Henry Cornelius KEMPSTER (1827–1910)
His wife Mrs Hannah Rebecca KEMPSTER, née Finmore (1828–1909)
Their daughter Miss Fanny MARIA KEMPSTER (1850–1871)
Plus a mention of their son Horace William KEMPSTER (1858–1879)
St Paul section: Row 16, Grave 15½ (St Paul ref N13)


[I H S symbol]

Loving Memory of
WHO DIED JAN 5, 1871


MAY 12, 1879
AGED 21 years



WHO DIED DEC. 9, 1909


WHO DIED FEB. 6, 1910


Henry Cornelius Kempster was born at Hollybush Row, Oxford in 1827 and baptised at St Thomas's Church on 30 December. He was the son of the tailor Cornelius Kempster and Anne Turner, who were both of St Ebbe's but were married at Warborough Church on 3 September 1816. His three eldest siblings were baptised at St Ebbe's Church: William (1817), John Moses (1819), and Mary (1821); the rest were all baptised at St Thomas's Church: Anne (1823), Sarah (1825), Stephen (1830), and Joseph (1832). Henry's father Cornelius Kempster died at the age of 42 and was buried in St Thomas's churchyard on 18 December 1833.

Hannah Rebecca Finmore was born in Oxford in 1828 and baptised at St Ebbe's Church (with her forenames reversed) on 10 August. She was the daughter of the cabinet maker James Best Finmore and his Maria Hayes, who were married at St Helen's Church in Abingdon on 19 October 1815. Hannah's brother Thomas was baptised at St Aldate's Church in 1816, and her sister Marianne at St Thomas's Church in 1818. The next three siblings were baptised at St Aldate's again: Elizabeth (Betsey) in 1820, Maria in 1822, Edward William in 1824, Emma in 1826, and Hannah herself in 1828. Her next two brothers were baptised at St Thomas's Church again: James in 1830, and William Thomas in 1833. By the time her youngest sister Clara was baptised at St Giles's Church on 1 March 1835, the family was living at St Bernard's Road (then called St John's Road). At the time of the 1841 census Hannah's mother Maria (51) was working as a laundress and living at St Bernard's Road with her children Betsey (20), Maria (19), [Hannah] Rebecca herself (14). James (11), Thomas (8), and Clara (6). Hannah's father James Best Finmore died in St Giles's parish at the age of 52, with his burial on 19 May 1841 recorded by St Aldate's Church.

On 25 December 1849 at St Paul's Church, Oxford, Henry Cornelius Kempster married Hannah Rebecca Finmore: both were then living in Clarendon Place. They had the following children:

  • Fanny Maria Kempster (born at Clarendon Place, Oxford in 1850 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 25 December)
  • Frank George Kempster (born at Observatory Street, Oxford in 1853 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 30 October)
  • Ellen Teresa Kempster, sometimes recorded as Helen (born at Upper Walton Place (now Walton Street), Oxford in 1856 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 13 July)
  • Horace William Kempster (born at Walton Terrace, Oxford in 1858 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 3 October)
  • Jessie Clara Kempster (born at Walton Street, Oxford in 1860 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 18 March)
  • John Henry Kempster (born at Walton Street, Oxford in 1868 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 24 May).

At the time of the 1851 census Henry (23) was a journeyman tailor, living with his wife [Hannah] Rebecca (22) and their first child Fanny (three months) at 1 Clarendon Place in the home of Hannah's mother Maria (61), who was still working as a laundress. Three of Hannah's siblings were still living there with their mother: Maria (28) and Clara (16), who helped their mother with the laundry, and William (18), who was a tailor's apprentice.

They appear to have moved to Observatory Street by 1853, and then to Walton Street by 1856.

By 1861 Henry was an established tailor, living in his own home at 54 Walton Street in St Paul's parish with his wife and four of their children, Frank (7), Helen (4), Horace (2), and Jessie (1), plus their servant. Their eldest child Fanny Maria (10) was paying a visit to her grandmother Mrs Finmore (71), who was still working as a laundress, at her home nearby in 37 Walton Street.

In an 1864 directory, Henry Cornelius Kempster was listed as a beer retailer in Walton Street. (His beer shop at No. 54 later became known as the Prince of Wales public house.)

Their youngest child John was born in 1868.

Their daughter Fanny appears to have been staying in Cranham Street when she died near the beginning of 1871:

† Miss Fanny Maria Kempster died at Cranham Street at the age of 20 on 5 January 1871 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 8 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul's Church).

The Kempsters had moved to 91 Walton Street (next door to the Victoria public house) by the beginning of 1871, as they were described as occupying this house in February that year when their landlord put it up for sale:

A convenient RESIDENCE, being No. 91, Upper Walton-street; containing two rooms and wash-house on the ground floor; three bed rooms on the one-pair floor; and two cellars in the basement; with a large enclosed garden, well stocked with fruit trees, the whole now in the occupation of Mr. Kempster, at a Rental of £16 per annum.

