Mother Superior Marian Rebecca HUGHES (1817–1912)
Plus twenty other nuns listed on the flat slab without their surnames
* * *
Also five individual graves on the same large plot, of which three are legible:
Sister Julia Ellen Brown (1836–1909)
Sister Sarah HILL (1838–1910)
Novice Amelia Anne COLE (1841/2–1867)
St Giles section: Row 13, Plots B30–32 and Row 14, Plots B30–32

This is a special kerbed area for members of the Society of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, covering six adjacent burial plots straddling two rows. A large flat slab bears the full name of Mother Marian and the first names only of twenty other nuns.
The plot contains also contains five other individual graves with full names.

Eight more Convent burials took place in graves at the far end of the cemetery: see below

Sisters of Mercy

Marian Hughes

Marian Rebecca Hughes was born on 14 January 1817 at Shenington (then an enclave of Gloucestershire, but transferred to Oxfordshire by the Counties Act of 1844). She was the youngest child of Robert Edward Hughes (Rector of Shenington from 1801 to 1846) and Martha Pyner (born in Epwell, Oxfordshire in 1786). She had a brother, Robert Edward Hughes junior, and a sister, Frances Sophia Hughes.

Marian’s cousin was the Revd Thomas Chamberlain (born in Wardington, Oxfordshire on 25 November 1810, the son of the Revd Thomas Hughes Chamberlain senior, formerly Thomas Chamberlain Hughes). He was the friend of Charles Seager, a protegé of Pusey, and Marian first met Seager in 1838.

At the time of the 1841 census Marian (24) was staying at 28 St John Street, Oxford with Charles & Ann Seager and their three-month-old baby Marian (possibly named after her). It was here at the Seagers’ house a couple of months later, on 6 June (Trinity Sunday) 1841, that she became the first woman since the Reformation to take religious vows in communion with the Anglican Province of Canterbury. She made her vows privately to the Revd Edward Bouverie Pusey, and after taking them she went to St Mary-the-Virgin Church and received communion from John Henry Newman.

In the months after taking her vows Marian travelled with Seager and his wife to France, visiting different Roman Catholic communities of nuns to study their rules and constitutions, including the Hotel Dieu, the Ursulines at Bayeux, and the Visitandes at Caen. She then had to return home to look after her parents at Shenington.

In May 1842 her cousin Thomas Chamberlain was appointed Vicar of St Thomas’s Church in west Oxford (a post he was to hold for fifty years until his death at the age of 81 in 1892), but he continued to live in Christ Church. In 1847 he himself founded a Sisterhood of St Thomas the Martyr in his parish, and Marian helped with its foundation and was associated with it in the early days.

In Jackson's Oxford Journal of 28 October 1843 it was reported that Marian's mentor the Revd Charles Seager, formerly Fellow of Worcester College, had joined the communion of the Church of Rome. His daughter Marian Seager died in Paris of croup at the age of six on 24 March 1847.

On 1 June 1846 Marian’s father Robert Edward Hughes died at Shenington (PCC will). Her brother of the same name succeeded him as Rector there. Marian initially kept house for her brother, but following his marriage to Laura Lloyd in 1849 she and her mother came down to live in St Thomas's parish, Oxford. On 10 December 1849 the Bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce, formally sanctioned her foundation of a sisterhood.

24 St John Street

The first Convent: 24 St John Street (c.1850–1868)

Marian looked for a large house in Oxford to set up her Convent, and chose 24 St John Street (right), which is just to the north of Pusey Street and hence in St Giles’s parish. The previous owner, Charles Haldon (a bookseller and one of the two joint proprietors of Jackson's Oxford Journal), had died there in 1847.

At the time of the 1851 census Marian Hughes  (34) and her mother Martha (63) were living alone in this house with their cook and house & parlour servant, suggesting that they had recently moved in.

Later in 1851 Marian Hughes founded her Convent of the Holy and Undivided Trinity here (although in Gardner's Directory of 1852 only her mother, Mrs Marian Hughes, is listed as a private occupant).

She also started a small boarding school for girls here.

During the Oxford cholera epidemic of October 1854 Mother Marian (as she was now known) and her Sisters nursed families in tents in Port Meadow under the guidance of Dr Acland. She may also have nursed patients at the Field of Observation, which was on the site of the present Southmoor Road.

In July 1857 Marian founded a second school, the Holy Trinity Convent School (a day school for the poorer middle classes “affording a good and sound English education to the daughters of college servants and small tradesmen”) at 10 St Giles’s Street. (This building was behind 9 St Giles's Street and was demolished 1906 to make way for St John's College's Rawlinson Building, but the school had already moved to new premises in 1878: see below.)

