18 Brookside, Cambridge
Following their marriage in 1867, Henry and Millicent Fawcett spent six months of each year in Cambridge and six in London , so that Henry could fulfil both his duties as an MP and as Professor of Political Economy. Initially they rented houses in both places, buying in each city only when they felt they could afford to do so, in 1875.
The refurbished memorial stone to Henry Fawcett, Trumpington Church. Photo: Andrew Roberts, 6 April 2018.
Henry Fawcett (1833-84) was an eminent economist and politician, married to the suffrage leader Millicent Garrett, lived at 18 Brookside from 1875-84, buried at Trumpington Church. In addition to these notes, see pages about the life of Henry Fawcett, his funeral , and Millicent Garrett Fawcett and Women’s Suffrage .
18 Brookside, Trumpington Road, Cambridge. Photo: Andrew Roberts, April 2018.
Death of Henry Fawcett, November 1884
Henry Fawcett died at his home in Cambridge on Thursday 6 November 1884 and his funeral was at Trumpington Church on Monday 10 November 1884. Given that the family lived at 18 Brookside (not in Trumpington parish), it had not been clear why Henry was buried in Trumpington.
Henry had been Professor of Political Economy at Cambridge and his friends included Leslie Stephen, with both being Fellows of Trinity Hall. In his biography of Henry published in 1885, Leslie Stephen wrote “It was decided to bury him in the churchyard of Trumpington. Something was said of his native town [Salisbury], but it was thought unadvisable to incur the risk of additional excitement for the aged parents, still living in the Close of Salisbury. On Monday, November 10, he was therefore laid by the quiet little church, whose square tower is so familiar to all Cambridge men. … It was associated with many pleasant rides and walks. The churchyard and the neighbouring roads were thronged by a great crowd of all classes. …” (Stephen, 1885, p. 463).
In her biography of Millicent Fawcett, Ray Strachey wrote “Henry Fawcett’s funeral was at Trumpington, a little village just outside Cambridge, and it was attended by an immense concourse of people. …” (Strachey, 1931, p. 102).
There was a report of the funeral in the Cambridge Chronicle and University Journal , 14 November 1884, page 8 (column 3-4), which states ” We understand that the deceased was interred at Trumpington in accordance with a clause in his will specifying that if he died in London he should be interred at Salisbury, and if at Cambridge, he should be buried at Trumpington.”. See the transcript of the funeral report. The newspaper source is in the British Newspaper Archive .
Henry Fawcett’s grave was renovated in 2008-09 after a fund raising campaign led by Peter Dawson on behalf of the Trumpington Local History Group. It was refurbished again in early 2018, largely funded through the generosity of a member of the Church congregation, when the headstone was adjusted to make it more visible ( The Trumpet , April-May 2018, p. 21).
Photograph of the grave of Henry Fawcett, in ‘Some Trumpington inscriptions, with special reference to the base of the old village cross’, Cambridge Chronicle , 31 May 1922, p. 8. (Cambridgeshire Collection).
Henry Fawcett’s grave, Trumpington Church: before and after the renovation completed in 2008. Photos: Stephen Brown.
Henry Fawcett’s grave, Trumpington Church, after the renovation in 2018. Photo: Andrew Roberts, 6 April 2018.
Memorial window in Trumpington Church
A stained glass memorial window to Henry Fawcett was installed in Trumpington Church a year after his death, in late 1885, overlooking his grave. It seems that this was a local initiative: in his biography of Henry, Leslie Stephen wrote “… A memorial is to be erected in recognition of his services to women; and the inhabitants of Trumpington are placing a window to his memory in their church” (Stephen, 1885, p. 468).
The window was designed and executed by Messrs Clayton and Bell and incorporates figures of Fortitude, Charity and Truth. It has the inscription at the base “In memory of Henry Fawcett. Born August 26, 1833; died Nov. 6 1884”. There were reports in newspapers, including Worcestershire Chronicle , 28 November 1885, p. 3, and Cambridge Chronicle , 24 December 1885, p. 4. The Cambridge Chronicle report refers to the window being “subscribed for by friends of the deceased”.
Ray Strachey wrote that “… It was this thought also made Millicent very eager to see monuments erected to her husband, and which enabled her to take real pleasure in the Memorial in Westminster Abbey, … the window at Trumpington …” (Strachey, 1931, p. 104).
The memorial window to Henry Fawcett, on the south side of the Chancel, Trumpington Church. Photo: Andrew Roberts, 18 October 2011.
Cambridge Chronicle and University Journal , 24 December 1885, page 4, available online in the British Newspaper Archive (BL_0000421_18851224_051_0004)
Blue plaque at 18 Brookside, Cambridge
In 2004, the Trumpington Local History Group sought permission for a blue plaque in Henry Fawcett’s honour and raised the necessary money. The blue plaque was unveiled in a ceremony in Trinity Hall and is now at the house which Henry and Millicent Fawcett owned at 18 Brookside.
Blue plaques to Henry and Millicent Fawcett, 18 Brookside. Photo: Andrew Roberts, October 2011 and April 2018.
Statue and memorial in Salisbury
Henry Fawcett grew up in Salisbury and there is a memorial to him in the market square and plaques commemorating the family in Salisbury Cathedral.
Statute to Henry Fawcett, Market Square, Salisbury. Photo: Andrew Roberts, 31 December 2017.
Memorial to Henry Fawcett, Salisbury Cathedral. Photo: Andrew Roberts, 4 January 2018.
Memorial in Westminster Abbey
There is a joint memorial to Henry and Millicent Fawcett in St George’s Chapel, Westminster Abbey . The bronze mural to Henry Fawcett is by Sir Alfred Gilbert, erected in 1887. The roundels commemorating Millicent Fawcett , by Herbert Baker, were added in 1932.
Memorial and drinking fountain on the Embankment, London
There is a memorial incorporating a drinking fountain in honour of Henry Fawcett in Victoria Embankment Gardens. The fountain by Basil Champney has a bronze medallion by Mary Grant, 1886. This has the inscription “Erected to the memory of Henry Fawcett by his grateful countrywomen”. Champneys was the architect of all of Newnham College’s buildings up to 1914 and friend of Millicent’s interior designer sister, Agnes Garrett.
Memorial to Henry Fawcett, Victoria Embankment Gardens, London. Photo: Andrew Roberts, 19 January 2015.
Fawcett Primary School, Trumpington
When a new Infants and Junior School were built in Trumpington in 1949-50, they were named after Henry Fawcett.
Fawcett School in the 1950s. Cambridgeshire Collection, Cambridge Central Library.
Leslie Stephen (1885). The Life of Henry Fawcett . Cambridge University Press.
Leslie Stephen. Fawcett, Henry (1833-1884) . Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Copy at https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Fawcett,_Henry_(DNB00)
Janet Howarth. Fawcett, Dame Millicent Garrett [née Millicent Garrett] (1847–1929) . Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Ray Strachey (1931). Millicent Garrett Fawcett . : John Murray.
Rita McWilliams Tullberg. Fawcett, Philippa Garrett (1868–1948) . Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.