Capturing Cambridge
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Horace Darwin

The Orchard, Huntingdon Road

History of the Orchard, Huntingdon Road

In 1885 Horace Darwin was one of the founders of the Cambridge Association for the Protection of Public Morals. In its first year the Association was responsible for shutting down eight brothels. It funded prosecutions as in the case of 132 Newmarket Road.

Ida Darwin was a campaigner on mental health for much of her life and the hospital in Fulbourn was named after her.

Emma ‘Ida’ Darwin


Lundy Fryar, 34, servant, b London

Caroline Papas, 29, servant, b Lincs

Eliza Harrold, 22, servant, b Wilts



Horace Darwin, manufacturer of scientific instruments [Horace and the household at The Orchard are described in detail from p.203 of Gwen Raverat’s Period Piece]

Emma Cecilia

Ruth Frances

Emma Nora

Cecil Claude Ferrer, nephew, 6, b London

Frances Margaret Ferrer, niece, 5, b London

Katherine D Ferrer, niece, 4, b London

Emily Bignell, 38, cook, b London

Isabella Simpson, 31, parlour maid, b Norfolk

Susanna Rogers, 27, Ladies maid, b Gloucs

Emma Saunders, 27, housemaid, b Norfolk

Ada Challacornbe, 22, second parlour maid, b Bucks

May Richardson, 21, sick nurse, b Oxon

Agnes Pullen, 22, under nurse, b Sussex

Edith Maidment, 22, second housemaid, b Wilts

Elise Vanay, 21, kitchenmaid, b Switzerland



Horace Darwin, 59, director of company making scientific instruments, b Kent

Emma Cecilia [Ida], 56, b London

Ruth, 27, b Cambridge

Nora, 25, b Cambridge

Minnie Purnell, 36, cook, b Somerset

Emma Edwards, 32, lady’s maid, born Hants

Lizzie Knight, 37, housemaid, b London

Margaret Munro, parlourmaid, 33,  b Scotland

Ada Bull, 18, housemaid, b Northants

Cissie Potts,  16, kitchen maid, b London

Celeste Jerome, visitor, widow, 44, dressmaker, b France

The Grove Gardens:

William Bowler, 36, gardener, b Berks

Emma, 35, b Norfolk

Florence Helen Bowler, 8, b Gloucestershire



Horace Darwin MA FRS JP

Horace was the youngest of Charles and Emma Darwin’s children. He founded the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company in 1881. The company moved its factory from Panton Street to St Tibb’s Row in 1882.

More information can be found about him here:


Murray Edwards College now occupies the former ground of The Orchard. The college web site says it was “a large house part-owned by Norah Barlow, granddaughter of Charles Darwin and a distinguished plants woman. By the time it was given to the College, the garden was somewhat overgrown, though marked by fine beech trees, fruit trees and choice shrubs, some of which still remain.”


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