1861 census

  • At the time of the 1861 census Marian's mother was still listed as the head of the household at 24 St John Street. The Convent on the premises were very small: there were only six Sisters of Mercy living there — Marian herself (44), Julia Ellen Brown (24), Alice Vinell (32), Emilia Henrietta B. Young (48), Caroline M. Buckland (21), and Sarah Hill (23).
  • The girls' boarding school that at this point also occupied No. 24 had a schoolmistress (Catharine Cruse, aged 41), two pupil teachers (Alice Collins and Mary Newnham, both aged 16), and only four or five girl scholars aged between ten and sixteen then in residence. The whole premises had just one servant (a cook).

At the time of the 1861 census, immediately before the listing for 24 St John Street, a Miss Millicent Newbury was listed as running another school. This school appears to have been at 26 St John Street (next door-but-one to the north of the Hughes household), as on 6 July 1861 Miss Newbury announced that she was removing her “Establishment for Young Ladies” from 26 St John Street to larger premises at No. 50. It seems likely that it was at this point that Mother Marian moved her school into No. 26. The following advertisement published in Jackson's Oxford Journal of 17 January 1863 shows that the school had expanded and was occupying No. 26, and makes it clear that this school was for the daughters of professional men:

Boarding school advertisement

The convent and school in St John Street closed down in 1868 and moved to purpose-built premises in the Woodstock Road.


The new convent at 62 Woodstock Road (now part of St Antony's College) (1868–c.1946)

In December 1864 Mother Marian had applied to St John’s College for land in north Oxford for a purpose-built Convent. She purchased the leasehold of a large site in the Woodstock Road (then known as St Giles Road West), and from her own means commissioned Charles Buckeridge to build a large Convent for the Sisters of Mercy on the Woodstock Road (now St Antony’s College). (His daughter Marian Emma Buckeridge was born at Park Town the following year: she was Mother Marian's goddaughter, probably named after her, and would herself join the Convent by 1891).

The man Convent was built between 1866 and 1868 at a cost of £8,000, and is now a listed building (1046641). Jackson's Oxford Journal reported as follows on 13 October 1866:

A new building has been commenced opposite the Horse and Jockey, on the Woodstock road, for Miss Hughes, Lady Superior of the Sisters of Mercy, St. John-street. The style of the building is Early English, and the following is a plan of the structure:—Three sides of a quadrangle, containing school and class rooms, superior's and sister's rooms, visitors' rooms, refectories for industrial and upper schools, with dormitories over; the chapel to occupy the fourth side of the quadrangle, with its apsidal end facing the Banbury road. This was to form the chief feature in the group, and to be vaulted in stone throughout; a semi-detached block of buildings north of the main block to contain the kitchen and laundry, with their attendant offices. The chief corner-stone was laid on the 27th of January, and the west and south sides have progressed as far as the first floor, but, owing to unforeseen circumstances, the works have been delayed for the past two months. Mr. Buckeridge is the architect, and Mr. G. Wyatt is the builder.

On 19 October 1867 it was reported that the work was nearly complete:

CONVENT OF THE HOLY TRINITY.
The building commenced last year opposite the Horse and Jockey, on the Woodstock Road, for Miss Hughes, the Lady Superior of the Sisters of Mercy, St. John's-street, has been nearly completed under the supernitendence of Mr. Buckeridge, architect. The style of the building is Early English, and the material of which it is composed corresponds completely with the Church of St. Philip and St. James. The plan at present comprises two sides of a quadrangle, containing school and class rooms, superior's and sisters' rooms, visitors' room, refectories for industrial and upper schools, with dormitories over.

The new Convent and school (now comprising both an industrial and an upper school) eventually opened in March 1868, and featured in The Builder in March 1870.

Convent, Woodstock Road

Marian’s mother Martha Hughes died at the age of 82 on 7 November 1868, the year the new Convent opened, and was probably buried with her husband in Shenington. Marian's brother the Revd Robert Edward Hughes junior died on 4 January 1869 at Shenington, and it was probably Marian who placed the announcement of his death that appeared in Jackson's Oxford Journal.

On 24 July 1869 an advertisement for the separate Day School for Young Ladies conducted at 10 St Giles' Street by the Sisters of the Holy Trinity stated that the fees were 10s. 6d. per quarter for general instruction and needlework of all kinds, and that Music, French, Latin, Drawing, and Dancing were extras.

