Marsham – All Saints Church (Mary Blyth)

I don’t often see gravestones disappearing into the ground, although I suspect that it’s been pushed in to stop it falling over. Either way, this gravestone in All Saints Church in Marsham commemorates the life of Mary Blyth.

Trying to resolve family trees from the late eighteenth century is challenging (well, it is to me) given the gaps in the records. I know that Mary died at the age of 83 and that she was born in 1759. And there is a Mary who was baptised in Marsham on 21 January 1759 (fortunately, these records still exist at Norfolk Record Office) and she was the daughter of Isaac Blyth and Mary Blyth. The difficulty is that for this to the same person, Mary must never have married and that would have been unusual for the period.

Mary was listed on the 1841 census, when she lived at Unicorn Yard in Aylsham with Thomas Hewitt and Mary Hewitt. It doesn’t appear that Mary was her daughter, as her maiden name was Eldridge and not Blyth, so I’m not sure that they were related. Unicorn Yard is still there today, located next to the Unicorn pub and Mary would have known it since it had been licensed since at least the late seventeenth century.

Mary died at the age of 83 on 10 October 1842 and she was buried on Friday 14 October 1842. The level of documentation improves in the nineteenth century, so I know that her funeral service was led by Henry Asker, the church’s assistant curate. As for her life, I can’t find out anything, but perhaps there’s more story out there somewhere about Mary.