CFHS code : ED148

Parish : St Edward

Inscription : side 1 FRANCIS JAMES d Dec 21 1952 aged 83 cremated at St Marylebone Crematorium side 2 In Memory of EDITH SUSAN LIAS beloved wife of the Rev JJ LIAS vicar of St Edwards Cambridge d May 26 1887 also of JOHN JAMES LIAS Chancellor of Llandaff Cathedral d March 16 1928 aged 88

Monument : Stone cross (broken)

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.20328, 0.13661078 – click here for location

Francis James Lias inscription

This grey polished granite cross on a double plinth, of which the cross has fallen, in the parish area of St Edward, is located to the west side of the western path 30 yards beyond the junction with the crosspath to the centre circle (heading north), beneath a cotoneaster tree and heavily overgrown.

[north:] Francis James died Dec 21 1952 aged 83
cremated at St. Marylebone Crematorium

[east:] In loving memory of Edith Susan Lias
beloved wife of the Rev. J. J. Lias vicar of St. Edward’s Cambridge
died May 26 1887

Also of John James Lias Chancellor of Llandaff Cathedral
died March 16 1923 aged 88 years

Relationships: Francis James was the son of John James Lias and his first wife, Edith Susan Attenborough.

Francis James Lias (1869‒1952)
Francis James Lias was born in Llandaff, Glamorgan, in Wales, on 21 May 1869, the third son of John James Lias, clergyman (see below), at the time minor canon of Llandaff Cathedral, and Edith Susan Attenborough (see below).  At the 1871 census he was living with his family, aged 1, at St Peter Street, Llandaff.  During the 1881 census he is found visiting an orphanage at 7 Maze Hill Court, Hastings, Sussex, with his mother.

The United Grand Lodge of England Freemason Membership Registers 1751‒1921 list him as a member of the Rising Sun Lodge, Kobe, Japan, from 1901, resigning in 1911, and of the Yokohama Lodge, into which he was initiated in 1895, continuing membership beyond 1921.  His absence from the England census returns for 1891, 1901 and 1911 suggests that he lived abroad for all or much of that period of his life, his profession being given as ‛merchant’.  (Already at age 29 his name appears on a passenger list from New York, arriving on the ship Umbria at Liverpool on 7 August 1896.)

Francis James married Dorothy Kensington in the second quarter of 1927 in Hampstead, Middlesex.  The couple are recorded on the 1939 register as living at 15 Elsworthy Road, Hampstead, his occupation stated as ‛stock broker’.  Francis James died on 21 December 1952 at the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, 60 Grove End Road, London NW8.  He left effects worth £33,647 15s. 4d. to his widow.  His death was announced in Andrews Newspapers as:

LIAS. ‒ On Dec. 21, 1952. FRANCIS JAMES LIAS, of 15, Elsworthy Road, N.W.3. formerly of Yokohama and Kobe, third son of the late Chancellor Lias, of Cambridge, and husband to Dorothy, in his 84th year. Valiant and uncomplaining to the end. Cremation private. Memorial service, St. Michael’s, Cornhill, Jan. 2, 1953, at 12.15 p.m.’

Edith Susan Lias (née Attenborough) (c.1845‒1887)
Edith Susan Attenborough was born c. 1845 to parents Richard, pawnbroker and silversmith, and Elizabeth.  Prior to that, in 1841, Richard’s business was on Oxford Street in London; he and Elizabeth already had four children: Mary (8), Elizabeth (6), Richard (2) and Lucy (4 months).  Two more Attenboroughs, Richard and James (perhaps nephews?), both 15, were living with the family and were apprenticed to Richard senior. The household also had three servants.

By 1851 the family was living at the house of Richard’s uncle (also Richard, likewise pawnbroker and silversmith), at Green Street House, East Ham, Essex, and children present were Mary (17), Lucy (10), Helen (8) and Edith Susan (6), with five servants, including a groom.  By 1861 the family was living at Fairlawn House, Bollow Bridge Lane, Acton, Middlesex.

Edith married John James Lias on 27 April 1865 at the Church of St John the Evangelist, Hammersmith.  The couple lived briefly in Folkestone, Kent c.1866 and in Kensington, London, c.1868, but by 1871 John had been appointed a minor canon of Llandaff Cathedral, and the family was living on St Peter Street, Llandaff, with four children, Charles R (5), William J (3), Francis James (1) (see above) and Mary Theodora (6 months). With them also was John’s widowed mother, Sarah E Lias, aged 64, and a niece, Bertha Reynolds, aged 6 (who was the sister of Leonard William Reynolds – later Sir Leonard, see below, John James Lias, final paragraph).  The household was looked after by a nurse, a nursemaid, a cook and a housemaid.

By 1881, John had been appointed vicar of St Edward’s Church, Cambridge, and he, his wife and mother, Mary Theodora, and a younger daughter, Annie E (7), were living on St Mary’s Street (or St Mary’s Gate) in the centre of the town, with a boarder and three servants.  Edith died in May 1887, aged 43, and was buried in the St Edward parish area of Mill Road Cemetery, row III, plot 6, at a depth of 10 feet on 28 May.  Since she had borne another son, Arthur Godfrey, on either 19 March or 19 May of that year, it is possible that her death occurred as a consequence of that birth.  Arthur’s baptism on 23 June must have been a melancholy occasion.

John James Lias (1834‒1923)
John James was born on 30 November 1834, his father being Charles Lias, silversmith and silverplate manufacturer, and his mother Sarah.  At the 1841 census, the couple are recorded as living at Brown Street, Shoreditch, Middlesex.  No children are listed, only three servants;  however, at the 1851 census the family, by then living at 65 Crown Street, Shoreditch, included not only John James (by then 16) but also Sarah B (14), both students.  John James was admitted to Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1853, gained his B.A. degree in 1858 and M.A. in 1861.  He was ordained deacon in the Anglican Church in 1858, and priest in 1860.

