In Holy Trinity Church, the memorial stone pictured below commemorates the two wives of Jevon Harper, Henrietta and Theodisia, who died in 1838 and 1840 respectively and were interred in the church crypt.

Harper Memorial


Note that there are no maiden names.  This may be because, scandalously, they turn out to be sisters and marriage to one's deceased wife was actually illegal at the time!

Chris and Alison of Ripplevale Grove have researched the egregious life and times of Jevon Harper in meticulous detail and you can download their notes on the "Order of Events" here - it's a wonderful story!

Download Jevon Harper Notes

Briefly, Jevon Harper was born in 1838 in Tamworth, Staffs, and married into the wealthy Rice family, who owned Northleach Manor in Gloucestershire.  Just two years after their marriage in 1836, Jevon and Henrietta are living at 3 Malvern Cottages when Henrietta dies of an "epileptic attack".  With what appears to be indecent haste, Jevon then marries Henrietta's younger sister Theodisia in an illegal, probably secret ceremony in Scotland, following which they return as man and wife to Malvern Cottages.  By 1840 Theodisia is dead too!  Jevons now owns two thirds of the Rice estate.  A few years later he returns to Gloucestershire and marries a third wife, who may be his childhood sweetheart.  He then buys the remaining third of the Rice estate and dies in 1858 as Lord of NorthLeach Manor!  Nice one Jevon!

In a postscript to this murky tale, Chris and Alison also discovered that one William Kidman was sentenced to 7 years transportation to Australia for stealing a handkerchief!  The "victim"?  None other than Jevon Harper.  Read the full story here.



#1 Gillian 2020-07-16 12:30
Fascinating stuff!