CFHS code : AG384

Parish : St Andrew the Great

Inscription : In Memory of WILLIAM COX d 21st June 1871 aged 69 also SARAH COX widow of the above d Jan 25 1892 aged 78

Monument : Headstone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Cox grave
Cox headstone


This headstone, located in the parish of Andrew the Great, stands roughly 6 rows east of the west path and 3 monuments north of the east west path from the centre circle. Most of the carved inscription is still visible in the right light.


In Memory of WILLIAM COX
He entered his eternal rest on the 21st day of June 1871 aged 69 years
For whom Christ died

Also SARAH COX widow of the above
Who died Jan 25th 1892 aged 78 years

William Cox (1801 – 21 June 1871)

William was born in Cherry Hinton and baptised there on 4 October 1801. He was the son of John and Sarah and married Sarah Wilson. William was head porter at Emmanuel College and the couple lived at 21 Pembroke Street (1851), 14 Claarendon Street (at least 1855-1861) and 15 Emmanuel Street (at least 1871 onwards).

In December 1855 William was the victim of ‘a most daring and outrageous robbery’ whilst returning home from college just after ten o’clock at night. He was a few yards from his front door when ‘three men suddenly emerged from an obscure corner and tripped up his heels; one of them immediately seized him by the throat and held a handkerchief over his mouth, whilst the other two rifled his pockets of a purse containing two sovereigns and some loose silver; they then left him lying on the ground nearly suffocated’. As a result William injured his spine and was confined to bed for over a week. A similar incident took place the following week on Midsummer Common, and the Cambridge Independent Press speculated that it was the same gang of ‘ruffians’, who were probably ”ticket of leave’ gentleman, there being of that fraternity now in Barnwell no fewer than 152!’. Ticket of leave was a system of early release of prisoners from jail, and the newspaper noted that ‘it is very evident that this insane system requires a speedly alteration. The whole country appears now to be alive to its defects’.

William and Sarah looked after their neice Emma Magee, after both her parents died in 1849 and William died aged 69 years old.

Sarah Cox (née Wilson) (1813 – 25 January 1892)

Sarah was the daughter of James and Mary (neé Hopkinson) and was born in Bottisham. She was baptised there on 3 October 1813. After she was widowed she ran a Lodging House from 15 Parker Street, helped by her sister Mary Ann (1881) and then her neices Emma and Eleanor Magee (1891). She died Parker Street.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

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Sarah Cox; William Cox
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