John William WOOD (1822–1870)
His wife Mrs Frances WOOD, née Margetts (1820/1–1867)
St Giles section: Row 20, Grave F43

John William Wood



[The inscription on the top part
of this headstone is
completely worn away,
but it probably reads:




WHO DIED JULY 11, 1870






John William Wood was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1822 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church there in July. He was the son of William Wood and his wife Martha. John became a confectioner like his father, and by 1843 he had set up business in Oxford and was living at St Paul’s Terrace in the Walton Street area.

Frances Margetts was born in Oxford in 1820/1 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 14 January 1821. She was the daughter of John Margetts, a victualler, and his wife Frances, and in 1819 her older brother Frederick Robert Margetts had also been baptised at that church. By 1830 the Margetts family had moved to the Red Lion at 139 High Street in All Saints’ parish, where her father was the publican. Frances’s four younger brothers were thus baptised at All Saints’ Church: George (1825), Henry Frank (1829), John (1830), and James Frederick (1833). By 1839 Frances’s father was dead and the Red Lion was being run by her mother. In 1840 in Bath, her mother Mrs Frances Margetts married her second husband Joseph Harrison; but he died at the age of 69 near the beginning of 1841, and so that year’s census shows just Frances Margetts and her mother Mrs Frances Harrison living over the pub, with one servant. By 1843 Frances Margetts was living in St Paul’s Terrace, in the same group of houses as her future husband.

On 10 April 1843 at St Paul’s Church, Oxford, John William Wood married Frances Margetts, and they had the following children:

  • Catherine Amelia Wood (born at St Paul’s Terrace, Oxford in 1843 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 8 October)
  • William Sprostom (or Sproston) Wood (born at the High Street, Oxford in 1844/5 and baptised at All Saints’ Church on 28 January 1845)
  • Fanny Sophia Wood (born at New Inn Hall Street, Oxford in 1846 and baptised at St Peter-le-Bailey Church on 13 September)
  • John Margetts Wood (born at Pembroke Street in 1848 and baptised at St Ebbe’s Church on 18 May); died aged 11 weeks and buried in its churchyard on 4 July)
  • Charles John Wood (born in Oxford in 1849/50, reg. first quarter of 1850)
  • James George Wood (born at St John Street, Oxford in 1853 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 8 April)
  • Frederick Wood (born in St John Street, Oxford in 1855 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 24 June); died at Park Place aged two years and six months and buried in St Giles’s churchyard on 29 August 1857
  • Percy Edward Wood (born at Park Place, Oxford in 1857 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 1 July)
  • Eliza Emily Wood (born at Park Place, Oxford in 1859 and baptised at St Giles's Church on 24 April)
  • Edgar Wood (born at Park Place, Oxford in 1863 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 12 February).

The baptismal records show that John William Wood was a confectioner in the Walton Street area by 1843; in the middle part of the High Street by 1845; and in New Inn Hall Street in 1846. Then by 1848 he and his family had moved to Pembroke Street in St Ebbe’s and he was working as a cook.

By the time of the 1851 census John William Wood (aged 29, but recorded as 30) described himself as a confectioner & cook and was back in New Inn Hall Street with Frances and their first four children Catherine (7), William (6), Fanny (4), and Charles (1), plus a servant. Gardner’s Directory confirms that he lived there in 1852 and was a cook at Balliol College. Meanwhile Frances’s widowed mother Mrs Frances Harrison (54) was still running the Red Lion in the High Street, and her youngest son James Harrison (17), another confectioner, was still living with her.

In 1853 John William and Frances Wood were evidently living in St John Street.

In about 1857 they settled at Park Place, which was at the south end of the Banbury Road, running north from opposite St Giles's Church (map). John William Wood now just described himself as a college cook.

The 1861 census shows him and his wife living at 4 Park Place with their children Catherine (17), Fanny (14), Charles (11), James (8), Percy (3) and Eliza (2), plus one servant. William (16) had already left home and was the apprentice to a confectioner in Chelsea,.

Two of their daughters were married in the 1860s:

  • On 11 September 1862 at St Giles’s Church, Oxford, Catherine Amelia Wood married Edward Joseph Harris, who was also a college cook;
  • On 15 January 1867 at St Giles’s Church, Oxford, Fanny Sophia Wood married James Francis Gorman, a licensed victualler of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Mrs Frances Wood died in 1867:

† Mrs Frances Wood née Margetts died at the age of 47 on 14 September 1867 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 17 September (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

Her death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal read: “Sept. 14, in St. Giles’s, Fanny, wife of Mr. Wood, cook of Balliol College, aged 47.”

Their son William was married in 1870:

  • On 7 July 1870 at St Thomas's Church, Oxford, William Sprostom Wood (25), described as a licensed victualler of Hythe Bridge Street, married Clara Amelia Brown (24) of Park Place, who was baptised at St Giles's Church on 7 September 1845, the daughter of the jeweller James Brown and his wife Sarah.

John William Wood died just four days after his son’s marriage, while he was staying with his daughter Mrs Catherine Amelia Harris in St John Street:

† John William Wood died at 6 St John Street in St Mary Magdalen parish at the age of 48 (though recorded as 50) on 11 July 1870 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 14 July (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

His death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal read: “July 11, at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Harris, No. 6, St. John-street, Mr. John William Wood, for many years cook and manciple of Balliol College, aged 50.”

His effects came to under £600, and his executors were his widowed daughter Mrs Catherine Amelia Harris and his son Charles John Wood.

His daughter Catherine, who married her second husband Alfred Harris Mardon in Reading in 1872, appears to have disputed the will, as on 22 April 1876 a notice appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal pursuant to an Order of the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, made in an action of Mardon v. Wood, the creditors of John William Wood were asked to send to the solicitor of the plaintiff Catherine Amelia Mardon their claims and nature of their accounts.



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