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Children of Joseph Oldham and Mary Wood

No. 8 William Oldham
and his family

It is assumed - but not proved - that the following describes Joseph's son, William, born 1890. He moved first to Lombard St in the City of London, where he is described in the will of Mrs Beliza Oldham (see above) as 'William Oldham of Lombard St, Gold Lace Man'. Perhaps at this time, 1813, he lived in her house and/or worked with her as she is listed in a 1794 Drectory and again in 1808 as having a 'Button & Silk Warehouse' in Lombard St. There were not very many gold lacemen - real gold lace was the preserve of the seriously rich. Early in the 18th century it was made with gold thread - Spanish gold lace was especially popular - but the usage was eventually discouraged as threatening the gold stock. By the end of the century substitutes were in use but 'lace', still much in demand, included gold braids such as those on dress uniforms for the navy and army as well as stocks and cuffs for both gentlemen and ladies. Buttons were equally in demand.

So, was he the 'gold lace man'?
The two names of William and John are coupled together in Beliza Oldham's will (first made in 1800) and its codicils in 1813. The answer - still very speculative - that the reference is to one or both of Joseph's sons is listed under John to avoid repetition. A further reason for taking the possibility seriously is that William was obviously quite successful in business, his children were very well educated and his son Nathaniel was baptised in Lombard St in the City of London and went into banking, probably also in the City. (In the 1950s the sight of thousands of men in black suits, hats and pin-striped trousers with their rolled umbrellas streaming in a seemingly endless procession across London Bridge to the electric trains at the close of business was quite amazing . This 'procession' must have begun with the first railways in the 1830s and 1840s with only minor differences in the dress!)

William married Louisa Carkeet, dau. of Nathaniel Carkeet at St Paul's, Covent Garden on 6 Feb 1817, (IGI, Batch no. M001571), this presumably being her parish at the time. Her father Nathaniel Carkeet was born in Roche, Cornwall (near the modern Eden Project). The Carkeet connection is further confirmed on the records of Joseph, Richard and Clement though mis-spelt in Joseph's case as 'Packut' which suggests that perhaps the minister was hard of hearing! The details (listed on the BVRI) all come from Dr William's Library which specialises in nonconformist records, though there is no evidence that William was nonconformist. (The only one of the family known to be a Baptist was William's younger brother John). The children of William and Louisa were :

  1. Nathaniel Oldham b. 27 Nov 1817 Norwood, Sry, chr.30 Dec 1817 St Edmund, Lombard St, City of London d. 20 Jun 1888 in Australia
  2. Rev. Joseph Oldham B.D. b. Christchurch SRY 25 Mar 1821 chr. 24 Feb 1832 St George the Martyr, Southwark, m. Emma Morris, sister of the artist/poet/writer etc, William Morris, on 14 May 1850 at Walthamstow.
  3. Rev. Richard Samuel Oldham b. 13 Apr 1823 Newington SRY, chr. 24 Feb 1832 St George the Martyr, Southwark
  4. Clement Augustus Oldham b. 24 May 1828 Southwark SRY, chr. 24 Feb 1832 St George the Martyr, Southwark

Southwark and Lambeth area records can be confusing as the registration districts developed from ecclesiastical districts. It's very easy to assume that a birth in 'Christchurch' really means a baptism if no baptism date is given, but this is only a 'ward'. A note on the BVRI record of the last son, Clement Augustus says that there is additional data in the original record. This would certainly be worth checking but is not available online.

New  This report follows the way the research into William developed, but will be rewritten at a later stage as a straightforward narrative. In the meantime any comments and/or corrections would be gratefully received. He has at last been found, quite unexpectedly, on the 1851 census at Lostock, Barton-upon-Irwell (near the modern Trafford Centre) It was only by looking at the original that he was identified and not just dismissed out of hand. It gave his place of birth as Melton, Suffolk, and his age is correct. His occupation is simply 'clerk' but being listed as a 'widower' is definitely wrong as his wife Louise was certainly alive in 1851 and may be the one of that name who died in 1854 in Chertsey, Surrey. In 1851 she was living - or more likely just staying - with their son Joseph and daughter-in-law Emmie, formerly Morris in Bromley, Kent as she did not go with them to Clay Cross. (Perhaps it was a 'polite fiction')

  In 1861 William is again recognised by his birthplace, Melton in 1790, living in Stroud, Gloucestershire as a retired hat maker, now 71 and 'Head' of the household, Eliza Sarah Sutton aged 39 and single, a Teacher of Drawing born in Nottingham, and one servant. He is there described as 'married' but it was actually in Dec Q 1862 that he married Eliza, who was nearly 30 years younger. In 1871 they were living in Herne Cottage, Long Ditton Hill in Surrey   William's death in the Jun Q 1879 at the age of 89, was recorded in Kingston on Thames. Eliza remained in Long Ditton for a while but by 1891 had moved back to Stroud where perhaps she had many friends. She has not yet been found after that, on the 1901 census or among the death records from 1891 to 1901

