CFHS code : CL124

Parish : St Clement

Inscription : MISERERE MEI DOMINE SUNTLACRIMAE RERUM ET MENTEM MORTELIA ANGUNT ABEL WARDLAW BEST 1859-1941

Monument : Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.202547, 0.13833181 – click here for location

Best kerb stones November 2018

Monument

In the parish area of St Clement, these kerb stones are under a large buddleia tree, three rows east of the  east path.

Inscription

MISERERE MEI DOMINE

SUNT LACRIMAE RERUM ET MENTEM MORTALIA TANGUNT

ABEL WARDLAW BEST 1859-1941

Translates as “Have mercy on me oh Lord,
There are tears for things, and mortal things touch the mind” from Book 1 of the Aeneid

Abel Wardlaw Best (1859-1941)

Abel was born in Agra, the son and grandson of the Barbudan Sugar Plantation Slave owners.

He was sent by his parents to Scotland, to be educated, but in 1876 he is recorded as being promoted to the rank of midshipman in the Royal Navy Reserves.  Aged 20, he is a second mate in the Merchant Marine.

He married Phoebe Jeanette Baker, daughter of Robert William Baker and Maria Clerk, in Hong Kong on 15 April 1889.  Abel was working for The Taikoo Sugar Company. The couple never had any children.

In 1905 Abel had moved to New York, Phoebe joining him in 1906.  They then moved to California and are recorded as living at 251 Winston Street, Los Angeles.  In 1907 Abel became a naturalised US citizen.  In 1917 Abel is recorded as working as a Rancher.  Sometime between 1917 and 1920 he and Phoebe divorced, Abel first working at the Harvard Military School and returning to sea after 1920.

He returned to England from Hong Kong on 19 August 1932, dying nine years later on 3rd February 1941, leaving £101 in his will.

Abel died at the Grove nursing home at the age of 82.
For a fuller version of Abel and Phoebe’s lives, please follow the link below.

[If you have any further information about this person, please contact us at Friendsofmillroadcemetery@gmail.com]

Sources:

CFHS transcript of St Clement’s Burial Register

Taboo and The Honourable East India Company

by Mary Naylor, Ian Bent and Sheila Plaister

Abel Wardlaw Best