Joseph ROUND (1804–1880)
His wife Mrs Louisa ROUND (1809–1876)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 7, Grave D71

Joseph Round



In Peace





MAYOR 1874






Joseph Round was born in Oldbury, Staffordshire on 3 September 1803 and baptised four days later at St Mary M. He was the eldest son of Henry Round, an Oxford coal merchant, and Mary Higgins, who were married at St Cross Church in Oxford on 10 October 1802.

Joseph's brother William was born in about 1805, and his next three siblings were baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church in Oxford on the dates shown: Sarah (3 January 1808), Henry (6 June 1810), and George (19 July 1812). Their place of birth was not given, but it was likely to have been Tidmarsh Lane in St Thomas's parish. Joseph's next sister Emily is recorded as having been born in St Thomas's parish and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 2 October 1814; she died the following year.

Joseph’s mother Mary Round died in St Thomas's parish in 1817 at the age of 37 after giving birth there to another child, Phoebe, and was buried in St Giles's churchyard on 21 November. The baby was baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 23 November, two days after her mother's burial, but only survived to the age of eleven weeks: she too was buried in St Giles's churchyard on 4 January 1818.

On 20 April 1821 at St Aldate's Church, Oxford, Joseph's father Henry Round, described as a widower of St Thomas's parish, married his second wife Elizabeth Costar.

At the time of the 1841 census Joseph Round (36) was a coal merchant, lodging and operating from 3 Queen Street in the parish of St Martin’s in Oxford; his father Henry, also still a coal merchant, was then living nearby in Titmouse [Tidmarsh] Lane in St Thomas's parish with his second wife Elizabeth and his three younger sons from his first marriage, William, Henry, and George.

In 1851 Joseph Round (still unmarried at the age of 46) was described as a coal merchant employing three men and was paying a visit to a family in Roberts Yard off Queen Street.

Before the next census, Joseph Round had married a woman called Louisa, who was born in Warwick in c.1809, but the marriage is hard to find.

At the time of the 1861 census Joseph (56), who was still a coal merchant, was living at 64 St John Street in St Mary Magdalen parish with Louisa (47) and their two servants.

33 Beaumont Street



By October 1861 when Round came on to the city council representing the Central Ward, they had moved to 33 Beaumont Street (right), also in St Mary Magdalen parish, where they spent the rest of their lives.


At the time of the 1871 census Joseph (67), described as a coal merchant, was living at 33 Beaumont Street with his wife Louisa (60) and their cook.

He was also Managing Director of the Oxford Corn Exchange Company and founder of the Volunteer Fire Brigade.


In 1874 Joseph Round was elected Mayor of Oxford (for the year 1874/5).


Mrs Round died in 1876:

† Mrs Louisa Round died at 33 Beaumont Street on 17 August 1876 at the age of 67 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 21 August (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

Four years later Joseph Round himself died:

† Joseph Round died at 33 Beaumont Street on 23 August 1880 at the age of 76, and he was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 26 August (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church, where he is listed informally as “Joe Round”).

His effects came to under £14,000, and his executors were the coal merchant Joseph Round Green of Kingston Road, who was his nephew, and the auctioneer Charles Galpin.

The following obituary appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 28 August 1880:


With much regret we have to record the death of an old and much esteemed citizen, Mr. Alderman Joseph Round, who expired at his residence in Beaumont-street, at an early hour on Sunday morning last, in the 77th year of his age. For some months previous to his death it had been apparent to those who knew him that his health was gradually failing, and for the last three months he had been almost entirely confined to the house. Although what he had especially suffered from was a severe rheumatic cold, a general decay of nature was the chief cause of death, and during the last two years, although his mental faculties were clear, his physical strength was perceptibly on the decline. For a fortnight previous to his death it was very evident that the end could not be long delayed, and he passed away between three and four o’clock on Sunday morning, being conscious until within a short time of his death.

It may truly [be] said of him that no Oxford citizen was so well-known as he throughout the length and breadth of the County, for while he was honoured by his fellow citizens, as evidenced by the Municipal offices to which he was elected, he was held in no ordinary estimation by the agriculturists of the County, by the landed proprietors as well as by the tenant farmers. This was due to the fact that he took a kindly interest in many matters affecting their interests and also to the many social qualities which he undoubtedly possessed.

Mr. Round was justly proud of the remembrance that he was the architect of his own fortunes. He was born in Staffordshire, as he himself expressed it, “on the top of a coal pit,” and early in life he started in business on his own account in Oxford as a coal merchant, and that he prospered in it was the natural result of hard work, perseverance, and integrity. His business was by no means confined to this City, and it was his boast that for 40 years, winter and summer, rain or shine, he attended Thame Market every Tuesday, being absent on only three occasions, and for many years of that time he was Chairman of the Market Ordinary there at the Spread Eagle Hotel. The fact testifies alike to his mental energy, his punctuality, and his physical strength.

