Benjamin WOOLLAMS senior (c.1793–1877)
His wife Mrs Susannah WOOLLAMS, née Knight (1801–1869)
Their son Benjamin WOOLLAMS junior (1823–1888)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 17, Grave D68
WHO DIED APRIL 10, 1877
AGED 84 YEARS
ALSO OF SUSANNAH
WIFE OF THE ABOVE
WHO DIED [OCT. 5, 1869, AGED 68] YEARS
HIS LORD SAID UNTO HIM, WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT: THOU HAS BEEN FAITHFUL OVER A FEW THINGS, I WILL MAKE THEE RULER OVER MANY THINGS: ENTER THOU INTO THE JOY OF THE LORD.
ALSO OF BENJAMIN WOOLLAMS
[SON OF THE ABOVE]
[WHO DIED MARCH 17 1888]
[AGED 64 YEARS]
Benjamin Woollams was born in Oxford in c.1793, but is hard to trace before his marriage in 1822.
Susannah Knight was born in Oxford on 10 March 1801 and baptised at St Michael's Church on 5 April. She was the daughter of Thomas Knight and his wife Mary, They do not appear to have had any other children, and the Thomas Knight who died at the age of 30 and was buried in St Michael's churchyard on 6 January 1804 is likely to have been her father. By the time of her marriage in 1822 she was living in Holywell parish.
On 27 August 1822 at St Cross Church, Oxford, Benjamin Woollams, then a servant of St Michael's parish, married Susannah Knight of Holywell, and the banns were read at both churches. They had the following children:
- Benjamin Woollams junior (born in Oxford “near Worcester College" in 1823 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 16 August)
- Robert Woollams (born in 1825 and baptised at Holywell Church on 26 May); ~
died at 56 Broad Street aged 16 and buried in St Mary Magdalen churchyard on 27 November 1841).
- Amelia Susannah Woollams (born at Little Clarendon Street, Oxford on 6 August 1830 and baptised at St Giles's Church on 29 August)
- Joseph George Woollams (born in Oxford in 1833 and baptised at St Thomas's Church on 15 December)
- Edward Woollams (born in Oxford in 1835 and baptised at St Thomas's Church on 19 July);
died at 56 Broad Street aged 6½ and buried in St Mary Magdalen churchyard on 29 December 1841).
The family was living in the Walton Street area in 1823, and then apparently in Holywell by 1825, but had moved to Little Clarendon Street by the time Amelia was baptised in 1830. Benjamin was then described as a domestic servant, but around this time he must have been appointed butler of Trinity College, as in 1877 he was described as having held that post for 47 years.
By 1833 the family had moved into St Thomas's parish (which then included the Walton Street area), and Benjamin was described as a college servant.
By 1841 the family was living in St Mary Magdalen parish at 56 Broad Street, one of the cottages owned by and adjoining Trinity College. The census that year shows Benjamin and Susannah there with their five children: George (18), who is presumably the son baptised as Benjamin junior, and Robert (16), Amelia (11), Joseph (8), and Edward (7). Two of their sons died at 56 Broad Street later that year: Robert aged 16 on 23 November, and Edward aged 6½ in December. They were buried on 27 November and 29 December respectively in St Mary Magdalen churchyard (as St Sepulchre's Cemetery did not open until 1848). The death notice of Robert was published in Jackson's Oxford Journal: “On Tuesday last, after a short and painful illness, the son of Mr. Woollams, aged 16 years."
By the time of the 1851 census Benjamin (55), described as a college servant (buttery man) was living at 5 Worcester Terrace in St Paul's district chapelry with his wife Susannah (50) and their daughter Amelia (20), who was a dressmaker. His son Joseph (17) had probably already joined the navy. His son Benjamin junior (28) is hard to find in this and future censuses before reappearing in Oxford in the 1880s, and he too may have been in the services.
