William LUFF junior (1845–1897)
His wife Rosa Ellen LUFF née Harris (1848–1883)
St Giles section: Row 20, Grave 25½

William Luff






[Right-hand side]
SEP 29 1897


For more on background of William Luff junior, see the separate grave of his parents William Luff senior and Prudence

William Luff junior was born at 24 Cornmarket Street, Oxford in 1845, the only son of William Luff senior, who was a master chemist and druggist, and Prudence Harris, who were married at St Peter-in-the-East Church, Oxford on 6 July 1842. At the time of the 1851 census William (5) was living at 24 Cornmarket Street in St Michael's parish with his parents and his sisters Prudence (7), Mary (6), and Ann (1).

In 1861 there was another sister, Elizabeth (10), and William (15) was still at school.

On 11 May 1869 William Luff junior passed his examination at Apothecaries’ Hall and received a certificate as assistant in compounding and dispensing medicines. He was admitted free on 24 September 1869 and continued to work as an assistant chemist to his father. He was still living at home with his parents and two of his sisters at the time of the 1871 census, when he was 25.

Rosa Ellen Harris was born in Oxford in 1848 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 4 October. She was the daughter of John Harris, a servant at Lincoln College, and his wife Rose. At the time of the 1851 census when she was two years old she was living at New College Lane with her parents, who had a 15-year-old servant girl of their own.

By 1861 her father was the Lincoln College butler, and was living at 19 Walton Street with a new wife Jane and Rosa and her half-brother Frank (3) and his sister Mrs Elizabeth Seckham.

The family of four was still at Walton Street in 1871, and Rosa’s father now described himself as a wine merchant; but at her marriage three years later he was said to be the Common Room man at Lincoln College, and must have been highly esteemed, as the Rector of the College went over to Walton Street to conduct the service.

On 31 December 1874 at St Paul's Church, Oxford, William Luff junior (25), described as a chemist of 2 Walton Crescent, married Rosa Ellen Harris (26) of Walton Street. The following announcement appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 2 January 1875:

Dec. 31, at St. Paul’s Church, by the Rev. Mark Pattison, Rector of Lincoln College, assisted by the Rev. W. B. Duggan, Vicar of St. Paul’s, William, only son of Mr. William Luff, Corn Market-street, to Rosa Ellen, only daughter of Mr. John Harris, Common Room Man, Lincoln College.

They do not appear to have had any children. As William Luff senior continued to live over the shop at 24 Cornmarket Street until at least 1891, William Luff junior and his wife Rosa lived elsewhere. At the time of the 1881 census they were at 38 St John Street with their 14-year-old servant girl.

Luff’s wife died two and a half years later:

† Mrs Rosa Ellen Luff, née Harris died at 38 St John Street at the age of 35 on 30 October 1883 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 3 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

The announcement in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 3 November 1883 read simply: “Oct. 30, at 38 St John-street, Oxford, Rosa Ellen, wife of Mr. William Luff, jun., aged 35.”

By the time of the 1891 census William Luff was living with his widowed mother-in-law Jane Harris: she lived nearby at 28 St John Street. Also living with her was her son Frank Harris (33), a commercial traveller whose wife had also died, and his son John (6).

William Luff junior outlived his father, who died on 19 November 1893, by less than four years. He died in the house of his sister, Mrs Annie Woodford:

† William Luff died at 41 Bartlemas Road, Oxford at the age of 52 on 29 September 1897 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 1 October (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

Luff's shop at 24 Cornmarket Street


Left: Detail from a postcard of around 1905 showing 24 Cornmarket Street (on the right of the pair) with the words LUFF CHEMIST over the door. Presumably the photograph from which the postcard was made was at least seven years old, as Luff had died in 1897.

A Canadian chemist called Clarence P. A. Morrison had taken over the shop by 1899, and in 1901 it was taken over again by the Capital & Counties Bank, and Morrison had moved his shop to Newcastle-under-Lyme.

This shop and No. 25 to the left were demolished in 1911 and rebuilt for the Capital & Counties Bank. That building is now Burger King.



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