History of 154 Gwydir Street (Belmont House)

Mrs Elizabeth Jarvis, laundress, lived in 154 Gwydir St in 1904 (see Spalding's Directory).
Edward Thomas Rogers, laundryman, Holmlea, lived here in 1913 (see Spalding's Directory).


Fiona Anderson emailed me in 2016:

I moved to Cambridge a year ago and I have started researching in earnest one of my Victorian relatives, called Jessie Heading who lived here. She was the illegitimate child of my mother's Great Aunt, herself the daughter of a Bedfordshire farming family, and somehow came to be brought up and informally adopted by a woman called Harriet Rooke. In the 1881 census they were living at Falmouth House, 154 Gwydir St. There were two adult male boarders as well as the four year old Jessie. Ten years later, they were living in central Cambridge. Eventually, Jessie went (on her own) to Canada where she had a long life.

Harriet was not the head of household - it was someone called Ebenezer Canham who described himself as a cigar dealer. Harriet was the housekeeper and there was also Ebenezerís son, a 21 year old carpenter also resident as well as Jessie. I also looked at the marital status column and I am pretty sure that against Harrietís name was written Wid - i.e. a widow. Jessie was described starkly as 'illegitimate'. Ebenezer was a widower. In 1871, he was the publican of a pub on Mill Road called the Durham Ox.

(It's interesting that the house has changed its name. The houses were renumbered between 1879 and 1883, so this might not be the current 154, or perhaps a later owner changed the name.)

Here is a photo of Harriet Rooke and Jessie Heading:

Harriet Rooke and Jessie Heading

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