CFHS code : BO30

Parish : St Botolph

Inscription : In Memory of THOMAS RUSSELL PRESTON b Feb 13 1849 d Dec 20 1864 also of LUCY PRESTON d April 14 1891 aged 62 also of THOMAS PRESTON husband of the above d Sept 28 1912

Monument : Headstone (broken)

Above information amended from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.202849, 0.13802436 – click here for location

Preston grave
Preston headstone


This headstone, broken and fragmentary, its inscription no longer decipherable, in the parish area of St Botolph, is located north east of the centre circle, east of the north-bound central path, eleven rows back (at the rear of the St Botolph area).


‛In Memory of Thomas Russell Preston born Feb 13 1849 died Dec 20 1864’
‛Also of Lucy Preston died April 14 1891 aged 62‛
’Also of Thomas Preston husband of the above died Sept 28 1912’

Thomas Preston (1823‒1912)

Thomas was born in Newnham, Cambridge in 1823, the son of Thomas and Susannah Preston and was baptised at the Church of St Mary the Less (Little St Mary’s) on 14 December of that year. He married Lucy Layton on 24 June 1846 at St Mary the Less, and by 1851 the couple were living in Andersons Court, Newnham, with two sons and a baby daughter. He was then a carpenter. By 1861 the family, now increased in number, was living at 15 Newnham [Street], Thomas now being designated as ‛carpenter & parish clerk’; and in later years at 33 Newnham [Street]. In 1881, he is named as an ‛overseer’ of St Botolph’s Church.

By 1871, Thomas had changed profession and become a ‛milkman & farmer’, and thereafter he is called ‛dairy farmer’ or ‛dairyman & farmer’. Spalding’ street directory for 1881 cites him as:

33 [Newnham Street] Preston, Thomas, dairyman

Lucy died in 1891, and Thomas lived on as a widower until 1912. The 1911 census records that Thomas and Lucy had had fourteen children, of whom nine had since died and five were still living.

In 1901, resident with him were his daughter Beatrice Linsdale (who had been married for seven years), and her daughter, Christobel Beatrice (aged 6), and another grand-daughter, Jessie Nichols (aged 26), who was his dairy manager. By 1911, he was retired and living at 51 Newnham [Street], and with him were still Beatrice and Christobel, and also Beatrice’s second daughter Margaret Dorothy (3). Thomas died in 1912, aged 88, and was buried at St Botolph’s Church on 30 September of that year.

Lucy Preston (née Layton) (1827‒1891)

Lucy Layton was born in Newnham, Cambridge in 1827, the daughter of Thomas Layton, printer, and Mary Layton, and was baptised at the Church of St Mary the Less (Little St Mary’s) on 4 November of that year. She married Thomas Preston on 24 June 1846 at St Mary the Less. The couple continued to live in Newnham, latterly at 33 Newnham.

They had fourteen children: Edward (or Edmond) (b.1847, who became a solicitor’s clerk), Thomas Russell (1849‒64, buried in this grave), Ellen (b. 1851), Susannah (1852‒53), George (b.1854), Lucy (b. 1856, married Frederick Thomas Bell, college cook, in 1877), Clarisa Kate (b.1857, married Arthur Barnes Quadling, coal merchant, in 1883), Mary (1859‒63), Henry Charles (1861‒62), Susan (b.1862, married Arthur Chapman, college servant, in 1886), Russell Pryor (1865‒67), Alice Maud (b.1868, married George Laurie King, cabinet maker, in 1888), Hervey (or Henry) Thomas (1869‒70) and Beatrice Emma (b.1871, married ?? Linsdale in c.1894). Lucy died in 1891, aged 62, and was buried at St Botolph’s Church on 9 April of that year.

Thomas Russell Preston (1849‒1864)

Thomas Russell was the second child of Thomas and Lucy Preston. He was born in 1849 and baptised at St Botolph’s Church on 11 February of that year. He died in 1864, and was buried at St Botolph’s on 27 December of that year, aged 15 years and 9 months. Thomas died in a firearms accident. He was shooting birds with some friends in the fields near Newnham when he stepped into the line of fire at the moment his friends finger slipped on the trigger of his gun. He was  shot in the chest and died instantly. At the inquest the coroner gave a verdict of accidental death and stressed the need to prevent children from playing with firearms.   (See local newpaper report.)

Census reports 1841‒1911
St Botolph baptismal register
St Botolph marriage register
St Botolph burial register
Spalding’s Street Directory 1881
Cambridge Chronicle 24 December 1864

By Ian Bent

Lucy Preston; Thomas Preston; Thomas Russell Preston