Home > St Andrew the Great Church, Cambridge

St Andrew the Great Church, Cambridge



Mural Tablet and Tomb

Tablet on the wall inside the church of St. Andrew the Great, St Andrew’s Street, in Cambridge.
It overlooked the altar from the wall on the north side and records the deaths of Captain Cook, his widow and the deaths of their 6 children.
Below the inscription is a shield, with a star above and below, bearing the globe.   The motto is Nil intentatum reliquit.
Buried in the middle aisle of St Andrew’s Church Cambridge are Mrs Elizabeth Cook, the widow, and her two sons James and Hugh.

The tablet was erected to the memory of Captain Cook by his widow Elizabeth.
The widow, Mrs Cook left a sum of £1,000 in trust to the vicar, churchwardens and overseers of the parish.  The interest thence arising is to be spent in keeping in perfect repair,  clean and undefaced the tablet erected by her to her husband’s memory and also in keeping in order the inscription on the tomb of herself and her sons.  The remainder, after two pounds to be given to the vicar, to be divided equally between five poor aged women of good character, who do not receive parochial relief,  residing in and belonging to the said parish of St Andrew the Great, on St Thomas’s Day every year.
In 1835 it was reported that Mrs Elizabeth Cook, widow of the circumnavigator Captain James Cook, was buried on Friday 29th May, 1835 in a vault in the church.  One of her children died died when a student of Christ’s College and a monument erected in the church.
In 1983 the church was threatened with closure and possible demolition.  The following year the Church Commissioners submitted for confirmation by Her Majesty in Council a pastoral scheme which provided for the union of the benefices and parishes of St Andrew the Great and Holy Trinity in Cambridge, and for the declaration of redundancy of the church of St Andrew the Great.   The scheme took effect from 1st December 1984.

On the tomb in the aisle of the church:

DIED  21st DECᴿ 1793
DIED 25th JANy 1794
OBᵀ 13TH MAY 1835
ӔTAT. 93

On the wall plaque:

In Memory
of CAPTAIN JAMES COOK, of the Royal Navy.
one of the most celebrated Navigators, that this
or former Ages can boast of;  who was killed by
the Natives of Owyhee, in the Pacific Ocean, on the
14th Day of February, 1779:  in the 51st Year of his Age.

Of Mr. NATHANIEL COOK, who was lost with the
Thunderer Man of War.  Captain Boyle Walsingham,
in a most dreadful Hurricane, in October, 1780 :
aged 16 Years.

Of Mr. HUGH COOK, of Christ’s College, Cambridge .
who died on the 21st of December, 1793 : aged 17 Years.

Of JAMES COOK, Esq : Commander in the Royal Navy.
who lost his Life on the 25th of January, 1794 ; in
going from Pool, to the Spitfire Sloop of War, which
he commanded : in the 31st Year of his Age.

Of ELIZᵀᴴ COOK, who died April 9th 1771, Aged 4 Years.
JOSEPH COOK, who died Septᴿ 13th 1768, Aged 1 Month.
GEORGE COOK, who died Octᴿ 1st 1772, Aged 4 Months.

All Children of the first mentioned CAPᴺ. JAMES COOK, by
ELIZABETH COOK, who survived her Husband 56 Years, &
departed this life 13th May 1835, at her residence Clapham Surrey
in the 94th Year of her Age.  Her remains are deposited
with those of her Sons JAMES & HUGH
in the middle Aisle of this Church.

Printed on a large board measuring 6 feet by 4 feet , in the church, is the following:

Mrs Elizabeth Cook widow of Clapham in the County of Surrey by her Will dated 8th day of April 1833 gave and bequeathed to the Minister, Churchwardens and Overseers of the Parish of St Andrew-the-Great in the Town of Cambridge £1,000 stock 3 per cent Consols which was reduced by payment of Legacy Duty to £900 Stock in Trust and directed the appropriation of the Dividends and Interest arising therefrom in the manner following.

A sufficient sum to be retained for the keeping clean and in good repair the Monument erected in the Church in the memory of her deceased husband and Family and also for the preservation of the Stone laying in the Middle Aisle.

That £2 be annually paid to the Minister for the time being of the said Parish and that the residue of the said Dividend and Interest be equally divided on the 21st Day of December in each Year between five poor aged women of good character residing within and belonging to the said Parish and not receiving Parochial Aid.

Such poor women to be named by the Minister and Churchwardens and Overseers for the time being. £900 stock 3 per cent Consols was transferred into the name of the Reverend GEORGE LANGSHAWE Vicar, THOMAS HALL FISHER and MOSES BROWNE Churchwardens and WILLIAM METCALFE and JAMES IND HEADLEY Overseers all of the Parish of St Andrew-the-Great, Cambridge on the 10th day of December 1841."

GPS Coordinates:   52.203764,  0123206

Cook’s Log, page 187, vol. 6, no. 1 (1983)
Cook’s Log, page 217, vol. 6, no. 3 (1983)
Cook’s Log, page 227, vol. 6, no. 4 (1983)
Cook’s Log, page 307, vol. 7, no. 4 (1984)
Cook’s Log, page 355, vol. 8, no. 2 (1985)
Endeavour Lines, page 11, no. 15 (Apr 1990)
Alnwick Mercury, Saturday 1st March, 1879. p. 2.

Sort by:
profile photo
Rona, the Cambridge Record Office contains the records of St Andrew the Great parish. Amongst the records is an A5 notebook titled "St Andrews the Great Elizabeth Cook's Bequest" - Archive reference P/23/25/1 . It lists who the applicants were every year, and which applicants received the financial gift from Mrs Cook's Charity. I believe that a notice was read out to the congregation in late November every year, and applicants had to submit their details to be considered for her award. According to my notes, the recipients were different every year.
By Cliff Thornton on 10/3/2019 9:00:12 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
profile photo
Has there ever been any follow up records of who the "five poor women" recipients of Elizabeth Cook's charitable bequest were?
By Rona Scherer on 10/2/2019 9:32:18 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
profile photo
Professor Baker, thank you for your timely comment. I suspect that the article was written some years ago and needs updating to account for the subsequent reactivation of the church. I am delighted to hear that the building has returned to its original purpose.
By Cliff Thornton on 2/19/2018 2:00:50 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
profile photo
The description/history fails to mention the subsequent history of the Church whereby the ,move from the Round Church of the congregation to Great St. Andrews. So that the church is now reactivated and not now redundant.
By Emeritus Professor David Baker AM on 2/15/2018 10:33:25 AM Like:0 DisLike:0

Unsolicited e-mail warning

It has come to our attention that spam mailers (senders of bulk unsolicited e-mail) have been forging their mail with this domain as the point of origin. As a matter of policy, we do not send out e-mail from our domain name. If you have received an email that appears to be from "@CaptainCookSociety.com" it was forged and sent without our consent, knowledge, or the use of our servers.