Joseph ROLPH (1828/9–1890)
His wife Mrs Sarah Adelaide ROLPH, née Lovegrove (1832–1920)
Their daughter Mrs Sarah Adelaide THORNTON, née Rolph (1854–1884)
and her baby son Harry Joseph Rolph THORNTON (born and died 1885)
St Paul section: Row 2, Grave A21 (St Paul ref. C1 or E1)
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
THE DEARLY BELOVED WIFE
OF JAMES HARRY THORNTON
WHO DIED DECEMBER 18, 1884
[the original inscription on the headstone
is corrected from 1885]
AGED 30 YEARS.
HARRY JOSEPH ROLPH,
ONLY CHILD OF THE ABOVE
WHO DIED JANUARY 20TH 1885,
AGED 9 WEEKS.
WHO DIED OCTOBER 21ST 1890,
AGED 61 YEARS.
SARAH ADELAIDE ROLPH,
WIFE OF THE ABOVE
BORN JAN. 1ST 1832.
DIED SEP. 10TH, 1920.
“COME TO ME,” SAITH ONE,
AND COMING BE AT REST.
Joseph Rolph was born in Headington in 1828/9 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 5 January 1829. He was the son of William Rolph, a mason, and his wife Mary Bossom, who were married at that church on 8 August 1825. They had four other children baptised there: William (1825), Sarah (1827), Mary Ann (1831), and a second William (1832). At the time of the 1851 census Joseph (22) was the assistant to the tea dealer/Italian warehouse proprietor Francis Thomas Cooper and lived over the shop with him at 46 High Street.
Sarah Adelaide Lovegrove was born in Temple Cowley on 1 January 1832 and baptised at St James’s Church in Cowley on 26 February. She was the daughter of John Lovegrove, who was a publican at the time of her birth but a gardener at the time of her marriage, and Mary Lambourne of Holton, who were married at St Ebbe’s Church on 26 September 1825 and had five other children baptised at Cowley: James (1826), Emily (1827), Elizabeth (1829), Marianna (1830), and John (1834). By 1841 Sarah (9) was living at St Bernard’s Road (then called St John’s Road) with her parents, her grandfather James Lovegrove, and five of her siblings, including Thomas (2). She was still at home there with her parents and grandfather in 1851, and had two more siblings: Richard (5) and Rosina (2).
On 17 April 1853 at St Giles’s Church, Oxford, Joseph Rolph (24), who was also living at St Bernard’s Road and was described as a tea dealer, married Sarah Adelaide Lovegrove (21). They had two children (twins):
- John Rolph (born at St Bernard’s Road on 10 January 1854 and already deceased when privately baptised by St Giles’s Church on 20 January)
- Sarah Adelaide Rolph (born in Oxford on 10 January 1854 and privately baptised with her brother by St Giles’s Church on 20 January; received into that church on 1 September 1854).
Joseph Rolph was described a grocer when his twins were baptised, but at the time of the 1861 census he was working as an accountant and living at 18 St Bernard’s Road with his wife Sarah and their daughter Sarah junior (7).
The family was still living at St Bernard’s Road in 1871: Joseph was now a house agent, and Sarah junior (17) was a dressmaker. They had an 18-year-old servant girl.
By August 1877 Joseph Rolph was an accountant and the family was living at 64 Walton Street in the St Paul’s district chapelry. The 1881 census shows Joseph and his wife and daughter living there with another young servant.
Their only surviving child was married in 1883:
- In 1883 (reg. third quarter) in Portsea, Sarah Adelaide Rolph married James Harry Thornton, and they had one son:
Their son Harry Joseph Rolph Thornton was born in Oxford in November 1884. His mother Sarah Adelaide Thornton died about five weeks after giving birth:
† Mrs Sarah Adelaide Thornton née Rolph died at Walton Street at the age of 30 on 18 December 1884 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 22 December (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).
Her baby son Harry died at the age of nine weeks, less than a month after his mother:
† Harry Joseph Thornton died at Walton Street at the age of nine weeks on 20 January 1885 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 23 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).
The baby's grandfather Joseph Rolph died in 1890:
† Joseph Rolph died at 64 Walton Street at the age of 62 on 21 October 1890 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 24 October (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).
His personal estate came to £1,692 15s. 3d., and in his probate record he was described as a house agent & appraiser.
At the time of the 1891 census Mrs Sarah Rolph, a widow of 59, was the head of the household at 64 Walton Street, and her widower son-in-law James Thornton, a house agent of 26, was living with her, as well as her niece Florence Emily Hanger, a dressmaker of 16, and Miss Anne Thornton (28).
Mrs Rolph was at the same address in 1901 and 1911, when Anne Thornton was described as her companion. In 1911 Hilda May Thornton, a draper’s assistant of 16, was also living with them.
Mrs Rolph died in 1920:
† Mrs Sarah Adelaide Rolph née Lovegrove died at 64 Walton Street at the age of 88 on 10 September 1920 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 13 September (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).
Her effects came to £396 2s. 6d., and her executor was the potato salesman Walter Arthur Acott.