Courtenay Lower GEDYE (born and died 1870)
St Giles section: Row 33, Grave K41
COURTNAY [sic] LOWER
FIRST BORN SON OF
BORN 19 JULY 1870
DIED 21 SEP. 1870
This is the grave of a two-month-old baby.
Courtenay is misspelt as “Courtnay” on this headstone, but his birth and death were registered with the correct spelling.
Courtenay Lower Gedye was born at Southsea, Hampshire on 19 July 1870, and his birth was announced in the Hampshire Advertiser. He was the firstborn son of Nicholas Lower Gedye (born in Camberwell, Surrey in 1845 and baptised as Nicholas Lower Josep Gedye) and Eliza Doudney (born at Portsmouth, Hampshire in 1838 and apparently registered as Ellen Doudney, and sometimes listed in the censuses as Elizabeth).
Courtenay's father was in the Royal Navy, and when in 1866 he was appointed Assistant Paymaster on the Excellent, a gunnery ship at Portsmouth, he was described as late of the Royal Sovereign. He married Courtenay's mother at St Mary's Church, Portsea on 2 August 1869.
On 23 April 1870, three months before Courtenay's birth in Southsea, Nicholas came to Oxford as a non-collegiate student, and was matriculated on 23 April 1870, aged 27.
His wife Eliza must have joined him in Oxford soon afterwards, and their address was given as 3 Park Terrace when Courtenay was baptised at St Aldate's Church on 12 September.
Courtenay died in Oxford at the age of only nine weeks:
† Courtenay Lower Gedye died at Park Town at the age of nine weeks on 21 September 1870 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 24 September (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles's Church).
His death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal read: “Sept. 21, at 3, Park Terrace, aged nine weeks, Courtenay [sic] Lower, infant son of N. Lower Gedye, R.N.”
At the time of the 1871 census the address of Courtenay's parents was given as The Cottage, Park Crescent, and his father was described as a retired Royal Navy assistant paymaster and undergraduate at Oxford.
The Gedyes had four more children, the first two (twins) born near Oxford:
- TWIN: Francis George Gedye (born at Headington Hill on 8 January 1873 and baptised at St Clement's Church on 31 January)
- TWIN: George Nicholas Lower Gedye, also known as George Francis Nicholas Gedye or Francis George Nicholas Gedye (born at Headington on 8 January 1873 and baptised at St Andrew's Church there on 15 June)
- Evelyn Constance Lower Gedye (born in Leeds, Yorkshire on 20 June 1874 and baptised at Melcome Regis, Dorset on 6 December, reg. as Evelyn Lower Gedye); died in Greenwich at the age of three near the beginning of 1878
- Reginald Edward Lower Gedye (born in Weymouth, Dorset in 1876 and baptised at Melcombe Regis on 7 May).
Courtenay's father Nicholas Lower Gedye was licensed in Ripon Cathedral as Deacon to St Jude's parish, Hunslet, Leeds on 21 September 1873. His daughter Evelyn was born in Leeds on 2 June 1874.
Gedye was ordained Priest at Ripon Cathedral on 20 September 1874, and in November that year was licensed to the curacy of Melcombe Regis in Dorset.
Their daughter Evelyn died in Greenwich in early 1878 at the age of three: the family may have just been paying a visit there.
In October 1879 Gedye was appointed Vicar of Fleet in Dorset, and at the time of the 1881 census when he was aged 35 he was living at Albert Villas in nearby Chickerell with his wife Lizzie (34) and their children George (8) and Reginald/Francis (4).
Gedye was appointed Rector of Barwick, Somerset in 1883.
By the time of the 1891 census Nicholas (47) was Vicar of St Philip's Church in Liverpool and was living at 2 Huntley Road, West Derby with his wife Eliza (recorded as 50, but in fact 53) and their son Reginald (14). They had one servant. Their other surviving child George (18) was a tea taster, boarding at 34 West End Lane, Kilburn.
Courtenay's mother Eliza Lower Gedye died in West Derby at the age of 60 in 1898, and in the same year his brother Francis died there at the age of 25.
At the time of the 1901 census Courtenay's father Nicholas Gedye, a widower of 55, was living at 61 Newsham Drive, Walton-on-the-Hill, Liverpool with his son Reginald (25), who was an articled clerk, looked after by their housekeeper Miss Jessie Hume (35). Two years later, in the Sudbury district in 1903, Nicholas Lower Gedye married his housekeeper Jessie Hume. They do not appear to have had any children.
At the time of the 1911 census Nicholas (68) and Jessie (44) were living at 80 Sheil Road, Liverpool, and they employed a housemaid.
Nicholas Lower Gedye died at Trebursey, Grange-over-Sands, Lancashire at the age of 93 on 9 June 1935, 65 years after his baby son died in Oxford. His effects came to £1,167 8s. 7d., and his executors were his second wife Jessie Gedye and his son Reginald Edward Lower Gedye, who was now a solicitor.