Norwich – Rosary Cemetery (John Beaney + Elizabeth Beaney)

Since I’ve been grounded again by the Government, I thought I’d meander around the Rosary Cemetery located near to me in Norwich, in an attempt to see what stories lie there. It might not be the most fascinating blog content, but it’ll keep me quiet for a few weeks….

Firstly, this surname has presented the enumerators for the census problems in the nineteenth century, as well as modern transcribers. We’ve got Beeney, Beany, Beeny and Beaney as the names here, just to make things more exciting….

John Beaney and Elizabeth Beaney (nee Candler) married on 18 September 1837 at St. Clement’s Church in Norwich, with Elizabeth having been born in Ringland, Norwich. I can’t find his birth records, although John was born in around 1818. Elizabeth was born on 20 April 1814 and was baptised on 22 May 1814 at Ringland Church, with her parents being James Candler and Ann Candler (nee Collins).

At the 1841 census, the couple were living with William Collins and William Collins (I assume father and son since one was 71 and the other 50) on Cowgate Street in Norwich. Unless it’s by chance, they would have been living with some of Ann’s relatives.

For reasons I cannot quite understand, as this would have been quite a distance to move in the nineteenth century, the couple were listed as living alone at 10 Elizabeth Place, Walsoken near Wisbech at the 1851 census. John was listed as working as a lath render. I’m not really a DIY expert, but he would have been the person who constructed the laths on walls ready for a plasterer to, well, plaster.

Clearly now back in Norwich, John also got himself in the Norwich Mercury in July 1854, although not for fortunate reasons. A Thomas Brooks pinched five bundles of lath from John, which resulted in the offender being sentenced to six months in prison with hard labour. There’s nothing to suggest in the records that John would have had much money, so this would have likely been a significant problem for him.

At the 1861 census, John and Elizabeth lived alone on St. Faith’s Lane in Norwich, with John still working as a lath render. John died on 15 June 1862 and Elizabeth died in the first quarter of 1863.

So, this is another gravestone without a huge amount of back story. I can’t find evidence of any children, so the couple likely just lived a quiet life which has mostly been lost to the record. It’s a little strange that the nearest that we can come to knowing a bit more about John from the newspapers is because he was a victim of crime. The stone, which is a little damaged now, was updated following the death of Elizabeth and I wonder who arranged for that to take place.