John SIDES senior (1814–1853)
His wife Harriett SIDES, later Mrs HIGGINS, née Mathews (1816/17–1889)
Their sons John SIDES junior (1844–1889)
Joseph Henry SIDES (1847–1850)
William SIDES (1849–1857)
St Paul’s section: Row 12, Grave A9½ [St Paul ref. I/J.9]

John Sides












See also the separate grave of
Mrs Emily Higgins, née Sides, the only surviving daughter of John & Harriet Sides and the wife of John William Higgins, landlord of the Jericho House

John Sides was born in Oxford on 6 December 1814 and baptised at St Aldate’s Church on 15 December. His parents were the carpenter & joiner George Sides and his wife Ann.

Harriett Mathews was born in Birmingham in 1816/17.

In the third quarter of 1838 in Birmingham, John Sides married Harriett Mathews, and they had the following children:

  • Thomas Sides (born in Walsall in 1840)
  • John Sides junior (born in Oxford in 1844 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 19 May)
  • Harriet Sides (born in Oxford in 1846 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 13 September);
    died aged seven months
  • Joseph Henry Sides (born in Oxford in 1847/8 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 2 January 1848);
    died aged 2½
  • William Sides (born in Oxford in 1849 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 30 September);
    died aged eight
  • Emily Sides (born at St Giles’s Road in 1852 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 23 May).

At the time of the 1841 census John Sides was a saddler, living at Newport Street in Walsall, with his wife Harriett and son Thomas (six months). By the time of John junior’s baptism in May 1844 he was a saddler in Oxford, with his address given as Jericho Street; but as they lived in the St Paul’s ecclesiastical district of St Giles parish (in the Headington registration district), this probably means Walton Street.

By the time of his daughter Harriet’s baptism in September 1846, John Sides described himself as a gentleman and gave his address as Walton Cottage. Baby Harriet died at Walton Street at the age of seven months in December 1846, before St Sepulchre’s Cemetery was opened, and as her burial on 15 December is recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church she is probably buried in its churchyard.

John and Harriett’s next child, Joseph, died in 1850:

† Joseph Henry Sides died at Oxford at the age of 2½ on 20 September 1850 and was definitely buried in this grave at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, but the burial is not recorded in the St Paul’s Church register.

The sexton recorded that Joseph was buried in this grave in the area that St Paul's described as J.9 at a depth of 7 feet.

At the time of the 1851 census John Sides (37), now described as a proprietor of houses, was living at Walton Street with his wife Harriett (34) and their three surviving sons Thomas (10), John (7), and William (1). They had a young female servant.

The family was living in St Giles’s Road when their youngest child Emily was baptised in May 1852, but appear to have moved to St Bernard’s Road (then called St John’s Road) by the beginning of 1852, when John Sides senior died:

† John Sides senior died at St Bernard’s Road at the age of 38 on 23 January 1853 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 28 January (burial recorded in the register of St Paul’s Church).

The Sexton recorded that John was buried in the same grave as his son at a depth of 6ft 6in.

Seven months after her first husband's death, on 30 August 1853 at Bicester, Mrs Harriett Sides née Mathews, described as a publican of Kirtlington married her second husband, the farmer and butcher William Charles Higgins, also of Kirtlington, who had not been married before. He was the son of the victualler Joseph Higgins and the uncle of John William Higgins, the landlord of Jericho House [Tavern].

They set up home at 15 Great Clarendon Street, and Harriett’s youngest son William Sides died there in 1857:

† William Sides died at 15 Great Clarendon Street at the age of eight on 8 October 1857 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 12 October (burial recorded in the register of St Paul’s Church).

Mrs Harriett Higgins and her second husband William, now described as a butcher, were still at 15 Great Clarendon Street at the time of the 1861 census. Her three surviving children by her first marriage were still living with her: Thomas Sides (20) was a cook, John Sides (16) was a bookbinder, and Emily Sides (8) was at school.

By 1871 Harriet Higgins (52) and her second husband William (42) were living at Wolvercote with Harriett’s daughter Emily Sides and William’s niece Ellen Higgins, who were both aged 19. John Sides junior had probably already moved to London.

Harriett’s second husband William Charles Higgins died at the Radcliffe Infirmary at the age of 47 in August 1875 and was buried in a separate grave at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery (burial on 28 August recorded in the register of St Paul’s Church, their plot reference Q.11).

Harriet's daughter Emily was married in 1876 and confusingly also became Mrs Higgins

  • On 17 May 1876 at St Giles's Church, Oxford, Emily Sides married her stepfather’s nephew John William Higgins, the landlord of Jericho House.

Her son John was married in London in 1878:

  • On 5 October 1878 at St Marylebone Church, London, John Sides junior, described as a book finisher of Marylebone, married Jane Ward of the parish of St George, Hanover Square. Jane, who was born at Eppleby, near Richmond, Yorkshire in 1847, was the daughter of the land steward John Ward.