1871 census

  • Holy Trinity Convent: Mother Superior Marian Hughes was settled in her new Convent with thirteen Sisters: Caroline Buckland (31), Emma R. Cookson (38), Augusta T. James (24), Isabel L. Marryat (28), Jane D. Hyde (28), Julia T. S. Tooge (20), Julia E. Brown (34), Anne Lucas (52), Sarah Hill (32), Mary Newman (26), Charlotte Stein (24), Mary A. Chipperfield (19), and Eleanor Warburton.
  • The Girls' school at the Convent had two teachers – Adele Hawkins (17) and Constance Pickwood (18) – and 31 girl pupils aged between 5 and 21 (including Marian’s 15-year-old niece Frances M. Hughes). The domestic staff comprised a laundress, needlewoman, and cook. .

The following advertisement for more pupils at the school at the Holy Trinity Convent on the Woodstock Road (which was then still called St Giles' Road West) appeared in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 2 January 1872:

JOJ 2 Jan 1872

Meanwhile in 1872 Mother Marian's second school, the Holy Trinity Convent School at 10 St Giles' Street (also known as St Giles's Middle [Class] School) was placed under Diocesan inspection. There were then six boys, 31 girls, and 71 infants in attendance. On 10 January 1874 the following advertisement for that school:

JOJ 10 Jan 1874

After the Commissioners of Education “necessitated the erection of a new building”. St John's College granted them a piece of land adjoining the Convent (in Winchester Road), and plans were drawn up for the school by T. H. Pearson of London. Mother Marian borrowed £500 to build a new girls' parochial school in Winchester Road behind the Convent, at an estimated cost of £800, including the architect's fee, and her appeal for funds that was published in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 12 December 1874.

Unfortunately in June 1875 when Mr Selby had almost completed the building, the roof caught fire after an accident with the gas-fitting arrangements and was destroyed, adding £150 on to the bill. A correspondent in Jackson's Oxford Journal of 4 November 1876 launched an appeal for funds, praising the school as having been established “to the great advantage of many of the smaller tradesmen and of the servants of the University” at very moderate terms and appending details of the school's inspection in 1876. On 3 February 1877 the School Attendance Committee reported that, “The Convent of the Holy Trinity Public Elementary School has been removed from St. Giles’s Parish into new buildings in the Parish of St. Philip and St. James, which will accommodate 200 children.” This new parochial school in Winchester Road was known as St Denys's School. Boys were no longer admitted, and on 1879 a separate school for them was built in Leckford Place, next to the infant school.

On 30 January 1875 the school in the convent itself was described as a "high-class boarding school for young ladies, and on 2 September 1876 Mother Marian advertised that the “Oxford Kinder-Garten for the Upper Classes” would reopen on 18 September on the convent site.

1881 census

  • Holy Trinity Convent: There were sixteen Sisters of Mercy under Mother Marian: Augusta Thurlow, Constance Augusta Michell, Gertrude Moule, Julia Brown, Caroline Buckland, Isabel Marryat, Mary Newman, Mary Hutchinson, Jane Chipperfield, Sarah Glanville, Sarah Hill, Catherine Spieser, Emma Corbold, Mary French, Mabel [Isabel] Fowler, and Jane Hyde), and one novice (Rose Matthews).
  • The school at the Convent had 32 female pupils, and no servants were listed.

On 30 April 1887 it was reported in Jackson’s Oxford Journal that Mother Marion (who did not appear in person, and was wrongly recorded as Mrs Mary Hughes) was fined 1s. at Oxford City Police Court for not clearing the snow on the 100 yard length of pavement outside the Convent, with costs reduced from 6s. to 4s. as it was “rather a hard case”.

1891 census

  • Holy Trinity Convent: There were sixteen Sisters of Mercy under Mother Marian: Julia E. Brown (54), Emma R. Cookson (59), Augusta Thurlow James (44), Isabel A. L. Marryat (48), Jane D. Hyde (42), Isabel M. Fowler (48), Gertrude M. Moule (56), Mary French (35), Mary A. Townson (31), Alice E. Furley (39), Marian Emma Buckeridge (25), Mary J. Hutchinson (35), Teresa J. Chipperfield (37), Rose E. Matthews (27), Elizabeth H. Johnston (26), and Dora Seymour (31). There was also one novice, Fanny E. L. Cooke (27), and one postulant, Isabella Charlotte Crofton (46).
  • The school at the Convent had now become a girls' orphanage, and there were seventeen female orphans there, plus two 16-year-old pupils remaining from the Convent high school. The domestic staff comprised a cook, laundress, and general servant.

