CFHS code : ED15

Parish : St Edward

Inscription : In Loving Memory of JAMES ROBERT LING d Aug 16 1891 age 51 also In Loving Memory of JAMES LINDSEY LING d 28 June 1958 age 48 also In Loving Memory of EMMA LING wife of JAMES ROBERT LING d Dec 30 1921 age 78

Monument : Stone cross (broken, base only)

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.203048, 0.13749239 – click here for location

Ling monument 2017


This stone cross, on triple plinth, in polished red granite, in the parish area of St Edward, is located two rows west of the central path, 20 yards north of the centre circle.  The cross has fallen, and the plinth subsided.


[west face:]

In loving memory of Alice Lucy
wife of Charles Ling
born March 26th 18[71] died [Sept] 20th 1954

[south face:]

In loving memory of Charles William Ling
who died Aug 27th 1921 aged 53 years

[east face:]

In loving memory of James Robert Ling
who died August 16th 1891 aged 51 years

Also to the memory of James Lindsey Ling
died 28th June 1958 aged 48 years

[north face:]

Also in loving memory of Emma Ling
wife of James Robert Ling
who died Dec 30th 1921 aged 78 years

Relationships: Alice was the daughter of James Robert and Emma Ling;  Charles William was Alice’s husband;  James Lindsey was the son of Charles William and Alice, hence the grandson of James Robert and Emma.  The whole family, including those buried in the family grave of Harriett and Henry Samuel Grant, Susanna and William Samuel Ling, were deeply involved in music, as retailers, piano and organ tuners, and church singers.

Alice Lucy Ling (née Ling) (1871‒1954)
Alice Ling was born on 28 March (inscription seems to say ‛March 26th’, Civil Registration Birth Index says ‛Apr/Jun’) 1871, and was baptised at St Edward’s Church, Cambridge on 24 April 1871, the daughter of James Robert Ling, music seller, and his wife Emma of 8 Fitzwilliam Street, Cambridge (see both, below).  In 1891, at the age of 20, Alice was living with her parents at 6‒7 St Edward’s Passage; by 1901 her occupation was given as ‛music dealer’, like her mother.

Alice married Charles William Ling, piano tuner ‒ who was present at Alice’s and Emma’s house when the 1901 census was taken, and was there described as a ‛cousin’ of Emma’s despite being 25 years younger ‒ in April or May 1904 (the banns having been read on 17 April).  The couple lived with Alice’s widowed mother, Emma (see below), at 6 Panton Street, and by 1911 had had two children: Alec Charles (1905‒79) and James Lindsey (1909 or 1910‒58).  Husband Charles died in 1921.  In 1939 she was living in the South Cambridgeshire village of Great Abington with her younger son, James Lindsey (see below).

Alice died on 20 September 1954 at the age of 83.  Neither the St Edward burial register nor its grave book records burials beyond 1950, so details of her burial are not given.

Charles William Ling (1868‒1921)
Charles was born at the New Year 1868 in Peterborough, and baptised on 9 January at St Mary’s Church there, the son of William Boutal Ling, cathedral lay clerk (i.e. adult singer), and his wife Mary Anne.  At the 1871 census, Charles was with his maternal grandparents, William and Sarah Lindsey in Lichfield, Staffordshire.  In 1881 he was with his parents, now at St Mark’s Villa, Grantchester [Barton Road, Cambridge].  His siblings were Ernest George (c.1870‒), Percival George (c.1872‒), Ellen (Helen) Mary (c.1873‒), William Henry (c.1874‒), Harvey (Harry) Lindsey (c.1878‒) and Arthur Samuel (c.1881‒).  At the age of 13, Charles was a chorister in the Chapel of Trinity College, University of Cambridge.  By 1891, he had become a piano tuner and organist, and had acquired two further siblings, Gertrude Mabel, (c.1885‒) and Bessie May (c.1888‒).

At census time in 1901, Charles was at the home of Emma Ling and her daughter Alice (both described as ‛music dealer’) of 6 Panton Street in Cambridge’s New Town.  Their banns of marriage were read on 17 April 1904, and their wedding took place shortly after.  The couple lived in Emma’s house at least for the next seven years.  They  had two children: Alec Charles (1905‒79) and James Lindsey (1909 or 1910‒58) (see below).

Charles died on 27 August 1921, aged 53, and his body was buried on 1 September in Mill Road Cemetery (no details of the burial are given in the parish grave book).  Alice outlived him by thirteen years.

James Robert Ling (1840‒1891)
James was born in the first quarter of 1840 in Cambridge, and baptised on 30 July of that year in Trinity Church, Ely, the son of Henry Ling, piano tuner and lay clerk [i.e. adult church singer], and his wife Susanna.  In 1841 the family was living on Pembroke Street, Cambridge, and ten years later at 8 King’s Parade, where his mother, now widowed, was a ‛music seller’ and James was being home-schooled.  He had four siblings, Harriet (c.1827‒95), Henry John (c.1829‒41), Charles (c.1832‒57), and William Samuel (1837‒82), and the household had two servants and also two lodgers from Trinity College, one of whom was the Scot James Clerk Maxwell, aged 19, later to become one of Britain’s most eminent mathematicians and physicists.

