Matlock – St. Giles’s Church (Mary Crossley)

This is the grave of Mary Crossley (nee Lovatt), the wife of Thomas Crossley and the couple married on 11 November 1804 in Mickleover, Derbyshire. Mary died on 24 September 1816, aged just 36 and she was buried on 27 September 1816. The other sad story is that Elizabeth, “the daughter of the aforesaid Thomas and Mary” died on 7 November 1816 when just an infant and she was buried on 10 November.

Thomas Crossley went on to marry Harriet Caithness in Crich, on 9 March 1825. He’s listed on the 1840 census, being 60 years old, whilst Harriet was just 40 years old, so I wonder if that was a controversial marriage. They had several children, including Elisa, John, Edwin, Josiah, Emma, Hannah and Elizabeth. That must have also been an emotional time for Thomas, having another girl named Elizabeth, 25 years after the first died.

There are so many stories to be told here, but they’re likely lost to time. It’s not clear why Mary died, perhaps complications from childbirth and that might explain the death of the child a few weeks later. Then for the husband to find a young bride and start what turned out to be a large family, it can only be left to the imagination to know how much he missed Mary and what impact her death had on his life.

But, this gravestone is neatly carved and over 200 years on it remains readable and standing proud in the churchyard.