People & Events


Saba Rose Jordan Rees

Enter the churchyard through the gate from Hammersley Lane and immediately to your left you will see a pink marble gravestone. Four people are named on this stone, Saba Rose Jordan King, her husband Bushell King, her mother Jane Rees and her brother Turner Jordan Rees.

Of this quartet, Turner Rees is most readily identifiable as being a figure of some standing in the district as he was the Headmaster of Tylers Green Board (now First) School between 1877 and 1907. He died in a London Hospital in 1908 aged 60.

What is remarkable about Saba & Bushell King is the span of time their individual lives covered.  Bushell was born in Wapping in July 1818, just three years after the Battle of Waterloo, his father William had been a Mast & Block maker and after a short period as an architect Bushell seems to have enjoyed a life of relative comfort as he is never again shown as having employment, being variously recorded as “fund holder”, “annuitant” and “of independent means“.  In December 1850 at St Martins in the Fields he married Agnes Powis (formerly Clemson) a widow several years his senior. They spend the next 30 years between Hoo in Kent and Cranford and Ealing in Middlesex.

Quite what his relationship to the 1st Sir Philip Rose was, if indeed there was one, is not clear but by 1881 they were resident in a house belonging to the Rayners Estate, St Margarets (House sic) in Tylers Green, Bushell was widowed in 1883 following the death of Agnes, however just four year later  he married the schoolmasters sister , Saba Rose Jordan Rees (born c1860 Alford Lincs) who was a close neighbour. living presumably in the schoolhouse. There was a 40-year age gap between them when the wedding took place in London at St. Dunstan in the West in 1887.

Bushell died in August 1901 and Saba eventually moved back to live in West London, but by the time of her death in January 1945 she was once again living in Buckinghamshire her death being recorded in the Wycombe Registration District.

So, what, in genealogical terms makes their relationship so remarkable, well it is the sheer time span of their individual lives, 127 years in fact, from the immediate aftermath of the Battle on Waterloo to the closing days of WW2!  We can do even better if we take the lives of Bushell’s two wives, Agnes his first, had been born in 1806, 9 years before Waterloo.

There is a sad postscript to Bushell and Saba’s story, their only son William Bushell Rees King born in 1888 lived for only 20 hours and rests In St. Margarets Churchyard

Finally, why Saba? Biblical scholars will probably tell you that this was the given name of the Queen of Sheba! and also note next time you are in the Church notice the brass plaque on the right-hand side Chancel wall dedicated to Turner Jordan Rees by his sister Saba.

Ron Saunders, March 2024