Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The last resting place of Fanny Bush

On the South side of St George's churchyard lies the grave of Fanny Bush. The inscription reads
"Sacred to the memory of Fanny Bush, the beloved child of Simon and Gaiki, Bush people, born 8th day of August, 1846, on board the Brig 'Fanny', of Liverpool, Captain Wheeler, on their voyage to England. She died of consumption, at Hyde, the 29th day of September, 1849, at seven o'clock a.m."
The child alluded to belonged to some travelling showmen who came to exhibit a party of "savages" on Hyde Market Ground. Whilst at Hyde she died and was buried at St George's, the "savages" attending the service in charge of their keepers. The unusual nature of the funeral procession drew a great number of sightseers.

The Rev. Alexander Read composed a verse which is also inscribed on the tombstone:
Savage her race, and dark her hue,
Brief her career of life has been;
But in the great Creator's view,
Young, old, dark, fair, are equal seen.
By Christian hands to Baptism brought,
And dedicated thus to God,
The Saviour's heart rejects her not,
She gains salvation through His blood.
(Information c/o Thomas Middleton: History of Hyde (St George's) Church, 1911)

For an overview of the tombstone see Hyde DP Xtra.

A contribution to Taphophile Tragics and Our World Tuesday.


  1. Interesting post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  2. Makes you wonder who were the savages, us or the poor souls we called that.

  3. It's amazing the stories you can discover in the graveyard. Thanks for sharing this one.

  4. It's so sad and so sweet that the townspeople embraced the child in her death. I find it so odd that she is a child of "Bush people" and given the last name Bush, since I suppose she didn't have a last name, and was called Fanny, but also coincidentally came over on the brig called Fanny. Very fascinating! She has a very impressive grave!

  5. Amazing that it's in such good condition for it's age.

    Beneath Thy Feet

  6. Good condition, and good position. I am tempted to believe that the location of the headstone is for quasi-marketing purposes rather than to indicate that the remains of the child lie below. It is an impressive headstone, and deserves to be given a prominent place with sylvan surrounds.

  7. such a large tombstone for such a wee child.