CFHS code : AG23

Parish : St Andrew the Great

Inscription : In Memory of JOSEPH GARRATT of Cambridge Solicitor d May 4 1865 aged 46

Monument : Headstone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.202793, 0.13717282 – click here for location

Garratt headstone May 2017



‘In Memory of JOSEPH GARRATT of Cambridge Solicitor Who died May 4 1865 aged 46 years’

There are further lines of text that are now illegible but may refer to his 5 year old son John who died in 1862

Joseph Garratt (c.1819 – 4 May 1865)

Joseph was bon in Lincoln, and was baptised at St Mark’s Church in Lincoln on 26 February 1819.  He was the son of yeoman John Garratt and his wife Mary.  He married Anne Oliver Ostler (1822-1865) at St George the Martyr Church in Southwark, London on 22 October 1843.  At that time he was working as an articled clerk. The couple were living in Cambridge by at least 1847.

Jospeh and Anne had at least six children: Richard (1850-), Alice (1852-1901), Grace (1855-), John (1857-1862), Mary (1858-) and Gertrude (1864-1926).  They lived at 2 Sidney Street (1847) and then  at 66 St Andrew Street (at least 1851 onwards) where Joseph worked as a solicitor.  He was appointed clerk to the Bottisham Magistrates Board in 1862, and also sat on the Cambridge Improvement Board.   His name appeared frequently in the newspapers of the time either prosecuting or defending cases in the courts. He died at his home aged 46 years old, and was reported as being ‘regretted by a large circle of friends’.

His widow Anne Garratt (née Ostler) died six weeks after her husband.  She died in Horncastle in Lincolnshire, and is buried in Holbeach.  Their five orphaned children were split and grew up with various relatives – all grew up in much reduced circumstances.


John Garratt (1857 – 2 August 1862)

John was the second son of Anne and Joseph Garratt.  He drowned aged 5 years old on Midsummer Common.  His death was reported in the Cambridge Independent Press under  the headline of ‘Distressing case of drowning’.

John had been fishing with his elder brother Richard and another boy named Barker. They went to Ditton, but did not catch any fish, and walked back past Midsummer Common where someone indicated a better fishing point. Richard reportedly told John to sit behind him as he fished the locks on the Common with Barker and another boy named Pitches.  He turned around after 15 minutes and could not find John. They alerted the sluice-keeper Mr Banham and his family.  Eventually a Monsieur Oriel, from the circus was seen walking holding a water drenched cap which belonged to John. Monsieur Oriel persuaded the boys to go home, which they did.  His father Joseph Garratt raised the alarm and the river was ‘dragged’ and John’s body was found.   Joseph was said to have been much affected by seeing the body of his young son.  An inquest was held the same day and the verdict recorded as accidental drowning.






Newspaper archives


by Claire Martinsen


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Joseph Garratt