CFHS code : HT533

Parish : Holy Trinity

Inscription : In Memory of  HENRY TWISS formerly of this Parish who died at St—-ey End House West Wickham February 8 1880 aged 50 also of three of his children ELLEN SARAH d Oct 20 1859 aged 10 days ANNIE LOUISA d Aug 27 1869 aged 4 PERCY ELLIOTT d Dec 2 1871 aged 3

Monument : Headstone

Above information amended from Cambridge Family History Society Survey


We have not yet found this monument. Dates of death and ages were also transcribed wrongly from the headstone suggesting that the inscription is not clear.

Inscription .

Henry Twiss (c.1829 – 8 February 1880)

Henry was the son of brewer James Peterson Twiss and his wife Sarah.  He was born in Little Shelford just outside Cambridge.  His mother died when he was 10 years old.  In 1851 [aged 22 years old] he was an apprentice to a Tea dealer called Richard Farmer and living on Market Hill.  He married Mary Bell in 1857.

Henry and Mary had at least nine children together:  Catherine Mary [1859-1932], Ellen Sarah, Jane Sophia [1860-1931], Frederick William [1862-1925], Emily [1863-1922], Annie Louisa, Walter Joseph [1866-1941], Percy Elliott and Henry L’Argent [1870-1930].

In 1861 the family were living at 31 Market Hill and Henry was a maltster and grocer employing 2 men and an apprentice. There were numerous trade adverts in the local newspapers advertising his grocery business on Market Hill.

One newspaper report from March 1863 concerned the theft of an umbrella from Henry Twiss’s grocery store.  A Miss Phoebe Hart had purchased a fine new umbrella and took it to the shop.  She put it down whilst she paid for her goods, and on turning round found that it had gone.  She reported the matter, but did not consider she would find it again. Intelligence reached William Cane, the Histon police officer and he went to the home of Elizabeth Charles ‘an old woman’ from Histon.  He asked Elizabeth if she owned an umbrella and she showed him the two old umbrellas that she owned.  He then took the liberty of searching her bed, which Mrs Charles did not object to saying that ‘God can strike me down if I own any other umbrella’.  The umbrella was found in her bed.  When Henry Twiss was consulted he remembered her entering the shop at the same time as Miss Hart, but leaving before she had purchased anything. Elizabeth Charles was sentenced to 6 weeks hard labour for the theft.

By at least 1876 Henry had retired from his business and was living at West Wickham [10 miles south east of Cambridge on the Suffolk border]. There is a newspaper article from 1876 which shows a court case against Walter Gordon and Samuel Barker.  Barker and Gordon were charged with having assaulted and beaten Henry Twiss and broken his window. He did not press charges, and the two men were asked to pay repair costs of 10s each and a promise for it not to happen again. Henry Twiss died at West Wickham aged 50 years old.

Ellen Sarah Twiss (10 October 1859 – 20 October 1859)

Ellen was baptised on 16th October 1859, but died aged 10 days old.

Annie Louisa Twiss (1865 –  27 August 1869)

Annie was the  daughter of Henry and Mary Twiss.  She was baptised on 20th August 1865, and died aged 4 years old.

Percy Elliott Twiss (1868 – 2 December 1871)

Percy was born in Cambridge and baptised at Stapleford on 3rd February 1869.  He died aged 3 years old, and was buried at Mill Road on 7th December 1871.

Mary Twiss [nee Bell] moved to Ilfracombe after the death of her husband.  She was a book seller and stationer at 38 High Street and lived there with her six children [1881].  In 1891 she was a book seller, stationer and printer and at 9 High Street. By 1901 she was living with her daughter Jane at 9 Holden Road in Exeter, where Jane ran a lodging house.  She died in 1906 in Exmouth aged 69 years old and is buried in Ilfracombe in Devon.

Claire Martinsen

Source: Ancestry/newspaper archives

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Annie Louisa Twiss; Ellen Sarah Twiss; Henry Twiss; Percy Elliott Twiss