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13 Ainsworth Street

Carpenter, Tailor, Butcher

Number 13 is one of a terrace of four houses on the west side of Ainsworth Street.

1878 – 1882

Head of Household is Gunn Chaplin, a 37-year-old carpenter originally from Belchamp St. Paul in Essex.  He is married to Hester and they have an 8-year-old son called Thomas who was born in Sudbury, Suffolk.

Gunn and Hester (nee Gent) were married in Wood Ditton on 11 Oct 1871.

The Chaplins probably lived here from 1878. The properties were unnumbered at that time, so although the Electoral Registers show Gunn Chaplin at number 14 only from 1880 – 1882, the entries for 1878-1879 are probably also for number 14.

Gunn died in Sussex in 1889 and Hester moved back to her parents home in Wood Ditton where her father was a farmer.

1888 – 1891

Head of Household on the 1891 Census is Josiah Samuel Turner, a 43-year-old tailor who was born in Cambridge with his wife Louisa and their children.  The Electoral Register shows that he has been here since 1888. They previously lived on Custom Street, which is now Vicarage Terrace.

Their daughter Alice (23) is a Domestic Servant, their son Harry (17) is a Machine Boy and their son Frank (15) is a Tailor’s Apprentice.  The youngest child, 9-year-old Rose goes to school.

The Cambridge Chronicle and Journal reported the sad death of George E Turner aged 10 months on March 13th 1891.  The Census was taken on the 5th April, which is why he doesn’t appear.

February 1893

Martha Huntlea, 33, a married woman of 13 Ainsworth Street, was charged with stealing a wool mattress, of the value of 8s., the property of David Endersby, general store dealer of Sleaford Street, on February 7th.

The article in the Cambridge Independent Press goes on to say that Mr Endersby had seen the accused twice in his shop the day before buying sweets and later had realised that the mattress was missing from outside his shop.

An intelligent little girl of the age of ten years, named Florence Goody, living at 9 Ainsworth Street, said she saw the prisoner take the mattress from the shop door and take it to her home in Ainsworth Street.” the local policeman saw the mattress in the house, as did Mr Endersby.

Martha pleaded not guilty, claiming she tripped over it in the street, so picked it up and took it home.  She said she had only been living in Cambridge a fortnight and had six children. The Bench gave her fourteen days imprisonment with hard labour and complimented the little girl on the way she gave evidence.

(David Endersby was a Grocer at 9 Sleaford Street, the current number 24.)

1899 – 1963

The Cockerton family live at this property for decades. It begins with Elijah Cockerton from at least 1899.  The Electoral register shows him living at 42 Ainsworth Street in 1892 and there are entries from 1893-1898 that say “Ainsworth Street” and don’t give a number until he turns up at number 13 in 1899.

On the 1901 Census Elijah is a 36-year old butcher from Cambridge living with his 35-year-old wife Clara who was originally from Sturmere in Essex. Elijah’s father was a Greengrocer on Gwydir Street.

They currently have six children.  Edith is 11, George is 9, Willie is 7, May is 6, Ernest is 4 and baby Gerty is 1.  We can assume the older children are at school, but the 1901 Census doesn’t always record that information.

However, from the records of East Road Girls School we do know that Edith was a pupil there in 1900 having transferred from St Matthew’s Infants School.

By 1911 Edith is 19 and working as a jam factory hand, probably at the Chivers Factory, George is 18 and a butcher like his father, Willie, 17, is now going by the more grown-up name of William and working as a plumber, May is 15 and a domestic servant.

Earnest (or Ernest?) is 13, Gertrude Lilian is 11 and the family is now joined by 7-year-old Walter.  Again, we can assume the younger family members are at school, but the 1911 Census is filled in by the head of household and Elijah hasn’t bothered with this information.

The Census records that Elijah and Carla have been married for 24 year, they have had nine children and two of them have died.

In 1921 Elijah records that he is a butcher working at Doe, Hide & Sons on Cherryhinton Road.  However, under that he has written “out of work“.

Edith is not on the 1921 census with her family.  She marries Percy Oswald Lipscombe, baker, in 1922.

George marries Ada Baker in 1914, they live at 40 York Street for a while and by 1939 at 17 Sleaford Street with their children.  (Not to be confused with the George Arthur Cockerton who is living at 14 Ainsworth Street!)

William Cockerton is on a list of “Second Army Enlistments” in June 1915.  His address is given as 13 Ainsworth Street.  William spends a few years living with his brother George at 40 Ainsworth Street and marries Winifred Mansfield in 1924. He becomes a painter and house decorator.

May is on the 1921 Census with her parents.  She is 25 at this time and works as a shop assistant for Mr. Elliot’s Grocers Shop at 9 Hooper Street.  May marries William Collings in 1926. From 1932 until at least 1966 May and William live at 15 Ainsworth Street.

Ernest joined the Norfolk Regiment in October 1914.  His medical records note a few decayed teeth and knock knees.  Ernest gives his profession as a mill hand.  He transfers to the 9th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in February 1917.  He was discharged as physically unfit on the 6th February 1919 after spending 22 days in the 1st Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge with dyspepsia.

On the 1921 Census, Ernest is with his parents and employed as a miller with Foster’s Brothers Flour Merchants on Station Road.  He lives here until he marries Edith Aldhouse in 1926.  He becomes a flour packer and the couple live at 96 Sturton Street.

Gertrude is 21 in 1921, and works as a jam potter for Chiver’s & sons Jam Manufacturer in Histon.  She married Frederick Thwaites, painter, in 1927.

Walter is 19 and working as an errand boy for Barrett & Co. Shop Keepers on Peas Hill in 1921.

Between 1929 and 1937 the electoral register shows Walter living at number 13 with a lady called “Clarisse Cockerton”.  She is probably his wife, but there isn’t a logical marriage record for them.  She dies in 1937 and the 1939 register says Walter is single rather than a widower.  He stays at 13 Ainsworth Street until 1963.  He’s a Salesman.

Sources: UK census records (1881 to 1921), Essex, England, Select Church of England Parish Registers, 1518-1960, England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973, England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915, Cambridge Chronicle and Journal 20 March 1891, Cambridge Independent Press 10 February 1893, National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914, Cambridge Independent Press 11 June 1915, 1939 Register, From the Front to the Backs,


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