Robert PIKE (1803–1885)
His grandson Frederick Grosvenor PIKE (1864–1871)
St Giles section: Row 22, Grave F30

The gravestone that was at this location when Bostock documented the graves is no longer in place

Robert Pike was born at Chudleigh, Devon in 1803.

He became an accountant and had settled in Oxford by 1832, when in Jackson’s Oxford Journal he is described as being “of this city” at the time of his marriage to Marianne Osborne, the third daughter of Mr John Osborne, late of Leigh in Essex, at St Mary’s Church, Cheltenham. They had two children:

  • Frederick Robert Pike (born in Oxford in 1833 and baptised at St Cross Church on 12 May)
  • Emily Mary Pike (born in Oxford in 1839 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 24 July)

The couple lived initially in the parish of St Cross, but by 1839 Pike was listed as an accountant at 4 St John Street (the south end of which is in St Mary Magdalen parish). The 1841 census shows him living there with his wife Marianne and their daughter: Frederick was probably away at school.

By 1846 Pike was listed in Hunt’s Directory as an auctioneer at 2 St Aldate’s Street (just to the north of the Town Hall and then in St Martin’s parish). He can be seen here with his wife in the 1851 census, duly described as an auctioneer and estate agent. They had two servants and a student lodger from Christ Church, and both the children were away from home: Frederick was a merchant’s clerk living with a solicitor in Covent Garden, but Emily is hard to find.

By the time of the next census in 1861 their son Frederick Robert Pike had emigrated to New York and married Emma Jeanetta (surname unknown, born in Camanche Town, Iowa in c.1839). They had seven children. The first two were born in Detroit, Michigan: Maud Marion Pike (1862) and Frederick Grosvenor Pike (1864), and the next four in New York: Mary Ann Florence Pike (1865), Eleanor Osborne Pike (1867), and Emily Seligman Pike. Their next daughter, Mabel Davis Pike, was born in Bloomfield, New Jersey in c.1871, and their seventh child appears to be Edward Harry Pike.

In 1861 Robert Pike (57) and his wife Marianne (52) were living at 2 St Aldate’s Street with their daughter Emily, (21), and Edward Seligman, a Cologne-born spirit merchant who became a naturalized Briton, was paying the family a visit. Later that year their daughter married him:

  • On 1 August 1861 at St John’s Church, Paddington, Emily Mary Pike married Edward Seligman.

5 Norham Gardens

In 1865 Robert Pike retired to Grosvenor Lodge, 5 Norham Gardens (right). He was the first occupier of this house, which was designed by William Wilkinson. He and his wife had four servants here in 1871, including a 17-year-old page

At the time of that census his son Frederick was paying a visit from the States and was staying with them in this house with his wife Emma and five of their American-born children: Frederick (7), Mary (6), Eleanor (4), Emily (2), and Mabel (six months). They had four servants: a cook, two housemaids, and a page.

Pike’s grandson Frederick died at this house later in 1871:

† Frederick Grosvenor Pike died at 5 Norham Gardens at the age of eight on 6 November 1871 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 8 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

The death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal read: “Nov. 6, at Grosvenor Lodge, Norham-gardens, Frederick Grosvenor, only son of Mr. Frederick Robert Pike, aged 8½ years.”

Pike was elected to represent the Town Council on the West Ward, and in 1872 he was elected Mayor of Oxford for 1872/3 and hence became a Justice of the Peace. He resigned as a councillor when he was made an Alderman in 1877.

The 1881 census shows Alderman Pike at the age of 78 at his home at 5 Norham Gardens with his wife Marianne (71) and three servants. His “occupation” was described as “Bank shares”.

Pike resigned from the council in 1882 because of ill-health, and died three years later:

† Robert Pike died at the age of 81 on 3 May 1885 at 5 Norham Gardens, and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 6 May (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

His personal estate came to £2,864 7s. 9d.: it was left unadministered by his wife who was the sole executor, and his son Frederick Robert Pike, the residuary legatee, was granted probate in 1888.

The following report on his death appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 9 May 1885:

DEATH OF MR. ROBERT PIKE.—We have to announce the death, after a somewhat protracted illness, of Mr. Robert Pike, who died on Sunday last at his residence, Grosvenor Lodge, Norham Gardens, at the advanced age of 81. Mr. Pike had seen a good deal of public life, he having been elected to the Town Council to represent the West Ward as long ago as 1859, and he continued to sit for that Ward until the year 1877, when he was made an Alderman, on the resignation of the late Mr. Grubb. He served the office of Mayor of the City in 1872, and was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1874. He resigned the office of Alderman two or three years since on account of failing health. The funeral took place on Wednesday, at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, Walton-street, and was of a very private character.

His widow Marianne died in Brighton at the age of 78 on 15 March 1888, and was presumably buried there.


Children of Robert and Marianne Pike
  • Frederick Robert Pike (born 1833) had returned to England with his family by 1881, and in the census that year he was described as a house agent and was living at Brompton with his wife Emma and three of their children: Maud (19), Emily (12), and Mabel (10). He then seems to have split up with his wife: in 1891 he was living off his own means and lodging in Kensington, but still described himself as married. His wife was living separately at Brompton and also described herself as married. Four of her daughters were living with her: Eleanor Osborne Pike (24); Emily Osborne Pike (23), who was an artist; Louisa Vincent Pike (21); and Mabel Davis Pike (20). In 1901 Frederick Pike, who now described himself as a widower, was boarding at 165 Vauxhall Bridge Road. In 1911 he was living completely on his own at 38 Cambridge Street, London, and he recorded that two of his seven children were now dead. He himself died in 1921 at the age of 87 in London.
  • Emily Mary Pike, Mrs Seligman (born 1839) had no children. She and her husband Henry were living in Islington in 1871 and her niece Claude Pike (9) was visiting. They were living in Brompton in 1881. On 10 November 1884 at St Peter’s, South Kensington Emily Seligman married her second husband Emil Beckh, a Bavarian who had become a naturalized Briton, and at the time of the 1891 census they were living in Brompton. Emily was a widow again by the time of her own death at 19 Evelyn Gardens, South Kensington on 9 April 1918. Her effects came to £15,057 4s. 7d., and her executor was Miss Florence Pike.

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