CFHS code : PL458

Parish : St Paul

Inscription : In Memory of MARY JANE TINDALL JANE of the Cambridge Place Mission b March 30th 1850 d Oct 21st 1902

Monument : Headstone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Although it leans slightly to the right this headstone is intact but the inscription is eroding. Photo September 2016.
Tindall headstone  September 2016


This headstone, in the parish area of St Paul, is located close to the centre of the parish by the THRUSH artwork.  Although it leans slightly to the right, this headstone is intact but the inscription is eroding.


‘In Memory of Mary Jane Tindall
JANE of the Cambridge Place Mission
born March 30th 1850 died Oct. 21st 1902’

“Faithful and beloved
Succourer of many”

Mary Jane (Jane) Tindall (1850-1902)

Jane was the daughter of Henry and Mary and was born in Wapping, London. She was baptised at St. George in the East Church, Tower Hamlets on 19 May 1850 and her father was a carman (delivery driver) for his father’s green grocery  business on Wapping Street. Aged 21 Jane was working as a general servant for bookseller/printer Philip Vallentine and his family at 34 Alfred Street, London. In 1881 she was living at 14 Brunswick Place, Cambridge and was a cook for widow Hannah Biddulph and her daughter Sophia.

In 1888 she was working as cook/housekeeper to Morris Ephstein at Ainsworth Street. Jane had gone to live with the Ephstein family to nurse his wife for the last four weeks of her life, and after Mrs Ephstein died on 8 March she had stayed for some weeks to care for the children.  She took Morris to court in June 1888 claiming he owed her wages and also £17 she had lent him.  Morris Ephstein counter claimed saying that ‘an agreement was made to the effect that she should make no charge for her services if the defendant kept her in his house for all her life’.  On the witness stand Jane was asked by his lawyer if they had fallen out because he would not take her as his second wife. Jane was awarded the £17 by the court, but Morris was also awarded his counter claim of £5, 7s and 6d.

By 1891 she was living with Rebecca Laws at The Mission Hall, 21 Cambridge Place.  Rebecca was caretaker of the Mission Hall, and after her death Jane Tindall took over the role. She was hospitalised for the last few weeks of her life and died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital aged 52 years old. Her funeral took place on 24 October.

Rev. Stokes gave a eulogy at St. Paul’s Church celebrating Jane’s life on 26 October. He said ‘On Friday afternoon last every house in Cambridge Place had a shutter closed; on all hands there were signs of mourning. The body of Jane Tindall, of the Mission Room was being carried to its last resting place.  For some twenty years she had lived in that lane, and had been the friend of nearly every home there. She was always ready to help – night or day she would tend anyone who was sick – she nursed the old folk, she cared for the little ones, she was the soother of quarrels, with tenderness and sympathy she sought to restrain and reform the victims of drink. Some two or three months ago she was taken seriously ill and was removed to the Hospital. Unfortunately though she was comforted and relieved by kind nursing during her last days, the skill of the doctors could not save her life. Many and loving were the inquiries made at Addenbrooke’s during the weeks that she lay there. She was an inmate at the time of the disastrous fire at the Hospital. I helped to carry her across to the house so kindly placed at the disposal of the authorities by Mrs Hyde Hills. It was a strange sight. To be carried as a dying woman – for the finger of death had already touched her – through a large crowd, was, of course very trying to a sufferer. It is true the hundreds of spectators were most sympathetic and orderly; yet it was a dreadful experience. As we passed across the road the flames and smoke were rising from the roof of the Hospital. There was a wind blowing, and one of the coverlets was carried off her bed. One of the kind ladies of St. Peter’s Terrace threw a fur  mantle over our patient, and whispered a gracious message about God’s presence and care. Jane opened her eyes and said feebly ‘Yes, thanks be to Him, I know that He is with me’. And that was the secret of Miss Tindall’s activity in life and of her patience in death. She knew in whom she believed. So has passed away in our midst a Saint of God – humble indeed in her position and sphere, but noble and loveable in her character. We are the poorer for her loss’.

Jane left an estate of £97, 17s and 2d.  She bequeathed £10 to the Hunstanton Convalescent Home and the residual to Addenbrooke’s Hospital.



Newspaper archives

Parish burial records transcribed by CFHS

by Claire Martinsen

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Mary Jane Tindall