Capturing Cambridge
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The Autobiography of a Stage Coachman by Thomas Cross

14 Willow Walk

History f 14 Willow Walk


Thomas Cross, 60, out of employment, b Hants

Louisa, 50, b Herts

Richard Francis, 15, b Cambridge

Thomas John, 13, b Cambridge

Lewis Philip, 12, b Cambridge

Edwin James, 8, b Cambridge

Constance Jane, 6, b Cambridge

Romilly wrote 21 Nov 1853 in his diary:

Cross the Coachman called upon me and showed himself a very great fool. He wished me to obtain for him the means of seeing the Prince that he might remind him of the Poems he had sent him (handsomely bound): I told him that it was altogether out of the question … Might he call on Dr Whewell about the business? I most strongly dissuaded so rash a piece of impertinence: I afterward learned from Lucy that this cidevant coachman bears a very bad character and has been 4 times in prison! He is a candidate for a place in the Fitzwilliam Museum …..

Romilly’s editor notes: Cross was a local ‘character’ of some education who, having lost his living as a stagecoachman because of the railways, had turned to hawking his own poetical compositions of a religious and historical kind. Not devoid of merit, they attracted the attention of dons and undergraduates. In 1855 he was to be runner up to Pink for the new post of town librarian. In his Autobiography (1861) Cross includes an anecdote that shows Romilly more kindly disposed towards him.


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