CFHS code : PL357

Parish : St Paul

Inscription : In Memory of ALEXANDER TRACY d 19 March 1877 aged 62 he was for many years intimately connected with the Great Eastern Railway his wife HANNAH d 3 March 1877 aged 60

Monument : Chest tomb with panelled sides

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

This large chest tomb is hidden under ivy but the inscription is still just legible. Photo January 2017
Tracy headstone January 2017
The north face of the tomb shows some interesting decoration.
The north face of the tomb shows some interesting decoration.


This large chest tomb, in the parish area of St Paul, is hidden under ivy but the inscription is still just legible. It is located to the west of the central path.


‘In Memory of ALEXANDER TRACY  who died 19 March 1877 aged 62 years
He was for many years intimately connected with the Great Eastern Railway’

His wife HANNAH who died 3 March 1877 aged 60

J…..  illegible

Alexander Tracy (1815 – 19 March 1877)

Alexander was born in Cork, Ireland and was the son of soldier John Tracy and Margaret. He was baptised at St. Sepulchre’s Church, Northampton on 9 June 1816, when his father was posted to the nearby barracks. Alexander married Hannah Payne at St. Nicholas’ Church, Guildford on 25 September 1836 and worked as a railway contractor. He  started his business in March, Cambridgeshire and later moved to Cambridge and was key to the building of the railway.  In March 1864 the Cambridge Chronicle and Journal ran a report of Alexander having given his men a ‘workman’s treat’ at the Railway Inn, March. It was reported ‘Alexander Tracy Esq. of Cambridge, with his accustomed liberality, treated his workmen to a good and substantial dinner…when ample justice was done to the good things of this life, and the evening was spent under the able presidency of Mr. Joseph Flatt, Mr.Tracy’s foreman, in the greatest harmony and good fellowship’.

Alexander appears to have both constructed railway and leased carriages etc to the Great Eastern Railway.  In August 1867 an article in the Cambridge Chronicle and Journal read ‘Great Eastern Railway – the following legal notification has been affixed to the stations, carriages etc of this company: ‘Take notice that all fixtures, goods, chattels and fittings, in, about and upon these premises are the property of the undersigned, Alexander Tracy of Cambridge..contractor, William Booth of Eastwood…Nottingham Esq and John M’Mahon the county of Surrey, and are used by the Great Eastern Railway Company as their lessees’.

Alexander and Hannah lived at  4 Cintra Terrace from at least 1865 onwards and are not thought to have had any children.  In 1872 he gave a ‘sumptuous supper at the Griffin Hotel to 130 of the men under him on the Great Eastern Railway’ and was described by the Cambridge Chronicle and Journal as ‘the well known railway contractor’.

Alexander died at home aged 62 years old and his funeral took place on 24 March. He left an estate valued at more than £25,000 (over .£3m at 2020 values) and the contents of Cintra Terrace were auctioned over two days.  The contents included 120 oz of plate (including liquer and pickle stands and  a magnificent hot water venison dish and cover), 90 dozen bottles of wine, three mahogany wardrobes, cut glass and bronze chandaliers and two drawing rooms suites. He also owned a 260 acre farm in March, known as part of the Botony Bay Estate which was auctioned as was the railway yard he owned in March.  The yard  contained all the implements and tools used as a railway contractor and included ‘three pile engines, seven monkeys, fifty ton hydraulic press, portable and fixed blacksmith’s forges’ etc.

Hannah Tracy (née Payne) (27 September 1816 – 3 March 1877)

Hannah was born in Walton on Thames, Surrey and baptised there on 27 October 1816. She was the daughter of blacksmithThomas Payne (also sometimes spelt Pain) and Esther. Hannah married Alexander Tracy when she was 19 years old and died a few weeks before him at Cintra Terrace aged 60 years old.

Photo of the grave monument before the ivy growth.



Parish burial records transcribed by CFHS

Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

With many thank to JK for permission to print the photo of the grave monument taken before the ivy growth

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Alexander Tracy; Hannah Tracy