Mrs Maria SAVILL, née Woodman (1788–1861)
Her brother John WOODMAN (1791/2–1865)
St Paul section: Row 15m Grave A8½ (St Paul ref. F12)

Maria Savill







Maria Woodman was born in Taynton, near Burford in Oxfordshire, in 1788 and was baptised there on 27 July. She was the daughter of Edmund and Rachel Woodman, and her six older siblings were also baptised at that church: Sarah (1771), Philip (1773), Mary (1774), Elizabeth (1777), William (1778), and Rachel (1785).

Her relation John Woodman was also born at Taynton, in 1781/2, but there is no obvious record there of his being Maria’s brother, even though he is described as such when they were living together in Oxford in 1851 and 1861 as a widower and widow. It is possible that he was in fact her cousin, as a John Woodman, the son of Philip & Mary Woodman, was baptised at Taynton on 15 January 1782.

Married life of Maria Woodman, Mrs Savill

On 26 November 1825 at St Giles's Church, Oxford, Maria Woodman, who was still living in St Giles’s parish, married the widower Thomas Savill of All Hallows, Staining, London; the witnesses were John and Esther Woodman (the former probably her brother). They do not appear to have had any children.

They were living at Fenchurch Street in London when nine months after the wedding, on 16 August 1826, Thomas Savill made a will leaving everything to his “beloved wife Maria” and appointing her his sole executor. He died in about 1834, and his will was proved at the Prerogative Court at Canterbury on 1 July 1834.

Mrs Maria Savill is hard to find in the 1841 census, but she was living in Philpot Street, Stepney prior to moving to Oxford to live with her brother John in the 1840s.

Married life of John Woodman

John Woodman was still living at Taynton when on 23 September 1822 he married Hannah Soul (who was under 21) at the church there. They had two children:

  • Frances Woodman (born in Taynton in 1823 and baptised there on 1 February);
    died aged two days and buried there on 2 February 1823)
  • James Woodman junior (born in Taynton in 1824 and baptised there on 9 February)

At the time of his children’s baptisms, John Woodman was described as a farmer.

John became a widower at some point between 1824 and 1841, and his wife may be the Anna Woodman who died at Taynton at the age of 25 and was buried there on 21 March 1826.

At the time of the 1841 census John, who was aged about 59, was a builder, living at Observatory Street in Oxford with his only son James, who was aged about 15.

Mrs Maria Savill and John Woodman

By the time of the 1851 census Mrs Maria Savill, now a widow of 62, had come to live with the widower John Woodman (60) in Observatory Street: Maria was described as having an income from house property, and John was working as a carpenter.

By 1861 Maria and John were lodging at 40 Observatory Street, the house of the widow Mrs Mary Warman. Maria died there early that year:

† Mrs Maria Savill née Woodman died at 40 Observatory Street at the age of 72 on 20 January 1861 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 26 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

Her death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal read: “Jan. 20, at the residence of Mrs. Warman, 40, Observatory-street, Mrs. Maria Savill, relict of J. Savill, Esq., late of Liverpool, aged 72.”

A notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 10 August 1861 invited her creditors “pursuant to a Decree of the High Court of Chancery, made in a cause ‘Woodman against Zealey’” to prove their debts to the Master of the Rolls. Mrs Savill was described as formerly being of Philpot Street, Stepney; a second notice invited persons claiming to be her heir at law to come and prove their claims.

Her effects came to under £600, and the only named executors was her nephew Henry Zealey, a lodging-house keeper of 22 Swan Street, Bethnal Green. (He was described as formerly of Philpot Street, Stepney, which is where Mrs Savill lived at some point.)

At the time of the 1861 census the needlewoman Mrs Mary Warman (58) was the head of the household at 40 Observatory Street, and John Woodman (70), now described as a house proprietor, was her lodger.

John Woodman died early in 1865:

† John Woodman died at Observatory Street at the age of 74 on 22 January 1865 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 26 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).



Please email
if you would like to add information

These biographies would not have been possible without the outstanding transcription services
provided by the Oxfordshire Family History Society

© Friends of St Sepulchre’s Cemetery 2012–2017