CFHS code : HT328

Parish : Holy Trinity

Inscription : overgrown —- [ERNEST CHARLES] NEAVES d August _ 1907 aged 11

Monument : Stone cross/Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey



Ernest Charles Neaves (1896 – August 1907)

Ernest was the youngest child of John and Sarah (née Strange) Neaves and grew up at 40 King Street. His father was a groom/coachman and his mother a college servant.

He was said to be ‘very clever at drawing having taken several prizes for drawing’.  On 9 April 1907 he was returning home from school when someone bet him that he could not draw a butcher boy who was passing.  Ernest draw out a piece of chalk and drew the butcher boy on a wall belonging to his aunt, Jessie Wright at 74 King Street.  Unfortunately the drawing strayed by one brick on to the neighbouring house (76 King Street) owned by Thomas Mansfield. Thomas was furious and took hold of Ernest and shook him.  When his mother was told of the incident she went to investigate and found Thomas still shaking her son.  According to Sarah’s testimony at court  ‘She went up to him and laying her hand on his shoulder, said ‘You wicked man, what are you shaking my boy like that for?’ Mansfield thereupon released his hold of the boy, and smacked Mrs Neaves in the face with the back of his hand and then knocked her down with his fist. Her dress was spoilt and she was picked up by a neighbour and taken indoors’.  Thomas Mansfield gave evidence that he had seen Ernest Neaves ‘drawing an objectionable figure on the wall’. When asked in court why the figure was objectionable he said he found all drawings on his wall to be objectionable and when he had questioned him, Ernest had started to cry.  ‘Whereafter his mother came out and said ‘How dare you touch my boy’. She then slapped his face and said she would  shake his liver out.  Witness loosened her grasp on his throat and pushed her from him with his open hand. She fell down and as there had been some rain she got in rather a mess. He denied that he struck Mrs Neaves; she did not want much pushing to fall down, as she smelt very strongly of drink’.  Each party accused each other of assault at court.  Thomas Mansfield was found guilty and fined 10s and costs. Sarah Neaves was found not guilty and the case was dismissed.

Ernest’s seventeen year old sister Jessie Neaves was then summoned ‘for using obscene language on Christ’s Pieces’.  Thomas Mansfield alleged that Jessie Neaves had ‘abused him threatening that if he came out of doors she would give him a hiding’.  However the case was dismissed as ‘there was only one word used which could come under the category of obscene’ and the witness testimonies did not match.

Ernest died at King Street later the same year aged 11 years old and was buried at Mill Road Cemetery on 8 August 1907.



Newspaper archives

Parish burial records transcribed by CFHS

by Claire Martinsen

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

Ernest Charles Neaves