Thomas HEWLETT (1813/14–1862)
His wife Mrs Mary Ann HEWLETT, née Puzey (1811/12–1866)
Their daughter Miss Mary Elizabeth HEWLETT (1846–1896)
Mrs Hewlett’s mother Mrs Elizabeth (Beth) PUZEY (1780–1864)
John HEWLETT (unknown)
St Michael section: Row 9, Grave C45½

Puzey-Hewlett grave

[The inscription is no longer legible, but Jackson’s Oxford Journal records that that the headstone read]
[Carved around the above inscription]: BY THY CROSS AND PASSION GOOD LORD DELIVER US

[Along the side of the grave]: … … … WIFE OF THOMAS HEWLETT … … …

Thomas Hewlett was born in Kidlington in 1813/14, and may be the Thomas Halett, son of John & Elizabeth Halett, baptised there on 22 May 1814. In about 1827, when he was aged around 13, he became a servant of Exeter College, Oxford, and continued to work for the college until his death.

Mary Ann Puzey was born in Abingdon in 1811/12, the daughter of the carpenter Joseph Puzey (born 1769/70) and Elizabeth (born in Hinton, Berkshire in 1780). (They are likely to be the widower Joseph Puzey who married Elizabeth Peachey at St Helen’s Church, Abingdon on 1 July 1804.)

On 25 August 1840 at St Ebbe's Church, Oxford, Thomas Hewlett married Mary Ann Puzey: they were both then living in Beef Lane. They had the following children:

  • Mary Ann Hewlett (born in Oxford in 1841 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 26 December);
    died aged 3 in 1845 and buried at St Michael’s churchyard on 16 July
  • William Puzey Hewlett (born in Oxford in 1843 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 4 November)
  • Thomas Hewlett (born in Oxford in 1845 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 20 April)
  • Mary Elizabeth Hewlett (born in Oxford in 1846 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 10 January 1847)
  • Edward Hewlett (born in Oxford in 1849 and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 2 September).

At the time of the 1841 census Thomas and Mary Ann Hewlett were newlyweds, living at New Inn Hall Street with Mary Ann’s parents, Joseph and Elizabeth Puzey. Joseph was still working as a carpenter, but died in Oxford on 16 December the following year at the age of 72. His burial is recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church, and is probably buried in its churchyard, as St Sepulchre’s Cemetery did not open until 1845. His death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal read: “DIED. Dec. 16, much respected by all who knew him, Mr. Joseph Puzey, of 21, New Inn Hall-street, aged 64.”

Thomas Hewlett is listed in Hunt’s 1846 Directory as the occupant of what was then 23 New Inn Hall Street, but by the time of the 1851 census he and his wife had moved to Ship Street. They now had four children, and Mrs Elizabeth Puzey (70) was still living with them: she was described as an “assistant”, presumably at Exeter College. Another assistant college servant, William Horn, also lodged with them, and they also had their own house servant.

The address is specified as 13 Ship Street in the 1861 census. Thomas (46) had risen to be a College Common Room Man. His sons William (17) and Thomas (16) were apprentices, while Mary (14) and Edward (11) were still at school. Mrs Elizabeth Puzey (81) was still living with them, plus their servant. The following year, Hewlett died:

† Thomas Hewlett died at Ship Street at the age of 48 on 20 November 1862 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 29 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church).

