Charles Cooper Carter (c.1835‒1916) was a member of the Cambridge Borough Police Force from 1859 to 1895. — Three of Charles’s brothers, and two of his nephews served also as policemen.

Charles was born c.1835 in the village of Melbourn (southwest of Cambridge). He was the eldest child of John Carter (1810‒82) and Rebecca Cooper (1814‒87), both of them life-long Melbourn residents. Charles was baptised in Melbourn on 9 August 1835. Charles had four brothers and four sisters. In 1851 he was still living in the village, working as an agricultural labourer.

On 9 June 1855, he married Ann Bryant at St Mary’s Church, Islington, London. The couple lived at 9 Bath Place, Islington (now demolished), Charles working as a coachman. In 1859 Charles joined the Cambridge Borough Police Force, and in 1861 the couple were living at 9 Downing Lane (or Place), Cambridge, Charles having the rank of police constable. He remained at that address into the 1890s. Ann died in 1884 at the age of 60. Charles and Ann had three children: Matilda Anne (1857‒1915, buried elsewhere in this cemetery), Augusta Jane (1858‒1930), and Alice Bryant (buried in this grave).

In 1885 Charles married again ‒ to Mary Ann Watson (c.1846‒1905). They lived at 9 Downing Place until at least 1891. Charles retired from the police force in 1895, and by 1901 the couple were living at 56 Mawson Road (Petersfield), Cambridge. In 1905 Mary Ann died.

In 1906 Charles married for a third time ‒ to Ann Taylor Dawkins of Exning, Suffolk. By 1911, they were living at 62 Newmarket Road, Cambridge. Charles died on 29 December 1916, aged 82, and Ann Taylor Carter died a few weeks later. Charles was buried in Mill Road Cemetery on 2 January 1917, with family and members of the police force in attendance. In the report of his funeral, his rank is given as detective sergeant.

Charles Cooper Carter funeral report

Carter brothers c 1897
Carter brothers c 1897

Charles had four brothers. Of these, three served in the Cambridge Borough Police Force: Frederick Cooper Carter (1841‒1927), Samuel Cooper Carter (1843‒1914) and William Carter (1848‒1938). A photograph of the four men exists, taken c.1897. On the photograph is written:

Charles Cooper Carter: joined 1859, retired 1895
Frederick Cooper Carter: joined 1859, retired 1870
William Carter: joined 1867, retired 1897
Samuel Carter: joined 1863, retired 1895
Between them served 110 years in the Borough of Cambridge Police Force


Cambridge Borough Police Force 1865
Cambridge Borough Police Force 1865

Three of the brothers can also be seen in the large group photograph of the police force from 1865 ( Charles Carter is front row, second from left; Samuel Carter back row, third from left; Frederick Carter is back row, fourth from right). The only brother not to become a policeman was John Cooper Carter (1836‒1901). However, one of John’s sons, John Carter (1875‒1925), joined the City of London Police Force; and another, Arthur Carter (1867‒19??) served in the Metropolitan Police Force in Leyton, Essex.


Carter grave
Carter monument




Parish : St Andrew the Great

See family grave page for more information






Stearn grave
Stearn monument




Parish : Holy Trinity

See family grave page for more information






Census reports 1851‒1911

By Iain Mills (with Ian Bent)

Charles Cooper Carter