William Reuben PHILLIPS (1834–1907)
His wife Mrs Martha PHILLIPS, née Welford (1840–1901)
St Paul section: Row 4, Grave A5
WILLIAM REUBEN PHILLIPS
WHO DIED MAY 8, 1907
AGED 72 YEARS.
ALSO OF MARTHA HIS WIFE
WHO DIED NOV. 23, 1901,
AGED 62 YEARS.
THE NIGHT IS FAR SPENT,
THE DAY IS AT HAND
William Reuben Phillips was born in Old Woodstock in 1834 and baptised at Wootton Church on 30 November. He was the son of the carpenter William Phillips (born in Woodstock) and his wife Mary (born in South Newington near Bloxham). (They may be the William Phillips of Wootton and the Mary Smith of Kiddington who were married at Kiddington on 7 November 1825.) William Reuben Phillips had two older siblings baptised at Wootton: Elizabeth in 1829, and James in 1831.
By 1840 the family had moved to Oxford. They were living in Observatory Street when their sons Joseph and Albert Edward were baptised at St Paul's Church in 1840 and 1842, and in Ward's Fields when their son George was baptised at that church in 1845. Baby Joseph died in April 1841. By the time of the 1851 census William Reuben Phillips (16) was living at Nelson Street with his father William (52), his mother Mary (46), and his brothers James (19), John (14), Albert (9), and George (6). William became a carpenter, and was living at Nelson Street at the time of his marriage in 1862.
Martha Welford was born at Westcott in Buckinghamshire in 1840 and baptised at Waddesdon on 5 April. She was the daughter of Joseph Welford and Susannah Bates, who were married at Ashenden, Buckinghamshire on 20 November 1823. Her father was originally a shoemaker. By 1851 Martha Welford had moved with her parents to Launton. Around the middle of the 1850s her father moved with his family to Oxford and became a coal dealer. At the time of the 1861 census Martha (22) was a laundress, living with her parents and her younger brother Edwin at 73 Cardigan Street. For more information about Martha Welford’s parents and her maternal grandmother, see their separate grave.
On 8 July 1862 at St Paul's Church, Oxford, William Reuben Phillips married Martha Welford, and they had the following children:
- George Albert Phillips (born at Wellington Street, Oxford in 1866 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 10 June)
- Charlotte Phillips TWIN (born at Cardigan Street, Oxford in 1868 and privately baptised by St Paul's Church on 2 November)
- Ellen Phillips TWIN (born at Cardigan Street, Oxford in 1868 and privately baptised by St Paul's Church on 2 November)
- William Reuben James Phillips (born at 46 Cardigan Street, Oxford on 2 April 1874 and baptised at St Barnabas's Church on 24 May)
- Florence Margaret Mary Phillips (born at 46 Cardigan Street, Oxford on 20 March 1879 and baptised at St Barnabas's Church on 30 March)
- Alexander Ernest Phillips (born at 46 Cardigan Street, Oxford on 28 November 1881 and baptised at St Barnabas's Church in 1 January 1882)
William and Martha Phillips appear to have started their married life in Wellington Street, moving to Cardigan Street by 1868. The following year the Jericho area was transferred from the St Paul's district chapelry to the new parish of St Barnabas, but initially they continued to have their children baptised at St Paul's Church.
At the time of the 1871 census William (36) and Martha (32) were living at 46 Cardigan Street in Jericho with their children George (4) and twins Charlotte and Ellen (2). William was a carpenter, Martha was a laundress, and the 14-year-old servant girl who lived with them doubtless looked after the children.
They were at the same address in 1881 with George (15), who was a carpenter's apprentice, the twins (13), and two more children: William Reuben junior (7) and Florence (2). They had a lady lodger and a 15-year-old servant girl, and Martha appears to have given up being a laundress.
In 1891 their address was given as 76 Cardigan Street. William (56) was now described as being an invalid carpenter, and Martha (52) as having no occupation: they now had three lodgers and no servants. Four of their children were at home with them: Lottie (22), who was a general servant, and her twin Nellie, who had no occupation; and Florence (12) and Alexander Ernest (9), who were at school.
Their two elder sons were married in the 1890s:
- On 25 January 1893 at St Aldate's Church, Oxford, George Albert Phillips (26), described as a joiner of 2 Speedwell Street, married Harriet Alice Lambourne of the same address, the daughter of the servant Samuel Lambourne.
- On 21 November 1899 in Warminster, Somerset, William Reuben Phillips married Ada Taylor.
The Phillips family was still living at 76 Cardigan Street in 1901 and William (66) was back at work again as a carpenter. Three of their children were at home: Ellen (32); Florence (21), who was a draper's assistant; and Alexander Ernest (20), who was a carpenter. Part of the house was now a separate dwelling where another lady lived on her own. Their other daughter Charlotte (32) was living at 10 Chalfont Road, where she was cook to the widow Mrs Florence Coker and her children.
The Phillips family appear to have moved to 76 Southmoor Road later in 1901, as that was given as the address of Mrs Martha Phillips when she died there in November that year:
† Mrs Martha Phillips née Welford died at 76 Southmoor Road at the age of 62 on 23 November 1901 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 28 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul's Church).
It is unclear why she was buried in the St Paul's section of the cemetery, as Southmoor Road was in the new parish of St Margaret which had been carved out of the parish of St Giles: it is possible that they had reserved their plot while they were living in Jericho.
Her husband William died at a different address in Southmoor Road in 1907:
† William Reuben Phillips died at 47 Southmoor Road at the age of 72 on 8 May 1907 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 13 May (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul's Church).
His effects came to £953 2s., and his executors were the coal merchant Edwin Charles Welford (his wife's nephew) and the art dealer William Emmanuel Richards.
His youngest son was married in 1909:
- On 27 October 1909 at St Mary's Church, Launton, Alexander Ernest Phillips (27), described as a joiner of Ss Philip & James's parish in Oxford, married Ellen Emily Hazell (27) of Launton, the daughter of the butcher John Edward Hazell.