A walking route around Trumpington Churchyard and an insight into the history and interrelationships of some of the individuals and families who have lived in Trumpington in the last 300 years.
The churchyard, looking towards Grantchester Road, April 2011. Photos: Andrew Roberts.
One of a series of pages about the Parish Church .
Thousands of people have been buried in the original Trumpington Churchyard: between 1600, when burial entries started in the Parish Register or the Bishop’s Transcript, and 1893, when the churchyard extension in Shelford Road opened, over 3300 burials were recorded. From the inscriptions recorded in the past, we can identify 364 individuals buried in the churchyard and a further 13 in the church itself. The earliest legible stone in the churchyard is dated 1720; before that grave markers, if used at all, were usually of wood and have not survived. Only about 1 in 6 of the people buried here since the 1720s can be found by name, so it is not surprising if someone who is expected to be here appears to be missing. It is also important to note that most of the people buried in Trumpington since 1893 have been placed in the extension to the south of the old churchyard or the extension at the junction of Shelford Road and Hauxton Road.
Of the 364 individuals, I have selected 34 individuals or families about whom we have information, as a result of research by the Trumpington Local History Group. They range from laundresses, labourers and gardeners through publicans, farmers, teachers, businessmen, bankers, clerics and academics to a government minister.
We are greatly indebted to Alan Bullwinkle and Stephen Walley who, in 1987, produced a booklet listing all the inscriptions they found in the churchyard, several of which are now illegible. We are also grateful to Shirley Brown for passing on further inscriptions that appeared in the parish magazine in 1931, which were illegible by 1987. These sources have been used as the basis for the transcriptions in the individual entries.
For details about the inscriptions recorded in 1987, see Cambridgeshire Family History Society (1987). St Mary’s and St Michael’s Parish Church, Trumpington, Cambridgeshire. Monumental Inscriptions . Transcribed by Stephen Walley and Alan Bullwinkle. : CFHS.
Following Bullwinkle and Walley, the following abbreviations have been used:
IAMO In Affectionate Memory Of
IARO In Affectionate Remembrance Of
ILMO In Loving Memory Of
ILRO In Loving Remembrance Of
IMO In Memory Of
STTMO Sacred To The Memory Of
The numbering suggests an order in which to walk through the churchyard, starting at the entrance near the Bakehouse in the north-eastern corner.
Map of the monuments highlighted in the walk around Trumpington churchyard. Howard Slatter, October 2013.
The north east entrance to the churchyard, with the information panel with the Pendlebury memorial on the reverse, the line of Nichols family headstones to the left and the Saunders and Reeves headstone to the right (entry 1, 3 and 2), 27 October 2013.
The line of Nichols family headstones to the north east of the chancel (entry 3), 28 October 2013.
On the reverse of the information panel at the north east entrance to the churchyard
CAPTAIN JOHN PENDLEBURY
sometime Scholar of
Killed In action in Crete
and also his wife
HILDA WINIFRED PENDLEBURY
died 5 March 1970
John Devitt Stringfellow Pendlebury is one of the names read out at the Remembrance Day service in Trumpington each year. He was an archaeologist, who worked for British intelligence during World War II. Born in London, he went up to Pembroke College as a scholar in 1923, where he studied Classics. He became an archaeologist, working mainly in Crete. He married Hilda White, another archaeologist, in 1928. From 1936 he was a freelance archaeologist, and when not in the field, lived with Hilda in Barrow Road. With his knowledge of the island, he was appointed British Vice Consul in Crete in 1940, and then liaison officer between British troops and the Cretan military authority. After the German invasion of Crete in 1941, Pendlebury was shot and killed; he was buried on the island. Hilda stayed on at 31 Barrow Road until 1958, with their daughter Joan.
2. Saunders and Reeves family
First headstone to the right, beside the low boundary wall
who died August 4 1847
AGED 35 YEARS
Who died 17 Nov 1877 age 75
Hannah Saunders was the daughter of William and Martha Saunders; her nephew William is buried in the other side of the churchyard (see entry 26 below). Thomas Reeves was her brother-in-law, who married Sarah Saunders here in 1827. He was master of the Chesterton Workhouse for over twenty years, and Sarah was matron.
