George FARRANT (1813–1892)
His wife Mrs Sarah FARRANT, née Matthews (c.1816–1885)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 13, Grave D59

George Farrant













George Farrant was born in Oxford on 6 January 1813, probably at Rose Lane, and baptised at St Peter-in-the East Church on 3 February. He was the eldest son of John Farrant, a breeches maker, and Mary (possibly the John Farrant and Mary Blizard married at Woodstock on 23 November 1812). When his younger brother James Alexander Farrant was baptised at St Peter-in-the-East Church on 24 June 1818, his father was described as a bookseller in Rose Lane. George was admitted free on 17 August 1835, and his brother on 8 May 1846. At the time of the 1841 census George (28) was a servant at Wadham College.

Sarah Matthews was born in Lydiard or Shaw in Wiltshire in c.1816, the daughter of the labourer Jacob Matthews. At the time of the 1841 census she too was living at Wadham College as a servant.

On 20 July 1843 at St John the Baptist Church in Oxford, George Farrant, described as a college servant of Holywell, married Sarah Matthews, also of Holywell. (Holywell Church was closed this year, and all marriages were conducted in this church, which also doubled up as Merton College Chapel.) They had the following children:

  • George Farrant junior (born in Oxford in 1844 and privately baptised by Holywell Church on 29 May)
  • Louisa Farrant (born in Oxford in 1848 and baptised at Holywell Church on 19 April);
    appears to have died between 1851 and 1861
  • Sarah Anne Farrant, known as Annie (born at St Giles's Street, Oxford in 1850 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 9 May)
  • Alfred Farrant (born at St Giles's Street, Oxford in 1853 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 7 December).

George was described as a college servant at New College in 1844, and as the Senior Common Room Man there in 1848.

By the time of the 1851 census George (38) was living at 59 St Giles's Street (one of the houses which stood on the site of Pusey Chapel) with his wife Sarah (35) and their first three children George (4), Louisa (3), and Sarah Anne (1), as well as Sarah's widowed mother Elizabeth Matthews (68) and their 17-year-old niece Emma Tidmarsh who worked as their servant. Gardner's Directory for 1852 confirms that although he had moved house, he was still a servant at New College.

On 12 July 1856 it was reported in Jackson's Oxford Journal that George Farrant won Fourth Prize in the Rose Show held at the Maidenhead Hotel in Turl Street.

By the time of the 1861 census George and Sarah were living at 18 St John Street with their three surviving children George (14), Sarah Ann (11), and Alfred (7), plus 14-year-old servant girl and a lodger.

Their daughter Sarah Anne, known as Annie, was married in 1869:

  • On 31 March 1869 at St Mary Magdalen Church, Sarah Anne Farrant of St John Street married
    George Gascoine
     [sic], born in Bearsted, Kent, the son of George Gascoine, gentleman, and then an ironmonger of Fairfield, Liverpool.

Annie was described as the only daughter of George Farrant in the marriage announcement in Jackson's Oxford Journal, implying that their daughter Louisa had died by early 1869.

In 1871 George and Sarah Farrant were still living at 18 St John Street with their two sons: George (24) was a clerk in the canal office, and Alfred (17) was an ironmonger's apprentice. Again they had a servant.

Their son George junior was married in London in 1877:

  • On 10 September 1877 at St Barnabas's Church in Homerton, George Farrant junior, described as a clerk of Marsh Hill, London married Maria Beesley of 24 Lorimore Road, Walworth: she too was born in Oxford, and was the daughter of the college servant Richard Beesley.

In 1881 George senior (68), described as a college bedmaker, and Sarah (65) were there alone with a servant and a lodger.

Their son Alfred was married in 1882:

  • On 9 May 1882 at St Peter-in-the-East Church, Oxford, Alfred Farrant, described as an ironmonger, married Rosa Maria Stew, who was born in Frome, Somerset, the daughter of the draper Henry Stew.

Mrs Sarah Farrant died in 1885:

† Mrs Sarah Farrant née Matthews died at 18 St John Street at the age of 69 on 3 February 1885 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 9 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

Her death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal read simply: “Feb. 3, at 18, St. John-street, Oxford, Sarah, the beloved wife of George Farrant, in her 70th year.”

At the time of the 1891 census George (78), who still described himself as a college servant, was boarding with another college servant and his wife at 7 & 8 New College Lane.

George was probably with his son Alfred and his family in Southampton when he died in 1892:

† George Farrant died at Southampton at the age of 79 on 8 June 1892 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 11 June (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

His effects came to £158 8s. 10d., and his executor was John Street, janitor of Oriel College.

Children of George and Sarah Farrant
  • George Farrant junior (born 1844) was an unemployed clerk in 1881, living at Charlton Kings, Cheltenham with his wife Maria, who was working as a schoolmistress, and their children Ethel (1) and Charles (newborn). In 1891 George (44) was working as a clerk again, and living at 23 Rowland Street, Bolton, with his wife Maria (41). Ethel and Charles, who were both only aged 11, were both out to work in a spinning mill, and there were three more children: Edwin (7), Maria (4), and Hilda (nine months). In 1901 the family was living at 193 Deane Church Lane, Bolton, and their next three children were also working in the mills: Edwin (17), Maria (14), and John (12). They also had two more children: Gladys (9) and Percy (7). In 1911 they were at 275 Deane Church Lane with five of their children, and declared that four of their twelve children were dead. Maria died in Bolton in 1922, and George near the beginning of 1925.
  • Sarah Anne Farrant, Mrs Gascoine (born 1850) and her husband George, a traveller for an iron foundry, were in Liverpool when their first two children Ida Gertrude Gascoine and Edith Annie Gascoine were born, in 1870 and 1872 respectively. Their next son Herbert Alfred Gascoine was born in Cheshire in 1874. Their next four children were born in London: Percy George Farrant Gascoine (born in Holloway in 1876 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church in Oxford on 24 September), Arthur Gascoine (born in Notting Hill in 1879), Rhoda Gascoine (born in Notting Hill in 1880/1) and Ruth Gascoine (born in Wandsworth in 1883/4). Their youngest child, Jack Gascoine, was born at Bushey, Hertfordshire in 18878. At the time of the 1881 census Sarah (31) and George (40) were living at 1 Queen Anne Terrace in Murchison Road, Kensington with their seven children. Sarah's husband died in Croydon at the age of 51 near the end of 1890, and In 1891 Sarah was a widow of 41, living at 56 Clarendon Road, Croydon with her nine children: she and two of her daughters were wool workers. In 1911 Sarah (61) was living at 6 Canterbury Road, Croydon with her five unmarried children: Ida (40), who was a laundry manageress; Percy (34), who was a gas & hot water fitter; Rhoda (30); Ruth (27); and Jack (23), who was a hot water fitter.
  • Alfred Farrant (born 1853) was an ironmonger in 1891, living at 94 St Andrew's Road, Southampton with his wife Rosa (38) and their children Alice May Farrant (7), John Alfred Percival Farrant (6), and Winifred Lucy Farrant (four months), and they had a servant. They were at the same address in 1901, and had another child George Henry Stew Farrant (8). All their children were still at home with them there in 1911: Alice (27) was a school mistress, John (26) an electrical engineer, Winifred (20) a student, and George (18) a clerk.



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