Miss Sophia CORBETT (1829–1882)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 7, Grave C52
Loving Memory of
WHO DIED MARCH … 1882
AGED 54 YEARS
… … … TRUE
HOPE IS EVER … …
Sophia Corbett was born in Oxford in 1829 and baptised at St Ebbe’s Church on 22 March. She was the daughter of the baker James Corbett and his wife Frances Harding who were married at St Thomas’s Church on 25 February 1822.
Sophia’s two eldest siblings died in infancy: Mary Ann, who was baptised at St Thomas’s Church in 1823, died at the age of two and was buried at St Ebbe’s Church in 1825; and James, who was baptised at St Ebbe’s Church in 1824, died at the age of three and was buried there in 1828. Her other five siblings appear to have survived: the first four were baptised at St Ebbe’s Church: Frances Elizabeth (1826), Elizabeth Anne (1831), James (1833), and John (1836).
Sophia grew up over her father’s baker’s shop in Bull Street, St Ebbe’s, but by the time her youngest brother Henry Hastings Corbett was baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 26 March 1843, the business and the family had moved to George Street.
Sophia had a very short childhood; at the time of the 1841 census when she had only just had her twelfth birthday she was already out to service in the household of Duncan & Mary Anderson in Observatory Street.
In 1850 when she was 21, Sophia gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Fanny Elizabeth Corbett, at George Street, probably in her parents’ house, and she was baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 30 June. She died at George Street not long after her birth, and was buried on 30 July 1850, probably at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery.
Sophia continued to work, and at the time of the 1851 census when she was 22 she was a servant in the home of the victualler Thomas Dolley and his family at Grandpont.
At the time of the 1881 census Sophia was still working as a servant at the age of 51 and was the cook of Miss Mary Paget at 6 Church Road, Hastings.
Shortly after this census she must have become ill, and appears to have returned to Oxford to live with the family of her brother James Corbett, who was now a shopkeeper at 34 George Street. This was given as her address in the burial register, but her death was registered in the Headington registration district.
† Miss Sophia Corbett died in Oxford (at 34 George Street according to the parish register) at the age of 54 in March 1882 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 12 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).