CFHS code : AL166a

Parish : St Andrew the Less

Inscription : RICHARD BRETT departed this life 7th January 1863 aged 78

Monument : Headstone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.203454, 0.137871 – click here for location

The headstone in 2015


This headstone is located in the parish of St Andrew the Less 2 rows east of the central path not far from the Gwydir St gate. In 2021 the inscription was covered by ivy.


RICHARD BRETT departed this life 7th January 1863 aged 78 years

Richard Brett (c.1785 – 7 January 1863)

Richard was the son of William and Mary  and was baptised at All Saints’ Church on 27 January 1785. William Brett (1763-1813) was butler at Jesus College, and Richard succeeded him to the position. In August 1820 he placed newspaper adverts having lost a ‘gold watch chain with gold seal and key’.  The advert appealed to watchmakers, silver smiths, pawnbrokers and others and said that the ‘seal is very large, with a coat of arms, crest a sheep, the cornelian injured at one corner’.  A reward of 2 guineas was offered for its safe return.

Richard retired in 1840 and was succeeded by Richard Rowe, assistant Library keeper at the University Library.  He went to live at 10 Brunswick Walk,  where the census of 1851 he was described as a retired college butler, and in 1861 as a proprietor of houses. He died at home aged 78 years old. After his death the leases of  various properties that Richard held was auctioned.  All the property had been leased from St. Peter’s College from 1833 for a term of 40 years, and in February 1863 were said to be worth £180 per annum in rent.   They included 7-9 Brunswick Place, Smyth’s Scholastic Establishment, 1-2 Brunswick Walk, 9-10 Brunswick Walk and a ‘large walled in garden with two summer houses, gardener’s cottage and outbuildings’, also located at Brunswick Walk.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

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Richard Brett