William Richard HURST (1829–1887)
His brother Herbert HURST (1833–1913)
St Giles section: Row 28, Grave K38

William & Herbert Hurst


Loving Memory




BORN 17 MAY 1833,
DIED 15 MARCH 1913


William Richard Hurst was born in Horspath in 1829 and baptised there on 22 February, and his brother Herbert Hurst was born in Temple Cowley on 17 May 1833 and baptised there on 16 June. Their father was John Hurst (born in Cowley and baptised at St James's Church there on 25 May 1803, the son of John & Susannah Hurst). He came from an old Cowley family, after whom Hurst Street in east Oxford was named.

Their mother was Rachel Wood (born at Nettlebed in 1800 and baptised there on 20 April, the daughter of Richard & Sarah Wood). She was an unmarried servant in Oxford when she became pregnant at the age of 21, and she gave birth to the following son:

  • James Hurst Wood (born in Oxford in 1821/2 and baptised at St James’s Church, Cowley on 6 January 1822).

His middle name, Hurst, suggests that he was the child of her future husband John Hurst (then only 19).

On 5 August 1824 at St James's Church in Cowley, John Hurst of Cowley, now aged 21, married Rachel Wood of Iffley, and they had the following children:

  • John Hurst (born at Hockmore Street in 1824 and baptised at St James's Church, Cowley on 7 November)
  • Catherine Hurst (born at Hockmore Street in 1826/7 and baptised at St James's Church, Cowley on 7 January 1827)
  • William Richard Hurst (born at Horspath in 1829 and baptised there on 22 February)
  • Emily Rachel Hurst (born at Temple Cowley in 1831 and baptised at St James's Church, Cowley on 21 October)
  • Herbert Hurst (born at Temple Cowley in 1833 and baptised at St James's Church Cowley on 16 June).

John & Rachel Hurst at first lived at Hockmore Street in the parish of Iffley after their marriage. They appear to have been living in Horspath when William was born in early 1829, but had settled in Temple Cowley by 1831.

Richard and Herbert's father John Hurst, who was now a farmer, died at Temple Cowley at the age of 34 and was buried in St James’s churchyard on 3 March 1837, when William Richard Hurst was just eight and Herbert Hurst nearly four.

At the time of the 1841 census their widowed mother Rachel was described as a farmer in Temple Cowley, living with James (19), John (16), Catherine (14), William (12), Emily (20), and Herbert (8). They had a 15-year-old servant girl, and an agricultural labourer also lodged with them.

By the time of the 1851 census William Richard Hurst (22) had been a teacher at Cowley Diocesan School for six years, and was still living at Temple Cowley with his widowed mother Rachel (51), who was described as a farmer of 52 acres employing five labourers, and his siblings John (26), Catherine (24), and Emily (19), who all helped on the farm. His youngest brother Herbert Hurst was aged 17 in 1851 and away at St Mary College, a small boarding school in New Shoreham, Sussex.

In 1861 their mother, aged 60, was farming 60 acres in Temple Cowley and employed two men and two boys. Her eldest son James (39) was farming with her, and her daughters Catherine (33) and Emily (29) were still living at home. William and Herbert (the two sons buried in this grave) were both following careers away from home as teachers: see their respective sections below.

In 1877 their mother Mrs Rachel Hurst née Wood died at the age of 77 at Marston Street in east Oxford, and was buried at St James’s Church in Cowley on 4 August.

(1) William Richard Hurst (born 1829)

William Richard Hurst was an assistant master at Cowley Diocesan School from 1845 to 1858, and then set up on his own with a private middle-class school in Headington.


On 18 December 1858 he inserted an advertisement in Jackson’s Oxford Journal announcing that on 24 January 1859 he would be opening his school at Linden House in Old Headington (now the Priory, right, in Old High Street). He stated, “The primary object of this school will be to impart a sound Commercial Education; at the same time every subject will be introduced that is considered essential to a correct and liberal course of Instruction” and “In the domestic arrangements every effort will be made to secure the comfort, health, and happiness of the Pupils, and such care and attention will be bestowed upon them as must, it is trusted, obtain the general confidence of parents.”

In 1859 at St Andrew's Church in Old Headington, William Richard Hurst married Esther Lovett (born at Teddington, Middlesex in c.1829). They appear to have had just one daughter, born nine years after their marriage:

  • Esther Marianne Hurst (born at Littlemore in 1868 and baptised there on 11 October).

At the time of the 1861 census William (32) was the Master of Linden House School in Old High Street, Headington, and was living there with his wife Esther, two assistant schoolmasters, two housemaids, and 21 boy pupils aged between 9 and 16.

The school was so successful in its first year that Hurst took over Linden Cottages, the three cottages that can be seen in the above picture just to the north of the main house, and these were used for boarders, allowing numbers to rise to 50. An advertisement that appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 24 December 1859 stated:

Mr. Hurst having been obliged during this his first twelve-month at Linden House to reject several applications by reason of insufficiency of accommodation, has now completed such additions to his premises as will enable him conveniently to accommodate 50 Pupils. To this number it is Mr. Hurst’s intention to limit his School, as he feels convinced that it would be difficult to secure for a larger number those home-comforts in the house, and the careful oversight in the school and play-ground, which he is anxious his Pupils should enjoy.

