CFHS code : PL224

Parish : St Paul

Inscription : SUSANNA ELIZABETH STOKES b Dec 15 1859 d Dec 10 1863 | In Loving Memory of WILLIAM GEORGE GABRIEL STOKES MA MB b Feb 9 1863 d Aug 26 1893

Monument : Stone cross

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.2021969, 0.13617858 click here for location

Stokes son and daughter grave
Stokes son and daughter plinth


This stone cross on triple plinth, the cross now lost, is located in the parish area of St Paul close to the Avenue of Limes and across the path from the Lodge.


‘Susanna Elizabeth Stokes
born December 15 1859 died December 19 1863’
“Of such is the kingdom of heaven”

‘In loving memory of William George Gabriel Stokes MA MB
born Feb 9 1863 died Aug 26 1893’

Susanna Elizabeth and William George Gabriel Stokes were brother and sister.  They were children of Mary Susanna Stokes and Sir George Gabriel Stokes, who are buried on the neighbouring grave plot (see illustration of the two graves below). There were also the step grandchildren of Lucy Jane Robinson.

Susannah Elizabeth Stokes (1859‒63)

Susanna was born on 15 December 1859 in Cambridge.  She was the second of five children born to George Gabriel Stokes and Mary Susanna Stokes (née Robinson).  She died on 10 December 1863 in Cambridge five days before her 4th birthday. She was buried on the 16th at St Paul’s Church and Mill Road Cemetery.

William George Gabriel Stokes (186393)

William was born on 9 February 1863 in Cambridge.  He was the fourth of five children born to George Gabriel Stokes and Mary Susanna Stokes (née Robinson).  William was baptised at St Paul’s Church, Cambridge on 29 March 1863.  William’s father was a famous physicist.  His mother was the daughter of Thomas Romney Robinson, Astronomer at Armagh Observatory.  William together with his family grew up in Cambridge and lived at Lensfield Cottage, Lensfield Road (now the Scott Polar Research Institute).

William was educated at Marlborough College and then at Pembroke College, Cambridge (his father’s college).  On 6 October 1881 William was admitted as a pensioner at Pembroke College.  He became a scholar in 1882 and obtained his BA (Classics Tripos, Part I, 1st Class) in 1884.  He became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Physicians in 1889.  He then obtained his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery in 1890 at Pembroke College followed by his MA in 1892.  By 1891 William was living and working at St Thomas’ Hospital, London as a physician surgeon.

William committed suicide by overdosing on opium on 26 August 1893 in Coundon, Co. Durham.

See death report.

See inquest report and verdict.

Graves of Stokes's wife and two children
Graves of Stokes’s wife and two children


Sources :
Census reports 1871, 1881, and 1891
England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915
England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index, 1837-1915
England & Wales National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966
Cambridge University Alumni, 1261-1900

By Emma Easterbrook

Susanna Elizabeth Stokes; William George Gabriel Stokes