Mrs Sarah ROBERTS, née Savory (1821–1879)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 15, Grave D57½
SARAH, THE BELOVED [WIFE OF]
WHO DEPARTED [THIS LIFE]
JAN. 23, 1879, [AGED 57 YEARS]
KEEP YOURSELF [IN THE LOVE OF
GOD, LOOKING FOR THE MERCY]
OF OUR [LORD JESUS CHRIST
UNTO ETERNAL LIFE]
It is likely that Sarah's husband John Roberts who died in the same parish in 1899 is also buried here, but it is impossible to tell if there is a second inscription below the biblical quotation (which comes from Jude 1:21).
Sarah Savory was born in Oxford on 21 February 1821 and baptised at St Aldate's Church the same day with her twin Harriet. She was the daughter of Elias (Eli) Savory and Ann Richardson, who were married at St Mary Magdalen Church in Oxford on 6 February 1894. They had three other children baptised at St Aldate's Church: Stephen (baptised 26 August 1804), Lawrence (born 8 November 1806 and baptised on 8 January 1807), and Ann (born 17 November 1809 and baptised 19 January 1810). Sarah's father died at the age of 46 and was buried in St Aldate's Churchyard on 1 August 1826. At the time of the 1841 census Sarah (20) was living in Beef Lane, St Ebbe's with her mother Ann, who was a college servant, her older brother Lawrence, and her twin Harriet.
In 1846 (reg. third quarter) in Oxford, probably at the registry office, Sarah Savory married John Roberts, who was born in Tetsworth in c.1821 and is likely to be the son of the John Roberts who is listed as a saddle & harness maker in St Aldate's Street, Oxford in the Post Office Directory for 1841. They do not appear to have had any children.
At the time of the 1851 census Sarah was living at 25 George Street with her husband John, who was described as a harness maker; he is listed as a saddler there in Gardner's Directory for 1852. They were both then aged 30.
At the time of the 1861 census Sarah and John, now described as a grocer as well as a harness maker, were living over their George Street shop with a lodger.
In 1871 their address was given as 28 George Street, and John was now just working as a grocer.
Sarah Roberts died in 1879:
† Mrs Sarah Roberts née Savory died at George Street at the age of 57 on 23 January 1879 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 27 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
Her death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal read: “Jan. 24, after a short but distressing illness, Sarah, the beloved wife of Mr. John Roberts, grocer, George-street, in this city, aged 57.”
Sarah's husband John Roberts after his wife's death
At the time of the 1881 census John Roberts, a widower of 60 who described himself as a retired grocer, was living at 27 St John Street with his unmarried sister Ann Roberts (74).
In 1891 the address of John and his sister was given as 37 St John Street, and they now employed an 18-year-old servant girl.
John Roberts died at 37 St John Street at the age of 78 on 24 January 1899 and he was buried on 28 January. As he never married again and his burial is listed in the St Mary Magdalen register, it seems likely that he was buried here with his wife. His death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal read simply: “ROBERTS – Jan 25, at 37, St John-street, Oxford, John Roberts, aged 78 years.”
His effects came to £2,693 15s. 9d., and his executors were Alfred Cornish and Selby Cornish, who were both farmers.