James BELCHER (1834–1895)
His wife Mrs Emma BELCHER, née Fleetwood (1838–1914)
Their daughter Miss Rosa Eleanor BELCHER (1859–1941)
St Michael section: Row 44, Grave 50½
Loving Memory of
WHO PASSED AWAY SEP. 17, 1895
AGED 60 YEARS
ALSO OF EMMA, A LOVING MOTHER
AND DEARLY BELOVED WIFE
WHO PASSED AWAY MARCH 13, 1914
AGED 75 YEARS
PEACE, PERFECT PEACE
ALSO OF THEIR BELOVED DAUGHTER
WHO DIED DEC. 21, 1941
AGED 82 YEARS
James Belcher was born in Faringdon, Berkshire in 1834 and baptised there on 26 October. He was the son of the blacksmith Jonathan Belcher and Elizabeth MacCabee, who were both living in Faringdon when they were married there on 13 June 1832. His older sister Mary Belcher was baptised there on 19 May 1833. James's mother Elizabeth Belcher died at Little Coxwell and was buried at Faringdon on 18 August 1837. His father married his second wife Elizabeth Ling at Faringdon on 27 February 1840. At the time of the 1841 census James (6, but recorded as 7) was living in Great Faringdon with his father and stepmother and George (5), who was presumably his younger brother. In 1851 James (16) was living at Bierton, Buckinghamshire in the home of the schoolteacher Benjamin Franklin and his wife Anna, and was described as the brother of the head of the household.
Emma Fleetwood was born in Oxford in 1838 and baptised at St Thomas's Church on 2 December. She was the daughter of the shoemaker John Fleetwood (born in Kennington, Berkshire in c.1800) and Jane Minn Court (born in Oxford in 1796 and baptised at St Ebbe's Church on 8 June), who were both living at Wolvercote when they were married there on 1 May 1831. Emma's mother Jane had a daughter before her marriage, Elizabeth Minn Court, who was born in Oxford in 1817. She and her husband John had two other children baptised at St Thomas's Church: William Charles Fleetwood (1831) and Eliza Mary Fleetwood (1835). For more on her sister Eliza, see separate grave. At the time of the 1841 census Emma (2), with her name wrongly recorded, was living at Wellington Street in Jericho with her father John Fleetwood, described as a shoemaker, her mother Jane, and her sister Eliza (5). At the time of the 1851 census Emma (12) was living in Walton Street, Oxford with her widowed aunt Mrs Catherine Court (6) and her sister Eliza (15) and their half-sister Elizabeth Court (30): all three were laundresses.
In 1857 in Oxford (reg. third quarter), James Belcher (22) married Emma Fleetwood (18). They had nine children:
- Leopold Ernest Belcher, known as Ernest (born at St Paul's Terrace in 1858 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 15 May)
- Rosa Eleanor Belcher (born at St Paul’s Terrace in 1859 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 15 May)
- James Minn Belcher (born in Oxford in July 1861); died aged three weeks
- Wallace John Belcher (born at St Paul's Terrace in 1863 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 5 July); died aged one
- Emma Elizabeth Belcher (born in Walton Street in 1865 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 7 January 1866)
- Eliza Minn Belcher (born at Walton Street 1868 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 7 June)
- Christian Jane Belcher (born in Oxford in 1870 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 22 May)
- Catherine Matilda Phoebe Belcher (born at Frewin Court in 1872 and baptised at St Michael's Church on 20 July)
- Ada Laura Belcher (born at Union Passage in 1876 and baptised at St Michael's Church in December).
James Belcher was described as a clerk in 1858 and as a servant in 1859.
At the time of the 1861 census James Belcher (26), a porter in a wine vaults, and his wife Emma (23) were living with their children Leopold (3) and Rosa (2) at 105 Walton Street, the home of Emma's half-sister Elizabeth Court (40), a laundress. Also living with Miss Court were her half-sister Miss Eliza Fleetwood (25), and Eliza's daughter Lavinia (3).
Their son James Minn Belcher was born in July 1861 and buried in the St Paul's section of St Sepulchre's Cemetery three weeks later on 1 August. Their next son Wallace who was born in 1863 died aged one and was buried on 22 October (St Paul references G18 and G17: probably the section for infant burials).
By the time of the 1871 census the family was divided. James Belcher (36), described as a cellarman, and his wife Emma (32) were living at Frewin Court off the west side of Cornmarket Street (which is also known as Union Passage, as the back entrance to the Oxford Union leads off it) with their children Ernest (3) and Christian (1). Meanwhile at 105 Walton Street, the house was occupied by Elizabeth M Court (51) laundress, Jane Fleetwood (73) mother and laundress, Eliza Fleetwood (35) sister-in-law and laundress and Elizabeth’s nieces Lavinia G Taunton (13), Rosa E Belcher (12) Emma E Belcher (5) and Eliza M Belcher.
