Nathaniel PARSONS (1814/15–1866)
His wife Mrs Maria PARSONS, née Harris (1804–1891)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 17, Grave D59
[?IN MEMORY] OF
WHO DIED APRIL 5, 1866
AGED 51 YEARS.
ALSO OF MARIA,
WIFE OF THE ABOVE
WHO DIED FEB. 20, 1891,
IN HER 87TH YEAR
WHOM THE LORD LOVETH
Nathaniel Parsons was born in Steeple Aston, Oxfordshire in 1814/15 and baptised there on 7 January 1815. He was the son of another Nathaniel Parsons, who worked as a labourer, and Sophia Burtt, who were married at Steeple Aston on 30 May 1803. His parents had nine other children baptised at that church: William (1804), Benjamin (1805), a second William (1807), Mildred (1809), John (1812), Richard (1817), Thomas (1819), Daniel (1823), and Mary Ann (1826).
See separate grave in St Sepulchre's Cemetery of his brother Daniel Parsons.
Maria Harris was born in Oxford in 1804 and baptised at St Aldate’s Church on 27 April. She was the daughter of Richard Harris of St Aldate’s and Harriet Lyne, who were married at St Mary-the-Virgin Church in Oxford on 25 June 1799. Her parents had three other children baptised at St Aldate’s church: Harriet (1802), Elizabeth (1806), and George (1808).
On 30 September 1844 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church in Oxford, Nathaniel Parsons, described as a college servant of St Peter-in-the-East parish, married the dressmaker Maria Harris, who was aged 40 (about nine years older than her husband), and whose father Richard was now a grocer. They had two children:
- George Parsons (born at Longwall Street, Oxford in 1845 and baptised at St Peter-in-the-East Church on 17 December)
- Nathaniel Parsons junior (born at Longwall Street, Oxford in 1848 and baptised at St Peter-in-the-East Church on 1 January 1849).
At the time of the 1851 census, Nathaniel Parsons (36), still a college servant, was living in half of 15 Longwall Street (one of the with his wife Maria (44) and their children George (5) and Nathaniel junior (2), plus a 15-year-old servant girl. Given that they lived on New College property (one of the three houses demolished to make way for the Sacher Building), it is likely that Nathaniel worked at New College.
By the time of the 1861 census Nathaniel Parsons (46), described as a former servant, was living at 16 Magpie Lane (then called Grove Street) in the parish of St John the Baptist in Oxford with his wife Maria (57) and their sons George (15) and Nathaniel (12) who were both still at school. Also living with them was their Oxford-born niece Eliza Rebekah Harris (13).
The family had evidently moved to Gloucester Green by the time Nathaniel Parsons died in 1866:
† Nathaniel Parsons died at Gloucester Green at the age of 51 on 5 April 1866 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 11 April (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
His death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal read simply: “April 5, aged 52, Mr. Nathaniel Parsons, Gloucester-green.”
Mrs Maria Parsons and her elder son George are hard to find in the 1871 census. Her younger son Nathaniel was living in Tom Quad, Christ Church as the servant of Richard Jelf, the former Principal of King’s College, London and a Canon of Christ Church, and his wife Emmeline, Countess Slippenbach.
Her elder son George was married in 1874:
- On 1 January 1874 in St Mary Magdalen Church, Oxford, George Parsons, described as a woollen draper, married Hannah Maltby of St Thomas’s parish, the daughter of the tailor Samuel Maltby.
At the time of the 1881 census Maria Parsons, a widow of 70, was living at 33 Gloucester Green and working as a laundress. Another niece, London-born Miss Emma Harris (26), was living with her. Meanwhile her unmarried son Nathaniel (32) lived in the President’s Lodgings at St John’s College, and was butler to James Bellamy.
Her younger son Nathaniel was married in 1881:
- In the second quarter of 1881 in the Medway district, Nathaniel Parsons married Louisa Hyatt.
Maria Parsons died early in 1891:
† Mrs Maria Parsons née Harris died at 33 Gloucester Green at the age of 86 on 20 February 1891 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 24 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
At the time of the census six weeks later, her niece Eliza Harris (46), who was working as a laundress, was still at her house at 33 Gloucester Green.
Children of Nathaniel and Maria Parsons
- George Parsons (born 1846) and his wife Hannah had six children, only three of whom survived. He was working as a woollen draper and living at 43 Walton Crescent in 1881 with his wife and their children Maria Beatrice (7) and Dora (2). They were still there in 1891 with another daughter Mildred Selina (7). By 1911 only Mildred (27), who was a waitress in a restaurant, was at home with them. George and Hannah Parsons both died in Oxford at the age of 78: George in 1924, and Hannah in 1930.
- Nathaniel Parsons junior (born 1848): see separate grave