Benjamin Joseph GLAZEBROOK (1858–1879)
St Paul’s section: Row 31, Grave H3 [St Paul ref. W.27]

Benjamin Glazebrook




B. J. G.


1 8 7 9


Benjamin Joseph Glazebrook was born in Leicester in 1858/9, the son of Benjamin Joseph Glazebrook senior (born in Rochdale, Lancashire in 1814/15) and his wife Betty Eckersley (born in Bury, Lancashire in 1818/19). His parents were married in the third quarter of 1841 and had the following children:

  • Sarah Ann Glazebrook (born in Camelford, Cornwall in 1842, reg. there fourth quarter)
  • John Petrie Glazebrook (born in Glossop, Derbyshire in 1844, reg. Hayfield fourth quarter); died 1861
  • Harriet Ann Glazebrook (born in Glossop, Derbyshire in 1846, reg. Hayfield third quarter)
  • Alice Glazebrook (born in Winsford, Cheshire in 1849, reg. Northwich second quarter)
  • Florence Glazebrook (born in Beard, New Mills, Derbyshire in 1851/2)
  • Hannah Glazebrook (born in Bacup, Lancashire in 1855, reg. Rochdale third quarter);
    appears to be the same person as the daughter known as Annie Constance Glazebrook
  • Benjamin Joseph Glazebrook (born in Leicester in 1858/9)
    no birth registered under that name, but he may be the child born in Leicester and registered as
    Samuel Benjamin Glazebrook in Leicester in the third quarter of 1858)
  • Charlotte Elizabeth (born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire in 1863, reg. there fourth quarter).

Benjamin’s father was a Methodist minister, and moved around the country with his job: in the 1840s he worked in Cornwall, Derbyshire, and Cheshire. By the time of the 1851 census he was a Wesleyan Assistant Minister living at Bridge Street in Beard, Derbyshire with his wife and their first four children, plus a house servant. By 1855 he was in Bacup in Lancashire; and when Benjamin was born in 1858 he was in Leicester.

By the time of the 1861 census the family had moved again and was living at Worksop in Nottinghamshire. Benjamin senior (46) and Betty (42) were at home at 63 Netherton Road with Sarah (18), who was a dressmaker; Harriet (14), who was a milliner’s apprentice; and Alice (11), Hannah (5), and Benjamin (2). Benjamin’s only brother John Petrie Glazebrook (16) had already left home and was working as a railway clerk and lodging in Manchester. He died there later that year at the age of 17, which meant that Benjamin was now the only son.

By the time of the 1871 census Benjamin’s father was serving as a Methodist minister in Wales and living at 8 Guildford Street, Cardiff with his wife Betty and Harriet (24), who was a music teacher, and Florence (19), Hannah (15), Benjamin (12), and Charlotte (7), who were all described as scholars. By 1878 the family had moved to Raglan Place, Monmouth.

Benjamin Glazebrook was matriculated as a non-collegiate student at the University of Oxford on 22 October 1875 when he was aged seventeen. He was a student of natural science, and worked in the Chemical Department of the University Museum. By 1879 he had passed all his examinations with the exception of the final, and had recently been awarded the Clothworkers’ Exhibition at this university for proficiency in natural science.

In Michaelmas Term 1878, Glazebrook moved to new lodgings at 27 Walton Crescent. On the night of Monday 17 March 1879 he went to bed there at 11.30pm after dining out, and soon afterwards his landlord, Edward Nixey heard him groaning. On finding him unconscious, with a bottle that had contained prussic acid and a wine glass on the table by his bedside, he called Mr Luff junior, the chemist who lived nearby, and asked him to stay with Glazebrook while he ran for the doctor, Mr Charles Ballard. Glazebrook died in the early hours of the following morning:

† Benjamin Joseph Glazebrook died at 27 Walton Crescent at the age of 20 on 18 March 1879 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 20 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

An inquest was held by the University Coroner Mr F. P. Morrell on 19 March, the day after his death, which his father attended; and he doubtless spent another night in Oxford, as he was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery the following day. The funerals of those who committed suicide prior to the Act of 1882.were supposed to take place after dark and without a religious service, but it is uncertain whether this was strictly observed.

A full report of the inquest can be found in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 22 March 1879. Although Glazebrook had been depressed the previous term in consequence of his family having lost money by the failure of the West of England Bank, he was reckoned not to be short of money, as £6 10s. was found in his room. He was a teetotaller and a vegetarian, and very regular in his habits. A friend of his, unattached student Weston Ayles William Oliver, stated that Glazebrook had been very much interested of late in religious questions, and his statement was reported thus:

He did not accept the Bible as an inspired book, and he expressed his doubts as to whether it was a good Being that formed the universe. He saw him on Friday at the Radcliffe Library, and he was then in very good spirits. He used to belong to the High Church party, and attended the University sermons, although he had these doubts. He had his doubts as to a future state, although from his conversations he did not look upon him as a man who thought lightly of life.

No motive for self-destruction was suggested by the inquiry, and the jury returned an open verdict:

That the deceased met with his death from the effects of a dose of prussic acid, administered by his own hand, and that there is no evidence to show whether it was done by misadventure or on purpose.

The death was reported in many national and local newspapers in England.

Parents of Benjamin Joseph Glazebrook

At the time of the 1881 census Glazebrook’s parents were living alone at 2 Oxford Street, Newport, Monmouthshire and his father Benjamin Joseph Glazebrook senior (66) was now described as a superannuated Methodist Minister. He then appears to have moved to Bridgewater, Somerset for a short while, as he was described as being late of that town when he died at Maindee near Newport on 12 December 1885. His personal estate came to £427 13s. 3d.

Mrs Glazebrook died at 11 Leicester Road, Maindee, Newport on 13 March 1894. Her effects came to £80 18s. 8d, and probate was granted to her daughters Harriet Ann Beavan (who had married Ebenezer Beavan in Hereford near the beginning of 1878) and to Annie Constance Blow (who had married William Blow in Camberwell in 1890).



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