Mrs Sarah GRAY (1831/2–1859)
St Michael section: Row 17, Grave D47
THE BELOVED WIFE OF
FREDRICK [sic] GRAY,
WHO DIED AUGUST 3RD 1859,
I HEARD A VOICE FROM HEAVEN, SAYING
UNTO ME, WRITE, FROM HENCEFORTH
BLESSED ARE THE DEAD WHICH DIE IN THE
LORD YEA, SAITH THE SPIRIT, FOR
THEY MAY REST FROM THEIR LABOURS,
Mrs Sarah Gray is hard to identify before her marriage. She may be the Sarah Johnson who married Frederick Grey in Oxford in the fourth quarter of 1856: if this is the right person, she was a seamstress aged 20 at the time of the 1851 census, born in Oxford and living at Hollybush Row with her widowed Irish mother Margaret Johnson (52), who was a shopkeeper.
Her husband Frederick Gray (or Grey) is easier to trace: he was born in Waterperry in 1833/4, the son of the gardener Richard Gray, and baptised there on 30 March 1834.
Sarah’s husband Frederick Gray was a college servant in Oxford, and they were living in Ship Street in the late 1850s. Their baby daughter Agnes Wilson Gray was born in July 1859 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on the 28th; but within days Sarah was dead:
† Mrs Sarah Gray died at Ship Street at the age of 27 near the beginning of August 1859 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 6 August (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church).
Sarah’s baby daughter Agnes survived just over two weeks without her mother, and was buried on 25 August 1859.
Frederick Gray’s second marriage to another Sarah
On 28 June 1860 at North Leigh, less than a year after his wife’s death, Frederick Gray (27) of Ship Street, who was still working as a college servant, married his second wife, who was also called Sarah: she was Sarah Mansell (22), born in North Leigh, the daughter of the slater and plasterer Edmund Mansell.
At the time of the 1861 census Frederick was living at 6 Ship Street with his new wife and was still working as a college servant. By 1871 he was an unemployed servant, living in part of 22 Tyndale Street (then called William Street) in St Clement’s with his wife and their children Emily (9), Edith Minnie (5), and Percival Frederick (1). By 1881 Frederick (48) was a waiter at an inn and living with his family at Penson’s Gardens, St Clements.
On 2 May 1883 Frederick was still a waiter, now living at 3 Stockmore Street, and was engaged in the Deanery assisting the footmen on the occasion of the visit of the Prince of Wales. Aged 49, he suddenly dropped dead after shifting some luggage. The inquest recorded a verdict of natural causes.