It has been a long time since I wrote a Tombstone Tuesday blog post, but yesterday’s newspaper article prompted me to think some more about William Trower and his wife Mary who were the victims of the crime.
This is the headstone for my 4x great-grandmother Mary, the wife of William Trower. The church in the background is St. Peter’s Church in Henfield, Sussex. Mary was buried on the 8th November 1855, her husband died nearly twenty years later and presumably he is buried in the same grave, although his death is not mentioned on the headstone.
The inscription is not particularly clear on the photo or on the actual stone, the lower part of the stone has a quotation which I don’t have a record of, but the top half reads:
TO THE MEMORY OF
MARY WIFE OF
WHO DIED NOV 3RD 1855
AGED 63 YEARS
On Monday I wrote about John FAIRS, my 4x great-grandfather. I mentioned that his headstone records that he died on the 11th March 1846 and that the parish register recorded that he was buried on the same day.
I was rather suspicious of this, it seemed plausible that he died and was buried on the same day but it seemed unlikely and incredibly efficient of all the people involved, including the people who had to dig the grave.
A much more likely explanation was that one of the records was wrong, either the wrong date had been carved on the headstone or the officiating minister had recorded the wrong date in the burial register.
Given that John died aged only 41 years I felt that there could be an interesting story behind his death, so I decided it would be worth ordering a copy of his death certificate. I was astonished to receive the certificate in the post today, having only ordered it on Monday evening (excellent service from the GRO and the Royal Mail).
The certificate revealed the truth, John FAIRS died on the 7th March 1846 not the 11th March, so the inscription on his headstone is wrong.
Disappointingly the cause of death was not very exciting, the cause given is “Acute Gastritis 48 hours” according to Wikipedia Gastritis is “an inflammation of the lining of the stomach”. Not particularly exciting or unusual, Wikipedia does also say that “the main acute causes are excessive alcohol consumption”, so maybe it was alcohol that caused his premature death?
Regardless of the cause of his death, this story does prove one thing, even if it is carved in stone it is not necessarily true.
This is the reason I went to Nuthurst, Sussex last week, to check the monumental inscription for Edward GASSON. I don’t really know anything more about Edward GASSON other than what is provided on the headstone.
I have found him living at Monks Common in Nuthurst in the 1851 census, with his wife Mary. He gives his place of birth as Charlwood, Surrey and he is a farmer of 80 acres, employing three labourers.
He is probably the son of Edward and Elizabeth GASSON of Charlwood, and Edward senior is probably the son of John and Ann GASSON my 5x great-grandparents. Obviously more work is needed on Edward’s ancestry so I can confidently place him in my tree.
Last week I showed you an invoice, which I believe was for the headstone of Ruth TROWER. The photograph below is of the headstone itself.
The photo was taken by myself on the 18th August 2007 in the churchyard of Christ Church, Sayers Common, Sussex. Ruth TROWER was my 3x great-aunt, one of the sisters of my 2x great-grandfather Ebenezer TROWER.