CFHS code : ED143

Parish : St Edward

Inscription : In Remembrance of JOHN HATT d March 12 1866 aged 76 also SARAH his wife b July 23 1804 d May 6 1887 also of SARAH ELIZABETH BARNES d Aug 14 1926 aged 83

Monument : Headstone

Above information  amended from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.203343, 0.13658456 – click here for location



John Hatt (1790 – 12 March 1866)

Advert from 1844

John was born in Brentford and is thought to have moved to live in Cambridge c.1809. He married Mary Russell on 3 October 1811 at St. Botolph’s Church and they had at least three children: John William Hatt (1815-1840), Mary (1816-) and Ann (1820-). John was a book binder/stationer and had a shop at Peas Hill. The shop sold books, writing paper, house keeping books, pocket books, ‘ruled paper for bills and commercial purposes’ amongst others. It is not known when he was widowed but he married for a second time on 22 August 1841 at St. Edward’s Church, Cambridge to Sarah Stockbridge and they had one daughter – Sarah Elizabeth, who is buried in the same grave.

His elder daughter Mary married Thomas King in 1840. Thomas was also a stationer with a shop at Petty Cury, and after Mary was widowed in December 1847 John Hatt took over the running of that business too. He was still chasing the debts of the business in March 1850 and took out newspaper adverts to say ‘there still remains a great number of debts due from Members of the University as well as others, which were contracted during the years 1845, 1846 and 1847, unpaid. J.H hopes he shall not be compelled to resort to legal proceedings which he must do unless the accounts are paid within one month from the date hereof’.

In 1862 he retired and moved to live at Newnham Villa, Barton Road. His stock was sold at auction by Charles Wisbey and included ‘original edition of Hume and Smollet’s England, Gibbon’s Rome, Chalmer’s Shakespeare, Mitford’s Greece, by Lord Redesdales, Pope’s works by Warton, Dr Johnson’s works….’

John certainly seems to have been a feisty character. In May 1855 he wrote to newspapers regarding being passed over in the purchase of books for the Free Library, writing ‘can you inform me when the list of books were sent out to the Booksellers for the supply of books for the Free Library why I was passed over? [sic] I knew nothing about it till I saw in the paper that £150 worth of Books had been ordered and sent in. I pay rates and taxes in three parishes and surely I have some claim in the matter. I am not cross, but fair play is a jewel’.  The Library Committee replied via a letter in the Cambridge Independent Press the following week to state that the reason he was not contacted ‘was no doubt from the conviction that Mr. Hatt’s stock did not contain the kind of works that were selected by the Sub-Committee’. In July 1860 he wrote the chair of the Cambridge Improvement board ‘complaining that the whole street [Benet Street] ought to be paved for £10’.  The fight to pave Benet Street became one of his passions and his letters to newspapers were published several times.

In June 1863 John  accused publican John Lambert  of killing one of his cockerels. John Lambert owned a garden on Barton Road, near to John Hatt’s house and the case was heard before local magistrates ‘by no means unattended by local interest’.  The Cambridge Independent Press reported the case under the headline of ‘Melancholy death of a cock (spanish breed)!’.  The newspaper reported that John Lambert ‘while wandering from bed to bed, while contemplating with proud satisfaction the coming peas, the new potatoes, the stalwart beans and dainty asparagus, all at once his reverie was disturbed by the crowing of Chanticleer. It is generally admitted fact that every cock has a right to crow on his own dunghill; but it is a very different matter for a cock, however handsome he may be, however fine his plumage, clear his voice, or game his pluck, to invade a neighbouring garden, and kick his legs about with as much assumption and cool impudence as though he were within the precincts of his own seraglio. Alas! poor cock!’ John was said to have thrown a stick at the cockerel to drive it away, which accidently killed the animal.  He was fined 5s, the value of the cock but no order for costs were made.

John Hatt died at Newnham Villa aged 76 years old.

Sarah Hatt (née Stockbridge) (23 July 1804 – 6 May 1887)

Sarah was the daughter of William and married widow John Hatt when she was 37 years old. After his death she lived at Newnham Villa with daughter Sarah and died there aged 82 years old.

Sarah Elizabeth Barnes (née Hatt) (1843 – 14 August 1926)

Sarah is believed to have been the only child of John and Sarah Hatt.  She married baker/confectioner George Robert Barnes (1851-1914) in 1884 and they lived at Newnham Villa. George ran a shop at Sidney Street and Sarah was widowed in September 1914. She died at Newnham Villa in the summer of 1926 and was buried with her parents rather than her husband.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

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Sarah Elizabeth Barnes; John Hatt; Sarah Hatt