Thomas PRIOR (c.1810–1880)
His second wife Mrs Ann PRIOR, formerly Mrs Jones (c.1819–1863)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 21, Grave G61
TO THE MEMORY OF
ANN THE BELOVED WIFE OF
WHO DIED JULY 24, 1863,
AGED 44 YEARS.
RESTING IN HOPE
WHO DIED SEP. 26, 1880,
AGED 69 YEARS.
Thomas Prior was born in Langley, Oxfordshire (near Leafield, and to the south-east of Shipton-under-Wychwood) in c.1810. It is hard to trace his origins, and possibly as he later worked on a barge, his parents did too. (There is a chance that Thomas's parents were the Thomas Prior who married Jane Pratley of St Ebbe's at St Ebbe's Church on 17 February 1805, as a Thomas and Jane Prior had two children baptised at Leafield: Mary Ann on 5 July 1806 and Robert on 28 July 1811.)
On 16 October 1835 at Cuddesdon, Thomas Prior, who was now a boatman and settled in Abingdon, married his first wife Elizabeth King, and they had the following children:
- Edward Prior (born at West St Helen's Street, Abingdon on 26 December 1837 and baptised at St Helen's Church on 21 January 1838)
- Ann Prior (born at West St Helen's Street, Abingdon on 18 April 1839 and baptised at St Helen's Church on 12 May).
Thomas's first wife Elizabeth Prior drowned when stepping of the barge in Culham parish at the age of 33 on 26 December 1842. The following report on her inquest appeared in Jackson's Oxford Journal:
ABINGDON, DECEMBER 29.
DEATH BY DROWNING.–On Monday night last, as a woman named Prior, the wife of a bargeman, was getting into a barge, moored in the Thames, close to this town, she slipped and fell into the river, and before assistance could be procured she was drowned. The body having been taken out in Oxfordshire, an inquest was held on it by Mr. Cecil, coroner, the following day, and a verdict of “accidental death” returned.
Elizabeth was buried in St Helen's churchyard in Abingdon on 29 December 1842.
Thomas Prior and his second wife
On 25 October 1847 at St Nicholas's Church in Abingdon, Thomas Prior married his second wife, the widow Mrs Ann Jones. Ann was born in London in c.1819, the daughter of William Hewett.
By the time of the 1851 census they had moved to Oxford: Thomas Prior (38) was still working as a boatman, and was now living in Fisher Row in St Thomas's parish with Ann (32) and his two children by his first wife, Edward (13) and Ann (11).
Thomas's daughter Ann by his first marriage was married in 1858, when she was 19:
- On 10 October 1858 at St Thomas's Church, Oxford, Ann Prior married the labourer Thomas Longford, the son of the boatman Thomas Longford senior: both bride and groom were described as being of New Osney.
By 1861 Thomas (49) was working as a coal heaver in Oxford, and he and his wife Ann (42) were living in Worcester Street, which was in St Mary Magdalen parish.
By 1863 they had moved to the part of George Street that lies within St Mary Magdalen parish, and Ann died there that year:
† Mrs Ann Prior died at George Street at the age of 44 on 24 July 1863 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 30 July (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
Thomas Prior seems to have escaped the 1871 census.
He died in Oxford in 1880, seventeen years after his wife:
† Thomas Prior died at George Street at the age of 69 on 26 September 1880 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 29 September (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
Children of Thomas Prior and his first wife Elizabeth
- Edward Prior (born 1837) joined the army, and is hard to find before 1905, when at the age of 68 he married Emma Smith in the Brentford registration district. At the time of the 1911 census Edward (73) was an army pensioner, living at 35 Somerset Road, Acton, London with his wife Emma (70), who was a laundry hand.
- Ann Prior, Mrs Longford (born 1839) was aged 22 at the time of the 1851 census and was living at 16 Jericho Gardens with her husband Thomas Longford (25), who was still working as a labourer, and their children Elizabeth (2) and Harriet (seven months). By 1871 they had moved to Great Clarendon Street and Thomas Longford was working as a warehouseman: they now had six children: Elizabeth (12), Harriet (10), Thomas (8), Mary (6), Alice (4), and Fanny (1). Their last two children were born at Great Clarendon Street and baptised at St Barnabas's Church: Ann (born 3 April and baptised on 11 June) and Hannah (born 31 July 1873 and baptised 7 September): both died in infancy: Harriet (nine months) was buried on 17 May 1874, and Ann (3) on 17 May 1874. The family then moved to 57 Cranham Street, where Mrs Ann Longford died the age of 38: she was buried on 7 April 1875. Ann and her infants are probably buried in St Sepulchre's Cemetery, but the grave has not been located.