The Secret of Her Birth

Found February 1869, Cullenstown, County Wexford, Ireland.

In a bottle, on soiled, torn paper with no date:

The finder of this is to tell Elizabeth Granton, of Ashton Grange, on the borders of London, E.C., that the secret of her birth will be found behind the picture of the Earl of Warwick, in the drawing-room, and receive the blessing of a dying man.

Interest in this message was, according to the Belfast News-Letter, “awakened by the fact that there is a lady in the case, and that it has a romantic air about it.” The abbreviation “E.C.” suggests London’s East Central postcode area, from an era before postcodes had numbers added to them. However, Ashton Grange cannot be found in Victorian London gazetteers.

[Belfast News-Letter, 4 February 1869 and Lincolnshire Chronicle, 19 February 1869]

Author: Paul Brown

Writes about football and history. Four Four Two, When Saturday Comes, The Blizzard, The Guardian etc. Latest book: The Ruhleben Football Association. Twitter: @paulbrownUK

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