CFHS code : AL152

Parish : St Andrew the Less

Inscription : ALICE the beloved wife of EDWARD BUTLER who fell asleep in Jesus December 14 1900 aged 51 also of EDWARD BUTLER b Aug 1st 1845 d April 23rd 1908

Monument : Headstone/Kerb stones

Above information amended from Cambridge Family History Society Survey



Alice Butler (née Erswell) (1849 – 14 December 1900)

Alice was born in Saffron Walden, the daughter of George and Susan (née Turner) Erswell. The family lived at Gold Street in the town, and her father was a domestic groom/coachman. Aged 11, Alice was working as a domestic servant.  She married Edward Butler in Saffron Walden on 2 May 1870. Edward worked as a railway engine driver and they lived in Saffron Walden for the early part of their marriage before moving to 45 Kingston Street by at least 1891.  Alice died at home aged 51 years old.

Edward Butler (1 August 1845 – 23 April 1908)

Edward was born in Cambridge and was the son of William and Elizabeth (née Dickerson). William was a railway labourer, Elizabeth was a laundress and the family lived at 17 Little St. Mary’s Lane (1851) and then Cooks Cottages, near Hills Road (1861).  Edward worked on the railway from at least the age of 15. After he was widowed he lived with his neice Ellen Butler at Kingston Street.

Edward was found drowned in the  Hobson’s Stream, Trumpington – a ‘brook which runs by the side of the University polo field’.  He was 62 years old and the inquest heard that he had been ill for some weeks and had not been at work.  Edward had not left the house for a month and was reported to be depressed. A work colleague told the inquest ‘he had hoped to keep at his work until he was 65 and so get a full pension, but he found he was not able to do so, and on March 18 he applied to go on the reduced pension list. With the object of getting on that list it was arranged that he should go to London to see a doctor on April 2nd, but owing to illhealth he could not do so, and he was summoned to up on the 23rd. Witness had not seen him for a month or five weeks. When he last saw him he was looking very worried’. The jury returned a verdict of ‘suicide during temporary insanity’.



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by Claire Martinsen

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Alice Butler; Edward Butler
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