Joseph SODEN (c.1834–1882)
His wife Mrs Eliza SODEN, née Lisemore (c.1835–1905)
Their baby son Joseph SODEN junior (1869–1870)
St Paul section: Row 30, Grave K14 (St Paul ref. J26)
IN LOVING REMEMBRANCE OF
WHO DIED MAY 31, 1882
AGED 48 YEARS
HE SLEEPS IN JESUS AND IS BLEST,
GONE TO THAT HOME OF HEAVENLY REST
WHERE SIN AND SORROW ARE ALL O'ER
AND GRIEF AND TROUBLE ARE NO MORE.
ALSO OF JOSEPH SODEN
SON OF THE ABOVE
WHO DIED JUNE 23, 1870
AGED 1 YEAR
NOT LOST BUT GONE BEFORE
ALSO OF ELIZA SODEN
THE BELOVED WIFE OF THE ABOVE
WHO DIED AUGUST 22, 1905
AGED 70 TEARS.
SHE HAS GONE TO HER REST,
HER TROUBLES ARE O'ER
SHE HAS DONE WITH HER SORROWS AND PAIN
THE ILLS OF THIS LIFE
WHICH ARE PATIENTLY BORN
SHALL NEVER DISTRESS HER AGAIN.
Joseph Soden (or Sodin) was born in Hinckley, Leicestershire in c.1835, the son of the framework knitter John Soden and his wife Catherine. His mother died soon after his birth. At the time of the 1851 census when he was 18 he was working for his brother Abraham (27), who was a chimney sweep, and living with him and his wife.
Eliza Lisemore was born in St Margaret's parish, Leicester in c.1835, the daughter of William Lisemore and Mary Poultney, who were married on 29 January 1832 at St Nicholas's Church, Leicester. At the time of the 1841 census Eliza (7) was living at Reeding Street in Leicester with her parents and her two younger siblings John (4), and Emma (2). Her father was a cotton brace maker and her mother a brace sewer. For more about her parents, who also came down to Oxford, see separate grave.
On 21 September 1853 in Leicester, Joseph Soden, a chimney sweep, married Eliza Lisemore: both were aged about 18 and signed their name with a cross. They had the following children:
- Emma (or Emily) Soden (born in Leicester in 1855/6, reg. first quarter of 1856)
- Mary Ann Soden (born in Reading in 1857/8, reg. first quarter of 1858)
- Harriet Soden (born at Fish Street, Banbury in 1861/2 and baptised at South Banbury Church on 9 March 1862)
- William Abraham Soden (born in Jericho Street in 1863 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 3 January 1864)
- Clara Soden (born in Jericho Street in 1865/6 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 28 January 1866)
- Joseph Soden (born in Jericho Street in 1869 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 6 June);
- James Soden (born in Jericho Street in 1871 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 5 March)
- John Henry Soden (born in Jericho Street in 1873 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 26 January).
The couple began their married life in Leicester, but appear to have been in Reading in 1858 when Mary Ann was born. They were back in Leicester by the time of the 1861 census, when Eliza (26), who was working as a worsted spinner, spent census night at home there at 4 Hadron Yard, Northgate Street with her first two children Emma (5) and Mary Ann (3). Her husband Joseph (25) was away from home on census night, paying a visit to his married brother Abraham Soden (34), a chimney sweep who employed three men, who lived in Banbury. It appears that Joseph and Eliza moved down to Banbury for a while, as their next child was born at Fish Street there near the end of that year.
By 1863 they had moved to Oxford, and Joseph set up business as a chimney sweep in Jericho Street where their last five children were born. Joseph junior, who was born in Oxford in 1869, died the following year:
† Joseph Soden died at Jericho Street at the age of 13 months on 23 June 1870 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 26 June (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul's Church).
The St Paul's reference for his burial is N27, suggesting that although he is named on this grave marker, he may actually be buried in their section for babies.
At the time of the 1871 census Joseph Soden (36) and his wife Eliza (36), who was working as a needlewoman, were living at 2 Jericho street with their children Emily (15), Mary Ann (13), Harriet (9), William (7), Clara (5), and James (seven weeks). Also living with them was a young journeyman sweep. Their youngest son John was born in 1873.
