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Scroope House, Coe Fen Lane

History of Scroope House

Royal Commission Survey of Cambridge 1959: the site was let on a building lease for forty years in 1837 and the house completed the same year, the the father of John Willis Clark, the antiquary, moved in from Wanstead House in Hills Road.

Scroope House was demolished in 1962 and the site is now occupied by the Department of Engineering.

1851 Cow [sic] Fen Lane

William Clark, 62, MD of College of Royal Physicians, b Northumberland [Professor of Anatomy 1817-1866]

Mary, 60, b London

Elizabeth Sims, 27, servant, b Wales

Ann Sims, 19, servant, b Haddenham

Mary Good, 23, servant, b Norfolk

Harry Ravey, 21, servant, b Cambridge

Charles Falkner, 20, servant, b Cambridge

Clark was professor of anatomy at Cambridge from 1817; he took holy orders in 181 and successively held the livings of Arrington and Wymeswold, before moving in 1828 to Guisley near Leeds. However he rarely spent more than three months of the year away from Cambridge; he gave an annual course of lectures on human and comparative anatomy and was keen to improve the collection of his anatomical museum. (See M Weatherall, Gentlemen, Scientists and Doctors: Medicine in Cambridge 1800-1940, pub. 2000. pp42ff)

Until 1832 the supply of bodies for dissection was severely limited in England; many British medical students went to study in Paris where cadavres were much more available. Cambridge was one of the petitioners to a change in the law and this led to the 1832 Anatomy Act which allowed parish officers to give up for anatomical examination any unclaimed bodies of people dying within their jurisdiction.

The magazine Punch in Cambridge, 10 xii 1833 included this epigram about William Clark:

The Clarks are parsons now a-days:

The thing (tho’ true) still very odd is, –

At Guisley one has the cure of souls,

At Cambridge he dissects the bodies.

1861 Trumpington Street

William Clark, Fellow of Royal College of Physicians Professor of Anatomy


Susan Petit, 22, cook, b Cambs

Mary Ann Jolley, 20, upper housemaid, b Soham

Sarah Carter, 19, under housemaid, b Northants

Louis J Bates, 27, footman, b London


Mary Clark, widow, 69, landowner, b London

John W Clark, 31, superintendent of museum, b Cambridge

James Willson, 28, butler, b Cambridge

William Willson, 19, footman, b Cambridge

Letitia Cullops, 25, ladies maid, b London

Sarah Chambers, 22, housemaid, b London

Sarah Woodcock, 17, kitchenmaid, b Cambridge


Mary Clark, 79, independent

Esther Ettler, 28, ladies maid, b Wilts

Susannah Hagger, 44, cook, b Essex

Emily Smedley, 26, housemaid, b Wales

Ruth Wright, 16, kitchenmaid, b Ashby de la Zouche

Walter Mann, 31, butler, b Suffolk


John W Clark, 57, superintendant, b Cambridge

Frances, 45, b Russia

Edward, 16, b Cambridge

William, 15, b Cambridge

Elizabeth Watkins, 56, ladies maid, b Bristol

Maria Clark, 52, cook, b Norfolk

Mary Knight, 36, parlourmaid, b Cambridge

Fanny Edwards, 26, kitchenmaid, b London

Emma Sadler, 16, housemaid, b Coton

William Carter, 19, page boy, b Bourn

Sophia Fox, visitor, 28, dressmaker, b Norfolk


Edward Mellish Clark, 36, bank local director [Barclays], b Cambridge

Lilian Mary Hart, 38, b Hants [member of Cambridge Nursing Association in 1914]

Florence Valentine Mellish, 5, b Cambridge

Eleanore Mary Mellish, 2, b Cambridge

Audrey Evelyn Mellish, 1 mo, b Cambridge

Gertrude Kynaston, 54, monthly nurse, b Kent

Eliza Mary Hooper, 43, cook, b Devon

Gertrude Elizabeth Nichols, 43, parlourmaid, b Devon

Agnes Mary Hooper, 44, nurse, b Devon

Mabel Alice Jopson, 20, nursemaid, b Cambridge

Louisa Mary Frank, 24, housemaid, b Cambridge

Gertrude Harrison, 18, under housemaid, b Lincs

Alice Harry, 19, kitchenmaid, b Cambridge

Ernest Reginald Boutle, 16, house boy, b Burwell



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