CFHS code : HT418a

Parish : Holy Trinity

Inscription : In Loving Remembrance of SAMUEL KNOWLES d May 6 1856 aged 47 also SOPHIA KNOWLES wife of the above d Sept 18 1858 aged 53 also FRANCES LEACH daughter of the above remainder illegible

Monument : Headstone (fallen)

Above information amended from Cambridge Family History Society Survey



Samuel Knowles (1808 – 6 October 1855)

Samuel was the son of William and Mary Knowles and was baptised on 20 March 1808 at St. Andrew the Great Church. He married Sophia Leach on 21 December 1829 and they had  seven children: Frances Leach (1830-1920), Mary Rose (1833-1894), Emily Sophia (1836-1918), Owen Arthur (1837-1901), Albert Richmond (1839-1922), Jeanette Kirby (1841-1932) and Alice Maud (1843-1911). The family lived at King Street and Samuel worked as  the rate collector for the parishes of All Saints’, St. Benet’s, St Botolph, Holy Trinity and St. Mary the Less, before resigning the role in 1847.  The job was advertised after his resignation and the candidate was asked ‘to find security with two sufficient sureties in £500,for the diligent and faithful performance of the duties of the office: – to account for all monies intrusted to him, and to yield an abstract of his accounts every quarter’.

He then worked as a sheriff’s officer as well as ‘registrar of births, marriages and deaths for the sub-district St. Andrew the Great and assessor of taxes in the parish of the Holy Trinity’.  Samuel  died at home and newspapers reported ‘it appears that Mr Knowles had been labouring under some internal disease of the chest for some time past, for which disorder he was under the skilful treatment of Mr. Ficklin, surgeon, but notwithstanding which the painful malady baffled all medical skill, and death terminated his sufferings..he was a man much respected for his civility and business like habits and had only attained to the age of 47. He leaves behind him a large family of seven children and a widow to mourn over his loss’. His obituary in the Cambridge Chronicle and Journal said he was ‘a very active man of business and was generally respected by those who had to deal with him for his kind of obliging disposition’.

Sophia Knowles (née Leach) (1803 – 18 September 1858)

Sophia was the daughter of Barnet  (1764-1814) and Margaret (née Hopkins) and was baptised at Cherry Hinton on 19 June 1903. Her father was the cook at Trinity College and she maried Samuel Knowles when she was 26 years old. She died at King Street and although her age was given as 53 years, it is believed she was actually 55 years old.

Frances Leach Matthews (née Knowles) (1830-1920)

Frances was baptised on 26 December 1830 and lived with her parents until their deaths. In 1861 she was living with her aunt Frances Leach at 51 King Street with house servant Emma Lawrence.  She married Benjamin Matthews (1837-) on 28 May 1877 at Holy Trinity Church, Brompton. Benjamin was a widow and the marriage certificate documented he was a clerk.  The couple  lived at 19 Kingston Street and he worked as a coal dealer/agent (1881). It is not known what happened to the marriage, but in 1891 Frances was working as a housekeeper at 6 New Square, although she was still documented on the census as being married. From at least 1901 onwards she lived in Shropshire with her sister Jeanetta, and niece Hannah. Frances died in Shropshire in 1920 and parish burial records do not record her being buried at Mill Road Cemetery.



Newspaper archives

Parish burial records transcribed by CFHS

by Claire Martinsen

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Samuel Knowles; Sophia Knowles; Frances Leach Matthews