Curiosity about Eliza Sutton led to a search for her in other censuses. The first discovery was that she was living in Hulme, Manchester in 1851 so it would seem that she must have met William around that time, if not earlier. The Head of the household is not named ( the original is not available, only a 'reconstructed' page), and was probably an absent brother of hers as the first person listed is Sarah Sutton who is married. Next comes Eliza who is single, 'sister of a newspaper reporter', followed by her brother Samuel who is the newspaper reporter (unless the description refers to the absent Head). This makes a rather stronger suggestion about William's living arrangements in 1861, especially since some doubt must be cast on the record of a Louise Oldham who died in 1854 as she had the middle name of Alvarez and a possible match for her is a wife in that area who was born in Spain! Another Louise Oldham died in Lambeth in the Jun Q 1862 and this would make more sense as William married Eliza in the Dec Q, now being free to marry again. It also ties in with the probability, not only that he did meet her in Stroud, Gloucestershire, but actually moved there with her.

Final footnote - if William was a hatmaker as well as a gold lace man this immediately puts one in mind of army and particularly naval 'dress' hats with gold braid - if true of course.


1. Nathaniel Oldham, son of William

(i) Nathaniel Oldham 1817-1888, was baptised in the City of London, some nine miles or more from Norwood where he was born, St Edmund's being the same parish where 4 of John Oldham's children had been baptised some 40 years earlier. The source for Nathaniel's birthplace is not just the IGI which only gives his father's name, but also his Obituary published in the Observer in South Australia on 30 June 1888. His baptism in Lombard St is from the IGI giving the names of both parents, William and Louisa. The reason for Nathaniel being born in Norwood is not known - it may or may not have been a house belonging to William. It could have been that of a friend or even a relative especially if the Oldham family were Londoners even before living in Melton.

Nathaniel, who was a bank clerk, sailed to Sydney, Australia on the ship Bengal on 31 Oct 1839 'in the service of the Union Bank' which had a small shop on King St. The details of Nathaniel's two marriages and the children below have been coloured for easy reference.

  1. Nathaniel Hugh on 13 Feb 1844
  2. William John on 1 Jul 1845
  3. Clement Henry on 11 Jan 1849
  4. Joseph Richard on 14 Sep 1850
  5. George Edmund on 4 Aug 1859, Adelaide
  6. Charles Augustus, 24 Jun 1861, Nailsworth
  7. Reginald Vautin on 26 Jul 1863, Fullarton
  8. Harry Ross, 25 Jun 1865, Prospect Village
  9. Herbert Forster on 4 Jun 1867, Mitcham
  10. Alfred Mulville on 21 Apr 1869, Mitcham
  11. Walter McFarlane on 26 Nov 1870, Mitcham
  12. Lily Edith Mary on 7 Oct 1872
  13. Nathalie Ellen Ruby on 13 Nov 1875 Parkside

In 1842 Nathaniel was sent to Launceston, Tasmania as accountant for the bank and married Mary Ross there on 2 Mar 1843. They had 4 children, all born in Launceston. Mary died on 17 Sep 1853

On 8 Sep 1858 Nathaniel, who had now moved to Adelaide, married Ellen Maria Mulville .
They had 9 children


After a short time in Melbourne at the time of the Gold Rush Nathaniel was sent in 1853 to Adelaide as Manager and in 1869 was one of the founders of Prince Alfred College, still a leading boys' school. One of the residential halls is said to have been named 'Oldham Hall' but whether it was in his memory or not is unknown. In 1880 he resigned from the Bank and went into a land and agency business and helped to found the Incorporated Church of England Endowment Society (of which he was secretary) which is thought to have been a substantial contributor to the college. He was "an energetic Churchman, and a member of the Standing Committee of Synod for thirty years." He died on 20 Aug 1888 at Semaphore and was buried at Mitcham, leaving a widow, eight sons and one daughter.
Several of the sons' names, especially that of 'Walter McFarlane' (who died in infancy) indicate that Nathaniel was in touch with his relatives back home, If any letters had survived at either end they would be fascinating!

