Monday, May 11, 2009

One for the feminists

We had free time on Saturday afternoon to write, read, sleep, whatever. I am rather fond of old graveyards so I set off to walk the couple of miles back down the valley to the village of Cwm Gwaun and its small chapel.

There were no especially curious monuments but a couple caught my eye. One was for William Havard, 'for many years a devoted and useful Pastor of this church', who died in August, 1837, aged 44 years. The tombstone also recorded the deaths in December of his two daughters, Mary who was nearly 3, and Margaret, who was just 1. The gap between August and December seems too long for them all to have been fever victims, but that also seems the most likely explanation.

His wife likely had older children to comfort her as the graveyard is full of Havards, and unlike Thomas and Evans, Havard isn't a typical Welsh surname. One of them was probably Seth Havard, who died in 1866 while his wife, Mary, lived on for another 20 years. I don't know if you'll be able to read this stone so, in case, you can't, I'll tell you that Mary is referred to as 'relic of the above'. Hmm, I think I prefer widow!