On 7 October 1891 the Bishop of Lincoln laid the foundation stone for a new chapel at the Convent. Charles Buckeridge who had designed the Convent had died on 6 September 1873, but his friend John Loughborough Pearson followed his designs for the new building. Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 10 October reported on the ceremony, and added:

The old chapel has become quite inadequate to accommodate the large number of children under the charge of the Mother Superior, and the new building is being erected at a cost of between 5000l. and 6000l, The building will be in the gothic style of architecture from the designs of Mr. J. L. Pearson, R.A. Messrs. Wyatt and Son are the Builders, and D. Ireson the clerk of the works. In the basement will be a chapter house and a crypt, which in all probability will be used as a part of the school. The chapel will be about 70 feet by 22 feet, and will be connected with the main building by a corridor. There will be a bell turret, and under the vestry will be a record room. The chapel will be some 12 feet above the level of the ground.

More details about the chapel were given in the following week's edition, including the fact that the building could not be finished until another £3,000 had been subscribed. It was built of Gibraltar stone with Bath stone dressings by Messrs Wyatt of St Giles', and was eventually completed in 1894. It had a basement, intended as a chapter room and muniment chamber, and extras meant that the cost considerably exceeded the cost of £5,270 of the original contract. It is now a listed building (1369682). Its spire can be seen behind the Convent in the postcard below:

Convent

During the flu epidemic of 1892 Mother Marian ran a soup kitchen in north Oxford.

On 2 September 1899  it was reported in Jackson’s Oxford Journal that the Education Department had approved plans for the accommodation at Holy Trinity Convent School in Winchester Road to be increased by twelve girls and infants.

In 1901 Mother Marian started her third convent school: St. Faith's, which began life at 13 Bevington Road. (In 1920 it moved to 115 Woodstock Road, where It continued until 1965.)

1901 census

  • Holy Trinity Convent: Mother Superior Marian R. Hughes (84), plus nineteen Sisters of Mercy: Julia  E. Brown (64), Emma R. Cookson (69), Augusta Thurlow James (54), Isabel M. Fowler (55), Mildred A. Vibert (38), Theodora Seymour (41), Agnes Young (35), Ursula Blythman (24), Ella Boddington (35), Isabella C Crofton (56), Alice E. Furley (49), Elizabeth H. Johnston (35), Isabel Marryat (58), Mary J. Hutchinson (45), Sarah A. Glanville (40), Louisa C. Cotton (30), Lydia Bowen (25), Jane T. Chipperfield (47), and Sarah Hill (62).
  • Holy Trinity Convent School: There were 34 girls boarding on census night, aged between 10 and 15: some were described as pupils and others as scholars. There were also two teachers living at the convent who were not nuns: Zoe Edyth M. d'Ombrain (21) and Mary B. Brown (18). No domestic staff lived on the premises.

1911 census:

  • Holy Trinity Convent: Mother Superior Marion R. Hughes (94) plus 21 Sisters of Mercy: Ella Mary Boddington (43), Mary Steains Sprage (52), Gwendoline Mabel Furley (36), Mildred Anna Vibert (48), Ursula Blythman (34), Isabel Louisa Marryat (68), Elizabeth Johnston (45), Alice Furley (59), Theodora Seymour (52), Mary Jane Hutchinson (55), Annie Louisa Robinson Howes (50), Lydia Bowen (35), Louisa Charlotte Cotton (40), Mary Louise Browning (29), Ada Wardley (44), Fanny Elizabeth Lily Cooke (47), Susan Underwood (47), Sarah Anna Glanville (50), Mary Newman (66), Teresa Chipperfield (57), and two Novices, Edith Muriel Barber (32) and Alice Charlotte Pengelly (21).
  • Holy Trinity Convent Secondary School: Sister Mary Steains Sprage was the teacher. Four other assistant teachers who were not nuns lived at the Convent: Constance Bailey (25), Dorothy Allen (31), Mary S. C. Prescod Williams (26), and Agnes Florence Luce (29).There were 23 girls boarding at this school on census night, aged between 8 and 17. Again no domestic staff are listed.

The girls' elementary day school in Winchester Road behind the Convent was now a separate board school under Oxford City Council, but it was staffed by three Sisters of Mercy, namely Elizabeth Johnston (Mistress) and Sisters Lydia Bowen and Fanny Cooke (teachers).

