CFHS code : AS179

Parish : All Saints

Inscription : Sacred to the Memory of SOPHIA PALMER d Dec [23] 1860 age 75 also of CHARLES MATTHEW PALMER her son d June 8 1859 age 44 also of MARY WING her sister d Aug 10 1862 age 86

Monument : Stone cross/Coped stone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

The monument in February 2022.


This monument stands 3 rows west of the central path behind a large fir tree. CFHS described it as having a coped stone attached but we could not see one when this photo was taken. The carves inscription is surprisingly clear given the discolouration of the stone.


Sacred to the Memory of SOPHIA PALMER who died Dec 23 1860 aged 75

Also of CHARLES MATTHEW PALMER her son who died June 28 1859 aged 44

Also of MARY WING her sister who died Aug 10 1862 aged 85

Sophia Palmer (née Chisholm) (c.1782 – 23 December 1860)

Sophia was born in Cambridge and was baptised in the parish church of St Edward on September 18th 1782, the daughter of Thomas & Mary. She married William Palmer on 10 July 1804 at St. Mary the Great Church.  William may have been  a butler at Sidney Sussex College. Their first 5 children were baptised at Mary the Great; William (1805-1810), Thomas (1806-), Mary Ann (1808-), William Henry (1811-), Charles Matthew (1814-1859), There was a further baptism which took place took place in All Saints: William Henry (1816-1842)  But we found no record of the death of the earlier William Henry and no records for this  Mary Ann (1821-1874).
A William Palmer aged 47 and living in Green St died  in 1829

By 1841 Sophia was widowed and living in Green Street with her son William who ran a small private school.  She later became a college servant, and continued to live at Green Street (1851) and died aged 74 years old.  Her daughter Mary took over the running of the Hoop Hotel, Bridge Street in 1854 and it is believed Sophia may have moved to live there.

Newspaper advert in 1859.

Her death was announced in the Cambridge Independent Press ‘at Cambridge, on the 23rd inst., much respected, in the 75th year of her age, Sophia, relict of the late Mr. W. Palmer, formerly of Green-street, and mother of Miss Palmer of the Hoop Hotel’.

Sophia’s grandson Edward Henry Palmer  (son of William Henry Palmer) was murdered in Egypt.  His remains were buried at St. Paul’s Cathedral and more of his extraordinary life can be read here.

Charles Matthew Palmer (1814 – 28 June 1859)

Charles was baptised on 21 February 1814 at St. Mary the Great Church and married Sarah Bidwell (1814-) on 31 December 1835 at All Saints’ Church. He worked as a tailor and the couple settled to live in Green Street, near his brother William.  They had at least two children: William Henry (1839-1907) and Frederick Bidwell (1840-1919). He died in 1859.

Mary Wing (née Chisholm) (c.1777 – 10 August 1862)

Mary was baptised in the parish church of St Edward on  July 3rd 1777, the daughter of Thomas & Mary. She married William Wing (1774-1814) at St. Edward’s Church on 3 March 1795.  William was from Meldreth  and  they had at least four children: Charlotte (1795-1843), Harriet (1799-), Susannah Sophia (1803-1822) and a son.
William ran the Old Bell pub in the village and after his death in c.1814  Mary took over the business.

In May 1822 Mary took Augusta Paul Jenkins to court for ‘seduction of her daughter’ Susannah.  Augusta was a surgeon and apothecary who had come to the Wing household to treat Mary’s son.  Whilst there he had seduced Susannah and persuaded her of his intention to marry her.  At the start of 1821 Susannah became pregnant and Augusta then reneged on his promise.  Susannah appeared as a witness at the trial and it was said ‘she appeared to be helpless and was evidently in the last stage of a decline.  She was carried by her brother and placed supported by pillows in the seat of the crier and was throughout attended by her brother who administered various restoratives to sustain her through her examinations’.  Augusta was eventually found guilty and had to pay £150 to the Wing family. Susannah died in July 1822 aged 19 years old.

In December 1822 Mary was made insolvent and she died the Hoop Hotel aged 85 years old.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

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Charles Matthew Palmer; Sophia Palmer; Mary Wing