Mrs Sarah FOSTER, née Hall (c.1779–1862)
Her step-granddaughter Mrs Mary (Katherine) BARRETT, née Beechey (c.1821–1900)
and her step-grandson-in-law Robert Augustine BARRETT (1821–1894)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 16a, Grave D52

Sarah Foster



DIED MAY 20TH 1862







R. I. P.



See the adjoining grave
(D53, also in Row 16a) for:

Mrs Elizabeth Bliss
(Mrs Sarah Foster’s daughter and Mrs Mary Barrett’s aunt)

Miss Sarah Beechey
(Mrs Sarah Foster’s stepgranddaughter and Mrs Mary Barrett’s stepsister)


(1) Mrs Sarah Foster née Hall

Sarah Hall was born in Oxford in c.1779. On 12 November 1798 at St Mary Magdalen Church She married the tailor Thomas Foster: they were both then living in that parish. They had the following children:

  • Mary Foster (born in Oxford on 12 May 1799 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 22 May)
  • George Foster (born in Oxford in 1811)
  • Elizabeth Foster (born in Oxford in 1818 and baptised at St Ebbe’s Church on 4 May)
  • John Thomas Foster (born in Oxford in 1820/1 and baptised at St Ebbe’s Church on 7 January 1821).

Her elder daughter was married in 1834:

  • On 31 March 1834 at St Giles's Church, Mary Foster became the second wife of the college servant Robert Beechey.

Sarah's husband Thomas Foster must have died at some point between 1820 and 1841.

At the time of the 1841 census Mrs Sarah Foster was a widow of 62, working as a nurse and lodging with the Smyth family in Beef Lane, St Ebbe’s.

Her younger daughter was married in 1850:

  • In the second quarter of 1850 in the St Giles's district of London, Elizabeth Foster became the third wife of James Bliss: for more information about this couple, see their separate grave.

In 1851 Mrs Sarah Hall was an almswoman, living in St Aldate’s Street with a lodger.

Her daughter Elizabeth's husband died in Oxford (at Bliss Court, 49 Broad Street) in 1856. Sarah moved in with her widowed daughter and can be seen there in the 1861 census.

Sarah Hall died at George Street the following year:

† Mrs Sarah Foster née Hall died at George Street at the age of 83 on 20 May 1862 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 26 May (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

(2) Her step-granddaughter Mary Beechey and her husband Robert Augustine Barrett

Mary Beechey was born in Oxford in c.1821, the daughter of Robert Beechey and his first wife Susanna Grace, who were married at St Aldate’s Church on 24 February 1819: both signed their names with a cross. She had an older brother William Obadiah Beechey who was baptised at St Ebbe’s in 1820 and buried there in 1822.

Mary mother Susanna Beechey died at English’s Yard, St Aldate’s in 1833 at the age of 39 and was buried in St Aldate’s churchyard on 11 September.

On 31 March 1834 at St Giles's Church, Oxford, Mary's father Robert Beechey, who was a college servant, married his second wife Mary Foster (the eldest daughter of Mrs Sarah Foster above), and they had three children born at Beef Lane and baptised at St Ebbe's Church: James Beechey (1835), Sarah Beechey (1837), and Edward Beechey (1842). Young Edward and his mother died at Beef Lane in 1848 and were buried at St Ebbe's churchyard.

By 1841 Robert's daughter by his first marriage, Mary Beechey, appears to have married Robert Augustine Barrett (born in Cambridge in 1821). They do not appear to have had any children.

In 1851 Robert Augustine Barrett (39), a laceman, was living at 14 Hanway Street, St Pancras with his wife Mary (39) and Mary’s half-sister Sarah Beechey (13) was working as their servant.

In 1861 Mrs Mary Barrett (39) was back in Oxford without her husband: she was living at 49 Broad Street with her half-sister Sarah Beechey (23) in the home of their widowed aunt Mrs Elizabeth Bliss, and their grandmother Sarah Foster (82). Meanwhile her husband Robert Barrett (39) was living in Cambridge with his father John and brother Frederick, who were drapers with him, and his sister Harriet, who kept house for them.

In 1871 Mrs Mary Barrett (age) was still in Oxford without her husband, living at 2 Merton Terrace, Cowley St John with her sister Sarah (misrecorded in the census as Mary).

In 1881 Mrs Mary Barrett (59) was back with her husband Robert Augustine Barrett (59) in his home town of Cambridge: he was now a retired draper, and they were living at 30 New Square. Her unmarried sister Sarah Beechey (43) was still living with them.

By the time of the 1891 census Robert and Mary Barrett had moved to 17 St Margaret’s Road in north Oxford, and Sarah Beechey continued to live with them.

Robert Augustine Barrett died in 1894 aged 73, and was buried in the grave of his wife’s grandmother Mrs Sarah Foster:

† Robert Augustine Barrett died at 17 St Margaret’s Road at the age of 73 on 27 October 1894 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 31 October (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

His effects came to £479 14s. 3d., and his wife was his executor.

His wife Mary Barrett died in 1900 and was buried with him:

† Mrs Mary Katherine Barrett née Beechey died at 17 St Margaret’s Road at the age of 79 on 6 July 1900 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 9 July (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

Her effects came to £194 12s. 8d., and her executors were her sister Sarah Beechey and Alfred Brooke, chief clerk to the Oxford Gas Company.

Miss Sarah Beechey, who had lived with her half-sister since a child, continued to live in their house until at least 1914. She died in 1917 and was buried in the adjoining grave with her aunt, Mrs Elizabeth Bliss née Foster.



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