CFHS code : BE143

Parish : St Bene’t

Inscription : In Affectionate Remembrance of HARRIETT the beloved wife of RICHARD PEERS HARDMAN b Oct 17 1814 d Oct 30 1852 In Memory of Rev RICHARD PEERS HARDMAN Vicar of Wicken Cambs sometime Vicar of Airmyn Yorks b Dec 27 1822 d Apr 22 1885 also of EMILY AUGUSTA his widow b Oct 7 1821 d Oct 1 1901 In Memory of WILLIAM MINISTER HARDMAN b 21 Mar 1861 d 11 Feb 1920 ERNEST MINISTER HARDMAN b 14 Jun 1864 d 7 Mar 1907

Monument : Column with inscriptions on the north and east faces.

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.202587, 0.13612388 – click here for location

This monument was uncovered during clearance in 2016.
South face
North face of the monument
North face


This is an unusual monument as it stands at a right angles to the west wall. Located 4 monuments north of the ornate monument of James Rattee. It could be called a column but is rather narrow.


south face

‘In Affectionate Remembrance of Harriett
the beloved wife of Richard Peers Hardman
born Oct 17 1814 died Oct 30 1852.’

north face

‘In Memory of the Rev Richard Peers Hardman
Vicar of Wicken Cambs
sometime Vicar of Airmyn Yorks
born Dec 27 1822 died April 22 1885

‘Also of Emily Augusta his widow
born Oct 7 1821 died Oct 1 1901
In Memory of William Minister Hardman
born 21 Mar 1861 died 11 Feb 1920

Ernest Minister Hardman
Born 14 Jun 1864 died 7 Mar 1907

Harriet Hardman (née Topham)  (17 October 1814  – 30 October 1852) 

Harriet was the daughter of Ovid and Maria (née Burchall) Topham.  She was born in London and baptised on 9 April 1815 at Spitalfields Christchurch with St Mary and St Stephen Church.  Ovid Topham was a millwright/engineer who was granted a patent in 1837 for  a sluice valve to be used in waterworks.  Harriett grew up at  the family home: Topham House in Islington.

She married Richard Hardman on 24 September 1851 at St John’s Church, Upper Holloway. She died the following year at 12 Trumptinton Street in Cambridge aged 38 years old.

Rev. Richard Peers Hardman (27 December 1822 – 22 April 1885)

Richard was born in Cambridge and was the son of coffee house keeper Isaac Hardman and his wife Elizabeth (née Peers). Isaac (1786-1837) ran a coffee house at 28 Trinity Street, which was later managed by his widow Elizabeth.   He was already a vicar in 1851 when he married his first wife Harriett.

After her death  in 1852, Richard married Emily Minister. The marriage took place on 12 January 1860 at St Saviour’s Church in Hampstead.  The couple moved to Kington-upon-Hull in Yorkshire where he was the curate of St. Stephen’s Church in 1861.  The couple had at least three children: William Minister (1861-1920), Harriett Minister (1863-1941) and Ernest Minister (1864-1907).   Their son Ernest was born in Airmyn in Yorkshire, where Richard was the Vicar for a few years.

In 1869 he was appointed the Vicar of St Lawrence’s Church in Wicken, Cambridgeshire. Kelly’s Directory of 1883 records that his salary of £140 per year plus accommodation was funded by the Church Patronage Society.  The church was restored in 1879 at a cost of £900.   Richard died at the vicarage aged 62 years old.

Emily Augusta Hardman (née Minister) (7 October 1821 – 1 October 1901)

Emily was born at 13 Charles Street in Covent Garden, London.  She was the daughter of tailor Edward Minister and his wife Mary and was baptised on 22 November 1840 when she was 19 years old.  She married widower Rev. Richard Hardman when she was 38 years old.

After his death she moved to London to live with her son William, and daughter Harriett. In 1891 they were all living at 237 Finchley Road, and in 1901 were at 14 Percy Street in Liverpool where William was teaching.  Emily died at Percy Street at the age of 79.

William Minister Hardman (21 March 1861 – 11 February 1920)

William was born in Kington-upon-Hull  and baptised on 18 April 1861.  He went to school in Bury St Edmunds and then Felsted before going up to St John’s College in 1880.  He graduated with a B.A. in 1884 and an M.A. in 1887.  He was Assistant Master at the Godolphin School in Hammersmith (1886-1899), Vice Principal of Liverpool College Middle School (1900-1901) and then Assistant Master at Bridlington School.  He had retired from teaching by 1911, and was living at 3 Park Mansions, St Paul’s Avenue in Cricklewood in that year with his sister Harriett and servant Alice Bailey.  He died aged 58 years old at the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth in St John’s Wood.   A note in the parish record says he was cremated so it is possible that his ashes are here.

Ernest Minister Hardman (14 June 1864 – 7 March 1907)

Ernest was born in Airmyn and baptised there on 8 July 1864.  Like his brother William he went to school at Bury St Edmunds and Felsted before going up to Corpus Christi College in October 1883.  There are no records of him having been awarded a degree from the University.  He died in San Francisco aged 45 years old, and was living at 757 Howard Street when he died. It is probable that he was buried/cremated in America, and is just remembered on the family grave monument in Cambridge.

Sources :

CFHS parish record transcripts
Free BMD

Newspaper Archives

Cambridge University  Alumni Database

By Mary Naylor and Claire Martinsen

Emily Augusta Hardman; Ernest Minister Hardman; Harriett Hardman; Richard Peers Hardman; William Minister Hardman
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