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11-12 Sidney Street (MoC519/55)

8, 9, 10, 11 Sidney Street

History of 8 - 11 Sidney Street

18th century

Samuel Wilkinson, pipe manufacturer

See 21 St Andrew’s Street.


In 1835 the Cambridge and Cambridgeshire Mechanics Institute was formed and by 1836 had premises in Sidney Street.  The History of the Institute’s formation, Rules, early lectures, its Library, Reading Room, and membership is given in  History of Cambridge & Cambridgeshire Mechanics Institute 


(11) Joshua Lee, tobacco pipe maker

On the string course of the parapet of this shop and on the top of the lead down-pipe from the roof gutter were carved the emblems of his trade – two churchwarden pipes. The rainwater pipe and the string course were rescued when the shop was demolished in 1936 and are now in the Museum of Cambridge.

String Course from 11 Sidney Street © Museum of Cambridge

(?) Cambridge and Cambridgeshire Mechanics’ Institute

Josiah Chater was active in attending his local Mechanics’ Institute. This had been set up in 1835 following the successful implementation of these local centres of self-improvement. By popular demand, one was established in Cambridge, and as a young man eager to pursue self-improvement Josiah was an avid visitor to his local Mechanic’s Institution.

The contributions listed for Annual & Quarterly Members in 1849 were:
Persons paying one guinea or upwards annually shall be termed Annual Members.
Persons paying two shillings and sixpence quarterly shall be termed Quarterly Members.
The Institute had a large library, reported in July 1845 as having 2000 volumes.

The books Josiah checked out noted in his diary are diverse and worthy for a young apprentice. In some cases they have been identified from the 1849 Catalogue which forms part of the RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE CAMBRIDGE AND CAMBRIDGESHIRE MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE (held at the Cambridgeshire Collection)

31 Oct 1844  “took in Cardinal Wolsey and brought out discoveries in the polar seas
Wolsey (Cardinal) Life and Times of by Geo. Howard 8vo. ib. 1824 v. (L.U.K).
Note; L. U. K. is Library of Useful Knowledge as opposed to L. E. K. is Library of Entertaining Knowledge
Polar Seas and Regions, Discoveries in the, (E. C. L.) 12mo. ib. 1831
Note: E.C.L is Edinburgh Cabinet Library.

15 Jan 1845  “last night last night I went to the Institute & got our Abercrombie on the intellectual powers
ABERCROMBIE (John) On the Intellectual Powers, &c. 5th edit. 12mo. Edin. 1835

14 Feb 1845  “last Wednesday I went to the Institute & had out Chambers Information for the people
Chambers (E.) Information for the People folio, Lond. 1835

24 Feb 1845 “this evening went to the mechanics institute took in information for the people and had out American Poets
Griswold (R. W.) Poets and Poetry of America 8vo. ib. 1842

15 April 1845 “I took criminal finds in to the mechanics institute and had out the life of Drake
(Possibly) Trials-Criminal Trials, by D. Jardine, (L.E. K.) 2 v. 12mo. ib. 1832

22 Aug 1845 “went to the Institute & had out the History of the Angles & Saxon

In 1845 there was a proposal to add a news room to the Institute Library and Reading Room, available to subscribers for the annual contribution of one guinea.

A list of Quarterly Members in the 1850s include some of Josiah’s colleagues and his brothers William & Alfred, but Josiah is not listed
J Blunson Draper of Regent Terrace
W Chater Draper Petty Cury
Alfred Chater Draper Sidney Street
John Cook Draper Market St
Also as an Annual Member in June 1854 Mr W E Lilley

This page shows the diversity of occupations of the members; Alfred Chater is the last entry on the page.

Enid Porter in her book ‘Victorian Cambridge’ writes that Josiah, from 17 October 1848, took ‘a course of French lessons’ costing him £1 for the quarter


(9) The Cambridge School of Art was housed here temporarily when it was founded in 1858. The site had been the Mechanics Institute. In 1862 the School of Art moved to the Guildhall.




Thomas Hunnybun, 60, coachmaker employing 22 men, b Cambridge

Ann, 54, b Cambridge

Ann Elizabeth, 27, b Cambridge

Frederick, 23, coachmaker, b Cambridge

Emily, 24, b Cambridge

Elizabeth Traylen, 24, housemaid, b Suffolk

Caroline Carter, 25, cook, Cambs

For further information about the Hunnybun family see the Mill Road cemetery entry:


William Ellis, 44, plumber and glazier, b Cambs

Alice, 39, b Cambridge

Mary Ann Cattermole, cousin, 20, b Norfolk

Mary Ann Brand, 19, servant, b Essex


Robert Rutter, 40, confectioner, b Suffolk

Ann, 43, b Cambridge

Ann Elizabeth, 9, b Cambridge

Elizabeth Flabbell, 15, servant, b Cambridge


James Pawson Saul, 38, cabinet maker, b Cambridge

Mary Ann, 35, b Cambridge

Mary Ann, 11, b Cambridge

James Pawson, 4, b Cambridge

Rev. George Collins, 34, late curate of Holy Trinity, b Ireland

Elizabeth Mary Collins, 35, b Bucks


(8) Walter E Preiss, 35, chemist, b Cambridge

(9) Thomas Hunnybun, 40, coachbuilder, b Cambridge

Thomas, 11, b Cambridge

Constance, 9, b Cambridge

Edith, 7, b Cambridge

Anne Beard, 26, servant, b Cambridge

Ellen Meeks, 17, servant, b Beds

Hunnybun family circa 1865

(10) Robert Butler, 49, confectioner, b Suffolk

(11) James Saul, 47, cabinet maker, b Cambridge


(8) George Wickes, 42, watchmaker employing 1 apprentice, b Coventry

(9) Thomas Hunnybun, 50, coachbuilder employing 17 men, b Cambridge

(10) Robert Rutter, 59, master confectioner, b Suffolk

(11) James P Saul, 57, master hosier, b Cambridge


(8) George Wickes

(9) Thomas Hunnybun


(10) Robert Rutter

(11) James P Saul


(8) Frederick Blott milliner and draper

(9) The National Provincial Bank of England R W Harley manager

Smith, University lodging house

(10) Prudential Assurance Co Ltd

County Public Health Department

(11) Arthur George Almond, tailor and robemaker

Arthur J Vellacott accountants


Marks and Spencer open at nos 8, 9 and 9a

11-12 Sidney Street (MoC519/55)(CDN 17.10.1936)

This photo shows the removal of a “bottle neck”, a building that had stuck out into Sidney Street, in 1936.


Marks and Spencer take over nos. 10 and 11.


Marks & Spencers

Marks and Spencers Sidney Street (MoC28/160/69)



Marks & Spencers


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