Two of their daughters were married before the next census:
- On 25 December 1875 at St Paul's Church, Oxford, Emily Soden (20) of 2 Jericho Street married William John Richardson (24), a brewery worker of Bridge Street, Osney and the son of the railway porter Daniel Richardson;
- On 25 December 1880 at St Paul's Church, Oxford, Mary Ann Soden (22) of 2 Jericho Street married John Thomas Couling (23), a printer of 5 Union Street and the son of the deceased butcher Harry Couling.
On 17 March 1877 Joseph Soden inserted the following advertisement in Jackson's Oxford Journal:
TO FARMERS AND OTHERS.
A Large quantity of SOOT for SALE, warranted pure and unadulterated.—Apply to Joseph Soden, chimney sweeper, Jericho-street, Oxford.
The advertisement was repeated a number of times, and on 6 March 1880 was changed to:
ESTABLISHED 17 YEARS.
JOSEPH SODEN, Soot Merchant, 2, Jericho-street. Oxford. Many Tons of Soot for Sale, warranted pure and free from all adulteration, just as it comes down from the chimneys.
On 15 May 1880 it was different again:
2, JERICHO STREET, OXFORD.
FOR SALE—Many TONS of SOOT, pure and free from all adulteration. Why I advertise it is because I can warrant it, and any Gentleman will know where he can get good and as light as any Soot that can be bought.
Joseph and Eliza Soden were at the same address in 1881 with their five surviving unmarried children: Harriet (19), who worked at the University Press; William (17),who was a sweep; and Clara (15), James (10), and John (8). Eliza's father had died in 1878, and Eliza's mother Mrs Mary Lisemore (73) had moved in with them. Also living with them were three sweeps employed by Joseph.
Joseph Soden died in 1882:
† Joseph Soden died at 2 Jericho Street at the age of 48 on 31 May 1882 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 4 June (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul's Church).
His personal estate came to £71, and his executors were Tom Baker of Grove Street amd William Wynch of 6 Leckford Road, who were both coachmen.
Joseph Soden's son William was married less than a month after the funeral:
- On 1 July 1882 at St Paul's Church, Oxford, William Abraham Soden (18), a chimney sweep of 2 Jericho Street, married (Sarah) Susan Long (21), also of Jericho Street, the daughter of the faggot-maker Richard Long.
The daughter of Joseph Soden's brother William, Amelia Soden (17) was married to the mineral water maker William James (21) at St Paul's Church on 17 November 1885: both were living at 2 Jericho Street with Joseph's family at the time of the wedding.
Two more of Joseph & Eliza Soden's children were married before the next census:
- In 1889 in Reading (reg. first quarter), James Soden (18) married Eliza Clarke (19);
- On 25 May 1890 at St Frideswide's Church, Oxford, Clara Soden (24) of 55 Mill Street, Osney married Harry Mark Duester (24), a labourer of 20 Mill Street and the son of the labourer William Duester.
in 1891 Eliza was still managing the family business from 2 Jericho Street. Living with her were her son William (28), who was a chimney sweep, his wife Susan, and their son Richard (6); her son John (19), who was a groom; and three other sweeps who worked for her. Her daughter Harriet (29) was a draper's assistant boarding over 64 Cornmarket Street.
Joseph and Eliza Soden's youngest son was married in 1899:
- On 9 July 1899 at St Paul's Church, Oxford, John Henry Soden (26), a cab proprietor, married Elizabeth Pickett (21), the daughter of the painter George Henry Pickett: both were described as living at 2 Jericho Street.
At the time of the 1901 census Eliza Soden (66) was still living at 2 Jericho Street and running the family chimney sweep business, and her son John, who was still working as a cab proprietor, and his wife Elizabeth were living with her.
Mrs Eliza Soden died in 1905:
† Mrs Eliza Soden née Lisemore died at 2 Jericho Street at the age of 70 on 22 August 1905 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 25 August (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul's Church).
