Mystery Tombstone

This site has baffled many a visitor. Don’t let the unassuming surroundings fool you. What is of great importance is the epithet upon the grave.

“…She was a mother without knowing it, and a wife without letting her husband know it, except by her kind indulgences to him…” It is said that around 1781, Betty Scott met and married a boisterous sailor, Alexander Stivens, who because of his calling, came and went. She became pregnant and died in childbirth on the 25th November 1783. Her father was heartbroken at the death of his favourite daughter. He was a significant member of the island’s community, and at the time of Betty’s death served as President of the Governor’s Council. The distraught father buried his daughter in a corner of his sizable garden, and erected a large tombstone on her grave bearing the above inscription.

To add to the intrigue, it is said that the Anglican Church in Scarborough possesses an old register of baptisms, marriages and deaths (1781 – 1817). On page two, reference is made to three mulatto children of Alexander Stivens: one son by the name of Alexander, and two daughters, Sally and Mary.

The inscription and the stories behind it have become a favourite conversation starter and debatable topic all over the island. So once it is brought up, be prepared to take seat and hear the different theories for the inscription and the rich history behind it.