Morston stone with a story to tell

This memorial is in Morston churchyard, near Blakeney. It is both unusual and powerful. It is unusual in that it is slate, which is rare in Norfolk. The power lies in the wording of the inscription.

click to enlarge

“In memory of Wm Luce son of Wm and Anna Luce. Drowned from a perventive boat * Febry 26th 1854 leaving a tender mother to lament an only son. Aged 22.

Death no warning to me gave, but quickly sent me to my grave, when far from friends remote from home, the depths received my last sad moan. Drowned without a tender mother’s care to sooth my cold heart nor hear my parting prayer.”

*  A “perventive boat” was a kind of anti-smuggling vessel.

click to enlarge

There is also some interesting tall ship graffiti scratched into the stone, and some initials, which remind me of the ship graffiti scratched into the choirstalls in Salthouse Church down the road from Morston. Perhaps this graffiti was carved by other families whose loved ones travelled on the tall ships in those days, and they wanted in some superstitious way to try and ensure safe passage.

click to enlarge

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