William Lofts (1801-84), servant at Emmanuel College for more than 50 years

William Lofts, senior, was born in Babraham, Cambridgeshire, on 11 February 1801. In 1831 he was paid for waiting in hall at Emmanuel College. Already a widower, he married Sarah Price in 1841, and the couple lived first in Prospect Row (Kite district), then at 2 Willow Walk (close to New Square) until the 1860s by which time their household numbered nine persons, and thereafter at 10 Mill Road.

In 1884 he is named as a shoeblack in the College and a pension of £50 a year was granted. He died on 29 August 1884. Lofts’s children included Maria, Frederick George, who also became a college servant, and William, junior, who married in 1850 and served as head porter at Christ’s College 1861-68. Sarah, who died in 1893, is buried with her husband.

Lofts grave
Lofts monument




Parish : St Paul

See family grave page for more information





Rachel Wroth, “Emmanuel College Servants in the 19th Century” (2001, typescript in College Archives)
census reports
Spalding Cambridge Street Directory
college records
Cambridgeshire Family History Society Monumental Inscriptions for the City of Cambridge

By Amanda Goode, Archivist, Emmanuel College (with Ian Bent)

William Lofts