CFHS code : ML51

Parish : St Mary the Less

Inscription : In Loving Memory of MABEL P AYERS b April 11 1890 d Oct 6 1895 also JOHN AYERS d Feb 24 1909 aged 69 also LOUISA HARRIET AYERS beloved wife of JOHN AYERS d 24 Nov 1930 aged 88 also ROBERT BREAKS AYERS d Dec 21 1913 aged 31

Monument : Stone cross/Kerb stones

Above information amended from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.20278, 0.13790393 – click here for location

Ayers grave
Ayers monument


This broken cross set within kerbstones is located in the centre of the parish. Roughly 6 rows along the path that leads from the centre circle to the east path.
The inscription is now virtually illegible.


In Loving Memory of MABEL P AYERS b April 11 1890 d Oct 6 1895

Also JOHN AYERS d Feb 24 1909 aged 69

Also LOUISA HARRIET AYERS beloved wife of JOHN AYERS d 24 Nov 1930 aged 88

Also ROBERT BREAKS AYERS d Dec 21 1913 aged 31

Mabel Pinkard Ayers (11 April 1890 – 6 October 1895)

Mabel was the daughter of John and Louisa and grew up at 33 Tumpington Street.

John Breaks Ayers (1839 – 24 February 1909)

John was the son of carpenter William Ayres and Elizabeth Baker Quantick (née Pinkard). He was born in Portsea, Hampshire and aged 21 was working as an engineer in Woolwich, London.  He married Louisa Hawkins on 31 August 1862 at St. Margaret’s Church, Plumstead and they had ten children: Louisa Elizabeth (1863-1929), Rev. Alfred William (1864-1926), Charles Henry (1866-1948), Frederick John (1870-1909), Margaret Fanny (1875-1955), Arthur Ernest (1877-1959), Robert Breaks (1882-1913), Annie Phyllis (1884-1931), Mabel Pinkard and another child who died as an infant.  Their first child Louisa was born in Plumstead, but by the time son Alfred was born in November 1864 they had moved to live at Southsea Cottage, 82 Sturton Street.

Advert from December 1888

John worked as a whitesmith and in 1888 took over a ‘perambulator and invalid carriage’ business located at 33 Trumpington Street founded by John Burford.  The family moved to live at Trumpington Street (1891/1901) and the business was named J. Ayers and Sons.  By the 1890’s they had diversified to offer cycles and cycling lessons.  Adverts promised ‘ladies and gentlemen wishing to learn to cycle will find J. Ayers and Son’s

Advert from May 1901

cycle school, Mill Road, the largest and best in Cambridge where you will not be cramped for room, as it is over an acre in extent and strictly private; inspection invited’.

John retired in 1905 and the business was then run by his sons Frederick, Charles and  Arthur.  John and Louisa moved to live at East View, 27 Mackenzie Road. He died at home in February 1909, three days after his son Frederick.  His obituary read ‘he was a Liberal in politics and was an active worker in the temperance cause. He and his wife were probably the oldest Good Templars in Cambridge, joining the Order nearly 40 years ago’. His funeral took place on 1 March 1909 at Hobson Street Chapel, before interment at Mill Road Cemetery.

Louisa Harriet Ayers (née Hawkins) (1842 – 24 November 1930)

Louisa was also born in Southsea, Hampshire and married John Ayers when she was c.20 years old. After his death she lived at Makenzie Road with sons Arthur and Robert (1911) and died at home at the age of 88.

Robert Breaks Ayers (1882 – 21 December 1913)

Robert was the youngest son of John and Louisa and was ‘constitutionally delicate’ due to lupus.  He died at East View, Mackenzie Road aged 31 years old.  A short obituary in the Cambridge Independent Press said he ‘will be well known to many of our readers as a frequent contributor to our correspondence columns and as a writer of light and amusing verses. He possessed considerable literary ability and frequently had articles accepted by newspapers and magazines…Mr Ayers was invarably cheerful and he will be much missed by a wide circle of friends, by whom he was regarded with affection and esteem’.

His funeral took place ‘quietly’ on 23 December. A service was held at at the Ayers family home, conducted by Rev. Harding of the Wesley Church, King Street, who also performed the last rites at the graveside.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

With thanks to family descendants for permission to use the family photo

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John Ayers; Louisa Harriet Ayers; Mabel Pinkard Ayers; Robert Breaks Ayers