Mrs Emma JESSOP née Jelfs (1823–1854), first wife of Richard Jessop
Their daughter Mrs Betsey Emma HALE, née Jessop (1850–1942)
and their son-in-law William Joseph HALE (1846–1928)
St Paul section: Row 16, Grave A17 (St Paul ref. O13)

Emma Jessop










Emma Jessop was the first wife of Richard Jessop (whose second wife bore the same name).

For more about her husband, see the separate grave of Richard Jessop and his second wife

This is the one of a group of three adjoining graves in Row 16 belonging to the Jessop family.


Emma Jelfs was born in Oxford in 1823 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 17 August. She was the daughter of John Jelfs of St Michael’s parish and Elizabeth Dandy of Abingdon, who were married at St Nicholas’s Church in Abingdon on 7 October 1815.

At the time of Emma’s birth her father was a mail guard, but soon afterwards he became the publican at the Fox at 137 High Street, and so her three younger siblings were all baptised at All Saints’ Church: Laura Matilda (1826), Elizabeth (1828), and William John (1830). John Jelfs was to remain the publican of the Fox until his death in 1853, and then Emma’s mother Elizabeth took the pub over.

By the time of the 1841 census Emma (17) was an assistant schoolmistress lodging at Sheep Street, Woodstock.

On 29 January 1846 at All Saints’ Church, Oxford, Emma Jelfs of All Saints parish became the first wife of Richard Jessop, described as a butcher of St Peter-le-Bailey parish, and they had the following children:

  • Richard Jessop (born at St Giles’s Road in 1847 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 27 December);
    died aged four months in 1848 and buried at St Peter-le-Bailey Church on 23 April
  • Richard Jessop (born at Observatory Street in 1849 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 11 February);
    died aged five months in 1849 and buried at St Peter-le-Bailey Church on 7 June
  • Betsey Emma Jessop (born at Clarendon Place in 1850 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 20 October)
  • John Jessop (born at Clarendon Place in 1852 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 10 October)

Emma and her husband appear to have been living at St Giles’s Road (the south end of the Woodstock/Banbury Roads) at first after their marriage. By 1849 they had moved to Observatory Street.

Their first two babies died in infancy in St Giles’s parish, but were buried in their father’s home parish of St Peter-le-Bailey, probably in an existing family grave.

By the time of Betsey’s birth in 1850 they had moved again. The 1851 census shows them living at 14 Great Clarendon Street. Emma and her husband, who now described himself as a master butcher, were now both 27, and were at home with their first surviving child Betsey (six months). An apprentice butcher and a servant also lived with them.

After late 1852 they moved to Cardigan Street, and Richard’s first wife Emma died there in 1854, when her surviving children were aged about four and two:

† Mrs Emma Jessop née Jelfs died at Cardigan Street at the age of 31 on 7 August 1854 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 9 August (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

Her death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal read: “August 7, after a short illness, Emma, wife of Mr. Richard Jessop, butcher, High-street, Jericho, only surviving child of Mr. Jelfs, of the Fox Inn, High-street, deeply regretted.” The Sexton's notebook records that she was buried at a depth of 8 feet.

Her husband Richard married his second wife called Emma two years later in 1856 (see separate grave), and she brought up John and Betsey with her own children. When the second wife's baby Fanny Jessop died at the age of one week in March 1860, the Sexton's notebook confirms that she was buried here with Richard's first wife, and it is almost certain that her sister Rose Ellen Jessop was also buried here when she died in 1868.

By 1861 the family had moved to 49 Walton Street, and Betsey (20) and John (19) were still living with their father and stepmother there in 1871.

John Jessop (born 1852), son of Richard Jessop and his first wife Emma

On 21 March 1876 at St Ebbe’s Church John Jessop (23), described as a butcher of Walton Street, married Ella Wharton (17) of 17 Bridge Street, St Ebbe’s (born in Oxford in 1856). They had three daughters, two of whom died in infancy. John was admitted to a lunatic asylum in 1880, and died in 1886. His surviving daughter Minnie Jessop was brought up by his sister Betsey and his widow started a new life.

John and his two little daughters are also buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery: see separate grave for their full biography.

William Joseph Hale (born 1846) and the continuing biography of his wife
Betsey Emma Jessop (born 1850), daughter of Richard Jessop and his first wife Emma

William Joseph Hale was born in Oxford in 1846 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on Christmas Day. He was the son of the baker Joseph Hale (born in Tingewick, Berkshire) and his wife Eliza Hadley (born in Oxford), who were married at St Paul’s Church.
For more about his twelve siblings and his parents, see separate grave.

William grew up living over his father’s baker’s shop at 6 Cardigan. He was still at school at the age of 14 in 1861. His mother died in 1866.

By 1871 he was working for his father as a baker, and was in the same position in 1881. His father died later that year, and he took over the shop.

On 24 January 1883 at St Paul’s Church, William Joseph Hale, a baker of 6 Cardigan Street, married Betsey Emma Jessop, who was still living with her father and stepmother at 49 Walton Street. Betsey moved in with him over his shop and they had two sons:

  • William Jessop Hale (born in Cardigan Street on 15 January 1884 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 14 February)
  • Richard John Hale (born at 6 Cardigan Street on 5 September 1886 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 13 October).

At the time of the 1891 census William Hale (46), who was described as a grocer as well as a baker, and Betsey (40) were living at 6 Cardigan Street with their sons William (7) and Richard (4), and Minnie Jessop (13), her deceased brother’s daughter.

By the time of the 1901 census William Hale was living with his wife Betsey at her old family home at 49 Walton Street where they were now running their baker’s shop. Their two sons were living with them: William Jessop Hale (17), who was a baker’s assistant, and Richard John Hale (15). Betsey’s niece Minnie Jessop (23) still lived with them, and also Betsey’s stepsister Emma Jessop (29).

William and Betsey Hale were still there in 1911 with their sons: William (27) was now a baker’s assistant, and Richard (24) was a solicitor’s clerk.

Both their sons were married in 1913:

  • On 13 January 1913 at St Barnabas's Church, Oxford, William Jessop Hale, a baker of 49 Walton Street, married Florence Phoebe Kemp of 1 Cranham Terrace, the daughter of the licensed victualler Frank Kemp;
  • On 5 November 1913 at St Paul’s Churc, Oxford, Richard John Hale married Ivy Una Brenda Daisy Bricknell, a domestic servant of 5 St Margaret’s Road.

William Joseph Hale died in 1928, and was buried in the grave where the mother-in-law he had never met had been buried 74 years earlier:

† William Joseph Hale died at 49 Walton Street at the age of 81 on 24 March 1928 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 29 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

His effects came to £350 10s. 10d.

Betsey was still living at 49 Walton Street when she died in hospital in 1942, and was buried with her mother 88 years after her death and with her husband:

† Mrs Betsey Emma Hale, née Jessop died at the Radcliffe Infirmary at the age of 91 on 13 February 1942 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 17 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

Her effects came to £1,176 and her two sons were her executors.

The other two children of William Joseph Hale and Betsey Emma Hale, née Jessop
  • William Jessop Hale (born 1884) continued to work as a baker, and he and his wife Florence had one child baptised at St Paul’s Church: Ruby Florence Hale (1915). William was a civil servant in 1942. He died in Oxford in 1975.
  • Richard John Hale (born 1886): see the grave of his wife Ivy for more about his family.

Three Jessop graves The three adjoining Jessop graves: unusually, they all face west rather than east



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