Children of Joseph and Eliza Soden
- Emma (or Emily) Soden, Mrs William Richardson (born 1855/6) was living with her husband William, who was a painter's labourer, and their son Herbert (15), who was a van boy, at 21 South Street, Osney in 1911 in the home of her son-in-law Henry Hall, who was a bread porter. and her daughter Edith Emily Hall. Emma Richardson died in Oxford in 1931 at the age of 75.
- Mary Ann Soden, Mrs John Couling (born 1857/8) was living at 5 Union Street in Jericho in 1881 with her husband John, who was a printer, and John's brother Joseph Couling (20), a printer's labourer, was living with them. By 1901 they were living at 33 Cranham Street, Jericho with their children Eliza (9) and John (7). In 1911 they were living at 26 Observatory Street with a lodger, and John's job was more specifically described as a proof cutter. Her husband died in Oxford in 1920 (Headington reg. district) at the age of 61, but Mary Ann's death is hard to identify.
- Harriet Soden (born 1861/2) is hard to trace after 1891.
- William Abraham Soden (born 1863) remained a chimney sweep in Jericho Street. He and his wife Sarah had the following children baptised at St Paul's Church: William Joseph Soden (born 5 December 1882, baptised 7 January 1883, buried 1886); Edwin Richard John Soden (born 19 April 1884, baptised 17 October); Beatrice Susan Mary Soden (born 3 July 1891, baptised 24 July, buried the same year); twins Daisy Maud Soden and William Abraham Soden (born 10 April 1893, baptised 28 April); Leonard Vaughan Soden (born 12 February 1895, baptised 1 March, buried 1895); Leonard Victor Edward Soden (born 21 June 1897, baptised 16 July); Violet Agnes Soden (born 9 December 1899, baptised 7 February 1900); and Cecil Frank Soden (born 21 March 1902, baptised 9 April, buried the same year). In 1901 William and Sarah were living at 1 Jericho Street with their five surviving children and two other sweeps. By 1911 census William (49) was working as a mail driver and chimney sweep, living at 58 Walton Street with his wife and five surviving children, plus five people who worked for him (three mail drivers, one sweep, and one mail driver & sweep). In 1918 William Abraham Soden bought Cutteslowe Farm from the three granddaughters of Thomas Henry Gregory. He died there at the age of 64 on 6 December 1926. His effects came to £26,387 18s. 11d., and his executors were his sons William, who was a chimney sweep, and Leonard, who was a horse slaughterer. In 1931 his family sold part of the family for the development of the Cutteslowe Estate, and in 1936 sold the remaining part, which is now Cutteslowe Park, to Oxford City Council.
- Clara Soden, Mrs Harry Duester (born 1865/6) and her husband Harry had no children. In 1891 they were living at 23 Albert Street in Jericho, and he was a printer's labourer and she was a dressmaker. By 1901 they had moved to 73 Mill Street in Osney, and they were still there in 1911. Clara was widowed in 1918, and died in 1928 at the age of 62.
- James Soden (born 1871) was working as a chimney sweep in 1891 and living with his wife Eliza at 418 Oxford Road, Reading. By 1901 they were living at 4 Pepper Alley, Banbury with their daughter Lilian Soden (9). In 1911 they were living at 54 George Street, Banbury (then called Fish Street) with their sons James Arthur Soden (9) and John Henry Soden (3). James Soden was still at that address when he died at the Horton General Hospital at the age of 77 on 7 March 1948. His effects came to £434 13s. 7d., and probate was granted to Septimus Ernest Ward, a solicitor's clerk.
- John Henry Soden (born 1873) was a 38-year-old cab driver in 1911, living at 69 Plantation Road with his wife Elizabeth and their surviving daughter Gertrude Winifred Soden (9). He died in Oxford at the age of 69 in 1939.
The family business
G. Soden, a chimney sweep of Yarnton, boasts in 2015 that he is the sixth generation of his family in the business. There is also an M. J. Soden & Son chimney sweep at Forest Hill.
An interview with Len Soden, who retired in 1988 after 62 years as a sweep, is available in the Oral History Collection at the Oxfordshire History Centre (OXOHA:MT 2490).