CFHS code : PL297

Parish : St Paul

Inscription : HENRY GOTOBED b 21 Aug 1823 d 29 March 1894

Monument : Cruciform Coped stone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey



Henry Gotobed (21 August 1823 –  29 March 1894)

Henry was the son of James and Martha (née Vipan) and grew up at Trumpington Street. His father was a brewer who ran a sizeable brewery  located opposite Pembroke College, which included the Half Moon pub. The business up for auction in June 1850 and consisted of the brewery, 29 inns and public houses which were based both in Cambridge and the surrounding villages, land and private houses.

Henry Gotobed trained as a solicitor and  started his training in September 1840 under Samuel Blackman Lamb of Reading, who was a solicitor of the High Court of Chancery. He was articled for five years and then returned to Cambridge to live at Trumpington Street with his widowed father (1851).

James Gotobed (Snr) (1795-1852) was an investor in Daniel Macmillan‘s publishing company and after his death his shared were split between his two sons – James (Jnr) and Henry. Henry’s shares were bought out by the Macmillan brothers in 1854 and his brother’s in 1856 – just a few months before Daniel died.

Henry did not marry and was the Borough Coroner from June 1866 until 1893.  In that role he oversaw the many inquests that were held into sudden deaths across the town and as a result his name appeared often in newspapers of the time. He also practised as a solicitor in the town, was a Councillor for the Barnwell ward, and Income Tax Commissioner and local politician. He lived at 24 Hills Road from at least 1871 and died at home aged 70 years old as a result of pleurisy.

The Cambridge Independent Press printed an obiturary which noted ‘Addenbrooke’s Hospital was one of the several philanthropic intitutions in which his great sympathy showed itself and over whose interests he exercised a watchful care. He was an active politician in the Liberal cause until 1886 when he went with the minority to the Unionist side. He was a man of very wide and varied information, always ardent in the pursuit of knowledge; and the clear-headed vigour with which he devoted himself to the investigation or discussion of every subject made him an instructive and stimulating companion. This keen intellectual activity was associated with practical good sense, high integrity and unflinching conscientiousness. This rare combination of qualities marked him out as one whose loss will be felt in the town at large and among a wide circle of friends’. His funeral took place at St. Paul’s Church on 2 April. He left an estate valued at £45,712, 0s. and 3d. (c.£6m at 2020 values).

Henry’s niece Gertrude Alice Smith (née Gotobed/Vipan) is also buried at Mill Road Cemetery.




Newspaper archives


by Claire Martinsen

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Henry Gotobed