Mother Marian died in 1912 and was buried in the large plot reserved for the Sisters of the Society of the Holy & Undivided Trinity that had first been used back in 1867:

† Marian Rebecca Hughes died at the Convent, Woodstock Road at the age of 95 on 7 May 1912 and was buried in St Sepulchre's Cemetery on 9 May (burial recorded in parish register of St Giles’s Church).

A large number of clergy and lay people joined in the funeral procession, which was headed by girls from the orphanage carrying flowers, with 24 Sisters following the bier. Photographs of her funeral appeared in the Oxford Journal Illustrated of 15 May 1912, and her obituary in The Times of 11 May 1912 read as follows:

On May 7 died at the Convent, Woodstock-road, Oxford, the first woman to take the religious vows in the Church of England since the Reformation. Newman in 1840 wrote of Pusey as “eager about setting up sisters of mercy,” and on June 6, 1841 (Trinity Sunday) Marian Rebecca Hughes, the youngest child of the Rev. R. E. Hughes, Rector of Shenington, Gloucestershire, and his wife, Martha Pyner, took the vows as an Anglican nun.

She was at first directed in her course by Mr. Newman, afterwards for more than 50 years by Dr. Pusey, and then by the late Bishop of Lincoln. She was a woman of great force of character, great capacity for organization and government, and remarkable energy. Beginning in a small house in St. John’s-street, Oxford, her sisterhood — with its schools for poor orphan girls, for children of Oxford tradesmen, and for girls of the upper classes, its printing office (from which issued for many years a Convent Magazine of considerable literary merit), and its work among the poor and fallen — moved into a fine building, with a simple but large and beautiful chapel and extensive grounds, on the Woodstock-road. The society was founded under the authority of Bishop Wilberforce, and all the succeeding Bishops gave it their countenance and support, Bishop Stubbs especially giving (as the Superior was fond of recalling) very wise advice in times of difficulty.

Though for many years the aged Mother was not seen outside the walls of the convent, she knew many members of the University; their children had often been taught in her school; some of them occasionally gave lectures to her higher classes; and Bishop Paget, Bishop Gore, and others who have passed away or left Oxford were among her friends. Her memory was remarkable to an advanced age. Born in 1817, she could remember the reign of George IV, and had many interesting anecdotes of her early life which it is to be hoped may be preserved. Her great work in the cholera year is not yet forgotten by the poor of Oxford. Though she was intimately acquainted with French Catholicism, and had much sympathy for foreign devotional rules, she remained a firm Anglican. Shrewd, full of humour and kindliness, entirely devoted to her self-imposed work, no one could have been better fitted to revive for English Churchwomen a career which has given happiness to very many.

Three photographs relating to her funeral procession were published in the Oxford Journal Illustrated on 15 May 1912 with the following text and captions:

On Thursday afternoon the funeral took place at St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery, Walton-street, of Marian Rebecca Hughes, Sister Superior of the Convent, Woodstock-road, who passed away on the previous Tuesday at the advanced age of 95. Our photos show:—
(1) The head of the procession crossing the Woodstock-road.
(2) The coffin, followed by the chief mourners.
(3) Well-known local clergy in the procession. (A) The Archdeacon of Oxford (The Rev. Archer Houblin, D.D.), (B) the Rev. Dr C. R. Davey Biggs (Vicar of SS. Philip and James’), (C) the Rev. Dr B. J. Kidd (vicar of St. Paul’s).

Marian Rebecca Hughes’s wealth at death was £1,356 15s. 7d., and she left it in equal shares to the Rt Hon. Frederick Earl Beauchamp, the Hon. William Edward Sackville West of Keble College, and the Revd Henry Ramsden Bramley.

See also:

  • Entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for Hughes, Marian Rebecca, Anglican nun
  • Tanis Hinchcliffe, North Oxford, pp. 147–150
  • The Pusey House archive for material relating to the Society of Sisters of the Holy Undivided Trinity, including Mother Marian's diary from 1841 to 1852 and copies of the inscriptions of the sisters' graves in St Sepulchre's Cemetery
  • Obituary of Mother Marian Hughes in the Oxford Magazine 1911–1912, p. 321
  • Obituary of Mother Marian Hughes in The Times of 11 May 1912
  • R. Townsend Warner, Marian Rebecca Hughes: Mother Foundress of the Society of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Oxford (Oxford University Press, 1933): a 32pp memoir available in the Bodleian Library and in the Oxfordshire History Centre
  • Grace Hargrave, St Denys School, Oxford 1857–1957 (Oxford University Press, 1957)
  • Victoria County History of Oxfordshire, Vol. IV (The City of Oxford): section on Other Church of England Schools

Mother Marian's Convent survived until c.1946. In 1947 the building was occupied by the Oxford University Graduate Centre, and since 1950 it has been part of St Antony's College (founded that year.) The college library occupies its former chapel, refectory, and chapter house.