His first clerical appointment was as curate of Holy Trinity Church, Shaftesbury, in Dorset, 1858‒60.  The 1861 census shows him still living with the rector of that parish, James Jones Reynolds, and his family, in the parsonage on Bimport Street.  Ill-health forced him to withdraw from parish work for five years, after which he was appointed curate of St Mary and St Eanswythe, Folkestone, 1865‒67, then vicar of St James, Eastbury, Berkshire, 1867‒68.

John James was married for the first time to Edith Susan Attenborough on 27 April 1865 at the Church of St John the Evangelist, Hammersmith.  (Since both fathers were silversmiths in London, one wonders whether the couple had become acquainted through the trade.)  The couple’s oldest son, Charles R, was born while they were in Folkestone, and the second son, William J, in Kensington, London.

In 1868 John was appointed a minor canon of Llandaff Cathedral in Wales, a position he held until 1871, in which year the census return shows him and Edith living in St Peter Street, Llandaff with not only Charles R and William J, but also Francis James (1) (see above) and Mary Theodora (6 months), both born in Llandaff.  Theirs was a large household, with John James’s widowed mother, Sarah, aged 64, and a niece, Bertha Reynolds, aged 6 (who was the sister of Leonard William Reynolds – later Sir Leonard, see below, John James Lias, final paragraph), as well as four domestic staff.  During the 1870s he was Professor of Modern Literature at St David’s College, Lampeter.

John James was appointed vicar of St Edward’s Church, Cambridge in 1880, a post he held until 1892, living on St Mary’s Street (or St Mary’s Gate) in central Cambridge.  During that time, he delivered the Hulsean Lectures for 1883 in the Cambridge Faculty of Divinity, and was Lady Margaret Preacher in 1884.  He was also Preacher at the Chapel Royal, Whitehall, in London, 1884‒86.  In 1887, he was appointed examining chaplain to the Bishop of Llandaff, and from 1895 was chancellor of Llandaff Cathedral.

Blanche Lias (née Mortlock)

In 1887, Edith Susan died.  John James married again at the age of 55, on 13 January 1890, at St John’s Church, Paddington, his wife being Mary Blanche Mortlock, daughter of Edmund John Mortlock, banker, and his wife Mary Jane of Great Abington (a village seven miles southeast of Cambridge).  John and Mary Blanche had three children: their first son Ronald John Mortlock, educated at Marlborough College, Lieutenant in the 10th Batallion the Royal Sussex Regiment, was killed in action near Ypres on 23 February 1916, aged 26, while serving with the 9th Battalion of that regiment, and his grave is in the Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Belgium. Their second son, Edmund Thomas Mortlock Lias (1892‒1938) is buried with his wife adjacent to his mother’s grave in Little Abington; their daughter was Blanche Mortlock Lias (see below).

In 1892, John was appointed rector of the church of St Mary the Virgin, East Bergholt, in Suffolk, and he remained in that position until 1903, the 1901 census showing him and his family living in the rectory of the church.  Thereafter he was a licensed preacher in the diocese of Ely, 1903‒11.  The 1911 census shows Mary Blanche and him living with son Ronald at Bromfield, Oathill Road, Hayward’s Heath, in Sussex, and Kelly’s Directories for 1913, 1915 an 1918 show him as head of household at that same address.

Finally, the couple settled in The Lodge, Great Abington (Kelly’s Directory for 1904 shows them already at that address), where John James died on 16 March 1923.  He was buried in the same grave as Edith Susan in the St Edward parish area of Mill Road Cemetery, row III, plot 6, on 21 March.  He had written several books, including The Rector and His Friends, and Are Miracles Credible? (Hodder & Stoughton, 1883; reprinted most recently in 2017).

Mary Blanche survived her husband by almost twenty years, continuing to live at Abington Lodge, and dying in December 1942 at the age of 82.  Her body was buried in the churchyard of Little Abington.  Her will left the considerable sum of £23,775 to ‛Alice Mortlock widow, Maurice Bryan Parry-Jones solicitor, and Lady Blanche Mortlock Reynolds (wife of Sir Leonard William Reynolds Knight [British diplomat– the brother of Bertha Reynolds, who in 1871 was living with (or visiting) John James and Edith Lias in Llandaff — see above, Edith Susan Lias, paragraph 3])’.

1939 register (Francis James; Dorothy)
England census returns 1841‒1901
England & Wales census return 1911
Kell’s Directories, various between 1904 and 1918
Wales, Select Births and Baptisms, 1541‒1907 (John James; Mary Theodora)
Surrey, Church of England Marriages [sic], 1854‒1937 (Arthur Godfrey)
London, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754‒1932) (John James/Edith Susan; John James/Mary Blanche)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916‒2005 (Francis James/Dorothy)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916‒2007 (Mary Blanche; John James)
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858‒1966 (John James; Mary Blanche; Francis James)
UK, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878‒1960 (Francis James)
The United Grand Lodge of England Freemason Membership Registers 1751‒1921

Church of St Edward, Cambridge, baptismal register (Arthur Godfrey; Ronald John Mortlock; Edmund Thomas Mortlock)
Church of St Edward, Cambridge, burial register (Edith Susan; John James)
Church of St Edward, Cambridge, grave book (Edith Susan

Marlborough College Archives,WWI Roll of Honour

UK Clergy List, 1897
Cambridge University Alumni, 1261‒1900 (John James)

Communications from Louise Richardson, family member
Communications from Nic Piercy, great great nephew of Bertha and Leonard William Reynolds

By Ian Bent

Edith Susan Lias; Francis James Lias; John James Lias