CFHS code : AL268

Parish : St Andrew the Less

Inscription : In Loving Memory of PHOEBE KIRKUP d Mar 28 1903 aged 55 GEORGE KIRKUP d Jun 26 1926 aged 82

Monument : Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Kirkup kerb stones June 2020


This set of kerb stones located in the parish of St Andrew the Less is hidden in trees close to the east wall and not far from the end of the path that runs from the centre circle. The kerb stones and corner stones are still intact and the inscription legible.


In Loving Memory of our
PHOEBE KIRKUP  died March 28th 1903 aged 55 years

GEORGE KIRKUP died June 26th 1926 aged 82 years

Phoebe Kirkup (née Rumbelow) (1846 – 28 March 1903)

Phoebe was born in Isleham, a village eight miles from Ely and baptised there on 4 March 1849 when she was 2 years old.  She was the daughter of Parson and Mary Ann Rumbelow and her father was an agricultural labourer. By the age of 14 she was living in Cambridge and working as a domestic servant for Thomas Peach, who was the Butler at St. John’s College. She married George Kirkup on 10 February 1868 at St. Giles’ Church and the couple had at least eleven children: George Harvey (1868-1949), Harry (1870-1923), Alice (1873-), Florence Elizabeth (1875-1940), Ellen Rebecca (1877-1968), Lilly Sarah (1879-1936), Annie Amelia (1881-1975), Mary Elizabeth (1883-1932), Lucy Violet May (1883-1884), Lucy Margaret (1886-1958) and Catherine Mackay (Kate) (1887-1951).  George worked as a plumber’s labourer and turncock for the Cambridge fire brigade, and the family lived at 4 Millers Passage (1871), 19 Trinity Place (1881) and then 70 King Street (1891/1901).

By 1903 however Phoebe was living at 12 Salmon Lane, Fair Street on her own. She sometimes did factory work, and also worked as a char-woman. She was found dead on Monday 30 March and there was a subsequent inquest into her death.  She was reported to be ‘of somewhat irregular habits’ and George reported that she had been a heavy drinker on and off. On the Saturday night she had been drunk and had fallen in the street. Her daughter Kate had helped her home and laid her on the sofa.  Kate testified that ‘it was not the first, second or third time (she) had seen the deceased in such a condition so that it did not excite her attention particularly’. Phoebe was not seen on the Sunday, and a worried neighbour entered the house on Monday to find her lying dead on the living room floor. The inquest returned a verdict ‘to the effect that the decreased died from syncope due to alcoholic poisoning and that she was suffering from acute alcoholism’.

George Kirkup (1843 – 26 June 1926)

George was the son of  Henry and Rose Kirkup, but they both died when he was c.6 years old.  He was then raised by his aunt and uncle – John and Martha Kirkup on King Street. Aged 18 he was living at 28 Clarendon Street and was an apprentice to baker David Fletcher and he later became a plumber’s assistant.

In 1911 he was living at 7 Fair Street with daughters Kate and Mary and was described as an inspector of the Cambridge Water Works.  He died aged 83 years old.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

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George Kirkup; Phoebe Kirkup
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