GAZETTE Nov 1993
Sketch of Dr Perkins taken from the `Spy' cartoon by Hay.
Ishbel Beatty tells the history of flamboyant Dr John Perkins
JOHN PERKINS LIES in EAST HATLEY CHURCHYARD, near enough to Buff Wood, as he asked, to hear the Cambridgeshire hounds working through it. But
he was more than a keen huntsman, a bushy-bearded figure of ready wit and
congenial presence. He was a Tutor at
As landlord's representative, he was popular with the tenants, whose rents he collected at the Downing Arms. The College had built a house in the village in the 1860's for the use of Fellows and others, and installed a gamekeeper, Joseph Ingrey and his wife Rebecca. It was called the Palace, perhaps as a joke because of its contrast with the small cottages of the farm labourers which made up the village. The Bursar often stayed there, and when his period of office as Tutor came to an end in 1888, he farmed at nearby Pincote's, in partnership with Joseph Ingrey.
1901, aged 65, Dr. Perkins became oppressed with melancholia, and in spite of
the care of his brother Henry, a
A popular lecturer and tutor in the classics, Perkins had been a friend of W G Grace, the cricketer, was invited to shoot with the Duke of Cambridge at Six Mile Bottom, and gave a much-appreciated annual address to the Great Gransden Agricultural Society. He stocked the village ponds with fish, and for 25 years he was Secretary of the Cambridgeshire Hunt. He once declared that he believed his best memorial to be the great increase in the number of Downing undergraduates whilst he was Tutor, and the fact that while he was Bursar no fox was shot on the College estates.
portrait, which hangs in
(or Jack) Perkins was the youngest son of the four children of the Vicar of Sawston. His eldest sister, Martha, unmarried like him,
also lived in