CFHS code : BE43
Parish : St Bene’t
Inscription : In Loving Memory of BENJAMIN BROWN d April 16 1877 aged 58 also of REBECCA ANN widow of the above d Jan 21 1907 aged 84 also of ALICE daughter d May 28 1931 aged 77
Monument : Stone cross (base only)/Kerb stones
Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey
Benjamin Brown (1818 – 16 April 1877)
Benjamin was born in Clare, Suffolk and was the son of Edward and Elizabeth. He was baptised on 30 Auguust 1818 in Clare and worked as a school teacher. He married Rebecca Courtney on 19 August 1848 in Worthing, Sussex. and they had at least six children: Edward Wallace (1850-1935), Edith Elizabeth (1852-1940), Alice (1853-1931), Florence (1855-1932), Emily Mary (1858-1860) and Charles Ernest (1858-1940). In 1851 they were living in Worthing where Benjamin ran a school from Wortley House on the HIgh Street.
In 1858 Benjamin became the new master of the Cavendish Grammar School in Cavendish, Suffolk. The Suffolk and Essex Free Press reported from the school at the end of the year ‘everyone semed so thoroughly satisfied with the system of the newly appointed master…whose ability and cleverness in school management and his attention to his duties has made a marked impression upon the govenernor and feoffee whose choice agurs well for the success of our school’. However three years later the school went into receivership and as a result the contents were sold in May 1861 to pay creditors. The sale consisted of all the family’s private furniture (including handsome window curtains, 4 lounge chairs in Morocco, chintz furniture and bedding) as well as the school effects (800 volumes of books, valuable case of maps, 32 iron bedsteads and bedding, 50 pairs of blankets). The auctioneer advertised the sale as ‘the above house and school furniture has been purchased new, regardless of expense within the last three years, and will be sold without reserve’.
It is not know what happened to Benjamin after he left Cavendish and he is believed to have died in Southwark, London in April 1877.
Rebecca Ann Brown (née Courtney) (c.1823 – 21 January 1907)
Rebecca was born in Brighton and aged 17 was living in Worthing and working for stationer Ann Carter as a library assistant. She married Benjamin Brown in 1848 when she was c.25 years old.
In 1871 she was living apart from her husband and working as a domestic nurse in Eastbourne – she was marked on the census records as being widowed. She then moved to live at 33 Trumpington Street with children Alice and Charles and was working as a ‘registering officer’ (believed to be a job linked to Addenbrooke’s Hospital). She later lived at 40 Norfolk Terrace by herself and died aged 84 years old.
Alice Brown (1853 – 28 May 1931)
Alice was born in Worthing and baptised there on 7 September 1853. In 1871 she was living in Hastings and working as a lady’s maid to Sophia Purkis. She later became a dressmaker and lived with her mother at Trumpington Street (1881) and then Bodger’s Passage, 12a Sidney Street (1901). She lived at the Storey’s Almshouses on Shelley Row from at least 1911 onwards and died there in 1931.
by Claire Martinsen
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