People buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, Oxford whose deaths were followed by inquests

Breathwitt inscription

Left: This quotation at the top of Richard Breathwitt’s gravestone, “There is but a step between me and death” (1 Samuel 20:3) refers to the fact that Breathwitt, who was overseeing the construction of Keble College, stepped out of the barrow hauling him to the top, missed the platform, and fell seventy feet to his death.

Accidents: Drowning (14)
Accidents: Railway (9)
     (1) Passengers
  • Mrs Jane BROWN (1820/1–1878), who was killed in the Sittingbourne railway accident returning from the seaside
  • Thomas William NOON (1830–1851), who died in a train accident at Bicester station
  • Miss Florence Anne NUTTING (1855–1886), who fell mysteriously out of the door of a moving train near Culham on her way home to Leamington
  • John SIDES junior (1844–1889), who also fell mysteriously out of the door of a moving train, this time at Sonning, on the way to see his mother at Jericho House
  • Edward SYLVESTER (1826–1874), accountant who died in the Shipton-on-Cherwell railway disaster
     (2) Railway employees
  • Thomas COLE (1849–1889), railway guard killed by a train at Wheatley station
  • Alfred John SAVAGE (1865–1890), railway clerk killed by a train when crossing the line near Birmingham
  • Thomas Brown WHEELER (1868–1889), W. H. Smith platform bookseller killed when crossing the line at Bristol
    (3) Found dead on line
Accidents: Falls from high buildings (2)
  • Richard BREATHWITT (1831–1874), Clerk of Works at Keble College
    (fell to his death during its construction)
  • John Caldecott CAVELL (1813–1887), joint founder of Oxford’s leading department store
    (fell from his bedroom on the top floor of the former Elliston & Cavell shop down to Friar’s Entry)
Accidents: Fire (1)
  • Sarah Lottie HISTED (1885–1890) who fell into the kitchen fire and then developed scarlet fever
Manslaughter (3)
Suicide (5 or possibly 6)

Although suicide was a criminal act until 1961, an Act passed in 1823 allowed suicides private burial in a churchyard such as St Sepulchre's, but only at night and without a Christian service. A review of the law resulted in a new Act that came into force on 3 July 1882 allowing burial in daylight hours.

An open verdict was returned on another possible suicide:

  • Benjamin Joseph GLAZEBROOK (1858–1879), unattached student
    (open verdict, swallowed prussic acid at his lodgings in Walton Crescent)
Natural causes (16)
© Friends of St Sepulchre’s Cemetery 2012–2017