CFHS code : ED8
Parish : St Edward
Inscription : In Remembrance of JOHN BIGGS d 2 May 1867 aged 64 also ESTHER his beloved wife d 28 Dec 1854 aged 53
Monument : Headstone
Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey
Lat Lon : 52.203118, 0.13756895 – click here for location
This elegantly shaped headstone with rounded top, with Roman and Gothic lettering, in the parish area of St Edward, is located beside central path, to the west side, about 30 yards north of the centre circle.
In remembrance of John Biggs
who died May 2nd 1867 aged 64 years
[one-line epitaph, illegible]
Also of Esther his beloved wife
who died December 28th 1854 aged 53 years
Father into Thy hands I commend my spirit.
John Biggs (c.1803‒67)
John was born in Cambridge c.1803 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge on 1 September 1803, son of Andrew Biggs, hairdresser of Market Street (in the town centre), and his wife Elizabeth. He had at least seven siblings: Edward Andrew (c.1801‒), Mary Dean (c.1805‒), William Harrison (c.1807‒), James Daniel (c.1809‒10), Ann (c.1810‒), Robert (c.1813‒), all baptized at Holy Trinity, and Margaret (c.1814‒).
John married Esther Aves (or Avis, or Eves or Eaves) in Teversham on 26 March 1822. By 1841 the couple were living in Hobson Street; like his father, John was a hairdresser; Esther’s sister Ann was living with them, her occupation given as ‛F[emale] S[ervant]’. By 1851 they were in Wheeler Street, and John’s occupation had changed to ‛publican’. Ann was still living with them, as was another sister, Margaret Challice, who had in the meantime been married to Robert Fuller and then widowed, and also her son Alfred, and a niece, Selina Biggs, who at 16 was a ‛hat trimmer’. Ann and Margaret are each given as ‛assistant in the house’ (presumably meaning, or including, the public house).
Esther died in 1853, and by 1861 John was living at 78 King Street (all these addresses are in the town centre), his occupation now being ‛hairdresser & ginger beer manufacturer’. Ann, Margaret and Alfred were still living with him, Ann now a ‛college bedmaker helper’, Margaret the housekeeper, and Alfred a shoemaker.
John died on 2 May 1867 aged 64, and was buried in Mill Road Cemetery on the 7th of that month, in row XXXIII of the St Edward parish area, in plot 11 at a depth of 7 feet. His will left effects valued at less than £200, his executrix being Selina Biggs Aves. (King Street was in the parish of All Saints, but John was buried in the same grave as Esther, who had died while they were living in Wheeler Street, which was in the parish of St Edward.)
Esther Biggs (née Aves) (c.1801‒53)
Esther (or Hesther) Aves (or Avis, Eves, or Eaves) was born c.1800 or 1801 in Teversham, a village 3 miles southwest of Cambridge, and baptised at All Saints’ Church, Teversham on 8 March 1801, daughter of Jacob, bricklayer, and Ann (died 1839). Her siblings included Mary (bapt 1793, died 1815), Robert (bapt 1798, died 1837), Ann (c.1812‒) Margaret Challice (at whose marriage to Samuel Fuller on 8 July 1828 John Biggs was a witness), and several others who died in infancy.
Esther married John Biggs at All Saints Church, Teversham, on 26 March 1822 (with Robert Aves as witness). There is no evidence in the baptismal registers of either All Saints, Teversham or Holy Trinity, Cambridge that Esther had children. By 1841 the couple were living in Hobson Street, Cambridge, with Esther’s sister Ann, John being a hairdresser. Ten years later Margaret Challice, now widowed, and her son Alfred, were living with them as well, and John and Esther were publicans in Wheeler Street.
Esther died on 28 December 1854 aged 53, and was buried in Mill Road Cemetery on 2 January 1855 (her address still given as Wheeler Street) in row XXXIII of the St Edward parish area, at a depth of 8 feet. John outlived her by over twelve years.
[If you have any information about these persons, please contact us at Friendsofmillroadcemetery@gmail.com]
England census returns 1841, 1851, 1861
England, Select Marriages, 1538‒1973 (John/Esther)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837‒1915 (John, Esther)
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858‒1966 (John)
All Saints Church, Teversham baptismal (Esther, siblings), marriage (John/Esther) and burial (Esther’s siblings and mother) registers
Church of St Edward, Cambridge burial register (Esther), grave book (Esther, John)
Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge baptismal (John, siblings), banns (John/Esther), marriage (Mary Dean),and burial (James Daniel) registers
Information from Mary Naylor
By Ian Bent