CFHS code : HT153

Parish : Holy Trinity

Inscription : In Loving Memory of HARRIET LOUISA ASHER d 1st Jan 1916 aged 62 also FANNY ELLEN FREEMAN [sister] d 20 Feb 1922 aged 58 also JAMES ASHER d 8 Nov 1937 aged 86

Monument : Headstone (fallen)/Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey



Harriet Louisa Asher (née Freeman)  (1851 – 1 January 1916)

Harriet was born in Islip, a village just west of Thrapston in Northamptonshire and was baptised there on 14 March 1852.  She was the daughter of carpenter William (1812-1892) and Mary Anne (née Dartnell) (1821-1856) and grew up in the neighbouring village of Woodford with her father, step mother and siblings. She married James Asher at St. Andrew’s Church, Kettering on 24 March 1873 and they had four children: William Henry (1873-1934), Arthur James (1875-1935), Thomas Bertram (1877-1877) and  Hilda Annie (1893-1970). James was a shoe rivetter, Harriet as a tailoress and the family lived at Ford Street, Kettering until at least 1901. James later became a publican and the couple ran the Blue Lion in Cherry Hinton (1904) before moving to the Free Press, Prospect Row (at least 1908 onwards).

Harriet died at the Free Press as the result of a fall and and inquest was held on 4 January. The inquest heard that she had been ‘excited during the day’, which James said was due to her having ‘taken more than she ought to have done’.  Dr Roper was called and he said ‘she seemed excited and hardly in a normal state of mind. She was ramping up and down the room and wanted to go out but her husband would not let her. Witness prescribed a quietening medicine for her and told her to go to bed’. James saw here at 7pm and found her dead at the bottom of the stairs at 11.30pm.  She was found wearing her hat as if she were going outside, and was found with clothing over her face which had stopped her breathing. James had not heard her fall and the inquest returned a verdict of ‘death from a fall downstairs and consequent suffocation’.

NB- Although her age was recorded as 62 years old when she died, it is believed that she was actually 64 years old, and this age would be consistent with other documentation.

Fanny Ellen Freeman (1859 – 20 February 1922)

Fanny was Harriet’s younger sister and was born in Woodford, near Thrapston. She was baptised there on 28 February 1860 and was the daughter of William Freeman and his second wife Jane (née Daniels). She worked as a general servant in Luton (1901) to chemist Emma Wootton and by 1911 was documented as being Emma’s cook. She then appears to have moved to live in Cambridge and died at the Free Press in February 1922.

NB – Her age was recorded as 58 years on the death registration documentation and on the grave monument, however it is thought she was 62 years old and this age would be consistent with other documentation.

James Asher (c.February 1851 – 8 November 1937)

James was born in Rothwell, Northamptonshire and was the son of William and Sarah. He was baptised in Rothwell on 31 December 1854 and  grew up in the village where his father was a silk weaver.  In June 1918 the Free Press transferred to his son in law Leonard Davidson (husband of Hilda).  James married for a second time in 1919 to widow Susannah Benstead (née Carter) (1863-1921) but was widowed again in January 1921.  In 1934 he was living at 52 Maid’s Causeway and died at the Mill Road Infirmary aged 86 years old. James Asher  was buried at Mill Road Cemetery on 10 November.



Newspaper archives

Parish burial records transcribed by CFHS

by Claire Martinsen

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Harriet Louisa Asher; James Asher; Fanny Ellen Freeman