John BLENCOWE (1801–1877)
His wife Mrs Sarah
BLENCOWE, née Morris (1806–1884)
and their four unmarried children: Charlotte Amelia BLENCOWE (1828–1911); Clara Louisa BLENCOWE (1837–1917); Eliza BLENCOWE (1843–1934); and Charles BLENCOWE (1846–1900)
St Giles [Ss Philip & James] section: Row 33, Graves J32 and J33 (double plot)
In / Loving Memory / of JOHN BLENCOWE / WHO DIED MAY 23, 1877.
ALSO SARAH HIS WIFE / WHO DIED JULY 14, 1884
Also of / CHARLES / THEIR YOUNGEST SON / WHO DIED SEP. 18, 1900
Also of CHARLOTTE AMELIA / THEIR DAUGHTER / WHO DIED MARCH 25, 1911
Also of / CLARA LOUISA THEIR DAUGHTER / WHO DIED SEP. 25, 1917
ALSO OF / ELIZA YOUNGEST DAUGHTER / WHO DIED MARCH 12 1934
John Blencowe was born in Bicester in 1801, the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Blencowe, and baptised there on 22 March that year.
Sarah Morris was born in Launton, near Bicester in 1806, and is probably the daughter of George and Mary Morris who was baptised at Bicester church on 19 March 1806.
John Blencowe married Sarah Morris at St Giles’s Church, Oxford on 14 March 1827, and both were then described as living in that parish. They had the following children, who were all baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church:
St Mary Magdalen font
- Charlotte Amelia Blencowe (born at Friar’s Entry in 1828 and baptised on 22 August)
- George John Blencowe (born at Friar’s Entry in 1831 and baptised on 1 May);
died aged 18 months and buried at St Mary Magdalen churchyard on 25 October 1832
- Elizabeth Blencowe (born at Friar’s Entry in 1833 and baptised on 29 September)
- Sarah Eliza Blencowe (born at Friar’s Entry in 1836 and baptised on 12 June):
died age ten weeks and buried at St Mary Magdalen churchyard on 13 September 1836
- Clara Louisa Blencowe (born at Friar’s Entry in 1837 and baptised on 10 September)
- John George Blencowe (born at Friar’s Entry in 1839 and baptised on 16 January)
- William Blencowe (born at Red Lion Square in 1840 and baptised on 7 September);
died aged five weeks and buried at St Mary Magdalen churchyard on 2 October 1840
- Sarah Blencowe (born at Red Lion Square in 1841 and baptised on 18 December):
died aged 15 months and buried at St Mary Magdalen churchyard on 25 February 1842
- Eliza Blencowe (born at Red Lion Square in 1843 and baptised on 25 January)
- Caroline Blencowe (born at Red Lion Square in 1845 and baptised on 6 August):
died aged six weeks and buried at St Mary Magdalen churchyard on 4 September 1845
- Charles Thomas Blencowe (born at Red Lion Square in 1846 and baptised on 6 September)
- Sarah Blencowe (born in Launton in 1849 and baptised at the church there on 16 November)
By 1828 John Blencowe and his wife Sarah had settled at Friar’s Entry/Red Lion Square (the addresses are used variably), where John was a brewer and publican: Hunt’s Directory for 1846 lists him as the landlord of the University Arms in Red Lion Square, and the later address of this pub was in fact 10 Gloucester Street.
Five of their children died in infancy between 1832 and 1845, and they would have been buried in the overcrowded St Mary Magdalen churchyard, as St Sepulchre’s Cemetery did not open until 1848.
In 1850 John Blencowe gave up the University Arms and moved temporarily to Launton, the village where his wife was born (and where she may have inherited some land). He can be seen there in the 1851 census at the age of 49 working as a farmer of 140 acres employing three labourers. Living with him were his wife Sarah (44) and all seven his surviving children: Charlotte, Elizabeth, and Clara, who were all described as “farm daughters”; John and Eliza, who were at school; and Charles and Sarah. The ages given for the children in all the censuses are very inaccurate.
