Haveringland – St. Peter’s Church (Bithiah Howard)

This stone is located just outside the porch of St. Peter’s Church in Haveringland. It’s an interesting first name, I think it’s Bithiah, but there’s more on Wikipedia about this. Although the burial records survive at Norfolk Record Office, the actual church mostly doesn’t as it was rebuilt in the 1850s (other than the tower).

I suspect that this stone was once above a tomb inside the church, which would explain why it has survived in good condition since Bithiah’s death in 1769 (or more precisely, she died on 31 December 1769 and was buried on 3 January 1770). Personally, I don’t think this stone should be outside, it’s part of the heritage of the church and so would be better off inside and protected.  I’m only guessing, but the stone was probably broken on lifting it in the 1850s and so they just removed it. It’s also missing from the comprehensive list of memorials which the church prepared in 1981.

Bithiah was born in 1693, but, unfortunately, other than finding her name in the parish death register (and I had to search it manually as the transcriber couldn’t read it), I can’t find anything else. I think there are problems with the transcribing of that first name, there are all manner of variants out there. The nature of the stone suggests that the family likely had some wealth and was perhaps connected with Haveringland Hall.