In 1861, on the elevation of Mr. Randall to the Aldermanic bench, he was elected a member of the Town Council of Oxford, and uninterruptedly enjoyed the confidence of the burgesses, whom he represented for nearly twenty years, as shown by the fact that he was re-elected in 1864, in 1867, in 1879, in 1873, in 1876, and in 1879,. In 1874 he became the Chief Magistrate of the City, and discharged the duties of the office with the credit to himself, which was anticipated, and with satisfaction to the citizens. He took a lively interest in all Municipal matters, and in addition to acting on the Local Board as one of the representatives of the Council, he was a member of the Police Committee, the Water Works’ Committee, the Weights and Measures Committee, and one of the Charity Committees. In April of the present year, on the death of Ald. Browning, he was unanimously raised to the Aldermanic dignity, and the last social gathering of the many during his lifetime over which he presided was the banquet he gave in the Council Chamber to celebrate the event.

He was, and had been for many years, a staunch supporter of the Oxfordshire Agricultural Society and an active member of the Committee, taking much interest in the prosperity of that Association. He also took an active part in the establishment of the Oxford Corn Exchange Company, of which he was from the first a Managing Director, and zealously promoted the revival in 1859 of Oxford Races. He liberally contributed to forward the latter, and lent every assistance in his power in carrying out the arrangements of the meeting from its revival until within a few weeks of his death. Notwithstanding the interest he took in the Races he was no betting man, and simply desired to encourage legitimate sport for its own sake. His public spirit and liberality were prominently displayed in the part he took with regard to the Oxford Volunteer Fire Brigade, which to a certain extent owned its existence to him. He was so much moved by the disastrous fire in St. Aldate’s some years back when a sad loss of life occurred that he gave 100l. for an engine for use of the Brigade which was then formed. He has since that time identified himself in every way with the above useful body, whom he liberally supported, and was generally known as the “Father of the Brigade,” the members of which he took a pride in describing as his “boys.” In private, as well as in public, life, Mr. Round was deservedly popular, and he took a sincere pleasure in promoting the happiness of those around him. He was renowned for the bounteous hospitality he dispensed to his friends, and he was never more in his element than when at the head of a well filled table he was promoting the harmony and good fellowship among those whom he delighted to gather round him.

The funeral took place on Thursday afternoon, in St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery, Walton-street, the remains being laid in the same grave in which those of Mrs. Round are deposited, close by the lodge gate, and under the south wall. The Volunteer Fire Brigade assembled at the engine house in New Inn Hall-street, and from thence marched to the residence of the deceased, where they formed up in St. John-street around the hearse. The officers present were Supt. Green, Deputy-Supt. Bacon, Assistant-Supts. Brown and Muir, Foreman Plowman, Engineer Neill, Mr. Dudley (Hon. Sec.), and about 20 members of the Brigade. The Corporation assembled at Ald. Carr’s house in Beaumont-street, and formed in procession before the hearse, Supt. Head and Inspector Dixon walking in front, followed by the Mayor’s Sergeant carrying the mace draped in black, and the under-mentioned:—The Mayor (Ald. Galpin), the Deputy-Mayor (Ald. Eagleston), Ald. Carr, Cavell, Dore, and Spiers; and Councillors Sanders, Lowe, Banting, Greenwood, Seary, Cooper, Buckell, Twining, Gray, Emberlin, Patterson, Wells, Calcutt, and Turner; the Town Clerk (Mr. J. J. Bickerton), and Mr. Wm. Ward, J.P. The hearse was followed by three mourning coaches. In the first coach there were Mr. Joseph R. Green (nephew), Mr. J. J. Hatton (Berkhampstead), Mr. George Peters, and Mr. J. R. Cartwright (Ludstone Hall, Bridgnorth). In the second coach—Mr. Joseph Round (The Limes, Chad-road, Edgbaston), Mr. W. Brain, Mr. S. Harris, and Mr. T. F. Plowman. Third coach—Mr. John Bayzand, Mr. Charles Galpin, and Mr. Thomas Mallam. The cortège proceed along Walton-street to the Cemetery, were a large number of people had congregated. The Corporation drew up on each side of the gateway, and after the procession had passed they left. The officiating clergyman (the Rev. J. Edwards, Curate of St. Mary Magdalen) met the coffin at the lodge-gate, and read the first portion of the Burial Service to the chapel, where the coffin was placed on the bier, and the officers of the Fire Brigade stood on each side. The Service was concluded at the grave in a very impressive manner by the Rev. Mr. Edwards, and the mourners placed small bouquets on the coffin before leaving. The coffin, which was of polished American oak, with brass fittings, and on which were placed several beautiful wreaths of choice flowers, bore the following inscription:—

Died August 22nd, 1880,
Aged 77 years."

The funeral arrangements were efficiently carried out by Messrs. Elliston and Cavell, of Magdalen-street.

The blinds were drawn of most of the houses passed by the funeral procession, and every mark of respect was shown to the memory of the deceased. During the week the City flag has been hoisted half-mast high on Carfax Church, and the “Dead March in Saul” was played on Sunday after the morning service at Carfax.



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