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49 Sturton Street

The History of the Laurie's and the Thurbon's

1881 – 1902

Head of household between 1881 and 1902 is Hannah Lawrie (or Laurie).  In 1881 she is 56 years old and works as a laundress.  She was born in Cambridge and is the sister of William Lawrie who lives next door at number 47.

Hannah is living with her niece, Hannah Isabella Lawrie, in 1881.  The younger Hannah is 25 and working with her aunt as a laundry maid.  She was born in Oundle, Northamptonshire.

By 1891 Hannah has been joined by her sister, Jane Bennett.  Jane is 70 and a widow.  Her daughter, Elizabeth, is with her.  Elizabeth is 43 and a domestic housekeeper.  She was born in Sheffield.

Jane died on the 5th of April 1892.

The two Hannah’s are still living here in 1901.  The older Hannah is now 76 years old and has retired from working as a laundress.  The younger Hannah, now 45,  continues to work as a laundress.

Hannah died in 1901 and is buried in Mill Road Cemetery with her mother Sarah and niece Hannah.  The younger Hannah died in 1918.

Cambridge Independent Press 17 April 1903 – “Nos 47 and 49 Sturton Street, with gardens and laundry” are being sold “by the instructions of the executors of the late Miss Laurie

1908 – 1991

Between 1908 and 1910, an Elizabeth Jakes is registered at this property. In 1911 she is still here and living with her daughter Rose Annie and her family.

The 1911 Census shows William Thomas Houghton Thurbon as head of household.  He is 34 years old and an undertaker’s foreman from Horsleydown in London.  Rose Annie is 31 and was born in Cambridge. The couple have two children, William Thomas Thurbon (7) and Elizabeth Lilian Rose Thurbon (5).

As well as Elizabeth, William’s brother is living with the family.  Frederick  John Harlock Thurbon is 32 and a cab driver.  He was also born in Horsleydown.

Accident in Emmanuel Street – Frederick Thurbon, a cab driver of 49 Sturton Street, was summoned for not keeping his carriage on the proper side of the road in Emmanuel Street. He pleaded guilty.”  He knocked over a boy pushing a hand-cart who ended up in Addenbrooke’s Hospital as a result of the accident. “A fine of 10s, including costs, was imposed.

Elizabeth died in January 1922. “She was held in great respect by all who knew her.”

On the 1939 Register, William (coffin maker and finisher) and Rose are living here with just their daughter Elizabeth.

The Thurbon family appear on the Cambridge Electoral Registers for 49 Sturton Street until the records end in 1966, and Elizabeth lived here until her death in 1991.


Bill Thurbon was Assistant Scout Master and Assistant Rover Scout Leader. He was awarded the Silver Wolf.  He later lived at 47 Cromwell Road.

Sources: 1861, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 UK Census, Cambridge Scouting records, England & Wales Deaths (1837-2007), Saffron Walden Weekly News (08 April 1892), Cambridge Independent Press (17 April 1903), Cambridge Independent Press (21 December 1906), Saffron Walden Weekly News (27 January 1922), National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) (1858-1995)


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