HOLYWELL, OXFORD

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Bath Place (between 55 and 56 Holywell Street)


Bath Place, off Holywell

Photographs of Bath Place by Henry Taunt

Bath Place was formerly known as Hell Passage, and in the 1772 Survey of Oxford it is listed simply as “Hell”. The width of its entrance from Holywell Street is given as 4 yards 0ft 2in, and it is described as being in the occupation of “Mrs Billing & others”.

The southern part of the passage (which is in St Peter-in-the-East parish) is considered a separate lane and is now known as St Helen’s Passage, probably an “improvement” on the old name of Hell.

In Hunt’s 1846 directory, the only occupants listed in Bath Place are George Nunney (a bricklayer), and Joseph Sandell, who ran a boys’ school here.

Bath Place was painted by J. A. Shuffrey in c.1907 (OXCMS: 2002.74,13, pictured on p. 42 of Lauren Gilmour and Margaret Shuffrey, J. A. Shuffrey 1859–1939: An Oxford Artist’s Life Remembered).

Bath Place, off Holywell Street, in the censuses

1841

1851

No. 1: Susannah Hawkins (45), the wife of a college porter, lived here with her sons John (12) and Oliver (9), and her niece Martha Bellard (14).

No. 2: Jane Godfrey (46), a widowed laundress, lived here with her seven children: Charles (23) was a tailor; Robert (21), William (19), Ebenezer (17), and Henry (15) were all college servants, and John (12) and Jane (9) were at school. They had an undergraduate lodger.

Back cottage No. 1: William Grainger (28), a widowed college servant, lived here with his widowed mother-in-law Susanna Tims (49), his brother-in-law William (17), who was also a college servant, and his sister-in-law Sarah Tims (10).

Back cottage No. 2: Joseph Ward (67), a porter to a wine merchant, lived here with his wife Sarah (52) and their servant.

Back cottage No. 3: Sarah Knibbs (77), a market gardener’s widow, lived here with her granddaughters Harriet and Fanny Knibbs, aged 17 and 15, who were also her servants.

1861

No. 1: William Price (43), a boot-closer, lived here with his wife Eliza (29) and his children Sylvia (10), Eliza (6), and Henry (2) A single lady, Elizabeth ?Boltarth (50) also lives with them: she is described as their daughter, but this is impossible.

No. 2: William Grainge (41), a college servant, lived here with his wife Eliza (30) and his children John (6), Emily (4), and Frederick (1). They had one house servant.

No. 3: Richard Swadling (43), a bookbinder finisher, lived here with his wife Mary Ann (40), who was a dress and mantle maker, and his children Frederick (15), Mary Anne (10), Elizabeth (5), William (2). They had one house servant.

No. 4: Thomas Preston (43), a college servant, lived here with his wife Sarah (41) and his children Charlotte (12), Sarah (11), Martha (10), Thomas (8), and Ada (2).

No. 5: Edward Stanton (41), a college servant, lived here with his wife Sarah (36).

1881

No. 1: William Bunce (61), a master bootmaker, lived here with his wife Charlotte (64) and his two unmarried daughters: Charlotte (30), who was a needlewoman, and Susan (23), who was a machinist.

No. 2: George Hanniss (32), a college bedmaker, lived here with his wife Catherine (27) and his niece Caroline Stockwell (13)

No. 3: William Grainger (59), a college bedmaker, lived here with his wife Eliza (50) and his children Emily (24, a governess), Lucy (19), Mary (16), Ada (12), and Percival (6). They had an undergraduate lodging with them.

Nos 4 & 5: Not listed

No. 6: Robert Godfrey (50), a college bedmaker, lived here with his wife Jane (31) and his children Jessie (14), William (10), Alfred (7), Leonard (2), and Ethel (2).

No. 7: Frederick Sammons (69), a shoemaker, lived here with his wife Mary (65) and his son William (22).

1901

No. 1: Charles Harman (63), a clothes cleaner who worked from home, lived here with his wife Elizabeth (56) and his three grown-up children: Lily (26) was a machinist of underclothing; Rosa (23) was a book folder; and Henry (21) worked with his father as a clothes cleaner.

No, 2: John G. Walklett (41), a house decorator, lived here with his wife Mary (41) and his children Francis (14), Elsie (10), Olive (7), and Marjorie (3).

No. 3: George Greening (61), a domestic coachman, lived here with his wife Emma (64), his daughter Evelyn (24), and his grandson Cyril (8).

No. 4: Listed as not in occupation.

No. 5: Thomas Hunt (64), a retired corn chandler, lived here with his wife Matilda (53) and his son Thomas (21), who was an undergraduate.

No. 6: George Beetles (44), a domestic coachman, lived here with his wife Emma (39).

No., 7: Arthur Joyce (33), a postal letter carrier, lived here with his wife Elizabeth (32) and his children Arthur (8), Albert (6), Ethel (3), and Alice (under 1 month), and his sister-in-law Emma Fenemore (13).

1911

No. 1: Henry Harman (31), a clothes cleaner, lived here with his wife Mary Ann (25)

No. 2: Alice Emily Butler (37) was looking after this “lodging house”.

No. 3: Walter Herbert Luker (28), a single college servant, lived here with his two unmarried sisters: Minnie Florence (26) acted as his housekeeper, and Violet Beatrice (21) worked as a barmaid.

No. 4 & 5: No listing

No. 6: Henry Mott (48), a house painter, lived here with his wife Frances (41) and their children Henry (10), Alfred (6), and Eveline (2).

No. 7: Arthur James Joyce (42), a postman, lived here with his wife Elizabeth (41) and his children Albert (16), Ethel (13), Alice (10), and Harold (3).

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© Stephanie Jenkins

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