Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Master of the Workhouse

Grave of John Henry Seaborne and his wife Mary Ann, St Mary de Haura, Shoreham-by-Sea.
The inscription reads: In affectionate remembrance of Mary Ann, the beloved wife of John Henry Seaborne. Born 22d August. 1810. Died 9th May. 1876. 
Patient in affliction calmly resigning herself to the will of God.
Also John Henry Seaborne, husband of the above, Died (?) February 1881, Aged 77 years.
I checked census records for John Henry and his wife and they both appear on the 1851, 1861 and 1871 records living with their family at the Steyning Union Workhouse, New Shoreham. John Henry's occupation is given as Master of the Workhouse; Mary Ann's as Matron and their daughter, Elizabeth, as Schoolmistress. More about the Steyning Workhouse here.
You can see more gravestones and memorials over at this week's Taphophile Tragics.

4 comments:

Nicola Carpenter said...

Interesting post. I bet they saw a lot of hardship in their lives running the local workhouse.

Beneath Thy Feet

hamilton said...

That seems a horrible life sentence, being in the workhouse -as inmate or staff.

CaT said...

"calmly resigning"
really? i always wonder why such phrases are put on headstones...

Julie said...

A 'workhouse' is a parish poorhouse. I see. How would that feel: to live in a renovated workhouse, with the ghosts of the past poor. Not for me, I assure you.

But the story is fascinating, along with the link. I think it would be preferable to work in a workhouse than to have to live in a workhouse. I wonder if residents were given work to complete to earn their daily gruel.

Come to think of it: the Seaborne's had sufficient capital to be able to invest in a most handsome headstone, footstone and surround - with fence. Pay cannot have been too bad!

Wonderful historical post. Thank you.