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55 Ainsworth Street

55 AInsworth Street

Number 55 is one of a terrace of four houses on the west side of Ainsworth Street.

1881 census

John F Ripley head, 37, brewer, b. Wellingborough, Northamptonshire
Charlotte Ripley, wife, 37, b. Cambridge
Mary E Ripley, daughter, 15, dressmaker, b. Cambridge
Frederick Ripley, son, 14, errand boy, b. Cambridge
Ada S Ripley, daughter, 10, scholar, b. Cambridge
Mildred Ripley, daughter, 8, scholar, b. Cambridge
Arthur Ripley, son, 6, scholar, b. Cambridge
Frank E Ripley, son, 4, b. Cambridge
Florence Ripley, daughter, 2, b. Cambridge
Elizabeth Ripley, mother-in-law, widow, 73, b. East Dereham, Norfolk

John Frederick Ripley, son of a shoe maker, married Charlotte Exall Stoakley in November 1864.

The final member of the household is 73-year-old Elizabeth Ripley from East Dereham in Norfolk, confusingly listed as John’s mother-in-law.  Checking an earlier census shows her as being both Charlotte’s mother AND John’s stepmother!

1891 census

Anne Horne, head, 54, matron of boys’ house, b. Over, Cambridgeshire
George Horne, son, 13, scholar, b. Cambridge
Albert E Bachelor, boarder, 14, office boy, b. Northampton, Cambridgeshire
Ernest Challis, boarder, 15, errand boy, b. Cambridge
Albert Brooks, boarder, 14, errand boy, b. Cambridge

The 1871 census shows her living with her husband Henry and six of their children at the Free Press on Prospect Row, where Henry Horn was the publican.  By 1881 she’s a widowed butcher, living on Mill Street with six of her children.

In 1891 she was living at no. 55 with her son George, who was at school, and three young boarders, aged 14 and 15.

In 1901 she was working at the Vicarage in Sporle-with-Palgrave, Swaffham. She was the housekeeper, and there were eight schoolboys living there. 1911 sees her back in Cambridge, living in Flower Street on her own. She died in 1931.

1901 census

George Elborn, head, 32, bread baker, b. Cambridge
Alice Elborn, wife, 33, b. Orwell, Cambridgeshire

1911 census

Horace William Pleasants, head, 30, baker’s van man, b. Long Melford, Suffolk
Esther Pleasants, wife, 32, b. Thurlow, Suffolk
Evelyn Pleasants, daughter, 4, b. Cambridge
Leslie Pleasants, son, 1, b. Cambridge
Susannah Smoothy, mother-in-law, widow, 56, private means, b. Great Wratting, Suffolk

Horace and Esther Pleasants had been married for five years and had two children. They had moved to 52 Ainsworth Street by 1921.

1921 census

Richard Neeves, head, 33, college servant, Clare College, b. Cambridge
Lillian Elizabeth Neeves, wife, 35, college servant, Clare College, b. Cambridge
Mary Ann Cambridge, mother-in-law, 59, college servant, Jesus College, b. Oakington, Cambridgeshire
Sidney George Neeves, son, 8, b. Cambridge
Ivy Rose Neeves, daughter, 5, b. Cambridge

Electoral registers record this family at 55 Ainsworth Street from 1918 until 1928.

When he was 18, Richard Neeves joined the Rifle Brigade.  His Service Record shows that he was born in St Matthew’s and was working as a labourer.  Richard was fair with grey eyes and light brown hair.  He had a mole on the left side of his neck at the back,  and on his right shoulder.  There were chickenpox scars on his chest.

Richard was discharged in 1905 as ‘not likely to become an efficient soldier.’  He had an Indifferent Physeque’.

Sources: UK census records (1871–1921),  England & Wales Deaths 1837-2007, Cambridgeshire, England, Electoral Registers, Burgess Rolls and Poll Books, 1722-1966, British Army Service Records,


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