George Joseph ROWELL (1843–1891)
St Giles section: Row 3, Grave C44

George Joseph Rowell












George Joseph Rowell was born at 3 Pusey Street (then called Alfred Street), Oxford in 1843 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 15 September. He was the only son of George Augustus Rowell and Maria Barrett. He had just one sister, thirteen years his senior. Rowell became a paper-hanger, and the 1861 census shows him at 3 Pusey Street aged 17, working for his father, who was then aged 55.
For more on his parents and background,see the separate grave of his parents

Emily Sarah Barrett  was born at Wappenham, near Syresham, Northamptonshire in 1844/5. She was the third daughter of William Barrett (who was born at Cumnor and was the brother of George Joseph Rowell's mother) and Ann Bowell (who was born at Tetsworth). Her father was a gamekeeper at Wytham and her mother was living in St Clement's, Oxford when they were married at St Clement's Church on 3 September 1834. At the time of the 1851 census Emily (6) was living at Wytham with her parents and six siblings: William (16), who was a gamekeeper and Ann (11) had been born in Wytham; Susannah (9) also at Wappenham, Northants; Joseph (4) at Whittlebury, Northants; and Louisa (2) and John (nine months) at Wytham. In 1861 Emily (16) was still at home at Wytham with her parents and her siblings Joseph (14), who was a shoemaker, and Louisa (12), John (10), and Frances (8).

On 11 March 1865 at Wytham Church, George Joseph Rowell (21) of Pusey Street, described as a paper-hanger, married his cousin Emily Sarah Barrett (20). The announcement in the Oxford Times read:

ROWELL.–BARRATT.—March 11, at Wytham Church, by the Rev. H. O. Coxe, George Joseph Rowell, son of Mr. G. A. Rowell, of Alfred Street, St. Giles’, Oxford, to Emily Sarah, third daughter of Mr. W. Barratt, of Wytham, Berks.

They had six children:

  • Hilda Maria Rowell (born at 3 Pusey Street, Oxford in 1873 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 20 November)
  • Emily Bessie Rowell (born at 3 Pusey Street, Oxford in 1875 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 9 May)
  • Edith Mary Rowell (born at 4 Pusey Street, Oxford in 1876 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 25 September)
  • Ethel Maude Rowell (born at 4 Pusey Street, Oxford in 1877/8 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 13 January 1878)
  • Hettie Lenora Rowell (born at 4 Pusey Street, Oxford in 1879 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 30 October)
  • George William Augustus Rowell (born at 4 Pusey Street, Oxford in 1881 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 1 September)

George Joseph Rowell and his wife Emily initially lived in 3 Pusey Street with his parents, but by 1876 they had moved next door to No. 4.

On 1 December 1879 the partnership between George Joseph Rowell and his father, who were carrying on business as “Paperhangers, Decorators, Plumbers and Glaziers, at the City of Oxford, under the style or firm of ‘G. A. Rowell and Son’ ” was dissolved, and henceforth George Joseph Rowell ran it on his own.

The 1881 census shows George and Emily at 4 Pusey Street with their five daughters; their only son was born later that year. The business had expanded, and George now employed thirty paper-hangers.

By the time of the 1891 census George Joseph Rowell’s father had moved into lodgings at 2 Pusey Street, and George junior and his family occupied both 3 and 4 Pusey Street. They can be seen occupying both houses with their five daughters and one servant. Their only son George (8, but recorded as 9) spent census night at Miss Sarah Golding’s boarding school at 3 Clarendon Villas, Park Crescent.

George Joseph Rowell predeceased his father, dying in 1891:

† George Joseph Rowell died at Pusey Street at the age of 48 on 12 December 1891 and was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 17 December (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles's Church).

His effects came to £1,645 19s. 11d., and his wife Emily was his executor.

Just over a month later his father was also dead (see separate grave).

George Joseph Rowell’s widow

Mrs Emily Rowell (born 1844/5), was 56 at the time of the 1901 census and running her deceased husband's decorating business at 3 & 4 Pusey Street. She was living there with just one of her daughters, Ethel Maude Rowell (23), who was described as a lecturer in Mathematics, and one servant.

The paper-hanging business closed when Mrs Rowell retired. By 1911 when she was 66, Emily Rowell was listed as having no occupation and was boarding at 4 Park Town (then numbered 9 Park Town) with Miss Marion Frances Hooper.

Emily Rowell died in the Epping district in the fourth quarter of 1931.

Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 Pusey Street, which ran between St Giles’s Street and Pusey Lane, were demolished in the late 1930s to make way for the new west wing of Regent’s Park College.

George Joseph Rowell’s children
  • Hilda Maria Rowell (born 1873) was still living at 4 Alfred Street when on 30 January 1901 at St Giles's Church, Oxford she married Frederick William Morris Woodward, an Australian clerk in holy orders living at Wycliffe Lodge. At the time of the census that year the newlyweds were living in the Rectory, High Road, Buckhurst Hill, Epping with two servants (a cook and housemaid). The situation was much the same at the time of the 1911 census, and Frederick (49) and Hilda (37) had no children. Hilda Woodward died in Epping at the age of 44 in 1918.
  • Emily Bessie Rowell (born 1875) called herself Bessie Emily Rowell and worked as a governess: in 1901 to the children of a silk mercer at Thornbury House, Osborne Road, New Windsor, and in 1911 to the children of a retired member of the Council of India in Hayes, Kent. She died at Buckhurst Hill, Essex in 1959.
  • Edith Mary Rowell (born 1876) was working as a servant (nurse) of the family of a Hampstead shipowner in 1911.
  • Ethel Maude Rowell (born 1877/8) was a lecturer in mathematics still living with her widowed mother at the time of the 1901 census. In 1911 she was at a boarding house in Grassington, Yorkshire, still described as a lecturer. Charles Ludwig Dodgson taught her logic when she was young, and she later wrote that she was grateful that he had encouraged her to “that arduous business of thinking.” She explains in her book Time and Time Again how The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party exactly illustrates the idea of cyclic order. She died in St Albans near the beginning of 1951.
  • Hettie Lenora Rowell (born 1879) never married. At the time of the 1901 census, when she was 21, she described herself as an assistant school mistress, and was visiting Winifred Hollis at The Grange, Templenewsam, Whitkirk, Yorkshire. At the time of the 1911 census, when she was 31, she described herself as a lecturer and was in a boarding house at 6 Abbeville Road, Clapham. She died at the age of 84 in 1963 (death reg. Watford district fourth quarter).
  • George William Augustus Rowell (born 1881) was a 19-year-old bank clerk boarding at Henley-on-Thames at the time of the 1901 census. He was still single in 1911, and back in Oxford, lodging at 72 Southmoor Road and working for the London, County & Westminster Bank Ltd. Later that year he married Hilda Dorothy Heelas of Wokingham: his banns were read at Ss Philip & James Church, and he was married at Wokingham. He died in Wokingham on 26 December 1948 at the age of 67.



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