George GILLMAN (1842–1898)
His first wife Mrs Alice Mary Agnes GILLMAN, née WAVELL (1857–1882)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 13, Grave D61
[Front, shown left]
Alice Mary Agnes
Wife of George Gillman
Who Departed this life Dec. 23, 1882
Aged 25 Years
[Left side, shown below]
Who fell asleep July 1,1898,
Age 56 Years
BE YE ALSO READY, FOR IN SUCH
AN HOUR AS YE THINK NOT
THE SON OF MAN COMETH
George Gillman was born in Bristol in 1842/3, the eldest son of the shoemaker Richard Gillman and Mary Ann Curtis (who were both born in Bristol in 1818/19 and were married there in the second quarter of 1838). They had the following children:
- Emily Gillman (born in Bristol in 1838, reg. third quarter)
- George Gillman (born in Bristol in 1842 and privately baptised by St Cross Church, Oxford on 9 August 1849; admitted to the church on 14 April 1850)
- Mary Ann Gillman (born in Birmingham in 1844/5 and baptised at St Cross Church on 19 August 1849)
- Rose Gillman (born in Oxford in 1847, reg. third quarter and baptised at St Cross Church on 19 August 1849)
- Richard Gillman (born in Oxford in early 1850 and baptised at St Cross Church on 7 April)
- Charles Gillman (born in Oxford in 1852 and baptised at St Cross Church on 5 September)
- Sarah Gillman (born in Oxford in early 1855 and baptised at St Cross Church on 1 April)
- Arthur Gillman (born in Oxford in 1857 and baptised at St Cross Church on 7 August; died aged four weeks and buried at the church on 12 August 1857)
- Alice Gillman (born in Oxford in 1858 and baptised at St Cross Church on 25 July)
- Henry Mathew Gillman (born in Oxford in 1860 and baptised at St Cross Church on 12 August; died aged thirteen months and buried at the church on 13 July 1861)
- Matilda Julia Gillman (born in Oxford in 1862 and baptised at St Cross Church on 12 September).
By the time George was three, his parents had evidently moved from Bristol to Birmingham; but by 1847 they had settled in Oxford. The 1851 census shows them living at 70 Holywell Street (on the site of the present new buildings of New College) with their five eldest children, including George (8). His father was then a shoemaker employing three men.
They were still at 70 Holywell Street in 1861. George’s eldest sister Emily (who had married the Oxford printer Arthur Molyneux in 1859) was now living in London, but the other surviving children were all at home. George (18) was now working as a boot & shoe maker with his father, and his sister Mary Ann (16) was a bookkeeper. The family moved out in the mid-1860s (possibly when their lease came to an end, although their house-cum-shop was not demolished by New College until 1874).
By 1866 George’s father Richard Gillman had set up business at 39 Holywell Street, next to the King’s Arms, and this shoe shop was to remain here until the late 1940s. By 1871 it had become the well-known Oxford firm of Gillman & Son, and at the time of the 1871 census George Gillman (23) who was the bootmaker here, employing four persons: he was as yet unmarried, and lived here with his sister Rose (23) and Sarah (16), a 13-year-old apprentice, and a servant. Meanwhile his father had set up a separate shoe business at 11 Cornmarket Street and was living over that shop with his wife and five of their children: Mary (25), Richard (21), who was also a cordwainer; Charles (18), who was working as a photographer; and Alice (13) and Matilda Julia (7). In 1873 George's father took out the first lease on 17, 18, 19, and 20 Leckford Road.
Alice Mary Agnes Wavell was born at Ryde, Isle of Wight, in 1857/8, the daughter of the chemist & druggist John Wavell and his wife Harriet Hood. At the time of the 1861 census, when she was aged 4, she was living at 27 Cross Street, Ryde with her parents and eight siblings. In 1871, when she was 13, she and her younger sister Minnie (11) were living at Union Street, Ryde, with their elder sister Miss Harriet Wavell (31).
