Mary Kent ROBERTS (1813–1878)
Her younger brother John ROBERTS (c.1816–1873)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 15, Grave D68

John Roberts






WHO DIED MAY 31 1878



Mary Kent Roberts and her younger brother John Roberts were born at Fyfield Wick in Berkshire in 1813 and c.1816 respectively. They were the children of William Roberts (born at East Wretham, Thetford, Norfolk in 1788) and Mary Nalder (born in Northmoor in 1787).

Their parents were married at Northmoor Church on 7 December 1809, and had at least four children: James Roberts (baptised at Northmoor in 1811); Mary Kent Roberts (baptised at Northmoor in 1813); John Roberts (born c.1816); and Fanny Harper Roberts (baptised at Fyfield Wick in 1829). Their father was a farmer.

Neither Mary Kent Roberts nor her brother John Roberts married, and they ended up living together in Oxford.

Mary Kent Roberts

Mary Kent Roberts was baptised at Northmoor Church on 3 November 1811 and was named after her maternal grandmother Mary Kent. At the time of the 1851 census Mary (aged 40 and correctly recorded as having been born at Fyfield Wick) was working as a children’s nanny with the family of the Vicar of Asthall, who lived at Wood Green, Witney. She is hard to locate in 1861.

John Roberts

John Roberts was born in about 1816 but was not baptised at Northmoor. In 1851 John (34) was the clerk of a tea dealer, living in his home at 14 Ashchurch Lane, Ashchurch, Middlesex. By the time of the 1861 census he was living in Oxford at 10 West Street, Osney and working as a tea dealer and commission agent. Living with him were his sister Miss Fanny Harper Roberts (31), who was described as a house manager, and his mother Mrs Mary Roberts (74), described as a farmer’s widow.

Mary and John together

By the time of the 1871 census Miss Mary Kent Roberts (58) had moved to 10 West Street in Osney to act as housekeeper to her younger brother John (54), who was now described as a retired grocer. (Mary is described in this census as having been born in East Wretham, the village in Norfolk from which her father came; but elsewhere she is described as having been born at Fyfield Wick.)

John died later that same year:

† John Roberts died at West Street, Osney at the age of 57 on 1 December 1873 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 5 December (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

His death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal read: “Dec. 1, at Osney Town, Oxford, aged 57, John Roberts, son of the late William Roberts of Fyfield Wick, Berks, and nephew of the late John Nalder, of Northmoor, Oxon.”

His effects came to under £1,000, and probate was granted to his brother David Roberts, who lived in Ealing. John was described as a gentleman at the time of his death.

His sister Mary died in 1878:

† Miss Mary Kent Roberts died at Osney at the age of 66 on 31 May 1878 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 3 June (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

It is uncertain why they were buried in the St Mary Magdalen section of St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, as they lived in St Frideswide’s parish and so would normally have been buried in Osney Cemetery. Their sister Fanny Harper Roberts (62) was paying a visit to Mrs Margaret Davis at 2 Worcester Place in 1891, indicating that their may have been some connection with the area.



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