Mrs Susannah HESTER, née Torry (1772–1863)
Her sister-in-law Miss Sophia HESTER (1776–1860)
Her granddaughter Miss Mary HESTER (1834/5–1889)
St Giles section: Row 10A, Grave B25
TO THE MEMORY OF
WHO DIED XIX JUNE
A. D. MDCCCLX
AGED LXXXIV YEARS
SUSANNA [SIC] WIDOW OF
DIED III MAY A. D. MDCCCLXIII
AGED XC YEARS
ALSO OF MARY DAUGHTER OF
GEORGE PARSONS HESTER
DIED VI JUNE MDCCCLXXIX
(1) Mrs Susannah Hester, née Torry
Susannah Torry was born in Limehouse, London on 18 July 1772.
Her husband John Hester (not buried with her) was the son of William Hester and his wife Maria, and was baptised at St Peter-in-the East Church, Oxford, on 31 May 1765.
On 13 August 1795 at St Anne's Church, Limehouse, Susannah Torry married John Hester of St Peter-in-the-East parish, Oxford. They had the following children:
- George Parsons Hester (born in St Peter-in-the-East parish, Oxford on 19 April 1798 and baptised at All Saints Church on 16 May)
- James Torry Hester (born in Oxford on 3 April 1800 and baptised at All Saints Church on 20 April)
- Ann Hester (born in Oxford in 1802 and baptised at All Saints Church on 13 October).
John Hester was the Steward and Manciple of All Souls College. His son James Torry Hester was matriculated as a privileged person so he could work as a surgeon (chirurgus) on 11 June 1821, when he was 21 years old; and his other son George Parsons Hester became a solicitor.
All three of Susannah and John Hester’s children married within days of each other:
- On 24 July 1824 at St Mary Magdalen Church in Oxford, James Torry Hester married Catherine Esther Law;
- On 28 July 1824 at St James's Church in Cowley, Ann Hester married the ironmonger Jonathan Browning;
- On 5 August 1824 at Wallingford, George Parsons Hester married Mary Hazel.
John Hester retired with his wife Susannah to a fine house near Magdalen Bridge by the 1830s, and died there at the age of 69 on 12/13 September 1835. He was buried at All Souls College, and there is a grey marble tablet on the wall of the cloisters, to the left of the chapel door, stating in Latin how he had for the greater part of his life fulfilled the offices of its Steward and Manciple diligently and faithfully.
At the time of the 1841 census Susannah Hester, a widowed annuitant of 68, was living with her daughter Ann and son-in-law Jonathan Browning in the Banbury Road. At the time of the 1851 census when she was 78 she had moved out and was living alone as the independent head of the household in part of 20 Walton Place; but by 1861, when she was 88, she was living with the Brownings in the Banbury Road again. She died in 1863:
† Mrs Susannah Hester, née Torry died at Park Place at the south end of the Banbury Road at the age of 90 on 3 May 1863 and was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 7 May (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
Her death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal read: "May 3, aged 90, Mrs. Susannah Hester, mother of the Town Clerk of this City."
Her effects came to under £1,500, and her son George Parsons Hester was her executor.
The children of Mrs Susannah Hester
- George Parsons Hester (born 1798): see his separate grave
- James Torry Hester (born in 1800): see James Torry Hester, surgeon of the Radcliffe Infirmary
- Anne Hester, Mrs Browning (born 1802): see separate grave
(2) Miss Sophia Hester
Sophia Hester was the sister of the John Hester who was married to Susannah (see above). She was baptised at St Peter-in-the-East Church on 11 September 1775.
She never married. At the time of the 1851 census she was 76 (age wrongly given as 70) and described as an annuitant, and living on her own in a separate apartment at 2 North Parade, the home of the fishmonger George Tester.
† Miss Sophia Hester died at North Parade at the age of 84 on 19 June 1860 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 22 June (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
Her effects came to under £200, and her nephew George Parsons Hester was her executor.
(3) Miss Mary Hester
Mary Hester was born at The Mount, Banbury Road Oxford on 11 January Oxford in 1834/5 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 25 January. She was the third daughter of George Parsons Hester, and hence the granddaughter of Susannah Hester and great-niece of Sophia Hester above.
Mary Hester never married. In 1871 when she was 36 she was still living with her parents at the Mount, Banbury Road. Her father died in 1876 and her mother in 1880, and in 1881 she was living on her own at 2 Windrush Villa, Kingston Road with one servant.
She must have moved to 43 Leckford Road between 1881 and her death in 1889, as her probate record described her as being late of that address. She died in London, but her body was brought back to Oxford for burial in her grandmother's grave:
† Miss Mary Hester died at 9 Devonshire Street, Portland Square, London at the age of 54 on 6 June 1889 and was buried on 8 June in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery (burial recorded in the registers of both St Giles’s and Ss Philip & James’s Churches).
Her effects came to £3,492 0s. 2d., and her executors were her sister Mrs Katherine Delamotte and the Revd Albert Octavius Walsh.