William HERMAN (1837/8–1908)
His wife Mrs Elizabeth HERMAN, née Burchell (1838–1909)
St Michael section: Row 17, Grave D48

William Herman



In Loving Memory



DIED NOV. 30TH 1909



William Herman (or Hurman or Hermon) was born in Sparsholt, near Childrey, Berkshire in 1837/8, the son of the draper (later grocer) Thomas Herman (born in Sparsholt in 1814/15) and his wife Ann (born in Winterborne, Wiltshire in 1816/17). At the time of the 1841 census William (3) was with his parents and baby sister Ann (three months) at West Challow village. Ten years later in 1851, William was still at school at the age of 13 and living at Childrey with his parents and his siblings Mary (9), Elijah (4), and Luisa (seven months).

Elizabeth Burchell was born in St Mary Magdalen parish, Oxford in 1838, the daughter of the master tailor William Burchell and his wife Sarah Cambray. For more about her family, see the separate grave of her parents. She lived as a young child in Friars Entry, but at the time of the 1851 census she was with her parents and six siblings in George Street, and still at school at the relatively advanced age of 13.

On 24 May 1860 at St Peter-le-Bailey Church, Oxford, William Herman, described as a carpenter of Jews Mount, married Elizabeth Burchell, the daughter of the tailor William Burchell. William’s brother Elijah Herman subsequently married Elizabeth’s sister Sarah Burchell in 1867.

It is hard to find William & Elizabeth Herman in the 1861 census, but by the time of the 1871 census William (32) and Elizabeth (31) were living in George Street in St Mary Magdalen parish together with their niece Ellan Ann Herman (3), whom they appear to have adopted, as they were then childless.

In 1874, after fourteen years of marriage, their only child was born:

  • Florence Alexandra Maria Herman (born in St Mary Magdalen parish, Oxford in 1874, reg. second quarter)

In 1881 William and Elizabeth were at George Street with their daughter Florence (7) and their adopted niece Ellen (13): both were still at school.

From 1883 to 1887 Kelly's Directory lists “William Herman, Cabinet maker, upholsterer, decorator, & undertaker” at 13 St Giles' Street, now part of the Lamb & Flag Inn.

By 1890 William Herman was becoming more prosperous and had moved his business and home to 14 Broad Street, again in St Mary Magdalen parish (below, right). The shop front is now completely different, with the door moved into the middle.

14 Broad Street

The advertisement below (taken from Alden’s Oxford Guide for 1906) shows Herman’s Stores here at No. 14.

Herman advert

The 1891 census reveals that as well as a cabinet maker Herman was now also an upholsterer and undertaker. He and his wife lived over the shop with Florence (17), who was described as a scholar, and they had a servant girl the same age as their daughter.

The family of three was still there in 1901, with a new servant.

William Herman died in 1908:

† William Herman died at 14 Broad Street at the age of 69 on 27 November 1908 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 30 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church).

His effects came to £1,474 0s. 8d., and his wife Elizabeth was his executor.

Elizabeth died just a year later:

† Mrs Elizabeth Herman née Burchell died at 14 Broad Street at the age of 70 on 30 November 1909 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 3 December (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church).

Their only child Florence Herman continued to run the shop, which was listed under her name in 1915 and 1916, but it then closed. She never married, and died at her home at 165 Banbury Road, Oxford on 20 March 1966 at the age of 91. Her effects came to £25,275.00.



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