Their daughter Amelia was married to her first husband the following year:
- On 14 October 1852 at All Saints Church, Oxford, Amelia Susannah Woollams, described as a milliner of St Mary Magdalen parish, married the chemist Richard John Keys of All Saints parish, who was baptised at Christ Church Cathedral on 24 April 1827 and was the son of its Sacristan/Verger Richard Keys).
Richard & Amelia Keys do not appear to have had any children. Richard died at Worcester Place at the age of 30 on 14 March 1858 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 18 March (see his grave), and in 1861 Amelia married again:
- On 30 March 1861 at North Hinksey church, Mrs Amelia Susannah Keys, née Woollams (30), described as a milliner of St Mary Magdalen parish and the daughter of Benjamin Woollams, butler of Trinity College, married her second husband John Prince Tubb (26), a cabinet maker and the son of the cabinet maker Benjamin Tubb: he lived in Isis Street in south Oxford, which was then in North Hinksey parish.
By 1861 Benjamin & Susannah Woollams had moved to a cottage at the back of 1 St Giles's Street, in St Mary Magdalen parish.
Their son Joseph, who after leaving the navy moved to Swindon to work as a labourer at the New Swindon Railway works, was married in 1865:
- On 28 October 1865 at St Mark's Church, New Swindon, Joseph George Woollams (25), described as a labourer and the son of the servant Benjamin Woollams, married Ellen Matilda Smith (18) of 6 Mount Pleasant, Swindon, the daughter of the case handler John Smith.
His daughter Amelia Susanna G. Woollams was born in Swindon at the end of 1866. On 1 March 1867 Joseph was connecting machinery with the driving shaft in motion instead of switching it off, and was crushed to death; and his only child Amelia died of diphtheria at the age of four in 1871. They were both buried in Swindon.
Mrs Woollams died in Oxford in 1869:
† Mrs Susannah Woollams née Knight died at the cottage behind 1 St Giles's Street at the age of 68 on 5 October 1869 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 8 October (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
Her death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal read: Oct. 5, after a long and painful illness, aged 68, Susannah, wife of Benjamin Woollams, servant at Trinity College, Oxford. Her end was peace.”
At the time of the 1871 census Benjamin (76), who was still working as a college servant, was living alone in the St Giles's Street cottage with a housekeeper aged 26.
Benjamin Woollams senior died in 1877:
† Benjamin Woollams senior died at St Giles's Street at the age of 83 on 10 April 1877 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 16 April (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
His death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal read: “April 10, at his residence, St. Giles's, Oxford, in his 84th year, Benjamin Woollams, for 47 years butler of Trinity College.”
Benjamin Woollams junior (who is hard to find in any of the censuses after 1841) does not appear to have married. He was back in Oxford in the 1880s, when he was described as a tailor and receiving indoor poor relief.
He was an inmate of Oxford Workhouse by 1888. He died there that year, and was buried in his parents' grave:
† Benjamin Woollams junior died at Oxford Workhouse at the age of 64 on 17 March 1888 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 23 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
The other surviving child of Benjamin and Susannah Woollams
- Amelia Susannah Woollams, Mrs Tubb (born 1830) and her second husband John Prince Tubb do not appear to have had any children. At the time of the 1861 census Amelia (30) was working as a milliner and living at 2 King's Row, with her husband John (26), who was working as a cabinet maker. By 1871 they were living in part of North Hinksey House to the south of St Aldate's, and had two lodgers and a servant. By 1880 they had moved to 9 Blue Boar Street in All Saints' parish, and John Prince Tubb died there at the age of 46 in December 1880 and was buried on 30 December, probably in Holywell Cemetery. At the time of the 1881 census Amelia (50, but now describing herself as 47) was living on her own at 9 Blue Boar Street, and an 11-year-old girl, Emma Cattle, was paying her a visit. Amelia Susannah Tubb died in Oxford at the age of 61 in 1898, and was probably buried with her second husband.