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John Leigh (of epitaph fame)

Tracey Bennett

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Right, once I've done this I'm going to go out, have a life and stop spamming the boards!


I turned up some really interesting letters in the Liverpool Echo about John Leigh, whose epitaph is in St Elphin's.


First letter, 26 April 1884. Frustratingly, I can't find the initial article it refers to.



Second batch 30 April 1884, responses to 'Warringtonian'





Last batch, 3rd May 1884




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I've got lots of Leighs on my tree too. I've looked into John Leigh but haven't been able to tie him into my tree although I'm sure he must fit in somewhere. It's difficult because not all of the Sankey Chapel records seem to be on lan-opc, plus it's such a common name and they're all living in the same area, doing the same job, giving their kids the same names etc etc


I've also found this today. Interestingly (for me anyway) William Roughley who made John Leigh's boat coffin is my 5x great grandfather. His daughter married Samuel Leigh, a Mersey Flatman, son of Thomas Leigh who owned Leigh Villas (discussed extensively on here!) More evidence of close ties between the famous(ish!) John Leigh and my Leigh Flatmen.



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I did a bit more digging over the weekend and found some reports from 1839 regarding a bizarre funeral 'rehearsal' that John Leigh held while he was still alive, the boat coffin being towed around the streets of Warrington, complete with Fiddler and John himself! He apparently talked of nothing else.


Strangely, I can't find any reports of his actual funeral, just this rehearsal. It makes me wonder whether it actually happened in the end. Maybe he spent all his money when he was alive and there wasn't enough left when the time came?





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