Mr John Hurst died 1st November 1857 aged 30 and daughter Sarah Ann died 26 October 1857 aged 5
John Hurst (1828-57) died at the age of 30, less than a week after his young daughter of 5. He is described as ‘late of Whitchurch’.
He was the son of Jacob Hurst (1791-1845) and Elizabeth Brickwell (1787-1840). Jacob’s will demonstrates he was a very wealthy farmer/grazier. This probably explains why John could afford to be farming 310 acres at Holly Bush Fam, Nettleden, as described in the 1851 Census. Later that year, he married Mary Ann Clare in Chesham, born c. 1833 (she was only 18 at the time) They had one child, Sarah Ann Hurst (1852-57) who was baptised 4 Aug 1852 at Nettleden, ‘Buckingham’, England.
The close proximity of their deaths suggest that either they suffered from a common illness, or, as the father died only a few days after his daughter, whether this was possibly a case of suicide.
In 1861, Mary Ann Hurst is living, a widow at the age of 28, with her parents, John Clare aged 62, a farmer of 160 acres at Grove (nr Ashley Green) with 4 labourers & 1 boy, and Hannah age 64, both born in Chesham. Then, in the same year, Mary Ann re-married, this time to John Collins of Latimer.
The repair involved re-uniting the two parts of the top slab, which had been split in two by a tree growing up through the middle. This work was undertaken as part of the conservation programme in 2018.