Buried in the grave are four people, though the only legible name is James T Barber
Buried here on 8th April 1909 are James T Barber aged 37, his wife Emily Constance aged 35 and their two children, Edgar James aged 11 and Winifred Constance aged 10.
The following article from a local newspaper tells a horrific story.
"13th April 1909
An inquest into the deaths of an entire family concluded in Oxford.
On 5th April, the grocer's shop in Oxford owned by James Thomas Barber remained closed long after it should have opened for business. There was no sign of Barber and his wife and family, who were eventually found dead in the living quarters attached to the house. Eleven year old Edgar James Barber lay in the kitchen, a puncture wound in his throat and severe injuries to his forehead, apparently inflicted by a hatchet. Mr Barber was found in bed, still dressed in his night clothes, with a deep stab wound in his throat. His thirteen year old daughter, Winifred, was badly bruised and had two neck wounds, while Mrs Emily Constance Barber had fatal injuries to her throat.
Since the premises were securely locked, all the evidence suggested that Mrs Barber had killed her husband and children before committing suicide and a note was found in her handwriting which read, "Refer to Miss Morgan, Tubney, Abingdon", directing whoever found the bodies to contact Mrs Barbers sister.
The motive for the murders was unclear. Mrs Barber was known to have been upset over the death of her brother and had written to Miss Morgan saying "My head is so bad I do not know what to do."
At the inquest, a private detective Edwin Bullivant testified that Mrs Barber had consulted him in May 1906 with suspicions that her husband was having an affair. Bullivant followed Barber several times but had never found any evidence to substantiate his wife's suspicions - now he told the inquest that Mrs Barber had threatened to kill her husband if she ever caught him being unfaithful, adding that she would also kill her children as she couldn't bear to leave them behind."
Although this happened over a hundred years ago, it still makes me shudder to read this sad story today.
On a lighter note - I am not sure that if my better half did away with me, that I would want to be entombed with her for all eternity!