Mrs Harriett DUNBAR née Bannister (c.1812–1868)
With a mention of her son-in-law Frank CLEAVER (1847–1877)
St Paul section: Row 4, Grave A21

Mrs Dunbar and Frank Cleaver






SEP. 27 1877


Harriett Bannister was born in Cadnam, Hampshire in c.1812. She married the gardener George Dunbar (born in Southampton in 1814) in the New Forest registration district in 1839 (reg. third quarter). George was born in Southampton in 1814 and baptised there on 1 May, the son of John & Elizabeth Dunbar.

George & Harriett Dunbar settled in Oxford after their marriage, and at the time of the 1841 census were living at what appears to be “Jemes Garden” near Observatory Street with Louisa Bannister, who was probably Harriett’s sister. They had the following children:

  • Ellen or Helen Dunbar (born in St Giles’s Fields, Oxford in 1844 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 29 November)
  • Alfred William Dunbar (born in St Giles’s Fields, Oxford in 1846 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 25 September); died later in 1846
  • Louisa Elizabeth Dunbar (born in Observatory Street, Oxford in 1848 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 24 December).

Harriet & George Dunbar were at first described as living at St Giles’s Fields at the south end of the Banbury/Woodstock Road, but by 1848 their address is given as Observatory Street (later specified as No. 21).

At the time of the 1851 census George Dunbar, a gardener, and his wife Harriett Dunbar were living in Observatory Street with their two surviving children Ellen (6) and Louisa (2).

By 1861 George described himself as a seedsman & gardening employing one boy. Ellen (16) was now a dressmaker, while Louisa (12) was still at school.

Mrs Dunbar died in 1868:

† Mrs Harriett Dunbar née Bannister died at 21 Observatory Street at the age of 56 on 28 September 1868 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 2 October (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

Harriett’s husband George Dunbar

At the time of the 1871 census George Dunbar, a widower of 57 who was now described just as a seedsman, was still living at 21 Observatory Street with his daughter Helen (26), who was still a dressmaker, and Louisa (22), who was a shopkeeper.

His daughter Louisa Elizabeth Dunbar married Frank Cleaver the following year (see below).

George Dunbar appears to have married again (although it is hard to find the marriage record), and in 1881 he and his second wife Mary (born in Gloucester Green in c.1825) were running a boarding house at 18 Gipsey Hill, Lambeth. By 1891 they were lodging at 2 Dover’s Road off the Cowley Road.

George came down in the world, and died in Headington Workhouse on 27 February 1898.

Harriet’s son-in-law Frank Cleaver

Frank Cleaver was born at Great Clarendon Street, Oxford on 25 November 1847 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 17 September 1848. He was the the son of Edward Cleaver (born in Oxford in 1815/16) and Mary Ann Lait (born in Brailes, Warwickshire in 1815/16), who were married at St Thomas’s Church, Oxford on 9 February 1835. For more information about his parents and siblings, see the grave of his brother Alfred Cleaver.

At the time of Frank’s baptism his father Edward Cleaver was a tailor, but the time of the 1851 census he was working as a porter at Worcester College and was living at 41 Great Clarendon Street, and Frank’s mother Mary Ann was a laundress for the college

Frank’s father Edward Cleaver died at Great Clarendon Street at the age of 43 in 1860 and was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 6 April.

At the time of the 1861 census Frank (13) was living at 61 Great Clarendon Street with his widowed mother Mary Ann (45), who was still working as a laundress, and his brothers Frank (13) and Charles (11).

In 1871 Frank (23) was a wood carver, living at 95 Great Clarendon Street with his widowed mother Mary (once more described as a laundress) and his brothers Charles (20), who was a book finisher, and William John (10), who was at school. They had one servant.

On 25 August 1872 at St Paul's Church, Oxford, Frank Cleaver, described as a wood carver, married Louisa Elizabeth Dunbar of St Giles’s Road East (the south end of the Banbury Road). They were both aged 24 and living in Observatory Street at the time of their marriage.

They had the following children:

  • Harriet Louisa Cleaver (born at 122 Walton Road [Street] on 23 October 1872 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 1 December)
  • Frank Edward Cleaver (born at 41 Walton Street on 22 November 1875 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 26 December).

Frank Cleaver was evidently on the Isle of Wight in 1877, but it is unclear what he was doing there. He died of phthisis pulmonaris (tuberculosis) at the Royal Ventnor Hospital there at the age of 29 on 27 September 1877, and his name was added to his mother-in-law’s grave, probably by his widow; but he is not buried here.

His widow Mrs Louisa Cleaver was aged 31 in 1881 and lodging at Mount Street in Jericho with her two young children and working as a milliner & dressmaker. She had moved to 19 Green Street off the Cowley Road by the beginning of 1890, and died there on 18 January that year at the age of 41, and was buried at St Mary & St John churchyard.



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