CFHS code : HT259

Parish : Holy Trinity

Inscription : In Loving Memory of EDWIN COULSON d 25 June 1893 aged 65 also ORPAH wife of the above d 23 May 1891 interred in Norwood Cemetery

Monument : Headstone/Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Coulson headstone July 2018


Located between the south path and the south wall, six rows from the central path, in the parish area of Holy Trinity. The stone is in good condition but a few of the letters of the inscription have been dislodged.


In Loving Memory of EDWIN COULSON died 25 June 1893 aged 65 years

Also ORPAH wife of the above died 23 May 1891 interred in Norwood Cemetery

“In the midst of life we are in death”

Edwin Coulson (1829 – 25 June 1893)

Edwin was the son of Uriah and Phoebe Coulson.   He was born in Shepreth and like his father became a bricklayer.  He moved to London to follow his job, and in 1851 was living in St Pancras and in 1861 in Vine Terrace, Lambeth.

Edwin Coulson

He led the Operatives Bricklayers’ Society from 1860 – 1891.  The Bricklayers Society was a national operative trade union, but with most members in London.   Edwin Coulson was a radical leader and encouraged his union to support parliamentary candidates who were in favour of reform or represented the labour movement.  He did not however believe in any formal political involvement by trade unions.  He devoted much of his time and energy to his trade union and in 1881 served as President of the Trades Union Congress (TUC).  He lived latterly at Southwark Bridge Road, and when his wife Orpah died in 1891 he returned to Cambridge.  He died at 104 Tenison Road. He left effects of £788.

Orpah Coulson (nee Martin) (1834 – 23 May 1891)

Orpah was born in East Sussex. Little is known of her upbringing – aged 7 in 1841 she was living with the Gurr family in Hailsham, Sussex.  She married Edwin Coulson in Westminster in July 1858 and lived with him in Lambeth and Southwark Bridge Road.  She died on 23 May 1891 and was buried in West Norwood Cemetery on 28th May 1891. She was 57 years old.


By Claire Martinsen

Edwin Coulson; Orpah Coulson