Arthur John SAVAGE (1839–1896)
His wife Elizabeth SAVAGE, née Johnson (1839–1900)
Their sons Alfred John SAVAGE (1865–1890) and
Thomas Hubert SAVAGE (born and died 1877)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 16A, Grave D59½

Savage grave


In Loving Memory of




AGED 57 [59] YEARS









Arthur John Savage was born in Charlton-on-Otmoor near the end of 1839 but was not baptised there until 11 September 1842, at the same time as his younger sister Frances. His parents were George Savage (born in Bletchington in 1806/7) and Mary Spokes (born in Denton in 1816), who were married at Cuddesdon on 4 November 1833.

At the time of Arthur's baptism in 1839 his father was described as a shopkeeper, but y the time of the 1851 census he was a farmer of twelve acres employing one man, and was living in Charlton-on-Otmoor with his wife Mary (14), Arthur himself (11), Fanny (9), Emily (8), and Edwin (6).

Elizabeth Johnson was baptised at Woodstock on 22 December 1839. She was the daughter of John Johnson and Elizabeth Gardner, who were married at St Michael's Church in Oxford on 27 July 1837. At the time of the 1841 census her father was a waggoner and was living at Brick Lane, Thame with his wife, Elizabeth (1), and her older brother Henry (3).

By 1851 her family was living at Wheatley and there were five more children: Eliza (9), John (7), Mary (5), Emily (3) and William (1); and her maternal grandfather Richard Gardner was also living with them. Elizabeth’s father was away from home on census night, and her mother had put her occupation as “carrier”, but this was deleted and everyone in the family was described as a pauper.

On 3 April 1861 at St James’s Church in Cowley, Arthur John Savage married Elizabeth Johnson : they were both recorded as currently living in that parish, which then still included east Oxford, and it seems likely that Elizabeth had been working there. Arthur was described as a servant, and his father as a brewer; and Elizabeth’s father was described as a carrier. They had the following children:

  • Arthur Henry Savage (born 1861, reg. Headington district fourth quarter and baptised at Herstmonceux on 16 February 1862)
  • George Walter Savage (born in Herstmonceux, Sussex in 1863, reg. fourth quarter)
  • Alfred John Savage (born in Herstmonceux, Sussex in 1865, reg. third quarter)
  • Ernest Beaumont Savage (born at 5 Beaumont Buildings, Oxford in 1867/8 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 23 January 1868)
  • Albert Edwin Savage (born in Oxford in 1870 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 13 March)
  • Augustus Johnson Savage (born in Oxford in 1872 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 5 June)
  • Frederick Peter Arthur Wellesley Savage (born in Oxford in 1874 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 22 July)
  • Thomas Hubert Savage (born in Oxford in 1877 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 1 August).
  • Elizabeth Mary Savage (born in Oxford in 1878 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 1 October)

On the census night of 1861 (7 April, four days after his wedding), Arthur (21) slept at Bridewell Square, St Aldate’s as a footman in the household of Francis Jeune, Master of Pembroke College, who at that time was also Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford. Mr & Mrs Jeune were away on census night (the latter’s diary reveals that they were on holiday in France), but their four children, who then ranged in age from 11 to 18, were at home with the five servants. Arthur was described in the census as unmarried, which suggests that he was for the moment keeping his wedding (which was hasty, with a baby on the way) a secret. Similarly his wife Elizabeth (22) was also described as unmarried and was working as a servant at 71 St Giles’s Street.

The couple began their married life in Oxford, but had obviously moved to Herstmonceux in Sussex by the end of 1863. They were back in Oxford by the time of at Ernest’s baptism at the beginning of 1868: they were then living at Beaumont Buildings, and Arthur now described himself as a butler.

At the time of the 1871 census Arthur (31) was a bedmaker at a college, and was living at Beaumont Buildings with his wife Elizabeth and their first five children, plus their 13-year-old servant girl.

