Hanslope Memorials

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MemorialsThe Hanslope Memorials have come to us in a few hand-written sheets, probably torn from an exercise book.  The author is not identified and they are undated.  The version available here came to light in 2010 in the papers of Mrs C Branson, together with a transcription prepared by Lady Markham in 1979.  A note written by Lady Markham suggests they may have come originally from the Whitbread family, but it is not clear which member of the family might have written them.

There is a reference to the Memorials on a board outside 22 High Street (former grocers and post office) which was probably drafted in the 1970s or 1980s. There is a further reference in an article on the internet dated 2003 about a para. science investigation into ghosts at Hatton Court conducted for a Japanese television company.

The Memorials recall people and events going back to the 18th century.  The style of the handwriting is typical of the early 1800s, although internal evidence suggests the content was first recorded in the late 1860s.  The document seems to have been written in a hurry, perhaps by one person writing down the recollections of another.

All this suggests that the Memorials are the recollections of an elderly person drawing on his or her own knowledge as well as stories passed down by earlier generations. 

Where it is possible to check the facts given against other records such as deeds, wills, and church records of baptisms, marriages and burials, the information in the Memorials appears to be accurate.  However there is no way of confirming the comments on the characters of the people mentioned.

We have considered whether it is proper to publish the content in full, particularly as there can be no independent confirmation of the contentious comments.  However, given the time that has elapsed since these people were living, and that it is clear these are just the views of an single individual, and having regard to the value of the rest of the content of the Memorials, we have decided on balance to make them available.  In addition, it is hoped that by publishing the memorials, more information will come to light on their origins.  If anyone feels very strongly that particular paragraphs should not be published, we will try to address their concerns.  If you have further information on the Memorials, or strong objections to publication, please contact us by email to hdhs@btinternet.com.

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