CFHS code : BE117
Parish : St Bene’t
Inscription : b — 187 d – Aug 1876 line illegible b ——- 1866 d D—– MARIA wife of GEORGE M—– GARRETT ———– 1842 d Oct 11 1923 two lines illegible and of HARRIET
Monument : Stone cross (broken)
Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey
Lat Lon : 52.202693, 0.13621678 – click here for location
This broken cross is located 2 rows from the west wall on the northern boundary of the parish of St. Benet’s. The parish register has been used to interpret the inscription recorded by CFHS in 2000. It is very likely that all the persons recorded below were buried within the graveset.
[EDITH MARIA] [b. — 1861 d 5 January 1865]
[JOHN GREEN [d. 1871]
HARRIET GREEN [d 2 October 1880]
[ARTHUR BEAUMONT] b —- 1866 d  December 
[HELEN DOROTHY] b [Oct] 1875 d 15 Aug 1876
[GEORGE MURSELL GARRETT]
MARIA wife of GEORGE [MURSELL] Garrett b — 1842 d Oct 11 1923
Relationship: Mother, father, daughter, son-in-law, three infant grandchildren
John Green (24 July 1802 – 14 July 1871)
John was born in London and is believed to have been the son of Richard and Rachel Green. He was baptised at St. James’ Church, Westminster on 26 July 1902 and married Harriet Wenham at St. George’s Church, Bloomsbury on 22 March 1831. The couple had at least seven children: Harriet Wenham (1832-1906), Mary Elizabeth (1835-1926), Elizabeth Offley (1837-1927), Alfred William (1829-1905), Maria (1843-1923), Catherine Anne (1844-1918) and Helen (1847-1847).
Initially they lived in London, where their first three children were born, but by 1840 they were living in Duxford where John was a grocer/draper. In 1841 they were living at the shop on Chalk Pit Street with Harriet’s mother and sister both named Elizabeth, an apprentice, Joseph Philpot, and two family servants. The family moved to Cambridge soon after the death of their youngest daughter Helen and ran a lodging house at 26 Regent Street (1851). In 1861 John was still living in Regent Street but now working as assistant curator of the Fitzwilliam Museum. He & Harriet moved to 11 Hills Road after the 1871 census and John died at home in October of that year aged 73.
Harriet Green (née Wenham) (c.1809 – 2 October 1880)
Harriet was born in Aldgate, London, the daughter of Caleb and Elizabeth (née Offley) Wenham. She was baptised on 11 June 1809 at Tadlow in Cambridgeshire (a village 12 miles south east of Cambridge). Caleb Wenham was a baker and died in May 1814. Her mother then married for a second time to baker Thomas Willson Mills.
In 1861 She and her daughter Catherine were both working as governesses at their home in Regent St.
Harriet continued to live at 11 Hills Road after John’s death and died at home aged 71 years.
George Mursell Garrett (8 June 1834 – 8 April 1897)
George was born in Winchester, and was the son of William and Ann Garrett. He was baptised on 1 July 1834. William was a school master at Winchester School and also a lay vicar. George became a chorister at New College, Oxford and was then was articled to the Winchester organist, Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1847-1854) before becoming organist of Chennai Cathedral (formerly known as Madras) (1854-1856). He was organist of St. John’s College Cambridge from 1857 to 1897, receiving his Mus.D in 1867 and his M.A. in 1878. He then succeeded John Larkin Hopkins as University organist in 1873.
George married Maria Green on 20 June 1860 at St. Benet’s Church. They lived initially on Pembroke Street (1861) before moving to 5 Parkside (at least 1871 onwards).
George was a prolific composer as well as a very talented organ player. His unique skill was said to lie in being talented at both composing and playing for the organ. In January 1895 a ceremony was held to celebrate his ‘musical jubilee’. At the ceremony it was said he had three roles within the university – composing, playing the organ and also teaching and training the St. John’s College choir. The Vice Chancellor said that ‘for the average man and woman and especially English men and women there was no instrument which touched their emotions, appealed to their imagination and which lifted their thoughts in the way the organ did’. George also gave a speech at the evening and said that he hoped his compositions ‘had the effect more of raising the people’s thoughts to the meaning of the words than of just rating the skill of the composer’. To commemorate the occasion, he was presented with a set of robes of the degree of a Doctor of Music, ‘a plain and half fluted solid silver tea and coffee service on ball feet, with a hot milk jug to match, and a solid silver salver engraved with the University and St. John’s College Arms and bearing the following inscription: ‘To George Mursell Garrett, M.A., Mus.D, Organist of the University of Cambridge and of St. John’s College, on the completion of fifty years of his musical career. From admirers of his music, colleagues in the University, and personal friends. December 1894, Presented by the Vice Chancellor’.
George also played a large role in town affairs – was a member of the Town Council for many years and member of the Cambridge Amateur Musical Society.
George was very ill at the end of his life and on 2 April the Cambridge Chronicle and Journal reported: ‘it is with regret that we have to state, after inquiry at his residence this morning, that Dr. Garrett, whose health for many months past has been in an exceedingly critical condition is slowly sinking, and little hope can now be entertained of his recovery’. He died a few days later and his funeral took place on 14 April. The Cambridge Chronicle and Journal reported the funeral in detail. The first part of the service was held at St. John’s College Chapel and it was reported that ‘every token of honour, affection and esteem was rendered to the memory of the great musical composer…(the service) was characterised by much grandeur and solemity and was attended by a very large concourse of distinguished people. The choral parts of the service were rendered with great power, beauty and feeling by the members of the three combined choirs of St. John’s, King’s and Trinity College Chapels’. The chapel was said to be full and ‘many of those who were present at the service..also went to Mill Road Cemetery so that the attendance at the ceremony of interment was also very representative of the University and Town. After the committal the choir sang ‘I heard a voice from heaven’ to music composed by George Garret himself.
George Garrett is remembered today for several Anglian chants sung to psalms in many colleges, cathedrals and churches and for the hymn tune ‘Beulah’. His numerous works for the church include six service settings, fifteen anthems, ten organ pieces and two cantatas.
Maria Garrett (née Green) (1842 – 11 October 1923)
Maria was born in Duxford and was the daughter of John and Harriet and sister of Elizabeth. Her father was a grocer/draper in Duxford, then ran a lodging house on Regent Street (1851) before becoming Assistant Curator of the Fitzwilliam Museum (1871/1881). Maria married George Garrett when she was 17 years old.
The couple had six children: Edith Maria (1861-1865), Ada Mary (1862-1946), Arthur Beaumont (1866-1866), Mabel Katherine (1874-1944) Helen Dorothy (1875-1876), and Herbert Leonard Offley (1881-1941). They lived initially on Pembroke Street (1861) before moving to 5 Parkside from at least 1871 onwards.
After she was widowed she went to live in Godalming, Surrey with her daughter Ada and her husband Charles Sylvester. Charles was school master of a boys’ Prep School and in 1901 Maria was living with them and 30 boys at the school. By 1911 she had moved to live at Elm Lea in Godalming with general servant Olive Franks. She was still living at Elm Lea in 1923 but died at St. Andrew’s Hospital in Northampton in October of that year at the age of 81.
Cambridge University Alumni Database
CFHS transcripts of Parish records
by Claire Martinsen and Mary Naylor and with thanks to P.C.E for his contribution.
[If you have any further information about this family, please contact us at Friendsofmillroadcemetery@gmail.com]