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Saturday, 17 January 2015

Sympathy Saturday - Two Melancholy Deaths

A Rootsweb contact on the Fylde, Lancashire message board supplied these sad reports from a  local newspaper:  .

The Lancaster Gazette –  Saturday 14 September 1844

"Blackpool Churchyard  contains two inscriptions possessing melancholy interest. 

The first is on a tablet recording the death of Major Sparkes and Miss Leach, who were drowned while leaving a vessel that had brought them from Canada, in Oct last.  It was said that they had become attached to each other during the voyage, and contemplated being married on reaching England.  Alas! By what frail tenure are our brightest hopes held: Just as they were about to consummate their wishes, they were suddenly deprived of their existence; and now silently repose together in the same grave!

"The next memento in  this burying-place, is that recording the death of Betty Butcher, who died in the year 1829.  Betty was a neatly-dressing, good looking girl of 21; and had won the affections of Walter Cragg, the son of a neighbouring farmer.  Betty was only a fisherman's daughter, and her union with Walter Cragg was not approved of by his friends.  Walter, however, sincerely loved Betty; and she warmly reciprocated the feeling.  Going to the well one day to fetch her a pitcher of water, he unfortunately fell therein, and was suffocated before he could be rescued from his perilous situation.  This untoward event weighed heavily upon Betty's mind, and she pined and died a few months afterwards".

Both the surnames Butcher and Cragg appear in my Danson family history, and I have ancestors buried in Blackpool Cemetery. However I have not identified any direct connection with the tragic deaths here  of Betty Butcher and Walter Cragg. 


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