James OWEN (1853–1928)
His wife Mrs Clara OWEN, née Blissett (1858/9–1905)
St Paul (St Barnabas) section: Row 18, Grave E18

James Owen



wife of JAMES OWEN



DIED MAY 6TH, 1928




James Owen was born at Thames Street, Abingdon (then in Berkshire) on 12 November 1853 and baptised with his twin brother Thomas at St Helen’s Church on 18 December. They were the sons of William Owen, a grocer’s porter, and Martha Pearce, who were married at St Helen’s Church in Abingdon on 28 October 1839. They also had the following children baptised there: William (1840, died), William (1842, died), Mary Jane (1844), Ann Maria (1845), William (1849, and George Henry (1858).

At the time of the 1861 census James (7) was at home with his parents and five of his siblings at Thames Street, Abingdon: his father described himself as a carter, and his mother as a washerwoman. By 1871 James (18) had left home and was a journeyman baker, living as the servant of the baker George Darvill at Sutton Wick, Berkshire.

Clara Blissett was born in Harwell, Berkshire in 1858/9, the daughter of the agricultural labourer Henry Blissett (born in Harwell in c.1811) and his wife Anne (born in Oxford in c.1821). At the time of the 1861 census Clara (2) was living at Harwell with her parents Henry (49) and Ann (39), and her older sisters Emily (11) and Elizabeth (4). By 1871 Clara’s mother Ann, now a widow and working as a dressmaker, was living in Harwell with Clara (12) and James (9), and her grandson Henry Armer (2).

In Oxford in 1874 (reg. first quarter), James Owen married Clara Blissett, who had only just had her fifteenth birthday but was due to give birth imminently. They had the following children:

  • Emma Elizabeth Owen (born at Harwell on 14 March 1874 and baptised late at Cowley St John Church at the same time as her brother Henry on 28 March 1876)
  • Henry Robert Owen (born in Oxford in 1875 and baptised at Cowley St John Church on 28 March 1876)
  • James Lindars Owen (born in Radcliffe Row, Oxford in 1878 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 8 September)
  • Clara Elizabeth Owen (born in Oxford in on 25 October 1884 and baptised at St Barnabas’s Church on 1 January 1885)
  • Gertrude Beatrice Owen (born in Oxford on 10 March 1887 and baptised at St Barnabas’s Church on 3 April).

By 1876 James Owen was a working as a baker in east Oxford.

By the time of the 1881 census James Owen (27), who was a still a baker, was living in Radcliffe Row, which was to the west of the Woodstock Road in St Giles (beyond Cock's Row which started on the south side of the Oratory) and emerged between 119 and 120 Walton Street. With him was his wife Clara (22), who was a laundress, and their children Henry (5) and James (2) Their eldest daughter Emma (7) spent census night at 1 Circus Street in east Oxford with her uncle and aunt, Henry and Emma Griffin.

They had the same occupations in 1891, when they were living in Wellington Street with their last four children; their eldest, Emma, is hard to find.

Two of their children were married in the 1890s:

  • On 20 December 1894 at St Clement’s Church, Oxford, Emma Elizabeth Owen (20), who was living at 22 Rectory Road, married Walter Percy Wyatt (25), a college servant of 31 Cowley Road;
  • On 2 March 1899 at All Saints Church, South Lambeth, London, Henry Robert Owen (23), described as a police officer of Christ Church parish in Clapham, married Mary Emma Dawson Ure (22) of 194 Wandsworth Road, the daughter of the iron moulder James Ure.

They were still living at Wellington Street (with the address specified as No. 78) in 1911: James continued to work as a baker, while Clara was now working as a laundress. The only one of their children still living with them was Gertrude (14); and their other unmarried daughter, Clara (18) was a housemaid at St Gabriel’s Training College in Lambeth.

Their daughter Gertrude was married in 1904:

  • On 8 August 1904 at St Barnabas’s Church, Oxford, Gertrude Beatrice Owen (19) married the farrier Arnold Richard Wimbold Burgess (23).

Mrs Clara Owen died in 1905:

† Mrs Clara Owen née Blissett died at Wellington Street at the age of 46 on 16 April 1905 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 20 April (burial recorded in the parish register of St Barnabas’s Church).

Her son James Lindars Owen died at Berwick on Tweed at the age of 28 in 1907.

In 1911 James Owen senior (57) was living at 28 Wellington Street, looked after by his unmarried daughter Clara (26). He was still working as a journeyman baker.

James Owen died at Headington Workhouse (then euphemistically known as HIll House) 1928:

† James Owen died at Hill House, Headington at the age of 74 on 6 May 1928 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 9 May (burial recorded in the parish register of St Barnabas’s Church).

Children of James and Clara Owen
  • Emma Elizabeth Owen, Mrs Walter Wyatt (born 1874) had three children: Henry Guy Wyatt (1895), Doris Lydia Wyatt (1903), and Amy Irene Wyatt (1905). At the time of the 1901 census Emma (27) was living at 76 Warwick Street in east Oxford with her husband Walter (31), who was a college servant, and their eldest child. In 1911 they were at 81 Warwick Street, and Walter was now a storekeeper at Balliol College and Henry (15) was an assistant in the municipal library. Mrs Emma Wyatt died in Oxford on 20 September 1939 at the age of 65.
  • Henry Robert Owen (born 1875) was a police constable at the time of the 1911 census, living at 6 Gladstone Road, Westminster with his wife Mary and their children Winifred (11), Cyril (8), Harold (5), Irene (2), and Ronald (four months). Henry Robert Own appears to have died at Windsor at the age of 43 on 2 February 1919.
  • Clara Elizabeth Owen (born 1884) may be the Clara E. Owen of the right age who died in Bristol in 1954.
  • Gertrude Beatrice Owen, Mrs Arnold Burgess (born 1887) had five children: Florence Gertrude Burgess (1904/5), Violet Mary Gertrude (1906), Violet Mary Burgee (born 1908), Arnold J. Burgess (1910) and Aubrey R. Burgess (1915). She and her husband Arnold, who was still working as a farrier, were living at 16 Jericho Street in 1911 with their first four children. Mrs Gertrude Burgess died in Oxford at the age of 50 in 1937.



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