Capturing Cambridge
  • search
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

24 Madras Road

History of 24 Madras Road

Nos 24, 26 and 28 (November 1887 application by Mr A. Langford, Henley Road, to erect three cottages (CA CB/2/SE/3/9/54)), though still recorded by Spalding’s as “building land” in 1891.

24, 26 & 28 Madras Road, building plans

However, another, somewhat grander, building plan appears to have superseded the 1887 proposal. In July 1889, C. H. Payne, architect from Chesterton, submitted an application for three cottages on behalf of T. P. Francis. Whether there was a change in ownership has not been determined, yet the position and bulk of the houses seems to be much the same as the 1887 application. There is some confusion with the front door to No. 28, which is shown to the right in 1887 and the left in 1889 – it is now on the right. Furthermore, the decorative motifs are not apparent in 2020.

24, 26 and 28 Madras Road, alternative plan

Alternatively, the 1889 application could be Nos 30, 32 and 34, as the 1901 application is also similar.

(See Madras Road Report).


Robert Naylor, umbrella maker

Charitable Relief:

On 16 July 1895 Robert Naylor of 24 Madras Road had his petition (No. 2706) submitted:

I Robert Naylor having had the misfortune to loose[sic] my pony. Coming home from Newmarket it was taking[sic] ill and died as soon as I arrived home. I have no means of getting another and cannot get a liv ing without one. I now appeal to kind friends for support.

The record states that Mr Naylor’s birthplace was Dereham, and his previous address was Malta Road where he rented a house from the same landlords as in Madras Road – W. Dun- can & W. Smith, baker.

Robert & Mary Naylor, both aged 23, had had two children, but both had died. They were umbrella makers with an estimated weekly income of 20 shillings. Their weekly rent was 3 shillings 3 pence. They were members of no club, trade or beneficial society, and their closest relations were his mother and mother-in-law. They stated they had no relations who were able to assist them.

Mrs Naylor’s doctor was W. Hills & W. Doughty at the dispensary, Newmarket Road. Their references were W. Marriott, Madras Road, W. Bidwell, butcher, Mill Road, and Mr Cowell of Coldham’s Lane.

Robert Naylor Poor Relief Application 1895

Mr Naylor’s statement read:

I saved and scraped to raise enough money for my […] pony by raising poultry. It cost £4.10 but it died the day after I bought it. I need a pony to carry on my trade as I go round the villages with my umbrellas. My earnings are very irregular. In a good week I might perhaps take 25 shillings. My wife is in poor health.

The report stated:

Mr Duncombe says as tenants he has no fault to find with applicants. They are half gipeys[sic] and are consequently rather of a low type. Mrs Smith says applicants used to be her tenants […] they are of a low class. She can say nothing in their favour for the[y] broke the garden fence & burned it, got a good deal behind with their rent & then when she spoke to them they abused her. She forgave them some rent and got rid of them.

Mr Marriott says applicants are steady & considering the class they belong to & the bringing up they have had they are better than might be expected. With regard to the pony which died it was a sorry animal. Still it was a bad job for them – although he thinks fairly well of them he declines to be surety. Mr Cowell says he knows nothing special against them & he is sorry the pony died but he does not think they are quite depending on a pony for their living they are both […] and are able to walk about the country and earn a living.

I visited applicant and found him in his back yard mending umbrellas. He said he had not got any sureties for a loan. I found Clark there a young man who had a loan for a pony & cart some time ago and was told he was lodging with them. Mrs Bidwell says she knows very little of the applicants. They deal with her occasionally and she has seen them out with umbrellas. She has also seen the man out with a one arm young man hawking fruit.

The decision, taken on 22 July 1895, was that the petition be dismissed as ineligible. On 24 July the case was forwarded to the Rev. T. W. Thomas and to the Mayor. According to Spalding’s street directories, the Naylors had left No. 24 by 1898, replaced by Joseph Manyweathers, labourer.

(See Madras Road Report)


Robert Naylor, umbrella maker


F Cornwell, cement worker


Norman Goodchild


Terence Williams


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

Dear Visitor,


Thank you for exploring historical Cambridgeshire! We hope you enjoy your visit.


Did you know that we are a small, independent Museum and that we rely on donations from people like you to survive?


If you love Capturing Cambridge, and you are able to, we’d appreciate your support today.


Every donation makes a world of difference.


Thank you,

The Museum of Cambridge