Betley, Staffordshire - St Margaret

The first church at Betley probably dates to the 12th century.  The chancel was built in 1610 and the church tower dates from 1713.  There was major restoration in the 1840s.

A transcription is provided because this stone is so unusual:

THIS STONE is erected by Subscription to the Memory of MARY MALPAS the beloved daughter of JOHN & ANNE MALPAS who at the early age of 15 years & 10 months was on the night of June 28th 1835 most basely and cruelly murdered in CHAPEL FIELD HUNSTERSTON by THOMAS BAGGULEY an elderly Married MAN He escaped the punishment of the law by adding his own Death to that of his INNOCENT VICTIM.

. . . ? was the place and dark the midnight hour/Which gave sweet MARY to the Ruffian' pow'r/Stedfast in faith and strong in virtue's might/She fell a Martyr on that awful Night/Now safe from sin and harm She rests secure/among the blessed who in heart are pure.

Mary had been a domestic servant for 12 months, and her murderer was a labourer for the same employer, a married man with 8 living children.  He enticed her from her bedroom with a false story about her mother being ill, tried to assault her, and when she resisted he strangled her.  He then hanged himself in a farm building.

I was dismayed that rope barriers were in place with warnings that the space behind them was alarmed - I have never come across that before - so I did not dare go closer to this wall monument.  I believe that it commemorates the Egerton family of the 17th century.

"I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it."

Willit Clark "for upwards of 20 years was in the confidential employ of the late Sir John Broughton". 

Aged 102 years.

The tragic loss of triplet babies.

I suspect that my daughter Sally is pleased that she is not named Ezalda.

A view from the overflow graveyard across the road from the church.