Mrs Louisa FILSELL, née Bates (1825–1892)
Her daughters Miss Louisa Jane FILSELL (1861–1877) and
Miss Lizzie Annie FILSELL (1862–1939)
St Giles section: Row 32, Grave J32

Louisa Filsell


Memory of




DIED JAN. 9, 1939, AGED 74


Louisa Bates was born in Summertown on 2 May 1825 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 30 October. She was the seventh of the the nine children of the nurseryman Joseph Bates and his wife Mary Butcher. For more about her parents and siblings, see the grave of her parents.

At the time of the 1841 census Louisa (15) was living with her parents and five of her siblings in Church Street, Summertown, where her father presumably had his nursery at this time.

By the time of the 1851 census Louisa (24) was the head of a separate household at Summertown which comprised her older sister Emma (35), who was a governess, and her brothers Charles (27) and Frederick (21), who were florists, probably working for their father. Her nephew Joseph D. Bates (6) was also staying with them: this was presumably her brother Joseph’s son of that name.

On 5 June 1856 at St Giles’s Church, Oxford, Louisa Bates (30), described as a spinster of St Giles, married the widower Edwin James Filsell (39), a wharf clerk born in Tottenham on 24 May 1817 and then of St Luke’s, Middlesex. He already had eight children from his first marriage (born between 1842 and 1853), and they had the following children together:

  • Joseph Thomas Filsell (born in Islington in 1858 and baptised at St Giles’s Church, Oxford on 18 October)
  • Louisa Jane Filsell (born in Chertsey, Surrey on 1 January 1861)
  • Lizzie Annie Filsell (born in Chertsey, Surrey in 1862, reg. there second quarter)
  • Matilda Filsell (born at Gipsy Hill, Norwood, Surrey in 1864, reg. Lambeth fourth quarter)
  • Fred Filsell (born in London in 1866, reg. Whitechapel fourth quarter; died 1867/8, reg. Kensington first quarter 1868)
  • Walter James Filsell (born in the Kensington district in 1869 and privately baptised by St Giles’s Church, Oxford on 24 March; died at Park Place at the age of six weeks and buried on 4 April 1869, probably in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery)

When Louisa brought her first son Joseph back to Oxford to be baptised in 1858, her husband was described as being a coal merchant of Islington. At the time of the 1861 census Louisa (35) and her husband Edwin (43) were living at Gowrie Road, Chertsey with four of the children from Edwin’s first marriage, and Joseph (2) and Louisa (eleven months). In 1864 they were in Norwood, Surrey; in 1866 in the Whitechapel in 1866 and in 1868 and early 1869 in the Kensington district.

It appears that the family moved to Oxford soon after the birth of their youngest son Walter, as when he was baptised in March 1869 his father was described as a commercial clerk of St Giles Road East in Oxford: when Walter died six weeks later, their address was more precisely given as Park Place, which was at the south end of the Banbury Road, running north from opposite St Giles's Church (map)

It appears that Edwin James Filsell did not stay in Oxford long, however, and that he parted from Louisa, returning to London and the children from his first marriage.

At the time of the 1871 census Mrs Louisa Filsell (42), described as a coal merchant’s wife, and her children Henry (17), Joseph (12), and Matilda (6), were living with her unmarried sister Emma Bates (56), who had been looking after Bates or Park Nursery (which was at the south end of the Banbury Road near Keble Terrace) since the death of her father in 1868. Their brother Joseph Bates had returned to Oxford by this time and was described as a nurseryman and florist, so doubtless worked for Emma.

Louisa’s sister Emma died at St Giles Road East at the age of 58 on in March 1873 and was buried in her parents’ grave. Louisa immediately inserted a notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 22 March 1873 stating that she would continue to run the family nursery:

MRS. LOUISA FILSELL begs to inform the Public that the Business so long carried on by her deceased sister, Miss Emma Bates, and their father previously, at the Park Nursery, St. Giles’s Road East, Oxford, will still be continued on the same premises, under the name or style of “E. Bates,” for the benefit of herself and four children; and she earnestly solicits the numerous friends and customers of her deceased sister to extend the same kind patronage and support to herself.
Park Nursery, St. Giles’s, March 20, 1873.

