CFHS code : PL92

Parish : St Paul

Inscription : ALICE wife of CHARLES PENSON b March 4 1786 d May 19 1852 also CHARLES husband of the above b Sep 12 1786 d Jan 26 1868 and CHARLES son of the above d Nov 22 1875 age 58

Monument : Headstone

Above information amended from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Penson headstone December 2017


Roughly 10 rows from the entrance between the south wall and the south path.  The position of the headstone, under bushes has caused the stone to discolour but most of the inscription is still legible.


born March 4 1786 died May 19 1852

Also CHARLES husband of the above
born Sep. 12. 1786 died Jan 26 1868

And CHARLES son of the above
died Nov 22 1875 age 58

Alice Penson (1786-1852)

Alice was born in Warboys, a small town seven miles north east of Huntingdon.  She was married by the age of 26 to printer Charles Penson.  They had at least seven children: Robert (1813-1868), Elizabeth (1814-1833), Harriet Margaret (1816-1906), Charles (1816-1875), Lucy Philadelphia (1820-1882), Martha Catherine (1824-1914) and Alice Amelia (1826-1827). The family lived at 4 Annesley Place from at least 1840 onwards.  At least two of the daughters ran a boarding school from the house, and advertised in the local newpapers in 1843 to say that they were accepting pupils.  Alice was still living in Annesley Place, Cambridge when she died at the age of 67.

Charles Penson (1786-1868)

Charles was born in Oxford and was the son of Robert and Lucy Penson.  He was baptised at St Peter in the East Church in Oxford on 25 October 1786. After being widowed he moved to live at 4 Panton Street with his son Charles. He died in January 1868 aged 81 years old, after what newspapers described as ‘a short illness’.

Charles Penson (c.1817 – 1875)

Charles was the second son of Charles and Alice Penson, and was baptised at St Mary the Less Church on 4 April 1820. He worked as a printer like his father and was on the committee of the Letterpress Printers of Cambridge for many years.  He also sat on the committee of the General Benefit Society for the Town and Country (1860) and the Cambridge Church of England Young Men’s Society (1856).

He was an accomplished singer and his name appeared often in the newspapers of the time in relation to the concerts that he took part in.  A report in the Cambridge Chronicle and Journal of April 1857 regarding a concert of the Church of England Young Men’s Society said ‘the bass solos were given by Mr. C. Penson in his usual bold style’.  Charles did not marry and was living at 4 Panton Street, Cambridge when he died at the age of 58.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

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Alice Penson; Charles Penson