Harriett’s eldest son Thomas Sides died at Dublin on 14 May 1880 at the age of 40 and is remembered on the grave of his sister, Mrs Emily Higgins.

By the time of the 1881 census Harriett Higgins (63) had come to live with her daughter Emily and her husband John William Higgins at Jericho House, where she worked as their housekeeper. Her only other surviving child, John Sides junior, had settled in London.

John Sides junior continued

John Sides junior and his wife Jane lived at St Philip’s Cottages in Marylebone after their wedding. They had four children:

  • John William Sides (born at Marylebone on 26 September 1879 but not baptised at St Philip’s Church, Battersea until 11 August 1884)
  • Henry Sides (born at Marylebone on 27 August 1871 but not baptised at St Philip’s Church, Battersea until 11 August 1884)
  • Emily Ellen Sides (born at Marylebone on 10 December 1883 but not baptised at St Philip’s Church, Battersea until 11 August 1884)
  • Ernest Sides (born at Marylebone in 1888, reg. fourth quarter and baptised at St Philip’s Church, Battersea on 28 October 1889 after his father's death).

At the time of the 1881 census John (39) was working as a bookseller’s porter and living at 8 North Street, Marylebone with his wife Jane (34) and their first son John (1½). They later moved to St Philip’s Cottages in Wandsworth.

In 1889 John Sides junior fell from a moving train between London and Oxford on his way to visit his mother and sister at Jericho House.

† John Sides junior died at Sonning Cutting in Berkshire at the age of 44 on 1 April 1889 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 7 April (burial recorded in the register of St Paul’s Church).

The following report on his death appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 6 April that year:

FATAL ACCIDENT TO AN OXFORD MAN. — On Saturday last a distressing fatality occurred on the Great Western Railway at a place called Sonning Cutting, between Twyford and Reading, and about a mile and a-half from the latter place, to Mr. John Sides, a member of a family as greatly respected as it has been long known in this city, who, by some unexplained means, fell from a train and was picked up unconscious. It appears that Mr. Sides, who was a book-finisher by trade, and was in the employ of Mr. Stevens, of the American Literary Agency, Trafalgar-square, as an export packer, left his home, 69, St. Philip-street, Queen’s-road, Battersea, and caught the train leaving Westbourne Park at 7.15, intending to pay a visit to his mother, Mrs. W. Higgins, and his brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. John Higgins, of Jericho House, Walton-street, in this city, and shortly after leaving Twyford Station a passenger in the next compartment to that in which the deceased was riding alone observed the door open to its fullest extent — that is to say, almost close to the window where he sat — and on the arrival of the train at Reading he informed the officials of the circumstance. A pilot engine was sent up the line, and the deceased, who had fallen from the off side of the carriage, was found lying across one of the up-line metals on his back. He was immediately conveyed to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, where he died on Monday evening, without having regained consciousness, from concussion of the brain; he had sustained a deep cut at the base of the skull, a wound over the eye, and an abrasion of the knee. An inquest on the body was held on Tuesday, when a verdict of accidental death was returned, and the Jury thought that no blame was attributable to the Railway Company, as there was no proof as to how the door became unfastened, the guard having stated that he saw the fastening secure before leaving Paddington. Mr. Stevens manifested his concern in the distressing occurrence by instructing a solicitor to watch the case on behalf of the deceased’s widow and family at the inquest, and also by sending his head manager, and the relatives were represented by Mr. Brain, solicitor, of Reading. The deceased was a very steady man, a good husband, and kind father, and he leaves a widow and four children: he was highly respected both by his employers and his fellow-workmen. A most cruel report appeared in the Daily Chronicle of the accident, asserting that the deceased had been drinking, and had spent his week’s wages, and was on his way to Oxford to procure money from some friends. This statement has not one word of truth in it, and has caused, as may well be imagined, acute pain to his mother and his sister and her husband, as well as to the widow and family. We understand that an apology will be demanded by Mr. Stevens’s solicitor. The body was brought to Mr. Higgins’s on Tuesday night, and will be interred on Sunday, in St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery, Walton-street, in a grave in which his father lies.

His wife Jane was left with four young children to bring up: see below.

