Charles Phipps (c.1818‒74)
Charles was born in about 1818 in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire and was baptised there on 23 June 1818.  He was one of at least seven children born to William Phipps (c.1792-?), butcher, and his wife Mary Phipps (née Clarke) (c.1795-1856).  In 1841 a Charles Phipps aged 20 was working as a servant in the household of Mary and Hannah Westen, in Oxford Road, Kings Charlton, Gloucestershire.

Charles married Mary Ann Frisby on 26 August 1845 at St Giles, Ashtead, Surrey.  Charles and Mary Ann had at least six children: Henry Charles (1845‒1921); William James (1847‒1882), John (c.1849‒?), Robert (1852‒1882), Frederick (1854‒1889); and Mary Ann Fanny (1858‒1883).  Their family probably lived with Mary Ann’s parents in Silver Street at first, then by 1849 in Botolph Lane, then two years later at 17 Silver Street.

By 1851 Charles was a ‛college gyp’ (i.e. a manservant who attended an undergraduate in rooms in a Cambridge college), and he held this position until shortly before his death working for Queens’ College for 20 years.  Charles may have been the first of his family to work for the colleges but he was not the last.  By 1871 three of their sons (Henry, Robert and Frederick), had also become college servants, thus cementing the tradition of college service that the family was to pursue.  In addition, his brother-in-law, Robert Manners Frisby (c.1826-1856), also worked for a college as a ‘college servant’ briefly.

By 1858 the family lived at 4 Queens’ Lane (a college property).  Some time between 1871 and 1874 Charles and his family moved to 33 Bridge Street, the reason for the move being unclear.  Charles died on 31 May 1874, at the age of 55 having worked for Queens’ College for 20 years.  His body was buried on 3 June in Mill Road Cemetery, in the parish area of St Botolph.  He left no will, but his effects, worth less than £300, were administered to his wife Mary Ann, who survived him by five years.

 See family grave page for more information.

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Cambridge Independent Press, Saturday, 6 September 1856
Cambridge Independent Press, Saturday, 6 June 1874
Cambridge Independent Press, Saturday, 4 March 1882
Cambridge Independent Press, Saturday, 1 September 1883
Cambridge Independent Press, Friday, 10 November 1893
England & Wales census returns 1841 to 1891
Gloucestershire, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813‒1913 (Charles)
England, Select  Births and Christenings, 1538‒1975 (Charles)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837‒1915 (Charles, Mary Ann; Fanny)
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills & Administrations), 1858‒1966 (Charles)
Church of St Botolph, Cambridge, baptismal register (Fanny Phipps; Charles Frisby + the children of Charles & Mary Ann Phipps, and the children and grandchildren of John & Rebecca Frisby)
Church of St Botolph, Cambridge, marriage register (Richard Manners; James John; Thomas Frisby)
Church of St Botolph, Cambridge, burial register (Charles; Mary Ann; Fanny)
Church of St Clement, Cambridge, marriage register (Robert Phipps)

By Ian Bent and Emma Easterbrook

Charles Phipps