Capturing Cambridge
  • search
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Fitzwilliam Street north side nos 23 - 15

19 Fitzwilliam Street

History of 19 Fitzwilliam Street

1840s: The house was owned by Josiah Chater’s uncle, William Adams. On most Sundays Josiah and his brother had tea and supper here. It was through the uncle that Josiah and William had come to Cambridge. He was generous and provided them with all their clothes during their apprenticeships.

William had been born in Haverhill in 1776 but educated in Chesterton. He used to visit a distant relation by marriage, Mr Simpson, a draper, in Cambridge, and he started to work for  Mr Simpson, in due course becoming a partner and then marrying his daughter. He became sole manger of the firm in due course, made a success of it and was able to retire fairly early in life to devote himself to charitable work and his duties as a deacon of St Andrew’s Street Baptist Church.

When he died in 1849 he left over £4,750 to charitable institutions in Cambridge, £2,500 to his widow and to each of his nephews William and Josiah, £300.

(Victorian Cambridge ed E Porter)


Josiah Chater, 42, woollen merchant and clothing manufacturer, b Essex

Agnes 37, b Cambridge

Ethel A, 16, merchants clerk, b Chesterton

Elizabeth, 14, b Cambridge

Millicent A, 10, b Cambridge

Jemima, 8, b Cambridge

Ernest F, 6, b Cambridge

Sophia S, 4, b Cambridge

Rowena, 3, b Cambridge

Herbert, 1, b Cambridge

Augustine, 7 mos, b Cambridge

Sarah G Matthews, 19, servant, b Essex



Josiah Chater, chartered accountant


Ernest F, accountant’s clerk

Sophia S


Olivia, 7, b Cambridge

Leonard, 2, b Cambridge

Mary A Barnard, servant, b Melbourn

Harriet Arnold, 15, servant, b Gt Eversden



Josiah Chater, chartered accountant

Sophia Simpson Chater, 24, artist photographer

Rowena, 23

Augustine, 20,  accountant’s clerk

Vernon, 19, b Cambridge

Seward, 12, b Cambridge

Bertram, 9, b Cambridge



Joseph Duncombe, marble and stone-mason

Mrs Duncombe, lodging house keeper



Fitzwilliam House annexe



Do you have any information about the people or places in this article? If so, then please let us know using the Contact page or by emailing