Monday, 11 January 2010

In memory of Ann Barford

Under the heading burial at the crossroads, this article by Mick Twyman and Alf Beeching from the Margate Historical Archives is about the tragic story of Ann Barford.


  1. Tony Thank you so much for this moving tale of the unfairness of those days. Good to remember her Ann Barford

  2. Fascinating stuff and not so long ago - good to see our attitudes have improved on some things!

    A couple of questions:

    Do we know from the Coroner's Warrant that Ann Barford was alleged to be sane - therefore deliberately taking her own life and committing a felony? Suicides judged to have unbalanced minds had normally been given burials in the churchyard in unconsecrated ground and without religious rites, only criminal suicides were treated to the idignity described in the article. I believe such cases were very rare by the nineteenth century, perhaps the most common being condemned prisoners wanting to escape the agony and humiliation of public execution!

    Does the KG article confirm a coffin, as the normal practice was to toss the body into a pit to add to the 'punishment' inflicted on the 'criminals' who had escaped justice?

    References and a note of where the sources were accessed would be a great help for anyone wanting to follow this up and remove the 1% of doubt.

    See Macdonald and Murphy, "Sleepless Souls", partly available online at:

    for an examination of attitudes and practices relating to suicide.

    See Blackstone's "commentaries" for an 18th c. generalisation of what the law provided for, but be aware that local custom varied.

  3. Thanks Anon (shame no name) I have passed your questions onto the researcher who will look at addressing your queries.

  4. Thanks for posting the comment. By coincidence I was sitting next to Alf in the library when I was looking for the Kentish Gazette article about the exploitation of the body by the navvies. Alf was very helpful (especially with the workings of an unfamiliar microfilm viewer!) and suggested that I 'phoned Mick for more information, which I did. There doesn't appear to be much else to find, but you never know what might turn up.

    (PS I prefer to retain anonimity online, but Mick will work out who I am. Good luck with the society!)

  5. Yes Mick did say you called, so I have unmasked you personnally but not publically, he gave me a copy of a book, that you may have or not seen, so if you want to send message to the historical society email address we can dicuss if you want to have a copy. Lynn Admin

  6. Hiya, I am looking for any information about Margate College, one of my Ancestors was there in 1911.... would like to know why he would have been sent there for schooling from the East End of London, they where not a wealthy family. Any info greatly recieved. Thanks Denise

  7. Anonymous: You will need to not be anonymous for us to have a look for information on your family, email and we will see what we can find.