Robert Dewett: Shopkeeper

John How rescued several documents from Hearn and Hearn, formerly solicitors in Buckingham.

Parish records record that Robert Dewett was christened on February 6, 1813. His parents were Elizabeth and Richard Dewett: 

Longevity appears to be a feature of the Dewett family and Robert, the son, was 88 years old when he died in 1899. He had married Mary Ann White on October 16 1837, who died eleven years before on February 1, 1888. Robert and Mary had three sons. Thomas was born in 1838 but died five years later of hydrocephalus (water on the brain). Richard was born in 1843 and William Thomas in 1848.

Robert lived opposite the Red Lion, next door to the blacksmith’s shop (until recently Finmere Garage). In 1840, Robert is recorded as tenant with Sarah Paxton (Sarah died in 1859 aged 81 years).

From 1838 to 1851 Robert is recorded as an agricultural labourer. In 1881 he is described as a gardener and his wife as a grocer. From 1864 Oxfordshire trade directories list Robert as a shopkeeper or grocer.

Robert died on 9 September, 1899.

Robert Dewett left his property to his middle-aged daughter, Mary Ann. This included the house, outbuildings and a garden. The garden had been purchased from Sarah Paxton and was apparently on the left hand side of the Bicester road: perhaps very close to the new Tingewick bypass.

Mary Ann was probably unmarried. Robert’s will specified that the property should be sold on her death and the proceeds divided amongst his surviving sons.

Mary Ann died in 1905 aged 64 years and was buried on 10 October. The house and garden were immediately put up for sale. 

On the last day of October, the property was sold for £78 to John Robert Gough. The proceeds were divided between four Dewetts: William Thomas (one-half), William Thomas [possibly his son] (one-sixth), Herbert George (one-sixth), and Ralph Arthur (one-sixth). These are not all sons of Robert, and Ralph Arthur may have been his grandson.