CFHS code : AG427

Parish : St Andrew the Great

Inscription : To the Memory of FRANCES BAYS relict of JAMES BAYS d 10 April 1856 aged 83 also MARY ANN youngest daughter of above d 14 Aug 1878 in the 65th year of her age

Monument : not described

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Bays headstone 2017


This headstone, in the parish area of St Andrew the Great, is located three rows east of the western path, about 10 yards north of the cross-path to the centre circle.  It is entirely covered by a very large laurel tree and not easily accessed.

There are four graves in the St Edward area for the Bays family: Charles Frederick Bays, Charles and Mary Bays, Emmeline and William Bays and Agnes Mary Bays.


To the memory of Frances Bays relict of James Bays
who died April 10 1856 in the 83rd year of her age

Also Mary Ann youngest daughter of the above
who died August 14th 1878 in the 65th year of her age

Frances Bays (née Grain) (c.1772-1856)

Frances was baptised on 2 August 1772 in Horningsea, Cambridgeshire, daughter of Thomas and Sarah Grain.  Nothing is currently known of her childhood.

Frances married James Bays, hatter of Cambridge, in Horningsea on 16 October 1798.  The couple had at least eight children: Sarah Grain (c.1801‒), James Scot (c.1801‒), Mary Ann (c.1802‒03), Charles (1804‒77),  Thomas (b 1807), Frances (b 1809), Thomas Grain Twight (b 1810) and Marianne (1814‒78) (see below).  In the 1810s James and Frances were living on Trumpington Street, where James had his hat-making business.

At some point in the following 30 years James moved the business to King’s Parade (in central Cambridge, opposite the front of King’s College and close to St Edward’s Church), for at his death in 1840 aged 63 that was given as his address.  Subsequent to that, his son Charles took over the business and ran it until his death in 1877, after which it passed down through the family until after the Second World War.

Frances died in April 1856, and her body was buried on the 15th of that month in Mill Road Cemetery, in the parish area of St Andrew the Great.  At the time of death she was living in  Regent Street, in central Cambridge.

Mary Ann Bays (c.1814-1878)

Mary Ann (or Marianne) was born in 1813 or 1814 in Cambridge, and baptised at the church of St Edward on 19 June 1814, daughter of James Bays, hatter of Trumpington Street, and his wife Frances (see above).  Nothing is currently known of her childhood.

In 1841, a Marianne Bayes was living at Church Farm, Babraham, a village 7 miles southeast of Cambridge, working as a ‛female servant’ for Jonas and Mary Webb and their six young children.  By 1851 she was living with her widowed mother Frances in Regent Street, Cambridge, and with three nieces, Margaret B, Maria B and Julia (all born in Southampton), who were being home-schooled, presumably by Mary Ann herself, whose occupation is recorded as ‛governess’.

Her father died in 1840, and her mother in 1856.   In 1861 she was lodging at a house in Regent Street owned by Richard Wilion(?) Smyth, grocer; her occupation was again recorded as ‛governess’, and living with her was a cousin, Mary Caroline Bays, aged 23.  Attempts to find her on the 1871 census return have so far been unsuccessful.

Mary Ann died in August 1878 aged 64, and her body was buried on the 17th of the month in Mill Road Cemetery, in the parish area of St Andrew the Great.  Her address at the time of death was Regent Street.  (Cousin Mary Caroline is recorded as having also been buried in that parish area the following year on 12 December, aged 42, and her address is given as 8½ Regent Street.  No inscription is listed for her by the CFHS.)

[If you have any information about these two persons or other members of their family, please contact us at]

England census returns 1841 to 1871
England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538‒1975 (Frances)
England & Wales, Christening Index, 1530‒1980 (Frances)
England, Select Marriages, 1538‒1915 (James/Frances)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837‒1915 (Frances)
Church of St Edward, Cambridge, burial register (James)
Church of St Edward, Cambridge, baptismal register (Sarah Grain; James Scot; Mary Ann; Charles; Thomas; Frances; Thomas Grain Twight; Marianne)
Church of St Andrew the Great, Cambridge, burial register (Frances; Mary Ann; Mary Caroline)

By Ian Bent



Frances Bays; Mary Ann Bays