Notwithstanding the above, Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 23 February 1861 reports that there were 70 boys at the school, of whom 45 had joined its Cadet Rifle Corps. Of these 70, about 50 must have been days boys, as the 1861 census shows only 21 boarders: these were aged between 9 and 17, and most came from Oxford and the surrounding area. Hurst (32) lived on the premises with his wife, two assistant masters named Sherlock Cranwell and John Leach, and three servants.

On 16 July 1864 Hurst advertised in Jackson’s Oxford Journal that in the ensuing term he planned to move the school to extensive premises at Littlemore, and on 13 August 1864 he put out his former premises in Headington to let. The school duly moved to Littlemore, and took the name of Linden House with it.

At the time of the 1871 census Hurst was living at Linden House School in Littlemore with his wife Esther and their daughter Esther Marianne (12), as well as two assistant masters, a cook, six servants, and 71 boy pupils. The situation was similar in 1881.

In about 1886 William Richard Hurst retired to 25 Warnborough Road, a brand-new house in north Oxford. Linden House School in Littlemore was acquired by the Oxford Sanitary Steam Laundry Company, who made alterations and additions to allow over 1,200 feet available for work, and used its five acres of grass land for drying purposes (full details in Jackson's Oxford Journal of 16 October1886, p. 8c)..

William Richard Hurst died suddenly at his north Oxford home in 1887:

† William Richard Hurst died at 25 Warnborough Road at the age of 57 or 58 on 17 October 1887 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 20 October (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s and Ss Philip & James’s Church).

His personal estate came to £3,782 10s. 8d., and probate was granted to his widow Esther.

His obituary in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 22 October 1887 read:

DEATH OF MR. W. R. HURST. — We regret to record the death of Mr. W. R. Hurst, who died suddenly on Monday at his residence, 26 Warnborough-road, in this City, where he had lately retired. For about 30 years Mr. Hurst kept a middle-class school, first at Headington and then at Littlemore, in both places with unbroken success, many leading Oxford citizens having been under his care. As an educator, Mr. Hurst was in advance of his time, setting a great value on everything connected with health and comfort, trusting in love alone, giving the example of gentle, cheerful, and untiring patience. Himself a man of many acquirements, and an accomplished mechanic, he strove to train his pupils in the use of their eyes and hands, and a great number of them owe him a thorough preparation for practical life, and all must have benefited by the influence of a singularly pure, simple, and refined mind. Mr. Hurst’s loss will be deeply felt at Littlemore, where he had done much good, made many friends, and whither he had contemplated returning.

At the time of the 1891 census his widow Esther was still living at 24 Warnborough Road with their only child Esther.

Their daughter was married in 1894:

  • On 26 June 1894 at Ss Philip & James Church, Oxford, Esther Marian Hurst married the Revd John Llewellyn Meredith of Binbrook, Lincolnshire, son of the hop merchant Jonathan Hopkins. They had no children.
William Richard Hurst’s widow
  • Mrs Esther Hurst went to live with her daughter at Fritwell vicarage near Banbury and died there on 21 February 1900. Her effects came to £964 10s., and her daughter Esther was her executor.
William Richard Hurst’s only child
  • Mrs Esther Marian Meredith, née Hurst had no children. At the time of the 1901 census she was aged 32 and living at Fritwell vicarage with her husband John Meredith (32) and one servant; the situation was the same in 1911. She was living at 14 Avenue Road in Leamington Spa when on 6 March 1954 she died at 2 Clarendon Place, Leamington Spa. Her effects came to £4,197 16s. 10d.

(2) Herbert Hurst (born 1833)

At the time of the 1861 census Herbert Hurst (27) was an assistant master at Gothic Hall in Enfield, a small school for boys run by the independent minister John Ashby.

On 28 April 1870 at Brighton, Herbert Hurst, who was then living at Falkland House in Finchley, Middlesex, married Elizabeth Ann Hastings Llewellin. (For more on her background, see this grave in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, where she and her parents are buried.) They had four children:

  • Llewellin Herbert Hurst (born in Finchley on 14 August 1871 and baptised there on 13 September)
  • Cyril William Hurst (born in Finchley on 30 May 1873)
  • Alfred John Hurst (born in Littlemore on 29 October 1876 and baptised there on 24 December)
  • Gladys Elizabeth Hurst (born at 9 Marston Street, east Oxford in 1882 and baptised at Cowley St John Church on 11 September)

At the time of the 1871 census Herbert Hurst (37) was a schoolmaster, still living at Falkland House in Finchley with his wife Elizabeth (31) as well as two assistants, a matron, two servants, and fifteen boy pupils aged between 8 and 19.

By 1880 Herbert Hurst had moved back to the Oxford area, and was living in Littlemore, where he was one of the Churchwardens and Overseers. The 1881 census shows Herbert Hurst (47), described as a school assistant and tutor, living at Spring Bank, Oxford Road, Littlemore, with his wife Elizabeth (41), their sons Cyril (7) and Alfred (4), plus one servant. Their eldest son Llewellin (9) was staying with his grandparents, who now lived in Liverpool.