At the 1871 census Henry was working as a tailor again, and he and Hannah were living at 91 Walton Street with their five surviving children: Frank (17), who was a tailor's apprentice; Helen (14), who was a pupil teacher; and Horace (12), Jessie (11), and John (2).

Their eldest son Frank was married in 1878:

  • On 24 April 1878 at St Paul's Church, Oxford, Frank George Kempster (24), a tailor of 96 Walton Street, married Alice Jane Hudson (22) of 3 Worcester Place, the daughter of the cab driver William Hudson.

Their son Horace William Kempster died in Afghanistan at the age of 21 on 12 May 1879 and his name was added to his sister's gravestone. He was presumably fighting in the Second Anglo-Afghan War.

By the time of the 1881 census Henry (53) and Hannah (52) were living at 33 St John Street in St Giles's parish with their three surviving unmarried children: Ellen (24), who was a dressmaker; Jessie (21), who was a milliner; and John (12), who was at school.

Their two daughters were married before the next census:

  • On 30 October 1883 at St Paul's Church, Oxford, Helen [Ellen] Theresa Kempster (27) of Richmond Road (then called Worcester Terrace) married William Robert Banting (28), a riding master in the 1st Royal Dragoons: he was from Newbridge, County Kildare, and was the son of Henry Banting, a deceased decorator;
  • On 2 August 1890 at St Giles's Church, Oxford, Jessie Clara Kempster of Wellington Square married Herbert Belcher, an upholsterer of Hastings and the son of the farmer Noah Belcher.

By 1891 Henry and Hannah had moved to 33 Wellington Square. Their son John (22), who is described as a musician, was still at home with them, and they had a 14-year-old servant girl.

Their youngest son John was married in 1894:

  • On 14 August 1894 at Kidlington Church, John Henry Kempster married Edith Sarah Bracknell (born in Bletchingdon), and there was a full report of the wedding published in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 18 August.

At the time of the 1901 census, Henry (78) was still working as a tailor, living at 31 Wellington Square with his wife Hannah. They employed a 14-year-old servant girl, and their youngest son John and his wife were living with them.

Mrs Kempster died at that address in 1909:

† Mrs Hannah Rebecca Kempster née Finmore died at 31 Wellington Square at the age of 81 on 9 December 1909 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 11 December (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul's Church).

Her effects came to £246 15s., and her executor was her son John Henry Kempster, described as a teacher of music.

Her husband Henry died the following year:

† Henry Cornelius Kempster died at 31 Wellington Square at the age of 83 on 6 September 1910 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 9 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul's Church).

Surviving children of Henry and Helen Kempster
  • Frank George Kempster (born 1853) was a tailor. In 1881 he was living at 3 Worcester Place with his wife Alice and their children Helen (2) and Alice (seven months), plus a boarder. By 1891 they were living at 22 Wellington Street in Jericho. and there were two more children: Horace (7) and William (one month). By 1901 they had moved to Brown Lane, Woodstock, and only their youngest child Margaret (4) was at home. In 1911 Frank (61), described as a former tailor, was an inmate of Hensington Workhouse, while his wife Alice (55) was living up in Fallowfield, Manchester: she was the head of the household, and her daughter Mrs Alice Clewley plus her husband and children were living with her. Frank George Kempster died in the Woodstock area (probably at the workhouse) near the end of 1912.
  • Ellen Teresa Kempster, Mrs Banting, later known as Helen (born 1856) was living in a Cavalry & Artillery Barracks in Essex in 1891 with her husband William Robert Banting, who was described as a soldier & riding master, and their children Robert (6), Irene (5), Helen (3), Harold (2), and Owen (1), plus their cook. In 1901 they were at York Cavalry Barracks. She is probably the Helen T. Banting who died in Exeter at the age of 54 in 1910.
  • Jessie Clara Kempster, Mrs Belcher (born 1860) was living at 8 Park Road, Hastings in 1891 with her new husband Herbert Belcher, who was a fruiterer's buyer. In 1901 they were lodging at 21–24 Montpelier Road, Hastings: Herbert was now a creamery proprietor, and they had two children: Violet Jessie Belcher (9) and Lionel Herbert Belcher (7). In 1911 they were living at 13 Clifton Place, Brighton: Herbert still had a creamery, but neither of the children had an occupation. Mrs Jessie Clara Belcher died in Oxford at the age of 84 in 1944.
  • John Henry Kempster (born 1868), who was a musician, and his wife Edith had no children. They were still living with his parents at 31 Wellington Square in 1901. In 1911 they were living at Little Clarendon Street. John Henry Kempster died at the age of 52 in 1922.



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