the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

In a graveyard in Bramfield, England, lies the body of one Bridgett Applewhaite. Her mother died of an apoplectic fit when Bridgett was just 16 and her brother died aged 27 of a debilitating cough and wasting disease. She had married once, been widowed and was about to remarry when she too died of an apoplectic fit at age 44.

Not this Brig(d)itt(e) found here

This is the charming and informative engraving on her headstone

Between the Remains of her brother Edward

and of her husband Arthur

Here lies the body of Bridgett Applewhaite

Once Bridgett Nelson

Not this Bri(d)gitt(e) N(i)elsen found here

After the fatigues of a Married Life

Borne by her with Incredible Patience

for Four Years and three Quarters, bating three weeks;

And after the Enjoiment of the Glorious


Of an easy and Unblemish’t widowhood,

Merry Widow found here

For four years and upwards

She Resolved to run the Risk of a Second Marriage


But Death forbad the Banns and

having with an Apoplectick Dart

Many more fascinating images to be found here

[The same Instrument, with which he had


Dispatcht her Mother]

Toucht the most vital part of the Brain;

She must have fallen Directly to the Ground

[as one Thunder-strook]

Thunderstorm found here

If she had not been Catch’t and Supported

by her Intended Husband.

Of which invisible Bruise,

After a struggle for above Sixty Hours

With that grand enemy to Life,

(But the certain and Merciful Friend to Helpless Old Age)

In Terrible Convulsions Plaintive Groans, or

Stupefying Sleep

Without recovery of her Speech, or Senses

She dyed on the 12th day Sepr in ye year of our

Lord 1737

Of her own age 44.


Mike, Steve, Greg – all dead at 44

Published in: on August 30, 2011 at 8:05 am  Comments (48)  
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48 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Am I normal – I’ve never heard of Mike or Greg (impossible, however sheltered one’s life, to avoid Steve, of course)

    • … and Bindi. And Bob…..

      • Crikey! I’ll say! 😉

  2. Bridgetts – whatever the spelling – seem to be a busty bunch of wenches, innit? Still, back in the 1700s 44 was a good age to reach …

    • Brigitte Bardot was so gorgeous in her heyday

    • 44 was a good bust size as well. Still is – – –

  3. Death’s Apoplectick Dart… I’m so going to use that.

    • Be my guest 🙂

  4. There’s a trend for some people to drop dead at 27 too, it seems. I just learned about 44 from this post. Interestingly, the no 4 in Chinese means death.

    • 27 is reserved for drug taking musicians

  5. you can die from an apoplectic fit? i’ll have to tame down my theatrics back into the realm of ‘snit’ i suppose….

  6. Thanks for that Irish history link. I’ll be spending some time there.

    • It’s a great site isn’t it?

  7. What in God’s name is wasting disease?! Maybe that’s what I have. I pity the stone mason who took on that job.

    • Not so much pity as applaud. In the C18th that would have cost a sackful of money!

    • Wasting disease was often TB although it could have been a (then uncommon) lung cancer as well.

  8. Shit, shit, shit, i was all happy to get past 27 thinking i was in the clear and life would be all gravy and now you’re telling me i gotta worry about 44 too? damn.

    • the best year of my life was when I was 44

  9. That dart to the neck looks fairly serious…
    is there a nurse around here?!

    • *crouches down and avoids all eye contact”

  10. Second pic from top heavy metal erotic and a 10

  11. So 44 is a dangerous age too? I’m glad to be beyond it now.

    I love that expression Appoplectick Rat… excellent. Just as well she didn’t die of the marthambles!

    • Aha! a Patrick O’Brian fan Jams?

  12. “Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets its’ hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.”
    Twould seem that the family in this tale was cursed to follow those immortal words.
    How oddly fitting that one, short in life and quick to death, would find such longevity on a headstone. Perhaps life is destined to be “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”, but it seems this lady managed a bit of significance some 274 years later.

  13. I lost the train of this post after Bridgitte Nielson…

    • Haha…. why am I not surprised?

  14. Whoever had to carve that headstone had a very big job. Whoever commissioned it had to have been a real admirer of hers.

    I’m pretty sure you can find examples of deaths at every age, and on every date as well. Like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both dying on the Fourth of July… That’s the wonderful thing about coincidence.

  15. I now have my fingers crossed for such an epic headstone.

    You know, with maybe a longer life.

  16. UB: I think wasting disease was consumption recognised more recently as T.B. After cows were tested and milk pasturised in the forties tuberculosis more or less disappeared – but this is from a fading memory.

    • Fading memory maybe tho’ it accuracy remains 🙂

  17. If all that fit on a headstone, you must be able to see two counties away from the top, at least.

    How you come up with this stuff day after day is utterly amazing.

    • I read a LOT of books

  18. She and her mother both died of apoplectic fits? That sounds mighty suspicious. On the other hand “apoplectic fit” may have been a poor diagnosis of what would now be known as a heart attack or stroke.

  19. “Once Bridgett Neilson” ooh la la
    “Now Bridgett Neilson” ewwww la la

  20. You know, I assume that her intended husband must have loved her very much to get all that engraved. Or maybe that was usual back then?

    • Yes, I think it speaks of love too

  21. I have never heard widowhood described as easy and unblemished.

    Love, love, love the thunderstorm picture!

    • Me too Nicole, I’m glad someone commented on it

  22. Is apoplexy contagious?

  23. Hmmm, wonder whatever happened to Brigitte Nielsen?

  24. But way back then 44 was more like 88.

  25. The art of the headstone epitaph is disappearing – for example, ‘officials’ originally refused Spike Milligan’s “I told you I was ill” until it was translated into Irish.

    My favourite (apocryphal) one is:

    Here lies Miss Betty Box,
    She gave a thousand men the pox.
    She lies dead, but not forgotten,
    Her heart was gold but her c**t was rotten.

    • pithy

    • Ouch! Wasn’t Betty Box a doyenne of the J.Arthur Rank Studios?

      • J Arthur Rank…..heheheheheheh!

  26. I still get down about Mike Starr’s death. Never could catch the dragon.

    • Hey Will, nice to see you back here again!

  27. She dyed … but what color? For such a long tribute, it leaves out such crucial information.

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