William Richard HOBBS (1812–1882)
His wife Mrs Elizabeth HOBBS, née Berry (1809/10–1896)
St Giles section: Row 16, Grave B28
In loving Memory of
WILLIAM RICHARD HOBBS
WHITSUN-DAY MAY 28, 1882
AGED 71 YEARS
THERE SHALL BE NO MORE PAIN.
ELIZABETH RELICT OF THE ABOVE
WHO DIED MAY 27, 1896,
AGED 86 YEARS
William Richard Hobbs was born at Cursitor Street, Chancery Lane, London in 1811/12,
Elizabeth Berry was born at Shipton on Stour, Worcestershire in 1809/10.
On 16 February 1837 at St Giles’s Church, Oxford, William Richard Hobbs married Elizabeth Berry: they were both then living in that parish. They had the following children:
- Richard Berry Hobbs (born in St Giles’s Street in 1837/8 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 19 January 1838)
- Elizabeth Hodgkin Hobbs (1839 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 21 March 1839, died aged six months in August 1839 and buried on 23 August, probably at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery)
- Catherine Susanna Hobbs (born at 23 St Giles’s Street in 1840 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 13 November)
- William Laurence Hobbs (born at 23 St Giles’s Street in 1842 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 5 August)
- Henry Hobbs (born at 23 St Giles’s Street in 1844 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 19 June)
- John George Hobbs (born at 23 St Giles’s Street in 1846 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 4 March)
- Fanny Hodgkin Hobbs (born at 23 St Giles’s Street in 1847/8 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 28 January 1848, died aged three at the end of 1850 and buried on 2 January 1851, probably at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery)
- Lucy Mary Rooke Hobbs (born at 23 St Giles’s Street in 1851 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 18 June)
- Clara Jane Hobbs (born at 23 St Giles’s Street in 1852/3 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 2 February 1853).
Hobbs was an attorney’s clerk (to John Looker of Holywell Street and later 13 St Giles’s Street) until 1850, and thereafter an accountant.
By the time of the 1841 census Hobbs was living with his family at 23 St Giles’s Street (left), where he was to remain for the rest of his life. He and his wife then had just two surviving children: Richard (3) and Catherine (7 months). Also living with them was an independent lady, Mary Hobbs, and a two-month-old baby Caroline Hobbs, and a young servant girl.
In 1851 William (39), who was now an accountant, and his wife Mary (41) had five surviving children: Richard (13), Catherine (10), William (8), Henry (6), and John (5).
Their eldest son was married in 1859:
- On 21 July 1859 at Holy Trinity Church, St Ebbe's, Oxford, Richard Berry Hobbs, described as a china man of Albert Street, married Emmaline Tasker of Friars Wharf, the daughter of the college servant James Tasker..
By the time of the 1861 census Hobbs and his wife had two more children Lucy and Clara. Two of their sons were still at home: Henry (17), who was now an accountant’s clerk, and John (15), who was a mercer’s apprentice; and also living with them were Hobbs’s widowed aunt Mrs Catherine Lawrence (72) and one servant. Their son William Laurence Hobbs (19) was an attorney’s clerk, lodging in his mother’s home village of Shipton-on-Stour.
Two more of their children were married in the 1860s:
- On 12 August 1862 at St Giles's Church, Oxford, Catherine Susanna Hobbs (21) married John Tasker (31), a commercial clerk of Holywell Street and the brother of her sister Emmaline's husband;
- In the third quarter of 1867 in the Birmingham area William Laurence Hobbs married Mary Lowbridge.
In 1871 William and his wife were alone at home at 23 St Giles’s Street, with one servant girl; but in 1881 their two unmarried daughters were back at home: Lucy (29) who was a governess and Clara (28), who was a commercial clerk. Their married son William (38), a solicitor’s accountant clerk, was also staying with them on census night.
William Richard Hobbs died the following year:
† William Richard Hobbs died at 23 St Giles’s Street at the age of 70 on 28 May 1882 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 2 June (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 3 June 1882
DEATH OF MR. HOBBS.— We regret to record the death of Mr. William Richard Hobbs, accountant, St. Giles’s, which took place on Sunday evening. Deceased had suffered for many years from rheumatic gout, which compelled him, not long since, to resign the office of Acting Secretary to the Royal Oxfordshire Horticultural Society, a position he had held for 45 years. As a member of the Masonic body he was well known through the County, having acted as Secretary to the Alfred Lodge for over a quarter of a century. During the long period in which he served the Horticultural Society he received two testimonials, one in 1856 in the form of a silver tankard, and in 1880 a purse of fifty guineas on retiring from office. His remains were interred at St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery yesterday (Friday) afternoon, the Committee and several friends being present as a mark of respect. He leaves a widow and sons and daughters to mourn his loss.
