CFHS code : BE106a

Parish : St Bene’t

Inscription : ELIZABETH BISHOP d February 15 1855 aged 45 fourth daughter of the late THOMAS BISHOP of Birmingham also JANE daughter of THOMAS BISHOP d March 20 1894 aged 89

Monument : Cruciform Coped stone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.202614, 0.13613979 – click here for location

Bishop monument 2017

Monument This well preserved monument is located close to the west wall


ELIZABETH BISHOP died February 15 1855 aged 45 fourth daughter of the late THOMAS BISHOP of Birmingham 

Also JANE daughter of THOMAS BISHOP died March 20 1894 aged 89

Elizabeth Bishop (c.1809 – 15 February 1855)

Elizabeth was the daughter of Thomas and Jane Bishop. She lived in Kingswinford  in Staffordshire and died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital whilst on a visit to her sister Jane.

Jane Bishop (c.1804 – 20 March 1894)

Jane was Elizabeth’s elder sister and was baptised at St. Philip’s Church Birmingham on  4 January 1805. She was appointed Matron of Addenbrooke’s Hospital in 1849 when Mrs Spilling resigned from the position.  It would appear to have been a sought after position with several candidates taking out public adverts to the president and governors declaring their suitablility for the position. The job paid £50, per annum ‘with board, lodging and washing in the house’ and candidates were asked to produce certificates of their character and qualifications by 22 October 1849.  The post was subject to the 32nd rule which declared ‘no person burthened with the care of a family or above the age of forty-five years..shall be appointed’.  This rule was reversed in January 1850 after Jane’s appointment.

As Matron, Jane lived at Addenbrooke’s Hospital (1851/1861).   Nurses at the hospital were paid £14, rising to £15 after 5 years service and £16 after 10 years (1856).  The hospital funds were under continuous pressure and in January 1859 it was reported that ‘the income of Addenbrooke’s Hospital has not been equal to the expenditure’.  Part of Jane’s role was to control the spending of the hospital and she was reprimanded several times by Governors for perceived lavish spending. In October 1854 a bill of £16 for furniture for her room was questionned, but evenutally paid.  In October 1856 she had ordered a bronze tea urn costing £4, 4s from Swann Hurrell.  The purchase had been authorised but it had been understood that the cost would be around 30s/£1, not four times this amount. Jane Bishop told Governors that the ‘urn was larger than neccessary’.  The Quarterly Governors’ Meetings were dominated by analysis of spend on milk,bread, beer and flour, and Jane’s perception of the fat levels on the meat supplied and taste of the milk from various suppliers, who retendered every quarter.

In January 1868 her performance as Matron was discussed at the Governors’ Meeting.  Several nursing sisters had left which was said to be as a result of  ‘the fact of the Matron not being able to maintain her position.  The Sisters were superior to the Matron as nurses, but inferior to her in position’.  Dr. Fawcett declared Jane ‘a not very efficient Matron’ and the Revs. Prescott and Martin said they ‘had not thought it worth while to draw up a cataloge of errors committed by the Matron’.  It was proposed that a House-steward and Matron (man and wife) be appointed instead of Jane, and that she  would be ‘renumerated for duties faithfully performed during a period of 18 years’.

She therefore worked as Matron of Addenbrookes Hospital for 19 years before tendering her resignation in March 1868 according to the Governors’ wishes, effective at Midsummer.  Her pension provision was discussed at length at the Quarterly Court of Governors of the Hospital in April.  The Committee had recommended paying Jane a gratuity of £200 instead of a pension on her retirement.  Jane wrote a lengthy letter to the Governors stating that she did not consider this to be adequate compensation  ‘since I have been installed in my present position, I have, from the heavy and responsible duties which have devolved upon me been almost a prisoner within the walls of the Hospital…£200 at 5% would only give me an income of £10 a year; and in the annuity £20 fund about £13; whilst two of the old nurses are receiving pensions one of £13 and the other of £12 annually. With what I possess the sum proposed will be utterly insufficient for my maintenance, and at my time of life, I may find much difficulty in obtaining any future engagement’.   The Governors discussed at length how many savings she would have built  up on her wage of £50 (unchanged since her appointment nearly twenty years previous), the likelihood of  her gaining another position, the funds of the hospital etc.  Robert Sayle proposed increasing the gratuity to £300, others to £250, the Master of Pembroke proposed reducing it to £100. Evenutally Jane was awarded £200 as the recommendation of the committee was adopted, her pleading letter did not get her the increase she was seeking.

It is not known if Jane was able to get another position and she died at 29 Hills Road aged 89 years old.



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by Claire Martinsen

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Elizabeth Bishop; Jane Bishop