John Robert PALMER (c.1830–1887)
His wife Mrs Elizabeth PALMER (1827/8–1897)
Their son Walter PALMER (1869–1888)
St Giles section:
Row 46, Grave J33
JOHN ROBERT PALMER
WHO DIED JANUARY 28, 1887,
LORD ALL PITYING, JESU BLEST
GRANT HIM THINE ETERNAL REST
SON OF THE ABOVE
WHO DIED APRIL 7 1888
AGED 19 YEARS
HIS SUN WENT DOWN WHILE IT WAS YET DAY
ALSO OF ELIZABETH, WIFE OF
JOHN ROBERT PALMER,
WHO DIED APRIL 19, 1897
AGED 69 YEARS
REST IN PEACE
John Robert Palmer was born in Hanley, Staffordshire on 4 May 1830. He entered service with the Great Western Railway in 1841 at the age of 11, and on 28 November 1852 he took up the post of fireman at Oxford's GWR station, and on 20 April 1855 he became an engine tuner, and on 3 May 1856 an engine man.
His wife Elizabeth was born in Bourton-on-the-Hill, Gloucestershire in 1827/8.
They were probably married in the 1850s, but the marriage is hard to find. They had the following children:
- Annie Palmer (born in Didcot in 1859/60 and baptised there on 22 April 1860)
- John Henry Palmer (born in Didcot in 1862 and baptised there on 11 May)
- Walter Palmer (born at Canal Street, Oxford in 1869 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 11 April).
After their marriage John and Elizabeth Palmer initially lived at Didcot (which was then in in Berkshire); and at the time of the 1861 census they can be seen living near the White Hart there with their daughter Annie (1): John was described as an engine driver.
By the time of Walter’s birth in early 1869, John & Elizabeth Palmer had moved to Oxford, and were living at Canal Street, Jericho. By the time of the 1871 census they were living at Plantation Road, in the parish of Ss Philip & James, with Annie (11), John (8), and Walter (2).
The house number is specified as 40 Plantation Road in the 1881 census. Of their children, only Walter (12) was then still at home; Annie (21) was an assistant draper lodging with the draper Richard Sheaf and his family at Market Square, Witney, while John Henry Palmer is hard to locate.
Between 1881 and the beginning of 1887, John & Elizabeth Palmer moved to Leckford Road with their youngest son, Walter.
GWR records show that John Palmer was off ill from 1 July 1886 until his death the following year:
† John Robert Palmer died at 50 Leckford Road at the age of 56 on 28 January 1887 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 3 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
The death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal reads simply: “Jan. 28, at 50, Leckford-road, Oxford, Mr. John Robert Palmer, many years an engine driver on the Great Western Railway, aged 56.” His personal estate amounted to £166. His wife was given £100 by the Great Western Railway.
Two of his children were married in 1887:
- In the third quarter of 1887 at South Shields, John Henry Palmer married Robina Helen Gibson;
- On 30 April 1887 at Ss Philip & James Church, Annie Palmer (27) of 50 Leckford Road married the carpenter Augustus Edwin Barrett (25) of 20 Plantation Road.
Walter, the youngest child of John & Elizabeth Palmer, died at Leckford Road just a year after his father:
† Walter Palmer died at Leckford Road at the age of 19 on 7 April 1888 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 12 April (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
By the time of the 1891 census Mrs Elizabeth Palmer (62) was living at 85 Southmoor Road with her daughter Mrs Annie Barrett, who was working as a dressmaker, and her son-in-law Augustus.
† Mrs Elizabeth Palmer died at 81 Southmoor Road at the age of 69 on 19 April 1897 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 22 April (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
Surviving children of John & Elizabeth Palmer
- Annie Palmer (Mrs Barrett) (born 1859/60) and her husband Augustus Barrett had no children. Augustus died at the age of 46 in the first quarter of 1908, and in 1911 Annie was living with the family of her brother John in Derbyshire.
- John Henry Palmer (born 1862) became a marine engineer. He and his wife Robina settled in South Shields, her birthplace: they were living at 9 Fairles Street there in 1891 with their children Walter (2) and Alan (seven months). In 1901 they were at 4 Roman Road, South Shields: John was away from home, and Robina was home with Walter (12), Alan (10), and Henry (7), and one servant. Their son Alan died early in the following year, before his eleventh birthday. By 1911 John and Robina were living at 27 Wingate Road, Aigburth, Derbyshire, and John’s widowed sister Annie was living with them.