James married Emma Brown, daughter of William Brown, in the village of Little Abington on 30 April 1868.  By 1871 the couple were living at 8 Fitzwilliam Street, Cambridge; and by 1881 they were at 7 St Edward’s Passage in central Cambridge, and had three daughters: Ethel (c.1869‒), Alice (1871‒1954) (see above) and Mabel (c.1876‒).  By that date, James had become a partner in his mother’s music business, Ling & Son, music warehouse, his shop located at 7 St Edward’s Passage (the family living at No. 6), hers round the corner at 6 King’s Parade.

In the census for 1891 James’s occupation is stated as ‛Prof. of Music’.  He was to die on 16 August of that year at the age of 51.  He was buried two days later in Mill Road Cemetery, in row XXXII of the St Edward parish area, in grave 2, at a depth of 10 feet.  His will was proved by his brother William Samuel and wife Emma, his estate valued at £2,606 5s. 3d.

James Lindsey Ling (1909 or 1910‒1958)
James Lindsey’s date of birth is disputed: the Civil Registration Birth Index gives ‛Jan/March 1910’, whereas the 1939 register gives ‛27 August 1909’.  He was born in Cambridge, the son of Charles William Ling and his wife Alice (see both, above).  (‛Lindsey’ was the maiden name of his paternal grandmother, Mary Anne, of Lichfield.)  In 1911 he and his older brother, Alec Charles (1905‒79), and their parents, were living with their maternal grandmother Emma Ling at 6 Panton Street (New Town).  Nothing is known of his life for the following 28 years.

In 1939, James, still unmarried, was living with his widowed mother at 63 High Street, Great Abington ‒ a village 7 miles southeast of Cambridge.  Strangely, at the age of 30 his occupation is described as ‛unpaid domestic duties’.  He outlived his mother by only four years, dying in Great Abington on 28 June 1958 aged 48.  Neither the St Edward burial register nor its grave book record burials after 1958, so no details of the interment are known.  He died intestate, and his effects, worth £956 13s 1d were administered to his brother Alec Charles (1905‒79), marine engineer.

Emma Ling (née Brown) (1843‒1921)
Emma Brown was born on 14 January 1843 in Cambridge, daughter of William Brown and his wife Emma, and was baptised on 17 April of that year.  William must to have died, because Emma snr married George Jennings, draper’s assistant, and in 1851 the family lived at Rose Cottage, Chesterton Lane, Cambridge with Emma’s widowed grandmother, Sarah Barlow, and her 4-month-old brother, George Barlow Jennings.  By 1861, George Jennings had his own drapery business at 3 Market Hill, in the central square of Cambridge, and in addition to George Barlow (c.1851), Emma had four other siblings, Charles Frederick (c.1853‒), Percy Tom (c.1855‒), Bessie (c.1857‒) and Gertrude (1861‒).

Emma married James Robert Ling (see above) on 30 April 1868 in the South Cambridgeshire village of Little Abington.  By 1871, the couple were living at 8 Fitzwilliam Street, Cambridge with two infant daughters.  By 1881 they were established a 6 St Edward’s Passage (across from the front of King’s College), with by now three daughters ‒ Ethel (c.1869‒), Alice (1871‒1954) (see above) and Mabel (c.1876‒).  James’s music dealership was next door at No. 7, and at both the 1881 and 1891 censuses Emma’s half-sister Gertrude Jennings was living with them.

James died in 1891, and by 1901 Emma was living at 6 Panton Street (New Town), with daughter Alice and future son-in-law Charles William.  By 1911, the married couple was living with her, together with their two children, Alec Charles (1905‒79) and James Lindsey (1909 or 1910‒58).  Emma died on 30 December 1921 at the age of 78.  Her body was buried on 2 January 1922 in Mill Road Cemetery (no details of the burial are given in the parish grave book).  Her address at the time of death was 17 Panton Street (just a renumbering of the same house?).  Emma died leaving the tiny sum of £36 9s 6d in the hands of her solicitor, Alfred Harold Ruston.

[If you have any further information about these five persons or other family members mentioned here, please contact us at]

England census returns 1841 to 1891
England register transcript 1939 (Alice, James Lindsey)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837‒1915 (James Robert, Charles William, Alice Ling, James Lindsey)
England, Select Births, 1638‒1975 (Emma)
England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538‒1975 (James Robert, Emma)
England, Select Marriage, 1538‒1973 (James Robert/Emma)
England & Wales, Christening Index, 1530‒1980 (Susanna)
Northamptonshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813‒1912 (Charles William)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837‒1915 (Charles William/Alice)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916‒2007 (Alice, Charles William, Alec Charles, Emma)
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858‒1966 (James Robert, James Lindsey, Emma)
Spalding’s Street Directory of Cambridge 1881
Church of St Edward, Cambridge, baptismal register (Alice), banns register (Charles William/Alice), burial register and grave book (Charles William, James Roberts, Emma)

By Ian Bent

Alice Ling; Charles William Ling; Emma Ling; James Lindsey Ling; James Robert Ling