James CLIFTON (1820–1890)
His wife Mrs Elizabeth CLIFTON, née Baker (1819–1871)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 22, Grave G67
THE BELOVED WIFE OF
WHO DIED MARCH 14, 1871
AGED  YEARS
[DIED JUNE … 1890]
[AGED 70 YEARS]
James Clifton was born at Market End, Bicester on 5 April 1820 and baptised there on 23 April. He was the son of the labourer William Clifton and his wife Catherine (possibly the William Clifton and Catherine Lamb who were married at Banbury on 16 May 1810). James's six siblings were also baptised at Bicester: John Clifton (1810), Thomas Clifton (1812), Charles Clifton (1815), Elizabeth Clifton (1817, died the same year), Jane Clifton (1823), and Eliza Clifton (1828). At the time of the 1841 census James (20) was the servant of the Cole family in Bicester; and in 1851 he was “groom &c” to the Revd S. Wilson of Woodperry House near Stanton St John. By the following year he was a servant of Trinity College, Oxford.
Elizabeth Baker was born in Bicester on 19 February 1819 and baptised there the following day. She was the daughter of the labourer Samuel Baker and his wife Ann Woodcock, who were married at Bicester on 2 November 1812. Elizabeth's four siblings were also baptised at Bicester: Eliza Baker (1814), twins William and Edmund Baker (1816), and Henry Baker (1822). In 1841 Elizabeth was a servant of the Cole family in Market Place, Bicester; and in 1851 she was in Oxford, the servant of the architect Henry Jones Underwood (45), who lived at 18 Beaumont Street in St Mary Magdalen parish and died less than a year later in Bath.
On 5 July 1852 at St Mary Magdalen Church, James Clifton (31), college servant, married Elizabeth Baker (30), a servant: they were both then living in St Mary Magdalen parish. They had four children:
- Kate Ann Clifton (born at 56 Broad Street, Oxford in 1854 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 8 October)
- Fanny Elizabeth Clifton (born at 56 Broad Street, Oxford in 1856 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 7 September)
- William James Clifton (born at 56 Broad Street, Oxford in 1858 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 26 December)
- Ellen Louisa Clifton (born at 56 Broad Street, Oxford in 1861 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 21 June).
At the time of the 1861 census, James Clifton (41) was a servant at Trinity College, living at 56 Broad Street (one of the college cottages) with his wife Elizabeth (41) and their children Kate (6), Fanny (4), and William (2).
They remained at 56 Broad Street until about 1867, and then moved to 55 Broad Street, the adjoining Trinity College house.
Mrs Clifton died early in 1871:
† Mrs Elizabeth Clifton née Baker died at 55 Broad Street at the age of 51 on 14 March 1871 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 18 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
At the time of the 1871 census James (50) was living at 55 Broad Street with his four children: his two older girls Kate (16) and Fanny (14) had left school and doubtless kept house for him.
In 1881 James Clifton (60), described as a college bedmaker, was still living at 55 Broad Street with his daughters Kate (26), Fanny (24), and Ellen (19), and his son William (22), who was a clerk in the Canal Office.
James Clifton appears to have retired in 1882, when he ceased living at 55 Broad Street. He may have moved back to his home town of Bicester, where he died in 1890:
† James Clifton died at Bicester at the age of 70 in June 1890 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 2 July (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
The four children of James and Elizabeth Clifton
The four adult children, who were all still unmarried, moved to 54 Walton Crescent, and remained there together.
At the time of the 1891 census William Clifton (32), who was a clerk, was the head of the household 54 Walton Crescent, living there with Kate (36), Fanny (34), and Ellen (39).
His sister Kate had a very brief marriage in the 1890s:
- On 3 January 1892 at St Paul's Church, Kate Ann Clifton (37) of 54 Walton Crescent married Francis Pruce (33), a fruiterer of 122 Monument Road, Birmingham, the son of the hairdresser Henry Pruce. They had no children, and Francis died at the age of 39 in 1898.
Kate Pruce returned to live with her brother, and hence at the time of the 1901 census the four siblings were again reunited at 54 Walton Crescent.
James Clifton appears to have got married in Oxford later in 1901, and his three sisters were dispersed:
- Mrs Kate Ann Pruce moved to the Abingdon district, possibly going into service, and died there at the age of 52 near the end of 1906;
- Miss Fanny Elizabeth Clifton (50) was working as the general servant of two elderly sisters in Abingdon in 1911.
- Miss Ellen Louisa Clifton (49) was working as the general servant of a widow in Westerham Hill, Kent in 1911.
William James Clifton is hard to find in the 1911 census: he was not living at 54 Walton Crescent, but is still listed there in Kelly's Directory forl 1915.