Sunday, 5 May 2013

Conmen at a funeral

This is an except from the Memoirs of Hannah More, from a letter dated 2 Feb 1779, and it describes the difficulty that the writer Hannah More had in getting into the funeral of her close friend, the famous actor, Mr Garrick.

"When we got to the cloisters, we found multitudes striving for admittance. We gave our ticket, and were let in, but unluckily we ought to have kept it. We followed the man who unlocked a door of iron, and directly closed it upon us, and two or three others, and we found ourselves in a tower, with a dark winding staircase, consisting of half a hundred stone steps.

When we got to the top there was no way out; we ran down again, called, and beat the door till the whole place resounded with our cries. Here we staid half an hour in perfect agony; we were sure it would be all over: nay, we might never be let out; we might starve; we might perish. At length our clamours brought an honest man,—a guardian angel I then thought him. We implored him to take care of us, and get us into a part of the abbey whence we might see the grave.

He asked for the Bishop's ticket; we had given it away to the wrong person; and be was not obliged to believe we ever had one; yet he saw so much truth in our grief, that though we were most shabby, and a hundred fine people were soliciting the same favour, he took us under each arm—carried us safely through the crowd, and put us in a little gallery directly over the grave, where we could see and hear everything as distinctly as if the Abbey had been a parlour."


Roberts, William, 1767-1849. Memoirs of the life and correspondence of Mrs. Hannah More: (Kindle Locations 3369-3372). London, R.B. Seeley [etc.].

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