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Jubilee House (Edinburgh House), 3 Hooper Street

Infirmary for the Leys School

Jubilee house is a tall and imposing detached house in Hooper Street, with ancient horse chestnut trees in its forecourt. Until at least the 1960s it was called Edinburgh House, and it has served as the infirmary for the Leys School and as a nurses’ home.

The 1881 and 1891 census records have entries for 1 and 2 Hooper Street, numbers that were not subsequently used. The first inhabitants of no. 2 – a wealthy family in 1881 and a caretaker and a nurse in 1891 – suggest that it was the original number used for Edinburgh House. It’s not clear whether no. 1 referred to part of Edinburgh House, or a building that has since been demolished, or whether it was 138a Gwydir Street, which is not mentioned in the 1881 and 1891 census records. NB We are currently in lockdown, and I hope to be able to resolve some of these mysteries once libraries re-open!

1881 (1 Hooper Street)

Henry Grover, 54, police constable, Great Eastern Railway, b. Cripplegate Parish, Middlesex
Harriet Grover, 37, b. Vizagapatam, India
Lawrence H. Grover, 12, scholar, b. Ootacamund, India
William John Grover, 9, scholar, b. St Bartholomew’s, Middlesex

Henry Grover was a police constable on the railways, and in later census records he is listed as an army pensioner. Henry was born in central London in 1827 and in 1846 he joined the 19th Regiment of the British Army, and served in the Mediterranean, the West Indies and India before being discharged in 1869 after 21 full years’ service. His service record suggests that he arrived in India in the immediate aftermath of the Indian Mutiny in 1857.  His discharge papers tell us that he was just under 6ft, with a fair complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair.

In 1862 he married Harriet Maker. Harriet was born around 1844 in Vizakhapatnam, southern India. The India Office records are patchy, but there are several military and ecclesiastical records for “Maker” in the Madras Presidency in the early nineteenth century. Henry and Harriet’s son Lawrence was born in India, and they had an older son Henry born in India, who had left the family home by 1881 and was working as a servant in Brighton.

By 1891 Henry was lodging in London with his youngest son William (a railway worker) and Harriet was lodging in Cockburn Street, Cambridge, “supported by husband”.  In 1892 Henry spent four months in Cambridge Gaol for unlawfully and indecently assaulting a 9 year-old girl.  His army pension was stopped for those four months.

By 1901 Henry and Harriet Grover were living on Henry’s army pension in Caterham, Surrey. Their middle son Lawrence was still in Cambridge, living in Perowne Street with his wife and family and working as a French polisher.

1881 (2 Hooper Street)

James West Knights, 27, analyst, consulting chemist, b. Earith, Huntingdonshire
Margaret E. Knights, 30, b. Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire
Harold James Knights, 9 months, b. Cambridge
Harriet Gray, servant, 21, cook, b. Chesterton, Cambridgeshire
Louisa E. Chambers, servant, 15, domestic nursemaid, b. Bottisham Lode

James West Knights was an analytical chemist, who in later census records is listed as working for the County Council. His father, also James, was a prosperous miller in Hemingford Grey, and James junior had the opportunity to study pharmacology. Margaret (née Ley) was the daughter of a solicitor from Bishop’s Stortford. In later census records they lived in Warkworth Street and St. Barnabas Road.

1891 (2 Hooper Street)

Rebecca Carter, sister, single, 45, caretaker, b. Melbourn, Cambridgeshire
Mary A Newett, sister, married, 36, domestic nurse, b. Melbourn, Cambridgeshire

The occupations of Rebecca Carter and Mary Newett (caretaker and nurse) strongly suggest that 2 Hooper Street was Edinburgh House, now functioning as the infirmary for the Leys School. Rebecca and Mary were born in Melbourn, daughters of a farm labourer.

In that year, 1 Hooper Street was unoccupied.

1901 (Edinburgh House)

George Flack, 71, caretaker, b. Sible Hedingham, Essex
Henrietta Flack, 60, matron and teacher, b. Broughton, Huntingdonshire
Alice Jacobs, visitor, 48, b. Woking, Surrey
Emma Frost, visitor, 44, trained nurse for sick, b. Rochester, Kent
Charles Lissant Jacobs, visitor, 15, b. Guildford, Surrey

1911 (Edinburgh House)

George Flack, 81, caretaker, b. Hedingham, Essex
Henrietta Flack, 71, caretaker, b. Broughton, Huntingdonshire

George Flack was born in Sible Hedingham, Essex, and his wife Henrietta was from Broughton near Huntingdon, but they were not newcomers to Cambridge: in 1881 they lived at 28 Ainsworth Street with George’s teenage son George, a confectioner’s apprentice.

George Flack died aged 80 in 1911, just a few months after the census, but Henrietta was still working as the Leys School infirmary matron in 1913, according to Kelly’s street directories.


In 1939 the inhabitants of Edinburgh House were Reginald Keene, a relieving officer, and his wife Lilian.


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 Kelly’s street directories.

British Library India Office records available via 1862 marriage of Henry Grover and Harriet Maker N/2/43 f.207; 1863 baptism of Henry J. Grover N/2/44 f.179; 1868 baptism of Lawrence Grover N/2/2 f.143.

Henry Grover’s Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner Soldier Service Records are available via A Cambridge Independent Press report on the court case (8 April 1892, page 6) is available (£) from


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