Hays tomb in Spital cemetery
The Hays tomb has one of the finest angel carvings.
The inscription says -
In ever sweet and cherished memory of
(Butcher of this town)
Born July 16th. 1858,
whom God called home
July 20th. 1928.
Meet me there
in that bright home beyond.
SILENCE MARY HAYS
sister of the above
CALLED TO REST
OCTOBER 12th. 1943,
AGED 72 YEARS.
Two legends appear to have grown up around the Hays tomb.
The first is connected to when she was being christened in the Crooked Spire. As she was being christened there was an interruption or noise from the congregation which distracted the vicar just as he was about to pronounce her name and he called for silence. So it is presumed that he said, 'I name this child...."Silence"....Mary Hays.'
The second legend relates to the carved angel and child - one of the sisters is rumoured to have had an illegitimate child, hence the child sheltered by the angel. The profile of the father is said to be carved on the base where the angel is standing.
Neither can be verified.
Perhaps she was a very quiet child which led to her unusual name.
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