CFHS code : MG27

Parish : St Mary the Great

Inscription : Sacred to the Memory of FRANCIS FREDERIC RANSOM d March [1]9 1861 in the 34th year of his age leaving a wife and two children to lament their loss also of my dear husband JOHN RUSSELL MAZE d Feb 20 1901 aged 78 also of HELEN HERIOTT MAZE d Aug 26 1910 aged 82

Monument : Headstone

Above information amended from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Maze and Ransom grave
Maze and Ransom headstone


The headstone faces into an evergreen bush, four rows east of the central path. The grave register places it next to Boul, in the north of the parish.


Sacred to the Memory of FRANCIS FREDERIC RANSOM who departed this life March 19 1861 in the 34th year of his age
Leaving a wife and two children to lament their loss 

Also of my dear husband JOHN RUSSELL MAZE who died Feb 20 1901 aged 78 

‘Weep no more though ye wept  so sore..
For the  Lord … in the Father ……..
Though thou dost …. ….. on .. Cherished ..
His soul is in Jesus’ hand’

Also of HELEN HERIOT MAZE Who died Aug 26 1910 aged 82

Relationships: Wife, first husband, second husband

Francis Frederic Ransom (Frank)(1827 – 19 March 1861)

Frank was the son of George and Sarah (née Moore) Ransom and grew up on Trinity Street where his father was a master tailor and robe maker.  Aged 23 (1851) he was living at the family home and working as an auctioneer’s clerk.  He married Helen Purvis at St. Mary the Great Church on 7 October 1852 and they had two children: Frank Purvis (1853-1908) and Helen Maria (1855-1944).  By the time he died he was working as an accountant, and died at Magdalene Street after a ‘lingering illness’.

John Russell Maze (c.1822 – 20 February 1901)

John was born in Barkway in Hertfordshire, a village five miles south east of Royston and was baptised there on 16 February 1926. He was the son of John and Amy Maze, and by the time he was 24 (1851) was living at 9 Peas Hill, where he worked as draper’s assistant in the store of draper William Wallis.  In 1861 he was still working as a draper and lodging with William and Mary Haslop at 3 Clarendon Street.  He married widow Helen Ransom in 1870.

In 1871 he was running a drapers shop at 5 Market Hill.  In July 1873 however he placed adverts announcing that he was leaving the premises and as a result was selling off the stock at ‘greatly reduced prices’.  The stock was said to be ‘linens, sheeting, calico, dimity ticks, huckerbacks, prints, collars, laces, flowers, bonnets, hats, gloves, umbrellas, corsets, ribbons, scarfs, counterpanes, jackets’ etc.  The stock clearance carried on through October 1873 when he was still placing adverts.  In January 1874 S. Ballard announced that he had bought the entire stock for £700, 15s 4d which was said to be less than half of the cost price and would sell the stock for much reduced prices from Alexandra House’.

John and Helen then moved to Brighton, where they were running a lodging house in 1881.  They then returned to Cambridge in 1888 to live at 2 Benet Street where John worked as ‘the collector of the Corn Exchange dues’ for the Town Council. He was still in post in 1898, but the couple then retired to live at 7 Royal Albert Homes on Hills Road.  John died there in 1901 aged 78 years old.

Helen Heriot Maze (née Purvis) (26 March 1827 – 26 August 1910)

Helen was born in London and baptised at St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden on 22 April 1827.  She was baptised Helen Harriet, but over time she changed her name to Helen Heriot. She was the daughter of George and Maria (née Payne) Purvis, and the family moved to Cambridge in 1831 where George was a shoemaker/retailer.  She went to boarding school at Heath House school in Newmarket and then lived at St. Mary’s Street with her parents before marrying Frank Ransom in 1852.

Just one week after Frank’s death on 23 March 1861 she placed an advert in the Cambridge Chronicle and Journal announcing ‘Mrs Francis Ransom begs to inform her friends that she has removed to 32 Castle-street where she hopes to meet her pupils on Monday, the 25th inst. Mrs R. will be happy to receive a limited number of Young Ladies, either as Weekly or Quarterly Boarders’.   She married for a second time in 1870.

Helen died at Brooklands, 38 College Avenue in Maidenhead at the home of her daughter Helen Maria Sibley (née Ransom). She was buried at Mill Road Cemetery on 30 August 1910.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

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Helen Heriot Maze; John Russell Maze; Francis Frederic Ransom