The three Sisters whose headstones within the main plot above are legible

Sister Julia Ellen BROWN “50 years a sister”

Julia Ellen Brown was born in Adam Street East, Pimlico, Middlesex in 1836 and baptised at Marylebone Church on 21 August. She was the daughter of Joseph Brown (described variously as independent and a proprietor of houses) and his wife Hannah. At the time of the 1841 census Julia (4) was living at 6 Upper Eaton Street, Westminster with her parents and her older sister Mary (6). She was with her parents at the same address in 1851 at the age of 14 and was described as a servant. She now had another sister, Anne (7).

At the time of the 1861 census, when she was 24, she was a Sister of Mercy at the original Convent at 24 St John Street. In 1868 she moved with the Convent to the new premises on the Woodstock Road, and remained there until her death in 1909:

† Julia Ellen Brown died at the Convent at the age of 73 in late 1909 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 4 December (burial recorded in parish register of St Giles’s Church).

Sister Sarah HILL, “42 years a sister” (but actually more)

Sarah Hill was born in London/Middlesex in 1835/6. By the time of the 1861 census, when she was 24, she was a Sister of Mercy at the original Convent at 24 St John Street, and in 1868 she moved with the Convent to the new premises on the Woodstock Road, where she remained until her death in 1910:

† Sarah Hill died at the Convent at the age of 72 near the end of 1910 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 30 December (burial recorded in parish register of St Giles’s Church).

Amelia Anne Cole, “A Novice”

Amelia Anne Cole was born in 1841/2 and entered the Convent at 24 St John Street as a novice in the 1860s (after the 1861 census) when in her early twenties. She died at this original Convent in 1867, and appears to be the first nun to be buried in this plot:

† Amelia Anne COLE died at the Convent at 24 St John Street at the age of 25 in April 1867 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 15 April (burial recorded in parish register of St Giles’s Church).


Another sixteen nuns only listed by their first names on this large plot

Some of the names are of nuns who also have their own graves at the bottom end of the cemetery

  • Sister Louisa ?
  • Sister Amelia: Possibly Amelia Ann COLE (see above)
  • Sister Margaret: Possibly Margaret Isabel FOWLER (see grave below)
  • Sister Constance: Possibly Constance Augusta MICHELL (see grave below)
  • Sister Anne: Possibly Anne LUCAS (see grave below)
  • Sister Marian ? Possibly Marian Emma BUCKERIDGE (see grave below)
  • Sister Gertrude ? Possibly Gertrude MOULE (see grave below)
  • Sister Rosa ?
  • Sister Augusta Mary: Probably Augusta Thurlow JAMES (d.1907) who was born at Hindringham, Norfolk and had entered the Convent by 1871. She died there at the age of 60 and was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 11 August 1907 (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church)
  • Sister Margaret Isobel ? Probably Margaret Isobel FOWLER (d.1908) (see grave below)
  • Sister Julia: Probably Julia Ellen BROWN (d.1909) (see above)
  • Sister Emma: Probably Elizabeth Emma FOSTER, who died at the Convent at the age of 43 and was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 15 January 1910 (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church)
  • Sister Sarah: Probably Sarah Anna GLANVILLE, born in Clifton Hampton, Oxfordshire, who had entered the Convent by 1881. She died there at the age of 54 and was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 12 August 1914 (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church)
  • Sister Mary: Probably Mary NEWMAN, born in Walthamstow, Essex, who had entered the Convent by 1871. She died there at the age of 67 and was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 13 April 1912 (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church)
  • Mother Theodora: Probably Theodora SEYMOUR
  • Sister Anna Mary:
  • Sister Teresa: Probably Jane Teresa CHIPPERFIELD, born in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, who had entered the Convent by 1871. She died there at the age of 67 and was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 2 September 1921 (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church)
  • Sister Isabel Angela: Probably Isabel Angela MARRYAT (d.1929), born in Chewton Glen, Hampshire, who had entered the Convent by 1871. She died there at the age of 87 and was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 15 June 1929 (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church)

 

Eight other separate Convent graves

There are also another eight individual graves of Sisters from the Convent at the bottom end of
the cemetery in Row 51, Graves K37, 38, 39, 41, 42, and 43–5 (triple plot).
The headstones are all in the style of the one shown below, with the Star of David at the top

Cookson convent grave

Row 51, Grave K37

Sister Emma Rosaline COOKSON (c.1832–1901)

Emma was born in Guernsey on 3 August 1831 and in 1861 when she was 29 she was living at Shepton Beauchamp, Somerset with her widowed mother Elizabeth Cookson, her two sisters, and their cook and housemaid.

