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24 Hooper Street

A barman, a bricklayer, a laundress and a railway labourer

24 Hooper Street is one of a terrace of five houses on the south side of Hooper Street.

1881 census

John F. Sparrow, 31, barman, formerly grocer, b. Huntingdon
Martha Sparrow, 30, b. Ickleton
Olivia Mary Sparrow, 6, scholar, b. Huntingdon
John Fletcher Sparrow, 4, scholar, b. Huntingdon
Lilian Florence Sparrow, 3, b. Huntingdon
Frederick W. Sparrow, 1, b. Cambridgeshire
Fanny Philpot, sister, 24, mantle maker, b. Ickleton, Cambridgeshire

1891 census

Eliza Churchman, 50, b. Duxford, Cambridgeshire
Harry E Churchman, 15, grocer’s assistant, b. Cambridge
Alice M Churchman, 13, nurse maid, b. Cambridge
Ada B Churchman, 10, b. Norwich, Norfolk
Ernest T Chaplin, boarder, 18, grocer’s assistant, b. Cockfield, Suffolk

Eliza’s husband William – a railway mail guard – had died two years earlier.  Eliza’s mother-in-law Charlotte lived at 27 Hooper Street.

1901 census

Edmund Graves, 58, b. bricklayer’s labourer, Toft, Cambridgeshire
Harriet Graves, 56, b. laundress, b. Haslingfield, Cambridgeshire
Frank Graves, grandson, 16, porter, b. Cambridge
William Cotterell, boarder, 32, gardener, b. Elsworth, Cambridgeshire
William Willson, boarder, 55, bricklayer’s labourer, b. Cambridge

Edmund Graves had a lengthy criminal record. In 1875 he was sentenced to 7 years’ penal servitude for theft, and he had previously served shorter sentences for more serious crimes including assault with intent to rape. In 1891 he was imprisoned for 14 days for being drunk and disorderly (Cambridge Independent Press, 5 September 1891). He had been thrown out of a pub in East Road,  and then used obscene language, causing a crowd to gather. ‘Defendant said he did not remember anything about it, and pleaded guilty.’

Ten years later Harriet, now a widow, presided over a crowded multi-generational household in Vicarage Terrace, with grandson Frank, his wife and two baby daughters, three other grandchildren, and two lodgers, one of which was William Cotterell.

1911 census

Frederick Braybrook, 34, general labourer, Great Eastern Railway, b. Cambridge
Elizabeth Braybrook, 35, b. Cambridge
Doris Fuller, 6, at school, b. Cambridge
Stanley Braybrook, 3 months, b. Cambridge
1 year married, 1 child

Doris Fuller was Elizabeth’s daughter from her first marriage.


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


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