CFHS code : ED121

Parish : St Edward

Inscription : In piam memoriam vir desideratissimi EDWARD ATKINSON STP Collegii de Clare per LIX annos magistri natus est die VI August AD 1819 obiit die I Mart AD 1915 hic venerande senex placida iam pace quiescis hic iacet uxor amans unus amor mens una fuit dum vita manebat unus habet tumulus

Monument : Stone cross

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.203296, 0.13672862 – click here for location

This monument was restored in November 2016 thanks to a donation from Clare College.
Edward Atkins monument, restored in November 2016, thanks to donation from Clare College


Located in the parish area of St Edward, on the east side of the west path, this monument is a stone cross with plinth and kerb stones, in white marble.


[east face:]
‘In loving memory of Frances Hester
the beloved wife of Edward Atkinson D.D. Master of Clare College
who died April 11 1908 aged 80 years’

[west face:]
‘In piam memoriam viri desideratissimi
Edwardi Atkinson S.T.P. Collegii de Clare per LIX annos magistri
natus est die VI August A.D. 1819: obiit die 1 Mart. A.D. 1915
“Hic venerande senex placida iam pace quiescis.
Hic iacet uxor amans.
Unus amor mens una fuit dum vita manebat.
Unus habet tumulus.”‘

[“S.T.P. = Sacrae Theologiae Professor]

Edward inscription
Edward inscription

[‘In pious memory of a man most longed for,
Edward Atkinson, Professor of Sacred Theology, Master of Clare College for 59 years;
he was born on 6 August 1819; died on 1 March 1915.
“Here, venerable old man, you now lie in calm peace.
Here lies your loving wife.
One love was one mind while life remained.
One tomb holds [them both].”‘]

[‘hic venerande senex’ ‒ Dante, Eclogues; ‘Mens quibus unus fuit’ ‒ Paul the Dean]

[kerb stones:]
“The righteous live for ever, and in the Lord is their reward, and the care for them with the most high.”

Edward Atkinson (1819 – 1915)see also Life Story page

Born 6 August 1819, Atkinson was the son of a ‘haircutter and perfumer’ of Commercial Street, Leeds. He attended Leeds Grammar School, after which he studied in Germany for two years before coming up to Clare Hall as a ‘Sizar’ (i.e. a student receiving some financial assistance) in 1838. He received his BA in Classics in 1842, and was immediately elected a Fellow and Lecturer in Classics, becoming a Tutor eight years later. He received his MA in 1845, was ordained priest in the Ely diocese in 1846, received his Bachelor of Divinity in 1853 and Doctor of Divinity in 1859. He was also a Fellow of Winchester College 1875‒90.

He married Frances Hester Smith (1827‒1908) on 3 June 1856 at St Dunstan’s Church, Stepney, where her father, Richard Carter Smith, was curate. Her mother’s brother, the Rev. William Williamson, who had been a fellow of Clare College from 1827 to 1850, officiated at the marriage.

Atkinson died on 1 March 1915 and was buried in the cemetery four days later. His papers remain with the college, and he left his collection of rare liturgical books to the University Library.

Frances Hester inscription
Frances Hester inscription

Frances Hester Atkinson (née Smith) (1827‒1908)
Frances Hester was born in 1827. Her father was Richard Carter Smith (1801‒1864) and her mother was Mary Williamson. Little is known of her life. In March 1903 she donated a collection of ‘over 500 magnificent original watercolour paintings of African and Indian birds and scenes’ painted by her uncle, Christopher Webb-Smith (1793‒1871), to the University Museum of Zoology (now the Special Collections division of the Balfour & Newton Libraries, Department of Zoology). She died on 11 April 1908 and was buried in what was described as a ‘brick grave’.

History, Directory & Gazeteer of the County of York, vol. I, p. 38
Alumni Cantabrigienses, ed. J. Venn
History of the College and its Alumni, pp. 198‒99
Burial Register and Grave Book of the Church of St Edward King and Martyr

Communication from Denis Mollison, great grandson of William Loudon Mollison, who succeeded Atkinson as Master of Clare College in 1915.

By Ian Bent, translation of inscription by David Ganz

Edward Atkinson; Frances Hester Atkinson