Thomas Snell GRIERSON (1831–1875)
His second wife Mrs Amelia GRIERSON, née Hickman (1839–1877)
Their daughter Ethel GRIERSON (1873–1877)
St Giles section: Row 9, Grave B29
IN MEMORY OF
THOMAS SNELL GRIERSON
WHO DIED JANUARY 30, 1875,
AGED 44 YEARS
AND HE WAS NOT, FOR GOD TOOK HIM.
ALSO AMELIA GRIERSON
WIFE OF THE ABOVE
DIED MAY 1, 1877
AGED 38 YEARS
DIED NOV 15 1877 AGED 4 YEARS
Thomas Snell Grierson was born in Liverpool in 1831, the son of the hosier Thomas Grierson and his wife Mary Ann. He had three younger siblings, all born in Liverpool: Mary (1834), Tryphena Ann (1836), and Sophia (1838).
In the late 1850s he married his first wife Deborah Andrews when she was aged about 18 (no apparent record of the marriage in England & Wales), and they had the following children:
- Robert Grierson (born in Oxford on 23 September 1860 and baptised at St Peter’s Church, Liverpool on 13 September 1863 at the same time as his younger sister)
- Mary Ann Deborah Grierson (born in Oxford on 14 July 1862 and baptised with her brother Robert at St Peter’s Church Liverpool on 13 September 1863)
- Thomas William Grierson (born in Observatory Street, Oxford in 1864 and baptised at St Giles's Church on 18 June; died aged two weeks and buried on 21 June).
At the time of the 1861 census Thomas (29) was working as a hosier’s assistant and living with Deborah (20) and their son Robert (six months) in part of the home of George Sparsholt at 102 St Aldate’s Street. Their daughter Mary was born the following year.
Thomas's first wife Deborah Grierson (23) died at Observatory Street on 18 June 1864, just after giving birth to her fourth child, Thomas William Grierson, who died two days later on 18 June 1864. Both were buried on 21 June 1864, presumably in another grave in the St Giles's section of St Sepulchre’s Cemetery.
Amelia Hickman was born at Broken Hayes, Oxford in 1839 and baptised at St Peter-le-Bailey Church on 24 February. She was the daughter of the cabinet-maker Charles Hickman and Martha Simmonds, who were both living in St Mary Magdalen parish when they were married at its church on 15 July 1827.
For more on her parents, see their separate grave.
At the time of the 1841 Amelia (2) was living at Broken Hayes in St Peter-le-Bailey parish with her parents and three older siblings Ann (12), Henry Anthony (8), and Edwin (5). In 1851 Amelia (12) was still at school: her mother and sister Ann were both working as laundresses, and her brother Henry (18) was a confectionery cook and Charles (15) a waiter. In 1861 the family was probably living at the same house, but its address was now given as 8 George Street Mews. Amelia (22) was working as a sempstress and still living at home.
On 17 August 1865 at St Peter-le-Bailey Church, Thomas Snell Grierson of St Giles married Amelia Hickman of Broken Hayes. They had the following children:
- Frederick Grierson (born at Observatory Street in 1866 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 3 February 1867)
- Kate Grierson (born in 1868 and privately baptised by St Giles’s Church on 23 November, died aged one week at Observatory Street and buried on 25 November)
- Anna Sophia Grierson (born at Observatory Street in 1870 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 17 May)
- Edith Grierson (born at Joy Cottage, St Bernard’s Road on 23 February 1872 and privately baptised by Ss Philip & James’s Church the same day; died aged one day, and buried on 24 February)
- Ethel Grierson (born at Joy Cottage, St Bernard’s Road near the end of 1873 and baptised at Ss Philip & James Church on 29 January 1874); died aged four at George Street Mews and buried with her parents on 19 November 1877.
After their marriage Thomas and Amelia Grierson lived first at Observatory Street, and then at Joy Cottage in St Bernard’s Road (which was then named St John’s Road). Two of their babies died in 1868 and 1872, and it seems likely that they are also buried in this grave.
At the time of the 1871 census Thomas (38), who was now a commercial traveller, and Amelia (31) were staying at the Bath Hotel in Leamington. Meanwhile Thomas’s son from his first marriage Robert (10) and Frederick (4) and Annie (1) from his second marriage were being looked after by their cousin Anne Louisa Clewley, now a barmaid aged 19, at Observatory Street. Mrs Mary J. Hickman (32), a governess born in Gravesend and described as a widow but possibly Thomas Hickman’s sister, was also paying a visit with her daughter Mary (6).
By 1875 Thomas and Amelia Hickman had moved to the Botley Road. Thomas, who was working as a traveller for the Foster firm of tailors at 123 High Street, died suddenly early that year:
† Thomas Snell Grierson died at his place of work in the High Street, Oxford while living at New Osney at the age of 44 on 30 January 1875 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 5 February after a Coroner’s inquest (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
He was probably buried in the same grave as his three baby daughters, which would explain why he was buried in St Sepulchre’s rather than Osney Cemetery.