In the third quarter of 1877 on the Isle of Wight, George Gillman (33) married his first wife Alice Mary Agnes Wavell (19). They do not appear to have had any children.
By the time of the 1881 census George’s brother Richard had taken over the family shop in Holywell Street, and George and his wife had set up another shoe business at 33 Broad Street, presumably on a cheap short lease, as this was one of the shops due to be demolished in the following year to make way for the Indian Institute.
Soon after this census they must have moved to 15 Beaumont Street, where Alice died at the end of the following year:
† Mrs Alice Mary Agnes Gillman, née Wavell, died at 15 Beaumont Street at the age of 25 on 23 December 1882 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 27 December (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
In the second quarter of 1884 at Taunton, George Gillman married his second wife, Harriet Jane Trehane (born in Exeter in 1846/7), and they had two children:
- Olive Evelyn Gillman (born at 15 Beaumont Street in 1885 and baptised at St Peter-le-Bailey Church on 24 July)
- Ronald George Trehane Gillman (born at Carshalton, Leckford Road in 1886/7 and baptised at St Peter-le-Bailey Church on 8 March o1887)
George’s brother Richard Gillman died at 39 Holywell Street at the age of 36 and was buried at St Cross Church on 18 January 1887, and his wife Margaret took over this branch of Gillman & Son, and was soon helped by her son Richard William Gillman (born in 1875/6).
In about 1885 George Gillman opened another branch of Gillman & Son at 23 Cornmarket Street (the left-hand side of the present Smith’s), but he and his family did not live over the shop, but at Carshalton, 34 Leckford Road: George (48) and Harriet (44) can be seen there in the 1891 census with their two young children and two servants (a cook and a nurse).
George died in 1898:
† George Gillman died at 23 Cornmarket Street at the age of 56 on 1 July 1898 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 4 July (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
His effects came to £8,782 1s. 6d.
George Gillman's second wife Harriet
At the time of the 1901 census Harriet Gillman, described as a shopkeeper and boot & shoe maker, was still living over the shop at 23 Cornmarket with her children Olive (15) and Ronald (14), plus a housekeeper and a general servant.
By the time of the 1911 census, when she was described as the owner of a boot manufactory, she was living at Freelands on the Iffley Road with her son Ronald (24), who was a solicitor, and two servants.
That was still her address in 1920, but when she died at the age of 73 on 13 September that year she was staying at Dudley House Nursing Home at Sandown on the Isle of Wight. She may be buried there, as she does not appear to have been buried with her husband and his first wife. Her effects came to £4,853 4s. 4d.
Children of George Gillman and his second wife
- Olive Evelyn Gillman (born 1885) married George Herbert Salter, a clerk in holy orders (and son of the current Lord Mayor of Oxford and co-owner of Salter Brothers’ boat business James EdwardSalter) at Iffley on 1 June 1910. At the time of the 1911 census they were living at 14 Mansfield Road, Reading, where George was an assistant curate.
- Ronald George Trehane Gillman (born 1886/7) studied at St John’s College, Oxford, and initially worked as a solicitor. He married Mary Kirby in York in 1912 and must have been ordained, as from 1928 he was the Rector of West Felton in Shropshire. He died at St Michael’s, 103 Hill Street, Kidlington on 22 July 1960. His effects came to £9,297 14s. 5d.
Branches of R. Gillman & Son
- The branch at 23 Cornmarket Street managed by George Gillman until his death in 1898 and then by his wife, survived until the late 1930s. It is on the left of the pair of shops shown in the photograph on the right, which dates from about 1905.
- The branch at 39 Holywell Street that the wife of George’s brother Richard continued to manage after the latter’s early death in 1887 was taken over by Richard William Gillman, her son, in the 1920s, and he continued to run it until just before 1950. In the early 1950s this shop moved to 30 George Street, and then in 1956 it settled at 12 Broad Street (now Isola), where it remained until 2002.
Gillman & Soame
- George Gillman’s brother Charles, who was already a photographer at the age of 18 in 1871, was very successful, and eventually became part of the photographic business Gillman & Soame that still survives today.