James TELLING (c.1822–1904)
His wife Mrs Mary Ann TELLING, née Fletcher (1820–1872)
His sister Miss Eliza TELLING (c.1818–1908)
St Mary Magdalen section, Row 21, Grave G58

James Telling

 

 

In
Loving Memory
of
JAMES TELLING
WHO ENTERED INTO REST
AUGUST 4TH 1904
AGED 82 YEARS

 

ALSO OF MARY ANN, HIS WIFE
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE
APRIL 18TH 1872
AGED 51 YEARS.

 

“REST IN HOPE.”

 

ALSO OF ELIZA,
SISTER OF THE ABOVE
WHO DIED JAN 15TH 1908
AGED 90 YEARS

 

 

.

This headstone was probably not erected until 1904, 32 years after the death of Mrs Telling, the first to be buried here

James Telling was born at Fairford, Gloucestershire in c.1822 and his older sister Eliza Telling in c.1818. They were the children of the freestone mason James Telling senior. At the time of the 1841 census James (19) was a servant of an unmarried lady at Corgan Lodge, Fairford, while Eliza (c.22) was working as a domestic servant and was on her own at a house in London Street, Fairford with a ten-year-old boy Edward Davis.

Mary Ann Fletcher was born at Fairford, Gloucestershire in 1820 and baptised there on 25 December. She was the daughter of the labourer Richard Fletcher and his wife Elizabeth. At the time of the 1841 census Mary Ann (20) was a servant at the same house as James Telling, Corgan Lodge in Fairford.

On 28 September 1847 at Fairford, James Telling married Mary Ann Fletcher. The couple evidently moved to Oxford soon after their wedding, and James was variously described as a college servant and a butler. They had seven children there (but brought every one back to Fairford to be baptised):

  • James Fletcher Telling (born in Holy Trinity parish, Oxford in 1848 and baptised at Fairford on 31 December)
  • Mary Ann Fletcher Telling (born in Holy Trinity parish, Oxford in 1850 and baptised at Fairford on 25 September); died 1870
  • Elizabeth Fletcher Telling (born in Oxford in 1851/2 and baptised at Fairford on 15 September); died 1871
  • Sarah Fletcher Telling (born in Oxford in 1853 and baptised at Fairford on 23 June); died 1870
  • Albert Fletcher Telling (born in Oxford in 1854/5, reg. first quarter of 1855, but not baptised at Fairford until 28 October 1857)
  • John Fletcher Telling (born in Oxford in July 1861 but not baptised at Fairford until 3 April 1864)
  • Helena Fletcher Telling (born in Oxford near the end of 1863 and baptised at Fairford on 3 April 1864).

At the time of the 1851 census James (29) was living at 5 Cambridge Street, St Ebbe's (Holy Trinity parish) with his wife Mary Ann (30) and their children James (2) and Mary Ann (1).

In 1861 James (39), described as a college servant, was still living at 5 Cambridge Street with Mary Ann (40) and their children James (12), Mary Ann (11), Elizabeth (9), Sarah (8), and Albert (6).

By 1870 they had moved to Speedwell Street in St Ebbe's, where two of their daughters died that year:

  • Mary Ann Fletcher Telling died at Speedwell Street at the age of 19 and was buried on 11 February 1870;
  • Sarah Fletcher Telling died at Speedwell Street at the age of 16 and was buried on 22 September 1870.

As both these burials are recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church, they are almost certainly buried in St Sepulchre's Cemetery, but there is no headstone with their names. It is unclear why they were buried here rather than in Osney Cemetery

By the time of the 1871 census James (49), still a college servant, was living at 13 Speedwell Street with his wife Mary Ann (50) their five surviving children: James (22) was also a college servant; Elizabeth (19) assisted in home duties; Albert (15) was a clerk; and John (9) and Helena (7) were at school.

Their daughter Elizabeth died later in 1871:

  • Elizabeth Fletcher Telling died at 13 Speedwell Street at the age of 19 and was buried on 2 December 1871.

Again her burial is recorded in the St Mary Magdalen parish register, so she is likely to have been buried in the grave of her two sisters.

Mrs Mary Ann Telling died in 1872:

† Mrs Mary Ann Telling née Fletcher died at 13 Speedwell Street at the age of 51 on 18 April 1872 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 23 April (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

Her death was reported thus in Jackson's Oxford Journal: “April 18, Mary Anne, the beloved wife of James Telling, 13, Speedwell-street, aged 51.” Again, it is unclear why she was buried in St Sepulchre's rather than Osney Cemetery.