She had entered the Convent in the Woodstock Road, Oxford by 1871.

She died there on 20 September 1901 at the age of 70 (after being a Sister for 53 years) and was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 23 September (burial recorded in the parish registers of both St Giles’s and Ss Philip & James’s Church)

Row 51, Grave K 38

Sister Gertrude Maria MOULE (1834–1898)

Gertrude Maria Moule was born in Melksham, Wiltshire in 1834 and baptised there on 7 March. She was the daughter of Frederick Moule, a banker, and his wife Mary. At the time of the 1841 census she was seven years old and living in Melksham with her parents and her siblings Frederick, Henry, and Gertrude (13), and her father was now described as a banker. In 1851 when she was 17 she was a pupil at a small boarding school for girls at 1 Hanover Terrace, Kensington. She is hard to find in 1861 and 1871, but by 1881 she had entered the Convent in the Woodstock Road, Oxford. She died there at the age of 63 in 1898 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 14 March (burial recorded in the parish registers of both St Giles’s and Ss Philip & James’s Church)

Row 51, Grave K39

Sister Marion Emma BUCKERIDGE (1865–1897)

Marion Emma Buckeridge was born at Park Town in 1865, the daughter of Charles Buckeridge (the architect of the Convent) and his wife Anne. She was privately baptised by Ss Philip & James’s Church on 4 October 1865, and Mother Marion's was her godmother. At the time of the 1871 census she was living at 10 Buckland Crescent , Hampstead with her parents and her siblings John (13), Herbert (8), Charles (6) and Ethel (1), plus her widowed grandmother Eliza Buckeridge, a boarder who was an architectural student, and three servants. In 1881 when she was aged 15 she was still at school and lodging at 4 Duke Street, Marylebone with her widowed mother and three older brothers. She had entered the Convent in the Woodstock Road, Oxford by 1891, and died there at the age of 34 in 1897 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 22 December (burial recorded in the parish registers of both St Giles’s and Ss Philip & James’s Church)

Row 51, Grave K41

Sister Anne is probably Sister Anne LUCAS (1819–1885)

Anne Lucas was born in Ox Street, Oxford on 4 September 1819 and baptised at St Thomas's Church on 7 November. She was the daughter of the shoemaker John Lucas and his wife Anne. At the time of the 1851 census Anne (31) was living in the St John Street home of her brother John Lucas junior, a widower of 35 who was an assistant at the Observatory, and his children John Richard (8) and Henry (6). She had entered the Convent in the Woodstock Road, Oxford by 1871. She died there at the age of 65 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 18 June 1885 (burial recorded in the parish registers of both St Giles’s and Ss Philip & James’s Church). A death notice was placed in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 20 June.

Row 51, Grave K 42

Sister Catherine SPIESER (c.1846–1885)

Catherine Spieser was born at Colmar in Alsace, France in c.1846. In 1871 when she was aged 26 she was the French governess at a school at 11 Norfolk Terrace, Brighton. She had entered the Convent in the Woodstock Road, Oxford by 1881, and died there at the age of 39 on 30 April 1885. She was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 4 May, with the funeral conducted by E. King, D.D., Lord Bishop of Lincoln (burial recorded in the parish registers of both St Giles’s and Ss Philip & James’s Church). Her funeral was reported thus in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 9 May 1885:

FUNERAL OF A SISTER OF THE CONVENT OF THE HOLY TRINITY. — The funeral of Sister Catherine Spieser, who died on the previous Thursday, at the Convent, St. Giles., in the 40th year of her age, took place in St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery on Monday last. The procession, which was formed by the ladies and orphans residing in the Convent, and the children belonging to the day school, left the building shortly before twelve o’clock, the coffin following on a wheeled bier, two of the Sisters walking at the head and two at the foot. Miss Hughes, the Mother Superior, was chief mourner. At the gateway of the Cemetery the body was met by the Bishop of Lincoln and the Revds. H. R. Bramley, H. Spencer, W. J. Wyon, and Goldenburg, and on being placed in the Chapel the coffin was literally covered with wreaths and other floral mementoes. The first part of the service was said by the Rev. W. J. Wyon, the lesson was read by the Rev. H. R. Bramley, and the Bishop of Lincoln said the remaining portion of the service at the grave. The coffin was of polished oak, of 11th century pattern, and on each side of the sloping lid ran the simple inscription, in old English letters, “Catherine, Sister of the Holy Trinity.” The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. J. Horseman, St. John’s-road.

