The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #110813 Message #2328474
Posted By: GeoffLawes
29-Apr-08 - 07:48 AM
Thread Name: 3 Score and 10 -Grave found in Hull
Subject: 3 Score and 10 -Grave found in Hull
Yesterday I went in to the old Sculcoates graveyard off Beverley Road in Hull which has recently been cleared of some of its overwhelming infestation of Japanese knotweed and I noticed a gravestone with a small carving of a wrecked ship . When I read the gravestone tribute, the word that jumped out at me was the word "smack" because of course " fishing smacks as well" is a line from the chorus of Three Score and Ten. The date, 1889, seemed right from my knowledge of the song and so I wrote down the whole inscription and when I brought it home I was greatly enthused to find that all the details fit.Here is what the inscription said;
IN LOVING MEMORY OF JAMES SECOND SON OF THO'S & ANN STEPHENSON WHO WAS LOST AT SEA BY THE FOUNDERING OF THE SMACK "OLIVE BRANCH" FEBRUARY 9TH 1889 AGED 45. ALSO MARIA CATHERINE HIS BELOVED WIFE WHO DIED APRIL 5TH 1889 AGED 49 YEARS
COME UNTO ME ALL YE THAT ARE WEARY -AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST
HE HAS GONE, HOW HARD NOT A FRIEND TO BE NEAR,
TO HEAR HIS LAST SIGH OR WATCH HIS LAST TEAR,
NO PARTING FAREWELL,NO KIND WORDS OF LOVE,
TO CHEER HIS LAST MOMENTS OR POINT HIM ABOVE.
What a story the inscription suggests. Maria Catherine died just two months after James was drowned.
Roy Palmer's notes to the song in Boxing the Compass, formerly published as the Oxford Book of Sea Songs, confirm that The Olive Branch was a Hull vessel and that the date of the dreadful gale was February 8th&9th.I have taken a photograph of the headstone which is not, I will confess, very clear because of the dirt, lichen and weathering, but if it is of special interest I will send it to anyone who PMs. The Mudcat archive shows very extensive interest in the song so I'm hoping that this is an offer that is not going to turn into my own battle with the swell.
Does anyone know the whereabouts of any other 3 score and 10 graves?