There were too many descendants over the years in South Australia to list them all here, but mention should be made of Edward Castle Oldham, son of William John, born 8 Sep 1876, who was killed in action at Gallipoli on 25 Apr 1915. At the age of six, probably on starting at the college, his son Robert was given the Canterbury Ruby Text Bible, of the kind typically used for presentations. Inside the front cover was a book plate inscribed with the name 'Nathaniel Oldham'. The very worn, leatherbound book, published by the Cambridge University Press perhaps belonged originally to his great-grandfather, the Nathaniel born in Surrey in 1817. It was quite fashionable at the turn of the 19th to 10th century to use book-plates in this way so whether this was a 'new' idea or whether it had a long history it has provided an as yet unsolved family puzzle. If Joseph Oldham, the ancestor of all those here, had any entitlement to a coat of arms - which would have to be verified by the Heraldry Office in London - it would surely have descended through the line of the eldest son, Richard Wood Oldham. Nathaniel was William's eldest son, but his father was only the 3rd surviving son, Richard's son Joseph taking precedence.


The Oldham crest

The term for this is properly a coat of arms as the crest is really just the top part of it, but it is a commonly used in England for the whole, made up of shield, with helmet above and surmounted by the crest. In the case of the coat of arms considered here, the military 'arms' are absent, the 'crest' being usually an owl, and the family version having no helmet, nor lions rampant on either side of the shield. The 'original' coat-of-arms was designed as a play on the word Oldham in its local pronunciation of Ow-d'am, or rather - 'Owl-d'am. Examples can be found quite easily online.

A wise old owl sat in an oak,
The more he heard the less he spoke,
The less he spoke the more he heard
Wasn't he a wise old bird?

The colours of the crests described here are not consistent. The town's crest has the nearest possible to the red roses, the silver owls and the gold chevron with a black background and also has a heraldic Lion Rampant coloured red on each side whereas Manchester Grammar School's uses pink for the chevron, a blue background and no lions.


2. Joseph Oldham and Emmie Morris

(ii) Rev. Joseph Oldham, 1821-1896, son of William, grandson of Joseph Oldham and Mary [Wood] He is entered in the records of Dr Williams Library of nonconformist BMDs like his cousins, children of William's younger brother John, though Joseph's own brothers were certainly not Baptists like John. Perhaps this just indicates a phase in the life of William! This birth is also another connection with Lombard St as Joseph gave it as his birth place (spelt 'Lombart' by the enumerator who wouldn't be familiar with it) on the 1871 census. His future wife Emma Morris, sister of the famous William, founder of the 'Arts and Crafts' movement, was also born on Lombard St, but in about 1831. By that time the Oldhams had moved into Surrey but William must still have been in business there. The families could already have been acquainted before Joseph became tutor to Emma in Walthamstow! (Details of William Morris, artist, designer, writer etc are not given here as there is so much online already! Just 'google' the name in inverted commas).

New In 1841 Joseph  aged 20 was a 'banker's clerk' living in Crescent Place Camberwell with his mother and two younger brothers, Richard, a student of 18 and Clement 13. This entry was found some time  ago but doesn't add much, except that William was not present and has since been found. (See below)

Church of St Bartholomew, Clay Cross

Plaque commemorating Joseph Oldham

The Morris Window at Clay Cross

Interior of Clay Cross church
Joseph was first a curate in Walthamstow where he taught German to Emma . He moved for a short time to Walsoken, now part of Wisbech in Norfolk, and was in 1851 appointed as first Vicar of Clay Cross, a new parish and church. Emma Morris was about four years older than her famous brother William who was born on 24 Mar 1834 and she was his favourite sister. He was said never to have got over the loss when she married and moved away. 'Emmie' herself devoted her life and money to working with her husband among the coal miners of Derbyshire.'

Joseph is easy to find on the 1881 census, b. Southwark, and recorded at Stretton, Derby, aged 60, Vicar of Clay Cross. He was Vicar there from 1851-1888
"The living is a perpetual curacy, value £60, to which the Clay Cross Company make an annual grant of £50. It is in the patronage of the Vicar of North Wingfield, and the incumbency of the Rev. Joseph Oldham, B.D., who resides at the parsonage, a neat stone building, at the southern extremity of the village. It was erected in 1853, at the cost of £1200, raised by subscriptions and grants from the Diocesan Society, and from Queen Anne's bounty. The tithes were commuted in 1843 for £198 10s. 6d."
(from White's Directory)
Joseph then became Rector of North Wingfield where he died in the Sep Q 1896. See below, his nephew Henry becoming 2nd Vicar of Clay Cross.

The middle one of the apostles in this window (above) at Clay Cross, designed by William Morris, is said to have been modelled on Joseph Oldham and does look very like the (copyright) photo. He and Emmie had three children, Emma b 1851 in Walthamstow, Joseph William b. Dec Q 1854 and Arthur C. b. Sep Q 1858, both in Clay Cross.