Their eldest son Ernest was married in 1878:
- On 29 December 1878 at St Michael's Church, Ernest Belcher, a compositor, married Uxbridge-born Emma Stone of the parish of SS Philip and James, the daughter of the bootmaker William Stone. (The marriage was registered with the groom's name Ernest Belcher, not Leopold Ernest Belcher.)
At the time of the 1881 census, James Belcher (46), described as a wine merchant was living at 72 George street with his wife Emma (42) and their three youngest children Christian (11), Catherine (8), and and Ada (4). The three older daughters, namely Rosa (22), who was a dressmaker, and Emma (15) and Eliza (13) were living at 112 Walton Street with their aunt Miss Elizabeth Court (63), who was a laundress; also living there were their aunt Miss Eliza Fleetwood, who also worked as a laundress, and her daughter Lavinia
By the time of the 1891 census James (56), described as a cellarman to a wine merchant's, was living in Frewin Court again (occupying the rooms over the wine merchant's shop) with his wife Emma (52) and their three youngest daughters Christian (21), who was a bookbinder; Catherine (18), who was a dressmaker and Ada (14), who was still at school. Once again the other three daughters, Rosa (32), Emma (25), and Eliza (23), who were all dressmakers were living separately, now at 13 Juxon Street, and their aunt Miss Eliza Fleetwood (55) was now the head of the household, still working as a laundress.
James Belcher died in 1895:
† James Belcher died at Frewin Court at the age of 60 on 17 September 1895 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 20 September (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael's Church).
Two more of the Belcher daughters were married in the second half of the 1890s:
- On 22 September 1896 at St Aldate's Church, Eliza Minn Belcher (27) of 13 Juxon Street married Walter Watson (25), a clerk born at Downham Market in Norfolk who was living at 63 St Aldate’s Street at the time of their marriage;
- In 1898 (reg. third quarter) in Oxford, Christian Jane Belcher married Ernest Luckett.
At the time of the 1901 census Emma Belcher (62) was a widow, living at 21 Cambridge Street with her daughters Catherine (25) and Ada (23), who were both dressmakers. Her other two unmarried daughters Rosa (41) and Emma (35), who were also dressmakers, were still living at 13 Juxon Street with their aunt Miss Eliza Fleetwood (65), a laundress, and her daughter Lavinia (45).
Two more of her daughters were married in 1902:
- On 31 July 1902 at St Paul's Church, Catherine Matilda Phoebe Belcher (27) of Cambridge Street married the Witney-born shop assistant Frederick George Owens (27), the son of the organist George Owens;
- On 27 December 1902 at St Aldate's Church, Ada Laura Belcher (21) of 21 Cambridge Street married the Oxford-born salesman Gilbert Arthur Warwick (28), the son of William Henry Warwick.
At the time of the 1911 census Mrs Emma Belcher (72) was still living at 21 Cambridge Street. She reported that she had nine children and that seven children were still living. Also with her was her daughter Emma Elizabeth Belcher (45) a dressmaker who was working from home. Her other unmarried daughter Rosa Eleanor Belcher (52), who was also a dressmaker, was still living at 13 Juxon Street with her cousin Lavinia Georgina Taunton (53), a laundress.
Mrs Emma Belcher died in 1914:
† Mrs Emma Belcher née Fleetwood died at 21 Cambridge Street at the age of 75 on 13 March 1914 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 19 March 1914 (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael's Church).
Her effects came to £462 5s. 5d., and her executor was her son Charles.
Her daughter Emma was married just a few months later:
- On 20 September 1914 at the Registry Office in Oxford, Emma Elizabeth Belcher (48) married Charles Richard Gillam (49), a photographer of Nelson Street and the son of William and Margaret Gillam.
Miss Rosa Eleanor Belcher (born 1859)
Rosa, one of the three Belcher sisters who lived with their aunt Miss Eliza Fleetwood, was the only one of the seven surviving Belcher children who never married. She worked as a dressmaker.
Miss Fleetwood died on 27 February 1911, and at the time of the 1911 census a month later Eliza (52) was still living at 13 Juxon Street with Miss Fleetwood's daughter Miss Lavinia Georgina Taunton (53), who was a laundresses.
Her cousin Lavinia died in 1926.
Rosa Belcher was living at 31 Richmond Road in the home of her sister Mrs Emma Elizabeth Gillam along with her sister Mrs Eliza Minn Gomm when she died in hospital in 1941, and she was buried with her parents:
† Miss Rosa Eleanor Belcher died at the Cowley Road Hospital at the age of 82 on 21 December 1941 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery (burial probably recorded in the parish register of St Michael's Church, but later registers not available).
