CFHS code : HS58

Parish : Holy Sepulchre

Inscription : WALTER J STEARN b Apr 24 1863 d Feb 4 1929 also THOMAS STEARN b May 28 1824 d Sept 5 1905 also FLORENCE ELIZA STEARN [b July 5 1858] [Feb 25 1894] also HERBERT THOMAS STEARN MA b July 13 1854 d Aug 2 1899 In Loving Memory of ELIZA wife of THOMAS STEARN d Apr 29 1892 age 63 ALLAN F STEARN died at Calcutta Aug 6 1896 age 39 also In Loving Memory of FREDERICK EL FURLONG husband of EDITH FM FURLONG d Mar 12 1919 age 39

Monument : Stone cross

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey



Walter John Stearn (24 April 1863 – 4 February 1929)

Walter was the son of Thomas and Eliza Stearn and lived most of his life at 72 Bridge Street where his parents ran a photography business. He also worked as a photographer and took over the running of the family business. He died at Bridge Street aged 65 years old.

Thomas Stearn (28 May 1824 – 5 September 1905)

Thomas was born at Bury Street in Bloomsbury and baptised at St. George’s Church, Bloomsbury on 20 June 1824.  He was the son of  tailor Thomas Stearn and his wife Hannah.  He married Eliza Cotterill on 4 September 1851 at St. Luke’s Church, Chelsea.  The couple had at least ten children: Herbert Thomas (1854-1899), Frank (1855-1928), Allan Frederick (1857-1896), Florence Eliza (1858-1894), Harry Cotterill (1859-1906), Warwick William (1861-1913), Walter James (1863-1929), Gilbert Archibald (1866-1928), Rupert (1868-) and Ralph M (1872-).

Thomas and Eliza went to live at 72 Bridge Street.  In 1861 Thomas was running a  tailoring business from the address, but by at least 1871 had diversified to become a photographer.  Eliza was also documented as working as a photographer and many of their children also assisted in the business.

He died at home aged 81 years old was buried at Mill Raod Cemetery on 8 September.  The Cambridge Independent Press printed a short obituary after his death: ‘On Monday he was walking in the town apparently in his usual health.  The deceased was a member of an old Cambridge family, and was a regular attendant at the Round Church, where his father was at one time a church warden……Mr Stearn was a Liberal in politics but he took no active part in public affairs, although he was many times invited to seek election to the Town Council.  He was a man very generous in a quiet ostentatious way.  He had a great love for the business he had built up since the time when photography first came into prominence and up to the last took quite a large share in the management of its affairs’.

Florence Eliza Stearn (5 July 1858 – 25 February 1894)

Florence was the only daughter of Thomas and Eliza.  In 1881 she was living with four of her brothers at 168 Shelley Row.  By 1891 she was back living at 72 Bridge Street and working as a photographer.  She died aged 35 years old.

Herbert Thomas Stearn (13 July 1854 – 2 August 1899)

Herbert was Thomas and Eliza’s eldest child. He went to the Perse School and then to King’s College in October 1873.  He was awarded a B.A. in 1878 (11th Wrangler) and an M.A, in 1881. He was a fellow of the college from 1880 to 1899 and Dean from 1883 to 1899.  He lived at King’s College (1881/1891) and was described on  the 1881 census return as a Mathematical lecturer.  He died in Cambridge aged 45 years old.

Eliza Louisa Stearn (née Cotterill) (23 December 1828  – 29 April 1892)

Eliza was the daughter of James and Jane Cotterill. She was born in Poplar and baptised on 12 July 1840 at All Saints’ Church, Tottenham. She married aged 22 years  old and died aged 63 years old.

Allan Frederick Stearn (1857 –  6 August 1896)

Allan joined the Merchant Navy in December 1874 aged 17 years and served a four year apprenticeship.  He was given the rank of First Mate in February 1881, and Master in October 1883.  He died in Kolkata (previously known as Calcutta) on 6 August 1896 aged 41 years old and was buried the same day.

Frederick Ernest Leslie Furlong (15 October 1878 – 12 March 1919)

Frederick was born in Bedford and was the son of George and Mary Furlong. He went to school at Norton College, Bedford where his father was headmaster and then worked for the London and North West Railway.  He married widow Edith Florence Mary McMillan (née Stearn) (1875-1950) in the summer of 1916.

Edith was the daughter of Frank and Fanny Maria (née Clark) Stearn and was Thomas and Eliza’s granddaughter.  She and had grown up in Cambridge with her uncles and had also worked as a photographer at Bridge Street (1901).  She married pharmacist  Allan McMillan in 1909, but he had died in Harrogate in 1913.  Frederick was her second husband and he became a partner in the photography business at the end of 1918. He died suddenly and the death was reported the Cambridge Independent Press ‘the death occurred with tragic suddenness on Wednesday of Mr. Frederick Ernest Leslie Furlong of 72 Bridge Street.  Mr Furlong who was a partner in the firm of Messrs. Stearn and Sons, photographers was proceeding on business along Peas Hill at about one o’clock when he was taken ill, and went into Messrs. Fletchers’ shop.  He rapidly became worse, and was conveyed on a shutter to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, but on arrival there it was found that life was extinct, the cause of death being hemorrhage of the lung’.

Edith married for a third time in 1921 to Harry Banham Benton (1880-1950).  She died in Winchester in May 1950.



Newspaper archives

Cambridge University Alumni Database

by Claire Martinsen 

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Frederick Ernest Leslie Furlong; Allan Frederick Stearn; Eliza Stearn; Florence Eliza Stearn; Herbert Thomas Stearn; Thomas Stearn; Walter John Stearn