CFHS code : HT270

Parish : Holy Trinity

Inscription : In Memory of WILLIAM CUMMING of Aberdeen N B d December 1st 1871 aged 60 also of AMELIA CAROLINE his widow d December 11th 1873 aged 63 and of BARNARD W CUMMING son of the above d March 4th 1883 aged 30

Monument : Headstone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Cumming headstone July 2018

Monument

Located between the south path and the south wall, five rows from the central path, in the parish area of Holy Trinity. The inscription faces west.

Inscription

In Memory of WILLIAM CUMMING of Aberdeen N. B.
Who died December 1st 1871 aged 60 years

Also of AMELIA CAROLINE his widow Who died December 11th 1873 aged 63 years

Also of BARNARD W CUMMING son of the above d March 4th 1883 aged 30 years

William Cumming (1811 – 1 December 1871)

William was born in Aberdeen and was the son of  mason John and his wife Ann (née Mutch).  He became a gardener and is believed to have worked as a gardener to the Duke of Devonshire and to Lord Braybrooke at Audley End before establishing the St. John’s Nursery on Madingley Road, Cambridge in c.1840. He married Amelia Knight at St Stephen’s Church in Coleman Street, London on 27 November 1841.  They had at least three children: Linnaeus (1843-1927), Douglas Gordon (1846-1872) and Barnard William (1852-1883).

The family lived at the nurseries on Madingley Road and William’s name appeared often in newspaper reports for winning horticultural prizes.  For example in May 1867 he won prizes at the Horticultural Society’s Fete:  runner up in azaleas, first prize for a rose in a pot,  first prize in ‘four heaths’ and first prize in ‘an exquisite looking dish of strawberries’.  1,530 people attended the fete despite ‘the cold biting wind’.

In September 1864 he wrote a long letter to the editor of the Cambridge Independent Press which was published under the headline of ‘The weather – the wasps’.  The letter started ‘Mr Editor – when are we going to have some rain?’ he bemoaned the lack of rain over the summer months, but pointed out that horticulturalists like himself having watered their crops were seeing record number of wasps ‘we poor horticulturalists ..with all the combined force of water cards, water engines, hydropaults, and syringes and compelled withal to despair of forcing our flower gardens into their wonted profusion of blossom. Even this we could endure with patience, but it does get past all endurance to stand by our trees loaded with luscious nectarines, peaches and plums and see them devoured before our eyes by a whole armada of wasps’ and further commenting ‘the wasps forsaking what belongs to their proper sphere as scavengers of our gardens ..fix on the very best specimens, appropriating them without any consideration of the rules’

William died at Madingley Road aged 60 years old. The property was offered for sale after his death  and was advertised in local newspapers as ‘a first class general landscape gardener and nurseryman’s business with greenhouses, stock-in-trade, good will &c (sic). This is really a good concern and has been carried on very successfully by the late occupant for upwards of 30 years and has gained a high-class connection’.

The nursery was bought by a Mr H. Buttery and renamed Mount Pleasant Nursery.

Amelia Caroline Cumming  (née Knight) ( 30 May 1810  – 16 December 1873)

Amelia was born in Fulham and baptised there on 22 June 1810. She was the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Knight and married William Cumming when she was  31 years old.  It is believed that she moved to Cheltenham after she was widowed to live with her son Linnaeus  who was assistant master at Cheltenham College from 1869-1875.  Linnaeus had attended the Perse School and then Trinity College Cambridge before become a schoolmaster.  Amelia died in Cheltenham aged  63 years old and was buried at Mill Road Cemetery.

Barnard William Cumming (1852 – 4 March  1883)

Barnard was the youngest son of William and Amelia Cumming and was baptised on 16 September 1852.  He was became an architect and showed early promise in art.  In December 1869 he was awarded second prize and 20 shillings by the Cambridge School of Art for ‘best series of drawings – artisans’ class’. In February 1873 he won the Committee’s prize from the same school for ‘Brandon’s Open Timber roof and concise Glossary of Architecture for Shades Ornament from the flat; and excellent for perspective – Wornum’s Ornament and Lindlay’s Botany.’ He was living at Madlingley Road in 1871 and was noted as being a pupil architect.  In 1881 he was lodging in Louth, Lincolnshire and was working as an architect’s assistant.  He died aged 30 years old at 43 Westmoreland Terrace in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Sources:

Ancestry

Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

[If you have any information about this family please contact us at Friendsofmillroadcemetery@gmail.com]

Amelia Caroline Cumming; Barnard William Cumming; William Cumming