CFHS code : HT406

Parish : Holy Trinity

Inscription : Memory of WILLIAM SWANN d April [26] 1865 aged [55] also FRANCES widow of the above d 13 Feb 1877 aged 63 also JAMES ASPLEN SWANN d 11 Dec 1891 aged 14 also WILLIAM SWANN two lines illegible ELIZABETH SELL SWANN d 18 Feb 1926 aged 86 also WILLIAM LINTON SWANN d March 26 1862 age 14 [JAMES] SWANN died at sea on board the Sabraon March 6 1876 aged 33

Monument : Celtic cross

Above information amended  from Cambridge Family History Society Survey



William Swann (21 August 1809 – 26 April 1865)

William was the son of William and Elizabeth (née Blowes) and was baptised at All Saints’ Church on 17 February 1811. He married Frances Linton in 1837  and they went to live in Hobson Street with his widowed father who ran a carrier business – William took over the family business when his father died in 1844.  The couple had at least seven children: Frances Linton (1838-1885), Edwin William (1839-1913), James (1843-1876), Solomon Linton (1845-1930), Ernest Alfred (1846-1918), William Linton (1848-1862) and Mary Elizabeth (1850-1939).  The family continued to live at Hobson Street and in 1851 William was described as a courier and coal merchant employing 9 men, and by 1861 as a brewer, carrier and merchant’.  He started the Hobson Street Brewery, which ran for many years as a family business.

In 1841 William was accused of bribing the election.  The case came to court in March 1842 and was reported as ‘The Queen v William Swann’.   He had offered Benjamin Lee a payment of £5 and a loan of £15 if he voted for Mr Manners Sutton at the election  William expressed regret and the event was ‘attributed to ..youthful ardour and bad advisors and [he] promised amendment for the future’. He represented Holy Trinity parish on the Town Council but his reputation was tarnished for many years and even in December 1859 it was reported ‘the notorious William Swann, the carrier Alderman H. Smith said it could be a disgrace to retain William Swann in the office’.

He died at Hobson Street aged 55 years old.

Frances Swann  (née Linton ) (c.1814 – 13 February 1877)

Frances was born in the village of Westwick, just north east of Cambridge and married William Swann when she was c.21 years old. She took over the running of the brewery after being widowed and in 1874 passed the business to her son Edwin. She died at 20 Fitzwilliam Street aged 63 years old.

James Asplen Swann (1877 – 11 December 1891)

James was the son of Edwin and Elizabeth Swann and grandson of Wlliam and Frances.  He died at  Glisson Road aged 14 years old.

William Swann

[this is possibly Edwin William Swann 1839-1913]

Elizabeth Sell Swann (née Roe) (1 January 1841 – 19 February 1926)

Elizabeth was the daughter of George and Eliza (née Few) Roe and grew up at 7 Market Hill where her father was a watchmaker and jeweller.  She was baptised on 26 April 1855 when she was 14 years old, and married Edwin William Swann on 18 September 1873.  The couple had five children: Margaret Roe (1875-1950), Charles Linton (1876-1947), James Asplen, Isobel Linton (1879-1961) and another child who died as an infant. The family initially lived at 5 Hobson Street (1881), where Edwin ran the family brewery employing 4 men.  In 1891 they were living at 5 Glisson Road with servant Elizabeth Salisbury.

By 1901 Elizabeth was living at 7 Market Hill with eldest daughter Margaret and was running her family jewellery business.  Her brother Charles had taken over the business when her father George died in October 1874, but Charles had died in February 1900 which is presumably why Elizabeth was at 7 Market Hill in 1901.  In 1911 she was living in Sydenham with her son Charles and daughter Margaret and her family.   Edwin Swann died in Newmarket, Suffolk  (the last census to mark them living together was in 1891).  Elizabeth moved to live at 45 Queensborough Terrace in Bayswater and died there in 1926 aged 85 years.

William Linton Swann (21 March 1848 – 25 March 1862)

William was the youngest son of William and Frances Swann and was baptised on 28 June 1848. He died at Hobson Street just after his 14th birthday.

James Swann (6 April 1843 –  6 March 1876)


James was the third son of William and Frances and was baptised on 30 April 1843. Aged 18 (1861) he was living at home and working as a brewer. He was still at Hobson Street in 1871 but drowned aboard the ‘Sabraon’ ship on his way from Melbourne.  His age was reported as 33 years, but from his baptism records his age was actually 32 years.

Sabraon was a passenger ship which sailed between London and Australia from 1866-1891. She was one of the fastest ships of her type and carried 90 1st class and 40 2nd class passengers.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

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Elizabeth Sell Swann; Frances Swann; James Asplen Swann; William Swann; William Linton Swann