CFHS code : PL218

Parish : St Paul

Inscription : SARAH wife JAMES GRIFFIN b Nov 22nd 1826 d Dec 12th 1891 also JAMES GRIFFIN husband of the above d 20th April 1920 also 2nd wife of above ELIZA d 2nd Jan 1938 aged 84

Monument : Headstone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

The headstone has suffered from some erosion but the inscription can still be read in certain lights. Photo 2016
Griffin headstone 2016


The headstone, in the parish area of St Paul, has suffered from some erosion but the inscription can still be read in some lights.


‘Sarah wife James Griffin
born November 22 1826
died December 12 1891

Also James Griffin
husband of the above
died  April 22 1920

Also of  ELIZA
his second wife
who died  Jan 2 1938 aged 84 years’

Sarah Griffin (née Newling) (2 November 1826 – 12 December 1891)

Sarah was born in Ickleton, and in 1841 was working as a servant for widow Jane Pine in Duxford. She then went to work for Frederick and Martha Randall at Trumpington Street (1861). James Griffin worked in the same household as a footman, and the pair married on 1 January 1867 at St. Paul’s Church. James later worked as a waiter and the couple lived at 20 Corn Exchange Street (1871). He then worked as a museum attendant at the Fitzwilliam Museum and they moved to live at Elm Terrace, 4a Panton Street with servant Eliza Thurgood (1881/1891), who would become James’ second wife. Sarah died at home aged 65 years old and was buried at Mill Road Cemetery on 16 December.

James Griffin (1836 – 20 April 1920)

James was the youngest child of George and Sophia Griffin. His father died when he was an infant and he grew up at 128 East Road, with his dressmaker mother and two older siblings. After he was widowed he married Eliza Thurgood in 1897, who had worked for him for over fifteen years as a servant. The couple continued to live at Panton Street and he died at home aged 84 years old.  The Cambridge Daily News printed a short obituary which noted that he ‘had reached an advanced age (and) had for many years held the office of sidesman at St. Paul’s Church in which parish he possessed many friends and was universally esteemed. For 48 yeas the deceased was an assistant at the Fitzwilliam Museum, a post he retained until a short time before his death’.

Eliza Cowling (née Thurgood)(1853 – 2 January 1938)

Eliza was born in Farnham, near Bishop’s Stortford and was baptised at St. Mary the Virgin Church, Farnham on 24 July 1853. She was the daughter of Charles and Ann and her father was an agricultural labourer. Eliza worked at Panton Street for the Griffin’s (1881/1891), before marrying James Griffin in 1897.  After James’ death she married for a second time to a Mr Cowling (although no record of a marriage has been found).  She continued to live at Panton Street, and died at Mill Road Infirmary aged 84 years old.



Newspaper archives

Parish burial records transcribed by CFHS

by Claire Martinsen

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Eliza Cowling; James Griffin; Sarah Griffin