Mrs Elizabeth FIGG, née Farey (1809–1858), first wife of John Figg
Mrs Sarah FIGG, née Gardiner (1835–1878), second wife of John Figg
St Giles section: Row 26, Grave F30

Elizabeth Figg

 

In
Affectionate
Remembrance of

ELIZABETH.
WIFE OF JOHN FIGG,
DECEASED JAN. 15, 1858,
AGED 49.

 

ALSO OF SARAH,
WIFE OF JOHN FIGG,
WHO DIED JULY 6, 1878
[AGED] 43 YEARS.

 

Elizabeth Farey, the first wife of John Figg

Elizabeth Farey was born in 1809 in Eaton Socon (which was then in Bedfordshire), the daughter of William Farey and Ann Gray.

On 20 July 1835 she married John Figg (who was born in Bicester in 1809), and they had the following children:

  • Ann Figg (born at the Coach House, Castle Lane, Hackney in 1835 and baptised there on 20 December)
  • George Figg (born in Oxford in 1838 and baptised at St Ebbe’s Church on 17 October)
  • Henry Figg (born in Oxford in 1841 and baptised at St Aldate’s Church on 28 May).

The family began their married life in Hackney, London, and at the time of Ann’s baptism at the end of 1835 John Figg was a coachman and they were living at the Coach House, Castle Lane. Ann was born within five months of the wedding, which probably explains why her age was reduced by a year in the censuses.

By 1838 they had moved to Oxford and were living at Penson’s Gardens in St Ebbe’s parish in October. John Figg was now described as an ostler.

By early 1841 they were in St Aldate’s parish, and John was described as a stable-keeper.

At the time of the 1851 census Elizabeth (41) was living at St John’s College stables with her husband John (40), who was the college groom, and their children Ann (15 but listed as 14), George (12), and Henry (9).

Elizabeth died in 1858:

† Mrs Elizabeth Figg née Farey died at St John’s College stable yard at the age of 49 on 15 January 1858 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 21 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

Her death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal read: “Jan 15, after a long and painful illness, Elizabeth, wife of Mr. J. Figg, of St. Giles’s, aged 49.”

About a year later in Westminster, John Figg married his second wife Sarah Gardiner, who was 26 years his junior.


Sarah Gardiner, the second wife of John Figg

Sarah Gardiner was born at Walton Place in Oxford on 31 March 1835 and baptised at St Thomas’s Church on 30 November. She was the daughter of the prosperous builder James Gardiner (born in Bletchingdon in 1798) and his first wife Mary.

For more about Sarah’s parents and siblings, see the grave of her father James Gardiner, where he is buried with the the second and third of his four wives.

Sarah’s parents moved to George Street when she was small, and she can be seen there at the age of six in the 1841 census with her parents and older brother Edwin (13).

Sarah’s mother died on 14 January 1845 when Sarah was eight years old, and at the time of the 1851 census Sarah (16) and her younger sister Ann (9) were living with their father and his second wife Jane Goodall at 8 George Street. Her father now employed 22 men in his building firm.

Near the beginning of 1859 in the Westminster district Sarah Gardiner (who was the same age as his eldest daughter) became the second wife of John Figg. They do not appear to have had any children.

At the time of the 1861 census Sarah (26) was living at 8 Portobello Terrace in London with her husband John Figg (49), who was now working as a coachman. All three of his children from his first marriage were living independently.

By 1871 Sarah and John were back in Oxford, living at 20 Stockmore Street off the Cowley Road. Her father, who at 71 was now a retired builder, was living in style in Park Town with his fourth wife.

Sarah died in 1878, and was buried with John Figg’s first wife:

† Mrs Sarah Figg née Gardiner died at Cowley Terrace (63 Cowley Road) at the age of 43 on 6 July 1878 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 11 July (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

Her death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal read: “July 6, at 63. Cowley Road, Oxford, Sarah, wife of John Figg, and eldest daughter of J. Gardiner, Esq., of 5, Clarendon Villas, The Crescent, Oxford, aged 43.”

Her father James Gardiner died four years later in 1882.


Children of John Figg and his first wife Elizabeth
  • Ann Figg (born in Hackney in 1835) went into service and does not appear to have married. In 1861 Ann (25) was a house servant at the parsonage house in Nuffield, Oxfordshire; in 1871 she was described as a lady’s maid, and was paying a visit to her brother George’s wife Eliza in Wokingham. In 1881 she was a housekeeper in Speldhurst, Kent; and in 1891 the housekeeper in charge at Mount Edgecumbe Cottage, Tunbridge Wells.
  • George Figg (born in Oxford in 1838) married Eliza Bedford in Wokingham in 1867, and they had one daughter: Ada Figg (born in Eltham in 1869 and baptised there on 7 August). George worked as a butler, and was always absent from home on census night. In 1871 his wife Eliza was at home at Sidcup Road, Wokingham with her daughter Ada (1). At the time of the 1881 census George was working as the butler at 2 Wyndham Place, Marylebone while his wife and daughter were home at Park Place, Eltham. In 1891 he described himself as single and was working as a groom: he and his brother Henry were boarding with a laundress at 1 Clarence Row, Tunbridge Wells. His daughter Ada (21) was a housemaid, lodging with her aunt Ann at Speldhurst, Kent. In 1901 George Figg (62), who now described himself as a retired butler and a widower, was lodging at 34 Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells. In 1911 he was working as a gardener and lodging with a family at 1 Clarence Row, Church Road, Tunbridge Wells. He is probably the George Figg who died in Tunbridge Wells in 1916.
  • Henry Figg (born 1841) never married. At the time of the 1861 census he was a 20-year-old groom at Highclere Castle in Hampshire . By 1891 he was a groom aged 49, and he and his brother George were boarding with a laundress at 1 Clarence Row, Tunbridge Wells. In 1901 he was an inmate at Reigate Union Workhouse, and he was still there in 1911. He died at Reigate at the age of 71 in 1918.

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