Henry VENABLES (1823–1889)
His wife Mrs Jessy Maria Jeddere VENABLES, née Fisher (1823–1901)
Their daughter Agnes Grace VENABLES (1859–1919)
St Giles (Ss Philip & James) section: Row 32, Grave K37

Henry Venables


Loving Memory
DIED 20TH JULY 1889.


Also of


Also of
DIED 24TH JULY 1919.




This headstone has been laid flat on the ground for health & safety reasons


Henry Venables was born in Liverpool on 17 October 1823. He was the youngest son of the barrister Lazarus Jones Venables (born in London on 12 March 1772) and Alice Jolley, who were married in Liverpool on 24 October 1805.

Henry attended Rugby School, and was matriculated as a pensioner (commoner) at the University of Cambridge by Jesus College at the age of 19 on 20 June 1842. He obtained his B.A. in 1846, and was ordained Deacon at Chester in 1846 and priest in 1848. He served as Curate of Bickerstaffe, Lancashire, from 1848 to 1850.

At the time of the 1851 census Henry (27) was assistant curate of Redmarley d'Abitot in Gloucestershire and lodging with the parish clerk in the village's parish house. His father Lazarus (79) was at home in Woodhill, Treflach, Shropshire with his second wife Mary Edwards (69), whom he had married in 1845, and Henry's brothers Edward (35) and Thomas (34), and their six servants (including a dairy maid and two stable servants).

His father Lazarus Jones Venables died in 1856, and Henry's older brother Edward Frederick Venables inherited his estate in Shropshire,

In 1857 Henry was appointed a minor Canon and Precentor of Chester.

On 19 April 1858 his brother Edward, a hero of the Indian Mutiny, was killed at Mandori. He was the third and last of Henry’s older brothers to die childless, so Henry inherited the family estate.

Jessy Maria Jeddere Fisher was born at Ealing on 12 October 1823, the youngest daughter of Jacob Jeddere Fisher and Elizabeth Wallinger, who were married at St Marylebone Church, Westminster on 21 October 1833. She had four siblings: Cuthbert (1814), Ann Elizabeth (1817), Agnes Jane (1820), and Cyril (1828). In 1830 her father pulled down a house in the Mount Ephraim area of Tunbridge Wells and built Great Culverden House. (Today only the 9½ acre park is all that remains.) He died at the age of 67 on 20 July 1833.

At the time of the 1841 census Jessy was living at Great Culverden House with her widowed mother Elizabeth and her older siblings Cuthbert, Ann, and Agnes; she was still there at the age of 27 in 1851 with her mother and her sister Ann (36), and their seven servants (a housekeeper, two lady’s maids, two housemaids, a kitchen maid, and a footman).

Near the end of 1858 in Tunbridge Wells, Henry Venables married Jessy Maria Jeddere Fisher, and they had four children:

  • Agnes Grace Venables (born in Chester on 3 September 1859 and baptised there on 6 October)
  • Edith Venables (born in Chester on 25 October 1861, with her birth announced in The Times, and baptised there on 27 November)
  • Cuthbert Edward Venables (born in Chester on 24 July 1863 and baptised at Chester Cathedral on 19 August)
  • Mary Venables (born in Chester in 1865 and baptised there on 23 August).

At the time of the 1861 census Henry Venables was the Precentor of Chester Cathedral, and he and his wife Jessy, who were both aged about 37, were living at 5 Abbey Court, Chester with their daughter Agnes (1) and their three servants. He ceased to be Precentor in 1866.

By the time of the 1871 census Henry, described as a clergyman, was living at Culverden, Leamington with his wife and their children Agnes (11), Edith (9), and Cuthbert (6), plus his wife’s unmarried sister Anne Fisher (54) and five servants.

By the 1881 census Henry, now described as a clergyman without cure of souls, was living at 24 Bath Road, Reading with his wife and their daughters Agnes (21) and Mary (15). A 15-year-old girl called Mabel Venables was boarding with them, and they again had five servants.

His only son Cuthbert, who had attended Charterhouse School, was matriculated at the University of Cambridge by Pembroke College as a pensioner on 2 October 1882. He obtained his B.A. in 1885, and became a mechanical engineer.

By 1889 the Venables family had moved to 26 Norham Gardens, Oxford, where two of their daughters were still living fifty years later.

26 Norham Gardens 26 Norham Gardens, photographed in January 2015. It is now St Edmund Hall postgraduate accommodation

Henry Venables died at this house soon after moving to Oxford:

† Henry Venables died at 26 Norham Gardens at the age of 65 on 20 July 1889 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 24 July (burial recorded in the parish registers of St Giles’s and Ss Philip & James’s Church).

His death was announced briefly in The Times. His effects came to £5,940 13s. 7d., and his wife Jessy was his sole executor.

At the time of the 1891 census Mrs Venables was living at 26 Norham Gardens with her three daughters Agnes (31), Edith (29), and Mary (25). She had four servants. Her son Cuthbert (27) was working as a marine engine draughtsman and lodging at Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire.

Mrs Venables died at the beginning of 1901:

† Mrs Jessy Maria Jeddere Venables, née Fisher died at 26 Norham Gardens at the age of 77 on 2 January 1901 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 5 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

Her effects came to £4,976 16s. 3d., and probate was granted to her son Cuthbert and her daughter Edith, and to Herbert Fisher.

In 1901 her daughters Agnes (41) and Edith (39) were still living at 26 Norham Gardens with four servants (two lady’s maids, a cook, and a parlourmaid). Cuthbert (37) was a motor vehicles mechanical engineer and lodging in Lambeth, London, but Mary is hard to find.

They were still there in 1911, and had an extra servant, an attendant to an invalid (who is likely to have been Agnes, as her younger sister Edith was now listed as the head of the household). Cuthbert (47) was working as a consulting mechanical engineer at a brickworks and lodging at a different house in Lambeth, and Mary (45) was boarding in the home of another single lady in Burley, Hampshire.

Agnes died in 1919:

† Miss Agnes Grace Venables died at 26 Norham Gardens at the age of 59 on 24 July 1919 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 26 July (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

Her effects came to £13,142 5s. 5d., and probate was granted to her two sisters, the Misses Edith and Mary Venables. Mary appears to have returned to Oxford to live with Edith at 26 Norham Gardens.

Children of Henry and Jessy Venables

None of their children married, so there are no further descendants

  • Edith Venables (born 1861) died at 26 Norham Gardens at the age of 77 on 11 November 1938. Her effects came to £19,250 17s. 2d., and her sister Mary and her solicitor were her executors.
  • Cuthbert Edward Venables (born 1863) was living in London between 1920 and 1938. At the time of the 1939 Register he was living at 77 Cumnor Hill with Henry Thackeray: this was the gardener's cottage attached to his sister Mary's house at Larkbeare, 85 Cumnor Hill. He died at the latter address at the age of 79 on 7 September 1942. His effects came to £327 13s. 7d., and administration was granted to Mary. His death was announced briefly in The Times, and his funeral was at Cumnor Church.
  • Mary Venables (born 1865) moved from 26 Norham Gardens to Larkbeare, 85 Cumnor Hill soon after her sister Edith’s death in 1938, and the 1939 Register shows her living there with Anne Wynne Thackeray. She died there on 10 March 1950, and her effects came to £26,332 16s. 5d.



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