CFHS code : ML87

Parish : St Mary the Less

Inscription : also FREDERICK SMITH 1829 – 1899  Mahala Smith 1892 Ellen Smith 1943

Monument : Stone cross (plinth only)

Above information  amended from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.202691, 0.13735817 – click here for location

The monument in May 2022.


This  cross stands close to the south west path on the centre circle, in the parish area of St Mary the Less. The carved inscription is badly eroded and difficult to read. The parish burial records were used to complete the entry.


east face
[Mahala Smith 1892]

west face
Also FREDERICK SMITH 1829 – 1899 
Also Rose Rebecca Smith 1859 – 1842
Also Ellen Smith  1861 –  1943

Relationships – Husband Wife & Daughter

Mahala Smith née Webb, formerly Clark  (1825 – 1892)
Mahala was born in Helions Bumstead to Stephen and Phoebe Webb. She married William Clark, a maltster, at St Botolph’s church, Cambridge on May 19th 1850 and moved to Thompson’s Lane. They had two sons: James (1851) and William (1852).  It is thought that her husband  William died in 1854 aged 28.
Her marriage to Frederick Smith took place on November 21st 1859 at the church of St Mary the Less.

Frederick Smith (1829-1899)
Frederick was born in Helions Bumstead to Joseph, a tailor. We have not found his mother’s name . By 1851 he was working at Queen’s College. After he married Mahala they lived for a time in Coe Fen (1861 census)  before moving to Little St Mary’s Lane with Mary’s two sons from her first marriage and raised four children: Rose (1859), Ellen (1861), Frederick A (1864) and Arthur (1868).
Described as a college servant in most census records he was described a  butler (deceased)  when Rose married . He was 70 years old when he died.

Rose Rebecca Smith (1859 – August 1st 1915)

This inscription has caused some confusion as Rose married in 1911 and although buried here she would have had the surname  Wakening 

Rose was baptised at Little st Mary’s church on August 7th 1859 and grew up at 26 Little St Mary’s Lane.  By 1881 both she and her sister Ellen had joined their mother in the laundry business. She married college cook Frederick Wakening in 1911 at St Andrew’s church Chesterton and they lived at 193 Chesterton Roadbut died only 4 years later at the Priory nursing home aged 56.

Ellen Smith (1861 – 1943)
Ellen was born in Cambridge. She was brought up in Little St Mary’s Lane and worked as a laundress with her mother and sister. When she died, at the age of 83, she was living at 103 Arbury Road.

CFHS transcripts of parish and census records
Family Search

by Mary Naylor

Ellen Smith; Frederick Smith; Mahala Smith; Rose Rebecca Smith [Wakeling]