3. Nichols family
A group of 5 headstones to the north east of the chancel
WHO DIED FEBRY 21ST 1864
Aged 64 Years
ALSO OF LYDIA
WIFE OF THE ABOVE
BORN JULY 13TH 1803
Died July 11 1868
WHO DIED SEPT 23D 1850
Aged 39 Years
(Late Butler of Christ Coll. Cambridge)
WHO DIED FEBRUARY 13 1848
IN THE 50 YEAR OF HIS AGE
and SUSAN His Wife (should be SARAH)
DIED JUNE 10 1851
AGED 49 YEARS
Daughter of the above
LAND and SARAH NICHOLS
DIED JULY [ ] 1854 AGED 20 YEARS
MARY LAND NICHOLS
Sister of the above
DIED FEBRUARY 19 1901
AGED 94 YEARS
WHO DIED OCTR 24TH 1826 AGED 60 YEARS
ALSO OF SARAH NICHOLS THE WIFE OF
WHO DIED OCTR 10TH 1850 AGED 82 YEARS
ALSO OF WILLIAM NICHOLS THE SON OF
JOHN & SARAH NICHOLS
WHO DIED AUGST 3RD 1837 AGED 23 YEARS
LATE PORTER OF CHRIST COLLEGE
WHO DIED JULY 3RD 1855
AGED 50 YEARS
Eleven members of the Nichols family. John Nichols the younger (on the left) was the village blacksmith from the 1830s to his death in 1864. Samuel Widnall in his Reminiscences of Trumpington 50 years ago wrote “herds of oxen and flocks of sheep for the London market formed part of the traffic up the road, often some of the oxen would fall lame from walking so far, these were taken to the village smithy where John Nichols the smith would shoe them, the shoes being not like horse shoes, but in two parts, one on each side of the cloven hoof.” Widnall also recalled “On Sundays we went to church and sat in a pew in the south aisle close to the wall; the church has been a good deal altered since then (Widnall was writing in 1889), there were old high square pews, and at the west end a “Singing gallery” where John Nichols the blacksmith sat in the forefront leading the singers and keeping the boys in order.” John Nichols was married to Lydia Cuming, daughter of Mr James Cuming the schoolmaster (see entry 14). They lived, like John’s successors as blacksmith, opposite the smithy in the High Street. Land Nichols, John’s older brother, was butler at Christ’s College, and Thomas, their younger brother, was a porter in the same college.
Nichols family tree
John Nichols , b. ABT 1765, d. 24 Oct 1826. He married Sarah _____, b. ABT 1767, d. 10 Oct 1850.
I. Land Nichols , b. ABT 1798, d. 13 Feb 1848. He married Sarah _____, b. ABT 1802 in Cambridge, d. 10 Jun 1851.
A. Emma Nichols , b. ABT 1833 in Cambridge, d. Jul 1854.
II. John Nichols , b. ABT 1801 in Trumpington, d. 21 Feb 1864. Married 24 Dec 1840 in Trumpington, Lydia Cumming, b. 13 Jul 1803 in Trumpington (daughter of James Cumming and Lydia _____), d. 11 Jul 1868.
III. William Nichols , b. ABT 1803, d. 3 Aug 1827.
IV. Thomas Nichols , b. ABT 1805, d. 3 Jul 1855.
V. Mary Land Nichols , b. ABT 1807, d. 19 Feb 1901.
VI. Nathaniel Nichols , b. ABT 1812, d. 23 Sep 1850. Married 27 Oct 1838 in Trumpington, Sarah Cambridge, b. ABT 1817 (daughter of William Cambridge and Sarah Flitton).
The Nightingale headstone with circular Celtic cross and Dobson headstone, under the yew tree near the junction of the path from the porch and the path to the west of the tower (entry 4 and 5), 27 October 2013.
The Crane, Vigor/Toleman and Toller headstones to the right of the path, beside the boundary wall (entry 6, 7 and 8), 27 October 2013.
Headstone with circular Celtic cross, under the yew tree to the left of path between the porch and the north west entrance to the churchyard
Jane Harley Nightingale
Born January 15 1869
Died Sep 9 1870
Jane Harley Nightingale was the eldest child of Joe Nightingale and his second wife Jane Harley. They had 12 children, and Jane was the only one to die in childhood. Joe and Jane were married here in 1868. Joe was a carpenter and kept the Volunteer Public house (now the Bollywood Spice restaurant, in Trumpington Road just north of North Cottages): North Cottages were originally known as “Nightingales Cottages” and it is likely that he was responsible for them being built.
5. Dobson family
Two headstones near the junction of the path from the porch and the path to the west of the tower, one headstone at the junction under the yew tree and the other to the right of the yew
MARY the Wife of
who died Dec 3d 1816
Aged 80 years
A Son and Daughter lost their Mother Dear
This tender parent low they’ve buried here
[Two more lines]
Schoolmaster who died
April 15 1773 aged 61 yr
also WILL. his son died
Oct 21, 1798 aged 67 years
Mary Stacey married William Dobson here in 1765. Mary’s parents are buried further east of here (you will have just walked past them), and her great-uncle William Stacey is buried on the other side of the church, with his wife Susannah (see entry 33). William Dobson, the village stone mason whose name is carved on the top of the church tower, died in 1798, and is buried with his father, William Dobson, schoolmaster.
