Mrs Mary UNDERHILL, née Tozer (1817–1858)
Her sons Edward Tozer UNDERHILL (born and died 1849),
George James UNDERHILL (born and died 1852),
and William Stephen UNDERHILL (1850–1858)
The grave itself must be in the St Mary Magdalen section,
but this stone
is propped up in the wrong section (St Michael) at Row 16, Grave D51
IN MEMORY OF
MARY [… WIFE OF]
DIED MARCH …, 1858
IN THE [?FORTIETH] YEAR OF HER AGE
EDWARD TOZER UNDERHILL
SON OF THE ABOVE
DIED … 1849
GEORGE JAMES UNDERHILL
SON OF THE ABOVE
DIED … 1852
WILLIAM STEPHEN UNDERHILL
SON OF THE ABOVE
DIED JULY 11, 1858
AGED 7 YEARS
[There does not appear to be any
inscription to her baby daughter
Marion Eleanor Underhill
who died in 1855]
This gravestone has been moved to the wrong place. It is propped up on an unrelated gravestone in the St Michael section of the cemetery, but belongs in the St Mary Magdalen section
Mary Tozer was born in Taunton in 1816, the eldest daughter of Robert Tozer (born in Charmouth, Dorset in 1789/90) and Mary Roffey Maitland (born in Marlborough, Wiltshire on 22 November 1785: she in turn was eldest daughter of Alexander Maitland, Esq.).
Mary’s father was living in Taunton and her mother at Clapham Common when they were married in Battersea in 1816, and the marriage was announced in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 27 April that year (with Roffey misspelt as Rosey). They had the following children (of whom the first five were registered at a nonconformist chapel in Taunton, but not baptised there):
- Mary Tozer (born in the parish of St Mary Magdalene in Taunton on 21 January 1817)
- Caroline Tozer (born in the parish of St Mary Magdalene in Taunton on 26 December 1817)
- Harriet Tozer (born in the parish of St Mary Magdalene in Taunton on 20 June 1820)
- Selina Tozer (born in the parish of St Mary Magdalene in Taunton on 30 December 1818)
- Robert Maitland Tozer (born in St Cuthbert’s parish, near Wells, Somerset on 11 August 1821)
- Hannah Bishop Tozer (born in Marlborough, Wiltshire on 27 May 1823 and baptised at the Congregational Church there on 29 June)
- Rebecca Welman Tozer (born in Marlborough, Wiltshire in 1824/5 and baptised at the Congregational Church there on 29 May 1825); died 1839
- Susanna Tozer (born in Marlborough on 3 January 1829 and baptised at the Congregational Church there on 8 February)
In 1834 Mary’s father Robert Tozer moved from Wiltshire to Witney, where he was to spend the rest of his life, following his appointment as Minister of Witney Congregational Church. Her mother, also called Mary, died at Witney less than three years later on 24 January 1837, and was buried in Witney Congregational Church on 31 January 1837, with a funeral sermon delivered there on 5 February.
Mary’s sister Rebecca Tozer died two years later was buried with her mother in January 1839.
On 24 November 1840 her sister Caroline Tozer married Stephen Hobson Heath, Esq. of London at Witney, and the marriage was announced in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 28 November. Her brother Robert Maitland Tozer married Alice Early in 1846 and became a farmer in Curbridge, near Witney until he gave up the lease of the farm in 1861.
At the time of the 1841 census Mary (aged about 20) was living in High Street, Witney with her widower father Robert Tozer, who was described as a dissenting minister, and her four unmarried siblings, plus a governess and female servant.
Near the end of 1841 Mary Tozer married Charles Underhill at Witney. For more on her husband, who was a prominent nonconformist grocer in Oxford, see his grave, where he is buried with his second wife.
Mary and Charles Underhill had ten children:
- Charles Maitland Underhill (born in Oxford in 1842, reg. third quarter)
- Harriet Roffey Underhill (born in Oxford in 1842/3, reg. first quarter of 1843)
- Frederick Robert Underhill (born in Oxford in 1844, reg. fourth quarter)
- Ernest Augustus Underhill (born in Oxford in 1846, reg. third quarter)
- Mary Ellen Underhill (born in Oxford in 1847, reg. third quarter)
- Edward Tozer Underhill (born in Oxford in 1849, reg. third quarter, died in the same quarter)
- William Stephen Underhill (born in Oxford in 1850, reg. fourth quarter; died in Summertown at the age of 7 in 1858, reg. third quarter)
- George James (born in Oxford in 1852, reg. first quarter); died in same quarter
- Marion Eleanor Underhill (born in 1855, reg. second quarter); died at 23 Beaumont Street days after birth
on 12 July 1855, with death announced in Jackson’s Oxford Journal
- Emily Rosa Underhill (born in 1856, reg. third quarter).
Mary’s husband probably took over his own shop at 11 Beaumont Street in St Mary Magdalen parish after his marriage, when he was only 21.
Their sixth child Edward Tozer Underhill died shortly after his birth in 1849, but although he is listed on the gravestone, his burial is not recorded in the St Mary Magdalen register.
At the time of the 1851 census the Underhills were living over their shop at 11 Beaumont Street with their four surviving children.
Two more of Mary’s newborn babies died at 11 Beaumont Street in the 1850s: George James Underhill in 1852, and Marion Eleanor Underhill on 12 July 1855, and again their burials are not recorded in the St Mary Magdalen register. George is remembered on this gravestone, but not Marion.
In 1854 Mary’s husband started to run his business from 37 Cornmarket Street, and the family was now prosperous enough to have a separate home, and they moved up to Diamond Villa at South Parade in Summertown
Mary’s father Robert Tozer, who had retired as Minister of Witney Congregational Church in 1852, died on 4 September 1855 at the age of 64 and was buried at Witney Congregational Church: his death was announced in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 8 September, and his will was proved by the Prerogative Court at Canterbury. Mary herself died in Summertown in 1858, just three years after her father:
† Mrs Mary Underhill, née Tozer died at Summertown at the age of about 40 in March 1858 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 16 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
The fact that her burial was recorded in the St Mary Magdalen register shows that there was an existing family grave there, as otherwise she would have had to have been buried in Summertown.
Her son William Stephen Underhill died at the age of seven just five months after his mother on 11 July 1858. Again, although his name is inscribed on the gravestone, but again there is no record in the St Mary Magdalen burial register.
Charles Underhill married his second wife Ellen Francis a year later, in the second quarter of 1859
see his grave for his subsequent history, and also that of Mary’s children