CFHS code : AG356

Parish : St Andrew the Great

Inscription : WILLIAM GASSON [BA] remainder illegible

Monument : column

Above information (amended) from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.202747, 0.13621937 – click here for location

Monument of William Gasson
Monument of William Gasson


This short square column, in the parish area of St Andrew the Great, the inscription on which is now almost entirely indecipherable, is situated to the west of the western path, south of the path leading to the centre circle, and is close to the west boundary wall.


William Gasson [remainder indecipherable]

William Gasson (1819‒1849)

William was born in Brompton, in the Kensington Borough of London, on 6 September 1819, the only son of John William Gasson (1790‒1872) and his wife Marion Gabell (c.1806‒70). William also had a sister, Maria (or Marian) (1822‒97), and a half-sister Jane (1839‒1913). In 1841 and 1851, John William was named as a schoolmaster, living at Middle Queen’s Buildings, Kensington; later he was recorded as a chartered accountant and actuary.

William was educated at King’s College, London before being admitted as a pensioner at Christ’s College, Cambridge on 2 July 1845 under the direction of the Classics Fellows James Hildyard and James Cartmell. University degree results list “Gasson Christ’s” as one of 256 candidates awarded first-class honours in the exams for the Lent term 1847, and on 23 March 1847 list a “Gasson” (or “Ganson” or “Gunson”) of Christ’s as one of sixteen candidates awarded a first-class honours degree specifically in Classics (CIP, 27 March 1847).

Portrait of William Gasson (artist unknown)
Portrait of William Gasson (artist unknown)

Gasson was later admitted as a King Edward VI Scholar on 4 November 1847, apparently to read Divinity. However, he spent the Lent Term of 1848 in Devon, probably on account of a heart condition; and in 1849 he was awarded an aegrotat degree (granted to a candidate unable to take the examinations but deemed to be of the standard for an honours degree) on Saturday 28 January 1849.

At the time of his death, he was living in a lodging house at 15 Trumpington Street (near the old Addenbrooke’s Hospital, now the Judge Business School) run by landlady Mrs Rudd. On the morning of Monday 30 January 1849, he was discovered dead in bed and was declared to have been deceased for some hours, leading to a death date of Sunday 29 January (LMP, 1 Feb 1849).

He was buried in Mill Road Cemetery on 2 February. (For a newspaper report of his death, see: William Gasson_obit) Whether the burial service took place at the church of St Andrew the Great, or in the temporary mortuary chapel in the Custodian’s Lodge of Mill Road Cemetery (the central chapel was not completed until 1858) is unclear.


John Peile, Biographical Register of Christ’s College 1509‒1905, vol. II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1913), p. 493
St Andrew the Great burial register
Census reports 1841, 1851
London Morning Post, 1 February 1849
Cambridge Independent Press, 27 March 1847
Communication from Professor Geoffrey Martin, Christ’s College, Cambridge
Information from research by Philip Nash
Communication from Andrew Nash

by Rosalind Prewett and Ian Bent

William Gasson