Mrs Mary GRAY (c.1785–1850)
St Paul's section: Row 12, Grave A3 [St Paul's ref. A9]
IN MEMORY OF
FEB. 27 1850
Mary (maiden name unknown) was born outside Oxfordshire in c.1785. She married the copperplate printer Charles Gray (probably in about 1816), and they had the following children:
- Jane Gray (born on 17 January 1818 (probably at St Luke's, Middlesex) but not baptised at St Clement's Church, Oxford until 1 October 1826)
- Alfred Gray (born at St Luke's, Middlesex on 25 October 1819 but not baptised at St Clement's Church, Oxford until 1 October 1826)
- Rebeccah Gray (born at Cowley Place, Oxford in 1821 and baptised at St Clement's Church on 16 October);
died aged one year and four months and buried in that churchyard on 17 December 1822
- Ann Gray (born at Cowley Place, Oxford in 1823 and baptised at St Clement's Church on 3 August)
- John Gray (born in Oxford in March 1825 and baptised at St Clement's Church on 15 March); died aged two weeks and buried in that churchyard on 27 March 1825
- James Gray (born in Oxford in 1826 and recorded as having been baptised at St Clement's Church on both 28 May and 7 June); died aged four months and buried in that churchyard on 14 June 1826)
- Edwin Charles Gray (born at Caroline Street, Oxford in 1827/8 and baptised at St Clement's Church on 13 January 1828).
Mary and her husband Charles appear to have started their married life in St Luke's parish, Middlesex, but by 1821 they had settled in Cowley Place, Oxford. This was in St Clement's parish, which was then outside the city boundary, so people moving there were not affected by Oxford's restrictive trading restrictions, and Charles set up business as a copperplate printer there.
Charles Gray died at the age of 41 and was buried in St Clement's churchyard on 17 September 1828. Mary was left to bring up their four surviving children: Jane (10), Alfred (8), Ann (5), and Edwin (barely 1). aged between one and ten. She moved to the Jericho area of Oxford, where she managed to continue running her husband's printing business.
At the time of the 1841 census Mary, described as a copper-plate printer was living at Great Clarendon Street with three of her children: Alfred (21), who was described as a printer, and Ann (17) and Edwin (13). Mary Gray is duly listed as an engraver & copper-plate printer at Great Clarendon Street in Pigot's Directory of Oxfordshire & Berkshire for 1842. Jane (23) is missing, and may have been out to service.
Mary Gray died in 1850:
† Mrs Mary Gray died at Great Clarendon Street at the age of 65 on 27 February 1850 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 5 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul's Church Church).
The Verger's records show that she was buried at a depth of 7 feet. Her death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal read: “Feb 27, at Jericho, aged 65, Mary Gray, copper plate printer, much respected by all who knew her.”
Surviving children of Mrs Mary Gray
Mary Gray's youngest son Edwin Gray took over the family business, and is listed as an engraver & copper-plate printer at Great Clarendon Street in Slater's Oxfordshire Directory for 1850, but soon afterwards he moved into central Oxford.
At the time of the 1851 census three of Mary's unmarried children were living together at 10 King Street (now part of Merton Street) in St Peter-in-the-East parish: Alfred Gray (31), described as a compositor & printer; Ann Gray (26), who was a dressmaker; and Edwin Charles Gray (23), described as a copperplate printer. Their fourth surviving child may be the Jane Gray (34), born at St Luke's, Middlesex, who was a servant at Vicarage House, Northleach, Gloucestershire.
On 12 December 1858 at St Michael's Church, Oxford, Alfred Gray (36), married Mary East, who was born in Noke, the daughter of the gardener Matthew East: both gave their address as 6 George Street. At the time of the 1861 census Alfred (41), who was now a printer compositor, was living at 56 Observatory Street with his wife Mary (36).
The children of Mary Gray are hard to trace after this date.