CFHS code : PL93

Parish : St Paul

Inscription : Sacred to the Memory of JANE the beloved wife of WILLIAM FLAY who after long suffering borne with Christian fortitude d Oct 21 1852 in her 67th year also WILLIAM FLAY d [March 28] [1863] age [70]

Monument : Headstone

Above information amended from Cambridge Family History Society Survey



Jane Flay (1786 – 21 October 1852)

Jane was born in West Newton, near Bridgewater in Somerset and married William Flay. In 1841 they were living in Deptford, Kent and running the  Crown and Anchor pub – their niece Eliza Morton was also living with them.  By at least 1842 they had moved to Mill Road in Cambridge and Jane died there aged 66 years old.

William Flay (1793 – 28 March 1863)

William was born in Bristol and was the son of James and Ann. He was baptised at St. George’s, Bristol on 4 August 1793. In the Cambridgeshire Juror book of 1847 William is recorded as a toll collector and the electoral roll of 1852 also recorded him as a toll collector.  The town tolls were privately let and William leased what were known as the market tolls. The  contract to run the Market Tolls for two years went up for auction at the Guildhall on 6 March 1845 and covered ‘all the tolls, stallage, due and profits of the market within the borough of Cambridge (except the tolls, dues and profits of the Cattle Market)’.  By way of example in August 1846 the rights for the toll on Turnpike Road [from Cambridge to Ely] were auctionned at the Red Lion Inn.  The toll collection was said to be £670 per annum,  ‘over and above the expense of collecting them’.

In 1842 William appeared in front of the market committee have been accused by pieman John Parsley of trespass. John had not paid the toll and as a result William Fray had seized his ‘pie tin’.  John Parsley’s solictor said that piemen had never before had to pay the toll and that it was an important point of principle.  The committee stated  ‘that Mr Flay was a highly respectable tenant and entitled to the consideration of the Council, and further that a refusal on the consideration of the Council to support their lessee in this instance would have the effect of encouraging other parties to refuse payment, and therefore deterioate the value of the tolls at a future letting’.

In March 1846 Henry Sargeant was charged with stealing two loads of gravel from William.  William stated that ‘he had gravel pits in Mill -road from which at least 100 loads had been dug.  On Monday morning he gave Sargeant a job, to screen gravel, and on Tuesday he gave him orders to deliver 20 loads to a gardener named Greaves’.  William Fray then went to London and on his return found that Greaves had only been delivered 18 loads and Henry Sargeant had effectively stolen the other two loads.  Henry was found guilty and sentenced to two months’ hard labour.

William married for a second time on 19 July 1853 to widow Catharine Spalding (née Turner) (1817-1891) at St. Paul’s Church.  In 1861 the couple were living at 10 Mill Road with servant Matilda Wilson and he was described on the census as a landed proprietor.  William died aged c.70 years old.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

[If you have any information about this person, please contact us at]

Jane Flay; William Flay