New. In the search for William Oldham in the first two censuses, a blanket search of the surname Oldham revealed Joseph in 1851, now married of course, and living in Bromley, Kent, his mother, Louise living or just staying with them, and again no William. Joseph must have begun his training in the church early in the 1840s, being by then curate of St Mary the Virgin, Downe, near Bromley. (Down House in that village was also for some years the home of Charles Darwen!) They were at Clay Cross from later in 1851 until 1891 when Joseph became Rector of the 'mother' church at North Wingfield, their daughter, also Emmie, now aged 29, painter and artist, still living at home. The older son, Joseph, was last found at  Bebington on the Wirral in 1871, on board a training ship for seamen among hundreds of other boys on the large number of ships moored there. Arthur Hugh, their 2nd son, sadly died in the Sep Q 1867 at the age of 9.

After his death Joseph's daughter Emmie went to live in Lyme Regis, in a house on the cliffs, ' 'surrounded 'by her brother's yellow Marigold wallpapers and his blue carpets and chintzes.' (biography of William Morris by Philip Henderson)


3. Rev. Richard Samuel Oldham

(iii) Rev. Richard Samuel Oldham 1823-1914 son of William, grandson of Joseph Oldham and Mary [Wood]
Various Memorial Inscriptions summarise Richard's clerical career from his birth in London on 13th April 1823:
Body Exhibitioner of Wadham College, and Kennicott Hebrew Scholar in the University of Oxford
Married Emily Staveley (b.Brompton) in Kensington Jun Q 1851
Incumbent of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Glasgow 1851-1878 & Domestic Chaplain to the Earl of Elgin 1860s; Dean of Glasgow 1877-78.
Incumbent of Grosvenor Chapel, London 1878-1881
Rector of Little Chart, Kent for 24 years (1881-1905) from the age of 59
Died at Canterbury, 24th June 1914 in his 92nd year.

Children of Richard and Emily:

  1. Thomas Staveley Oldham b. 21 Dec 1855 in Glasgow, m. Sarah Louisa W.Salisbury, Jun Q 1879, in Kensington; 2 sons
  2. Henry Sharpe Oldham, b. 4 Mar 1858; theological assistant (lecturer) at King's College; Vicar Of Clay Cross 1888-1907;
  3. Emily Mary Oldham b. 20 Jan 1863, Glasgow
  4. Alfred Hugh b. 8 Jan 1863, banker's assistant
  5. Edith Gertrude Oldham b. 7 Aug 1866, Glasgow
  6. Ethel May Oldham b. 16 May 1868, Glasgow
  7. Caroline Oldham 18 Jun 1869, Glasgow

By 1891 Richard Samuel Oldham was living in the Rectory at Little Chart in Kent. He was not 'at home' and hasn't yet been traced in that census but Emily, 64, was in residence. All the children had left home by this time. There were also three servants, a Groom-cum-Gardener, a Cook and a Housemaid.

Rev. Henry Sharpe Oldham, A.K.C., was the second vicar of Clay Cross, from 1888 to 1907 - taking over from his uncle when Joseph became Rector of North Wingfield, the 'mother' church.

A rather amusing cartoon of Richard can be found on a Glasgow website about the city. Memorial Inscriptions at Little Chart, Kent include No.25 and No.100, a tablet on the south wall. In No.26 a Mary Annie Hann is commemorated, "many years devoted nurse of the Reverend R.S. Oldham."

4. Clement Jackson Oldham

Clement Jackson Oldham was born in Camberwell on 24 May 1828, became a banker's clerk and then Superintendent of the Union Assurance Office. He married Anne Henry Walker (b.1826 in Liverpool) and they were living in Mitcham, Surrey when their daughter Isabella was born. Their son Charles Furly Oldham, named for his maternal grandmother, Mary Furly, was born in 1853 and they moved to 13 Lansdowne Road in Kensington where they had one servant. In the summer of 1855 Isabella died there at the age of 4. Anne's older sister Emma, described as an annuitant, lived with them for a number of years, being recorded there in both 1861 and 1871. In 1875 Clement died aged 47 [Free BMD Dec Q 1875 Vol 1a p250]. His wife Anne, moved with her son Charles to 67 Claverton St in the Hanover Square district, being described on the 1881 census as an annuitant, perhaps like her sister from an earlier settlement and also from her husband. She has not been found on the 1891 census and it is not known when she died. Their son Charles was a successful wine merchant living with his wife Lucy in 1891 at 'The Shiel', Elgin Road in Weybridge, Surrey, where they had three servants.


Oldham Part 1
Oldham Part 2
Joseph & Mary
Oldham Part 3
Oldham Part 4

Oldham Part 5
John & Martha