His personal effects came to £404 3s. 4d.
Mrs Hobbs moved to 24 Woodstock Road, where she can be seen in the 1891 census with her daughter Lucy (39), who was still working as a governess. She died five years later:
† Mrs Elizabeth Hobbs, née Berry died at 24 Woodstock Road at the age of 86 in July 1896 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 30 July (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
Surviving children of William Richard and Elizabeth Hobbs
- Richard Berry Hobbs (born 1837/8) was an assistant in a china & glass warehouse in 1861, living at 12 Albert Street, St Ebbe’s with his first wife Emmaline, their son William R. Hobbs (two months), and a fourteen-year-old servant girl. Emmaline died at the age of 30 in 1866, and he married his second wife Ann Hart of the south end of the Banbury Road, the daughter of the college servant Henry Hart, at St Giles's Church on 30 June 1870. From 1866 to 1872 Richard was listed in Kelly's Directory as a rate collector at 22 St Giles's Street (the house next door to his father). In 1871 Richard (34) was listed there with Ann and his children William (10) and Edward (8), plus their servant girl. In 1881 Richard was a glass, china, & earthenware dealer, and he and Ann were living in Witney with their young daughters Caroline Elizabeth (9) and Annie Mary (7). Ann died in Witney at the age of 54 in 1888. In 1891 Richard was living with his two daughters in Curbridge and working as an assistant overseer & collector of rates; in 1901 he was still holding that job but was back in Witney, accompanied by his daughter Caroline (29). He died in Witney at the age of 67 in 1905.
- Mrs Catherine Susanna Tasker, née Hobbs (born 1840 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 13 November) was living at 3 Walton Crescent in 1871 with her husband John, who was a wine merchant’s clerk, and their children Beatrice (6), Frank (4), and George (3), and her widowed mother-in-law Mrs Mary Tasker (73), plus their servant girl. John Tasker died later that year at the age of 39. Catherine moved to East Barnet, Hertfordshire, where in 1881 she was keeping a boarding house at 5 Lytton Road. Her youngest daughter Clara (9) was with her, while Frank (14) and George (13) were at the orphan asylum in Wanstead, and Beatrice (16) had graduated to the position of assistant governess at the Wolverhampton Orphan Asylum. By 1891 she had all four children with her and was living at 134 Station Road, West Ham. In 1911 when she was 70, she was living at Ilford, Essex in the house of her unmarried daughter Beatrice (46), who was a book-keeper. She died the following year at the age of 71.
- William Laurence Hobbs (born 1842) was working as an attorney’s clerk/cashier in 1871 and living in Stafford in with his wife Mary, his children William (2) and Mary (1), his aunt Miss Mary Hobbs (57), and a servant girl. He was paying his parents a visit in 1881, leaving Mary at home in Stafford with their children: in addition to William and Mary, there were now Gertrude (9), Arthur (6), George (4), and Alice (1). William was still working as a solicitor’s clerk in Stafford at the age of 58 in 1901.
- Henry Hobbs (born 1844) was a Corporal in the 101 Fusiliers in camp at Hartley Wintney, Hampshire in 1871 when he was 26.
- John George Hobbs (born 1846) was a warehouseman in 1871 at George Dewe’s grocer’s shop at 55 & 56 Cornmarket Street: a single man, he was living over the premises with his employer’s family and other employees. By 1881 he had moved to Bermondsey and was still working as a warehouseman; he was still lodging there in 1891, but was now superintendent to a miller. In the first quarter of 1892 he married Rebecca Amelia Payne in Bermondsey. At the time of the 1911 census he was a corn merchant’s foreman and he and Rebecca were living in Bermondsey with their four children: George (18), Elizabeth (16), James (13), and Frank (8). John died in Bermondsey at the age of 83 near the beginning of 1920.
- Miss Lucy Mary Rooke Hobbs (born 1851) was living in Holborn in 1901 as a companion to her younger sister Lucy. By 1911 she was a schoolmistress, aged 59, living alone with a servant at Hitchin, Hertfordshire. She died in the Neath area at the age of 80 in 1931.
- Miss Clara Jane Hobbs (born 1852/3) was a hospital nurse aged 48 in 1901, working on her own account and living in Holborn accompanied by her sister Lucy. She died in the Neath area at the age of 96 in 1949.