Mrs Isabella Rebekah KIDD née Savery (1774–1863)
Her sister Miss Avarilla Susannah
Her third daughter Miss Frances Sarah KIDD (1812–1871)
St Giles section: Row 21, Grave F42
TO THE MEMORY OF
ISABELLA REBEKAH KIDD
WIDOW OF THE LATE JOHN KIDD M.D.
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE
IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD
ALSO OF HER SISTER
AVARILLA SUSANNAH SAVERY
BORN MARCH VII
DIED ON THE LAST DAY OF DECEMBER
FRANCES SARAH KIDD
THIRD DAUGHTER OF THE ABOVE
WHO DIED ON THE
XXIX OF SEPTEMBER MDCCCLXXI
AGED LIX YEARS
Dr John Kidd, whose wife and four daughters are buried in two graves in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, is not buried here. For full information about him, see the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. He also has a short entry in Wikipedia.
Isabella Rebekah (or Rebecca) Savery was born in Ashburton, Devon in 1774, and her sister Avarilla Susannah Savery on 7 March 1777. They were the daughters of the Revd Sewington Savery (1750–1818) and his wife Isabella Rebecca Naylor (born 1754),
The family was living at St Thomas’s, Southwark when on 13 January 1805 Isabella Rebecca Savery married John Kidd. Kidd, who was born in Westminster in 1775 and came up to Christ Church in 1793, had then studied medicine at Guy’s Hospital, London. He came to Oxford in 1801 and obtained his B.M., and in 1803 was appointed the first Aldrichian Professor of Chemistry there; in that year was also a captain of the Oxford Loyal Volunteers.
Kidd brought his wife Isabella back to Oxford, where they had four daughters:
- Isabella Rebecca Kidd (born in Oxford in 1806 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 13 June)
- Beatrice Kidd (born in Oxford in 1807 and baptised privately on 18 October, probably soon after her birth, and again at St Mary Magdalen Church on 15 February 1808)
- Frances Sarah Kidd (born in Oxford on 3 June 1812 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 13 September)
- Susan Kidd (born at Broad Street, Oxford on 18 December 1814 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 1 February 1815).
When William Tuckwell (born 1829) refers in his Reminiscences of Oxford to Kidd’s “two droll little daughters, something like himself”: he was probably referring to the younger pair, Frances and Susan.
John Kidd was elected Physician to the Radcliffe Infirmary in 1808. He was evidently living at Broad Street with his family when his youngest daughter was baptised in 1815, and G. V. Cox says in Reminiscences of Oxford that they lived up until that year in the basement of the Old Ashmolean Museum (now the Museum of the History of Science).
Kidd was appointed Lee’s Reader of Anatomy in 1816 and Regius Professor of Medicine in 1822. He resigned as Physician to the Radcliffe Infirmary on 8 March 1826.
Pigot’s 1830 Directory lists John Kidd as a physician in Cornmarket Street, most of which was in the parish of St Michael-at-the-Northgate. His second daughter Beatrice was married from that address in 1836:
- On 1 July 1836 at St Michael's Church, Beatrice Kidd married John Wilson, the Rector of Holwell in Dorset, who was eighteen years her senior.
In 1834 John Kidd was also appointed Radcliffe Librarian.
At the time of the 1841 census John and Isabella Kidd were still living in Cornmarket (listed immediately after the Star Hotel) with their two unmarried daughters, Frances and Susan, as well as Beatrice and her husband, and five servants.
By the time of the 1851 census, John Kidd had bought 37 St Giles’s Street (left), where members of his family were to live for over forty years.
John Kidd (75) was described in that census as an “M.D. University, not practising” living here with his wife Isabella (76) and their two youngest daughters Frances (38) and Susan (36). Isabella’s sister Miss Avarilla Susannah Savery (73) was also living with them, and they had three servants.
Meanwhile their married daughter Beatrice (43) and her husband the Revd John Wilson (61) were living at the Rectory House in Holwell, Dorset in 1851 with the other missing sister, Isabella (45). They had three servants: a footman, housemaid, and cook.
Five months after that census, on 17 September 1851, John Kidd died at the age of 76. He was buried in St Giles’s churchyard on 22 September. His family is not mentioned on his gravestone there (right), which reads:
TO THE MEMORY OF
JOHN KIDD M.D.
REGIUS PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE
AND RADCLIFFE LIBRARIAN
IN THIS UNIVERSITY
WHO DIED SEP. XVII. MDCCCLI
His will was proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PROB 11/2140/422).
Mrs Kidd’s sister died in 1856, and was the first member of the family to be buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery:
† Miss Avarilla Susannah Savery died at 37 St Giles’ Street at the age of 78 in December 1856 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 3 January 1857 (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
John Wilson, the husband of Mrs Kidd’s daughter Beatrice, died in Dorset in the third quarter of 1857, and Beatrice came back to live with her mother and three unmarried sisters at 37 St Giles’s Street, where they can be seen in the 1861 census with three servants.
Two years later, Mrs Kidd herself died:
† Mrs Isabella Rebecca Kidd née Savery died at 37 St Giles’s Street at the age of 88 on 28 April 1863 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 5 May (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
Her death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal read: “April 28, at her residence, No. 37, St. Giles's, aged 88, Isabella Rebekah [sic], widow of John Kidd, Esq., M.D., Regius Professor of Medicine in this University.”
Her effects only came to nearly £600, because Kidd appears to have left the bulk of his money to his daughters.
At the time of the 1871 census, all four sisters were living at 37 St Giles Street, with the widowed sister Beatrice described as a partial imbecile. They had three servants plus a nurse, who probably looked after Beatrice.
The third daughter of John and Isabella Kidd died later that year, and was buried in the grave of her mother and aunt:
† Miss Frances Sarah Kidd died at 37 St Giles’s Street at the age of 59 on 29 September 1871 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 6 October (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
Frances’s effects came to nearly £5,000.