Cemeteries and graveyards, full of love, betrayal, tragic deaths, murder, and suicide. What will you find?

Friday 5 October 2012

Frederick Sexton of Holyport

Taphophilia is a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries. The singular term is a taphophile.

Monument to Frederick, Annie Elizabeth and Mary Sexton, St Michael's Churchyard, Bray, Berkshire.

"In loving memory of Frederick Sexton of Holyport, who died July 1st 1883 in the 40th year of his age. 'Thy will be done'. 
Also Annie Elizabeth Sexton the beloved daughter of the above, who died September 25th 1886 at Caracas South America in the 21st year of her age. 'In the midst of life we are in death.' -  'It is the Lord let him do what seemeth him good.' 
Also of Mary Sexton, wife of the above, who died Aug 17th 1928 in the 88th year of her age.  Her end was peace."

I was immediately drawn to this gravestone because of the surname Sexton.  Sexton has another meaning other than simply a name.  Sexton - an occupation: A person who looks after a church and churchyard, typically acting as bell-ringer and gravedigger.  Although it turns out the occupants are Sexton's in name only.

Frederick Sexton was born in Bray, Berkshire in 1844 to James Sexton, a carpenter and Elizabeth Sargent Smith.  On the 1861 census Frederick can be found as a Private in the 10th (Prince of Wales Own) Royal Hussars at the Cavalry Barracks, Barrack Street, East Wymer, Norfolk.

In 1865 in Middlesex Frederick, now a carpenter, married Mary Fenemore, not long after their first of their six children was born, Annie Elizabeth.

Annie Elizabeth died in Caracas, Venezuela, South America on 25th September 1886.  Unfortunately I am unable to find out what Aniie was doing in South America or why she died.

Mary Sexton was born Mary Fenemore in Oxfordshire 1841 to James Fenemore, a pound keeper and his wife Caroline.  On the 1861 census, Mary was a house servant in Holyport, Maidenhead, Berkshire.  When Frederick passed away in 1883, Mary became a young widow of 45 with six children to support, the youngest only being 2 years old.  Mary remained in Maidenhead until sometime around the 1911 Census when she can be found living in Clacton on Sea with her youngest daughter Ellen and her husband, Leonard Phillips.

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  1. Think that is another cemetery to visit.

    1. There's not many of the old stones left. But Bray in iself is a very beautiful place.

  2. The South American angle is intriguing isn't it?

    1. It is. Sadly there's not much I can find out about it.


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