CFHS code : PL417

Parish : St Paul

Inscription : In Loving Memory of ROBERT SHARP d Feb 23 1924 aged 83 ELIZABETH ANN SHARP d Jan 6 1905 aged 64

Monument : Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey



Robert Sharp (1840 – 23 February  1924)

Robert was born in Eton, Buckinghamshire and baptised there on 5 July 1840. He was the son of tailor William Sharp (1806-1890) and Sophia (née Webb). (1811-1872). He grew up on the High Street in Eton and by the age of 20 was also working as a tailor. Robert married Elizabeth Thompson on 22 February 1863 at Christ Church, Southwark and they had at least six children: Alice Elizabeth (1869-1942), Julia Louise (1871-1958), Harry Russell (1873-1961), Minnie Ada (1874-1923), Florence Mary (Flora) (1877-) and Herbert Sidney (1880-1967). The couple stated married life in Islington and their first four children were born in London, but they had moved to Cambridge by 1877.  The family lived at 5 Milligan’s Buildings (1881), 2 Granta Place (1891) and 1 Downing Terrace, 41 Lensfield Road (1901).

Robert was President of the Cambridge branch of the Amalgamated Society of Tailors. A meeting in June 1887 was held to drive forward the society’s aim of ‘the bettering of operative tailors’.  The meeting heard that despite there being more undergraduates in the town, tailors had lowered their prices over the past 12 months.  George Keir, a tailor from Manchester said that ‘it was the want of unity in the town of Cambridge that compelled tailors to work for lower wages than was the case in nearly all the towns in Yorkshire’. The Society aimed to drive unity, and act as a Friendly Society by paying sickness leave. Mr John Hollings from Bradford also addressed the meeting and said that the non-existence of unionism was forcing the poor position of tailors in the town and ‘they would either by their apathy go back, or by their unionism go forward. He asked them to be united, and go forward, and demand a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work’. The Society was very strong across the country, and had a Newmarket branch, but is not thought to have developed traction within Cambridge.

Robert was widowed in 1905 and continued to live at Downing Terrace with daughter Minnie and son in law Edmund Dowling until 1923 when Minnie died. In 1919 he testified at the inquest of his sister in law Martha Thompson (1844-1919). Martha was a pensioner of Queen’s College and lived at 2, St. Anthony Street. She was found drowned in Hobson’s Street, Trumpington Street one sunday morning. The water was only about 18 inches deep and the inquest jury heard evidence as to her state of mind.  Robert Sharp said they had tried to get her a place at an Infirmary but she preferred to live alone. The Coroner returned an open verdict of ‘found drowned’ due to lack of evidence and said that ‘he thought it would be better for a lot of old ladies if they went into an infirmary’.

In 1924 Robert was living at 37b Russell Street, and died there aged 83 years old. His funeral took place on 25 February 1924.

Elizabeth Ann Sharp (née Thompson)  (1840 – 6 January  1905)

Elizabeth was the daughter of William and Catherine and grew up at Mill Road. Her father was a postman and later a tollman. Elizabeth worked at Corpus Christi College for nearly thrity years and died at Downing Terrace aged 64 years old. Her funeral took place on  9 January at Mill Road Cemetery and newpapers reported ‘many friends attended the ceremony and numerous wreaths were received’.



Newspaper archives

Parish burial records transcribed by CFHS

by Claire Martinsen

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Elizabeth Ann Sharp; Robert Sharp