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Maria Elizabeth Grove - 26 Station Road

26 Station Road, Wallis Villa

History of 26 Station Road


John W Slack, 69, income from land and houses, born Soham

Ann E Apthorpe, 56, sister, married, grocer’s wife, born Soham

Hepzibah Ellwood, servant, 20,born Cambridge

Louisa Carey, servant, 18, born Soham


(Wallis Villa)

George Apthorpe

Ann E, wife, 65, born Soham

Louisa Carey, cook

Clare Webb, 15, servant, born Swaffham


George Apthorpe, widower, 74, retired grocer, born Cambridge

Louisa Carey, servant, 38, born Soham

Mary A Pilgrim, 29, cook, born Cambridge


Maria Elizabeth Grove, 64, widow, born Cambs

[Maria was the widow of Dr William Richard Grove; they lived in St Ives until his death in the 1890s when she moved to Cambridge.]

Samuel Long, visitor, 59, private means retired farmer, born Cambs

Emma Long, visitor, 56, born Norfolk

Annie Loffin, servant, 22, born London

Emma Hurst, servant, 27, born Wickhambrook

Maria Elizabeth Grove, née Long, was a farmer’s daughter born in 1844, in the village of Carlton, on the Cambridgeshire/Suffolk border. She was one of 10 children born to Hanslip and Martha Long. The Long family had farmed in the area for s couple of generations as tenant farmers; their farms were generally over 1,000 acres. Maria’s father employed 25 men and 35 boys at the Census of 1851.He also farmed in Swavesy a few miles north of St Ives. It was here that she met her future husband on his medical rounds visiting patients.

She married William Richard Grove in 1868 when she was 24 in the village church of Carlton-cum- Willingham. Her occupation was put on her marriage certificate as ‘gentlewomen’. Her husband had set up practice as a doctor a couple years before in St Ives in Huntingdon. St Ives was then a small, but important town of c3000 famed for its huge, weekly livestock market. The couple first lived in the Bullock Market (now The Broadway) in a house that fronted the market. When the family grew bigger and the medical practice had become established, they moved in 1881 to a larger home called Slepe House, in Cromwell Place, half a mile away where her husband continue to run his practice from their home.  Maria and Richard went on to have five children, the eldest being William Reginald, who followed in his father’s footsteps. After studying at Sidney Sussex College, he went on to train as a general practitioner at Guys Hospital, London. 

Maria and her husband played a prominent role in St Ives and well known and respected. He was the town’s first Medical Officer of Health. They were both involved in All Saints, the Parish Church. Her husband’s health deteriorated over a long time and he died aged 57 in 1895. She was 51 when she was widowed. Her other children meanwhile had left home. Ernest joined the Royal Artillery; Edward (Ted) became a civil engineer in Malaya, Richard (‘Tom’) an architect in London, and her daughter Mabel married the rector of a country church in Suffolk. 

Reginald meanwhile had returned and helped to run the practice; he took it over at his father’s death and continued until his own death in 1948. He was married in 1898 and shortly afterwards Maria moved out of Slepe House for the newlyweds. 

It is not clear where she lived after leaving St Ives, but by 1911 she was living at Wallis Villa, 26, Station Road, Cambridge. She had two servants who lived in and looked after her. The likelihood is that she rented the house. She died there in in November 1930 aged 86, a widow for 35 years. She left £5,525 13s 8d in her will. 

Written by Peter Flower, her great, great grandson.

Her portrait was painted when she was in her mid 40’s.


Mrs Elizabeth Grove


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