Oakden-Mr-Roger-1866-1915WEBSir Ralph Oakden's father, Roger Oakden, studied for his Masters at Pembroke College, Oxford University before being appointed as a Deacon at St Mary's Church, Port Glasgow by William Scot Wilson, Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway on 29th September 1872. Roger was 25 years old and had been married for just one year (m. 11th April 1871) to Elizabeth Knapp, aged 31. Elizabeth was heavily pregnant by then and their first child, Ralph (as referenced above) was born on 13th July 1871. Elizabeth Tyrell (known as Ella) was born on 11th April 1873. 

Two years after being appointed as a Deacon, on 31st May 1874, he was appointed as a Priest by William Scot Wilson LLD, Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway. Once again, Elizabeth was expecting and their third child, Fanny Maysmoor (later known as Aunt May) was born on 29th July 1874.

After completing four years of "on the job" training in Glasgow, Roger Oakden MA was licensed to the Office of Stipendiary Curate at Sutton Maddock on 18th October 1876 by George Augustus, Bishop of Lichfield. Roger was very well-loved by the parishioners of this, his first charge in Sutton Maddock. His time there was marked by rebuilding of the church and Roger, as the priest-in-charge, played a significant role in providing the village with a new and more comfortable church. Appreciation of him is clearly demonstrated by this large card (48cm x 36cm) presented to him on his departure after seventeen years serving them. (transcript below)  

Roger and Elizabeth had three more children while he served in Sutton Maddock: Katherine Mary born on 19th August 1877, Roger Brooke born on 29th July 1880 and John Gould (Jack) born on 6th January 1883.

To the Reverend Roger Oakden MA

We the undersigned, Parishioners of Sutton Maddock, having heard that it is your intention shortly to resign the Charge of this Parish are anxious to approach you with the expression of our deep regret at the severance of the ties which have existed between us for the long period of seventeen years. In all these years you have been to us a faithful Minister of the Gospel of Christ; “in all things showing yourself a pattern of good works; in Doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity”.

We have found you a kind and sympathizing Friend, ready to share in our sorrows, and our joys. We have regarded you as a wise Counsellor, and a generous helper in all our difficulties. We know well how mindful you have been of the wants of your poorer neighbours and how prompt to relieve them to the utmost of your power.

It is our earnest, Prayer that the Blessing of God may rest upon you and Mrs Oakden and your Family. Wherever your lot may be cast, be assured of this; you will never be forgotten by

Your grateful and affectionate Friends

Thomas Nock, Edward Nock, R R Lawler? J R G Smith, ?? Farmer Jones, A E Mausell, T A Wilson, And 65 others.


 Roger Oakden WEBElizabeth Oakden WEB














In 1888 Roger donated this solid oak altar table to the church at Sutton Maddock, as reported in a local newspaper. It is still in great condition after well over a century of use.

On 28th July 1893, after seventeen years at Sutton Maddock,  Roger Oakden, now aged 46, was appointed as Rector of Bramshall by Augustus, Bishop of Lichfield, following the death of Rev Bennett Williams. Roger lived in the Rectory.

Here is a description of Bramshall in 1901. The 1901 census together with Kelly’s Trade Directory of that year provide us with some fascinating clues as to the way of life in Bramshall by the last years of Queen Victoria’s reign. Kelly’s Trade Directory for 1901 describes Bramshall as follows:

BRAMSHALL (Bromshall) is a village and parish on a gentle declivity, 2 miles west of Uttoxeter Station ……… The Church of St Lawrence which stands on an eminence above the village was rebuilt in 1835. …… The living is a rectory net yearly value of £190, including 42 acres of glebe. The Rector was Roger Oakden who lived at the vicarage on Leigh Road with his wife, daughter, sister and two servants. There is a Parochial School (mixed) originally a dwelling house converted into a school in 1847 for 50 children. Average attendance: 35 Teacher: Miss Elizabeth Tranter There is an endowment of £16 per year, arising from land given in the year of 1564, for the repair and maintenance of the church: and 10s for the poor called “Warner’s Charity”. Lord Willoughby de Broke is lord of the manor and  principle land owner. 

Early 20th century photo of Bramshall Church, Staffordshire.

Bramshall Church Roger Oakden WEB


Roger died in 1915 and Elizabeth in 1918.

Next:  Oakden Family Trees