Have you ever heard the one about how there are only two things that are certain to us?
The first one being that we are all subject to some form of taxation and the second is that one day we WILL all die.
As a genealogical researcher my time is usually spent grappling with the mystery of death.
And if I’m not in search of a missing ancestor or researching another life long lost to history – I will be poring over the details on a newly discovered and often indecipherable certificate of death or trawling through the parish records in search of a burial entry.
Being able to locate the final resting place of those from my research endeavours has always been an important task and an unsuccessful search is disappointing as the final piece of the jigsaw remains missing.
However, if you struggle with the thought of death and have no wish to contemplate – MY world is probably NOT for you!
A wanderer of graveyards.
As I love nothing more than a ramble through a graveyard and have been pottering among the tombstones for as long as I can remember – I will be sharing the tales and triumphs of family history and the images and podcasts of my wanderings among the dead.
The author Lailah Gifty Akita once said that – “The graveyard is an everlasting home of every man” and within most of our cemeteries there is evidence of spectacular craftsmanship, awe inspiring stonework, history, sublime words of poignancy AND the occasional flashes of humour ALL just waiting to be discovered!
See YOU on the other side?
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Have you ever heard the one about how there are only two things that are certain to us? The first one being that we are all subject to some form of taxation and the second is that one day we WILL all die.
Lady Byron was laid to rest at Kensal Green Cemetery London in May 1860 and despite the incorrect spelling of her first name – her simple and elegant grave can be discovered in the shadow of the enormous Dissenter’s Chapel.
Situated on the exhilarating coastline of North Yorkshire and affectionately known as the ‘Queen of English watering places’ – Scarborough occupies a fascinating place within the history of seaside resorts.
And along with a history of besieged castles, dinosaur remains, literary prodigies, fishing ports, religious persecution, folklore, medicinal drinking waters, smuggling, and pirate radio – Scarborough enjoys an enduring charm.
From a population of just over 32,000 in 1801 – Scarboro’ Gothic is a record of this unique town, its history and the local characters from the heady days of the Georgian era until the dawn of the Edwardian epoch.
Tee’s tip jar!
As every penny I earn keeps me happy with access to genealogical research, parish records, newspaper archives, and probate deeds along with precious opportunities to explore those graveyards – every lovely human who believes in my work makes me VERY happy too!
‘We Begin to Die as Soon as We are BORN and the END is Linked to the BEGINNING.’
Shortly after midday on a balmy August day – the body of a woman and that of her youngest child were recovered from the River Ouse in York.
And a story began to unfold so tragic that it would touch the hearts of many including that of the coroner who implored the media to use their influence to promote a better understanding on the subject of suicide.
Sarah Bell (1872-1902)
The Troubled Mother.
The ONLY clear picture history accords Ms Mary Wilson is that of her death by poisoning one morning in May.
A scroll though our parish records and census returns have only added to the mystery of WHO Mary was, WHERE she came from and HOW she had managed to live independently well into her sixth decade!
Mary Wilson (1833-1901)
The Discreet Spinster.
Waking the Dead of York, Scarboro’ and Beyond.
WITH THE COMING OF DUSK…
And the door of an atelier closed for the day – it is possible to catch a glimpse of a celebrated miniaturist and storyteller clad in her distinctive black feline boots wandering through the unquiet street and secret passages of York, Scarboro’ and beyond in a quest to wake the dead.
ORDINARY FOLK. EXTRAORDINARY DEATHS.
And for those of a curious and hardy temperament – why not come along and listen to the Lady Brigante as she shares with you the tales of the illustrious, the miscreants, artists, misfits and those ordinary folk who have ALL been lost to history – until now!
However, for those of a sensitive nature who are averse to real stories of tears, heartache and tragedy – a meander through the fascinating streets of York, Scarboro’ and beyond with the Lady Brigante may NOT be to your taste.
WHO OR WHAT IS The Polite Tourist?
The Polite Tourist offers true crime walks through Victorian history. Through York, Scarboro’ and beyond.
Innovative, meticulously researched and inspired by true crime stories from the Victorian era and through the tales of those ordinary people woven into the rich fabric of an ancient city or town’s social history – our walks are designed to offer an informative and unique experience with a professional and spirited storyteller.
THE BÊTE NOIRE OF THE DEAD. SOMETIME ARTIST.
The Lady Brigante loves nothing more than shocking unsuspecting folk with the tale that she was abandoned at birth by gypsies and raised en famille with kindly mice in the crypt of an old church.
Alas! The truth is altogether more unremarkable!
Described as the bête noire of the long forgotten dearly departed – our storyteller, the Lady Brigante is a spiritual sleuth, sometime artist and a seeker of the dead.
She is also something of a miniaturist and sculptor.
For those of a curious mind – why not cross the threshold of a twilight world nestled inside a little slice of the web to which the Lady B has since laid claim?
With Quill and Ink By Candlelight. ‘Fac Quod Faciendum Est.’