A death notice was also placed in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 9 May 1885, giving her age at death very precisely as 39 years and 8 months.

Row 51, Grave K 43, 44, & 45 (triple plot)

Sister Constance Augusta MICHELL (1855–1882)

Constance Augusta Michell was born at Brighton, Sussex in 1855 and baptised there on 22 November. She was the daughter of William & Augusta Michell. In 1861 her father was the incumbent of All Saints parish on Jersey and Constance (5) was living at St Peter Port with her parents and three younger siblings, plus four servants. In 1871 her father was the Vicar of Chantry  and she was a 14-year-old schoolgirl  living at Frome Road, Whatley, Somerset with her parents and her siblings Katherine (16), Mary (10), Ethel (9), Philip (3), Evelyn (2), and Francis (1), plus four servants. By the time of the next census in 1881 she had entered the Convent in the Woodstock Road, Oxford. She died there at the age of 26 in 1882 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 31 August (burial recorded in the parish registers of both St Giles’s and Ss Philip & James’s Church)

Sister Margaret Isabel FOWLER (1845/6–1908)

Margaret Isabel Fowler was born at Madley, Herefordshire in 1845/6, but her original name seems to have been Isabel Mathilda Fowler, sometimes shortened to Mabel. She was the daughter of Charles & Emily Fowler, and was baptised at Madley on 8 March 1846. In 1851 her father was Rector of Crawley in Sussex, and Isabel (5) was living in the Rectory House with her parents and her younger brothers Cyril (4), George (3), Charles (2), and Reginald (six months), plus her aunt Maria Milman (28) and four servants. In 1871 Isabel (25 and recorded as Mabel) was living in Tower House, Holy Cross parish, Westgate with her parents and her four youngest siblings Wilfred (13), Valentine (12), Edith (9), and Violet (8), plus three servants. By 1881 her father was Rector of Walton & Weston in Gordano in Somerset and Margaret (again listed as Mabel) had entered the Convent in the Woodstock Road, Oxford. She died at the Convent at the age of 62 in 1908 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 24 October (burial recorded under the name Margaret Isabel Fowler in the parish register of St Giles’s Church)

Sister Isabella Charlotte CROFTON (c.1835–1910)

Isabella was born in Ireland in c.1835. She was the daughter of Sir Malby Crofton, 2nd Baronet, of Longford House and Sarah Jane Parke. and had six siblings: Henry Bliss Crofton, Frederick Robert Cameron Crofton, Malby Edward Crofton, Elizabeth Sarah Crofton, Marion Louisa Crofton, and Frances Caroline Crofton. Her mother died in 1867 and her father in 1872. She entered the Convent in the Woodstock Road, Oxford as a postulant not long before the 1891 census. She died there at the age of 75 on 26 September 1910 after serving for eighteen years as a Sister and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 28 September (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church). Her effects came to £318 7s. 8d., and probate was granted at Dublin to her brother, retired army colonel Malby Edward Crofton.


Others who died at the Convent in the Woodstock Road who are not obviously listed on the gravestones:

Beatrice Sophia WINTERBORNE (1870–1886): pupil

Beatrice Sophia Winterbourne was born in Bampton Aston, Oxfordshire in 1870 and baptised there on 27 November. She was the daughter of Henry Winterbourne, a farmer, and his wife Rose Esther Winterbourne. In 1871 she and her parents were living with her grandmother, Miss Sarah Winterbourne, at Bute Street, Aston & Cote. In 1881 when she was 11 she was boarding at the school at this Convent on the Woodstock Road, Oxford. She died there at the age of 15 in 1886 and was buried (presumably at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery) on 28 January (burial recorded in the parish registers of St Giles's and Ss Philip & James’s Church)

Rosa Lokalia MANOANOA (c.1859–1879)

It was announced in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 8 March 1879 that Manoanoa Rosa Lokalia [sic] had died at the Convent at the age of 19, but she is not mentioned in the parish burial register. Her death was registered as MANOANOA, Female


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