Friday, 23 December 2011

Family Tragedy

Situated in the grounds of St Lawrence's Church is this once impressive tomb covered in symbolic carvings. The inscription had faded to be unreadable and I was moved to find out a little more about it. It is a monument to 6 children of the Rigg family drowned in a boating accident on the River Ouse on August 19th 1830. Their rowing boat met a another boat in full sail near Acomb landing and collided with it. The whole party was thrown into the water and in an age when few people were taught to swim only two - Thomas Sellers and 9 year old Jessie - survived. Ann (19), Eliza (17), Thomas (18),  John (16), James (7) and Charles (6) all drowned. 
The citizens of York, stunned by the scale of the tragedy to hit one family subscribed to the monument, a picture of which taken around 1900 when was still in good repair, can be seen here.
After finding out about the tomb I understood why the churchyard here had seemed such a very sad place.


  1. A very sad story. There is so much social history to be found in the average churchyard or cemetery. I get more emails about graves and churchyards combined than any other topic on my blog than any other.

  2. Too bad it has fallen into such a state! A horrible tale for sure.

  3. I challenge you to post something I can pass up. York (and your blog) fascinate me every day.


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