Giles’s, Oxford (the residence of his grandmother), William Thomas, only son of the late Mr. William Thomas Royle, of Lincoln College, aged 9 years and 10 months.”

Mary Greenland’s second husband Thomas Greenland died at the age of 33 in 1886.

In 1891 Mrs Mary Greenland, a widow of 48, was the cook at the Oxford Eye Hospital, and was living at the hospital, which was then at 21 & 22 Wellington Square. Her daughter Florence Sophia (13) was at a training school for domestic servants in Hornsey, Middlesex and her son Percy (11) was boarding at a charity school in Newland, Worcestershire.

Mary Greenland was still working as the Eye Hospital cook in 1901.

In 1911 she was aged 68 and living at 19 St Bernard’s Road, the home of her sister Miss Sarah Sophia Dodson (63), who was working as a machinist.

Mrs Mary Ann Greenland died in Oxford in 1931 at the age of 88.

Mrs Ann Dodson continued

Ann Dodson was still at 25 Adelaide Street when her grandson died in 1883, but by the time of the 1891 census, when she was 70 years old, she had moved to 19 St Bernard’s Road with her unmarried daughter Sarah Sophia Dodson (39), who worked as a machinist. She died there at the end of that year:

† Mrs Ann Dodson née Prior died at 19 St Bernard’s Road at the age of 77 in December 1891 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 23 December (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

Other children of Thomas and Ann Dodson
  • Johannah Prior Dodson, Mrs Thorley (born 1841) was living in London at 28 Bradley Terrace, Marylebone in 1861 with her husband Joseph, who was an upholsterer. She is hard to find after that date, and may be the Joanna Thorley who died in the City of London in late 1889 (with her age recorded as 50, but she would have been 48).
  • Sarah Sophia Dodson (born 1849) never married. In 1901 when she was 57 she was still working as a tailor’s machinist and continuing to live on her own at 19 St Bernard’s Road. By 1911 her sister Mrs Mary Ann Greenland had come to live with her. Sarah Sophia died at the Oxford Mental Hospital at the age of 82 and her funeral was held at St Paul's Church on 11 March 1932.
  • Thomas Richard Dodson (born 1853) and his wife Elizabeth had no children. At the time of the 1881 census they were living in a house in a garden near Adelaide Street: he was a gardener, and she did domestic work. In 1891 they were living at 44 Banbury Road, where Thomas was the gardener and Elizabeth the cook. In 1901 Thomas (49), who was still a gardener and Elizabeth (50) were living at 13 Adelaide Street; they were still there in 1911. Thomas Richard Dodson died at Hill House, Headington (a euphemism for Headington Workhouse) at the age of 74 and his funeral was held at St Michael's Church on 4 July 1927.



Please email
if you would like to add information

These biographies would not have been possible without the outstanding transcription services
provided by the Oxfordshire Family History Society

© Friends of St Sepulchre’s Cemetery 2012–2017