Her effects came to £690 10s. 4d., and her executors were her sisters Mrs Emma Elizabeth Gillam and Mrs Eliza Minn Gomm.
The six surviving married children of James and Emma Belcher
- (Leopold) Ernest Belcher (born 1858)
At the time of the 1881 census Ernest (23), who was a letter carrier, and his wife Emma (25), who was a dressmaker, were living at 14 Plantation Road, Oxford with their daughter Emma Sophia Belcher (1) . Emma’s father, William Stone (58) and her uncle Charles Stone were also in the house. By 1891 Ernest Belcher (33), now a carpenter and painter, was living at 77 Howard Street in east Oxford with his wife Emma (35) and their children Emma Sophia (11), Ernest James (9), Rosa Eleanor (7), (Edith) Lucy (4), and Eliza Lavinia (?1). By 1901 they had moved to Brighton: Ernest (43), now an undertaker manager, was living at 16 Lewes Road there with his wife Emma (44) and their children Emma (21), who was a dressmaker; Ernest (19), who was an undertaker’s assistant; Rosa (19), who was also a dressmaker; and Lucy (14), Eliza (10). and Catherine (7). Ernest's wife Emma died in Brighton at the age of 54 near the beginning of 1911. At the time of the 1911 census Ernest (53), an undertaker, was living at 7 Islingword Road, Brighton with three of his daughters: Rose (23) was a dressmaker; Lizzie (20) was cashier at a powder factory; and Catherine (17) a powder factory hand. (Leopold) Ernest Belcher died in Brighton at the age of 75 near the beginning of 1933.
- Emma Elizabeth Belcher, Mrs Gillam (born 1865)
Emma was 48 at the time of her marriage to Charles Richard Gillam in 1914, and they had no children. By 1935 they were living at 31 Richmond Road: they were still living there when Charles died at Littlemore on 21 October 1946, . Emma died at 31 Richmond Road on 17 March 1950. Her effects came to £627 2s. 9d., and the two sisters who lived with her, Mrs Eliza Minn Gomm and Mrs Catherine Matilda Phoebe Owens, were her executors.
- Eliza Minn Belcher, Mrs Gomm (formerly Mrs Watson) (born 1868)
Eliza and her first husband Walter Watson had no children. In 1901 they were living at 47 Marlborough Road in south Oxford. By 1911 Eliza and Walter, who was a tailor's clerk, were living at 9 Richmond Road. Walter died in Oxford in early 1914, and in 1917 in Oxford, Mrs Eliza Watson married her second husband George Octavius Gomm. George died in Oxford in 1929. Mrs Eliza Minn Gomm was living at 31 Richmond Road (the former home of her sister Mrs Gillam, d.1950) when she died at the Cowley Road Hospital on 29 October 1952. Her effects came to £1,038 1s. 11d., and her executor was the company director Kenneth George Owens.
- Christian Jane Belcher, Mrs Luckett (born 1870)
Christian and her husband Ernest Luckett had three children, but they all died in infancy. (Christian) Jane (31), who was working as a bookbinder, and Ernest (33), a shop porter wrongly recorded as Henry, were living at New England off the High Street in Bordesley, Birmingham in 1901. By 1911 they were living at 238 Bradford Street, Birmingham, and Ernest was working as a bill-poster. Ernest Luckett died in Birmingham at the age of 68 in 1935. Mrs Christian Jane Luckett was living at 139 High Street, Bordesley, Birmingham when she died at the Western Road Infirmary on 14 March 1937. Her effects came to £30 7s., and her executor was Mrs Ethel Evans.
- Catherine Matilda Phoebe Belcher, Mrs Owens (born 1872)
At the time of the 1911 census Catherine (37) and her husband Frederick George Owens (37), who was a hosiery buyer, were living at 55 Fairacres Road in east Oxford with their children Muriel Iris Owens (5) and Kenneth George Owens (3). Mrs Catherine Matilda Phoebe Owens was living at 31 Richmond Road (the home of her sister Mrs Belcher, d.1950) when she died at the Radcliffe Infirmary on 18 February 1954. Her effects came to £1,307 16s. 8d., and her executor was her son Kenneth George Owens, a company director.
- Ada Laura Belcher, Mrs Warwick (born 1875)
At the time of the 1911 census Ada Laura (31) and her husband Gilbert Arthur Warwick (36), who was a salesman, were living at 29 Queen Margaret Grove, Mildmay Park, London with their son Stanley Eric Warwick (5). They appear to have had three more children: Thomas Warwick(born Oxford 1913), Irene Warwick (born Hackney 1914), and Reginald Warwick (born Oxford 1918). Gilbert Warwick died at the age of 77 in 1952, and Mrs Ada Laura Warwick at the age of 79 in 1955, both in the Croydon district.