Capturing Cambridge
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19 Hooper Street

A mangler, a leather dresser and a boot maker

18 Hooper Street is in Leeds Terrace, which was built by 1881.


The first inhabitants were young widow Ursula Bareford, her children, her sister Rosella, and a lodger, blacksmith William Leah. Ursula gives her occupation as ‘mangling’. She was born in 1856 in Feltwell, Norfolk, where her father Walter Richardson was a tailor. She had come to Cambridge in her teens to work as a servant, and in 1877 she married George Bareford, a railway employee. George died in 1880, leaving her with three small children, Ethel, Frederic and Lilian.

Ursula later married Robert Howell, a railway guard, and the family moved to Doncaster for railway work. Rosella married labourer John Lambert and stayed in the Mill Road area of Cambridge. William Leah married and raised a family in Bishop’s Stortford.


In 1891 the inhabitants were retired leather dresser Richard Farr, his second wife Sarah, and a lodger, carpenter John Clark. Ten years later John Clark was living at no. 16 with his wife and family.

1901 to the 1960s

By 1901 the inhabitants were William Smith, his aunt Hephzibah and his brother Cecil. William was a boot maker and Cecil was a stone mason. They were born in Hemingford Grey in the 1870s and were orphaned at a young age, spending their childhood with their grandparents and a succession of aunts and uncles. Hephzibah had spent her working life in service, but was now housekeeper to her nephews.

By 1911 Cecil had married and was raising a family nearby in Devonshire Road. William remained a bachelor until Hephzibah died in 1922, at which point he immediately married Mabel Merry, a local woman who worked in service. William was 50 and Mabel was 35. Mabel outlived William by some years, and was still living at 19 Hooper Street in 1966.


UK census records (1841 to 1911), General Register Office birth, marriage and death indexes (1837 onwards), the 1939 England and Wales Register, and electoral registers.


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