Their baby son Thomas died in 1877:

† Thomas Hubert Savage died at Beaumont Buildings as a baby in November 1877 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 15 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

In 1881, when Arthur was an unemployed waiter, their address was specified as 5 Beaumont Buildings. His two eldest sons Arthur (19) and George (17) were now themselves college bedmakers, and Alfred (15), Ernest (13), Albert (11), Augustus (8), and Frederick (7) were all at school. Their eighth child Elizabeth (2) was their first daughter.

Three of their children were married in the 1880s:

  • On 26 June 1883 at St Mary's Church, Bryanston, London, Arthur Henry Savage (21), described as a butler of 12 Dorset Mews, married Ann Coppock (22), described as a servant of 10 York Mews South: she was born in Great Milton in 1859/60, the daughter of the farm labourer Thomas Coppock;
  • On 24 October 1888 at St Mary Magdalen Church, Oxford, George Walter Savage (24) married Sarah Jane Bowman (25), the only child of the bootmaker Joseph Bowman and his wife Ellen (see their separate grave);
  • In 1887/8 (according to the 1911 census, but the marriage is not in the GRO index), Ernest Beaumont Savage married his wife Minnie (born in Great Milton in 1867/8).

In August 1890 their son Alfred, who had been employed as an assistant schoolmaster at Lowestoft, Woolwich, and Battle, started work as clerk to the Midland Railway Company, and was accidentally killed on the railway line near Birmingham just nine weeks later:

† Alfred John Savage died near Birmingham at the age of 25 on 20 November 1890 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 25 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

Jackson’s Oxford Journal published this report on 29 November 1890:

FATAL ACCIDENT TO AN OXFORD MAN.— On Thursday, the 20th inst., a deplorable occurrence happened on the Midland Railway, about two miles from Water Orton Station, near Birmingham, to a young Oxford man, named Alfred John Savage, who was formerly pupil teacher at St. Thomas’s School, in this City. The deceased, who was 25 years of age, and was the third son of Mr. Arthur John Savage, of No. 5, Beaumont-buildings, had been in the service of the Midland Company for only about nine weeks, as clerk, and on the day mentioned he was carrying some lamps, the rattle of which, it is surmised, drowned the whistle of an approaching engine, and he was knocked down and instantaneously killed. An inquest was held on the body at Birmingham on Monday, after which the remains were brought home to the father’s residence, and the funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon in St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery, Walton-street. The deceased, who was much respected, had been assistant schoolmaster at Lowestoft, Woolwich, and Battle, and was a clever scholar.

At the time of the 1891 census Arthur John Savage, who was now working as a waiter again, was living at 5 Beaumont Buildings with his wife and their two youngest children: Frederick (16), who was a tailor’s apprentice, and Elizabeth (12), who was at school. Also with them was Arthur's unmarried sister Miss Mary Savage (55) and their Oxford-born granddaughter Hilda Annie Savage (6). Their two unmarried sons were boarding elsewhere: Albert (21) was working as a footman at a private house at 37 Portman Square, Marylebone, and Augustus (18) was working as a draper’s assistant for William McIlroy and boarding with his master and over twenty other assistants over the shop at West Street, Reading.

Mary Savage died in this house at the age of 56 on 5 January 1894, and was described in her death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal as being late of Charlton-on-Otmoor, near Islip.

Arthur Savage senior was still living at Beaumont Buildings in 1896, but at the time of his death in November that year he was staying on the Isle of Wight:

† Arthur John Savage died at Ventnor on the Isle of Wight at the age of 59 on 10 November 1896 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 16 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

His effects came to £443 5s., and he was described in his probate document as a retired college servant. His executors were not his wife or sons, but the college servant Henry Johnson and the retired butler Henry Johnson.

His son Augustus was married in 1899:

  • On 14 May 1899 at St Saviour's Church, Chelsea, Augustus Johnson Savage married Louisa Hannah Atkinson.

