John PARRETT (1805/6–1864)
His wife Mrs Harriet PARRETT, née Smith (1799–1863)
St Giles section: Row 8, Grave B28
TO THE MEMORY OF
WHO DIED JAN. 16, 1864
AGED 58 YEARS.
HARRIET HIS WIFE
WHO DIED OCT. 9 1863
AGED 65 YEARS.
Blessed are the Dead
which die in the Lord
Although John Parrett died three months after his wife Harriet, her headstone would not then have been erected: so both names were presumably carved at the same time, with his at the top
John Parrett (or Parrott) was born in Launton, Oxfordshire in 1805/6 and baptised there on 12 January 1806. He was the son of the carpenter John Parrett senior of Launton and Elizabeth Hickman, who were married at Ambrosden on 27 December 1799. His six siblings were also baptised at Launton: Henry (1800), Hannah (1802), Edward (1808), William (1812), George (1814), and Jane (1817).
Harriet Smith was born in Stanton Fitzwarren near Swindon, Wiltshire in c.1799. It is a very common name, but it seems likely that she was the Harriet Smith, daughter of John Smith and Ann Price, who was born at Stanton Fitzwarren on 24 November 1799.
On 29 July 1834 St Michael’s Church in Oxford, John Parrett married Harriet Smith. and they had the following children:
- John Parrett (born at Observatory Street in 1836 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 22 November)
- Mary Parrett (born at Observatory Street in 1837, died aged two days and buried at St Giles’s Church on 12 May)
- George Parrett (born in Oxford in 1838 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 13 April); probably the baby surnamed Parrett who died at Observatory Street aged 15 days and buried at St Giles’s Church on 24 April 1838
At the time of the 1841 census John Parrett, who was a carpenter, was living in Observatory Street with his wife Harriet and their only surviving child, four-year-old John.
By 1846 they were living at 4 St Giles’s Street in St Mary Magdalen parish, above the solicitor firm of Baker Morrell & Son. (This building was one of the three that formed the Dolphin Inn, demolished to make way for St John’s Dolphin quadrangle.) John Parrett was now listed in directories as a college servant as well as a carpenter.
The 1851 census shows John (46) and Harriet (50) living at 4 St Giles’s Street with their son John (15), who was an apprentice cabinet maker, and a lodger.
John and Harriet were there alone in 1861, but it appears they moved to St Bernard’s Road (then called St John’s Road) soon afterwards, as Harriet died there in 1863:
† Mrs Harriet Parrett née Smith died at St Bernard’s Road at the age of 63 on 9 October 1863 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 13 October (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
John Parrett appears to have moved to Observatory Street after his wife’s death, as he died there just three months later:
† John Parrett died at Observatory Street at the age of 58 on 16 January 1864 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 21 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
The only son of John and Harriet Parrett
- John Parrett junior (born 1836) is hard to find in the 1861 and 1871 census. In 1881 when he was aged 44 he was described as married but was boarding without his wife at 46 Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge, Kent and still working as a cabinet maker. He is also hard to locate in the 1891, 1901, and 1911 censuses.