Jackson’s Oxford Journal published the following report on the inquest on 6 February 1875:
Inquest before W. Brunner, Esq., Coroner
On Monday, on the body of Mr. Thos. Snell Grierson, aged 44, traveller for the firm of Messrs. Foster and Co., tailors, High-street, living on the Botley-road, who had died very suddenly on the previous Saturday. — Hugh Thos. Allen, of New Inn Hall Street, tailor, in the employ of Messrs. Foster, said that he knew the deceased, and on Saturday he saw him in the cutting-room. He then appeared as well as usual, and while talking to the witness he coughed slightly and spat a little blood. The deceased remarked that he did not like it, and seemed nervous. In about ten minutes afterward he complained of a violent pain in the body, and sat down in a chair. He never spoke afterwards, and died in about two minutes. Witness discerned perspiration on the head of the deceased, but he noticed nothing on his countenance. — Mr. H. P. Mallam, surgeon, said that he knew the deceased, and he had attended his family for the last four or five years. He saw him in the month of January, and he was then suffering from pain in the region of the liver and from general cold. He prescribed for him, and advised him, if he did not get any better, to remain at home, and let him know how he was. He did not see him again alive. On Saturday last he was fetched to Messrs. Foster’s and when he got there deceased was lying on the board in the cutting room. He believed, from seeing the body, that the deceased had died from rupture of a blood vessel from natural causes. Verdict accordingly.
His son by his first wife, Robert Grierson, joined the Merchant Navy at Swansea on 30 August 1876 when he was aged 16.
After her husband’s death Mrs Grierson moved back to George Street Mews in the parish of St Peter-le-Bailey (probably to her parents’ house), where she died two years later:
† Mrs Amelia Grierson, née Hickman died at George Street Mews at the age of 38 on 1 May 1877 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 4 May (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
Her daughter Ethel died five months later:
† Ethel Grierson died at George Street Mews at the age of four on 15 November 1877 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 19 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
The two surviving children of Thomas Grierson and his first wife Deborah
- Robert Grierson (born 1860) served in the Merchant Navy on the Concord, and died on 22 September 1879 when he was aged 19.
- Mary Ann Deborah Grierson (born 1862) was aged 28 in 1891, working as a retoucher of photographs and living with her London-born cousin Frank Willisford Grierson (42), the son of Jonathan Grierson, and his wife and daughter at 1 Powis Grove, Brighton. Her cousin's wife died near the end of 1898 and on 31 January 1900 at St Cuthbert's Church, Kensington Mary Ann married her cousin: he was aged 50, and she was 37. At the time of the 1901 census Mary Ann was living in Beddington Surrey at Willisford, Carew Road with Frank, who was a general manager of the London Water Supply, her stepdaughter Hester (7), and her 85-year-old mother-in-law, plus two servants. Her only child Una Frances Mary Grierson was born in Surrey on 4 January 1903. In 1911 she was living at 38 St Stephen's Road, Hammersmith with her husband, who was now an assistant to a surveyor, her stepdaughter Hester (17), and her daughter Una (8), plus two servants. Mary's husband Frank Grierson died on 1 March 1917, and she died in the Bridge district of Kent at the age of 81 in 1944.
The two surviving children of Thomas Grierson and his second wife Amelia
- Frederick Grierson (born 1866) was boarding at the Commercial Travellers’ School in Pinner at the age of 14 in 1881. By 1891, when he was 24, he was working as a poor-rate collector and living with his maternal uncle, Henry Anthony Hickman, a bachelor of 58, at 3 Walton Crescent; Henry's niece Miss Annie Louisa Clewley (39) was also living with them, as well as a girl of that name aged 18 who may have been her daughter. He was described as a rate collector of 5 Walton Street when on 6 October 1904 at St Giles's Church he married Rosanna Paintin Collis of 7 Banbury Road, the daughter of the tailor Paul Collis. At the time of the 1911 census he and Rosanna were living at 5 Walton Street with their children Alexander Gordon Collis Grierson (5), Audrey Mary Grierson (3), and Robert Frederick Grierson (1)
- Anna Sophia Grierson (born 1869/70) was boarding with her brother at the Commercial Travellers’ School in Pinner at the age of 11 in 1881. She was living at 8 Southmoor Road when on 31 January 1901 at Ss Philip & James’s Church she married Frederick Charles Rosier from Hungerford. In the census a few months later Annie (29) was living at High Street, Hungerford with Frederick, who was an ironmonger’s assistant; in 1911 they were living at Royal View, Hungerford, and had two daughters: Freda Marjorie Rosier (7) and Olive Margaret Rosier (eleven months).