Elizabeth Savage died four years after her husband:

† Mrs Elizabeth Savage, née Johnson died at 5 Beaumont Buildings at the age of 60 on 20 July 1900 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 22 July (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

Her daughter Elizabeth remained at 5 Beaumont Buildings. At the time of the 1901 census Elizabeth (22), who was an assistant mistress at an elementary school, lived there as the head of the household with Hilda Annie Savage (16), who is described as her sister but was in fact her niece. Elizabeth was married the following year:

  • On 10 December 1902 at St Mary Magdalen Church, Oxford, Elizabeth Mary Savage married John Thomas Curtis, an engineer from Botley

The surviving children of Arthur and Elizabeth Savage
  • Arthur Henry Savage (born 1861) was working as a butler, and his wife Ann as a cook, in 1891, in the home of a clerk in holy orders in Plymouth. In 1901 Arthur (31) described himself as single and was working as a butler in a house in Knightsbridge. He died in Reading at the age of 77 in 1938.
  • George Walter Savage (born 1863) was working as a college servant in 1891 and living with his wife Sarah Jane plus a servant of their own at 13 St John Street. By the time their daughter Dorothy Alice Bowman Savage was born in 1898, they were living in Reading. On 14 January 1899 they emigrated to California, where they had five more daughters: Helen Janet Bowman Savage (1899, died 1900), Rosamond Margaret Bowman Savage (1901), Neona Gertrude Bowman Savage (1903), Mildred Hope Bowman Savage (1907, died the same year). George died at Vallejo, Solano, California on 12 June 1918.
  • Ernest Beaumont Savage (born 1867/8) worked as a labourer in a biscuit factory in Reading. He and his wife Minnie brought their son Ernest Alfred Percy Savage (born in Reading in 1893) to Oxford to be baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 11 August 1893; he died shortly afterwards while they were still in Oxford. Ernest senior was living at 84 Orts Road, Reading at the time of the 1901 census with his wife Minnie and his three surviving children: Arthur Morris Savage (6), Elizabeth Augusta Savage (4), and Adelaide M. Savage (1). By 1911 he was living at 10 Norton Road, Reading and working as a coal merchant’s clerk; Arthur (16) was working as a doctor’s house boy; Elizabeth (14) was an unemployed domestic; and Adelaide (11) was at school. Ernest died in Reading at the age of 68 in 1935/6.
  • Albert Edwin Savage (born 1870) appears to have got married between 1891 and 1901. At the time of the 1901 census he was a timber broker’s messenger, living with his wife Ellen at 5 Penton Place, Clerkenwell. He is hard to trace after that date.
  • Augustus Johnson Savage (born 1872) was working as a clothier’s assistant in 1901 and living with his wife Louisa at 72 Tytherton Road, Islington. They were still there in 1911, with three sons: John (9), Alfred (1904), and Frank (5). He died in Bristol at the age of 61 near the beginning of 1934.
  • Frederick Peter Arthur Wellesley Savage (born 1874) never married. In 1901 he was working as a tailor and boarding at 57 Beaufort Street, Chelsea; and in 1911 he was a tailor’s cutter, boarding at 112 Saltram Crescent, Paddington. He was living at Flat 3, 10 Adpar Road, Paddington when he died at Paddington Infirmary at the age of 40 on 25 November 1914. His effects came to £109 1s. 2d., and his eldest brother Arthur was his executor.
  • Elizabeth Mary Savage, Mrs Curtis (born 1878) was living at North Lodge, Old Botley in 1911 with her husband John, who was an engineer, and their sons Hubert John Curtis (7) and Alfred Ernest Curtis (4), who were born at Sweatman’s Farm and baptised at North Hinksey church. She was living at Broad Clyst, Old Botley when on 18 August 1947 at the age of 67 she died at Red Cottage, Southern By-Pass Road, Botley. Her effects came to £2,631 8s. 9d., and her sons Hubert and Alfred, who were both now engineers, were her executors.



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