Joseph PARSONS (c.1810–1859)
St Giles section: Row 7, Grave B43
TO THE MEMORY OF
WHO DIED DEC. XXI
AGED 49 YEARS
Joseph Parsons was born in Chilton, Buckinghamshire in c.1810. He was probably the brother of John Parsons (born in Chilton 1814/15 and also buried in St Sepulchre's Cemetery), and hence the son of the farmer Richard Parsons.
In about 1839 Joseph was appointed a clerk in the Oxford Post Office. This was then situated on the ground floor of 123 High Street, where his probable brother John Parsons ran his draper's shop upstairs.
When this building was destroyed by fire in 1842, the Post Office moved to the south end of the old Town Hall in St Aldate’s Street (right), and Joseph worked there for the rest of his life.
Jane Arthur was born in Garsington in 1812 and baptised there on 12 July. She was the daughter of John Arthur and Jane Frewin (or Fruin), who were married at Toot Baldon on 21 May 1807. Her older brother John Arthur was born in Garsington in 1811. In about 1813 the family moved to Enstone, where her next five siblings were baptised: Michael Frewin Arthur (1814), Richard Frewin Arthur (1815), Nathaniel Arthur (1819), Eleanor (1820), and William S. T. Arthur (1823). In 1841 Jane was at home in Enstone with her parents and her brother Nathaniel and sister Eleanor at the Talbot Inn in Enstone, where her father was innkeeper.
On 3 October 1843 at St Peter-le-Bailey Church, Oxford, Joseph Parsons, described as a clerk in the Post Office living at 7 Jews Mount, married Jane Arthur of 2 Jews Mount. They do not appear to have had any children.
At the time of the 1851 census Joseph Parsons (40), described as a Post Office clerk, was living at Observatory Street with his wife Jane (38), and a college servant occupied another part of the same house.
Joseph Parsons died in 1859:
† Joseph Parsons died at Observatory Street at the age of 49 on 21 December 1859 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles's Church). The register says he was buried on the same day that he died, but this is very unlikely.
His death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal read: “Dec. 21, in Observatory-street, Mr. Joseph Parsons, aged 49, for 20 years a clerk in the Post Office of this city.”
Jane, the wife of Joseph Parsons, after his death
On 9 February 1867 at St Peter-in-the-East Church, Oxford, Jane Parsons married her second husband the widower Edmund Arthur, who was described as a publican and farmer: they were both then living in that parish. Thus Jane once again had the surname with which she was born. Her husband, who was born in Marsh Baldon and baptised there on 18 March 1821, , was the son of the carrier Thomas Arthur and his wife Susanna, and is likely to have been a relation.
At the time of the 1871 census Mrs Jane Arthur (56) was living at the Lamb & Flag Inn at Marsh Baldon with her husband Edmund Arthur (50) and his two children by his first wife, William (11) and Henry (9), who were both born in Oxford.
Her second husband Edmund Parsons died at the age of 57 in 1878, and in 1881 Jane (67) was living at Hinton Waldrist with a boarder. She died in the Faringdon district at the age of 69 near the beginning of 1882 and was probably buried with her second husband.