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9 december 2009

Bizar! Village will commemorate the family it allowed to starve to death



The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) has persuaded a village to commemorate a family starved to death on its green in 1769, ending a 240-year silence. 
Following an approach by the RSC, the village of Datchworth in Hertfordshire, 20 miles north of London, has agreed to raise a plaque recalling the lives, and the terrible deaths, of the Eaves family.   
Tonight the Parochial Church Council of the village near Welwyn Garden City is expected to agree to create a monument after hearing a case made by its vicar, the Reverend Coralie McCluskey.  
The bodies of James Eaves and his wife, one of their two sons and an infant daughter were discovered naked and skeletal on straw in a filthy parochial Poor House, a hovel bereft of roof and window panes. 
Crawling amongst their corpses was found their surviving 11-year-old son, who descended into insanity from which he was not to recover.
The macabre episode is recalled only vaguely in the village by a ghost story there about a cart transporting their bodies up local lanes.
The RSC met the vicar last week proposing a memorial after it had located in the British Library a grim personal description and a drawing of the death scene, accompanied by a damning indictment of the officers whose neglect had led to the tragedy.
The vicar said this week: "We should have a memorial plaque in place in a few months hence, in our garden of remembrance. We will record the family names and the date of their deaths. I will also probably preach on the story one Sunday. I think that by doing this the village will be showing its respect and will also be able to lay a ghost."

She added: "In fact there is a story told here that a ghost cart containing the bodies makes its way up the lanes. Some people do believe it to be true."
The RSC took up the remarkable issue of the Eaves family when it came across the little-known story while researching the relationship between chemistry and food, its theme for 2009.
Source en more informatie: site RSC

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