Taunton Courier & Western Advertiser

Correspondents Replies to Queries

Wednesday, 18th November 1908

1898 - Burial of Gipsies - I have looked for someone to mention the "Stanleys", whose graves are in the S.W. part of the Churchyard at Norton Fitzwarren. There are five altogether with headstones, the inscriptions on which are very plain. I give them as they are from south to north, side by side : -

(1) A small stone usual for a child.

Sacred to the memory of
Valentine Stanley,
Who died Octr. 25th, 1851, aged 9 years.
Also to Rhoda Stanley, who died Mar. 2nd, 1851,
aged 11 years.

It will be noticed that Rhoda, although placed below Valentine, died first.

(2) Rather larger than No. 1.

Sacred to the memory of Thos. Stanley, who died
July 13th, 1863, aged 14 years.
Dear friends, forbear to mourn and weep,
While in the dust I sweetly sleep;
This frail some world I've left behind,
A crown of glory in hope to find.

A large (3) stone.

Sacred to the memory of William Stanley
Who died Jan. 27th 1846, aged 39 years.
Here lies the only comfort of my life,
Who was the best of husbands to a wife,
The best of fathers to his children dear,
Such was the man that lies reposing here.
This stone is erected by his widow as a testimony of her cherished remembrance of an affectionate husband, tender father, and a kind friend.

A full-sized (4) headstone.

Sacred to the memory of Richard Stanley, who
died Aug. 15th, 1849, aged 79 years.
Adieu, my friends, I take my leave;
Farewell my loving wife.
Our children dear your guardians be,
And bless your widowed life.

A very large (5) elaborate stone.

Sacred to the memory of James Stanley, who died
Aug. 31st, 1852, aged 52 years.
Grave! The guardian of the dust;
Grave! The treasure of the skies;
Every atom of thy trust,
Rest in hope again to rise.
Hark! The judgement trumpet calls;
Soul, rebuild thy house of clay,
Immortality thy walls,
And eternity thy day.

-It should interest "Curious" to know that there are six Gipsies buried in consecrated ground; and I feel sure that some of your readers remember the Stanleys, and could tell us much concerning them, as it seems that they encamped near to Norton. - F.A.

With Thanks To:
The British Newspaper Archives

Original Article/Image Copyright:
Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of The British Library Board.

Extracted From:
Taunton Courier & Western Advertiser - Wednesday, 18th November 1908
Click here to view the original page @ The British Newspaper Archives.



  • James Stanley
  • Rhoda Stanley
  • Richard Stanley
  • Thomas Stanley
  • Valentine Stanley
  • William Stanley