A poignant headstone is set into the outside wall of the church of St Mary’s Ashley Hampshire
The church of St Mary at Ashley in Hampshire is cared for by the Church Conservation Trust and has a beautifully simple interior, so quiet and peaceful. The church sits alongside the site of the 12th century Ashley Castle.
Set into the outside eastern wall of the church are some headstones whose inscription is a sad reminder of the fragility of young life in 18th century England.
In Memory of Charles and Abraham sons of Nicholas and Catherine Smith
Charles dyed November 19th 1778 aged 6 years
Abraham dyed January 17th 1779 aged 5 years
‘Like two fair flowers nipt in their early bloom
Lie two sweet babes within this silent tomb
Their daring virtues promised future praise
Flattering their parents hopes with happier days.
Heaven saw the ripening harvest with delight
And snatched them spotless to the realms of light.’
Their father then died in 1782. What a sad time for this family. The inscription lamenting the loss of potential in these young boys is hard to read.