Louisa’s daughter Louisa Jane died at Park Villas (at the south end of the Banbury Road) in 1877:

† Louisa Jane Filsell died at Park Villas at the age of 16 on 18 May 1877 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 18 May (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

Mrs Filsell’s husband is likely to be the Edwin Filsell who died in the Edmonton district in 1878, with his age given as 62. At the time of the 1881 census Mrs Louisa Filsell (38), who now described herself as a widow, was a florist living at the Parks Road Nursery in St Giles Road east (the south end of the present Banbury Road) with her son Joseph (21), who was now the nurseryman here, and her daughters Lizzie (19) and Matilda (16), who was still at school. She also had a boarder, and a 16-year-old servant girl.

On 14 April 1881 it was reported in Jackson’s Oxford Journal that Louisa’s son Joseph Thomas Filsell, a nurseryman of St Giles-road East, appeared at the Oxford Police Court after being summoned by an RSPCA Inspector and was fined for a gross case of cruelty relating to the partial drowning of a cat, and that about 30 cats had disappeared in the area. Joseph said that his mother had suffered loss through pots and plants being knocked down by cats. By 1884 he was a florist in his own right at 20 Broad Street, and he supplied the wreaths for funerals at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, for example that of Edward Schönberg in 1886. On 12 April 1887 he married Katherina Feodora Mary Parrott at Noke, with his banns read at St Giles’s Church. At the Royal Oxfordshire Horticultural Show held at The Queen’s College on 28 August 1890, Mr J. T. Filsell of the Park Nursery won second prize in the Greenhouse Specimens section.

On 19 April 1887 Jackson’s Oxford Journal reported on the renumbering of Banbury Road, and that a notice should be served on Mrs Filsell requiring her to affix the number “50” to her house; but a subsequent amendment was agreed that “Mrs. Filsell’s number should be 48, and that the garden be not numbered”. Notwithstanding this, at the time of the 1891 census the Park Nursery was recorded as being at 50 Banbury Road, and Louisa Filsell (65) was still living there. She described herself as an employer, but only her daughter Lizzie (29) was living with her.

Mrs Filsell died in 1892:

† Mrs Louisa Filsell née Bates died at 57 Banbury Road at the age of 67 on 21 November 1892 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 24 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

Her effects came to £113, and her executor was the tailor Frank John Gadney. Her son Joseph Thomas Filsell took over the nursery.

Her daughter Lizzie, who had lived with her until her death, became a certificated nurse, and at the time of the 1901 census when she was 33, she was living at St Peter’s College in Radley, where she was employed as a temporary nurse.

In 1911 Lizzie was living at The Firs in the Banbury Road, where she was the nurse of Mrs Jane Ward (87).

Lizzie’s home was at Eddlewood, Queen’s Road, Weybridge at the time of her death, but she may have been visiting family in Oxford, as she died at the Radcliffe Infirmary

† Miss Lizzie Annie Filsell died at the Radcliffe Infirmary at the age of 74 on 9 January 1939 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 14 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

Her effects came to £241 6s. 9d., and her brother Joseph Thomas Filsell was her executor.

Other surviving children of Mrs Louisa Filsell
  • Joseph Thomas Filsell (born 1858) and his wife Katherina had three children: Arthur Ernest Filsell (1900) and twins Kathleen Mary and Nancy Filsell (1902). The 1891 census shows him living at 5 St Bernard’s Road with his wife, and he described himself as nurseryman & florist and an employer. By 1901 they had moved into the nursery at 48 Banbury Road, and they were still there in 1911. Joseph Thomas Filsell continued to run his shop in Broad Street until 1918. He was living at The White House in Hamilton Road when on 1 May 1939 he died (less than four months after his mother) at the Radcliffe Infirmary. His effects came to £6,181 12s. 5d., and his son Arthur, now a schoolmaster, was one of his executors.
  • Matilda Filsell (born 1864) was lodging in Hornsey in 1891, where she was working as a clerk. In 1901, when she was 36, she lived in a flat at 27 Bessborough Road, Westminster, where she worked for the Post Office. In 1911 she was lodging with a family in Battersea and still working as a Post Office clerk. She died in the St Albans district at the age of 73 in 1938.



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