John Blencowe did not stick with farming for very long, and by the mid-1850s he had moved with his family back to Oxford, to Plantation Road where he started up a bakery. A photograph of his old bakehouse can be see in The Changing Faces of North Oxford, Book 2 (p. 8): it was around the site of the present Nos. 24 and 26.
On 16 December 1856 the London Gazette reported that John Blencowe of Plantation Road was in Oxford Gaol on his own petition following bankruptcy.
At the time of the 1861 census John and his wife were living in Plantation Road with their three unmarried daughters Elizabeth, Clara (a dressmaker), and Eliza, and their son Charles (11), who was still at school. Their daughter Sarah Blencowe (born 1849) no longer appears with her family in the censuses, and it seems likely that she died while they were away from Oxford.
Their daughter Elizabeth was married in 1869:
- On 19 August 1869 at Ss Philip & James’s Church, Oxford, Elizabeth Blencowe married John Steele, a railway porter of Plantation Road, and an announcement was placed in Jackson’s Oxford Journal.
At the time of the 1871 census John Blencowe (70), who described himself as a master baker, was living at Plantation Road with his wife Sarah (65) and four of their children: John (29) and Charles (21), who were both baker’s assistants; and Clara (27) and Eliza (19).
Their son John was married in 1875:
- On 28 December 1875 at St Frideswide's Church, Oxford, John George Blencowe married Emma Young, and they moved to 20 Kingston Road to run a baker’s & grocer’s shop.
John Blencowe senior died in 1877:
† John Blencowe died at Plantation Road at the age of 76 on 23 May 1877 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 29 May (burial recorded in the parish registers of both St Giles’s and Ss Philip & James’s Churches).
His effects came to nearly £1,000.
At the time of the 1881 census his widow Sarah was living at Plantation Road and managing her husband’s bakery there. She employed two men and one boy. Three of her children were living with her: Charles (28), who was a baker, and her daughters Clara (35) and Eliza (26), who were baker’s assistants. A journeyman baker, Walter Young (21), also lived with them.
Mrs Blencowe died three years later:
† Mrs Sarah Blencowe née Morris died at Plantation Road at the age of 78 on 14 July 1884 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 19 July parish registers of both St Giles’s and Ss Philip & James’s Churches).
By the time of the 1891 census, her unmarried son Charles Blencowe (32) was living with his sisters Clara (34) and Eliza (30) at 24 Plantation Road (now with its present-day number) and managing the bakery there; a young baker he employed, William Robertson, also lived in the house. His other unmarried sister, Charlotte (53), was visiting a friend in Wandsworth
Charles Blencowe died in 1900, just six years after his mother:
† Charles Thomas Blencowe died at Plantation Road at the age of 53 on 18 September 1900 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 22 September parish registers of both St Giles’s and Ss Philip & James’s Churches).
His effects came to £3,565 1s. 7d.
His two sisters Clara and Eliza remained at Plantation Road, employing staff to look after the bakery there, and can be seen living there alone at the time of the 1901 census; Charlotte appears to have been away again.
By early 1911 Charlotte, Clara, and Eliza had retired to 253 Iffley Road. Charlotte died there in 1911:
† Miss Charlotte Amelia Blencowe died at 253 Iffley Road at the age of 80 on 25 March 1911 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 28 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
Her effects came to £671 3s. 7d.
The 1911 census was taken after Charlotte’s death, and Clara (65) and Eliza (61) were living without any servants at 253 Iffley Road.
In 1912 Clara Blencowe took out the first lease on 53 Bainton Road (and her sister-in-law Mrs Emma Blencowe took the house next door). Clara died there in 1917:
† Miss Clara Louisa Blencowe died at 53 Bainton Road at the age of 82 on 25 September 1917 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 27 September (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
Her effects came to £5,118 6s. 3d.
Eliza, the last of the sisters, continued to live at 53 Bainton Road until her death in 1934:
† Eliza Blencowe died at 53 Bainton Road at the age of 92 on 12 March 1934 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 15 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
Her effects came to £8,478 4s. 4d.
Other surviving children of John & Sarah Blencowe
- Elizabeth Blencowe, Mrs Steele (born 1833) is hard to find after her marriage in 1869.
- John George Blencowe (born 1839): see separate grave