Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Tombstone of Fanny Bush

(Click on image to view full-size version)

On the South side of St George's churchyard lies the grave of Fanny Bush. The inscription reads
"Sacred to the memory of Fanny Bush, the beloved child of Simon and Gaiki, Bush people, born 8th day of August, 1846, on board the Brig 'Fanny', of Liverpool, Captain Wheeler, on their voyage to England. She died of consumption, at Hyde, the 29th day of September, 1849, at seven o'clock a.m."
The child alluded to belonged to some travelling showmen who came to exhibit a party of "savages" on Hyde Market Ground. Whilst at Hyde she died and was buried at St George's, the "savages" attending the service in charge of their keepers. The unusual nature of the funeral procession drew a great number of sightseers.

The Rev. Alexander Read composed a verse which is also inscribed on the tombstone:
Savage her race, and dark her hue,
Brief her career of life has been;
But in the great Creator's view,
Young, old, dark, fair, are equal seen.
By Christian hands to Baptism brought,
And dedicated thus to God,
The Saviour's heart rejects her not,
She gains salvation through His blood.
(Information c/o Thomas Middleton: History of Hyde (St George's) Church, 1911)

For a view of the grave in situ see Hyde Daily Photo.

A contribution to Taphophile Tragics.


  1. What a beautifully inscribed and unusualy stone. Unusual to have the time of death on the stone. Poor Fanny

    Beneath Thy Feet

  2. I also found the time of death, quaint. Not just that it was there - which I have never seen before either - but that the mason was so verbose as to spell it all out, including the 'o'clock'. But it is only in this digital age that the concept of 'o'clock' has little usage. Orally it is still in use, but mainly by the old fogies among us, of which I proudly count myself as one.

    Poor Fanny ... being named after a ship. But at least she had a good send off. It is tempting to surmise that life was cheaper in those days, hence the larger family size. However, I know in my heart-of-hearts, that each child lost would leave a massive hole in the heart of both parents.

    I had to smile at the efforts of the mason on this stone. So close together, he must have been cross-eyed by its completion.

  3. The work of the stonemason is beautiful, though I wonder at it all being so close together when your other view shows so much space left over!


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