CFHS code : ML37

Parish : St Mary the Less

Inscription : Revd BENJAMIN WRIGGLESWORTH BEATSON MA Senior Fellow Pembroke College d July 20 1874

Monument : Cruciform Coped stone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.202772, 0.13781577 – click here for location

Beatson grave
Beatson monument



Reverend Benjamin Wrigglesworth Beatson (24 January 1803 – 20 July 1874)

Benjamin was born at Pancras Lane in London.  He was the son of  cloth merchant Anby Beatson and his wife Joanna (née Wrigglesworth]) His birth was registered on the non-conformist and non-paroachial register on 15th February 1803, in a document signed by the two women (Elizabeth Read and Ann Gawthorn) who had been present at his birth.  He went to school at Mill Hill School and then Merchants Taylors.

He went up to Pembroke College, Cambridge on 23rd June 1821, got his BA in 1825 (16th Wrangler, and 6th Classic), and his MA in 1828.  He was a Fellow of the College from 1827 – 1874.  He was a classical scholar, who compiled two of the three volumes of the’ Index in Tragicos Geaecos’ (published 1830). He was ordained as a deacon in 1828, and as a priest on 6th June 1835.

In 1841 he was living at Mint Yard within the Archbishops Palace at Canterbury with his mother.  She died in 1845 in Canterbury, and he was still resident in Canterbury in 1847.  By 1851 he was living back at Pembroke College, and is shown as a Fellow and clergyman without cure of souls (effectively a clergyman with no parish).

His name appears at various times in newspaper articles of the time – mainly in relation to his work at the University.   In 1870 he donated £5 to a special fund organised by the Cambridge Board of Education. In January 1870 he was part of a University open letter which was signed by many of the University Fellows:

UNIVERSITY TESTS.  Cambridge. Jan. 7, 1870. 

“We, the undersigned resident Heads, resident Fellows or ex-Fellows of Colleges. Professors, and officers of the University of Cambridge, or of some College thereof, are opposed to any enactment for relaxing of Religious Tests in the University and Colleges which fails to secure the religious character and worship of those institutions in connexion with the  Church of England”

The census of 1871 show him as a visitor to his brother Anby at 8 Princes Street in Margate. Benjamin on this census is described as ‘President of Pembroke College Cambridge’ although it not known in what capacity.  He died at his home at 14 Charles Street, Old Street, London.  He was buried at Mill Road Cemetery on 25th July.  He left an estate valued at under £16,000 (c£1.7m at 2018 values) and was a benefactor to Pembroke College.



Newspaper archives

Cambridge Alumni database

by Claire Martinsen

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Benjamin Wrigglesworth Beatson