Old All Saints Cambridge – Seating Plan
HIstorical documents tell us that people claimed their right to a particular location in parish churches during the late fourteenth century when seating began to be installed, the patrons usually being local gentry or merchant classes.
Immediately after Reformation, which brought with it the Book of Common Prayer, the focus on the spoken word and the introduction of pews, English parish churchwardens allocated pews to individual families or parish groups and charged an annual rent for the privilege!
A plan of the allocated pews survives for the old church of All Saints in-the-Jewry in Cambridge and from this plan we can learn something about the social history of the parish and its inhabitants.
Perhaps the most famous parish history based on local people and their positions in church and in society is the 'History of Myddle' written by Richard Gough in the early 1700s. Maybe we can recreate a parish history for All Saints' in-the-Jewry. This church was demolished in the 1860s to be replaced with G. F. Bodley's spectacular building, some of its monuments along with this pew-plan being transferred to the new church.
In 1861 Mr Christopher S. Bulstrode, aged 43 and born in London, is recorded as having an upholstery and cabinet-maker's shop at 74 Bridge Street, adjacent to All Saints' Passage.
His business employed 22 men and 9 women.
(74 Bridge Street | Capturing Cambridge)
Mr Charles Finch
The 1861 Census records Mr Charles Finch, now aged, 73, living at 32 Sidney Street in Cambridge. He was a magistrate and a retired tradesman. In 1823 “Messrs Charles Finch and Son” subscribed £30 to the rebuilding of the Great Bridge at Cambridge. Mr Charles Finch was Mayor of Cambridge between 1848 and 1849 and lived in a house in All Saints passage, owning an iron foundry.
In the Cambridge Independent Press, on Saturday 13th July 1850, Mrs Baddams advertised her new clothing emporium at 34 Sidney Street, Cambridge. Her shop was to sell 'Ladies' and Children's Boots and Shoes' and 'Stays and Corsets of every description'.