By 1882 they had moved to 9 Marston Street in east Oxford, and on 21 January that year Herbert Hurst was admitted to the University of Oxford at the age of 48 as a non-collegiate student, obtaining his B.A. in 1885. His book Rambles and Rides around Oxford (Oxford: Shrimpton and Sons, 1885) was published the same year. He gained a reputation as an antiquary, and the following papers are in the Bodleian Library:

  • HURST, H., 1889aOld Oxford, Set of clippings (not murals), notes etc from Oxford Architectural & Historical Society Activity, Notes of Lecture given 25 Feb 1889 by Hurst (Bodl: MS. Top. Oxon. c.189)
  • HURST, H., 1889bMural Paintings in the Churches Of Cowley, Headington and Milcombe – Account of Lecture Notes by Hurst given to Oxon. Arch. Soc., February 1889 (Bodl: MS. Top. Oxon. d.127)
  • HURST, H., 1889c. Coloured Drawings of Headington Church Murals based on Tracings and mural clipping
    (Bodl: MS. Top. Oxon. c.197, pp. 110)
  • HURST, H., 1891. Letter to Professor Sir J. Stainer K.G.B. with coloured drawings of Headington Church Murals matched to French Carol, Photo of Reaper (Bodl: MS. Top. Oxon. e.272). 

On 4 May 1889 a letter from Herbert Hurst was published in Jackson’s Oxford Journal relating to the Smith Gate in Catte Street, Oxford.

At the time of the 1891 census Herbert Hurst (57) was described as a librarian and was living at 6 Tackley Place in north Oxford with his wife Elizabeth (51) and two of their children: Cyril (17) and Gladys (8). Llewellin (19) is hard to find, and may have been in the army; and Alfred (14) was at Madras House in Eastbourne, a small boarding school run by the Oxford-born William Paine (63).

In 1899 Herbert Hurst’s second book Oxford Topography: An Essay was printed at the Clarendon Press for the Oxford Historical Society.

On 19 February 1900 his son Llewellyn Hurst (28) joined the Imperial Yeomanry.

By the time of the 1901 census Herbert Hurst and his wife had moved to Battersea and were living at 3 Mayford Road. Herbert (67) was described as a retired librarian, and two of their children were still at home: Alfred (24) who was an electrical engineer and Gladys (18). They had one servant.

In 1909 Herbert Hurst gave a lantern-slide lecture to the Dorset Antiquarian Society about two mazes in Bullingdon Green.

At the time of the 1911 census Herbert Hurst (77) was still living at 3 Mayford Road, Battersea with his wife and their daughter Gladys Elizabeth (28), plus two servants. Shortly after this census the family moved back to Oxford and lived at 100 Woodstock Road. Herbert died there in 1913:

† Herbert Hurst died at 100 Woodstock Road at the age of 79 on 15 March 1913 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 19 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

His effects came to £39, and probate was granted to his widow Elizabeth Ann Hastings Hurst. His photograph was published in the Oxford Journal Illustrated on 19 March 1913.

His papers and collection of sketches to illustrate old Oxford were given to the Bodleian Library by his daughter Gladys in 1923.

His wife Elizabeth Ann Hastings Hurst died in 1924 and was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery with her parents, William & Elizabeth Llewellin: see separate grave.

Children of Herbert & Elizabeth Ann Hastings Hurst
  • Llewellyn Herbert Hurst (born 1871) married Louise Helen Locke in the Wandsworth district in 1905 (second quarter) and emigrated to Canada a year after the wedding, arriving at Montreal on 25 May 1906. He served as a Quarter-Master Sergeant in the Canadian Army in the First World War, enlisting at the age of 44 on 29 February 1916. He died in Calgary, Alberta.
  • Cyril William Hurst (born 1873) married Helen Kate Williams at St Margaret’s Church, Oxford on 30 April 1900. At the time of the 1901 census they were living in a flat at 22 Gayville Road, Battersea and Cyril was working as a banker’s clerk. In 1911 they were living at 19 Ravenslea Road, Balham: Cyril was still a bank clerk, and they now had three children: Elizabeth Kathleen Llewellin Hurst (9), Cyril Llewellin Hurst (6), and John Llewellin Hurst (2), plus a servant. Cyril William Hurst died at 47 Oxford Road, Banbury, on 24 February 1953, and his effects came to £4,231 2s. 9d.
  • Alfred John Hurst (born 1876) married Ada Constance Perry at St Luke’s Church, Battersea on 19 June 1902, and they do not appear to have had any children. At the time of the 1911 census they were living at 53 Osborne Avenue, Jesmond, Northumberland and Alfred was working as an electrical mechanical engineer in the lifts trade. He died in Andover, Hampshire at the age of 81 in 1957.
  • Gladys Elizabeth Hurst (born 1882) never married. She lived at 23 Farndon Road, Oxford, one of the pair of houses leased by her mother from the time it was new in 1883, and died there at the age of 81 on 3 September 1963, Her effects came to £9,563 19s. 2d.



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