William Oram 1809 – 1873

A map of locations for places mentioned on this page

Early life
William Oram, the eldest child of James and Susannah (nee Bartlett) Oram was born 1809 in his mother’s home village of South Barrow. At the time of the 1841 census, following the death of their parents in 1838 and 1839 William, a dairyman and his siblings Susannah, Elizabeth, Sarah and John were living at the family’s dairy farm in Weston Bampfylde. Family oral tradition suggests that the farm was ‘next to the church but no longer existed’.

Weston Bampfylde Church

Marriage to Mary Cox and their son Job Cox Oram

On 17 January 1843 William married Mary Cox, daughter of yeoman Job Cox at Sparkford church. The witnesses were Elizabeth Cox and John Vallis who was a malster (beer brewer) in Weston Bampfylde. Mary Cox was ten years younger than William, having been born c.1820 in Sutton Montis. The story of John Vallis can be followed here.

William and Mary continued to live on the Oram family’s dairy farm in Weston Bampfylde where their only known child Job Cox Oram born was in late 1843 and baptised at Weston Bampfylde Church on 25 December 1843.

Sometime between the 1851 and 1861 censuses the family moved Bryanston near Blandford Forum, Dorset where William was the dairyman on Lord Portman’s estate. The oral tradition is that William did not make a success of working the family farm after the death of his father. It maybe that the dairy was not viable rather than William’s ability as a dairyman. Lord Portman owned land in the local area including South Barrow and was very unlikely to have offered the job as sole dairyman on his large country estate to a bad dairyman.

William’s brother John Oram started keeping a diary soon after he moved to Ireland in 1852. During John Oram’s first visit to England in June 1857 he recorded going to Bryanston so William was probably living there in 1857. Bryanston is less than 5 miles from West Lodge, the home of Captain Wyndham who employed John Oram in Ireland.

William and Mary do not seem to have been included in the 1871 census when they are no longer listed as living in Bryanston. Job had married his cousin Elizabeth Bartlett in 1866.

Death of William

William died on 9 July 1873 at North Cadbury, Somerset and was buried in South Barrow.

The informant of William’s death was ‘Ellen Talbott present at death’. The 1871 census shows a number of William’s relations living in North Cadbury including his mother-in-law Mary Cox b1798 and his sister-in-law Ann Talbott nee Cox b1818 and Ann’s daughter-in-law Ellen Talbott, the ‘informant’. So William’s wife Mary could have left William in the care of her family while she earned a wage elsewhere.

The National Probate Calendar for 1873 shows that the administration of the ‘effects under £100’ of a William Oram late of North Cadbury who had died on 9 July was given to his widow Mary Oram of Chiselhampton, Berkshire (now Chiselhampton, Oxfordshire). This infers that William did not leave a will, but a court appointed Mary to deal with William’s assets and debts.

Mary Oram nee Cox, widowhood

During her widowhood Mary lived in at least three places. At the time of the 1881 census she was a housekeeper for the Bowring family at Weare near Axbridge in Somerset. By 1891 the census she was living ‘on her own means’ at the home of her cousin Ebenezer Herridge (who had married Amelia Jane Cox in 1876) who was a farmer in Horsington, near Wincanton, Somerset. In the 1901 census 81 year old Mary was living with her grandson James William Oram b.1866 and his family at their creamery in the seaside resort of Clevedon, Somerset. Mary’s death in Clevedon in the third quarter of 1905 was recorded in the Long Ashton Registration District.

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