Benjamin WELFORD (1825–1876)
His wife Mrs Mary WELFORD, née Judge (1833–1899)
St Paul (St Barnabas) section: Row 18, Grave E2
Loving Memory of
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE
MAY 3RD, 1876
AGED 53 YEARS.
ALSO OF MARY HIS WIFE WHO DIED MARCH 25TH, 1899
AGED 65 YEARS.
Benjamin Welford was born in Ashendon, Buckinghamshire in 1825 and baptised there on 16 December. He was the son of Joseph Welford and Susannah Bates, who were married at Ashendon on 20 November 1823. He had moved with his parents to Westcott near Waddesdon in north Oxfordshire by 1841, and to Launton by 1851. Benjamin started off as a shoemaker like his father, but by the mid-1850s they had moved to Cardigan Street in Oxford and had become coal dealers.
For more about Benjamin Welford's parents, see their separate grave.
Mary Judge was born in Brackley, Northants on 28 October 1833 and baptised there on 3 December. She was the daughter of the groom John Judge and his wife Hannah. At the time of the 1841 census Mary (6) was living in Broad Street, Brackley with her mother Hannah, who is likely to have been widowed and appears to have been working as a servant, and her siblings Elizabeth (15), Maryann (12), John (4), and Harriet (seven months).
On 27 September 1857 at St Paul’s Church, Oxford, Benjamin Welford, described as a coal dealer, married Mary Judge: they were both then living in Cardigan Street. They had seven children.
- Mary Ann Welford (born at King Street, Oxford in 1858 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 26 September;
died at Jericho Street aged three)
- Ellen Welford (born at King Street, Oxford in 1860 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 25 December;
died at Jericho Street aged one)
- Eliza Welford (born in Oxford in 1863 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 3 May)
- Elizabeth Ann Welford (born in Cardigan Street, Oxford in 1865 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 1 October)
- Lucy Welford (born in Oxford in 1870 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 3 July)
- Hannah Welford (born in Oxford in 1872, reg. fourth quarter)
- Benjamin Joseph John Welford (born in Oxford on 21 November 1875 and baptised at St Barnabas's Church on 16 January 1876).
Benjamin settled with his wife Mary at King Street, Jericho after their wedding. When their first daughter was baptised in September 1857 he was still described in the register as a coal dealer, but when his next daughter was baptised in December 1860 he was described as a labourer.
At the time of the 1861 census Benjamin (35, but listed as 31) was again described as a labourer and was living at 2 King Street with his wife Mary (27) and their children Mary (3) and Ellen (three months).
By 1862 the family had moved to Jericho Street, and both their young daughters died there early that year:
- Mary Ann Welford died at the age of three years six months and buried on 23 January 1862;
- Ellen Welford died at the age of one year two months and buried on 7 February 1862.
They were both buried in St Sepulchre's Cemetery in the section that St Paul's Church described as M30: this was probably an area for infants, so they are not buried in this grave
When his third daughter was baptised in 1863, Benjamin's occupation was described in more detail: he was a porter or carman at Pickford's, then railway carriers with an Oxford base in Queen Street. They were a national company whose business had expanded hugely as a result of the railway and in 1861 they employed 67,651 carmen, carters, and carriers throughout Britain.
By October 1865, the family had moved to Cardigan Street. At the time of the 1871 Benjamin was described as a railway carrier and was living at 19 Cardigan Street with his wife and their children Eliza (7), Elizabeth (5), and Lucy (one month). He was still described as a railway servant when Lucy was baptised in July 1870.
In 1869 the Jericho area was transferred from St Paul to the new parish of St Barnabas.
Benjamin Welford was still described as a porter (presumably still with Pickford's) when his last child and only son Benjamin was baptised at St Barnabas's Church on 16 January 1876. He died before his son was six months old:
† Benjamin Welford died at 14 Jericho Street at the age of 51 (parish register says 48 and gravestone says 53) on 3 May 1876 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 10 May (burial recorded in the parish register of St Barnabas's Church).
At the time of his death Mrs Mary Welford had a baby and three other young children, but also had to take in laundry with the help of one of her daughters to make ends meet.
At the time of the 1881 census Mary (47) and her daughter Eliza (17) were both working as laundresses at home at 14 Jericho Street, and her three youngest children Lucy (10), Hannah (9), and Benjamin (5) were still with her.
Her daughter Eliza was married in 1883:
- On 10 September 1883 at St Barnabas's Church, Oxford, Eliza Welford (21) married the blacksmith Thomas Edward Hancox (22), the son of the builder Charles Hancox.
In 1891 Mary was helped with the laundry by her daughter Hannah (19). Otherwise the only child still at home was Benjamin (15), who was a plumber's apprentice.
Three more of her daughters were married in the 1890s:
- On 22 December 1894 at St Barnabas's Church, Oxford, Lucy Welford married Henry Rawlings Brooks;
- In 1895/6 in Oxford (reg. first quarter 1896), Hannah Welford married Sydney Frank Wheeler;
- On 1 October 1896 at St Barnabas's Church, Oxford, Elizabeth Ann Welford married John George Mathews (27), a forester of Morningsham, Wiltshire and the son of the nightwatchman George Mathews.
Mrs Mary Welford was still living at 14 Jericho Street when she died in 1899, but her death actually took place in Brackley, probably while she was visiting family members. Her body was brought back to Oxford to be buried with her husband:
† Mrs Mary Welford née Judge died Brackley at the age of 65 on 25 March 1899 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 30 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Barnabas's Church).
Her effects came to £329, and her son Benjamin, who was now a gas fitter, was her executor. He was married four months after her death:
- On 7 August 1899 at St Barnabas's Church, Oxford, Benjamin Joseph John Welford (23) married Louisa Emily Foster (25), the daughter of the painter's labourer James Foster.