CFHS code : AG239

Parish : St Andrew the Great

Inscription : side 1 In Affectionate Remembrance of ROBERT SAYLE JP of Cambridge and China born at Southery Norfolk February 22nd 1816 died at Trumpington Cambridge October 5th 1883 In Loving Memory of ARTHUR WILLIS SAYLE eldest son of the above named ROBERT SAYLE who died at Shanghai China January 28th 1878 aged 25 side 2 PRISCILLA CAROLINE SAYLE widow of the late ROBERT SAYLE d 9th May 1904 aged 80 CHARLES EDWARD SAYLE d 4th July 1924 aged 59 MARTHA ELIZABETH SAYLE b September 13th 1851 d November 13th 1854 FRANCES ANNE SAYLE b March 9th 1857 d May 3rd 1934 footstone RS

Monument : Cruciform Coped stone/Footstone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.202816, 0.13638366 – click here for location

Sayle monument


The monument is a chest tomb with a plain cruciform top and coped edges. It is made from a single block of granite. There is a stone kerb around the edge which would originally have supported metal railings, which have long since disappeared.


On the left-hand side:

‘Martha Elizabeth Sayle born September 13th 1851 Died November 13th 1854
Frances Anne Sayle born March 19th 1857 Died May 3rd 1934’

On the upper left-hand side:

‘Priscilla Caroline Sayle widow of the late Robert Sayle died 9th May 1904 aged 80
“Her children rise up and call her blessed”
Charles Edward Sayle died 4th July 1924 aged 59’

On the right-hand side:

‘In loving memory of Arthur Willis Sayle eldest son of the above named Robert Sayle who died in Shanghai, China, January 28 1878 aged 25 years’

On the upper right-hand side:

In affectionate remembrance of Robert Sayle JP of Cambridge and China. Born at Southery, Norfolk February 22nd 1816 died at Trumpington, Cambridge October 5th 1883
“Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life”‘

Robert Sayle  (1816 – 1883)see also Life Story page

Robert Sayle was an enterprising retailer who developed a successful drapery and haberdashery shop in St Andrew’s Street, Cambridge. He took a lively interest in the civic development of Cambridge and the religious and educational wellbeing of its less privileged inhabitants.

Martha Elizabeth Sayle (13 September 1851 – 13 November 1854)

Martha was the second daughter of Robert and Priscilla Sayle. She was baptised at St Andrew the Great Church on 31st October 1851. She died aged 3 years old, and was buried in Mill Road Cemetery on 16th November 1854.

Frances Annie Sayle (19 March 1857 – 3 May 1934)

Frances was baptised at St Andrew the Great Church on 29th May 1857. She grew up in the family homes, and after the death of her father lived in various homes in the city. She was at ‘St Mary’s’ on Trumpington Road in 1891, 29 Halifax Road in 1901 and from at least 1911 onwards at 38 Chesterton Hall Crescent. She never married and live alone with the help of a domestic servant, and is described on census returns as ‘living on own means’. She died aged 77 years old.

Priscilla Caroline Sayle (nee Ginger) (17 May 1824 – 9 May 1904)

Priscilla was born in Buckinghamshire and was the daughter of Thomas and Martha Ginger. She married Robert Sayle in Hertfordshire on 25th August 1849 when she was 25 years old. Robert and Priscilla had at least ten children: Charlotte Mary (1850-1942), Martha Elizabeth (1851-1854), Arthur Willis (1852-1878), Caroline Martha (1855-1936), Robert Henry (1855-1889), Frances Ann (1857-1934), George Moore (1858-1935), Martin Wellesley (1860-1914), Ellen Jane (1862-) and Charles Edward (1864-1924). Robert was a successful draper, and they lived at St Andrew’s Street. In 1851 they had an impressive 28 staff living in with them above the store. By 1871 they had moved to their new home at Leighton House, Trumpington Road.

Priscilla was widowed in 1883 and in 1891 was living at 2 Harvey Road with her two youngest children Charles and Ellen. She was still at Harvey Road in 1900, but by the census of 1901 was living at 2 Brookside. She died there in 1904, a week before her 80th birthday.

Charles Edward Sayle (6 December 1864 – 4 July 1924)

Charles was the youngest child of Robert and Priscilla Sayle. Aged 7 he was living with his Uncle John Sayle in Southery, Norfolk. John Sayle was a farmer of 420 acres.   He went to Rugby School and was there in 1881. He went to New College, Oxford in 1883, gaining his BA in 1887 and his MA in 1890. He was admitted to St John’s College Cambridge in October 1890, gaining an MA from Cambridge in 1891. He joined the staff of the University Library in 1893, and was the Assistant University Librarian from 1910-1924. He lived with his mother Priscilla at 2 Harvey Road (1891) and 9 Brookside (1901). After her death he moved to 8 Trumpington Street and died there in 1924 aged 49 years old.

Arthur Willis Sayle (26 December 1852 – 28 January 1878)

Arthur was born in Cambridge but baptised in Norwich on 1st May 1853. In 1871 he was a pupil at a Grammar School in Bury St Edmunds. He was admitted to Trinity College in October 1872, getting his BA in 1876. He died in Shanghai in 1878 aged 25 years old. The announcement of his death in the Cambridge Independent Press on 2nd February announced that he had died suddenly and of ‘heart disease’.

Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

Arthur Willis Sayle; Charles Edward Sayle; Frances Anne Sayle; Martha Elizabeth Sayle; Priscilla Caroline Sayle; Robert Sayle