Saturday, 2 August 2014

A Quirky Dame

It's been a while since I featured a local eccentric so I thought it high time that I addressed it with a tale of Miss Elizabeth Gatford.

In life Miss Gatford had already earnt a reputation as being rather a one off let's say. For twenty years she remained holed up in her mansion whilst everything around her including her coach was left to rack and ruin. However, in death she was more remarkable still.

I have found it often to be the case that those individuals who stand out from the crowd and plough their own furrow are also amongst the most generous. Miss Gatford was no exception. In her will [written in 1790] she instructed that a sum of £5 5 shillings per annum should be used to buy bread. This was to be left on a shelf in front of her seat in church and then distributed amongst the poor every Sabbath. This has continued until recently but now the money is put towards supporting a local foodbank. She also specified that £15 pa should be used to feed her animals after her death- this included her cats, dogs, guinea pigs and parrots but for some strange reason not her horses. She was equally clear about the arrangements for her burial which were carried out in accordance with her wishes.

Elizabeth eventually shuffled off her mortal coil on 8th July 1799. Her body was kept preserved for a month in wine of spirits and then she was interred within four coffins- one of shell, one of lead and the others of oak and stone in the vault of the church she attended after 10pm at night. I think it must have been quite a memorable affair.



  1. That song you linked to isn't my style of music I have to say, but had a message worth "hearing". I'm sort of drawing together in my mind that song and your post here and you have a point indeed.

    Well, better get back to ploughing my own furrow and try and get my New Life here firmly on track. You could say I'm hedging my bets (just as well in view of some of the current stories in the news) and I've got a new Will made out, leaving pretty nearly every penny I have to a Welsh environmental charity and have been having a quiet little giggle to myself about whether some new project of theirs sometime in decades to come will have my name on it as the donor of money to cover it LOL. On the other hand - I've had several people recently tell me they think "abilities" (put that bit most definitely in quotes....) might be surfacing and I have noticed I "know" a few more things about things recently than I have any logical way of knowing iyswim. Maybe/maybe not. The jury is out on that. Anyway all bases are covered and will see where life takes me now I guess ....

    Hope all is well with you.



    1. Thanks Ceridwen. I would never have encountered that song in my normal life either- it was purely by chance because I was working. I agree you need to be yourself...I spent too many years trying to deny that and it only ends in tears. Hope all is well with you too- good to hear from you.
      Sarahxx aka Arilx


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