CFHS code : CL34a

Parish : St Clement

Inscription : In Loving Memory of / JAMES  [B]ARSON SEBLEY / —- entered into his / ——— 1897  d December — aged 70 / also ELIZABETH / first wife of the above / d December 6 1872 aged 42 / also of ACORN / second wife of the above / d July 3rd 1891 / aged 56

Monument : Headstone/Kerb stones

Above information amended from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.202446, 0.13796108 – click here for location

Sebley monument June 2018


During the CFHS survey the top of the stone was found elsewhere and recorded. It has not been seen again but there is now a small wooden plaque that has at sometime been carved making it clear that this monument is that of the Sebley family.


In Loving Memory of  JAMES  [B]ARSON SEBLEY  [who] entered into his  [rest] 1897  died December — aged 70 years

Also ELIZABETH  first wife of the above died December 6 1872 aged 42 years

Also of ACORN second wife of the above  died July 3rd 1891 aged 56

James Barson Sebley (8 September 1827 – 11 December 1897)

James was born in West Monkton in Somerset. He was the son of James and Jane (nee Barson) Sebley.  He was baptised on 30th December 1827 in West Monkton . His father was a servant.  He married Elizabeth Reeve on 30th April 1854 at St James’ Church in Shoreditch. His occupation on the marriage certificate is noted as a publican.

James and Elizabeth had at least eight children together: Frederick James(1885-1857),Frederick James II (1857-1938), Elizabeth Selby (1858-1871), Herbert (1860-1929), Sidney (1863-1896), William (1864-1926), Alice Nice (1865-1947) and Harry (1871-1917).

William ran an eating house in Cambridge at 17 Bridge Street (1861).  In 1869 he was at 19 Bridge Street and running a ‘dining and coffee rooms’ (Cambridge Directory).  The 1871 census gives the eating house its name of the Baron of Beef.  It still remains today, and is a historical landmark in Cambridge.

His wife Elizabeth died in 1872, and he married for a second time to Acorn Ellis in 1873. James and Acorn had at least two more children: Edward (1876-1945) and Amelia (1877-1972).

In 1881/1891 census returns he is recorded as an eating house keeper at 24/25 Bridge Street. He died at at  Bridge Street aged 70 years old.

Elizabeth Sebley (nee Reeve) (c.1829 – 6 December 1872) 

Elizabeth was born in Soham, and was the daughter of William and Mary Reeve.  She was baptised in Soham on 10th May 1829. She married when she was 25 years old.

Elizabeth died at 19 Bridge Street in 1872 aged 43 years old.

Acorn Sebley (née Ellis) (c.1834 – 3 July 1891)

Acorn was the daughter of Thomas and Mary Ellis.  She was born in Little Abington, where her father was an agricultural labourer. In 1871 she was working as a cook at the Hanwell Asylum in Hayes, Middlesex.  She married widower James Sebley when she was 39 years old.  They ran the business at 25/26 Bridge Street together, and had two children together.  Acorn died there in July 1891 aged 57 years old.

Herbert Sebley took over the running of the ‘eating house’ at 25/26 Bridge Street from his father. He ran it with his wife Florence until his death in 1929. In turn Herbert’s son Herbert (Jnr)  took over the business until his death in 1944. So the Sebley family were present at 25/26 Bridge Street for over 60 years.


Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

Acorn Sebley; Elizabeth Sebley; James Barson Sebley