CFHS code : BE18

Parish : St Bene’t

Inscription : In Loving Memory of A—- [TURNER] line illegible also ANNA MARIA ——- aged 71 also the Reverend SAMUEL SAVAGE LEWIS MA FSA Fellow and Librarian of Corpus Christi College b July 13 1836 d Mar 31 1891 and of his wife AGNES SMITH LEWIS LLD b 11 January 1843 d 26 March 1926

Monument : Column/Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.202459, 0.13725923 –  click here for location

Lewis grave – letter square
Lewis grave


Tall column surmounted by Celtic cross, on a two-tier pedestal, with kerb stones, the column elaborately carved and faceted on all four faces. The monument, in the parish area of St Bene’t,  was carved by the Cambridge stonemason J Wiles.


on the east face of the column:
partway up, in Irish insular script, arranged as a lettersquare

‘samuel | agnes’

at base of column:

‘In loving memory’

on the pedestal, upper tier:

‘of the Reverend Samuel Savage Lewis MA FSA’
Fellow and Librarian of Corpus Christ College
born July 13 1836 died Mar 31 1891′

on the pedestal, lower tier:

‘and of his wife Agnes Smith Lewis LLD
born 11 January 1843 died 26 March 1926’

Samuel Savage Lewis,MA (Cantab), FSA (1836-91) – see also Life Story page

Samuel was born at Spital Square, Bishopsgate, London. He was educated at the City of London School, then entered St John’s College, Cambridge, as a pensioner in 1854. His studies were interrupted by poor eyesight and he moved to Canada, farming from 1857-60. In 1864, with his sight improved through several operations, he re-entered St John’s College, moving in 1865 to Corpus Christi College.

Lewis married Agnes Smith on 12 December 1887, and they lived, along with Agnes’s twin sister, first in Harvey Road, then, from March 1890, at ‘Castlebrae’, Chesterton Lane. Lewis died suddenly, apparently of heart failure, on a train near Oxford, in 1891.

Agnes Smith Lewis, PhilD (Halle), LLD (St Andrews), DD (Heidelberg), LittD (Dublin) (1843-1926)

Agnes Smith Lewis (née Smith) and her twin sister, Margaret Dunlop Gibson (née Smith) were biblical scholars and pioneers in the Presbyterian Church of England. In 1899 they purchased a site at the north end of the Backs in Cambridge from St John’s College, and endowed Westminster College, Cambridge, which had been founded in London in 1844, with that land.

Before her marriage to Samuel Savage Lewis in 1887, Agnes had written travel books and a novel. Already fine linguists, the two sisters mastered the Syriac and Arabic languages as well as Hebrew and ancient and modern Greek. They were well travelled in the Middle East, and in 1892 discovered a manuscript of the four gospels in Syriac dating from the 4th century. Between 1894 and 1913 Agnes published this translation of the four gospels, compiled a catalogue of ancient Syriac manuscripts on Mount Sina, compiled a Palestinian Syriac Lectionary, and wrote several other scholarly works.

documents in Corpus Christi College Library (Samuel)
Janet Soskice: Sisters of Sinai (London: Chatto & Windus, 2009) (Agnes)

By Gill Cannell, Sub-Librarian, Parker Library (Samuel Savage Lewis)

Agnes Smith Lewis; Samuel Savage Lewis