His effects came to nearly £3,000.The following report on his funeral appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 6 December 1862:

THE LATE MR. HEWLETT.– The funeral of the late Mr. Hewlett, common-room man of Exeter College, took place on Saturday afternoon last, at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, and an unusual mark of respect was paid to his memory by the College. The Rector (Dr. Lightfoot, Vice-Chancellor) kindly volunteered to read the burial service. The Sub-Rector (the Rev. W. Ince), the Revds. J. P. Tweed, F. T. College, C. W. Boase, H. F. Tozer, T. H. Sheppard, and C. E. Hammond (Fellows of Exeter College); Rev. G. Ridding (Tutor of Exeter), Rev. A. R. P. Venables, Rev. L. G. Hayne, D.Mus., Rev. A. Hackmann, Rev. W. D. Macray, &c., &c., in addition to all the College servants, followed the corpse to the grave. On Sunday evening the Sub-Rector preached a funeral sermon in the College Chapel to the servants of the College and their friends. The Chapel was crowded in every part. The Rev. Gentleman took his text from the 4th chapter of the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, and the 2nd verse, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” It was an excellent sermon, and the preacher spoke of the deceased as a good man in every relation of life. The Dead March in Saul was played after the service. The Chapel bell tolled for an hour on the day of his death, and also for a short time on the day of his funeral.

About five months after his death, Exeter College had the two stones shown above made for his grave. Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 25 April 1863 reported:

THE LATE MR. HEWLETT.—Two handsome grave stones have been put up in St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery, Jericho, to mark the remains of the late Mr. Thomas Hewlett, common-room man of Exeter College. They are of the finest Mansfield stone, the head stone being in the form of a beautiful floriated cross, in the Gothic style, designed and executed in a superior manner by Mr. Grimsley, sculptor, of St. Giles’s, in this city, for the Rector and Fellows of Exeter College. [Followed by details of inscription shown above]

His widow Mrs Mary Ann Hewlett was allowed by Exeter College to remain in the Ship Street house with her mother and children. Her mother Elizabeth died in 1864:

† Mrs Elizabeth (Beth) Puzey died at Ship Street, Oxford at the age of 84 in December 1864 and was buried in her son-in-law’s grave at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 15 December (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church).

Her death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal read: “DIED. Dec. 12, of paralysis, aged 84, Mrs. Elizabeth Puzey, the beloved mother of Mrs. T. Hewlett, of 18, Ship-street.”

Thomas Hewlett’s wife outlived her mother by just over a year:

† Mrs Mary Anne Hewlett née Puzey died at Ship Street at the age of 55 on 28 January 1866 and was buried with her mother and husband at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 2 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church)

The following brief announcement was inserted in Jackson’s Oxford Journal: “DIED. Jan. 28, at 13, Ship-street, Mary Ann, widow of the late Mr. Thomas Hewlett, in the 56th year of her age.” Her effects came to nearly £2,000.

Following the death of Mrs Mary Anne Hewlett, Exeter College would presumably have wanted to relet the Ship Street house, and so Miss Mary Elizabeth Hewlett moved out. At the time of the 1871 and 1881 censuses she was lodging with a family at 103 St Aldate’s Street and working as a teacher of music.

By 1891, when she was 44, she was lodging at 20 Southmoor Road, and was still teaching the piano. She died in 1896:

† Miss Mary Elizabeth Hewlett, Thomas Hewlett’s daughter, died at Southmoor Road at the age of 50 in December 1896 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 29 December with her parents and grandmother (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church).

Canon Bostock was able to read the name of John Hewlett on this gravestone, but not the date, and he is hard to identify:

John Hewlett: no one of this name died in the Oxford registration district in the second half of the nineteenth century, but two died in the Headington registration district: one in 1864 (reg. third quarter) and the other in 1867/8 at the age of 13 (reg. first quarter of 1868).

Thomas Hewlett’s three surviving sons
  • William Puzey Hewlett (born 1843) was manager of the Lord Walden Hotel at Brighton’s South Pier in 1871. He married Harriette Hambidge in the Romford district in the first quarter of 1874, and at the time of the 1881 census they were running a hotel at Ryde in the Isle of Wight and had three daughters: Harriette (6), and Ethel and Florence (twins, aged 2). He died in Richmond, Surrey at the age of 78 in 1921.
  • Thomas Hewlett junior (born 1845) disappears from the records after 1861.
  • Edward Hewlett (born 1849): see separate grave.



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