The Burial of Samuel Watson – December 1913

The Burial of Samuel Watson

   On 19 December 1913 Samuel Watson was buried at Oddington, having died at the age of 94. In his sermon the following Sunday, the Rector of Oddington, Rev. Thomas Tudor Fitzjohn, gave an account of the many changes that had taken place since Samuel was born in 1818.

‘It was a year full of events in the big world outside, and of the beginning of a new regime in this quiet spot. All over Europe things were settling down after the great Battle of Waterloo. At Windsor Castle the aged and infirm King George III had his sorrows intensified by the death of his good wife, Queen Charlotte, leaving a family of nine sons and six daughters, one of whom, the Duke of Kent, was the father of her late Majesty, Queen Victoria.

The Rector pictured the state of the roads, the want of communication between us and Oxford, save by carrier’s cart, the general appearance of the village, the clothing and food of the people, the absence of any illuminating power beyond the home-made “dip” candles, the indifferent schooling, and the long gaps of time when there was no resident clergyman. 1818 was the beginning of a new era in many of those respects, for this was the year that Mr Searle was appointed to the Living of Oddington by Trinity College, and very soon afterward the old Rectory was converted into farm buildings, and the present house erected.

Through all these changes the good old man continued a quiet, peaceful member of his Church, and left no memories but pleasant ones behind him.’

The Watson family had been in Oddington since at least the mid-1700’s. It appears that Samuel’s father, John Watson moved to Aston Sandford, near Haddenham, Buckinghamshire at the end of that century, probably to work on another estate. He married Ann Williams at Cuddington on 31 May 1800. They had 8 children, born at Aston Sandford between 1801 and 1825. Samuel, the sixth child, was baptised at Aston Sandford on 26 September 1819.

Sometime around 1830 the family came to live in Oddington. John died in 1838 and in the 1841 census Ann is shown as being a School Mistress (possibly at the Dame School in Oddington).

Samuel married Ann Ayres from Water Eaton on 11 November 1913 and they had six children, all born at Oddington. Ann died in 1873 and on 22 March 1879 Samuel re-married. His second wife was a widow, Mary Ann Boulter nee Tyler.

One of the children of Samuel and Ann, Joseph Edward Watson, married Rebecca Franklin at Oddington on 19 October 1872. They had four children, all born in Oddington. Rebecca died in 1891. In 1896 Joseph married Mary Ella Basson from Horton-cum-Studley and they had one child, Ernest Edward Watson.

Ernest Watson was church warden at St Andrews, Oddington for 50 years. For many years he worked as a gardener for Mr and Mrs R S Hall at Manor Farm. He died in 1973 at Merton and was buried at Oddington.