CFHS code : ED11

Parish : St Edward

Inscription : ARTHUR [HIC—–] remainder illegible

Monument : Plinth only

Above information from Cambridgeshire Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.203119, 0.13753971 – click here for location

Arthur Holmes monument 2017


This rustic stone plinth, of which the cross has fallen and been lost, in the parish area of St Edward, is located on the second row west of the central path, about 30 yards north of the centre circle.  The inscription is now entirely indecipherable.


[based on CFHS transcript]
Arthur [remainder illegible]

Arthur Holmes (1836-75) ‒ see a fuller life story of Arthur Holmes

Arthur Holmes was born in Shrewsbury, Shopshire on 4 August 1836 and baptised at St Chad’s Church, Shrewsbury on 8 March 1837, son of Frederick Holmes, clergyman, and his wife Anna Maria.  In 1841, when Arthur was 5, his father was priest of St Chad’s Church (see illustration), Shrewsbury, and the family lived in the Dogpole district of the town.  Arthur’s siblings included Rosamond (c.1826), Cecil (c.1828‒) and Lionel (c.1831‒), and the family had three domestic servants.  They later moved to Claremont Buildings, Shrewsbury.

St Chad’s Church, Shrewsbury

Arthur was educated at Shrewsbury School, and then went up to St John’s College, University of Cambridge (where his father had studied) in 1855.  He read Classics, gaining numerous prizes, and graduated B.A. in 1859 and M.A. in 1862.  He was elected a Fellow of St John’s 1860‒62, then a Fellow of Clare College 1864‒75.  He was ordained priest in 1861, and served as Curate of All Saints’ Church, Cambridge 1860‒61.  He was appointed Preacher at the Royal Chapel in Whitehall (London) 1869‒71.

Arthur married Eleanor Willan of Penzance, Cornwall, daughter of Leonard Richard Willan, priest, in the second quarter of 1861 in Penzance.  By 1871 the couple were living at 6 Scroope Terrace, Cambridge, and had three children, Ellen A (c.1862‒), Clara L (c.1864‒) and Emily R (c.1865‒), and had a housemaid, a cook and a lady’s maid.

Arthur had suffered from bouts of depression for some years, and on 17 April 1875 at the age of 39 he committed suicide.  His funeral service took place in Clare College Chapel on 21 April, after which a horse-drawn hearse took his coffin to Mill Road Cemetery, where his body was interred in row XXXII of the St Edward parish area, in grave 11 at a depth of 8 feet.

He left no will, so his effects, worth under £3,000, were administered to Eleanor, who returned to Cornwall with her three daughters and lived in Regent Terrace, Penzance.  She eventually emigrated with two of her daughters to Switzerland.

For a fuller account of Arthur’s life, see the life story of Arthur Holmes.

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

England census returns 1841 to 1871
England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538‒1975
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837‒1915
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837‒1915
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858‒1966
Cambridge University Alumni, 1261‒1900
Church of St Edward, Cambridge, burial register, grave book

By Ian Bent

Arthur Holmes