Sunday, April 09, 2006

A Random Remembrance

It was a sunny but chilly evening tonight so we decided to have a walk around the Churchyard. The wind has not been kind to many of the sandstone headstones, but some of the more sheltered ones still proudly bear the names of the long since departed. Many of those will have walked the way we did in times past and mused upon the stories and lives of those at peace. One headstone caught my eye - 'PHILIP LEWIS'- Beloved Husband Of Mary Lewis Of Kettleness - Died July 23rd 1912. Just why this particular inscription amongst the hundreds of others drew the eye I cannot say, but there was something in the way the Sun and shadows conspired to illuminate the stone which made me kneel and read the engraving. He was 57 when he died and lived in what was the small fishing village of Kettleness which lies on the Cleveland Way. Many ships were wrecked on its rugged approaches and 'Jet'- a semi-precious mineral was collected on the hazardous shoreline. Was Philip Lewis taken by the sea? Did he die of natural causes? Perhaps I shall dig deeper and bring you my findings at a later date, or perhaps I will forget - but it brings a kind of comfort that a man born nearly a hundred and fifty years ago still remains, however fleetingly, in the mind of the living.

UPDATE
It seems that Philip Lewis was not a man of the sea afterall. A search of local records, the 1881 Census and parish newspaper records, reveals that he was 'a farmers son'. He was the son of William Lewis (B 1814) who 'farmed 109 acres' around Kettleness. There is still a coastguard station in Kettleness, as there has been since Roman times. The current Auxilliary Coastguard in charge goes by the name of....William Lewis..

7 comments:

jayne d'Arcy said...

That's one thing I used to enjoy doing in a small town we once lived in in Missouri. The town cemetary was very old and boasted quite an array of characters including a few witches. The oddest grave belonged to a pirate of the sea who oddly enough, managed to get himself buried in the cemetary almost 100 years before the town was founded.

jayne d'Arcy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

greetz from holland....i was here en read youre blog.
SPION.
http://spion.punt.nl

Moribundo said...

Hello Spion. Dank voor het bezoeken!

fabulousck said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, I was so excited to see that someone besides my friends had responded(you are the first)So I decided to visit yours and came across this one. It just caught my eye...it is so beautiful..I wish I had a that picture hanging somewhere in my home.

Moribundo said...

Thanks for the kind comments Fabolousck. Maybe there is something about getting older that makes us look for the beauty and mystery that surrounds us - but I don't think you need worry about that just yet! Your site just has 'happy' written all over it, and how much more beautiful can you get than that?

Mike Lewis said...

Hi - thanks for the pic and little story about Philip and Mary of Kettleness. They were my Great Uncle and Aunt. This Lewis family farmed at Hinderwell and then Kettleness, datin back to 1650. The Lewis family still farm in Kettleness today I believe.