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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Taphophile Tragics - Believeth

Lych gate at St James the Less, Burchetts Green, Maidenhead

Taphophilia is a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries. The singular term is a taphophile.

Monument of Augusta Silver, Annette Silver and Mary Ann Silver, St James the Less Churchyard, Burchetts Green, Maidenhead.

"In memory of Augusta Silver Born June 15th 1842 Died April 3rd 1860 Also of Annette Silver Born May 24th 1850 Died 13th April 1861

Also of Mary wife of Richard Silver and mother of the above Born March 1st 1818 Died July 15th 1881

~ Who so ever liveth and believeth in me shall never die - St John XI 26 ~"

Augusta Silver was born in 1842 and Annette Silver in 1860 to Richard and Ann Silver nee Kuy.

Richard Silver was born in 1818 in Burghfield Berkshire. On 16th March 1838 in Cookham Berkshire, he married Mary Kuy. They are listed on the 1851 Census living in "Tittle Row" with their children Joseph Love, Augusta (spelt Agusta), Agnes and 11 month old Annette. At that time Richard was a carpenter employing five men. Mary was a dress maker.

In 1849 the foundation stone to St James the Less church in Burchetts Green Maidenhead was laid. The architect Richard Cromwell Carpenter employed Richard Silver and his team to build the church that still stands there to this day. The small round window in the west wall
was given to the Church by Richard Silver.

Sadly in both 1860 and 1861 the family was beset by double tragedy when 18 year old Augusta passed away follwed closely by his 11 year old sister Annette. Maybe this is why Richard threw himself in to politics and the running of his beloved town, Maidenhead.

Richard was elected to Maidenhead Town Council in 1870, becoming Alderman from 1890 and Mayor of Maidenhead in 1872-73 and again in 1877-78. He passed awat at his home The Walnuts, Tittle Row on 17th December 1910. In his obituary his was described as;

"A keen antiquarian. His late residence, Etruria stands on the site of an old Roman villa, where Mr Silver unearthed some valuable pottery & specimens of which are to be seen at the British Museum and at the Maidenhead Museum."

After the death of his wife Mary in 1881 Richard married Jane Stuchbery in Cookham in 1883.

Richard and Jane are listed on the 1901 Census as living at Etruria along with their servants, Elizabeth Gibson and Jane Sealey, my husband's great grandmother.

West wall of st James the Less Church in Burchetts Green Maidenhead, showing the small round window given by Richard Silver

For more Taphophile Tragic posts, please stop by Taphophile Tragics Blog.


  1. HOW Interesting, even more so with a family connection!! Would be fun to see the pottery he found and donated.

  2. That is a most handsome headstone he provided for his wife and two young children. I wonder what the cause of their death was? Plague of some sort perhaps? Or a deadly strain of 'flu. Richard himself lived to the grand old age of 92 - quite remarkable for that age.

    Even at the age of 65, he felt the need to remarry. I guess by that time he was a very good catch.

    Good on your husband's great grandmother. Isn't it wonderful to be able to trace their life through the social aspects of the time. To see their interconnectedness ...

    Thank you for this. I always enjoy your delicate postings. Always ...

  3. Really nice trio of b&w shots. The gate on top is lovely.

  4. I like the pictures, so unusual. Not to mention the story ...

  5. Interesting post with lovely captures - perfect in B&W

  6. the stone is very pretty!

  7. I think you have a typo for the year of Annette's birth (the second one). At first I thought how unusual to have the children 18 years apart, but it's eight years, right (1850, not 1860.. or is it my poor tired eyes)? I agree with Julie, that is a wonderful headstone. And your monochrome images are splendid.


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