Displaced – Lucy Alice Davy

This plot marker was found lying on its back in row 43. We did know where it came from, and will update this post at a later date to explain further. We didn’t know initially, though, who LAD was.

Plot markers can be awkward things. Many times the initials on them are the initials of the person who owned the plot; so LAD could be an adult. Sometimes the initials are of the first person into the plot; so it seemed, after hours of research and deduction, was the case here. Here (well, not here) lies the body of Lucy Alice Davy of Temperance Street, aged 11 months old.

Lucy’s parents were Robert Jonathan and Alice (Wiseman) Davy. Robert was one of three Davy men who came to Todmorden from Norfolk, but unlike the other two who were brickworkers, he was a gardener. A gentleman’s gardener, according to official records. He worked for the Ormerod family at Ridgefoot House, sited behind Aldi, formerly the Olympia Cinema, and Ridgefoot sheltered housing. He and Alice married in Burnley in 1877.

We can’t track Alice. The only Alice Wiseman in Burnley before then seems to be an entirely different Alice Wiseman, so we think she may have come from further afield. Perhaps she was also a servant travelling with a wealthy family. She and Robert had two children, Annie and Lucy. Sadly Alice died in childbirth in November 1880 aged only 26.

Robert had been doing well, joining the Todmorden Floral Horticultural Society on the recommendation of his employer and becoming active in it, and the loss of his wife only weeks after this honour must have felt like a real blow. Not only losing his wife after feeling like he was becoming a success, but having two small children – including a newborn! He sought the help of his cousin, Mary Ann Tangate, and in 1881 she is shown living with the three of them as a nanny.

Detail from the 1881 Census. Note the errors – Lucy O. should be Lucy A., and she was 5 months old not 5 years old.

In October 1881, Lucy died. The next year, Mary Ann and Robert were married. And they passed out of Todmorden’s history forever.

Lucy, however, is still here. We aren’t in a position to replace her grave marker yet, but perhaps one day we will. In the meantime, it will rest with the Fieldens and Ogdens at 43.58, and we will remember her short little life here on our website.

One Comment

  1. Pingback:S1.2 – Harold and Florence Alice Allister (under school) – F.O.C.C.T.

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