CFHS code : PL476

Parish : St Paul

Inscription : EMILY  HANCOCK d May [–] 1918 aged 44

Monument : Stone cross (base only)

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Hancock monument December 2019


Roughly ten rows from the west path close to a very large headstone of the Ward family. Only the small plinth remains and only Emily’s inscription can be seen.

Inscription Although there is no visible inscription for Agnes we know she is buried here because CFHS have transcribed a copy of the grave register that was created by the sexton.

EMILY  HANCOCK d May [–] 1918 aged 44

Relationship: Sisters.  A third sister,  Jane Elizabeth is buried in the parish of St Mary The Great.

Harriet and Sarah were the daughters of Henry (1838 – 1897) and Elizabeth Jane Hancock (née Manning). Henry worked at the University Library as a  porter and doorman. We know a little of his working life as he is mentioned in the records of the library, He started work there in 1857 aged 19, when the library decided they needed a full time porter, he was selected from 10 applicants and was paid 12 shillings a week. In 1859 he was paid an extra 3 shillings a week to come into work at 9 am (we do not know what his hours were before this). As he had married the year before the money was probably very welcome. By 1866 his wage had risen to 17 shillings a week. And he finally got a £1 in 1868.  In 1874 25 shu which was increased again in1881 to 35/- in ‘consideration of his long and faithful service’. Henry’s son Henry Edward (1861) was employed as a “boy” (Junior Clerk) in when he left school c 1874 and was later promoted to second paster to work under Robert Fynn. He was paid 10/- a week but could do overtime for 6d an hour during the long vacation, and by 1881 he was earning £1 a week.. Sadly Henry Edward was forced to retire in 1883 due to poor heath. 

Henry senior continued to work as a porter but in November 1897 on the doctors recommendation the library proposed to give him a months leave and there was talk of sending him to a facility in Northampton before this was could happen he died on December 26th, aged 59. He had worked for the CUL for 40 years and they paid the rent on the house now occupied by his daughters until Michaelmas (September) 1898.

Both parents were buried in Chesterton but we have found no grave records

The girls were born and brought up in Cambridge. In 1871 the family were living in St Andrew’s Court off St Andrew’s Street but had moved to 80 Ainsworth Street by 1875. In 1879 their mother died aged 41.

Emily Sarah Hancock (1873 – 1918)

Emily was the 5th child of Henry & Elizabeth Hancock (née Manning). 

In 1895 Emily went to work as a nurse for the daughter of Col. & Mrs Asplin. She travelled to Switzerland 4 times with young Isabel Asplin who needed treatment there. In 1901 she was in Hastings with the Asplin family but may have been abroad in 1911. In 1918 she came with Isabel (now a young woman of 26)  to visit Isabel’s maternal grandparents, Rev. & Mrs Wyatt, at 5 Gresham Road. Which is where she died of pneumonia on May 16th. She was buried on May 20th aged 44. In the report of the funeral it was written 

“ ‘Rarely’, writes one who knew her, ‘does one meet with so much efficiency and trustworthiness combined with so much gentleness and unselfishness’

Her funeral was conducted at St Paul’s church by the Rev Carnegie Brown. 

Emily died at 5 Gresham Road and was buried on May 20th aged 44

Harriett Agnes Hancock (1859 – 1929)

Although there is no visible inscription for Agnes we know she is buried here because CFHS have transcribed the grave register.

Harriett was the eldest child of Henry & Elizabeth Hancock (née Manning). 

Although there is no visible inscription for Agnes we know she is buried here because CFHS have transcribed the grave register.

After her father’s death she went to live with her widowed sister, Jane Elizabeth Yorke, at 41 Canterbury Terrace, Benson St and then at 24 Bridge Street. While Jane was employed as a college bedmaker Agnes, as she now called herself, seemed to be acting as housekeeper.

Harriet died at 3 Canterbury St and was buried on August 23rd aged 70

[If you have any further information about this family, please contact us at]

By Mary Naylor  – I am indebted to Colin T Clarkson Head of Modern Research Collections & Curator of the Historical Printing Room, Cambridge University Library for his research into Henry Hancock’s and Henry Edward Hancock’s working life.

CFHS Transcripts of parish & census records
British newspaper Archive CDN May 21 1918
Minute books of the University Library Syndicate, 1852-1899 (ULIB 1/2/2-4) (manuscript);

Emily Hancock; Harriett Agnes Hancock