The tale of my 5th great-grandmother Elizabeth Merret was a surprise finding that created a few gasps. On 15 April 1733 she married my 5th great-grandfather at Painswick Church. She was 14…her husband was 32, a well to do merchant.Elizabeth’s sister Mary was married at nearby Standish, aged only 13 to a man aged 30, also well established in business. Their father and mother had both died some years before, when Elizabeth and Mary were only 4 years and 9 years respectively so another family member was in charge of the decisions obviously. I wonder if they had any real choice? This family I have traced back as far as 1558 [my 10th great grandparents] as having been born, christened, married and buried at Painswick. It was a well-known area to them.
1733, the year of George Frideric Handel’s first recital of Orlando in London, King George 11 is on the throne, the last British monarch to be born outside the United Kingdom and the year John Kaye patents the flying shuttle on the 26th May, which proved to be one of the main keys in the industrialisation of the weaving industry. This entire area was dominated by weaving for its living. Thomas Twining was born in Painswick in 1675 and in 1706 set up his first tea shops at 216, The Strand, London.
And so as I walked round Painswick church I thought of those two girls, little more than children themselves, orphaned…making those journeys up the aisle to take vows that in those days meant ‘for life’. Elizabeth went on to have 4 children, Mary just one son.
By the time I got to Painswick the light was fading and the church was locked. A bitter disappointment. But the famous yew trees are a sight to behold, according to folklore there should only be 99 yew trees and if a 100th comes up…it will be pulled out by the devil himself! So here are my exterior shots of St Mary’s and then just some local ones around the church. Because of the light, I changed some to black and white or colour effects…