CFHS code : BE124

Parish : St Bene’t

Inscription : JOSEPH STANLEY of Cambridge d May 5 1856 aged 87

Monument : Headstone/Coped stone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.202649, 0.13615614 – click here for location

Stanley monument 2017



Joseph Stanley (c.1789 – 5 May 1856)

Joseph was a surgeon/apothecary who lived at 2 Benet Street. The Cambridge Chronicle and Journal printed a short obituary after his death entitled ‘An eccentric character’ where they noted he was one of the oldest inhabitants of the town.  The newspaper reported ‘Mr Stanley was formerly a surgeon of good practice, but has for many years retired from his profession. He was well-known for his eccentric and somewhat penurious habits; and is supposed to have amassed a considerable fortune, by denying himself luxuries and even many necessities. The student in his walks at the back of the college might have seen him almost daily dressed in a thread bare grey coat and napless hat and gaiters, mounted on an aged brown pony, almost as unimposing looking as himself, and moving on at an invariably slow pace, his eyes generally fixed on the ground in meditation, from which no  passing objects seem to awaken him. But he is gone to his long home and his  place is void’.

In his will he left his money to Sidney Wentworth (1828-1896),  son of his nephew William Wentworth (1793-1827) on condition that Sidney, his offspring and heirs used the  surname of Stanley.   In July 1856 Sidney changed his name and coat of arms accordingly.  The will was valued at under £100,000 (c.£11m at 2020 values) and  as a result of his inheritance Sidney Stanley  lived at Longstowe Hall with his wife Sarah  and thirteen children. He bought the Hall in 1858 and perhaps to avoid future problems his sons were given the middle name of Wentworth, and his daughters the middle names of Wentworth Stanley (eg Ellen Ada Stanley Stanley). Sidney was  made a Captain in the 1st Hunts Light Horse brigade,  served as a Magistrate from 1861 onwards, was Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridge  and also served as High Sheriff for Cambridge and Huntingdonshire from 1873-1874.

Captain Sidney Stanley died in July 1896 after which the Hall was sold and his widow and children moved to live at 2 Scrope Terrace in Cambridge.  The contents of Longstowe Hall  were auctioned in October 1897 – there were so many items the sale lasted for five days.

Longstowe Hall, just outside Cambridge



Newspaper archives

by  Claire Martinsen

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Joseph Stanley