6. Crane family
The first two headstones to the right of the path, beside the boundary wall
FORMERLY OF COMBERTON
WHO DIED NOV 29 1844
AGED 86 YEARS
“AFTER MANY YEARS OF GREAT AFFLICTION BORNE
WITH CHRISTIAN PATIENCE AND RESIGNATION”
ALSO OF SARAH, WIFE OF THE ABOVE
WHO DIED JAN 27 1872
IN THE 87TH YEAR OF HER AGE
“BLESSED ARE THE DEAD WHICH DIE IN THE LORD”
WHO DIED MARCH 4 1868
AGED 68 YEARS
SARAH SOLE CRANE
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE
OCTOBER 22, 1872
IN THE FIFTY SECOND YEAR OF HER AGE
“THE MEMORY OF THE JUST IS BLESSED”
Thomas and Sarah Crane lived in Comberton until the early 1840s; Thomas was a farmer. They had two daughters: Joanna and Sarah. Moving from a similar establishment in Bottisham, Joanna opened a “Ladies Seminary” in Trumpington in 1834, moving out in 1844 to Mr Cuming’s former premises and then by 1851 into New Square in Cambridge. Her sister Sarah helped her as an assistant teacher. An advertisement in the Cambridge Independent Press, 23 Sep 1843, reads:
“To be sold by auction . . . at the Green Man, Trumpington; Lot 1 A modern and substantially-built Brick and Slate Dwelling-house, desirably situate opposite the church, as now occupied by Miss Crane, as a ladies’ seminary, containing, on the ground floor, two excellent sitting-rooms and kitchen,. . . and protected from the road by a neat palisade fence. Lot 2 The adjoining Dwelling-house, also recently erected, containing two excellent parlours below, . . . To this lot there is a convenient yard, approached by folding gates, and stable erected thereon. The above are situate in the most pleasant part of the village, having good views in front and behind, and the distance from Cambridge being within easy walk, makes them most desirable to parties seeking a quiet country residence.” These houses still face the churchyard today.
7. Pemberton servants
The third headstones to the right of the path, beside the boundary wall
TWO FAITHFUL AND VALUED SERVANTS
WHO WAS BURIED FEB 3, 1867
HADNEY ANTHONY TOLEMAN
COMMONLY KNOWN AS JAMES TOLEMAN
WHO WAS BURIED DEC 31 1872
BOTH LIVED UPWARDS OF 50 YEARS
IN THE FAMILY
OF THE LATE COL. AND MRS. PEMBERTON
WHOSE DAUGHTER ERECTS THIS
Sylvia Vigor was born about 1796 in Sussex and was housekeeper at Trumpington Hall. James Toleman was born in London about 1800 and was butler; Antony Pemberton tells how Toleman was tasked with the job of bringing the body of F.C.J. Pemberton back from France after he died there in 1849. This memorial was erected well after their deaths, as Patience Pemberton’s parents died in 1888 and 1899, and she did not return to live at the hall until some time between 1901 and 1911. It is not now known if the relationship between these two went any further than working together at the Hall.
8. Toller family
Two memorial plaques on the boundary wall
HARRIETT DARNEY BALDOCK
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE
DEC 18, 1862
AGED 46 YEARS
WHO DIED AT ARSLEY OCT 21, 1873
AGED 31 YEARS
ALSO MARY ELIZTH BOCOCK
JOHN & ANN MARIA TOLLER
DIED JAN 26, 1873 AGED 30
THE BELOVED WIFE OF
WHO DIED MARCH 11 1838
AGED 67 YEARS
ALSO JEMIMA DIND
WHO DIED JUNE 1, 1843
AGED 14 YEARS
AND JOHN TOLLER
WHO DIED FEB 6 1872
AGED 80 YEARS
Harriet Darney Toller was the eldest child of John and Anna Maria, who farmed at Anstey Hall Farm. She married another farmer, Samuel Baldock, in 1835, and they lived at Fenstanton until his death in 1846, when she returned to Trumpington to live with her parents. Christopher Toller was the elder son of John and Maria, and moved to Arsley to farm there. His sister Mary Elizabeth married John James Bocock, a farmer from Kirtling, in Cambridge in 1862. He died the following year and she moved back to Cambridge. John Toller himself was born in Huntingdonshire and farmed in Luton before coming to Trumpington some time in the 1840s.
The route continues in Part 2 .