CFHS code : ED20

Parish : St Edward

Inscription : In Loving Memory of MARY ANN ELIZABETH HOWES b Sept 21 1860 d Oct 6 1944 also of ERIC NEVILLE HOWES third son of the above b Jan 18 1895 d Jan 7 1942

Monument : Headstone/Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.203102, 0.13746574 – click here for location

Howes monument 2017


This modest-sized, curved-topped, art-deco-shaped limestone headstone, with kerb stones, in the parish area of St Edward, is located four rows west of the central path, 20 yards north of the centre circle.


In living memory of Mary Ann Elizabeth Howes
born Sep 21st 1860 died Oct 6th 1944

Also of Eric Neville Howes third son of the above
born Jan 18th 1895 died Jan 7th 1942

Mary Ann Elizabeth Howes (née Willimott) (1859‒1944)
Mary Ann Elizabeth (‛Bessie’) Willimott was born on 21 September 1859 (her inscription says ‛1860’) in Cambridge, and baptised on 4 December of the same year at the church of St Andrew the Less, Cambridge, the daughter of William Willimott, butcher, and his wife Catherine.  By 1861, her father had died, and her mother and children were living on Barton Road, Grantchester (now in Newnham, Cambridge).  Her siblings were Charles (c.1852‒), Ellen (c.1856‒),  and Catharine (c.1858‒).  Nothing else is known of her childhood or education.

3 Inverness Terrace in 1978 [Cambs Collection K11.0407.LS]
Mary married Charles John Howes of Cambridge, on 28 March 1883 at St Bene’t’s Church, Cambridge.  Prior to that, Mary had been living at 20 New Square, Cambridge.  The couple lived at 3 Inverness Terrace (now 118 Mill Road, between Devonshire Road and the railway bridge) from at least 1884 and probably since their marriage.  At that time, Charles’s occupation was given as ‛bicycle dealer’ (his father, John, had been a ‛bicycle maker’ before him at 12‒13 Regent Street); however, there is no evidence that he actually traded at Inverness Terrace, rather that he worked at the Regent Street premises, where in 1896 the couple moved.  In all, they had six children:  Ethel May (c.1884‒1957), Charles Clarence (1885‒1969), Jessie Winifred (1887‒1967), Sidney Ralph (1890‒1968), Eric Neville (1895‒1942) and Kathleen Mary (1902‒82).  Of these, Charles Clarence followed his father as a ‛cycle engineer’.  By 1911 the family was living at 46 Regent Street.

Charles died in June 1934, aged 75, after 28 years of marriage.  Mary (who was physically very small, and was known by her grandchildren as ‛Tiny Grandma’) outlived him by ten years, dying on 6 October 1944, at the age of 84, by which time she was living in the Chesterton Nursing Home.

Howes Cycles : workshop in the 1900s (right) and 1965 (left)

Her body was buried on 28 October in Mill Road Cemetery, in row XXX of the St Edward parish area, in grave 6, at a depth of 6 feet.  Her death had been preceded in January 1942 by that of her son Eric Neville, who is buried in the same plot.

(Charles himself, and his parents John and Sarah Ann, are buried in the St Benedict parish area, at ED66.)

Eric Neville Howes (1895‒1942)
Eric Neville was born on 25 January 1895 in Cambridge and baptised in the church of St Benedict on 12 August 1902.  He was the fifth child of Charles John Howes, bicycle manufacturer, and his wife Mary Ann Elizabeth (see above).  He was living at his parental address of 46 Regent Street in 1911, aged 16.  In the 1939 register transcription he is recorded as still unmarried and living with his mother, now at ‛Bargate [recte Bradgate] House’, 114 Tenison Road, Cambridge, his occupation given as ‛machine-tool salesman’.

114 Tenison Road “Bradgate House” in 2017

Eric Neville died on 7 January 1942, aged 46, and was buried three days later in Mill Road Cemetery, in row XXX of the parish area of St Edward, in grave 6, at a depth of 7 feet. In the early 1940s he was living in London, and at the time of death (from tuberculosis) was in St Stephen’s Hospital, Chelsea, London.

(Note: Howes Cycles shop in Cambridge, latterly at 104 Regent Street, closed in December 2013 after having been in the family for 173 years since it was founded in 1840.)

[If you have any information about these two persons or their family, please contact us at]

Note: For other burials with the surname Howes, see:

England census returns 1861‒1901
England & Wales census return 1911
Register transcription 1939 (FMP)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837‒1915
England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538‒1975
Cambridgeshire Banns Transcription (FMP)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1937‒1915
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916‒2007
Church of St Edward, Cambridge, burial register, grave book
Church of St Andrew the Less, Cambridge, banns register
Church of St Benedict, Cambridge, registers of baptisms, banns, marriages and burials
Spalding’s Street Directories of Cambridge 1881‒1901

Tyndall, T. and Green, J., ‛Howes Cycles ‒ Britains Oldest Cycle Shop’, The Boneshaker, vol. 20, No. 194 (Spring 2014), pp. 44‒50

Personal communications from Richard Howes (September‒November 2017)

By Ian Bent

Eric Neville Howes; Mary Ann Elizabeth Howes