Mrs Emily Sides

Of the six children of John & Harriett Sides, only Emily now survived, and Mrs Harriett Higgins, the former Mrs Sides, went to live with her and her husband John at Jericho House. In 1889 Harriett died from a fall in the kitchen at that pub

The report of the inquest was published in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 4 May 1889:

DEATH FROM INJURIES FROM FALLING FROM A CHAIR. — The City Coroner (Mr. E. L. Hussey) on Monday morning held an inquiry at Jericho House, Walton-street, into the circumstances attending the death of Harriett Higgins, aged 71, who resided at that house with her son-in-law. — The Coroner said that the deceased was not a young woman, but was actually advanced in life, being just over 70, or 71 years of age. He understood that in getting up to reach something in the kitchen the other day the deceased slipped off a chair upon which she was standing, and fell down on the fire-guard, or something of that kind, and broke some of her ribs. She died two or three days afterwards from the effects of those injuries. The Jury would have to be satisfied that her injuries were accidentally caused. — John William Higgins, landlord of Jericho House, said the deceased was his mother-in-law. She was 71 years of age last December, and was the widow of William Charles Higgins, a farmer. She had had fairly good health, but he thought her constitution had been breaking of late. Mrs. Higgins lived in that house with him. He saw her on Wednesday morning, before the accident. That was about half-past nine o’clock in the morning. He saw her almost immediately after the occurrence — about 12.30 — when his wife called to him and told him that the deceased had had a fall in the kitchen, and was in great pain. He went and saw her there. She was standing with one hand to her side. His wife had picked her up. She told him that she had had a fall; but his wife had tolled him how the accident occurred. He sent for Mr. Mallam, and they got the deceased upstairs before he arrived. He saw her several times after the occurrence, about 24 hours after which she became delirious, and at times did not know what she was talking about. She died about two o’clock on Saturday morning. She was very active for an old lady. The deceased had told his wife she was standing on a chair, and was about to put her foot on the “hot plate” of the stove, when her foot slipped, and she fell on her side on the guard before the fire. — The Coroner: A more dangerous thing for a woman to do than a man. — Mr. Mallam stated that he saw Mrs. Higgins about half-past two on Wednesday afternoon. She was in bed, and in acute pain. After examining her he concluded that she had broken two ribs. Pleurisy and pneumonia rapidly set in, and she died from the injuries received. — In answer to the Coroner, Mr. Mallam said he thought the deceased had been failing in health lately. She had been a very hard working old woman, and had been extremely active. Mrs. Higgins had told him that she fell in reaching over from the “hot plate” with her foot. She never said anybody was to blame. — The Coroner observed that one of the servants of the house, who was with the deceased at the time of the accident, would come and give the Jury her evidence if they thought it necessary. They had, however, a fair account of what had taken place from Mr. Higgins and Mr. Mallam. The Jury intimated that they had no desire to hear further evidence. The found that Mrs. Higgins died from the injuries received by falling accidentally from a chair upon which she was standing.

She was buried in this grave:

† Mrs Harriett Higgins, formerly Mrs Sides, née Mathews died at Jericho House, Walton Street at the age of 71 on 28 April 1889 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 2 May (burial recorded in the register of St Paul’s Church).

Her daughter Mrs Emily Higgins née Sides died in 1909 was buried with her second husband John William Higgins:
see separate grave.

The children of Emily Sides (Mrs John William Higgins)

For more about her children, see her grave

The children of John Sides junior and his wife Jane

At the time of the 1891 census John Sides’s widow, Jane (45) was working as a charwoman and living at 61 St Philip Street, Battersea. Her middle two children Henry (9) and Emily (7) were living with her, but her eldest son John William Sides (11) was in a children’s home in Shaftesbury Avenue, Bloomsbury, learning to be a shoemaker. As soon as he reached the age of 14 years, on 24 October 1893, he signed up for twelve years’ army service in the Royal Berkshire Regiment. His brother Henry was then at the Shaftesbury School, London.

In 1901 Mrs Jane Sides was living at 48 Wycliffe Road, Battersea and working as a charwoman. Her two youngest children were with her: Emily Ellen (17), who was also a charwoman, and Ernest (12). Her son John was away fighting the South African war.

Her daughter Emily was married in 1906:

  • On 2 June 1906, at St Philip’s Church, Battersea Emily Ellen Sides, then living at 48 Wycliffe Road, married Frederick Arthur Hunter (born in Swaffham, Norfolk in 1885). In 1911 Frederick and Emily Hunter were living at 93 Bridge Road, West Battersea with their two children: Alfred Hunter (3), who was born in Swaffham, and Alice Hunter (1), who was born in Battersea.

In 1911 Mrs Jane Sides, a widow of 66, was visiting the Rowe family at 2 Basnett Road, Battersea, and her son Ernest Sides, a carpenter of 22, was visiting the Whitlocks at 71 Beaufoy Road, Battersea.

Her son Henry Sides is probably the man of that name, aged 29, who in 1911 was an attendant at Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum in Friern Barnet.

Her eldest son John William Sides, a Private in the Royal Berkshire Regiment, died of wounds back in England in the Northampton area on 1 June 1915 at the age of 36 and is buried in Wandsworth (Earlsfield) Cemetery: he is recorded as the son of Mr H. Sides of 96 Beaufoy Road, Battersea, and although the initial H is wrong, it seems likely that this is Jane’s son, as the regiment as well as the place and date of birth match.

Jane may be the Jane A. Sides whose death at the age of 69 was registered in the Wandsworth district (which included Battersea) in the second quarter of 1915.



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