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

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Silver - Believeth

Lych gate at St James the Less, Burchetts Green, Maidenhead

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

Monument of Augusta Silver, Annette Silver and Mary Ann Silver, St James the Less Churchyard, Burchetts Green, Maidenhead.

"In memory of Augusta Silver Born June 15th 1842 Died April 3rd 1860 Also of Annette Silver Born May 24th 1850 Died 13th April 1861
Also of Mary wife of Richard Silver and mother of the above Born March 1st 1818 Died July 15th 1881

~ Who so ever liveth and believeth in me shall never die - St John XI 26 ~"

Augusta Silver was born in 1842 and Annette Silver in 1860 to Richard and Ann Silver nee Kuy.
Richard Silver was born in 1818 in Burghfield Berkshire. On 16th March 1838 in Cookham Berkshire, he married Mary Kuy. They are listed on the 1851 Census living in "Tittle Row" with their children Joseph Love, Augusta (spelt Agusta), Agnes and 11 month old Annette. At that time Richard was a carpenter employing five men. Mary was a dress maker.

In 1849 the foundation stone to St James the Less church in Burchetts Green Maidenhead was laid. The architect Richard Cromwell Carpenter employed Richard Silver and his team to build the church that still stands there to this day. The small round window in the west wall
was given to the Church by Richard Silver.

Sadly in both 1860 and 1861 the family was beset by double tragedy when 18 year old Augusta passed away follwed closely by his 11 year old sister Annette. Maybe this is why Richard threw himself in to politics and the running of his beloved town, Maidenhead.
Richard was elected to Maidenhead Town Council in 1870, becoming Alderman from 1890 and Mayor of Maidenhead in 1872-73 and again in 1877-78. He passed awat at his home The Walnuts, Tittle Row on 17th December 1910. In his obituary his was described as;

"A keen antiquarian. His late residence, Etruria stands on the site of an old Roman villa, where Mr Silver unearthed some valuable pottery & specimens of which are to be seen at the British Museum and at the Maidenhead Museum."

After the death of his wife Mary in 1881 Richard married Jane Stuchbery in Cookham in 1883.
Richard and Jane are listed on the 1901 Census as living at Etruria along with their servants, Elizabeth Gibson and Jane Sealey, my husband's great grandmother.

West wall of st James the Less Church in Burchetts Green Maidenhead, showing the small round window given by Richard Silver
For more Taphophile Tragic posts, please stop by Taphophile Tragics Blog.

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Louisa Cannon - We Shall Not All Sleep, But We Shall All Be Cherished

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

Monument to Louisa Cannon, St James the Less Churchyard, Stubbings, Burchett's Green, Maidenhead Berkshire.

"Sacred to the memory of Louisa Cannon 
 Who died May 14th 1868 in the 17th year of her age.
~ We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be cherished ~"

Louisa was born in 1851 to Henry Cannon, a basket maker and his wife Ann Green. They lived in an area known as Maidenhead Thicket, once a haunt of highway men and a rumoured stop off point of Dick Turpin.

Lousia can be found on the 1861 Census living with her parents and sister at 55 Pinkney's Green. 

Sadly, Louisa passed away at the age of 17 on 14th May 1868. Her gravestone, covered in algae, rests in a small village churchyard not far from where she and her family used to live. A young life cut tragically short.

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Lady Nora Royce Docker and her Daughter

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

Monuments to Lady Nora Docker and Felicity Callingham, St James The Less Churchyard, Stubbings, Pinkney's Green, Maidenhead Berkshire.

The term 'Lady Docker' is also used in a derogatory way in the north of England, to describe a woman who has pretensions to be of high station but who in reality is anything but.

Lady Nora Royce Docker was born Nora Royce Turner in Debry, Derbyshire on 23 June 1906 in a flat above a butcher's shop, to Sydney Royce Turner and Amy James. Sydney, a mechanical engineer, was a self-made man who after beginning his working life as a shopfitter for the chemists Boots, eventually invested in motor cars, setting up his own showroom in Birmingham.

Nora can be found on the 1911 Census living with her parents and her elder sister Bernice Amy Turner at Garrick House 152 Bristol Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Sadly in 1922 when Nora was 16 years old, her father suffered a nervous breakdown and committed suicide by throwing himself from the ferry between Holyhead and Dublin.

- "The Turners had to sell their car showroom and release their servants. Amy Turner invested in a pub – the Three Tuns at Sutton Coldfield – but Norah found it so difficult to adjust to her new life that she could not bring herself to work behind the bar.

She was even more dismayed when her mother decided to leave the thriving business to invest in another pub – this time the Swan Hotel at Tenbury Wells. This business quickly failed and the Turners were forced to return to Birmingham, now in financial difficulties.

This brief flirtation with poverty made Norah determined never to experience it again. Just before his suicide, her father had made her promise that she would take care of the family, should anything untoward happen to him."

In 1924 aged 18 Nora left for London to seek her fortunes and became a dancer at London's fashionable Cafe de Paris. It was here that she met her first husband Clement Callingham, head of Henekeys wine and spirit merchants. They soon set up home in Maidenhead, despite the fact Clement was waiting for a divorce from his estranged wife Pamela, who cited Nora in the action. In 1938 when Nora was 32, they married at Chelsea Registry Office. In 1939 their son Lance was born and later joined in 1943 by their daughter Felicity.

On the 1939 Register Nora, her husband Clement, and their young son Lance can be found living at Baddow House, Pinkney's Green, Maidenhead Berkshire, with several servants.

Tragically Felicity was to pass away at the tender age of nine months old. Her resting place is directly behind that of her mother.

In July of 1945 Clement Callingham became ill and shortly after passed away.

A year after the death of her first husband Nora married his elderly friend Sir William Collins, President of Fortnum & Mason in 1946 in Westminster. He too passed away in 1948.

Nora was married a third time in 1949 to Sir Bernard Dudley Frank Docker, chairman of Birmingham Small Arms, Daimler and a director of the Midland Bank, Anglo-Argentine Tramways and Thomas Cook and Son. Unfortunately, due to their excesses and as Nora felt, the attentions of the press and paparazzi, the couple were not well liked.  Nora was banned from the Lady's Enclosure at Royal Ascot due to her scandalous affair with her first husband, and from the Monte Carlo Casino for slapping a waiter.  Both Nora and Bernard found themselves banned from Monaco due to her behaviour during the christening party of Prince Albert, where Nora tore up a crepe Monegasque flag. Their christening gifts were even returned without a note. 

Bernard passed away in 1978 and Nora moved to Majorca, yet she frequently visited England and her beloved son Lance.

On December 11th 1983, Nora was discovered dead in her room at the Great Western Royal Hotel in London. She was 77 years old, and she had lived life to its fullest.

She now rests peacefully in a small Berkshire village churchyard along with her daughter and two of her three husbands. Almost forgotten.

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