Their son James was married in 1875:

  • In the fourth quarter of 1875 in the St Pancras district of London, James Fletcher Telling married Jessie Gibb Stewart, who was born in Scotland.

At the time of the 1881 census James (59), now described as a college bedmaker, was living at 13 Speedwell Street with four of his children: Albert (25), who was a railway clerk; John (19), who was a college cook, and Helena (17). His unmarried sister Eliza Telling (60), who is hard to find the 1851, 1861, and 1871 censuses, had come to live with him, and had probably been keeping house since James's wife death.

James and Mary Ann's son John was married in 1886:

  • In the third quarter of 1886 in the Scarborough district, John (Fletcher) Telling married Ada Mosley Bakewell, who was born in Islington.

In 1891 James (69) was still working as a college servant and was living at 13 Speedwell Street with his sister Eliza (73) and his daughter Helena (26), who were described as sempstresses, and his son Albert (32), who was now a coal merchant

Two of James and Mary Ann's children married in the 1890s:

  • On 1 August 1895 at Holy Trinity Church, St Ebbe's, Oxford, Helena Fletcher Telling of 13 Speedwell Street married John George Norgrove, a clerk of 4 Newton Road and the son of the Oxford baker George Norgrove;
  • On 21 September 1897 at Cowley St John Church, Oxford, Albert Fletcher Telling (40), described as a coal merchant of 7 Speedwell Street, married Ada Mary Chilton (27) of 135 Cowley Road, who was born in Bodicote, the daughter of the carpenter William Chilton.

By 1897 the family had evidently moved to another address in Speedwell Street, No. 7.

In 1901 James (79) who was still working as a college servant, was living at 7 Speedwell Street with his sister Eliza (82).

James died in 1904:

† James Telling died at 7 Speedwell Street at the age of 82 on 4 August 1904 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 6 August (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

His effects came to £726 15s. 6d., and his executors were his son Albert Fletcher Telling, who was a coal merchant, and his son-in-law John George Norgrove, who was a mercantile clerk.

His sister Eliza Telling died in 1908:

† Miss Eliza Telling died at 26 Marlborough Road, Grandpont at the age of 90 on 15 January 1908 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 18 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).


Surviving children of James & Mary Ann Telling
  • James Fletcher Telling (born 1848) was a warehouseman in 1881, living in Blakeley Street, Tower Hamlets, London with his wife Jessie (32). They appear to have emigrated to the USA, as they appear in the New York census for 1905.
  • Albert Fletcher Telling (born 1854/5) was a coal merchant in 1901, living at 2 Abbey Road, west Oxford with his wife Ada and their daughter Ada Gertrude Telling (2), plus their servant. In 1911 Albert (54) was still a coal merchant, living at 147 Divinity Road with his wife Ada (39) and their daughter. Albert died at 147 Divinity Road on 18 August 1928 at the age of 72. His effects came to £1,176 1s., and his executor was his wife Ada.
  • John Fletcher Telling (born 1861) was working as a cook and living at 33 Worcester Terrace in 1881 with his wife Ada and their daughter Dorothy (2), plus a boarder. In 1901 John (39), described as a college cook, was living at 49 Plantation Road with Ada (38) and their daughter Dorothy (12). They were still at that address in 1911, when Dorothy was an assistant teacher. John Fletcher Telling died at 49 Plantation Road at the age of 55 on 27 June 1916. His effects came to £982 17s. 6d., and his executor was his wife Ada.
  • Helena Fletcher Telling, Mrs Norgrove (born 1863) was living at 12 Edith Road, south Oxford in 1901 with her husband John Norgrove (36), who was a wholesale clothier's clerk, and their children Reginald James Norgrove (3) and Doris Mildred Norgrove (eleven months). In 1911 Helena (47) was living at that address with John (46), now a wholesale clothier's warehouseman, and Reginald (13), Doris (11), and Francis John Norgrove (8). Helena Fletcher Norgrove died at 82 Swinburne Road, Abingdon at the age of 83 on 1 December 1946. Her effects came to £764 17s. 6d., and her executor was the retired tailor Archibald Charles Taylor.

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