Benjamin Stockford HUGGINS (1799–1879)
His wife Sarah HUGGINS, née Hewlett (1825–1905)
Their son Percy Stockford Godfrey HUGGINS (1864–1913)
St Giles section: Row 4, Grave B42
[Above] IN MEMORY OF BENJAMIN STOCKFORD HUGGINS
BORN APRIL XXV MDCCXCIX DIED MARCH XXVIII MDCCCLXXIX
“IN THY PRESENCE IS FULLNESS OF JOY”
[Back, not shown] ALSO OF SARAH WIFE OF BENJAMIN STOCKFORD HUGGINS
BORN FEBRUARY XIII MDCCCXXV DIED JUNE VIII MCMV
“THY WILL BE DONE”
[Side, not shown] PERCY STOCKFORD GODFREY HUGGINS
BORN SEPTEMBER VII MDCCCLXIV / DIED MAY XXII MCMXIII
“HIS END WAS PEACE”
Benjamin Stockford Huggins was born in Wheatley in on 25 April 1799 and baptised at Cuddesdon Church on 8 May. He was the son of Thomas Huggins and Frances Stockford, who were married at St Giles’s Church, Oxford on 3 April 1796.
Benjamin’s parents were evidently living in Wheatley just after their marriage, and his older brother Henry Huggins, was also born there, and baptised at Cuddesdon on 26 December 1796. It appears that Benjamin and Henry's grandfather had set up a pipe-making business in Oxford, as when he died on 2 January 1816 the following notice appeared in Jackson's Oxford Journal: “On Tuesday last died, aged 80, Mr. Henry Huggins, senior, pipe maker, of Magdalen parish.” Benjamin's parents were themselves living in St Mary Magdalen parish in Oxford when his younger brother, Thomas Huggins junior, born on 18 January 1802, was baptised at St Mary Magdalen church eight days later.
By the time of the 1841 census Benjamin’s parents Thomas and Frances Huggins were living in Observatory Street in St Giles's parish, Oxford, where his father was working as a tobacco pipe maker. They were living in one house together with another couple (Robert Tunshall, who was also a pipe maker, and Catherine Tunshall, who was probably his wife), while Benjamin, who was now about 42, appears to be living next door with Samuel Huggins (13), the son of his brother Henry, who was now a coachmaker of Friar’s Entry. Both Benjamin and Samuel were described as pipe men, and they had a pipe man’s apprentice, William Fowler (15), living with them.
Sarah Hewlett was born in Marston on 13 February 1825 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church there on 20 February. She was the daughter of William Hewlett and Rachel Drewitt, who were married at Marston on 2 February 1819. Her father was a milkman at the time of her birth, but later described as a labourer. Sarah had eight siblings, all baptised at Marston: Eleanor (1820), Harriet (1823), William (1826), Thirza (1828), Emma (1831), Charles (1833), John (1834), and Joseph Henry (1837).
At the end of 1840, when she was only fifteen, Sarah gave birth to an illegitimate child in Oxford:
- Clara Huggins Hewlett (born near the end of 1840 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 23 January 1842).
Clara’s middle name indicates that she was the child of Sarah’s future husband, who was then aged 42. At the time of the 1841 census Sarah (16) was lodging with Clara (aged four months) at King Street in Jericho with the family of the sawyer John Baker.
On 25 April 1849 at St Clement’s Church, Benjamin Stockford Huggins (who was celebrating his 50th birthday that day) married Sarah Hewlett (22). Their daughter Clara was then eight years old.
At the time of the 1851 census Benjamin and Sarah were living in Observatory Street, Oxford with Clara (whose had now taken the surname Huggins). Benjamin was still a pipe maker and employed two men. Also living with them was John Hewlett (15), who was an errand boy and doubtless related to Sarah.
In the 1861 the address of their house was specified at 70 Observatory Street. Benjamin and Sarah were alone on census night, as Clara (20) was paying a visit to the Lindsay family in Bow, London.
In late 1864 they had another child:
- Percy Stockford Godfrey Huggins, born at Observatory Street on 7 September 1864 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 28 October.
At the time of the 1871 census Benjamin and Sarah Huggins were home at Observatory Street with their son Percy (6). Benjamin was still working as a tobacco pipe maker but now employed only one man. He would now have been about 72, although, as in most of the censuses, his age was rounded down and his wife’s rounded up.
Benjamin Huggins died in 1879:
† Benjamin Stockford Huggins died at 76 Observatory Street at the age of 79 on 28 March 1879 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 3 April (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
His personal estate came to £228 0s. 6d, and his death was announced in Jackson’s Oxford Journal.
At the time of the 1881 census Mrs Sarah Stockford (56) described herself as a coal merchant and was living at 76 Observatory Street with her son Percy (16), and an elderly widow who was boarding with her. Meanwhile her daughter Clara (40) was living at 53 Mount Street, Hanover Square, London with her uncle and aunt William and Emma Jane Applin, and working as a clerk in the civil service.
Her son was married in 1891:
- On 25 January 1891 at All Saints Church, Cuddesdon, Percy Stockford Godfrey Huggins, described as a butcher, married Elizabeth Britnell (born at Aston Rowant in 1866).
At the time of the 1891 census Sarah (66) was living at 78 Observatory Street with her daughter Clara (50): both were described as living on their own means. Meanwhile her son Percy and his new wife were living at 1 Albert Street, Jericho.
Sarah and her daughter Clara were still living together at 78 Observatory Street in 1901, and had a postman lodging with them. Percy and Elizabeth had meanwhile moved to London and were living at 4 Manor Road, Ealing: Percy was still working as a butcher (employee). They had one son:
- William Britnell S. Huggins (born in Ealing in 1907, reg. second quarter).
Mrs Sarah Huggins died in 1905:
† Mrs Sarah Huggins née Hewlett died at 78 Observatory Street at the age of 80 on 8 June 1905 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 14 June (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
Her effects came to £471 8s. 3d., and her daughter Clara was her executor.
Clara remained at 78 Observatory Street, and at the time of the 1911 census her sister-in-law Mrs Elizabeth Huggins and her nephew William were staying with her, while her brother Percy was a visiting the butcher William Dieppes in Richmond, Surrey.
Percy Huggins died in London in 1913, and his body was returned to Oxford for burial in his parents' grave:
† Percy Stockford Godfrey Huggins died at 18 Salisbury Road, Richmond at the age of 48 in May 1913 and was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 27 May (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
His half-sister Miss Clara Huggins died at 78 Observatory Street at the age of 86 on 27 October 1928. Her burial is recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church, and so it is possible that she too is buried in this grave. Her effects came to £165 3s. 11d.